Thursday, September 24, 2015

Miracles in the magical land of Wrightwood! (9-21 Email)

If you like to talk to potatoes, if a squash can make you smile, if you like to waltz with tomatoes up & down the produce aisle......THEN DO WE HAVE SOME NEWS FOR YOU.

I don't have any stories of talking to potatoes or smiling because of squash (although we did eat some delicious squash this week that may or may not have made me smile) & we did not waltz with any tomatoes, BUT I do have some great news!!  It's only been 4 days since my last email, but oh so much has happened. 

I'll quickly get Thursday-Saturday over with so I can talk about SUNDAY.

Thursday I talked with Sister Hess, the mission nurse, & she gave me tips to try to get me to feel better. I'm still dealing with the nasty post-nasal drip & coughing constantly. I got a neti-pot & that seems to help a bit. Sister Hobbs called & asked if I wanted to go to a Dr. & I said yes. Pretty much what they'll do is test me to see if it's something they can give me antibiotics for or if it's allergies. They won't send me to an allergist, but they can figure out the cause...hopefully!
We had a lesson with Julie, who is kinda less active & a recent convert of just over a year. She's pretty neat. We had dinner with the Snedegar family. While we were out visiting some people we got a call from Sister Quinn about one of her friends who agreed to meet with us. Lynette is her name & she is actually a former investigator, so she's met & talked with missionaries before. We've tried to call her a couple times with no reply, but hopefully we'll be able to meet with her this week. There's something you gotta know about Sister Quinn: she is very in tune with the spirit. She was telling us that she really feels like Lynette needs the gospel. Woo!

Friday we spent the majority of the day weekly planning & updating the area book. It's tedious work now, but it'll make things way simpler in the future.

Saturday we finished weekly planning & met with Sister Peacock (RS Pres) to go over the ward list. We didn't have dinner that night, so she was so kind to make us something! As we were out that evening visiting people, both Sister Anderson & I had to use the bathroom & luckily the Wheelers in our ward lived in the neighborhood we were in. Brother Wheeler, if you don't remember, is the dentist that I went to. He's in my ward now! Their home is beautiful & he tried to convince us to stay & watch the BYU vs UCLA game. Hahaha, don't worry, we only stayed through half time. ;) kiddingggg!

We had ward conference & it was really fun to see President Hutchins, Brother Demke & Sister Ewing from my beloved Phelan ward<3
Bishop Jorgenson gave a talk on the covenants we make when we partake of the sacrament. The one he focused on was taking Christ's name upon us. He read some different names that Jesus Christ is known as: The Anointed One, Beloved, Comforter, etc. & how when we take Christ's name upon us, we take all of His names upon us. It was really interesting & something I'd never thought of before. Then he sang "if the Savior stood beside me" & it was really good! Haha 
It was really cool that a couple less active families came to church too! & Alissa & Kealyn!! We sang in the choir! We sang "I Know that my Redeemer Lives" to the tune of "A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief" Super cool :)
There's this member in our ward, Sister H, who is recently coming back into activity. Here's her story: She was converted before she got married but (for personal reasons which have been deleted) couldn't go to church. She home schooled a couple of her children & would incorporate Bible study each day. She would pretty much teach them what she believed & what she remembered from church & the missionary lessons. All the while she would pray that one day when her children were off on their own, they would hear the gospel & it would be familiar to them. Fast forward a few years, (idk the time table really) one day her son called her & told her that he's taking the missionary lessons. Later on, he got baptized & was dating a member. Earlier this year, she decided she could come back to church and in July she was able to go through the temple & soon after go to her son's temple sealing! She is so strong & full of faith. We are starting to teach her son, L. We're praying he will be able to be baptized soon!
After that lesson we had a great dinner with Bishop & Sister Jorgenson. Good people. 
After dinner we had a lesson with Alissa & Kealyn. We taught them the Plan of Salvation. They are both VERY easily distracted, which makes teaching them super hard & kinda frustrating, BUT patience is a virtue. I was able to make visuals for them so we could lay the Plan of Salvation out & explain it better. They seemed to understand it pretty well. 
We finished the lesson & invited them to be baptized. Alissa waited to answer until Kealyn answered. (which was very smart because she wanted him to make the decision for himself) Kealyn said he wants to be baptized & wants to learn more. Alissa said she wants to be baptized as well! We extended October 24th as the day of their baptism & explained that we prayed about it & felt that it was the right day. Alissa at first was a little hesitant about the day. We talked to her about it & invited her to pray right there & then & ask Heavenly Father if that day is right. She agreed. Sister Howard so very intelligently added "after you ask the question, take some time to pause & wait for an answer". Alissa began to pray "Heavenly Father, I am asking if October 24th of this year is the day me & my son should be baptized.." *a good 30 second pause* although Kealyn was being your average 12 year old boy & giggling because of the long pause, the spirit was felt SO strongly & I knew that they both were feeling it as well. We are told in the Doctrine & Covenants that those who teach & listen by the spirit are edified. The Spirit was not just testifying to ME that October 24th was the right day, but because I felt the Spirit, the Spirit was present & all that were open to it had the privilege as well. 
After she prayed, we asked Kealyn what he felt. Besides saying he felt his stomach growl, he said that he felt a tingling in his chest. Alissa said she felt the same thing. She knew that that was an answer to her prayer! This experience was so special. Alissa went from not being sure about the date to receiving a witness from the Holy Ghost & being sure of her answer. 
I can't quite explain this experience in words...  It was probably one of the sweetest experiences of my mission. The church is true. The gospel of Jesus Christ is here on the earth in its fullness. There is in it the blessings of God to His children if we live it. God answers prayers. The Holy Ghost is very real. There's no greater joy than following God's commandments & helping our brothers & sisters to repent & do the same. I love my mission & am so happy to still have time left to do this great work. 

Don't worry about me. The ward is taking care of us so well. They are so very excited to have us & know we will do a great work. It's kind of a big responsibility...I can't let them down! Haha, but it's not something I can't handle. :)

Remember to read your scriptures, say your prayers & be kind to everyone. :)
Have a great week! I love you & pray for you.
xoxo Sister Viraldo

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