Monday, September 23, 2013

Another week closer to Taiwan

Here is our latest message from Sister Fernley:

Dear Family,

I know I say this every week, but I can't believe it's P-Day again!! I always have a hard time deciding what I am going to write you all in my letters because either I can't remember everything that happened, or I have so much that I don't know what is most important. 

Anyway this has been a great week at the MTC. Our language study has been going fine as normal. One of my teachers told my companion and I that our Chinese has improved since just last week when we taught him as our investigator. I also sometimes get comments from my teachers in the emails my Branch President sends me each week. Last week my teacher said I had great Chinese. It is really good to have that reassurance because I think sometimes it is a lot harder to see improvement in yourself than in others. I'm just grateful for the opportunity to learn such a great language. Sometimes I just have to laugh because it sounds so funny.

Our teaching is also improving a lot. My companion and I have started figuring out how to bring the Spirit and teach people instead of lessons. We are seeing the effects of that with our investigators and it is nice to see evidence that you are actually doing something right. This last week we got a commitment from one investigator to go to church and our other committed to prepare to be baptized!! We were so excited, even though it isn't a real investigator. 

Oh and I have to tell you something crazy that happened this week. We got a new Mandarin speaking district this last Wednesday (the first new one since our arrival) and my companion and I went down the hall to get a drink. The new districts classroom was right across from it and their teachers were helping them get settled in the classroom and were there to greet the new missionaries as they came in. I wasn't really paying attention but one of the teachers came up to me and started asking me something in Chinese. I heard him say Viewmont and realized he was asking me if I went there. I glanced at his name tag, and it said Brother Workman! He was my Chinese partner in advanced Chinese my sophomore year! He had been a senior and I guess he went to Taibei on his mission. He actually taught the other girl in our class a few months ago who is also going to Taibei. It was crazy! And I was just ecstatic that he even remembered me!

Anyway, I know that's probably not very exciting for you all, but I was thrilled for the next couple of days. Turns out he is actually roommates with one of my teachers.

As for the rest of the week we had an incredible devotional on Tuesday. I can't remember who was speaking, isn't that funny? But It was about loving the people we serve and they will love us in return. I was really grateful for it because I felt like it was an answer to my prayers. I have been asking Heavenly Father to help me become a better missionary so I can have a lasting impact on the people of Taiwan, even if I'm not teaching them. I came away from it thinking that I really need to love these people, I need to love them so much that it shows. 

This week I've really been trying to be positive in all things. I haven't felt like I've been depressed or even sad at all lately but I have just been trying to be more positive and trying to smile at everyone. This badge that I wear means so much and I want to do all that I can to honor the name it holds and the expectations that come with wearing it. I love this work! And I can't wait to actually start serving in Taiwan. I'm still nervous, but I know I can do this with the Lord.

A couple of days ago my teacher decided that we weren't going to have our grammer lesson (I think he knew we wouldn't stay awake if we did) so we practiced street contacting with each other. We were all really nervous at first but it was actually really fun! I'm sure it will be a lot harder out there because we won't understand what they are saying. Sister Hsu (prounounced Shu) was saying that if she was a real investigator one of the Elders would have creeped her out, but then she told me she felt like we were becoming friends. So maybe there's hope, haha.

I love you all and pour over the MTC delivery letters you send several times a week. Sometimes I read them before I go to bed and they just make me smile. I love that Jemma still thinks about me and that she is remembering me in her prayers! That made me a little teary actually. I pray for you all every night! 

Also those pictures that she took were really good! I was impressed! I'm so glad she is loving preschool and is having fun with friends. I have the bubblegum that she gave me in my book bag, and now everything I take out of it smells like bubblegum and it makes me think of her. I can't remember if I already told you that. I'm glad work and such are livable and hope that this week is even better than the last!

With much love,

Sister Fernley

And a bonus message in the form of an afterthought (thank goodness for email):

Oh another thing I was going to mention. Sorry I'm really forgetful today. They put together a sister missionary choir to sing for the relief society broadcast, but I didn't get picked to be in it. My companion did though so you could see her. I just know people might ask. It was a little bit of a bummer, but oh well. I will enjoy it from the MTC. 

Also one thing we talked about in class that I really loved was that baptism shapes our whole lives. We talked about how when we are baptized we receive the Spirit and that affects our lives so much more than we know. Baptism isn't an end goal it is a beginning to a new life and new opportunities. I have never thought about it much but I loved that. I've also been studying a lot about baptism in my personal study and the blessings it brings. There are so many that I don't think we realize. It is such a great gift and I don't know what my life would have been like without it. I'm so excited to help others come to baptism and pray with all my heart that their hearts will be opened to receive it and this glorious message.

I can't remember if I said this in my first letter but lately I have been thinking a lot about what I want to accomplish on this mission. And I have realized that even if I don't get one baptism, even if no one seems interested I will be perfectly happy. I just hope that I can plant some seeds and eventually they will be allowed to grow so that one day the Taiwanese people I teach will accept baptism. I am on His work and He knows who I will be teaching and the success I will have and that is enough for me. As long as I remember and know that I am doing His will and my mission is turning out how He wants it I will be perfectly happy and be able to say that I have "fought a good fight and finished my course."

Anyway those were some last couple of thoughts. I love you all! Until next week!

Sister Fernley

1 comment:

  1. What a great example she is! i love her goal to try to be "positive in all things". i'm going to try to be like her. i may not be wearing an actual missionary badge, but i'm a member of this church and need to be an example. i'm glad she reminded me of that. love her letters!!