Monday, October 28, 2013

October 28, 2013









Hey everyone!
HAPPY HALLOWEEN! Today we are doing a "pumpkin fest" with the sisters in our apartment for our p-day! woohoo! we are baking pumpkin things and carving pumpkins! im going to do one of our mission president haha its going to be great. Im pretty excited about it. haha I'll be posting pictures, dont you worry.
So. some great events that happened this week is that fall is just beautiful! I'm starting to feel that Minnesota chill coming on. Okay so we had our first new missionary training meeting this last week and we were telling the president things that are good about a mission and things that are difficult about a mission and one of the new sisters is from Australia (she has a really cool accent) it's 30 degrees outside right now, and she yells out in her Australian accent "the cold weather!" haha and then president clements laughed and said well it's going to drop another 130 degrees. haha cant wait.
Okay so Minnesota has like ten million squirrels. There are so many squirrels here! I never realized how jerky they are in their movements... so weird. Anyway that's not what was cool, the other day i saw an ALBINO SQUIRREL! yes an albino squirrel. it was the coolest thing ever. you would have thought i saw a unicorn or something. we were in the car so i didnt get a picture, but it made my day. it was like a big foot sighting or something it was that cool!
So that was cool this week and also this week i had mole, imagine and accent over the e (mol-ay) its a mexican taco with chocolate sauce, it is SO  good!!! I loved it. I really love mexican food, it is the best. Except for I found out I dont really like spicy food. That is something that I'm gonna need to get used to. It's just so espicy!  I might be trying guinea pig sometime soon as well. I'll let you know how that goes.
So, now that I have time today to explain to you a little better my surroundings. It truely is so beautiful here, Imagine the great outdoors: trees, lakes, squirrels, and charlie brown statues on every corner. (found out the creator of charlie brown is from Minnesota). The houses have so much character and there are all of these old really cool looking buildings everywhere here! It's like I'm in a scene of Harry Potter at times. It's really cool. Biking is a lot of fun here as well, they have great pathways to get everywhere! So we bike to our investigators houses sometimes to save on miles, and I really enjoy it. We get the opportunity to talk to a lot of people about the gospel just out on the streets!
Most of the time,we are in apartment buildings knocking doors and teaching lessons. I will note that these aren't the nicest apartments, but they have the nicest, most humble people. I love the Hispanic culture, I really do. I won't ever speak a bad word about them again. They love to talk about God and they are not afraid to speak openly about it. They respect what we do as missionaries and they invite us in almost every time to pray with them and share a message about God. They are a very open, loving people.
So one family we are teaching right now I absolutely love, they are a husband and wife with two little boys and they are catholics (which 90 percent of hispanics we teach are). But its great because they invite you in even if  you aren't catholic because they love just learning about God.
So we've taught them 5 times now and they are really interested in the plan of salvation and how families can be together forever. That is my favorite lesson to teach! Even though they probably can't understand my spanish, they do understand how much I love it because I get so excited about it! haha they are a great family though, you really grow to love all the people that you teach and you really, truely, with all your heart want them to accept the happiness of the gospel and be part of this awesome church of Jesus Christ (La Iglesia de JesuCristo de los santos de los ultimos dias!) its such a long name in spanish haha 

So I've learned some great things this week. You are always constantly working on yourself while you are on a mission, and the mission is THE perfect place to grow and learn spiritually. You are just immersed in the work of the Lord and so for me, it is impossible not to be learning something each day. My companion, Hermana Peterson is one of the most obedient missionaries out there and it is awesome! I learn a lot about being a missionary from her. We are never not doing something. Which is what a mission should be. One thing I'm working on is having the spirit with me all day! because yesterday was so awesome! And I will share that experience with you. 

Okay so you would thing that being on a mission you will have the spirit with you all the time and you are this awesome super spiritual person who cries repentance to the people and they tremble because they feel the spirit so much from your words like Moroni or be like Helaman and lead 2,000 stripling investigators into the baptismal font without a single one being spiritually killed, or like Ammon who sits for an hour with an investigator in silence and it's not ackward at all. haha dont get me wrong, this is my goal, but it's not always like that on the mission. One of my favorite scriptures is in Alma 36:6-7 which talks about small and simple things. God makes us great people and great missionaries through small and simple acts of faith, small and simple thoughts and feelings, small and simple steps toward eternal perfection. Now one day, ya I'm going to be an amazing missionary, I believe I'm already a great missionary, but I know that I have ALOT to learn and ALOT to grow in. And that does not come all at once. It comes through the small and simple of every day. And little by little the Lord is growing me into a Helaman, Moroni, and Ammon type of missionary. One day this week we went tracting and no one was answering their doors to us, and those days you think are the worst but those are the days the Lord is teaching you alot about yourself, in strengthening your faith and giving you patient endurance. small and simple. They say on your mission the last half hour of the day is the time for miracles. Which is true. We knocked doors all day without any success and then its like you find this person who at that exact moment needs your message! That day we met a girl who had just had a big fight with her boyfriend and she told us that it was a physically abusive relationship and we taught her how to pray and to pray for guidance in this trial in her life, and as she prayed in front of us she started crying and she poured out her soul to God, and it was so spiritual and sincere and the spirit just filled the room with peace and comfort and happiness, and I knew that God loves me and He loves her and He loves us all and He hears our prayers. 
Our mission goal is to get people to church because that is where a big part of  true conversion comes, and you are blessed in so many different ways because of it. I never really thought of the things we do in the church in the ways that I have being here on a mission. Like why church attendance is so important, and why we should obey commandments and dress modestly, and believe in the things we do and why we do and how we do it. I've never had the opportunity to be constantly asking myself what is the real reason I am a member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints? There are the obvious answers, like it's the right thing to do and I get blessings from it, and I'm happy. But the questions of why am I happy because I am a member and what does that happiness come from, and what experiences in my life have proven that to be true. To teach people the gospel of Jesus Christ is to teach yourself the truth of it. Learning I've realized has alot to do with asking questions, researching, thinking alot, testing what you know, and testing what you don't know, more researching, talking, praying, and then you figure it out! but then it doesn't stop there, the process just starts over again and you just keep building on what you know, and you grow into this well of truth. Your foundation becomes solid and you turn into someone who has a firm foundation of the truth of Jesus Christ. 

That is my eternal goal, to be a rock. a spiritual rock of awesomeness. 
And everyone should have that goal. Search, Ponder, and Pray. and I would add Act to that list. That is how we become rocks.

I know that this Church is True and it becomes truer and truer every day and the Holy Ghost testifies that to me every day that it is true!

I LOVE THIS GOSPEL!!

until next time! 
Love Hermana Ficklin!


Monday, October 21, 2013

October 21, 2013

mexico city

i was going to send you this picture of the clouds and tell you i made it to minnesota! its lovely here! haha cuz it looks like snow





cow tongue tacos!


these are for you mom 
minneapolis (:





the awesome library here



biking with sis peterson



this is one of the members, hermano benjamin



Hey! So this week has been truely awesome. I know i say something like that every week, but it's true, it just keeps getting better and better!

Okay so this week has been fun! Today is the first day it snowed! woohoo! bring on the minnesota winters! haha so this week we taught one of our investigators about sacrament, and I was trying to explain that after a week of work and being tired and making mistakes, sacrament is a time to be able to refresh our souls and renew our week. well i didnt know what the word refresh was in spanish so i just made one up and i said the sacrament "refresca" our souls. In spanish that means soda. so i just basically told our investigators that the sacrament is a soda. haha she gave me a funny look about that. good thing we have companions who straighten things out haha we laughed about it for a while. ah man gotta love it. 

So I want to talk more about why members are so important in the conversion process of friends and family. Last night was my first lesson with a member present who was a friend of the investigator. Let me tell you that it was the best lesson I've had so far. To have someone you trust in when you are learning about the gospel is so important. As I teach lessons to investigators I know that this message is true, I've been born into this gospel and so the things I teach are things I've known my whole life. These people here know very little or even nothing about Jesus Christ and God. So to be taught all of these new things is very different and very difficult to understand and accept, especially from people that you don't know.

As representatives of Christ we do all we can with these people to gain their trust and to know that the message we share is about Christ and that we truely want nothing more than for them to be happy in this life, and we do gain their trust and their confidence, but to have someone who they already know and trust makes the message we have to share so much more important and they are so much more willing to accept what we have to share and see the example of their friends or families life changes and that they can truely see for themselves that this gospel really does make us happier and live better. It's so cool.

I've realized how important it is to have a support in going through immense changes in life, especially for something that could be totally new to them. I've learned that in being a missionary how important a companion is because in a similar sense, I'm just like the investigators, I'm in a whole new setting, with so many alterations in my daily life that without the support of my companion would have been so much harder to get used to. I could be done, but I'm so glad to have someone as a guide to make it easier for me to do whats right.

So, members, I invite you all to be that guide to those who need that help, It truly is so important. I know that we all feel like life is busy, but we have to take time for others who are lost in this world. You are the answer to their prayers and they could be answers to your prayers as well.

Love you all! until next time!
Love Hermana Ficklin

Monday, October 14, 2013

October 14, 2013

Wow! okay being on a mission is awesome. so have you all heard about the talk on being a consecrated missionary? i cant remember who wrote it but its awesome. i think that even if you are not a missionary we can be consecrated people ( if you can find the talk and attach it, it's awesome!) im learning how to be a consecrated missionary, putting my whole heart in this work and i truly love this work. It's the hardest thing i've done so far. I'm expected to change everything i do in the day, im expected to give everything i have, i am expected to put everything on hold and to put everything on the "sacrificial alter" i have to give all of me to God. I'm exhausted when i go to bed because there isn't time for rest, i have to be 100 percent obedient, so that means all the time, there is no break of being a missionary physically, mentally, or spiritually. it's hard. But i've never been more happy to get up in the morning, and ive never been a better me than now.

Being Christlike isnt an easy path, but that is how it is supposed to be. You want to be like Christ? Prove it. That is what God wants. Prove that you are willing to give up everything you have to follow what you know is right and what you know will make you the happiest, best person you can be.

Dang it im out of time but ill be better next time with info (: ill just leave that thought with you until next time.

think about it.

love you all!

Love


Hermana ficklin

Here is the talk about being a consecrated missionary by Tad R. Callister:

Becoming a Consecrated Missionary

Posted on April 28, 2013
This talk was given at the MTC to missionaries who were about to go into the field.  It is a classic talk on serving the Lord with all your “heart, might, mind and strength”.  Enjoy!  President and Sister Sweeney
Becoming a Consecrated Missionary
Given by Elder Tad R. Callister, of the Seventy
Provo Missionary Training Center

October 7, 2008
Many years ago I entered the Mission Training Center as a young enthusiastic missionary. The training was shorter and simpler then, but the spirit was just as powerful. I have long forgotten most of what was said, but an observation made by the president of the Mission Training Center struck me and has remained with me to this day. He said in essence: “Every mission has a number of good, even great missionaries, but most missions only have about five or so consecrated missionaries – those who are willing to lay everything on the altar of sacrifice.”
Today I believe we have many more such consecrated missionaries. But to those of you who are not quite there, but would like to be, it is you to whom I would like to speak today – about becoming a consecrated missionary.

What is a Consecrated Missionary?
What is a consecrated missionary? It is a missionary who is willing to lay everything on
the altar of sacrifice and to hold nothing back. It is a willingness to give every ounce of energy, every conscious thought, and every drop of passion to this work – to submit our will to God’s will whatever it may be. Every missionary who has been to the temple has covenanted to consecrate his all. The book of Omni records the depth and breadth of that covenant: “Yea, come unto me, and offer your whole souls as an offering unto him” (Omni 1:26).

The law of consecration is the law of the temple, it is the law of the celestial kingdom, and it is the law of a celestial mission.
Parley P. Pratt was such a consecrated missionary. He had served as a missionary for
more than 25 years of almost constant labors. He had just returned from his latest mission in Chile. He was hopeful that he could now remain at home and enjoy his family, but such
expectations were short lived. President Brigham Young called him to serve yet another
mission– this time in the eastern states. One can imagine the feelings that must have swelled up in Parley’s heart. Perhaps he thought, “Haven’t I given all that a mortal could be expected to give? Don’t I deserve to spend some time with my family and friends? Can’t I just relax for a while?”
But Parley P. Pratt was a consecrated missionary. On September 7, 1856, shortly after
learning of his call by Brigham Young, he offered the following tender reflections and prophetic insights: “I have desired, after travelling for twenty-five or twenty-six years, mostly abroad, to stay at home and minister among the people of God, and take care of my family; but God’s will be done, and not mine. If it is the will of God that I should spend my days in proclaiming this Gospel and bearing testimony of these things, I shall think myself highly privileged and honored. And when the Spirit of God is upon me, I think it matters but very little what I suffer, what I sacrificed–whether I secure the honor or dishonor of men, or where I die, if it so be that I can keep the faith, fight the good fight, and finish my course with joy. I have all eternity before me, in which to enjoy myself.” (Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, p. xxv.)
Sometimes there is a temptation to withhold part of the offering. Such was the case with
Ananias and Sapphira, his wife. The scriptures tell us that they sold a piece of land. Under thelaw of consecration they were to turn over the entire sale proceeds to the church, but secretly they kept back part of the price. The consequence was devastating – they were struck dead (Acts 5:1-10). Sometimes good men, perhaps even great men, can’t quite bring themselves to put everything on the altar of sacrifice, and in the course lose their eternal lives. So it was with the rich young ruler. He had kept the commandments from his youth up. Then the Savior declared, “Yet lackest thou one thing. Sell all thou hast and distribute unto the poor…and come follow me.” But it was too much to ask, and he went away sorrowful, unwilling to put his all on the sacrificial altar.
Peter, overhearing the conversation and understanding there could be no shortcuts to eternal life, no holding back, declared in contrast: “We have left all and followed
thee” (Luke 18:18-28). Perhaps we have one or two things which we lack, that we hold back from the sacrificial altar, that prevent us from becoming a consecrated missionary. May I discuss some of those, so that hopefully we too might become like Peter and leave our all on the altar of sacrifice.
Put On the Altar of Sacrifice Any Disobedience.
First, a consecrated missionary puts on the altar of sacrifice any streak of disobedience he may possess, however large or small it may be. He has an unrelenting quest to be exactly obedient. King Lamoni recognized that Ammon was a consecrated missionary, for he said: “Even he doth remember all my commandments to execute them” (Alma 18:10).

When I first entered the field as a mission president, I met several times with a
missionary who was struggling with obedience. One day in frustration he blurted out: “What then is it you want me to do?” I replied: “You have missed the point. It is not what I want you to do, it should be what do you want to do?” There was a moment of silence and then he made this insightful observation: “You are not just asking me to change my behavior; you are asking me to change my nature.” He was so right.

If you only change your behavior, then you will be the same person you were when you left home, subject to the same problems that plagued you then. But if you change your nature you will go home a new man or woman, with the power and discipline to conquer your old Goliaths. If you only get up at 6:30 am because your companion does, you have merely changed your behavior. If you get up whether or not he does, you have changed your nature. If you speak good words but entertain bad thoughts, you have only changed your behavior. If you also change your thoughts you have also changed your nature.
With the Lord’s help we can transform our natures. King Benjamin gave the key as to
how we can do it. We must become “submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.” (Mos 3:19).
That is the key – to submit our will to God’s will.
One missionary, upon going home told me that he slept in one morning. His companion
said to him, “It’s time to get out of bed.” This missionary responded, “I don’t want to.” His
companion replied, “It’s not about what you want, it’s about what the Lord wants.” The
missionary said; “I have never forgotten that – a mission is about that the Lord wants, not what I want.”
A consecrated nature will cause us to be obedient, not because we have to, but because
we want to. Such a nature may cause us to change the music we listen to; it may cause some to be more positive in their speech, or more exacting in following the morning schedule or more diligent in their studies. Whatever it is, the consecrated missionary will read the white handbook with enthusiasm, anxious to obey and follow every rule with exactness, knowing that it is not a book of restraints, but a book of blessings. He will have an overarching, burning desire to do the Lord’s will, not his.
Leave Our Fears on the Sacrificial Altar
Second, consecrated missionaries leave their fears on the sacrificial altar and open their mouths with everyone. This will be one of your great challenges in the mission field. It sometimes separates the consecrated missionaries from the good missionaries. I recognize there may be multiple reasons why someone doesn’t open his mouth at all times and in all places – why he holds back a part of the offering. It could be a timid personality, or a fear of man, or a streak of laziness, but whatever the excuse may be, it must eventually be overcome. It never outweighs the Savior’s command which states: “And thou must open thy mouth at all times.” (DC 28:16). This injunction is repeated again and again in the scriptures.

On another occasion the Lord said, “At all times and in all places he shall open his mouth and declare my gospel as with the voice of a trump both day and night.” And then comes the promise to those who do: “And I will give unto him strength such as is not known among men” (DC 24:12).
Sometimes in life we just have to square our shoulders and do it. There is no magic pill
that makes us courageous, no passage of time that strengthens us, no memorized approach that emboldens us. We are left only with the compelling counsel of King Benjamin: “And now, if ye believe all these things, see that you do them” (Mosiah 4:19).
Years ago my grandfather was serving as the president of the Rotterdam Branch in
Holland. He told of a woman who came to him destitute, who had earned the equivalent of an American quarter for the entire week. She asked if she needed to pay tithing. He looked at her for a minute in her impoverished condition, and then said: “Sister, if this were my church, I would not take your tithing. But it is not my church; it is the Lord’s church, and tithing is a principle upon which blessings of the Lord are predicated.” (LeGrand Richards Speaks, P. 185.)
She paid her tithing.
If I could as a Mission President, I would have exempted some missionaries who
struggled with opening their mouth. I knew how hard it was for them, but I couldn’t. The
command to open one’s mouth is not my command. It is not the command of Preach My
Gospel, it is not the command of the missionary department, it is the command of the Lord who has spoken on this subject again and again through his living prophets. Sometimes we have to be like Nephi and say, “I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them” (1 Ne 3:7). Eventually we must do more than tell the stories of the Book of Mormon; we must live them.
The Lord, in speaking to a group of departing missionaries (like you), told them five
times to “preach by the way” (DC 52:10-27). We preach by the way when we talk to people in the parking lots, when we speak with people in elevators, when we speak to people in the stores or on the bus or at the gas stations. Consecrated missionaries preach by the way at all times and in all places, both day and night. Sometimes we have missionaries who are so worried about offending people that in the process they never ever save them.

I had an assistant who used to say, “If you want to baptize a few people you talk to a few people, if you want to baptize a lot of people you talk to a lot of people and if you want to baptize everyone you can, you talk to everyone you can.” But the Lord gave an even further reason for opening our mouths. He declared: “And it shall be given thee from the time thou shalt go [out of thy apartment in the morning], until the time thou shalt return [to thy apartment in the evening] what thou shalt do”. (DC 28:15-16). In other words, you will have the spirit from the moment you leave your apartment until the moment you return to your apartment if you do what is required in verse 16: “And thou must open thy mouth at all times, declaring my gospel with the sound of rejoicing. Amen.”
The reason it is so important to open our mouths is that every time we do so we exercise
faith, and every time we exercise faith we invite the spirit and miracles into our lives.
Consecrated missionaries open their mouth with everyone.
Put Our Romantic Passions on the Table
Third, a consecrated missionary puts his romantic passions on the altar of sacrifice; he
has a locked heart and a focused mind. He is never flirtatious, he does not have an eye on the cute BYU coed or the friendly young single adult, nor is his prime focus with the young women after sacrament meeting. He is not obsessed with his girl friend back home. He rises above all of that.
In my day the white handbook contained this all-inclusive statement: “Put out of your
mind all thoughts of home, school, your girl and worldly things.” It was a powerful reminder
that our mission was the sole focus of our mind and the sole passion of our heart. As hard as it may be, the consecrated missionary disciplines his passions. His eye is riveted to this work. He is like the thoroughbred horse with his blinders on. He races ahead, seeing only track and finish. If an inappropriate thought enters his mind, he drives it out with a hymn or scripture. His mind does not go with the flow. Rather, there is an active, concerted, conscientious effort to keep his mind pure and clean.
When David saw Bathsheba on the rooftop, he continued to watch – that was his downfall. When Joseph was tempted by Pharaoh’s wife, the scriptures say: “[He] got him out” (Gen 39:12), and that was his salvation. It is no different with our minds. Alma taught this principle to his son Corianton, who had unfortunately unlocked his heart to the harlot Isabel. Alma scolded his son severely and said, “Yea, she did steal away the hearts of many, but this was no excuse for thee, my son.” And then he gave him the remedy to be a consecrated missionary, “go no more after the lusts of your eyes, but cross [or discipline] yourself in all these things.” (Alma 39:4,9).
You young missionaries who enter the field, will be surrounded, almost immersed, by
those in immodest clothing, by suggestive billboards, by magazines and papers that have lost all sense of moral decency. If you garnish your thoughts with virtue unceasingly (DC 121:45) the consequences will be monumental in your life. As a missionary you will have confidence that the Lord will hear and answer your prayers. The Lord himself promised: “Let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God.” (DC 121:45) In addition, when you go home and date, you may not only have a romantic courtship, but one that is also clean and wholesome. And when you are married you will be a loyal and true spouse. If every action is preceded by a thought, then every consecrated missionary must first have a clean and consecrated mind.
Give Up Pride
Fourth, a consecrated missionary gives up his pride on the sacrificial altar. The Lord
made it clear, “And no one can assist in this work except he be humble and full of love” (DC 12:8). Pride manifests itself in many ways – one way is disloyalty to those who are our leaders.
Loyalty is much more than a reluctant submissiveness. It is an active pursuit, not only to follow the counsel of our leaders, but to seek their counsel. A consecrated missionary hungers and thirsts for instruction as to how he can be better, and how fortunate we are to have so many missionaries in the world who manifest that spirit. Again and again missionaries would ask me in the field, “President, what can I do to be a better missionary.” And oh, how they became so.
Pride may manifest itself in jealousy of companions. I think of one of the finest elders of
our mission. I never heard him say “I.” It was always “we” or “my companion did this” or “my companion did that.” Though his words always credited someone else, somehow you always knew he was the driving force behind it all. Pride may manifest itself in a reluctance to confess our sins. We may be too embarrassed to do so, or fearful of the consequences or unrealistically hoping the sin will somehow vanish if we serve an honorable mission. But at the root of each of those excuses is pride.
On one occasion a missionary came to me with a belated confession. I asked him what
motivated him to come. He responded: “I finally disclosed to my companion that I had
something to confess to the President, but I didn’t want to go home. Then my companion said something that struck me to the very core. “Elder,” he said, “there is something even more important than your mission.” Somewhat surprised I replied, “What is that?” Then came his answer: “Repentance – repentance is more important than your mission.” The young Elder who sat before me said, “President, I knew he was right. And that is why I am here. I want to repent.” Not too long ago I received an invitation to attend his temple sealing.
Some have honestly asked, “When should I confess?” When the sin is of such a serious
magnitude that it may trigger a disciplinary proceeding or continues to linger in our minds so that we cannot have peace. If we then fail to confess, our spiritual horizons become limited. It is like being surrounded by a circular, impenetrable wall. In such a circumstance, we have some limited room in which to move, but we are trapped. We will look in vain for a slit through which we can squeeze, an opening through which we can pass, an end around which we can travel. There are no end runs, no secret openings, no hidden passages. Serving a faithful mission does not obviate confession; months and years of abstinence no not erase its need; one-on-one pleading with the Lord is not a substitute. Somewhere, sometime, somehow one must face the wall square up and climb it. That is confession. When we do this our spiritual horizons become unlimited and we become entitled to the promise of the Lord. “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow” (Isaiah 1:18).
Pride may manifest itself in a defensive attitude or a multitude of excuses. On one
occasion I reprimanded a missionary for an act of blatant disobedience. He started to offer
excuses; finally I said, “If you want to offer excuses I cannot help you. If you are willing to
acknowledge the wrong, I will work with you and we can build for a constructive future on a
sure and solid foundation.” That day he had to choose between rationalization and repentance. Fortunately he chose the latter.
One night I was with an Elder Choi and Elder McClellan. We were talking to a mother
who was reluctant to let her 17-year-old son be baptized. For at least ten minutes of the
conversation she chastised these elders severely, and literally “raked them over the coals.” No doubt they were embarrassed, perhaps even offended, particularly since their mission president was present. In my estimation they had done nothing wrong. Instead, they were taking an undeserved whipping of substantial proportions. I thought, will they fight back, will they argue, will they defend their position? To their credit there was no argument, no excuses – simply the humble response that they were trying to do what was best for her son and if in any way they had failed to do so they were sorry. They were not trying to win an argument. They were trying to save a soul. With that humble spirit, her heart softened, and finally she agreed that she would listen more carefully to the message her son was being taught. They were consecrated missionaries – every ounce of their pride had been put on the altar of sacrifice.
We Put our Negativism and Sarcasm on the Table.
Fifth, consecrated missionaries are willing to give up any negativism or sarcasm. Instead
they are optimistic and positive. They have a 24-hour smile. They live the invitation of the
Savior, “Be of good cheer I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). There is not a negative
bone in their bodies. There is no rejection at the door or on the street that can dim their
enthusiasm. They are willing to pay the price of repeated rejection for the hope of a single
conversion. Whatever the world throws at them, they throw back a smile, because they know they have the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Consecrated missionaries are like Heber C. Kimball and Brigham Young, who left for
their missions to England. Their families were poverty stricken, they were sick, and there was little food available for the ensuing months. Heber and Brigham, finally able to raise themselves from their own sick beds, kissed their wives and started on their journey. Brigham recorded: “It seemed to me as though my very inmost parts would melt within me at the thought of leaving my family in such a condition.” (Men With a Mission, p. 71.) But before they were out of sight, Brigham directed the teamster to stop. He and Heber mustered all their strength to stand, they raised their hats over their heads three times and shouted, “Hurrah, hurrah, hurrah for Israel.” We have such consecrated missionaries who can shout “Hurrah, hurrah, hurrah for Israel” even when they are bombarded with rejection, or illness, or disappointment – who have unwavering faith in the promise of Paul: “let us not be weary in well doing; for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not” (Gal 6:9).
Extra-Milers
Consecrated missionaries are extra-milers. They put on the table of sacrifice every ounce
of their energy, every hour of every day. When Roger Bannister broke the four minute mile, he collapsed at the finish line into the hands of his well-wishers. A journalist, sensing all that was involved in that historic moment wrote: “The runner, open-mouthed, thin-legged, knowing only pace and goal, spending his strength so that the finish, at one mile, there was nothing more.” For a consecrated missionary there is nothing more to give at the end of the day. He has put it all on the altar of sacrifice.Consecrated missionaries are missionaries who would finish the marathon. They aremissionaries who would go the full fifteen rounds. They are missionaries who carry no whiteflags.
Years ago at family night we would have wrestling as part of the evening activities – our children loved it. When the kids were little I would sometimes hold them down and ask, “Do you give up?” At first they would say, “Yes Dad, I give up.” Then I would say, “No, you never give up, you never give up.” As time would pass and I would ask the question again, they would quickly reply, “No, Dad I never give up.” Consecrated missionaries never give up on the Lord’s work. They never throw in the towel. They would have made it from Palmyra to Salt Lake Valley. Nothing would have weeded them out along the way. For you see, they had unwavering faith.
Consecrated missionaries are out of the apartment by 10:00 a.m. They do not come back
before 9:00 p.m., except for lunch or dinner. They speak to everyone. They knock at one more door. There is a quickness in their pace and an urgency in their work. You can see it in their faces.
Years ago I was a young missionary in Washington DC. I was on an exchange with an
Elder Hafen. It was a bike area. We had an appointment across town but the rain started to pour. He asked, “Should I cancel the appointment?” I replied, “This is your area, you make the decision. “He thought for a moment and then replied, “Let’s ride.” I love those words – “Let’s ride” – rain, sleet, snow, it doesn’t matter – “Let’s ride.” That is the spirit of a consecrated missionary.
When consecrated missionaries are exhausted and nothing is left, they rely upon their
faith, and the reserve tanks of energy somehow carry them through the day. They too become recipients of the promise to Joseph Smith: “In temporal labors thou shalt not have strength for this is not thy calling.” But then the promise: “Thou shall devote all thy service in Zion; and in this thou shalt have strength” (DC 24:7-9).
What Does it Cost to Become a Consecrated Missionary?
What is the cost to become a consecrated missionary? Some time ago I saw a movie on
the life of Martin Luther. He was about to be tried for heresy. Shortly before he was to meet
with the Court of Inquisition, his spiritual mentor (a monk who had trained him and loved him) was cutting his hair with a razor. At one point the monk reprimanded Luther for having turned the world upside down, leading the world in revolt – Protestants against Catholics.
Then in a stirring moment, Luther grasps his arm and asks: “You wanted me to change the world. Did you think there would be no cost?” You young missionaries came out here to change the world, to change lives, but there is a cost. It costs everything that you have on the altar of sacrifice – your fears, your pride, your laziness, your disobedience, your weaknesses; we cannot hold anything back. When you came to the mission field you burned the bridges behind you, you burned the ships in the harbor. There is no retreat to your former life. You cannot have one foot at home and one foot in the mission field.
That is a certain formula for frustration. The Lord demands our whole soul on the sacrificial altar. That is the price we must pay, and when we do, we then become instruments in the hands of God.
What Is the Power of a Consecrated Missionary?
What is the power of a consecrated missionary? Suppose I were to give you the
following options, which would you choose?
-100 mediocre missionaries or 80 consecrated missionaries?
-100 mediocre missionaries or 50 consecrated missionaries?
-100 mediocre missionaries or 20 consecrated missionaries?
-100 mediocre missionaries or 2 consecrated missionaries?
(by the way, the names of those consecrated missionaries are Alma and Ammon)
Nephi realized that power comes with consecration, not numbers. Laman and Lemuel
could never understand this. They could not comprehend how they could get the brass plates. After all they said, “How is it possible that the Lord will deliver Laban into our hands. Behold he is a mighty man, and he can command fifty, yea, even he can slay fifty, then why not us.” For them it was all about numbers – 50 was more than 4, therefore they could not prevail. But for Nephi, man’s power was inconsequential. It was only the Lord’s power that counted. He replied: “For behold he [God] is mightier than all the earth, then why not mightier than Laban and his fifty, yea, or even his tens of thousands” (1 Ne 4:1). The power of a consecrated missionary is without limit. It is manifested in so many ways. As to Nephi (son of Nephi), the scriptures tell us his words were so powerful, that for his detractors, “it were not possible that they could disbelieve his words” (3 Ne 7:18). When the sons of Mosiah preached the gospel, the scriptures declare: “They taught with power and authority of God” (Alma 17:3). And as to those consecrated missionaries who thrust in their sickle with all their souls, the Lord promised: “your sins are forgiven you” (DC 31:5). Those are the powers and blessings of a consecrated missionary, and that is why the Prophet Joseph said; “it is not the multitude of preachers that is to bring about the glorious millennium; but it is those who are ‘called, and chosen, and faithful.” (TPJ 42). In essence – the consecrated.
Consecrated Missionaries Serve the Savior Because They Love Him.
What is the driving, motivating force for a consecrated missionary? It is the Savior and
His Atonement. If we fail to be obedient, if we fail to be humble, if we fail to be fearless,
perhaps we intellectually understand the Atonement, but somehow we fail to grasp the
underlying love of his sacrifice. Once we feel that, as well as understand it, we will be driven to give our all. We will realize that our all is a small repayment for his all.

Becoming a Consecrated Missionary.
Each of us might appropriately ask, “What lack I yet to become a consecrated missionary?” There is no escaping it. God will demand our all. If we are shy or reserved – God will compel us to change, to be bold. He will jerk us out of our comfort zone again and again. If we are lazy or idle, he will push us and pull us even when we are exhausted. If we are disobedient, he will press us until we have a child-like submissiveness. He will not let us be content with our weaknesses.

Whatever the weakness may be that holds us back from becoming a consecrated missionary, the Lord has promised that if we have faith in him, and humble ourselves before him, that he will make weak things become strong unto us (Ether 12:26-27). I believe that. I do not believe there is one missionary whose weaknesses are greater than the potential strengths within him. Why? – because each of us is a son and daughter of God, with his divine nature and divine potential woven into the very fabric of our souls.

I do not think the Lord expects immediate perfection of us, but I do believe he expects immediate progress, and with that progress comes consecration. I believe that he recognizes and appreciates every step we take forward, however small it may be, striving to put our whole souls on the altar of sacrifice. At first, consecration may seem like Mt. Everest, unconquerable, unapproachable, unassailable, but every step we take forward, however minute it may seem, furthers our ascent, until one day we have attained the summit.
May we not be content with being a good, even a great missionary, when we have the capacity to be consecrated missionaries. Mormon declared with boldness: “Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people that they might have everlasting life” (2 Ne 5:13). May it be so with each of us, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

October 8, 2013

Here are photos sent from Kaylani's mission president and his wife:



This is President and Sister Clements:


This is Kaylani's new companion and trainer: Sister Peterson


Monday, October 7, 2013

October 7, 2013 North Minneapolis, Minnesota




HEYYYYY! well im finally out of Mexico and im into Minnesota! woohoo! before i start i want to say that im sorry for my grammar and my lack of capitalizing my i's, but this is missionary life, you dont have time to do things like capitalizing and grammar. 

so my flights all went well,we got up at 2am, drove to the airport and we said goodbye to the last of our districts, and got on the plane. there were 7 of us left when we made it to the houston airport, which by the way is the biggest airport ever! we were able to call our familys really quick before we boarded the plane to minnesota, even though we only had fifteen or so minutes to talk to them it was good :) christmas is in two months so its not to far away to talk to them again. im just greatful i got to talk to them!!!

okay, so you know, flying on a plane while you have a cold is quite an experience. you feel like your head is going to concave from all the pressure changes. it was fun. i really enjoyed that experience. 

well we finally made it to minnesota!!! woohoo! we went to the mission home and we met all our new sista missionaries, and our new companions. My new companion is hermana peterson. and im sorry i didnt bring my camera today so no pictures this time :( sorry, next time though. i really havent been able to get a ton of pictures though since last time. but! hermana peterson is great! 

I got my new bike, which i havent been able to ride yet because its been raining, but im sure ill have plenty of opportunities later! we might even go riding today! ill let you know how biking goes in a skirt (: 

my apartment is nice!  we live with two other english speaking sisters who are alot of fun. we live below a cool photographer named george. ive only met him once but all the hermanas have gotten to know him well, so im hoping i will too (: ill get pictures of the apartment so you can see it so i dont have to describe it. i think that would be more interesting anyways.

so the first night i got home we went out to some apartments to knock doors. our mission president calls it 10x10 when we tract, 10 doors one way 10 doors the other way. i think thats what it means anyway haha. but that was a cool experience. i really didnt know what to expect, but hermana peterson seemed to know what she was doing so i followed. we just knocked on doors and whoever answered we told them that we were missionaries from the church of jesus christ of latter day saints and we asked if we could just pray with them. 

well ive only been here for 5 days so far but we've already taught a ton of people and ive learned a lot. i started out not understanding anything anyone said, to understanding about 20 percent of what they say haha and being able to reply in the best spanish that i can muster. its pretty awesome. i would say ive improved to speaking like a 3 year old at this point. thats a step up. haha but no they say that by three weeks here my spanish will have improved alot, and faith is a big thing here on a mission, so im going to exersize faith and believe what they tell me. i really think so though, especially being able to practice every day with my spanish i know that it will grow alot. 

so the other day i got to see a little bit of minneapolis, my mission is in north minneapolis so its on the outskirts of minneapolis city. we went into Minneapolis to bring one of our investigators who is in a womans shelter at the moment, give her some medicine, and to have the elders give her a blessing because she is sick. we couldnt find the shelter for two hours and when we did find it, we lost contact with her. so we were only able to drop off the medicine and leave her a note. we were bummed that we didnt get to talk with her and that i didnt get to meet her. but we did talk to some people on the street and i got to see what the city looks like which was cool. i really love it here, this place has a good feeling about it. the buildings all really have alot of character. their government building looks like hogwarts. 

me and my comp went to panera bread to do our weekly planning and i got to hear the first of the minnesota accent. its pretty cool. i want that accent.

okay being here, ive learned how much i really love this work. like a lot. i understand how people say that this is one of the hardest things you'll do. time is a totally different meaning here, you go to bed totally exhausted, and all you could wish for at some times of the day is a nap because you are trying as hard as you can to stay awake haha. but everything is worth it, everything hard you do is because its making you a better person, its making you a better missionary, its blessing you, and its blessing others with so much that you cant even really complain about how hard a mission is because of all the good that comes from it. ive learned how to love people ive only met once and i can only understand a couple of things they say, but i love them.  and i feel like being a missionary gives you this superpower to feel love unconditionally for these people. i feel like being a missionary you have a lot of superpowers to see things that you didnt see before. its the power of God. I GOT THE POWAAA!

but really though everyones got the power in one way or another to see what i see everyday, and to feel what i feel everyday, because its just loving others and doing service and just following the example of Jesus Christ. I cant really explain how i feel other than its the best feeling ever and the only way to know is to do. ive learned that "missionary" is an action word. its not a person.. well it is a person, but everyone is a missionary. everyone has that missionary quality within them. and that quality is to act, to do, to be an example of Jesus Christ, to represent him in everything that we do, and in that, its the best thing ever, and i feel like no matter what happens, ill still be happy, no matter how tired ,or sick, or i miss my family, my friends, my time, whatever it is it doesn't matter. it doesn't, because all that matters is that i've got the gospel, and i'm changing lives, and i'm changing my life. and i coulnd't be happier.

hey. so all you out there, be a missionary. i know my good friend Thomas S. Monson just spoke at general conference on how we need to all be missionaries. it totally makes sense. just do it. be a missionary, invite people, teach people, love people. just do it. (: love you all! 

          until next time, love herm. Ficklin

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

October 1, 2013






Well, last day here in the CCM! It’s crazy how fast it feels like it’s gone by! I’m so excited to get out to the field! It’s been a very spiritual and emotional week this week.

We had in field orientation that lasted all day, it got me really excited about just getting out there! haha so we had a translator for it so that we could understand all that they were saying in Spanish and the translator was way funny haha when he would translate he would say ¨is the beesssttt¨ (nacho libre style) or funny things like that haha and every time we would raise our hands to answer a question, he would say one point for the grings´ haha made my day.

Oh! I found out I ate cow tongue here one day, at least that’s what an hermana told me...so hey, I’m gonna say that we totally did and I’m so happy about that! 

On Sunday it was St. Jude’s Day I believe and in Mexico, of course, there were fireworks, so we had our district meeting outside and we watched the fireworks while we talked about our night.

It will be one of those nights that I will always remember because it was the last night as a district together, and we know that we aren’t going to see each other for the next two years, and so it was a very sad, happy, spiritual feeling. when you spend basically all day with these elders and hermanas they become your family and your best friends, and here, you grow so much together, even in just 6 weeks we´ve gone through a lot of change, and it´s all been such a good change. We’ve all seen in each other what God can do for us in our lives and I know that the experiences we´ve had here we will never forget, and I know that we will be forever changed because of it. Its going to be so cool to see them all when I get back. I can’t wait for that.

Last night I had the coolest experience I’ve ever had. We asked the Elders if they would give us blessings before they all left. This was the first time any of them had given a blessing and so they were all nervous. But i tell you that it was the most amazing thing I’ve ever witnessed. I couldn’t stop crying because of the spirit that was there. I asked Elder Jolley to give my blessing and I don’t really know how to describe it other than it was the happiest feeling of love from God that I’ve ever felt and i know now why these Elders and Hermanas are here, even at the age of 18, they have that love of God, and they are going to do miracles, and they are going to change lives for the better!

I’ve thought a lot about  how happy it is going to be knowing that when we die, or even just now, its not the end of seeing those we love, in fact its the opposite, we´ll see everyone again, and we get to be with our families and friends for eternity with God and Jesus Christ. How awesome is that to know! I love this work!

Mosiah 5:15
Therefore, I would that ye should be steadfast and immovable, always abounding in good works, that Christ, the Lord Omnipotent, may seal you his, that you may be brought to heaven, that ye may have everlasting salvation and eternal life, through the wisdom, and power, and justice, and mercy of Him who created you, who created all things, in heaven and in earth, who is God above all. Amen.


Next stop, Minnesota!

(Kaylani flies out to Minneapolis, Minnesota tomorrow morning.)

Pictures:

these are our roommates hermana whitmore and hermana bennet



 and a huge moth that we found in our classroom. i wish we would have gotten a picture of the moth on our window of our casa it was big and black and probably three times as big





the map of where we are in mexico city! where im pointing is the ccm


a really cool mural they have in one of the buildings


chokis and emperador cookies. they got me through the last six weeks


pretty clouds here (mom i thought of you when i took this picture)


 our whole district! and no we did not mean to do that on purpose haha




you spanish speakers will get my owl (: i thought it was pretty clever (quien means who in spanish)


us hermanas being funny the last day together


fireworks for st judes day


this is a typical morning in mexico



our district again with our zone leaders


 so this is hermana dodson, hermana livingston, me, hermana pierce, and hermano hardy our teacher
and this is me and hermana valdez, love her!