Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Another Week of Miracles!

It's been another amazing week full of miracles!
This past week we got a referral from our Bishop who was contacted by a professor from Southern Virginia University. When he was teaching English over in China, he had a student named M who learned about the church from him. Recently she moved to Chino Hills and passed by our church building, took a picture with her phone & sent it to the professor saying "Is this your church?" and that she'd like someone to come teach her. We met her on Tuesday and taught her the Restoration. We also taught her how to pray & invited her to be baptized. She didn't know what baptism was, so I explained that to her. She said she'd really like that!  
On Friday we went back with Mama B & asked her if she read 2Nephi 31 that we left with her. She had read it twice & had a couple questions. (her English is really good, but she gets confused on some things) Then we asked her if she'd been praying. She said "the night you taught me how I knelt down and prayed if what you are teaching me is true & I got this feeling like something i've never felt before. Calm and peaceful" We asked her if she knew what that was and she said "I think it's an answer that what you are teaching me is true" AMAZING!! She prayed to know & she got an answer! I asked her how she felt about her baptismal date for March 14 and she said "I really want to, but I don't know if I'll be ready" so we promised her that we would help her feel ready, but she doesn't have to know everything. She's really really excited. Her husband still lives in china and is working so we have to see how he feels about that. Also, she has 2 boys: C, 5 and J, 8. We're going to start teaching them as a family this week, so J can be baptized too!

On exchanges with Sis M
Wednesday I went on exchanges in Rolling Ridge (which, if you don't remember, is right next door to my area) with Sister M, who is from Mexico! It was a really great day, although we didn't get to teach much. BUT we did have a lesson with a less active who is a crazy cat lady!!! I asked how many cats she had & she said "too many. it's actually embarrassing" I couldn't get an exact number out of her, but I know she has AT LEAST 6 or 7 because they were all in her living room, but she has a lot more! needless to say it smelled in her house, but she was a really sweet lady. As I was on exchanges we got a text from Carbon Canyon saying "NEW INVESTIGATOR!" Sis K and Sis H were in my area & they had a lesson with a lady that we met last week, E. I guess they had a really good & spiritual lesson with her. YAYAYYY. 

So if you've missed the math, in a total of 6 days we found 7 new investigators!

This week we went around to the kids that we were teaching to give out permission slips. So far we got one YES, and 2 NO...we're unsure about 2 of them, still praying that their parents' hearts will be softened and they will want to continue to learn, but even if this doesn't go much further, we are definitely planting some good seeds with these kids that will one day be harvested! :)

Sunday was really good as always. We did more beatitudes. It's always a fun experience. At our ward coordilation meeting, Brother H challenged us to give "spiritual compliments". He does this a lot. He feels prompted to compliment someone, but has no idea what he's going to say, so he just opens his mouth and goes by the spirit. It probably sounds weird, but he's amazing at it. So he gave us the challenge to do it 3 times this week, once with each other as a companionship, once to someone we haven't met yet, and another time. We'll see how that goes!
Grapefruits from Sis S!

Hope you have a great week!

xoxo Sister Viraldo

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Week 2 of Transfer 3


It's been another hot week here in Chino Hills, California. I'm going to die come summer. And I can bet you I'll end up in the desert for the summer......UGHH. I want to go to the desert, but I'd rather be there when it's not 115 degrees. But really, it's been a beautiful week! Not just weather wise either. Missionary work has been hoppin' this week.

Tuesday we went to visit a potential and we saw 3 kids throwing a football in the street. Sister K really wanted to throw the football so we went over to them to ask if we could join. There were two boys, G(14) & D(13) & 1 girl, N(15). We started talking about who we were & what we do. We asked them if they were familiar with the church & the boys said they just started learning about the Mormon Trail, Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, and the Book of Mormon in school. I ended up talking to the boys more about the church while Sister K was talking to N. I asked the boys that if they had a Book of Mormon, would they read it. They said yeah! So we went to the car to get them one. 
Meanwhile, they asked N if she wanted one & she declined. That's really when Sis K focused on her & talking more with her & getting to know her & I introduced the BoM to the boys & read the last 2 paragraphs of the introduction with them & committed them to read & pray. Then another boy, No(15) came out of his house & asked what was going on. Nonchalantly I walked up to him & said "hey! do you want a Book of Mormon?" & he took it & said "yeah sure, I'll try it out" We ended up talking to them for probably 30 minutes out in the street & at the end N accepted a BoM & we set up an appointment with them for Thursday at 4. MIRACLES!

Wednesday morning was interesting....for the first time on my mission I met an actual basher. No, not a Bible basher, strictly a Book of Mormon basher. He was working on something in his garage & we saw that his truck said "bible detective" on it so naturally we were curious to know what that meant, & HEY a perfect conversation starter, right?! He started going into a bunch of deep things that Joseph Smith & Brigham Young have said & he kept twisting our words. He was quite knowledgeable factually, but that was about all he had going for him. It was one of those moments that you always think about, you know, the missionary talking to someone who is bashing & all the missionary can do is bear straight testimony. Well, that's what we did. "You believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet"....he said....and....? "I know that Joseph Smith and Brigham Young were truly prophets of God..." he would usually cut us was fun! hahaha
MIRACLE OF THE DAY: we found a lost member! He's been living here for a year & his records were never transferred. We found him because we were walking in a little house/apartment complex thing and one guy was outside & so we started talking to him telling him who we were & he was acting super strange like he didn't want us to talk to him, but I kept walking closer to his house still talking and when we got up to him he said "I'm actually a member" Turns out he was raised Mormon & left the church about 35 years ago. It sounded like his family was still active; he even had nieces/nephews on missions. He moved to the canyon (carbon canyon, part of our area) about a year ago because it was cheap rent (most of the canyon is where the most expensive houses are, but the place he lives is a really small, rundown house complex). He gave us an envelope that he was planning on sending to Bishop with his information & him wanting home teachers that has been sitting in his house for about 3 months. MIRACLE. If he wouldn't have been outside & if we wouldn't have been walking by at that EXACT moment, we would've passed by his house & that envelope would have stayed in his house for who knows how long! 

Thursday was probably the best day of my mission so far. We did service at the thrift store after studies in the morning, then we had a lesson with M & the girls then went home for lunch. G texted us telling us he was kinda sick so he wouldn't be able to be at the lesson. We said we'd still like to meet with the others, and he said that he'd text them, but then he never let us know what was happening, so we didn't know for sure if we were still meeting. Well, we were & we were late. BUT it's okay haha. 
When we got there it was No, D, N & their "mormon friend, J"! Oh cool, they have a member they brought! So thinking he's a member I asked him what ward he's in & he looked pretty confused, so I said "have you been baptized?" he said "no, but I want to. I'm planning on it." WHATTTTT so cool!!! Turns out, his parents let him decide what religion he wants to be & he did some research on other religions & found he really liked The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He said he's talked with missionaries before, but never had lessons. So No, D, N, J & Sis K & I decided to walk to the nearby basketball court to wait for E (mama B's daughter), who was going to join us for the lesson because she knows a couple of the kids. As we were walking No was asking really awesome questions about the afterlife & such. 
So we shot some hoops for a few minutes & as we were doing that G came because he was feeling better, and D said "hey should we invite R?" R is the son of a less active member who hasn't been baptized. "Yes! go get R!" haha Then N invited another one of their friends, Na, to join in, too. So picture this. Sis K & I along with 8 young teenagers (including E) sitting in a circle on the basketball court outside teaching the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It was so boss. R & Na had to leave in the middle of it, but I was able to give Na a Book of Mormon before he left. At the end of the lesson we invited them all to be baptized, & at least the boys said that they would like to. We set up a regular appointment, every Thursday at 4, but J said that he wants to have lessons at the church!! how cool is that? SOOO COOOL. 
5 NEW INVESTIGATORS. ONE DAY. Kids are awesome. They're so open & even willing to invite their friends! Next step for us is meeting their parents & getting permission. Hopefully all goes well with that.

Friday we weekly planned pretty much the whole stinkin' day, thanks to getting 5 new investigators the previous day. :)

Saturday- HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!! We "heart attacked" J's door & a new member in our ward, a young mom who just moved in named K. Her husband is a nonmember, they have 2 young kids. We met a nice lady named N who is very religious, but not the kind who hate mormons. She has her own beliefs but is still very Christlike, which is awesome! She didn't accept a book of mormon, but that's okay. :)  Then we pretty much spent the rest of the day trying potentials/less actives, not much success, except you know how we're really focusing on prospective elders? Well, we met one named S who said he'd be open to us coming back, which is HUGE, because most prospective elders we've met are NOT interested at all. We were supposed to have a lesson with J at the church, but he never showed up. It's hard because all of these kids are too young to drive themselves....

Sunday was good as always. Ward coordilation with Brother H is something I really look forward to every week. This week was especially good. He gave me the challenge to act on every prompting that comes to my mind, to "GO NOW", not take a second thought to it.  He said he's excited to hear what happens this week, that I'm going to go up to people and say "can I share with you my testimony of Jesus Christ?" hahaha I don't know about that, but I'll do what the spirit directs :)

Sister Viraldo

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Week 1 Transfer 3

Hello from sunny, HOT southern California!

So today is the first day of the new transfer, and YES I am still in Chino Hills in the Carbon Canyon ward with Sister K. Things are going a lot better now that Sister K is feeling good. Unfortunately, I'm still sick, but hopefully I'll be getting better soon. Today's email isn't going to be very good, and I apologize up front. Since it's the new transfer, I have my new planner, and I forgot my old one at home so I barely remember anything we did this week!

We were able to do quite a bit of service this week at Let It Be and at the C's thrift store. The cool thing about the thrift store is that they opened it up to raise money to go down to Dominican Republic and Haiti and help out. They've done a couple trips and want to do more. I guess they're not going to Haiti anymore because of the corrupted government, but they've been down there before. 
We weren't able to meet with any of our investigators again this week. It's frustrating that they're not progressing. UGGHHH. BUT this week Sister K & I both have the faith that we WILL find a new investigator! This new transfer is a fresh start!

Wednesday we were able to meet with our less active, J. We watched "Come, Join With Us" by Pres. Uchtdorf. She really liked it. I asked her what her goal is and how we can help her reach it. She pretty much just said she needs to get better at everything, so we're going to start with the basics. We're planning on starting the missionary lessons with her, first talking about the restoration. Also, we learned that a less active family we've been trying to work with made the goal with bishop to go to the temple and be sealed this year!
Since I thought I might be getting transferred, I was kind of saying bye to people & when we went to members' houses they said that they hope I don't leave & that they'd be sad. hmmmmmm. I didn't think they actually liked me! I thought most of them saw me as a young new missionary. But a couple have even told me how much they've seen me grow. That's always good to hear. I feel like I've grown exponentially! I'm starting to become the missionary I want to be and the missionary Heavenly Father knows I can be. I'm excited for what's to come. 

I don't remember if I told you this in the past letters, but you know how we're doing the Beatitude thing with the ward? Well, Brother H did it for us. He informed me that I am meek. Meek can mean different things; it can mean being humble, lacking arrogance, being submissive to the Lord's will, boldly standing for what is right. I can see a few of these attributes in myself, and definitely ones I can work on. But I just wanted to share with you that. I hope you can see that I am willing to do what the Lord wants me to do. I'm grateful to have this attribute, especially as a missionary because there are so missionaries who are 'on a mission', but not wholeheartedly in their mission, being exactly obedient. It's so sad to see some missionaries not doing what will, in the end, bring them the most JOY and HAPPINESS. I've decided that I don't want to look back on my mission & have any regrets. If you can, get your hand on a talk titled "The Fourth Missionary", it's AMAZING. I just want you to read it and see what I'm talking about! That's my goal. I want to be the fourth missionary.

So, last week I shared a couple cool learning experiences that I had. Well, yesterday I had some more & as usual they came from Brother H. He shared with us that the parable of the good Samaritan is laying out the plan of salvation! Read & study that. It's so cool. Also, in Moses 1:39 it says "For behold, this is my work and my glory to bring to pass the (1.) immortality and (2.) eternal life of man". This scripture is talking about the Atonement. The Atonement satisfies both 1. physical death and 2. spiritual death. therefore, His work and His glory is The Atonement of Jesus Christ. 
Small bridge, but still so profound!

Sorry I don't really have much else to write about. I'm way excited for this week though. It's going to be AWESOME. We are going to find a new investigator!!! But that's about it from here! I hope you're all doing well & know that I pray for you all daily. LOVE YOU!
xoxo Sister Viraldo
 We drew the Plan of Salvation at a park!!


Friday, February 6, 2015


If you can't tell by all caps + 4 exclamation marks, I'm stoked. I cannot begin to comprehend the fact that I've been a missionary for 3 months (on wednesday)! time has flown by!

This week was another week of missionary work on a lesser level due to sickness. My companion is still sick, some days are better than others. I have a cold that's only gotten worse this week.
Monday we had dinner at one of my FAVORITE families in the ward. I ATE BROCCOLI willingly!! They're way cool. After dinner we played some sort of charades game with them. 
Tuesday we had a great district meeting. Elder F, who is my district leader gave a training on conversion. We talked about how when we come to realize that the sacrifices we made by coming on our missions aren't sacrifices at all - that's when we love our missions. And Elder F took the scripture in D&C 4:2 "therefore, o ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength that ye might stand blameless before him at the last day" and said that we should split it up and think "see that ye serve him with all your heart" "see that ye serve him with all your might" "see that ye serve him with all your mind" and "see that ye serve him with all your strength". We can easily serve Him with all our might and strength, but it's when we have ALL 4 aspects we will truly love missionary work. (I hope some of that made sense...) 
After district meeting we grabbed lunch at an amazing sandwich deli shop called The Corner Bakery. The sandwich I got was supposed to cost $8.39 & GUESS HOW MUCH I HAD TO PAY!!! $3.39! For some reason the cashier lady gave me $5 off. BLESSINGS. Then we went to Let It Be for a few hours then came home to weekly plan, but Sis K rested instead. We had dinner at the Ks! I ate more broccoli & it was delicious!
Wednesday we finally got to weekly planning that we were supposed to do the friday before! Then we went to the B's for a lesson, then had dinner with the Gs. They're a really sweet older couple. 
Thursday night was cool because we were trying our potential investigators and I felt like we needed to try this guy named B. Well, we didn't meet B, but we met (who we think is his son) T who was interested in learning more. I don't remember exactly what was said when we met him but he said something about baptism & I remember saying "uhh, eventually yeah!" And he still set up an appointment to meet with us! hahaha so we're going there tonight with a member from our ward who's just about to leave on her mission to New Zealand in a few weeks. Hopefully he'll want to start investigating!!
Friday our zone had president interviews. I wasn't sure what to expect with that, but President H is really amazing. He's very inspired. He gave me some great counsel. Also, I got to have a really nice talk with sister H when Sis K was being interviewed. Then we went home and weekly planned until we were supposed to have a lesson at the Church with C, but that fell through, so we went to dinner at the R's. Brother R makes THE BEST ribs ever. They're the infamous R Ribs. Also, Brother R told me he'd give me $50 if I could go 1 month without painting my nails. I'd totally do it, but I don't think that's legal haha. After dinner we went to visit R and R again! They're really nice, but I don't think they're interested in learning more about the gospel.
Saturday was supposed to be a really great day! We had a ton of plans to go visit people and even had the goal of getting 2 new investigators! Sadly, that all fell through when I woke up with a bad sore throat & Sister K woke up sick, so instead of going out, we went to the library to do and then to a park to talk. It was good. We've really been trying to communicate better this week because we're both not good at it. It's been helping a ton! We did have dinner at the B's though. Then we needed to go get froyo to soothe my throat. (don't worry, we got permission)
Yesterday was one of the best sundays I've ever had. SO MUCH INSIGHT GAINED. First off, fast & testimony meeting was quite good, then came gospel principles. As I've said before, Brother H is an incredible teacher. He says that he LOVES teaching that class because he learns so much from the spirit while teaching. 
One of the cool things we talked about: Perfect - complete or whole. Most people think of perfect to mean "without sin". Look Jesus giving the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5:48 "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your father which is in heaven is perfect." then look at Him teaching a rendition of the Sermon on the Mount in the Americas, in 3Nephi 12:48 "Therefore, I would that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect." We are commanded to be perfect, but we are human, therefore we all sin. If we think of 'perfect' to mean sinless, then none of us can be perfect. But look at Jesus teaching in America he says "be perfect even as I" He CAN say that now because at this time He is a resurrected being, therefore His life & ministry was complete, whole, and perfect. While He was teaching the Sermon on the Mount He was still in His ministry, therefore his mission was not yet complete - He was not yet perfect. So although we cannot be sinless in this life, we CAN become perfect, as we strive to complete our mission on earth.
Hopefully that made sense, because it's WAY cool!
Then Relief Society was great, I sang "Thy Word Is A Lamp Unto My Feet". Then at ward coordilation Brother H gave some more amazing insight! Let's see if I can explain this one: Read and link together these scriptures: Luke 23:39-43 + John 20:11-17 + 1 Peter 3:18-19. (paraphrasing) Jesus speaking to the sinner on the cross "you will be with me in Paradise". Jesus to Mary at the tomb "touch me not, I have not yet ascended to my Father". After Christ was crucified "He went and preached unto the spirits in prison". We who know the plan of salvation understand Paradise & Prison, but others do not. But it's amazing to see that these scriptures, when understood explain that there is a spirit paradise & prison. We see that after Christ was resurrected, he had not yet ascended to His father. but he DID spend time preaching to the spirits in the spirit world. So we know that the spirit world is NOT in the presence of God. We might think "why wouldn't Jesus, after being crucified, run to the Father?" this goes to show just how important preaching the gospel is!
I don't know if any of that made sense, but I sure hope so because yesterday was a day full of inspiration and insight!

I hope you're all doing well & know that I love & pray for each one of you daily. I can feel your love & support. It strengthens me.
Love you so much! 
have a great week :)
xoxo Sister Viraldo