Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! (Email from 12-28)

Oh man, I cannot believe Christmas has come & gone in the blink of an eye and now it's almost 2016!

I really don't have much to report on this week since I got to SKYPE MY FAMILY on Christmas day, which was the best ever! Being on a mission, away from your family for so long makes it a very strange experience when you have the chance to talk to them face to face, even over skype. Although it was strange, it was the best strange I could've asked for. That was my 3rd time skyping my family on my mission & I don't know about you, but that was my FAVORITE. Just one more skype session to go & I'll see you all in person a couple weeks later :)

Sister Helms
Hermana Whitten
We went on a couple exchanges this week, which were AWESOME!
Wednesday I stayed in my area for the first time with Sister Helms, who was Sister Anderson's MTC companion. She is SO SWEET. I just love her & really enjoyed the day with her. & on Saturday I was in my area with Hermana Whitten. She's sooo funny. I'm really liking going on exchanges with the sisters :)

Christmas eve was so great! during the day we were able to find an old folk's home to carol to. They brought some of them (just about 10) in the dining hall & we sang for about 20 minutes. It was the toughest crowd I've ever sung to. We found out as we were leaving that it was not your ordinary old folks' home, but a home for those who have mental deterioration such as Alzheimer's or Dementia. After we knew that, we understood why the audience was the way they were.

Later our recent convert in YSA, (Young Single Adult ward) Desiree, texted us & asked if we could have a lesson with her. We took Hanna Schulthess & after the lesson Hanna brought Desiree back to her house & we had Christmas Eve dinner with the Schulthess' & the Schaeffer's (bishop, his wife & 2 kids)

My little spiritual thought for the week is about repentance & the sacrament.
I was reading from an old ensign this week--the April 2007 general conference edition. I read "I Am Clean" by President Hinckley. In it he tells a story from Joseph F. Smith & a lesson that he learned--cleanliness is next to godliness. And he quoted this scripture that really hit home for me.
Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil;
Learn to do well; …
Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord:though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool” (Isaiah 1:16–18).

Sometimes as a missionary you feel as though you need to be perfect. We're held to very high standards & sometimes it's a daunting task to measure up. When we fall short we can easily become discouraged & feel that we could've done better. This is kind of the way I was feeling at one point this week. But I know that the Lord loves me & will forgive me & strengthen me when I come to Him. I know it's the same for you. He doesn't expect us to be perfect now. He does expect us to do our best, but He knows we will fall, we will fail. With our fallings & our failings comes feelings of guilt & sorrow. However, this scripture states it perfectly. The Lord wants us to come to Him & reason with Him. The best way to do this is through sincere prayer & partaking of the sacrament. The Sacrament is the Lord's way in telling us our sins are forgiven. I'm sooo beyond grateful for the sacrament. It meant more to me this week, as I've been studying repentance, than in recent weeks. 

A challenge to all: the next time you feel down & out because of a mistake you made, a harsh word you said, a thought you might've had, stop & pray & ask the Lord to forgive you & help you be better. I promise He will. Then take the sacrament knowing He has forgiven you & not only that, but He strengthens you to do better & to be better. 

Welll, I think that's about it for this week. I'll talk to you in a quick week when it is WEEK 6. Can you believe it? only 2 more weeks of this transfer! ahhhh.
talk to you next week!
Until then, stay gold.
xoxo Sister Viraldo

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