Monday, June 30, 2014

June 30, 2014 Askov, Minnesota

sister noe and i at a thrift store.

robins under our stairs (:

our font cake for jennies baptism- we put blue jello in the middle (:

jennie and chris (they are my favorite and they are getting married)

 (:   helicopter!


So we've had some great things happen this week! We got to have a baptism on my birthday!! woohoo! it was also Sister Noe's year mark so we had a lot of celebrating that day! And our investigator that got baptized is getting married to one of our members (The one who baptized her)! They are awesome! we love them. Our branch is amazing as well. There's nothing quite like being in a branch, you get to know everyone very well and they become your family, which is wonderful to feel!  We've had some great service opportunities this week from helping mow lawns in the rain, weeding in the rain, and making decorations for one of our members graduation parties (it was raining outside) haha it's been raining a lot. But it's given us some awesome opportunities to visit with people and to get to know them while we wait for the downpour to lighten up so we can run out to our car and not get soaked.

We had ground wheat pancake sunday (which was delicious, i ate it with home churned butter from a members farm (: loved it! ), which happens every 5th sundayand they talk about preparedness (such as with food storage) and spiritual preparedness as well. it was really a great sunday because we had two non members there that got to listen in and enjoy pancakes. You know I really just love missionary work. There's nothing like it really and I just realized that I could have been doing this all along before my mission. And I plan on being a missionary for the rest of my life even if I'm not wearing the name tag. There is a fullness of joy that Jesus talks about when you serve one another and I can testify to that! 

So I wanted to write a little bit about change.

Missions are full of change. For me I change a lot and I move from place to place and north and south, with new companions that have all types of different personalities, whether it be a Spanish ward in the cities or an English branch in a little dutch town, there is always change and there is always adaption. But I've come to realize that is what makes a mission wonderful! Change is what helps you refine yourself. It puts you in different circumstances and different challenges that give you a perspective of how you view life at all sorts of angles you never looked at before. 

I love the story of the Liahona in the Book of Mormon, it's helped me realize that the Lord is my compass and he guides me according to my faith and diligence

1 Nephi 16:28-29
"And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld the pointers which were in the ball, that they did work according to the faith and the diligence and heed which we did give unto them.
And there was also written upon them a new writing , which was plain to be read, which did give us understanding concerning the ways of the Lord, and it was written and changed from time to time, according to faith and diligence which we gave unto it.
And this we see that by small means the Lord can bring about great things."

Change is not always what I want, but in the end I see why the Lord gives me change, to help me see His will in action and I get to enjoy the fruits of it! I've realized how to trust in the Lord and His will because in the end, I turn out better than I could have ever done if I were to choose for myself.

It's helped me understand the mind of our Heavenly Father.

I'm grateful that my Heavenly Father gives me challenges and that He gives me things that I don't want in life because I understand so much more the joys of life and the importance of it, as well as knowing that our Heavenly Father knows us so personally that He is willing to let us suffer a little so that we can  work through it and grow and become refined in our faith and trusting in the Lord.

3 Nephi 24:6
"For I am the Lord, I change not..."

I know one thing for sure that amidst all the change and tumult in the world, That our Heavenly Father never changes, and that is someone that I can trust.

Mormon 9:19
"And if there were miracles wrought then, why has god ceased to be a god of miracles and yet be and unchangeable being? And behold, I say unto you he changeth not; if so he would cease to be God; and he ceaseth not to be God, and is a God of miracles."

I know that our Heavenly Father is a God of miracles and I get to see that in my own life and in others lives daily and I am so grateful for that!

Never get down when you have change and challenge in your life because the Lord is making you into who He knows you are.

Love you all! I hope you all have an AWESOME 4TH OF JULY!  
         ---Land of the Free, Home of the Brave---
                   IN GOD WE TRUST

Love, Hermana Ficklin

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

June 23, 2014 Askov, Minnesota

i finally caught a frog! 

the petersons

a funny statue in hinckley

jennie and her kids tyler and hannah, and chris's leg ( her boyfriend who is a member)- shes going to be baptized on my birthday!!!

barn in the backyard

little town of askov

   me in askov

Sorry, I’m going to have to be short again this week, but guess what!? 
We are having a baptism this week!! Woohoo! And on my birthday! Best present ever! We are super excited for her and I will give you the details next week. But! I just thought I'd let you know!!! 

Everyone keep safe and enjoy the summer while it lasts! It's almost July!! crazy! The months are going by way to fast!

Here's some spiritual food for thought:
 1 kings 4:29,32-34

To discern judgment:

Behold i have done according to thy words: lo, i have given thee a wise and understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee and i have also given thee that which though hast not asked, both riches, and honour: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days. 
If thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes, and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then will i lengthen they days.

And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that is on the sea shore.

I love learning wisdom! 

Love you all! 
Love sister Ficklin

Monday, June 16, 2014

June 16, 2014 First Full Week In Askov (Duluth area)

 tony and tiffany

patty may (the hoarder)

(: hola.


So this will be a short one this week! 
It was sad to leave Austin, I will miss it! but i know it's in good hands! 

 Askov is absolutely gorgeous! It's the back woods, dirt roads, beautiful rivers, and SO many different shades of green it's crazy! The branch is amazing! there are probably 25 active members,  but all are golden! I'm excited to get to know them all better! My new companion is Sister Noe! I found out she's actually part hispanic! haha how ironic. But she is awesome! We have really awesome people up here that we are teaching and one investigator they have been teaching is going to be baptizedjune 26th! my birthday!! so I'm super excited about that! 
we went to moose lake this week and it was so pretty!
i'll give more details next week! the church is true!

love hermana Ficklin

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

June 9, 2014 Transferred to Duluth, Minnesota!!!

the plan of salvation!!! had fun chalk drawing!

i did megans hair like mine haha

ooohhhh Canada!
Transfers came in today! bet you can't guess where I'm going this time... Haha ah man the Lord just loves to keep me guessing. So, I am leaving Austin, Minnesota, the furthest south area of my mission to Duluth, Minnesota which is the furthest north mission that the sisters can go. My new companion is going to be sister Noe. Oh! and I'm going to an english speaking area! There's never a dull moment in missionary life.

So this will be a grand new adventure again! I'm excited to see what it brings and what great blessings I'll  be able to see there!

I'll be sad to leave Austin and Sister Maravilla and all of the great people I've met here, and especially Tiffany and Tony because they are doing so awesome! They both came to a baptism this week and they came to church and Tony offered the opening prayer and commented the whole time in class. That may seem simple but you have no idea how cool it was to see! I can't wait to hear about their progress! 

Hermana Maravilla and I gave talks this week as well about missionary work and motivation and it was awesome! We are not a passive people! We are proactive!!! I wanted to share with you what we talked about but in my excitement to find out transfers, I left my notes at home. So stay tuned...
So I've got a long drive ahead of me on Wednesday, Road trip! It will probably take us all day I'm guessing. We'll let you know how it goes! 

I'll keep you updated! 
Sister Ficklin

Saturday, June 7, 2014

June 2, 2014 Austin, Minnesota

 hermana maravilla,me, lorenzo, and megan

cool tiles by someones house- very creative

Haz Lo Justo!!

       So this week has been amazing! The weather is beautiful and a wonderful 80 degrees! The humidity has begun to set in but I am not complaining! My hair is set on curly for the summer, there really isn't a use for straightening any more because it just goes back to curly within 20 minutes of being outside. We had a lot of fun this week as well! We had the opportunity to go out and help one of our members out on their farm! If any of you know me, that is like the best type of service you could give me to do! Well really and honestly I love any type of service, it's become something I really love to do.
But, we went out into the country and helped them plant strawberries and fertilize the tomatoes and help them set down rows of cloth so that they could plant squash and pumpkins and watermelon and what not. As we helped them their children wanted to show us everything there is on a farm including the 30 baby chicks they had and the rooster hanging out under the pine tree. Oh! I caught a frog! well, actually I think it was a toad. we found it while watering the tomatoes and their daughter put it in a box and I told her if she kissed it, it might turn into a prince and she giggled said she wouldn't kiss it because that's gross. Her parents are raising her right. Hermana Maravilla and I had a good talk about how we are raising our kids on a farm because well for one, it's a lot of fun. and two that it teaches your kids a lot and gives them a lot of good life experiences. We really enjoyed it over there! 
Now on to the good stuff. Last week we were knocking doors around one of our members houses and on one of the blocks we saw a woman sitting on her steps watching her son play while her spouse was mowing the lawn, and we decided to go talk to her, as missionaries do of course! We ended up having a very good conversation with Tiffany about the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ and at the end she asked us the question of why do some people seem to have it easier than others? We LOVE questions like that, we also love to answer them (This is why the restored gospel of Jesus Christ is so awesome)

But that is a very valid question, why do we have trials? why do some seem to have it easier than others? We told her that we would explain more of this the next time we came and visited and at this time her friend Tony arrived and said that he wanted to learn more about God as well.

The next time we came we explained to her the reason behind trials, and we explained that trials are for our growth. 

They are experiences that Heavenly Father puts us through so that we can be like Him. We also went through the Plan of Salvation with her and explained that we are all here to be like our Heavenly Father, and to be like Him we have to have an imperfect body, to live in an imperfect world, and to make mistakes, to know good and evil- we had to have pain and sorrow to both have, and understand true joy. I asked her about her trials and if she's learned anything from them. She said that is where she learned the most about herself. And then we asked if she would take back any of those experiences she had and she said no, because it would make her a different person than she is today. Those bad experiences have made her better. Talk about blessings in disguise. 

So why do we have different trials than others? The reason behind having different and unique trials is because those trials are tailor made by our Heavenly Father specifically for us to utilize our agency to bring about our fullest potentials, to help us realize our divinity, and in seeing that we can overcome what God puts before us- and not only to overcome and succeed, but to excel!  Trials are not a burden but a blessing. It all depends on your perspective and your understanding, and overall, your attitude.
It helps us realize who we are- Sons and Daughters of God, and who God really is, and our relationship with Him. 

He really does know us better than we know ourselves.
I will point out though that the actions of others can create trials in our lives that are very difficult to overcome, but they are not impossible if we use the gift of the Atonement of Jesus Christ in our lives- the blessing of repentance and baptism give us the healing and cleansing power and process to be freed from these feelings of hate, anger, and pain. 

How awesome is that to know?! That our trials are not meant for us to suffer, and be miserable forever. They are meant for us to find and have true and everlasting joy. The Lord indeed works in mysterious ways. 
So Tiffany and Tony are doing awesome and they love to learn. It's cool to see how excited they are about learning and trying to explain the feeling of the Holy Ghost. They've told us every time we've taught them that it's funny we are teaching them because usually they turn away the missionaries or hide from them, but they felt like they needed to talk to us and after we spoke with them they had to have us come back. But I know it's because our Heavenly Father knows them personally and wants them to receive the gift and blessing of having the restored gospel of Jesus Christ in their lives, and I know that this is going to bless their lives eternally, which is the best thing ever! Happiness all around! 
So needless to say, tracting is not as bad as it seems and the Lord leads you to those who He knows both need and want the gospel in their lives.
I also just want to share with you some cool things I learned about prayer this morning.
I've had my own questions about prayer and how I can make my prayers better because I've been reading about king David and Solomon in the Bible and I like the psalms of David. They are very meaningful, and personal and powerful. I've also been wanting to explain to others better why we end our prayers in the name of Jesus Christ. and the question of why do some prayers go unanswered?

 The Bible Dictionary is awesome. These are some things it explains:
"-As soon as we learn  the true relationship in which we stand toward God (namely, God is our Father, and we are his children), then at once prayer becomes natural and instinctive on our part. Many of the so called difficulties about prayer arise from forgetting this relationship. Prayer is the act by which the will of the Father and the will of the child are brought into correspondence with each other. 

-the object of prayer is not to change the will of god, but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings hat God is already willing to grant, but that are made conditional on our asking for them. 

-Blessings require some work or effort on our part before we can obtain them. Prayer is a form of work, and is an appointed means for obtaining the highest of all blessings.

-We pray in Christ's name when our mind is the mind of Christ, and our wishes the wishes of Christ-when his words abide in us. we then ask for things it is possible for God to grant. Many prayers remain unanswered because they are not in Christ's name at all; they in no way represent his mind, but spring out of the selfishness of mans heart."

so lots of thoughts today and really cool experiences! I love this gospel!
I hope that everything is going well for all of you and that you find peace and joy! 
Love you all! 
Hasta luego! 
Hermana Ficklin