Monday, June 15, 2015

Week 75! "LAST EMAIL :O"


Ashley will be arriving at the Las Vegas airport on Friday, June 26th at 11:35 am via AeroMexico flight #484 from Mexico City (it will probably take about an hour to get her through Customs).

She will giving her "homecoming" talk (together with her sister, Tiffany) on July 12th at 9 am (pacific time - Vegas time) at the LDS chapel on Alta and Thrush in Las Vegas, Nevada (7800 Alta).

Anyone and everyone is invited to attend either event, or both!

From 6/15/15

Hola Family and Friends!!

Hope you each had a wonderful week! Ours was super triple great!

On Thursday we visited an investigator - she is a wonderful person and is very receptive to the gospel. She has been prepared for so many years to accept the gospel. She met elders many years ago but never was taught the gospel. She has known the family of a recent convert for years. But did not know that she had gotten baptized. We walked past her three weeks ago, and almost kept going! But we felt impressed to go back and invite her to church. She seriously is so cool! She has accepted everything from the very first moment we met her.

She started reading the Book of Mormon as soon as we gave her a copy. She shared it with her friend. She's invited us to keep teaching her. Has come to church alone and brought her friend with her yesterday! So on Thursday we had the coolest lesson with her. We taught her about the Restoration of the Gospel. And she GOT it! She asked good questions, remembered key words that we taught her. I asked my companion if I could share the First Vision. As I spoke, she attentively looked at her pamphlet with an image of Joseph Smith praying. I shared my testimony with her how I knew that this experience was real. My companion shared her testimony and we asked her how she felt. She said, "It must be true! I felt something inside of me. I felt satisfied, it feels happy and joyful!"

She told us of her personal commitment to change and obey the commandments of God. She's prayed the majority of her life to find the right path to take. She told us that she knows the church is true. Even though we have just started teaching her, she is sharing the gospel--in the most important place first! Her own home! She's the coolest.  And she is worth it. I forget everything hard that we've had to go through as missionaries whenever we find someone like her and help answer their prayers.


In three more days, I'll be with my parents and little brother! I still can't believe it. When others ask me how I feel, the truth is that I feel fine--mostly because I'm still in denial. haha. This morning my companion and I went to get groceries at the 'comercial' (or our nearest version of Walmart) and my companion came out of the store with (the normal standard bare minimum) four bags of groceries and I left (more like HALF of one).....this is so real now!!

This will be my last email home as a missionary and the truth is that I am at a loss for words to say and share. There can't really be a perfect way to explain all that I feel right now, about all the past, or of what lies ahead. I hope that I can always live in a way to express what I've felt and how I feel, what I've learned from my Heavenly Father. What I've learned from my leaders, companions, members, investigators, and even strangers, and the testimony that I have of the gospel.

The gospel is the most important thing in all the world to me. It is my pearl of great price. I love the Savior with all my heart. The Atonement gives us the hope of becoming like our Heavenly Father. It gives us the strength to endure to the end of our lives in faithfulness. He forgives our mistakes. He is merciful to our weaknesses. He makes up for all that we cannot. He understands us perfectly. I love serving Him. I love sharing what has brought me and my family the most happiness I have ever experienced in my life with my brothers and sisters.

Families can be together forever! That is the great purpose of the Gospel! I LOVE MEXICO. The people whom I have grown to love and serve are valiant spirits of our Heavenly Father. I know that they are called to strengthen this stake of Zion in preparation for the Second Coming of the Savior. I am so grateful for the love and support you have given to my sister and me while we have been serving. And for serving our family at home! Many days we've felt your prayers and concern and they have helped us to keep going! And now we're at the end, when we can say that we'll see you all in about a week or two :)


Love you all!! See you SOON!

Con Mucho Amor,

Hermana Ashley Fernelius

This is a photo emailed to Ashley's parents from another parent who accompanied his missionary home.  These are his kind words: "...our family visited Mexico last week and we ran into your beautiful daughter. She's doing well, working hard and happy to be almost done".
Monday, June 8, 2015

Week 74! "Choose Faith"

From 6/8/15

HOLA Family and Friends!!!
Wow. Seems like all the fun stories that have gone on this week will have to wait until I can tell them in person. D:
This week was super awesome, starting with a similar experience that Tiffany had last week:
Yesterday at church, a beautiful returned missionary from our mission and her family came to visit and see the converts that she helped to teach and all the members she knew. She has helped me since I first got to the mission and has definitely always been one of my favorite people. She was companions with another one of my favorite people, Noob! Her parents and siblings were all super duper nice. My comp and I took them to go visit a convert family of hers up on a hillside. So we all went together in a drive up a muddy mountain. They seriously treated us like we were their own daughters. So...They're awesome. I was only trunky for like 5 minutes okay? haha
Sister C came to church! We met her in the street two weeks ago and gave her a Book of Mormon. This past week we went by again to visit her and she is already in 1 Nephi 13! She says the she feels at peace every time she reads it and that she feels that the church is true! She is so super cool and even though church was weird this week (with special trainings and stuff like that) she still loved it!
I read something that really impacted me this week by Elder Anderson. In a talk he said, "Faith is not only a feeling it is a decision."
We've seen miracles when members and investigators (and us too) choose to have faith. We can passively wait for prayers to be answered, sure. OR. We can kneel and pray as if everything depended on God, and then get on our feet and go to work as if everything depended on us. Then miracles happen!
I love being a missionary and being able to testify of Jesus Christ. There literally is nothing better in all this world than to share my testimony that I know He died for us, but that He lives again!
I love you all and hope you have a very good week!  We are trying to do the best we can! I will write ya'll better next week and try to include some pictures also.
Con Amor,
Hermana Fernelius

Information soon to be obsolete, with the possible exception of her blog...

At the MTC in December, 2013.

Ashley's first area, shortly after arriving in Mexico in January, 2014.

Some traditional local attire - March, 2014.

Cleaning the font in March, 2014.

A fun take on a popular soft drink for the locals in Ashley's mission...

May, 2014

Proselyting....or Playing?

June, 2014


June, 2014

Apparently, this transfer was a sad one - June, 2014.

A beautiful girl in a beautiful country - June, 2014.

Ashley wanted a pair of shoes like this soooooo bad....but it just didn't fit the missionary mold - July, 2014.

July, 2014

The story of the machete trip is a good one - look it up in the archives and enjoy reading it again! From August 18, 2014.

More traditional attire - August, 2014.

I'm telling you, read the story again from August 18, 2014!

This was another interesting read from September 15, 2014.

Now she's playing Tetris without the prompts! From September, 2014.

A fitting October sighting!

The last four letters of "Cuernavaca" mean "cow" in English. If you didn't know that, this address label might not mean anything to you....

October, 2014

Halloween may be hot in Mexico, but it's still fun!

I'm guessing this was a particularly stressful day! From November, 2014.

Who needs a real tree? December, 2014.

As far as I know, this is the most recent photo of Ashley, taken on or around the 1st of June, 2015. It's fitting that it includes her mission president and his wife, who will both be leaving the mission at about the same time as Ashley...
Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Week 73! "Diligence"

From 6/1/15

Hola Family and Friends!!

Hope you all had a great week!! (And thank you for not writing a countdown in your emails because I just realized that it's ALREADY JUNE. )

This past week was seriously simplemente awesome. It was so cool. There are so many little and big blessings that have transpired. First of all, I wish you could all meet Hermana Q! She is crazy awesome and has a magical power of meeting someone and instantly reaching their hearts. She has a gift of sharing the gospel in an honest, sincere, compassionate way which has lead us to see many changes in our finding and teaching efforts. When we meet someone, within the first few minutes of talking and listening and asking questions--these people open up their biggest desires, greatest fears, worries, weaknesses, strengths and share them with us. It's humbling to be trusted with such personal stories and concerns that these people have. And what is even cooler is that in the gospel we can find the answers for each and every problem in life. Doesn't matter what it is, there is a solution!!

From the most recent Saturday afternoon my comp and I went to visit a few less active families with the sassiest 60 year old member I've ever known, Hna P. Her testimony is poderosa and is very frank with people--I like that! And I think that the members appreciate it too. We visited a member, Sister C, who has been less active for about 5 years now. She used to be the ward Relief Society president. She and Hna P used to visit a minimum of 4 families every day to strengthen their testimonies when she was active in the church. But after some difficult situations that have occurred in the past--she doesn't go to church anymore. :(

Sister C is a WONDERFUL person, very loving, open, willing to help and serve and give. We went by on Saturday and talked and laughed and really just tried to be her friend. we invited her to church the most lovingly we could. Hna P was so amazing and direct with her. We left after a relatively quick visit with C, gave her a hug and went home.

Bright and early the next morning, we met up with an investigator, Sister D, outside of the church and accompanied her inside (it being her first time). As we walked in, we recognized a big smile and a beautiful little family. SISTER C CAME! She chatted with the members, integrated well, and looked as if the last time she had gone to church was a week before not five years. She was radiant. And of course the best Sunday to come would be the one where Hna P was assigned to give a talk. She walked up to the podium shared a simple message and referred to C and her family:

"Today the sister missionaries and I are witnessing a miracle." :)

I felt the same way! I feel so grateful that they came. Something that I always want to do better with is help retain recent converts and help less active members come back to church! It hurts to visit members who for one reason or another have loosened their hold on the iron rod and who find themselves drifting. But I know that the Lord can bless us with the spiritual gifts we need in order to help our brothers and sisters hold on. Hna P had just the right words given her to help C come back on Sunday. We just have to be diligent and loving like she has been!

I wish I could write about everything, buuut aint nobody got time for dat. I just know that the GOSPEL IS TRUE. It is. I know it. I know that there is peace in being faithful to our covenants. We can not afford living a medio active life as members of the church. If we are not ACTIVELY following the Savior, we are serving another master. It is that simple. One time, one of my companions and I were talking to our district leader about what we could do to help our investigators keep commitments. We talked about the first great commandment. Love the Lord thy God with all Thy heart might mind and strength. And how do we show God that we love Him? The scriptures say, if ye love me keep my commandments. Okay, so we keep the commandments. So what is sin? It is when we love something more than God. When we choose something contrary to the commandments of God, that 'other' thing takes precedence over what God commands. Which separates us from Him.

This morning my companion and I read this chapter and these verses stuck out to me, 2 Nephi 31:15-16:

"And I heard a voice from the Father, saying: Yea, the words of my Beloved are true and faithful. He that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved. And now, my beloved brethren, I know by this that unless a man shall endure to the end, in following the example of the Son of the living God, he cannot be saved."

Every moment of every day gives us an opportunity to follow Christ. If we were serving another master 5 minutes ago, guess what, right now is a new minute and we can decide to serve the Savior.

Elder Holland said, "An old proverb says that a journey of 1,000 miles begins with one step, so watch your step."

I love each and every one of you. I hope you have a great week. Look and pray for ways to serve others. Lift where you stand and help those along the way. Someone is waiting to hear your testimony and your words of encouragement to return to the Savior and find healing! :D ANIMO :)

Con Mucho AMOR,

Hermana Fernelius

1) Also, Hermana Q caught a frog this week. Apparently it was poisonous, but beautiful!! We gave it as a gag birthday gift to a member. And when we showed up to their house for comida with the frog, the elders looked at it and said, You bought a FROG?? We brought a gold fish!! haha. This poor member was so confused! The 2 gold fishies are called Ricky and Martín. And she promised to feed us the frog the next time we go by to eat. haha.
Monday, June 1, 2015

Information on Ashley's Return Home!


I will update Ashley's blog with her latest email tomorrow.  For now, everyone that has been following her blog should be aware of the following:
  1. Ashley will be returning home on Friday, June 26th at 11:35 am on Aeromexico flight #484 from Mexico City.  We (her parents) will be picking her up and returning with her, and we are unaware of any specific plans (to party!?!), but you are welcome to join us at the airport if you like.  Keep in mind that it may take an hour or more for us to get through Customs.
  2. Ashley and her older sister, Tiffany, will be speaking together in our ward's sacrament meeting at 7800 (West) Alta Drive on Sunday, July 12th at 9 am (until about 10:30 am or so). You are welcome to stay after and visit if you like - we will probably reconvene after the meeting with family and friends at another location, yet to be determined.
Thank you so much for your prayers, love, and support during this special time in Ashley's life.

Tracy Fernelius

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Week 72 "Golden Investigators..."

From 5/25/15

Hola Family and Friends!!!

Hope you all have had a fun week! Time is flying right? Another week has come and gone. Lots happened this week! Conferences, meetings, more meetings and all of it was super awesome.

I'll start with the conference on Friday. It was President and Sister Kusch's last multi-zone conference for their missions, so it was a conference mixed with a little bit of sadness and excitement for new changes also. They both seemed super calm about saying goodbye. It is so clear to see that they have given everything of themselves during their missions. After THREE years of serving they have supervised about 600 missionaries in the mission. Crazy right? It's been such a blessing to have had such supportive leaders like them throughout the mission. They treat us like their own kids! And they do their best to show us their love and appreciation. I really do love them and am grateful for all they have taught me. I love how President Kusch started off the conference, he said "Cada misionero es un milagro" ["Every missionary is a miracle"]. He also explained to us that a truly successful missionary is one who has learned to feel, recognize, and act on the promptings of the Spirit. Then he repeated again, each missionary is a miracle. That is so cool. Success isn't always what we think it is.

Yesterday we went to visit an active family in our ward. Well, semi-active. the mom of the family doesn't come to church. We don't know why yet, but we felt like we needed to go by and get to know them better. What's more, we've felt like visiting them the past couple of days and yesterday morning at church the dad of the family gave a talk. So we definitely had to go by.

We spent some time in their home trying to connect a Mormon message video on their laptop. The one we wanted to watch didn't work...Awkward. So we watched the ultra sad video of the mommy blogger that learned to endure after being severely burned in a plane crash.....yeah... maybe not the first option for a family we don't really know well with little kids. But it was the only one that worked and it has a GREAT message about enduring challenges and trials. It even talks about the beauty of motherhood too. We tried to make it work. We asked the kids how they felt about the video afterward. Each one started off by saying, "Well, it was really sad but..."


They got it though. The mom was pretty quiet. We didn't want to have a lesson of "hi nice to meet you, why don't you go to church" because we didn't want her to feel pressured at all or to think that we were only there to get her to church. We felt like we just needed to get to know her. She told us, the video was really sad (haha) but it is true that when we trust God, our trials are bearable. Her husband then thanked us for coming and said, "It's interesting how without even knowing it, you shared exactly what we needed to hear."


I'm content when plans fall through or when we do something accidently instead, because we move out of the way so that things can work out like they need to. Does that make any sense?

Well, before we left Hermana Q pulled out her nifty cootie catcher/inspired question generator to ask for references from the family. The kids picked random numbers which opened up to the question "Who do you know who LOVES enchiladas and is not a member of the church?"

(Super inspired right?)

Then the dad and kids shout out Brother E! The dad says, "One of my employees used to listen to the missionaries. He was about to get baptized but he has to get married first. He and his girlfriend have gone to church a bunch of times and want to get married and want to get baptized. My son will show you where they live okay?"



We went straight to their house and a young man and a familiar faced young woman come out.

"HEY YOU, we know you!"

We had met this young woman two days before in the conference with President, she helped serve the food to us after the conference. What the heck. The whole time we thought she was a member. They both almost immediately told us, "We want to be baptized but we know we have to get married first."


"We just need to get our paperwork in order. We know the church is true. We also don't want to get baptized just to get baptized and then become less active. We want to do this right."


They are so super awesome. They accepted the invitation to pray for God to open the way so that they can get married and baptized at the end of June. We are also praying for them! We know that for those who love God, all things work together for their good. It was such a miracle to meet them. They are ready! They want the gospel! I am so excited for them and to start teaching them.

Uhh...and talking about escogidos (or golden investigators), we met an awesome family who are sooo ready for the gospel. The biggest challenge will be for Brother A to find a new job so that he can rest on Sunday and go to church.

He is so super cool.

He is a reference from missionaries that met him a little while ago. When he said the prayer...

WOOOW. Just like a member!

We asked him if he could meet the Savior in that very moment what is the first thing he would say or ask him. His immediate response was, "I would ask for forgiveness."

He says that his past is a burden to him and weighs down on his conscience. When we talked about baptism, they loved the idea of being able to be cleansed from their sins. Brother A accepted, but his work will make it nearly impossible for him to come to church, but not impossible for him to keep learning about the gospel and gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon. So we are excited to start teaching him and his family. We know that the Lord will prepare the way for him to keep each and every one of the commandments.

1) The work is picking up here. We are trying to gain the confidence of the members. We are trying to serve them and love them and help in any way we can. And we keep seeing improvements with each day.

2) We were also warned a few minutes before conference by President that he 'might' call on my companion and I to share an experience that I shared last week (of the family we taught with the restoration video.)

Ahh... the nerve!!

He did call on us like he said he 'might'. I thought I was going to pass out. Ha-ha. But I guess hearing myself share that experience out loud was a tender mercy. I realize that compared to God, man is nothing...because we are not the reason why people feel the church is true. It's the Spirit's work, most of the time, we just get in the way. BUT at the same time, we are still everything to God.

3) I am in the same zone as one of my favorite former companions!!! WOO!! I just saw another of my favorites on Friday too...I just wanted to cry from so much happiness. It feels like seeing family whenever I run into old companions.

4) The latter companion informed me that one of our former investigators was given a calling in the Young Men's as a counselor and goes to the mutual activities each week. This is a big deal to us because before he was baptized Hermana C and I always talked about how we wanted him to be the Young Men's president after getting baptized -- Dream semi-realized!!-- ha-ha

5) After speaking Spanglish most of the mission, Pure English is practically impossible to speak. For real though, so during conference, one of the elders asked President a question but said in English "I have two questions, they are both docturnal". Like Doctrinal, but now doctrinal doesn't exist in his English vocabulary, so it's docturnal........ Life is real hard.

6) Yesterday there was another great talk given in church where he talked about not being afraid of living the gospel of Jesus Christ. He said, "No tengas temor de ofender el diablo." Or, "Don't be afraid of offending the devil."

Live like you believe, yo.

7) We are teaching a ridiculously cute little girl and her family. The mom, Sister A, can't read but wants her kids to have all the advantages in the world to be more successful than she has been in her life. She wants her kids to go to church and be good people. They are so great! The little girl came to church yesterday with another member and when she saw us, she bolted down the hallway and yelled "HERMANAS!" and gave us hugs! She came for primary!! Woo hoo! She tells us that she is going to be a doctor one day, that she is going to teach her mom how to read, and when we asked her what she likes to do, she said, "clean around the house and help my mom make tortillas by hand." CUTE!

8) We were given a very very special reference from a member who told us that she hates giving out references to missionaries because they never follow up with those people.


Besides, the reference is someone whose husband left her when she suffered from cancer, whose niece committed suicide, and then her own son committed suicide two months afterward. We went by to visit this woman, and she seemed so happy outwardly, but as we talked for a moment her eyes welled up with tears and everything came out. She is afraid of growing close to God because each time she has, she has experienced some tragedy in her life. We talked to her a little about the power of the Atonement and how the gospel will help her heal. She has a strong character, but she gave us hugs and thanked us for coming by and welcomed us to come by again this upcoming week. So we'll see what happens!

9) We went to a very quiet residential neighborhood and went looking for a few members and future investigators. As we went by, there was a lonely convenience store in the center of a cul-de-sac, and a woman was seated smiling at us. We asked her for directions and hurried off on our way. Then the Spirit stirred my soul. hahaha.

She was a little lady completely alone, just happened to be nice, just happened to be open to us and curious about what we were doing and I. DIDN'T. CONTACT. HER.

Then my companion says, well, she was super cute! Then we both stopped in our tracks and ran back. We talked with this woman, Sister C, and she said that she wasn't interested. We asked her about her family and made small talk. She told us that her husband left her and died in another country while she was in Mexico, and her children live somewhere close by in the state, but she doesn't know where because her children refuse to talk to her.


She says, "I'm struggling with the pain of loneliness."

Then my super inspired comp offers her a Book of Mormon. We opened it to the back and taught her how to read it using the guide in the back. I was flipping through the pages trying to find a topic that might interest her or help her, then I flip open to the word paz, or peace. My companion and I said PAZ at the same time when we were trying to find a topic for her. Sister C had the biggest smile on her face and asked us if we could pass by her business every time we were there so we could talk and teach her about the Book of Mormon.


She is the perfect wife candidate for a recent convert in our ward too!! We are going to try to introduce them to each other this week. We are the sister missionary match makers.

10) Life is just good here. I love being a missionary.

Hope you all have a great week.
Love you all - you are in my thoughts and prayers.
Con MUCHO amor,
Hermana Fernelius
Monday, May 18, 2015

Week 71! "Cuer-Vah-Na-Ca"

From 5/18/15

Hola Family and Friends!!
HOW ARE YOU ALL DOING?! :D We had a great week!!
It’s been fun getting to know a ‘new’ area. We are in the same ward we’ve been in the past couple of months, but because we’ve switched sides with the elders here—it feels like a new place. We are meeting LOTS of members who we only waved hi and goodbye to before and we are meeting great new investigators!
We had really important visits this week with less active members. There are about 75-120 members that come to church weekly—and that 120 is on a good Sunday. When just last year or a few years ago it was 3 or 4 times that many. Many members have become less active because someone offended someone else or said something and never came back. There are little trouble makers in our ward that treat others badly and just about send them away. Rude, right ? So, we are on a mission to rescue these members.
There are so many miracles we’ve already seen !!!
One thing is sure. Sometimes our personal struggles prepare us to help others in a more significant and genuine way. We understand them because we’ve been there. I have personally had many emotional challenges the past few years and it’s always left me wondering why. Sometimes I just feel bad without a reason why. I get discouraged, expect too much, give too little, get over concerned, or a little too apathetic. And it’s just plain hard. Along with other challenges, I can’t ever really pinpoint why I am prone to depression and other emotional disorders. But this week, I’ve seen a little clearer on one of the "why’s"...
Heavenly Father loves me, and He loves each one of His children on the earth. He loves us so much that He has permitted us to go through refining trials that will help us be better than we were. And because we go through our personal Gethsemanes, we can share Heavenly Father’s love with others as they go through theirs—because in some ways we’ve been there and we understand. I am not saying that we understand because we made it out to the other side on our own and now have a secret formula for success…but rather, and eternally more significant, we understand our dependency on the Savior a little better. Because our hearts have been broken, the Savior can mold us, expand our hearts, and increase our capacity to love and serve and be patient with others, and to be more like Him.
I forget how merciful trials are. Trials or moments of stretching in our lives is a witness that God trusts us! He knows that we’ll make the best of it! Maybe our trials won’t disappear in an instant…or maybe they will. What I do know is that the timing, the intensity, and the duration of our challenges is up to the Lord. And His plan is perfect. I want to be more grateful and more patient at every turn and blow in life. It’s giving me a chance to grow. President Monson said:
"Our Heavenly Father, who gives us so much to delight in, also knows that we learn and grow and become stronger as we face and survive the trials through which we must pass. We know that there are times when we will experience heartbreaking sorrow, when we will grieve, and when we may be tested to our limits. However, such difficulties allow us to change for the better, to rebuild our lives in the way our Heavenly Father teaches us, and to become something different from what we were—better than we were, more understanding than we were, more empathetic than we were, with stronger testimonies than we had before.
"This should be our purpose—to persevere and endure, yes, but also to become more spiritually refined as we make our way through sunshine and sorrow. Were it not for challenges to overcome and problems to solve, we would remain much as we are, with little or no progress toward our goal of eternal life. We truly need Him every hour, whether they be hours of sunshine or of rain.’"
I hope that in sharing a personal challenge of mine, it can help someone else. I still don’t have all the answers, and it’s still very hard some days. But this week, I’ve seen clearer that this is something given me to help me to help others. I can’t tell you how many people we’ve met who describe to us the same exact emotions that I feel and have felt. And we’ve seen many find the fountain of peace and personal strength through the Atonement of Christ...
One investigator told us that when she learned about prayer and began relying on her Savior more, one morning she woke up and finally had the strength to get out of bed. Then she realized that she felt good enough to clean her home… and make her kids food…. And get dressed for the day.. and smile. She was able to sleep well for the first night.. and the next day came and she had even more desire and strength to get out of bed, and clean, and make food, and get dressed and smile. She cried as she told us that it was the first time in years that she had been able to get her head out of the water just enough to find joy and feel happy again.
That’s a miracle to me! It’s such a joy to help others find faith in Jesus Christ. It’s so incredible to see them as they take their first steps towards Him and give up what keeps them from Him. There is nothing like it in all the world.
We’ve met many more families like that this week and we’ve been able to bear our testimonies to them of the strengthening and cleansing power of the Savior’s sacrifice. You could definitely say that it was a great week for us!
One experience I wanted to share last week was a super awesome lesson we had with a new family in our now old area:
We found Sister T while knocking on doors, looking for a different reference. We were so impressed by her receptivity to the gospel. She let us set up an appointment to return and chat with her and her family. She was especially interested in us talking with her husband. He had taken lessons with elders many years before. He has read quite a bit of the Book of Mormon and has a lot of questions.
We were excited for our appointment!
We arrived the next night and were pleasantly surprised by how well we were received by the family. Then the husband walked in and began with all of his questions. What’s this? What’s that? What about him, or her and what do you do, and a million other questions. Although his questions were great, I was afraid that we might not be able to teach, and that it would just be a Q&A session for the father of this family. We were both praying hard for guidance on what we could possibly teach, especially because the discussion had opened a thousand doors for us to talk about.
Then we had a gentle impression to pray.
Almost in the same moment, I visualized in my mind the whole family sitting on the sofa watching the video of the Restoration and the father was crying as he watched the part of Joseph Smith’s first vision. I didn’t say anything to my companion. After this thought came to mind, I wondered how it would be possible, or if it was right, especially not knowing hardly anything about the needs of this family. How would I know?
I almost interrupted the father’s next question, and asked if we could say a prayer to invite the Spirit before sharing a message. As we prayed, I had the same impression come to mind, and I was praying hard for my companion to know what to do. As we said amen, there was a second of silence and my companion blurted out to the family, "Can we watch a video ??"
She pulled out a disc with the video of the restoration on it, and within a few moments the video was up and ready to go. The family had all sat on the sofa to watch the video, and a powerful Spirit entered into their home.
I still hadn’t said anything to my companion - it was such an insignificant thing, but a miracle to me how that lesson transpired.
Although we felt the Spirit so strongly, outwardly the father still seemed hardened. We invited him to be baptized with his family. Everyone accepted—except for him. My companion felt impressed to persist in extending an invitation for him to be baptized. After offering so many defensive responses, he looked away from us for a moment in silence, then looked back and said, "It would be nice if I could receive an answer to know it if is all true. If I did know, I would be baptized. Without a doubt."
That’s the point sir, you can know if it’s true you just have to ask seek and knock!
It was such a difference to hear an honest inquiry….."can I really know that it’s true?" We ended the lesson in a kneeling prayer with the whole family. It was super duper cool.
As we left the house, we talked about the experience we just had. I told my companion what I saw and that she did exactly what she was supposed to even though we didn’t know why. She told me, "I don’t know why but I felt like I had to be persistent with the father even after he said no. But after all his doubts and fears were out of the way, his faith said yes."
Ahhhh. It was the best. The Elders are going to start teaching them now. And we are excited to see where they go from here.
And wooo, I think that I’m running out of time for today, but I just want you all to know that I love each and every one of you. Maybe someone reads this who I don’t know, but I hope that above everything you know that your Heavenly Father loves you, needs you, and knows what you need. He concerns Himself over you, He rejoices over you. You are His greatest work and glory.
There is so much more that I want to share, but this will have to do for today.
Love ya’ll.
Con Amor,
Hermana Fernelius
P.S. A man from Boston just walked into the cyber and started talking to us. We helped him get oriented and all, seeing that he’s a newbie to Cuernavaca. How did we know this? Well for one thing he calls the city—CUER VAH NA CA.
I like it. It sounds more exotic like that. Haha.

Sister M and her family on Hermana "Quack's" birthday.

Me and missionaries from Barrio G.

This picture describes our relationship.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Week 70! "Happy Mother's Day"

From 5/11/15

Hola Family and Friends!!!

First of all, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the absolute best companion, HERMANA Q!! Happy 21st!

Happy Mother's day to all the wonderful mothers out there, especially to my own mom :) haha.
I greatly admire parents because of all the selfless sacrifices they make for their children. I love it. I look up to my parents so much. They have taught me so so much that I will always thank them for....
Like learning how to clean for example. We moved into a new apartment this past week, and oh was super sick nasty gross eww. And it only took us three hours to clean the bathroom and the kitchen. Not too bad right? o_o But what can I say, after 5 years of elders living in this place, it could be worse. I don't know how, but I think that it's possible. At least the elders left behind cookies, yo! That's one way of saying sorry. :)
This week was wonderful!! We had to say goodbye to many of our investigators because we changed area with the elders, but they are in good hands! It's funny because a lot of the ward members on our side of town kept telling us all this week that they felt we were both leaving...and lo and behold, there were no mission changes, but our working areas did! We are excited to start in a new area together and the benefit is that the members are really willing to help us out and show us around. Woo!
I have so much to say, but AGAIN, I don't have any more time. I'm really sorry. :O
Thank you for your emails and support. It means a lot to me! :) Until next week.
Con Amor,
Hermana Fernelius
[NOTE from Ashley's dad]:
We had the opportunity to speak with Ashley via Skype yesterday for a little over half an hour, and although the connection wasn't very good, it was very nice to see and hear her - she looks well.

As those of you that have spent any time on her blog know, she has served diligently and has touched many lives.  Nevertheless, by her own admission, it has not been easy for her.  So, if you are willing, please join with me and my family in specifically supporting her in your daily prayers, at least for the immediate future.

Thank you so much.

Tracy Fernelius
Monday, May 4, 2015

Week 69! "Blessed Non-Baptism..."

From 5/4/15

Hola Family and Friends!

Good week. Like Tiffany mentioned in her email last week, we've been running into people with some seriously heavy duty problems. It's a little daunting sometimes because I feel like they want us to have the answers. We realize that it's a great trust we've been given to know them, and to be trusted to help them help themselves. It's been amazing to see the progression of one investigator in particular:

Her name is Sister M. I think I mentioned something about her a couple weeks ago. She confided in us some devastating events that have occurred in her life involving her marriage also. We've been trying to teach carefully to invite her to find the answers herself through obedience to the commandments and prayer. With each visit we have with her, she is doing better and better. She told us that her marriage is so much better, she's learning to forgive, she's learning to listen to the Spirit and she even points it out when she feels His promptings.

Sister M is so special.

She is progressing because she ACTS. She doesn't sit around and wait for blessings to fall from the sky, she asks, seeks, and knocks....and she gets answers. I LOVE THAT. We taught her yesterday, and we realized that she is basically a member already. She and a few of her kids. You wouldn't know that they were investigating the church. It's so awesome. I love seeing how the Atonement, forgiving and receiving forgiveness heals hearts.

One of my favorite General conference talks was from President Packer. He said:

"Through His Atonement and the power of the priesthood, families which are begun in mortality can be together through the eternities. The Atonement, which can reclaim each one of us, bears no scars. That means that no matter what we have done or where we have been or how something happened, if we truly repent, He has promised that He would atone. And when He atoned, that settled that. There are so many of us who are thrashing around, as it were, with feelings of guilt, not knowing quite how to escape. You escape by accepting the Atonement of Christ, and all that was heartache can turn to beauty and love and eternity"

It's so true! Sister M bore her testimony to us yesterday by saying how the Atonement and prayer has really helped her to change, to seek forgiveness and to forgive others.

Ahhh...I love being a missionary!

We are teaching another woman named Hermana M also. She is having major problems with her 15 year old son, Boy J. He is getting involved with the wrong crowds and is becoming, for lack of a better term, a problem child.

We were excited to meet him for the first time and try to teach him. But, like his mom warned us, he was rude, tried to act disinterested, and wouldn't respond, but my comp and I acted like we were best friends with him. As we left the appointment with him still pouting and shrugging his shoulders, we both said, I think he totally loved the lesson. Well, the eye rolling kind of gave it away right? The next time we saw his mom, she was super excited and told us, HE LOVED the lesson!!

O.o (really?)

Boy J said he was glad that we weren't pushy or obnoxious about teaching him, and he got lots of attention! SUPER. :) We're on to something. Our goal is to be "bffs" with him. We invited him to watch a movie (Meet the Mormons) in the stake center with his mom. Hermana Q said, "You like movies right?"

J literally grumbled/mumbled an idon'tknow/idon'tcare/imightbehatingyourightnow response. :3

We invited his mom also. And guess who showed up to the movie later that night at the church? BOY J and his mother, Hermana M! GLORIA hallelujah. We also bribed him to be our friend by giving him snacks for the movie. This little guy soaked it all up. He loved it, his mom loved it. They finally were able to come to church. It was such a miracle. We gave them an hour notice to come to the movie and they came.

Ahhh...I love being a missionary.

J feels a like a little brother to us, or someone who needs EXTRA attention. Sometimes the most unlovable need the MOST love. He really is a good kid, he just needs someone to care about his well being and what he likes, and thinks, and needs, and feels. He comes from a broken home and a lot of difficult trials. But the Lord works in mysterious ways, and we can see part of His beautiful plan to help J and his mom to be better people.

Also, this past Saturday was interesting. Friday Hermana Q (quack) and I went to the church to clean out the font, fill it up and get everything ready for the baptism on Saturday. Well Saturday morning, whodduthunk that the water drained out of the font overnight, so we starting filling it up again with an hour before the service---and then we ran out of water in the building when it was knee high filled. Well, the baptizee was not showing up, three members were there including a less active young man (who we threatened to go to the baptism just kidding) and a half filled font. Then Brother D was about to be baptized, but oh yeah......he never showed up.


So that happened.'s the silver lining for this whole story:

One of the three people who showed up to the baptism was Hermano J, who hasn't gone to church in about 2 or three years; the others were a Stake missionary and our ward mission leader. And they are basically the closest you could be to being exalted or translated but they are still on the earth to help baptize, retain and reactivate people. SO. While my comp and I disappointedly shut down the church, Elder A and M talked to Hermano J: Men to Man. We informed them that the baptism would be postponed, then randomly J said, "You know what, I'll be here at church tomorrow"...Then he left.

Yesterday at church, guess who came........ HERMANO J!! We were so so happy to see him. He sat quietly on the back row with Elder M and his family. I thought of how he's letting the Atonement help him change his life. He did it. He came. And now his good choice will help him to make better choices today and tomorrow that will help him to repent and to progress.

Sometimes (usually all the time) we see how the Lord works in mysterious ways. The baptism (that didn't happen) was not an earth shattering devastating experience. Of course it was a little disappointing, but not discouraging. We felt peace about it. The baptism was for Hermano J. It was really cool to see that. Picturing him in church makes us hopeful and happy each time we talk about it.

I love it!

And in other news, we are teaching a few recent converts reviewing the missionary lessons...aaaand we taught someone who is 65 years old but acts like he's 85. His memory is that of a goldfish. Not to insult the fish out there. We taught him about the Godhead this past week. When I say that we taught him about the Godhead for FORTY MINUTES, I mean that we literally wrote out the words, Padre Celestial, Jesucristo, and el Espiritu Santo on a piece of paper--had him repeat it out loud and tell us who they are. That's when the funniest things went down. Super quoteables:

Espiritu Santo Celestial
El Espiritu Jesuscristo, No?
El Espiritu nuestro Señor
Nuestro Padre Señor
Dios, Nuestro Señor
Jesus Nuestro Padre Celestial
Cristo nuestro Señor
Voy bien? "NO!!!!" (He asked my companion halfway through, am I doing well? Then through a laugh, she shouts NO!!)
We asked a different question to see the level of his comprehension and memory retainment.
"Who gave his life for us and died on the cross?"
..........................................Jose Miss, no? O no.................... TOMAS!!  (Joseph Smith, then he said Thomas S Monson)
"Uhh, have you ever heard of Jesus?"
Last quotable comment of the lesson--then we knew we had to cut the cord:
"Padre........nuestro santooooooo.....ssss......AMEN."
What a little gem that guy is! He goes to over 5 hours of church on Sundays. He goes to the ward before ours, and then goes to our services. He gets to church about an hour early too. In Principios del Evangelio he shared a comment by swearing or saying the equivalent of the F-word in Spanish. He also does not know what the name of the church is. He is the funniest guy around--we love him.
Also, the children here call us Hermana Quack and Hermana Fer. It's great. No one can pronounce our names. This is our new alias.
What other random things should you know?
Our bathroom in our house is outside. The shower is in one room outside and the toilet in the other. There are lizards everywhere. Everywhere.
I think that's all, but I'm going to remember everything I wanted to say when I'm laying in bed tonight at 10:30 pm. :) Love you all. Have a great week!!!!!!
Con Amor,
Hermana Fernelius
Monday, April 27, 2015

Week 68! "I'm Alive :-)"

From 4/27/15

Hola Family and Friends!
I don't have a lot of time - I'm alive.
We've seen a lot of blessings of being in the right place at the right time. We randomly knocked on a man's door looking for a reference named Hermano M. He didn't live there, but the man who answered the door let us in and said that while he lived in Cuernavaca many missionaries had contacted him, but he had never talked in depth to missionaries before. His wife came out, we introduced ourselves and said that we share a message from God. Then she burst into tears and went inside and closed the door. Uhhhh... What had we said wrong? Well, the moment that we knocked on their door, they had been fighting. His wife doesn't believe in God because of all the trials she has gone through in her life. And that on top of the struggles she's had, they have not been getting along in their marriage. It was so sad to see her husband cry too. We gave the best counsel we could in that moment - and we felt impressed to tell him that God sent us to his house as an answer to their prayers and struggles. We left with a return appointment and felt a great responsibility to help them.
It felt like Heavenly Father has given us a lot of challenging situations this week with our investigators because He trusts us. It's really amazing to think of how much the Savior loves us to help us overcome our personal challenges and trials. He bore all of these things before we ever did in order to know how to run to our aid. I know that He lives, I am grateful for His sacrifice and to be able to testify to others of Who will truly heal them and make them whole.
Have a great week!
Hermana Fernelius
P.S. There is a sugar factory in our area that literally looks like Willy Wonka's chocolate factory. It is always sending white smoke out of the towers and it looks like it's from a movie.
There are SO many caña [sugar cane] fields here. It is an area that produces SO much sugar.
I will try to send a picture next week. 
Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Week 67! "Spanglish"

From 4/20/15

Hola Family and Friends!

This was literally the fastest week of my life. I cannot believe that it is already Monday! We're all good, we're healthy, it's hot here. The fun times go on:

We got onto a combi with the Elders in our ward after our food cita [appointment] to go into our areas to go to work, when a VERY drunk semi-bilingual man got on the combi too. He sat next to my companion and pointed at the Elders and spoke to them in Spanglish the whole time. haha. They were in trouble for talking in Spanish and they were also in trouble for talking in English. This man could not be pleased. So he looked at one of the Elders and shouted in English: "ARE YOU A WOMAN OR A STUPID MAN?!"

It was beautiful.

My comp and I laughed until we cried. As the Elders got off the combi at their stop, the man tugged on the same Elder's tie a little then let him get off. Later he pointed to a young woman on the combi to get her attention and then to my companion, and said -- "She's from immigration...... DO YOU HAVE YOUR PAPERS?!!"

He tried to talk to me too. I ignored him. He says that I FOR SURE am half Cuban and half French. That's a new one. When Hermana Q couldn't handle sitting next to his sweatiness any longer, we hopped off that combi onto the highway and got onto a different one into town. Fun times.

In other news, this week really was great! We were able to see many blessings. One of these blessings was seeing an investigator in church yesterday for her first time:

We've been teaching her whole family for a couple of weeks. In our appointment this past Saturday she expressed her excitement to come to church and also told us that one of her daughters decided that she wanted to be baptized too. There were several other investigators who were supposed to come to church, but Sunday morning as we passed by for them, just about all of them canceled with us. :(

We walked into church alone. We arrived and decided to pray to feel comforted about our efforts to get people there and also our desire that more would still come. After we prayed we stepped into the foyer and immediately saw Sister M!

Sister M is the mom of this family we've been teaching. She was all dressed up and she looked nervous. Kind of like the first day of school. She sat with us and soaked up every minute of the meetings and classes. It was like the lessons were planned just for her.

Later, after church, we went to her house for a teaching appointment and taught her family about the Restoration. It was so cool!! Everyone in the family was there. The Spirit was really strong when we shared the first vision.

We came with young members of the church, named Sister V and Brother O. They are siblings. One is 19 and the other is 16. Brother O had never gone to an appointment with missionaries before and he was really nervous. We asked him to teach part of the lesson and to share his testimony. They both did a great job.

Afterward, as we walked home, he said that he loved going. He wasn't really sure about missionary work before, then when he went with us, he felt much more excited about going out with the missionaries. I think he literally said, "I'M SO STOKED to be a missionary...."

Yup something like that :) I especially love seeing youth grow in their faith and testimony. It's probably one of my most favorite aspects of missionary work. I love working with the youth and hearing their growth and progression. One of the young men that we visited often in my first area already has about 5 months on his mission. It's just so cool!!

I hope you all have a great week. Lots of love!

Con Amor,

Hermana Fernelius


BAPTISM!!  Brother F, his wife Sister C, and his son.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Week 66! "Repentance is Like Soap"

From 4/13/15

Hola family and friends!!!

Hope you all had a great week! Thanks for your emails and encouragement. This week was AWESOME!

Brother F was baptized on Friday! He's an amazing person. He says that he's been on a search for truth his whole life and when he started learning about the gospel, he felt that he finally found what he was looking for. After his baptism he shared a powerful testimony and I just felt so grateful to have been there and to see his excitement in taking this step.

Lots more happened this week!

I'm new to this area, and my companion is actually pretty new too. So there are many, many members that we still do not know. One of these members that has stopped coming for a couple of months now is named Sister C:

She and her daughter were baptized in January of this year but, like I said, have stopped coming for some time now. We went by her home and found her there, she let us in and we talked for a little bit. She is SO SWEET! I have to give her a hug every time I see her because she is just the sweetest sister ever. We sat outside of her humble house on her dirt patio and got to know her. We asked her directly what was keeping her from coming to church. She told us that she doesn't have a job or a source of income, so by the time the week ends and Sunday comes around, there is no money for transportation to church.

This was very concerning to us. The good news is that there are ward missionaries assigned to the Self Reliance Center in the Stake, designed to help people in this type of situation.

We set up an appointment to go back to visit her together with them, so that we could help her develop her capacity of self reliance in some way. When we arrived we discussed her needs in depth and talked specifically of how much she spends weekly on certain necessities. She has a part time job working at a store in her neighborhood. She washes the dishes, organizes the groceries, and does whatever little job that needs to get done. In turn she gets paid 25 pesos weekly and 3 pieces of bread and a liter of milk. 25 pesos is less than 2 dollars, and she gets paid in food because her boss knows that she has children.

The stake missionaries then asked her how much money she spends on food weekly. She replied, sometimes I only have enough to buy tortillas (which is about 80 cents in the U.S.). They asked more questions:

"Okay, but what do you eat, or how many times do you eat? Even if you spend money on salt, sugar, soup, rice, beans..."

Then she told us, "Well, my children and I usually eat one time a day. Sometimes if I have a little more, I make something to eat in the afternoon" (so that they are full longer).

Seriously, our hearts broke when we heard her say that! This sweet sister has been doing the very best she can on her own to support her children. She has a strong testimony of the gospel and an even stronger desire to keep the commandments, but she literally can't go to church because there is no money. She didn't complain to us, or make excuses or even ask for help.

We have been given so many blessings! Back home the church is a five minute walk from my home, and we always have more than enough to eat. The sisters in our ward and Relief Society are working to gather some food staples so that we can help this family get back on their feet.

This experience taught me a profound lesson.

On a happier note, we taught a new family this week. The couple is in their mid sixties and lives with a few of their grandchildren. They have many family challenges. As we talked and got to know them, it was so cool to see how open they are to our message. Even though we are total strangers to them and them to us, we starting talking as if we had known each other for a long time.

It was cool!

We felt impressed to teach them about baptism and repentance. I noticed that they started to pay close attention as we taught them that through Christ we can be cleansed from sin. Earlier I had dropped a paleta (ice cream) on my blouse and stained it. :( Que pena, right? I'm an embarrassment haha. I had tried rubbing it out with water earlier, but it didn't go away. So I carried a book in my arms all day to hide it. :) I told this couple about that stain. I asked the wife, so, I stained my shirt today, how do I get it out? She replied, By washing it. I told her yes, but I already washed it with water and it didn't do anything, what else do I need?

"Soap!" she said.

That soap is like repentance. In order to wash away the sins we've committed in our lives, we need to wash it with soap and water. We need faith in Christ, repent and make true changes and be baptized by immersion. We shared this scripture with the two of them:

"And no unclean thing can enter into his kingdom; therefore nothing entereth into his rest save it be those who have washed their garments in my blood, because of their faith, and the repentance of all their sins, and their faithfulness unto the end.

"Now this is the commandment: Repent, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me and be baptized in my name, that ye may be sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost, that ye may stand spotless before me at the last day."

The wife looked visibly different after reading this scripture out loud. We asked how she felt. All she could say was "good".

"How does 'good' feel?" we asked.

She told us, "When you read the words, 'repentance of all of their sins' I felt something inside of me." She then pointed to her chest and said, "I felt something like being satisfied or feeling filled."

I think that it was such an interesting description of the Spirit. She said that she felt satisfied and content. Like something was being filled. It stuck out to me so much. We taught them about how the Spirit feels and that the Spirit was testifying to her that this message is true! We invited them then to be baptized and they accepted! Tonight we are going by to teach them and hopefully one of their grandsons also.


This week we also met a new investigator whose name is Sister G and her sister M. The two of them are super young but look older than my companion and I. haha. Sister G is pregnant with her third child but she is only 19, and her little sister is a kick boxer who looks like she's 22 but is only 16.

We felt impressed to teach them about the Plan of Salvation. G was so super interested. They both accepted the invitation to be baptized. G kept apologizing because she had so many questions. (But every missionary LOVES questions. I love it because it shows their interest in what we are teaching).

We asked if we could set up an appointment for the following week. She then hesitated and said, "So, how does this work, can you only come by once a week, or....?"

We were puzzled. UH we can come by every day if you want (we kind of said this seriously but didn't think that she was serious).

"CAN YOU? I have so many questions. You can come by any day that you want. I want to know more!"


A few more random things:

1) I played piano yesterday in sacrament meeting. I don't know how they figured out that I play piano...since I just got here, but I love it!

2) I was studying this morning and remembered what [my former companion], Hermana N taught me from a long time ago. Maybe Salvation is personal, but Exaltation is with the family. After general conference and a few experiences this week, I've thought about the importance of our perspective of eternal families. It's the best.

3) We met two young men and women that are less active this week and we taught them that there are no coincidences and there is a reason that we live where we live and so on. As members were are in the exact place where we are needed. Then the young woman spoke up and said, I was just reading that this morning on Facebook. I put an image on my wall that says, "Lo que usted llama casualidad es la obra de Dios" ["What you call coincidence is the work of God"]. I like that phrase; there are few accidents :)

4) I will have 16 months on the mission this week. YIKES

Con mucho amor,

Hermana Fernelius
Monday, April 6, 2015

Week 65! "MIRACLES Are Real!"

From 4/6/15

Hola Family and Friends,

This week was AWESOME! Happy Easter! And happy General Conference!

Conference was so super awesome. If you were unable to see a session, watch it!! Each session was so powerful. Before going to conference, I had several questions and thoughts going through my mind. They were all answered. It truly is amazing to have living prophets and apostles who lead and direct the restored church of Christ on the earth. Watch it!

This week in our area was so wonderful and I've learned so many things. I love the way that Hermana Q teaches! She is great at asking inspired questions and helping children and adults alike find how the gospel relates to them.

This upcoming week, we are hopefully going to have a baptism. Brother F is an amazing person and he loves searching for truth. I was really impressed when I met him for the first lesson not only what he knew--but to see his conviction and faithfulness to that truth. His wife is Hermana C, a member of the church, who started coming back to church regularly about two months ago. They are both progressing wonderfully together and have made the gospel the first priority in their home. We are so excited for them.

We have seen many miracles although this week was irregular in schedule and activities. I mentioned that we were in the process of moving last week, so we found time for that, I got sick this week too, but there was still time for everything else, and we had more than normal conferences and meetings, but we still could do all the most important plans we had. The Lord helped us so much!

Yesterday, after conference we had about two hours of proselyting time before our missionary curfew. We went directly to our first plan for the hour. It was far away, and we were unsure if they would be home. When we got to the home---surprise! The parents of the girls we are teaching were not available. We spoke with the young girls outside and asked them if they knew of anyone else we could go visit. The girl responded no, at first. As she thought about it, she said, well there is someone that lives right there on the corner of the street.

"Who are they?" We asked.

She said, that's my aunt house, she's never gone to church before, but the Elders used to teach them.

We just about said, thank you and goodbye in the same sentence to the little girl as we headed off to the house. We knocked and a really happy woman greeted us. We introduced ourselves and invited her to hear more about the church. She told us, "right now, I can't be visited. I have a painful headache, but please come back again this week."

We set up an appointment and asked her about her family to know if they were also interested in hearing about the gospel. She told us that they are hardly ever home and that it was difficult to find them available. She paused and looked at us for a moment, then said, "Well, why don't you come inside and meet them. They are here right now. We've started talking out here, you may as well come inside and sit down."

YESSSSS!!!!! We incredulously hopped right on inside and met her family. :') They are a beautiful family! We spoke a little with them. Elders had met and taught them only a year before and they spoke about how they left an impact on them. The mom told us, "I loved how they talked about the importance of the family, they always talked to us about the family."

They were really humble as we spoke with them. I was impressed by their desires to change. As I watched them participate and listen and respond to our questions carefully, it was seriously the best to 'see' them feel something. We invited them to be baptized and they each accepted right away. They were unsure about being baptized in such a short amount of time, but as they let themselves be taught and motivated by their faith in Christ they accepted a baptismal date. We left feeling SUPER HAPPY! It was an answer to our prayers yesterday to find this family. It was another direct answer from a loving Heavenly Father.

Earlier this week, we were looking for old investigators but didn't know how to get to the street. We walked down the long highway and passed by a man watering his lawn. He caught my eye and I felt impressed that we should talk with him. Before I knew it, Hermana Q darted across the gravel path and asked him for directions. AWESOME. We talked to him for a little bit and invited him to accompany us at church. We also taught him about the Restoration of the gospel, he accepted another appointment with him and his cute wife his week.

It was so cool to see how we've been praying for such specific miracles (like finding a complete family or a future leader of the church, or future priesthood holder) and the Lord leads us to them. Most of the time it's by accident on our part. But it's definitely not an accident that we are trying the best we can and seeking knocking and asking, and the Lord gives us all that we need.

Like this afternoon, we went downtown to a commercial grocery store that has all the food a missionary could want at a great price and sometimes with American brand foods that you can't find anywhere else--aka paraíso yo. We got all of our dream foods, like milk that doesn't taste like cheese. haha, and got onto a combi (small bus) home. I'm laughing right now about the milk reference because we got onto the combi and Hermana Q told me how relieved she was to find cold milk (not from a carton) that didn't taste like cheese....when we suddenly hear someone next to us say. "Wow, it is so great to hear people speaking in English."

In perfect English!!!!  0.0 haha...I LOVE it when that happens because people tend to bring up the fact that they speak English right after you say something dumb (like I did this week. We passed by a man with a curly afro on our mototaxi, and I said, "Wow, look at his majestic hair. It's glorious, definitely better than mine can ever be."

Then the chauffeur says..."I speka little Inglish." 0.0 haha)

Back to the story! We started talking to this guy on the combi and we asked him where he's from.

"I'm from Las Vegas."

WHAT. ME TOO DAWG. I'M FROM VEGAS TOO!!!!!! "What part are you from?"

"I've lived everywhere, I used to live on Rainbow and Torrey Pines."


"We are basically NEIGHBORS sir!!!"

And Hermana Q is from another part of Nevada, so there was just a whole lot of commonality and normalness going down which was so weird. We made references to things back home and he understood!! Then we just start talking and I'm in total disbelief and shock at the strangeness and uncoincidentalness of this whole situation. My neighbor is on a random Mexican combi in this small town, and we just happened to get on the EXACT SAME combi out of the 12,000 who could've gotten on at the exact time that they did.

He and his awesome mystically quiet family member who was also on the combi have been to Utah and have met missionaries before. His grandma, who they were on the way to visit, used to be taught by Elders. Their gma's house is 5 minutes away from where we live. They invited us to go visit her and gave us their address so that missionaries could visit them where they currently live.


So cool, are miracles real or what? It was a clear witness of the love that Heavenly Father has for the both of us and it was a message to me that He knows where we are at and is working alongside us. He's sent us here together for a reason to help the rest of His sons and daughters who are within our reach to help. We can't do everything but with Heavenly Father's help we can do enough. We can do exactly what He wants us to do. Wow, so cool. I know I write that a lot, but for real. It's awesome.

I love all of you so much. I hope you each have a wonderful week and count your blessings because I've personally seen that there are so many!!

Love you,

Hermana Fernelius

1) Random comment from conference: "Elder Bednar looks like a bird. Elder Birdnar." Se paso.

2) I went to the hospital on Thursday because I almost died after a cita [appointment]. (I'm being a little dramatic :) but not at the same time o_o) The doctor took a physical exam and an ultrasound, found nothing wrong, basically told me that I was crazy and sent me home. All is well now, Hermana Q took good care of me.
3) We didn't have a fridge this week, and we kept forgetting about it. So Hermana Q I think was also sad about it when we bought a little bit of bread and she says, "When we get home, I'm going to warm up my bread in the fridge." hahaha We didn't have a microwave for a week either so that was a little distressing also (joking) and it is clearly starting to affect our emotional wellbeing.
4) Introducing a new missionary vocabulary word: MANDMENT: Like commandment and mandamiento BUT BETTER
Love you all!!