Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Week 42! "A Week of Many Blessings!"

From 10/27/14

Hola Family and Friends!!!!

:D <<<---- This is how I feel!!! I'm so happy about everything this week. Don't even know where to begin. Sorry if this is scrambled.

We went to a member’s house and asked about less active members that we could visit. She mentioned a sister named A de la Caña. She’s relatively young and hasn’t come for some time. We decided to stop by her house during the week and get to know her. Well, later that day we went out with a member of the church named G. We were on our way to an appointment and had to walk down a HUGE bajada. That word is just to say going downhill. I wrote it in Spanish so I wouldn’t have to write it in English, and now I just wrote a lot more to explain that. But now you all know that when I write bajada, it means descent or down hill. AHEM.

So we walked down a HUGE bajada with G and passed a young lady and her son. G turned to us and said, she’s a member go talk to her! Hurry before she leaves. We inconspicuously ran back up the hill to talk to her. (uphill-subida)

We introduced ourselves and said, “Sorry, we are new and are trying to get to know the area. G said that you are a member! What is your name?”

She said “I’m L. I’ve been a member for most of my life, but I just haven’t gone in a while.”

We asked if we could go to her home and talk more later in the week. She passed us her information. Her name was very familiar…de la caña. Turns out she is A’s sister. UH. WE WERE JUST TALKING ABOUT YOU!!... incredible! Two members subconsciously helped us to meet a member who is ready to come back to church. For 6 weeks I have never heard about her then the same day two members helped us find her. Our lesson with her was great! She has a powerful testimony and really desires to be sealed with her husband and baby boy. Way too cool.

Mm and Ml are also super cool. When I come home I will have to tell the story because there’s not much time today and I always forget to write the next week. But they are just so prepared. I included a little bit below.

Also, fun fact. Hermana C and I are in the largest Colonia in all of this area. It's super dangerous. At least that's what we've heard. But nothing ever really happens to us. Just creepy men and religious fanatics that don't really like us. We get the occasional borracho, but things are just normal. There's only ever danger for sister missionaries, if 1) we are disobedient or 2) we don't pay attention to the Spirit. (There is a 3) and that is that we are supposed to learn something). But what I've learned is that there are a lot of angels that protect us.

The case is a little different for elders. Because they have the Priesthood, I feel like they really face darkness head on. The elders that have been working in our area have had a lot of crazy experiences. Like. CRAZY. (<--Dad's comment about using excess periods in his email really made me laugh. . . . . . ) They have had some pretty close encounters this week---and let me be clear. These elders are awesome, hard workers, obedient. That shows that even when we are doing the best we can, we still face opposition.

The missionaries here are awesome. I've learned a lot from each one of them. Especially from my own companion. I LOVE HERMANA C. Sister and Brother C, thank you for sending your daughter on a mission. I wish you could see and hear how powerfully she teaches. Her love and testimony of the Lord is evident in all that she does. She talks so highly of her family and is a big example to me. But really. Her testimony is incredible. She's brought a life and energy to this area. I have learned so much from her these past few days together, but really I've looked up to her since we knew each other in one of my previous areas. I'm so blessed with each companion. Every one is so different and AWESOME.

"We seriously had a wonderful week!! Every day was full of blessings and tender mercies. I’m going to jump right to the good stuff. Our branch president is so happy. He is so excited about the work that we are doing! It’s the first time I’ve seen him a little relieved during my time here. All the branch members are noticing a special spirit and energy of missionary work. I think that for a long while our members have been sleeping a bit. There are many who have let their testimonies weaken and have put other things before God. We’ve seen less active members get excited about coming to church again. They might be few, but that is significant!

Since I arrived here with Hermana H, I’ve been praying for a miracle. Something that would wake the members up. Something that would reignite the light and excitement in our branch leadership. Something different that would kick start the work again. Having even more wonderful missionaries in our area was a direct answer to those prayers. Heavenly Father has a plan for everything. Men can’t frustrate His work and glory. It’s so awesome. I know that the Lord must have a miraculous plan for the instant that those missionaries return to their areas. He is preparing the people, the members, and us too to work there. I love it.

An assignment our branch president has given us is to ‘clean’ the ward lists. There are roughly 400 members on those lists and there is little follow up that the ward has made with those members; so we’ve all been working on locating each member and on finding and teaching in the process. One day all of our appointments fell through (you know what I’ve learned? Those days actually turn out to be the best :)) and we decided to go looking for members on that street from our list.

The hunt began! We walked past a house. It sounded familiar, so we stopped and said to each other, 'check your list, I think #52 is on there.' We returned to that house and knocked on the door. A young man came to the door and asked who we were looking for. We asked if the family O lived there. He told us that no one by that name lived there. He presented himself and said that his name was actually J O [same last name] too, but that he had no relation with the members we mentioned. We asked him if he had heard about the church before. He was unfamiliar at first but then recognized the word ‘Mormon’.

He said, ‘I have a copy of that book.’

How did you receive a copy? We had asked. Through friends, family, or other missionaries?

He said that before his mom passed away, she gave him a video on the life of Jesus Christ. From watching that video from the church, he looked up more about it on the internet. From there, he found the Book of Mormon online Wikipedia and began to read.

He said, I’ve never gone to your church before because I didn’t know where it was.

Hermana C gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon and we asked if we could return that same day to teach him. He committed to read the Restoration pamphlet before our first appointment.

That afternoon we were on divisions, so Hna S and C went to see him. He had read the pamphlet, started reading the Book of Mormon, and was waiting anxiously by the door for them to arrive. He accepted the Restoration completely, accepted baptism, committed to come to church, and even commented to the sisters that he wants to serve a mission!!!! YAY! We asked the elders to pass by for him during the week and they really got him excited too. A recent convert/less active member who lives close by is really excited to go with the missionaries to meet J. They are the same age too. It’s such a miracle.

Last Sunday, a member family from one of my old wards came to church with their non-member mom and brother [Mm and Ml previously referred to]. Running into them is a miracle in itself. We took photos with them because we all recognized that it was no coincidence running into them. We met their family and scheduled to teach them Saturday.

Saturday came, we went to our appointment with them. They are so humble and prepared to hear the gospel. They accepted a baptismal date, committed to come to church and especially to pray. We read from Moroni 10:4& 5 and the brother, Ml, paused after reading the scripture. He sat pondering on it and said,  'That’s exactly how I feel, I guess I need to ask God to know if it’s really true'.

It was SO amazing! They both came to church and so did J. Another superstar couple came to church yesterday. They are also investigating. During our Principles of the Gospel class, all four of them participated, shared their testimonies and asked questions. Their responses left us without words. They are so prepared.

It has been a week of many blessings. We are excited to continue to find and teach and hope to truly catch the vision of why our Heavenly Father has called all the missionaries in our mission to labor for a time in Morelos. We are grateful for this opportunity to serve!"

LOVE YOU ALL. Have a wonderful week. Count your blessings each day. There are so many reasons to be happy and smile.

Con Amor,

Hermana Fernelius

P.S. Tiffany: My comp and I were planning on doing the SAME thing in concrete on the cement outside our apartment. We wanted to leave our hand prints in Mexico. P.P.S. We gave a piñata as a gift to a sister missionary that just had her birthday this week. Stop taking our ideas. haha just joking. :)

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