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