Monday, July 21, 2014

Weekly Update

July 21, 2014

Oh my goodness I've had such beautiful and spiritually uplifting experiences this week. As a missionary, you're always on the front lines of the work of salvation and you are privileged to see it progress every day all day of your mission. It's amazing, really. You live on this whole another plane of life--people around you go about their daily activities, going to work, school, sports, the grocery store...and yet we live among them but are constantly visiting the struggling, the forgotten, and the lost ones. It's so exciting to be a part of! I often feel like I'm living in a whole different world.

I had the most wonderful experience Thursday evening, Sister Juarez had permission to come from Tooele and we met Carmen at the Bountiful temple and we were able to be with her as she was baptized for her own mother, and a family from her ward helped in baptizing her father. We sat on either side of her as she watched her father who she never knew have his work done for him, and she reached out and held my hand and I held it in both of mine. It was such a special, tender moment I'll never forget. As we walked out of the confirmation room, I put my arm around her and she told me that she felt the Spirit so strong when I touched her, as if the Spirit was coming from me! What an incredible evening it was for all of us. I reminded her that she can come do baptisms for the deceased any time she wants, and she said, "Can I come every day??" I have such a strong testimony of the temple, and the peace and comfort it brings in the midst of turmoil and stress of our everyday lives. Carmen looked up at the Bountiful temple for 23 years, and I think she appreciates it more than most members who have access to it. 

I have such a strong conviction and knowledge that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ live--they are real beings who have a real and perfect love for each one of us. I have felt their love in my own life, but feeling His deep love for those who have strayed off the path or are searching for it, and those who completely don't want a thing to do with Him, has truly changed me and my understanding of that love. Those of us who have the knowledge and understanding of the blessings of the gospel--the peace of mind and conscience it brings, the temple and all it offers us, that families can be together forever, that little children don't go to hell if they aren't baptized, that there is a purpose to life on earth, and that there is a glorious future for all of us--how can we keep this glorious news to ourselves? If it truly is in our hearts, it should be natural to want to share it. If we love God, and we love our fellow brothers and sisters, they will feel our love and trust what we say when we share the great news we have been given.

 I know--because I have exercised faith--that this is the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. I love the work, I love God, and I love my Savior. I have loved the first 9 months of my mission, and I know I'll have even more wonderful exciting and faith-building experiences for the next 9 months. 

Love, Sister Fluegel

Monday, July 14, 2014

Weekly Updates

July 14, 2014

Things are going very well in Bountiful. Our mission president gave us permission to read the book by Clayton Christiansen called, "The Power of Everyday Missionaries." I read it during personal study the whole first week of July and could barely put it down. One of the things I learned from it was that often, especially with those who struggle coming to church, people don't want to hear about how they need the church, but rather how the church needs them. We visited a lady who LOVES indexing and holds the record in the Stake for the most names indexed. We asked if she could help us learn how to index, and she was so excited to teach us and even offered to feed us lunch! And she came to church the last two weeks, and I happened to be in her ward during Fast and Testimony meeting, and she later told me she appreciated my testimony that I shared--when I had no idea she was even in the congregation listening! There have been so many miracles this week, it's impossible to talk about them all, but I just want to say that from my experiences this week, my testimony has been strengthened, my love for others has grown, and I am ever more determined to stay true and faithful to the restored gospel that I know is true with all my heart. "The Lord Knows Best." 

July 7, 2014

This last week has been the hottest one yet this summer. We got up to 106 degrees. I had the opportunity to go to Temple Square with Mandy and it was a good experience. We also found a family that hasn't been to church much since they moved here 9 months ago, and we had a wonderful visit with them. Later in the week, Saturday night, we came over to read scriptures with them. I was trying to think of a good chapter to read that would uplift as well as inspire them. I remembered really liking that scripture mastery in Seminary, Alma 34:32-34. We ended up reading the whole chapter of Alma 34 with them, and the father opened up and told us how thankful he was that we had come to his family, and reminded them of Christ and all he went through for us, and he told us an amazing story from his mission in Japan where he finally understood the atonement. Then the daughter bore a sweet sincere testimony and made everyone in the room cry. They came to church the next day and stayed all three hours! It was so special to me that because I studied and paid attention in Seminary, I was able to use that knowledge to bless that family. I never thought I'd actually apply all those scriptures in Seminary to real life, and it's so wonderful to see the Book of Mormon work miracles in others' lives. It truly is the word of God. I am so grateful for all the sacrifices from the prophets who wrote it and kept it safe, and from Joseph Smith who translated it. We are so blessed to have the Bible and the Book of Mormon to guide us and keep us on the right path.