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