Monday, April 28, 2014

April 28, 2014 Tranfers came and I get to stay in Austin, Minnesota with Hermana Maravilla!

I need to stop making my blog last because then I'm in a rush to write it! haha okay first off I am super happy. (: 

It's raining outside right now and the thunder here is awesome to (: Hermana Maravilla and I always take walks out by the river and we try to catch the frogs when we can hear them, which is an adventure. I still haven't caught one yet. they are sneaky little buggers.
We have been having a lot of success with everyone down here and I think the thing I have learned most about this week is how I just keep growing in the love to serve others. We've done everything from caulking wood floors, to carrying bricks, cleaning up yards and finding baby bunnies, and helping organize peoples houses. I love it. I've never had closer relationships with people. 

This might sound dumb but I've realized that you can't understand the joy that living the gospel has for you until you live it and you do it. It makes sense right, that you won't know the truthfulness of something until you apply it.  And yet we don't a lot of the times. 

If I could give any advice... it would be to just do it. I was telling Leilla that I had just read in the Book of Mormon about how Nephi is compiling the words Jesus had spoke and Jesus forbade him to write down everything he had said, and when Nephi asks why, Jesus says that He will try the faith of His people. Then He goes on to say that only after the trial of our faith will we then get to enjoy the miracles and the blessings that come from it.

The things in life are appreciated as much as the effort that is given to obtain it. 
That is why Heavenly Father makes us do hard things. That is why we have bad things happen in our lives. That is why we have trials.

Because in them is where we find our true values and true worth, and we cherish what we have.

I like to call it elevated living. 
We first have to find our trust in the Lord that He knows what He's talking about and then let Him teach you how walking on water isn't so hard after all.
So have faith! Try for yourselves the things the gospel teaches, because in them is where true happiness lies (: and you will see for yourself that after the trial of your faith you will see the blessings they hold.
For example: if you want deep, lasting, true relationships... do service. 
When you are in the service of your fellow beings, you are only in the service of your God.
Love you all!

Hermana Ficklin

Monday, April 21, 2014

April 21, 2014 Austin, Minnesota

i went to hogwarts! jk its a catholic church

a squirrel that looks like a myazaki character on spirited away (;

we live in a member home so this is her house and we are right next to the church

Happy Easter everyone! I hope that it was great! 
This week has been amazing! We have been sharing an Easter video with everyone that I want you to watch first!
So it is finally turning into spring and it has been so warm and its been raining as well so everything smells fresh and new and there are flowers popping up out of everywhere and there are buds on the trees and birds of every sound are all chirping their lungs out because they are so happy winter is done with. (That's how I feel on the inside as well). Yesterday was just beautiful and I was just to happy to be alive! And I'm happy I live in a time where we have all of our Heavenly Fathers plain and precious truths. 

Our mission President is having us write a 10 minute lesson on the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ to help us simplify and intensify the way we teach. You really have to think about what you are going to say because what the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ contains is so infinately important. One of those subjects being the Atonement of Jesus Christ. As I spent the week pondering over what 3 sentences I could say that would explain the true spirit of the Atonement I came to appreciate and apply more to what that meant for me. 

We shared the easter video with everyone we could. walking down streets where people sat on the steps of their porch, we sat with them and they watched on their phone as we stood and listened to the music and felt the peace and joy of the Holy Ghost as it testified that it was true. To sitting with a mother and her son who was mentally ill silently and intently listen to the melody and feel the gentle assurance that we have eternal life and eternal families because of Him. 

Driving back down the street I looked up at the beautiful sunset as the day was coming to it's end and I had the words of Dieter F. Uchtdorf running through my head "there are no endings. only eternal beginnings. we are made of the stuff of eternity." And I just felt happy. That is what the gospel of Jesus Christ does for us, that is what the Atonement does for us. It reveals to us the plain and precious truths that we can live forever in the happiness we are destined to inherit. For we are to inherit all that the Father hath, which is eternal and lasting peace and happiness.
I know that Jesus Christ died for us so that we can overcome the demands of justice and bring to pass our immortality and eternal life of all man. Every soul has been saved from the bands of both physical and spiritual death and we now have the opportunity to learn and grow and to have joy. Because of him.
We can show our gratitude simply by doing the only thing he's asked us to do. Follow him. 
For in that is where we find true happiness.
If there is something in your life not according to what Jesus has asked. Change it and find peace. I can promise you that you will. Life is a hard journey and we all must taste of the bitterness of rejecting the gospel of Jesus Christ when we sin, but then we have the sweetness of repentance, to renew our lives and to live again. Through him we have hope! 
Happy Easter! Happy Spring! 
Love you all!
Hermana Ficklin

Monday, April 14, 2014

April 14, 2014 Austin, Minnesota

i made rice krispies! 

 and this is our fridge (: 
(Don't worry, this is a family tradition. My mom asks each one of her missionaries to send home pictures of everything -- including the inside of the fridge.)

study desk 
first fhe together! 
 the road next to our house

canal by our house

 a woodpecker and a fat robin

 some creepy catholic candles that we found at a mexican store
one is the holy death and the other is mexicos drug lord. 

 speaking of death, heres some deer in a cemetery


          We had a good week this week! We have been calling all of the less actives this week and on Friday we called a less active who we set up an appointment with for today. What surprised us is that yesterday, during testimony meeting a man got up and bore his testimony on how he got up this morning, got dressed and just started driving, and he asked himself where he was going and he said, I know where I'm going and I'm supposed to be there, and that led him to church. Afterwards he came up to us and told us that he was Israel and asked if we were the missionaries that called him. We said yes and he requested that we teach him the lessons again! woohoo!  
We are also teaching English lessons to someone named Lorenzo who we invited to church, in which he attended and has already become good friends with one of our members. 

It's really cool to see that through a little effort of our own and leaving the rest up to the Lord, we can see the miracle of others coming to find happiness on their own. We are simply instruments in Gods hands to bring happiness to others! so cool! 
Its a short one today! but none the less awesome! 
have a grrrreeeaaattt week! 
Love Hermana Ficklin

Monday, April 7, 2014

April 7, 2014 Austin, Minnesota

 Gotta love Minnesota!

What a week! 

So it has finally started to warm up! It's not to hot and it's not to cold, all you need is a light jacket! And it's started to rain instead of snow and the rain makes everything smell good! There are a lot of trees here so it smells like a forest! (It's a much better smell than the spam factory)  Hopefully the trees will start to bud soon and we will get to see the green again! Yay for spring! 

haha so the other day we were making grape koolaid for lunch and I grabbed a packet and sang out "I got the powder!" but to the song that goes like "I got the power! dun. dun. duh nuh dun. dun." they play it at basketball games and stuff haha but its great we say funny things like that all the time haha okay so we were at the grocery store buying our food for the week and I asked Hermana Maravilla if she liked cucumbers and she said something along the lines of eh, ya. and then i said something like well do you like them really? and she said "I've had bad experieces with cucumbers."  hahaha what an odd statement! haha so naturally I had to hear the story behind it which was simply that she had grown cucumbers before in Mexico and apparently she has had some pretty gross cucumbers. haha but sometimes we laugh to much and we can't get anything done. Well, that's not true, we get a lot of things done. We just laugh a lot. Because we have the same sense of humor. (:
But speaking of hard work! The Lord is truly blessing us here! Through project Ammon we have seen what service can do to the hearts of man! Truly I've gained a testimony and a deep love of serving others. It's truly a two way street of immense blessings. This is a way of true love and friendship and I can see that through serving others you can exemplify the Christlike attributes in yourself that you maybe wouldn't be able to show otherwise.
And it is simple service, offering the talents that we have and doing what we can, such as picking up sticks off of peoples yards or offering English classes to those who want to learn. We can see an instant change in the faces of those we meet from defensive, uninterested looks when they see our name tags bearing the name of Jesus Christ, to surprise  when they hear our kind words of asking if there is anything we can do for them, to a softened face of gratitude and friendliness.
What is sad and humbling to hear them say is that you don't really get people who just want to help anymore, and sometimes they even question our motives, they ask us  if it costs anything, and I want to say, no you dummy! we are doing this because we love you! there is not a price you can pay in dollar bills for the true service of helping one another. haha but we don't say that. we just say all we want is a smile! cheesy, yes. But truly sincere.
Really, just helping someone is reward enough, and I can't describe to you how great that feels unless you yourself have come to find the truth in serving others and then you start to understand the characteristic of Christ and that feeling is so cool to know that you are indeed becoming more like Christ and you learn to absolutely love to serve simply just to serve! 
From project Ammon we've found some amazing families that are prepared and ready to hear and accept the gospel. One of our investigators, Gerardo, we found Ammon tracting and he contacted us and asked if he could learn more about our church, we taught him once so far and he attended a session of General Conference with us and loved it and he has accepted the baptismal invitation! And then we had another couple and her friend, Carolina and Marco Antonio, and Esther who we are going to start having  English classes with, we have started teaching them about the gospel and today we are going to have family night with them!  Carolina has accepted baptism as well. 
We know what we teach is the pure doctrine of Jesus Christ. In everything that we do, spoken or unspoken, we can exude these characteristics of truth unto the influencing of others for good. Unto the everlasting change of pure and unending joy! To bring them back to the fold of Christ and His teachings, because in them is where we find ourselves.
I've just finished reading 4 Nephi in the Book of Mormon and I invite you to read it and see the joy that following the commandments brings into our lives and the lives of others. What if the world was like that today? That is a happy thought!
Serve others, love your neighbors!
well until next time, love you all! 
Love, Hermana Ficklin
hey mom! if you could attach the talk of Thomas S. Monson about loving one another, that would be great! love you

Here it is: