Monday, December 8, 2014

Weekly Updates

December 8, 2014

A White Christmas!
The greatest gift I've ever received in my life was being called and set apart as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This Christmas season for me is the best one I've had yet--because I have a different perspective than ever before. I see all these people rushing around and shopping and spending money, and I just feel so blessed to know what's really important. I was privileged to see the baptisms and confirmations of Jade and Avri on Saturday and it was an amazing baptism. They were so emotional and were in tears before they went into the water. Two daughters of God gave their lives to Jesus Christ this December, to show they'd follow Him forever. There's no better way to celebrate the birth of our Savior than to be a part of a baptism!
     So many miracles have been happening from the video, "He is the Gift" that our church put out 2 weeks ago. We have been showing it to everyone we see, and it seriously is so powerful. On Saturday we stopped by a couple who just moved in a  month ago, and they watched the video and loved it! They kept thanking us for coming and said they want to start coming back to church. We have a visit set up with them this week! Another family we are teaching; both parents are members and they have 2 little boys, were struggling with reading the Book of Mormon. The mom was at the library with her boys and as she was checking out their books, she saw a children's picture book called "My First Book of Mormon Stories" or something along those lines that someone had just returned, and asked the librarian, "Can I check that one out??" and she said, "Of course!". She started reading it to her boys and the older one became very interested in the stories and she was surprised at how much he liked it. Now they are more committed to read on their own! 
   Arianna who was baptized 2 weeks ago had an idea and called the Bishop asking if she could help the homeless people by doing a donation project with the ward, and she is running the show! The gift of the Holy Ghost is truly working in her already. Jade and Avri shared their testimonies in church yesterday, right after their confirmations, and made me cry of course:) We moved to the Randall's basement on Thursday, which caused me to get a giant bruise on my knee and a small but painful one on the bridge of my nose (gotta love heavy books falling on your face) and we are loving it because we have a mini kitchen to ourselves and even our own study room!! I feel so much more organized and less cramped. Our ward mission leader and his wife came by and gave us a mini Christmas tree with mini ornaments to put on it! We are so blessed. 
    We also had Zone Conference this week; which was a spiritually uplifting experience as always. President Hansen compared missionary work to golfing--I thought Dad would like this--and how you need to use all the clubs to get the golfball into the hole, just like you need all the different aspects of missionary work to help someone get baptized. You need the driver, chipper, putter...and all the other ones..just like you need to Find, Teach, Baptize, Retain, and Reactivate. I got to see Sister Juarez too, which was nice except I couldn't hug her because she was sick. Everyone we are teaching have been sick this week! Bronchitis, Pneumonia, the Flu, and other strange viruses, you name it they've got it. I'm so blessed I haven't gotten sick once all season so far. I really think it's that On Guard stuff my mom sent. Thanks Mom! My companion says thank you too! 
     Please watch the "He is the Gift" video if you haven't already. And share it on facebook/other social media sites! Share the gift of Jesus Christ with your friends and neighbors and family; by giving them a passalong card, showing them the video in your home, inviting them to come to church, or to listen to the missionaries!  In Doctrine and Covenants 14:7 it says, "And, if you keep my commandments and endure to the end you shall have eternal life, which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God."
       Eternal life is truly the greatest gift you could ever give someone--it's what Jesus Christ gave to us, and what we can give to others when we share the joy we have felt. I hope all of us can have a Christmas full of service, and showing the pure love of Christ to all around us.
 Love, Sister Fluegel

December 1, 2014


Happy December! It's been a slower week due to Thanksgiving and people going out of town, but the work has been hastening still with the new video called "He is the Gift" that the church just put out this week. We have pass-along cards we've been using as we talk with people on the streets and at their doors, and miracles have been happening already! We found 2 new people who want to learn from us and an older Catholic couple from Pennsylvania who all saw this video and felt the Spirit! The couple from PA had so many questions and we were able to give them a Book of Mormon, which the husband said he had just wondered the day before how he could get one, and they promised to read it and pray about it! They kept telling us we'd never convert them. Which is true--we don't convert them, the Spirit does. 

I just love the people in this area and all the growth that I've been privileged to witness and be a part of. We took Arianna and her mother Vera to Temple Square and they watched the God's Plan movie. Their father/husband died last year and it really touched her and she told us right after the movie that she was going to get her husband's work done and go to the temple herself so they can be sealed. It was a special night and I will never forget it. I just love seeing the gospel and the hope&peace that the temple brings come into the lives of those I love so much. Being a missionary is the greatest blessing. I've never had so many wonderful experiences as I've had here. The areas I've served in are holy ground to me; because that's where I've discovered and felt how real the gospel is by seeing it work in other people's lives. 

Love, Sister Fluegel

Pictures: Sister Loy&I at Temple Square, with Vera and Arianna, and this morning with the Sisters in our District after our 7am temple session!

November 24, 2014

"Let it Snow"
Last week was just amazing. We taught so many people and witnessed so many miracles! Arianna was baptized on Saturday and confirmed in her native language of Dutch on Sunday. She's had this different look in her countenance ever since the moment I invited her to be baptized and she said "Yes". She hasn't stopped smiling and it's been so beautiful to see her transformation as well as to see the blessings her decision has brought to her family. Her father died last year in the Netherlands and they've been ripped from their life as they knew it and came to a humble apartment in Layton Utah to live. Her mother is a member and just started coming back to church when she got here. They are now looking forward to having his work done in the temple and being sealed as a family. Christ truly does "heal the brokenhearted...and set at liberty them that are bruised." (Luke 4:18

     Missions are amazing...I can't think of a better way to build the foundation of my testimony than to study and teach the gospel every day. I've seen so many circumstances and challenges in others lives that have helped give me perspective on what's truly important. The examples of the people I meet and their faith in getting through hard things has helped me to know that I can endure whatever trials I am given and use them to grow closer to Heavenly Father and gain a better understanding in my heart of Jesus Christ's atonement.

Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving! 

Love, Sister Fluegel

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Weekly Updates

November 17, 2014

Sharing your Light

This week was so wonderful! We contacted a woman in the apartments with a member she knew really well. He knocked on her door and introduced us to her and we had an amazing talk about the gospel and Jesus Christ. She told us she was just thinking last night about how she'd like to start going to church again, and even though she is Catholic, she said she prefers the Latter-day Saint's church because we sing hymns. She accepted to learn from us and to go to church! Our ward mission leader and his wife picked her up yesterday and she went to Sacrament Meeting! The Spirit is already working on her and softening her heart to the truth.

    Arianna is excited for her baptism this Saturdayon Sunday she ran up to the stand and peeked her head over the ledge right before the meeting began and said, "Bishop, will you baptize me on Saturday?!" The whole ward is so excited for her. She's taken 7 months to decide whether she wanted to be Catholic or Mormon, and she is so confident in her decision she is practically glowing! It is such a privilege to be a part of her journey to making this essential and beautiful covenant with Heavenly Father.

    Thursday night we were double-booked so I split with Sister Anderson to teach a lesson with an older couple who haven't made it to church in a while. I had to teach all by myself, from the talk by Elder Scott, "Make the Exercise of Faith your First Priority". The Holy Ghost helped me so much that I didn't feel nervous or afraid and even the Andersons were surprised that I was so calm during it even when the discussion went off topic. I love being able to teach with the Spirit the truths of the gospel to others, at any time to anyone. It is such a gift to be a missionary!

    While I was at that lesson, Sister Loy went to the Jones, a family who is coming back to church actively and the two daughters want to be baptized in December. They missed me while I was gone and wrote me two little notes that said they missed me, and hoped to see me at church, and thanked me for helping them be better people and make it possible for them to get baptized. These kind of little blessings just make being a missionary so rewarding and I know I'll treasure those notes forever. There is truly nothing more beautiful or joyful than seeing those you love progress in the gospel. 

Love you all and hope you have a great week!!

Love, Sister Fluegel

November 10, 2014

Help Others on their Way

The last two weeks have been absolutely incredible. This week we had transfers and Sister Blankenship went to Centerville while I got Sister Loy from California. We are still the STL's which has been a blessing because she is teaching me how to be even better! Sister Loy actually came out 6 weeks after I did last year and we were in the same District in Layton way back. Then she came to the Bountiful Zone 6 weeks after I went there too. So she's been kind of following me throughout our missions in a way.It was pretty surreal for her to come back to Layton; reminded me of my first week here too.

The day Sister Loy got here we got so much done and that night we visited a family in the trailer park who were so ready to come back to activity! The father was a convert and has been taking his family to church for the last 3 months, and the mother and her two daughters desire to be baptized! We were able to set a date for their baptisms on Dec 6th! Throughout the week we had so many miracles I can't count them all, but I know I was led by the Spirit to go where I needed to go and say what others needed to hear. Last Saturday Toni, a 59yearold woman who was baptized in July, was able to go to the Ogden Temple to do baptisms for the dead her first time! Friday Sister Loy and I had no set lessons so we spent the whole day contacting referrals and walking instead of driving so we could meet more people. It was so much fun and I definitely stretched myself a lot as I invited and stood boldly for the truth even when others were mocking or belittling the church. One lady even told us that she would've been mean to us if we were Elders but we were too cute to be mean to. Perks of being a Sister! 

Saturday we had one of the greatest miracles--Arianna, who we took to General Conference, accepted the invitation to be baptized on November 29th!!! She had issues with the word of wisdom in that she likes sweet tea a lot. We taught the lesson and she was so ready to believe and understand why God asks us to take care of our bodies, which are like temples and are gifts from God. She is so excited and it's amazing to see her go from so much hesitation to so much happiness and confidence! 

Some quotes I wrote down in the many Sacrament Meetings/Primary Programs I attended yesterday:

"Taking the Sacrament  is like shaking hands with Jesus Christ every week"

"Never underestimate the power of music in conversion"

"This age is fraught with limitless perils, as well as untold possibilities"

"The revelation of a parent has its lasting effect in the personal revelation that continues in the child."

"Words are the only swords we have in this divine battle"

"Have faith, have hope, live like His son, help others on their way"

I'm giving a talk this coming Sunday and the one after that too. I love receiving revelation and insights in church meetings and classes. There is so much to learn!! Sometimes when Personal Study ends I just wish I could keep reading the Bible and the Book of Mormon all day and never stop! I hope everyone has a wonderful week and feels the Spirit every day!! 

Love, Sister Fluegel

October 27, 2014

Recognize and Follow the Promptings of the Spirit

This week has been full of trials, miracles, and blessings!! I honestly think it was one of the best weeks of my mission. Where do I even start...well, Tuesday I went on exchanges with a Sister missionary from the Navajo reservations in Arizona, Sister Horseherder. It was good to get to know her better and we talked a lot about obedience. I found myself answering her questions and giving her insights that I'd never even thought or said out loud before. Something I learned from the Spirit as we spoke was that you shouldn't be obedient for a companion, for your mission president, or out of fear of what everyone else will think. Obedience is first and foremost between you and the Lord, and you should be obedient because of an inward conviction that you have made promises and covenants with God and you are keeping them because you love Him. She told me later that that really helped her see things differently. It helped me too!

Wednesday was a refiner's fire...I was driving down a two lane road in Fruit Heights to drop something off to some sister missionaries in the zone, when this lady was making a left turn and totally didn't see me and ended up crashing into my drivers' side back door. I jerked the car away from her as much as I could before she hit me so it was only a small dent in the car, thankfully. Everything got taken care of, but I've been a little jumpy now when I drive because I've got this irrational fear that every car that gets near me is going to hit me, haha. Then after that we went to our recent convert, Toni's house and we found her in really bad condition where she was hallucinating and shaking. We called the Relief Society president who was there in minutes and thankfully she came back to reality. It was a traumatic day but through it all I felt the Holy Ghost with me, comforting me as well as giving me the strength to be strong and stay calm through it all. 

Thursday was Weekly Planning and District Meeting, and I got to teach our ward mission leader and his wife, who were both baptized less than a year ago, how to do family history. Friday was awesome because as we were driving away from dinner around 6pm, I got this urging feeling from the Spirit to go see Dennis and Kirstin, our investigators, and ended up having a heart to heart where we set up expectations with them. And I cannot put into words the elated, soaring, surreal moment I had yesterday when I turned my head to see Kristin and Dennis and their three children, Arianna, Caden and Sariah, walking into the chapel all holding hands with each other looking like angels. Seriously I swear I heard an angels' chorus of Hallelujah's and everything was slow motion like a dream...yes, my family of investigators came to church, all dressed and ready, 20 minutes early no less, and sat in a pew and listened to Sister Blankenship and I give our talks. My heavens I can't explain the explicit joy I felt...I never felt joy like this before my mission. I can just see them in the white baptismal clothing...sighh.... life is so good. 

Not only did this happen on Sunday but earlier there was a special moment in Gospel Principles class where Josh and Jessica, a couple I've been teaching since my old area in Layton who moved here to this stake while I was in Bountiful, bore their testimonies of what gives them a fullness of joy. Jessica expressed that she feels the most joy when the missionaries come over, because they're all together as a family, and even after the missionaries leave the whole evening is just spent together. She was getting teary-eyed and then her husband got all choked up and expressed the same thing, that he's never felt so happy with his family before the missionaries came. It was one of the most beautiful moments and I felt so honored to be THEIR missionaries. I wonder how I got to be so blessed to have so many wonderful experiences and come to know and love so many elect, special people on my mission. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else.

Something I learned personally this week was that the Holy Ghost is always speaking to us, but it's our job to put our minds and hearts into a place and setting where we can hear Him. I've noticed the last few weeks that I've gotten small little thoughts and impressions to go there or visit that person, and it's proved to be at the exact moment we needed to be there. When I received the prompting to see Dennis and Kristin on Friday night, it was stronger than ever before, and I wondered why I felt it stronger that time. I've realized that the Spirit always prompts us at the same level of loudness, but it's us who are either more or less receptive to hearing him, and when we follow the little promptings, he begins to prompt us more often and we feel it stronger because we've built up a trust with him where he knows he can depend on me to act on it. I love learning and developing my relationship with God through prayer, study, and acting on faith. I also love having trials and hard things to get through, because I always know there's a miracle coming. 

I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Weekly Updates

October 20, 2014

Charity Never Faileth
I can't believe October is almost over! Wednesday will be my official year mark of when I entered the mission field! I've learned so much since that day I took the Frontrunner up to Salt Lake, toured Temple Square, met my trainer, Sister Wright, and started the journey. I've been so blessed with wonderful, hardworking companions who've taught me Christlike attributes like faith, hope, love, charity, diligence, obedience, and patience. I'm learning how to fast with more devotion, to thirst for knowledge in the scriptures, and to pray more often and more purposefully than ever before in my life. This week has been extremely busy: we had 2 exchanges with Sisters in the Kaysville Zone, went on splits with members 3 times, and did a training on working with members for one of the District Meetings. 

I've learned this week that true charity is the pure love of Christ, which means we never lose hope for anyone, no matter where they are at. An ability I've gained on my mission that I didn't quite have as much before was to see every single person as a child of God, with the potential to change, with the potential to follow every commandment, with the potential of repenting and being blessed by the atoning sacrifice of Christ, no matter how old they are, what culture they come from, or what past they've had. I received the happy news that one of the people I taught in Bountiful, an elderly woman who hadn't been to church since she was baptized 50 years ago, is coming to church again! I love this work and the fact that I feel so good about my actions and my purpose every day when I go to sleep at night.

Last week for Preparation Day we hiked Bear Canyon in Kaysville, and today we are carving pumpkins. The members here are so kind and thoughtful. I never want for food or anything I need. I couldn't be more blessed!

Love, Sister Fluegel

October 13, 2014
We've had a great week here in South Layton! So many people are returning to church, and working towards the temple. Sadly two people who wanted to be baptized moved out of our area, but we had a miracle on Saturday that led to another person to teach! We had received a referral by text from the Temple Square Sisters to contact a man that lived in some apartments. So we had been going by every day almost to knock on the door and we got no reply each time. Then, Saturday morning around 11am we were driving to the Family history center to update our online progress record, and the man's name popped into my head and I turned on the street that led to those apartments. As we got out of the car to go to his door, this man walks through the parking lot and says, "Looking for me?" and we had a great conversation and he is really interested to know more. We are so excited to teach him this week! 
       Yesterday was pretty busy, we went to Stake Council at 7am and saw a returned Sister Missionary report. Everyone asked us if it made us trunky, but I think it had the opposite affect! I'm so glad I still have a good amount of time left before I report home. We were in church meetings and ward councils until 4pm and then we taught lessons from then to 9pm. I love busy days! I've felt the Spirit so strongly in lessons this week-it was so powerful to feel the testimonies of those we are teaching and see their conversion grow. Even through the hard times, there truly is no greater joy. I was reading in Isaiah today, and loved these verses, 
   "Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord JEHOVAH is my strength and my               song; he also is become my salvation. 
   Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation. 
   And in that day shall ye say, Praise the Lord, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make      mention that his name is exalted.
   Sing unto the Lord; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth.
   Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee." Isaiah 12:2-6

Love, Sister Fluegel

October 6, 2014

Dear Family&Friends,

It's been an incredible week in the Layton Holmes Creek area! The highlights were taking Arianna and her mom to Saturday Morning General Conference, having dinner with a woman who wants to come back to church and asked us for the discussions, interviews with our mission president, and getting to serve the Sister Missionaries in the Zone almost every day in multiple ways. A year ago today I said goodbye to my family in Illinois and flew to Salt Lake City. I remember looking over the valley at the Salt Lake Temple and all the surrounding area, and thinking, "This is my home for the next 18 months." I know this mission is exactly where I belong, and it makes me so happy to be here every day serving the Lord with so many wonderful sincere people! 

General Conference was such a special experience for me. I felt the Spirit each session, and I loved the emphasis on families, on being kind to everyone, on the role of a prophet and what sustaining him means, and all of it, really. Our mission president taught us that when we take notes, we should write something we learned, then what we're going to do about it. I am so grateful that we have a prophet and apostles today that guide and direct the church according to how Jesus Christ wants. I feel like every day I come to know Jesus Christ better. I love the song that goes, "Oh Hallelujah, how I love my Savior, oh Hallelujah, that I do." 

Love, Sister Fluegel

Weekly Updates

September 29, 2014

Hello everyone! It's been a rainy last few days in Layton, and Sister Blankenship and I have been loving every minute of it. There were so many miracles this week. We went to see Kristin and brought the ward mission leader's wife with us, and shared a message about the Book of Mormon and prayer and the Holy Ghost. She expressed to us that she always feels peaceful and good inside when she walks into a church building, like she did last week during our church tour with her. Then we asked her to say the closing prayer and she told us she'd never actually knelt down and said a prayer, and wanted to know how! So we taught her how to pray and the Spirit was there and it was so special to be a part of her journey in starting her personal relationship with Heavenly Father.
     We also had an incredible experience with the General Women's Meeting on Saturday. Another pair of Sisters in our zone had 4 extra tickets to see it in the Conference Center in Salt Lake, and we got them on Friday night. You can imagine Saturday morning we were calling everyone we could think of that could come with us, since otherwise the tickets would go to waste. We kept praying in our hearts all day, and finally we just accepted that no one was going to be able to come. In one last act of hope, I looked up and down our progress record to make sure we didn't forget anyone. I saw the Watman family and realized they hadn't called us back. So we called Sister Watman again, but she didn't respond. She has a daughter my age who sometimes comes to our Family Home Evenings at their house and we were so hoping we could take her and her mother with us. We decided to just stop by their house and ask them in person, but as we drove down the road Sister Watman called us back, was so excited to come and said she'd ask her daughter. When she hung up, we said a prayer together in the car, asking that her daughter would say yes. No less than 2 minutes later, Sister Watman called and said that it was a YES!!! After we planned it out, we hung up, and decided to say another prayer together, this time of thanks to the Lord for softening the heart of her daughter. 

The night was amazing and both Sister Watman and her daughter loved it. We were talking about it later and her daughter said, "I don't know why I said yes, because usually when my mom asks me to go to things like this, I always say no. But this time when she asked, I just said yes and realized that I actually did want to go!" I know that Heavenly Father will answer the sincere desire of your heart when you pray in faith. I think that our prayer was so focused on the Watmans and desiring that they could have a spiritual experience, rather than ourselves, that Heavenly Father did everything in His power to make it happen. Before my mission, my prayers were most often centered on what I wanted to do. Now they are all about others and their happiness and salvation, and when your prayers are centered on that, there is no way Heavenly Father won't grant you the righteous desires of your heart. I thought about my mom, my grandmother, and all my sisters watching that Broadcast at the same time as me, but I was blessed to be there in the Conference Center helping a mother and daughter who aren't yet sealed as a family forever. The gospel truly is here to bless our families. 

Love, Sister Fluegel

September 22, 2014

Hello Everyone! Yet another week has gone by and I'm starting a new transfer here in Layton. Sister Blankenship and I are staying together for at least 6 more weeks, which we are both happy about! We had many wonderful experiences this week, with seeing the Ogden Temple Dedication yesterday to top it all off. My favorite part was singing the hymn, The Spirit of God because it just made me so happy to sing and shout Hosanna with all the great people in this stake around me. My twin sister expressed to me how singing this song with a big group of young adults made her feel like it must have been in the premortal life, when we all lived with Heavenly Father and sang praises together for Him. I thought of that as we sang and I felt the Spirit so strongly. 
     Something else we've been doing this week is that we've been using our bikes a lot more, which has led to meeting and contacting many more people. My skirt got stuck in the bike at one point but thankfully one of our recent converts let me use her sink to wash it out. We've been carrying our mini hymn books too, because we both love to sing and we've been wanting to use our talents more to share the gospel, so we sang to some of our investigators and recent converts to help them feel the Spirit through music. Toni, who got baptized in July and doesn't know any of the hymns, asked us to keep singing another and another because she loved it so much. 
   I can't believe how happy being able to serve the Lord all day every day makes me! There's nothing more fulfilling than serving God and His children. I love the scripture in Alma 32:28, that says, "Now, we will compare the word unto a seed. Now, if ye give place, that a seed may be planted in your heart, behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed, if ye do not cast it out by your unbelief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts; and when you feel these swelling motions, ye will begin to say within yourselves--It must needs be a good seed, or that the word is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to enlighten my understanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious unto me." I've felt the word of God enlarge my soul and enlighten my understanding, as I've studied it, taught it, testified of it, and lived it, and it just keeps growing day by day and becomes more delicious to me than anything this world could offer me. 

Hope you all have a wonderful week! 

-Sister Fluegel

September 15, 2014

      It's been 5 weeks since I've been in Layton/Kaysville, I can hardly believe it! Transfers are next Tuesday and Sister Blankenship and I are hoping to stay together. This area is just flourishing! We've been finding 2 new investigators every week and last week we found 3 new people to teach! It's incredible because when I first got here there wasn't much of a teaching pool and I kept praying to be led to the prepared and elect people in our area, and we are now finding them! We are teaching a young couple who were living in Montana, but had bad influences and decided to just escape to Pheonix Arizona, but things didn't work out there and after 2 weeks they came to Utah, where he grew up. He is a member and she is not. They are so humble and so full of desire to do what's right and follow Jesus Christ. They came to church 2 weeks ago and that's where we met them! They came to church yesterday too and stayed for all three hours! And during Sacrament they were reading their Book of Mormon's, she seemed to really like the hymns, and he was fervently praying during the passing of the Sacrament and it was such a good experience! There were two missionary farewells, one going to Japan and another to Indonesia, so that was good for them to hear too. Only in Utah are there farewells every week in almost every ward...:)
       Some neat experiences this week-I was invited by a convert in my last area in Bountiful to come to the temple there and see her do baptisms for the dead for her first time! It truly was a miracle because when I was there she was having a really hard time coming to church, and she was very hesitant to go to the temple and be baptized for her mother. But I helped her get excited about family history enough to get the paper printed off for her mother's work to be done, and then I left. But this week I was able to be present for when she did the work for her mother, and she told me when she went down into the water she saw her mother in a white dress with white roses in her hair and she was just crying as she came out of the water because she was so happy she could do that for her. 
       We are working very closely with the stake leaders to progress the missionary work in the Holmes Creek Stake. Our stake president gave us 10 referrals to go see and we've been reporting to him on them and we've already found tons of new people to teach from him. We went to 7 Ward Councils yesterday, and helped them to see a vision of how they can help the recent converts in their wards to progress. Something I noticed was that many recent converts are not as involved in the wards as they could be. Our mission president says that converts should be doing family history, going to the temple for baptisms for the dead, receive a calling, receive the priesthood for males, and be going to all three hours of church all within their first month of being a member. Just making those things aware yesterday in the ward councils and to the stake leaders I think helped the Bishops see a greater vision in the potential of recent converts. I am so amazed at how the work is hastening! I can barely keep up with the amount of work we need to do every day. It feel so good to always be on my toes and finding success every day because of it. We are teaching 16 people who aren't members yet, 11 of which are actively working towards baptism, and there are so many more out there that we are trying to meet and make contact with. It's such an exciting thing to be part of! I've never felt so much joy doing anything else. 
      Last week I wasn't able to fast because I was really sick, but this Sunday I fasted and felt so great all day as we ran from ward council to ward council to all these different Sacrament Meetings to Gospel Principles Class to meeting with the Stake President, and I was just elated with the joy of missionary work all day and all evening, even when the family we were going to teach got sick and we went to visit some other people we knew and found out that one of them isn't a member and has a lot of questions she wants answered and she was so excited to read the Book of Mormon! It was incredible how the Spirit just led us in everywhere we went and everything we said. I am looking forward to the Ogden Temple Dedication on Sunday, and Gavin is getting baptized on Saturday. I am so grateful for the understanding I have of the plan of salvation, and that we have the restored gospel of Jesus Christ on the earth again to help us know how to raise our families and make correct choices and be happy with our families forever. The people in Layton have been waiting for a long time to have their Ogden Temple back, and it's inspiring to see how excited they are for the dedication this week. 
     I could go on and on about all the wonderful experiences I've had this week, but hopefully this is good enough for now. Hope you all have a wonderful week! 

Love, Sister Fluegel

September 8, 2014 

Dear Family&Friends,

It's been an incredible week in the Layton Holmes Creek area! The highlights were taking Arianna and her mom to Saturday Morning General Conference, having dinner with a woman who wants to come back to church and asked us for the discussions, interviews with our mission president, and getting to serve the Sister Missionaries in the Zone almost every day in multiple ways. A year ago today I said goodbye to my family in Illinois and flew to Salt Lake City. I remember looking over the valley at the Salt Lake Temple and all the surrounding area, and thinking, "This is my home for the next 18 months." I know this mission is exactly where I belong, and it makes me so happy to be here every day serving the Lord with so many wonderful sincere people! 

General Conference was such a special experience for me. I felt the Spirit each session, and I loved the emphasis on families, on being kind to everyone, on the role of a prophet and what sustaining him means, and all of it, really. Our mission president taught us that when we take notes, we should write something we learned, then what we're going to do about it. I am so grateful that we have a prophet and apostles today that guide and direct the church according to how Jesus Christ wants. I feel like every day I come to know Jesus Christ better. I love the song that goes, "Oh Hallelujah, how I love my Savior, oh Hallelujah, that I do." 

Love, Sister Fluegel

September 1, 2014

This week has been the most busy, tiring, and rewarding week ever! I can't believe how blessed I've been. We had a mission tour with Elder Arnold of the Seventy who came and taught us new ways to improve our work and make better use of our time. We had a miracle happen Dennis, the man we were referred to by other missionaries who ran into him. We talked at his door and he was supposed to call us but he didn't. After emails last week, we went to Walmart to get some bug spray because I'd been attacked by mosquitos and even spiders last week. As we were leaving the camping isle, guess who we run into?? Dennis!! He was definitely surprised to see us and it was such a coincidence that we all knew it was divinely planned. It was so cool! 

He told us he should have called us and we met his wife and daughter and later in the week we were able to teach the whole family. The kids came up to us as we were leaving and kept giving us hugs and wanting us to stay. Dennis said that as I was talking, he felt this tingly feeling and he was just wanting us to keep talking so he could keep feeling it. Even though this has happened throughout my mission, it was just as amazing to hear it again that the message we gave and the Spirit we carried with us was felt by all those in the room too, and that is a witness that can never be taken away. 

We had so many amazing lessons with people this in particular was with a woman and her 22yearold son who've never really been active, and when we testified about the Book of Mormon we could really feel the Spirit in the room, and I found myself explaining it in a way I never had before, which was neat because I was learning from the Spirit as much as they were! When we gave the son his own Book of Mormon, he held it in his hands like it was this fragile, special gift we had just given and he couldn't believe he had his very own copy. 

We also had a baptism this week! Jordyn was invited by her neighbor friend Nikki to come to church and it brought back her whole family into re-activity! It just goes to show that anyone can do missionary work, even kids! Yesterday we had so many miracles--two part-member couples came to church and asked to be taught, many less active members came to church, our investigator Gavin is loving Primary now and his mom is loving church, and so many other wonderful events I can only say that I know the hand of the Lord was in every little thing that happened throughout each day. 

Something I learned this week is how the truth doesn't have any gray areas. The gospel is never true, except-- or true, but-- or true, if-- it is is just true. I think of how beautiful and peaceful eternal life will be, and I want it so bad that I will do everything I need to do to get it. If that means paying a full tithe the rest of my life, attending my church meetings every week for the rest of my life, and giving of myself to serve in demanding callings, and do family history and temple work, and be steadfast and immovable in defending my faith despite persecution or trials, then all the better! Those things will make me prepared, worthy, and ready to have eternal life. Who wouldn't want that? It is the only way to be truly happy, and have complete and perfect joy. I've felt that joy as I've seen others embrace or re-embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ. Who wouldn't want that all the time? I know I do. 

Love you all! 

-Sister Fluegel

August 25, 2014

Today we're emailing in the Joseph Smith Memorial building because we got to go inside the Salt Lake temple this morning! It's been one of the busiest weeks of my mission so far. My new responsibilities as a STL mean I need to go on exchanges with all the Sisters in the Kaysville Zone. So on Friday I spent the day in Fruit Heights with one sister and Saturday I spent all over Kaysville and Layton with one of the Spanish-speaking sisters. It was an interesting experience not being able to understand anything anyone said all day, but I picked up a lot of words thanks to my two semesters of spanish. I found after a while I could kind of figure out the general topic of conversation. I really came to love and appreciate the Sisters I was with for all the faith and dedication they show in their work. It came surprisingly easy to love them, and to let them open up and just be a caring and listening ear.

The work continues to roll forward and we encounter miracles every day! Yesterday a man came into one of our church buildings off the street, and our ward mission leader brought him in and he went to a sunday school class and then a sacrament meeting. He said he wasn't a member, but he was visiting a friend and out for a walk, and just felt inspired to come in. 

Also there was a man who was waiting at an intersection and met some sister missionaries who had a really good conversation with him and got his address. We got his address and went to visit him Monday night and he told us how it must be a sign that he needed to look into our church again because he's never run into so many missionaries in a row like that. It's amazing how Heavenly Father prepares people and puts us in their path at just the right time.

This week I am going on two exchanges again, except I'll be the one staying in my area for two days in a row. I have a pretty good idea of how to get around the area, it's just finding addresses that still takes a lot of time for me because I haven't memorized the street names/numbers yet. But it'll be good for me. On Friday we have a Mission Tour with Elder Arnold of the Seventy, which I am so excited for! And on Saturday we should be having two baptisms. Hope you all have a wonderful week! Make it a good one! 

-Sister Fluegel

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Weekly Updates

August 18, 2014

This has been my first week in the Layton Holmes Creek Stake! I'm technically in South Layton but in the Kaysville Zone. It's so strange to be back in Layton but I'm loving every minute! My new companion Sister Blankenship and I have had so many miracles happen this week that I can't possibly write them all down! But here are a few of them. 

In my previous area of Layton I taught the Dubon family, a young couple with a little girl who wanted to come back to full activity in the church, but they were moving and told us they promised to meet with missionaries in their new area and start going back. Well, turns out they live in this very area that I cover now! I am so excited to teach them again and I know I was sent here specifically to help them more!

More cool things that happened was that we shared a message at dinner with a family who had invited their neighbor over, and the scripture was 1 Nephi 21:16, that says, "Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me." This scripture is where Christ is telling us that He can't forget about us, just as a mother can't forget her child, and even if she does, He still can't. Christ is with us through all of our trials, He is walking beside us and never gives up on us. Why? Because He has paid the price, and graven us upon the palms of His hands. He truly did suffer and die for each one of us, and that is why He understands us perfectly, better than anyone else. 

The man they invited over had been less active for years, and told us that he really needed that scripture and the part where it talks about the walls he took as the walls we put up between us and the Lord, and He is continually trying to get through to us but we are the only ones who can let Him in. Then the next day we found out that he told his neighbors he wants to learn more about the gospel from the missionaries and get back to church and eventually the temple! I almost cried I was so happy and surprised and amazed that our little spiritual thought, something small and simple, could bring to pass such a great and marvelous change in someone else! 

This area is incredible! Sister Blankenship and I have so much work to do every day, and the members are so supportive. We get referrals almost every day, and found 3 new investigators last week. We currently have 9 progressing investigators who are all working towards baptism. I've already got most of the area down and am now working on memorizing the grid system here. I love how easy it is to find addresses in Utah. We have a car but we use bikes in the evening when it gets cooler so we can contact more people and it's cooler outside. It's the first time I've biked in a skirt in my life, so that's been a fun adjustment! We've made so many exciting contacts with people on the sidewalk that I have a strong testimony that God directs you exactly where to go to find those that need you. We passed a woman waiting at a bus stop and gave her a book of mormon and as we biked away I glanced back and saw her open it up and start reading as she waited for the bus! 

Also being a STL has been a growing and learning experience for me this week. I've been to a few leadership meetings and we are starting exchanges this week. Last night one of the Sisters in our zone needed a blessing, so we were present for that as a new Elder gave his very first blessing! It was amazing to see his faith, though he was very hesitant and nervous at first, as he trusted in the authority and power of the priesthood he holds and that the Spirit would direct his words. And the Spirit did just that! My love for people has grown so much on my mission, and my love for the Sisters in my zone is just growing more and more too! I am grateful for my new calling as an STL because it is helping me to stretch myself and giving me more opportunities to serve others. 

Hope you all have a great week!

August 11, 2014

Wow this week has been so full of surprises! I received a phone call from President Hansen Saturday night and he asked me to be an STL, or Sister Training Leader. It's like being a Sister Zone Leader. I am so excited and feel honored to serve the Sisters in my new zone, the Kaysville Zone! My companion is Sister Blankenship from Tennessee, who was my STL in Layton a few transfers back. 

I'm a little sad to leave Bountiful; but the people will always be in my heart and I've had so many amazing sweet experiences here that have helped me grow. We started a Book of Mormon Study and it's becoming a success! On Thursday we had about 17 people there from 3 different wards, including a recent convert and a woman who hasn't been to the church building in 20 years but she came to support us because she likes book clubs and I think she sees this as something like that. We had so much support from the members who came and participated and I felt so edified afterwards.

Other things that happened this week: We ran into a couple at a ward activity who had Sister Missionaries like 8 years ago and they told us to stop by sometime. One night it started raining like crazy (almost rivaled a midwest thunderstorm!) and we were not sure if we should wait out the rain or go try to contact people...I suggested we just go see this one family that told us to come by, and we ended up meeting their 18yrold son who has all his high school friends on missions and was really friendly to us. I loved working in the rain, it felt like Illinois a little bit. Later when Sister Holt and I were on splits she stopped by again and they talked at the door again and he expressed his views on religon and the Book of Mormon, and he said he'd read Moroni 10:3-5 and give the book a chance. All his missionary friends email him every week so he has a lot of support.

There is so much I've learned this week, but one thing in particular that stands out in my mind is that when you start feeling insecure, inadequate, stressed, or unhappy, you just need to stop thinking about yourself and think about the people who you can serve. Serving others is seriously the answer to all our problems. I learned that lesson when I was 16 and my grandma helped me through a hard time by making it a goal to do a kind act of service every day for someone else. I found that by the end of the first week, I wasn't sad or down on myself anymore, but felt happy and like I had made a difference in someone else's life. There is nothing that brings greater joy than serving someone else out of love. If everyone put aside their own fears, worries, and insecurities, and went out and served others, the world would be a much happier place. The phrase, "Forget yourself, and go to work" is so liberating to me because it's so much easier to forget my own fears and just trust in the Lord and focus on the needs of others. I am so grateful for all the people who have served me and lifted me up when I was struggling, and I am even more grateful for the opportunity I have now to be a missionary and lift others. 

August 4, 2014

This week has been full of amazing experiences that have strengthened my testimony and proven to me how when we press forward with faith, everything works out right. A couple of weeks ago we came up with some ideas on how to find more people to teach, and Sister Holt thought of something they did in Rose Park, which is to hold a Book of Mormon class where a group of people get together every week to read it and talk about it together. We started it this week, and as we get the word out more and more people will come, participate, and bring their friends. Other churches often have Bible Study classes open to the public for anyone who wants to come, so we have been so excited to start this and some of the people we work have committed to coming as well. We've been teaching like crazy lately! We have so much to do every day there's hardly enough time for it all. The members are supporting us with coming to lessons, inviting others they know to listen to the missionaries, and introducing us to people they know that we never knew about!
   On Thursday Sister Holt was really sick and she made it through the day until dinner, when she felt so bad she had to stay home. Conveniently, we had planned for an adult sister in one of the wards to come out with us, so I was able to split and still go out and work! The sister had a daughter on a mission in Chile and she felt really nervous to come with me because she'd never been out with missionaries before. She suggested we go see her brother who doesn't come to church anymore, and she introduced me to her friend whose husband was baptized 3 years ago but they've been coming less and less frequently and she wanted to check up on her. It was a memorable visit--I shared a scripture and she started asking me really deep questions about that scripture and thankfully the Spirit helped me to answer her. It was just a really awesome night and I would have never known about those people had the member who went out on splits with me not introduced me. 
I know and have experienced that when members and missionaries work together to help the lost and struggling ones, they are hastening the work of salvation. Heavenly Father has a plan for all of us to be happy, and I'm so grateful for the missionaries who found my Great-Grandma Betty in Freeport Illinois over 60 years ago so I could have the knowledge of that plan and share it with others. There is no greater joy than lifting and bringing others unto Christ because you are helping Heavenly Father with what makes Him the most happy too. I love being a missionary and being privileged to work with this small but precious portion of His children in Bountiful Utah. 

Love you all and hope you have a wonderful week!

July 28, 2014

This week has been quite the busy week in Utah! The 24th of July is Pioneer Day, a state holiday, and it's celebrated 100 times more than the 4th of July. Normally when you've got such a huge cultural event happening, people are more busy and missionary work slows down. But not for us! We were blessed with back-to-back lessons all evening Monday,Tuesday, and all day on Wednesday. We met this future-missionary Rylee who has her call to Romania who has been coming with us to lessons all week too and we've been helping her with preparing for her mission. My birthday was on Tuesday and it was the best birthday I've ever had! I woke up to balloons and a big sign on the garage saying Happy Birthday. Between Monday and Tuesday I got about 4 birthday cakes and a lot of cookies. It was pretty cool. The best part of my birthday was the lesson we had with this part-member family and the parents finally opened up about how they felt and it was just a 5 star lesson and the best way to end the night! I got a package from my family back home too and somehow they all knew what I needed the most. 
      I've learned that when you work your hardest and trust in the Lord, miracles happen! Last night we prayed again before walking down Bountiful Blvd and we met 3 people who weren't members and one of them was from Nashville Tennessee and she and Sister Holt connected over the south. She told her, "If you're in town for another Sunday we'd love to see you at church!" and she said thanks and that she was a Southern Baptist but "I'll think about you this Sunday". It was so exciting because up here it's so hard to find people walking in a public area, and yet our prayers were answered and we were led to those we needed to talk to! I've had so many amazing experiences this week, but there's too little time to tell them all! I just want to let you all know I'm happy and I'm right where I'm supposed to be. Being a missionary has changed my perspective on life and on the gospel for the better. It's amazing how putting into practice what I've learned all my life really solidifies the truth into my heart. 

(Picture-Rylee and us the night of the 22nd)

-- Sister Fluegel