Sunday, November 29, 2015

11-23 Email

Since you never keep track of when transfers are coming up--it's not that hard, every 6 weeks ;)--I'll let ya know that this is WEEK 6. That means this Saturday we get the much anticipated transfer call! It's difficult to really know if you're staying or leaving, but if I had to guess I'd say that I'm leaving. I really don't know what's going to happen, but that's the fun of it! I'm looking forward to this week to leave this area BETTER than I found it, if I do leave that is. :)

Enough about the future--let's talk about what good happened this week.

Monday we had dinner with a couple sweet older sisters (who are actually sisters) Sister Quinn & Sister VanHouten. & afterward had a lesson with Alissa & Kealin. We taught the Plan of Salvation. 

Tuesday we had district meeting, which was great! We had to trade cars with the Spanish Elders because they were driving to Big Bear (in the mountains where there's snow) & needed 4 wheel drive. I was kinda sad to leave my beloved truck I drove 10,000+ miles on & had for 8 months, but happy to have a small car again!

We did service for the Yoakums, which has turned into a weekly thing. We had dinner with the Muzzy's. Brother Muzzy is a single dad. He's in his 50s & his wife (who was much younger than he) died unexpectedly a few years ago leaving behind a 4 year old daughter & less than a year old son who are now 12 & 9. Since we can't have dinner with a single man, or let alone be in the house with one, they invited Bro & Sis Howe to come over. It was a nice dinner before we had our scripture study class. 

After that we went home to prepare for EXCHANGES!!! The STLs (Sister Training Leaders) drove to our place. Sister Cauble stayed with Sister Anderson & I went with Sister Wood to their area in Apple Valley! The highlight of my day though was seeing my first born, Sister Wagner! She's doing sooo good & that makes me super happy :)

Wednesday was a great day with Sister Wood! I always learn SO much from her--or from any sister I go on exchanges with. Something a little different that she did that she's never done before on exchanges was I was the STL that day. Okay, that's not really what happened, but Sister Wood was training me to be an STL. Hahaha. We walked, talked, taught, & SANG all the day long. I wish I could send you the recording of us singing "Joseph Smith's First Prayer".  It's magical due to Sister Wood's majestic voice. We got back to Wrightwood a bit earlier than normal because they had to go on another exchange. So it was really weird to go back out to work after exchanges haha.

Thursday was great...kinda. So we had dinner with a really great family, but just a heads up: 9/10 missionaries HATE when you have a bunch of friends over to share dinner with because then the missionaries sit in silence as everyone talks about good times they've had & mutual friends 'n such. This is precisely what happened. Occasionally they'll notice how uncomfortable you look & start talking to you, but that ends quickly when another family member/friend takes them back to their younger years. Haha, okay I'm being dramatic. It's not ALWAYS a bad thing, just this time it was super uncomfortable. But they apologized to us & said next time it will just be us. Then we went over to the Peacock's & taught Amber about recognizing the Holy Ghost. We read a couple scriptures about it and then laid out about 20 cards with different feelings/actions the Holy Ghost causes. We then watched a couple Mormon messages & afterwards chose the card/cards that we felt while watching that. It's a neat activity to do to understand & recognize the feelings of the Spirit & how He works with you personally. :)

Friday we weekly planned with the ZLs & spanish sisters. It was good. Then we did some tracting & everyone that we talked to said "We're Christians". This phrase always gets me. It's like people say it implying that we are NOT Christians...? Idk, but as we were on our way to dinner Sister Anderson says "do we have time to stop at that house?" We stopped & met D. At first D wasn't so sure about the Book of Mormon, but he had a strong faith in Christ. I was able to testify of how the Book of Mormon talks & testifies of Christ & how it has strengthened my faith in Him. The neatest thing was that you could almost SEE the spirit change him as we testified. At the end of our conversation he accepted a BoM & said he'd read it! The spirit is AMAZING!!!

Saturday we were able to meet A, a very less active member. Last transfer we met his wife, who is not a member. This time we were able to sit down with him & talk. I asked him about his conversion & he told us how he converted to LDS & every one of his subsequent religions, hahaha. We also got in to talk with E. She is a potential investigator who is not very interested at all, but LOVES missionaries & us visiting. Her husband was actually baptized when he was like 12, and now he's 37. 

Sunday was great! The choir sang "Thanks Be To God", so that was fun. Sister Anderson has been sick with a cold the past few days & I'm HOPING I don't get it, mainly because I'm singing in church this Sunday & I need a voice! So far, so good. 

This ward is so good to us. Our dinner cancelled last minute yesterday & Brother Ogden stepped up & volunteered to feed us. Also, everyone wants to help Sister Anderson any way they can with her cold. They're the sweetest.  Whatever happens this weekend will be alright, it will be in God's plan. I would love to stay in Wrightwood, but I'll go wherever. His plan is greater than mine.

I regret spoiling you with such a long email last week. I can't always live up to those expectations if I want to do other things with my pday ;)

Wellppp, I better get going, BUT thanks for the email. If you want to mention to Jonathan that I emailed him about Christmas music that would be great. 
Have a wonderful THANKSGIVING! I'll be thinking about you all this Thursday! Love you bunches!!

xoxo Sister Viraldo

Friday, November 20, 2015

November 16 Email

Another week has come & gone, huh?

You might be surprised for me to say it but it was another grand week! You know how I've said my WHOLE mission that time just flies by??? Well, for some reason, since I've been in Wrightwood time has been pretty normal; not slow, but not fast. It is however, getting progressively faster. This week in particular went pretty speedy. 

Last Monday we had a zone activity at a park in Adelanto. We played football & I just gotta say, I got an interception then ran it in for a touchdown!!! Wooooo! Then we played kickball that I'm not the best at, but at least this time I didn't fall & scrape my knees like last time. (Back in April we played kickball for a zone activity & Sister Otuafi kicked the ball & Elder Fullmer got it & tried to throw it at her to get her out, but I stepped in the way & Sister O ran me over, causing me to scrape my knees pretty bad...bad enough that I STILL have scars from it haha.) But NOT this time! It was super fun. Our whole zone came plus the ZLs from the other Victorville zone, one of which was in our zone last transfer, plus a couple investigators from Adelanto came to play!
Then we had dinner with Sister Hancock & L! I LOVE them. :)

Tuesday we had zone meeting & the other victorville zone also had their zone meeting in the same building because President & Sister Hobbs + the APs came to show us the new Christmas initiative -- A Savior Is Born. The initiative kicks off on November 29th. If you remember, last year the initiative was He Is The Gift. This year they have a new video & we'll be getting pass along cards. I'M SO EXCITED!!!!! Christmastime is the BESTTTTTT. Make sure you check out the new video on the 29th!
Zone meeting was super great! The ZLs set a goal for us to hand out 10 cards every day in unplanned situations. Due to that goal, we had about 15 minutes before dinner & we walked into town. I saw two guys smoking & in my past life I wouldn't have talked to them, but I'm a changed person & we contacted them & ended up talking to one of them for about 15 minutes & were a little late for dinner...oops. After our scripture study class we had our first ward coordination meeting with Brother Herb Anderson! idk if I told you, but he is Elder Anderson (Deloy Anderson from Phelan)'s brother.

Wednesday morning Sister Cecilia Quinn texted us asking if we could come help do some house cleaning for the Yoakums. Sister Yoakum has had a slipped disc for like 3 weeks & finally asked for some help. She & brother Yoakum were very appreciative of the help. Later in the day, we went over to Brother & Sister Young's so they could take pictures of us doing missionary things. They said they can make a cd of the pictures they take & give it to us! I knew you'd like that mom. haha

A couple of the "funny" pictures, all we have so far...
We had dinner with Sister Abbott & her friend C. She is very nice & LOVES dogs--so much that she currently has 26 of them (one of them just had 11 puppies). Whenever she sees stray dogs she HAS to pull over & pick them up. We're going to go by her house sometime this week to see the puppies! 
We stopped by the LaFond's. Sister LaFond is active & her husband is not a member. We had a good conversation with Brother LaFond about his Tesla! If you don't know anything about that car, I'd suggest you do some research & your mind will be blown! 

Thursday was full of service & studies. At night we had a few minutes before the ward dinner/talent show. We were driving down the street & saw a house with SUPER COOL lights on it & in the yard. It was all laser. We decided to stop & tract into them. We met M & one of his daughters. He & his wife have 6 kids!! They weren't jumping on our message, but weren't opposed to us coming back. So that's cool.
So like I said, our ward had a dinner/talent show. It was actually a soup dinner! Yes, we did sign up for the talent show. Sister Anderson & I sang "Count Your Blessings" & I played guitar.
Bishop Jorgenson posted a 20 second video on Facebook. Sister Latham recorded the whole thing, so we're gonna see if she can send it to you & Sis Anderson's mom. It was super fun! Afterward we didn't have anything planned, so we went over to the VanHouten's to pick out the song I'm going to sing in sacrament meeting on November 29th. I think we decided on "thy word is a lamp unto my feet" :)

Friday we were supposed to weekly plan with the ZLs in Adelanto at 10:30. We left the house at 10am & got there at 10:40ish & as soon as we got there the ZLs called & said they had to cancel due to an emergency. So we were on our way home & I was turning left onto US 395 & TURNED INTO THE WRONG LANE. I was going the wrong way down the highway!!!!! AHHH luckily no one was in that lane & I was able to get over the small median into the correct lane. My adrenaline was pumping & a little ways down the road there was a highway patrol car...luckily it was all good! hahaha
Saturday--Miracle of the week!

Rewind to 2nd week of transfer 1 in Wrightwood. We saw a cute family consisting of a mom, dad, & 3 small children walking & they said hi to us. Sister Anderson & I both thought how they are adorable & could be on the front of an Ensign magazine. So naturally, we waited in our truck, watching which house they would turn in & subsequently got their address & decided we would "tract" into them some day. Fast forward a couple weeks, we knock on their home, but no one answered. We figured they're probably out walking. We left a Family Proclamation & our card on their door & left. Get this, just down the road, we saw them walking! 
Fast forward to a couple weeks ago. We go back to their house to follow up on the pamphlet, but we saw that our card was still in the door, but the pamphlet was gone....we didn't know what to do so we left haha. On Friday we went back & our card was STILL in their door. I opened the screen door & tried grabbing the card, but the door started to open so I quickly shut the door & rang the doorbell. A cute Vietnamese lady opened up & told us to come inside because it was cold out. She opened the door & our card was STUCK on the door. Weirdest thing ever. How have they not noticed for almost a month? Or are they just playing a trick on us?? hmmmm... So we told her who we were & that we wanted to teach her family how the gospel of Jesus Christ blesses our lives. She told us that her husband was sleeping, but to come back tomorrow because he speaks better English. 
So Saturday we went back & she excitedly told us to come in & that they had friends over! We walk in the kitchen & see her husband and a couple friends + like 8 children. "have you had dinner?" "no, we're eating a little later" "do you want to try some Vietnamese food?" "YES!" So she gave us a bowl of this yummy Vietnamese soup & told us to sit & eat. We weren't able to teach them a lesson, but we got to talk to both of them separately. She was raised with Catholic & Buddhist parents, but embraced the Catholic religion more. She hasn't gone to church since having a family, mostly because of her husband. She seems very open to us & I think she'd come to church if we can get him on board. He doesn't have too much of a religious background, but his dad is pentacostal, which has turned him away from religion altogether. We knows quite a bit about our church but hasn't read the Book of Mormon, so we gave him one & he said he'd read it. They invited us over for dinner this Saturday for egg rolls! Plus she knows a member of the ward & invited her & her family to come for dinner, too :)

Since they fed us dinner, we got 2 dinners that night because we had dinner with Rosie & Jill Smith! Sister Smith gave us a message from Brother Anderson asking if we could teach gospel principles, and then at about 7:30 we got a text from Bishop asking if we'd each be able to take 5 minutes in sacrament meeting...hahaha yikes.

Sunday was really good! Our talks went well with the little bit of preparation we got. I talked about when Elder Fallabella came to the mission & what he had to say about keeping the sabbath day holy & about keeping our focus on Christ as we partake of the sacrament. My favorite thing that he said was "Now that you know this, be careful, because you have to do it"

Sounds like your little trip was fun! I bet Jordan & Jonathan were happy to be back together for a short while. Hmmm I can only imagine what they were saying about me. Cool pictures too!
Wow, this email is SUPER long, so I'm gonna quit now.

I just LOVE being a missionary. I learn new things every day. I can't imagine what my life would be like without serving a mission. I know I'm where I'm supposed to be & when. Thanks for all your love & support. Make sure you're showing the missionaries in your ward LOTS of love & support as well! 
xoxo Sister Viraldo

Thursday, November 12, 2015

“Oh, Please Don't Bother Me"

S came to church!
we got 6 referrals
& hot sauce 
oh & an old lady telling us not to bother her 

that pretty much sums up my week.
xoxo Sister Viraldo


I was very tempted to leave that last email & call it good, but I know you wouldn't be very happy with I'll give you my boring list of things I did each day this week only because I love you ;)

Monday we had dinner at the Lathams & then had Family Home Evening with Alissa and Kealin. We read President Uchtdorf's article in October Ensign "Finish with your torch still lit" & then we played Apples to Apples.

Tuesday we had district meeting. President & Sister Hobbs came. Sister Hobbs was in our district meeting & she asked me if I was drinking moonshine....? idk what that was until I asked Sis Anderson. Hahaha I was drinking cinnamon apple herbal tea in a mason jar. We had dinner with Sister Kunz at Mile High. She gave us the name of 4 of her friends she wanted us to visit!
We had our scripture study class that night & had a good turnout (mainly because a couple YM came because they forgot they didn't have mutual, so they stayed for our class)
IT SNOWED!!! pics to follow

We talked to a lot of people this day! We met a couple of Sister Kunz's friends & they were super sweet, just like her. M always asks lots of questions, but says she's "too open minded", but if she were to go to church it would be ours. Then D was super sweet too & seemed open to us coming back :)

We tracted into a lady that told us "oh please don't bother me!" She said please, but don't mistake that for kindness. She was pretty rude about it. We just laughed it off haha. Then we had dinner with the Heiners. Sister Heiner is Primary president. We asked who they knew who could use the message of the gospel, & she said "you know every time you bring it up in ward council this name always comes to my mind. I guess I should listen to the spirit." She told us about her friend H & one of her daughters who is friends with the little Heiner girl. 

Thursday (1 year wooo)
We met Sister Heiner's friend, H. She wasn't super open, but said she lets her kids decide & "if she wants to be Mormon, then that's fine!" haha. But on Sunday Sister Heiner told us that she talked to H after we met her & she said she'd like to sit down & talk with us. Hopefully sometime soon us 4 will be able to do that! :) We had dinner with Sister Peacock & Amber, her 12 year old daughter. We then taught Amber the Plan of Salvation.

Friday was good

Saturday we did a lot of missionary work! Haha not that we don't do missionary work every day, but most days meetings, service, & other things are mixed in. But on Saturday we had 6 straight hours of missionary work! It was great, although for some reason not many people were home.

Sunday was amazing! Sacrament meeting featured the Quinn family. Bradford just got home from his mission in Japan on Friday & he as well as his parents both spoke. Also, all the Quinn siblings (3 girls & 2 boys) + a future son in law sang "Come, Follow Me" in 5 different languages! English, Russian, French, some filipino language, & Japanese. It was way cool. 

Also, L and his dad came to church! Idk how he took it. I did hear some comments he was saying to Sis Hancock during Sunday School. There really couldn't have been a more perfect Sunday for him to come though! We're not sure where he is with allowing L to be baptized. As of now, it's a no go.
We do have dinner with Sister Hancock & L tonight! She feeds us every other Monday when she has him :) We also visited the Dabells & the Bradys. Gooood stuff.

Sorry this letter is so lame.  You'd think I'd get better at writing about my week since I've been doing it for a whole year! but I guess not.

love you so much! have another wonderful week :)
xoxo Sister Viraldo
The snow didn't stick at the elevation we're at, but up higher it did!

First snow!!


Friday, November 6, 2015

Fill the Measure of Your Creation (11-2 Email)


I'm SO happy it's November because that means we just had Halloween, Thanksgiving is close & Christmastime is almost here & talk on the street is that there may be some snow coming my way. YAYYYY! 
(and yes, for all those counting, I hit my 1yr mark this week...) 

This week I read through a couple Priesthood blessings Brother Holland gave me while I was in Chino Hills & I came across one that said "continue seeking counsel to fill the measure of your creation". This phrase reminded me of a talk given at this past women's broadcast by Rosemary M. Wixom: "'God sent you here to prepare for a future greater than anything you can imagine.' That future, a day at a time, comes alive when you do more than just exist; it comes alive when you live your life to fill the measure of your creation. This invites the Lord into your life, and you begin to let His will become yours."  

I absolutely LOVE it. "Fill the measure of your creation".  Think about it: we are all created to be something so much greater than we even know. We were created by a loving Heavenly Father to do something in this life. We all have great potential; but what is my potential? What can I bring to the table? What good can I do? These are questions many of us ask ourselves often. At least I know I do. 

I wanted to know how I could fill the measure of my creation, so I took that question to the Book of Mormon. I was reading in Alma 36, & this is where Alma is recounting the story of his previous life of destruction & subsequently his visit by an angel that changed the course of his life & the church forever. In verse 14 he says, "Yea, and I had murdered many of his children, or rather led them away unto destruction; yea, and in fine so great had been my iniquities, that the very thought of coming into the presence of my God did rack my soul with inexpressible horror." & in this verse I found my answer. To fill the measure of MY creation I must be an example of light & truth; be a light on a hill for all to see for their guidance. 

I know that each of us have a divine potential. We are here on earth for a specific reason. It's our job to find that reason. As Sister Wixom says "let His will become yours". As we try to align our will with God's, we will know WHY we're here. We will come to feel a sense of direction & purpose in life. Everyone wants to feel like they are contributing to society--to feel useful in some way. As I continue seeking out ways to do better & be better, I encourage you all to do the same. You can be a great source of strength & light to others as you learn to fill the measure of your creation.

On a more personal note:
The theme of this week was FINDING. We've been doing a lot of tracting 'n stuff. It's good. Sister Anderson is getting more comfy with talking to people on their doors!!! Yay! One night at 8pm she had the prompting to visit a particular house that we've passed by SO many times & she's just in love with the house. Anyway, we met Steve & talked with him on his porch for literally 40 minutes hahaha. He isn't SUPER interested, but I was able to testify about the plan of salvation & it was cool because I could see the spirit working with him subtly. We left him with a POS pamphlet & will go back later to check on him.

Saturday--HALLOWEEN. We met a couple cool people in the early afternoon, then went to the library to help out with an activity they were having until our chili/cornbread dinner & trunk or treat at the ward! It was pretty nice, then we were home by 6 and we just sat around watching The Testaments, Labor of Love, & Legacy. haha

The Castle Family

That was pretty much my week in a nutshell. It was good :)

Have a wonderful week!
xoxo Sister Viraldo