Monday, December 1, 2014

Keeping the Faith

Here is Sister Fernley's message from November 30:

Hello everyone,

Its funny, I really don't have a lot to say, but I still don't even know where to start. I guess first I'll answer your questions.

Sister Bi and I are getting along pretty well (Bi is really how you pronounce her name, but when they translate it to english they write Pi, I don't know why, it doesn't make sense. So I figured I'd just write it how it really sounds.) It's always a little different being with a Taiwanese companion. The culture is just so different. I don't like to criticize or anything, but it sounds like with her trainer they weren't exactly obedient, so we've been working on that. She is really great though and is so humble and willing to change. It does feel a little bit like training again though. I guess that is why we call it breaker, you break a new missionary out of the 'new missionary' mode and help them stand even more firm on their feet. I think it is different with every missionary though. Some pick up faster than others, and everyone has different strengths and weaknesses. Sister Bi has been so patient with me and I can feel that she trusts me, which helps a lot. She is trying her hardest and has grown so much already within the last week.

The package hasn't gotten to me yet, but it might be in Taiwan. We have Zone Training Meeting tomorrow so maybe we will get it then, and if not then our Christmas Activity is this week so there is another possibility getting it then. I'll keep you posted. I'm super excited! (Don't know if I will be able to translate the puns into Chinese though. One of the elders pulled the "Guess what, Chicken butt" joke on me the other day and Sister Bi asked about it. I tried to explain it and just got a blank stare, haha. That's okay, I don't understand Chinese humor sometimes either.)

Sister Grigg is training! She will be a great trainer. I haven't really seen her much actually. I saw her at the last Christmas activity and we were in the same zone my first transfer in Qishan so we got to see each other at meetings. Then I saw her last week because we had mission tour, but that's about it. We were really hoping we could be companions again, but I don't think that is going to happen. Oh well, we will be flying home together so that will be fun. 

As far as the area goes not much has changed. Everyone was calling it the promised land, but it sure doesn't feel like it right now. We are trying our hardest though. This week we spent every hour of every day finding. We are calling former investigators, dead stack (old contact cards), old english students, tracting, contacting, calling referrals etc. And actually we were getting lessons set up and I think I got more numbers in one day than I ever have before; however, every lesson but one canceled or didn't show up and every phone number hung up when we called. We did end up having one lesson, but they were devout Presbyterians and kept talking about their church and their leaders. They were really nice and listened really respectfully, but they don't have any interest...or so it seems. We will try to call and set up again, but I don't have very high hopes. 

Pretty much that was our week in a nutshell. We had mission tour on Tuesday and Elder Gong of the Seventy and his wife came and talked to us. They talked about having faith, energy and focus. We were also provided a Thanksgiving meal by the the senior missionaries serving down south. It was just like home, only not as much. I asked Sister Bi if she had ever eaten a meal like that and she said that that was her first time! It is crazy how different cultures are. I spent a lot of the time talking to Sister Grigg about training and some of the struggles, joys, inspiration, change, knowledge etc. serving a mission has brought already. It was so good to see her and talk to her again. She is really nervous to train, so I hope what I shared with her from my experience helped. It is so weird to think that we are 'old' missionaries now. Time really flies!

Sorry I don't really have a lot to say this week! I loved seeing all the pictures of Temple Square! I'm actually a little sad there isn't much snow. I never thought I would, but I really do miss snow. The mouse idea is super cute! The picture of Jemma looking at it from outside is hilarious! Her facial expression is priceless!

Oh dad also asked if this area is hilly like Nantou. No it's not. I haven't been to the whole area though. I told Sister Bi we should find a day to go out to one of our secondary areas to go find some people there. The elders say there is a mountain somewhere that they biked up, so maybe someday I'll find it. 

Well I love you all! Sorry if this email is a little boring, we really don't have much to report. It's really hard, and sometimes it's hard not to think that it's because I'm doing something wrong; however, I know that we are doing everything we possibly can. I'm doing all that I know how to do, which isn't much, but it is enough. I know that we can see miracles! I also know that I need to be patient. The Lord has His time and I know He will provide. 

Keep the faith! Look for miracles! I love you all!

Sister Fernley

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