Monday, January 12, 2015

Week 53! "Epic-ness"

From 1/12/15

Hola Family and Friends!

How did your week go? :) Ours was great!!! Mission Life is just great all around. We had a lot of fun things that happened this week. New missionary in our apartment, new investigators, new friends, new area limits, new members - lots of good times!

Our branch has been in the process of expanding the area limits, and they were approved from the First Presidency this past week. The stake president came yesterday to our branch to announce the changes. He was very excited to also announce that families from another ward would be integrated officially into our zone. Hermana G and M are serving in the newly added area of our branch where more than 50 members are! Woo!! President expressed confidence that our branch will become a ward within a year if we diligently find, teach, and baptize.

As we heard this news, I just realized how much I LOVE THIS AREA. Our branch may have few strong members but they are the heart and soul of this beautiful area. They give all they can to whoever stands in need. Some treat us missionaries like their own daughters. They're trying to do the best they can. I have a solid, for sure, I'm not being transferred guarantee for another 5 weeks. Whew! I just want to be here for a while. :) There are too many reasons. Do you want to hear one serious reason why? We met an awesome new investigator!

Well, his name is D! We met him officially last week and set up an appointment to teach him about the church. The sisters in our branch contacted him in the street and invited him to learn more. To which he happily agreed. The sisters told us a lot about how awesome he was, we didn't realize his epic-ness until this past week!!!

D is studying for something that I can't pronounce. It's pretty complicated, so that's cool. He speaks pretty great English, knows Spanish and Portuguese and wants to learn German next. He wants to work for Audi so that's his motivation to learn German.

For our first appointment, we asked if he had read about Joseph Smith's first vision and about the Restoration. He did (WOO), so we focused on the Book of Mormon. He didn't hesitate to accept our baptismal invitation to him. He told us how he had always been interested in the church because of his member friend in school known as ''Blue''. haha. Blue has always been a good example to D and now that D is investigating the church, he's been helping D with any questions he has about the church.

We went back this week for the second appointment and decided to teach him about the Word of Wisdom. A while ago, one of our district leaders counseled us to teach a commandment the lesson following the Restoration lesson. In that manner, we would better distinguish a true investigator and someone that will progress in the gospel. If they keep a commandment like the Word of Wisdom, then they will be more receptive to the following lessons and will truly prepare for the covenant of baptism.

Well, as we taught, D was receptive to all of our discussion. He told us that he drank coffee pretty regularly to help him stay awake in his classes, but that he was willing to stop. He read the Book of Mormon assignment we left with him from the first appointment, and comprehended it well! We asked him if he had prayed to know if Joseph Smith was a prophet and he said that he felt the church was true. :D We are just so excited to teach him. He's awesome!

Speaking of awesome, we visited the very best Ao! this week. He is preparing for baptism and has not missed church for 6 weeks in a row. He comes dressed the best he can, having studied the lessons for the church classes. He is progressing incredibly!! He studies the talks from modern prophets regularly, and reads the Book of Mormon regularly along with the principles of the gospel book and other church material. He understands so much about the doctrine of the church and participates in class with wonderful comments and answers to questions. He told us in our appointment this week, that one night before falling asleep, he just thought about what else he feels he lacks before being baptized. We talked about his concerns before being baptized, and he expressed his excitement to become a member. His brother even walked into the house as we were teaching, and he stopped to listen for a bit. Ao said the last prayer before we left and he prayed for his little brother--that one day he would come to church with him too.

President Hunter said (in Spanish) 'Un gran indicador de nuestra conversión personal es el deseo que tengamos de compartir el Evangelio con los demás.'' When we see investigators excited and anxious to share the gospel with their families, it serves as a testimony to us that they really are experiencing a change through the Atonement of Christ. It's wonderful to see families that unite through the gospel. I love serving here!

We have found some really special new investigators that are excited to hear about the gospel and have accepted the invitation to be baptized. The both of them were found while looking for other members of the church:

One woman and her little daughter received us into their home. She told us, I have ALWAYS wanted to know about the church and what you do as missionaries, so when you knocked on my door, I knew I had to let you in.

We arrived at another home and knocked without a response. We stayed for an unusually long time waiting to see if someone would come to the door, JUST as we were leaving, someone opened the door and looked at us quizzedly and asked what we needed. We explained that we were searching for a family who were members of the church. She still had a perplexed look on her face as she asked, And what church are you from? We said the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints. Then she replied, my daughter and I were JUST talking about how we want to learn about God and start going to a different religion. We feel that our current religion doesn't fill and satisfy our needs.  Can we come to your church? 

Talk about a miracle. We found her by accident, which accidently was a just the right time.

That's happened often this past week. It is such a testimony to us that God loves us. My companion commented to me this week as we walked in the street of how much of a privilege it is to serve the Lord full time in a way. We see miracles so often that just fills our hearts, we love being here.

We truly have experienced miracles this week that show us how much the Lord loves us. I am really excited for this upcoming week. I hope that each and every one of you have a wonderful and successful week.

Lots of love,

Hermana Fernelius

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