Monday, April 13, 2015

Weekly Updates

April 13, 2015

Too Many Blessings to Count

 So many things are on my mind; this is my last week as a missionary in the Great Utah Salt Lake City Mission and I don't know where to start because my heart is so full of complete joy and gratitude at the incredible blessing it has been to serve as a representative of my Savior Jesus Christ. Heavenly Father has done so much for me, and for the people who I've loved and lifted up. Alma says it perfectly, 
       "Behold, who can glory too much in the Lord? Yea, who can say too much of his great power, and of his mercy, and of his long-suffering towards the children of men? Behold, I say unto you, I cannot say the smallest part which I feel."
        This last week was so wonderful and full of people to see and lessons to teach. Yesterday miracle after miracle happened as we followed the Spirit and contacted a woman who ordered a Bible on She invited us in and explained how she is at a place where she feels so lonely, lost and confused and wants to find the right path. She grew up in Boulder, Colorado and moved to Ogden with her husband, but after a divorce she is now in Farmington. We connected with her and shared a scripture in the Bible she could read. She wants to meet with us regularly and learn about what we believe, especially life after death. I was so overwhelmed with love for her and for my Heavenly Father who directed us to her. I'm so excited for her journey to begin!
        I have seen countless blessings come to my life through the study, the service, the diligence and the obedience I've practiced throughout my mission. Many say it is hard to adjust to missionary life because you have to leave the world and your old self behind. For me, it was hardly a sacrifice at all to let go of my cell phone, my internet access, my social life, my selfish desires...because the second I gave my all to Christ, it was like a weight was lifted off my shoulders and I was free to go out and serve and spread the gospel to everyone who would hear it! And that is what has brought me the greatest blessings and joy, more than I can ever express! 
        Some of the things I've acquired from my mission are:
-A greater love for the scriptures; and giving myself adequate time to immerse myself in them
-A greater appreciation for my parents, and all my family relationships
-An understanding of the great importance of covenants and ordinances in entering and continuing on the path towards eternal life
-An eternal perspective on the trials and challenges in life
-A greater faith in the potential and agency of other people, that they can change at any given day or time for the better
-An understanding that there is no greater joy in life than when you participate in the work of salvation 
-To look at everyone as a choice, beloved and precious son or daughter of Heavenly Father; not to judge 
-Though I may not understand and be able to fix other people's trials and problems, Christ can
-To appreciate and love anything gospel related and love learning!
-That living the gospel and commandments to the fullest will bring the fullest understanding and fullest blessings we can be given
        Yesterday in Sacrament I was thinking about how my calling as a full-time missionary has been my entire way of life the last 18 months, and how next week when I'm released I wondered what my calling would be then. I thought about my family, about family history work, and sharing the gospel among the people at home; and the Spirit reassured me that my new calling wouldn't be all that different, but it would be that of a Member-Missionary. That's not all that different from what I'm doing every day here; I know I will be okay and adjust fine. 
             I'm looking forward to this week; with Riley going to the temple to do baptisms for the family names I helped him find and more wonderful people to see and teach and help! I'm going to miss all the wonderful people I love so much here. They have become just like family to me. I am so grateful for every precious day I've had in Layton, Bountiful, Kaysville and now Farmington. It's been a full, grand, miraculous 18 months. I have come to know my Savior Jesus Christ so much better, and come to know who I am as a daughter of Heavenly parents, too. 

Love, Sister Fluegel

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Weekly Updates

Happy Easter!

Monday April 6, 2015

What a wonderful Easter weekend it has been! General Conference was amazing; we were able to go with Heaven and Ray and their friends, as well as with Riley and Stephanie. I loved all the messages about families, temples, and the plan of salvation! There are so many great things happening in Farmington. Heaven is officially starting the stop smoking program this week and it'll be my first time teaching it. I'm so excited! We are finding a lot of new people to teach; particularly Sister Doutt, who wants to prepare to go to the temple even though her husband won't come to church with her and we are teaching them family history/temple prep starting this week! 
      One of the biggest things I've gained from my mission is the appreciation for the words of the Prophet and Apostles. I made an effort over the last 6 months to read all of the talks and write in my thoughts/feelings in the margins of my Conference Ensign magazine. It's been used so much that I had to tape it all back together. I'm so excited to have the May Ensign when it comes out and start reading all the talks. It is such a blessing to have modern prophets, seers, and revelators to guide us in our lives! 
     Love, Sister Fluegel

Pictures: Saturday Afternoon with Riley and Stephanie
Sunday Afternoon with Heaven and Ray
Heaven and Ray in front of the Temple

Monday, March 30, 2015

Weekly Updates

March 30, 2015

Staying Close to the Spirit

This week I've really thought about the difference between how close I was to the Spirit before my mission compared to now. My whole life before my mission, I struggled with feeling the Holy Ghost and recognizing answers or feeling sure that I was following his promptings. I even felt bitter at times and frustrated that I wasn't getting answers to prayers. It wasn't until I decided to start praying about a mission that I started to understand how an answer came. I studied it out in my mind, went with the Sister missionaries to their lessons, asked questions here and there, fulfilled my callings, attended the temple, and slowly but surely I began to find confidence in myself, that I could be a missionary. My prayers were like this, "Please let me know if I should go on a mission; and if I should, please give me the desire to go." And that desire came so strongly that I began to yearn and hope and want to serve a mission so badly, I'd do anything and everything it took to go. 
     A lot of missionaries tell me how hard of a transition it was to go from normal life to being a missionary. I admit it was hard because it was all new to me, but it was so wonderful and easy to leave the worldly things behind and just focus on the gospel all day every day. The greatest blessing was the overwhelming presence of the Holy Ghost, guiding my thoughts and words, calming my nerves and filling me with peace and confidence, testifying of true principles and filling me with the burning desire to share what I already knew to be true.
    I've often wondered why I felt the Spirit so much greater the day I walked into the MTC compared to anything before, and I think it has to do with 2 things. One, that I was called and set apart as a full-time missionary and representative of Christ, but more importantly, that I was living my life in a way that brought the Spirit into my life! I was studying the scritpures for hours every day, I was praying out loud and in my heart constantly, hourly, if not every few minutes. The spiritual practices that the prophets ask us to do are what help us be close to the Spirit. When I feel directed to go somewhere, talk to that person, knock on that door, share a certain experience--I just do it. I don't hesitate, I don't question, and I look back and know the Spirit was helping me the whole way! When we are exercising faith, praying constantly, studying the scriptures daily for a meaningful amount of time, and going out and living the gospel and sharing it with everyone around us, we can feel the influence of the Holy Ghost with us no matter what our stage or calling in life is at the time. 
     Friday we had a fast with Heaven to help her quit smoking--she made it too! She went the whole day without eating food or smoking, and then we had dinner at her neighbor's house and she told us she wanted to quit for good, and crushed the cigarettes in her hand, and we planned with her and Ray for their wedding date and a baptism date within the next few months. It's amazing to see the power of fasting in overcoming addictions and gaining self-control. I have come to know through my experiences and my studies that every commandment and principle that Christ has given us is truly for our good, and when we act in faith to live it, that is when true miracles come. I love being a missionary and feel privileged every day to be in the Farmington area at this wonderful time of the Lord hastening the work of salvation!

Have a wonderful week! 
Love, Sister Fluegel

Monday, March 23, 2015

Weekly Updates

March 23, 2015
On the Winning Side

Something I've been thinking about this week is that we are in this constant battle between good and evil, and yet despite all the ups and downs, we are always on the winning side when we are doing good. Saturday was a special day for me; I was able to attend the Bountiful Temple with Tia, a woman I taught in Bountiful, as she received her endowment, and right after we had Riley's baptism! It was amazing to see a woman who, after a year of faithfully walking the path she entered at baptism, go to the temple and just be so changed and happy. It seemed like she had everything working against her and I often worried while I taught her that she'd not stay on the path to getting to the temple. But seeing her there, all dressed in white, was proof to me that good truly will always win. Afterwards she said, "I want to be a temple worker!" She's taking her mother's name that I helped her find last summer for her own endowment this week.
     Riley's baptism was special too, his parents came to support him, along with a lot of his friends from Salt Lake Community College. He received the gift of the Holy Ghost yesterday and it was just amazing to see him embrace the gospel. Right after Sacrament he had an interview with the Bishop to be ordained to a Priest in the Aaronic Priesthood next week, and to fill out a temple recommend. We're taking him and his girlfriend Stephanie to General Conference next week, and after that we'll go to the temple to see him perform baptisms on behalf of family ancestors he's found! It's so satisfying to see all the parts of the work of salvation working together towards true conversion. Starting family history has already brought him closer to his parents, and he knows that baptism is an essential step towards attending the temple. 
 Some neat things that happened also this week: 

-We went over to do some family history with Sister Higdon who was recently sealed to her family, and she told us the night before she had a dream that she was at the temple and trying to get her mother's temple work done, but didn't have the paper to print off the cards and was all worried she'd lost it. We helped her search her office until we found it, and I told her that her mother must really want her work done soon, since people don't have dreams like that for nothing!

-We went on visits with a relief society presidency and I suggested to the woman I was with that we should share a scripture and say a prayer with them. She said, "I have the perfect one!" and it was so inspiring to see her boldly and lovingly share the scripture in Mosiah 24 about the Lord lightening the burdens on their backs, to a woman who had recently gone through a divorce. It was one of the most spiritual visits I've been on and the woman said it was exactly what she'd needed. 

-On another visiting night with a relief society president, we accidentally knocked on the wrong door of the apartment complex of someone we were trying to see, and it ended up being another woman who was going through Chemo treatments for breast cancer who really appreciated the visit, and we knew it wasn't coincidence that we went to her door instead. 

-We had an amazing lesson with Ray and Heaven. We had originally planned on something completely different to teach, but Ray had just gotten home from the mechanic shop he works at and he had drilled a deep hole into his hand so we had to make it short so he could go to the IHC. As the Ward mission leader said the opening prayer, I prayed and asked what we should leave out and what we should focus on. I looked at the lesson plan I had written on a sticky note and felt like we should just share the scripture D&C 95:1. In it, Heavenly Father tells us he loves us 3 times in one verse. Ray told us he had never realized before that Heavenly Father loves him perfectly no matter what he does. He was so choked up he couldn't speak, and everyone could feel the Spirit in the room. Our WML gave him a blessing of comfort and offered to babysit their boy while they went to get his hand checked out. I'm so grateful for the Spirit guiding us to know exactly what they needed. 

I've been so privileged to see so many wonderful and marvelous events throughout my mission, and this week was no exception. This scripture in Alma really stood out to me and describes how I feel to have the holy calling of a full-time missionary:
     "Being called and prepared from the foundation of the world according to the foreknowledge of God, on account of their exceeding faith and good works; in the first place being left to choose good or evil; therefore having chosen good, and exercising exceedingly great faith, are called with a holy calling..while others would reject the Spirit of God on account of the hardness of their hearts and blindness of their minds, while, if it had not been for this they might have had as great privilege as their bretheren."
    Serving in the calling of a missionary is the greatest privilege I've ever received. There is truly no greater joy than participating in this marvelous work that has come forth; and bringing your own soul salvation as you work to help others have it too. We are truly on the winning side!

Love, Sister Fluegel


March 16, 2015
Be of Good Cheer

  I've had many opportunities this week to learn and teach about the atonement of Jesus Christ. To atone means to set "at one" those who have been estranged from one another. Because of our fallen state as mortals who sin and make mistakes, we are distant from God. Jesus Christ's suffering for our sins, dying on the cross, and being resurrected 3 days later made it possible for us to correct or overcome the consequences of sin. In John 16:33 Jesus tells us, "In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."
     This knowledge has given me so much hope in my own potential and the potential of every human soul I meet. The world is constantly changing; we are constantly changing every day, every hour. We all have the capability to choose, any day, any time, to change our lives for the better by taking hold of the atonement that Jesus Christ provided for each of us. On Saturday I was able to take Heaven to a baptism in my former area of Layton for her to experience what it's like. She told me afterwards how she hoped that could be her someday soon. 
        Baptism is one of the vital steps to partaking of the atonement of Christ into our lives. Keeping the commandments He has given us, praying in faith to receive personal answers and forgiveness, partaking of the bread and water of the Sacrament each week, and ultimately, entering into the temple to enjoy the greatest blessings Christ has offered us and our families. It's such a beautiful and complete plan! 
       I have also found so much joy and clarity in reading the Book of Mormon each day. I've made a goal for myself to finish it before I finish my mission. As I read each day, I am coming to understand Jesus Christ and his atonement better every day and the Spirit comes into my life and I'm filled with strength and the capacity to do all things. Each day is a blessing to serve and lift others in this small part of the world. Heavenly Father has blessed me in countless ways and I can hardly take it all in! 

Love, Sister Fluegel

This is the Watsons, a couple who live in Chicago and knew my grandparents from serving in the Chicago Temple! It's a small world :)

March 9, 2015
A Davis County Missionary

Hello everyone! It's a beautiful sunny spring day here in Farmington, and I found out this morning that this transfer, (the next 6 weeks) I'm staying in Farmington and finishing Sister Eisele's training. I am so happy to be spending the last 6 weeks of my mission with such a wonderful companion and area. I have grown to love all the people here, and found many to help and share the gospel with. We are anticipating the baptism of Riley in 2 weeks, and taking Heaven and Ray to General Conference for a Sunday session.
  One of the scriptures I really like is Mormon 9:19 that says "And if there were miracles wrought then, why has God ceased to be a God of miracles and yet be an unchangeable Being? And behold, I say unto you he changeth not; if so he would cease to be God; and he ceaseth not to be God, and is a God of miracles." God is truly the same yesterday, today, and forever, and it makes sense that He would still cause miracles to happen today. It is according to our faith in Jesus Christ and His atonement that determines how our prayers are answered and miracles to happen. 
    This week we saw many miracles. It seems like with every story, there is a series of events that has to happen and each little event leads to another, and pretty soon you look back and realize that each little event was a miracle that led to another miracle that produced a really big miracle. Saturday night we stopped by the Stitts, who are from Michigan. The mother was a convert in Michigan, but her 23 year old daughter struggles with her testimony. As we were talking at the door, the daughter said that Sister Eisele looked familiar to her. When asking where she was from, they both realized they were from the same stake in Michigan! They had actually met before at Girls Camp, and we had a great time getting to know them better and making connections. It was definitely not a coincidence. Sister Eisele is definitely here for them.       
    Sunday morning I was rushing around the apartment before church, making sure I didn't forget anything, and I saw my wallet on the table. I had this feeling I should take my temple recommend out and bring it with me, but that was a silly thought and I hesitated. I felt impressed again to take it out and figured it wouldn't hurt anything so I did. Last night as we were talking with the Stitts and finishing our lesson, we were talking about following the Spirit's promptings even when it doesn't really make sense to us. I mentioned that it happened to me that morning and I pulled out my temple recommend and said, "I don't know why I brought it with me still!" and Sister Stitt threw her arms in the air and said, "I haven't gotten the stake president to sign my recommend yet! That's why you brought it! I needed to be reminded to get it signed so I can go the the temple again." I'm so glad I followed through with that prompting from the Spirit, and had faith enough to see a miracle.
    We also have been seeing so much progress with Ray and Heaven! We've been trying to help them pray together as a couple, to help them be unified and know for sure if they should get married. Heaven told us at our last lesson that she finally tried it--and afterwards she felt warm all over and good inside and said, "It was exactly like you guys told me would happen!" They are really excited right now about family history and the temple. Our last lesson I told them about how a family is sealed together in the temple; the couple kneels across an altar facing each other and they have two mirrors behind them where they can look into eternity, and they bring the children in and have them put their hands on top of the parents hands and they are sealed as a family. Heaven's eyes got big and she said, "Ray we have to do that!" and then she said, "Even though I'm the one holding us back since I'm not baptized.." We helped her understand that they are on that path and Sister Eisele gave her a picture of someone going through the steps of the gospel of Jesus Christ, with the temple along the way and baptism being the gate to the path to eternal life. I gave them a picture of the Salt Lake Temple to help them remember what they're working towards. They are so special to me and I hope I can see them get married and possibly see Heaven baptized before I leave. 

I have been so blessed on my mission thus far--I've served in Layton, Kaysville, Farmington and Bountiful. I'm what they call in my mission a true "Davis County Misisonary" now. I am so excited for the weeks ahead, with Conference coming up. I hope all of you can have the chance to prepare for and have questions that you can have answered as you watch Conference this April. God is still a God of miracles, and our faith can bring those miracles into our own lives. 

Love, Sister Fluegel

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Weekly Updates

March 2, 2015

The Book of Mormon Changes Lives!

I can't believe it's already March! The weather here has been so dry and mild; we fasted for rain yesterday because Utah is really low on their water supply for the summer. Yesterday I had the opportunity to share my testimony in the ward where Riley goes. He came all by himself and we sat by him so he wouldn't be alone. I mainly talked about how each temple built pushes away more darkness, and we can all be like lights on a hill like the Bountiful temple is. I also said that we feel the greatest joy when we share what we have with others. Then the lady who heard us speak in church a few weeks ago and wanted us to teach her friend happened to be visiting that ward and got up and shared how she had the impression to approach her friend because the Sister missionaries inspired her. I feel so blessed to be meeting her friend this week! 

We had a neat lesson with the Barber family who has been trying to come to church regularly. We've been reading the Book of Mormon with their family, and at first it was hard for them to get involved in it, but now they are really enjoying it and learning! We read 1 Nephi 15-16 and I shared my feelings on when Laman and Lemuel hardened their hearts in their trials rather than inquiring of the Lord of what they should do. I felt the Spirit guiding me to say things in phrases I usually never use, and be bolder than I usually am. I saw Sister Barber glance over at her husband a few times as I spoke, and later when we left he said "thank you" very sincerely. The next day we got a text from Sister Barber thanking us for the lesson because they have recently gone through some really hard trials and they really needed to hear about not hardening their hearts. The Spirit really does work through us to speak to the hearts of others. 

We had many opportunities to teach and serve this week. One instance was teaching a combined young men/young women lesson about March's theme, The Atonement of Jesus Christ. It was great to hear the testimonies of each of the youth as they explained how the atonement had helped them. It's such a blessing to help spread the excitement and fire of the work of salvation to everyone! 

Sister Eisele and I have been doing so well together. She is really getting used to missionary life and finding joy in it. The people we teach can feel her genuine and great love for them and she is softening hearts everywhere we go. It is also a great blessing to work with the members and leadership here and seeing how much success comes from gaining theirs and the Lord's trust in us! I feel so happy and blessed at this point in my mission. Carmen from Bountiful sent me a wonderful letter this week and it just makes me feel so wonderful that she is still going strong and growing in the gospel. She should be going to the temple sometime after her year-anniversary of her baptism this May! 

I love serving the people of Farmington every day and feeling the guidance of the Spirit. I know I am an instrument in His hands in bringing the happiness, peace and joy of the gospel to those in search of it. I love my family and am so grateful for their examples and support. I pray each of you are turning to the Lord in your trials, and trusting in His goodness and mercy towards you. Love, Sister Fluegel

We said goodbye to President Hansen on Thursday. Sister Eisele got pictures of me saying goodbye. Our new President and Sister Spendlove came on Friday. Sister Spendlove actually came with Sister Eisele and I Saturday evening to all our appointments to meet us and see the mission a little bit! It was such an honor to be the first Sisters in the mission that she met! She is so kind and warm and loving. I am so grateful for them!

This is a little girl whose family is coming back to church. She loved the Story-teller "toys" I brought her to play with. (Thanks Grandma!)

February 23, 2015

"He that Diligently Seeketh, Shall Find"

 I've learned a lot this week about accomplishing miracles. It takes diligence and obedience, and the right mindset. When we want something, we sometimes get it. When we desire something, we usually get it. But when we yearn for something, we always get it. When our yearnings are in line with the will of our Heavenly Father, we cannot fail. I have seen when I make a goal, and diligently plan, work and pray for it to happen, it always is accomplished. Before I came to Farmington, I yearned to help more people access the atonement by bringing them to the waters of baptism before the end of my mission. I feel so blessed with all the success in finding people who are ready and prepared here, and to be their guide.
  This week we witnessed Gracie get baptized and confirmed a member of the church of Jesus Christ, and it was such a special experience. We taught her of the importance of the temple, and she said as we showed her a picture of it, "That's where I'm going to get married someday." That statement brought her grandmother to tears, because she normally talks about how she never wants to get married. Riley decided he wants to get baptized March 21st, so we are helping him prepare for that wonderful day! Emmie met with us this week at our ward mission leader's house and she and his wife got along really well. They all came to church yesterday and had a great experience. We are so excited for her. She told us that she kept putting off meeting with us until 2 weeks ago in church she heard a talk that was about baptism and she felt like it was all meant for her to hear, so she asked us that night if we could meet again with her. So many miracles are happening and keep happening! 
  I know as we diligently seek for answers to our questions through mighty prayer and scripture study, our hearts will be opened and we will know what the Lord wants us to do. Nephi describes how to find the truth for yourself perfectly:

 I, Nephi, was desirous also that I might see, and hear, and know of these things, by the power of the Holy Ghost, which is the gift of God unto all those who diligently seek him, as well in times of old as in the time that he should manifest himself unto the children of men.

 18 For he is the same yesterday, today, and forever; and the way is prepared for all men from the foundation of the world, if it so be that they repent and come unto him.

 19 For he that diligently seeketh shall find; and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them, by the power of the Holy Ghost, as well in these times as in times of old, and as well in times of old as in times to come; wherefore, the course of the Lord is one eternal round.

Love, Sister Fluegel

February 16, 2015

The Pure Love of Christ

This week has been pretty incredible; miracles, family history, temple sealing, temple square, prayers answered, people changing, and changing myself. I want to talk mainly about Valentine's Day, since it was my best Valentine's ever!

So Saturday morning we drove to Temple Square, and met Riley and Stephanie there. We had reserved a theater in the North visitors center, and watched the Joseph Smith, Prophet of the Restoration movie. Riley told us afterwards that he felt the Holy Ghost the strongest when Joseph had his first vision, and all the following visions he felt it as well. We testifed to him that those feelings were the Holy Ghost testifying to his heart that it was true. We then went to the pictures of Christ's life, and taught him about Jesus Christ and the atonement and resurrection. Then we taught him the gospel of Jesus Christ in the room with the Christus statue, and I invited him to follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized by someone holding the priesthood authority of God, and he said yes, he wants to! Sometime in March is when he's thinking. We are so excited!

Then we were able to attend the sealing of two recent converts and their 4 children at the Bountiful temple. It was amazing to be present for it! Two of their children have autism and they were completely calm and were able to be sealed and it was just so beautiful. I know that the sealing power has been restored to the earth from Elijah to Joseph Smith, and we have that ordinance available in the holy temples around the world. We are so blessed! I had the Spirit testify to me that no sacrifice is too great to qualify to be sealed as a family, and live worthy of that promise. 

Then later in the evening, we went with a ward missionary who is a single mother, and she bought 10 roses to bring to all the single mothers she knows in the ward who don't come to church or are struggling. It was such an amazing experience to stand at the door with a rose for women who were forgotten or sad on Valentines day. One woman said she would like us to come back and visit her and thanked us over and over again through text and even a voicemail for coming and showing her love. She and I connected over quilting and I really think we are supposed to be here for her! Not a single woman didn't open the door--and I felt the pure love of Christ for each one of them, and felt edified and complete as I served them. 

Then that night I got home and found a package from my family for Valentines Day, with little heart-shaped notes written from each family member. I definitely have too much candy now to know what to do with, and I feel so blessed and taken care of by the people we live with now, the Thompsons. I'm loving my little trainee Sister Eisele, and it's been a blessing to me to train her and teach with her. I'm so grateful for my family, I'm sorry I haven't been better at writing lately, but I love each of you and want you to know that I love you, and I love the Lord, and I love serving His precious children. The worth of every soul is great in the eyes of God. 

Love, Sister Fluegel

February 9, 2015

The Work Hastens!!

We have been so incredibly busy this week, in so many good ways! I can feel a different energy in the way I'm working, and in the members who are inviting their neighbors to hear the message of the restored gospel, and in the lives of the people we are teaching! There is so much to do, so little time! I can feel an urgency inside me to do everything I possibly can for these precious souls under my care.

One girl we are teaching decided to be baptized in two weeks! She said she really wants to do the right thing and follow Christ all her life. Heaven is getting more comfortable with the gospel and understanding the need for church attendance. Sunday was her third time at church. She said she feels closer to God and has more peace. Some women in Relief Society gave her some dresses and skirts for church and she loved all of them and looked so nice in her dress on Sunday! 

We received a media referral for a man whose parents are members but never raised him with any religion or concept of god. A young lady who just returned from her mission a month ago invited him to learn from the missionaries and he said yes! He has a girlfriend from Minnesota who is a big help to him in understanding the gospel. He came to church on Sunday and the ward was so welcoming to him! He told us he always was interested in what we believe, growing up in Utah, but never actually took the steps to do it until now.

Then some of our ward missionaries visited a family, a young couple from Spain who teach spanish at some of the schools nearby, and they accepted excitedly to learn from missionaries what we believe! The couple actually weren't married for a while, but after seeing so many good marriages around them here in Utah, they decided they should get married. They have a little baby boy, and he has a younger brother who we met with last night and who went to church yesterday, and during the lesson he cried and asked what he was feeling and we testified it was the Holy Ghost and the love of God for him. 

My companion Sister Eisele is so amazing! I love her excitement and joy for sharing the gospel and working hard! Training is a new experience for me, but I'm learning a lot and feel like I'm getting better at it. We taught a couple who were baptized a year ago this week, how to do family history. They are from Canada and all her family is from Norway. It was so fun to see their excitement for helping their ancestors! They invited us to their endowments at the Bountiful Temple Saturday night and it was such a beautiful experience! The temple truly is the house of God, like heaven on earth.

I am so grateful for all my family who is supporting me and praying for me as I serve. I can feel your prayers and your sacrifices in my behalf. I pray that our dear Heavenly Father will bless you all in the details of your lives and you may feel the power of the atonement of Jesus Christ working in your hearts. I love you all.

Love, Sister Fluegel

January 26, 2015

This week has been incredibly hard. Thursday we heard the shocking news that our beloved Sister Hansen, our mission president's wife, had passed away the night before of a sudden heart attack. We have all felt a range of emotions; sadness, uncertainty, shock... and sympathy for our dear President Hansen who won't have his sweetheart by his side anymore. They were so connected, it wasn't right to see one without the other. They were everything to us missionaries; our parents away from home. It will be strange to get a new mission president for the last 3 months of my mission, but I have already seen how much this event has changed every single one of us. We are different; we are stronger, we are bolder, and we are more determined to honor her memory and be the disciples of Christ that she wanted us to be.
    Saturday we had a Memorial service, with the Hansen family and all the missionaries. It gave us all some closure but there was not a dry eye in the room. I will never forget the feeling of love, adoration, and sadness I felt when it was all over, and President Hansen walked down the stairs of the stand and stopped and looked up at all of us with the greatest expression of love as he looked across the full chapel and gym, at all the missionaries he had given the last 19 months to. We will all miss him and his wife dearly. 
     Today was the Funeral, and all the missionaries sat in the back and on the stage. Elder Oaks spoke to us and some things that stood out to me were that he told us that we need to exercise our faith in Christ, follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost, and set our sights on eternal life. The speakers before had all illustrated to us what a great woman she was, before her mission too, and I felt inspired by the life she led and the legacy she left behind. Elder Oaks told us to think about what we had heard, and "Go thou and do likewise!" That really inspired me and I hope to lead a life as full and beautiful as hers was. 
    With the news of Sister Hansen, I was already able to testify of the reality of the ressurrection and atonement of Jesus Christ to those around me. Friday night we had dinner with a part-member family and I shared Mosiah 16:7-9 that says, 

"And if Christ had not risen from the dead, or have broken the bands of death that the grave should have no victory, and that death should have no sting, there could have been no resurrection. 

But there is a resurrection, therefore the grave hath no victory, and the sting of death is swallowed up in Christ. 

He is the light and the life of the world; yea, a light that is endless, that can never be darkened; yea, and also a life which is endless, that there can be no more death."

I was able to testify that I know that Christ has come to redeem us from physical and spiritual death; that he truly is the Son of God, the Savior and Redeemer of us all. I invited them to listen to our message of Christ. I truly hope they will decide to and I pray for it every day. 

Today I also found out some exciting news! With my companion Sister Bennett flying home from Georgia today, I have been with a temporary companion, Sister Claren from Green Bay Wisconsin. (We're pretty much neighbors!) But starting tomorrow--I'm going to be training a brand new missionary!!! I'm SO SO SO happy!! I've been praying all transfer that my new companion would be fresh and excited and ready to work. I kept getting this feeling that I'd train..and here I am training! 
This is my first and will be my last time training. I feel like I've preparing for this my whole mission--I've been a greenie-breaker, a lifter, a Sister Training Leader, I've sent a missionary home...and now I get to welcome one in! I'll meet her tomorrow so I'll let you all know who she is and where she's from next week. I received a priesthood blessing from one of our ward missionaries, and it said that miraculous events are going to happen the last 3 months of my mission; in this area as well as in myself. I am so excited for what lies ahead! This is going to be the best transfer of my mission yet! 

Love, Sister Ashley Fluegel

January 19, 2015

Sushi & Scriptures

 It's the last week of the transfer and this area is doing so well! We have so much support from our ward mission leaders and the ward members-we are teaching more and more and it just feels so good to help so many people! I've been enjoying searching and studying the scriptures every morning in my personal study. It seems like an hour just flies by and I often wish I had all day to just study them. We've been helping a few families learn how to read the scriptures together as a family every week; it's amazing to see the difference it makes in their lives and in their family. Reading the scriptures together makes families happier, more unified, and have less contention. I've definitely gained a testimony of that through the examples I've seen on my mission.
    So my parents and family know how extremely picky with food I was before my mission. I never thought I'd be brave enough to try Sushi-but on Friday someone took us to Sushi Monster in Farmington Station Mall (in our area) and we met the owners who weren't members and live in our area, and I actually ate Sushi...raw fish, with eel sauce and fish eggs on top. It was surprisingly really good! Mom and Dad won't even recognize me when I go home, haha. 
     We've done a lot of groundwork this week and hope to be seeing some great success and progression in the people we are working with in the next few weeks. I love being able to serve the Lord 24/7 helping everyone I meet to find true joy and real happiness that can only be found through the restored gospel of Jesus Christ! I am so blessed to have known it my whole life and feel so blessed to be sharing it with others who have not. 
Love, Sister Fluegel

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Weekly Updates

January 12, 2014

Bells from Belvidere!

This week has been so incredible! There seemed to be a lot challenging moments, but I think that's why I appreciated the miracles so much more. I've been trying to learn charity more than ever, and praying for it with "all the energy of heart". It's a lot harder to love with the pure love of Christ when you are going through hard times and struggles. But I feel like my faith has grown so much, and my determination is even deeper to trust in the Lord, do what I know is right, and endure happily to the end. Something my father always taught me growing up is this simple truth, "If you're going to do something, do it right!" I used to think he just meant to do a good job when I was vacuuming the floors or doing the dishes. But I've used that perspective in so many things in my life; in college, in my callings, in keeping the commandments, and especially my mission. 
   Friday night, we were visiting some members of the 13th ward and one couple told us about their neighbors, the Bells. They said one of them was from Belvidere Illinois--and my jaw dropped and I was like, "I'm from Belvidere!!!" We went right over and visited them and sure enough it was Harry Bell from Belvidere and his son and daughter-in-law! We talked and visited with all of them and it was so neat that someone from my hometown is now in the Stake I cover!
   Saturday night, it was 8:30pm and we had a half hour till we needed to go home. We knocked on a few referrals' doors but no one was at home. As I drove out of the apartment complex, the clock said 8:50pm. I had a choice to either drive home and call it a night or use the last 10 minutes of the day...I had a little mini battle inside my head and suddenly I found myself turning onto the street of our last referral and parking in front of their house. Their lights were on, so we said a quick prayer and got out of the car. The family let us in and talked with us for a long time; they just moved here and started getting back to church. They wanted us to come back and have a Family Home Evening with them. The little 4yearold girl had all these toys and blankets from the movie Frozen and it reminded me of my own little sisters. I am so glad I listened to the Spirit and made every minute of that day count. 
    Yesterday we had a miracle happen at church in the 13th ward! A young couple, Ray and Heaven, with a 1yearold baby came to church because some ward missionaries invited them, and the wife isn't a member yet. They stayed all 3 hours and everyone wrapped their arms around them and made them feel like family. We were already having dinner and a discussion at Brother Lamoureax's house and so everyone invited them too, so we saw them again at dinner and they told us they really needed support and felt like this was the right thing to help their family. We are seeing them on Wednesday as well as next Sunday again! I feel so blessed to be a part of their journey. Heaven is only 20 years old like myself and I felt like we connected and I'm so excited for them. 
   "Charity never faileth". I'm learning so much from my mission--suffering long, being kind, not envying others, seeking not my own will or desires, not being easily provoked to be angry or irritated, not thinking of evil things but only of good, rejoicing in truth, bearing all things I've been asked to bear, believing all the promises of God will be fulfilled if I do my part, hoping in the great potential of all people I come into contact with, and enduring ever trial and temptation faithfully to the end of my life. It's a lot to work on, but I am so grateful for my hardships because they refine me into a person who loves with the pure love of Christ. (Moroni 7:45-48)

Have a wonderful week! 
Sister Fluegel

January 5, 2014

It's a New Year!

First of all, I wanted to say Happy Birthday to my Dad! He's one of the greatest blessings I've been given and I feel so honored to be serving in the mission where he served. This week has been pretty crazy! We had an east wind come down from the mountains on Tuesday, and it was 20 below 0 and we were freezing all day! Then the next day I got a cold, probably from exposure the day before. But we had some really great lessons and found a new family to teach! I've come up with some ways to get to know the people here better, since I've never covered 2 stake's worth of people before. 

In my personal study this week I was studying the nature of Heavenly Father in the Bible. Some scriptures that stood out to me were Acts 17:27-29 "That they should seek the Lord, if they are willing to find him, for he is not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device." 

I love these verses because they describe how God is our Heavenly Father, the literal father of our spirits, and we are his offspring, or children. When we recognize that he is our Father in heaven, we will desire to have a relationship with him. Prayer is the way we can reach out and talk to Him; because He respects our agency to choose, He doesn't force us to talk with Him. And prayer is an exercise of faith; showing that we believe He is there even though we haven't seen Him. I have found so much comfort and peace in prayer, because I have felt and seen my prayers answered and know that my Heavenly Father loves me and is there for me, even when I feel like no one else is. 
I invite anyone who reads this to think about their relationship with God, and do a little bit more to be close to Him; whether that is making your prayers more regular or sincere, or even just starting to pray. Study the scriptures; in them we can find great knowledge and treasures of knowledge that are of much greater value than anything money can buy. 
Have a wonderful week!
Sister Fluegel

December 29, 2014

Hello Everyone! 

Christmas in Farmington has been amazing! We had a "Nativity's from around the world" Display and met a woman from Venezuela who was interested in learning more! So we sent the Spanish-speaking Sisters to go over and meet her and it's been really neat for everyone. Many members reached out to their friends and gave them the Joy to the World video about Christmas. We have been so blessed with all the wonderful people here who invited us over for Christmas Eve and Day. 

In our District meeting Friday, we thought about this question:
"What will you do differently in 2015 to honor your covenants and become a disciple of Jesus Christ?"    I know that if we all start to or continue to not just read, but study our scriptures daily, pray regularly throughout the day, and make and keep the covenants of baptism, we will feel greater peace in our trials and joy in our triumphs. Why? Because by doing those things, we are inviting Jesus Christ into our lives. 

I went on exchanges with the STL's on Saturday--and I was in Centerville with Sister Holbrook! It was so neat to be in the area where my Dad served for part of his mission; AND with my friend from Chicago! We've never been near each other on our missions, and it was so great to be her companion for a day. We had a lot of fun contacting people and sharing our message of Christ everywhere we went. 

We had a surprise baptism Sunday night of a man who used to be a member; and Sunday morning he met with the Stake President and was found worthy to be baptized. President Christiansen asked him, "When do you want to be baptized?" and he said, "Tonight!!" It was pretty amazing. Hooray for a White Christmas! 

I love this scripture in Mosiah 15:17 that says, " beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those who shall hereafter publish peace, yea, from this time henceforth and forever!" I often think of my friends who are on missions and those missionaries all over the world who wake up the same time as me, study just like me, and then go out and share the gospel with everyone they meet. It gives me strength, excitement and determination to never give up. The only failure in missionary work is when you stop working. I just love being a missionary and representing Jesus Christ every day! I feel the companionship of the Spirit so strongly all the time and it's an unforgettable, life-changing experience to be set apart to do this work. Love you all! Happy New Year!

Sister Fluegel

December 15, 2014

Off to Farmington!

Yesterday, President Hansen called and thanked me for my service as a Sister Training Leader and told me I'd be going to Farmington with a Sister Bennett! I'm covering 2 stakes, which is going to be quite a new experience for me. I've only ever covered one stake, 9 wards; but now it'll be around 18-22 wards. Wish me luck!
   This week we had so many great and memorable experiences. We made cookies with our Senior Couple and brought them to many people we've been working with. One of those was Sandra who has been taught by missionaries before but was really busy for a while. We gave her the cookies and gave her the He is the Gift card. She watched it on her phone, and was in tears when it was over. It really touched her heart and she set up a lesson with us for this Friday. This video is changing lives! 
  We went to Temple Square with the Josh and Jessica Dubon and their daughter Jaslene on Friday night, and had a wonderful time. They saw the God's Plan movie and loved it, and when we were at the temple model and using the touch screens, I showed them the inside of a sealing room. They were so touched when I told them how the whole family kneels together and is sealed, and how the mirrors represent eternity. Josh said he felt like he was so far away from going inside the temple, and Jessica said, "Well, we're a lot closer than we were!" and they got all excited about how far they've come and the hope for the future. Josh kept saying how he just wanted to touch the temple walls, so he actually went up to the wall of the Salt Lake temple and touched it. It just reminded me of how important and special it is to be temple worthy and have those blessings. He could feel the sacredness and importance of the temple. 
   We also went there with the Jones as well! They loved the God's Plan movie and we had many gospel conversations. The two oldest children, Drew and Ethan are going to the temple for baptisms for the dead this week and were asking all kinds of questions about it. They are also excited for family history which we taught them earlier this week. I love these people and am so grateful I had 3 transfers with them all! I'm also excited for Farmington and the adventures that await me there. I love hearing from everyone and how they are sharing the gospel and reading their scriptures and praying every day. It makes me so happy that those I love at home are feeling the same happiness that I am. Have a wonderful week!

Sister Fluegel