Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Semana 2 en Mexico!! "Investigator 'O' Accepts Date"

From 1/20/14

Hi family and friends!!

I always say this but today I don't have much time. haha I'm currently in Tepoztlan with my companion, two other sisters, and two elders. It´s about an hour and a half from my area. We've had a lot of fun today!! I wrote out a few thoughts before coming so I will try to write them out. As always the mission is wonderful. This week we have laughed so much in our companionship and have had super beautiful experiences too! I love laughing! Hna P is super fun and even when we have disappointing moments, it always turns into a good experience or a good lesson. :)

First off, the good stuff. Our investigator "O" [the 16 year old who sought us out] has a baptismal date for February 22!!!!! Since we first met him, which has only been about 2 weeks now, he's been going to seminary, mutual, young men's activities and church both Sundays. He told us last week that he wants to serve a mission. {Cue jaw drop}...He is SO prepared for the gospel.

His family is Catholic and his grandma (whom he lives with) threatened to kick him out of the house if he chooses to be baptized. He told my companion and me that even though it would be hard to not have the support of his family, he would trade all of his old life to have the gospel in his life now. He says he's changed since he first started coming to church. He's felt so much joy and happiness.

Saturday night we ran into him and my companion asked him, Do you know that the church is true? He said yes. He even broke up with his girlfriend who is Catholic and is opposed to him being baptized.

He is such an example to me. To give up everything to have even a part of the joy he feels in his life now, because of the gospel. It reminded me just now of King Lamoni's father, who said that he would give away all his sins to know God. I love that. It fills me with such joy to see him progress day by day and so quickly now too. I just love seeing how the teachings of the Savior and the Plan of Salvation actually and literally changes lives. It's amazing!! 

Below I pasted the letter I wrote this week to President Kusch...sorry if it's a little impersonal but it talks about an investigator we met last week:

"This week has been great! Hna. P and I try to contact 10 people everyday, and we have found many individuals who are interested in learning more about the gospel in this way. Earlier in the week, we contacted a man selling ice cream and offered a Restoration pamphlet. He was really kind to us and invited us to teach him more about the gospel.

On Friday we taught him about the Restoration and of the Book of Mormon. I was so impressed by how much he understood of the scriptures and the life of Jesus Christ. He says that God has helped him so much in his life and even now, when he is struggling financially, he knows that God is still watching over him. We invited him to be baptized and he willingly committed to it. He told us that he had already made commitments to spend this past Sunday with his family, but that he will come next week.

There was a very sweet spirit in his home as we met with him. He offered the final prayer and prayed for us as missionaries and thanked Heavenly Father for sending us to him. I was really touched by that experience. I left feeling more edified and uplifted than when we first entered. It felt kind of unusual talking to him as an investigator because by the way he spoke he sounded like a  member already!

This man really has been prepared by Heavenly Father to receive the gospel. Hna P and I did nothing more than open our mouths to say hi, but it's so beautiful and merciful that the Lord allows us to have those experiences regardless of our own incapabilities and weaknesses. 

I really love this area and the members here. They are so good and have righteous desires to serve Heavenly Father. The members take really good care of us; I'm trying to keep up with Hna P ;) by learning faces and names and places. It's really important to build that trust with the members because we are trying to take members with us more to lessons. They bring a powerful spirit with them and their testimonies and life experiences really help our investigators and less active members. 

My Spanish is so-so but I am really trying to talk as much as possible to learn quicker. Many times I have no idea what to say when we contact, but, I open my mouth and the words come. It is amazing! Those experiences really strengthen my faith. I know that if we trust our Father in Heaven and exercise even the smallest particle of faith, that's enough to Him, and He will make up the rest and pour out blessings for trying. 

This past Sunday was also a miracle and such a  special experience for me. Rewind to last Sunday: there were SO few members at church. Like 40 max. Everyone had to participate in church! Then on Sunday (19/1), when we first arrived, Hna P and I felt a little disheartened because a few of our investigators weren't there. Throughout the first few minutes more people slowly trickled in. More and more started coming into the chapel all throughout the meeting. By the time the first talk started, 4 investigators came to church and sat with us!! Many less active members also went! I felt so so happy! It was the neatest experience and I hope that many more less active members will return to church also. I prayed so hard during church that the investigators and less actives would have good experiences so they would want to return next week! haha.

The Lord has blessed us with many great experiences. We laugh a lot in our companionship, and we feel a lot of joy in serving the people here. I've really loved this week, full of good, funny, sometimes awkward, but always wonderful experiences!"

Okay so there's that. haha. Now for the last bit here are some interesting things that have happened:
1) NO ONE CAN PRONOUNCE MY LAST NAME. Not even the white people, which is obviously super depressing. So I've stopped introducing my last name the way it actually sounds.. Fernelius is pronounced like this fur-knee-lee-us, but in Spanish I am now, fehr-nehl-ee-oos. :( I have accepted it though. The mission changes you in more than one way haha.
2) An investigator, Diana, commented that Hna P and I look like sisters because we have similar facial features and I guess just look alike! haha. Then when we contacted on the street, someone was talking to us super duper fast about the gospel without hardly breathing, and then suddenly stopped, looked us Hna P, then at me and said, are you two sisters? Hna P and I looked at each other for a second, shrugged our shoulders and said, yeah yeah we are. Complete with poker face and all. And then he went on talking super fast again. Que raro.
3) The roads are like cobblestone in our area. Sometimes it's like a foot massage as you walk on the streets. But most of the time, it just hurts and makes it hard to walk. haha
4) Related to number 3, every single day Hna P and I trip while walking. She always trips first during the day when we walk, then she looks at me like, it's your turn next. Watch out. And sure enough later on in the day, I trip too. Today I made fun of Hna P because she tripped on the sidewalk, but then sudden horror filled my soul when I realized I was next. Well today, we visited Tepoztlan and a huge Catholic church in the area that was open to visitors. We walked in and felt horrible. I was so ready to leave, but the sisters wanted to look around, so I had to wait. Then as we were leaving I tripped SO HARD on the way out. But like, SO hard. The elders and my companion saw, and we just laughed about forever. The cursed tripping. Every day. haha. 
5) The equivalent of 'cool' in Mexico is 'padre'. How cool! = ¡Que padre! They say 'este' & 'pues' a lot. So much that it hurts.
6) Final fun fact for dad, I showered the first week here in ice cold water. I dealt with it like a champ, but my companion felt bad for me (I think she heard the screams in the morning) so we heated water in a pot on the stove, and in the microwave, and filled a small bucket with water. We then proceeded to use a cup to rinse, lather, and rinse again. Exactly like dad said. I thought that was funny! Right now we have warm water though :) yay me! Also for dad, I write my 7's and Z's with a line through it, like he said. I left my gospel books at the airport because I didn't have room, and I prefer writing in a spiral notebook instead of my bound leather journal. Parents are ALWAYS right ,)

Well, I love you all. I have lots of photos to send you but it's hard with these computers here. It takes too long to load. I don't know what photo the mission office sent you but I hope it wasn't too bad haha.

 I know that this church is true. The Savior of the world changes lives if we let Him in. I know that it's important to read the scriptures every day, to pray sincerely even if's it's a simple prayer and to go to church to partake of the sacrament.

I hope you all have a wonderful week! Lots of love and prayers coming your way :)

Con Amor,
Hermana Fernelius 

No comments:

Post a Comment