Monday, October 27, 2014

October 27, 2014 - Halloween in Austin!

Aardvark pumpkin carving that i did for Megan. Her favorite animal is an Aardvark.

happy halloween!

I lost some weight... and height...
haha Sister Wentworths daughter, Sophia (: aka hermana ficklin

Austin is the perfect halloween town im tellin ya. last night it was all foggy and creepy

The lessons we've taught have been a little dead this week...

our new investigator

a pretty house here, more pretty house pictures to come

just chillin out eating injiri with Ojulu and Odonga and her friend!

a tie Ojulu made entirely out of beads haha

us trying to unlock hermana diaz car ( she locked her keys inside)

Ehappy Ehalloween!
       Austin is prepared and ready for Halloween! the leaves are piling up on the ground, the weather has been a nice crisp 50 degrees the last week, and the decorations in this town are phenomenal! It definitely adds to the towns already antique look and not to mention the fog that rolls in at dusk! 

Fun Fact: did you know that trick or treating originated in Minnesota? It's true!   Also, the story of Paul Bunion originates in Minnesota. 

Sister Pierce and I got into the Halloween spirit by carving pumpkins we were given by the Grush family farm (one of our members), haha that was fun, we felt like kids digging out the pumpkin guts and concentrating so hard on carving haha! sister Pierce carved out some cute lil pumpkins and I carved an Aardvark... that's a normal thing to carve in a pumpkin right? Megan, one of our members favorite animal is an Aardvark and she asked if I would draw one for her, but instead I surprised her with a pumpkin carving of an Aardvark haha she liked it. She gave me a high five and a hug. 
Here in Austin we have investigators from Benin, Africa, and most of them speak French as a first language and can speak English a little bit, so, Sister Pierce and I are adding a new language to our list, Francois! We have a member here who knows French and we are going to learn French from her so that we can communicate better with our investigators. We are also learning a little bit of Anyuak, an African dialect that many of the Africans here speak!

Here's what I've learned so far:
Hello! Nidi! 
Goodbye! Malderi!  
How do you say... Anocoanadi...
Feel free to practice with me!  haha I have a hard enough time trying to pronounce Anocoanadi that they get what I'm asking better by just pointing! haha but, practice makes perfect!  You can find the greatest success by finding every wrong way first!  
The work here is going well! We had one of our investigators from Benin attend church for the first time, which is awesome! We think he enjoyed it, and he met another long time investigator from Benin and they talked in French to one another all throughout church. So we think they got along okay? Haha 
We are teaching one of my old investigators from last spring that I was here and she is awesome! She invited us to attend the Pentecostal church with her and we agreed. Sister Pierce was quite excited because she'd never been before. The service was very nice, and we got to meet her husband, and her friends. They are all very nice as well, all of them came up to us and shook our hands and welcomed us in, which is a pleasant relief.
The service was very much to the Pentecostal traditions of singing and dancing and then a boisterous and animated sermon given by the Pastor. His message was good, it was about the spiritually dead, that sin, or separating ourselves from God is spiritual death, and then in another part of the sermon he said something that surprised me, because I'd never heard any other church say this, that if there is one God, why are there so many churches?  He didn't explain why, but at least he asked the question! He said that all churches have spiritually alive people, but they all have spiritually dead people as well. which is all true.
The Pastor thanked us for coming to the sermon haha he said "Mire! Las Mormonas estan aqui! Hoy, somos unidos! Hermanas, DIOS BENDIGAS!"  which means, "Look! the Mormons are here! Today, we are united! Sisters, GOD BLESS YOU!"  
And then we were invited to their anniversary party. 
The more I'm on my mission the more I learn that we truly are all brothers and sisters. That other churches are not bad, they have the basics of the gospel and they are trying to live righteous lives in the way that they know they can, and if it be through singing and dancing and loud sermons, then so be it. Let them worship how, when, and where they may.

We should not condemn others for worshiping God in a way that is different to ours. Most are doing a good thing. We, however can let others know that there is more yet in store! That if they want, they can enjoy the blessings of knowing they can have an eternal family, that we lived with God before, we have a purpose on this life more personally fit for us to succeed that we'd ever thought, and that we have all the opportunity in the world to make it back to the Celestial Kingdom. That we have more Testimonies of Jesus Christ in a book that many sacrificed much to get to us today so that we can know that God truly loves all of His children, we have the Book of Mormon to read! That we can repent, and be baptized by the same authority Jesus Christ was baptized with! We have the sacrament each week to start over again. Our chances to happily succeed are endless in this life! We have not only the keys to gain eternal life, but we have the knowledge of HOW to gain eternal life! Surprisingly, not many people have this knowledge. 
And if that is something that they want to know, by all means, teach them! Share what makes you truly happy!

"How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!" Isaiah 52:7

  "And behold, I say unto you, this is not all. For O how beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that is the founder of peace, yea, even the Lord, who has redeemed his people; yea, him who has granted salvation unto his people;"  Mosiah 16:9
I pray that you will all be able to enjoy the blessings of Missionary work! Get out there and do it! there are those out there who are searching! And you can be an instrument in the hands of God to bring about the Eternal life of your brothers and sisters! 
Love you all! 
Love, Sister Ficklin

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