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

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