Monday night we visited the Pulido family in our ward... Brother Pulido served in the Nashville mission and Sister Pulido is the daughter of Pres Matthews in the Murfreesboro stake presidency :) it was cool to chat about home.
Tuesday we had district meeting, and I gave a short training on my Christ-like attribute that I'm working on this transfer: being an example. I based it off of https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2015/10/be-an-example-and-a-light?lang=eng "Be an Example and a Light" by Pres. Monson. I especially loved when he talks about being an example of the believers "in spirit," which he interprets as being the kind of person that other people like to be around, that shines the light of Christ, that is kind and generous and forgiving, and that other people feel loved by. There are sooo many people in my life who have been this kind of example to me and it was inspiring to think of their examples and how I can be that kind of example.
Wednesday we had a cool miracle. We were going to visit a less active, but they weren't home, so we started to walk up the street to Jeff's house, a potential found recently on a blitz. Jeff's wife and daughter (about 18?) were in the driveway when we got there, so we started talking to them. The mom had to take a little sibling inside, but Hannah stood outside and talked to us for maybe 15 minutes. She had a lot of really great questions about our church. She probably had friends who were LDS because she seemed to know a lot about our basic beliefs, and she was super curious. We shared several scriptures about the spirit world, Heavenly Father's plan for us, and she invited us to come back and answer more of her questions! We are excited to work with her and her family - they are all very sincerely interested :)
Saturday we had an exchange! Yay! :D I went to Lake Forest ward with Sister Sakurai, and Sister Coombs (another STL) came, too. Sister Sakurai is from Japan, and she is such a sweetheart! She has been serving here for about 5 months, but served in Japan for 3 while waiting for a visa. She taught me so much! We did a lot of contacting and tracting, and I learned how to teach people immediately in contacts, being bold enough to share my testimony right away. It was so powerful! Sister Sakurai is not scared to talk to anybody, even though she doesn't speak perfectly in english. We taught an investigator, Joshua, right on his front porch because he didn't have much time. It was cool to have a short maybe 10 minute lesson that was so powerful. We taught him about prayer, and the spirit was definitely there helping us know what to say. Sis Sakurai asked super inspired questions to help us understand his concerns, and Sis Coombs and I both thought of the same scripture to share with him right at the same time haha. We shared https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/alma/22.18?lang=eng#17 Alma 22:18 about praying to know if God is there. Then we invited him to pray with us before we left, and he offered a simple but sincere prayer, and I know the Spirit is helping him to feel God's love for him. After we left, we decided to tract a bit in Joshua's apartment complex. So we started out and it was INTENSELY hot. We were just dripping sweat and we were getting tired pretty fast. But Sister Sakurai was still cheerful and ready to go, so we kept knocking. About 20-30 minutes in, something incredible happened. We knocked on a door and I explained that we were sharing a message about Christ and we were all a little shocked when the woman at the door (Charie) expressed sincere interest. She was busy folding laundry, she said, but she was open to our message. So I told her, "I know you're busy and we don't want to take much of your time, but as missionaries we teach several 20 minute lessons to help people learn about Christ. Would there be sometime you would be willing to let us teach you?" And to our surprise, she said, "Oh, well, if it's only 15 or 20 minutes, you could come in." So we went in!! and it was amazing!! Charie is Catholic, but she was so touched by our lesson about the Restoration. We really focused on how our faith has changed our lives and our choices (she was fascinated by our desire to be here because she has two teenage kids and wants them to make good decisions) and we talked about how the gospel of Christ can bless our families and make them stronger. She had such a firm faith in Christ already, and we talked a lot about how we can get answers to prayers just like Joseph Smith was able to find answers to his sincere prayers. She really loved that and said she prays every day and agreed to pray about what we shared with her and to pray about the Book of Mormon. The best part was that somehow the Spirit helped us know what to say so that we were able to teach simply, each individually testify, get to know Charie and her needs, share scriptures, ask questions, share personal experiences, and feel the Spirit testify all in 20-30 minutes! It was mind-blowing. I know I couldn't have taught like that without the Spirit. Charie expressed her amazement at how we had come at the perfect time and we knew we had been led there. She said she had literally just finished folding the last shirt when we knocked, that her kids were gone for the day, and that it was a very rare time for her to be alone and available. She said that God must have known she was feeling a little lonely. We got her phone number and she agreed that we could come back and teach her again, and then when we left and got down the stairs we all did a little happy dance in shock at the miracle that had just happened. Never before have I taught a lesson that smoothly and quickly on an exchange, with companions I haven't taught with before. We all agreed that the lesson couldn't have been better, and that we definitely had a lot of divine help. It was a lesson to remember.
Sunday we got to help with the lesson in Relief Society, mainly answering some questions about how members can do missionary work. We got to share our testimonies that if we are willing to love God and love our neighbor, the rest comes naturally. We simply invite - with love and sincerity. Missionary work isn't a big complicated thing where we all sit down formally with the missionaries and listen to a shpiele about the gospel. Missionary work is loving a friend so much you want them to be happy, so you say, "Hey I know you're having a hard time... when I'm going through a trial like that what really helps me is to feel close to my Heavenly Father at church. I would love to bring you to church with me this Sunday if you would like to come. I know you would feel His love. Would you like to come with me?" or maybe, "Hey my family's having a game night tonight and at the end we'll share a 5 minute lesson about Jesus Christ. Would you like to come? We'd love to have you come play games with us!" It's the super small little things that matter. The important thing is to be open, honest, and sincere. Do it out of love.
Ok so that's all I have time for this week, but I love you all so freakin' much! Go get it this week! Y'all Rock!
P.S. I have 4 months left this week!
Sister Heather Bambas
California Irvine Mission
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