Monday, December 1, 2014

Week 47! "The Nose Ring is Gone!"

From 12/1/14

Hola Family and Friends!!
It's made me so happy to see all the photos from this past week!! Good looking fellers!!! So happy to hear that you all passed a memorable week. We thought Thanksgiving was like 2 weeks ago, not this past Thursday. I went around announcing that it was Thanksgiving when it wasn't...ooops. haha. We spent Thanksgiving with a member family and ate some very tasty traditional Mexican food. Nopales (basically cactus) and all! :)
WOW!!! We had such a miraculous week! On Friday, J was baptized!!! :) :) :) He is an incredible person and it has been the greatest blessing for my companion and me to know him. A little about the day:
J was interviewed by our district leader in the morning. We almost ran to meet our leaders out by our church in the morning and then practically ran to show them to J's house for the interview. Then we took off to another appointment. We got a text message a little bit later that said that he 'passed'! :) We carried on with the day anxious for his baptism that night.
We got to the church at about 5pm and set up the sacrament room and made sure everything else was prepared. There was a Relief Society activity that was going on meanwhile just before the baptism and we just kind of hopped around waiting for people to arrive. One of the first people to arrive was J :) He was a little nervous. The kind of nervousness that comes when you're excited and unsure of what exactly is going to happen. Kind of like the first day of school. Anyway, he was so excited. Hermana S said that he was radiating. He just looked so full of life and light. He sat up front, and we played the waiting game.  Slowly other branch leaders trickled in, missionaries, investigators, J's MOM!! ...and lastly we waited for the elders to arrive.
We took pictures outside and at this point it was so dark outside and COLD!!! It's starting to get really cold here at night and in the early morning. It's hard to wake up...I feel for you mom! It's still dark and cold when the alarm clock sounds! I have to admit that it was probably one of the most beautiful evenings we've had for a few weeks now. The light gently faded away and left a beautiful sunset behind. And the casa de oracion, or house of prayer, looks pretty at night. We took pictures just outside of the pool that he would be baptized in. It looked REAL cold.....we felt really bad for him. :( But he was fine!
Just before beginning the program, J looked at us and said I'll be right back. He ran into the bathroom and came out and then pointed to his nose. He took the nose ring out :) The program was simple and sincere; we went outside to the lawn to see J be baptized.
A baptism is always the coolest because heaven feels so close!  Hermana C and I couldn't keep from smiling all night, and all week actually. I've just felt happier lately.
We came back in and he bore his testimony afterward. Sunday was his confirmation. He came in a white shirt and slacks! He always comes in a colored, collared shirt. Except Sunday! The branch president asked him to bear his testimony again. He said that on his baptism, as he was submersed, he felt almost as if he 'went to sleep' for a fraction of a second. As he came out of the water, he felt like he had 'woken up'. He felt new! :)
I am so grateful to my Heavenly Father to know J and to have seen his progression alongside my companion. We really feel filled when we see others making and keeping commitments which prepares them to make and keep eternal covenants.
Monday we had another awesome experience with an investigator named "A". HE IS A FAVORITE of ours! We met A two weeks ago through his brother that we contacted. He truly matches the definition of investigator. As soon as we left his home the first visit, he started to read the Book of Mormon. He went to, has looked up many church films, like bible videos from, and has learned SO MUCH. So so much that he even tells 'mormon jokes' and he tells them right!
A came to the baptism and LOVED IT! He is also working on the Word of Wisdom. He's set some goals and set his mind to leaving his vices behind. He is coaching a soccer team that plays on Sundays in the morning--the same time as our sacrament meeting. We invited him to come to church and he said, 'I've already made a commitment with many youth that are depending on this game. So I can't miss this Sunday for them. I think that there are slots available later in the afternoon though. It costs a little more and I don't have money, but I'm going to change it to that hour, at least until the tournament ends so that I can go to church.'
He wants to keep his commitments and he wants to be baptized. Talk about awesome-sauce!! It was awesome to hear him show interest and excitement. We are so happy to see him progress.
We've met three awesome new families this week that are new investigators - parts of the family (because we've only met parts at a time have accepted a baptismal date) - and this week we'll see the rest of the family members. We are super excited about them!!
The work is plugging right along here! The sisters in our branch are really awesome and have seen many miracles through the past week also. We definitely love Hermana G and Hermana S. They are awesome missionaries.
We had a great week! We are excited to see what's up ahead for the following. I appreciated a part of what Matthew said in his email this week about sharing the gospel with everyone. I know that it's true that all of us here on earth once accepted Christ as our Savior and Redeemer. We just need to remind them of the faith that they've forgotten. What a privilege to be a member of the church in these last days. There is such a special joy of sharing the gospel or doing redemptive work for the dead in the temples that cannot be compared with anything in all this world!!
I read a scripture from the prophet Enos in the Book of Mormon this morning that I love: "By the power of God...I must preach and prophesy unto this people, and declare the word according to the truth which is in Christ. And I have declared it in all my days, and have rejoiced in it above that of the world." :)
I also love how Enos talks about the covenants that he made with God and the comfort he finds in trusting in those promises:
"And I, Enos, knew it would be according to the covenant which he had made; wherefore my soul did rest."
I know that the ordinance of baptism is sacred and essential to us being made clean and prepared to return to God. The temples of God are truly a sacred place and the house of the Lord. The covenants we make there are worth striving, sacrificing and preparing for. I'm grateful that families can be together forever and that the Priesthood allows us to have celestial blessings sealed upon us as we are faithful. :)
I LOVE YOU ALL and hope that each of you have a wonderful week!
Con Mucho Amor,
Hermana Fernelius

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