Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Email from 12/14

I'm feeling SO OLD!! Ah, I never thought I'd live to see the day I'd be 21...

This week was a really good week, but it was one of the longest weeks of my life & I couldn't tell you why. 

Tuesday we had zone meeting. So at the last transfer, President made a bunch of changes in the mission, including combining zones. In the past there were 2 Apple Valley zones, but now we're all one BIG zone. It's pretty great though. 

Wednesday at 10am we had a meeting with the zone leaders & President & Sister Hobbs--for the leaders in the Apple Valley zone. It was a great meeting packed full of information. Afterward we had our individual interviews with President Hobbs. The first question he asked me was "When was the last time you felt the spirit?" For some reason, I KNEW he was going to ask that question. Luckily I was able to say the last time I felt the spirit was that morning in my studies.
I pondered that question & idea throughout the week. I think back to before my mission--if I would've thought of that question & answered it, I probably would've said something like "at my baptism" or "last week at church". Both would've been true, but all too often we think of big events or conferences are where we feel the spirit. The Holy Ghost should be in every aspect of our lives; therefore, we should feel His presence each & every day. I'm SO grateful to be a missionary & to have had countless experiences with the spirit, where I now know what He feels like & how He works with me. I want everyone to have that experience. I want everyone to know & recognize the spirit's promptings in their EVERYDAY life. 
So my challenge to you is to slow down & use the Holy Ghost's guidance in choices you make everyday. Do things that will increase the spirit's presence, such as praying, reading the scriptures, or doing good things for other people. Too often we take for granted the greatest gift--the Holy Ghost. He should be our constant companion to warn us of dangers, to prompt us to do good, to give us feelings of love, peace & joy. 
After our interviews we had the wonderful privilege of taking Sister Hobbs out with us for a few hours! It was so neat to see Sister Hobbs in action & BOY does she do a good job. We went out to lunch & she talked to everyone in her sight! I knew I had to step up my game. We had to stop at Stater Bros to get Hanna Schulthess a bday cupcake. The first opportunity I had I started talking to a lady with an adorable child & gave her a Christmas card :)

Thursday was my first exchange ever as an STL (sister training leader)! I went to Victorville with Sister Carter. I knew of her before & I'd seen her around, but never really talked with her. She is adorable! She's been out about 5 months & is from Utah. Sister Wood stayed in our area with my MTC companion, Sister Dinkel. It was a good day!

Friday we had to take our car into Pep boys for an oil change & stuff. We planned on working on our area book while in there, but there's no time for that when there's friendly people to talk to. We ended up spending the whole time there talking to 2 different men. One was a man in his 70s who has been a firefighter for over 50 years & is also an ordained minister. He was super kind. Then after he left, the man that was sitting next to us struck up a conversation with us. He knows quite a bit about the church & has gone to temple square before. 
After we found out our car would take longer than normal, we called Sister Wagner & Hammond to pick us up. We went to Hanna Schulthess' house to weekly plan, because this girl, who just turned 18, is going to be the most prepared missionary there ever was. She comes out teaching & tracting with us about 3-4 times a week & she wanted to know how to weekly plan. We told her it's super long & pretty boring, but she didn't care. So we spent the rest of the afternoon weekly planning and then went to our ward Christmas party. Man, Mojave Narrows really knows how to throw a party! It was super fun. :)

Well, all week Sister Wood was keeping secrets from me about my bday. I was hoping that moving to a new area nobody would know when my birthday was & I could spend ONE birthday of my life not focused on me. But alas, Sister Wood is the best & made sure EVERYONE knew. She even woke up at 5am to decorate the house & make pancakes. Yeah, I know...haha
We got to sing in the YSA (young single adult) ward, our rendition of "Away in a Manger/Jesus Once of Humble Birth". We had dinner with the Schulthess' & they also celebrated Sister Wood's bday on the 30th. They gave us a couple gifts :)

Thanks for being the best family ever! I miss you all & love you!
Sister Viraldo

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