Tuesday, August 12, 2014

I believe in Christ

Sometimes over the course of time, you have to trust.  This is especially true when you send a child into the mission field.  I recall on my own mission, there were times I never received letters from home for several months.  While this was hard, I was already over a year through my mission, and I didn't require the weekly support and contact that I did in the first few months. 

Such is the situation we find ourselves in.  If you haven't guessed it already, this is not Elder Ferrell speaking, even though it is his blog.  These are his parents.  We haven't received our weekly letter from our son.  We have told ourselves it is because he has been transferred, possibly a long ways away, maybe even to the Czech Republic.  Perhaps he has been so busy helping others transfer, he hasn't had time to get to a library.  He may be the only missionary in Slovakia who has an international drivers license and access to a car,  therefore perhaps he hasn't been able to get back to Bratislava.  All we know is that he has already been in Bratislava for 6 months and I would think it is likely that his time is up.  But one thing we have discovered with Pres. McConkie is this; once you think you got it figured out, you don't.

Consequently, we have searched other blogs from the mission to see if anyone else has mentioned what happened this transfer.  Sister J goes home this week, therefore we haven't heard her weekly entertaining epistle.  Sister K is in Kosice and is so wrapped up in missionary work and finishing her mission strong that she doesn't even mention there was a transfer this week, only that they had a baptism.  Elder Br******* is usually good for some mission info but his blog hasn't been updated yet.  Elder As** is published and well written and we know that he is sending home his trainer this transfer.  Sister John*** usually gives a lot of what is going on but she is transferring back to Slovakia this transfer and also may be too busy to write. 

When we dropped off Elder Ferrell at the MTC 14 months ago, we tearfully said goodbye as we wondered if he was going to make it with a difficult language and going so far away.  At that time, knowing more about the love of the Savior, Elder Ferrell told me, "I'm going to be ok, dad, I really am"  So just as we discussed on our way back to Arizona after dropping him off; and as only parents of missionaries can experience, we truly leave the care of our child in the sacred hands of the Savior.

A few days later we received the following letter:
It may be interesting to the reader that Elder Ferrell has been transferred to Zilina.  This beautiful city is very close to the borders of the Czech Republic and is also quite close to Poland. It is also very close to a village named Trstena, a place from where Elder Ferrell's great grandparents immigrated to the U.S. about 100 years ago.

Well, this week has been an interesting one and jam packed and I have a lot to tell you because it's been a week and a few days since I've emailed and I guess what I should tell you the reason why I haven't emailed in so long. Well it's a simple 1 word answer, Transfers. Typically on transfer days we still email on Mondays but this one was a little bit different and for me it wasn't going to be possible to email on Monday. The next one will be more regular and I'm sure it will most likely stay like that. Anyways, this past week was jam packed with a ton of exciting stuff, mainly me and Elder Ringger worked our tails off this last week with our investigators and saying goodbye and stuff. So much so, that we were able to have 3 investigators at church, Martin being one of them. Total in Bratislava we had 7 investigators at  people at church and that was great and awesome to see all the people there because that's the most investigators that I've ever seen at church. Then we also had a ton of people come to church from the member’s side as well because vacation for all of them is now over. Then this week we've been doing well as well to keep on working hard but I'll tell you a bit more soon, just to keep you waiting for a little longer. It was just a very solid week and it's been a while since I've had one of those and I'm happy it came at the time that it did, we also went to Prague for a missionary leadership council and I was able to talk to President and all of the other zone leaders and learn things from them. However, I suppose I can tell you all about the day of transfers and what is going on with everything around the mission. 
Well first off, I moved, I've finally left Bratislava after being there for half a year to a new city. That city, which is now home, is Zilina. My companion is Elder Mason, an Elder from Orem that Elder Ringger trained and was with Elder Christensen last week with me in Bratislava. Yes, that means that I've blinded into another area. I'm the district leader here and I've blinded in to the sisters area that have moved out of Zilina completely. The other Elders that I'll be serving around are Elder Ellingson who was previously in Kosice and Elder Garner who was trained by Elder Garlick last transfer. We also have a senior couple, called the Wrightsons who are really awesome and super great missionaries and do a ton for the branch here. I already knew quite a few of the people that live here and on the exchange I met sister Seidlova who is an amazing mom of a ton of kids and is a super strong help in the branch. Her son Bajo is leaving on his mission 10th or whatever of September for Germany Alpine mission. We talked and she asked where I was from because I apparently look like a member from Ostrava or Olomouc, I can't remember and so I told her that I have ancestors from Trstena and she was pretty excited about that and calls me a Slovak ha-ha. She also says that we'll have to take a trip up to Trstena and see if we can find some people from up there.  Her son Bajo seems to like me and offered to drive us up there on a P-Day. I've actually known about this move since Thursday when I was in Prague and President talked to me about it and said that he's 98% sure that I'm coming here. He told me that the Wrightsons would be leaving soon and that I would be needed here for around 8 months or so. He said that I'm to be a best friend to this man in the branch who has just become the second councilor and that he wants him to be the Branch president here. If he doesn't feel yet prepared sufficiently, it will rest on me to do it. As well, I will most assuredly be in the branch presidency here, so my place is set here for a while at least according to me ha-ha. Well, that's transfers, and I can't think of anything else to say except the apartment that I'm in is really nice and I love it a ton. Also the second time that I've moved into a sister’s apartment and also the second time I've kicked Sister Baird out of an apartment ha-ha. Sister Baird is the other sister that is extending btw. Elder Christensen is DL in Bratislava and they closed an area there as well.
Well, as far as investigators in Bratislava, Michaela is doing wonderfully, we had her on a plan to quit coffee and she was only supposed to drink 12 cups this week and she cut it down to 7 this week, which is half of where she was at before so she is progressing wonderfully and I leave her in the capable hands of Elder Garlick and Elder Ringger. She leaves for Austria again on Friday. Then Martin, our man who we think always planned on getting baptized came to church, partly to say goodbye to Sister Belibi Minya and partly because he's been promising for a long time to come. He always says I'm not Mormon yet so we're a little suspicious that he's pranking us and will get baptized and always has planned to. Then, Peto our great young man is doing okay, he loves to meet with us but doesn't really believe anything of what we say, and it's hard to get him to keep commitments. But I think time will tell whether he's ready to improve his life. On the flip side, in Zilina we came on Monday and the sisters waited for us so that they could introduce us to their investigators. We met Laco who is a really cool guy who progresses slow but is really awesome and has a lot of good friends in the branch. Then we also met Eva who is a teenage mom who lives with her mom and she has a really cute kid named Cyril and they said that she has just a bit of interest in the church and that her mom makes it hard for her. Then we met Dusan who was the sister’s baptismal date but heard the news that sisters were leaving and was pretty upset and basically dropped the sisters on Sunday after coming to church. We met him at a halusky party that the seidlovci had for us on Monday and were able to make friends with him a bit and invited him to come play sports with us and he said he would like to after his back gets better. He wants to move to Canada and speaks English really well, but before the sisters left he said that sometime we could meet which is something no one expected and was amazing progress for us and him so we're hoping to set something up with him in the near future.
Other than that, that's pretty much everything that comes to mind. Since Elder Ringger and Elder Garlick won't have their license until the training, I asked president if I could take the car and give it back to them at training, and he said yes we could do that.  S o I was able to take the car here and drive me and Elder Mason here with all of our stuff which was good because it would have been hard, I've accumulated a lot of stuff which I want to get rid of when winter is over. I don't really have anything else, I have pictures to send home but I left my camera in the apartment unfortunately so that won't get done yet. I and Elder Mason are doing well, he's a really funny guy and I like him a lot but that's it really. Thank you all for all of the support and the help and the information on everything it's great. I love you all and wish that you're all being safe and that you all can feel the spirit working inside you because it's there. The church is true and the Book of Mormon's Blue, Be safe I love you!
Elder Ferrell


  1. I too have not heard from my son Elder Tanner Mason this week. He is in Bratislava as well, so transfers must have been a bigger deal than normal. When I need information I always refer to Elder Ferrells blog to fill in the gaps. When I read you hadn't received anything yet I am sorry to say I am relieved. I am sure we will hear from them very soon. If not I will drop a little note to Sestra Munro she is always so amazing to help. All the best to your family. -Stefonee

    1. Well, I guess we know why neither of us had heard from our sons, they were together. Working in Zilina is something that our whole family, as well as Elder Ferrell has been looking forward to for months before he even left on his mission. It sounds like they are doing well and enjoying being together. Best wishes
      Mike and Joan Ferrell

  2. Hello, this is the Jones family. It sounds like we all experienced a little disruption to normal service with regards to emails. We received an email from our daughter about 5 hours ago, so you have probably already got messages from your missionaries in your inboxes this morning. Sister Jones' message was brief, but she did mention that Elders Ferrell and Mason had blinded into the sisters' area in Zilina, as both sisters have now transfered out. She also commented how pleased she was with the assignment, as she felt they couldn't have left their investigators in better hands, she was confident that they would have the best of care and attention from Elder Ferrell and Elder Mason. All the best to both of your families; thanks for bringing up such outstanding, capable men.

  3. Just wanted to thank you for this moving blog post. It illustrates beautifully how missionary service is a powerful, spiritual experience for all the family back home, as well as the elder or sister in the field. What a lovely expression of your faith and testimony. Thanks for sharing.