Monday, November 30, 2015

A Savior is Born!

Snow. Snow. Snow!
Now it's really beginning to look a lot like Christmas! The snow is falling, the lights are on and we are Christmas Caroling :)
I hope everyone was able to have a very special Thanksgiving. We had the blessing of going over and eating with a wonderful family who lives in the Ensign Peak Stake which is located right next door to Temple Square. It was lovely, Sister Nogueira and I went with Sister Brooks (California) and Sister Nevil (Texas). After Thanksgiving Lunch we came back to the square and worked. It was really cold that day but surprisingly there were a good amount of people on the square. 
Then, this Friday the Christmas lights turned on! Which means everyone and their kids came to Temple Square! Sister Nogueira and I had so much fun. Teaching the gospel is so fun! Doesn't matter what is going on, we are always able to find joy as we go out onto the square and testify of the Savior. Christmas is a very special time to be a missionary and I am so grateful that I get two Christmas'. Has everyone been able to see the new video: "A Savior is Born"? It's very different from the last videos that the church has put out but I have grown to love it because each time I watch it I am able to feel of the children's testimonies about the Savior. So I'm actually sure that you have all seen this new video - the question is have you actually seen the second video? They made two this year and the second one is the answer to the invitation to "discover why" the Savior was born. You can find the video on - it's animated so that's how you can know that it's the right one. I'm excited for all of you to watch it tonight for Family Home Evening and to discuss why the Savior needed to be born. I am so grateful that the Savior was born! That single event in history has changed my life. It has paved the way for everything and everyone. How neat is it that we are able to celebrate Christmas!
Other than the craziness and excitement of having the Christmas lights back on, Sister Nogueira and I have been prepping for some of the Christmas activities that we will be having as a mission and then organizing everything so that with the new year and also a new mission president everything will be clean and we will know what it is. haha, because we have been finding a lot of funny things in our office that has no purpose. It's funny to see what sisters leave behind when they finish their missions.
Other fun things that happened this week: 

​We had to try on sweatshirt per Sister Poulsen's request - we turned it into a photo shoot.

​I got stuck in a microwave box..... haha
Speaking of microwave - we don't have a photo of this but we wished we had one. Last Monday while we were on our Preparation Day, some sisters decided to pop popcorn in the microwave in our office.... ya our microwave might have caught on fire a little bit. When we arrived in the office the next day the entire mission office stunk like burnt popcorn and our microwave was completely black inside haha. So this microwave box came from a new microwave that Elder Moore brought us.

​And here's my companion in the microwave box :)

Then last but not least, Sister Nogueira and I always find so many things to laugh at :) With the lights on there are so many people on the square and sometimes funny things happen. Two days ago we were out on the square contacting families and we decided to head into the South VC to warm up a little bit. Well we were right outside the automatic doors and we could see a big family heading out the doors so we took a step to the side to let them out first. The daughter who was leading the way decided she wanted to jump out as the doors opened but sadly our automatic doors are so slow and lazy and never open when you want them to. So she has a pretty good jogging start and she jumps into the door but instead of the door opening all the way she hits the door with her shoulder and basically falls out the door instead of flying like we are sure she wanted too. I was just shocked to see all of this but my companion just started laughing haha which turned out to be a good thing because this (probably 15ish) girl just laughed too and then walked off like nothing happened.
Christmas time is fun. This week we were blessed with some more time to teach and focus on our investigators - they are all doing great! One of our investigators is 72 years old! She's from the VERY southern part of Georgia and she is just so funny to talk with. We have to go a little bit slower with her but she'll make it. The Lord is helping her :)
And that was my week! Tomorrow we are finishing up Zone Leader Reports, which is where we sit down with President and the zone leaders a zone at a time to discuss the sisters and their needs. Then Wednesday we will begin transfer planning. Crazy to think it's already time for that. 5 week transfers are just too fast - 7days really does make a big difference. 
I love you all and appreciate ya!
Thanks for always reading this silly letters!
Sister Fluckiger

Monday, November 23, 2015

The Lord Will Provide

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
The leaves have finally all fallen off the trees and now we are just waiting for it to snow :) President told us this morning that Wednesday is supposed to be a big snow day. So that should be excited. Sister Nogueira and I broke out our winter coats- they're not used that often. Besides walking to the Square in the morning and walking home at night we usually only get about 1 or 2 hours up on the Square these days. 
However the time that we do get to go up the Lord always provides a miracle! It's been a really neat week to see how He is so aware of our schedules, even when they are as crazy and demanding as ours.
So generally transfers are a period of 6 weeks within the mission. At the end of a transfers there is always a group of sisters who leave because they have completed their missions and then we always get a batch of fresh new missionaries from the MTC. The church doesn't like to send out missionaries the week of Christmas because it's hard to get flights and the end of this 6 week period would actually be the day before Christmas Eve so we are shortening it and instead having a 5 week transfer and then the following transfer will be 7 weeks to make up for it. Having 5 weeks means that we have 7 days less to plan everything for next transfer. So we have been doing our very best to stay on top of the different responsibilities we have and to even get a head if possible. 

So this week we did outbound planning. We calculated how many missionaries we currently have, how many are going home, and how many will be coming from the MTC. We then discussed how many missionaries we need in the mission for Christmas time. From that we come up with how many missionaries we can send to other missions. That was a great! Now we just have to wait until the Zone Leaders have their reports ready for us about the sisters on their zones and then we can start the process of what we call Transfer Planning! Which is basically pairing up all the companionships with President.

Another exciting thing that happened this transfer was Christmas Training! 
We will be getting new schedules this Friday because the lights will be turning on! I seriously am still having a hard time believing that it's been an entire year since the lights were on. Crazy! The square will not be open from 9am - 10pm which means we don't leave the square till 10 and won't get to bed until 11:30pm. This truly is the craziest mission in the world. We are so excited though. We received training on the new Christmas Initiative which will be "A Savior is Born". I testify that a Savior was born and that He lives today! On Friday the new Christmas video will be released and there is actually an invitation at the end to "Discover Why" - then there will also be a second video that is the answer to why the Savior was born. It is so special to know that God has a plan for each of us and at the center of that plan is our Savior Jesus Christ. I hope all of you can Discover the Savior this holiday season. 

With this Christmas Training we were able to assist President in announcing to the mission a new Mission Wide Goal. So far this year we, as a mission, have been able to help 800 of our Brothers and Sisters make the special promise of baptism with our Father. It's truly special to have the knowledge that there are so many more people who have the knowledge of our Savior Jesus Christ because 200 sisters decided to serve the Lord for 18 months. Our Mission Goal is to continue working our very best, and strengthening our faith in Christ, and be able to help 100 more of our family members home to Him before the end of the year. This is our gift to them and our gift to the Savior.

​President Poulsen invited all the sisters who were willing to work their very hardest and to trust in the Savior completely to sign their name as commitment to the Lord.

You know the Lord's work would continue to move forward even if He didn't have missionaries. However, doing His work through missionaries helps the missionary become converted. I'm grateful I headed the prompting to serve a mission because I have become more converted because of it. The gospel is true!
And the Lord has been able to witness to us many times this week that we aren't doing anything - it's all Him. We really do only have about an hour a day up on the Square and it's usually a desk assignment in one of the visitor centers. He really does know our schedule. He brought us 3 different individuals who had questions and wanted to learn more about the Savior. Even better- they were the ones who walked up to us!
The Lord has people prepared for us, the question is if we have the eyes to see them.
The Church is true and the Book is blue.
Love you all!
Sister Fluckiger

Monday, November 16, 2015

I'm Going to Build a Boat!

Hi everyone!
The Mission life just gets crazier and crazier! I know that Heavenly Father does it to me on purpose. Every time I think "I've finally figured this out" or "I've got this down finally" Heavenly Father gives me something else. Gotta love a challenge! :)
So many things happened over the past two weeks though! We had transfers last week which is why I missed a week of emailing. My schedule has changed and in about a week it will change again because we will begin the Christmas schedule! Yay! We walked out of the Church Office Building today and we saw that they have started setting up the nativities. "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas" here on Temple Square! 
I have a new companion again! She's from Brazil but moved to the States when she was a kid and grew up in Atlanta, Georgia! 

Sister Nogueira - the red head on the right :) We are having so much fun together and we get to teach a bunch of Brazilians! This photo was taken at the Roof (a really great restaurant on the top floor of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. We were able to accompany the departing class to the Temple and then onto lunch with President. Being in the Temple once again was wonderful. President has called me back to serve in the mission office and I'll be there for the rest of my mission and I'm grateful for the opportunity to serve him and to serve with him but I'll admit I was a little hesitant because I knew that it would cut into my teaching and proselyting time. Of course put on top of that the normal feelings of inadequacy - the Temple was a great place to go afterwards to be able to receive some answers. While I was there I read in 1 Nephi about when the Lord called Nephi to build a boat. It blew my mind that Nephi didn't even question...well he did but his question was "where can I go to find the materials to make the tools to build a boat?" What faith he had. I definitely had a change of heart about my new assignment. The Lord truly can do whatever He wants - with Him everything is possible so why wouldn't He be able to use us as His children, despite our weaknesses. 

Speaking of Nephi, this morning we had our Missionary Leadership Council to begin the new transfer and Sister Nogueira and I trained on the difference between achieving and becoming. It was such a wonderful experience for both of us because our goal was to teach only from the Book of Mormon. We accomplished that by reading the story of Nephi and Laman and Lemuel and in the middle of the story we would act out different things about how the different reactions related to how we as missionaries react. It was great! Laman and Lemuel were the perfect example of a missionary who achieved their mission. Actually if you read the story again of when they went to get the brass plates you would see that they would obedient and what the Lord had asked them to do. They weren't happy about it of course but they did it and achieved. It's sad but we sometimes sees that happen within our missions, being a missionary just becomes a checklist of things that we need to do instead of us allowing the mission to help us become more like our Savior. It went really well! The sisters especially liked when we acted out the part where Laman comes back from the first attempt and he's all frazzled because he almost just died - I wish someone would have videoed us :)
If you hadn't figured it out yet, this week was filled with meetings! We've had one every day so far. It's so busy for a few different reasons: the Christmas seasons starts next week, this is only a 5 week transfer, and President is getting ready to finish his mission. It's a good thing that Sister Nogueira and I really like a challenge. 
It's been a huge goal of ours though to still be able to have a good teaching area and we know that the Lord will help us out. We have been able to see a few miracles the past few days that we have been companions.
Something that we have been talking a lot about actually that has helped us set some goals this transfer has been talking about our Father in Heaven's home up in heaven. I shared with my companion how Mom always says that there isn't going to be "any empty chairs at my dinner table". That's what our Father in Heaven wants too! We are focusing on filling more of those chairs as our Christmas gift to Him this year.
One of the ladies that we are teaching I was able to find last week actually. She just called in and told me that her son was baptized into our church a few years back and now she knows that she is ready to learn more and meet with missionaries. How cool is that?! She's a really sweet lady and I know that this is an answer to her son's prayers. 
Another cool miracle happened yesterday while we were in the North Visitor Center - a lady came up to us and simply asked us for a copy of the Book of Mormon. She shared with us how she had talked to some sisters earlier, actually like 2 or 3 sets of missionaries, about it but now she wanted a copy. We were able to teach her more about the Book of Mormon and how it can have an righteous influence on her life. Now we are going to happily teaching her more about the restored gospel! 

Being a missionary is just so fun! Especially in this mission! This week I was able to try Brazilian tea (it's herbal I promise!) It actually wasn't that bad. I think my companion was disappointed because I guess other Americans are really dramatic when they try it for the first time and I wasn't. Oh well, I can check that off the list of things I need to try.

I love you all so much! The Gospel is true and it changes life, it has changed mine for sure!
Sister Fluckiger

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Spirit of the Temple

Hello Everyone!
Today was probably the first day of very cold weather! We haven't had any snow yet but we can see the snow in the's coming! 
So far we are surviving. We all have a feeling though that it's going to be a pretty cold winter. The sad part of the cold is that less people come and visit Temple Square. The good part it is that those who do come...must really want to be here :) 

Temple Square is a very special place, yes because of the temple but also because of the different experiences that result from people visiting. It seems to be a place of healing, resolving, and answering. People find a lot and experience a lot within the little 10 acre block where I, luckily, get to spend most of my time. This week was no different. There are many things that I love about being a missionary and it seems the last few weeks I have been asked that question a lot by other missionaries, "what do you like most about your mission?" I would have to say the privilege that it is to be able to witness God working in the lives of others. 

This week we had one particular miracle, we are scheduled to take a Flagpole tour once a week. However, I believe I have mentioned this before, our Tour is scheduled at the same time as the daily Organ Recital. So the odds of us actually having a tour is slim. This week though we were able to meet a really nice guy who was visiting Salt Lake for business. That day was his last day in the city and everyone had told him that he had to visit Temple Square before he flew home. Surprisingly he was very familiar with the church due to growing up with some member friends. He had even attended our church services a few times when he was in High School. As we were talking and teaching it was evident though, when it came to our doctrine, he didn't understand the differences between us and the Catholic church ( the church that he was raised with ). I remember taking him into the Assembly Hall where we taught and explained the Book of Mormon. There is always a certain light come into peoples eye when they get bit by Curious George. :) By the end of the tour we brought it all back to the Book of Mormon and explained how it was the "Keystone" of our religion - it's all or nothing and it's all based on the Book of Mormon. We gave him a copy to read and we have been able to text him over the past days as he has been reading the beginning parts of the Book of Mormon. Angels are always preparing the hearts of the children of God - we just have to have the faith to find them - or the faith that they will find us!
This week we were also able to meet one of the cutest families ever (not as cute as ours though)! We talked to them a few times because we were walking around the square and so were they so we just continued to bump into them. It was a family of 5, the three kids were all under the age of 8. Two boys and then then a darling 2 year old little girl. We ended up taking them to watch the God's Plan presentation. Throughout the presentation the little girl was just so darling with making little comments about the video. At the end we asked what everyone's favorite part was and she looked at us and says very loudly "I just like my family!" Families truly are the best. Afterwards as we were walking down the stairs with this family the little girl looked at me as asked me to hold her hand as we walked down the stairs together. So if you were wondering - in the North Visitor's Center we have 24 stairs :)

Halloween on Temple Square was so fun! The square closed at 5 and as a mission we all had dinner together. They brought us lasagna from Olive Garden! Yes I know we are spoiled! Then following dinner we all walked over to the Temple together and did a session. Probably one of the longest temple sessions I have ever and will ever do but it was wonderful! Temple on Halloween should be a new tradition. Now that it's November though, Sister Juntilla and I don't have a lot of action within the Beehive House - I've probably mentioned that a few times now but that's because it's true! The other day we sat in the Church Office for over an hour waiting for a tour....and during that time we decided to take some selifes with Brother Brigham.
​We look very scary in this photo...but you know back then you had to stand for hours for a photograph to be we were just trying to put ourselves in that time period. 

I love you all and I love being a missionary! Transfers is next week! I cannot even believe it. Sister Juntilla and I only have 6 more days of being companions. We are celebrating by inviting ourselves to all of the different district activities that our sisters are planning. We aren't technically part of a district and by technically I mean we aren't part of one at all. Which is sad so to make it better we just adopted ourselves into three different districts. It's going to be a great week! 

I love you all and I hope you are already making your list of what you are grateful for in preparation for Thanksgiving! I know that my list is already pretty long!
Sister Fluckiger