Monday, December 30, 2013

December 30, 2013

Thank you everyone for all the awesome Christmas cards and thank you ward for that shiny golden paper! it made me super happy! Its great to see how much happiness can come from all these little things! So thanks! 

This Christmas was great! I got to spend Christmas Mexican style! and it was a lot of fun! Hispanics actually usually celebrate Christmas Eve and they stay up all night and watch movies and eat and spend time with their family and then in the morning they open their presents. haha I like that I think that's fun! We went over to a members house and ate realllllyyyy good food and we just talked about family and they have a son that is on a mission right now and they were telling us a story about how he had to help someone kill a cow and his companion was freaking out about it and said that he didnt sign up for this when he signed his papers for a mission haha but he said the meat was super fresh and it tasted really good! haha and then we went to another members house on christmas day and spent some time talking about her husbands mission ( he just got back a couple months ago and they are newly married) and she gave us some great marriage advice because she's been married before. She said that now she doesn't do anything big without knowing for sure that it is what Heavenly Father wants her to do. And she's seen the gift of repentance and the gift of knowing that our Heavenly Father really does want the best for us, which gave me so much more of a belief that it is true. Heavenly Father really does want the best for us.

It was awesome to skype my family on Christmas! that was so awesome! 

Haha its so funny to see all the truths every return missionary talks about on their mission, like that you actually lived at your house at one point in your life with your family and you went to work and listened to non doctrinal music and read more than the scriptures and preach my gospel hahaha! But it's so true. haha I understand RM's so much more now. ah man. 
But I love my family! 

And I love what the Mission is doing to me and to everyone around me! The mission is the hardest, best thing ever. And Every day I'm learning something new. The whole mission is a changing process and especially this week has had a lot of change. And a lot of changing for the better. We just had transfers and I am now in Bloomington with Hermana Pelaez and starting over in a new area is pretty tough, especially when you just started getting used to the area you were in before and all of the people you were teaching in that area you grow to love so much. 
But, I've learned that everything that is done is for a reason and that there are so many unseen blessings in store here in Bloomington and I've already begun to see them! I've learned especially the power of the priesthood and how much of a blessing from our Heavenly Father it is to have that. How much of a blessing it is to have the Holy Ghost in our lives to be able to guide us in such trying days. And to be able to feel the love of our Heavenly Father for all of His children and seeing that He truely does care for each and every one of us individually.  
One thing I've learned this week is that you will never know the blessings you can give others unless you have the courage to do something about it! I've begun to realize that life is about doing. It's about having the courage to do what you know is right even when it seems like all the forces are against you. We have to be the light in the darkness so others don't have to stand in the dark their whole lives. I'm not to fond of the dark myself, and seeing light in others gives me hope! Don't hide your light under a bushel! 
I wish I could share all of the experiences that I have day by day because it's all these little experiences that is helping me see that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is undoubtedly true. And I can't express the way that makes me feel. Other than it makes me so happy! 
Thanks for all of your love and support this week! 

Love Hermana Ficklin

Monday, December 23, 2013

December 23, 2013


Ward Christmas party

me and hermana pelaez

dorky pics with Mexican Santa

hermano benjamin, a recent convert. he is the funniest guy ever

another member i cant remember her name right now though lol

Tis the season! And boy what a season! I love sharing the story of Jesus Christ and what he has done for us. We have been reading the story of His birth and what the angel says to the shepherds. "I bring you glad tidings of great joy!"   And what glad tidings of great joy it is to know that our Savior lives! It brings so much happiness to my soul and I love to see the happiness it brings others and that is why I am out here on a mission. To bring that happiness.

Last night I had some personal revelation. It was 6pm and our appointment had fallen through and so we decided to knock doors. I'll be honest and say that the last couple of days I've been discouraged. We'd knocked doors all yesterday and we had no success, every door that we knocked we were turned away and laughed at and had been told that what we believed wasn't true. And I was mad because I knew it was true and I knew that if they would just open their hearts and listen they would know as well. We are not just two people trying to get you to come to church. We are here for your salvation!! So as we knocked doors I got negative and I prayed to Heavenly Father and said what am I doing here if I can't even teach what I know, if no one will let us in or even take a minute to listen to us? And He always gives me an answer that I need to have faith that everything is going to be okay and I'm doing my part and then I have to think okay ya you're right. So last night I went into these apartments with a brave face and we knocked a couple doors and still we got nothing. The door we knocked on had a picture of Jesus Christ on it and a man answered the door and we asked if he would like to hear a message about Christmas and Jesus Christ and he said he would!                  
We had one of the most spiritual lessons about the Restoration of the church and he just got it! He understood everything that we talked about and at the end we asked him if he would pray to know if these things were true and he said that he already knew that they were true but he would pray about it anyway! He said that he was praying for some guidance and then we showed up! He knew it was a sign from God to keep going and to keep the faith. We asked him to be baptized and he said yes!
The tender mercies of our Savior never cease to amaze me.

On an ending note, we had our ward party on Saturday and it was a blast! Talk about a Mexican Feliz Navidad! And I've got pictures to prove it! I love my ward.
                                          Love you all!              

Have a Merry Christmas! 
-Hermana Ficklin

Monday, December 16, 2013

December 16, 2013

 Merry Christmas! from Minnesota

Seasons Greetings!
      There has been some great things going about in the land of Minnesota! lots of beautiful freshly fallen snow, the Mormon Tabernacle Christmas cd playing in our car (we started listening to it in November so we know all the words (: ) and Christmas lessons all around!
For district P-day we went bowling in this little "vintage" bowling alley and it was a ton of fun! I've never loved bowling shoes so much. Minnesota is so cool. it just has so much character! 

chalkboard in the bathroom ( i wrote mormon. org (:)

I found Narnia, Mom!

Happy Christmas!

 (: sister toone, sister ballif, me and sister Peterson

Sister Pelaez's first time in the snow! shes from mexico! shes my new comp!

So we had an emergency transfer and we got to have Sister Pelaez in a trio with us until Wednesday, and then she's going to be my new companion! She is straight from Mexico and definitely a hoot. I'm happy to be with her and to be able to stay in the same ward for another transfer! woohoo! that means I get to stay for the Christmas party (: I love my ward. izzz de besssst!
we've had a sort of sleep over in our room the last couple of days cuz we had to move another mattress in our room for sister Pelaez to sleep and its been like a lil missionary slumber party (:  Missions are just so full of the unknown. can I just tell you that.
So I want to share a brief Christmas thought with ya!
This week I've learned the most about Love, Strength and Inspiration. 
I've been thinking a lot about the wise How did they get so wise?
haha jk, well I guess not because that's a good question to ask.
anyway so I have a picture of the wise men on my planner and a quote that says:
"May we all make the journey to Bethlehem in spirit, taking with us a tender, caring heart as our gift to the Savior." -Thomas S. Monson
Have love in your heart for all, Let your strength be in Jesus Christ, and let the Example of Him inspire you to give the best gift of all, which is joy!

Sorry it's a short one but I LOVE YOU ALL!

 and Peace on Earth, Good will toward men!

Monday, December 9, 2013

December 9, 2013

We were told not to go anywhere in the car so we went out and shoveled out peoples cars!


Christmas in Mexico City! (The Mexican apartments we go to.)

A dead bird we found in one of the hallways (:

Heyyyy! It's December!
And boy is it just a summer dream up here!  haha so fun fact for you, I don't remember if I put this in my earlier letters, but I'll share it again. When Luis and Clark came up the Mississippi river and explored Minnesota, they claimed it uninhabitable because it was so cold. It has been a wonderful -5 degrees most days with a windchill of -40 degrees. Ohhh boy! Really. It's not that cold up here, I think Luis and Clark were just wimps. hahaha Well I have to say that me and Hermana Peterson are prepared for this winter though, we have the best coats ever. Tested and Approved. They are absolutely fantastic! So we are staying plenty warm don't you worry! And we have the Holy Ghost and hot chocolate to warm our insides (: 

Me and Hermana Peterson decided it would be best to make up fake first names if anyone asked, for safety reasons of course.

 So If you must use our first names, please refer to us as  Ticklin Ficklin and Schmeterson Peterson.  
                                    Thank you.

We had our mission Christmas party this week and we got to watch Miracle, which by the way is an awesome movie. It's about a hockey team from Minnesota and it's all about their journey to greatness. I've come to realize hockey is a lot like my mission. You gotta work hard and you gotta know who you are playing for, and that you are a very important part of the team. Everyones got a purpose and you have to do your part. We are a family! One quote I loved from that movie was when Kirt Russell was picking the hockey team the other coach said that he was missing some of the best players on the list, and Kirt Russell said "We don't need the best people, we need the right people" Too true Kirt Russell, too true. We don't need to be perfect people, if we were perfect, we would never learn our true capabilities. We need to have a background of opposition to have the determination to do what we need to do. We have to have the right attitude and the right heart. That's what it's all about. 
Okay so on to the great stuff! So mom wrote me about the Atonement and how great that it is the "at-one-ment" (love that) and she asked if I had any input on the Atonement. Well I took the liberty of writing 5 pages in my journal about it so far. I LOVE THE ATONEMENT! so, I'll share what I've got so far.
The best thing about a mission is you learn so much.
First off, The Atonement is basically the center of making everything in the entire universe possible. God's plan would not have worked out perfectly if it weren't for the Savior, and thus we would have had to live in endless misery and woe. Pretty scary thought.

So here's just a brief explanation of the plan of happiness:

-The Pre-Earth life: God's purpose and plan for us
      We are all a family. God is our literal Heavenly Father and we are literally His spirit children. And he really does know us individually and personally. And that we are here on this earth for a purpose. And that purpose is to have the chance to be like Him and live with Him in eternal joy with our families for eternity. He made a perfect plan for us to do that and we all agreed to this plan, because we are all here on this Earth right now living out that plan.  Pretty important thing to know. 

-The Creation
       With the help of Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ created the perfect world for us to have the opportunity to choose for ourselves if we really did want to return to live with God. Here we have the blessing of gaining imperfect bodies and live in an imperfect world. To discover who we really are through trials. We have the opportunity of opposition!

- Agency and the fall of Adam and Eve
        Adam and Eve were the first parents on the Earth. They lived in the garden of Eden where literally everything was perfect. They had perfect bodies, they talked with God and lived in his presence, and everything they needed was provided. They were perfect and innocent. Not knowing good because they knew no bad. therefore, they didn't know what true joy was. 

God gave them two commandments. 1. Multiply and replenish the Earth (have a family) and 2. Not to eat the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. If they did this, they would have to leave the presence of God and the garden of Eden and they would have to go through trials and tribulation. 

Satan tempted them and they chose to eat the fruit. They were cast out of the garden and into the world where they would face opposition. 

What a lot of people don't know is how great of a thing this was. This was part of God's plan for us. To have a knowledge of good and evil. To know joy because we knew sorrow. Our first parents chose to have opposition so that they could have a family and so that we now all have the opportunity to live with our Heavenly Father again. 

-Our life on Earth
          Our whole purpose on Earth is to learn how to become truely happy, no matter what happens in our lives. The only way to be truely happy is through the gospel of Jesus Christ. It's the guidelines or the map, if you will, to Heavenly Fathers plan- The Plan of Happiness!

                     This is what we have to do on this Earth
1. Have Faith in Jesus Christ- (remember faith is an action word, we show faith through what we do in life)
2. Repentance- Having a change of heart. Moving forward from our mistakes, rather than moving backward or staying in the same place.
3. Baptism- An act of faith and a promise to God that you want to follow Him (a.k.a #1 and #2)
4. Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost- After baptism we gain the gift of the Holy Ghost to be constantly with us if we stay worthy of it, who our guide in this life, our teacher and testifier of truth through our thoughts and feelings.
5. Endure to the End- Take the truth and run with it! Stay happy throughout your life and never give in or give up, Ever! 

-The Atonement
      Before the world began, our brother Jesus Christ chose to be our savior and Redeemer. He made it possible to overcome the "natural man" (sin or also known as the fall of Adam and Eve). Jesus Christ suffered our sins in the garden of Gethsemane and died on the cross for our sins. He was then resurrected on the 3rd day, completing the Atonement for our sins and literally bought the right to judge us at the last day by sacrificing himself.

After he was resurrected he had an immortal body: Never again subject to disease, pain, or death.

       I'm going to go to the Bible Dictionary for a really good explanation of it:
"At one" of those who have been estranged. (that's all of us) Sin is the cause of the estrangement, and therefore the purpose of the atonement is to correct or overcome the consequences of sin..."For as Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive" 1 Corinthians 15:22...The Atonement is conditional... and touches everyone to the degree that he has faith in Jesus Christ, repents of his sins, and obeys the gospel... sin is lawlessness, it is a refusal on men's part to submit to the law of God. By transgression man loses control over his own will and becomes a slave of sin... The Atonement of Jesus Christ redeems all mankind from the fall of Adam and causes all to be answerable for their own manner of life."
                      These are my thoughts on the whole thing
                             Gods plan is absolutely perfect.
"All that is unfair about life can be made right through the Atonement of Jesus Christ."

We need to realize that without opposition in all things, we would never know how much we truely want to be happy. It would not be fair if God did not give us every opportunity we need to find out for ourselves if this is what we truely want. That knowing all comes from opposition and mistakes.

Sin had to be part of the plan. It makes sense. Sin is part of becoming sinless. 

"Your best teacher is your last mistake." -unknown

In all things there is hope. Through Jesus Christ we can see what we can be. 

Apart from Jesus Christ being perfect and being the single most greatest person who lived on this Earth, His life was a lot like ours. Being like Jesus Christ IS within our reach. God does not make anything unobtainable. Jesus Christ's life exemplifies what we can all become and what we are destined for. He laid down everything on the table. And we can too. He was perfect and still He was rejected for everything that He was, He was killed by His own people. And yet, do you think he regrets a single thing He did in His life? He gave His all, and He loved no matter what. His life was full and His life was happy despite the trials and rejection. I'm here to tell you we can too. And it's through His gospel that we can do that.
Okay Mother Theresa is the bomb. Mom sent me a bunch of quotes from her that inspired me and go along with this perfectly. It made me think about how great life is and how great this gospel is (: I love Jesus Christ!
"People are unreasonable, illogical and self-centered. Love them anyway. IF you do good, people may accuse you of selfish motives. Do good anyway. The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway. Honesty and transparency make you vulnerable. Be honest and transparent anyway. What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight. Build anyway. Give the world the best you have and you may get hurt. Give the world your best anyway." 
               "One truely must have suffered oneself to help others."
"A life not lived for others is not a life."
              "Everything that is not given is lost."
"The success of love is in the loving - it is not in the result of loving. Of course it is natural in love to want the best for the other person, but whether it turns out that way or not does not determine the value of what we have done."

It's all about love guys. Follow Jesus Christ and you can't go wrong. This is what life's all about. So be happy! Enjoy life! And see the good in all things, including the bad. Love! 
Stay tuned... until next time! 
Love you all! 

Love, Hermana Ficklin