Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Week 38! "Magico Mexico‏"

From 9/29/14

Hola Family and Friends!!!!

Amy: Bless you for the photos. I stared at each photo for a solid 2 minutes. Solid. Your little ones are such dolls. Love you sister.

Jamison: I literally laughed out loud with your email!! I loved that story!!! Thank you for taking the time to email. I hope you are doing well with EVERYTHING. Yesterday I was with a member and it reminded me of you and Amy. Your girls are precious! I hope you and Amy and Emma and Kylie have an awesome week! Love you!!!

Matthew: I loved your email! Thanks for writing this week. I know there's a million things to do. But hearing the testimonies of my siblings impacts me. I'm glad to hear that you are doing well. I know that God has a special plan for you. Last night as I read my blessing, I opened my scriptures and it was opened to Proverbs 3: Trust in the Lord with all thine heart. The end of your email sounded just like that. I think that's awesome!

Benjamin; I love you little one!! You will always be a little one in my head, even though you are a lot taller than me. I think of you every day for one reason or another. I hope you recognize how special you are. I hope you keep looking up to mom and dad and to the living prophets. I love the counsel from the scriptures to stand in holy places and be not moved until the day of the Lord comes. I know that you are wise to the promptings of the Spirit and hope you always will be. Just remember to keep your sights on the temple and on your future mission. It's important to prepare for that day today. It is imperative to be worthy and pure today and to remember the great blessing our Brother, Jesus Christ has given us, His Atonement. We can be clean every single day. There is cleansing, strengthening power of His Sacrifice. It's not only for us when we make mistakes, it's EVERYTHING: We need it everyday. Keep your head up and remember to be a good example to your family and friends. You influence others even when you don't notice it.

Mom and Dad: Your letters made me cry. Thank you for being such wonderful parents. I appreciate you much more than you can imagine. I was thinking of you two especially this week and again today as I talked about our family to Hermana H:

Her parents are only about 50 years old but very sick. Her mom has had recurring cancer for many years, osteoporosis and diabetes. Hna H had to be a CNA without even wanting to. She has done everything for her mom, from bathing to changing to dressing. Her dad is also sick although he doesn't like to talk about it because he's more worried about his wife. One of her brothers is deaf and mute. He suffered an accident when he was a child that left him deaf and mute. Hna H has learned how to sign language to communicate with him and talks so highly about him and her other brother. She's gone through a lot in her life, but always comes back to the family even though they have had serious trials.

I am so grateful for our family. I am so grateful for the blessings the Lord has given us. I am so grateful for the testimony you both have always helped me cultivate and for letting me rely on you two for anything and everything. The culture of the world in regards to family is broken. There are broken families, there are hopeless homes, there are broken hearts. I wish with all my heart that the youth and children could have the blessing of having loving parents and a complete home. I just want you to know how much I love and appreciate you and that I always pray for you. LOVE you with all my heart.

"We had a week full of small miracles and blessings. We were blessed to find many former investigators who are willing to hear the gospel again. Sunday we had an appointment to meet a new 14 year investigator named 'L'. As we approached their street we saw her with her family outside their home. They welcomed us over and allowed us to teach right then and there. One member of the family, 'A', told us that elders used to teach her a few years ago. She began to learn more of the gospel and even went to church for six months. 'A', 'L', 'J' and 'G' accepted the invitation to be baptized. We are excited that the Lord helped us to find them. I think that L is really special. The two times we have seen her, she receives us with enthusiasm and she really tries hard to listen and pay attention to what we teach. I love that she is humble and willing to hear more. 

One of the goals that Hermana H and I committed to do this week is contact at least four businesses on our street and throughout our area each day. The owners of these business have been contacted several times over the months and years that missionaries have been here. We desire and want to be sure that everyone knows of our purpose as missionaries and has the opportunity to hear the gospel.

The street that we live on is heavy with traffic and full of negocios. In a single day we probably pass by them 10 times. So, yesterday we entered a clothing shop and began conversing with the owner, 'A M'. She mentioned to us that she knew of our church because she rented an apartment to elders for over 7 years. Her daughter decided to be baptized many years ago in our branch and continues to be active in another Mexican state. She also mentioned that her mom owns a similar clothing shop in our neighborhood.

'Wait, is your mom 'C'??'... It just so happens that A M's mom is an investigator we have been teaching with a baptismal date! In that moment I had many thoughts run through my mind. One, I need to talk to everyone...but really. Two, people are always observing members of the church and missionaries and our example truly does make a difference (for good or for bad). Another thought I had was a reconfirming feeling that Heavenly Father always labors to bring His children to Him at all times, circumstances, and every day. A M has had good exposure to the church not for one month, or a couple of years. It has been eight years.

Small and simple, but diligent efforts to preach the gospel MAKES A DIFFERENCE.

Sometimes in lessons with members we share a comparison with them of how important our simple efforts make. We ask, how much water is in the ocean? How many pools could you fill with that water? How many buckets does it take to fill a pool? How many cups does it take to fill a bucket? How many drops does it take to fill a cup? The ocean is comprised of those infinite drops of water.

I felt the Spirit remind me not to doubt or complain because immediate results aren't seen when we share the gospel. I am not called to preach the gospel my way, it's the Lord's. The promise is sure that if we are worthy, have faith in Him, have righteous desires, and exert diligent effort we can be made instruments in the Lord's hand for the salvation of many souls. What a marvelous promise and blessing. I forget that all too often. I think sometimes I get trapped in going through the motions or thinking of numbers more than doing God's will. This week has been a call to change and to repent.

Later on in the day, we contacted a video store owner. He remembers seeing missionaries pass by every day through the years. He told us that the Hermanas before us would always ask how they could offer help or service. He was very open and gracious to us and committed to read the pamphlet we left with him. I felt grateful for the kindness of each one of those sisters because they made a difference to him.

Then we met another woman named 'E'. She let us into her business and asked us to sit and explain the Restoration to her. She once received lessons from elders. She always had the question to know if Joseph Smith was a prophet and why baptism. She opened up to us and gave us the opportunity to teach her in that moment. She is going to move her business tomorrow and will be out of work and without a place to live. Had we not spoken to her, maybe we, personally, would not have found her again. She did not invite us to come back and teach her for that reason. She doesn't know where to go, but we promised her that when she puts the Lord first, everything important will fall into place and the unimportant will fall out of place. I felt really uplifted last night when reflecting on the special experiences we've had with many people this week.

The branch is going! However small it may be, we see progression. We desire to work more closely with the Branch President to help him see the good in the area and re-ignite his excitement for missionary work.

Hermana H is an amazing companion. She really loves the gospel, and I can feel it each time she shares her testimony and teaches. She has a gift to love and to understand others. I am grateful to be her companion because I have learned a lot from her about the gospel, missionary work, and more about myself too. We are going to keep doing the best we can and have faith in the Lord."

Con Amor,

Hermana Fernelius

She's too cute! This is at the house of a member who invites us to lunch every Wednesday. Hna "L" is really special and I am grateful that she takes good care of us.

I hope this isn't inappropriate. I took this especially for Tiffy!! haha :)

Our area is made up of "callejones". That literally means little streets. It's basically alleyways. And it's the only way to go. There are a few that are very narrow like this one, so I decided to take a breather and read for a bit. 

We have a huge crisis in Mexico that the houses are numbered badly. The numeration in a single street is as follows: 3, 5, 7, 145 (??), 27, 84, 15..... and our faces as we walk down the street looking for number 20: o.O*?

This picture made me giggle. I think people pick their house number when they construct it, then re-number it as often as they feel the need for change :)

I tried taking this picture 3 times...the kitty would turn away every single time I took the photo. So our little friend took the initiative of making the cat look and smile. the result? This precious photo that makes me laugh every single time :)

This is "A"!! We love him and his family. His family truly are angels. They have lived hard lives and face challenges every day, but they don't let that slow them down. They serve and love, and smile and laugh. They are an example to me. His sister is "N", the young woman that Hna C and I ran into many months ago. His mom is "I", and we ran into her this morning buying groceries :)

We took this picture in our 'casa de oracion' or house of prayer. When branches or wards anywhere in the world meet in a building/house that is not a chapel, it is still dedicated and set apart as a meeting house that we call a house of prayer. I'll try to send pictures of our beautiful casa as soon as I can. 

This is a wall that is made up of pure grains and legumes. It is really incredible! I included another photo more up close so you can see!

My least favorite activity. I let Hermana H do all the phone calls. haha. I have never liked phone calls that much and it's in Spanish too. Nope, no thanks. It's funny because I carry the phone with me and Hna H carries the keys. Every time the phone starts ringing, I either say "Here, it's for you" or "I don't know who it is". This is a daily thing and although this is my response everyday, I don't think she's caught on yet. Tee Hee

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