Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Email from Jan 25

This week we had the awesome opportunity to be a part of a worldwide missionary broadcast from Salt Lake. It was way cool to hear from the leaders of the Church on the fundamentals of missionary work. I think I learned how to be a better missionary because of it.

This week in our "missionaries on fire Book of Mormon reading" we were on the Isaiah chapters of 2Nephi, so I don't have much insight on that, except the end is near....
So, my spiritual thought for the week is about sacrificing for the Lord. This week we had a lesson with a K&A who are in the YSA (young single adult) ward. When we got there they were so excited to tell us about the new schedule they started. "We started a missionary schedule!" Almost, anyway. They got up early in the morning, worked out, came home to make breakfast while listening to scriptures, then talked about it. The reason for doing these things, they said was because they feel like Christ isn't in their lives as much as they'd like Him to be. They realized they needed to change some things they were doing & substitute them for things that would bring the spirit in their lives more abundantly. 
In my whole 21 years of life I haven't been as close to Jesus Christ as I have been these past almost 15 months. My relationship with Him has grown so much. I've come to know who He is & that I can rely on Him. I know it's because of the sacrifices that I've made, or substituting things in my life for better things. Although we all can't always be full-time missionaries, consecrating our time & attention for 18-24 months, we all have things in life that we can sacrifice for the Lord. 
I would encourage you to not necessarily adapt the missionary lifestyle, but find time out of your day where you can substitute what you're doing that moment for time to read your scriptures, pray, or give service in some way. It's amazing to me that as we sacrifice for the Lord, we aren't really sacrificing at all. He blesses us so much more than anything we could "give up". 

love you! have a wonderful week
xoxo Sister Viraldo
p.s. this morning we woke up at 6am to walk up to an abandoned house in Apple Valley where we enjoyed the beauty of the sunrise & of the high desert.

My companion, Sis Bergstrom
 Sis Bergstrom, Me, Sis Wagner, and Sis Hammond

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Jan 18 email

Transfer 11: 1 week down, 5 to go! & I couldn't be happier to be spending it with my bff, Sister Bergstrom. Okay, I know I said last week how awesome I thought this transfer was going to be, but I had no clue. This was quite literally a match made in heaven -- thank you President!

So many wonderful things happened this week!
Thursday was awesome because we got an extra leadership training for ZLs & STLs in the desert--aka just Sis Bergstrom & I. It's always great to hear from President & Sister Hobbs.  And we got into see K & S, who are twins & potential investigators. They're pretty interested in coming to church! 

Friday was great! lots of planning & such.

Saturday was the BEST! We went on splits with Hanna & Kelsey. We saw so many miracles! I went with Hanna & we got turned down a lot & were about to retreat, but then we were driving down the road & Hanna got the prompting to stop at a house. We did & miraculously a girl came out of her garage just as we were walking up. Her name is C & we had a lesson about the Book of Mormon right there & then. She wants to strengthen her faith in Christ. & meanwhile Sis Bergstrom & Kelsey found like 5 potential investigators & set up appointments with them.
Splits with Hanna and Kelsey
AHHH, MISSIONARY WORK IS THE BEST. I love everything about it.
In church on Sunday one speaker talked about how the most important thing we can do on earth is to recognize the promptings of the Spirit. I agree 100%. If there's ONE thing I can say I've learned on my mission it's how to recognize the Spirit & how crucial He is in our lives.

I'm truly sorry this email is so lame. For some reason I can't put my thoughts together & time is running low. 

xoxo Sister Viraldo

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

I LOVE LIFE (Jan 11 email)

First things first, transfers are today & I got a new companion, Sister Bergstrom, whom I adore. Sister Wood got her dream call, white wash training! She's now serving down the hill in Alta Loma. This last transfer was so great & I'm sooo excited to see what good things will come this transfer! LIFE IS SO GOOD.
My new companion, Sister Bergstrom
This week was a really good week! We found 3 new investigators!!
One is M. M has been taught before by other missionaries & a few of her children were baptized last year, but she chose not to be baptized. She even started avoiding the Sisters. The ward wanted us to go by & see how she was doing (I'm telling you, this ward is amazingly caring & they're willing to help anyone & everyone). We went by to drop off some recycling for her & usually when we do that her kids answer the door & take the bottles from us, but this time she came down stairs & said "come on in". We were able to share a short message with her & ask if she'd be open to taking the lessons again & she agreed! ANSWER TO OUR PRAYER. 

Last week I talked about how we had a teaching appointment set up with a potential family, M & A. We DID have a lesson with them & it was soooo good! We pretty much got to know where they're at with religion & testify of God's love. M is unsure what he believes about God, but is open to finding out if He is there. A was crying almost the whole time & she was practically bearing her testimony to him "M, there's something missing" she would say. And before we left she mentioned how we brought so much peace into their home. It was so amazing. They are both wanting to learn more & hopefully their children will join in on the lessons as well. We have an appointment with them tonight! 

We went on 1 1/2 exchanges this week hahaha. First, on Thursday I stayed in Apple Valley with Sister Thomason. We set up a booth (aka a table & chairs & a few Book of Mormons & pamphlets) at Victor Valley College & it ROCKED. We made up a little survey asking questions such as "Do you have a belief in God?", "Do you feel like God has a plan for you?" "How do you find peace & joy in life?". As people would answer, we would ask subsequent questions & testify of God's plan for them. And then we'd ask if they're interested in learning more. It worked super well! 

Then the other 1/2 of the exchange was on Saturday with Sister Slater & Boswell. I went to their area & stayed with Sister Slater. It was a crazy day, because we got transfer calls at about 12:30pm. & they did transfers WAY different this time around. This time the only call we got was if you're leaving you need to pack your bags & you'd find out later where you're going. We found out Sister Slater was leaving & Sister Wood was leaving, so we exchanged back around 1:00. BUT while I was in Maple with Sis Slater, we saw a MIRACLE! We were trying a less active they're working with & no one answered. We were about to leave just as a girl pulled up in the driveway "ahh we love when this happens. it's so awkward." Sister Slater is just such a boss missionary, she said "well, can we come in & talk with you?" She agreed! Wendy is her name & she is a super sweet girl & is super interested in the gospel! We read the intro to the BoM with her, we asked her what it mean & she said "if you live the gospel, you'll know it's true" GOLD. She wants to read the BoM & better yet, she's interested in the YSA ward! SCORE!

that's about it for this week. 'twas a good one!
xoxo Sister Viraldo

Thursday, January 7, 2016

January 4 Email

Ahh my mind is going crazy for so many reasons! I just feel so great today & I'm not sure may be because I took the sacrament twice yesterday. 
But it's also going crazy because a couple old companions who I haven't heard from in a LONG time emailed me (sis Otuafi & sis Kroff), college application!, ahhh, & I have to use the bathroom, but cannot because it is being sorry in advance for this email being all over the place.

This week was a pretty great week! I'm sorry I haven't been talking much about our investigators, because we really don't have many, & the ones we do have haven't met with us in a long time. A couple I've never even met. So we're really working on finding new ones & meeting with the ones we have. I'm really excited about the potential family we have, M & A. We have an appointment set up with them this Wednesday. 

This was a very different week than most. The whole month of December in general is quite different, but oh so good. 

New Year's Eve was a wonderful day. We had a STL meeting with President & Sister Hobbs for an hour before we had MLC. I think my favorite part about being an STL is the chance I have to go to MLC & learn soooo much! A few changes are being made to the mission: after this transfer there will be no more departing devotionals. I don't know if I ever explained what those were, but to make a long story short, it was a devotional put on for the missionaries going home & they would invite their favorite people from all their past areas to come to the mission office. No more of those. Also there will be no more transfer meetings, aka swaps, aka the best part of transfers. President isn't even sure how we will transfer, but it will be different! Also, on Jan. 20th the Missionary executive committee from Salt Lake is putting on a worldwide missionary devotional. It's gonna be great! 
After MLC we had about 1 hour before we had to be in at 6. So we went finding! It was incredible because out of the few houses we knocked on, all people we met were really friendly & a couple we even interested! One doesn't live in our area, but one does! We have an appointment set up with him tomorrow.
So we came home at 6 & watched The Testaments with the sisters & made goals for 2016. It was really strange to have most of my goals be for when I'm no longer a missionary. ahhhh

So it is the new year! 2016. A year I never imagined would come, but now it is in our midst. My thought from this week comes from a BYU devotional talk by Elder Holland called "Remember Lot's Wife". This is a new year of new opportunities. Let us all not look back & yearn for the past, but look forward to the future of possibilities. Let us use the Atonement to forgive & forget things of the past & start anew. Jesus Christ didn't sacrifice His life for us to be yearning for things of the past. His gospel is one of hope & joy. 

I love you & am so grateful for all you've done for me. I hope to be a better daughter, sister, aunt, & friend when I return home. :)

xoxo Sister Viraldo
Happy 7 months, Sister Wagner! Ahhh I feel so old. It's true, when your children grow up that means you're getting older. I was her age (7 months) when I trained her. :')