Monday, August 4, 2014

Week 20! "I'm getting old!!‏"

From 5/26/14

NOTE: In a special, private message to her mom and dad this week, Ashley wrote of some of the difficulties she had been facing.  We are both aware that living life away from home can be hard to bear at times, and serving in the mission field is no exception.  Shortly before Ashley entered the mission field she was given a father's blessing that I have to believe was pronounced for just such an occasion: in the blessing she was told that she would be privileged to dream of her family in such a way that she would feel their presence, as if she weren't away from home at all.  Here is the way she describes what I'm trying to say:

"I don't feel like it's necessary to tell you the bad because there is so much of it on the mission, and there is so much more good. So I prefer to share the good in my emails. But I wanted to tell you that I've been having dreams where you two come to my mission to just see how I am doing and just to visit me, and encourage me to keep going. I love you!"

Posted by Tracy Fernelius (Ashley's Dad)

Now for this week's email from Ashley:

"'Aa' was baptized this week!! It was a wonderful baptismal service and the Spirit was so strong. Aa is 15 years old and has been so excited for her baptism for weeks now. She has been a strong example for her mom and her younger sister, 'P' during the weeks we have taught them. At the end of her baptismal service, Aa's mom and sister approached us and said, 'We're next. We want to be baptized next Saturday!' 
Aa's baptism!
WE ARE SO EXCITED! We've invited them to be baptized a few times, but the mom and daughter weren't set on a date. It was a happy surprise to hear them say that. Their family is really so special. They feel like family to us! It's so incredible to feel like you've known someone for years. I can't imagine my life now without knowing them and so many other special members and investigators. I know that we knew each other in the preexistence! It's too familiar of a relationship to not have known them before. 

Yesterday Aa was confirmed a member of the church. In the confirmation blessing, I was really struck by something the Bishop said. At one point when the Bishop spoke, I didn't completely understand what he said. I heard him say 'You will serve a mission.' But I was sure I misunderstood him, because no one reacted the way I did. After he said that I heard him talk about her role on this earth as a missionary. That she will preach the gospel and bring many unto Christ. It was so incredible because I felt him say that more than I heard him say it, if that makes sense. haha.
Right after the blessing I asked Hermana C if she heard the same thing and she said she wasn't sure. It was a really special thought for me. She would be an extraordinary missionary. Before Aa joined the church, she actually wanted to be a pastora for her Christian church. She loves studying the scriptures and learning everything she can about the gospel. She has a spiritual hunger to learn. As we taught her the lessons we would bring her folletos of what we shared with her that day. Each time she was so excited; she even told us that she is collecting them! I know that she and her family have many missions to fulfill. I can imagine her serving a mission one day. I can imagine her going through the temple to be sealed one day. I know that Heavenly Father is so pleased with her righteous decisions and example to her family.
There is a song that I always think of when someone is baptized. One part says: 'Dressed in white once more making promises to follow in God’s way, so much lies in store for the little girl who enters at the gate pure and holy in a little, white dress; you were led into the water and you were blessed. And the Father looked down and the angels surrounded that place. They knew the truth, all that you could do and you will, too, if you have eyes to see what heaven sees in you.' I really do feel like heaven touches the earth when ordinances are performed. It's so special to imagine angels present in her baptism. Her ancestors and her future descendants too. I know that Heavenly Father rejoices when He sees one of His children make a promise to come home to Him. I am grateful for their example to me.

Sunday was a treat also because the talks in sacrament meeting were all given by recent converts in our ward. 'V' spoke on her conversion story and 'O' also. It was really so incredible to hear how they've changed their lives so drastically because of the knowledge of the truthfulness of the church.
I know that the church is true! I know that the Atonement of Jesus Christ makes possible a true conversion. I am so grateful for the cleansing and strengthening power of the Atonement and for the love of our Savior. I know that true repentance brings Christlike change. This morning I read a scripture from Doctrine and Covenants 18 that I love. I think I overlook this scripture because of how often it's shared, but it is really incredible and it reminds me of so many special people that we have met on our missions:

'Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God; For, behold, the Lord your Redeemer suffered death in the flesh; wherefore he suffered the pain of all men, that all men might repent and come unto him. And he hath risen again from the dead, that he might bring all men unto him, on conditions of repentance. And how great is his joy in the soul that repenteth!
Wherefore, you are called to cry repentance unto this people. And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!
And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!'"

Hermana Fernelius
There is a super duper cute girl in our ward. She is three years old and did our nails almost perfectly. I was really impressed. They are a sweet family and I love being with them!

Perfect nails!

Doing our laundry. We borrowed someone's washer this time around. haha. WHERE'S WALDO?
P.S. I do my laundry by hand. It's hard to do in the sink with a bucket but it gets done. The mission makes sister missionaries into domestic heroes.


  1. Hi Ashley! It's Emi from Silverhills first of all I'm so happy that you finally get to do what you wanted to do. Second I still miss your smiling face at work =] thanks for sharing your experience and adventures. I myself is a catholic but I'm open to learning about other religions especially anything that involves our great Lord. My cousin is a Mormon and he lives New Zealand. He completed his mission a few years ago but unfortunately I didn't get to ask him about his experience when he came to visit us because it was about the week that I was packing to move here in Vegas. Anyways my point is I love reading your blogs! I feel the same way about the frijoles! Beans make my tummy ache so I avoid them as much as I can except when they're in a chili soup hahha. Anyways good luck can't wait to read your next adventure with God. Take cares!

    1. Thank you for taking the time to write to Ashley. She can't respond directly, but I did pass this information on to her in one of my weekly emails, and I know she is grateful for your interest. I have been trying to get Ashley's blog caught up, but it has been very time consuming and much more difficult than I had expected. However, I hope to have it updated soon.

      Tracy Fernelius - Ashley's Dad