Wednesday, April 30, 2014

We had a baptism!!!

Wonderful news from Sister Fernley this week. Here is her latest message. Also I've added a couple pictures to the last two blog posts, so you may want to scroll down just to see them.

Yaaayyy!!! We had a baptism this week!! So excited! And it turned out just incredible.

I loved reading your emails and it sounds like you are all doing well. Sister Anderson and I were talking this week about how we miss just going out and doing stuff with our families, or being able to come home and have a lazy movie night with your family. Its the simple and mundane things that I miss the most.

Anyway, enough of that. This time will be over faster than we know it. (Did you know next month I hit half way!? Time goes by so fast!)

I just want to tell you about the baptism, but I'm going to force myself to start from the beginning of the week. We actually got "fonged" a lot this week. (There's a saying here "fonged women de geze" which literally means left us sitting like pigeons. The missionaries use it all the time when we get stood up for lessons.) But thus is the life of a missionary I guess. 

Despite getting stood up a lot and having our plans fall through we still worked really hard. We met with one of the ladies we had tracted into the first week of the move call and were able to teach her and her husband a little about the Restoration. We invited them to be baptized, and they told us there was absolutely no possibility, but are still willing to learn so we are going to keep going back. (The Hong family, my RCs in Nantou, started off that way too.) So we got two new investigators!

We dropped Ma Jiemei this week. We went back to go see if she prayed and she hadn't. The whole time we were there we felt like we were being mocked by her and her son. Her son had a friend come over and they told us to teach him how to pray and that he could have a lot of interest. I was trying to include them all and have Ma Jiemei talk about prayer (because she knows what it is), but they wouldn't. So I gave up and focused on the friend. We taught him how to pray using the Plan of Salvation I miraculously had in my bag, maybe the Plan of Salvation is what he really needs. He even said the prayer. He was so willing to try and listened to everything we said. The Spirit was definitely there when we were teaching him, but when we turned back to Ma Jiemei and her son it was not there. 

If nothing else my mission has definitely taught me how to be bold. We were really straight forward with her and I asked her some pretty bold questions. Sister Anderson was so mad that she couldn't speak so I took the lead. I can't remember everything I said, but I know I asked her why she would let us in. She said she wanted us to play Mah Jhong. So I asked her what was more important Mah Jhong or her salvation. She said Mah Jhong was more important. I also asked her what she was afraid of, she just pushed that one off and made a ton of excuses. We then testified as much as we could and with all our hearts. I testified to her as a representative of Christ that our message is true and that she could know it. We prayed, left the door, and aren't going back. Maybe one day she will be prepared. Maybe she will be humbled enough to "experiment on the word," but for now we need to move on and find those who are prepared now for the gospel.

Actually we ended up dropping a lot of our investigators. They weren't progressing or didn't really want to learn. There are so many people here who just want to learn about Americans or are too embarrassed to reject us. We need to focus our efforts elsewhere. Its really hard to drop investigators, but sometimes it needs to be done.

On Friday we had interviews with President and Sister Blickenstaff as well as planner and area book checks. So since we are in the middle of nowhere we spent most of the day traveling. To get to Sanmin (where we have ZTM and interviews) we have to ride the bus for about an hour and then have to take a taxi to the chapel for about twenty minutes. We got there and had a great time. I love getting suggestions from our leaders on how we can better do this work and be better servants of the Lord. 

Perhaps one of my favorite things was walking down the hallway and seeing all the other missionaries together. It truly is a pick-me-up to be gathered together. The companionship of other young men and young women also trying their hardest to do the work of the Lord, who are going through the same trials, the same joys and understand every single thought and experience you go through (because they've had the same ones) is an incredible blessing. It makes me think of how incredible and how much more joy and comfort we will have when we come face to face with our Savior. He knows us completely and individually. That feeling of security will be ten times greater and how much greater will be our joy. 

I know that my redeemer lives! He knows us, and He loves us! How great is our joy!

As soon as we walked in we were also greeted by one of our zone leaders and one of the assistants to the president who were waiting for their next planner check. We were able to talk to them for a minute and our zone leader (who moved into the zone the same time I did) said to us, "You are tearing it up in Qishan! What are you doing?" 

And you know what, I have no idea. I don't know why the Lord has let us see so many miracles. All I know is we are doing our best and having faith. I guess that's enough. It is such a good feeling though to see an area completely change for the better.

Then Saturday was our baptism! The rest of the day wasn't super eventful or incredible. We went and found an LA who wants nothing to do with the church because she was offended then feel dead asleep while we were talking to her. (we left a note) Then did some tracting and that was about it. We went to the church super early to make sure the font was clean and start heating up the water and testing it. While we were waiting I called some phones and Sister Anderson worked on writing the program for that night. We ran and got some dinner and then went back to the church. Around that time I started feeling really sick. My stomach pains came back like they would before and recently I've been catching a cold so I was really uncomfortable. I felt really bad, but Sister Anderson set up and let me sit down for a little while. Thankfully it went away completely right before the baptism (prayer works!).

Anyway I loved being at the church and seeing the font. Whether we were testing the water, moping out the font, or checking the water temperature every single time we walked back there I just took a minute to look and to take it in. And every single time I was hit by the spirit. It is so strong there! It is such a sacred place and that was manifest to me as we were preparing for the baptism. This is where people start new lives, they covenant with God and start a life turned toward Christ. 

Yeh Jiemei was actually able to come to the baptism because they found out it could only take them an hour if a member drove them to Qishan (President won't let us go if it takes more than an hour.) So we had a very happy investigator and it was great to see her again. 

The program went well and so many of our members showed up to support Shao Jie. It was incredible and I was so proud of our ward! When it was time for the ordinance we helped her get back to the stairs and we all watched from the side as she was baptized. She had to be baptized three times to finally get her all the way under the water. I was really nervous because she was so afraid of going under water in the first place. When she walked out she was breathing hard and I asked her if she was okay. She stopped for a second then said to me, "When I was under the water it felt like I had Jesus Christ by my side."

I lost it. I was doing really good until then, but that tipped me over and I started crying. She is only 12 and is so close to God and the spirit. I am so privileged to know her. She bore her testimony after and then at church on Sunday and said she was afraid at first so she said a little prayer before she went in and it helped her feel more calm. I love seeing the faith of these people! It is something so foreign at first to them, but when they believe they hit the ground running and are incredible examples to me.Sunday Shao Jie received the Holy Ghost and was absolutely beaming! 

On Sunday we had another day of miracles! Besides Shao Jie receiving the Holy Ghost we had miracle investigators show up as well as a ton of RCs and LAs. It was another one of those days where every single time I hear the door open behind me and look back I am amazed and the blessings of God! About half way through Huang Jiemei (the mom of the family we tracted into and had a ton of questions) walked in with her mom and two of her kids. They stayed through the whole three hours and are planning on coming again. She loves that church teaches her children good values. I can't wait to see where this family will go!

We were also privileged to have President and Sister Blickenstaff come to our ward and speak in Sacrament meeting. I love them so much! They are so full of power and of the Spirit. (Also I was extremely proud that the Sunday they come to Qishan, a small city in the middle of nowhere in Taiwan, they were able to see a confirmation.) Tender mercies. 

After church the ward members had prepared an even more elaborate meal than usual for the missionaries and President and Sister Blickenstaff. It was a little strange being with them in a normal setting, but we were able to sit, talk, and eat lunch with them before they had to leave. 

That night we went back and visited Huang Jiemei and taught her about the Restoration. She was completely intent on what we were teaching and had so many questions we ended up teaching bits and pieces from all the other lessons. We gave her a pamphlet and she started reading the definitions in the back to understand better and even started asking us about baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost. 

After that we mustered up all the energy we could and biked back to Qishan. I don't know what it is, but we both have been completely exhausted the past couple of weeks. Thank goodness today is P-day!

Well I'm almost out of time. So much happened this week! I'm glad Jemma got her stickers and likes them! To answer dad's questions Chinese is coming along. I feel like I can pretty much communicate with everyone now and have recently been trying to work on my reading and writing, because in that aspect I am practically illiterate. So hard! Why can't they just have an alphabet? I'm safe and eating fine, probably too much. At least we are biking all the time right?

I love you all and miss you! We will try to figure out what we are doing for skype this week and I'll let you know. Love You!

There's another miracle just around the corner.

Sister Fernley

Love you all 8080808090808080908090908090. Give Jemma a hug for me!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

I love being a missionary in Taiwan!

Here is Sister Fernley's latest message:

My dear family!

First off I love you all so much! I am so grateful that my Heavenly Father loves me so much that He gave me such an incredible family and that I've had the privilege to grow up in the gospel. I am so grateful for our Savior, Jesus Christ, and for the Resurrection. He lives! I know it and I cannot deny it. I love testifying of Him everyday! 

The sad thing is, I actually forgot it was Easter. There is absolutely no indication of Easter anywhere. No eggs, no bunnies, no mention of Christ and His miraculous rising from the dead. Nothing. Actually Sister Anderson and I went to try and contact at a market in Qishan and as we were walking away from someone who, once again, rejected us he muttered a barely audible FuHuo Jie (Easter, literally Resurrection Holiday. Sometimes Chinese makes so much sense.) Sister Anderson and I just looked at each other and sheepishly kept moving forward because the two white, Christian missionaries amid all the Buddhist, Daoist, and Amitofu Taiwanese forgot about Easter. Zao Gao!

Anyway, aside from forgetting about Easter this week has been fantastic! I have absolutely loved serving with Sister Anderson! She is hilarious and we have laughed so hard this week together. Laughter really is the best medicine, plus ice-cream, plus super awesome members and investigators.

At the beginning of the week we were talking about Qishan and the numbers here. Sister Anderson shared with me another missionary's tips for hitting mission standards and we decided to try it! We didn't hit it yet, but we have seen so many miracles. Our numbers as far as members attending our lessons with investigators, Less active lessons, and such have been higher than I have had since training. Needless to say we were extremely excited to report numbers this morning. Heavenly Father loves us! The work is moving forward in Qishan! It really is a place of miracles!

As far as our investigators go Shao Jie is getting baptized this week!!! YAY! She passed her interview yesterday and is really excited. She is so golden. I just love her so much. I also just found out Sister Yeh couldn't get permission to come so I am going to have several very sad, disappointed investigators in the next couple of days. Pray for me, I'm going to need it. 

Zong Jiemei (actually I figured out this week is is actually Zhong, Yeh Jiemei just has a terrible Taiwanese accent) has a new baptismal goal and I think she is starting to get it. We will she if she starts progressing, we need to start teaching the commandments to that might be the make-it or break-it.

We went and visited Ma Jiemei again this week. We even had a few member present lessons with her. Our first lesson with her this week we had one of our RCs come with us and I absolutely loved seeing her teach Ma Jiemei and testify of what she knows. 

The second time we went and visited her one of our Sisters who just got home from her mission came with us. The lesson before we had invited Ma Jiemei to pray about the Book of Mormon and our message to know if it is true...She hadn't done it. So we spent the whole lesson teaching about prayer and why we need it. We asked why she hadn't prayed; she said she didn't know how to do it. So we taught her how to do it; she said she didn't know why we needed it. So we talked about how God can help us; she doesn't think she needs help. So we taught about God helps us in our trials and with our weaknesses; she doesn't think she has any. So we talked about her kids and how she can pray for her kids in their trials; she doesn't think they have any. Her son said he did. She still wouldn't pray. I told her Jemma is four and can pray; still nothing. We told her Sister Anderson's niece is two and can pray; still nothing. I scripted a prayer for her to say; still wouldn't do it. It was one of the most extremely frustrating lessons ever!!! But it was also super funny! She said she wants to practice and then will tell us when she is ready. Mostly I think she is just afraid to pray because she's afraid of getting an answer.

We have several other new or potential investigators that could start progressing soon. We will see this week. Of which include our RCs eight year old son, that family we tracted into several weeks ago (that I felt we needed to tract), a former, a contact at the morning market who works at the coffee shop, and an old english student. I'm excited to see so many miracles this next week!

In addition to all of our miracles we has some extremely funny experiences. It's times like these that I love being a missionary in Taiwan.

I think it was Tuesday, but we went tracting and ended up on this super small street in the middle of nowhere. Most people weren't home, but we went up to one house that sounded like it had people home. Their glass door was slid open and we could hear two people talking back in the kitchen through the screen door. They didn't hear our knock so we yelled, "Is there anyone home? We're missionaries and have a happy message to share with you." They went completely silent. It reminded me of when I was at home alone and when anyone would come to the door I would stop moving and pretend that I wasn't home until they would go away. That is exactly what they did, but they were adults. We waited for a minute to see if they would come to the door. After a couple of minutes they started talking again, but we were still there. We chuckled a little bit and as we were leaving I yelled through the door that we welcomed them to our church. Woops, we were still there. Their plan was foiled. They stopped talking again.

Also, I don't know if you know this, but Christ is coming next year on my birthday. I learned this from a very reliable source, an investigator who will not pray for anything! Yep, Ma Jiemei informed us this week that the Savior is coming October 4, 2015. So prepare, its coming fast. She says she read it in the Bible and wouldn't believe us when we told her no one knows. So she's convinced, maybe we can use that to get her to pray. 

I also had one of the most terrifying experiences of my mission the other day. We had gone to tract an area farther out in Qishan. We were biking back and a man on the other side of the street started frantically walking toward us. I stopped my bike, a little afraid and not sure what he was doing or if he needed help. He mumbled something in a frantic voice that sounded like a question but I did not understand what he said. At first I thought it might be Taiwanese. He asked it again and I still didn't know what he was saying. The third frantic time I understood what he was asking us. "Is today Saturday?!" As soon as I understood I told him, yes today was Saturday. That seemed to satisfy him and he awkwardly walked back to the other side of the street. I tried to ask if he needed help, but he was already gone and wasn't paying attention to us anyway. Really strange, but we had a good laugh about it, still do. 

That's about the recap for this week. It was been incredible, funny, exhausting, patience-trying, and miracle filled. I'm so grateful to serve here in Qishan and that Sister Anderson and I can serve together.

I loved the Easter pictures you sent me! They are absolutely beautiful and it looks like you had so much fun! Jemma's dress is beautiful! Mandy did a great job! I love Jemma's poses, really cute. 

Also glad you had a good time in Idaho. I miss the dry climate. It is getting really hot here and I feel like my skin is constantly wet. It's gross. Anyway I love you all and loved your emails. Tell Jemma I love her and that I'm so glad Easter was fun for her. Give her a giant squeeze for me :)! I can't wait to talk to you soon! (Mother's Day is in three weeks!)

Have an incredible week. Know that I love you, pray for you, and think about you all the time. Love every moment, even when it's hard. Trust in God and find ways to improve. For that is our purpose here, to improve and grow closer to God and Christ. There is no greater gift! 

There is another miracle just around the corner!

With all my love,
Sister Fernley 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

New Companion in Qishan

Sister Fernley is still having a wonderful experience in Qishan--and she got a new companion! Here is the message we received from her on Sunday:

Hello dear family!

Today was move call! I can't believe the last move call is already over. I have been in Qishan for six weeks and it has flown by so fast. I am still in Qishan and Sister Sadie Anderson is my new companion! We were in the same zone when I was being trained. We both also went to Viewmont. Shes a year younger than me, but we know a lot of the same people. (Weird, this seems to be happening to me quite often.) I am so excited! This move call is going to be so much fun! I'm a little nervous about leading the area, we will probably get lost...a lot, but it will all work out. I also seem to be everyone's guinea pig. When I was trained it was my trainer's first time training, and every companion after that it has been their first time as senior companion.

I loved the pictures Nicole sent this week! The prayer photo shoot looks like it went really good. I love the positive take on power. Prayer really does have so much power. I have seen it time and time again. 

Jemma is getting go big! Her new bed looks like a blast though and I'm so glad she likes it. She's growing up too tell her to stop. :) I got her email and it made me smile. I love to hear from her.

I'm glad dad had a good time in New York. I love that he just likes to go on adventures on his own. I'm glad he learned a lot and that what he has learned will help him at North Star. I'm sure you were all happy when he got home and the family was back together again. (Also, what is a yarmulke?)

I hope you have a great time in Idaho! Can't wait to hear about your adventures, and see the pictures. Haha.

This week, I can't remember much of this week. Things have slowed down a  little bit, but I know we will be able to see miracles still and that Qishan can progress even more. 

We still have Shao Jie who has a baptismal goal for the 26th. She is golden. Seriously. She's only 13, but she accepts everything. She has told us that when we go and visit her she has a warm feeling and is really happy. We've been trying to help her recognize the Spirit and help her know that God really has been answering her prayers. I love being able to guide these people to realize the hand of God in their lives. She also says when she prays she feels really peaceful, but has felt that she hasn't received an answer yet. We explained to her that she has, she just didn't realize it. She was really sad when Sister Yeh had to leave (she has gone to Gangshan). I think her fear of water has been staunched, she seems to be doing well and is excited to be baptized.

Zong jiemei is still willing to learn, but I'm a little concerned about her motives. Sometimes it feels that she doesn't really understand the importance of baptism, that is just another experience that you can check off. Sometimes it also feel like she just wants to be friends with us. She hasn't come to church for the full time yet so we had to drop her baptismal goal. We are going to try and set another one with her, but I think it should be farther out. I want to make sure she is baptized because she believes and that she understands that it is a big deal and is really important. So we are going to step back for a little bit and take it slow.

Ma jiemei (the kind of crazy one): its always an interesting experience going to visit her. Honestly I can't even remember what we taught her, I think it was the Plan of Salvation. We invited her to be baptized, but she does not want to because she does not want to have to come to church every week. She says she doesn't like having a set time to have to do anything. She also thinks it would be best to just wait until shes going to die and then get baptized. At that time I didn't really have a very succinct answer to give her and the conversation turned anyway, but conference helped me so much and I feel like I can answer her very specifically now. She also seems to think that it would be a good idea for me to meet her son and become his girlfriend. We keep trying to tell her about our rules and counter her attempts, but she is still persistent in asking. She also it trying really hard to get us to come to her house and play Mahjhong with her and her sons. She doesn't take no, we can't, it's a rule for an answer. So we may need to find a member who will be willing to help us appease her and go play. She believes the Book of Mormon is true and has already read a good chunk of 1 Nephi (which is more than most people) she just doesn't want to get baptized yet. But I know we can continue to work with her. Maybe if she keeps reading and learning she will develop the desire.

Other than that not much has happened. We haven't found anyone new yet, but I know they are out there! A lot of the people we were meeting with before have gotten really busy lately. Maybe that's Heavenly Father telling us we need to move on to other people. 

I was able to listen to General Conference finally! The bishop set up a TV with it in english for the missionaries, but the elders wanted to listen to it in Chinese and Sister Yeh doesn't speak english. She ended up sitting in the back of the chapel so we could open the folding wall a little bit so we could see each other. So I got to sit in a little room all by myself listening to conference in English. I loved it though! I learned so much and was able to learn about how to help some of our LAs and investigators. My favorite talk was President Uchtdorf's Sunday morning about gratitude. Developing an attitude of gratitude will bring us true joy and happiness. If we are grateful in every situation, happy or sad, we will be blessed and will be better able to lift the burdens that we have to carry. I also can't wait until we can read and study the conference talks and study even more. There were so many invitations given and I can't wait to apply them and become a better disciple of Christ and strengthen my testimony.

To answer Dad's question new converts are considered RCs for the first year after their baptism, unfortunately a lot of them go less active soon after baptism. In Taiwan a member is considered less active if they come to church less than once a month. (I know, really crazy. That would never be considered active back home.)

The teenager that has shown up to church the last couple of weeks didn't come this week. We met with her last week and taught her about the Restoration. We invited her to read the Book of Mormon and pray, but she was really scared about praying because she is nervous her ancestors will get mad at her (her family is Buddhist). She didn't show up this week and we have no way to contact her because she would never give us her address or cell phone number. I'm afraid she might disappear.

Anyway, that's about it. We worked hard, we were happy and I know if we continue the Lord will bless us. I am so excited for this next move call with Sister Anderson! I know we can see miracles if we just keep trying! I love you all, you are always in my prayers!

With all my love,

Sister Fernley

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Small and simple things

Sister Fernley sounds like she is doing fabulously well! Qishan is ready for the harvest it seems. Here is her latest message:

Dear Family,

Well another week has gone by and this move call is almost over! What! Move call comes in on Saturday night. Sister Yeh and I are pretty sure that she will be moving (she's been in Qishan for four and a half months), and I will be staying in Qishan, but you never know. 

This week started out as a pretty normal week. It didn't seem like there was anything outstanding happening. Actually we have had a really hard time getting a hold of any of our RCs or LAs. But the past couple of days I've been able to look back and realize that there have been so many miracles. Many are small, but it is through "small and simple things that great things are brought to pass." 

Tuesday morning we went to go try and visit an LA that our Relief Society president requested we go visit, but once again she wasn't home. The last time we tried to visit her and she wasn't home we decided to tract her street. We were just about out of time but decided to tract a few more doors. At one of the homes a lady answered the door and we were immediately engulfed with the smell of smoke. This lady looked pretty disheveled and was wearing pretty skimpy clothing. She also sounded a little drunk. It reminded me a little bit of Dad's story about Patty Thurston (?). We told her we were sharing a message that will strengthen families and that has blessed our lives. I asked if we could come back and share more with her and she said we could. 

So when our LA wasn't there again we decided to try and visit the lady we had tracted into. She was home and let us in. She said she had had missionaries come over before and pulled out a bunch of pamphlets and magazines from the Jehovah Witness missionaries. We have actually run into a lot of people who have had Jehovah Witnesses share with them before. When we told her we were a different church and that all Christian churches weren't the same she started asking why there were so many. She said it didn't make sense. We started the first lesson and were telling her about how the Lord calls prophets and how the prophets in the Bible were called of God. 

When my companion was telling her about Moses and Noah this lady exclaimed, "yea, but they are all dead. Right?"

I replied, "Yes, but we know that we have a living prophet."

As soon as I said this she very excitedly asked, "where!?"

We were then able to testify to her about our living prophet and talk to her about the authority of God, and luckily I had the conference edition of the ensign in my bag so we could show her pictures of the Prophet and his Apostles. Through this whole thing she was very attentive and started telling us that all the churches should combine into one and that we should tell our prophet to arrange it. We taught her more about the priesthood and when I was telling her that without the priesthood we didn't have authority of God and that we need prophets and apostles to guide us and help us know the will of the Lord. I told her that other churches didn't have this authority. She then pointed at the pictures of the prophet and apostles and said, "well they should ask them."

She was so willing to accept that these men were called of God, it was incredible. We taught her the first lesson and gave her a Book of Mormon. When we told her about Joseph translating the book into english she asked us what language it was in before. We showed her Nephi 1 where it talks about it being the language of the Hebrews with Egyptian characters. 

We then continued to invite her to read the book and pray about it, and if she would do these things she would know it was true and is the word of God. 
Her reply..."I already believe it is true."
Me: "Why do you believe it is true?"
Her: "Well translating that must have been really hard. He had to have the help of God."

Incredible. We invited her to read and then she started talking about how she has read a little bit of the Bible and doesn't like it. She started reading in Genesis when the Lord tells Abraham that he is going to destroy Soddom and Gommorah. She doesn't like the idea that the Lord would destroy a whole city because they were completely wicked. So she told us, "I believe the Book of Mormon is true, and I believe in Jesus Christ, but I don't like His actions."

 She doesn't like Jesus Christ. What? That's a problem. 

We didn't have time to sit with her much longer, but we testified of Christ and of the gospel to her and invited her again to read and pray. This week we will hopefully be able to go over again and share from the Book of Mormon about Christ and the atonement. We'll see if that helps. 
For the past week every time I have thought about this lesson or flipped through our Area Book and saw her information it has made me laugh. She is probably my favorite contact so far.

Anyway, other miracles we have seen:

We tracted into a member's mom who was really lonely and discouraged because her daughter didn't come home for the weekend holiday. (Friday everyone went grave sweeping. Basically they just clean the graves of their family members and then go and bai bai.) We were able to cheer her up and comfort her a little bit and now have the ward on board to help her.

We went to go find an LA family and had an incredible lesson with the mom. She is really willing to come back to church. We asked about her conversion story and I could see her eyes light up as she talked about it.

Our 7/11 contact did come on Wednesday, but she came super late and her grandma (who had driven her) was really irritated because of a ton of mis-communication with her granddaughter. So we spent a lot of time explaining who we were. Her grandma had no objections though, she was just mad because her granddaughter hadn't told her why she wanted to come to our church or what she wanted to learn. So around 9:30 we left the church with a slightly less irritated grandma and a pretty sad teenager. But she came to church again on Sunday. And guess what the lesson in Young Women's was? The Restoration...perfect. We are going to meet with her again this week.

Shao Jie also came to church again and is on track for her bapismal goal. We just need to finish teaching the commandments and commit her to live them. She started to get a little afraid of baptism because she is afraid of water, but between us and the elders I think we've lessened her fear.

Zong Jiemei wasn't able to come to church this week, but when we were trying to asses her desire to be baptized she told us she want's a happier life and believes baptism will help her have that. We haven't been in contact with her for a few days, so we aren't completely sure where she's at right now. But we hope to meet again with her soon.

Last week we were riding our bikes to find a place to tract and I looked into the window of a house and though we should tract it. Before I could tell my companion to stop she stopped and parked her bike so we could tract that street. When we knocked on their door the husband said they were getting ready to leave but that we could come back another time. Last night we had an extremely long lesson with him spending most of our time answering his questions. I think he has a lot of potential, but we will see. They will be really busy for the next couple of weeks, but he said we can come back after then.

The slew of cockroaches has slowed down. For a few days we were finding a bunch of little ones and every once in a while some bigger ones, so we think a cockroach had babies and they were periodically showing themselves. The past couple of days we haven't had any though. Hopefully we've found the last of them. 

And we have found a ton of referrals for the elders lately!

I'm sure I've forgotten a lot of things. You can find miracles everyday if you just look for them, but that's all I can think of right now.

Last week I said it was nice to be living out of one apartment. Before we moved in we were going up to our new apartment on the ninth floor to shower because our previous apartment had no hot water. The people who lived there before had already moved out and they were just having people go in a fix things up and clean the place. So its nice to be able to shower in the same apartment we live in now. 

It sounds like conference was great. I'm so excited to listen to it next week. I can't wait to hear what they will invited us to do and learn how we can become better. 
As always the pictures are so much fun. The cake pops look like they turned out great and that Jemma had a good time doing them. 
I hope dad has a good time in New York and that he gets to go to Elis Island like he wants to (he's right, I would have gone to see Newsies on Broadway :) ). 
Nicole's photo shoot idea sounds really cool! I hope it works out. If it does I think it could be really inspiring and spiritual. 

Our musical number has been moved to the last week of April. So we may have to start practicing all over because new missionaries will probably come in next week. President and Sister Blickenstaff are coming to Qishan to speak in church that Sunday so the Bishop wants us to sing then. I'm excited to see what kind of influence that will have on the members (hopefully I'm still here.)

Well this email is already long enough and I'm just about out of time. I love you all and love hearing about your week. (I loved the picture of Jemma reading her scriptures! So cute! It makes me really happy that that was the book she grabbed. She is definitely benefiting from the example of her parents.) Have an incredible week and remember that we have the incredible  gift of the gospel. He provides miracles every day of our lives.

You are always in my prayers.

With all my love,

Sister Fernley