Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Celestial Potential

So the sun is shining, birds are singing, and the square is busy with
visitors- some things just never get old!

I truly love being on Temple Square and we had so many fun adventures
this week. Every day really is an adventure and so many things happen
that it's hard even at night to remember it all when I'm writing in my
journal. There were a few highlights though from this week, the first
being that I was able to be a Spanish sister again for just a day. We
went on exchanges and I was able to spend he day with our district
leader, Sister Polanco, and she is from Guatemala. Spanish is one of
he busiest languages on Temple Square so we took a lot of Spanish
tours. It was a lot of fun. I always love going on exchanges because
you get to see more ways of teaching. Sister Polanco is an amazing
missionary and she is probably the funniest missionary I've ever
served. So we had a lot of fun together.
More and more though I realize how much was messed up because of what
happened at the Tower of Babel. I don't think anywhere in the world is
it more evident than at Temple Square. All is well though because one
day it will all get sorted out and there will be no language barriers.
Until then though it will be a struggle, at least for me. For example
today and tomorrow we are having zone conference, we get to go
tomorrow because today is our pday but it meant that everyone who
didn't have conference today has to be on square at 8am and I can tell
you that the only people who come to the square that early in the
morning are people from Asia. So that was a fun adventure this morning
:) They are some of the best people ever, I just wished that I was
better at communicating with them.

Friday was Pioneer Day and we were able to attend the parade in the
morning. The best part of it was seeing President Eyring and then
seeing Elder and Sister Moore (our mission secretary and my best
friends) driving their old car in the parade.
They are definitely the cutest people!

It was wonderful celebrating Pioneer Day on Temple Square. The history of the church is so inspirational, and that continues to this day. We met a wonderful man yesterday on the square who shared some stories with us from his mission and his testimony of how we all knew each other before this life and now we are all here just trying to find everyone and trying to get us all back home again. It was pretty neat and you know what he's right. Thinking of the pioneers, we may not all have pioneer heritage but we all have Celestial Heritage which means we all have celestial potential :)

I love you all but God loves you so much more!

-Sister Fluckiger

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Jammed-Packed with Heaven

What a week that was jammed packed into 7 days! Speaking of 'jammed-packed' did I ever tell you that Sister Clayton (Wife to Elder Clayton in the 70) said that Temple Square is jammed-packed with Heaven? I just love that expression, especially now that the Temple is open again. Everyday on Temple Square is just another day in heaven. 

But, lets get back to the mission business....

This week we had lots of tender mercies happen with the work. First of all it's been raining, we have been getting little bursts of rain for about 10 minutes each day and then the rest of the day is sunshine and heat! But the 10 minutes of rain is heavenly. 
We also had the miracle of actually doubling the number of our investigators who actually picked up the phone this week. And yes that is a major miracle, you would be surprised how many people in the world don't like to answer their phones.
One of our investigators in particular who we met on the square probably the first week that I returned from Georgia finally made it to church this week. It's been quite a funny thing, basically all of our lessons with him have been over text messages because he is working as an intern and so his work hours are pretty much all day every day. But he has been reading the Book of Mormon and praying about it, and we even invited him to be baptized over a text message and he said that he would if he found out it was really true! Anyways, this last Sunday he was finally able to make it to church and he loved it! He met the missionaries, scheduled an appointment with them and even now wants to go to a ward activity this week. The power in church attendance! We both had been praying with so much faith for so long that he would make it this week. It's wonderful that Heavenly Father loves His children way more than us missionaries do-so He always makes it work out in the end. 

Well I know that this is super short this week, but that means everyone will have the time to read it right :)
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and don't forget that pioneer day is this Friday! Even if we don't have pioneer heritage by blood, as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints we all are apart of the legacy of the pioneers-it's our legacy now. I hope that you all are as proud of that legacy as I am!

-Sister Fluckiger

P.S. I lost my hippo fact book...that's why there isn't any hippo facts now. Sorry!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Divine Orchestration-it's everywhere

Howdy Everyone!
I hope everyone is having a good summer. The Temple has been closed this month and the Choir has been on tour for the last few weeks, so I'll admit Temple Square has definitely felt like something was missing. But all is well! The choir is back this week and the Temple will be reopening next week. So we will go back to hearing people cheering every 10 minutes because someone just got married.
This week though we were able to meet a lot of people from all over the place. I have started keeping a list in my journal of countries that I have met people from and then a list of states where I have met people from on the Square. My list is getting pretty long! But this week we were able to take a really cool tour with this sweet family and some nonmember friends. So the family is from Utah but for about 6 months of the year they live in the Virgin Islands. The mom teaches seminary there, and the church is very small. She said that she has about 4 students and most of the kids were her own kids. Well she promised the kids that if they went to seminary every day that she would take them to Temple Square and so that's what she did! They also brought some non-members friends and we were able to take them around on a tour. It was a wonderful experience partly because we were able to see these wonder members being missionaries, because really they gave most of the tour by teaching and bearing testimony. We just added the cool facts here and there. We were able to give the friends copies of the Book of Mormon so that they could read. Having the church grow in different countries is so wonderful! It's allowing so many more people to have access to the blessings of the atonement in their lives. I guess one bonus of being on Temple Square is that you get to see a small portion of that all over the world.
Our teaching area is also doing wonderful, the sweet man who called in for a Bible is now preparing for his baptism in August. We called him this morning and he shared with us what he had just been reading in the Book of Mormon which was the story of Nephi getting tied up on the boat and then how the storms came and the Liahona stopped working. To quote this wonderful man: "You would think by now that they would just listen to Nephi. Nothing ever works out when they are not following or listening to him." He was exactly right and we were able to bridge that wonderful story to having living prophets and apostles today! Things will always work out when we follow our leaders today!
We have also been working with a lot of other wonderful people. We have been praying really hard because we have some solid people and we are just waiting for the local missionaries to get involved. I'll admit sometimes it's hard to be patient at this point. The Lord always provides a way though! We know and have faith that the missionaries will make it to them!

This week was also President Packer's Funeral. The entire square was shut down so they allowed us to go to the funeral. (it's the only way they could keep us out of trouble with the square shut down). It was a wonderful service. And it all worked out so well, Sister Sommerfeldt got an actual ticket since I got a ticket for Elder Perry's Funeral, so we went on exchanges and sat in different places. I was with Sister Mahoney and the lady that we ended up sitting next to was a school counselor. She was an answer to Sister Mahoney's prayer because she was starting to get worried about school applications and different things. This lady was extremely knowledgeable about everything school related so she was also able to give us some hints on how to get into schools and how to pick a school. So that was nice, divine orchestration-it's everywhere :) 
One of the songs that the choir sang for the funeral is supposedly President Packer's favorite (the lady who sat next to us told us that...don't know if it's true though) The hymn was "The Wintry Day, Descending to its Close" and it actually talks about the pioneers and Temple Square! Which means it has become a favorite of mine too! With Pioneer Day coming up I love that I am where so much history happened for the church. Everyday we get to testify of the faith that the pioneers had and their willingness to follow the living prophet. I've been told that Pioneer Day in Utah is a big ordeal, I don't know how much we will get to see of it but I am excited.
Today though Sister Sommerfeldt and I continued our exploring and we visited the National History Museum of Utah. I learned that I really like this Museum, or maybe I just like looking at cool things. But this one had a lot of cool things!

Like for example, this is supposedly the largest mammal in history...yep it's pretty big.
Well I love you all, here's just a piece of my week.
-Sister Fluckiger

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Work Work Work

Happy 4th of July everyone! I hope that you all enjoyed fireworks for me since there is no time to rest on Temple Square. 

Well, the weather has finally cooled of for once. We have been having some sprinkles and some thunder. It will last for about a hour and then the sun will come back out and be super hot again. But it has kept our week interesting. 

Aside from the random bits of rain it has been a wonderful week!  We got to celebrate the 4th of July. I mean we are still missionaries so it's not like we had a day off or anything like the rest of the world but we did have a BBQ which was so fun. We all took turns and were able to go to the Brigham Young Park for about an hour with our zone to have some Hot Dogs and ice cream. The perfect American BBQ.

​And President and Sister Pouslen looked great in their matching aprons :) So it was a wonderful day!

This week has been transfer week. Now that I'm not in the office and because I have already been outbound this transfer week was a breeze. Didn't have a thing to worry about besides the normal 'the investigators better make it to sacrament this week.."
Sister Sommerfeldt and I are still together..Yay! First time not changing companions since the beginning of my mission. We are excited for another 6 weeks to watch miracles happen. 
We had some cool miracles happen earlier this week though. We have been focusing on connecting with the people that we talk with because most of our contact with guests is less than 20 minutes and so it's really important to earn their trust in that short amount of time so that they are interested in learning more when you invite them. 
We felt like we had been struggling with that a little bit and so that's what we studied and role-played the last week and yesterday we were able to see it pay off. We took a tour with this lovely couple visiting from Alabama. She actually started the tour by telling us: "okay I have never told anyone this and I hope it's not bad but I'm going to tell you, I have never known a mormon in my life but I LOVE them! Everything you promote is just so good and anyone who has the same values as me is a good person, so thank you!" 
I have to say it's not everyday that someone greets you with that. They were very familiar with the history of the church but not so much as the doctrines or beliefs. We talked a lot about the Book of Mormon and before we could even invite them to read it the husband asked us if we gave out copies of it. It was all just perfect. So we gave them a copy of it and explained and testified to them how our lives were changed from reading the Book of Mormon and how the same thing can happen to them if they let it. They are going to be on vacation for a few weeks but we are going to stay in touch with them and then get the local missionaries involved by the time that they get back home. 
Our other miracle happened in the Beehive!! So giving tours in the Beehive is fun but it is hard to find new investigators. The majority of people who come through the home just want to look at the old stuff and so sometimes it feels like their ears are shut as we teach and testify about living prophets and the Book of Mormon. But this week we took a small tour through and it started off pretty weird, we had an odd mixture of members and nonmembers and we actually thought that one guy was a member when we found out half-way through the tour that he wasn't. (awkward). But this weird tour ended up being amazing at the end. When all else fails just bear testimony..that's our motto. So that's what we did. We just taught and testified about the Book of Mormon and handed out the free download cards and asked if anyone wanted to meet with local missionaries and our friend who we thought was a member but wasn't wanted to meet with local missionaries! Talk about best ending ever. 

So I promise we are still working hard. No lazy missionaries here :) We celebrated Sister Sommerfeldt's last day in her first transfer yesterday but going to Farr's for some ice cream. She is no longer the 'newbie' so we had to celebrate that :)
But this week is just going to be work work work...according to President Benson there is no satisfactory substitute! 

I love you all! Thanks for all the prayers!

-Sister Fluckiger

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

We are of "Great Importance'

Happy Canada Day!
Yep today is Canada Day and my companion has not let me forget it :) Luckily my holiday and her holiday are in the same week or else who knows what would happen...
Just kidding, we actually do like each other-and probably have way to much fun together. There just can't be a limit of fun with us around.

Speaking of fun, this week was filled with lots of it! Brad Wilcox came and spoke to our mission for Relief Society. He is basically here on Temple Square as often as we are because we have multiple youth conferences and he speaks at a lot of them. Well I guess some sisters cornered him one day and was like "why don't you ever come and speak to us..Temple Square is our home anyway" - well I guess that worked. We had a lesson on Grace, which of course is his soapbox (in a good way of course). Before he started talking about grace he shared with us a little history of Temple Square. Which we love! So the pioneers arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in July of 1847, he shared that by the first winter there was about 1,650 people living here and 54% of those people were under the age of 18. And the statistics remained like that until 1869. "The church was and still is on the shoulders of the youth. I mean what better testimony of this than the fact that missionaries are now being sent out younger and with less training!" Talk about no pressure there, but really it is such a blessing to be a youth in the church...even if I am technically not considered that anymore. Even better, what a blessing it is to have grown up within this church and with this knowledge. I can remember an experience that actually one of my companions had had. We were on exchanges serving in different areas (this was in Georgia) and an investigator was getting baptized in the area that my companion was in for the day. She had the opportunity to talk with him and he asked her how long she had been a member. She of course shared that she had had it in her life the entire time. She shared with me that his response to that was "I hope you know how luck you are. I have been in darkness my whole life. But now I have finally found the light and I am never going to let it leave me" Both of our hearts were touched by this experience. Here was someone who understand more than we did how important it is to have the restored gospel in your life.
"We are all important because we are all children of God. But you have great importance because you have the message of the restoration. Please use it to bless the lives of others" -Man I met on the Square
Some other great things that have happened this week was our focus on bridging anything to the message of the Restoration. A lot of people will call in asking for a free Bible and really something that I love to do it to give out copies of the Book of Mormon and invite them to meet with missionaries. So I don't know if it was my time that I spent serving in the South but now I love it when people call in for a free Bible because I can always get them to be so excited about getting a Book of Mormon to read with their new Bible. It's great! So that's what happened this week, and Sister Sommerfeldt is awesome! She answered one of these phone calls and even got the guy to invite himself to church this Sunday! When people truly understand was the Restoration means, that God wanted to clear out any confusion that was made because of the apostasy and He did that by bringing back ONE church, they are always excited and ready to learn more.
One guy in particular who actually called in the same week that I returned from Georgia asked for a Bible and shared with me that it was because he felt that something was missing in his life and he guessed that a brand new Bible would fix that. We talked a lot about the patterns that God has had throughout the Bible, namely his pattern of calling prophets. We also talked about the record of the Book of Mormon and he was curious as to what the Book of Mormon was so he was willing to get a copy. Well that was about 6 weeks ago and the Book of Mormon has changed his life! He is now meeting with missionaries and attending church and they are planning a day that he can enter the waters of Baptism to make promises with our Father. The Book of Mormon truly changes lives. I just love being a missionary!
So that is some of the exciting things that have been happening on Temple Square. Now to share the not as exciting stuff :)
Last P-day after we emailed we decided we wanted to be tourists and we went and explored a lot of different places. 
-We hiked the U....which really means we just drove up into a neighborhood and parked and 'oh look there's the U' 
-We went to a place called Gilgal Gardens (so cool!)
-Toured the state capital 
-Walked around the Pioneer museum for a bit
-And then we went to a Baseball game!

Well the work continues to move forward and another transfer nears it's end. Sister Sommerfeldt and I will probably stay together since President likes trainers and trainees to stay together. This will be a change since I've had a new companion every six weeks since I finished being trained. We aren't sure yet though if we will be staying in the Beehive House or not. We find out on Monday. So if we are getting moved out P-day gets moved as well, so you may or may not hear from me next week. If not Happy 4th!!
-Sister Fluckiger
P.S. Hippos can open their mouths so wide that their top and bottom jaws almost form a straight line.