Monday, June 15, 2015

Week 73! "We Weren't was Part of the Plan!"

Tiffany will be arriving at the Las Vegas airport on Friday, July 10th at 11:23 pm via Copa flight #456 from Panama City (it will probably take about an hour to get her through Customs).
She will giving her "homecoming" talk (together with her sister, Ashley) on July 12th at 9 am (pacific time - Vegas time) at the LDS chapel on Alta and Thrush in Las Vegas, Nevada (7800 Alta).
Anyone and everyone is invited to attend either event, or both!
From 6/15/15

We got lost this week taking the wrong bus and quickly getting off when we realized it. But, too late. We ended up in the middle of a dark, empty street with little inkling as to how to get back to the main street.

As we started turning back, more than anything thinking of how dangerous this place potentially was, we saw a bus coming! WOOOOO WE'RE SAVVVVVEDDD!!!! Right? Nope. It was no longer taking any more passengers....Hm okay, we shall keep walking then.

As soon as we turned to head out for an opening in the street to find a main bus stop, a car honked behind us. It stopped. It was a less active member and his girlfriend we have been teaching for some time now!!!!

We got in the car and laughed as we told them the craziness of how we ended up there. They, as well as us were left a little incredulous as we took in the Lord's tender mercies. Apparently, Brother and Sister J haven't gone to the movies in a couple years. But tonight, they decided to go. Taking the route home returning from the theater, they started taking the main street but decided there was too much traffic. Brother J made a U-turn and felt he should take this road home instead.

And there they found us! Freshly clamboured off the wrong bus, in the middle of an empty road at 8:30 at night.

We felt a little ridiculous at first explaining that we were lost (we actually ended up in the area of another missionary zone, belive it or not). But I knew from the start that the Lord made us an instrument in His hands that night in order to allow Brother and Sister J to gain a testimony of following the gentle impressions of the Spirit.

Every detail went into this experience:

1) We never take that bus, but we took our chances this time believing it would take us where we needed to go;

2) We weren't going to get off the bus, but Hna C had the impression we should ask someone in the bus where it was destined to;

3) Brother and Sister J followed a spiritual impression.

Wow. The Lord is amazing. :)

Love you all! Have a great week!

I don't feel the reality of having 2 weeks left yet...Maybe I'll believe it when you send proof that you are actually with Ashley :p :)

And, Thanks Matthew :)


Hna Fernelius

"RR is such a little stud. He is SO spiritually prepared and very bright. His mother, though less active for a couple years, has taught him well. They came to a baptism of another 9 y/o Saturday. RR's mom invited her non-member boyfriend. At first, he resisted entering the church. He was just going to drop them off and leave. When we invited him in and explained persuasively that one doesn't have to be a member to enter and that there were going to be SEVERAL others in attendance who weren't members either, he decided to step in. Hna C and I gave a little message about the Restoration, with a focus on the Book of Mormon, and the mom said the closing prayer. Her boyfriend ended up staying the entire baptismal service and was a littttle more receptive to maybe coming to church again one day...!

Maybe this week we didn't reach as many goals as we should have, but I am confident in the blessing of always FINDING when working closely with crecimiento real" . the planetarium getting ready to watch a cool program/video about the universe...:)

Don't fall off the mitad del mundo!! Here, I am a witness that finding the exactly perfectly balance is possible!

On top of the mitad del mundo monument! :) The mountain wayyyy in the distance that I am looking at says on it "Ecuador - ama la vida" :)

Monday, June 8, 2015

Week 72! "More Tender Mercies..."

From 6/8/15

DAD I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT THE TRIP.....when you told me about the itinerary, my heart AND my mind decided that this was good....And D&C 8 tells me this is because it is a good thing :)

Love you all! I was busy preparing something for end-of-mission slideshow stuff :p So, this is all I am able to get sent to you this week.

LOTS of tender mercies and MIRACLES this week. I feel good. I am really happy because I am constantly learning and there are so many families prepared to hear the gospel in this time :)

Oh! And I was able to bear my testimony in front of the leaders of the mission in consejo de la mision Tuesday (my last one). It was empowering :) It felt good to testify of my love for the Savior and His gospel truths.

Love, :)

Hna Fernelius

"Buenas tardes Presidente!

...Brother R, a 9 year old whose mother is a single less active member - but they have been coming to church consistently together for a few weeks now. They are de oro and I feel very blessed to know them. I feel such a connection with them.

I am doing really good. I love being a missionary and this last week was packed with tender mercies. For example, a few weeks ago I wrote to you about a lady and her daughter I met while on a split with another sister missionary, and how her daughter in that lesson accepted baptism. Well, Saturday my companion and I went to have an Amonita with the hermanas there. We got there really early at like 7:30 am and went to a cyber to make some copies. Suddenly, the hermanas walked into the cyber too. We looked at each other and all had the same reaction: 'What are you doing here?'

Turns out, the hermanas were actually on their way to the baptism of this little girl that I invited to baptism several weeks ago. And they invited us to come with them!! -- Well, we had no where else to go :) jaja. So we went. But, it was just so miraculous how the Lord allowed us to plan this Amonita and find the hermanas in a random cyber that morning in order to attend the baptism of this little girl and her no recently-reactivated mother. It was so cool!!! And it was a huge supportive moment to be there helping the hermanas with the baptism that morning.

The Lord is so full of tender mercies. They are around us every day, and it seems to be such a big part of my life, now more than ever. :)"

This and the next four photos were sent today by Tiffany from her last leadership conference ["Dad" Fernelius].

President and Sister Richardson have been like another set of parents to Tiffany and we are very grateful for the love, kindness, and care they have shown to her [Mom and Dad Fernelius].

This and the rest of the photos from today were taken at the same mission conference and posted on a Facebook page dedicated to families of these missionaries - we had access to them a couple of days ago. Tiffany also sang a musical number with other missionaries (as seen in a couple of these photos), and the video was posted on the Facebook page. I haven't been able to download it or I would include it with this post ["Dad" Fernelius].

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Week 71! "Perseverance"

From 6/1/15

Some really interesting things happened this week....that's for sure.
I'm not even sure exactly where I should start with the experiences and stories of this week. Just starting from yesterday, Sunday, would be enough to last a few pages worth of information. Let's start with the current "hot topic" of one of the Wards....Brother E:
Brother E is an investigator that moved here a while ago. He came to church the first time on his own. The elders presented him to us because he lives in our sector. Hna B and I were stoked. We pulled him aside in that very moment to get to know him a little better and take out another visit with him. Then and there we realized that his greatest motive find a wife. And we decided it would be better for the elders to continue visiting him....*gulp*
Yesterday our ward mission leader brought up Brother E so that the members would also know who the lad was and to be aware of him. THEN. The moment of all embarrassment. In a room of about 25 people present, bishop fixed his attention on and my companion...but especially me because my comp is still fairly new...and chopped his hand vertically through the air with every word as he firmly made his point:

"Hermanas, I'm going to be very direct with you. Brother E is focused on YOU."
Then the next 10 minutes of the meeting consisted of the methods and strategies the members were going to use to protect us from him....ugh. It was uncomfortable.
When we ate lunch at Bishop's house afterwards, he shared with us tips on how to find our eternal companion after the mission and how he met and married his wife. ...Thanks Bishop! help...
Also, in our district of pure elders, one is SUPER tall and gringo. One is super tiny and Latino. The other night in a mission correlation meeting. Elder tall took off his shoe and tossed it over to elder tiny. Elder tiny, without taking off his own shoe, was able to feet his entire foot into the shoe of elder tall...shoe and everything. jajaja It was so priceless. These elders are really funny. Me and Hna C are the voices of reason most of the time jaja. But the unity and friendship in our district has helped each one of us to have enough confidence to keep progressing.
This week I had a really good experience with an Hermana from another zone. She came to my sector with me and helped me here while my companion went to her sector with her companion. Hna P is from California and is so humble, simple, and cute and amazing. But in her sector they are having a hard time finding new people to teach and has had appointments constantly fall through without fail for about a month. The entire day she was with me, I swear she brought the "curse" to our sector too (:p) because it was the first day where EVERYTHING fell through...even the good old "reliables"...jeje But you know, I was very grateful for it! I recognized it as a chance to see how her ànimos are when citas fall through and how she continues onward in those situations. It was also a chance to put our faith to the test (which is EXACTLY the attribute I'm developing this transfer) and look for those miracles Heavenly Father wanted us to find that day.
So...we went an entire day basically just walking and contacting. At night we had mission correlation. Instead of staying the entire night there, we decided to give our informe briefly and go out to continue working. It was 8:15 at night...The question crossed my mind of how much we would actually be able to accomplish so late at night...But NO. We still had to go out and find that miracle!
We stopped by the house of a less active member who we had just gotten to know twice briefly beforehand. She was home! We entered. She called over two of her children. One 11 y/o and less active as well, and the other 9 y/o and still not a member of the church. We got to know them a little briefly and shared and testified with them of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Those two children are probably the brightest little people I have ever met. They understand everything and already had a testimony of all of it. The little one asked amazing questions like, for example, "So, after Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon, what happened to the gold plates? Are they on the earth right now?" But they were genuine questions that he really wanted to know. Wow...Anyway, we invited him, with the permission of his mom, to prepare to be baptized as well and follow that example of Jesus Christ. He accepted to be baptized....and he as well as his older sister even remarked that they both always have wanted to serve missions and become missionaries!!
Wow, was this lesson the miracle we were looking for or what.
It is a simple, but powerful testimony renewed to us of the power of faith, hope, and a little bit of perseverance. We were so happy with the outcomes of the day that we couldn't help but to feel and express so much gratitude for the tender and never-failing mercies of the Lord. And, I feel this day was designed especially for that occasion of having Hna P with me, because it was a witness to her that, with faith and perseverance in her own sector, that there will also soon be many spectacular miracles awaiting her and her companion. Miracles which the Lord so graciously provides to those who only seek Him. :)
Anyway, I know these things are true because I am living them day by day. I hope that each one of you are also having your own experiences and also know they are true. Because our dear Heavenly Father has spoken it. :)
Love you all!!! Have a great week!!!!! :)
Hna Fernelius
"Brother R is 9 and the son of a less active single mom. They are a miracle family. His mom stopped going to church 2 years ago because she began work Sundays. Recently she no longer has work and started coming on her own with her 3 children, 1 of which is also less active and the other which is R and who had never been baptized. The amazing thing is how much DESIRE they have. R and his older sister have a perfect understanding of the doctrine and are excited for him to be baptized. When we extended the baptismal invitation for the 20th of June, R exclaimed, 'That's my sister's birthday and the day she and my mom were baptized!' It`s amazing what God lets us discover with just a little bit of faith.
I am very happy to be here in my current area. We have been working with the goal of strengthening the members and creating a system of hermanamiento among them and the CR/MA. There is so much potential here. Sunday, it was a wonderful gift to have some new family contacts come to church for the first time." 

A dog just....hangin out :p jaja

A family I love

I`m teaching the bishop's son piano! :) Whenever I hear the song of a hmmm hmmhm

I told this girl to smile and instead she said, "Whiskey!!" when I took the picture jajaja

I taught these two how to bowl *sniff* so prouddd :`) They almost broke 40!!! :p jeje
[I got 109 in my defense, okay?? :p]
Monday, June 1, 2015

Information on Tiffany's Return Home!

June 1, 2015

I will update Tiffany's blog with her latest email tomorrow.  For now, everyone that has been following her blog should be aware of the following:
  1. Tiffany will be returning home on Friday, July 10th at 11:23 pm on Copa flight #456 from Panama City. We (her parents) will be picking her up and returning with her, and we are unaware of any specific plans (to party!?!), but you are welcome to join us at the airport if you like.  Keep in mind that it may take an hour or more for us to get through Customs, and it will be late at night already :-)
  2. Tiffany and her younger sister, Ashley, will be speaking together in our ward's sacrament meeting at 7800 (West) Alta Drive on Sunday, July 12th at 9 am (until about 10:30 am or so). You are welcome to stay after and visit if you like - we will probably reconvene after the meeting with family and friends at another location, yet to be determined.
Thank you so much for your prayers, love, and support during this special time in Tiffany's life.

Tracy Fernelius

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Week 70! "In the Marrow of Their Bones..."

From 5/25/15

Just yesterday a tall blonde missionary came to our ward. She finished her mission a week ago, so I was surprised at first to see her there. I thought she came by herself and made some type of miraculous get-away from the rest of those who took their flight home. But then! I saw two tall people at her side following her around....her parents!!! It was super cool to see her parents there with her. They did the same thing we are doing. Her parents came to pick her up and they were in the process of making a few stops before heading to the states.

The parents seemed to be in wonderland.

It was great and got me really excited for when that day comes as well. I don`t know...I don`t feel "trunky" like many people in their last cambio...I feel good. With...everything. Good to keep working this last transfer and good with the idea of my family coming when they do. It`s weird, but my President has been a great source of encouragement and helps me want to leave a legacy of faith on the mission.

I read Ashley's email from last week about 3 times or more throughout the course of the week. Her email left an impact. That sense of deep reverence she has of the Atonement of Jesus Christ is the evidence of someone who reflects upon, understands, and meticulously applies the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The most prevailing thought that kept coming to my mind was of someone who is being instructed by God in order to achieve great wisdom in the future. That is cool.

[Click on the following link if you're interested in seeing what Ashley is up to:].

There`s a recent convert here named Brother C. He is 19, almost 20 years old. Last week, for the first time, he blessed the sacrament. When I saw him up there (I was sitting at the keyboard in the corner of the chapel) I became so excited! What a great joy it is to see one young man change his life around until ultimately receiving the priesthood and voicing the words of the sacrament prayer for all to hear.

Brother C lives with his elderly parents in very humble circumstances. He works and he studies. Normally if we don`t go at exactly 5 pm to his house, we won't find him there. His mom is very sick and will likely soon pass through the veil. His father, though also a convert, is struggling still with certain lifestyle changes in order to keep all the commandments. Brother C is practically....alone. He attends a Catholic school where many, if not all, his classmates ridicule him for changing his behaviors so much in so little time. His "friends" ostracize him for going from robbing women in the bus to returning to them a bus ticket that slips from their hand. They laugh at him for meekly taking a punch instead of fighting back.

One night we went to visit him. He was deeply hurting emotionally. He told us, "I can`t do this any more." And that he doesn`t want to be a member of the church anymore. It was too hard. And it costs too much.

We didn`t have the words at first....we just....hurt with him. But then the Gospel newly lit itself into each one of our hearts. That`s the beautiful part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, that there are no holes. There is always an "out". There is always an answer. More than of knowledge, there is an answer through the Spirit...of peace, of comfort, and of encouragement. Jesus Christ came to redeem us and give us an eternal hope and perspective. Whatever doesn`t seem fair in this life will be made fair in the life to come.

He felt it all -- so that "we might not suffer if we would repent". 

Elder Holland said once, speaking of the faith of pioneers:

"They didn't do that for a program, they didn't do it for a social activity; they did it because the faith the gospel of Jesus Christ was in their soul, it was in the marrow of their bones...That's the only way those mothers could bury their babies in a breadbox and move on, saying, 'The promised land is out there somewhere. We`re  going to make it to the valley.'

"They could say that because of covenants and doctrine and faith and revelation and spirit....If we can keep that in our families and in the Church, maybe a lot of other things start to take care of themselves. Maybe a lot of other less-needed things sort of fall out of the wagon. I'm told those handcarts could only hold so much. Just as our ancestors had to choose what they took, maybe the 21st century will drive us to decide, 'What can we put on this handcart?' It`s the substance of our soul; it`s the stuff right down in the marrow of our bones."

I know that God qualifies those whom He calls. I'm taking on a greater appreciation for the worth of every soul....including my own. What I am learning is how to have a healthy self-worth....not thinking too little or too much of myself. But being able to have a spiritual meekness and confidence before God, and what it means to be His servant. I don`t know God or Jesus Christ yet, but I have the sure hope that one day I will be able to know Them.

I am grateful for this Gospel. I know it's true and I try to understand and apply it more daily. I know that every person with a good heart is trying too. And this is why we need to help each other.

Brother C is now a Home Teacher. He went out with his companions to make his first visits yesterday.


I love you all! Have an amazing week!


Hna Fernelius

Tiffany worked in a trio for a few days last week with these two sisters.

This fortified gate may be more durable than the surrounding fence....

"Do not devour the paper...Use only what is necessary"

"Do not devour the soap...Use only what is necessary"

Today at the mall...