Saturday, May 20, 2017

Blessings of Service May 15th 2017

It's taken me four months about, but I'm finally realizing why I'm on a mission.
Of course, I knew I needed to be on one, if only because a spiritual experience--and many experiences after--confirmed it to me in my heart. But the why of it till now was simply because Heavenly Father apparently wanted me to.
There are lots of good reasons to go on a mission--to serve, to share my testimony, to get out of my comfort zone, to improve someone's life even--but among the many good, is the best reason: because I love my Savior Jesus Christ.
The more I study the scriptures, the more I realize that He was called to serve a mission himself. He spent the last three years of his life on earth entirely devoted to teaching, serving, and most importantly, loving others. He showed that love ultimately when he suffered for our sins and sorrows, and died for us. Because of what he did for me, I have the opportunity to improve myself every day and shake off my past self. And what's the best way to improve?
Well, what he's asked us to do: Follow him! For me, one way to do that was by going on a mission. In general, though, we all have opportunities to become more like our Savior because he already paid the price for our mistakes! This is the good news I get to share with Crystal City, and the more I do the more I feel love for each individual I encounter here.
We've been helping an elder woman named Janice with her overgrown yard the past two weeks. I got poison ivy from somewhere in her decorative grass! But it was worth it. She is taking care of her husband who has dementia--they've been married almost 61 years. So needless to say she has many stories and life insights. We brought her cookies for Mother's Day this weekend and she told us as we left, "I love you girls!" It was easy for me to reply, wholeheartedly, "I love you too!" We are going to share a lesson with her this week, and I'm so thankful to know her.
I'm so thankful to be serving my Savior and my brothers and sisters here, I love them all and I love you all!
Sister Fluegel
#1 My bumpy arms
#2 We made oatmeal soap! Not sure it did much, but it was fun!
#3&4 I kept scratching in my sleep, so we had to get creative
#5 At the zoo, Sister Mainord had never been before!

The Rains Came Down and the Floods Came UP May 8th 2017

Hello to you all! I am alive and well!

No thanks to Missouri. This place is crazy.

Crystal City and the surrounding area is right along the Mississippi in most parts, with lots of rivers and outshoots connecting to it. So after the storms from the week before, the water had really nowhere to go but...everywhere.

Essentially starting Wednesday at midnight, the highway connecting us to the rest of the mission would be closed, because one of it's bridges was about to overflow at the Meramec River. So we wouldn't make it to Zone Conference that morning. We Three figured okay, guess we can't go to Zone conference, oh well, we'll just stay in our area! We've got a Walmart, what else do ya need?

Not so. We got notice from our leaders Tuesday night to leave our area as soon as possible and stay in Waterloo, IL so we could go to Zone conference. What about getting back to our area, right? NO getting back, not until the flood went down. Of which time we hadn't a clue--so we grabbed a few extra pairs of clothing, the bare essentials for toiletries, and a few packages of ramen!

The Waterloo sisters were *so* wonderful and hospitable to We Three, even if their tiny apartment wasn't so much, haha. It got pretty freezing, and much worse, we had to cancel a lot of appointments with people we're teaching. But Zone Conference was awesome, and on Thursday we decided to call every single person with a phone number in our records! And set a lot of appointments for this coming week! I think we actually talked to a lot more people in our area than we would have otherwise. "The Lord works in mysterious ways," and this week was a prime example of that.

Eventually we returned home. We searched for some opportunities to do community service in our flooded area, and we're still going around trying to offer help. One older woman visited with us after we helped her and her husband with their backyard, and when we explained we were from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints she asked about the St. Louis Temple and if we'd ever been. We talked, and she told us how she never forgot going to the Open House for the public, now twenty years ago (the year I was born!), because of the special feeling the building seemed to have inside.

I can testify to you all that temples are special, not just because of how beautifully they are built, but because of the beautiful things that happen inside of them. We make promises to God, binding ourselves to him. We make promises to our spouse, binding ourselves to each other and to our families forever. All this, and all that we do to continue returning to the temple, is done so that one day after this life ends we will be united in heaven with Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and our families, never to part.

There is nothing more beautiful than that.

I love you all so!
Sister Fluegel

Picture 1: We Three!
Picture 2: A road we usually use a lot...
Picture 3: Driving to Illinois!
Picture 4: Us with the lovely Waterloo sisters!! They were too cool :)
Picture 5: May the 4th be with you!
Picture 6: The Waterloo sleeping situation
Picture 7:  Floods? Shmuds! Let's tract down this street!
Picture 8: Cookie bars, the new missionary tactic

Wonderful Accidents May 1st 2017

I will get to a spiritual thought, I'm sure, but FIRST you all have to hear this hilarious story:
So Amanda and Brady--Sister Bustillos and I have switched between calling them Bramanda and Brandy--were sweet enough to offer us a ride for transfers. We dropped off Sister Bustillos and then picked up the lovely Sister Rilling, who is sweet, laid-back, and likes to talk in a British accent!
BUT what I didn't know about her until Bramanda pulled away is that she doesn't have a driver's license! And neither do I!
We were stranded.
So of course we called our superiors, because obviously they know what to do, right? Wrong! They called THEIR superiors, who called the Mission President. Meanwhile Sister Rilling and I are sitting in our apartment not sure whether to unpack her stuff or not!
Then we get news: No, Sister Rilling isn't leaving, but we both are moving out of Arnold and going down to the apartment where the Crystal City elders used to live, and we needed to pick up Sister Mainord (AKA the chauffeur of the companionship) in two hours!
So I had two hours to pack up everything, find a ride to go get Sister Mainord, and help take us down to Crystal City!
Luckily Amanda and Brady were there to the rescue once more, and all three of us made it to our new apartment right before a dinner appointment, haha.
 President Bateman called us the next day, and it was so cool to hear his side of the story. He told us how the transfer plan seemed to be missing a piece to him, all the way up until the day of transfers, until he called Sister Mainord and she agreed to come to Crystal City. Then he had this "Aha!" feeling, like everything was finally right. Hearing that gave me a lot of peace regarding all this hullabaloo, because the Lord's hand is always there in my life, even if He needs to cause accidents to help things work out, haha.
And things really have worked out. Being in a "tri," or a three-person companionship is described by most missionaries as "THE WORST," but I have a feeling this one is for the *best.* I can already tell I have so much to learn from both of these sisters, and I'm so excited for the weeks to come.
Love you all!!
Sister Fluegel 🐦
Picture 1: packing up my stuff last second...the car was a little stuffed
Picture 2: How big my area used to be!
Picture 3: How big it is now...
Picture 4: What we call our "Room of Requirement"
Picture 5: Sister Mainord (top) and Sister Rilling (bottom) have differing opinions about their place on the bunk beds
Pictures 6- :From Sister Bustillos's last morning in Crystal City--we went on a hike with Bramanda and saw the sunrise over the Mississippi!