Hey y'all! :)SO MUCH to talk about!!!!! I don't even know how to tell you about it....
I have a new companion, Sis Crossett. She is wonderful!! She's from Layton, Utah, and she's straight out of high school! (she was older for her grade) She's the oldest of three girls, so she's the first missionary of her siblings :) She is so much fun and such a hard worker. She just never wants to stop... she really has a deep testimony of why she's here and she always always looks for that one last person to talk to. She is so dedicated.
Quick story: I tried to take Sis Crossett tracting for her first time on Wednesday. It was 100 degrees, per normal here in Rancho. Supposedly the heat should end once september is finally over. Lol. Anyway, the second door we knock on, no one answers. So we start walking to the next house, when suddenly a chinese lady comes out of the one we just knocked on and starts talking to us! Haha it was kinda awkward as we walked back to her driveway, but she was excited to talk to us. We tried so hard to say something... anything... haha but no matter how hard we tried we just couldn't get a word in edgewise!!! She just wouldn't stop talking.... for 45 minutes. on her driveway. in direct sunlight. (the elders all laughed when we told them about it later - apparently they've met her, too) We even just tried to tell her, "we have to go!" But wow she wouldn't stop. Suddenly I got a really bad feeling. Then all at once I realized I was going to pass out. On her driveway. Oh man. So I just turned and walked to the car. I just left. Lol Sister Crossett was still standing there like, "what the heck?? my companion!!!!" So she followed me.... I couldn't even see the car door when I tried to open it. It was kinda scary. She had to dump a water bottle on my face in the car while the AC blasted. But after resting for a little while, I felt well enough to drive home where we rehydrated and recovered. Man, what a great start.... we certainly learned our lesson about hydration. No worries I am totally fine!! But we are a lot more careful about drinking water now. Haha we will never forget that first time tracting lol.
We've really just been trying so hard this week to find someone to teach! It's a hard area, but we know there are people ready, and we're doing everything we know how. Keep praying with us!! We are talking to everyone we can find and asking for referrals everywhere! We just know that the Lord will help us find someone soon. There are plenty of fish in the sea! (haha that's an odd context for that phrase)
This week I think the highlight of the week was going to stake conference! It was incredible. Elder Carl B Cook of the seventy came and the adult session Saturday night was all about the Book of Mormon. Seriously, every single person talked about and bore testimony of the divinity of the Book of Mormon. It was amazing! Especially because they weren't assigned topics. So inspiring. I especially loved one story of a branch in Africa (Democratic Republic of the Congo?) where the members didn't even officially have a branch formed, so they couldn't have the sacrament. They didn't have a building to meet in, or any church leadership other than the far away mission president. They didn't even have any missionaries! But one brother (I have no idea how to spell his name, but it sounded like banaynay) started teaching people about the gospel using the Book of Mormon. They started having Sunday scripture studies since they didn't have church services yet. And the 17 saints in the area started giving all their tithing to Bro Banene?, who brought it to the mission president after a few years. The mission president was so surprised! And then when he brought it again a couple years later, the mission president promised to come visit the saints in the area. I think it was called Laputa? Then they formed an official branch! With Bro Banene as the president! They could finally have the sacrament. Soon, the branch grew to 3... then 5... then 8... then 12!!! They were officially a stake of zion... without even a meetinghouse! :) They still didn't have any missionaries, and when he was asked how they did it, Bro Banene said, we have the gospel! We have the Book of Mormon! What else do we need? We can meet under that tree. We have branch missionaries. We all take care of each other. Wow. What incredible faith. There are now three stakes there, and they have even been visited by one of the 12 apostles!
Sunday conference was equally inspiring, and they really focused on missionary work!! They brought several recent converts up to talk with Elder Cook at the podium and tell their stories... they even invited a couple up who are not yet even baptized! It was so special, and everyone felt the spirit. The best part was a little while after conference ended, Elder Cook met with all of the missionaries in our zone and shared a little message! He said, "Now is the time for miracles. It's time to believe. Time to do the work." He really helped us understand that if we want to have converted investigators, we have to be converted missionaries. He was so wonderful and kind, and he shook all of our hands! I was asked to conduct "Called to Serve" to finish our unofficial meeting, and then with that spirit in our hearts, we all knelt with a general authority and prayed together for the missionary work here in Rancho Santa Margarita.
Other than that, the best part of our week was Friday night when we tried to visit a potential, Dennis, who we've spoken to several times. He is really interested and we have shared our testimonies with him. He always says he is too busy to talk now, but that he wants to, so come back later. Haha but we think he's really sincere. But this time we talked to his wife Amita at the door and she let us share the entire message of the restoration with her right then! She wants to learn more and told us they both wanted to learn about the Book of Mormon, and to keep trying to visit and they will find time soon. We are praying that it will happen soon!
Sister Crossett has truly been an example to me this week of following the Spirit. She is absolutely 100% willing to do whatever the Spirit says to do, including knocking on someone's door again 5 minutes after talking to them, haha. But no matter how hard, scary, or weird it may be, she is totally faithful and we have seen so many small and large miracles poured out because of it. I can't wait to learn so much more together this week!!!
Sister Heather Bambas
California Irvine Mission
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