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