Thursday, October 23, 2014

Week 40! "Milagroso Mexico‏"

From 10/13/14

Hola Family and Friends!!

We had a great week here! :) Thank you family for the emails and letters. I appreciate the time you take to let me know how you all are at home.

I think I'll start the week off with a few hearty quotes that have made me laugh every single time I read them. They are a compilation of the past two weeks from members and mission leaders:
"Dios es muy buena onda!" - member.
"The people around here are now Satanized" - same member's 70 year old mom.
"Y cuando yo veía mi hijo recién nacido por primera vez, me pensé, 'wow, esa pedacito de gente estuvo en mi panza.'" - Hna Isabel (member) explaining birth story of her son.
"Cada vez que suene las campanas Catolicas, estan diciendo: VEN! VEN! VEN!" - Hna Bustos (member) one sunday afternoon, (the best part? When she said ven, she actually made the sound of a church bell. it's possible).
We were talking to an investigator and she said that after she prayed she felt "un vientecito bien fresco">"Espiritu Santo?"
"He's about to die. I want to baptize him here in the ward, not in the temple." - Elder Ortiz talking about an investigator in his area who is verrrryyyy old.
THAT SAME DAY: A companionship shared how their investigators are doing. One sister missionary (talking about an investigator) said in Spanish: "She had a c-section and something dangerous happened. They perforated her lungs or something like that." "No creo que sean sus pulmones. Los pulmones son bien fetching lejos!!!" - Elder Ortiz (again).
"Cuando Moroni termino el Libro de Mormón, no. esta. planchando. El dice 'Os exhorto leer', no 'flojos LEAN!'"- (Guess who? That's right-->) Elder Ortiz
I think that's good for now. :) We've had a few challenging weeks in our area, but what I've realized is that little things with righteous efforts make a difference in the lives of others. After reading Tiffany's email, I wanted to copy and paste her email in mine.
Several weeks ago, when I first met a less active family in this area, we decided to find some way to serve them right away. We shared a message with them after they expressed their concerns and challenges health wise, financially and in their family. Then my companion started to help pick up around the house and swept their home for them, and I helped their daughter with her math homework. We built a relationship of confidence and trust with them.
Then they moved to another neighborhood in our area. One day, we went by to visit them and see if we could help in some way. As we left their house, this sister told us, "My next door neighbors are members too, but they stopped going to church for the past couple of years." Wow! It was an unexpected blessing to find another family that is a part of our branch.
We immediately went to see them, but they seemed uninterested and only greeted us at their doorstep. It was a brief visit, and we left. We came back for this family on several occasions and for one reason or another, we were never able to speak more then 5 minutes or sometimes even find them home. But through our 5 minute visits, our hope was that they felt the love we had for them. Then one day the mom of the family invited us to come back and see her. We went to see her and it was a wonderful visit! We met her husband and her children. Through many small but meaningful efforts, last Friday we were able to speak with her and her husband about coming back to church.
Yesterday, my companion and I were so happy to see them come to church on their own. Seeing them in our Branch made me realize that consistent service matters and makes a difference. And finding them actually came through serving another less active family. It's just all really special to think about.
The Lord loves us so much and wants to help us. I love that when we are baptized we promise to always remember and strive to be like He is. We promise to do our best to "help succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees". In doing so, we show not only our brothers and sisters the love that we have for them, but we show our Heavenly Father that we love Him.
We had a most beautiful visit with a less active member. We saw her this past Tuesday for our food cita. I felt the Spirit so strongly when we spoke with her about her testimony and what personally keeps her from being active.
You know what? Sometimes people just need a hug. They just need to hear that they are doing a good job, that they are loved, and appreciated, and that they need to keep going forward. Think about how many people you see in a single day. Every one of those people is a son or daughter of God. Sometimes people forget that. And sometimes we should be the ones to remind them. Find ways to serve. Pray for opportunities to help others. There are so many in need. A loving Father in Heaven never forgets us, especially in our times of need, but oftentimes He answers the prayers of His children through the service of someone else. This week, be the person to answer a prayer! There is nothing more rewarding or worth laboring for!!
On Thursday, my companion and I went to an appointment with a progressing investigator of ours named "L". She's awesome. She reminds me so much of one of my friends at home, by her facial expressions and her personality. She's about 20 years old and has a 3 year old son with her boyfriend.  Her little son is my favorite!!!  He's such an obedient and happy little kid.
We've taught her now for two weeks. She has kept her commitments to read the chapters of the Book of Mormon we leave, she has been praying, and she is excited for her baptism. Thursday, we felt that we should review the lesson of the Restoration and watch the video presentation from the church on the Restoration. We started with a prayer, read from the introduction of the Book of Mormon, and went to watch the film. As I watched and listened, I felt the Spirit testify to me that the Church is true! I also felt a strong impression that "L" has a pure heart. Her desires are sincere, and that is why she has been blessed with a testimony.
I can't explain it in an email, I am not very good and writing, but I wish with all my heart that each investigator, less active and even active members could always have that purity of heart and humility to find truth. In a humble home of a daughter of God, we felt the Spirit of the Lord present.
We asked her shortly after the film how she felt. "Do you feel like you have received an answer to your prayers?" She smiled and immediately responded, "I know that the church is true!" I almost cried with joy!! I was filled with SO much gratitude and so much joy to hear her declare her simple but true testimony.
I can't explain it. Every hour possible in our day we spend sharing what matters most to us to everyone we can find. We share our hearts, what brings us peace and joy and purpose. To hear someone feel the same joy and direction is unreal. To share your testimony and for someone to accept it is the BEST FEELING EVER! 
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! (D&C 18:15-16)
 :D The week before this visit, we asked her pretty directly how she felt about her baptism. She replied "Happy". Me too "L", me too.
There is another couple that Hermana H and I are pretty sure are secretly already baptized. It's because they are SO AMAZINGLY AWESOME.  You should hear their prayers. They have already read the Book of Mormon. The Hermana accepted a baptismal date. They watched General Conference on their laptop like they promised they would. LITTLE MIRACLE PEOPLE: They make missionaries happy!!!
I love you all. I hope that the emails that Tiffy and I send reflect how happy we really are to be serving. It's hard to write out our testimonies in an email. I hope that our emails might help others to see the miracles we see everyday of just how much the Lord loves us. He loves us SO MÚCH.
Picture enough love to fill the universe, then multiply that by infinity and that gives you an idea of how much our Heavenly Father loves us and what He is willing to do for us.
I am grateful for another beautiful week in Mexico. It is a great privilege to be able to serve the people here and especially to serve the Lord. :)
Hermana Fernelius <3

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