Sunday, December 21, 2014

O Holy Night

Another day, another week. Time plays a mean trick on us missionaries. I don't like it.
I'll admit I keep forgetting Christmas is next week. (Even though I am sitting here eating chocolate chip cookies) You would think being around so much Christmas here at Temple Square that you wouldn't forget, but really it's basically Christmas here everyday.
It's been a great, spiritually uplifting week, which I guess is a norm here in the shadow of the House of The Lord. But it seemed extra strong this week. We had MLC on Monday (missionary leadership council) that I have to attend now which was great. We talked about 8 habits that successful and consecrated missionaries have. We then discussed how we can help the mission improve. President had us present the numbers from last transfer and the goals that we have for the mission. That was so scary. I was literally the youngest (in the mission) one there and Sister Merrill is only a transfer older than me and President had us present and do a training in front of the APs, zone leaders, and the district leaders. It wasn't stressful or nerve racking or anything. Not. Besides that, it was a really good meeting. It was basically a prep for zone conference that was last Thursday and Friday.
Which means President also asked us to do a training at zone conference in front of half the mission. Yep, that was fun as well. It was a very spiritual meeting, but I am glad that our portion is done haha. We've (APs and us) have decided that we are going out to dinner one night to celebrate the completion of zone conference. (it's been a crazy week trying to get everything ready for it) it was a fun experience though. We have discovered the perfect way to explain our calling this transfer, we work in the office and we basically run around with our heads cut off to make sure the APs look all calm and put together haha. For example, today is the second part of the zone conference for the other half of the mission and this morning, (because we didn't go we went about our normal schedule, workout, get ready,study) the APs gave us a call while we were both getting ready, saying that they forgot the program and they needed us to run to the square to get it. So we did. We literally ran haha, luckily no one was on the square because it was so early. Then we ran to the stake center where the zone conference was being held. I'm sure we both looked like death, i.e. wet hair, red faces with no makeup, miss matching outfits, heaving breath. Haha we passed the mission secretary, Sister Moore and she just stares at us for a second and says "hhmm you both look really tired today"
We had quite a morning :)
We also had the opportunity to go to dinner with a ward family this week. That was wonderful! (We actually went twice, because some reason something happened and the APs needed us to go again) The first family was so fun, It was a family like ours, the kids were all grown up. The oldest was married and she was there with her husband, they had a boy who just got back from a mission and then one preparing for a mission. They also had a littler girl who was about 14 who couldn't be there and the oldest son who came down from school for the holidays. It was very fun to eat with them. They had a cute set of Christmas china that we used and a delicious meal. We talked about life on the square and about the missions that their children had served. We were able to sing with them and share a scripture as well. They even gave us a little box of chocolate. The other family was the opposite in ages haha. They had 7 children ages 1 to 16. It was crazy but so so fun! They had this cute little home that was beautifully decorated. I loved dinner with them. The dinning table was beautifully decorated with a big fancy meal and then we ate with paper plates and plastic utensils :) There was screaming and kids running around, yet everyone was very calm. The older kids were helping with the little kids. Even though it was crazy, the spirit was still in the home which I loved. Even some of the comments the little kids gave when we were giving our little spiritual thought it was evident that they had Family Home Evening which I that was so cool. It was a great night. And I really know that when a family is built in the gospel, it is strong.
We have also had a lot of tender mercies with our investigators. One in particular really strengthened my testimony on the love that our Father has for each of us. We have an investigator who I met a few days before transfers on chat. She had been attending church with her member friend pretty frequently and is just interested in finding the truth. So we have been staying in touch with her since. Well she has gone home for Christmas and we got a text telling us that she was thinking about getting a tattoo the next day but her member friend told her that she needed to text us first. It was evident that she didn't know why she was texting us but she did which I saw as a true desire to follow Christ. So we tried to explain about tattoos with the basic, normal "our bodies are a temple" but that just wasn't clicking for her. So we told her that she should just ask her Father in Heaven and see what He says. She loved that idea! We emailed her some links from, a talk by President Hinkley and then the statement on tattooing and invited her to read those and then pray again and ask whether or not she should get a tattoo, we then wanted her to text us her answer. We then went home to plan for the coming day. We then prayed that she would have a very strong spiritual experience and would recognize what her answer was. Well we then got a text a short time later simply saying that she wasn't going to get a tattoo. It was a really cool experience. Even though we didn't feel like we were able to explain to her in words, we knew that her Father in Heaven would be the best and only one who could resolve her concern. I am so grateful for the spirit that she was able to feel and know that it was an answer to her prayer.
So yes, we are busy working and loving the work. And Heavenly Father is so good, He is always placing little things in our path, to either encourage us or calm us down when things get crazy here.
I hope that everyone has fun and exciting plans for Christmas this year. I really do love this time of year because it's all about our Savior. When we had dinner with one of the families, we talked to them about how we could have Christmas every single day of the year. And really, because the spirit of Christmas is the spirit of Christ, as long as we have Christ in our lives each day and are living in such a way that we are constantly remembering and serving Him, that's living Christmas all year long. And who wouldn't want that :)
I love Christmas and I love my Savior.
Merry Christmas
-Sister Fluckiger
P.S. How is the Book of Mormon reading going? ;)

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Happy December!
It just clicked for me that we are basically to the middle of December. How did that even happen? I just don't understand.
I hope everything is moving along back home. Christmas lights up yet?
We have ours up :) Well ours have been up for a while now, and we didn't have to put them up ourselves so I guess it's not fair.


We are a little spoiled when it comes to Christmas lights :)
Well because the most frequent question I get is how's the weather, the weather is still the same. Not too cold yet. It basically feels like a Sacramento winter right now, so I am happy and content. We are supposed to get rain either today or tomorrow which is fun! Other than that, it is dry, gray (sunny today) and chilly.
The activity on Temple Square is still busy busy. In my mind I keep thinking that it will eventually die down- but it doesn't. I can now testify that Christmas is more busy than conference. Haha a few weeks ago before the lights turned on I remember chatting with one of the security guys who was here last Christmas and I asked him that question, to compare Christmas time to conference time and he didn't even have to think about it, he just bluntly stated Christmas time wins. And I agree!
Aside from the craziness on the square we have also had a bit of craziness within the mission. Transfer was this week which means everything changes! Sisters went outbound, sisters came back from outbound. New sisters came, other sisters went home. Just craziness.
Monday was transfer conference, and we had it in the Assembly Hall again. We found out our new companions/assignments and all that jazz and then got to hear from President. We are so blessed in this mission to be so close to our mission president. We really get to see him every day and He speaks to us basically every week. I'm sure this is the hardest mission to preside over but he does it perfectly and I am so grateful for that!
Actually for my new assignment I get to work very closely with President and the APs which is super fun. I'm still downstairs in the mission office but now I have my own office haha. I'm the new office assistant. Which is really hard to explain what we do because other missions don't exactly have this calling. But basically we do everything for President/APS/secretary and we are in charge of all the mission reports and the mission statistics. It's crazy and fun though. We do a lot more than I even realized. But I'm grateful for the opportunity to serve in a different capacity. Even better Heavenly Father knows me so well, because this is an assignment that you have for two transfers, one transfer to be trained in it and the next one to train the next sister. Which means I will be in it till about march, which means I'm going to be downstairs the majority of the time when it finally starts snowing! Haha God is good!
Speaking of working closely with the APs, Mom, Sister Brock is the new AP this transfer so we are now working together, it's super fun haha. We figured you and her mom would get a kick out of that.
Sister Merrill is my new compy. She's awesome. She's from Idaho and comes from a family of 7. She is definitely the perfect sister to be in the office. The last few days we have been crazy busy working on transfer stuff so we have basically just been in our office but we work hard and have a lot of fun which is the best. I know that we'll be able to do a lot this transfer but also have a lot of fun.
That was like the extent of my week. Saying goodbye to sisters and hello to new. Moving. Getting a new companion and starting a new assignment. Continually doing missionary work.
Sister Merrill has an investigator and a recent covert in Northern Ireland which is fun, we taught them yesterday. We really get to hear every single accent in this mission. It is so fun!
A little miracle also happened yesterday evening. I was adding all of my investigators into our new phone and texting them so that they had our number. Well I texted a less active we have been teaching who we met because she called into guest services last trasnfer. Well she has a little girl who was never baptized, and the mom wanted to start going back to church again. So we helped her find her local church and we got her in touch with the missionaries in her area. Well I texted her last night to see how everything was going, turns out her little girl was baptized last Saturday! That was super special. We got to talk with her a little bit, and you could just feel the happiness that had come into her life since she started going back to church. I love it! The gospel changes lives and it changes them for the better. I know it because that is what it has done for me since I have arrived here at TMSQ. There is no better gift at Christmas time than the gift of Christ. 
I love being a missionary at Christmas time. It has really opened my eyes at the world around me. It's a little bit sad, everyone we see is in such a rush to go to the next thing or to check something off their to-do list. I think a lot of people even forget to realize that when then come to see the lights they are right next to the Temple.
Christ is Christmas, so when we forget that the only thing that is left is just a lot of material things. Which at the end of the day don't matter. Family, friends, and Christ matter. Those are the things that can last for a eternity. Those are the things that should be our priority.

I found this quote yesterday in my personal study and it just stuck with me.
“There is no better time than now, this very Christmas season, for all of us to rededicate ourselves to the principles taught by Jesus Christ."
I do know that there is no better time than today. For today becomes tomorrow. I have felt that since being here. But even better I know that Christ will help us have the today and the tomorrow that we want. Because of Him anything is possible :)
I love you all so much!!
And Lincoln 6th is the best ward! Thank you for the letters and the sweets! I'll admit though, the hand-written letters were my favorite :)
I want to answer some of your questions:
It's funny like all of you asked about the food. I'm living in SLC Utah and I cook all of my own food. So...the food is the same as back home hahaha. I'll admit I laughed each time I read that question. So original.
My favorite scripture, it actually changes quite often depending on the situation or the experience I am going through. Which means, today my favorite scripture is found in Isaiah. Isaiah 64:8
"But now, O Lord , thou art our father ; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand."

Because really, the potential we have for ourselves is so minimal compared to the potential our Father has for us. And we can only reach that potential with the help of Him and His Son.

I love you all dearly. and I hope you all have a fantastic December week!
-Sister Fluckiger

Sunday, November 30, 2014

He is the Gift

Happy Thanksgiving!!
I hope you all have a happy day filled of many blessings being counted :)
Gratitude is such a powerful thing and it truly is a gift of the spirit. Thursday morning was relief society and President Harmon (in the mission presidency) shared with us some fun facts about thanksgiving and where it came from. Fun fact, Nephi actually talks about the first thanksgiving in 1 Nephi. You should go check it out.
1 Nephi13:11-13
It talks about Christopher Columbus but then it also talks about the Puritans, or the pilgrims who came over on the Mayflower. Nephi was so cool, I'm pretty sure that he just knew everything.

For Thanksgiving in the morning we were in guest services until the afternoon and then we were picked up by a sweet family who lives in Bountiful who offered to feed us. It was fun to be with a family. The food was delicious, I think food just automatically tastes better when you didn't have to cook it.
We were only there for a the afternoon and then we came back to the square to work. I always love coming back to the square after being away from it for a while because it is such a "at home" feeling the second we walk on. If I could live on the square I definitely would.
The rest of the week was so fun and busy as always. We had a little snow which was pretty, but still not enough to stick. Besides the days that it snowed the weather has been pretty warm, no need for a jacket which has been nice. I would love for it to stay like this all winter long. Of course every time I run into someone from Utah they always like to remind me that it is very unprobable for that to happen. But hey a California girl can dream right?
So has anyone seen anything the church is doing called "He is the Gift" I am super excited about it. Today is the day that everything is really coming out. On Tuesday we had training in the morning for the He is the Gift initiative and someone from the missionary department came down and showed us all the amazing things the church is doing this next month for Christmas. For one they bought the big, first screen thing on YouTube (don't really know what to call it. But if you go onto YouTube you should see a giant red banner with Mary and Jesus) They also bought tons of billboards in New York City. They have completely redone and come out with a new video. It is so cool to see everything that the church is doing. They have also redone a lot of the North Visitor Center. Put in beautiful pictures from the Bible videos and redone one corner entirely, they added in a TV screen so that we can play the video for guests. They also have a new hashtag #SharetheGift.
So I invite all of you to go check out and share everything with the new hashtag.
Also they have made a ton of new videos that are cute, informative, and short that we have been able to send to a lot of our investigators to watch.
This is one of my favorites, it's only about a minute-go check it out :)
But really, this initiative is so smart. The title "He is the Gift" has really made me think these last few days. How often do we get caught up in the business of the holidays and really forget the reason for the season. Even more, do we forget what the greatest gift we have ever been given is? Or even who gave it?
Every single thing that we teach from Preach My Gospel goes back to the fact that we have a loving Father in Heaven. We have Christmas because we have a loving Father in Heaven. Everything is because of Him. Christ is our Savior, and the atonement is the greatest gift that we could ever be given in this life. It is a gift that will allow us to live with our Heavenly Parents for ever. Who could ask for more than that? But how many people in the world don't know that or have forgotten that? What could we do this holiday season to help remind ourselves and those around us of this amazing gift that we can access everyday. Even better what could we do to give a gift back in return?

As for the missionary work it is going great. We have been able to find so many wonderful people and have been getting them in contact with local missionaries as soon as we can. It is so much easier when we do that because we have so many people who we are looking after and teaching it is just less stressful when we know that there is another set of missionaries also looking out for them. Tomorrow one our our investigators who we just met a few weeks ago is getting baptized! We will be able to skype it, and I am so grateful, we are blessed with so much cool technology that allows us to do that. We found her on chat and she shared with us that she found a Book of Mormon while cleaning out her Father's house and didn't know what to do with it. She wasn't religious at all but she came onto chat to talk with us. She is so sweet and I just love every time we get to call her. I am so grateful for my mission. I love that we are able to stay in contact with so many wonderful people that we meet from all over the world. It's like I get to travel the world without having to go anywhere.
The lights will be turning on tonight which means madness and miracles start tonight.
I hope you all had a wonderful weekend with family and friends!
I love you all!
-Sister Fluckiger

Saturday, November 15, 2014

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

Hello Family!!
I feel like I should be wishing you a Merry Christmas, and then I realize we haven't even had Thanksgiving yet...woops.
It is all Christmas here at Temple Square. The nativities are beginning to spring up, there are Christmas trees all around us and it snowed yesterday! Yes I survived the snow. Nothing has really stuck yet, on the way to the square yesterday morning there was a thin layer of snow/frost but that was about it. But while we had square in the afternoon yesterday it was snowing, it was so pretty when it fell between the temple and the lights, it just glowed and made the temple look really pretty!

We had our Christmas Training for Relief Society yesterday. That was fun. Our schedules will be changing the day after Thanksgiving because we begin the Holiday hours on the square. The biggest thing is that my P-day will no longer be in the evenings, it will be jumped to the mornings like normal missions? I don't know but I am excited, everything on the square changes for Christmas, there are more assignments to accommodate for the large amounts of people that will be on the square. There is one assignment that will be added this year because we have such an amazing and inspired mission president. President Poulsen wants sisters to be on the square caroling during the evenings. So fun! There will be three different locations where a district will be scheduled to stand and sing for about an hour. The assignment is called Sing and Smile. :) We are super excited for that, Sister Humble and I sing basically all the time. She has a tendency to put her conversation to the tune of a hymn, so fun!
Speaking of singing, Savior of the World also opens next week. I am so excited, and I am even more excited because Elder Clark, who I believe is the area authority over us or something, is doing all he can to involve the TMSQ (Temple Square) sisters. He has given us tickets so that we can attend and really know what it is so we can tell visitors and our investigators about it. And each performance will be opened by a companionship with a short introduction and a prayer, then at the end of the performance we will come back to greet the guests as they leave. Also they are now putting a referral card within the program that people can fill out if they want to learn more about the church or if they have a friend they want to refer. And we will be able to get all of those referrals. So exciting! I love how Christmas just opens up so many opportunities to share the gospel with people. I can't wait to see what miracles are awaiting this Christmas season.
1. such an effect or event manifesting or considered as a work of God.
2. a wonder; marvel.

Miracles do happen everyday, and it is so strengthening to witness and be a part of. The last two weeks of the Transfer, in relation to teaching, had been very slow. The square was dead, no one was calling in or coming on chat, and none of our investigators were answering their phones. It literally seemed like everyone had just jumped off the face of the earth. For the longest time we just couldn't understand it. Before the transfer President talked with us about 'slow seasons' and about how it was  normal to have a slow time every once in a while, but if it persisted then something needs to change. "If you keep doing the same thing every day and expect a different outcome, it will never happen. In order to get a different outcome you have to change something." So every single companionship study since the start of the transfer we talked about what we needed to change so that we could find people to teach. We made what we call a macro plan for all of our goals for the transfer and we have been very good everyday at working towards those goals but we were never able to find new people to teach. It was a very slow two weeks of us doing everything we could to teach people. So at the end of last week we came up with this project, the gratitude project. We challenged each other that we were going to go through the entire week and not ask Heavenly Father for anything, not one thing. Because really, we had been praying since the beginning of the transfer that we would be able to find new investigators, so Heavenly Father already knows what we want. So instead we decided to focus on what we already have and what we are grateful for. Let me say, in the beginning it was really hard. It's funny how used we get to just asking Heavenly Father for the things we need, not that we aren't grateful but maybe because it's more of just a habit.
It was such a cool experience, all week long we were able to receive revelation about the importance of gratitude. I mean when you think of it, you should be able to have a conversation with your Father without having to ask Him something. And even better we learned that gratitude is what heals everything, it cures pride, selfishness, and negativity. It just makes you a happier being. And since the beginning of the week when we started this the blessings have just come and we have seen miracles everywhere. Day 1 we found new investigators and were able to get them on date in that first contact. Day 2 and 3 we were able to get them to meet with the local missionaries and have their date confirmed and now we are helping them all get to church this weekend.
I now understand why and am so grateful that I had to give a talk on gratitude like a million times when I was back home, but I am even more grateful that I am now seeing the importance of gratitude in our lives and the power that comes from it.
The square is literally still dead and will probably be like that until the lights come on so I don't have really any stories of people who have come to visit us. I did get to give a tour to a guy's cutest nieces, they were 5 and 2 years old. The mother wasn't religious, but the uncle was a member and the little girls had started to ask questions about who Jesus was. So the mom allowed the uncle to bring them to TMSQ so they could learn about Him. It really felt like I was back in primary :) We took them to the New Testament paintings in the North Visitor Center and went through them and taught them about who Jesus was. It was super fun, we were able to turn it into a game where I had the girls guess who was Jesus in each painting we walked to. We ended by taking them up to see the Christus, when we got up to the top of the ramp where you can see Him the youngest said "it's Jesus! I really like Him" :) Yep I still love little ones.
For P-day today we had our zone activity and we did some exploring, we went to the cemetery where all the prophets are buried and looked around. We found John Taylor, President McKay, Hinckley, Joseph F. Smith and Fielding Smith. We also found Sister Monson and Mary Fielding Smith.
It was super fun and freezing, it started raining while we were there, I'm starting to see just how gray Utah is in the winter. Afterwards we drove to a really cozy cafe and got some hot coco and muffins. It was fun and tasty.
Yep, that was my day. I love you all and hope you are having fun where ever you might be. :)
-Sister Fluckiger

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!

What a week full of craziness, changes, and laughter. Transfer week is so crazy in this mission. Lots of screaming, laughing and crying. But it has been so fun. 
Monday morning was transfer conference. They did it a little different this transfer in hopes of having it be more reverent. Last transfer there was lots of screaming and cheering as companions /assignments/ and apartments were announced. This transfer when we met together as a zone early in the morning they only announced our companion and then they emailed out the rest of the information. I'll admit I spent a lot of time on my knees preparing myself for this transfer. I knew it was going to be full of new and exciting changes and I was so ready for it. I prayed over and over to have a transfer full of learning and full of new insights. I know that I'm still at the beginning of my mission so I want to develop good habits and learn as much as I can in the beginning and be able to use the things that I learn all throughout my mission. Monday morning as we were walking to our zone spot where we meet I was so nervous.  I knew that I was either going to get a companion where we got along great or the exact opposite because really having both can teach you a lot. Well my companion is now Sister Humble. And she is such an answer to prayer. She was actually my zone leader for my first week on Temple Square before they switched us to the West Gate zone. I love her so much. Even before we were companions she was one of my favorite sisters. She actually was supposed to go home this transfer but she extended so she will be going home in December after this transfer. 
A quick little info about her. She lives in Monterrey, CA. She is the youngest with an older brother and sister. She is probably one of the funniest sisters I know here. We have laughed probably the entire time since we were put together, I love it. Yet at the same time she is also probably one of the most wise and spiritual sisters here. In just the two days we have had together we have been able to have some very cool spiritual experiences and I know that this whole transfer will be filled with them. 
She is determined to try basically everything new. Yesterday for dinner, we had no food in our apartment,so we went to dinner at a Greek place and she made me try lamb. And would you believe it, I actually liked it. We also had Korean food from a food truck we found near the square. That was super good and spicy. That's something cool about my mission, it is based in Salt Lake City yet it is definitely the most international mission.  
I didn't have to move, but I did change districts and assignments. I no longer am in West Gate, but I did just get bounced to Guest Services. Which instead of assigning the tours for people who just walked on the square, I assign and schedule the larger tours. Like the tour buses, the lessons that the Elders and Sisters from the surrounding missions have when they come to the square. So all of that fun stuff. So really it's more computer and phone calls. I have a feeling this is preparing me for something, I'm just not sure what yet. It was pretty funny, we had training for it this morning but yesterday morning was our first shift. So really we had no idea what we were doing and every time the phone rang the both of us would shreek a little haha. I'm sure the sisters walking past our cubicle thought we were the weirdest companionship :)
The two of us are super excited for this transfer because we both strongly feel like there is something specific that we need to do and learn. We are not sure what it is though. We have been praying about it the last few days and still don't feel like we really know. Tonight for Halloween the entire mission is going to the Temple so we are planning on going with that question in mind. 
On that note, for Halloween the square is closing down at 5 and as a mission we are all getting together to have a dinner and then all going to the temple together. We are really so blessed to be in this mission. I was talking with a sister about how cool it will be to be in the Temple with about 200 sisters that you love so much, and she shared with me that she feels like it will be a little glimpse of our mission reunion in Heaven. We all live all over the world, and yes we might be able to see a good amount of each other after our missions but it is very doubtful that we will see everyone. But in the life to come we will all see each other and it will be like a giant, massive mission reunion. Being in one room, away from the distractions of the world with all of your close friends. I know that it will be a wonderful experience 

Snow is supposed to come either this weekend, or next week...ahhh.
I'm realizing just how much of a California girl I am down to the bones. I'm prepared, yet I'm scared. We shall she how it goes. Oh and a funny realization I had this week. I was flashed back to when I was in SYC studying world views and when I was literally in the mind set of a cosmic humanist. Well if you were wondering, those people actually exist. It kind of scared me a bit when someone came on chat and starting talking about how yes he believes in God but really aren't we all God. Ya, it was quite interesting, especially because I've run into people like that more than once this week. Odd. Well I'm glad for the preparation that SYC gave me, because now I know haha. 

So I want to share a bit with you about something that we have discussed in our companionship study the last two nights. We have been talking about how we can recognize more fully the spirit, and how we can really have it all the time. That lead us talking about our relationship with our Father in Heaven, and how yes the Spirit is our companion but really it's our Father in Heaven who is and wants to be our companion. Then we went through a series of examples of things that we might do or not do to our companions. Do we ask their opinion when we make decisions, do we talk with them all day or only at certain times of the day? Are we actually interested in getting to know them or do we only talk about ourselves? We then took these questions and asked if we do those things to our Father in Heaven? When we pray do we only talk about ourselves, do we include Him in the decisions that we make? Do we even talk to Him throughout our day? Really when we pray it shouldn't just be us talking about everything and anything, it should be more of a conversation. We can talk about everything and anything but we then need to listen to His response. So we are now both doing a prayer journal where we write down a question or a concern that we have. Then during our prayer we take time to stop and think, and listen to our Father's response. We then write it down so show Him that we really are committed to hearing and listening to Him. It's been a pretty cool experience since I have started. So if you are looking for a way to make your prayers more meaningful it doesn't hurt to try a journal. 

Well we are having a mission dinner tonight so it's time to head the that. :) Happy Halloween and enjoy and the candy!

-Sister Fluckiger

How Far is Heaven?


I'll admit there are some weeks, like today, where I just sit at this little white screen wondering what to write. So much happened this week and I can't imagine getting it all to fit within my little precious email time. It makes me think of back home when I would get home late from class or work or something and I felt like I had to tell you everything about my day in a matter of minutes. Yep this is the same thing, only my fingers don't move as fast and it's a week instead of just a day. So I'm sorry if today I bounce from topics. So much to share in so little time :)
I'll start with the miracles because well, that's the best part about being a missionary.
This was earlier in the week and we had just finished our assignment at EF desk (Eternal Families) and we were going to head downstairs but then remembered that we were all out of English Books of Mormon at the desk so we decided to walk over to West Gate to grab some to restock. Well on our way back I was carrying about 5 or 6 copies of the Book of Mormon, we said hello and walked past an older man and he stopped us and asked if we were carrying the Book of Mormon, he then went on to ask if he could have a copy. I wanted to about throw all of them at him to let him know they were all his I was that excited. That probably wouldn't have been the best approach. Thankfully I am a missionary and we don't act in that manner ;) We went ahead and talked with him about the Book of Mormon and how he found out about it. Turns out he just moved here from out of the country and was interested and wanted to learn more about the religion because he wasn't very familiar with it back home.And now we have a new investigator, crazy to think the Lord literally leads you to walk right into the people who are prepared for the gospel.
Another investigator we were able to get from chat this week. It was such an answer to prayer because recently we have only been getting trolls and antis on chats (the people who get online just to waist our time and then turn around and bash and yell at us). D, came online and explained that she had recently been able to invite Christ into her life and she was now studying the Bible. The hard thing was that there was a lot in it that she just didn't understand or was confused about. Which of course I completely understand, I feel like the Bible, without the Book of Mormon is a puzzle that is missing the middle pieces. She also shared with us that she had a fear of religion because she felt that men today interpret the Bible in their own ways and add in their own insights, but she was looking for some type of Bible study so that she could find out the truth for herself. her words were that she was 'thirsty for the truth'. Well the wonderful thing about the gospel is that we know exactly where the truth is. We were able to teach her the restoration and all about the Book of Mormon and it's purpose along side of the Bible. She accepted the invitation to read the Book of Mormon and to meet with us. We are calling her tomorrow to invite her to church and to meet with local missionaries.
The last miracle that I will share with you this week was Mich, she is a less active who was sitting on a bench at Temple Square. We stopped and starting talking with her, and I don't know if it was our smiles, the spirit, or everything all together but she just started opening up to us about some things. We wanted to show her God's Plan, she was hesitant at first but I can tell that the spirit told her that she needed to come with us. So we were able to take her through God's Plan and really have a lesson with her about the need to be patient for the Lord's promised blessings. I love being able to feel the spirit speak through me. I think that is one of my favorite things that I have learned to do since I have been out here. When we were evaluating afterwards we both shared how we knew that that entire lesson was done by the spirit. It was such a good experience for all of us. We asked if we could stay in contact to continue to help her with church and things and she was excited and so happy that we were able to do that. Yep we have the best mission ever.
We also almost got to teach an investigator lesson. So an investigator lesson is when a set of missionaries from a mission surrounding temple square wants to bring their investigator to have a tour. So we get to give them a lesson using the resources that we have on temple square. I was super excited, because of our crazy schedule we have only been able to have one so far. Well we were able to meet with the Elders and they shared with us about their investigators and what they were hoping would happen and what they wanted us to invite the investigators to do. Well when the Elders arrived they told us that their investigators was just finding a place to park and then they would be right in....a good 15 minutes later, we asked for about the third time if they were coming. The Elders called them and turns out that they went back home because they couldn't find a parking spot. Seriously so sad. I felt so bad for the elders, turns out this will be their third time rescheduling this lesson.
Though I didn't actually get to teach an investigator lesson I know I'll have a lot more opportunities to have them and I'm hoping that next transfer my schedule has a little more square time.
Thursday was outbound announcing day! Oh my goodness, the whole mission goes crazy. President let us know that because we have so many sisters coming and going, from the MTC/outbound/departing, that there is going to be a lot of changes this transfer. I do remember him saying the same thing last transfer, so I'm sure this is just a norm. I find out Monday morning who my next companion will be, my assignment/zone/district. So I am super excited, but wish I didn't have to wait till Monday. Oh and as for outbound, we did find out where my companion is going :D She has been called to serve in the New Jersey Morristown Mission. She leaves next week I cannot believe it. So crazy! We also learned that everyone in my apartment is leaving. Sister Bomgren and Sister Shih (Taiwan) are both going outbound and then Sister Yu (Hong Kong) is going home. So I have to figure out some exchanges for transfer day because they all leave early in the morning and I am unable to go to the airport with them. So right now our apartment is filled with suitcases and lots of boxes, and I'm just trying to stay out of the way.
Oh and before the outbound announcements were made President spoke to us on a few things that had been on his mind. They weren't related in any way so we just bounced from topic to topic. But one of the exciting, less spiritual things that he shared with us was that at Temple Square we do not celebrate Halloween. I'll admit, being a fan of that particular holiday I was a little sad for a second. However, he then shared with us that we will be closing the gates and the square at 5pm, as a mission we will have a big dinner together and then we will all get to go to the temple together. Yay. Best Halloween present ever, we get to go visit our Father's home.
So I do love you all and really appreciate all of the support. Something that I found in one of my personal studies was this poem that I absolutely love:
"How far is heaven?
It's not very far.
When you live close to God,
It's right where you are."

I really do love my mission, it really does teach you a lot of things, and I have really felt that as we strive to live close to God, to be like His Son, we really will live in a little piece of Heaven no matter where we are. I'll admit there are still days when I walk by the Temple and get so amazed that I get to serve near the Lord's house. Even better we get to visit often.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

I'm Trying To Be Like Jesus

Hola Familia!

(That's Spanish if you couldn't figure it out.)

To be completely honest, I cannot believe it is already Friday. I feel like I was sitting here yesterday emailing home. I have no idea where the week has gone. I didn't think we were that busy until I look back and realize it has been an entire week. 

Some awesome and not so awesome things have happened this week.
I will start with the not so awesome.... They took away the flowers :(   It's like really sad. We were in West Gate the day that they ripped all the flowers up and we just kept watching as little trucks drove by with their back filled to the brim with flowers. And then for the next two days the flower beds were just empty. The giant flower beds in the middle of the square looked like giant freshly dug graves. Yes, I know a horrible analogy but that is what they looked like. Luckily now they finally have little baby flowers in them. 

Okay now for the happy of the week!
First I'll start with the scary/nerve-racking (at least for me, everyone else laughs) moment. We were teaching our investigators, P&C, in the TC when Brother Billings walked in with two other official looking people. (Brother Billings is the one who is over all of the visitor centers in the world, so we see him a lot at Temple Square) It looked like he was giving them a tour or something. Well they walked in right as I was teaching about the Book of Mormon, and Brother Billings points to me and says "this is where the sisters can call and teach their investigators, oh and itlooks like she is teaching", and then they just stood there and watched me. Yep super scary. 
Anyways back to the cool and exciting news.
Sunday night we had a mission fireside. Which apparently never happens, which make sense because they really can't just take all the sisters off the square. But something special happened, which makes me want to live near Temple Square after my mission. Elder Skanky, who is in the mission presidency got in contact with some of the Return Missionary Sisters from Temple Square and asked them to come help us out. A good 45-50 RM sisters came with their name tags and worked the square so we could attend the fireside. It was very cool to walk out onto the square and see all these sisters just contacting people and sharing the gospel with them. I'm sure they all loved to be able to put their name tags back on after being home for a time. 
We had a special guest come for the fireside. Believe it or not it was David Archuleta. I was surprised when I heard only because I didn't believe that a freshly returned missionary, let alone David Archuleta, would come to a mission full of 200 sister missionaries who for the most part are in love with him. But I am so grateful he came. The whole night was a super spiritual experience. He formatted it into a Q&A. So we got to ask questions about his mission, how he has adjusted to being home, and how he keeps up with his investigators and converts when they are in another country. He was able to share a lot of wonderful insights. I can tell that he was an amazing missionary. The thing he mentioned the most that really struck me was how he shared the importance of being like the Savior. He sang the primary song, "I'm Trying to Be Like Jesus" and I loved it. I will admit I miss primary because of how simple yet profound everything is. Really, the gospel is a very simple thing. I wish people didn't try to make it so deep and complicated. So really when things get complicated and if you get big deep doctrinal questions like we do all the time, think back to primary :) I'm sure all of the gospel principles can be found in a primary song. 

Today was fun as well. In the morning we had an amazing lesson as always with our investigator M. He is seriously my favorite. He is the one who practically teaches himself. It has been amazing to see how much he has progressed in the gospel since we met him about 4 or 5 weeks ago. We now teach him every p-day, and it is the perfect way to start the day! 
When P-day finally started we had our zone activity. We had a scavenger hunt in a nearby chapel. It was a lot of fun. Pictures to come later. But we broke up into our districts and had different scriptures as clues, one after another until we all ended up in the culture hall for a potluck lunch. 
Fun fact about my mission: It is super diverse, so at the potluck I was able to have food from Thailand, Italy, Australia and  N. America ;) It was super fun and delicious. 

Well that's a piece of my week, you should all send me a piece of your week :D

Love you all!

-Sister Fluckiger

Monday, October 13, 2014

One Size Fits All

Oh my goodness! You all are crazy! Yet I wouldn't expect any less. I am so happy that you were able to attend conference and be able to listen to the inspired words of our Prophets and Apostles.
First and foremost, I want to thank all of my amazing TNT peeps. Even better then being able to say hi to all of you was being able to get a handwritten letter from you all. Letters are the best! I wish you all the best of luck this weekend and I hope you have a blast!

I loved conference! It literally is Christmas time for us sisters. I really wish we had that many people on the square every day! We had so much fun, I will admit we were dead tired by the time Sunday evening rolled around but it was so worth it. Being able to talk with so many members from all around the world was so uplifting. Which is funny because our goal was to uplift the members but really they were the ones who uplifted us. I loved making people teach us about conference. (The one good thing about not being able to attend all the sessions). We were able to listen to so many insights from the same talk, it's amazing how we can all learn something different after listening to the exact same thing. Just another reason why I love this gospel. Everything is unchanging, the scriptures, the principles, the ordinances. Yet everyone learns and experiences things differently. There are so many people in the world, and everyone is in a different place. We all have different needs, concerns, and experiences. That's the miracle of this gospel, one size fits all. It doesn't matter who you are or what you are going through, this gospel and Jesus Christ will help you. I don't think there really are that many things in the world that can and is meant for everyone, but this is it :) 
Sunday evening we had a 'debriefing' meeting for the whole mission after conference. We were able to share and listen to a few of the amazing miracles that had happened because of conference. In one of my letters from a friend in TNT, I was asked what kind of invitations we extend to members and guests on the square, we extend everything from 'will you meet with local missionaries?" to "will you be baptized...?". I'll admit I was suspicious about extending the baptismal invitation on the square but after conference I testify it works. I haven't been able to have a chance to do it yet but there were so many sisters who were able to share that they have new investigators that have baptismal dates all because of conference. Conference is Christmas time :) 
Following the debriefing President gave us his surprise, we got to watch the new movie Meet the Mormons. It is so good! I want all of our investigators, and everyone who is curious about the 'mormons' to watch this movie. The church did an amazing job creating something that gives insight to show who we are and how we really are just normal people. It's also funny, but that might just be because we're all sister missionaries and things are funny to us that I realize aren't probably that funny to others. Just the other day we actually ran into the 'Bishop' in the movie. Haha we freaked out like we saw a celebrity...yep us sister missionaries are a little odd. It's a great movie and I suggest everyone see it! All the money that is earned goes straight to charity so it's even better.
This entire week we have been crazy busy trying to contact all of our referrals while also teaching and staying in contact with our investigators. It's been fun. 
A really cool miracle that happened during this crazy week is because of the power of the Book of Mormon. We have two investigators, P&C, who we met on the square about a month or so ago. They were on vacation from Norway (they speak english luckily) They were both super sweet and seemed a little interested. We gave them both a Book of Mormon but following that day we were never able to get in contact with them. This actually has a tendency to happen a lot. And when they received a Book of Mormon I just pray that they open it up at least once. If they do that then it's in the Lord's hands. Well earlier this week they finally answered the phone and yep the whole conversation left us both in tears. P had read about a third of the Book of Mormon, they had both gone to church, which was a 2 hour drive, and loved it and said it was worth the drive. After going to church the next day they found out C was pregnant! They have been married about 10 years and have been trying to get pregnant for a while. They are now meeting with local missionaries and are seriously thinking about being baptized. All because they opened up the Book of Mormon. I love the Book of Mormon and it is seriously the most powerful tool we have to tell people about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.
Today we were able to have another miracle lesson with M. Really, we don't even teach a lesson, he teaches us. I think the veil is very thin for him because the insights and experiences he has had since discovering the church is miraculous. He literally is the perfect investigator, we don't even have to extend commitments because he does it himself. For example, we were talking about his scripture reading and he shared with us that it hasn't been as good as his prayers, not yet daily but that's his goal for this week. He then goes to share that this morning (he lives on the other side of the world) he forgot to pray and read some scriptures, well his day was not very good and he tells us that he never wants to start a day without prayer and scriptures ever again. We loved it. We asked him if there was anything specific that he would like us to talk with him about next time and he asked if we could review the baptismal interview questions again so he can see how he's doing and see what he still needs to work on. I tell you, he's amazing.
Also for all of you missionary parents and grandparents, if you missed the Saturday morning session, or if you just don't remember. You should listen to the closing prayer :) It was said for you.

I love you all and hope you have a week full of miracles!

-Sister Fluckiger

Friday, October 10, 2014

Come, Listen to a Prophet's Voice

October 3, 2014
Family & Friends!
Guess what?! It's conference weekend! And even better, I am at the heart of it all. I couldn't have asked to serve in a better mission. We get to see so many people from all over the world join together to listen to our Prophet. The one thing that has been going through my mind all week is "Come, listen to a prophet's voice." I don't think I have ever really thought about how amazing it is that we are blessed enough to live in a time where we have a living prophet on the earth. I mean he talks to the entire world twice a year, if that doesn't scream this church is true then I don't know what does. 
Another wonderful thing that we are able to do is to prepare ourselves for this conference weekend. Preparation is key in almost everything, if we are not willing and open to the words that will be spoken then it won't mean anything to us. During personal study a few weeks ago I read the account in Mosiah about King Benjamin. Everything about his sermon just reminds me of general conference, but the one thing that stood out to me the most was found in verse 9 of chapter 2: "For I have not commanded you to come up hither to trifle with the words which I shall speak, but that you should hearken unto me, and open your ears that ye may hear, and your hearts that ye may understand, and your minds that the mysteries of God may be unfolded to your view" I don't know about you but I would love to have the mysteries of God unfolded before me, but it's not going to happen unless I have done the work to prepare and open myself up to it. So, I'm sure you all know as a missionary we love challenging people to do little things that will strengthen their relationship with their Savior, so I'm challenging you all to pay special attention this weekend to make sure you have opened yourself up to listen to our Prophet. That you have already committed to yourself that you will follow his counsel and do what he asks us to do, no matter what it is.  "Come, listen to a prophet's voice, and hear the word of God, and in the way of truth rejoice, and sing for joy aloud. We've found the way the prophets went who lived in days of yore. Another prophet now is sent this knowledge to restore"
It has been a busy week as always, but I couldn't have asked for a better one. It is beginning to get a little chilly, I'll admit I didn't think it would get cold so soon. That's what I get for being raised in California. This weekend is supposed to be super nice though which I am so grateful for!  One thing that was a little different this week than other 'normal' weeks was that we had 'Operation Deep Clean'! haha Elder and Sister Moore, the new senior couple who is serving here has been  put in charge of the apartments. And well who knows how long these apartments have been used for sister missionaries, probably forever, so they are not exactly the cleanest. So they divided the week to different apartments so each of us had a day to deep clean EVERYTHING! Oh my goodness we were cleaning from 10 am to 8pm! I was so happy though, the status of our apartment was finally getting to the point of bothering me so really it was perfect timing. I'm sure my roommates thought I was crazy because when they announced deep cleaning on Sunday after church I got so excited and well, I think I was the only one. So we did everything from de-cluttering to rid our apartments of past sisters to cleaning behind the oven and fridge. There was a lot of scrubbing involved. I'll admit my arms and shoulders are still sore from it all. But I can now say that our apartment is a little offshoot of the temple :) clean and celestial.
We also had exchanges this week. I love exchanges, you learn so much when you get to be with another sister for a few hours because everyone teaches differently so there's always something that you can learn. I was with Sister V (CA), my district leader yesterday and we had a blast. She is seriously the best. She was my district leader last transfer as well and I am so glad I was blessed to have her another transfer. Exchanges always go by so fast though, we had west gate in the morning after Relief Society and then we literally had desk assignments for three hours straight. I thought I was going to die. Desk assignments are usually only an hour long but we then had to cover for the next two hours because the sisters were doing deep cleaning. Standing and talking with every single person who walks in the doors gets so exhausting, who knew. We did get to meet some amazing people who were so prepared for the gospel. Love it when that happens! That evening we had TC time which was really needed. I got to call one of my less actives and help her get ready for conference. She is the sweetest and I love her so much!  One of the miracles that happened this week happened in the TC last night. I was just calling and contacting my investigators and setting up times for us to teach them. Right before leaving I really wanted to try and contact a referral we got from the conference center, Ms, well she answered! And even better she has a baptism date for the end of this month. I didn't get to talk with her long but she has been meeting with local missionaries every week for the last little bit and she is not excited to get baptized. It's amazing how you can really hear someone testimony when they talk, I love it. I was able to help her with a few questions she had about some things that came up when she was with the missionaries last. And she wanted me to keep calling her to help her prepare for her baptism! Yay, She is amazing and I can't wait to get to know her even better and hear more of her conversion story. Our other investigator, M, is doing great! We called him this morning and he knows the church is true. He is already such a strong member and he's not even technically a member yet. I loved talking with him (he's a bit of a talker haha) he has been able to share some amazing experience. This last week he has been able to see the adversary working harder in his life. For that reason I wish we were actually near him and able to talk with him face to face but it was wonderful to hear how the experiences he has had, both good and bad, have strengthened his testimony even more. He even brought up baptism himself, he wants to get baptized it's just a little tricky because of his girlfriend. He is already planning on proposing to her but not until sometime next year. So things are a bit complicated with that, but just listening to him you can tell that he is sad that he will have to wait until things get sorted out and really cannot wait until he can be baptized. We are hoping and praying that he will decide to be married sooner rather than later, we didn't press it but I feel that he will make that decision all on his own without us having to say anything. It was cute though because he made a funny comment on how by the time he finally is married and able to be baptized he will be 'ridiculously ready to make the covenant' and hes' right He is already so ready and he will just keep progressing and strengthening his testimony. 
Fun story of the week: President Utchdorf was walking around temple square a few days ago! I didn't get to see him and it killed me. We were in the Assembly Hall when a sister who was reporting to the MTC this week came in and I was just talking with her when she told me that they were eating lunch up at the Garden where he and his wife were also having lunch so she went over and talked with him, shook his hand and gave his wife a hug. Crazy lucky right? Well I guess after lunch he came and walked around the square because a few minutes later a sister came in with a tour and told us that he was in the Tabernacle. We basically ran over to the Tabernacle after our assignment was over. Unfortunately he wasn't there anymore but we talked with a lot of sisters that ran into him and were able to talk with him. So funny, one of the sisters who met him was from Germany and was actually giving a German tour to some members when he walked into the North Visitor's Center. So they all got to talk with him in German. So cool! So I guess the general authorities do come walking around temple square every once in a while. My eyes will now be peeled until I finally get to meet someone :)
Love you all and I hope you have a fantastic weekend listening to the Prophet! Let me know what your favorite parts are!
-Sister Fluckiger

Saturday, September 27, 2014

2 Kings 6:16


What a week! Mission time is so weird, like really, it goes by way too fast. I'm sure I say this every time I email home but it's true. 
Can you believe that conference is next weekend? I'm a little scared haha, all the sisters here have warned me about how crazy it is, it should be fun. Luckily we have p-day on Friday so I think next p-day we are just going to sleep all day in preparation for conference. We get to go to one session, and I cannot wait. Chicken Pox will not stop me from going to this conference :) 

We were able to teach a lot of lessons this week in the TC. I love it, it's so fun and exciting to teach. It's especially fun to teach when they are expecting it. The people who come to the square don't usually expect us to teach so when we call investigators and they had been waiting for you to call, that's exciting. We had what we call a TC pump up this week and it produced miracles. We met as a district in the TC and we said a prayer together and then we just went through our entire area book and called everyone. I mean everyone, and let me tell you: faith can produce miracles. One particular person that I got a hold of was a less-active, K. She was so sweet and so fun to talk too. Turns out that she has been going to church and institute every week. She's slowly turning her life around by making friends in church and by not hanging out with the wrong group of friends anymore. She's been struggling with her personal prayers though, but she had a sincere desire to strengthen them so it didn't feel like she was praying to a wall. I've decided that prayer is my favorite thing to teach right now. I just love telling people that we have the ability to talk with our literal Father in Heaven. People just don't realize or understand that God is our Father, He is our loving Dad. And I love telling them that. What I love telling people even more is that prayer is the way that we get to talk to our Heavenly Father. I mean if you really knew who He was, and who He was to you, why wouldn't you want to talk with Him. After explaining prayer to K, you could really feel that she felt the spirit. I don't think she really understood what prayer was until now and she was so excited to start praying again. You can really feel and hear when people are committed to the gospel and it just brings so much energy. 
Another miracle of this week, I don't know if I told you about our investigator, M, that we met on chat last week. He's meeting with sisters and he came on chat to have a few questions clarified. We got his information so now we are also staying in contact with him and teaching him. He is a miracle by himself. He has only been meeting with missionaries for about two weeks and he has progressed so much! He went to church on Sunday and loved it, and earlier this week he took a trip to the temple. The temple closest to him has a visitor center so he was able to walk around that and learn a lot. He grew up without religion completely. It's a little hard for him because all of his friends are atheists and he has been a little scared to tell them that he's investigating the church, but when we talked with him last he told us that he had told his mom and a few of his friends and they had all reacted great! I love listening to him on the phone, he is really talkative and loves sharing the many experiences he has had. Even better he is able to recognize all the miracles and blessings that have walked into his life since he started learning about the church. The field really is white already to harvest. We're preparing him for baptism and we think he can be ready pretty soon, we're hoping that the local missionaries have talked with him about it because we have only been able to talk with him a little concerning it. The only concern he has is his girlfriend who he is living with right now. He wants to get married but he wants to wait till after he finished school so that they can start a family. So we're just trying to help him understand that even more blessings will come into his life as he starts living all of the commandments, including being baptized, sooner rather than later. 

Some amazing things that also happened this week was our Relief Society meeting on Thursday morning. Michael Otterson (sp?) came and spoke to us. He is the managing director for the Public Affairs organization for the church. He shared with us some principles we can use when answering questions and how we can discern when a question is sincere or not. It was super interesting and I loved it. The best part was, in the middle of the meeting his personal assistant walked in and handed him a sticky note. He stopped and read it and then apologized, told us that Elder Holland was trying to get a hold of him. Haha he then looked at us and told us, "Better not keep an apostle waiting" He then excused himself to go call Elder Holland. How crazy is that!? I think I forget that I live next door to the church office building and the church administrative building. As he was walking out of the theater we all yelled for him to tell Elder Holland that we all say hi. Later he came back and finished the meeting, but it was a very funny and exciting interruption.
Also on Sunday we got to watch a broadcast of the Ogden Temple re-dedication. It was broadcast-ed to a theater in the conference center for the sisters. I felt really special :) I am so grateful that we got to go. Especially because I remember the Sacramento Temple Dedication but not really. Elder Holland spoke at the session we attended, after that I am no super excited for conference. I love being able to listen to our living Prophet and Apostles. How blessed we are to live in a time with prophets and temples. Temples are the place where we can go to receive 'celestial parenting' from our celestial parents. Temples are our heavenly home away from our real Heavenly Home. I love the Temple, and I hope that everyone can see how blessed we are to have them on the earth. One thing that President Eyring shared with us in closing (he conducted the session) was that every time a temple is built and dedicated on the earth the power of the adversary is lessened. 2 Kings 6:16, we are on the winning team, why fear?

I love you all! Oh and I'll let you in on a little secret. We were downstairs in Scriptures and Revelations and we saw a little boy with his family, he was maybe 4 or 5. He ran up to the exhibit with Mormon and the plates, saw the plates and ran to his mother yelling "Mom, Mom, Mom I found the real gold plates!" I don't know how the little boy figured it out that we had the real ones but just in case you were wondering where they were :)--haha

-Sister Fluckiger

Saturday, September 20, 2014

One Happy Family

Hello Fluckigers!

Am I proud to be a Fluckiger or what. I know my whole life I have always joked how the second I get married I am getting rid of the name because well, it's a unique name. But I really am proud and super grateful to be a part of this family. So many times people see my name tag and scream: no way! They then go on and on about a Fluckiger they know and how they are the most amazing people they have ever met. Even though the majority of the time I don't know who they are talking about I am so proud to be part of a family who make such an impact on the people around the world. I wish you could see their faces when they talk about how amazing you are and what a great example you always were. So thank you to all the Fluckigers for being so amazing and for being a light for the world to look to. It's an honor to wear our name along with the name of our Savior on my heart everyday for the world to see.

I love being a missionary! Talk about the best decision ever, and I still am so grateful everyday to have been called to the Salt Lake Temple Square Mission. I get to say good morning to the temple everyday. It is a beautiful place, and it's even more beautiful when you understand the love and sacrifice that came from all the members of the church at that time to build it. The early members of the church were amazing, how lucky am I to serve in their home. I love them and am so amazed by their faith. Just the other day, Sister Bomgren and I were talking about the pioneers and everything they had to go through. We talked about their love, diligence, faith, and then just a few of the many miracles that happened all throughout the early years of the church. It was a beautiful, and powerful discussion. It's fun how much we learn from each other and from the spirit. I think that a lot of those miracles came from the work and help of individuals on the other side of the veil. Helping them along because they saw the big picture and they didn't want them to give up. I bet you some of those individuals were us. Helping our family cross the plains because we knew the happy ending that was coming for them and for us. We wanted them to make it because we wanted to live in a time where we could have the gospel of Jesus Christ and live in peace. And now the roles are reversed. I know that our ancestors are on the other side of the veil doing everything they can to help us. They are
cheering us on, and when things get hard, they're whispering to us that we can do it and that we are strong enough. As a missionary we get to feel this all the time. Just this morning we were talking about Temple Work and how so many of our ancestors are just waiting for us to do their work, and this is just the gospel according to Sister Fluckiger, but I think our ancestors love missionaries. Because we are finding and teaching their descendants and helping them into the waters of baptism so that eventually they will be able to enter the waters of baptism for their ancestors on the other side of the veil. So really, like everything in life, it's just one eternal round. We help them, they help us. That way we truly are one happy family. So there's my testimony for the week. As members of the church, both on the earth and those who passed, we are all just walking each other home, to our Heavenly Home.

As for a quick update on the logistics side. Monday was transfer conference, that was crazy! Haha it's days like that when I realize that we have such a girl mission. For those of you who have been to
girls camp it is very similar. Lots of screaming, cheering, and crying haha. I also realized just how different we are from other missions. The reason we have so many changes every transfer is because we have so many sisters coming and going each transfer. We have new sisters and departing sisters, and then we having returning outbound sisters and going outbound sisters. To add to all of that we have so many assignments and callings that are very unique to our mission. So it's hard for anything to say the same for longer than two transfers. But, our prayers have been answered! Sister Bogmren and I are staying together, yay. I wasn't really worried but right before our zone leaders announced us Sister Bomgren leaned over to me and told me she got nervous all of a sudden. So of course I got nervous. But there was no need haha. Everything is the same, same assignment, same district and zone, the only thing that is different is that we moved apartments. Yay and nay for that. We live in a different apartment complex but it's fun because the majority of the sisters live there. And a lot of the sisters who were in my MTC class are on the same floor as me. So that's fun, it really is like an eternal girls camp. Wednesday was transfer day and that was crazy. We got new sisters from the MTC and sisters returning from outbound. Yes that was a day full of screaming. I was talking with Sister Hernandez (Canada), she is a class above me, and we talked about how we couldn't wait until we knew all the sisters returning from outbound. Sister Hernandez than promised that she would be there to greet me at the airport when I got back. Yay! So on transfer days, we have no studies and no TC time because a lot of sisters are driving back and forth from the airport so we have to have everyone on the square to make up the difference of the missing sisters. Oh my goodness, it was crazy. Talking with people all day long and being overly happy can be exhausting. Who knew. I joked with one of the sisters who is in one of the last transfers that maybe eventually I would get used to all of this. She just laughed, she said the longer you are out on your mission the more tired you get. So that was reassuring, the TMSQ mission really is a go go go mission, I love it. :)

Well everything is fine and dandy here. Still hot and icky outside. I actually want fall to come. Leaves have started to fall though so I have a feeling it is coming soon. :) I love the people, I love the place, and I love my mission.

And I love you!

Sister Fluckiger

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Christmas in August


Wow does time sure fly, I feel like just yesterday I was sitting at the computer emailing you.  My week has been super fun. As for the weather...funny I thought serving in such a 'normal' place as Salt Lake City that I wouldn't get that question too often. Apparently, a lot of people want to know this week haha. I have loved the weather. It's been a bit bipolar, really hot one day, stormy the next and then back to the heat. It's like the weather is trying to decide if fall should come but then changes its mind, again and again. The thunderstorms have been amazing (and yes mother I did just say that). I never new moving away and going on a mission would make me love thunderstorms. It must just be that I always think "Mom would love this weather right now". Really though, we've had lightening and thunder, thunder so loud I'm surprised we aren't all deaf. Sister Bomgren doesn't like the rain that much though, she loves the sun! I always go through this internal conflict when it starts to sprinkle
and get cloudy because I just want to stay outside and jump in puddles and well Sister Bomgren sticks to her umbrellas :D

It's been another miraculous week. I'm super excited for next transfer because we should be given more time to be in the Teaching Center since summer is over and basically the square is just dead. It seems all of our miracles recently have been happening in the TC. We got some referrals from the Odgen Temple Open House and I contacted them this week, they both requested local missionaries so I already sent their info to the local missionaries but then tried to call them. One didn't answer but the other did. Turns out he's a member and doesn't even remember filling out a referral card requesting to learn more from missionaries..a bit awkward, but he then goes on to refer his inactive little sister. Yay. Before we said goodbye he made a comment about how he never thought to refer her before but that her name just popped in his mind when we asked if he knew anyone we could teach. Inspiration from the Holy Ghost! A Coincidence? I think not. Amazing how the Spirit works. We haven't got a hold of the sister yet, but we don't give up so easily. That's the only thing I don't like about the TC, a lot of people just don't answer their phones. We hear a lot of answering machines lately. I even think I could quote the Swedish answering machine I hear it so often. My roommate, Sister Tiritelli (Southern California) keeps reminding me that our investigators have lives. Haha it's true, I think I tend to forget that individuals who are not missionaries actually have lives. Woops. So I'm trying to keep that in prospective this week while we are in the TC. Another miracle, we have started taking chats while we are in West Gate because it's so much slower and just yesterday a lady came on and just told me that she visited a LDS church and now wants to meet with local missionaries. She then just gave me all her information. Piece of cake! Unfortunately the chat disconnected on accident right before I could testify and invite... but I have her information and we send the local missionaries to her house. Every time experiences like that happen it just increases my testimony that there really are people who are prepared for this message. They are ready and willing to learn about the gospel. I think I sometimes forget that because there are just as many people who either feel like they don't need religion or that they are 'already saved'. That's why it is so important to just open your mouth to everyone. You never know who is ready.

Christmas, Christmas is everywhere :) we started listening to Christmas music this week at home. So fun, it feels like I'm back at home singing Christmas songs with Sean. I don't know if I told her but
they are already putting up Christmas lights when I got here. Awesome! Each day I see them working on another tree. I'm trying to figure out their order but it doesn't seem like they have one. One day
they will be working on the east side and then the next they will be working on a completely separate tree over near the west gate. They also have started the lights at the conference center. That's super
fun, it's rare that we walk home when it's dark because we leave so early but this week and a few times last week we did studies on the square so we got to see some of the lights. I keep wanting to sing "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.." :D And believe it or not I bought a Christmas present today! And I won't tell who it's for but they are going to love it!

A funny story from West Gate this week, I'm not sure if I shared this from a few weeks earlier but there's a man who came up to West Gate to talk with us, he reminds me a lot of Brother Gallacher. Just super sweet, funny and talkative man. He just about talked my ear off the first time. He told me all about his son and how he's an RM who is now living in Texas in the Air Force. Okay yes, it did seem a bit like he was trying to sell his son but it was still super fun. He asked me if I like hiking and things and of course that led to a whole new conversation about hiking and camping and how his son loves the outdoors. Well he had a stack of postcards that were already stamped and addressed and he has been asking different sisters to write his son. (what a classic dad) and he gave me one to write. Well yesterday he walked past West Gate again and came to talk to me and see how everything was going. He asked a few questions about what the mission was like and what we did. He then gave us a super sweet compliment, he told us that he believed that the Lord only sends the best spirits to serve at Temple Square because so many people come from all over the world and sometimes being at Temple Square is their first experience with the church, and sometimes they just walk through but it's the smiles of the sweet sisters and the spirit that they carry that leave the impressions for them to learn more. Super sweet of him and it just made my day. He then went on to tell another story on a conversation he had with an anti. Those conversations are always the best because when they are not
missionaries they can even be more bold and he just rocked it haha.

Can I just say that we are super taken care of in this mission. It is awesome. Tuesday was President Poulsen's Birthday, so we all surprised him and sung and had a mini party in the mission office. That was super fun. President is so funny, I just love it. After singing he thanked us all and gave us cake and ice cream and then said 'hey look, everyone is here, we should have a meeting' We of course all agreed and chanted to have another zone conference because everything he shares with us is always amazing. Of course we had work to do so it was a short and quick get together. That evening I did get to go to Lyon House for dinner to celebrate passing off. It was so delicious! We went with 3 other companionships of sisters from my class. We had so much fun. How blessed am I to be in a mission where you see the same sisters everyday. I see the sisters in my MTC class almost everyday. It's fantastic, because we'll be together for our entire mission.  Which will make it even harder when we all go home, but who needs to think of that yet haha.

Thursday Mornings we have Relief Society and this week we had to have it super early because it was also the outbound meeting. So fun. We had two sisters who are professors of nutrition over at BYU come and talk to us about eating healthy. It was super fun, there's something about the subject of nutrition that is super interesting to me. I'm grateful though because they were able to apply it to us as missionaries. They told just the basic things we need to make sure we eat everyday but then they were able to show us how since we literally have no time to cook. I cook on P-days to last me the week. I don't know if I told you that I made enchiladas last week. The sisters in my apartment freaked out because it was so good :) So to answer Grandma, I am eating food other than goldfish haha. Actually Sister Bomgren eats super healthy so it's kind of hard to eat badly. I haven't even been able to open any of the sweets people have mailed me yet. And believe it or not, but cooking isn't so bad. (wow mom, a mission really does change a person) It's probably my favorite part of P-day. But I'll admit I've been cooking the same recipes over and over. The professors that talked to us on Thursday though gave us a simple recipe book thing on how to cook different meats and what you can do to them. So that will be what I am trying today. As for the outbound meeting, that was super fun. Filled with lots of screaming and tears. I learned about how our outbound assignments are made. I don't know how I thought they did it before but what happens is President will pick the sisters who will be going outbound the next transfer and he will submit all their names and their information and it all goes back to the missionary department and the apostles assign us a mission. The same way that we got called to Temple Square, super cool huh? So we literally get two mission calls. I made a comment to Sister Bomgren that the Apostles must get super familiar with our faces then since they see it twice. We serve outbound for two transfers, so 3 months and then come back to Temple Square. President likes sisters to have at least 2 transfers left when they get back from outbound so it's common to go in your 7 or 8th transfer. But because I'm serving for 13 transfers I might go a little later, but we'll see.

Oh and the transfer is over on Wednesday... weird. So just a warning, I may miss a P-day next week. Pray and cross your fingers that I don't, but I've heard that things change pretty frequently each transfer. I am confident that Sister Bomgren will still be my companion though because President Poulsen really likes having trainees with the same trainer for the full two transfers, but it's not uncommon to be given a follow-up trainer; but President also likes other sisters to be together for two transfers, never usually more than that. Everything else has a tendency to change. Your given assignments for about two transfers in a row, so I'm hoping I'll still be in West Gate next transfer but this is Sister Bomgren's 2nd transfer in it so maybe not. We are for sure moving though because the
apartment we are currently living in was only rented for the summer because we have more sisters on the square during the summer season and because so many sisters are going outbound the apartment just won't be needed. Yay for moving.
So that's my week. I know more happened, I need top get better at
righting things down or bringing my journal to email.

Love you all!

Sister Fluckiger

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Summer is Over!



Ya that's hello in Swedish if you were wondering. And to answer the next question, that's all I can really say, that and goodbye, but I'm learning. Haha only took me a transfer to learn hello and goodbye. This week has been fantastic! To share the fun adventure of the week, last Friday after emailing I went with Sister Desjourdy (Canada) and Sister Gearheart (USA) to Leatherbys for dinner and ice cream. Well the four of us have all only been there once and so we didn't really know where it was, so we had Guest Services, which is similar to West Gate, but they are the ones people call ahead of time to schedule tours and investigator lessons in advance, and they gave us directions on how to get there. It was suppose to be only a 25 min drive and we were only scheduled to have the car for 2 hours. Do you think you can guess at how long it took us to get there? An hour and a half. We were so lost and turned around it wasn't even funny. Well, actually it was really funny. We called guest
services twice and both times they supposedly gave us directions from where our current location was to the restaurant. I don't know what happened but we could not find it. We eventually had to pull over and ask for directions. We did find it, and was able to enjoy delicious ice cream without having to worry about getting back. The sweet FLEET team, the sisters in charge of the cars, allowed us to have one more hour since no one was scheduled for our car after us. But Dad, so you know, I was not driving. I was not the ones who got us lost. I'm not saying I would have gotten us there, I'm just glad I wasn't the one who got us lost.

Sunday was my first chance that I had to announce after Music and the Spoken Word, super scary! This was the first Sunday that it was back in the Tabernacle, which means the summer season is officially over. Anyways, announcing is just when a group of the sisters stand outside the Tab holding a sign with your language on it with a microphone and you take turns saying something involving, welcoming them to the square, explaining that we have tours and that we would love to give you one and some other stuff but you get the point. It was super fun, but really scary. There was a ton of people! And my sweet companion told me to not really expect anyone after to want a tour, sometimes there's a English tour and sometimes not. We had things to do
afterward so we actually planned on not giving one, but of course the second the presentation was over English speaking people flocked towards me for a tour. Of course I also couldn't find my companion so I might have panicked a little, but Sister Trusgillio (Italy) saved me, we
went on exchanges and she gave the tour with me. It was actually a super fun tour and I'm glad we did it. We had over 25 people in the tour and there's something about sharing your testimony with that many people that is just super cool. The individuals were super receptive as well with lots of good questions, we were actually thinking that a few of them might refer. Afterward a cute couple came up to me to thank me for the tour, they were members and they went on to tell me that their daughter was serving a mission and would be home in December, the Mom started to tear up as we talked about missions and her daughter. Got to give her a hug, I hope that helped her in some way and didn't just make her miss her daughter more. She did make my day though, I love missionary moms :D

Before I forget, I do need to share the 'Alyssa' moment of the week. Monday was a holiday if any of you were wondering, it was Labor Day. Well, living in the missionary world with you contact with the outside 'real' world I actually had no idea that it was a holiday. I barely realized it was September. So one sister made a comment to me in passing that the Humanitarian center was closed because of the holiday, I guess I just didn';t pay any attention to it. But anyways the square was super super busy with people. I just didn't understand why it was so busy because the last few days had been so dead since school has started. I finally asked a family while I was working the Temple Construction Desk. They were members so I felt a little less asking them, but I covered up my flag and I told them they were allowed to laugh at me but they needed to try to pretend that I wasn't from the States, and then I asked them if it was a holiday and if it was what holiday was it? Yes, everyone back home can laugh at the fact that I totally forgot all about Labor Day. Even though I wear a missionary nametag,
I guess I'm still the same ditzy, sometimes ridiculous Alyssa haha.

The rest of the week was still busy busy. It is weird now that summer is over. The square is so dead. I'm glad I came in the middle of summer though, hectic as it was. I think it helped me learn a lot
faster with so many different opportunities to talk with people and to give tours. Now it's like a race with the sisters to get a tour because the number is so much smaller day by day. I've been told it'll
be dead for the next 2 or 3 weeks and then it should pick back up for conference. I'm told for conference we have no assignments, like no TC time for the two days straight. Just square all day from 8am-9pm. I don't even think we have studies for those two days. We just talk to everyone we see and pray that our feet and legs don't fall off. But the cherry on the top of all this, is that the day after conference is all over I've been told we get to sleep in till like 8 or 9. Talk about the best mission in the world.

We got some new investigators this week which is always exciting. It's funny though, sometimes guys will talk to us on the square and I'll think they are interested in the gospel because they'll have really good questions about the church and missionary work and why we chose to become missionaries and things like that. But when the conversation is over Sister Bomgren just laughs and tells me that she thinks that the individual was just flirting with us. So not fair! And I don't even know how I don't notice. One time something good came of it though, the guy started off with flirting with us, again I couldn't tell, but then he ended up referring and asking if he could read the Book of Mormon. The Church is true everybody. I'm super glad that he referred because I had told Sister Bomgren that at some point something good would have to happen from us just bearing testimony
from someone who just came up to talk to us because they thought we were cute. Bam, it happened. Hopefully he'll answer when we call him next week though. I'll admit I now understand what it feels like to be a telemarketer. Lately no one answers their phones. I am so tired of hearing individuals voice mails. We had one investigator who we called a few weeks ago for the first time. We found her name,W,  in our area book and just decided to give her a call. She answered and we learned that she had met with missionaries before, and that she knew the church was true. What every missionary wants to hear. We committed her to baptism and she said yes. I'm sure I've told you about her before. Anyway we have called W like a million times since we last talked to her and committed her to baptism and nothing. She hadn't even answered out text messages. We sent the local missionaries to her but because we couldn't get a hold of her we had no idea if the LM had even got in contact with her. I'll admit I was so worried. I was so happy that she wanted to be baptized and I loved her so much for her testimony but I was so scared that something had happened since we talked with her
that made her not want to join the church anymore and she was just too scared to tell us. Or even worse, she got in some car accident or something, yes now I understand how mom felt when we didn't answer our phones back home. Well to the miracle part. We were in TC earlier this week and we were just about to leave. We had a few minutes left and had already called everyone we had planned for and at the last minute Sister Bomgren had the idea to call W. So of course we were like what the heck, I mean we had already called her so many times. She answered! I almost cried when I heard her on the other line. We were so happy. She apologized for not getting back to us, she had been really busy with work and school. And I totally understood, going to school full time and having two jobs, yep I could relate. But it gets better, she then goes on the tell us that she'll be meeting with the LM the next evening! Prayers are answered. I don't know how to tell you how hard we have been praying for W to have her answer the phone and still have a desire to get baptized. We're calling her after church on Sunday to see how it all went. Hopefully if things continue to work out we'll have a baptism in the future. The closer I get to having to get off the computer the more things I remember I want to share with you, guess who gets to eat for free at the Lyon's House next week?! I do! haha, I passed of four tours, and the prize is a free meal there. I'm super excited. I'm not really sure the purpose to have to pass off now besides allowing the zone leaders to know exactly where I'm at. It used to be that  you can't give tours until you pass it off but that's no longer how it is. So I've actually
been giving tours since my first day. But we get a free meal. We're planning on going with Sister Mahoney (Canada) and Sister Andre, (England) her trainer. I've been told it's delicious so I'm pretty
excited. To celebrate right after though Sister Bogmren took me to Nauvoo Cafe for dinner and then Far's for dessert. Delish.

Oh, and real quick. For everyone that has written me a letter recently, I am so sorry that I haven't written you back yet. P-Day's are super busy and they are the only days we can write letters. I
usually have time for maybe one or two each week. So just be patient with me please :) and continue to write me. Mail is the best! And is makes me smile.

Love you all lots! and Happy Labor Day ;)

-Sister Fluckiger