Friday, March 20, 2015

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

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