Tuesday, January 9, 2018

The Best Kind of Week: Busy January 8th 2018

Wow this week flew by! So many great things happened.

We haven't taught anyone new in a while, but this past week we met a lot of wonderful people interested, so this coming week should be full of exciting new experiences and challenges.

As for those we continue to teach, we are making slow but steady progress! Bill continues to come to church, read and pray, and this Sunday received a wonderful priesthood blessing. He continues diligently to know if what we are teaching is true, and I know he will in the Lord's time and when he's ready for it! Ed and Darla are a wonderful couple we are getting very close to, they've now attended church twice and watched the Joseph Smith movie with us yesterday! Darla especially is beginning to feel and understand the Spirit better.

LUCY!!! This week was her baptism, which we were so blessed to be a part of! She was excited and nervous the morning of, but after the service was over came up to us crying and saying, "I feel so happy right now." I'll never forget that. :') At church she got up and bore her testimony! I feel so privileged to know her and support her, she's going to do amazing things. Pictures or it didn't happen!

I love this ward and the time I have served here so far, I can't believe 7 weeks have already passed! Sister Lowe is a blessing to me every day as well, I'm not sure what I did to deserve her. I love all of you and can't tell you how much I appreciate your well-wishes, support and encouragement. 

As for President Monson's passing this week, I was sad but mostly glad he can now move on and be free of his earthly ailments. His last words to us were about the power of the Book of Mormon. I can testify of its power myself--as I've experimented and acted on his invitation to prayerfully read and ponder the messages it contains my life has changed. No one can take someone else's word on that, though! Each of us as individuals can only know the truth if we seek it ourselves.

I love you!
Sister Fluegel 🐦

Happy 2018!!!! January 1st 2018

Hello Friends and Fam! No, I have not frozen to death quite yet! But I have not used my email time very efficiently, so here's some pictures.

Love you <3
Sister Fluegel

Picture 1: We stopped by Bill's! My cheeks were about to freeze off!
Picture 2: Bill's dog Jacob, the whole reason we met Bill :)
Picture 3: Trying out some fun Christmas presents

Light the World Final Week December 27th 2017

This week I saw four wonderful children of God witness and partake of an ordinance, receive welcome and fellowship, and obtain the blessings of sacrament attendance! I always thought having more than one or two investigators at church would be crazy stressful, but every one of them had ward members to sit by and help. Lucy told us she's given away almost all of her baptism invites already! We are going to help her start Personal Progress. Her baptism on January 6th is set!

Bill has been attending church for a full month now, but is struggling to recognize an answer to his prayers. I've been studying how to recognize the Holy Ghost, and found how diverse and unique each experience of my own has been.

For instance, Sister Lowe and I had an amazing time just yesterday in our companionship study, talking about the priesthood and motherhood and how they work together. I learned so much as we talked, and afterwards recognized how the Spirit had guided our conversation to a deeper understanding of our divine nature and the roles women and men play to accomplish the same goal. Other times in my life I've read a scripture and it applies to me in an insightful way, or I've poured my heart out in prayer and feel love and peace. I look back and can see even the answers I had to wait and wait for, and meanwhile press forward in faith, were eventually answered. 

A principle I've learned as I've taught others about asking and feeling the Holy Ghost, is that God is merciful and loving and patient, and so will not send us an answer we aren't ready to receive. If we aren't willing to act on the answer or accept it *as* the answer, He will wait. That is why, often, it takes more than simpy asking:

Matt 7:7 "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you." 

We ask in prayer, we seek in the scriptures, and we knock as we keep His commandments. I can promise that the answer will come at the right time and when we are ready to receive it​​​​​​!

Our other investigators are progressing more slowly, but I can't tell you how much I love them all. I am sad that my first transfer here is almost over already! Sister Lowe and I continue to learn each other and have been enjoying our time in Jacksonville so much. 

I have been pondering and writing down some principles I want to implement in my life now and through 2018, like "First and foremost, fan the flame of your faith." I'm still working on the plans to set around them. I invite you all to prayerfully set goals this week for the coming year and make plans to accomplish them! Thank you as always for all your love and well wishes during this season.

Happy New Year!
Sister Fluegel

The Jacksonville District (or 'Sis'trict as we call it) and Ed and Darla, who we spent some of our Christmas with <3


Monday, December 25, 2017

Light the World Week 3 December 17th 2017

I am a big believer in Christmas Miracles! 

Not because God only picks one month of the year to work miracles--the scriptures tell us he works miracles according to our faith. Around this season people draw nearer to each other and nearer to their Father in Heaven, opening their hearts to his love: the greatest miracle.

A wonderful young girl named Lucy is set to be baptized on January 6th. She shared her testimony with us last week, and this week we were able to meet her family as well, who are all wonderful and supportive. Sister Lowe and I are working with the ward to make sure all goes well :)

Another highlight was teaching the Plan of Salvation to Bill, the man we met our first week walking his dog and have been teaching ever since. I love teaching this lesson, and I boldly told him that the things we share will very likely feel familiar, even if they are new. He looked at me a little incredulously! Haha but from the very first part of the lesson and on he kept saying, "Yes, I already know this" and "Yes, that's true, that makes sense." He is praying and reading the Book of Mormon to know if it is true.

Another highlight was a long-time investigator named Stacy who, after many cancellations and concerns about church, finally decided to come! He told us after Sacrament Meeting that he was driving around debating and debating about coming, and suddenly heard the voice of God say "Come as you are." And come he did!

I testify that Jesus Christ lives, and the way to true happiness in this life is by learning of him and following him. Because of his sacrifice, death is not the end, mistakes are not permanent, and love will conquer all fear. He is the matchless gift of Christmas.

Merry Christmas to you all! I was updating this email list and I hope you know how much I care for each of you individually as well. May we remember the reason for the season :)

Sister Fluegel 🐦
P.S. The video is our district's lame attempt at the 'Friends' title sequence, haha


Light the World Week 2 December 11th 2017

One of my favorite quotes this week was from the Book of Mormon (surprise surprise): For that which ye do send out shall return unto you again, and be restored." Karma is true doctrine, ladies and gents!

To put it plainly, this was an amazing week. We put so much hard work in, and we saw so much progression in those we are teaching! Three of them have committed to a date for baptism! And two came to church this week. The members have been helping us so much, and we've been able to serve them a lot too! 

This week involved cleaning, helping build a door, going to St. Louis for a training meeting, more raking leaves, making cookies, wrapping gifts, hosting a Book of Mormon study, teaching like crazy, and then a moment or two every now and then to sit down! 

In those spare moments, I've written down some of the endless things I've learned on my mission thus far:

1) How to communicate
2) Obedience = blessings!
3) True success is a feeling more than an outward result
4) Your testimony strengthens the more you  bear it!
5) If you rely on the Lord you can't go wrong!
6) First and foremost, fan the flame of your faith
7) How to love everyone! And that you have to start with yourself
8) I can be a leader
9) Exact obedience brings *miracles* (aka this week)

I know that I'm on the Lord's errand right now, and that this is His work, not mine. As it was once so eloquently put: "If this wasn't the true church, the missionaries would have ruined the whole thing a long time ago!" Even when I'm working my absolute hardest, nothing would happen if it wasn't His work, His angels bearing me up. 

I love you and hope you have a great week!

Sister Fluegel​​​

Light the World Week 1 December 4th 2017

It's been a long week but a great one! Sister Lowe and I have been working hard and seen so many miracles. I have been too busy emailing individually though!!

Basically, we've been nonstop go go going, visiting and teaching, doing service, and helping the ward! From our efforts two people came to church and many are progressing and reading the Book of Mormon! So amazing stuff, basically.

I am so blessed to be here, I love the Lord and I love you all! When you have a spare moment, think about what you can do for someone else today ;) I promise you will not only brighten someone else's day, yours will be brighter!

Sister Fluegel 🐦

Back in the Homeland November 27th 2017

Ladies and gents, they finally sent me to my home state! Hello Illinois!

Its pretty far south of my roots though, haha, so there's plenty new! Jacksonville, IL is a cute old place with beautiful Victorian homes (one of which we live in on the bottom floor), a college, a deaf school, and an industry in making Ferris Wheels! Also, the Mormon Battalion traveled straight through here! Great stuff.

The ward has a few deaf members and an interpreter stood up the whole Sacrament Meeting, signing!! So cool. The missionaries are encouraged to learn ASL here, so Sister Lowe and I have been practicing the alphabet and learning some vocabulary!

By the way, Sister Lowe: the most prepared brand new missionary ever. Love this girl. She's from Idaho Falls, Idaho, turned 19 last month and went straight on her mission! Its crazy to think its been 10 1/2 months since that was me! But I'm glad to be here with her and help her along her way :) 

We met with an investigator of the missionaries here before us, who really connected with the convert member we brought. We hope to be setting a baptismal date with him this week, and finally meet the other investigators the elders had been meeting with! 

We were trying to find one of them and ended up in a tiny town off Jacksonville called "Litterberry", obviously in the wrong place. I still felt like we should take the opportunity to knock a few doors, which allowed us to run into a man named Bill Decker we approached and shared the four minute restoration with--after much practice and roleplay!--and he gave us his phone number and address and wants to learn more. Miracles left and right, basically.

And #lightthworld is about to start! I hope you all take the time to look at the video and check out ways you can make the world a little brighter this Christmas Season. mormon.org is the place to go to see it and download the calendar!​