Monday, December 8, 2014

Week 48! "Piano Lessons"

From 12/8/14

HOLA Family and Friends!

HOW ARE ALL OF YOU? :) I hope you all had a wonderful week! Hermana C and I are doing great! We are having a lot of fun and working as hard as we can. I love being with my comp because we do the most insignificant things together, but it's always super fun. I'm grateful that I've always had such patient companions like Hermana C!!! So life is great here.

Our branch president has asked that I start giving piano lessons to the members of the branch, old and young alike. Whoever wants to learn, really. I'm excited to help and I think this will be a great experience!! Our very first class will be on Saturday, I will have to let you know how it goes. :)

Tuesday was Hermana C's 20th birthday!! WOO! Another year older and wiser too! We sang las mañanitas and happy birthday at the end of the day and ate cake and ice cream. We ALSO may or may not have gotten a piñata. :) Mexican style!! It was a fun and awesome day with great people!

We've been blessed to have some very special experiences this week! First of all, wasn't the Christmas Devotional yesterday spectacular? It was so so inspired. My companion and I have been talking about the same scriptures and topics that they shared all week long. It made it all the more special to hear from living prophets and apostles and general authorities of the church. The story from Elder Christofferson of the little boy just about made me cry. I think that being generous and selfless is something that I need to work on. The people in the little boy's town didn't even think twice about helping the little boy and his family out. They let the light of Christ open their hearts and quicken their readiness to reach out in love and serve. I love how he related each one of us to Jesus Christ. He said, in not so many words, that our mortal purpose is the same as the Savior's--to do all things that the Father commands. Por lo que padeció, El aprendió obediencia.

Just before the conference began, I was worried that I might miss some of the details of the messages (because they were broadcast in Spanish). I prayed that I might be able to understand the messages and the Spirit clearly. I was surprised as I listened and realized that I understood. The moments that I turned my attention away, I lost the understanding I had. Each time I prayed and focused on the talks given, that instant I was able to feel and learn clearly again. It was neat! Although we understand Spanish well now, and speak a little more, we rely every day on the Lord and on the gift of tongues to help us. It keeps us on our toes and especially helps us to be humble and trust the Spirit.

I also loved the talk given by Hermana Oscarson. She spoke a little about humility. The Savior of the world, the King of kings and Lord of lords, was born as a humble baby to a righteous mother and a faithful earthly father. I love how she also pointed out that among the first people to hear the birth of the Savior were shepherds tending their flocks. Jesus was born in a humble family and humble circumstances. As I listened, I realized how important that virtue really is. When we are broken in heart and have a contrite spirit, we give away our will to do the will of our Heavenly Father. We become the children He has designed us to be and qualify to receive the blessings of eternal life with Him once more. We desire to be more obedient and we choose to serve others. We find deeper happiness and satisfaction in our day and feel full of purpose and direction. It can all start with humility and gratitude. Like President Uchtdorf said last conference, Gratitude is the catalyst for all Christlike attributes. It's a powerful first lesson we learn from the mortal life of Jesus Christ.

Listening from the Devotional I also realized how important the family is. And most of all, how important it is to have a gospel centered home. The leaders spoke a lot about the purity and love that children have. And also about the role of a father and mother in the home. If you didn't get a chance to watch the devotional, do it! :) It really was awesome!

My comp and I read a few powerful talks this week that maybe someone wants to check out: "If ye love me, keep my commandments" -Elder Hales (May 2014 conference)

"Su Gracia es Suficiente" -Brad Wilcox (September 2013 Liahona/Ensign)

The second talk we came across again this past week because of a sweet sister in our branch. Hermana M is like a mother to us. She and her husband take good care of the missionaries and are always willing to serve and help in any way they can. We went by their house Saturday morning a little unexpectedly to take care of a little 'asunto'. She welcomed us in. We noticed that she was reading the talk mentioned above, and she told us that she was to give the lesson in Relief Society on Sunday. It took us off guard when she suddenly began to cry. She said, "Hermanas, I am so nervous. I don't think I can give this class. The last time I taught, a sister told me afterward that the lesson was horrible and that I didn't know how to teach. What should I do?"

The answer was in the talk she was reading :) The Savior's Atonement is realized in our imperfections, sins, and weaknesses. He is the only one that can really bring the peace and feeling of wholeness in our lives. We shared a scripture to her from D y C section 100:4-8. The Spirit will always be with us as we testify of truth from our heart. She had no reason to worry!

What she told us next really touched us. "This morning I got up and started to work around the house, then I got a phone call to give the lesson tomorrow Sunday. I haven't been able to concentrate since. I have so much to do and it's all last minute. I just keep remembering of how the lesson was last time... I wasn't given a topic this time either. I have to go to a conference in the afternoon and will only have a couple of hours to write a lesson out. I was undecided between using this talk, or the other and wanted to know. So I prayed. I wanted to know if I could do this. Then two angels arrived at my door".

She said things that were very special to us and told us that we had been an answer to her prayers. It taught the three of us how Heavenly Father cares and answers our prayers, even in the littlest ways. Hermana M gave a BEAUTIFUL class yesterday. She bore her testimony powerfully. She was a living example of the grace of Christ. Here is a quote (in Spanish) from this Ensign article:

"Cuando entendemos la Gracia, entendemos que las bendiciones de la Expiación de Cristo son constantes y que Su poder se perfecciona en nuestra debilidad." -Brad Wilcox

If you are ever called to fill a calling, assignment or whatever else it might be that seems hard, out of reach, maybe even undesirable or daunting....just remember, you can do it!! With the Savior's help, you can do anything! It might be in church, at work, in studies, or at home...His grace will make our weaknesses strong and our imperfections perfect. I'm learning that as I strive to serve Him. He helps us in every way.

Something else! J blessed the sacrament yesterday! :) He is like the Harry Potter of the branch--the chosen one. haha. Everyone loves him! He's willing to learn and serve and help all those around him. He's invited many friends and family members to learn more about the gospel. He has friends in Acapulco that ask him about what he's learning and doing. Already a missionary!

I think one of the lessons I've learned this week is about the importance of what we call 'retention' work in the church. We met a young man who was baptized almost exactly a year ago that we taught this week. He virtually has become an investigator again--which is very very common to see in an individual or family that is less active. J came with us to teach M (13 years old).

What President Hinckley taught was true. Every member/recent convert needs three things: a friend, a responsibility, and nourishment by the gospel. If M had this support from the very beginning of his membership, it would have helped him tremendously. We've spoken with several other less active families who say the same. They admit that they just need someone to be their FRIEND and help them when questions arise or difficulties come. They need help to diligently hold onto the iron rod.

Maybe this week you can call the ward mission leader and ask him if you could help a family in need. Maybe the Relief Society President, or Elder's Quorum President, or Bishop would know. Ask and seek for opportunities to serve in the ward. Call the full-time missionaries up and offer to visit their investigators. Chances are that they might know the less active members better than most members. They are willing to help you get involved in missionary work--in finding, teaching, reactivating, and retaining members. It's SO important! And the blessings of heaven await those who serve our Father in Heaven.

I LOVE YOU ALL and hope you have a great week. You all are awesome. Keep your heads up. Keep smiling, laughing, loving, and doing the little things every day. Reach out to someone who needs your friendship. They may be your coworkers. They may be your next door neighbor. They might be your best friends or your own family. Make today different by being a true disciple of Jesus Christ :)

Con mucho amor,

Hermana Fernelius


This is our gorgeous Christmas Tree. All four of us took part in decorating it one day when we were shut inside. although it is a little 'ghetto' we're fans of it! :) 



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