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