Monday, February 6, 2017

Valiant-tines February 6th 2017

Hello wonderful people.
I am here, in the Crystal City Ward, of the St. Louis South Stake of Missouri. Needless to say I'm crazy excited. My lovely trainer is named Sister Bustillos, and after less than a week with her my body aches from morning workouts, my mind has been blown with new understanding of the gospel, and my expectations have been thrown out the window when it comes to missionary work. One thing I did expect, though: It's WORK.
This area has been crazy slow before I got here, apparently, so our current goal is just to find people. Which means a lot of doors to knock. One particularly memorable experience was knocking on the door to the house of a woman who was nondenominational. "I believe what the bible says: No works can get you into heaven, only faith alone!" It's a good thing the MTC taught me not to Bible Bash, because I could barely hold my tongue from saying "James 2:20-26 FAITH WITHOUT WORKS IS DEAD!" We said we believed in the Bible too, and the Book of Mormon, and her very large eyes got even bigger and she flat out told us, "Run from that, girls. I want to see you in heaven with me. Run. From. That."
So not too crazy, but we kind of both broke into hysterical giggles as we walked away when I whispered under my breath, "I'll run from you." Her eyes were scary, folks.
A COOL experience we had going door to door was talking to an older man whose father had just passed away. He talked about how faith has helped him not to be sad, but be comforted, unlike the majority of his siblings. It was crazy cold that night, but standing there out on the porch the man remarked that he didn't feel cold, and I realized neither did I. The Spirit really warms you up. He ended up turning down our invitation to meet again, but I really enjoyed the experience.
Overall I'm just surprised at how many grown adults are scared of two 19 year olds knocking on their door. Sister Bustillos and her old companion had been trying to get in contact with a less active LDS member named Sandra, but every time they knocked on the door the whole household would HIDE from them. Yesterday we stopped by again and the husband was out working on his car, and he vehemently denied that Sandra lived there anymore until we mentioned we just want to know if she wants missionaries to keep contacting her or not. He said he'd find a way to "pass on the message." More like go into the house and tell her!
My favorite moment this week was teaching our one and only investigator Amanda. She's 24 and only had two lessons before I met her, but we took her on a 'church tour' and explained the Sacrament in the chapel. The Spirit was so strong as we talked about the Atonement and the baptismal covenants. I had studied that morning about the Sacrament to prepare myself, and found a beautiful connection between scriptures. In 3 Nephi 18:1-14, Jesus explains the Sacrament to the Nephites, and how if we always remember him, keep his commandments, and take his name upon us, we "are built upon his rock." That phrase reminded me of Helaman 5:12. I shared both with Amanda, and felt inspired to explain that making these covenants would bring the blessing of strength that Helaman 5:12 promises. I asked her to be baptized on March 11th, and she accepted.
Funny story: We met with an older couple and taught them about the Restoration, and as Sister Bustillos described Joseph Smith's experience in the grove the woman started prayer whispering!! I've never heard of such a thing before! It's whispering under your breath things like "Hallelujah," and "Praise Jesus," usually during prayers. I was pretty startled.
Last but not least, I can't BELIEVE I forgot how beautiful midwest sunsets are. Every evening there's a beautiful one on the horizon. I'm not sure if the mountains cover it in Utah, or they just aren't as blessed as these midwestern folk. I sure feel pretty blessed.
Sister Bustillos's camera died so all the pictures I took on my polaroid will have to wait another week :( Enjoy these for now!

Hope you all have an awesome week :)
Sister Fluegel 🐦

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