Tuesday, March 24, 2015

3-23-15 A New Adventure

I'm going on an adventure!  Greetings from California where the trees are Joshua & the grass is nonexistent. I went from the green, beautiful, wealthy Chino Hills to the brown, sandy, windy, humble Phelan, California. More on that later...

Well, this week was pretty uneventful...I'm only kidding. But in reality not many lessons were taught this week, it was a strange one to say the least.

Monday we had our last zone activity of the transfer. It was pretty fun; we played a few different games. The games were not what made it fun, it was that everyone participated & was in a good mood. Good feels all around. We had dinner with the G's, TACOS. Then we went to go see M. She let us in & we talked for a bit. We were planning on reading from the Book of Mormon with her, but her husband came home & we didn't want to take away from their family time, so we left with a prayer. In her prayer she asked Heavenly Father to help her find the true church very soon. So ironic, I know. I know there are some deeper concerns that she has that she hasn't told us about. We tried getting it out of her, with no luck. We've been texting her all week asking if we could see her & such, with no reply....... :(

Tuesday: HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY! we had district meeting, did service at Let It Be with the Diamond Bar Elders & the San Antonio Elders. Super fun. We had dinner with the Ps...mmmmm waffles :) at night we tried people, not much success. We did meet a really super nice Muslim guy though.

Wednesday was weird. We had a great lesson with J, who's moving to Colorado on Saturday! She's amazing. She's progressed so much! She thanked us for helping her become active again. It's been so amazing seeing her progress over the last 4 months. After our lesson with her, we went to have lunch with the sisters (Diamond Bar & Rolling Ridge). We went to a yummy taco place, so authentic the tacos are only the size of your palm. so I ate 5. Then we went to Let It Be with the Rolling Ridge sisters one last time before Sister H goes home. Then we had to go to Pepboys to get our oil changed, then went to see the B family. Then we had dinner with the M family!  Love them.

Thursday we did service at the thrift store in the morning then lunch & mormon.org. We were supposed to have a lesson with M but she cancelled. then we had dinner at the W's. COOLEST THING: so they are both really into family history, so I asked if she could find out where our last name came from. She took right to the challenge & brought me some papers on Sunday. She is almost certain Viraldo is french or northern Italian. So I think I'll go with Italian! :) but they also said you can order a DNA sample off of ancestry.com. So dad should do it!!!!

Friday! aka weekly planning, aka fish taco Friday! Mama B brought us fish tacos from Rubio's :) We actually got done weekly planning sooner than usual which was awesome, but we had a lot of updating to do! Pretty much we go through our area book of potentials/less actives that we've seen recently and describe how the visit was & such. Then we had dinner with Sister S. & later that night Mama B took us to get Boba at the Shoppes :)

Saturday we finished our updating then went out! It was kinda a weird day. We knew that transfer calls were coming, we just didn't know when. So pretty much all day you're on edge, you try to forget about it, but that doesn't work out. Of course we still were out doing work, but didn't talk to that many people. It was a weird day like I said, not many people were home, so not many people to talk to. We had dinner with Brother & Sister B. Brother B reminds me so much of dad. He makes jokes all the time & asks a lot of doctrinal questions. It's fun. He's much much stranger than you, dad. ;) after dinner we went to see the Bs. They LOVE sister K & I. Like, when we told them there was a possibility of one of us leaving, they were so sad. 

Usually transfer calls come in the afternoon, but it didn't come until like 9:30-9:45pm!!!! and it was the most surprising news! SISTER K & I ARE BOTH BEING TRANSFERRED. They're white- washing Carbon Canyon! Is this real life?! It didn't seem real, but it was, & it is..... so we stayed up until midnight beginning packing & such.

Sunday was CRAZY. Church, ward council,  saying "bye" to the Bs, home to pack, dinner, more packing, saying bye to the Ws, ward coordilation, more packing & up until like 11:30 or 12.... Ward coordilation was awesome as always. It was really cool, Brother H thinks I'm very smart & intellectual. He said that if he explains something, I get it right away & with other people it takes more time. Love, kindness, charity, patience (he said more) are characteristics of mine & people are drawn to me for no apparent reason, and because of that gift that Heavenly Father has given to me, He expects me to do what is best for 1. the Lord 2. His church. 3. me & 4. my family. I sang "I Heard Him Come" & he recorded it on his phone. He said he'd put it on facebook. 

Then he gave me a Priesthood blessing & something really comforting in there was that I am being sent to my new area (Phelan) for a "very specific reason" and that I'll find out what that reason is later on. It's really comforting to know that. Not that I doubted that I was going there for a reason, but knowing the Heavenly Father has a very specific reason for me is amazing.

So this morning we woke up, finished packing up our stuff & said bye to Mama B & Emma. It was hard to leave, but at the same time it was exciting starting this new adventure! We drove to Rancho, met our new companion, saw some old friends from the MTC, took pictures, and then drove to my new area, which is just 30 or so minutes from Rancho. It sure is desert. It's awesome though. The work is going to be great & I hear the ward is amazing. I'm excited for this new journey, to learn & to grow.

I'm excited to write you next week about how my first week in the boonies went!!! GET PUMPED.
xoxo Sister Viraldo

My new companion, Sister O from Tonga!!

Thursday, March 19, 2015


So this week was somethin' else....
Picking mandarins, yay!!

Monday we had a really fun zone activity. We played capture the flag with nerf guns in the church parking lot. My team was really terrible, but it was still fun! Monday night we set up a dinner/fhe at the R's home with M & her family. They invited a couple other families in the ward and the Chinese Elders were invited. The dinner & lesson went really well & everyone seemed to have a good time! After that, we went home to start our mission fast & begin our training for zone meeting.

Tuesday morning we had fun outside of our mission in Brea!! hahaha before you think sister K & I are apostate, we got permission to go to the eye doctor. Brother L in our ward is an optometrist who said we could come to his office & he would do it for us :) & MIRACLE!!! My vision got better! Crazy, right? My prescription used to be -3.00 & -2.75 but now it's -2.75 & -2.50, so it didn't improve by much, but STILL. after having fun in Brea, we went to zone meeting where Sister K & I had to give a training, after that we went to Let It Be, then went to try people. For dinner, we had leftovers from the Rs...ribs!! best way to break our fast for sure! That night we had a great lesson with M.

Wednesday we had a great lesson with J. We talked about Jesus Christ establishing His church. When I say "great lesson" I mean we talked for 50 minutes then had a 10 minute lesson.....  After we had lunch, then did mormon.org. We went over to the B's & helped D with her homework & watched the new video on lds.org about the 10 commandments. It's really good; if you haven't seen it, go watch it! Then we had dinner with the Hs. Then we went to an apartment complex where we had a lot of potentials to try, but of course, it being apartments, many of the potentials we had from 2010 had moved out. We did meet a couple people where we were able to give a short restoration message & leave them with the pamphlet & a card. That night we had a lesson with Sister R & it was really really good. We just had good conversation & watched The Hope of God's Light. 

Thursday we did service at the thrift store. Our lesson was cancelled, so we came home & had lunch then we went to the church to have a lesson with M. Thursday afternoon we had J's baptismal interview set up with Elder W (our district leader) & the Chinese elders (they had to translate) & we had 1 more lesson to teach M before her baptism. We all met at the church & as we were sitting with M, she started saying "I know it's late, it's already Thursday, but I don't know if I should be baptized on Saturday." My heart sunk. She told us that as she was handing out her invitations to her friends, they gave her some articles about how our church is different than other churches. She didn't give us details, but it was probably some Anti stuff. She said that she wants to know the difference between them. We, of course, talked about the Priesthood & prophets & the restoration, etc. She was still apprehensive. She asked another question, I don't remember what it was, but I remember not knowing how to respond...all I knew what to do was to straight up testify. So that's exactly what Sister K & I did. It was so powerful & the spirit was present. I cried a few times both from being emotional & the spirit was so strong. We asked her to pray that night. J went on with the baptismal interview & passed. Side note: when they asked him about tithing he said "my grandma gives money to Buddha...........but I give money to Heavenly Father." hahaha too funny!  Sister K & I were devastated (me more than Sister K). I was in tears. We prayed, we even fasted.
Anyway, Friday came along and we texted M to see if we could stop by and see her that day. She texted back & said that she prayed and thinks she needs to learn about other churches before she makes the decision to be baptized. It hurt, but Heavenly Father strengthened us. It was a hard thing to hear, & we were super sad, but at the same time we felt at peace, knowing that we did all we could and the rest is in His hands. I learned that no matter how much you plead, you cry, you pray, you even fast for Heavenly Father to give you something or allow something to happen, it's all in His timing. M & J will get baptized sometime; just not now. I'm still sad when I think about it, but I also know that Heavenly Father knows her & her needs & knows when she is ready to be baptized. 
So Friday was a very somber day. Weekly planning + fasting (usually we snack the whole time we're weekly planning...it's just what you do) + cancelled baptism + contacting as many people as you can & telling them the baptism is cancelled + everyone calling/texting asking what happened = makes for a really long, uneventful (as far as missionary work goes) day. We wouldn't have even left the house all day if it wasn't for Mama B taking us to get froyo at 8pm. We needed to get out of the house.

So our Saturday didn't go quite as planned, but we did see some miracles! We found 2 families who are interested in coming to church & at least 1 family wants us to teach them (mom & 2 girls) :) 
We were walking down the street going to try a potential. We had to cross the street to get to the house & a lady & 2 kids just pulled in a driveway. We could have easily walked right by because they were busy, but I just walked up to them & started talking with the mom. She was super friendly & we just started talking about the weather & how she used to live in Las Vegas & now she's here & wants her kids to learn more about Jesus & she even just bought her daughter a bible because her daughter has been asking about it & wanting to learn more. We invited her to come to church & she said she would love to, she even asked what to wear. She said she wants us to teach her to. She told us how she was so happy we came & talked to her. She saw us but didn't know if we would talk to her. Amazing!! She gave us her number & hopefully we'll be able to set up a time this week to teach her & her girls.
We had a stake RS dinner that night, but before that we decided to go visit a potential. We knocked on the door & a Chinese family (dad, mom & son) all answered the door together...it was really adorable! I don't really remember what I said, I just know that it was kinda awkward, I think because usually at door approaches we start out with the Restoration, but since they opened the door as a family, I started talking about how we believe families can be together for eternity. We didn't talk much before the dad, P, asked what our church address was & said that they really want to come!
I started thinking about it, if the baptism would have happened, yeah it would have been WONDERFUL & M & J would have made that amazing covenant, but we wouldn't have met N & her two girls, who want to come to church and learn more, & we wouldn't have knocked into another Chinese family who want to come to church as well. Heavenly Father is so merciful. M & J will get baptized in the future, & now maybe these 2 families will too!

Sunday was our ward conference. The stake president gave a really good talk in Sacrament meeting & then we were all together 2nd & 3rd hour. President T & President S (who are actually both in our ward) taught. It was just a really good Sunday. Then we did beattitudes for Brother & Sister W & Brother T. We had dinner with Brother & Sister W & they invited J (our less active) & another single girl. It was fun. 
Then we had ward coordilation! THE BEST. Brother H was giving an analogy on how we are told to pray without ceasing & he compared that to being in the ocean & it raining. Being in the water is like always praying, always having that connection with Heavenly Father & listening to the promptings He gives us. And when it rains that is when we are saying our formal prayers. After he was done, I was sitting there & it was silent & I said "Can we wear floaties?" Brother H looked at me with a really serious look & said "I'm gonna slap you" & just busted out laughing. Harder than I've EVER seen him laugh. He thought my comment about floaties was so random & one of the funniest things he's ever heard. hahaha, so if any of you had doubts that I was funny, my Ward Mission Leader will attest to that! He said he's going to figure out how to incorporate that into a talk. hehehe.
In my priesthood blessing I got, something stood out to me. It said, & I'm paraphrasing: "Heavenly Father expects you to share your kindness, pureness, willingness & personal desires. Something you haven't done yet on your mission, but when you do this He will bless your family" sooooo I decided to stop being selfish & start doing those things because I want Him to bless YOU!! I'm still trying to figure out exactly what he means by sharing my personal desires, but I'm getting there! I'll do my best!

So, you get to find out next week if I'll be transferred!!  I don't know what will happen. Actually, if I leave, you'll probably find out before that because Mama B will probably post it to Facebook. haha. 
Love you all so much. Thank you for everything!! hope you have a great week.
Sister Viraldo

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Post from Letter of March 9!

This letter is going to be really lame, so HEADS UP. I forgot my brain, aka my planner, & so did sister K, so we don't remember anything we did this week. hahaaha. I'll try my best to remember....

Monday we had a lesson with M and her son, J, with the Chinese Elders. The whole lesson was in Chinese, which was really cool, but also pretty awkward because we didn't say much at all.

Tuesday we had zone meeting pretty much all about getting ready for our mission fast that is happening starting tonight until tomorrow. It's a mission-wide fast to raise our expectations, strengthen our faith in Christ & help unite missionaries & members. After our zone meeting, we did service at Let it Be. 

After that we had a church tour with our investigator, E. She even brought her daughter, P! E speaks English pretty well, but doesn't understand a whole lot. We brought Mama B with us, which helped a whole lot! They talked a lot in Spanish. P speaks perfect English & is also fluent in Spanish, so that worked out! The tour went really really well for it being my first church tour. We started in the foyer with the pictures of Jesus & His apostles, down the hallway, showing her the gospel principles room, then we showed them the picture of Jesus visiting the people in America. P really loved that picture. Next we showed them the RS room, then the picture of the first vision. Then onto the chapel. After the tour, E said that this is like medicine for her. It was amazing. Also, she told us that the day before we knocked on her door, a close friend died. I told her that it was no coincidence that we came to her. Heavenly Father is acutely aware of her & her situation & sent us to her. She agreed :)

Wednesday we had a great lesson with M. We taught her the gospel of Jesus Christ & brought Sister W with us. After that we went home & made some calls & got details of M & J's baptism. That night we had a lesson with a less active family, the R family. We taught the gospel of Jesus Christ with a focus on the temple. They've made a goal to go to the temple as a family this year. 

Thursday we went to the thrift store, then had a lesson with M and her daughters, C and S, and then had lunch, then a short mormon.org until our lesson with M & J with the Chinese Elders. We taught a little bit of this lesson! We taught them the word of wisdom. "NO COFFEE OR TEA?!" - M. hahaha She said she just bought a new espresso machine, but because she's SO AWESOME she said she'll just give it to a friend because "I'm not going to return it, it was such a great deal!" hahaha 

Friday, we had another lesson with M and brought Mama B. We taught the 10 commandments, keeping the sabbath day holy & the law of chastity. We went over all the baptismal interview questions with her  to prepare her. Then we had a great lesson with J. We talked about prophets! Then we weekly planned the rest of the day until our YM/YW fundraiser pasta dinner + auction. It was lots of fun. M & her family came. She even bid on an electric guitar that J wanted & WON! only $45

Saturday sister K was sick & slept ALLLLL day. we just had to get out of the house, so at 6:30 we went to get dinner at Panera, then yogurtland & they had pistachio & coconut froyo!!!! THE BESTTTT.

Sunday was awesome. After church we did the Beattitudes with Brother & Sister B in our ward. This was probably the coolest experience I've had yet with a couple. So, how we do it is Brother H prays about them on his own & comes up with one, I pray about them & get one, & Sister K prays about them and gets one. She & I will come together & see what each other got, sometimes we get the same, sometimes it's different & we choose. Then we go to their house & we present ours, then brother H presents his. We started with Sister B & turns out us & Brother H got the same one! (whenever that happens, that's cool) then we went to Brother B & when we told him he is a peacemaker, he told us all about how at his work that is literally all he does, he keeps the peace between the two bosses. It was amazing. Idk if that made any sense at all, but it was so spiritual. 

Then we went home to have lunch & studies, then dinner with the T's. Then we had a wonderful ward coordilation meeting, as always. We got the details worked out for the baptism! I'll be doing the musical number & singing "I Heard Him Come" a capella. We both got another priesthood blessing. I was told that the effects of the work that I'm doing here will take a long time to see & how it's affecting generations.

I'm so happy to be on a mission. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else but here. It's something I never thought I'd do growing up, but am I sure glad that I did. Time is flying by & I'm trying to soak up every minute of it. I've been out 4 months already! pretty soon it will be 6, & that's 1/3 of the way done with my mission. That is so crazy to me. 

Spiritual note: this week in zone meeting, Elder G (ZL) mentioned how they were talking in MLC about the difference of believing in Christ and believing Christ. Not just believing that He is the Son of God & that He lived, died, and lives again, but believing His words. Believing that everything He has said, all the promises that He has made are absolutely true. Every word He has spoken & still speaks is true. 

Love you all &  I'm praying for you.
xoxo Sister Viraldo

Post from letter of March 2!

hello one & all!

This week has been really good. Things are going SUPER well with M, our Chinese investigator. She is GOLDEN! She's progressing so stinkin' fast. Her baptism is scheduled for Saturday, March 14. She wants her son to be baptized as well, but he doesn't know English much so tonight we're going over with the Chinese elders so they can teach him. She's been to church twice now & doesn't look like she'll be slowing down anytime soon. She's one of us now ;)

Last Monday we had zone activity. We played "indian ball" which is pretty much just ultimate frisbee but with a football. It was super fun, especially because it started raining! After a while we all went inside & I played "around the world" with some of the elders. You should see me, I'm better than some (sometimes all) of the elders. I'm pretty good at shooting; they're all surprised, haha. Then we had dinner at home with mama B & E. E made some delicious enchiladas :)

Tuesday we had a lesson with M in the morning. It was awesome. Then we had district meeting where I had to give a training on chapter 2 in Preach My Gospel, "live what you learn" and "studying and teaching" or something like that. I guess it was good, idk. Then we went home and had to finish weekly planning that we were supposed to finish on Friday. We had to do more this week because we had to update all of our less actives and put new information about them. It took FOREVER. But it's really, really super duper important to have an updated Area Book so you remember what you have done/who you have seen & so other missionaries will know that too. 

We had dinner at the K's!! DELICIOUS food. she's an amazing cook! I love them! Then we were supposed to have a lesson with C at the church, but of course he didn't show up. We haven't seen him in so long! Sister K hasn't even met him, so that goes to show how long it's been. (over 9 weeks). Then we went to visit a less active in our ward, Sister L, who recently broke her foot, so we've been going over to visit about twice a week. She's a very pessimistic & cynical person, so we try to brighten her day and help her be more positive by telling her the miracles that we have seen that day & asking what miracles she's seen. We've already seen a change in her!

Wednesday we had another lesson with M. We taught her the Plan of Salvation. She absorbed it really well. AMAZING THING: that night her son couldn't sleep and asked her to tell him a story & so she told him the Plan of Salvation!!! How incredible is that?! He was asking a bunch of silly questions she said, but it's all SO new to him he doesn't know! Then we had a great lesson with J. She's progressing really well. Since her & her bf have broken up, she's been at church a lot more & looks different. Better. We put a bunch of sticky notes on her door reminding her to pray and to read her scriptures. Then we had to finish our planning........tell me about it.

Then we went to see the Bs. Mama B & Sister B have been hanging out a bit & she told her she wants to find Jesus. We're going to try to ask her if she wants to take the lessons. We're not sure if she's ready yet, but we'll see. We had dinner at the H's and then we went to try people. There's a less active/part member family, where she is a member, her husband is not, they have 2 sons age 3 & 1 1/2. We hadn't been able to meet them for a few weeks, but they pulled into their driveway right when we got there. We ended up talking with them for about 30 minutes out in their driveway. It was amazing because the husband I saw was wearing a Detroit Tigers hat so we were able to connect on that and talk about the Tigers, Red Wings, and a little about UofM and MSU. His dad is from Detroit, so he's a big Detroit sports fan. It was awesome!! They're an incredible family. Hopefully we'll be able to meet with them this week & start teaching them :)

Thursday we did service at the thrift store then had a lesson with M and her daughter S. We taught them about hope & faith & how they take action. We did a little activity with S. We had a basketball & said we hope that it gets in the hoop, but in order for that to happen, we need to take some action in getting it there. It was really cool because she tried to shoot it, but kept missing, so I showed her another way to throw it (granny shot) and she made it first try! It was cool to relate that to the hope & faith we need to have in Jesus Christ. Then we went home and had lunch then went to the library for mormon.org. We were supposed to have dinner at the C's but Sister C had the amazing opportunity to go see Elder Jeffrey R. Holland speak at a nearby college. I was SO JEALOUS. He's my favorite! But she made us dinner & we picked it up & ate it at home :)

Friday we got to weekly plan AGAIN! It took forever again....mainly because we had so much planning to do for M & what we need to do to reach her baptismal date of March 14th. We were pretty much inside all day, then went to see people. We met a less active, 18yr old, J. She's super friendly. Her neighbor is one of our investigators, so we stopped in to see her & she pretty much unloaded on us about the troubles she's having with her husband. She is having trust issues, because he's been lying to her. We helped her as much as we could, pretty much just telling her to pray. He ended up coming home when we were there. It wasn't too awkward though. She introduced us to him & told him that she really wants to meet with us and learn more. They're coming on a church tour tomorrow. We decided to just have dinner at 8 because we were eating at home anyway, so we got home at 8 had dinner, then planned at 9 & went to bed. 

Saturday we went into the canyon & tried potentials. It was a weird Saturday. Most Saturdays people are home & we get a lot of doors to open, but this Saturday was different. Barely any doors opened. At 2 we had a lesson with M. teaching her tithing & fast offerings.

Then we went to see Sister L again. We shared with her the Christlike attribute of charity/love. We gave her an activity to do. It's like a self evaluation of how charitable & loving you are, along with each question, there's a scripture. It's in Preach My Gospel, but you can find it online. After her, we went to see the Bs. They're a very sweet, old couple. Sister B spoils us! She's given us money to buy shoes & skirts. We're not really supposed to take it, but she insisted. She wouldn't allow us not to take the money. They're less active too. But really the only reason they don't come to church is because it's been a long time since they've been & she's simply scared. she's scared of people's reactions. It's sad really, because as a ward council we talk about them & how everyone would LOVE to see them back at church. We keep telling her that, but she's still scared. They also say they'll try to make it, but haven't yet. hopefully before I get transferred they will. 

Fast and testimony Sunday was amazing. The Spirit was so strong with the testimonies that were borne. The H family (she just had a baby and they have another son; the ones who speak Italian & spanish to their boys) blessed the baby, and her mom bore her testimony in Spanish. I got maybe 40% of what she was saying, but it was still so spiritual. We ate dinner at the B's & then had ward coordilation.

I got a priesthood blessing by Brother H & it was amazing. I've been concerned and worried about whether I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing, MEANING am I going to the right areas? am I visiting the right people at the right times? for some reason it's been harder than usual, but in my blessing it said, "have the assurance that you are doing what you're supposed to be doing, when you are doing it, and where you are doing it" it was amazing.

Something that I've been thinking about lately is making sure to follow every prophetic counsel, even if it seems impossible. With sacrifice comes blessings. Lately I've become addicted to watching General Conference. I watch it every chance I get hahaha. love you all so much. I'm praying for you.

xoxo Sister Viraldo