Monday, February 23, 2015

Really?? 5 Months??

Has it really been 5 months everyone?? It feels like I was packing for my mission just yesterday. I can't believe that time has gone by so quickly here although I feel that I have learned loads. This week was fantastic and we have a new mission leader, Hermana Nelson. Seriously, before he was even set apart yesterday, he got crackin' to work demanding the hours of all the members to come visiting with us. Ward Council was like sitting in with apostles because it was so spiritual.

I finally grabbed some pictures from Hermana Dodson from awhile back. The one is of me eating cuy for the first time (guinea pig), another of 2 of the kids of one of our investigators, Wilmer, (arent they adorable??) :), another of Elder Encalada, me, Hermana Dodson, and Elder Dagley the day that Elder Dagley had cambios, and the ultimate photo of me and Hermana Dodson with 2 kids we are also teaching, Enmanuel and Maria Jose. Such beautiful souls and hearts that surround us in Patapo!

This week I was reading in Luke 6 when I stumbled upon verse 35 that says:

35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lendhoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be thechildren of the Highest: for HE is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.

It really hit me hard that when we lend, give, serve, and do good, we should NEVER expect the good to be returned. Quite naturally, good seems to follow us whenever we give it, but we cant expect life or the world to be fair when we are kind to it. How many times has everyone repayed exactly the amount of love God has given us? He SHOWERS His love and His blessings upon us everyday and we cant give back a portion of what we receive. The Atonement was the greatest expression of love I have heard, and if we are to suffer a bit to help another, how much do we suffer each day? I just love this verse and it helps me remember that as missionaries, we must do good without expectations for blessings at all let alone the blessings we WANT. 

I encourage you all to read the scriptures and holy script that we are blessed with in the church. There is so much divine revelation to be found and countless direction to be given. I hope that you are all safe and happy and that you are all learning to have a little bit more hope in your days, yourselves, and your Savior. God bless you all this following week! (:

Hermana Furness

Monday, February 16, 2015

All things ARE possible

Dear friends, family, strangers, all,

My cold is OVER! Sunny days are here again. Well, they are here all the time but I am just not hack coughing and sniffing all the time (: 
This week I completed the book of Mark and tomorrow I am starting into Luke (woooo!!). In chapter 9 of Luke, I loved the story of the man with the posessed son that asked Christ to cast out the devil from him. In verses 23 and 24 we read--

23 Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.
 24 And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.
In footnote a for verse 24 we read that unbelief is found under the topical guide as "doubt." Right beside this I wrote a long time ago "what lack I?" and it really got me thinking. Sometimes I feel that I have faith in the Lord but doubt my own abilities. I realized that maybe the man with the posessed son said "Lord, I believe" (that you can heal this boy) but also said "help thou mine unbelief" because he wanted to SEE the difference. When we of little faith ask the Lord, "help thou mine unbelief" we should press forward with a "perfect brightness of hope" (2 Nephi 31:20) and show actions that follow. Then we will SEE the difference of our faith and action coupled with the Lord´s power. 

That is all I have time for this week, but I hope you all have happy days filled with miracles!

Hermana Furness

P.S. The little pastry thing is called a pakuelo and they are my faaaavorite. Go buy one if you are in Peru. 

The little spider is the demon we caught in our room. Using faith and bugspray to cast out these demons in our cuarto! haha (: 

Monday, February 9, 2015

Multi-Zone Meetings and Matthew

Dear Friends and Family,
PLEASE stay healthy missionary friends. Right now I have come down with the gripe and nothing is worse for people who talk all day than a voice that sounds like youre a chain smoker. But aside from my raspy voice and congested nose, all is well with me and I am falling more and more in love with Patapo. Yesterday I was talking to Hermana Shirley in our ward and she asked me how I felt about transfers. I said that I think this will be my last one here and so I am looking forward to making the most out of my time here the next three weeks. I feel a multitude of blessings from God for the convert potentials and fantastic lessons we have been having. The women in the ward sacrifice nearly all their time to work with us and I dont know what it will be like to move to another area with a different support system. But I can testify that even the hardest of wards and people can be changed with the patience, long-suffering, and continuous showing of charity towards them. 

We had a multi zone meeting this week and it was WAY powerful. We truly have an inspired mission president and I am so happy to have a refreshed perspective on repentance--that we are to take up our cross daily and follow the Savior. The pic I have attached is of me, Hermana Dodson, her old companion Hermana Corona, and Hermana Coronoa's trainee Hermana Wood. They are all such wonderful sisters!! OH and I had McDonalds for the first time in months at the multi-zone meeting. Weird!

This week, I read a fantastic verse in Matthew. I am seriously enchanted with the New Testament. This verse is in chapter 16 and is verse 26 of Matthew:

"For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?"

In teaching people to sacrifice all their habits and a lot of their time for us, I feel that this verse can help let us release those things in our life that blur out the clarity of heaven. I have told people in lessons quite often that all we can take with us after this life is our knowledge and, if we have covenanted and kept our covenants, our family. Work, cooking meals, going to the beach, and a whole other list of things seem to occupy the minds of the people--when we can enjoy those things so much more when our conscience is at ease from taking care of what the Lord has asked us to do first. I hope that this week, we can all ask ourselves, "what will we give in exchange for our soul?" and apply the conclusions we have come to. I wish you all a merry week and a spelndous Monday. Ciao for now!

Hermana Furness
P.S. Hermana Fairchild--I love you so much and have been praying endlessly for you!! Turn to the Lord in all your sorrows and worries and He will never leave you comfortless (: You are so strong and brave and have the support of your CCM family forever!! Take care and peace to your soul ;)

Where´s My Laundry Again?

Dear Friends and Family,
Wow! A whole 10 minutes to write my group email again. BUT I have a promising chiste from my New Testament reading this week and a picture. Progress right?
This week was FANTASTIC. Seriously. I am blown away at how blessed Hermana Dodson and I have been and I find myself trying to find opportunities to be humbled. This week, the lady who does our laundry hasnt brought our stuff from last week to us, and so I have resorted to using my ankle socks with my shoes haha. PLUS my contacts were irritating me and so I used my glasses and what do you know? A transformation to looking like the coolest gringa in the neighborhood. Hermana Dodson and I laughed about it though and we have fun with it. 

But on a more scripture driven note-

I was reading in Matt 12 this week and found a scripture that made me laugh and think at the same time. I never had a problem with working on Sundays as missionaries, but I didnt quite understand why we do it. I was reading this chapter and when I read verse 11 and 12:

11 And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out?
 12 How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days.
I thought about how funny it was to imagine a shephard be too prideful and see a fallen sheep in a pit saying "nah. Its Sunday. Cant lift you out bud. Suerte!" And how looking at working on Sunday as a missionary (as a bad thing) is the same! Are we too prideful that we cant "do well on the sabbath day?" Must we abandon the fallen sheep in the pits because we have to rest ourselves? I say nay. Or "bah." ;) We help people and do good 24/7 because crime and sin never rest. We are always looking to serve others ESPECIALLY when it is inconvenient or we want to rest. Just thought I would share that with yall (:

Love you all and I hope your parts of the world are especially cheery! I love being here and cant wait for the adventures of this week. Take care!

Hermana Furness