Tuesday, October 21, 2014

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 week...one 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

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