Monday, September 4, 2017

Walk the Walk :) Monday September 4th 2017

Well, it finally happened, folks. My new companion is from Utah! 

Sister Hardy grew up in Ephraim, UT and was also in the MTC with me! She loves sports and books :) We've had a crazy-packed week full of teaching, finding and moving her in! I must say it's been a busier week in Sikeston than it has been in a while, and the busier we are the happier I am!

One lesson we had was with a woman who requested a Book of Mormon off of a Facebook ad! She was super sweet, her husband though was little crazy, haha. He asked us to call a family member that was struggling and pray for her, which we promised to do, but he couldn't wait! So right in the middle of us teaching he handed me his phone which was already dialing! Haha so we stopped for a moment and prayed over the phone with his daughter-in-law, who was a little confused too. Good times.

I've been reading a Conference talk daily, and this past week there were a lot of similar themes. One, called "Whatsoever He Saith Unto You, Do It" by Elder Clayton talks about the first miracle Jesus ever performed: turning water into wine. He compares us to the servants, who Jesus commanded to fill waterpots with water and pass to others. Elder Clayton points out: Did the obedience of the servants fix the lack of wine at the party? No!

A zone leader in my last district made a similar remark about Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. Though he had all power, he directed his servants to "remove the stone" before he performed his miracle, "Lazarus, come forth!" 

Did the servants removing the stone raise Lazarus from the dead? No! 

We as followers of Jesus Christ often forget his vital role. Yes, I'm out teaching people how to come unto Christ and be perfected in Him, but I can't *make* them "come forth," much less "raise them from the dead" as Jesus can. My role is to fill the waterpot, or remove the stone. Simple but diligent acts of obedience that give others access to Christ's miraculous love. 

 As Nephi puts it:

"And I was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do. Nevertheless I went forth"

The Lord promises to direct our paths, but for him to do that, we have to walk!

Love you all <3
Sister Fluegel 🐦
Picture 1: Sister Hardy and I!
Picture 2: driving through The Middle of Nowhere, MO <3


Walk With Him, Monday August 28th 2017

Hello Everybody!

Another great week in Sikeston, and last night Sister Mayne and I found out we will at last be parted! She's headed for who knows where, I'm staying here in Sikeston with a new companion to join me tomorrow :) I'm really excited new experiences and adventure! Something about a new transfer makes the work pick up speed!

This week we've made a lot of good strides and gotten back in contact with a lot of investigators we used to teach and are still interested! We also got to go on exchanges (see pictures below) and learn from our two wonderful STL's. 

On my own, I've been reading a General Conference talk once a day from this past April, and I read one that really struck my heart. President Eyring in it talks about how we are called to walk with the Savior, which means to do what he does and serve the way he serves. 

I've been pondering for a while the last sentence of Moroni 7, which says, "Pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ...that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.."

When I see my Savior again, will I be like Him enough to recognize Him for who He truly is? How do I best follow Him, to be filled with His love and recognize Him?

President Eyring supplied the following scripture that I'm sure I've read many a time, but never hit me the way it did this time:
(Mosiah 5:12-13) 

"I say unto you, I would that ye should remember to retain the name written always in your hearts, that ye are not found on the left hand of God, but that ye hear and know the voice by which ye shall be called, and also, the name by which he shall call you.

For how knoweth a man the master whom he has not served, and who is a stranger unto him, and is far from the thoughts and intents of his heart?"

We come to know Him by serving with Him. And, while connecting these two principles together, I felt a warm feeling along with a stronger testimony as to why I'm out here doing what I'm doing. One of the reasons the Lord inspired me to go on a mission was to show me the way to know Him.

I know He lives, that He's there for me, and has perfect love for us all.

Sister Fluegel🐦
1-2: Exchanges!!


We Choose Ourselves! August 22nd 2017

Well hello family and friends!

It's been another great week in the Sikeston area. We've been very blessed to keep finding more and more people who are willing to hear our message. Coming from an area where that was rarely the case, I won't forget what a privilege it is to practice my teaching skills, help others learn more about the gospel of Jesus Christ, and feel the Spirit testify of the truth I say. Teaching is something I've enjoyed even more than I expected, although it can be hard or nerve-wracking at times!

We got to stop for a second and watch the Solar Eclipse! It was pretty close to a full eclipse in Sikeston, though not quite. The crickets and tree frogs freaked out though, haha! Sister Mayne and I had no idea where to get the glasses we needed for it, they were out at the library and we couldn't find any at Walmart. Then suddenly a couple on their way up stopped us where we were weekly planning in McDonald's, and gave us glasses! The woman said, "We know who you are," and talked about how they live down in Texas and had a daughter who went on a mission. They paid for our lunch and thanked us for what we do.

It was such a tender mercy, and reminded me: I'm not alone! One of the many, many things I love about this gospel is that almost wherever you live, you can be part of it. We are a worldwide church, and the same thing that was taught in Sikeston at church this week was taught in Switzerland! 

Another thing that stuck out to me from this week was a scripture we talked about in District Meeting. Often in the scriptures we hear the phrase "Many are called, but few are chosen." We receive the call to act--to go to church, to be baptized, to go on a mission, to read our scriptures--but not everyone is "chosen." I don't think I entirely understood why until I studied this:

D&C 121
33 How long can rolling waters remain impure? What power shall stay the heavens? As well might man stretch forth his puny arm to stop the Missouri river in its decreed course, or to turn it up stream, as to hinder the Almighty from pouring down knowledge from heaven upon the heads of the Latter-day Saints.

34 Behold, there are many called, but few are chosen. And why are they not chosen?

35 Because their hearts are set so much upon the things of this world, and aspire to the honors of men, that they do not learn this one lesson—

36 That the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness.

We choose ourselves! When we act on the call, and act in righteousness, we are chosen. I know that's true--I know anything is possible as we follow and trust in God. 

I love you all! I didn't take any pictures like a dummy, I'll do better next week!

Sister Fluegel 🐦

Monday August 14th 2017

Hello folks!

I'm having a grand old time down here in Sikeston MO. August decided to be merciful to us for some reason, so it's been breezy 80s for the past few weeks along with some warm rain. I'm sure you were all wondering about the weather here, haha.

The work here is going . . . but not always in one direction, haha. At times there are a few huge leaps forward, and then other times many little steps backward when it comes to finding, teaching, and helping people change their lives. This week we've had many awesome days, and many not-awesome days. 

One of the best parts of the week was meeting with Hailey, who is 17 and was baptized last November. We've been teaching her mother Joelle, and since Hailey returned home she's ran into us a couple times and this week agreed to meet with us! it's been many months since she went to church. We talked, laughed, ate ice cream, and she opened up about everything. We're teaching her later today as well! Sister Mayne and I are really hopeful that we can help them progress--and be a happy family together. Its possible, even in the worst of circumstances, when we live the gospel!

Thanks to everyone who sends me emails, letters, and well-wishes. I've been very blessed <3

Sister Fluegel 🐦
Picture 1 Can't beat the Midwest!
Pictures 2-3 Our favorite family, the Greers, made us a blue pie!!

Bondage and Deliverance ;) Monday August 7th

It's been a long, good week over here in Sikeston, MO. Sister Mayne and I are seeing the work move forward in unexpected ways! There's a lot of people here searching for truth, and as I've come closer and closer to my Savior Jesus Christ, I want even more to help others to find Him. 

How we find Jesus Christ depends on the person. As Amanda Lucas (soon to be Amanda Johnson!!) once said, we all come to a knowledge of the truth according to our choices and the Lord's timing. I add my own testimony, that everyone has been given unique circumstances and trials through which to live according to 1) their choices and 2) God's plan for them. 

We learned this week that for Andrew, a man we've talked to over the phone for a while now but never met, that means the trial of a disapproving family. He opened up to us about growing up a Jehovah's Witness but since searching for something more--which his family is currently shunning him for. If he chooses to follow the truth he's learned through reading the Book of Mormon--that it's the word of God, and God's church is again on the earth!--they will permanently shut him out.

Trials such as his, weaknesses, burdens, addictions, and so on are in some way part of all our lives. That's not on accident. They can make life seem too hard, or unconquerable--and they would be, without Jesus Christ. 

Mosiah 7:33 teaches: "But if ye will turn to the Lord with full purpose of heart, and put your trust in him, and serve him with all diligence of mind, if ye do this, he will, according to his own will and pleasure, deliver you out of bondage."

In both the Bible and the Book of Mormon the people of God fall into bondage, sometimes because of their bad choices and sometimes simply because God allowed it. Trusting in an average human's "will and pleasure" to help us wouldn't be a very comforting idea. But upon reading this verse recently I remembered what my Father in Heaven's "will and pleasure" is: "To bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man."

When we place our trust in God, we will still face challenges and all forms of "bondage"--but we will have the comfort of knowing His purposes. And that's to bring about our lasting growth and happiness.

What an amazing, comforting message to be sharing every day! I'm truly blessed.

Sister Fluegel 🐦

Picture #1: At the farmer's market!
Picture #2: The Sikeston area's vehicle got upgraded
Picture #3: Sister Mayne's lovely mother sent us custom-made mission T-shirts!!! So cute!
Picture #4: These guys are everywhere right now--apparently because this coming week is "Rodeo Week" here in Sikeston. Supposed to be crazy!


Wednesday, August 2, 2017

July 31st 2017

Hello friends and family! 

I feel like way too many things have happened in the short span of seven days! Times like these my brain works best in list form, so:

1. We had a mini missionary with us! This is my second time, and I enjoyed the experience just as much and I hope Sister Nebecker did too. She already knows she wants to serve a mission, its so awesome how she's already preparing for it. Sister Mayne and I learned a lot from her and we saw so many miracles happen together! Small ones like getting a whole lasagna when our fridge was empty, and big ones like our investigator Joell!

2. So Joelle, who is the mother of a recent convert in Sikeston, has had quite a few lessons with missionaries. But this time she called us out of the blue and said she really feels like this is what she wants to do and what is true. Yesterday she came to church and loved it :) She committed to praying about a date to be baptized, and we're so excited for her!

3. We had a lot of extra miles (thanks to having a ride to Zone Conference!) and got to reach out to the farther parts of our area...and ended up lost on some dirt roads, haha. It was gorgeous though. There are so many places around here so few people in the world have ever seen! I feel privileged.

4. An awesome Pioneer Day activity that the ward put on! Video blew ;)

5. Last but not least, we had a wonderful Zone Conference up in St. Louis! What I learned? My mission president puts it very succinctly: 
"The act of "gaining eternal life" is an act finding. We gain eternal life as we earnestly seek after, find and discover Jesus Christ and His gospel (John 17:3; Romans 2:7; 2 Nephi 33:4; D&C 132:24). In our quest for eternal life the Lord also asks us to not focus on ourselves, but go and diligently find his lost sheep (Matthew 16:25; Luke 4:18; James 5:20; Mosiah 4:26; D&C 18:14-16; D&C 31:5) - when we do this, we are found as well.

As we "lose ourselves" in the process of finding Christ and serving others we will "find ourselves". We will discover who we really are in relation to God. We will uncover the talents that the Lord has given us. We will "find" peace to our souls (Alma 38:8). 

In the act of serving God and losing ourselves--we find ourselves! I am a living witness to the truth of that. Never have I understood who I am more than now. 

Love you!! 
Sister Fluegel 🐦

Too many pictures...make up your own captions ;)


July 24th 2017

Hello friends and family! 

Last week this library computer got funky and froze up on me, and now this week I forgot my camera! Just can't get the best of both worlds these days...

This week taught me a lot about the purpose of life. Yes, we're here, to learn and to grow, but why did it have to be this way? Why did we need to come to earth, to not remember our heavenly home, to experience trials and have weaknesses?

I don't have all the answers, haha, but I really feel God's love for me and for everyone more than I ever have before. He wants us to have everything he has--because he's our father!--and feel the joy he feels. And that means experiencing two very important things:

1. A body! We experience so much joy from having a body--yummy food, heartfelt hugs, smelling roses, you name it! 

2. A family! Heavenly Father's greatest joy is to have and help his children. That is his work and his glory. To feel a portion of that, we have the opportunity to grow up in and be a part of families here on the earth :)

Of course, these two things also involve a lot of trials, weaknesses, and tribulation. Everything good, I've learned, is also very hard. Being on a mission for instance can be rough--especially when I think of my wonderful family and how important they are to me.

But my family and I are sacrificing a year and a half of being together--so that other families can be together forever. That's worth it all.

Love you!!
Sister Fluegel 🐦