Monday, March 31, 2014

March 31, 2014 Austin, Minnesota

Sorry! I only have a short time to write this time...again! 

But!  I'll let you know about the highlights!

We have been doing great here in the town of Austin, we've gotten to know most of the ward and they are all super super great! They are so supportive in missionary work and it is amazing to see the miracles that are happening here in Austin because of them! 

We had the Womens Conference at the church on saturday and we had a chocolate fondue get together before and we got to talk with a lot of the members there as well. I tell ya these people are characters. haha I love it.
So we as a mission have been reading a lot about the Atonement in preparation for Easter and I have learned so much about the Atonement that I had never thought about before. I recommend this to all in preparation for Easter to start reading and researching more the talks of the Prophet and General Authorities about the Atonement. It is truly amazing.

Other than that the missionary work in Austin is on it's way and we have been finding creative ways to help the people here accept the gospel and right now we are trying out "project Ammon" where we are trying to be like Ammon in serving the Hispanic people so that they will gain the trust of missionaries. So far it has been a success! We had one person we contacted call us and ask us when our church services were and that he wants to come next sunday! I'll keep you updated on the details! 
Love you all! 

Love Hermana Ficklin

Monday, March 24, 2014

March 24, 2014 Transferred to Austin, Minnesota!

its snowing! 

well! I am now in a new area! The wonderful town of Austin, Minnesota! Me and Hermana Maravilla had quite a fun road trip from Bloomington to Rochester (an hour and fourty minute drive) just to go eat with the district and then we drove to Austin (another fourty five minutes) it was about 140 miles total. But it was fun! and the sunset was gorgeous as we left the big city and drove through the snow covered countryside until we got to the small town of Austin where we met the sisters here and Sister Register, who is the member that we live with. 

okay... I. LOVE. AUSTIN. i think im going to stay here for the rest of my mission. or at least for three transfers (: its a small town and its got a really small town feel. we live with a member, sister register. and she is great! she is really interesting to! well everyone here is really unique in personalities! she was in the airforce, and she served two missions, her first one in billings montana. where did you live in montana again? and then she just got back from a mission in nauvoo shes got some fun pictures of that, i want to serve a mission in nauvoo! it looks like a lot of fun, she had to wear pioneer outfits all the time and she learned how to quilt. our ward is awesome! its a magnet ward so that means that we have english and spanish. right now they are mostly english with only a couple spanish families ( but that will change soon) but all of them are so gungho about missionary work. most of them are converts themselves actually so its been so interesting to hear there stories about how they met the missionaries and how they were converted. haha oh and me and hermana maravilla joined the choir and let me tell you the choir leader is a hoot! haha i have never met anyone quite like her! shes got such a bubbly energetic personality you cant help but love to sing haha mostly because shes pulling faces every five seconds telling you you look like your a zombie and to  smmmiiiiiile! (imagine that in a sing songy voice) haha and then when we do good she does this high pitched squeel letting us know we did good! haha its so fun. sister maravilla is awesome to. i am really grateful to have her (: she is really relaxed and thoughtful like me and just really focused on missionary work and shes just awesome all around. shes been out on her mission for 11 months and shes from washington but she was born in mexico, and shes a convert to, she got baptized 9 years ago.

So I'll tell you a little history about Austin. Austin is the SPAM capitol of the world, yes. we are priviledged to have the factory right here in our town and they even have a SPAM museum! we are going to go there sometime soon (: ill send pictures. That is where most of the people work at here, either that or QPP which is the factory that prepares the pigs for SPAM. Or they work and the Mayo clinic.
Like I said I love Austin already. Opening an area is pretty hard though. That means we start missionary work from scratch, but it has already been such an adventure and I'm learning a lot! haha so the other day we were out tracting a trailer park and the snow was frozen over so we just walked on the top of it and I told Hermana Maravilla in a surprised voice, "you're walking on water!" haha and then every couple steps your foot would fall through the weak parts of the snow and we'd say "ah! I lost my faith for a second!" that was our joke for the rest of the day haha. 
well, im out of time. but I want to let you know that this church is so true. Hermana Maravilla and I have been doing some history research on our church and other religions because we've had a lot of people question us about having the priesthood authority from God. I've come to learn why history is so important to know and why having knowledge helps you learn the truth! And I know without a doubt that this church is true!
until next time! love you all! 
Love, Hermana Ficklin

Monday, March 17, 2014

March 17, 2014 Bloomington, Minnesota - but being transferred!

marrisa millard, a ward missionary, shes going to leave on a mission soon

birthday of hna lara

going away party for elder Jerome

Wow! what a week it's been! Okay I'm to excited to hold it in and I know you all want to know what transfers have brought! So....

The results are in: I am being transferred to open an area down south called Austin! No, not Austin Texas... or Boston Texas (a joke between me and Leilla hehe) but, it is the most southern missionary area in Minnesota! My new companion will be Hermana Maravilla! I haven't met her yet but I've heard from other missionaries that she is awesome! So I'm excited to meet her! 

It's about an hours drive from where I am now in Bloomington.

I am very very very excited to go and see what miracles await in Austin! I'm going to be in a totally new area with totally new missionaries in a new ward and new investigators. Who knows what awaits! I'll be sure to send pictures your way soon! It's also a zebra area which means it will be a Spanish and English ward. I'm not quite sure what that all entails but there will be more details to come I'm sure!
As for Bloomington, I'll be sad to leave, I've come to know and love this ward and these people here but I know that the missionaries here will take good care of them! I've learned ALOT in this area, about myself, about others, and about the Lord. But I've especially come to learn how much my Heavenly Father loves me and knows me personally and I've learned how to give up my will for His and in that I've come to find that my will is His will. I really do just want to do what He wants me to do.
 faith with an egg activity for noche de hogar (fhe)

Last night we had the privilege of going to the Presidents Fireside with an investigator who we met the night before knocking doors. It was a very inspiring meeting and I gained more of a passion for missionary work than ever! It was so cool. I got to see the curiosity grow in our investigator who had only heard our 30 minute message the night before on the restoration of Jesus Christ and then to have to courage to come with these new strange missionaries to a church he'd never been to, to listen to people talk about why they were baptized in a church he'd only heard about the night before. What an amazing experience we got to see as he listened to recent converts of the church from Burma, Mexico, and other areas of the world bear testimony of the truth of the Book of Mormon, and the happiness and peace it has brought their lives and how much it has blessed their families. And then to feel the spirit working among all of our investigators that were there that night, to be able to talk with them and answer their questions that maybe they've never had a clear answer to before. And then on top of that to truly see how it changes their character for the better, to gain more of a curiosity, a "spiritual hunger" that maybe they didn't know they had before. ITS SO COOL!  
I want to be a missionary forever. 

We also got to hear Elder Jerome sing at the Presidents Fireside as well! He is going home from his mission on wednesday and we got to have a "going away party" for him at one of our members house this week and it's been a time for me to be able to see what a mission really is for me because as we talked with him I asked him questions about how he felt about going home, what was the first thing he was going to do when he gets home, what he's most excited about/ most nervous about because I think these things to about what's going to happen when I get home haha it's weird to think about. I feel like I'm going to be on a mission forever. But as he answered these questions you came to see how much he really loves his mission, that it's really changed him for the better. And I thought to myself about how truly grateful I am to be on a mission, to be here doing the Lords work, to change, to grow, to live more selflessly than I have in my entire life and to see that this is true happiness. What an amazing experience a mission is.
 blanca perez and i eating chile reyeno and cactus!

President and Sister Clements are back as well! They are so great! they are like my mom and dad here on the mission and all of us missionaries missed them! I'm so grateful for them and their hard work here! woohoo! welcome back! 
So, being on a mission gives you your highest of highs and the lowest of lows on I think every aspect. And I've been thinking and praying a lot on how to overcome my trials, but not only to overcome, but to succeed and excel. Because I want nothing more than to come away from life satisfied that I did what my Heavenly Father wanted me to do. I've come to find that Heavenly Father expects a lot from me. Okay, not a lot, He expects EVERYTHING from me. Which is a hard path to follow. To give everything I've got. but in that I've found that I can trust Him. If He wants everything I have to give, I can do it. 
President Clements gave me some very inspired words when we had a zone conference call this week. He talked about talents. How everyone has a different set of talents that God has given us in this life. And that we are going to have talents that others do not have and visa versa. He told us that we are not expected to be perfect in every talent that others have. That is why we have individual talents, to be able to work together and  combine the talents that God has given us to bless each other and those around us.
We are, however, expected to perfect ourselves in the talents and virtues of Jesus Christ, such as meekness, love, patience, humility, etc. It's interesting to think about how God doesn't expect us, nor will we ever be perfected in the talents others posses, but He does expect us to become perfected in the talents of the only perfect being that walked this Earth. Heavenly Father truly is a man of mysteries! 
President Clements also talked about adversity. Facing trials. He said that we all face dark days and challenging moments, but the Lord will deliver you. Be patient. Have faith. Faith is what remains when all else fails. We can endure great adversity!
It's funny because I've had a sentence come across my mind over and over again as I've come to face my own dark days and challenging moments here on the mission when I thought that maybe I couldn't go on and I sort of complained to Heavenly Father of why I had to face such great adversity when I was doing to Lords work, and then I would always get the answer, "You are not yet as Job." haha it's true though. I am not yet as Job. And through that I've come to see how blessed I am in so many aspects of my life and I change my thoughts towards gratitude for my trials because I come to see the blessings I have, and I change my complaints to thanks! 

It's amazing how the Lord works. 
Trust in Him! 
oh! i forgot to tell you! I ate a jabanero pepper at district meeting this week! its pretty spicy. to say the least.

  I have pictures to show that it was no big deal for me though. haha just kidding it was the hottest thing I've ever eaten in my life! 
 I got the hiccups and then afterward I started shivering and my stomach didn't feel to good for the rest of the day! 
 BUT! now my spanish is going to be perfect! haha It was a good experience. It will be my first and my last time eating a jabanero pepper.

Well, until next week! I'll be in Austin! woohoo! 
Love you all! 
Love, Hermana Ficklin

the sign says "feel free to take anything here... minus the table"

Monday, March 10, 2014

March 10, 2014

YES! SPRING TIME IS ON ITS WAY! It is finally starting to warm up here in the wonderful state of Minnesota in the wonderful town of Bloomington! I really hope that soon this city lives up to it's name and we start to see flowers popping up! first we have to get rid of all the snow though :P and there's a lot haha, it's all starting to melt right now so a lot of the roads are just covered in water. Minnesotas pretty serious about puddles... and potholes the size of Texas. It's like you are pretty much off roading (: it's fun. 
So that's the big update for this week other than next week is transfers again! I'll let you know what happens on monday! I'm guessing that either I'm going to stay here and get a new companion, or that I'm going to go somewhere else totally new. I'm excited to see what happens! It's always a mystery until monday! 
Oh! anndd I left my planner at a members house last week and she lives far away so I've been without my planner for about a week now and a missionary planner is the equivalent of your cell phone times eternity haha so I've made a temporary planner until we go back to visit her, but I've realized how much I rely on that little guy. But! I'm going to get it back tonight so that's good (:
This week we've been teaching a lot about Faith. and we've been using an egg to explain it! It's been really fun seeing peoples reactions when we ask them if they have an egg we could use and then seeing their reaction again when we try to break it haha. So I don't remember where I learned this trick that if you press the egg with all of your strength, pressing on the top and the bottom of the egg, it won't break.

--im going to write the rest of my blog in a little bit! we have an elder leaving this transfer and we are having a party at a members house for him in this moment so ill be back later to write the rest! love you!—

so what we did was we talked about faith and read from Alma 32 about how faith is not to have a perfect knowledge. Faith is not something that we see to believe, or that wouldn't be faith! So we talked about that and we read from the definition in the Spanish Book of Mormon about faith. They don't have the same definitions in the English Book of Mormon! But then we said "okay, we are going to test your faith! (translation in english) Do you have the faith that if I use all of the strength in my hand on this egg, that it won't break?" and they all say, "no it's going to break!" and then we say, "well, we know that if we have faith in Jesus Christ, we know that he is going to show us the way that all things are possible!" and then you demonstrate that you can't break the egg this way and all of them have a freaked out face thinking you are crazy and that the egg is going to break but it doesn't! And then they think you are faking it, so you pass it off to them and let them try! Haha that's fun to watch to! We had a father and son try it and the son was trying to break it over his dad haha it was great. But we know that those seemingly impossible tasks before us in life are possible if we have faith in Jesus Christ and we trust that whatever He asks of us, is possible! 
Just have Faith! 
welp! until next time! Have a grrreeaaatt week! 
Hasta luego!
love you all! Love Hermana Ficklin

Monday, March 3, 2014

March 3, 2014

Hace Frio!
         Feliz Marzo! Happy March! I can't believe that yet another month has gone by in the mission field! It's going by to fast! aahhhh!! welp. I've still got a year left, so I don't have to worry to much yet (:

Some news for you this week that I forgot to tell you last week is that our Mission President, President Clements, called us and told us that he had to leave for three weeks to deal with a work emergency, and that President Ehlert would be presiding as Mission President until he returns. So from now until the next transfer we've got President Ehlert. We love both of them though! So that's been new this week and we've had a zone conference with him and he's given us a lot of revelation on being better missionaries! 

The zone leaders also got ipads! which hopefully means that we are in transition to get ipads as well. I really hope so, they would be a huge help! We also got steppers! I'm not quite sure what you call them but they count the number of steps you take...steppers right? haha I dont know but we were given them at zone conference and they are pretty high tech. President Ehlert talked about how exercising and moving is a natural way of dealing with stress and anxiety and depression. The more you move, the happier you are! Our goal is to get in 10,000 steps a day. I've come to realize how much I actually don't move! My highest so far is 6,731 steps. It's a work in progress.(:
So this week has been a cold one! ay yayay. it dropped down to -14 the other day and its been in the below 0 range the rest of the days.  Brrr. Haha okay so our apartments that we live in are really close to the mission office and so we stop by every once in a while to get supplies and we get the chance to see the Mission President and all of the office Sisters which we love (: every week or so. Haha so we stopped by today and President Ehlert was in his office with his assistants and we said hi to them and President Ehlert said jokingly to us that they were just discussing this week whether or not they should send down hell fire to Minnesota to warm it up because its been so cold! hahaha we had a good laugh at that. It's seriously been so cold though. It's supposed to warm up next week for good though! I sure hope they're right! 
We had exchanges this week as well and I got to be companions with Hermana Peterson again for a day! it was a lot of fun and it's always exciting to introduce your investigators to them because you talk about them so much, they are like your family! You become like the crazy cat lady who, when you come over to her house she pulls out her album full of nothing but photos of all of the cats she's ever owned in her life. I have yet to meet a crazy cat lady actually... I think that would be kind of fun. I like cats. But anyway we had fun and we got to teach some of my favorite investigators that day, which is great!  mi familia!
We've found a lot of prepared people this week that I'm really excited about and I really pray that they are going to progress in the gospel (: It really is so cool to see people change and to see that they can see a difference in their lives when they start to follow the gospel and how much happier it makes them. We heard just the other day that one of the people that we found knocking doors about a month ago that the english sisters are teaching, is going to church and she says that she feels really happy when they come over and she wants that more in her life. I think everyone searches for happiness and when we finally find that in life, that's got to be the greatest feeling ever. I've seen it time and time again here on the mission and I know that what this gospel brings is true happiness. Eternal Joy! 
That's what life is all about, to have joy! We just gotta know where to find it! And that true joy is in the gospel of Jesus Christ!  
Well, until next week!!  enjoy the warm weather in Utah!  
Love you all! 

Love Hermana Ficklin