Sunday, May 25, 2014

Almost Halfway...

Here is Sister Fernley's latest message:

My Wonderful Family,

Sorry I don't have any pictures this week. Last week we got everything we needed to done as fast as we could so we could go home and sleep. That seems to be are activity of choice recently on preparation days.

Today is actually move call! I will remain here in Qishan for another move call with Sister Anderson! This whole week we've been talking about it and came to the conclusion that neither of us moving would be the best solution. Thankfully we were blessed enough to get it. We figured if anyone was going to move it would probably be me, but I didn't feel ready to move. I don't feel like I have done all that I could do here yet. So I am really grateful for the next six weeks (hopefully I don't get moved on a mini move call) I have to serve here in Qishan. I'm not going to lie, it would be really nice to get moved to an area that isn't as tiring, but at least I have Sister Anderson still. Being with her will make everything a little more bearable. We'll just continue to laugh our way through the move call, and hopefully we get to see more miracles as well. 

I feel like when I first came to Qishan we saw the area and our work as missionaries improve like crazy, but this last move call all that improvement kind of puttered out and we were stuck. Hopefully this next move call we can see the area improve again and find those people that are prepared, but ever evading us. 

This last week we were able to go back to Cai Jiemei's house and got to teach their whole family the first lesson once we were able to get them all to finally sit down. We were there for almost three hours, I know way too long, but we were determined to get the first lesson in. They were actually pretty accepting of the message. We gave them a Book of Mormon and they said they are willing to read it. They even asked a little bit about baptism! It didn't feel right to go in that more in dept then, but when we go back hopefully we will get the chance. Their son is actually the same age as me and was also pretty intent on the lesson. We think his parents mostly just want him to go on a mission because they don't want him to always play computer games. They keep asking if he can go out and preach with us. But I guess it doesn't matter how people get in contact with the church, what really matters is what they do when they actually hear our message. They tell us to go over to their house whenever we have time, which is the best thing to hear as a missionary. :)

Huang Jiemei didn't come to church again this week. We went over to her house last night and no one was home, so I think they might have gone out of town. I hope we can still get in contact with them though and continue to teach them. They are so prepared to listen and their family just feels right. 

As far as investigators go that's about what we have right now. Zhong Jiemei has dropped because she keeps standing us up for lessons and completely lost all desire to change when Yeh Jiemei left. Oh well, she was prepared one step further and maybe someday she will make the commitment to change.

This week was a little hard, and not as successful as we would like, but the Lord gives us so many tender mercies to make up for the disappointments.
I can't remember what day it was, but we had just left our apartment for the day and we riding past the fire station in Qishan when we saw Lu Jiemei's husband (not a member) just outside. He works there and called us in. We went in and he gave us the giant slices of watermelon they had just bought off of a produce truck on the side of the street. So we spent the next ten minutes sitting with the whole fire and EMT department eating slices of watermelon. It was so much fun! I even felt a little nice to back in that element again. (But where I am now is better :p)

Then we had another day we were calling some phones at a seven and one of the Elder's LAs walks in and greets us with a loud, "Sisters!" We seem to run into him at sevens a lot. He's a little bit crazy, and off his rocker sometimes, but he is one of the nicest people I have ever met. He always buys us drinks or food despite all our protests. The past couple of times he has bought us strawberry milk (they have all kinds of fruit milks here), but he always buys the brand with tea in it. This week he did the same and even bought us the microwaveable dinners they have there. It wasn't very good, and we were a little disappointed about not going to the restaurant we were going to go to, but it was an incredibly nice gesture.

We also had one morning where no one was home that we wanted to go visit so we decided to go contact on Lao Jie, or Qishan Old Street (the biggest street and a historical site in Qishan, look it up on google). By now I've talked to pretty much every street vendor that sets up shop on that street, and most of them are still really nice to us. This week we stopped and talked to this old lady selling flowers similar to the Bird of Paradise flowers. We talked to her for a minute and as we were getting ready to leave she grabbed this giant bunch and insisted we take them. We tried to protest, but the vendor next to her (who we are good friends with) also came over and kept insisting she was giving us flowers for Ye Su (Jesus). We couldn't really object so we reluctantly took them, then walked around the block to go give them to Shao Jie (our RC) because we didn't know what to do with them. 

Then last night we were tracting in Meinong and tracted into this extremely nice couple, Brother and Sister Huang. Sister Huang insisted we come inside to eat some fruit. So we went in and were treated to two giant plates of fruit. We ate and talked to them about missionary work. They knew a lot about us and have been tracted several times by missionaries in other areas. (They move around every six months.) Every time they let them in and treat them to fruit. It was a welcome that was definitely needed after the rejection of the week. They told us if we were ever in the area to stop by to rest because they are like our aunt and uncle. It was so cute and I was so grateful for their hospitality. They aren't prepared yet (they kept saying all religions are the same), but someday they will be.

I'm trying to think of what else happened this week, but I can't think of anything else. We biked a lot, tracted a lot, contacted a lot, ate a lot, and tried to continue on and do all that we can to find those prepared to teach. 

So that's about it. It has gotten super HOT here the last week. Lately there have been two choices of weather. It's either raining, or blazing hot. I can't decide which is better. I still don't have any really good rain gear, so I've been wearing the cheap ones you can buy at the sevens, which are basically just a plastic bag with sleeves and a hood. I hate them. You don't get quite as wet, but eventually the rain soaks through enough that your skin is wet and then the plastic sticks uncomfortably to you, or its raining and its still hot so the plastic holds in the heat and steams up because of the humidity. But at least I'm staying relatively dry and hopefully sometime soon I can find some decent rain gear. 

I played my violin the other day at our english class party for the Spiritual share. It felt good to play again, but boy and I rusty. I also can't wait to get some sheet music. Composing is not one of my talents. 

I loved seeing what Jemma has been up to. I honestly think it's hilarious that she likes to sit and watch out the door. It's simple things like that I'm starting to miss. It's also one thing I love about Taiwanese culture. During the day all of the elderly that are friends on a street just get together and sit by their houses or on the side of the street and just talk. It always looks so relaxing and peaceful every time we ride by. 

It also looks like she had so much fun with Olivia and Reagan. That is so cute! What a fun idea! I'm glad she got to go. I loved her email that she sent me this week. It made me laugh! And I can't wait to play Trouble with her when I get home (I'm glad the games are rousing). 

Well, my times about up, but I loved hearing about all that's going on at home. The humming bird pictures were amazing! The classes sound hard, but I hope they are fun and rewarding. The missionaries are awesome! (It actually made me super happy they came and visited you. I know as we work together this work will move forward faster than it ever has before. The Lord works through small and simple ways.) 

I love you all! Have an incredible week! I will try to do likewise. You are always in my prayers and I thank Heavenly Father every day for the wonderful family I have been blessed with. 

Remember...there's always another miracle just around the corner.

With all my love,

Sister Fernley

Also, I hit my half way mark in the next week. Can you believe it? So crazy! Time goes by way too fast!

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