Monday, December 1, 2014

Week 46! "An Instant Answer to Prayer"

From 11/24/14

Hola Family and Friends!!

How are you all?

Bueno, I realized that Reno (as in Reno, Nevada) means reindeer. Perfect for the holiday season. Also, Nevada means snowfall and Las Vegas is the meadows (which isn't related to Christmas...but.... :) )

So how was this week? Great :)

1) Coolness is that this week was great. Sorry for informal letters sometimes. I'm just t i r e d . I have another story for you all! I am looking through my planner right now to see of what all happened throughout the week.

One day, (Wednesday) I have a bunch of dashes through the appointments we had. Each dash means that the appointment had fallen through. That day we walked probably about 10 miles, we just walked and talked and walked some more. From about 10:30 am to 8:30 pm we were on our feet. But it was still AWESOME. The Lord put so many people in our path that day. That's why we taught in the streets.

We ran into people that we lost contact with, old investigators, members, less actives, and new people to see soon. The Lord put them in our regular ordinary steps. We were wandering around doing nothing (just kidding) and then as we walk past a group of people down an alleyway a man says "Hermanas de Sion!!" That took us off guard. My companion looked at me right away. We talk with our facial expressions haha so we both kind of agreed to turn around and ask who he was. It must have looked strange to see two missionaries hurrying in one direction, stop dead in their tracks, then march back in the direction they came from. haha

We met Hermano F, a less active member of the church who hasn't come to church for over 10 years. He introduced himself and asked about our names and where we come from. He didn't understand me when I said "Nevada" the first time. He just kind of shook his head like, uh huh. Got it. BUT no. :) He asked me again where I said I was from, "Nevada". Then he said, "Well around here we pronounce it Baghdad." :D I laughed so hard on the inside. That was great. Poor guy just couldn't figure out where I was from. So that's a new one. He thought that I was from Baghdad. I took it as a compliment! We talked with him for a few minutes and just saw the great need that he had to reactivate in the church. He wants to with all his heart, but right now he is facing some of the consequences of his choices in the past. He said to us that he was worried about the process of changing and being active again.

I think that's why it's such a blessing to be here as a missionary! I know that the Atonement of Jesus Christ can help us repent of our past mistakes and make us clean again. I LOVE teaching people about the Savior and seeing just how much joy and hope enters their life as they begin to repent and accept him as their Savior and Redeemer. It is a miracle of the mission. We realized that the Lord had blessed in tremendous ways the day that we were the most tired we have been probably since the beginning of the mission. :)

2) We had a missionary activity for the youth of the stake. It was horribly early but it was super duper awesome!! :) The Stake organized an activity where youth would be trained for a day of missionary preparing in proselyting, talking with President Kusch, learning basics of cooking and cleaning and life as a missionary. We were with youth that are preparing to serve missions in the next few weeks, months and years. My companion and I were assigned to a 'young companion' who is finishing up her paperwork to send as a missionary. J (our investigator) came too!!!! HE LOVED IT!! He was beaming when they gave him a nametag like the missionaries have. He was assigned to a good elder who took care of him.

The missionaries were given lists of less active members of the church to go visit with their 'member missionary'.  We didn't know anything about the area, they just sent us out of the church to go have fun and talk to as many people as we could along the way. Our compaƱera was powerful! I felt the Spirit so strongly when she spoke and bore her testimony. She is a recent convert of two years. Most of her family doesn't want her to prepare for a mission, but she told us with all the integrity of her heart that she knew the church was true. It is her desire to share the gospel with all that she can wherever the Lord wants her to be.

It was a great privilege to help these youth see what it's like to go proselyting and to share the gospel. They bore their testimonies afterward when we were all back together again. A young boy of about 10 years bore his testimony by saying, I learned today that size doesn't matter. We are all missionaries. And the Lord has prepared people for the gospel.

It was neat to reflect on the beginning of my mission which was now almost a year ago. About a year ago at this time I was scrambling around with my head cut off getting ready for the MTC. It's crazy how fast the time goes by right? And then we were in the middle of so many future missionaries who are so anxious to serve. Huge blessing.

3) In other news, J is going to be baptized this Saturday!! We are so super excited for him. The branch is really excited too!! :) One elder that was with J on Saturday commented that J is just super awesome. :) I guess J asked the elder "So when I am baptized, I will be dressed in all white, right?" That elder said that it just really touched him to hear how sincere and excited he is to be baptized. AHH.

4) We found a new investigator who is 15 years old!! Her name is B and we taught her just last night about Joseph Smith and the Restoration. I wish I could be in person to describe the story because it was truly special for me and my companion. Her mom is basically a stranger to us but has welcomed us into their home like their own family. She said, the muchachas are here! I mean, my other daughters! ....How awesome is she?

B was busy studying for an exam when we stopped by. We met them about 2 weeks ago, but it was more of a brief contact we had with them. This was the first opportunity we had for a sit down lesson. We asked if she had been able to read the pamphlet on the Restoration that we left with her. She said that she did and that she remembered about the prophets. We began with a prayer and talked with her about the gospel restored again in these days through Joseph Smith. I can't explain it, but I felt the Spirit so present in that home. There was crazy loud banda music, people outside her window shouting, singing, family in and out of the kitchen where we were at, but although there was noise and commotion, the Spirit was present and strong. It was a beautiful, peaceful lesson. B's eyes opened wide and she smiled as we shared Joseph's testimony. She just said, Wow! that's amazing. What a beautiful story. and he was only 14! We asked her what she thought and she said, God truly answered his prayers!!

We gave her a copy of the Book of Mormon and said that it was her own copy. She was so surprised and thankful! We invited her to be baptized and she accepted whole heartedly. Then we asked her to pray at the end of the lesson. We bore testimony to her that if she asked God specifically to know the truthfulness of the gospel, He would answer her pray specifically also. Then she prayed. It was so sincere and direct. She asked to know if the Book of Mormon was true. When she ended her prayer she looked up at us and all she could say was "Wow!" She said, "I felt something. I don't know. It felt like the chills, but I'm not cold. I feel peaceful."

Just thinking about this story over again fills me with happiness. God answered her sincere prayer in THAT instant that she asked with all her heart. I was so grateful to my Heavenly Father for that experience. I am so excited to start teaching B and hopefully her family soon too. AHH.
5) In other less formal news, I met a lady named Eufrosina. All the people round here call her Frosy. (just like that Froh-see) Crazy right?
6) Less active member told us that his friend was "super ripped" muscularly..then proceeded to show us a photo. Awkward times for everybody.
7) I'm just really happy to be alive and live in Mexico. Life is good. We are HAPPY AS CAN BE :)
I can't wait to talk to the family soon and see my people!! I will try to send photos next week. I don't have that many right now because of a new rule that we cannot proselyte with our cameras with us for security during the week, we can only have them on Mondays. And like Nephi, "And I must obey". :) I'll try to take lots of awkward pictures from our apartment and on Mondays for you all :)
LOVE YOU PEOPLE: You're just the best. Have a wonderful week!!!
Con Amor,
Hermana Fernelius

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