Monday, December 15, 2014

A New Sister Training Leader!

Wow! Exciting news! Sister Fernley has been made a Sister Training Leader (kind of like a district leader if compared to the elders). I have no doubt that she will be wonderful leader! Also she got our package--huzzah! And I am proud of her for lots of reasons, but I am happy about her little goal to take a picture every day—not because I'm a photographer, but because we love seeing what she is seeing!

Dear family,

First of all, Nicole is going to be so proud of me! I made a goal to take a picture every day for the rest of my mission, and I've been doing pretty well. Your package did come, so that gives me at least one picture a day for December. Thank you so much! It's a treat to come home every night and be able to sit down and figure out what that nights gift is with my companion. She thinks it is the cutest thing ever! It's fun to see her reactions. It's so strange to be in a culture that doesn't celebrate Christmas. It makes me so much more grateful for the chance we have each year to celebrate the birth of our Savior. The feeling of Christmas truly is a special one.

Second, I'm moving! I'm not joking either. I move out on Friday to serve as a Sister Training Leader in Tainan for my last two move calls. On Friday I'll have been in this area for a month. I'm kind of sad to leave and not be able to see the building up of this area, but I hope that this past month has made an effect.

I'm not really sure that I was here for any investigator specifically, or to lift a certain member. It may be that we don't have many investigators, and the ones we do have are just starting, but I didn't really seem to click with anyone. In all my other areas that relationship came pretty fast, but here nothing seemed to happen. But I do feel like I was here for my companion. I have seen Sister Bi grow so much over the last month. She has been so stalwart and has been more willing to conquer her fears and improve her weaknesses than anyone I have ever met. I know that as she goes into this next move call she will be ready to face whatever the Lord has in store for her and will see so many miracles. I've only been here a month and have seen so many.

I think one in particular effected me the most this week. I was reminded of the importance of asking the direction of God in all that we do. I find that a lot of the time I pray at the specified times or before specific activities, such as planning, but forget to pray at the in-between times. For example, we pray before and after planning, but seldom do I stop and pray during planning. This is one thing that I've been trying to be better at and as we have been doing this as a companionship we have seen the guidance of our Heavenly Father in our work. 

On Thursday, just like every other day, we had a lot of finding time. We had planned to go drop off a card to an MIA recent convert and then tract around her neighborhood. We ended up riding around for a while and couldn't find the address. We both finally stopped riding and looked at each other not knowing what to do. We decided to tract where we were, prayed and biked off to find where we needed to go. I don't even remember where we ended up, and at the beginning it didn't feel like anything special. Everyone was pretty rude and obviously didn't want to listen. BUT as we were getting close to the time to leave we tracted a house that looked like no one was home. We knocked and called to see if anyone was there and surprisingly heard a voice in the dark. This lady probably in her forties came to the door. We talked to her for a minute, but she didn't seem like she had any interest. Then her daughter walked up behind her with the biggest smile and extreme curiosity written all over her face. Her mom walked off and left us to talk with her daughter who is about 19 years old. She said they were there visiting her mom's friend, but that she lived in Chaozhou and would be willing to meet with us some other time. 

Then a few hours later we had more tracting time planned in. This time we went to the street we had decided on the night before during planning (which of course we had prayed about). We started tracting and had a very similar experience as a few hours earlier. The last door we knocked on ended up being an already Christian family. I don't know why, but I get really nervous when I'm contacting Christians, so I spent the whole time stumbling over my words not knowing what to say. The mom we were talking to said something about the 12 apostles, so I mentioned that we had 12 apostles today as well and asked if she would like to learn more. To my surprise (I don't usually expect Christians to be willing to listen) she said we could come back and she would be willing to listen. Hopefully we will find time this week to share with her.

These stories and these miracles are really simple and honestly this happens quite frequently, but I was particularly aware this time of the blessings of God and the need that we have for His guidance. I'm grateful that He led us to the right places at the right times. As often happens in missionary work these people might not end up meeting with us. I hope they do with all my heart, but sometimes they don't. But at least we've given them a start and if we aren't able to see their progression hopefully missionaries down the road will. They are one step closer to finding the most precious message and gift on the Earth. 

We were also able to meet with a former investigator we had called earlier in the week before. I'm not sure why, but she lost contact with the missionaries before. She is incredibly prepared! She believes in God and is looking for somewhere that will bring her peace. We invited her to be baptized and she accepted. She even said the date we set was perfect. Unfortunately I don't think she lives in our area (just out of the border), but hopefully we can keep her progressing and working toward her goal.

The week was also the first time I have really cried over a less active. A few days ago Sister Bi and I were tracting (we had gotten lost again and decided to tract for a minute) and tracted into a less active. He said he knew who we were and that he was baptized eight years ago, but now goes to another church. It was heart-breaking to talk to him and see how he has denied his testimony. He doesn't even acknowledge what he felt before. All I could think of was how his missionaries would feel if they could see him. It made me think of my RC's, though they be few, and how heart-broken I would be if they left the church. I hope they never will, and I'm comforted to know that as of now they are still active and strong in the church.

Well, I'm just about out of time. I hope you all have a great week! Be safe and happy, and remember to look for the small miracles we are given every day!

I love you all!

Sister Fernley

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