Monday, February 24, 2014

February 24, 2014

I got 'heart-attacked' by my family. 14 awesome letters for Valentine's Day!!


Writing in the snow

 Winter storm service


escriturettes- i made this for one of our investigators who smokes, every time he felt like smoking he would take first one of the escriturettes (scripturetes) and they were rolled up peices of paper with a scripture written on them and to read that before they smoked which would help him to stop smoking (: 

this is my gold plates, haha its great

hermana pelaez wrote my last name and all of the qualites i have in spanish according to the letter (:

Buenos Tardes!
This week has been great! I think I am becoming a pro at talking to strangers. Mom always taught me not to, but instead I devote a year and a half to talking to strangers all day, every day. haha Just for your comfort mom, I haven't taken any candy that's been offered... oh wait. someone gave me a chicken flavored sucker the other week, does that count? dont worry im sending you some to test and make sure that they are okay (; 
well, this week has been really busy, and really adventurous! This weeks focus has been knocking doors and finding people. And we've had a lot of people try to escort us out of the apartments... I don't know what it is about asking people if they want to be more happy, that makes them so unhappy. It's a mystery to me. haha but it was great, the other day we knocked a door of a woman who we told that we were missionaries and that as missionaries we share a message about the Restored gospel of Jesus Christ and the love and comfort that comes from it. She gave us the politely weirded out face (it's a look you get used to on a mission, it's fun haha) and she said she wasn't interested, so we said okay and asked if there was any service that we could help her with at that moment and she said no, but thanks. and then we said okay have a nice day! and we went on our way to the next door. well we could hear her talking on the phone to the manager saying that two girls from a church were up here knocking doors and that we needed to be taken out. haha so I looked at Hermana Pelaez and I said "we have to go!" so we ran down the hallway to the door, which leads to the front entrace, which is where the managers office is, and to the door the the other side (the back way, which is where we wanted to go to get out) so when we got to the door, we heard the managers footsteps coming up the stairs, so I said "hurry quick!" and we ran to the other door and in our big snow boots tromped down the hallway and down the stairs to the back way to get out without being "escorted". Ha! beat you to the punch! haha talk about an adrenaline rush. Now, for clarity, we are allowed to be in these apartment buildings and we aren't doing anything wrong, but if we want to save souls more in these apartments, it's better to be like the Holy Ghost and to not be seen so much as we are heard with the management (; 

Anyway, that's the adventure story of the week. We made it out alive and unseen, so we will be back again for round two probably tomorrow. Missionary work is the best! 
I want to talk a little bit about happiness (: since we are on the subject. what is happiness? or maybe a better question is what is true happiness?
"Happiness is the object and design of our existence; and will be the end thereof, if we pursue the path that leads to it, and this path is virtue, uprightness, faithfulness, holiness, and keeping all the commandments of God. But we cannot keep all of the commandments without first knowing them, and we cannot expect to know all, or more than we now know unless we comply with or keep those we have already received." 
-Joseph Smith
True happiness is knowing what our Heavenly Father has in store for us, knowing who we are, what our purpose is in life, and knowing how to go about it. And that all comes through the gospel of Jesus Christ. 
Happiness is knowing who we are. The only way of finding out who we are is seeing ourselves the way God sees us and not get caught up in the way the world thinks that we show who we are through temporary things, such as clothes, or money, or the brand new smart phone.
"When we choose to define ourselves or to present ourselves by some characteristic that is temporary or trivial in eternal terms, we de-emphasize what is most important about us and we overemphasize what is relatively unimportant. That can lead us down the wrong path and hinder our eternal progress." -Dallin H. Oaks
What is really important about us is that we are children of God
here are some quotes from a talk I found on

Truth, Lies, and  your self-worth. -Mindy Raye Friedman
"Instead of trying to be what the world wants you to be, try living your life by the standards the Lord has set. His ways never change, and you will never be unpopular to Him."

Ask yourself this question:
"Who determines what success is?"

And then ponder this:
"The Lord uses a scale very different from the world to weigh the worth of a soul" -Deiter F. Uchtdorf
Here is a video: Our True Identity, by Deiter F. Uchtdorf:
If we can come to understand and recognize our eternal worth, we can come to know true happiness in this life. This is what we teach. This is our gospel of Jesus Christ. We are all missionaries spreading happiness to all who will hear, whether we get the managers called on us or not, we can't keep what we know is eternally true from those willing to hear! woohoo! 
I hope you all have a great week and if I forget a great St. Patricks day as well! 
Le Quiero!

Love, Hermana Ficklin

Monday, February 17, 2014

February 17, 2014

Feliz Dia del amor y amistad! Happy Valentines Day!!

I hope that you all felt love from one person or another. Always know that you always have at least 1 Valentine, that's our Savior Jesus Christ! 

This week I've definitely felt the love of our Savior. He is the best! 

Okay so I had a ton to talk about today, but I'll have to be brief because today is Presidents Day and the libraries are closed so we are using the mission offices computers.

But! I just wanted to tell you really quick that we had an AWESOME Valentines Day. We went tracting an apartment building where we were looking for some hispanics that we found in the directory, and we ended up finding totally different people who Heavenly Father had prepared to hear and accept the gospel. It was one of the best days of my mission (: I could just feel the love of the Savior for all of these people that we met, and taught, and I know that we made a difference in their lives. They were all english speaking so we pass them off to the english Elders, so sometimes we don't get to hear what happens to them, but I always hope the best for them. That's the hard part sometimes is that you want to keep teaching them and seeing how they progress, because even in just 40 minutes at the door with them, you grow a love for them. There's something about the gospel that makes you see people for who they really are, which are sons and daughters of God, and you really see them as brothers and sisters. It's so awesome. There really is nothing like the mission.

This week we had zone conference as well and that was all about repentance.  I need to make a tee shirt that says I heart repentace haha because I do! I really do love the fact that we can repent each and every day. I'm so grateful for the Atonement of our Savior. That's another act of his infinate love. He has given us the opportunity to make mistakes, and fix them. We need to use repentance daily, so that we can live happier lives.
Who wants to have guilt and shame weighing them down for the rest of your life... or for the rest of eternity for that matter? No one. 
That is why our Savior is central in the plan of happiness and central in our lives. Because He suffered for our sins, we can be happy (: and that's what makes Him happy.
I'm going to talk more about the zone conference next week because it had some great insight on repentance and we had some great speakers. sorry to leave you with a cliff hanger... 

I also had the opportunity to go to my first Presidents fireside. We got to translate the whole meeting. It was nerve wracking a little bit, but we both did great! That was a very spiritually uplifting experience for me. The Presidents fireside is a meeting where we have people who were recently baptized share their testimony of their conversion experience, and these recent converts are just amazing. You really come to see how this gospel really does completely change peoples lives for the better. They talked about how much happier they are now and how they feel so different. They have peace in their lives. And just hearing their testimonies brought tears to my eyes in knowing that this really is the true church. this is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. We have happiness! 

It's so cool. 

I love you all! I will write a better letter next time. promise! Unless there's another holiday coming up...

Love Hermana Ficklin

Monday, February 10, 2014

February 10, 2014

Hola! Buenos Dias!
Okay, entonces estoy emocionada escribir ustedes hoy! esta semana fue muy muy muy bueno! mi espanol es definitivamente mejor (es no perfecto...)  pero estoy aprendiendo mucho sobre vida y la importancia de cambiar!
Hello and good morning!
okay, so i am really excited to write to you all today! this week was very very very good! my spanish is definitely better (it's not perfect...) but I am learning a lot about life and the importance of change!
So the highlights of this week... hmmm. it's still pretty cold. I wear three pairs of leggings and three pairs of socks. (: It's working out quite nicely....
Oh! so i made "gold plates" to explain the Book of Mormon better. they are pocket size and pretty cool. I bought some yellow foam board at the dollar store and cut a bunch of pictures out from the ensign and pasted them on the sheets so that when we explain where we got the plates and what the Book of Mormon is all about we've got a fun visual that I think is going to cause baptisms. It's pretty legit. I haven't had the chance to use them yet though so we haven't seen any success. I'll let you know how it goes.
Oh speaking of "knowing how it goes!", the investigator who we asked to be a member for 30 days came to church! yes! she came to church! We thought that she wasn't going to come actually because we called her all morning and she didn't answer any of our calls, but then out of the blue she showed up and you probably should have seen my face, I was so happy! haha it was the best! So so far operation "member for 30 days" is effective. I'll keep you updated.
So me and Hermana Pelaez had a discussion about how it's weird to think about what life was like before our missions and how it's weird to think that we wore pants. Haha I think just about every missionary has this discussion at least once on their mission.
haha oh I think I forgot to tell you last week that we tried to ride our bikes after a huge snow storm. we got about a foot of snow. Hermana Pelaez came up with the idea and she was so excited to get out and try to ride our bikes that I couldn't say that we couldn't try it haha we didn't get very far, just to the end of our apartments, but it was fun while it lasted.
Anyway, the work is going really really good here in Bloomington and we hope for a lot of upcoming baptisms! I'll keep ya posted! 
Love you all! 
Love Hermana Ficklin


Monday, February 3, 2014

February 3, 2014

Heyyyy ya'll!
Sorry this one is going to be a short one! 
But I thought I'd uptade you all really fast on transfers!
So this transfer is a crazy one!!! I am being transfered to Ontario, Canada! and they are switching me to Hmong speaking! It's a chinese dialect. And on top of that they are training me how to drive a dog sled because that is the only way they get around up there! 
Just kidding (: I'm staying in Bloomington another transfer with Hermana Pelaez!
 I'm happy with that, I love my ward (:
The weather has been up and down but today it is warming up! and it's staying lighter longer! woohoo! I'll take what I can get! I can't wait for summer!  haha
 I hope you all have a great week! And I'll update you all more next week! I hope all is well where you are at! 
With Love, Hermana Ficklin

Okay Just kidding, I've got a whole other hour to write! I do that every time!

So I'll update you on some great things this week!

So yes, transfers. I get to stay in Bloomington for 6 more weeks! Time goes by so quick on a mission! But so slow at the same time. It's weird.

Haha okay so I want to tell you about me and Hermana Pelaez. First off, I want you to know that she is awesome! I've come to see why Heavenly Father put us together in a companionship. It is because we have what the other one doesn't. Haha We've had quite a few talks about how we want what the other one has, that the qualities that Hermana Pelaez has, I want to learn how to have those qualities more in my life, and visa versa, she wants to understand the qualities that I have so that she can have those in her life. I've come to realize that she is my "other half" haha in a missionary companion sense. It's been such an interesting 6 weeks of finding out how exactly opposite we are in most things and how we have both agreed to helping the other one find out how to be more like the other! And I think by the end of this next transfer we are going to pull a "freaky friday" or a "parent trap" and I'm going to come home as Hermana Pelaez and shes going to come home as Hermana Ficklin (: or maybe we will just find a happy medium. 
This transfer has taught me a lot about myself. It's shown me my weaknesses for sure, but then, it's come to show me my strengths! Which is awesome! I'm totally down for that! I've seen what a difference I really do make in others lives. 

And I've learned the lesson of patient perserverance. That's a quality that Jesus Christ definately had. I've seen a new meaning to "Enduring to the end"

No matter what we go through, if we put our trust in our Heavenly Father, we can get through anything. Literally anything.

Okay, sometimes investigators are tough nuts to crack. And lately we've had a lot of tough nuts! Sometimes they really want to change their lives and they accept to keep the commandments we ask them to keep, and then the next visit they are not listening to a thing we say. and you are just like what happened!? and then in our spanish thoughts we have the answer...el diablo... haha but patient perserverance and prayer and faith play a big part in helping others along the way to happiness. I know that this gospel truly is what makes us the happiest and it is worth being patient with these brothers and sisters of ours that we know that slowly but surely they will come to see that the gospel really does make a difference in their lives.

One investigator that is one of these "tough nuts" has agreed to be a "member for 30 days" she's agreed to live life as if she were already a member, which entails going to church every sunday, keeping all of the commandments, (for her that's not drinking coffee), reading the book of mormon every day, and praying everyday. I'm really excited to see what happens by the end of this month. We hope by the end she will see the difference it makes in her life and she will have a desire to keep it that way. We are going to ask her to get baptized at the end! wish us luck! Haha I was joking with Hermana Pelaez, saying that we should just commit her to be a"member for forever" and see how that pans out. 
Oh! okay cool story real quick! So we had dinner with the Nareda family yesterday and they are an awesome member family! Hermana Naredas Fiance went on his mission to Brazil and he is learning spanish but he teaches us some Portuguese whenever we go over and it's funny to talk back and forth. While we ate my favorite things, Mole and spanish rice and sopes...mmm sopes are the best. I'll make them for you all when I get home (: while we ate I asked him to share some of his mission experiences  with us and he told us something so cool!

He told us that one day when they were in a missionary meeting the Mission President told them that if you don't face their challenges head on, you will never conquer them.

and he said that while out on his mission he had always wanted to preach on the bus, and he said that he never had the courage to do it until he heard his president tell him this. Well that day when they were on the bus, he turned to his companion and said, Elder, if Parley P. Pratt were on this bus, what would he do? and the other Elder said that he would preach. So he said, I'm going to get up and preach. and he got up and he started to teach this bus full of people about the Book of Mormon and they saw amazing success! he said that ever since then, every time he got on the buses he preached, and he said that they would pass out cards and whoever wanted to learn more would write their name on the cards and at the end they would collect stacks of these cards of people who wanted to learn more about the gospel! And he said that it was an amazing experience and that he knew that he had to just have the faith to act and to face his challenges head on and that the Lord would provide the rest.

He told it a lot better than I told it, but I want to be like that! I want to be able to face my challenges head on! To take courage and doubt not, fear not! And I know that I'm going to see miracles. I know that we can all see miracles if we have to courage to face our fears with full speed ahead and have faith that the Lord will get us through it! 
I'm already seeing the truth of it here on my mission! 
Well, I'm happy to stay in this area another transfer, you end up getting really attached to everyone you teach and you come to love them so much. You see that they really are your brothers and sisters and you want nothing but the best for them! 


I love learning about it everyday. All of these small details that I never realized before about the gospel, about how much our Heavenly Father really knows us more than we know ourselves. And that through them we can get through anything, we can do anything, we can be who we know that we are. And that in and of itself is a miracle.
Well I love you all! Until next week! 
Love Hermana Ficklin

Hermana Pelaez slipped and fell in the snow haha