haha a giant chicken
we have matching shoes!
yusbeth and sis taito.
elder larsen and thompson 3 legged race
elder larsen and thompson again with the ward haha it was so funny to watch
elder kelsch at pday. we popped the volleyball so he made a hat out of it
surprise birthday for grace!
the cake we made for her
sis taito with signs and wonder
me with wonder
us with grace, sister robertson who is getting baptized this week and her girls signs and wonder
The leaves are changing!
Yes, that's right, fall in Minnesota has officially started and it has dropped to the 50's with a low of 30. Haha oh boy here comes the winter again! All of the new missionaries are excited for the fabled Minnesota winter, while all of us seasoned missionaries are nervously pulling out all of our wool socks and thick scarves as if we are preparing for a zombie apocalypse. They don't know yet what they've gotten themselves into... but that's all part of the Minnesota missionary experience, tracting in 30 below weather. It is definitely a faith building exercise I tell ya haha but it's all worth it. Summer, we will miss you dearly.
But for now, we get to enjoy the wonderful fall where the seasons begin to change again, the air gets cooler, you get to crunch the leaves as you go from door to door, and there is an excitement of the upcoming holiday seasons that become the favorite door step conversation starters! It's bringing back memories of when I first started out here on my mission. I've been having all of these flashbacks of my mission now that I'm at the end stretch and it brings a lot of peace and happiness knowing how far the Lord has taken me as of yet and what I have been privileged to be on what feels like a year and a half internship for being like Jesus Christ. With "in field experience"! haha that is a super dorky analogy but it's true. I am truly grateful for this opportunity. There is nothing like it.
As for this week, we've been having more success than ever! Sister Robertsons baptism is nearing the corner, she will be baptized September 27th! woohoo! We are all so excited for her, she is truly an amazing woman.
We have been working with a lot of young women who are outstanding, I'm really impressed by the amount of strength they have to be willing to choose the values they have rather than go with what is popular, or to go against their standards to fit in. We are meeting with two sisters who are 16 and 18. They're African and their family is from Liberia, most of who lives around here is from an African background. We taught them about the importance of friends, and they shared with us how they had friends in the past that changed them a lot, to who they knew they weren't, but they wanted to fit in. But then she realized that she just felt uncomfortable being there and she didn't want to be there anymore and she chose to not to go to parties with them anymore or join in with what they were doing. She said that those friends started to tease her and make fun of her. She said that you get to see who your real friends are. But she said that she just wanted to be herself and she wasn't going to be what everyone else wanted her to be anymore and now she feels so much more happy. That is so cool to hear! What strength! We committed them to always find the friends who are willing to honor the standards they had, and they whole heartedly promised to do so.
Last night we taught them about the law of chastity and again they blew us away with their courage to stand against the pressures of the world around them because they knew how important they were. We asked them to tell us what they look for in a guy and they told us that they were looking for boys who dressed respectfully, they didn't want a boy who "sags" hahahaha they were talking about boys who have their pants sagging down all the time hahaha I guess that's the new word for it now. But you go girl! She went on to explain that she looks for guys who treat her respectfully and have God in their lives. She wants him to have the same standards that she has. They both chose to believe and live the law of chastity long before we ever taught them about it. We asked them why they decided to live like this and they gave a very stripling warrior-like answer. They said that it was how their parents raised them. I praise the parents who raised them to have such understanding of this teaching. Living a virtuous life is something that has been on my mind a lot the last couple of months and I poured out my heart to these girls in bearing my testimony commending them for what they have decided to do at such a young age. I let them know that who they are on the inside, and what they think about themselves will convey to everyone else around them. And if they understand the immensity of the importance they have now, it will bring them blessings for the rest of their lives. We gave them a vision of their future families and the goal that they wanted to reach. We then told them that our Heavenly Father sees so much in us that we don't quite see in ourselves yet, but the more we strive to live the lives and standards of what He teaches, the more we find out about ourselves.
Confidence in oneself comes from living virtuously. That is a divine truth.
Then said Jesus unto his disciples, if any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels: and then he shall reward every man according to his works."
Strive to ever live virtuously and the Lord promises us eternal blessings!
I love you all! have a great week!
Love sister Ficklin