Friday, March 7, 2014

Week 6 in Mexico!!! "Tasty Legs"

From Monday, February 17, 2014

Hola Family and Friends!!!! Thank you for your prayers this week--we really felt more at peace with all the crazy and wonderful and difficult experiences this week. It really really did help. :)

LOTS OF GOOD STUFF THIS WEEK. I never know where to start haha. I did cheat towards the bottom and copy/pasted part of the letter I sent to my President. tee hee. 

1) I'm glad you all are doing well!! Benjamin killing it at basketball like always. Matthew with his profound wisdom, seriously the letter you just wrote this week is awesome. Amy and Jamison, I'll be praying for the little ones that everything goes well this week! I can't wait to hear how the baby's doing. Dad and Mom, I never know how to say I love you and thank you enough! Tiffany is beautiful and I'm glad she's doing well :)

2) I have mosquito bites on my legs the size of a bottle cap (photo to follow)

3) Hermana P and I laugh hard every single day. It's really healthy to laugh and have fun. She always says Paciencia, Disfruten cada momento, No estres, and everything related to relax and enjoy every moment. Hakuna Matata. It's amazing. She is the fourth Fernelius sister, and this week we tried to figure out why we were separated at birth: we decided that because we were rebels in the Pre-Existence she was sent to El Salvador, and I was sent to Sin City as punishment. It took us both to come on a mission to find each other. Also, we keep track of our 'novios' . As of right now we have 8. 

4) I forgot to tell you that last week I tried cow stomach at lunch. Yuck. You can add that to the list of things I am never going to eat in my life. Also add mole negro [pronounced "molay"]. It's a weird chocolate based sauce that is eaten with chicken, rice, tamales, vegetables, and everything, and man is it bad. The texture is grainy, a little spicy, a lot sweet and chocolaty. And last week one sister said she added Cacahuates [peanuts] to add a little more flavor to the mole. Spicy chalky peanut butter chocolate polluting my plate of chicken and rice. Excuse me. Talk about nasty. 

5) Related to number four. Almost every member of the church has in one form or another a painting/mural/sculpture/thing of the last supper above their dining room table. And with cow stomach covered in mole, last supper is right. o_o 

6) Chamacas is one way of saying muchachas. No manches is like saying no kidding. A member says suave all the time to say that's cool/chill. 

7) The fourteenth of February was difficult in many ways. One, we had NO ONE to teach because no one was home. Two, we spent the afternoon in a service project painting someone's house--he is an 'investigator' but told us on the 14th that he wasn't actually interested in the church - he only wanted to have friends. o_o Three, there were couples e v e r y w h e r e. It was a sight to see. No one was interested in hearing about the church that day. And there we were watching people be happy with their loved ones while we walked alone missing our special people. 

There's more good stuff but I think of it right now. So below I've written some more fun stuff. :)

My companion and I met with President Kusch this week and we talked about how we are doing personally. We both felt so much support from him and he offered wonderful counsel that has helped us in a number of ways. I wanted to share some counsel he gave to me and I hope it might help one of you:

President Kusch was in a meeting the week before last with Elder Oaks and he spoke on knowledge and learning. He also spoke about progression by giving this example. Imagine a man that worked at a company for 20 years. Does he have 20 years experience or 1 year of experience 20 times? President Kusch related that to my mission. In one year will I have 1 year of growth and progression or 1 month of experience 12 times? That thought really struck me. Am I improving and progressing each day, no matter how small? I know I have room for improvement and that with patience and diligence whatever goals I have for my mission can be realized. 

He shared other insights that I thought were powerful. It's difficult to explain but now that I am here serving sometimes I don't remember what my life before the mission was like--like at all.. Sometimes I have to really work to think about what I've done, or about friends and family, about what I like, used to do and everything. It's like my old life is completely erased. Weird right? And I can't look into the future and see what's up sometimes it's weird because I can only see the present, this day, this hour, this moment. President helped me realize something. Before coming on a mission I lived my life how I wanted. Life was comfortable, I studied what I wanted, spoke my own language, slept in my own bed, went where I wanted, when I wanted and even ate what I wanted. I was in control of day to day life. The mission is a new life. It demands refinement and change. I'm in a new land, new people, new culture, new language, new food, new challenges, new experiences, everything different. He said that now I need to let the Lord make my life how He wants it to be. And to let that change work in me. That was really powerful. Everything that President Kusch said really helped me. And I know that if the only person that is converted to the Lord during my mission is me, then my mission will be a success! :)

"There is a quote by Elder Holland in Preach My Gospel that talks about learning languages & Hna P and I love it so much. It says that there is a language that every missionary understands--that language of the Spirit. And that Spirit transcends whatever inabilities or inadequacies I have personally & with the language, in order to help the investigator come unto Christ. I am grateful for that and I know it's true. Maybe I can't speak the language perfectly, but regardless of language, people understand if I truly care about them or not. 

Moroni 7:46 & 47 says '...if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail—But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever...' Charity is a Christlike attribute and because I am a representative of Him, that should be the reason behind everything I say and do. Like it says in Moroni, all things must fail--like trusting in my own abilities or worrying about my inabilities--but charity and pure Christlike love don't - I think that's what I have been lacking most. 

One more scripture that helped me this week is in Matt 10:39, 'He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.' I am so much happier when I lose myself in the work and focus on the well-being and happiness of my companion, our investigators, members, and even other missionaries. That's really what missionary work is all about! That's what my Savior did for me. He worried more about me than His own suffering and all He asks is that I offer all I can to help bring about His work and His glory. 

This week has been an eye opener and I'm so grateful for that! Our investigators are doing well. A few baptismal dates have been rescheduled and a few have been dropped until the next month. 'O' is going to be baptized this upcoming Saturday and the following Saturday 'C' will be baptized. We also have a few new investigators but only half or less are truly progressing. It's disappointing sometimes because we know how much happier each person could be if they kept their commitments, but we are trying to be diligent with each one to help them nurture their own testimonies. 

Something interesting happened yesterday night when we contacted a woman 'J' who was sweeping in front of her business. We asked her if we could help her and immediately noticed that she's most likely not from here (pale skin & green eyes gave it away). She said she's from Israel and she's Jewish and not interested in our message but she was really nice. I was curious about her Spanish because she spoke fluently and without a hint of an accent. She said she's only lived here for a year! Hermana P looked at me and laughed and said basically, if she can learn Spanish so can you! haha. She normally speaks Hebrew and Arabic but can also speak Spanish. I thought that was interesting! 

We talked to her about the tribes of Israel and Manasseh and Ephraim and that interested her a little more. Some of her Mexican coworkers overheard our conversation and asked us questions about our religion. We talked to them about the Restoration and they asked us about baptism or what they have to do to be baptized because neither of them are. *jaw drop* We explained a little more to them about our church and set up an appointment for a lesson. As we were leaving, J asked for a pamphlet too. I hope they may be 'escogidos' and progress in the gospel. I am excited to start visiting with them. 

We are doing really well and I love the work here. There are so many that are prepared to hear the gospel, and there are many members that need rescuing too."

Related to 'O': this week we met with his grandma and she chewed us out for an hour as we met with her to get permission to baptize her grandson. I literally did not say one word throughout our visit because she didn't let us. She cried and everything. Hna P and I were with our sister training leaders that day and I am so glad that we didn't have to deal with that alone--it was SO TENSE the whole time. It was not a pleasant experience to the point that even O almost cried. Later that week we met with O's dad and he didn't give permission for him to be baptized this past weekend but he says that O can be baptized this upcoming weekend. So he says. Again. That was really really hard for O to hear but he hasn't lost his excitement for his baptism. He is still faithfully coming to church. We are doing our best and praying with every step. I really feel like everything will be okay :) Like in 1 Nephi 3:7, the Lord never gives a commandment without a way prepared for us to accomplish what he's commanded. Everything will work out!!

I love you all! I have a testimony that this is the true church on the earth today. That the way to happiness is through finding faith in Jesus Christ and keeping the commandments. I love you all and hope you have a great week!!! I'll try to send pictures! 

LOVE YOU, con amor,

Hermana Fernelius :))

Last Monday with Hna T! :)

FEAST YOUR EYES. Can you believe that it's ten times worse in person? Mosiah 12:21

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