Monday, July 28, 2014

July 28, 2014 I'm Back in the City, and My New Companion is from Hawaii!

 first plate of african food ever tried! pretty good (:

 nora and hazel (:

The flip side of North Minneapolis!
who would have thought that a year later I would end up back where I started! I'm in the same apartment that I was except now I'm in the English speakers room haha it's so weird! But it's really cool at the same time because I remember having a feeling that I would be teaching English in this area, but I put it out of my mind because I'm a Spanish missionary. Well boy did God show me! haha He always surprises me with these fun curve balls. 

I also got stung by a bee the first day I was here. haha but it only hurt for like 5 minutes.
Okay and my new companion is sister Taito and she's from Hawaii! Haha we both have fun personalities so we are getting along just great!  she is an amazing missionary already and she only just got done training! I can't wait to see what kind of miracles we will experience in this area together (: It's gonna be awesome! 
so it has brought back a flood of memories and made me realize how much I've missed this area. I remember being a newbie missionary struggling to learn Spanish and just being overwhelmed with the gospel. And I now look at where I am as a missionary and as a person and how much I've learned in just a year here. It really astounds me what the Lord can do with you if you let him.
So other than the crazy fun flashbacks I've been having all over the place, I have been having a blast getting to know the African culture! They are amazing, truly one of the most spiritual people I have yet to meet. They raise their children up in the gospel and they know so much about God and who they are and where they came from. I am really loving getting to hear them bear their testimonies and truly desire to learn more. That is one of the most important parts of knowledge. To have a personal desire and drive to know the truth. That goes for anything in life really. If you want to learn something, you will. No one else can learn it for you. If it is a desire you have, you'll do what you can to learn.

So this week I've been thinking a lot about the process of self mastery. Or overcoming the "natural man". The process of becoming like our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. That is our whole purpose of having a mortal life. That despite being surrounded in imperfection, temptation and trials, we can overcome all of this through the Plan of Redemption. And we can do it through mastering our "natural man" desires. 

So how do we refine ourselves into the person that we want to be? How can we get out of the ruts that we find ourselves in? How can we avoid all of these forces that are all against us? 
I think it starts simply with thinking about what is truly important.
What will you have left after you die?
your experiences and choices, attitude, knowledge, and your relationships.
that's it.
So, ask yourselves these questions:
what experiences are you having in your life?
what choices are you making?
what is your attitude?
what are you learning?
how are your relationships like?
the answers to these questions will give you the key to where you are in becoming like God. If the things you are doing are not really important, change them! 
be happy! love you all

love Hermana Ficklin

Monday, July 21, 2014

July 21, 2014 I’m getting transferred to Shingle Creek

 Moose Lake

an old german ladies gorgeous yard. shes won many prizes for her yard flowers

the moving wall came to sandstone. everyone who was mia or pow in the vietnam war. i found a few ficklin names on it. any look familiar? family history work perhaps? (:


Another adventure! Im going to be transfered to shingle creek! Which is back in the cities and if I'm not mistaken I'll be back in the same apartment that I was when I first got here! so I'll be on the flip side this time and I'll be doing english work! Africans here I come! I'm really excited to go! I'll realllly miss Askov though I've really enjoyed being here ): But tis the missionary life.

so this week we had the moving wall come to sandstone which is a replica of the wall in Washington DC of all of the MIAs and POWs of the Vietnam war. I found a few Ficklin names on there! Interesting stuff. we talked to a few veterans here and they told us stories and expressed their deep thoughts on it all. I really appreciate those who make such sacrifices for our country and for our families.

the moving wall came to sandstone. everyone who was mia or pow in the vietnam war. i found a few ficklin names on it. any look familiar? family history work perhaps? (:

We had dinner at one of our members house. They are amazing and a shining example to me of standing strong in testimony even in old age. they are in their 80's and 90's and they love to do missionary work haha they are the cutest. they took us on a tour of their 300 plus acreage and told us the history of the log mill their family owned and told of their family history. it was amazing and beautiful and i fell in love with the area they showed us. I really can't wait to get home to do family history work. (Grandma, you’re gonna have a companion for a while and show me the ropes!)

the delongs. the lake they put the logs in.

the Delongs used to own the largest wood mill in the state. these are the spikes that was the foundation of the factory
 the delongs house. they have 345 acres of the most beautiful land ive ever seen. i fell in love with it.

We also made tamales with another member and shared this fun experience with others of our ward and it was a blast! and it was also delicious... yum!

and Zarin guess what! there is a russian family that one of our members are selling their boat to and they are going to share a russian book of mormon with them! So cool! 

anyway gotta go! lot's to do today! Transfer week is crazy!!! 
I love you all!

And for those of you who are going through trials and struggle, fear not for the enemy deride, courage for the Lord is on thy side!
Pray Lots, He is there for you. Have confidence in him. (:

Love Hermana Ficklin

Monday, July 14, 2014

July 14, 2014 Askov

 On the way to Sandstone

 one of my favorite scriptures. i love the family!

totem pole at moose lake

Espanol otravez!

The Askov area is really picking up. We are working on your advice and what you talked about with asking how we can help out the relief society and priesthood presidents. We have been focusing more on family history and working with the part member and less active families and we've been having a lot of success with them! Just a few days ago a part members son who is less active bore one of the most sincere and honest testimonies on how he knows the church was true even though he's messed up and done a lot of wrong, his testimony will never change, and he wants to change and do better and come back to church and now he wants us to meet with his girlfriend as well! we are very excited about it! We also found a Spanish speaking family who we are teaching both their friends and their kids and it is a blast! ah I miss Spanish. And I haven't lost it! 

okay so I've started the Book of Mormon over again because I'm trying to finish my project that I've started where I am just marking up everything I love and learn about it, and I started doing that with the Bible as well, but that will have to be a work in progress. But I am learning sooo much about the Book of Mormon and I absolutely love it. Right now I am reading Jacob 5 which is the parable of the olive tree. There is so much symbolism in that chapter about your own life, and about the times now that we live in.

If there is ever a trying, hard, or revelatory time it is through the scriptures that i find my peace and I can find the answers to the questions I have for the day.

One thing I want to talk about is how life is tough. and it can be hard and honestly sometimes you just want to bury your head in the ground like an ostrich. But I've come to realize what positivity and pro activeness can do for you. You have to change your state of mind from hopelessness to determination. That it's all going to turn out okay. Then, you try it. You work on the personal things you want to change. And you will probably fail the first time, but practice is part of improvement, its part of success. 

But if i could give any advice for this week. is stop thinking negatively about the world. be positive and change the world!

Well, gotta go but I know that this gospel is the best and I live it and I love it and I work at it every day.

Love you all! Love Hermana Ficklin

Monday, July 7, 2014

July 7, 2014 The Kettle River, a Cemetery, and a Farm in Askov

Kettle River (where we went 4th of july)

 sandstone cliffs

sandstone cemetery

our trusty steeds

 milking tootsie the cow at the nelsons

bailing hay

the little mermaid cafe, the only restaurant in town (:

Feliz cuatro de julio!!!!!!!!

So this week was TOTALLY AWESOME! 
We had so many good things happen this week. 

Our 4th of July was a blast, we decided to go out biking around the town and we had seen a really cool old cemetery so that was our first stop and we spent a good while just looking at all of the old tombstones and all the interesting names (one guy was named Alma Fyre) we thought it was fitting for the fourth of july, you know... remembering your forefathers and everything. haha we got rained on as we left of course, and then we biked to kettle river and man is it gorgeous up here! it's like you step into a tropical rainforest! except with poison ivy. 

it was so pretty though I couldnt get enough of it! Then we decided we'd better stop by and wish Nora and Hazel a happy 4th (our grandmas in the nursing home) and we sat and just listened to their stories and we shared pictures with them of our day so far and man, if i could i would just sit and listen to them alllll day. Nora has no filter and the things she says is so funny, and then Hazel, is so sweet and quiet that they even each other out. i cant remember if i told you about them last time but they've been best friends since elementary.

Then we had enough time after to go to one more park and we went to where the sandstone cliffs are (sandstone is the name of the area we live in right now) and again it was just beautiful and cool. and full of swarming mosquitos but that didnt bother us one bit!

and then we went home listening to the lamb of God watching the sunset and totally and happily exhausted from the fun day. ah man it was fun. that's been the funnest p day ive had so far on my mission (: I love this area up here it's so pretty.

Some other crazy fun things we got to do this week that I can check off my bucket list is we got to milk a cow with the nelson family for the first time ever! that was interesting haha and then we just got done bailing hay today with sister johnson. and then sister johnson took us out to the little mermaid cafe and had the best burger ever (: I can't wait to live on my own farm.

so those are the fun things that happened this week! As for the missionary work side of things it's been just as awesome as the fun I've had! We are really kicking it off in this area! we've found a lot of new investigators that really are excited and want to totally turn their lives around for themselves and their family and we are working right now on getting Jennies children ready for baptism! ah this work is so cool. I am really excited to see how this little branch grows. It might just be a ward soon! The Lord does miracles and I've definitely been able to see them! 

I really have just appreciated everything the gospel teaches so much more. I am so blessed to have the gospel in my life to lead a direct me and that I have to opportunity to share the happiness I have with others. It's really humbling and enriching to my life.

Well I hope that you all had a fabuloso 4th of July! 
Love you all!  until next time,
Love Hermana Ficklin