Monday, January 26, 2015

Week 55! "We ATE Wine!"

From 1/26/15

Hola Family and Friends!!! :)
Thank you for your letters this week!! Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. The Lord has taken good care of all of us. I love hearing how your week has gone by because I can see the tender mercies that go by at home and here. Heavenly Father is really good to us! We've been given so many blessings.
This week was no different. We felt really blessed to have had another week in this beautiful area. We've rearranged our little area a bit more with the sister companionship in our branch. They are working pretty far away from where we actually live, and now Hermana C and I have taken over a part of where they used to work. We are still unfamiliar with it all, but now we are able to visit more members of our branch.
One of them being Sister S!! She is the woman I told my family about [over the phone at Christmas time - see "Week 51!" post for more information on this sister] that invited us to eat in her home, and gave us the most she had. It was a small portion of food -- but it was so filling!! We were stuffed after leaving her home. We went by this week to see how she was doing. And goodness, even just walking into her house, one feels at home there. She and her children fill it with a calm spirit.
Things are looking up for her because of her faith. She said she had just come home from work and was washing the clothes when we got there. That's right, she found work!! She told us: ''I work in the morning until about 4 or 5, just in time for the kids to come home from school. My job is just a few blocks away. I don't have to spend money on transportation, I can walk there. I don't have to work Sundays. Hermanas, I couldn't have asked for a better job.''
We were so happy to have seen her content. I remember visiting her just a few months ago, and she softly cried saying that no one wanted to give her work. She didn't know what she was going to do for her children. Her husband had left her and she struggled to get by, but never ever lost her faith.  She is one of the few members of our branch that has an unbreakable spirit. She did whatever and all that she could. Now, a few months later, we sat in her home in a completely different context -- one where she taught us the virtue of endurance and patiently waiting on the Lord during trials.
D&C 123:17 ''Therefore...let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed.''
What a giant Sister S is!
We had another fun experience this week. We were having little success with our contacts on Friday one seemed to have too much interest. We were praying that we might find someone who wanted to hear about the church. We changed directions and decided to go up another street. As we did, a woman hurriedly came down the sidewalk, bags in one hand and carrying flowers in the other. Although she had her hands full and was in a hurry, C stopped and listened.
We talked to her about the church and invited her to learn more. She told us that she had in fact been to our church services before -- on quite a few occasions. We asked if she was a member of the church (believe it or not, many times we meet less active members by contacting in the street). She replied, ''No, I've never been baptized....but my daughter D has!!''
C had not been living in our area for a long time, until just a few weeks ago. We were so excited to have been given an answer to our prayers to find her. There would have been very few other chances to find her had she not run into us right there on the sidewalk.
Just as quickly as we met, she left, and I remember just feeling so grateful to Heavenly Father for loving us enough to find the 'one'.
The 'one' turned into 'the two' later that same afternoon.
Hermana C and I waited at the bottom of a steep slope for an investigator to meet us there for an appointment. As we waited, a woman came down the hill with her young daughter and baby in a stroller. She was also off in a hurry, but Hermana C wasn't phased!! She began talking with her and we presented ourselves to her. L told us that she recognized us already because we passed by her house the week before looking for her grandfather -- who, as it turned out, had passed away last summer. At the time we went by her house, a granddaughter of this man answered and told us that she was not interested in hearing about the gospel.
L is though!!! :) Maybe that's because she is a member of the church too! We almost couldn't believe how awesome it was to be able to find her, because we had not planned to return to their home and search them out again. It would have been difficult to meet her unless the Lord had helped us. We asked her what day we could come by to visit her -- she said: ''I'd like for you to come when my mom is there. She's a member too!''
What a blessing! One morning this week, I was studying Mosiah chapter 14 in the Book of Mormon. This chapter is a continuation of the teachings of Isaiah by the prophet Abinadi. It's one of my favorites! As I studied I found another scripture in Ezekiel that complements the teachings from this chapter and also the lessons that the Lord has been teaching me this week. The Lord says: ''I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick.'' (Ezekiel 34:16)
I will seek that which was lost.
Have you ever felt lost? Did you know that the Lord was seeking after you? He was right there trying to direct your feet on the right path.  As we strive to seek for those that are lost I realize just how much the Lord does to help each one of us to find Him and to live right! All the time! Every day :)
Thank you for your support. I can't say enough how grateful I am to be able to serve a mission.
I wasn't able to write everything for this week, but maybe next week I'll include a couple of stories.
Love you all!!! Take care and have a wonderful week. Keep smiling and serving and always look up.
Hermana Fernelius
P.S. Last week we ATE WINE soaked cake/fudge. We didn't know!! D: All four of us were eating at an ACTIVE member's house, and they pulled out dessert after the meal. It had kind of a strange taste. But it was delicious.
I was finishing my scrumptious slice of cake, when I look up at Hermana G's horrified face, as she took her first bite. Then said ''Hermana Lta, does this have alcohol in it??!''
Hna Lta and her husband both immediately said, ''No pasa nada (don't worry about it)! We already blessed the food remember? It's okay, it's been prayed over!''
The three of us tried REAL hard not to burst out laughing with a mixture of WHAT just happened and I'm a little bit horrified as I take my literal last bite of cake. It's funny now, because not everyone can say that they have EATEN WINE before.
Later that day, Hermana G defended her quickness in recognizing wine, said she totally recognized the alcohol flavor from her 'past life' before joining the church. haha. You know what, you just have to laugh it off (as we stumbled down the street contacting). haha. ;)
Take care of what you eat and have a great week!!

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