Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Week 51! "Happy New Year!"

From 12/29/14

Hola Family and Friends!!!


THANK YOU thank you for your emails and constant support!!!! What a wonderful week we had!! Like just about every other missionary in the world, we were anxious for the best present from Santa (aka Skyping!). We were so blessed to be able to talk with our families. It filled my heart and gave us more desires to go out and work to share the gospel!

Happy One year on the mission Tiffany!!! I love you!!

I am running a little low on time...

Quick story! Yesterday we looked for Ia and his family to go give them an unexpected visit. They are a cool family that we had previously never been able to teach in their home in a formal setting. We run into Ia and a couple of his children several times in the streets and shared a little of the gospel with them. Last night we called up Ia to see if he was available to visit. He replied, right now? There's a lot of little kids running around my home right now.

"That doesn't bother us, if it doesn't bother you"

"Well, okay, but it's late and it's kind of dangerous around here."

"It's okay, we're close by."

"I'm kind of busy, how long so you think you'll be?"

"How long do you have? 15 minutes is okay with us".

"Okay, sure then, we'll be waiting for you."

We were greeted by a few of his kids and nephews outside his house playing in the street. They welcomed us in and ran to tell the family that we'd arrived. We walked into a home with about 12 adults and youth. He's wasn't kidding about there being a lot of kids running around!

Uhhh.....now what? I was thinking. We said hi to everyone and my companion and I exchanged glances of what do we do, do we teach? Do we come back? The answer was pretty clear: teach. Teach when you find, find when you teach.

So we sat down and invited everyone to come over and listen to a small message we had prepared to share. And everyone came over, the mom, dad, cousin, son in law, daughter, granddaughter, son, other son, nephew, niece, sister in law, and so on. I was feeling pretty little and overwhelmed to be surrounded by strangers (a lot) and this being the first time meeting them, and they were all willing to listen.

We had no idea what to really teach to such a diverse group of people all at once with all different needs and beliefs. But the answer was the same: the gospel is true. It resonates with the spirit of each son and daughter of God on the earth. We took courage as we prayed for each other, confided in the Lord, and in the authority of our calling and missionaries for Him.

As we began, the words started coming. Nearly all the family participated in our message of sharing and learning from one another. We shared the Restoration with the family and asked one of the nephews to read the scripture in James 1:5. My companion shared the First Vision, and we testified that the heavens are open, that God called His servant Joseph Smith to restore the gospel that each one of us might be blessed, then we invited them to be baptized.

Ia, spoke up and said that he has received many answered prayers and special blessings from the Lord throughout his life. He said, "Sometimes, I even get the chills. I don't know if you two saw me, but I think my wife did, that when my nephew read the scripture in the Bible just now, I got the chills again!"

Hermana C explained to him that the Spirit was testifying to him of the truthfulness of the gospel. He was receiving a confirmation of the truthfulness of what the scripture invited him to do. He and his son, D, accepted to be baptized. We left their home feeling so excited and happy for the opportunity to share the gospel with families, because it unites them and helps them receive blessings the Lord has prepared for them.

I know that families can be together forever. I know that the gospel is the solution to the greatest of our trials and challenges. I am grateful for a loving family who my Heavenly Father has given to me.

I hope you all have a great week!!!

Con Amor,

Hermana Fernelius

P.S. (From Ashley's dad):

"When Ashley called on Christmas Day (via Skype), she told of us a sister in the ward that often struggled to put food on the table for herself and for her family.  Ashley said that this sister's children had grown accustomed to simply being hungry for entire days at a time.  Yet, this sister had recently signed up to feed the missionaries.

"Now, Ashley was clear to point out that at the end of a typical day, she and her companion are VERY hungry, and that they like to eat until they are full, given the opportunity.  The day they were to eat at this sister's house was no different.

"They arrived to find a pot on the stove and the children playing outside - it was clear that no one had yet been fed.  After a prayer was offered, a relatively meager portion of food was served to Ashley and her companion - when the food was gone, the sister offered them more.  You can imagine that they would have both refused to eat more food, even if they were still hungry, given the circumstances...

"However, as they were walking away from this sister's home, Ashley turned to her companion and told her that she hadn't accepted more food, not out of compassion, but because she was truly FULL.  Her companion agreed that she was completely full as well.

"After relating this experience to us, Ashley then bore her testimony of sacrifice, referencing the biblical account of the widow who was willing to feed Elijah before serving the final portion of her food to her son, and preparing to die (1 Kings 17:9-24)."

IT RAINED ALL DAY the 24th . All day. We got soaked and walked around in wetness for a long time. It was our version of snow :)

I found my companion just about laughing her head off when she told me that she slept with her scarf like THIS around her head one night. It gets cold here some days. Then she said, I'M LAZARUS. you know, when Jesus calls him out from the sepulcher and tells them to take the napkin from off his face. hahahaha

Found a butterfly today and picked it up on my hand. It stayed on my hand, then passed off to my comp. It was a very SOCIAL butterfly. Bu dum tiss

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