Thursday, March 26, 2015

Well done, thou good and faithful servant

UPDATE: Here is the Taiwan Taichung Mission blog entry on the departing missionaries:

After 19 months of hard work, Sister Fernley made it home! On March 18, 2015, we welcomed her home at the Salt Lake International Airport. 

She will be reporting on her mission during sacrament meeting on March 29, 2015, in the Farmington Rock Church. The meeting starts at 1:00 p.m., and all are welcome to attend.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Power Week…and Reflection

Sister Fernley's last message from the mission field, March 8, 2015:

Dear Family,

This week was power week! In more ways than one. I was really excited for power week this year. My last power week happened right after I had gotten out of training and honestly I didn't know how to do much. I remember wanting to accomplish some of the goals so bad, but we never did. I remember it being a week of a lot of hard work and a lot of disappointment. 

But this time I was feeling like I could definitely do what was asked. You know how everyone says that once you feel like you know how to do missionary work you get sent home? Yea, its true. 

So Monday came along and I picked up Sister Cosby and we started power week. The first night we went tracting, trying to tract into two lessons, but didn't have and success. We did run into a less active brother who talked to us for a while. I don't know what happened, but as we were talking to him his attitude completely changed and he started talking about how we were harassing him and that the best help we could give him would be to go away and never come back. It was sad to see the light go completely out of someone, but I hope someday he will come back and remember the joy of the gospel and the peace it can bring.

The rest of the challenges for the rest of the week had to do with contacting. I quickly found out that Sister Cosby does not like contacting. The first morning we went out to go contact at one of the department stores. We got there and I started asking her what kind of contacting she would like to do and she completely shut down. She wouldn't really talk to me. We ended up not contacting, but found a bench and talked through some things. We've done that several times this week. I've been trying to use my time the best that I can, to use every minute and be as efficient as I can, but in the process I was stressing my companion out. If there's anything that I've learned on my mission is you can't drag your companion along, you have to be unified in the work.

So as a result I had to give up some of my goals and desires to accomplish the goals for power week, and take that time to help my companion. We've been working a lot on contacting and I've seen so much improvement in Sister Cosby over the last week. I've been trying to help her as much as I can in helping her get to know members and the area. Only having two weeks to learn an area is hard, but I know she can do it. 

This week I've learned so much about humility. I thought I had learned it before, but this week was a whole different story. I've had to sacrifice my own hopes and goals for others and focus completely on what I could do to change. It was really hard, honestly probably one of the hardest times on my mission, but in trials we build great strengths. 

We did get the chance to see some incredible miracles! Our second day of power week we were challenged to go out and give out thirteen copies of the Book of Mormon. It sounds easy, but the catch was it didn't count unless we got the persons contact information and made plans to follow up with them later on in the week. We spent most of the day contacting (with a few stress reliever breaks mixed in) and by about seven we had only given out one. I was still trying to stay hopeful and talk to everyone. We went to a street that I had planned to contact on, which is normally a pretty busy street, but it just so happened that there weren't that many people out. I was considering going to a more populated area, but decided that we need to stick with our plan and trust that Heavenly Father would provide. 

We kept going and pulled over and talked to the few people on the street. We ended up talking to this lady getting ready to to into the gym nearby. I honestly don't remember what was said, but she took a Book of Mormon and gave us her number! I was ecstatic! We kept going and there still wasn't anyone in sight. But then we saw two girls off to the side, so we pulled over and talked to them as well. I was pretty nervous because they looked about college age (I don't know why, but talking to people of my own age makes me nervous sometimes, especially when they are together with friends.) I think we just started talking about the Book of Mormon right away. I remember we did ask them if they were ever curious about why we would come out and serve missions and what it was that we were sharing. One of the girls actually said, "yea, actually I've always wondered that." We ended up giving both of them a copy of the Book of Mormon, and got both of their numbers. We called later and one is going to Japan for school next week, but is willing to meet with missionaries there, and the other set up with us later on this week.

Needless to say I felt pretty awesome after that. It is incredible how Heavenly Father puts people in our path who are ready for the gospel. I've thought often about what would have happened it we had gone to a different street? What if I had followed my first instinct to go where there were more people? We would have never found those three people, and I would have never been able to see that miracle shown forth. It still amazes me every day.

The rest of power week was pretty good. Sister Cosby has improved in contacting and we've talked to so many people! A lot of them aren't prepared yet, but we keep working and trying to find those who are ready. Saturday we actually accomplished our goal and talked to 20 families about how the gospel could bless their family. I think the biggest miracle from that was Sister Cosby is going up and contacting people on her own now. 

We also attended a missionary fireside that the Tainan fourth ward help for the young men and young women in their ward. They had talks from leaders and return missionaries encouraging and teaching these youth, then we got to split up with them and take these youth out to do missionary work for two hours. I was with a Young Woman named Sister Zhuo. I was really nervous at first because she looked like she had a pretty good teenager attitude and would really talk or acknowledge anyone else around her. I did manage to break her out of her shell though and she eventually opened up. She actually ended up being really nervous. She didn't have a bike so went proselyting on foot. We ended up going to a park nearby and contacting a few people, but there weren't many people out.

I really wanted her to have a good experience and learn to love missionary work, so this whole time I was praying for a miracle and hoping we would stumble upon someone ready for our message. We wandered around the neighborhood for a while tracting random streets when we tracted into this door and started talking to this girl about my age. She ended up letting us in and we talked to her about the blessing the gospel brings and the help it can provide. I remember asking her what kind of help she would like. She replied, "I would like it to help my family be more unified." 

I was kind of shocked by her response. I've never really had anyone say that to me. I've always been the one to bring it up first. I looked at Sister Zhuo and told this girl that we could definitely help with that. We're going to try and meet with her again tomorrow.

And those are the main events that happened this week. We had zone conference and I learned a lot and was inspired and blessed. I also had the incredibly scary experience of sharing my reflection of my mission. I don't know why, but I was really nervous. The time got closer and my heart started pounding. It think it is funny how your comfort zone seems to shift. A year and a half ago I would have much rather shared something like a reflection than contact people on the streets in Chinese, but then I was finding myself wishing I was back on my bike and not at a podium. Anyway, I got through it and am so grateful for my mission. It has been incredible. It's been a miracle. 

I'm not sure if I will take any time to email next week, probably not, I'll be going up to Taizhong. So I wanted to share my reflection about what my mission has been to me, and what I feel the most important thing I have learned.

Here it is...

My mission has been a lot of things. It's been humbling, faith building, diligen-seeking. My mission has been full of doubt and fear, but also full of hope and strength. It's been more than I ever expected. It's been a collection of miracles that have changed my life forever.

I didn't recognize them then, but the miracles started before I even left. I saw, what I now see as, miracles in the service of others, in finding the work I desperately needed, and even in a mission call that I secretly hoped for but never thought possible.

And then I left, and entered the unfamiliar halls of the MTC. It was there that my eyes and my heart truly began to open to the miracles around us everyday. It was there that the notion, the possibility and hope of miracles in my own life began to grow in my heart. It was there that I learned that there's always another miracle just around the corner.

As my faith in miracles began to grow I entered the real world of missionary work and learned that seeing miracles doesn't come naturally. It's not easy. Because with every miracles comes a corner. With every miracles comes a test of faith, diligence, hope etc. Heavenly Father tests our faith. He tests our patience and our perseverance. He pushes us to our limits and when we feel like we can't knock on one more door or take one more step forward, when we've given all we can but still keep going He provides the corners we've been looking for and the miracles that accompany them.

As time went by I began to hope in cirners, to hope that if I could keep pressing forward with faith we would see miracles around the next turn. Corners became my northern star and my light house in the storm. They became my driving force. 

In hoping and working toward corners I truly did see miracles. I saw miracles in last houses, in contacting one last light. I saw miracles in weeks of 24/7 contacting and seeing golden investigators as a result. I saw miracles in prayers answered, and in comfort received. I saw miracles in healing the sick and lifting the downhearted. I saw miracles in every companion, and I saw miracles in myself. 

I've come to know the Savior more than I ever thought possible. I've been broken down then built back up again. My weaknesses have become strengths and in some cases my strengths have become weaknesses. My focus has been shifted, my heart has changed, and my faith has been strengthened.

My mission has opened my eyes to miracles, and my heart to the hope in corners. I've been taught, and am ever learning, that there's always another miracle just around the corner.

“God has not ceased to be a God of miracles!” He provides them every day of our lives, we just have to open our eyes to see them.

Don't lose sight of th emiracles! Always look and work toward the next corner. You may not know how long it will take or where you will find it, but find it you will with an eye of faith and a heart open to corners.

I'm so grateful that I've had this chance to serve. I'm so grateful that I still have seven days to work my hardest and see miracles. I'm grateful for my Savior and for all He has done for me. I would be nothing without Him.
Have an incredible week! Be safe! I love you all!

With all my love,

Sister Fernley

All we can do is hold on

Sister Fernley's message from Mar. 2, 2015:

Dearest family,

It was so good to hear from you! I'm glad this week went well. I just got everything sent into the mission that they are asking for, so I now have the next fourty minutes to reflect on the past week. 

I now have a new companion! Actually I've had two! We got a call on Tuesday informing that I would have a new companion come in on Friday, and that my companion would be....Sister Murdock! Yes I got to be with my beloved trainee for the weekend. Her companion was training so she got kicked out of her area for a few days until the real move call. She came in on Friday and left for her real area this morning. I am so grateful that I got to have a few more days with her. She is incredible and I love her so much. I feel bad because our weekend wasn't very eventful. Friday night I ended up throwing up all night and fought a fever all day Saturday, so she got stuck staying inside calling phones in an area that she didn't know for a whole day. She was trooper though and we have now called through all of our our formers and our area book. I was hoping I was going to go my whole mission without getting sick, but I guess I jinxed that one. Heavenly Father decided I needed that experience. I'm just grateful I was with Sister Murdock when it happened. It was a tender mercy and a small miracle.

Sister Murdock left for her new area, and to become Senior companion!, this morning and my new companion came in around the same time she left. My companion for the next two weeks is Sister Cosby. She came at the same time as Sister Murdock and was actually Sister Chang's trainee. Small world right? She is really nervous about having to lead the area after only two weeks. Hopefully I can help her meet the ward and get used to the area as fast as possible. We also have what we call power week this next week, so I'm hoping we will be able to see some miracles and find some new investigators for Sister Cosby and her next companion to teach. The New Year celebrations and Sister Jiang and I moving around everywhere caused a lot of our investigators to disappear. But I know that we can bring it back to life again.

President actually sent me a short email this week in response to my weekly report last week. He said, "Thank you for trying to hold all of Tainan together for the last few weeks! I know it hasn't been easy but I'm sure you have felt the hand of the Lord in your work. That is often the way life is - you kind of hold on, do your best, and trust in the Lord. Things have a way of working out in the end. I hope that you can relax and just take care of your ward for these last few weeks. I appreciate all that you have done."

It meant a lot to hear that and brought a lot of comfort. I love what he said about life. All we can do is hold on. I feel like often I have the tendency to try and steer and control the way my life goes, but honestly how many of us can really take complete control of everything that happens in our lives. We can't. All we can do is hold on and trust in the Lord. He will carry us and steer us through the dark, as long as we are willing to trust Him. That's one thing I was talking to Sister Murdock about. She told me that she didn't feel like she knew how to bring souls to baptism. I replied that we don't. None of us do. We do our part and trust in the Lord and in our investigators to do the rest. This is something that has been hard for me to learn. I tend to think that if only I was better more people would get baptized, but in reality our part as missionaries is very small. We always need to improve, but the rest is up to the Lord.

A lot of you have asked about the New Year celebrations. They usually last about a week and we finished up our meal appointments on Monday. Sister Jiang and I ended up going out with Ya Lan (one of our members in the third ward) and spent the whole day with her. She is incredible and loves the missionaries. She will do whatever she can to help us out. She took us to several of the historical sites here in Tainan, bought us all these strange snack foods they eat here, and we even ended up stopping unexpectedly to go tour a navy boat we saw as we were driving by. It was fun to just enjoy the day with her and learn more about the history and culture of Tainan.

After we met with Ya Lan we had an appointment to eat dinner with the stake patriarch. If I said I was full and had eaten a lot of food before that was an understatement. All of their food was salad or fruit, but it never stopped coming. I learned this time around that New Years is particularly troublesome for missionaries because 1. we can't refuse any meal appointments or any food they put on our plates 2. everyone thinks we are starving so they tend to give us more than everyone else 3. we have to go out biking after eating and incredibly enormous meal. It reminds me of an experience I had while training. The Bishop invited us over for Thanksgiving and we ate so much Sister Anderson and I felt like we were going to explode. I've never been more uncomfortable in my life. Eating at the patriarchs house was almost as bad. I am grateful the elders were there as well though. They always seem to take the heat and help us out. It also provides for quite an extent of entertainment as we all make faces at each other because we can't eat anymore and are desperately trying to slow the flow of food the members seem to keep shoveling onto our plates. I do love meeting the members and love the excitement of the New Year, but I am so glad that that mountain has been crossed and we don't have any worry about any extremely extravagant meals any time soon.

After Monday Sister Jiang spent the next couple of days trying to get back in contact with our investigators. We did end up contacting Abby! She set up with us, but ended up getting sick so we didn't have an opportunity to meet. I hope she keeps meeting with the sisters. She really does need the gospel.

Thursday we came back to my area in Anping and were able to meet with Mei Ling. She's been having a hard time recently keeping commitments, but is still willing to learn and keep meeting with us. Hopefully now that all of the New Year celebrations are over and that I will be able to stay in my area we will be able to have more time to help her. 

Well my time is up. I love you all! Have a great week. Can't wait to tell you about all of the power week miracles!


Sister Fernley

Another short one...

Sister Fernley's message from Feb. 22, 2015:

Sorry this email is going to be pretty short, I've got to get some things done for the mission and don't have a lot of time.

Thankfully there really isn't that much to report from this week. I've been in DongQu for most of the week, and because its the Chinese New Year all we've been doing is eating. Pretty much all everyone does during the new year is eat, worship in the Chinese temples and travel to visit family. Two out of those three activities are completely ruled out for missionaries, so we partake abundantly of the first. You know how it feels on Thanksgiving where you eat so much you feel uncomfortable and don't want to look at another piece of food for a few days? That's how Chinese New Year feel for a whole week! Luckily we have the elders around to help us out and take some of the heat.

And honestly that's about all we did this past week. We ate and when we weren't eating we were tracting or contacting. No one ever has time during the New Year so we didn't have many lessons. We ended up tracting yesterday and ended up talking to so many people! We met this cute 15 year old girl who gave us her information and said we could call later to set up a time to share more with her. As we were talking to her and Sister Jiang was bearing her testimony about how the gospel can help us I was watching their faces, and both of them were radiant. There's really no other way to describe it. They were both just glowing. One bearing her testimony of the gospel and the other one hearing it for the first time. This message really is incredible and brings a light that nothing else could.

I also had a miracle contact this week! I had been here in DongQu for a few days and honestly wasn't feel all that great. My area back in Anping has pretty much died as far as investigators goes and I can't spend the time I need to bring it back to life there right now. I wasn't really feeling like I was accomplishing my purpose and it wasn't a feeling that I wanted during my last move call on my mission. So anyway, I was wallowing in self pity and determining to talk to absolutely everyone when we got stopped at a red light. There was no one to talk to. 

Then a few seconds later this girl pulled up, with some distance between us. So according to my resolution made I awkwardly yelled at her (so she could hear me) and started talking to her about the gospel. She pulled over to the side and we talked for three or four red lights! She was actually really interested. She's seen missionaries before, but has never heard our message. And the best part is she lives in my area in Anping! She didn't have time this week because of the new year, but hopefully we will be able to contact her and teach her the gospel! Heavenly Father really does give us tender mercies just when we need them!

Can't wait to see what is in store for the next week! Sister Jiang and I are praying really hard for the new missionaries. They should be coming this week. Hopefully we will have a stable companion and a stable area in the next few weeks. We need to get Anping resurrected!

Love you all so much! Promise next week will be longer, maybe. :s

Sister Fernley

Look for the miracles in every day

Sister Fernley's message from Feb. 15, 2015:

Dear Family,

It's incredible how fast a week can go by! Monday comes along and you don't know how you are going to get through the week, but the next thing you know it's Sunday and you still don't know how you got through the week. I guess Heavenly Father really does just carry us as we move forward in the work.

This last week I got to spend the entire week in my area of Tainan. We found members to be part time missionaries for the week hoping that we wouldn't have to run around everywhere and that we could help bring this area back to life. Sister Chang and I worked so hard trying to build it up and were starting to see some incredible miracles, than after only a week of not being here 24/7 almost everything disappeared. I was so excited to be able to focus on this area and bring it back, but this week it only got worse. I was hoping to have lessons set up for my part time missionary (Wu Jiemei) to help with, but almost every lesson canceled or didn't show up. A little depressing, but at least we got a lot of contacting and tracting time in right?

This next week is the start of the Chinese New Year so starting Wednesday everyone is busy celebrating with their families. It will go for about a week. Because of the holiday we weren't able to get any lessons set up and everyone we contacted said wait until after New year's. We also weren't able to find other part time missionaries to help us out next week so I'm going to be back in the Tainan 1st and 2nd wards for the next week.

We did get word that 12 new missionaries are coming next week! This means that once they come I will probably have a stable companion and get to stay in one place for the next month. Please pray everything goes smoothly. I feel a little like I've lost my identity in having to always change areas, companions, wards etc. 

That is pretty much the status for now. I'm a little disappointed I don't get to celebrate with my own ward, but we've got to make the most of what we've been given. Sister Jiang and I will have an amazing week and I hope we will see many miracles!

Despite not having a lot of lessons this week it was really fun having a duanchuan (short term missionary). It was a little like training again, but Sister Wu caught on extremely fast. She's been a member for a little over a year and wants to serve a mission so bad. Her parents say she has to wait until she graduates college so she still has a few years until she can go on a mission. 

I've loved working with her and am so grateful that we've become good friends. We were only together for a week, but become friends pretty quickly. She has a very loving and fun personality and is so willing to learn. She has helped me this week more than she could know. I think Heavenly Father knew that this week would be particularly hard, as far as rejection goes, so He sent her to me to lift my spirits and help me keep moving forward. We would find ourselves getting a little discouraged in tracting or contacting etc, and would say to each other, "it's okay, you(pronounced yo) xinxin you banfa!" It's a saying we have in our mission that means "when you have faith there is a way." 

It was also really fun seeing her build her faith in missionary work. Our first couple of days together we didn't see anyone willing to accept our message which i think lowered her expectations. Then we had zone training meeting and were trained on helping our investigators come to church and set baptismal dates. I think she thought it was a little abrupt and kept telling me that we needed to think more like the Taiwanese people and realize that they aren't going to accept this message that quickly. I found myself praying for experiences and opportunities to help her build her faith in her own people and in their willingness to accept the gospel. Missionary work may be a little abrupt, but the way we work is how we've been counseled to work by the prophets.

Thankfully Heavenly Father loves us and answers our prayers. My prayers were answered this week and we were indeed given opportunity to see others willing to accept our message.

We had set some time aside to go Book of Mormon contacting. Basically like contacting on the streets, but just trying to hand out Book of Mormon. We started out at an intersection by a department store, but the police came to the same intersection several minutes later to do some of their own advertising so we decided to leave and go to our backup area. By that time we only had about fifteen minutes left of contacting and it didn't seem like anyone was going to listen. It was about time to go when I decided to talk to one last person. I started walking over to her, hoping she would be our last minute miracle, and began to talk to her. She said she was also Christian (Presbyterian) and showed me the cross key chain she had on her bag. After she said this I didn't have much hope, but kept talking to her and shared with her a little about the Book of Mormon. To my surprise she pulled over to the side of the road and we talked with her about how God has given us more truth to help us better understand His word. She said she had never read or heard of the Book of Mormon before and was pretty surprised that we were willing to give her a copy free of charge. She doesn't live in our area, but we were able to get her information and pass it on to the other sisters. She said if we have time we are more than welcome to visit her at her house, to which of course we are not going to object. :)

It was another typical last contact, last door experience, but it was a huge miracle! I hope with all my heart that she will be open to the message of the Book of Mormon and will be willing to learn more about our church and the message we share.

We had another pretty similar experience while tracting this week. There is a street that every time i pass it I think that we should go there and tract. So since we didn't really have any lessons this week we went over there and started tracting. Unfortunately that particular neighborhood has a pretty big Catholic church as well as a pretty large Buddhist temple. So for the first 20ish minutes we were met with either very devoted catholics or very devoted buddhists. 

Sister Wu seemed a little hesitant to knock on the doors with buddhist alters, but i encouraged her and told her that everyone needs the gospel, even if they do have a massive, red alter in their living room. 

Eventually we came to another door with an alter just like the others, but this time a man came out and actually stayed to talk with us for a while. We talked about all the different churches and that we were sharing about why there were so many. He actually seemed pretty interested in learning the answer. We ended up getting his contact information and he sounds pretty willing to meet with the elders after the holidays. 

Sister Wu has shared this experience several times during activities this past week. It's been really fun seeing her faith grow and seeing Heavenly Father provide these experiences to help build our faith. Miracles are always around the corner. Sometimes it just takes us longer to get there. 

A few days ago I was reading the story of job. I wanted to read his story and learn from his example of faith to help me get through the week. I decided if there was anyone who had a hard time it was him. I love that even amid all of his trials he stayed faithful. He couldn't see the light at the end of the tunnel, but he knew it would come and just held on to his faith until that time came. His example helped me a lot this week. 

Actually I found that this week Heavenly Father brought a lot of things to my memory that strengthened me and helped me keep moving forward. I was reminded of scriptures that have strengthened me in times of need, words written in letters from old companions, encouragement in family emails, sayings often repeated by our missionaries like "you xinxin you banfa!" etc. I could truly feel the spirit reminding me of these things and moving me forward and I am extremely grateful!

As far as the rest of the week goes we had several opportunities to serve our members and some random people on the street. We ate a ton of biandang and chocolate, drank a ton of soymilk, and became great friends. I'm excited for the next week! I know we can see miracles! Abby is actually an investigator for the Tainan 1st ward so maybe I will be able to see her again while i'm there this week. 

I loved seeing your Valentine's Day celebrations! We didn't really do anything. Actually I forgot until a member pulled out these little bears and chocolate to give us while we were helping her clean her house. (i sent a picture of them). Jemma sounds busy as ever and growing like crazy still. I hope you all enjoy your four day weekend and the warm weather! I can't believe there's no snow!

Love you all! Remember to look for the miracles in every day!

Sister Fernley


We received this message from Tasha's mission president on Feb. 11, 2015:

Dear Brother and Sister Fernley:

It has been my privilege to serve as Sister Tasha Jacqulynn Fernley’s Mission President.   Sister Fernley will be released from the Taiwan Taichung Mission on March 18, 2015.  I am grateful for her service and the contribution she has made to the people of Taiwan.

Sister Fernley has made a significant contribution to this mission and the work of the Lord.  She has had the opportunity to work with a variety of companions and assignments.  She has also set an excellent example for other missionaries in her service.            

We commend Sister Fernley for her dedication, diligence, and humble service to the Lord.  Sister Blickenstaff  and I express our love, appreciation and well wishes as she makes the adjustment from being a full-time missionary to being a member missionary.  

Pres Blickenstaff's signature
President Kurt L Blickenstaff                                                  Enclosures: Flight Itinerary
Taiwan Taichung Mission                                                                             Tuberculosis Skin Testing

Week Accomplished!

Sister Fernley's message from Feb. 8, 2015:

Dear Family,

Well we did it. We got through the week. It was a miracle, but we did it! Honestly the three areas isn't working out very well. They have so much going on in the Tainan 1st and 2nd wards that my area was getting somewhat neglected. I ended up having to cancel several lessons and the lessons we did have ended up having to change times, but because we had to be in the other area we couldn't accommodate to their schedule. The first few nights I had a hard time sleeping because I was worrying about my area and our investigators. I tried to call them everyday, but there's only so much you can do over the phone. For a little while it was feeling like all the hard work Sister Chang and I had put in the move-call before was getting swept away and I couldn't do anything about it.

BUT we miraculously ended up running into the assistants at our chapel this week. They were on exchanges with the elders. As we walked past we asked if we could find part time missionaries to help us out. They gave us permission and said if we could find members to help us to go for it. We were a little nervous because coming up in the next week is Chinese New Year and most people go out of town to be with family. 

We ended up asking our single adults after our Book of Mormon class if they knew anyone who could help us out. (None of them could do it because of work or lack of funds.) About an hour later one of them sent me a text saying they had found someone who could help who was from the Tainan 2nd ward. 

She called us later telling us that earlier in the week she had a strong feeling that she needed to go on a mission. She talked with her mom about it, but her parents didn't agree (I don't think they are members). She said they gave her permission to serve a part time mission, but wouldn't agree to full time. However, the mission hadn't publicized a need for part time missionaries, so she was worried that she wouldn't get the chance. A few days later we started looking for part time missionaries to help us out. 

Heavenly Father truly answers our prayers, especially when our desires are to do His work. I'm excited to meet and start working with my new companion!

I may be getting a new companion this week, but I've been so grateful for this last week and for the opportunity I've had to work with Sister Jiang. This was my first time working with her, and she is an amazing missionary. She is so willing to serve everyone and so willing to learn. She is on her fourth move-call, so she's still in her first area, but is handling everything just fine. We had a good week, didn't die of exhaustion, and saw some incredible miracles!

First one was our miracles part time missionaries!

Second: When I got put over the Tainan 1st and 2nd wards I also got put as their English leader. An English leader basically just sets up when we go English proselyting (for our English class) and leads the meeting we hold right before English class to plan the party etc. So Wednesday night we had to be in that area. Anyway we were eating dinner before we had to head over and start our meeting when the elders called and said someone was waiting at the church for us. We went over immediately and met Abby. She said she remembered we had a church there and wondered if we could help her with some trials that she was going through. We talked to her for a minute, exchanged numbers and talked about a time to meet. She wasn't too sure about her schedule, so said she would call us and let us know. The next day she texted us and asked if we could meet the next day.

We ended up meeting and she told us about some of the trials she was going through and how she hoped she could find some direction through our church. She's having a hard time accepting that she can have faith despite the influences around her, but she is definitely willing to try.

Third: Our other big miracle for the week happened while we were tracting. We had some extra time so we found a street nearby and began to tract. We had been tracting for a couple of minutes when we ran into a man who was hauling some old appliances that needed to be recycled from the houses nearby to his truck. We said hello, but he kept going about his work. I remember thinking that maybe while he was hauling things back and forth he would hear what we were sharing with everyone and have interest in our message. I had decided that next time we saw him we'd go contact him. 

Unfortunately we didn't run into him again, and didn't know where he had gone. I actually forgot about him after a while until we went to go get our bikes. He waved and said goodbye to us as he was driving his truck out of the neighborhood. I went to go give him a tract, but was stuck between several bikes. Fortunately, Sister Jiang had the same thought and ran over and handed him a tract before he drove off. He took it and drove around the corner. We continued getting ready to leave when not even a minute later he came walking around the corner to give us his business card. He had driven around the corner, parked his truck, and came back to give us his contact information. 

We gave the information to the elders. Hopefully he agrees to meet. People are prepared everywhere. You never know when or where they are going to show up.

I could probably think of others, but those are the ones that stick out for the week. It was great working with Sister Jiang and meeting members from the other wards, but it is going to be really nice to be able to focus completely on AnPing. I know that we can see miracles and help this area grow even more. 

Dad asked about the new missionaries. They haven't come yet and we have no idea when they will get here. Elder Gong of the area seventy is going to meet with the Taiwanese consulate today to try and resolve the matter, so we are all praying that everything will go well and we can the missionaries that we desperately need to Taiwan. 

As far as the people we taught this week, honestly it was all kind of a blur. We did meet with this cute almost eight year old girl who is getting baptized this Saturday. Apparently she walked into the church on her own at the age of six and wanted to learn. She is incredibly strong and reads and understands the Book of Mormon on her own. She is really excited to get baptized on Saturday. She's been waiting for in since she learned about the church.

We also went to one of the hospitals for the elderly and disabled and met with one of our members. The sisters go over twice a week. She is really sweet and has a strong spirit. 

One thing that I love that they do in the Tainan 1st/2nd district is they go with one of their members and some of their youth and RCs and sing at the hospital or the old-folks home. It was so fun to see everyone so happy and see how happy the members were to share the gospel. I was so glad that I got to participate in their service activity for the week.

That's pretty much what went on this week. We met with a ton of their RCs, LAs and investigators, but didn't get much of a chance to meet with ours. I'm hoping that we can get back in contact with them this week and help them continue to progress.

I hope you all have a great week! I miss you and love you all so much! I know this gospel is true. I know that there is no greater message and no greater work on earth. I know that this life isn't the end. We will have opportunities to continue growing and continue learning to a greater extent than we could ever imagine.

look for the miracles!

Sister Fernley

We Won the Lottery!

Sister Fernley's message from Feb. 1, 2015:

Dearest Family,

I was so glad to hear about your week! It sounds like Jemma got into quite a raucous, but didn't surprise me too much, sounds a lot like something I did when I was about her age as well. I guess it runs in the family. 

This week was my last week with Sister Chang, and it was incredible! We saw so many miracles and were so blessed all week! I have been completely  blessed to have had her as my companion. I've learned how to accept that I have problems, that sometimes I'm not all put together, and I've learned that life is a lot easier when you confide in someone about it. This move-call has been probably my most open and honest move-call. Not necessarily in that we had a lot of issues or conflicts in our companionship, but more in that I've been honest with myself and honest with my companion about what I was struggling with. There were so many nights where companionship prayer was said and we were getting ready for bed and one of us would ask the other what was wrong then ending up spending the next hour or so half talking and half crying it out. I can honestly say that we never went to bed angry, sad, or stressed. I truly learned what it is like to be completely unified as a companionship in every aspect of the work, and especially in lifting one another up. It changed my life!

As for this week, my new companion is Sister Jiang, who was just companions with Sister Yeh (my old companion!) in the Tainan 1st and 2nd ward. Our mission is still struggling with getting new missionaries so for most people the transfer has been prolonged until they get here, but because our companions are going home the two of us were left without companions. I thought they were just going to move my companion in early, or that I would have to find a member to be my companion for a week, but they surprised me and decided to just put the two of us together. This means that for the next week or two we are going to be looking after three areas and three wards. We still need to figure some things out, but we will be staying in one area on day, sleeping there, then moving to the other area the next etc. We'll see how it goes. It'll be interesting and a little stressful, but Sister Jiang is incredible and I couldn't do it with anyone else!

I actually called the Assistants the other day with some questions about how this whole situation is going to work and they informed me that they had actually forgotten that the other Tainan sisters were over two wards. They didn't think we were going to have to take care of three areas, but all has been said and done, so they're praying for us. I told them we'd need it.

Earlier this week we went on exchanges with these sisters. I was with Sister Yeh in my area and was asking her what she would recommend for my last move call. She told me to stay busy. So I guess I got what I asked for! As far as I know no companionship has been over three areas before. Hopefully the missionaries come soon, so we won't have to do this for very long. 

As far as the rest of the week it was pretty insane. We didn't get to meet with Sally again because she got sick and had to go to the hospital (she's 17 by the way and I don't know all her talents specifically, she gave us a whole list). But hopefully we can contact her this week and find a time that will work for while we are in the area. Chen Tai Tai is actually praying! Four times to be exact and we even have her husbands affirmation.

Meilin came to a few of our activities this week. She says she has been praying more and feels like its getting easier and is bringing her comfort. She still doesn't know how to develop her own faith, but is willing to trust God to help her. 

We had a pretty awesome Harry Potter english party. Elder Page went all out and did the candle decorations and even carved wands for everyone. We were in charge of the food, which was pretty crazy, but we got it done. I was supposed to be Hermionie and Sister Chang was...well...Chou Chang (Harry's girlfriend in one of the books). 

I went on exchanges with Sister Yeh! I felt bad, not much happened, but it was good to be back with an old companion. Especially being companions pretty early on in the mission. It's weird thinking how long ago that was. 

While on exchanges we met with a former (who actually ended up being a member referral we had gotten earlier as well). She came with her member friend and we had a good lesson with her. She feels like everything is very abstract, but is willing to try. We had a miracle peike (member present lesson) that day!

We met with several other people for the first time who are all pretty willing to read the Book of Mormon and ask God it its true. Hopefully I can still keep in contact with these people and see how it's going. 

I got to play my violin at a baptism the elders had on Saturday. It felt so good to play again (I haven't had time to practice in this area), but I'm definitely rusty. 

And that brings us to Sunday! I said before that Sundays are always miracle days and that is still holding true. About a week ago while we were heading home for the day I stopped to contact someone. We usually turn onto the sidewalk there, so we don't normally contact since we have to get up before the light turns green, but for some reason I wanted to contact her. I didn't really say much, but she was really nice and gave us her number. Sister Chang called her later on that week. She didn't have any time to meet, but said that she would come to church on Sunday. 

I'm a little ashamed to say that I didn't really believe she would come, especially because we've never met before. But Sunday morning while we were on our way to the church I got a call from this girl saying that she was at the church! We talked to her for a while before church and she told us that she's actually always wanted to go to church, but never knew when or how. So when we contacted her she was excited that she was given an opportunity to come. 

There are people who really are looking for the truth. Sometimes they show up at unexpected times and in unexpected places, but they are always there and its just up to us go find them. I'm grateful in this case that we found one.

We also had one of our recent converts come to church with her daughter this week! She is a single mom and is always working. Lately she has had to work every Sunday so they haven't been able to come, but this week her shift was later! She came with her daughter Akimi who just turned eight. We are going to start teaching her and hopefully she can get baptized as well.

I almost forgot! You're probably wondering why I titled my email the way I did. There is an older man who walks at the track that we go to. Every time we see him we talk to him for a little bit and say good morning. Last week as we started running we were talking about something and started laughing pretty hard. As we passed by Mr. Lee he asked, "why are you so happy? Did you win the lottery or something?"

I think I've won the lottery. I may not have had a ton of baptisms or things like that, but I have come to the best place on earth and have made some of the dearest friends. I have been called as a representative of Christ and get the chance to bear witness of Him everyday. I've come to know my Savior and have grown in the process. We've been given pearls of great price and miracles around every corner, which are better than any lottery prize. 

I love you all so much! Keep working hard and being happy! Please pray for me and Sister Jiang! We're going to need it!

With all my love,

Sister Fernley

Ups and downs but still incredible

Sister Fernley's message from Jan. 25, 2015:

Dear Family,

This week was pretty incredible. Of course it was still a week of ups and downs, but that's how it is every week. We did see a ton of miracles though! Hopefully I can remember them all. I always feel a little bad because there never seems to be time to write in my journal! I don't want to forget all the precious experiences. 

Lately we've been calling a lot of phones trying to find more people to teach. We went through all of our recent converts that we have now and determined how most of the converts were found here. Come to find out most of them are from formers and english class. So like I said we've been calling a lot of formers, and it's been working!

We ended up setting up so many lessons! We are praying and hoping that they all show up and work out. We've already met with a few people who have a lot of potential.

One was a girl named Sally. I think she ended up just getting busy when the sisters were meeting with her before, but she is really great! She has had a really hard life, but trusts in God and is willing to seek out truth. She showed up half and hour late for our lesson and when she walked up to the church she was smoking. Sister Chang and I were a little apprehensive about what was going to happen, but she was really sweet and was surprisingly open with us.

She told us about how her parents were divorced so she used to live with her dad. While she was there her dad beat her, so she moved in with her mom. While she was living with her mom her mom also beat her, so with some encouragement from her teachers she applied to live on her own. So now she is living near our church, working two jobs and trying to get schooling in when she can. She said she is Christian and feels that God has saved her and helped her so much, but that recently feels that her relationship with Him is getting more and more distant. She is incredibly talented, is super sweet and really willing to learn more. I hope she progresses and feels the joy that the gospel can bring. She needs more happiness and comfort in her life. 

Later that same day we had a miracle lesson! Because our lesson with Sally ended up being later than we expected we didn't have much time before we had to go back home, so we decided to call some more phones and confirm the lessons we had set up for later on in the week. I had had some people that I called the day before that said to call back later so I started going through the list. Usually when I have lists like this most of the people really aren't interested, but feel too embarrassed to say anything so they just tell you to call back. Most of the time they don't really expect you to call back.

Anyway I called one of the numbers and the lady who answered asked me if we were at home or at the church. I told her we were at the church, and asked if we could find a time to come visit her. She then replied, "come over right now." I was a little shocked and didn't really know what to do because it almost time to go home, but I decided to take the miracle that Heavenly Father was providing. I asked if that was convenient for her, and she replied, "very convenient!" So we went.

She ended up being an investigator that has met a lot of missionaries, but was never willing to keep any commitments. Her husband is actually a less active and is the sweetest man. We walked into the house and sat down with his wife, then about a minute later he shuffled down the stairs (on account of a lame leg) and was so excited to see us. He then proceeded to proudly show us this birthday card that the ward had sent him a few days before. He and his wife are pretty much polar opposites. For most of the time we were sitting with them she kept getting up and doing other things and trying to be as loud as possible while doing it. Sister Chang and I both had the feeling that she was doing it on purpose and was trying to stop us from sharing. 

We kept talking though and had the blessing of listening to her husband talk to us, in his quite and shy voice, about how his son and daughter are both members of the church, how he loves praying and the missionaries that taught him the gospel. 

We did end up getting his wife (Chen Jiemei) to sit still and quite down for a little bit. We had probably been there for about half an hour when we invited them to pray together as a family. She kind of scoffed about the idea and talked about how the missionaries always tried to get her to pray and how she thought we had all these rules about how many times you had to pray and then you would get all these blessings. After she said this Sister Chang and I both stopped for a second, looked at each other, then started talking about how it wasn't how many times we prayed, but the sincerity and desire behind our prayers. I then told her my experience about how I received my answer that the Book of Mormon was true and she got completely quite. That was probably the most intently she was listening to us for the whole lesson, but you could see the wheels turning, and the spirit was definitely there.

I think she just feels frustrated that she hasn't received and answer yet. Everyone keeps telling her she will and she doesn't feel like she has received one, so doesn't want to keep trying. We invited her to start trying again. She said she would try, but wasn't making any promises. If she's home tonight we are going to try and go back over. We'll she if she is willing to work for an answer this time.

We also met with a Cai Jiemei who is also a former that we called earlier in the week. She actually called us the day of our appointment with her and told us that she had already heard what the missionaries are sharing before and that she doesn't feel like it is what she needs so she didn't want to waste our time in meeting with us. (I hate phone calls like that.) We assured her it wasn't a waste of our time and that we would be happy to meet with her. She ended up being really cool. She was baptized into another Christian church a few years ago and had incredibly strong faith. She is willing to do whatever God guides her to do and said she would be willing to read the Book of Mormon and ask if it is true. I hope we can keep working with her. Last time she only met with the sisters a few times and then disappeared. So pray that she stays with us this time!

Oh man, there is so much to talk about. So many miracles and there is just not enough time. We had one that seems to stick out to me more than the others though. We had planned some contacting time and had planned to go Book of Mormon contacting and this intersection on the way to the train station. We started contacting for a little while and it seemed like people were even more rude than usual. I started getting pretty let down and started to say a prayer. I think Sister Chang noticed so we decided to say another companionship prayer. We prayed and asked Heavenly Father to help us, that we were having a hard time and that we would love to have at least one person who would be willing to take a Book of Mormon and set up a time with us to learn more. The very first person Sister Chang contacted after that prayer pulled over! The person I was talking to didn't have any interest so I gave her a tract and ran over to talk to the lady who had just pulled over with Sister Chang. She ended up taking a book, setting up a time and saying it was destiny that we met on the road that day. After she drove off Sister Chang and I were stunned! I turned to her and said in chinese, "prayer works!" We said another prayer and asked for another person to pull over, but that one didn't happen. I guess Heavenly Father was waiting for when our faith was low to show forth His hand and tell us that this is His work. It really is incredible!

I talked about Mei Lin last week. We were able to meet with her and she has been praying! We taught her about the restoration and will hopefully meet with her again today. She is really great and seems really sincere in her desire to learn.

As far as Mery goes she has been stuck in the hospital taking care of the person she watches over so we haven't been able to meet with her. She should be able to get out after this week, so we are hoping we can meet with her again.

Well I love you all so much! Thanks for not making me go through a dry spell! Although it was pretty close this week, haha. Have a great week and remember to see the miracles! I hope Jemma gets better too! Love you!

Sister Fernley

Corners :)

Sister Fernley's message from Jan. 18, 2015:

My Dear Family,

It was so good to hear from you, as always. Even when it is the day-to-day things. It is so nice to hear from home. It gives us the strength and the motivation to keep going for another week. We had interviews earlier this week and while we were waiting for our turn with President one of the elders was talking about how he was going through a "dry spell." He talked about how he has had about a month where he hasn't had any word from home. 

I was listening to him talk with the other elders about this and was so grateful that I've never had to go through that. So thank you! It really means a lot!

It sounds like you are all staying busy, and I hope happy! I loved seeing Jemma at gymnastics! It is so great that she loves it so much. I hope everything goes well this week and that you get everything done that needs to get done! Time is crazy and seems to slip away from you no matter how hard you try to hold on to it.

This week was crazy and was a roller coaster as usual. Things change so quickly and without notice. Investigators, emotions, weather you name it it changes. I've always said that the only thing you can really control on a mission is your food, and sometimes that's not even that reliable. 

After going to the beach last week we met with a return missionary from the Tainan 4th ward. We are only over the 3rd, but the elders over the 4th ward are in our district so we do a lot of activities with the 4th ward members and investigators. It was really enlightening talking to her. She has only been home a few months. I loved hearing about what she struggled with and what she learned from her mission. 

After meeting with her we had set up to go with one of our members (Ya Lan) to go visit one of our recent converts; however the RC ended up canceling. We were just going to go tract, but we decided to sit down with our member for a little bit. We've felt that she has been struggling with something lately so we tried to talk to her about it. She didn't really want to, but eventually she was able to open up to us and I think we were able to help her. It took up more time than we expected, but I was really grateful for the opportunity to help her. She does so much for the missionaries! She deserves to be helped by others as well.

Then on Tuesday we went on exchanges with the Gangshan sisters! Sister Grigg is serving there right now and is training one of the new sisters that came on a few months ago. I ended up staying in Gangshan with Sister Cardon. She is extremely dedicated and is an incredible missionary already. It was interesting talking to her, because she reminds me a lot of myself when I first came on my mission. It made me think about who I was when I left and who I am now. I still feel like myself, but I know I have changed a lot and have grown so much closer to my Savior and have learned to trust in Him more than ever before. I am so grateful for the opportunities I have had to grow and improve! The sisters teach me so much and never cease to amaze me. They are all so focused and want to hasten this work so much. Their faith is inspiring!

While on exchanges I was actually able to contact this lady (at first I thought she was a man) who pulled over and talked to us a little more. I told her about how we were sharing how to help our families and have a happier life, then asked if we could share more with her. I don't think she heard very well, because she asked what message we wanted to share with her. I repeated it and she replied, "of course! When you have time you can come over to my shop!" We got her number and she said to call her and she would help the sisters find her shop when they wanted to come over. It was awesome! I hope she really has interest and that the sisters can help her progress in the gospel. If not, we planted a seed.

When I got back from exchanges we ate dinner and got ready to teach English. (Sister Chang and I get to teach the advanced class! It is a lot of fun and is showing me how bad my English is! Many of our students speak more advanced than I ever have.) Anyway before class was going to start one of the elders brought this lady to us and told us that she wanted to learn about Jesus Christ. Sister Chang talked to her while I continued to get things set up, but apparently she took and English flier from us while we were English proselyting and came just so she could learn about Christ!

We ended up meeting with Mei Lin (this English student) on Friday and it sounds like she is going through some family trials, but she is hoping coming to know God and Christ can help her through it. She is incredible and is so willing to learn! We're meeting with her again this next Wednesday. Hopefully everything keeps working out. It seems like we keep finding people and as soon as we find them they disappear a few days later. We've been praying really hard for investigators that will progress, so maybe she is an answer to our prayers!

We also met with the sassy LA I talked about last week. We had an investigator cancel on us so we asked if our member would like to go with us to find this LA. When we went to her house she had just barely got home and had a little bit of time before she had to go to the hospital for a check up. We were able to sit down with her for a little bit. She keeps telling us that she doesn't have a testimony and doesn't feel the spirit, but she is still reading. I think she is doing more than she lets on. She said she was going to come to church, but she ended up having a family member pass away so couldn't make it. Hopefully we can see her again next week. 

Saturday was our day of miracles! We traveled to one of the farther parts of our areas to visit a former, Mery, who we had tried to meet with a week ago. She ended up being home this time and let us in. She is from Indonesia and doesn't speak a lot of english or Chinese. We will just say that communicating was a little rough. I found myself thinking back to our lessons at the MTC and tried to teach similar to that. It seemed to work and we think she got a little bit of it. She still reads some of the Book of Mormon and pulled it out as soon as she saw us. We are going to have to see if we can find someone to translate for us, but I think she has a lot of potential. 

After visiting with Mery we went to find one of our RCs house. Neither of us have met her and she has been in the hospital a lot because of her cancer. We were originally going to just leave a note, but we ended up calling her and she said she was at a park nearby. It took us forever to find the park and by the time we got there I think we were all a little frustrated. She was really cute though and was really excited to see us, but it was obvious she wasn't very comfortable.

We talked with her for a few minutes, and she seemed to get more and more uncomfortable. She asked us to pray for her so we offered a prayer. We continued to talk to her a little bit and then offered to share a scripture. At this request she replied, "no, it will make me too tired." I was a little annoyed because I figured sharing a scripture was pretty much the same as talking to her so we continued to insist. She gave in and said, "okay well I guess I can have patience with you for a few minutes." Sister Chang and I both looked at each other a little annoyed, but Sister Chang shared a beautiful scripture and testified to her that God knew what she was going through and that He and Jesus Christ would be her light and guide her through her trial. 

Sister Chang then asked her," when have you felt the love of God?" The RC looked up at us (she had crouched down in front of where we were sitting because she was in pain), and with teary eyes told us, "right now! I can feel it right now!" 

She then proceeded to tell us how she was in so much pain she felt like crying, but after we shared the scripture with her it immediately felt a lot better. She continued to marvel at how incredible it was and how she now felt well enough to walk and could get back home. We testified to her that it was God showing His power and love for her. It was incredible to see. The scriptures really do have great power and God and Christ truly love us so much! I was so grateful to be able to witness the healing power of the word of God not only for spiritual and emotional needs, but for physical needs as well. Sometimes we take it too much for granted.

Well I'm just about out of time, but i'm so grateful for this week and for the slow progress that we are seeing. There are great things happening in Tainan! I know we will continue to see many miracles and that God will look after us as we do our part.

Have a great week! I love you all! Don't forget to see the miracles! They're out there!

With all my love, 

Sister Fernley

Just a quick message today...

Sister Fernley's message from Jan. 12, 2015:

Dear Family,

I'm going to apologize right now for the short email. We ended up not having as much time to email today because we did a ton for P-day! Sorry about that. I'll make up for it next week!

Dad mentioned that you didn't really feel as connected with this area as my others. Honestly that's because we don't really have many investigators right now, and the ones we have aren't really progressing. So...we've been spending a lot of time on the streets and actually we've been getting a lot of numbers. I finally feel like I can contact and that getting an "add" ( getting someone's number and setting up a time with them on the street) isn't that hard of a thing to do. I remember at my farewell that my Uncle Jim (on my mom's side) told me not to get comfortable. He said that once you get comfortable it's time to go home. I'm starting to feel that.

Anyway we had some crazy miracles on Sunday! We have an LA that I've been calling frequently who is 73, won't let us come to her house, and is pretty darn sassy! Here's how my one of my conversations went down with her:

me: how are you doing today?
her: not good, my hand is hurt and isn't doing very good today. 
me: oh no! Have you been praying?
her: no
me: well I know if you will pray you can see miracles and Heavenly Father can help your hand.
her: really
me: really. You can see miracles every day!
her: well i'm not seeing miracles
me: well you're not praying!
her: oh
me: yea, you can't see miracles if you don't go and act first 
her: oh I see. That's how it is.

Yea, pretty much that's how it goes almost every time I call her. BUT she has been praying and was pretty excited to tell me about it. So there's progress. I don't know why but i feel like I clicked with this woman. She is super sassy and really annoying, but i'm just sassy back and our conversations usually make me happy for the rest of the day. I feel like i've been sent here partly to help her. 

So anyway she came to the activity! She walked in and walked straight up to me pointed at me and said, "Fan jiemei!" with this big grin on her face. It was so cute! I was so happy to see her there!

We also had a Japanese member bring a friend to the activity. She isn't allowed to invite her to church because of a work policy ( they work together), but could invite her to the activity. We actually ended up sitting with her and got out a really simple lesson on prayer (she doesn't speak english and only knows a little bit of Chinese). We invited her friend to say the prayer in Japanese and by the end the investigator and two of our members were crying. I felt a little out of the loop! It was incredible though and you could really feel the spirit.

This week we also went on exchanges with the Qishan sisters! We took the bus down there. Usually I sleep, but I was too excited to sleep very long. I was coming back to Tainan with Sister Turner (she was Sister Murdock's MTC companion) so I didn't get to stay there. I was a little sad, but I was so happy to be back for a little bit. I also got to help them figure out where some of my former investigators live (like huang jiemei) so they can go back and find them again. I gave them as many referrals as I could. I hope some of them work out. Maybe they are ready for the gospel this time. 

Well I'm almost out of time. Sorry! I love you all so much! I loved reading your emails. The college thing is in my bag and will be sent out tonight (I have no way to scan anything very conveniently, but I can look around). I love you all! Have a great week and keep looking for the miracles!

With all my love,

Sister Fernley

Shi Yue got baptized!

Sister Fernley's message from January 5, 2015:

My Dearest Family,


And that's my email for the week. Haha just kidding, but honestly I could close this right now and be completely satisfied, but I won't. 

So to start from the beginning every month the mission has a Mission Leadership Conference, or as we call it MLC, in which all the zone leaders and sister training leaders go up to the mission home and talk about the training and changes in the mission that we want to relay to the missionaries in our zone training meetings...or ZTM. 

We had MLC on Friday and spent the whole day up in Taizhong. It was a little weird, but exciting to be back in my old area again. It was nice seeing the senior couples again. Sister Murdock just got moved out, so I didn't get a chance to see her there, oh well. Anyway after all of our meetings and training we stopped into the mission home to grab a few proselyting materials before heading back to Tainan. We were in there for about ten minutes when Elder Yang (one of the senior missionaries) said, "Well Sister Fernley you did all the work and we got to reap the fruits." I looked over at him confused and unsure what he was talking about when he said, "didn't you hear about the Wang family." I was still pretty confused, and i think he could tell so he clarified..."Shi Yue and her husband got baptized!"

Pretty much that was probably the loudest any of the office staff has ever heard me be. I was ecstatic! The last I had heard about them they didn't pass their baptismal interview because they had had alcohol that week and were a little out of the picture because Shi Yue had a test coming up.

So that's the story, and I am so happy for them! I feel like it was a huge tender mercy from the Lord. I know that we do so much that makes a difference in so many lives, but we don't get the opportunity to see it. I am so grateful for the Lord and how merciful He has been to me in allowing me see the fruits of my labors already. I'm extremely lucky. Honestly my time in BeiQu was one of the hardest times on my mission, but we always had Shi Yue. And honestly there were times I didn't know if they were going to make it, but they pressed through, they changed a lot and have started on a new path. It won't be easy, but I know it will be worth it! She is one of the most incredible person I have ever met. She understands the scriptures better than any investigator I've ever taught. I know that with the help of the ward and the sisters there now she will be in good hands and will see so many blessings down the road.

At MLC we listened to the zone leader's reports on how the mission is doing, discussed some new standards for language study, had some training, and talked about some excited changes in our mission! I know I've talked before about how we have some standards set for our mission on the amount of lessons we should teach etc. These numbers have given me a lot of stress on my mission, and since becoming a sister training leader I've realized that I'm not the only one. Sister Chang and i have been talking about how to help our sisters have joy in the work, and not focus so much on numbers and I think the changes President is making will help the moral of our mission a lot. They didn't lower them per-say, but some changes have been made to make them more of a standard that most people should be able to hit rather than just a select few. I'm excited to see the help this brings to the mission. 

As far as the rest of the week goes I went on my first exchange! I went to Yongkang with Sister Kwan who just started training and her companion came to Tainan with Sister Chang. The more and more experience I have as a Sister Training Leader the more and more I realize just how unqualified I am to be here. The sisters are so amazing and teach me so much. I'm just grateful I get the change to learn from them and see the strengths that each and every one of them bring to the mission. They really are my role models.

I sent some pictures of me and Sister Kwan. I got gifted the balloon animal while we were biking home for the night. I stopped at a red light and had this old man pull up to me with this giant box full of balloon animals wedged onto his motor-scooter. I started smiling and asked him if he had made them all. He immediately pulled one out and handed it to me. I have to say that is the first time I have ever been given a balloon animal while contacting. It kept me grinning the rest of the night.

We haven't really had much progress with any investigators yet, but we are still trying. When I was here on exchanges about a year ago the sisters had a ton of investigators and saw a lot of success, so I know we can see it as well. I know this area has great potential, we've just got to have faith and patience and trust in the lord's timing. 

I'm slowly getting to know the area. Sister Chang doesn't really know it either, so we are learning it together. And weather-wise it feels like June in utah here. The sun is out and it is just about perfect weather. It gets cold mornings and nights, but the rest of the day is pretty comfortable. It's so different from last year. I don't know if it's just the area, or if all of Taiwan is just warmer this year, but I am definitely not complaining.

Last Monday we had no idea what to do, so we called one of our members and she took us to the Kong Miao here in Tainan (Confucius temple). There wasn't a ton to see, but we had fun taking pictures together. The line of red boards each have the name of a different god on them. Apparently when you go to the temple you go and pick which god, or gods, you want to worship and take them into the main room of the temple and put the board on the alter and proceed with the rituals. It is such a foreign concept to me that still fascinates me.

Well I love you all! Sorry I don't have much to say this week. Honestly it feel like a lot of this past week is just a blur. Time is moving so fast!

Have a great week! Don't forget to see the miracles! Give Jemma a hug for me!

Sister Fernley

ps. I think for school I'm just going to plan on going back for the fall semester. I need some time to save up. I actually forgot about the paperwork, but i have it downloaded and will get it off as soon as possible!