Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Behold, I bid you an everlasting...hello!! June 11th 2018

Wow I feel like it was only yesterday I wrote my first email! At least not more than a year ago anyway!

Well folks, it's been a ride. If you've read even half of these emails I'm flattered! I wish I could say I just have a quick thought to end on, but that is very much not the case. After all I've learned SO MUCH! I'm still me, but the improved, upgraded version! Something I was asked as a part of preparing to return home was "What are the most important spiritual truths the Lord has taught you?"

Here's some of my responses:

- Rely on His merits, mercy and grace, not on my own knowledge or strength.

- First and forever, fan the flame of my faith.

- The best way to be happy is to forget myself, and help others be happy.

- Obedience brings blessings! Exact obedience brings miracles! 

- By small and simple things are great things brought to pass. 

- The Lord's blessings are conditional only in that we must welcome and receive them--and obedience is the way.

- When I feel contention, anger, frustration, irritation, or laziness, it is not my situation or those around me who need to change--it is my heart. 

- Pure love is the only lasting motivation, when things get hard. Charity never faileth!

- Faith is things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Just because I can't see what's ahead of me doesn't mean I can't walk! I have had so many questions, and so many answers. 

- Faith is truly a principle of action and power. Memorizing the Living Christ was mentally rigorous, it required daily action and intense focus, but it empowered me beyond my mortal capabilities.

Stealing this idea from another sister's email, who stole the idea from another sister--I want to thank Sister Bustillos for teaching me what hard work looks like, and how to love people unconditionally. I am so grateful for Sister Mainord and Sister Rilling who taught me diligence and patience. Thank you Sister Mayne for blessing me with your presence, haha. You taught me to be bold, and be righteous. Thank you Sister Hardy for teaching me how to hold on in any circumstance, and for just being an awesome friend. Thank you Sister Lowe for literally blasting into my life with your greenie fire and unlocking my potential as a missionary. And for being a sister. Thank you Sister Gillies for your amazing, rock-hard faith, for helping me to say "Hello!" to everyone I pass. Thank you Sister Anderson and Sister Davis for letting me be part of the Triple Threat! And showing me what leadership looks like.

And so many more. To quote Sister Anderson, I know that Jesus is the Living Christ because every day he works through other people to bless our lives. We are his hands. I've been blessed by way too many wonderful people, including you. Yes, you currently reading!! I know who I'm sending this to!!!

I'll talk to you all soon,
Sister Fluegel

Pictures: Good luck figuring these out. If you have questions ask me next week!

No Time! But I'm Still Alive (for now) June 5th 2018

Pictures to prove it:

(Also Jay was baptized on Saturday!! Wow what a great day!)

Big Holland has made an elder impact. May 28th 2018

So this week was the week Sister Anderson and I lost our brain. The email title is one of her gems during our weekly planning session. By the way, come to find out our brain was Sister Davis, who spent the week in the Union area! Which is where Sister Anderson is going this week, and then me the week after that. 

Luckily, even without Sister Davis we managed to not forget *everything* important...

We taught a lot, we went on exchanges with the sisters in Sikeston -- which was so cool, they know all the people I know!! Good ol' Sikeston <3 -- we helped our investigator Jay prepare for his baptism, which is happening this Saturday (!!!), and we found more people interested in learning more!


Next week pday will be on Tuesday, and I'll be going to the temple again. And the week after that our mission is getting a visit from a general authority! What a time to be alive.

And that's it folks. Talk to you next week!
Sister Fluegel 🐦

1-2. with Sister Anderson 
3. We tried fried squirrel!! Not bad until someone pointed out to me a spine...
4. A life-size, fake horse just standing in someones yard #missoura'
5-6. Sister Grogan on exchanges with me, ending the night at a dairy shop called Oberweis!
7. Just discovered filters on the phone...

With Faith All Things are Possible May 21st 2018

I can't BELIEVE this week.

Actually, that's contradictory, because if I didn't believe that everything could happen that did, there's a good chance none of it would have!

Faith is the first principle of the teachings of Jesus Christ. He taught that with faith as small as a mustard seed, we can move mountains. I've never personally moved a literal mountain, but there have definitely been spiritual mountains in my life I've been able to move, or find the strength to climb. And that's only because my faith isn't in myself. If we center our trust, our hope, and our belief in Jesus Christ, He is able to step in and work the greatest miracles ever done: the ones that happen inside the heart.

Whenever you don't feel like you're spiritually growing, whether that be repenting, or getting an answer to prayer, or feeling the Spirit, or whatever it may be, go back to faith. As I have built faith in my Savior, I have become more than I ever could be alone.

There has been sooooo much success in the past week! I finally got to meet Jay, who is a man the sisters were teaching before I got here and wants to be baptized on June 9th! He is such a character. There's a family we're teaching that are SO CLOSE! And all praying about a baptism date!! They told us they can see the small but miraculous changes in themselves as they've been coming to church and reading the Book of Mormon together. 

It's amazing to bear my testimony of the things I know to be true, but what's the greatest miracle to me is witnessing others gain and bear testimony that they know it too.

Thursday was our miracle day as far as finding. We set off at 10am and walked up a nice-sized hill, and it was a beautiful day! ....which wasn't good for Sister Anderson's allergies. At one point she started wheezing, and prayed someone would let us in just so she could breathe! Lo and behold, a woman let us right in not two minutes later, and we were able to share a message with her. We then visited an investigator we found last week and this time met her fiancee, who listened in too. They are really young and their baby is so cute!! We also met two other women who we were able to teach--as we were on our last street it started raining BUCKETS, but by then we all felt so positive and optimistic about everything we kept going and met Heather, who said God must have sent us to her. Wow I'm grateful for that experience--just as we finishing talking, the rain stopped. 

Sadly the triple-threat tri is being split up! One of us each week will be spending time in a  neighboring area, to be companions with a sister who's companion is unexpectedly going home. So I'll have a new area for one short week in a little while!

That's it for this week. Thanks for thinking of me and sending all your wonderful emails! I feel very loved <3

Sister Fluegel 🐦

1. Miracles in the rain!
2-5. @Zoneconf


Three is a Party! May 14th 2018

I had a surprising outcome for transfers this last time: I have two companions, so I'm in a tri again! Party every dayyyy! Also: I will be a sister training leader! Meaning my companions and I have sisters in other areas we are assigned to help teach, lift, and inspire. I always learn from other missionaries, so this opportunity to work with more of them at once will definitely be a learning experience for me!

I am serving in an area I've definitely heard of, it's called Rockwood 2, in the St. Louis Stake. Back in Missoura for the last time! My companion Sister Hardy and my trainer Sister Bustillos served here (love you two!!), so I'm simply following their footsteps. There is so much work to be done and not enough time to get it done! 

My companion Sister Davis is from Menafie, CA. She loves cooking/baking and has a really hilarious sense of humor that I didn't expect at first.

My companion Sister Anderson is from all sorts of places, but when people ask she usually settles on Albuquerque, New Mexico. She was in my MTC district the first 3 weeks of my mission and I've served around her a ton! We've joked in the past we'd end our missions as companions....gift of prophecy?

As far as the work going on here, there's too much to tell! We're meeting with a woman named Ashley who just moved in and is friends with members of the ward, and after we helped organize her baby's nursery (SO CUTE!! I want to hold babies again!!) we taught the first lesson. She had some awesome questions, like "Why did all the miracles and visions stop when the apostles died?" that led to some great discussion. 

We also met with a woman named Vikki that I've heard about from Sister Hardy, she's been investigating the church for almost a year!! It was an awesome time, we came in with a plan but ended up completely changing it, all 3 of us were impressed to talk about a completely different subject. It worked out great, and I think Vikki felt a lot better. She came to church yesterday!

Last (as far as I've met yet anyway), we were invited to the mother's day party of a family we're teaching and they hired a Mariachi (spelling?), a 3 man Spanish band! Wow that was some loud, awesome music that I didn't understand a word of! 3 definitely is a party!

And last it was great to skype with my wonderful family. I definitely am tired from the craziness of the past week, but a good kind of tired. I love you all, and I hope you have a wonderful week <3

Sister Fluegel 🐦

On to New Adventures! May 8th 2018

Would you believe it, they're kicking me out after three months AGAIN! I guess I'm just not the settling sort. Fine by me!

So this week was great, but I don't have time to tell the tale! Highlights:

-- We conducted a church tour using the 'Church Tour' app! Yay for technology! And it really helped Brian, who's kind of scared of people and the unknown. 

-- We taught Dan Ryan about prophets, the thesis of the lesson being: "A prophet does not stand between you and the Savior. Rather, he stands beside you and points the way to the Savior." It was a good lesson, and Dan Ryan committed (and when he commits he COMMITS) to reading the Book of Mormon. every. day. 

-- We taught the Shipleys about priesthood, temples and family history work! As I testified that these things were true, I had a very distinct impression that Belva's deceased husband is the one that led us to their door. Wow. I can't describe it, but it was amazing. And a great reminder that there truly angels all around us, lifting us up and sometimes guiding us to their families!

-- We enjoyed the SPRING. It's HERE! *knock on wood* But seriously, I think it's finally decided to end the winter blahs. We've enjoyed 60's to 80's most of this week, and the humidity hasn't hit like a brick wall *quite* yet so it's pretty enjoyable to be outside!

Well, that's it for now folks. No idea where I'm headed, but somewhere in southern Illinois or eastern Missouri, haha. Have yourselves a great week!

Sister Fluegel

A BUNCH of pictures to make up for last time!


Tuesday, May 1, 2018

May 1st, 2018 Just DO It (In Shia LaBeouf's voice)

My good friends!

I am thankful to be serving a mission! There were a few different times growing up I felt a desire to go, but I brushed it off. Then, when I truly started to turn to God my freshman year in college, I felt His love and His mercy--and the call to tell others about it. I went to a roommate's farewell talk, and I don't remember a single word of it except her quoting D&C 84:88. Which says, "And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up."

As she read that scripture, a powerful feeling washed over me. What I had only considered before suddenly felt like the only path. It was one of the few, rare instances I ever felt the Spirit speak in words to me (though I've been blessed with a lot more since). It said, "Yes. Go."

Of course, being stubborn and human, I immediately started questioning this feeling, pulling out all my doubts and all the barriers I felt were impossible to overcome. In answer, I felt the same words come. "Go. Yes! Go!"

When I was getting trained by Sister Bustillos nearly a year later, I began questioning what to say, where to go, what to do. I questioned if my ideas were from the Spirit, or if my impressions were impressions at all! Her words echoed the Spirit: "If it is good, don't question it. Just follow it." 

I remember during a very, very hard time on my mission, my mission president gave me some very simple advice I'm sure you've all heard before: "Just do it!" 

None of this is to say "doing" is easy for me, then or now. I am so weak sometimes! But all these experiences have taught me a principle I don't think I'll ever forget: God is always calling us to action. There is no gospel, no plan, no hope, no atonement, without action. We cannot stand still and progress. I could not receive the blessings I have if I hadn't gone on a mission. Jesus Christ could not be our Savior unless he atoned for us. Bill Decker could not be baptized till he was found! 

Sister Gillies and I took a lot of action this past week, and in acting, I think we qualified for the blessings that came. We found a woman who is ready to read the Book of Mormon and investigate the church, and be baptized if she finds it's true. A man walked into church on Sunday wanting to get baptized, already having been taught by missionaries in another state. (And recounted in perfect detail the story of Alma and Amulek escaping prison from the Book of Mormon! You can bet that was a first for me to witness!) We were also able to meet and help all the investigators we already have.

Our cup floweth over! For training Sister Gillies became the 'senior companion' last week too, and did an amazing job leading out on everything . I am really proud of her and the missionary she's become--a better one than me in many ways! Whether I leave or stay in this area, I am excited to see the work progress here more and more, and thankful for the blessings of the past 3 months.

Now on to my last transfer. Let's DO this!!
Sister Fluegel 🐦

BECAUSE we were so busy there was no quality picture-taking time! So enjoy some silliness instead.