This week was amazing. As always. :) I don't have too much time today, so I'll just tell you the highlights:
Thursday we had MLC, and I was so inspired by all of the trainings, but especially President Galland's, and President Clark's. President Galland began by having 7 different people stand and do something - we didn't know yet that it was a demonstration. First he had Sister Clark begin with a heartfelt prayer for a relative he told us about who was struggling. Then, he had several missionaries stand one by one and do things like reciting a scripture, sharing a testimony or personal experience, or tell things they loved about their companions. Last, he had me stand and sing, "Love One Another." It was incredible to feel the spirit in the room as so many missionaries shared their testimonies in various ways. Which is exactly what he was trying to show us. He explained that we had just felt the Spirit testifying 7 distinct times, then shared the list of 7 ways we can invite the Spirit:
3) sharing personal experiences
4) bearing testimony
5) priesthood blessings (he just had someone share an experience of one)
6) express love
I loved this! It really stuck with me. We can't just passively avoid things that drive the Spirit away... We need to actively INVITE Him - every day!! Remember the 13th article of faith? It says, "...if there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, WE seek after these things. WE seek them! The prophet wanted to teach us that you and I have a responsibility to actively seek the good and the beautiful. In other words, "be anxiously engaged in a good cause" (https://www.lds.org/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/58.27?lang=eng#26" target="_blank" D&C 58:27).
I also really loved the other trainings, especially from President Clark. He challenged us to read the Book of Mormon by November 10, when Elder Hamula is coming to visit our mission again. It's gonna be tough, but I'm so excited for the challenge! When God asks us to do something through our priesthood leaders, He always makes a way.
Saturday I had a great exchange with Sis Clements. The morning was slower, but that afternoon we had an incredible lesson with a part-member couple. Tanya was baptized a few years ago, but Chris is not a member, even though his parents were. His family stopped going to church when he was 6 or 7, so he only knew a little about the gospel. He was so ready to learn! We taught him the Restoration, and it was so amazing to watch him soak it up. He understood everything easily, and it was quite evident that God has been preparing him for this time. He wants to get baptized and knows the gospel can truly bless his family, especially as they are facing challenges. It was such a blessing to be with Sis Clements for a day - she is so upbeat, humble, and dedicated to the gospel. She is always learning from everyone around her, and she has such strong faith. She never lets anyone get her down, even when they're rude answering the door. I loved laughing and learning with her.
Sunday we went to temple tours after church, and something incredible happened! A woman walked up to us at the tent and said, "Hi! I'm Dannie and I'm not a member. Can I talk to you about your church?" WOW. It was amazing. We were able to teach her the Restoration right then and there!! :)
Later that evening we talked to a girl named Mary that some elders had met and sent us her info. She is around 17, and she is so cool! She has several mormon friends, and she is just curious about what makes us different. We can't wait to talk with her more! Then we headed out to the canyon and visited a part-member family. Their little girl Harper is super shy, but we're trying to be around more frequently so she gets more comfortable with us and will come to church with her mom. She's only 4, so her mom can't come without her since her dad has to work. We had an awesome time chatting and getting to know them better, and we talked about general conference while we washed their dishes! :) Then we sang Harper the song, "I'm Trying to Be Like Jesus" before we left. It was a little miracle.
Yesterday morning we had a super amazing awesome wonderful hike with our whole zone!! We hiked somewhere in whiting ranch, and the view when we finally made it to the top was priceless. It took 2 1/2 hours there and back, but it was so much fun! And Elder Bixler kept things upbeat with some Piano Guys theme music playing on a speaker in his backpack haha. So we basically looked like that typical scene of people trekking through the wilderness with majestic music in the background as the sun beats down lol. But we all had fun, got an intense workout, and made it out safe and with relatively few people sunburnt. All's well that ends well. ;)
That was basically my week!! I love you all so very very much. Thanks for the prayers! :)
Sister Heather BambasCalifornia Irvine Mission
<a href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org" target="_blank">email@example.com</a>