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

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