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

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