Thursday, August 28, 2014

Week 29! "Brace Yourselves...‏"

From 7/28/14


Prepare your minds. I am going to write as much as I possibly can within the time constraints. I wrote this out beforehand. Here I go (and forgive the randomness):

1. Hermana N had a bad dream of an old lady witch that followed her around. She woke up because of the nightmare and looked over at her fan. In the darkness it had the silhouette of the lady so, naturally, she thought it was the old lady and karate chopped the fan in half. THAT IS NO EXAGGERATION. In her sub-consciousness, she kicked it hard and knocked it over, the blades of the fan are detached from the motor. FEAR THE NOOB [companion's nickname]. Haha. It is still broken. We have a useless fan.

2. Please thank several of our ward members for the letters they send.  I really appreciate them for sending me letters.  It's really sweet.

3. So Hna N had a urine tract infection I guess? For that reason she had a ridiculously high fever. A member came by with his wife to give her a blessing and freaked out when they saw how bad she was doing. They got us to the hospital and we stayed there waiting for results from blood tests until 1 am. We got home really late and slept in for the next two days. I think I was sick too, but that’s okay. I felt a lot better after. I'm not so good again today. I don’t know why but I’ll get over it J

4. Cool bits: The B’s are the family that was just baptized. The mom and dad were in Gospel Principles two weeks ago and shared their testimonies of the Holy Ghost and their conversions. I was so impacted by the strength and power of their testimonies. Their testimonies are so pure!

They have shown so many fruits of true conversion. I just love them! And It’s so special to see how rapidly they are progressing.

Hno B also received the Aaronic Priesthood. When we taught him one night with his daughter about the priesthood, he was SO excited to know that he could baptize other people now. Even more, he was super excited to home teach, pass the sacrament and administer in any other way in the Aaronic Priesthood.

After we shared the lesson, I looked at the coffee table and noticed a huge pile of gospel library books (manuals, liahonas, scriptures, personal progress, and so on). E told us that her mom sits down every night, on her own, and studies her books and the gospel. The desire they have to know all the can about the gospel comes from someone who truly understands the gospel and loves the Lord. It’s such a  tender mercy to see how they are growing.

"A", another recent convert in our Ward, is over the age of Priest, but he blessed the sacrament for the first time two weeks ago. I wish you could hear how he was before he was baptized. BAD KID. Did some bad stuff. If he had a spare 5 minutes, he walked around streets looking for people to punch. Again, I am not exaggerating. I have a strong testimony that people can change. We just have to love everyone as they are now, with eyes of faith of who and how those same people can become through the Atonement of the Savior. He’s awesome, he’s active. He is controlling his tendencies so much better today than two or three months ago!!! The Gospel changes people.

5. Hna N contacted a mom and her two little girls on a combi with a family proclamation to the world pamphlet. The little girl read it out loud for ten minutes straight. COOL

6. I’ve been praying for each one of you! I know there’s a lot of stuff going on right now, so I’ve been trying to focus my prayers on being more specific. I woke up one night because I dreamt that Amy was exhausted, so I prayed and went back to sleep. I was thinking about all of you and hope everything’s good now.

7. HERMANA C (my former companion) is in my zone!!!!!! YAYY!! Just so you know, she is with probably one of the most angelic sisters in the mission. Her name is Hermana "Ca". She’s from Mexico, so Hermana C is going to fine tune her Spanish so much more!! Yayay. I can see her every Monday. Love it :) Also, we’ve received a new missionary in our Ward named Hermana "M" from Mexico. She is a doll!! We love her! And we are so excited to have another wonderful missionary in our area!

8. Uh…. I think I have dengue again…..Boo.

9. Received a reference from the "G" family. They said a neighbor down the street was for sure an American. She is tall, blond, with green eyes, and her husband is Mexican. We visited that reference immediately after talking with them.

We knocked, and the husband was outside working on the house. He talked in pretty good English, and called his wife out so we could talk to her. "C" opened the door and spoke ‘Murican English!!!! We talked as if we were old friends. We had an immediate connection, and she let us in to chat. She was really gracious and told us she is from California and lived in Washington.

We talked for a bit and in my head the whole time, I’m just thinking "new investigator, new investigator" haha. Then she says, yeah, I’m actually a member of your church, and my husband is too. WHAT. We found her in the middle of nowhere and taught her in English. It was a miracle to find her. Miracle!! She cried as we talked about how Heavenly Father loves her and knows where she’s at. He never forgets or loses anyone of His covenant children. They invited us to come back whenever we want. Our mission here: reactivation. So excited.

10. Elder Benjamin De Hoyos is in our ward. He’s in the seventy and area presidency of Mexico. He’s on vacation and came back to his house here for a few weeks. We met his son yesterday!! We ate lunch with Elder De Hoyos' sister and brother-in-law last week, and they actually live next door to each other. That’s so cute. Brother and sister that live right next to each other!!

11. Weekends here make me feel like I’m in Mexico on vacation. We live right next to a place that's a lot like Beverly hills. Everything, every home there is super HUGE, expensive, and modern. It is it’s own world. The neighborhoods are ritzy and like the USA.

Sometimes it’s weird going there because I feel like I’m in the US but I’m not. :/ Ultimate deception. More than half of the houses are owned by people who only live there on the weekends. So many rich people come from Mexico City to live here on the weekend.

When we first teach people, they sometimes ask where we live. We tell them and immediately (because we’re American?) they say, OH, you’re from the "Beverly Hills" of Mexico, aren’t you? We jump back and say NO no, we live in the ghetto street NEXT to it. Then it brings us back to human form and they are more willing to listen to us. Whew! Haha. Anyway—we might be in Mexico but in our area (especially now during vacations and weekends) I can pretend really well that I am in the good ole USA. Let freedom ring!

12. We’re teaching "Eo". He’s awesome. He’s 21 years old and works at a carnicería (meat/butcher shop). He only has Tuesdays off from work. If you need anything/anyone more to pray for please pray from him. At the end of our lesson on Friday he looked at us for a moment and paused, then blurted out—I really want to go to church on Sunday. But how? I have work! I really want to go.

The first lesson we went with a member and at the end Hna's N and G both said that during the lesson they could picture him as a missionary, YAY. I hope he’ll have the courage to pray and keep his commitments.

I love these people that we’ve met and teach and I want them to be happy!! I want them to all have the blessings of the gospel. Ahhh! Albedrio [Agency]!! There are so many investigators who are progressing but have not accepted a baptismal date. Others who are not progressing are the ones that have a baptismal date. :/

13. We went to a ‘new’ spot in our area (new means that my comp and I have never been there before), called "V". So we were really excited. So we were in a "colonia" (neighborhood) close by, and all our appointments fell through. So my comp says “Let’s go to area V”. –“Is it close?” –“Well, yeah. It’s the neighboring colony.” –“Uh…I feel like a pilgrim”. It had all the feels of being a pilgrim.

14. We also contacted a Caucasian Mexican with pale pale skin, red hair, and a Bulls #23 Jordan jersey. Hna N said she KNEW he was really an American and wanted to contact him just to find out why he was in Mexico. Well, his name is "C", he’s Mexican, speaks pure Spanish, and is hard core, Virgin Mary Catholic. o_o haha. He was really nice to us though. We actually ran into him again on the highway on Friday. As we walked by, Hna N still said, I know he’s ‘Murican. Can’t fool me. Red hair? And a hand-me-down robe? Must be a Weasley!!! …..So he’s always going to be C Weasley to us. Haha

15. Saturday, we visited with "X" (so-chi) a 24 year old investigator who's gone to church 2 times. She’s AWESOME! We just love her!! She’s one with a baptismal fecha [date] of course.. Anyway so we chatted with her for a bit and wanted to confirm that she was coming to church on Sunday. As we talked, she told us that she had found work in Cuernavaca. Yay! She’s been out of work for 3 months. The best part is that her work is only on weekdays so she can come to church on Sundays. She and her mom were so excited to tell us about this new job. Her mom so casually said, she’s been praying and praying to find work. …..really?!! To me I was so so happy to hear that X knew to turn to our Heavenly Father for help. I really hope that she has a great experience at work. She’s really awesome. Pray for her too ;) I’ll make a prayer list for ya’ll. There’s a lot of people who need blessings!!

16. This keyboard is automatically ‘correcting’ my typing and rearranging letters, words and capitalizing words without my permission. Please excuse the grammar. [Those errors have mostly been corrected prior to posting Ashley's email on this blog, but she's not kidding - there were a lot of errors!].

17. This week we were blessed to find a few less active families in our area. They went off the radar and off the map for years, but Heavenly Father helped us find them!!

As we walked around our area, truthfully I became a little impatient with others and myself. The sun and heat were so strong, and it was wearing on me, I was out of water and dehydrated, in the middle of nowhere, having already walked a good 10 miles or so. I was with my companion looking for a less active family who lived in a house without a number.

We knocked at a door and an annoying giggling teen answered it and stared at us. Which pushed a few of my stress buttons. -_- Then she called her mom out so she could talk to us instead. After 5 minutes a stone faced woman came out, she was super mad looking and a bit rude with us. But just before the woman came to the door, I prayed for help—I know that we’re here for a reason even though I might not know why. If we are supposed to go in and talk to this family about the gospel - soften their hearts so they’ll receive us.

This is exactly when the skeptical lady came out. I kept that prayer in my own stubborn heart going and tried to stay positive. As I thought of the prayer again I opened my mouth to speak with her. Suddenly, her countenance softened. I could almost see her pull down the barriers & walls she had put up. She welcomed us in. It was nothing short of a miracle! I’d seen the look on her face before in hundreds of men and women we’ve contacted before—normally they aren’t interested and sometimes can be pretty rude. But ‘the Lord looketh on the heart’ and answered a prayer and a hope, and we entered in.

This woman is someone that we had never met before and she’d lost contact with the church and inactivated. She and her daughters no longer have Books of Mormon and don’t pray. She cried and told us very special witnesses she’s had in her life that let her know the God exists.

As we talked, one daughter carefully looked through and started reading the Book of Mormon, and the other daughter held onto my Bible and started reading it too. We said a prayer, they hugged us , and we left feeling totally uplifted.

I felt so much gratitude for my Father in Heaven and that He answers prayers. From not wanting to hear us, to committing to come to church as we left, I learned never to judge when someone’s ready or interested in the gospel. The Lord is the one who knows these people perfectly!

It was really neat!! J

WHEW!! Okay, there's a lot more, but that's good for now!!!

I LOVE YOU ALL!!! Have a wonderful week!! I love you and thank you for the thoughtful emails you send and the photos. Dad, all those pictures made me so happy :) Thanks for updating my blog too!!


Hermana Fernelius

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