Thursday, July 24, 2014

Week 16 in MEXICO‏! "The Heavy Purse"

From 4/28/14

Hola Family and Friends, <3

This week was great! It was difficult and wonderful too. This mission is like that chu know.  I'm so happy to hear that the family is doing well!!! I love seeing your faces in photos and reading all your wonderful letters. Take good care of the new Palmhurst family. I had a really cool experience happen this week because the ward took good care of our investigators. 
Not much new around here! We are happily working in our area and seeing many miracles take place in the lives of our investigators. Nothing better!!!!! :)

"This week was really wonderful! Hermana C and I had some really hard experiences this week, but that helped us to recognize the good so much better. Hermana C is really wonderful! I admire her very much. She has been taking the lead in teaching lessons and her Spanish is improving every day. I love seeing how she is progressing.
Our ward is doing really great too. Yesterday our ward really focused on helping new and unfamiliar faces feel welcome. One investigator came to our ward, and a member took the initiative to befriend him and take care of him all day. I was really impressed with how the Relief Society and Young Women's class took care of our investigators and addressed their specific needs and questions during class. They are making great strides to participate in missionary work and there are great fruits that are coming from their efforts.
For example, last night Hermana C and I taught Investigator 'A' and her daughters. 'Aa' (A's daughter, 15 years old) told us that she wanted to be baptized this week. She has only been to church two Sundays and we haven't taught her all the lessons yet. I told her that she would have to come to church three more Sundays and we would help her be prepared for her baptism. She is really excited and anxious to be baptized!! Hermana C and I were so thrilled!!

Her mom and sister are also so excited to be baptized. They are really excited thanks to the ward efforts. Aa (15) has told us that she knows the church is true, the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that she has firmly decided to be baptized.

I love seeing the joy in their faces when they go to church and mutual. The girls even went to girls camp last weekend. And we have only been teaching them for three weeks now! They are so prepared by the Lord. We really love our investigators and feel great joy to see them progress and make changes to bring their lives in harmony with the gospel.

I wanted to share one experience we had this week that really strengthened my testimony. We contacted a woman named 'M D' as Hermana C & I headed to an appointment. We invited her to come to church with us on Sunday. M D said she couldn't because she visits her incapacitated mother every three days -- that day it is her turn to bathe her mother and feed and take care of her. This week, her turn fell on a Sunday. So she apologetically said she couldn't but hoped to be able to go sometime soon.
I told her that Hermana C and I were CNAs before coming on the mission so we understood the stress she was feeling. She told us how difficult it has been to take care of her mother, 'M'. M D said that she doesn't have a good relationship with her because M has never been the least loving, nurturing or appreciative mother. Now in M's old age and poor health conditions, she is even harder on M D. It was easy to see how difficult it was for M D to tell us that.

She began to open up her heart and tell us very deep wounds and burdens she carries. Right there on the sidewalk on a busy street. She began to cry. She says she has felt a lot of pain and worry in her life and that she has really struggled lately. Her family relationships are deteriorating and she says she feels lost and doesn't know what to do. M D told us that when she gets home and she's alone, she talks out loud in her home and tells God all her worries.

She says she's been praying for direction and help. She also said she is ALWAYS in a hurry to go somewhere or do something so it was rare for us to find her with time in the street that day. She said she didn't know why she started to tell us all about her life. M D was even a little embarrassed. We told her that we came to her for a reason and that God loves her. We set a return appointment to see her and teach the gospel. 

As we were speaking with M D, I started realizing how heavy my purse was getting. It was feeling REALLY heavy, and strange -- almost as if someone was pulling down on it! Because of the weight of my bag I thought of what I even put in it and then I remembered the Book of Mormon I put in my bag in the morning. I had the thought to give it to M D so I pulled it out. We asked her to read it and pray about what we taught her. We set a return appointment to visit her in her home, gave her two great big hugs and then went on our way. 

As we talked about how amazing that experience was, Hermana C said, 'I am SO glad you gave her a copy of the Book of Mormon. I don't have one with me, so as we talked with M D I was praying so hard for you to give your copy to her.' I was stunned because my bag started to get heavy as we talked and that's how I thought of giving her the Book!! I asked Hermana C, 'Have you been praying for me Hermana? You're the reason why I am gaining weight and feeling so heavy. You have to stop praying for me!' :) haha.
That experience was SO amazing! I felt how much the Lord really loves M D and really loves and trusts us as His missionaries. He allowed us to run into M D and share the hopeful message of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It was so amazing!

All this week, we had experiences like night and day. Many great and many discouraging appointments, but that has helped us to see the Lord's hand with more clarity.

I know Jesus Christ lives and that He loves us. And I am grateful for the good and difficult experiences He allows us to experience here in our area! :))"

I LOVE YOU ALL! I tried to send a few photos to make up for last week. I hope you like them! Thank you so much for sending photos this week, they made me SO GIDDY! :)

Hermana Fernelius

P.S. Take care and have another amazing week! Can you believe it? It's already been 16 weeks in Mexico!! 
We took this photo just after our interviews with President Kusch, Would you just look at how gorgeous Hermana C is?! She is SO AWESOME :)

We have the BEST graffiti in our area. There are TONS of super cool walls. I have to send more photos of them!

Last Monday, we went to Centro and spent the whole day touring :) We did absolutely nothing and it just so happened to be the best Pday ever. haha. We went to a really cool store that sells tourist shirts and I got a little something something for my Emma. I am going to see if I can get it mailed to Jamison and Ames. It's super cute!!! Now I need something for the baby...hmm..I'll think about it!!! :)

Saying goodbye to our Zone leader!!!

Also saying goodbye to our district leader.

Meet one of our mission moms, "E" and her son "F". Their family takes such good care of us. She is one person for sure that the family is going to meet after the mission. She's less active but you better believe we're going to get her back to church. I really love their family!

Hermana C and mission mom E's son, F (see above photo).

Mexicans are OBSESSED with coca cola. They drink it more than water. So I thought this was supremely cute and Emma and I can match. :) tee hee

[See caption for the previous photo]

One of our investigators, "G"! :)

And one more because my comp is just so cute!

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