Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Im still alive!

Dear friends and family,
My deepest apologies for not being the most consistent writer in my weekly emails. A lot of emails and other distractions have caught my attention but I hope that things will be a tidge smoother thanks to my dear companion Hermana Dodson. 
Things are running smoothly and quickly here in Patapo, Peru. I love this area but fear I will see changes soon when cambios come around. Hermana Dodson and I have grown closer than ever and our personalities seem to compliment one another well. We have a FANTASTIC investigator named Wilmer Valderrama, and he wants more than anything to be baptized and give everything he has to show God his faith. The only drawback? His wife doesnt want to get married (even though they have 5 little ones running about) and so he cant be baptized until they get married. 


Yeah sad. 

But in other news, we are starting to draw closer to some of our investigators potential in setting a baptism date. We recently had a woman named Lili open up to us about some horrible things that passed in her marriage, and she told us that she wants to "change for herself and change for her children." Her future is looking extremely bright and when she came to church yesterday, she said right in the middle of the Relief Society lesson that she was going to apply the teachings immediately. We werent even teaching her and she was already creating and keeping her own commitments! What beauty and simple evidence that the Lord prepares His children for this Gospel. Our job as missionaries is just to find those people, show them the spirit, and provide the doctrine for them to accept. I LOVE this work!!

Oh and did I mention something else? Ive lost about 19 kilos here since what I weighed before the mission and what I weighed today when we went running. (That´s about 40 pounds haha) 0.0 So yeah, this mission is bringing about quite a few changes. 

Dont have much time now but thanks everyone for all the support and fantastic words of encouragement youve been sending. I wish you all a great week and a desire to testify of the truthfullness of this gospel to all those loved ones around you. 

Hermana Furness 

How long have I been here?

Am I really almost done with my training? These weeks are flying by and I can feel my time in Patapo starting to slip out of my hands. The beginnings of conversations about me leaving Patapo have started to arise with the members I have become close to here. We are all crossing our fingers that I can have 1 or 2 more transfers here before the water works come :( 

But on the other hand, I am loving what I am doing. I still cant believe how much growing there is to be done and how much growth I get every week. There is always so much good to think about despite the hardships. This week, unfortunately, I was sick again. We think that a flu is going around because many people are receiving the same thing. It was just a few time vomiting and a lot of stomach pains. But everything is good now and we should be back on track to our regular schedule (: 

Also, to catch up on photos, I am just going to start sending from pictures from these weeks. My time during the CCM will have to be celebrated one day when I get home (: 

To answer mom's fruit question--yes! There are many different fruits and fruit types here. There are 40 different potato types alone if that doesnt provide a field of variety (haha get it ;) ) but there are SO many good fruits. Hermana Rosana, our pensionista, makes pies and drinks out of the different fruits. They all taste so delicious and I wish I could bring so many of them home. At the end of my mission I hope to bring home a jar of a fruit flavoring to still make the "pay de chirimoya" that Hermana Rosanna makes. Count your lucky stars mom! (:

Since I am out of time, I will have to cut this short.t (: I am starting to find out that posting things on blogs, worrying about getting all my pictures to you doesn't matter in the long run. It really boils down to a living, breathing, and healthy family that can enjoy the love that they have with each other and the possibility to give that same love to others in the world. 

Hermana Furness

Monday, January 5, 2015

Pictures? Maybe?

Another attempt to send pictures. I have more time today and this is a really fast computer so Im crossing my fingers!!
Ok. So that might not be happening. I am trying to work it out but I thought I would reply a little while I am waiting. 

Not much has happened in the last few days, but at the same time, I am growing everyday. We had a lesson, with a lady named Georgina and she would not listen to ANYTHING we were saying. We were so caught up in telling her that WE have the truth, WE are the only gospel of Jesus Christ and WE are what you need in your life. I had had enough of this talk and realized that what she needed was love and the truth. I told her that I believe all churches have the truth but that I knew for myself that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints contains the full truth. I told her that I would not have sacrificed the comforts of home and miles between my family and I to tell something I didnt know to be absolutely and unequivocally true from God. I told her that we want to hear her beliefs, her fears, her doubts, her hopes, and her problems. At that moment, she had changed from a hardened and weathered mother to a broken and wounded child of God that was looking her help in the face for the first time. She listened to everything we said after that and Hermana Dodson commented that my testimony totally CHANGED her. It was empowering but more of a growing experience than anything. It has fueled my desire to be worthy of the Spirit in all times and places and has ignited my desire to cultivate better attributes by serving others. This mission might change a few, but if not, its changing me. I cant be anywhere else that Heavenly Father wants me to be and what a blessing that I have a family that supports that. I love you and pray for you--always hoping my testimony can strengthen yours.
I think that will do it all for this week. With two minutes on the clock, I need to sign off or get a picture or two on here haha.

Hermana Furness

Friday, January 2, 2015

Un año nuevo y compañera nuevo

Happy New Year everyone!
With a new companion and year at my side I feel so happy about the outcomings of this week. Because I dont have time--as per usual--I thought I would copy and paste some of the things from my email to my mom. They were special experiences that I believe will inspire all of you and inspire a trial of your faith with Heavenly Father:

"Today, I had an opportunity for that obedience. This morning, we made tortillas with a couple in our ward since all of us were craving a taste of Mexican food. We cooked inside the chapel and the elders were there. Just an hour ago, Hermana Dodson was on the computer and I was quitely reading my book in the corner. We could hear the radio of one of the Elders from the other room, and it was playing Radioactive by Imagine Dragons. If I remember right, that isnt an innappropriate song, but for the field, we are asked to have a higher standard of music choice. To only listen to the hymns, classical music, or spiritually inviting choices helps us focus on our purpose as missionaries every day, every hour, every minute. I stammered up some courage and walked into the room to ask if we could change the song. They willingly replied and I felt such a reassurance from Heavenly Father that that was what I needed to do. Minutes later, the zone leaders and a few other Elders walked in. If I hadnt asked to turn the song, impressions might have been made about the Elder with the music and about me and my companion too. It just went to show what a blessing obedience can bring.

My email is quite lengthy but I just want to mention one more thing that I told Ashley this week-- I received confirmation about what I need to do after my mission! Through divine revelation and guidance in my patriarchal blessing, I know that I need to be a teacher during my life. It will help my family and as I am instructed, I will be guided to the classrooms and knowledge I need in this life. I am so thrilled that I have an answer to such a begging question. What is better is, I cant receive any greater training to be a teacher than to be on a mission! While I focus on serving the people, I will learn how to be a better teacher. What a BLESSING this mission is."

Thanks all! Good luck to the missionaries in the field, safe holidays to the people at home, and God speed with all. I love you all and thank you for the support!

Hermana Furness