Monday, June 15, 2015

Week 75! "LAST EMAIL :O"


Ashley will be arriving at the Las Vegas airport on Friday, June 26th at 11:35 am via AeroMexico flight #484 from Mexico City (it will probably take about an hour to get her through Customs).

She will giving her "homecoming" talk (together with her sister, Tiffany) on July 12th at 9 am (pacific time - Vegas time) at the LDS chapel on Alta and Thrush in Las Vegas, Nevada (7800 Alta).

Anyone and everyone is invited to attend either event, or both!

From 6/15/15

Hola Family and Friends!!

Hope you each had a wonderful week! Ours was super triple great!

On Thursday we visited an investigator - she is a wonderful person and is very receptive to the gospel. She has been prepared for so many years to accept the gospel. She met elders many years ago but never was taught the gospel. She has known the family of a recent convert for years. But did not know that she had gotten baptized. We walked past her three weeks ago, and almost kept going! But we felt impressed to go back and invite her to church. She seriously is so cool! She has accepted everything from the very first moment we met her.

She started reading the Book of Mormon as soon as we gave her a copy. She shared it with her friend. She's invited us to keep teaching her. Has come to church alone and brought her friend with her yesterday! So on Thursday we had the coolest lesson with her. We taught her about the Restoration of the Gospel. And she GOT it! She asked good questions, remembered key words that we taught her. I asked my companion if I could share the First Vision. As I spoke, she attentively looked at her pamphlet with an image of Joseph Smith praying. I shared my testimony with her how I knew that this experience was real. My companion shared her testimony and we asked her how she felt. She said, "It must be true! I felt something inside of me. I felt satisfied, it feels happy and joyful!"

She told us of her personal commitment to change and obey the commandments of God. She's prayed the majority of her life to find the right path to take. She told us that she knows the church is true. Even though we have just started teaching her, she is sharing the gospel--in the most important place first! Her own home! She's the coolest.  And she is worth it. I forget everything hard that we've had to go through as missionaries whenever we find someone like her and help answer their prayers.


In three more days, I'll be with my parents and little brother! I still can't believe it. When others ask me how I feel, the truth is that I feel fine--mostly because I'm still in denial. haha. This morning my companion and I went to get groceries at the 'comercial' (or our nearest version of Walmart) and my companion came out of the store with (the normal standard bare minimum) four bags of groceries and I left (more like HALF of one).....this is so real now!!

This will be my last email home as a missionary and the truth is that I am at a loss for words to say and share. There can't really be a perfect way to explain all that I feel right now, about all the past, or of what lies ahead. I hope that I can always live in a way to express what I've felt and how I feel, what I've learned from my Heavenly Father. What I've learned from my leaders, companions, members, investigators, and even strangers, and the testimony that I have of the gospel.

The gospel is the most important thing in all the world to me. It is my pearl of great price. I love the Savior with all my heart. The Atonement gives us the hope of becoming like our Heavenly Father. It gives us the strength to endure to the end of our lives in faithfulness. He forgives our mistakes. He is merciful to our weaknesses. He makes up for all that we cannot. He understands us perfectly. I love serving Him. I love sharing what has brought me and my family the most happiness I have ever experienced in my life with my brothers and sisters.

Families can be together forever! That is the great purpose of the Gospel! I LOVE MEXICO. The people whom I have grown to love and serve are valiant spirits of our Heavenly Father. I know that they are called to strengthen this stake of Zion in preparation for the Second Coming of the Savior. I am so grateful for the love and support you have given to my sister and me while we have been serving. And for serving our family at home! Many days we've felt your prayers and concern and they have helped us to keep going! And now we're at the end, when we can say that we'll see you all in about a week or two :)


Love you all!! See you SOON!

Con Mucho Amor,

Hermana Ashley Fernelius

This is a photo emailed to Ashley's parents from another parent who accompanied his missionary home.  These are his kind words: "...our family visited Mexico last week and we ran into your beautiful daughter. She's doing well, working hard and happy to be almost done".
Monday, June 8, 2015

Week 74! "Choose Faith"

From 6/8/15

HOLA Family and Friends!!!
Wow. Seems like all the fun stories that have gone on this week will have to wait until I can tell them in person. D:
This week was super awesome, starting with a similar experience that Tiffany had last week:
Yesterday at church, a beautiful returned missionary from our mission and her family came to visit and see the converts that she helped to teach and all the members she knew. She has helped me since I first got to the mission and has definitely always been one of my favorite people. She was companions with another one of my favorite people, Noob! Her parents and siblings were all super duper nice. My comp and I took them to go visit a convert family of hers up on a hillside. So we all went together in a drive up a muddy mountain. They seriously treated us like we were their own daughters. So...They're awesome. I was only trunky for like 5 minutes okay? haha
Sister C came to church! We met her in the street two weeks ago and gave her a Book of Mormon. This past week we went by again to visit her and she is already in 1 Nephi 13! She says the she feels at peace every time she reads it and that she feels that the church is true! She is so super cool and even though church was weird this week (with special trainings and stuff like that) she still loved it!
I read something that really impacted me this week by Elder Anderson. In a talk he said, "Faith is not only a feeling it is a decision."
We've seen miracles when members and investigators (and us too) choose to have faith. We can passively wait for prayers to be answered, sure. OR. We can kneel and pray as if everything depended on God, and then get on our feet and go to work as if everything depended on us. Then miracles happen!
I love being a missionary and being able to testify of Jesus Christ. There literally is nothing better in all this world than to share my testimony that I know He died for us, but that He lives again!
I love you all and hope you have a very good week!  We are trying to do the best we can! I will write ya'll better next week and try to include some pictures also.
Con Amor,
Hermana Fernelius

Information soon to be obsolete, with the possible exception of her blog...

At the MTC in December, 2013.

Ashley's first area, shortly after arriving in Mexico in January, 2014.

Some traditional local attire - March, 2014.

Cleaning the font in March, 2014.

A fun take on a popular soft drink for the locals in Ashley's mission...

May, 2014

Proselyting....or Playing?

June, 2014


June, 2014

Apparently, this transfer was a sad one - June, 2014.

A beautiful girl in a beautiful country - June, 2014.

Ashley wanted a pair of shoes like this soooooo bad....but it just didn't fit the missionary mold - July, 2014.

July, 2014

The story of the machete trip is a good one - look it up in the archives and enjoy reading it again! From August 18, 2014.

More traditional attire - August, 2014.

I'm telling you, read the story again from August 18, 2014!

This was another interesting read from September 15, 2014.

Now she's playing Tetris without the prompts! From September, 2014.

A fitting October sighting!

The last four letters of "Cuernavaca" mean "cow" in English. If you didn't know that, this address label might not mean anything to you....

October, 2014

Halloween may be hot in Mexico, but it's still fun!

I'm guessing this was a particularly stressful day! From November, 2014.

Who needs a real tree? December, 2014.

As far as I know, this is the most recent photo of Ashley, taken on or around the 1st of June, 2015. It's fitting that it includes her mission president and his wife, who will both be leaving the mission at about the same time as Ashley...
Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Week 73! "Diligence"

From 6/1/15

Hola Family and Friends!!

Hope you all had a great week!! (And thank you for not writing a countdown in your emails because I just realized that it's ALREADY JUNE. )

This past week was seriously simplemente awesome. It was so cool. There are so many little and big blessings that have transpired. First of all, I wish you could all meet Hermana Q! She is crazy awesome and has a magical power of meeting someone and instantly reaching their hearts. She has a gift of sharing the gospel in an honest, sincere, compassionate way which has lead us to see many changes in our finding and teaching efforts. When we meet someone, within the first few minutes of talking and listening and asking questions--these people open up their biggest desires, greatest fears, worries, weaknesses, strengths and share them with us. It's humbling to be trusted with such personal stories and concerns that these people have. And what is even cooler is that in the gospel we can find the answers for each and every problem in life. Doesn't matter what it is, there is a solution!!

From the most recent Saturday afternoon my comp and I went to visit a few less active families with the sassiest 60 year old member I've ever known, Hna P. Her testimony is poderosa and is very frank with people--I like that! And I think that the members appreciate it too. We visited a member, Sister C, who has been less active for about 5 years now. She used to be the ward Relief Society president. She and Hna P used to visit a minimum of 4 families every day to strengthen their testimonies when she was active in the church. But after some difficult situations that have occurred in the past--she doesn't go to church anymore. :(

Sister C is a WONDERFUL person, very loving, open, willing to help and serve and give. We went by on Saturday and talked and laughed and really just tried to be her friend. we invited her to church the most lovingly we could. Hna P was so amazing and direct with her. We left after a relatively quick visit with C, gave her a hug and went home.

Bright and early the next morning, we met up with an investigator, Sister D, outside of the church and accompanied her inside (it being her first time). As we walked in, we recognized a big smile and a beautiful little family. SISTER C CAME! She chatted with the members, integrated well, and looked as if the last time she had gone to church was a week before not five years. She was radiant. And of course the best Sunday to come would be the one where Hna P was assigned to give a talk. She walked up to the podium shared a simple message and referred to C and her family:

"Today the sister missionaries and I are witnessing a miracle." :)

I felt the same way! I feel so grateful that they came. Something that I always want to do better with is help retain recent converts and help less active members come back to church! It hurts to visit members who for one reason or another have loosened their hold on the iron rod and who find themselves drifting. But I know that the Lord can bless us with the spiritual gifts we need in order to help our brothers and sisters hold on. Hna P had just the right words given her to help C come back on Sunday. We just have to be diligent and loving like she has been!

I wish I could write about everything, buuut aint nobody got time for dat. I just know that the GOSPEL IS TRUE. It is. I know it. I know that there is peace in being faithful to our covenants. We can not afford living a medio active life as members of the church. If we are not ACTIVELY following the Savior, we are serving another master. It is that simple. One time, one of my companions and I were talking to our district leader about what we could do to help our investigators keep commitments. We talked about the first great commandment. Love the Lord thy God with all Thy heart might mind and strength. And how do we show God that we love Him? The scriptures say, if ye love me keep my commandments. Okay, so we keep the commandments. So what is sin? It is when we love something more than God. When we choose something contrary to the commandments of God, that 'other' thing takes precedence over what God commands. Which separates us from Him.

This morning my companion and I read this chapter and these verses stuck out to me, 2 Nephi 31:15-16:

"And I heard a voice from the Father, saying: Yea, the words of my Beloved are true and faithful. He that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved. And now, my beloved brethren, I know by this that unless a man shall endure to the end, in following the example of the Son of the living God, he cannot be saved."

Every moment of every day gives us an opportunity to follow Christ. If we were serving another master 5 minutes ago, guess what, right now is a new minute and we can decide to serve the Savior.

Elder Holland said, "An old proverb says that a journey of 1,000 miles begins with one step, so watch your step."

I love each and every one of you. I hope you have a great week. Look and pray for ways to serve others. Lift where you stand and help those along the way. Someone is waiting to hear your testimony and your words of encouragement to return to the Savior and find healing! :D ANIMO :)

Con Mucho AMOR,

Hermana Fernelius

1) Also, Hermana Q caught a frog this week. Apparently it was poisonous, but beautiful!! We gave it as a gag birthday gift to a member. And when we showed up to their house for comida with the frog, the elders looked at it and said, You bought a FROG?? We brought a gold fish!! haha. This poor member was so confused! The 2 gold fishies are called Ricky and Martín. And she promised to feed us the frog the next time we go by to eat. haha.
Monday, June 1, 2015

Information on Ashley's Return Home!


I will update Ashley's blog with her latest email tomorrow.  For now, everyone that has been following her blog should be aware of the following:
  1. Ashley will be returning home on Friday, June 26th at 11:35 am on Aeromexico flight #484 from Mexico City.  We (her parents) will be picking her up and returning with her, and we are unaware of any specific plans (to party!?!), but you are welcome to join us at the airport if you like.  Keep in mind that it may take an hour or more for us to get through Customs.
  2. Ashley and her older sister, Tiffany, will be speaking together in our ward's sacrament meeting at 7800 (West) Alta Drive on Sunday, July 12th at 9 am (until about 10:30 am or so). You are welcome to stay after and visit if you like - we will probably reconvene after the meeting with family and friends at another location, yet to be determined.
Thank you so much for your prayers, love, and support during this special time in Ashley's life.

Tracy Fernelius

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Week 72 "Golden Investigators..."

From 5/25/15

Hola Family and Friends!!!

Hope you all have had a fun week! Time is flying right? Another week has come and gone. Lots happened this week! Conferences, meetings, more meetings and all of it was super awesome.

I'll start with the conference on Friday. It was President and Sister Kusch's last multi-zone conference for their missions, so it was a conference mixed with a little bit of sadness and excitement for new changes also. They both seemed super calm about saying goodbye. It is so clear to see that they have given everything of themselves during their missions. After THREE years of serving they have supervised about 600 missionaries in the mission. Crazy right? It's been such a blessing to have had such supportive leaders like them throughout the mission. They treat us like their own kids! And they do their best to show us their love and appreciation. I really do love them and am grateful for all they have taught me. I love how President Kusch started off the conference, he said "Cada misionero es un milagro" ["Every missionary is a miracle"]. He also explained to us that a truly successful missionary is one who has learned to feel, recognize, and act on the promptings of the Spirit. Then he repeated again, each missionary is a miracle. That is so cool. Success isn't always what we think it is.

Yesterday we went to visit an active family in our ward. Well, semi-active. the mom of the family doesn't come to church. We don't know why yet, but we felt like we needed to go by and get to know them better. What's more, we've felt like visiting them the past couple of days and yesterday morning at church the dad of the family gave a talk. So we definitely had to go by.

We spent some time in their home trying to connect a Mormon message video on their laptop. The one we wanted to watch didn't work...Awkward. So we watched the ultra sad video of the mommy blogger that learned to endure after being severely burned in a plane crash.....yeah... maybe not the first option for a family we don't really know well with little kids. But it was the only one that worked and it has a GREAT message about enduring challenges and trials. It even talks about the beauty of motherhood too. We tried to make it work. We asked the kids how they felt about the video afterward. Each one started off by saying, "Well, it was really sad but..."


They got it though. The mom was pretty quiet. We didn't want to have a lesson of "hi nice to meet you, why don't you go to church" because we didn't want her to feel pressured at all or to think that we were only there to get her to church. We felt like we just needed to get to know her. She told us, the video was really sad (haha) but it is true that when we trust God, our trials are bearable. Her husband then thanked us for coming and said, "It's interesting how without even knowing it, you shared exactly what we needed to hear."


I'm content when plans fall through or when we do something accidently instead, because we move out of the way so that things can work out like they need to. Does that make any sense?

Well, before we left Hermana Q pulled out her nifty cootie catcher/inspired question generator to ask for references from the family. The kids picked random numbers which opened up to the question "Who do you know who LOVES enchiladas and is not a member of the church?"

(Super inspired right?)

Then the dad and kids shout out Brother E! The dad says, "One of my employees used to listen to the missionaries. He was about to get baptized but he has to get married first. He and his girlfriend have gone to church a bunch of times and want to get married and want to get baptized. My son will show you where they live okay?"



We went straight to their house and a young man and a familiar faced young woman come out.

"HEY YOU, we know you!"

We had met this young woman two days before in the conference with President, she helped serve the food to us after the conference. What the heck. The whole time we thought she was a member. They both almost immediately told us, "We want to be baptized but we know we have to get married first."


"We just need to get our paperwork in order. We know the church is true. We also don't want to get baptized just to get baptized and then become less active. We want to do this right."


They are so super awesome. They accepted the invitation to pray for God to open the way so that they can get married and baptized at the end of June. We are also praying for them! We know that for those who love God, all things work together for their good. It was such a miracle to meet them. They are ready! They want the gospel! I am so excited for them and to start teaching them.

Uhh...and talking about escogidos (or golden investigators), we met an awesome family who are sooo ready for the gospel. The biggest challenge will be for Brother A to find a new job so that he can rest on Sunday and go to church.

He is so super cool.

He is a reference from missionaries that met him a little while ago. When he said the prayer...

WOOOW. Just like a member!

We asked him if he could meet the Savior in that very moment what is the first thing he would say or ask him. His immediate response was, "I would ask for forgiveness."

He says that his past is a burden to him and weighs down on his conscience. When we talked about baptism, they loved the idea of being able to be cleansed from their sins. Brother A accepted, but his work will make it nearly impossible for him to come to church, but not impossible for him to keep learning about the gospel and gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon. So we are excited to start teaching him and his family. We know that the Lord will prepare the way for him to keep each and every one of the commandments.

1) The work is picking up here. We are trying to gain the confidence of the members. We are trying to serve them and love them and help in any way we can. And we keep seeing improvements with each day.

2) We were also warned a few minutes before conference by President that he 'might' call on my companion and I to share an experience that I shared last week (of the family we taught with the restoration video.)

Ahh... the nerve!!

He did call on us like he said he 'might'. I thought I was going to pass out. Ha-ha. But I guess hearing myself share that experience out loud was a tender mercy. I realize that compared to God, man is nothing...because we are not the reason why people feel the church is true. It's the Spirit's work, most of the time, we just get in the way. BUT at the same time, we are still everything to God.

3) I am in the same zone as one of my favorite former companions!!! WOO!! I just saw another of my favorites on Friday too...I just wanted to cry from so much happiness. It feels like seeing family whenever I run into old companions.

4) The latter companion informed me that one of our former investigators was given a calling in the Young Men's as a counselor and goes to the mutual activities each week. This is a big deal to us because before he was baptized Hermana C and I always talked about how we wanted him to be the Young Men's president after getting baptized -- Dream semi-realized!!-- ha-ha

5) After speaking Spanglish most of the mission, Pure English is practically impossible to speak. For real though, so during conference, one of the elders asked President a question but said in English "I have two questions, they are both docturnal". Like Doctrinal, but now doctrinal doesn't exist in his English vocabulary, so it's docturnal........ Life is real hard.

6) Yesterday there was another great talk given in church where he talked about not being afraid of living the gospel of Jesus Christ. He said, "No tengas temor de ofender el diablo." Or, "Don't be afraid of offending the devil."

Live like you believe, yo.

7) We are teaching a ridiculously cute little girl and her family. The mom, Sister A, can't read but wants her kids to have all the advantages in the world to be more successful than she has been in her life. She wants her kids to go to church and be good people. They are so great! The little girl came to church yesterday with another member and when she saw us, she bolted down the hallway and yelled "HERMANAS!" and gave us hugs! She came for primary!! Woo hoo! She tells us that she is going to be a doctor one day, that she is going to teach her mom how to read, and when we asked her what she likes to do, she said, "clean around the house and help my mom make tortillas by hand." CUTE!

8) We were given a very very special reference from a member who told us that she hates giving out references to missionaries because they never follow up with those people.


Besides, the reference is someone whose husband left her when she suffered from cancer, whose niece committed suicide, and then her own son committed suicide two months afterward. We went by to visit this woman, and she seemed so happy outwardly, but as we talked for a moment her eyes welled up with tears and everything came out. She is afraid of growing close to God because each time she has, she has experienced some tragedy in her life. We talked to her a little about the power of the Atonement and how the gospel will help her heal. She has a strong character, but she gave us hugs and thanked us for coming by and welcomed us to come by again this upcoming week. So we'll see what happens!

9) We went to a very quiet residential neighborhood and went looking for a few members and future investigators. As we went by, there was a lonely convenience store in the center of a cul-de-sac, and a woman was seated smiling at us. We asked her for directions and hurried off on our way. Then the Spirit stirred my soul. hahaha.

She was a little lady completely alone, just happened to be nice, just happened to be open to us and curious about what we were doing and I. DIDN'T. CONTACT. HER.

Then my companion says, well, she was super cute! Then we both stopped in our tracks and ran back. We talked with this woman, Sister C, and she said that she wasn't interested. We asked her about her family and made small talk. She told us that her husband left her and died in another country while she was in Mexico, and her children live somewhere close by in the state, but she doesn't know where because her children refuse to talk to her.


She says, "I'm struggling with the pain of loneliness."

Then my super inspired comp offers her a Book of Mormon. We opened it to the back and taught her how to read it using the guide in the back. I was flipping through the pages trying to find a topic that might interest her or help her, then I flip open to the word paz, or peace. My companion and I said PAZ at the same time when we were trying to find a topic for her. Sister C had the biggest smile on her face and asked us if we could pass by her business every time we were there so we could talk and teach her about the Book of Mormon.


She is the perfect wife candidate for a recent convert in our ward too!! We are going to try to introduce them to each other this week. We are the sister missionary match makers.

10) Life is just good here. I love being a missionary.

Hope you all have a great week.
Love you all - you are in my thoughts and prayers.
Con MUCHO amor,
Hermana Fernelius
Monday, May 18, 2015

Week 71! "Cuer-Vah-Na-Ca"

From 5/18/15

Hola Family and Friends!!
HOW ARE YOU ALL DOING?! :D We had a great week!!
It’s been fun getting to know a ‘new’ area. We are in the same ward we’ve been in the past couple of months, but because we’ve switched sides with the elders here—it feels like a new place. We are meeting LOTS of members who we only waved hi and goodbye to before and we are meeting great new investigators!
We had really important visits this week with less active members. There are about 75-120 members that come to church weekly—and that 120 is on a good Sunday. When just last year or a few years ago it was 3 or 4 times that many. Many members have become less active because someone offended someone else or said something and never came back. There are little trouble makers in our ward that treat others badly and just about send them away. Rude, right ? So, we are on a mission to rescue these members.
There are so many miracles we’ve already seen !!!
One thing is sure. Sometimes our personal struggles prepare us to help others in a more significant and genuine way. We understand them because we’ve been there. I have personally had many emotional challenges the past few years and it’s always left me wondering why. Sometimes I just feel bad without a reason why. I get discouraged, expect too much, give too little, get over concerned, or a little too apathetic. And it’s just plain hard. Along with other challenges, I can’t ever really pinpoint why I am prone to depression and other emotional disorders. But this week, I’ve seen a little clearer on one of the "why’s"...
Heavenly Father loves me, and He loves each one of His children on the earth. He loves us so much that He has permitted us to go through refining trials that will help us be better than we were. And because we go through our personal Gethsemanes, we can share Heavenly Father’s love with others as they go through theirs—because in some ways we’ve been there and we understand. I am not saying that we understand because we made it out to the other side on our own and now have a secret formula for success…but rather, and eternally more significant, we understand our dependency on the Savior a little better. Because our hearts have been broken, the Savior can mold us, expand our hearts, and increase our capacity to love and serve and be patient with others, and to be more like Him.
I forget how merciful trials are. Trials or moments of stretching in our lives is a witness that God trusts us! He knows that we’ll make the best of it! Maybe our trials won’t disappear in an instant…or maybe they will. What I do know is that the timing, the intensity, and the duration of our challenges is up to the Lord. And His plan is perfect. I want to be more grateful and more patient at every turn and blow in life. It’s giving me a chance to grow. President Monson said:
"Our Heavenly Father, who gives us so much to delight in, also knows that we learn and grow and become stronger as we face and survive the trials through which we must pass. We know that there are times when we will experience heartbreaking sorrow, when we will grieve, and when we may be tested to our limits. However, such difficulties allow us to change for the better, to rebuild our lives in the way our Heavenly Father teaches us, and to become something different from what we were—better than we were, more understanding than we were, more empathetic than we were, with stronger testimonies than we had before.
"This should be our purpose—to persevere and endure, yes, but also to become more spiritually refined as we make our way through sunshine and sorrow. Were it not for challenges to overcome and problems to solve, we would remain much as we are, with little or no progress toward our goal of eternal life. We truly need Him every hour, whether they be hours of sunshine or of rain.’"
I hope that in sharing a personal challenge of mine, it can help someone else. I still don’t have all the answers, and it’s still very hard some days. But this week, I’ve seen clearer that this is something given me to help me to help others. I can’t tell you how many people we’ve met who describe to us the same exact emotions that I feel and have felt. And we’ve seen many find the fountain of peace and personal strength through the Atonement of Christ...
One investigator told us that when she learned about prayer and began relying on her Savior more, one morning she woke up and finally had the strength to get out of bed. Then she realized that she felt good enough to clean her home… and make her kids food…. And get dressed for the day.. and smile. She was able to sleep well for the first night.. and the next day came and she had even more desire and strength to get out of bed, and clean, and make food, and get dressed and smile. She cried as she told us that it was the first time in years that she had been able to get her head out of the water just enough to find joy and feel happy again.
That’s a miracle to me! It’s such a joy to help others find faith in Jesus Christ. It’s so incredible to see them as they take their first steps towards Him and give up what keeps them from Him. There is nothing like it in all the world.
We’ve met many more families like that this week and we’ve been able to bear our testimonies to them of the strengthening and cleansing power of the Savior’s sacrifice. You could definitely say that it was a great week for us!
One experience I wanted to share last week was a super awesome lesson we had with a new family in our now old area:
We found Sister T while knocking on doors, looking for a different reference. We were so impressed by her receptivity to the gospel. She let us set up an appointment to return and chat with her and her family. She was especially interested in us talking with her husband. He had taken lessons with elders many years before. He has read quite a bit of the Book of Mormon and has a lot of questions.
We were excited for our appointment!
We arrived the next night and were pleasantly surprised by how well we were received by the family. Then the husband walked in and began with all of his questions. What’s this? What’s that? What about him, or her and what do you do, and a million other questions. Although his questions were great, I was afraid that we might not be able to teach, and that it would just be a Q&A session for the father of this family. We were both praying hard for guidance on what we could possibly teach, especially because the discussion had opened a thousand doors for us to talk about.
Then we had a gentle impression to pray.
Almost in the same moment, I visualized in my mind the whole family sitting on the sofa watching the video of the Restoration and the father was crying as he watched the part of Joseph Smith’s first vision. I didn’t say anything to my companion. After this thought came to mind, I wondered how it would be possible, or if it was right, especially not knowing hardly anything about the needs of this family. How would I know?
I almost interrupted the father’s next question, and asked if we could say a prayer to invite the Spirit before sharing a message. As we prayed, I had the same impression come to mind, and I was praying hard for my companion to know what to do. As we said amen, there was a second of silence and my companion blurted out to the family, "Can we watch a video ??"
She pulled out a disc with the video of the restoration on it, and within a few moments the video was up and ready to go. The family had all sat on the sofa to watch the video, and a powerful Spirit entered into their home.
I still hadn’t said anything to my companion - it was such an insignificant thing, but a miracle to me how that lesson transpired.
Although we felt the Spirit so strongly, outwardly the father still seemed hardened. We invited him to be baptized with his family. Everyone accepted—except for him. My companion felt impressed to persist in extending an invitation for him to be baptized. After offering so many defensive responses, he looked away from us for a moment in silence, then looked back and said, "It would be nice if I could receive an answer to know it if is all true. If I did know, I would be baptized. Without a doubt."
That’s the point sir, you can know if it’s true you just have to ask seek and knock!
It was such a difference to hear an honest inquiry….."can I really know that it’s true?" We ended the lesson in a kneeling prayer with the whole family. It was super duper cool.
As we left the house, we talked about the experience we just had. I told my companion what I saw and that she did exactly what she was supposed to even though we didn’t know why. She told me, "I don’t know why but I felt like I had to be persistent with the father even after he said no. But after all his doubts and fears were out of the way, his faith said yes."
Ahhhh. It was the best. The Elders are going to start teaching them now. And we are excited to see where they go from here.
And wooo, I think that I’m running out of time for today, but I just want you all to know that I love each and every one of you. Maybe someone reads this who I don’t know, but I hope that above everything you know that your Heavenly Father loves you, needs you, and knows what you need. He concerns Himself over you, He rejoices over you. You are His greatest work and glory.
There is so much more that I want to share, but this will have to do for today.
Love ya’ll.
Con Amor,
Hermana Fernelius
P.S. A man from Boston just walked into the cyber and started talking to us. We helped him get oriented and all, seeing that he’s a newbie to Cuernavaca. How did we know this? Well for one thing he calls the city—CUER VAH NA CA.
I like it. It sounds more exotic like that. Haha.

Sister M and her family on Hermana "Quack's" birthday.

Me and missionaries from Barrio G.

This picture describes our relationship.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Week 70! "Happy Mother's Day"

From 5/11/15

Hola Family and Friends!!!

First of all, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the absolute best companion, HERMANA Q!! Happy 21st!

Happy Mother's day to all the wonderful mothers out there, especially to my own mom :) haha.
I greatly admire parents because of all the selfless sacrifices they make for their children. I love it. I look up to my parents so much. They have taught me so so much that I will always thank them for....
Like learning how to clean for example. We moved into a new apartment this past week, and oh was super sick nasty gross eww. And it only took us three hours to clean the bathroom and the kitchen. Not too bad right? o_o But what can I say, after 5 years of elders living in this place, it could be worse. I don't know how, but I think that it's possible. At least the elders left behind cookies, yo! That's one way of saying sorry. :)
This week was wonderful!! We had to say goodbye to many of our investigators because we changed area with the elders, but they are in good hands! It's funny because a lot of the ward members on our side of town kept telling us all this week that they felt we were both leaving...and lo and behold, there were no mission changes, but our working areas did! We are excited to start in a new area together and the benefit is that the members are really willing to help us out and show us around. Woo!
I have so much to say, but AGAIN, I don't have any more time. I'm really sorry. :O
Thank you for your emails and support. It means a lot to me! :) Until next week.
Con Amor,
Hermana Fernelius
[NOTE from Ashley's dad]:
We had the opportunity to speak with Ashley via Skype yesterday for a little over half an hour, and although the connection wasn't very good, it was very nice to see and hear her - she looks well.

As those of you that have spent any time on her blog know, she has served diligently and has touched many lives.  Nevertheless, by her own admission, it has not been easy for her.  So, if you are willing, please join with me and my family in specifically supporting her in your daily prayers, at least for the immediate future.

Thank you so much.

Tracy Fernelius