Thursday, February 25, 2016

Feb 22 Email

This is the start of a 7 WEEK TRANSFER! I'm still here in Apple Valley with my bestie, Sister Bergstrom. Sister Wagner got the call that she is whitewash training down the hill in Rancho. I'm SOOOO happy & excited for her. She'll be the best ever! 

Monday: super fun zone activity for pday!
At 8:00 we had a lesson with A, who is the daughter in law of a recent convert in MN ward. We met with her outside Quantico, for who knows what reason. We did How To Begin Teaching with her, which is pretty much what you first do with people--helping them see how the gospel can bless their life & promise blessings. A is so needing the gospel! She is so prepared. We were able to set a baptismal date with her for April 16th! :)

Tuesday: Sister Bergstrom gave a training on juggling cuties & it was awesome. I'm getting pretty good at juggling. I'm learning some really handy things on my mission: juggling, flicking cards, finger snapping, etc... ;)

The best district ever! This transfer we found a total of 60 new investigators! This district is on FIRE!? It's the best thing to be in a district & zone that works hard, has fun, & sees miracles! AVZ #expectmiracles

Tuesday evening we had a lesson with our investigator A...or Michael...or the Arch Angel...hmm not sure what to call him, but anyway HE'S AWESOME! He is so prepared for the gospel. He's a little rough around the edges, but sometimes people like that are the most prepared! We set a baptismal date with him for April 9th. :) Oh, he likes to be called Michael btw...

Wednesday: We went on exchanges. I got to be with Sister Huntington for the day! We actually were in the MTC together & came out to the field the same day. I've never been able to serve around her, so it was nice to be with her for the day. We even had the chance to be with Sister Hobbs for a little while. We took her to a lesson with our investigators J&E. 

Thursday: Was a day of the dentist. Sister Bergstrom is prepping to have a tooth implant surgery next month, so yeah. Super fun times at the dentist! 
Friday: We did some of our weekly planning at Pep Boys, getting our oil changed & tires turned. Lots 'o fun. And then we had to pick up Sis. Bergstrom's prescription at CVS. It was actually kind of hard to feel like a real missionary on Friday. Both Sister Bergstrom & I agreed that not feeling like a missionary is the worst thing in the world. Temporary joy was felt, but true joy comes from service.

Saturday: For exercise we hiked the hill behind our house & looked over the beautiful desert! 

We finished weekly planning & had a lesson with our investigator, J, who doesn't know it yet, but will be baptized one day. It's funny when you teach people & they don't see it, but their views & beliefs line up perfect with what we teach & believe. His wife, D, doesn't really want anything to do with us, though. 
Sunday: We were SO hoping Michael would be coming to church. He really wanted to, but for some reason was held up somewhere...ahhh. It's okay, next week for sure! 

To answer your question...yes we go to both wards every Sunday! It's superrrr long & draining, but also pretty awesome. It was hard only going to one every other week because you didn't get to know the members that well. We have ward council in MN at 7:30, church at 9 & we stay most Sundays until 11 and then head to YSA for ward council at 11:30, church at 1 & we're done by 4. 

​So this week was a really good week mixed in with some things that you don't want to have to do as a missionary, but that needed to be done. All I can say is that I LOVE doing this work. It's so hard, but nothing I've ever done has brought greater peace & satisfaction. I love my Heavenly Father. I know His plan is real & good. 

My thoughts & prayers are with you.
Hope you all have a wonderful week & never forget your Heavenly Father LOVES YOU SO MUCH. 
xoxo Sister Viraldo

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Heavenly Father is SOOO GOOD (Feb 15 email)

Ahhh where to start this email?! There's so much to write about I'm not sure how it will all happen!

So this week was one of the craziest & best weeks ever! We had 3 exchanges this week so it felt like I didn't even see Sister Bergstrom at all.
Being goofy, waiting for the Hermanas to come for exchanges
 Monday night we had a lesson set up with our investigator, P. We knocked on the door & a lady came to the door, (for the record, I've never met P) & we started talking to her like she was P & when we asked if we could come in she said "I think you're looking for my sister" hahaha yeah, that wasn't P, it was R. But we started talking about the gospel & asked if she'd be interested in learning more & she said yes! It was really a tender mercy that we didn't recognize it wasn't P at first, because then we were able to share the gospel with her. Sometimes awkward things pay off. So we picked up R & her 11yo daughter H as new investigators!

Tuesday we had a great zone meeting! Sister Bergstrom & I gave a training on visualizing what you learn. We had all of the missionaries draw their favorite scripture story! It was fun. 

Wednesday we went on exchanges with the La Mesa Hermanas. I stayed in my area with Hmna Landen & we saw so many miracles!!! The day started out pretty slow & I was worried it was going to be like that all day, but then I started praying & having faith that good things will happen as long as I'm aligning my will with Heavenly Father's. We met J, who was a YSA potential who's interested in learning more! After that we had a lesson with our 15yo investigator, E. We taught her the restoration & it went soooo well. The spirit was felt so strong & she recognized it! Then we went to try more potentials & met C, who wants to learn more & J, who wants to know what he can do to stand on the Lord's side at His second coming... "who's on the Lord's side who?" ;)  So in total we found 3 new investigators on Wednesday!

Thursday we went on exchanges with the Santa Fe sisters. So yes, back to back exchanges is CRAZY! I missed my comp :(  While I was in Hesperia, Sisters Bergstrom & Alder had a BOMB day contacting at VVC. & they taught S, who is now an investigator in YSA. 

Friday we luckily did not have exchanges! We had a good day of weekly planning, going to appointments that were cancelled & more planning. 

Saturday we went on another exchange with the Mesa Linda sisters. While in their area, Sisters Bergstrom & Thomason found 2 new investigators, A & P (bro & sis) :)

Sunday we had a regional stake conference broadcast! It was super good!
We had Valentine's dinner with the Schulthess', aka the last dinner with Wolfgang home, or should I say, Elder Schulthess. He goes into the MTC this Wednesday. It was pretty fun answering a ton of questions about the MTC & the field. 

Sister Bergstrom & I have just been in awe lately with the bounteous blessings the Lord has been giving us! We've been blessed with so many people to teach. The work in our areas is booming! As of now, we have 15 investigators in MN & 3 in YSA. Now the challenge is to get them all progressing! I'm so excited to see what else the Lord has in store for us & the people he's entrusted to our care. This is the best thing ever! Being a missionary is the greatest thing I could be doing. I LOVE IT.
love you all.
Sister Viraldo
Beautiful sunset out our apartment window

Thursday, February 11, 2016

It's just one of those days... (Feb 8 email)

Monday: FHE. Kelsi taught & it was so great! She's come so far in her testimony just within the past couple weeks. It's really amazing to see.

Tuesday: We had district meeting & it was awesome because Sister Hammond gave a training about flicking cards, which is a new talent that I've acquired over the past couple weeks. After DM we had lunch then went out with Morgan Lacey, who just got home from serving in Portugal. Then we went to pick up Kelsi to go to a lesson with another recent convert, Cassidy. We had a good drive & talk with Kelsi. She's recently been thinking about serving a mission! She's doing so amazing! With Cassidy we talked about personal conversion & read Alma the younger's conversion story he told to he sons in Alma 36. If you aren't familiar with that story, I'd highly suggest you read it! It's life changing!!
We had dinner with Jessica & Robert S. She is a member who hasn't been to church since she was 13 & he is not a member. After dinner we headed up to Wrightwood to go on exchanges. I got to sleep in my old bed in my old apartment! 
Wednesday: What a great day in my favorite fairytale land, Wrightwood, with Sister Anderson. The dynamic duo back in action. It was so funny to go visit people & it didn't even phase them that I was there. It was so great to be back in my old stomping grounds with my second born daughter. 

(Sisters Anderson and Savage in Wrightwood)

Thursday: In the morning we went to the dentist so Sister Bergstrom could get a cavity filled...yes we were at the dentist & this time it's not for me!! WOOOO. Next we headed down the hill for MLC! MLC is the greatest thing about being an STL. After MLC we had dinner with Treya (in the YSA ward) & her family, then to a lesson with Beca, & then to institute, which rocked.
Friday: We had a lesson with our YSA investigator, Tayler. We committed her to baptism & she said she will once she knows it's true, but won't commit to a date yet. She wants to make sure she's doing it for the right reasons & not just for Randy or anyone else.
Saturday: Went on exchanges with Sister Stagg. It was a pretty good day.
Sunday: Good fast & testimony meetings in Mojave Narrows & YSA. 

My spiritual thought for the week is to pray. Prayer is amazing! It's how we communicate with our loving Father in Heaven.
xoxo Sister Viraldo

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The Best Gift Ever (Feb 1 email)

Woahhhh, that's so crazy, huh?! I hear you've been getting some pretty bad weather back there? The weather here in the high desert has been pretty bipolar to say the least. The end of last week was beautiful, sunny, & in the 70 degree range. It was actually kinda hot..hahaha. Saturday it was still pretty warm, but getting really windy. It was super windy all Sunday & started raining & SNOWING! It didn't stick though. 

So this week was SUPER GREAT! Every week is great because I'm a missionary, but this week was especially good because we taught lots & had lots of doses of the spirit!

Wednesday we had our first exchange of the transfer! & it was with none other than the Desert Knolls sisters--Sister Wagner & Sister Hammond! I got to go with my firstborn in the wilderness, Sister Wagner! It was sooo fun being back with her for the day. She's grown SO much since our days in Phelan. We had such a great day. 
One of the COOLEST experiences was visiting a lady named W. Sister Hammond & I met W tracting last transfer on exchanges. She let us in & we talked with her for a bit. She is very religious & active in her church, I felt prompted to give her a Book of Mormon, but I couldn't find the right timing or words to say, so I didn't....mistake on my part. BUT luckily Heavenly Father is SO loving He gave me another chance. 
Sister Wagner & I went back to see her & to get in the house I asked if I could use her bathroom haha. She let us in & we were able to talk with her a bit. My stomach was not feeling great all day, so I asked if she had an apple cider vinegar I could drink (supposedly it helps with all sorts of things). She gave me a spoonful & then some water & we were soon on our way. As we were walking out, the Spirit was prompting me to give her a Book of Mormon. I still didn't know what to say, but if I didn't do it this time, chances are I wouldn't have a 3rd chance. As we were walking to the door, W was telling us how much our parents must miss us & how it's amazing we're out here do the Lord's work...I pulled a Book of Mormon out of my bag & said "You've been so kind to me. I want to give you something." handed her the Book of Mormon "This is my gift to you. You can choose to accept it or not. This book is why I'm out here. You love Jesus Christ & I know your faith in Him will strengthen as you read this." I'm not sure where those words came from...actually I am. The Spirit gave me the words to speak as I acted on promptings & opened my mouth. W said, "Thank you! I'll open it & read it." I don't know what she has done with the book since then, but my hopes & prayers are that she will read the words on the pages & see that it truly speaks of Christ & His teachings & the spirit will testify to her that the words are true. 

Thursday was a fun day because we got BIKES! Hahaha Sister Bergstrom & I
both wanted bikes & we were able to find sisters who had some that we could borrow...only for like a week though. The ZLs brought us the bikes & we took them out for a while before dinner. The hardest part of biking was riding up what could possibly be the largest/longest hill in the mission. Apple Valley road. Ahh my legs were DYING afterwards. All I wanted to do was collapse & never get up. Luckily though, the next day my legs weren't really sore. 

Friday we had zone conference, which was awesome!

Saturday I went on exchanges with Sister Dinkel. If you remember, she was my MTC companion! It was crazy to be back with her, but so good. We saw miracles! We were looking for someone's house, but got lost driving & passed by these guys who were cutting tree branches in their yard. Sister Dinkel suggested we go see if they need help. Luckily, we had service clothes in the car because they accepted our help! 
One of the guys name is M & he is awesome! He has had a pretty hard life because of choices he's made, but in recent years he found God & changed his life around. All while we were trimming branches & making wood piles, we were talking him a bit about what we do & what we believe, but I really didn't know where to go from there. I said a silent prayer, "Heavenly Father please give me something to say or please let him ask me a question about our beliefs." Not more than a minute later M asked "So what are your beliefs?" "Well, M, we have lots of beliefs. What in particular?" "Heaven." PRAYER ANSWERED! We taught him the Plan of Salvation & he loved & agreed with everything we said! We taught him a whole bunch of other stuff & he just kept thanking Jesus for sending us. We asked him if he would read the Book of Mormon & he said he was good with just the Bible & then I tried the tactic again. "M, I cannot deny you the blessing of reading the Book of Mormon. We will leave you with one. Our gift to you & you can choose to read it or not." & he responded, "I can't deny you not giving it to me. I will accept it & read it" 

Sunday was great! Wolfgang Schulthess (Hanna's brother) gave his farewell talk. Sister Schulthess invited us to sing Joseph Smith's First Prayer a few weeks ago when it was me & sister Wood, & luckily Sister Bergstrom can sing too! I guess the song was really good because multiple people came up to us & told us how strongly they felt the spirit. In the YSA ward we got a new bishopric, which was pretty unexpected. But we're super excited for the new Bishop Cassidy! He's not too new, he's been bishop & stake president before. He's pretty old, but awesome. 

So my spiritual thought for the week goes along with the Book of Mormon stories I told.  It really hit me this week as I gave out a couple Book of Mormons as a gift that it TRULY is a gift. It's the best gift we could ever have. It contains the words of eternal life, of eternal HAPPINESS! 
2 Nephi 25:27 "And it came to pass that we did live after the manner of happiness"
Let's all be happy.
Have a great week!
Sister Viraldo