Sunday, March 23, 2014

Miracle Week

Sounds like Sister Fernley had an amazing week in Qishan. Here is her latest message:

I have been so excited to email and let you all know that God is a God of miracles! Truly His hand is in our lives so much and He gives us so many miracles. Sometimes we are just too blind to see them. He lives, He loves us and He cares about us. 

This week I saw the fulfillment of there being "another miracle just around the corner." That seems to be the catch phrase for my mission so far. It is so true and I am learning more and more how much His hand really is in our lives. Its becoming easier and easier to see the miracles, small they may be, and see how much our Heavenly Father really loves us.

Honestly I don't even know what we did or what triggered everything. This week seemed like a normal week, nothing much incredibly special happening, but yesterday at church we ended up with an incredible amount of RCs, LAs, and yes even investigators at church! It was an incredible blessing! We had correlation meeting after church and our Ward Mission Leader and the elders were also really excited about the progress that we have been able to see this past week. When I first got to Qishan they had two investigators weren't and still aren't very promising. But in the past week the Lord has blessed us so much that we were able to find four new investigators!

Last week I think I told you about Du Shao Jie (?). She is the thirteen year old daughter of the bike man that we go to. He is one of the Elder's investigators and consequently his younger brother is one of our less active members. I guess Du dixiong's daughter has heard some of the lessons the elders have with her dad and always asks us her questions, which are pretty deep, when we stop by. So the before I got here they would go over and answer any questions she had, but she was never formally taking the missionary lessons. So we went over one day, I can't remember if we actually needed to fix our bikes that time or not, but she asked us a question about a scripture in the Book of Mormon. It just so happened that that morning I had studied and taught a lesson to an LA in Tainan (while I was there for exchanges). It was perfect and I was completely prepared to answer her question. I don't even know how the discussion turned, but we started How to Begin Teaching (from Preach my Gospel) and ended up asking her if she was willing to formally start taking the missionary lessons...she was, and then if she would be willing to be baptized. After we asked her this question she didn't even hesitate and said, "I want to!" 

On Sunday we got to church just in time for sacrament to start because we were trying to help her get to church. She was so excited when her grandma gave her permission to come! She is handicapped and has a little bit of trouble walking, so we painstakingly tried to find a member that 1.could actually drive a car to church and 2. had enough room in their car to bring her. Anyway we were able to get her to church okay, but most everyone had already showed up so I ended up sitting on the other side of the congregation with one of our members who had brought two friends to church. Two miracle investigators at church! 

We also had a sister that we contacted on the road about a week and a half ago show up. We have never met with her, but during our initial contact she told us she wanted to come to church and set up with us to meet right before church so we could help her find the chapel. Two weeks in a row she didn't show up, but yesterday part of the way through sacrament meeting she came in with her two kids! We were able to talk to her for a minute after church and have an appointment with her later this week. 

So pretty much after church on Sunday I was a very satisfied and a very grateful missionary :). 

On Tuesday we were able to meet with two high school girls who our Sister Training Leader contacted on exchanges. They brought another friend and we were able to introduce them to our purpose as missionaries and talked to them about baptism. This was the first time I have ever been that bold as to bring it up the first time I've met with someone, but Sister Yeh and I have been really trying to be more bold as missionaries. So we went for it, and they looked a little uncomfortable, but we both knew that we were completely fulfilling our purpose as missionaries. We weren't ashamed of our message. It was such a good feeling.

Friday and Saturday we incredibly busy days. For some reason everyone wanted to set up for Friday morning and afternoon (which is usually our weekly planning time). So we had to call our zone leaders and get permission to change that and headed off to meet with several LAs. That same day we helped move furniture out of our soon-to-be new apartment! I keep forgetting to tell you about this, but when I got to Qishan Sister yeh told me they were trying to find a new apartment for us because our current one has a lot of problems. A couple of weeks ago they told us they found one on the ninth floor of our current complex. The ninth floor is where they used to hold church services before their church building was build. (Destiny right?) So for the past couple of weeks we have been going up to the ninth floor to shower (our apartment doesn't have any hot water so before we were taking cold showers). We are going to be able to completely move into that apartment this Thursday

Saturday we biked forever! Earlier in the week I was calling dead stack and called a lady that had been contacted twice by missionaries on the street. Once in 2009 and then again a few months ago. Before when missionaries tried to set up with her she always said she was too busy, but this time she was willing to set up with us for Saturday afternoon. 

That morning we had set up to go visit a member and it took us about an hour to bike to her house. She is an elderly lady and her house is huge so we helped her do some yard work for a little while then left her house around one. Our appointment with the contact mentioned earlier was at three, but it took us the whole time to bike to where she lives. It literally felt like we were biking forever! A lot of it was uphill, so coming home only took us about fourty minutes. I think there and back was about 30 km. 

Anyway we had planned to teach her the first lesson, but she immediately told us that she often feels like she doesn't know what she is doing on earth and doesn't know what our purpose here is. So...we taught her the Plan of Salvation. It was a really good lesson and she was really engaged. She has investigated a lot of different religions and was always comparing what we were saying to other religions, but I think our lesson helped her a lot. We don't have a specific time to go back and visit her because her work schedule is unpredictable, but we hope that we will be able to share with her more. 

And then we had our incredible Sunday! This week was super busy and I am incredibly tired, but very happy and grateful to have seen so many miracles. 

To answer your questions for this week we have been trying to meet with the members a lot more. The stake president has asked the missionaries to do that more to try and get referrals from the members. So last week we went and visited five of our members and shared "Hastening the Lord's Game Plan" from general conference. This week we have another five that we want to try and go visit. At this rate we are going to quickly run out of members to visit, but it is helping me get to know the members a lot better. The ward isn't very big, even smaller than Nantou, but the members are great. They are so willing to help the missionaries and peike, but the sisters didn't have investigators before so they never had the opportunity. Truly "nothing happens in missionary work until you find people to teach."

We haven't heard anything about general conference yet, but I know the members here have to wait until the week after to watch it in Chinese. They go to the church and watch it together, but I don't know what they are going to do for us. I am so excited to listen to conference again and hear what the prophet and apostles are going to invite us to do! I can't believe that conference is coming on us again. It seems like I was just listening to conference in the MTC! 

I loved seeing what you did for Saint Patrick's Day! I love that you're having so much fun with it. Jemma will remember it forever! So creative! And your cheescake looks incredible. They have cheesecake here, but they take it more literal here, it's not as good. And they don't like things too sweet. They even sell mildly sweet oreo's here...that would never happen in America. Haha.

Dad told me in his email this week that he has learned he doesn't like change. I have realized recently that I don't like change either, but my mission is teaching me to like it. In regards to investigators I love change (for the better), but when it comes to move call and moving areas I don't like it. I don't like being out of my comfort zone and on a mission you are constantly out of your comfort zone. I guess Heavenly Father helps us make weak things become strong. I hope everything works out with work, I know it will. Keep me posted. 

Well I think this email is long enough! Besides I'm almost out of time, but know that I love you all so much! I love this gospel. I love being a missionary. I love trials because they help you grow. I love that I'm learning how to change myself. I love that I'm learning to see miracles every day. I love that I get to bear testimony everyday. I love that I have a family that I know loves and supports me. I love that I have a sister who I love with all my heart. I love my Savior and I know He loves each and every one of us. 

I can't wait to hear from you all next week! Stay happy and cherish every minute. Time is precious and it goes by way too fast.

With all my love,

Sister Fernley

(Sorry I don't have any new pictures this week!)

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