Thursday, July 9, 2015

The Importance of Following Promptings (July 6th email)

Another week flew by in Phelan & all of our investigators dropped us/we dropped them.

First off, this week we decided to do a referral challenge to encourage us to ask for referrals from EVERYONE! We kept a point system in our truck. Every time one of us asked for a referral we'd get a tally mark. The goal is to have the most tally marks at the end of the week & the loser gets the winner something. We haven't decided what that something is yet, but I won this week so I gotta think of something good! Since we were focusing so much on asking for referrals we ended up getting 2 referrals! Sweeeeet.

Wednesday was a roller coaster day. In the afternoon we got a text from M saying, "Sorry, my wife will not be joining your group. Thank you." YOU'RE KIDDING. This was a stab in the heart. I didn't want to admit it, but I thought this might happen after her not coming to church/not answering our texts. But I didn't want to say anything & have no faith. The worse thing was that she didn't even text us that, HER HUSBAND DID.

Wednesday night we were talking to our district leader, Elder Wurst, on the phone & explaining our concerns about not know who we're supposed to see. He suggested we fast & they were going to do the same. So that night we began our fast. 
Thursday after my dentist appointment, we did, dinner, and then we went tracting. We were feeling much more spiritually strong & ready to go due to the fast. We knocked into a young guy who is Buddhist. He grew up catholic & "just found" Buddhism. He doesn't go to his local church because it's "sketchy". We told him that we have a message about Jesus Christ & introduced to him the Book of Mormon. He accepted it & said he'd read it. 

Here's the part of my email that inspired my subject line...
After weekly planning on Friday, we headed out to a road to go tracting. In my mind I was thinking this specific neighborhood was tracting friendly, and by that I mean the houses were close together, no gates, etc., but alas I was wrong. I was feeling a bit down & discouraged, feeling like I didn't know where to go or who to see. I was talking with my companion about it, and it was about 15 minutes before our appointment. She said "okay, let's try one more house". I thought to myself "I don't know anybody that lives around here...we're not going to find a house to stop at..." Again, feeling quite discouraged, sorry for myself, & downright pathetic. We were driving down the road & I look to the right & see a young kid outside of a house. I immediately thought "a family" & felt prompted to stop. I ignored it. Again I looked & again felt prompted, all the while I noticed Sister Wagner looking at the same house. Finally, what couldn't have been more than 5 seconds, but what felt like 5 minutes, Sister Wagner said "what about that house?" I pulled over & saw she was talking about the same house I felt strongly prompted to stop at, but because of my mood & selfishness I would've passed right on by. 

So we said a prayer & got out of the truck to see 4 or 5 kids & an adult guy waving at us... So we walk up to them & introduce ourselves. M & A are their names, & they have a couple young kids. A walked out of the house & said "ohhh elders!" Turns out he has friends that are Mormon down the hill & used to go to church with them. He's very open to religion. He started talking about all the craziness that has been going on in the world lately, & as he was talking I knew I had to connect that to the message we share. So I started talking about my life & how the gospel has blessed my family even in troubling times & promised him that it can do the same for him. Then he went on talking more, & I felt impressed to ask him if he's read the Book of Mormon before. He said he'd looked through it but never read it. So I promised again that this book will bring the peace into his life that he's looking for. He asked if he could have one & promised to read & pray about it. We asked if we could come by & teach him & his family, & he said to come by in a couple weeks. 

This experience opened my eyes to following the promptings of the Spirit. I quickly had to repent of my apathy & commit to follow more earnestly. The spirit is amazing & directs every aspect of the work if the missionary is willing to follow it. I'm thankful for my companion's courage to act on the prompting that we both received, but would have gone unrecognized by me.

I've lived in Phelan for about 3 1/2 months & hadn't met our neighbors yet, so we decided to make them goody bags (cookies, pass along cards, pic of Jesus, the Family proclamation, how to be a righteous husband, & Pure religion) & deliver them. We were able to meet the neighbors right next to us. They were super friendly & said if we ever need anything to let them know. The next two neighbors' gates were locked/had mean dogs. Afterwards we left to go visit mostly less actives we've never met before. I think we tried about 6 or 7 & zero of them were home....finally we went by to see Kevin A (Bro A's less active son) & it turns out they were having a family get-together, so Bro & Sis A were there & let us in! Later we had a bbq at the C's.
Happy 4th of July!
 So I can't really think of anything from my studies this week, but I think I forgot to mention a couple weeks ago when I had an amazing experience in my studies. I was reading in JSH 1:8 and 10. I never would've thought these specific verses would still teach me much, but as I was reading them I got the strongest feeling from the Holy Ghost telling me that what I was reading was true. I know that Joseph Smith was & is a prophet. I know that he saw God, the Father, & His son, Jesus Christ, & that through him Christ's church & the priesthood were restored to the earth in all its glory. I'm so thankful for this knowledge & for the Holy Ghost reaffirming what I already knew to be true in such a powerful, yet gentle way. 

Love you! Until next week,
Sister Viraldo

P.S.  I'm a strong believer of everything happens for a reason. Heavenly Father is in every aspect of our lives. This week we got a text from President Hobbs that read "FYI, Elder Williams is doing well but has returned to his home for surgery. He is a fine missionary and will be missed." I've served around Elder Williams for almost 8 months, my whole mission so far. We served in Chino Hills together, then we both got transferred to Victorville B. Getting this text was surprising & confusing.  We didn't know what was going on. It turns out that he crashed his bike and had signs of a concussion. When he went in for a CT scan, they found a tumor on his brain. They were sending him home for surgery. How scary is that. But to me, it's a huge testimony builder. If he hadn't crashed his bike, who knows when they would have found the tumor. It's amazing how God is aware of us at all times & in all places. Prayers for him & his family would be greatly appreciated. 

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