Monday, March 28, 2016

The Lord is preparing people! (March 21 email)

"Find the prepared, teach repentance, baptize converts"

I guess I didn't fully understand that statement until this week. Throughout my mission I've tried to find the prepared. Most of the time we meet those who are needing a little direction in their life & good experiences with the gospel, but who aren't quite prepared to receive it.

I didn't understand until I met Jane. Jane is the most prepared person I've ever met. She is kinda dating a member, so she's been exposed to Mormons a little, but didn't know much at all. She messaged a member in the YSA one day saying that she wants to learn more & that she's coming to institute. She came to institute & we met her afterwards. We set up a lesson for Saturday, but when we got home we thought, maybe we can meet with her tomorrow...? We texted her & she said yes! 
Friday we brought Jayleen with us to teach Jane. We asked her about her experiences with the church & she said she went to stake conference last week & one of the talks was about a happy marriage. She explained how she just felt so good & happy & started crying. Then she mentioned how every Sunday she goes to family dinner with her boyfriend's grandparents & afterwards they read scriptures. She again explained how she feels when she's there by "a blissful feeling". We helped her recognize that those feelings she gets are from the Spirit telling her the things she is learning are good & true. 
We talked to her about how she can have those feelings & the Spirit's guidance always when she is baptized & receives the gift of the Holy Ghost. She said "I want that! But I want to learn more first." We couldn't help but laugh & say "Oh, don't worry...we HAVE to teach you more first!" We set a baptismal date with her for April 16th
Saturday the Desert Knolls sisters (Sister Hammond & Pinto) had a baptism. Susan got baptized! I was on exchanges with Sister Hammond a couple transfers ago when we found her :) Sister Wagner was able to come up from Rancho to attend the baptism, so it was nice seeing her. We invited Jane to the baptism too, and she absolutely LOVED IT!! She asked "can you just dunk me in the pool now?" hahahaha  During the intermission, the Restoration dvd was shown, which was perrrrfect!
Then as if Jane hadn't seen enough of us, we had another lesson with her that evening & brought a couple new friends for her. (she really wants friends too, which is great because we need her to have friends. BUILT IN FRIENDS YAY!) We asked her what she thought of the baptism & she loved it, of course, and then we asked about the Restoration video & she said "I believe it. Joseph saw what he said he saw." "How do you know that?" "I feel it!"  That night she texted us asking why we don't drink coffee & we explained to her that through revelation we know it's not good for us. She texted back saying "ohh that makes sense! I'm gonna give up coffee for the month & see how it goes." She came to church yesterday & loved it! She's the most amazing person ever. Ahhhh, I can't explain how amazing she is & how much I love her!

This gospel is so true. It changes lives. The Holy Ghost testifies of all truth. 
love you all,
xoxo Sister Viraldo

Thursday, March 17, 2016

March 14 email

This was a week that will be in the record books!
I guess I'll go day by day...

Monday: was NOT pday for us, but we did get to email...sorta. Yeah, weird day. I was on exchanges with Sister Hammond in her area. It was a grand day! We did lots of tracting, which is always an experience, haha. We found a couple new investigators as well :) Sisters Bergstrom & Pinto had a lesson with E & set a baptismal date for April 23rd! She's super solid!!

Tuesday: Sister Bergstrom & I gave a training in zone meeting. That night we got to go to the stake center with the YSAs & watch the live stream of Face 2 Face with Elder Holland, Sister Stephens & Elder Hallstrom. It was really awesome! & then we exchanged with the Ranchos sisters.

Wednesday: Sister Roberts & I did work in our area! We found 2 new investigators! One is the husband of a family we're teaching, T. He is R's husband & H's dad. Also, we stopped by a former that Sister Wood & I taught once & were never able to get in contact with after. She was miraculously home! & let us in to teach her. She hadn't read any of the Book of Mormon in the whole 3 months since we saw her last because she had some reservations about why we needed it, so we cleared up some of those. The lesson went really well! She's interested in learning more & is super open & sincere. 

Thursday: TEMPLE DAY! We drove down with Sister Schulthess & her daughter Hanna to Redlands. I love the temple. The spirit I feel in the temple is so peaceful & I feel Heavenly Father's love for me so strong. By the time we got back up the hill we had a little time to shop, then had dinner with Hanna & then went to institute. Solid day.
At the Redlands Temple
 Friday: Weekly planned allll day & tried a few people, but no lessons :(

Saturday: Woke up at 6am. Left the house at 7am to Rancho Cucamonga for our mission conference with none other than Elder David A. Bednar himself! Yes, we were blessed to be in the presence of an Apostle of the Lord. It was such a magnificent I'll never forget. 
As he walked in, all 170 of us missionaries stood up & you could just feel the amazing spirit he brought in the room. He didn't stand up there preaching to us for 3 hours either. (although, I wouldn't have been upset if that's what it would've been) He made it so engaging. He would ask us questions like what we've learned & we could raise our hands to answer them. After a while of that, he told us to ask some questions. I couldn't really tell you what he said. Well, the first thing he told us was to not write down anything that he said. He said "most of us do that. we try to write down everything the person says & miss what the spirit is teaching us. STOP IT. who really goes back & uses their notes? you don't do it as much as you think you do. I want you to write on small plates today." 
I learned so much! Just about how I can better myself, how to use the Atonement more, & how to help my investigators progress. One WAY COOL thing he said was that he told us a prophecy. He told us not to write home & try to explain it because we wouldn't be able to explain it properly & then we'd see it on the front of the newspaper. Hahaha. 
I know that Elder Bednar is an Apostle of Jesus Christ. You can feel it when he talks. We had the privilege of shaking his hand. As well as Sister Bednar & Elder & Sister Higham of the Seventy. 

Sunday: Stake Conference! It was pretty good. Weird only being in church for 2 hours since we're used to 7+ hours. It didn't really feel like a Sunday. Also the new Easter initiative "Hallelujah" came out. Go watch it! Easter is a special time to reflect on the Savior & His resurrection. He lives today! 

So this was a weird week of meeting with's kinda been a struggle. Some are legitimate excuses like M's shoulder has been really hurting him...  We'll see what happens this week. We're planning on being really bold with our investigators & re-setting expectations with them, pretty much like, "Why do you want this? If you really do, then this is what we expect of you. If you're not keeping the commitments we leave, then you're not prepared, & we're here to find the prepared." Okay, not that harsh, but you get the idea. I used to have a hard time with that, but as my mission has gone on, I've really come to understand my purpose & that I'm here to find & teach those that the Lord has prepared. If people aren't willing to do the simple things we ask them, then they're not quite ready & that's okay.

This week we have 3 exchanges; it's going to be nuts! But so awesome.
I love this work so much. It's also such a blessing to be able to do it with my best friend, Sister Bergstrom. The Lord is SO good. We just need to be aware of everything He does for us. 
Me, Hanna, and Sis Bergstrom
Hope you all have a wonderful week!
xoxo Sister Viraldo

Thursday, March 10, 2016

March 7 email

Crazy short update this week:

So this Thursday we're going to the temple, which makes that our p-day. I'm super excited! So normally we would be emailing then, but since we email at the family history center and they use it for important stuff on Thursdays, we got permission to email for 1hr today (Monday). But alas, we get to the family history center & the internet is down. By the grace of Chrome, they allow you to play a dinosaur jumping over cactus game when the webpage won't load. It was a scene being in here with 10 missionaries trying to beat my high score of 1453...

I got to go to Phelan (the Oakhills ward, so not quite the same) on exchanges with the Hermanas. Sister Martinez & I were accidentally matching!

Anyway, this week was awesome! Lots of good things happened, lots of spirit was felt.

Love you tons! Tell everyone I love them and I promise I'll write more next week.
xoxo Sister Viraldo

Thursday, March 3, 2016

#expectmiracles (Feb 29 email)

Another week came & went & I'm not sure how to feel about it. Time is a weird thing. I know I say this all the time, but it's true. Anywho, this week was splendid! 
Lately our zone has been focusing on "#expectmiracles" & it rocks. So every night we text in our miracle of the day to our district leader & he texts at least 1 to the zone leaders who pick the top 1 or 2 & text it to the whole zone. It's been super awesome hearing about all the miracles happening in our zone! I've come to realize that as we expect miracles to happen, they do. 

This week we saw plenty of miracles:

#1 - Finally got in to meet with J, who has taken lessons with missionaries before, but wasn't ready. She's SO ready now & wants to be baptized! We set her date for March 26, but she was sick & wasn't able to come to church this week, so we'll have to push it back. We texted her to remind her to read & pray the next day & she said that she's been doing it every day! 
#2 - Had an awesome lesson with M. We taught him the Restoration & we asked him how it makes him feel & he said "relieved".
#3 - SO many people came up to our table at VVC! We got a bunch of potentials for the elders & a couple for us as well.
#4 - We were trying potentials & went to go see K&S. K & her dad, A, were outside & we stood there making awkward small talk for a few minutes until A said, "have you girls had lunch yet?" we hadn't. "here's $20. K, put some shoes on, go get Subway, & make complete sentences with each other." hahaha. So we went to Subway with K & while sitting in the booth eating our subs we taught her the Plan of Salvation & she wants to learn more! New investigator at Subway, for the win. 
#5 - Awesome lesson with A&D. Taught the Restoration, which is always good :)
#6 - We got to E's house a little bit early for our lesson & she texted us saying she wasn't going to be able to meet. Then a minute later she & her dad pulled up. We were able to talk with her for a bit before she left. Last time we taught her about the Restoration & invited her to pray about Joseph Smith being a prophet. We asked her if she was able to do that & she said "yes." We asked her if she feels like God has answered her prayers & how she feels about it. She said "Yeah, I think so. I feel good!" Ahhh she's so awesome! We're excited to set a baptismal date with her this week. Praying her parents give her permission!
#7 - FINISHED WEEKLY PLANNING IN ONE DAY! that is a miracle in & of itself.
#8 - Another great lesson with M in the Calder's home! Brother & sister Calder live directly across the street from him. So M has some good fellowshippers right there for him!
#9 - M CAME TO CHURCH!! Since being in this area I haven't had a single investigator at church, but M broke that streak! Everyone was so welcoming to him. The Sacrament meeting talks were on prayer, the Gospel of Jesus Christ (faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the Holy Ghost, & enduring to the end) & teaching your children the gospel. There couldn't have been more perfect talks! Gospel Principles was more about the Holy Ghost & he gave the closing prayer! In it he thanked Heavenly Father for this new family & "we're all brothers & sisters". It was AWESOME! Also, Bro. Mazzola may be getting him a job at his company. The elders were so kind to take him to Priesthood & they told us he stood up & introduced himself. He said "this is the best experience I've had at church, I'm definitely coming back." 

So yeah, there's just a few of the miracles we witnessed this week.
Tomorrow in district meeting I was asked to train on expecting miracles. I'm not sure how it will go down. BUT I do have a testimony of expecting miracles not only in missionary work, but in every day life! Any righteous desire you have, go to your Heavenly Father in sincere prayer & ask for what you need. He WILL answer you. He loves us so darn much & wants us to be happy. 
Hope you all have a wonderful week & always expect miracles.

xoxo Sister Viraldo