Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Week 25! "More Nice Photos..."

From 6/30/14

Hola Family and Friends,

I always have so much on my mind during the week, then Monday comes around and I feel like most of it is not worth writing about, haha.

We had interviews this week with President Kusch! It was awesome!! He & Hermana Kusch really helped me! I also just love being altogether with my Zone of sisters and elders. They are so much fun!
Random: I don't know if I wrote about this before, but we found a family by miracle that live out in the boonies. They are the Chan family. Chan. Family. Almost every time we say this family's name, I am dying with the urge to quote Mulan. And I usually do. haha. The Chan family. THE LEE FAMILY, THE FAA FAMILY. hahaha. It kills me just writing this out.
Also, so does that make my poor seester overdue? I am so sorry that you are suffering sister. Hold out to the end.
The name Kylie has stuck in my head. I doodle the name Kylie Bear and Emma Bean in my planner all the time now. Please don't change her name last minute, haha. Just kidding, she's your daughter, so you can totally do that. Just let me know, so I can doodle the other name in my planner - okie dokie :)
Rain rain rain and more rain this week. It's that time of the year for rainy season. It does make proselyting more fun though. :) We find all sorts of fun people in the rain.
My ward council in this area is awesome. In my journal I wrote how we are like the council of the fellowship of the ring. The other sister missionaries and my companion and I are like the hobbits, who are really the ones who save the Shire and all of middle earth while everyone else gets the orcs distracted in little battles. And I was really impressed with how accurate that comparison is.
CRAZY stressful Saturday, with the baptism. A ward member that we love passed away and his service was the same time as the baptism. :( We were sad and happy and stressed and elated= that's mission life. o_o
So happy to hear that everyone is doing well. I loved hearing about how the week went! Sounds like you all were busy and had a lot of fun too. I love the photos, Dad! Everyone looks good. I didn't recognize Ben! He looks so much older!
Here are a couple of things from this week:
"'A' was baptized Saturday! :) She has been waiting for months to be baptized. When she finally received permission from her parents to make this decision, she was elated. In my mind, I can still picture when she took her first steps into the water. I felt the sweetest feeling of peace and love from the Spirit. She radiated!
After the ordinance, our district leader asked the family to share how they feel. They are not members and not investigating the church either. They all said that they felt something beautiful as they heard others share talks, and as they saw their daughter be baptized. They were feeling the Spirit testify that this was the right thing for their daughter to do. A also spoke right after her baptism and said that she felt like a new person. She felt that all that she was before was literally left in the water.
What she and her family said really impressed me, I just saw how much potential this family has. For the little time that I've known A, she has a valiant and virtuous spirit that has really touched me. It was a special day!!
Another experience I wanted to share from this week happened with an investigator named 'E', that we used to teach. E is probably one of the most angelic people I have ever met in my life. A member of our ward introduced her to the gospel and to us, and we began teaching her right away. She has a very basic and simple understanding of God, and she wants to know more about Him. She humbly searches for truth and is always willing to keep the commitments we extend her. Truly, E is just a special daughter of our Heavenly Father.
As we continued meeting with her, one day she expressed that her husband was not pleased with her investigating the church, and it began to create a rift between them. She is about 30 years old and has two small children. Her husband is Catholic, but not active. It has been years since he's gone to his church. And just as E began learning more about the gospel, her husband didn't like that so much.
One day we came by for an appointment with her and at the end of the lesson, E offered a beautiful prayer. She said that she was grateful for the time she was given to learn about the gospel. I was feeling confused, so afterward we asked her if it was okay for us to come back. In tears she said that her husband asked for us not to teach her anymore. It was so devastating for all of us! My heart broke! Someone who really does want the gospel is kept from it! It was hard to say goodbye to her, and everyday since we stopped teaching her, I've thought & prayed for her.
But I know that Heavenly Father loves all of His children, and I know that the scriptures are true--"for he that asketh, receiveth; and unto him that knocketh, it shall be opened."
We spent one day following up with all of our investigators, when E came to our mind and we found ourselves walking on a road close to her home. Her situation is sensitive, but we felt impressed to go by her house and invite her to the baptism on Saturday and to church. I think we partly used that as an excuse to pass by her house and check up on her.
So we prayed and knocked on her door. Then we heard a voice we didn't recognize ask "Quien?". "Se encuentra E?" and then there was silence. We waited and waited, then we saw E peek out from behind the window. She quickly opened the door and had the biggest smile on her face. She told us something so special that I will never forget. The night before she said she had the greatest desire to read the Book of Mormon. As she read, she said she felt something beautiful. Then she felt so many many things. She remembered all that we had talked about with her, she remembered all that she's felt about the church, and she remembered us. She said she cried and cried thinking about how much she wanted to be a part of the gospel. E said, the night before it was reconfirmed to her that the church is true.
She said, 'I know this is right! I feel it is true! This is good, there is nothing bad to this, so I don't understand why my husband won't let me be a part of this. Your visit today just confirms all of this to me.'
She promised that she would always keep reading the Book of Mormon, until the day when she would be able to hear it again. It's so hard to see her struggle, but Heavenly Father is so perfect! He has the perfect timing, and I know she will be able to be baptized soon.
How incredible to think that we felt impressed to see her, and the very night before the Spirit prompted her to read the Book of Mormon and she received her witness that it is true! Maybe Heavenly Father has given her this time to wait, so that she treasures it more. I don't understand everything, but I trust that God does.
She is a light to me and an example. I left her home feeling elevated and filled with the same confirming, comforting feeling I had at A's baptism.  
'There is no other way or means whereby man can be saved, only in and through Christ. Behold, he is the life and the light of the world.'
This is the only true church upon the face of the earth. I know that E will have the opportunity to accept the gospel wholeheartedly and I am excited for her for when that day comes. I read the Standard of Truth this week and it struck me profoundly. I know that it is true!
'The Standard of Truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done.'"
LOVE YOU ALL. Thanks for writing, even when it's not so fun :) It really means the whole world to me. Have another wonderful, fun, and safe week! :)
Con Amor,
Hermana Ashley Fernelius
Human Tetris goes on!!! :)

And check out this amazing graffiti! 

A's baptismal day :)

The "H" family in our ward! It was Hermano H's birthday yesterday and they invited us to eat with them. They are so fun! 

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