Friday, March 7, 2014

Week 5 in Mexico!!! "Repentance and the Atonement"

From Monday, February 10, 2014

I am doing really well. I feel great and we've been blessed to have a lot of work in the area. This week and the past week have been so so good, but at the same time I've had some hard moments too. Really truly I love the letters that you all send because it helps me, not because I'm homesick but because it feels good to hear from the people I can really count on even a thousand miles away. Every letter from the family has something that helps me in the very moment I read it or later on in the week and it strengthens me. 

Something that was super chafa [difficult] last night in the middle of the night, during my dreams, I heard mom's voice call out my name. Out of nowhere and that was a little hard for me. So some moments are like that, and this week was a little more. I'm getting over it though. I'm learning how to trust my Savior more and more.

First experience I want to share is one that helped me recognize that I'm not here by mistake. Or rather that the Lord is kind in allowing me to know His children and to help them with their specific trials because I went through the same thing and I understand how it feels:

One morning during companionship study, my companion and I started talking about the Atonement and repentance. We know many missionaries recently from our mission and elsewhere that have gone home because of a belated confession to a Priesthood leader. So many many missionaries have been sent home to repent and be worthy to return on a mission. Recently, an elder that Hna P and I love called to tell us that he was going home the next day for worthiness issues. It broke our hearts! We didn't get a chance to say goodbye or talk to him to help him. It was really sad! He feels like a younger brother to us and we always felt the need to care for him and watch out for him. Talk about hard. So that happened.

The next morning is when my companion and I started talking about that very thing. How hard it would be to come on a mission (which is already pretty challenging) and then to face the reality of not being worthy to serve. We were both grateful in that moment that we were blessed to be able to serve worthily because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. We talked about our personal experiences and struggles and what is has taken for us to come to this moment on a mission. HARD, but our experiences have made us who we are today and able to help others. So let's go on...

Our ward mission leader "B" has been less active for a while for a number of reasons. He's 19 years old and just received his mission call to serve in March. We've been working more and more with him and trying to help him and the ward to get excited about missionary work and help us out more. Last Thursday the 30th is when we had a meeting with him and another (less-active) ward missionary "S" to talk about the needs of the ward, which was the same day we had talked about the Atonement in the morning.

So later on in the meeting we asked how B was doing. Then we asked S if he was planning to serve a mission. Then Hermana P said, jokingly, 'but one thing's for sure, you need to repent before going on a mission. Es bien chafa to go into the mission field unworthily and feel the spirit telling you everyday to repent, then confessing, and having to return home to finish repenting. So repent sinners! It's better now.' So she said that half jokingly, but then B looked up and us and said but it's just so hard. Hna P and I looked at each other in shock almost, but tried to keep our cool. We asked why do you feel that way, and continued talking to him. Then he completely opened up to us and explained that he has his mission call but still hasn't worked everything out to be worthy. We knew how to help him because we were just talking about our own experiences.

There are no words to explain how amazing that experience was. The following week we talked to B again and asked him how things were going, and he told us that he was afraid of telling the bishop because he doesn't have a relationship with him at all. But we encouraged him with everything in our hearts to not procrastinate his repentance any longer and to talk to his priesthood leader right away, and that night he did. Later on we had other meetings with him and he told us that he won't be able to serve for another year, but that he feels so good to be clean and to have everything in his life cleared up. There is nothing that he's hiding in his life from the Lord anymore.

Every day since that we've talked to him or seen him, he has a light from his eyes and a different countenance. I can't explain to you all how happy that made me feel, how I know that the Atonement is real. Hna P and I didn't know that we needed to talk about repentance with S and B that night, but we did and it's helped B to really truly change and to come unto Christ, but for real. I think that the Savior rejoices when a wayward son or daughter returns to Him and gives up all their old life and sins, however small or great they are, to be obedient, repent and change. That really is so beautiful.

He's doing well now and we actually just ran into him at the internet cafe with his little sister. The Atonement is something that's just nice to talk about or think about sometimes, it is the very reason why we can experience happiness and peace in this life--today. How amazing is that? That is a really special experience to my heart that I wanted to share with my family. It showed me that Heavenly Father is mindful of you and me in the very moment we need divine help. But the exact moment. How amazing. There are so many experiences I could share to testify of that.

This week also I've seen that this calling is sacred and has a real authority and power. Many members, less actives, investigators, and even strangers have opened up their hearts to tell us of their fears, and trials, and doubts--sometimes without hardly knowing us, if at all. It's because they feel confidence with us and they feel the Spirit and yearn to have the help of the gospel. so they share with us such sacred and personal things so that we can better help them. It is SO AMAZING.

Thank you for keeping our investigators in mind when you pray because some have to face incredible trials to come unto Christ and they really need divine help. Prayers are so powerful and they really are felt. 

Here's the letter I wrote to President Kusch this week:

"Hna P and I would be so happy if you and Sister Kusch could attend the baptism this Saturday for 'O'! His baptism is scheduled for the 15th at 10:00 a.m. We are going to visit with his father tomorrow to have a written consent for his baptism. 

The past two weeks have been really difficult for O. He comes from a very broken home and has hardly any support from his friends or family, not only in his decision to join the church but in every aspect of his life. His father has given consent for him to be baptized, but that's as much love and support as he's been given by his family. 

This past week we had an appointment to meet with him and he never showed--this was alarming to us because O is always so punctual and has never missed a lesson. Later he called us and we rescheduled a time to teach the lesson, but he sounded very different. When we arrived for our lesson, he looked so dejected and sad. We hardly spoke with him when he began to cry. He told us about his fears of being baptized and not knowing the future. What would his family think and who could he turn to for support. 

There are many trials that he has been going through since he began investigating the church, but he has been faithful all along the way. Hna P and I realized how hard the adversary has been working on him to keep him from being baptized. We pointed this out to him and helped him recognize all the good that has come from him going to church. All the wonderful changes he's made in his life thus far. As we asked him about his testimony and how he feels about the gospel, his countenance began to change. The light and happiness that we've always recognized in him returned and he spoke of his membership in the gospel with excitement. 

Like so many other youth, O has experienced difficult things in his life and has had to grow up prematurely. He carries a lot of burdens, but the gospel is what has helped him to handle those pressures with faith and patience, and to continually grow for the better. O really is a light and example to me and I'm grateful to know him. He is willing to be baptized and face all the uncertainty and trials ahead, because he knows that this church is true and he is willing to give up all his old life to know the Savior. 

Yesterday at church, we spoke with him more about the details of his baptism. Afterward he told us how he is grateful to know us and that we have been friends to him to learn the gospel. That made me so happy! I can't wait for him to be baptized, and I know he has a great work to do in his life for the Savior."

Sometimes when we are on the path to do something good, we face more trials like B when he tried to confess and repent or O this past week more than ever as he is preparing to be baptized. But trust in the Lord and He will take trials and sanctify them for your good as you exercise your faith in Him and keep the commandments. There is nothing more beautiful in all this world than the gospel and I am so grateful that I can share that with others during this sacred time as a missionary.

I love you all!!!!!! Something that was really fun today was that we went to Xochicalco (ruins in mexico) with a sister in our ward. Hna P and I call her our suegra because she wants us to marry her son. And let me just say that we are not opposed to that. haha. Hna P and I went with her, her nephew and his friend, and two sister missionaries in our district that we love very much! We had a really wonderful time together today, I felt like I had mom with me because she took such good care of us. There are people like that in this area that feel like family and they take care of us. So that's really wonderful. 

Anyway I love you all and pray for each of you. :) I can't believe another week has come and gone, and the truth is that this week is going to be a little difficult so please keep us in your prayers. Love you :)

Con amor,

Hermana Fernelius

No comments:

Post a Comment