Monday, December 15, 2014

Week 49! "More Amazing Experiences"

From 12/15/14


This Thursday makes one year on the mission! Can't believe it still! So much can happen in a year. Every day I feel so grateful for the opportunity to serve the beautiful people here in Mexico as a missionary. I wouldn't trade a single memory from the past year for all the world.

Thank you for your emails. I love your testimonies and encouragement and faith.

Mexico is SO beautiful this time of year. In Catholic tradition, on the 16th every neighborhood starts a celebration called 'posadas'. There are decorations in every street and alleyway. Some streets have beautiful basket lanterns, piñatas or a traditional colorful paper decoration connecting one side of the street to the other. Each street or neighborhood is 'assigned' a day to give out ponche drinks and other traditional treats. They break piñatas too. Most have 7 points on them, representing the 7 universal sins. When someone is blindfolded to break the piñata, it symbolizes that a person has the faith (blindfold) to overcome the world. It's gorgeous here, and people are excited about this Christmas season.

Saturday we had our very first piano class and English class. Ao (investigator) and J (our favorite person ever) arrived and we taught the two of them. They were both SUPER duper excited to learn. At the beginning of the piano class, I asked them 'what do you hope to learn or feel at the end of class today?' Ao answered matter-of-factly, "Well, I hope to learn a little more about music and feel the Spirit." WOW. Good answer Ao, good answer. That was better than what I was expecting.

It's actually kind of difficult to teach in Spanish. For example, 'measure' is 'compas' in Spanish. Still can't figure out a few words that well. I couldn't help but think over and over again of Sister Herzog and her dedication to teach and love others enough to help them develop their talents. I thought of a lot of wonderful members and teachers that have given of themselves to teach music. I can't explain how cool it is to see others in love with learning and growing. Like J and Ao, they appreciate each opportunity God gives them to learn and (no matter how small it is) they are willing to share it with others.

Hermana C did a BOSS job teaching English. She started off right away teaching conversational English. At the end of class. Ao and J could start and keep an initial conversation. Just like magic. Did I ever mention that she's awesome? Oh, and Sunday I played the piano in sacrament meeting for the first time on the mission. Afterward, Ao came up and said that while I played he was saying, 'She's my teacher! She's my teacher!'....just like that, in English. :D Good job Hermana C.

I'm running out of time and I have so much more to say...

We had a really special experience this week. Hermana C and I have talked about how important it is to act on the Spiritual impressions we receive, and that we help each other out when we do feel like we should talk to someone, visit someone, or walk a different direction. One day this week, we tried our best to talk with whomever would hear us. It was interesting that as we talked with more individuals, we felt more receptive to the Spirit and had more opportunities to share the gospel.

As we walked down the street, just before turning the corner, I had a thought come to my mind: I pictured a mother walking towards us with her 9 year old son. That was what I pictured a few seconds before turning the corner, then a woman, Sa, with a little son and two daughters walked past us. In a matter of seconds we talked to each other:

'Uh, Hermana I want to talk to that lady' (the one that already walked past us in a hurry and started crossing the street).

'Okay, HEY you!'

The woman returned and we began talking with her. We shared a simple message about the Restoration and of Jesus Christ. Her kids were running all around us but she listened attentively. We invited her to learn more and asked if we could visit her within the week. She lives in another city far away, but we took her information down so that missionaries could visit her.

She said, "I have parents that live up the street a little bit, you can come by and visit us there."

She was so genuine and our conversation felt fluid. We said our goodbyes and walked away feeling uplifted. Just as we came up to our house door, we heard a little voice behind us. It was her son:

'We wanted to invite you to eat some tacos with us can - you come?'

We were just about to go into our home for the night so we were unable to. We thanked him and talked to him for a second.

'And how old are you?'

'I'm ten.' :) (can you say cute?)

SO amazing to us, but it didn't end there...

Later on in the week, we decided we should look for a family that we had contacted a little while ago but have never been able to find. On the way, I was praying for a miracle, we really just need a change in the area. We kept on walking. On the way, we ran into a man, Ia, and his son, D, that we had talked to a few weeks ago. When we first met them, they were very interested and were super nice. The first thing Ia told us when we saw him was:

'I've been reading the pamphlet you gave me, I really like it. I actually ran into companions of yours while I was reading it. I showed them your names on the back of the pamphlet and told them where I lived. They were really excited about it all.' haha.

Ia seemed very pensive as he shared that experience with us.

He looked at us and said, 'you know, I'm going to go to church this week. I'm going to go soon.'

He took off his hat and looked up. He said, 'I have to learn more - there is a reason for this.'

We took their information down. I asked him, what's your last name again? ..... What? I think we met your sister a couple of nights ago.'

'Who, Sa?'
'Yeah and your parents live over there?'
'Yeah those are my parents!'.
We were really feeling grateful that Heavenly Father is in control of all things. He has perfect timing and allows us to be part of it.
President Monson once talked about following the impressions of the Spirit: He said 'Never postpone a prompting.'  
I just need to try to remember that! Always following the Spirit will keep us on track and will lead us to more guidance and more opportunities to serve others.
And guess who we ran into on the bus this morning? D.
We invited D to English classes. He was shocked that they were free!! haha. He said that he would be there for sure. We talked for a little bit on our 20 minute ride. Just before he got off, I asked him what he was doing Saturday at 11 am. He looked and pointed at us, and he said, "At church in the English classes."
We said goodbye and he left. :)
This week was full of such tender mercies and blessings. I'm thankful every day for the opportunity to serve the Lord. He is so loving and merciful and forgiving. I read this morning from the New Testament about the charity that Christ has for us, His brothers and sisters. So many times it says that Christ 'had compassion' and healed, forgave, and loved. Our Heavenly Father knows of what we stand in need of. We just need to remember to ask Him.
I know that God lives. I know that Christ is the Messiah and the Savior of the World. What a miraculous time of year that we can celebrate His birth, life, death and resurrection. I love Him and I'm grateful to serve Him.
Hope you all have a wonderful week!
Con amor,
Hermana Fernelius

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