Monday, November 3, 2014

November 3, 2014 Making a Plan . . .

fun pday walking around shops and churches in Austin. 

one of the many churches here

trick or treat!
the wentworth family (:

Sophiapatra (: I helped do her Egyptian makeup

this coat would be awesome for winter...

elder Carlson zone conference

Happy Halloween from your freaky missionary friends  haha

Happy November!!

Wow, it's already November... the cold is  starting to set in!

We had a really great week this week! We had a great Halloween, we made thank you treat bags and dropped them off to members houses, had an AMAZING lesson with one of our African investigators who ended our lesson with "let me tell you how I know your church is true" and went on to explain that even though he agreed to come to church once and then tell us that he has his own church to go to, we still came, and he saw that we didn't just want him to join our church, we really do love to teach about God, he also said that we always ask him to keep the commandments and last week we asked him to stop drinking and he did and he said if we hadn't asked him, he wouldn't have. Then to top it off he said that he doesn't know why but his English is always better when he talks with us and then when he tries to speak English to others its very difficult for him. It was so cool to hear that he is recognizing the blessings he is receiving. He opened up a lot more and asked some very deep questions, and now we are very excited for him.

In an effort to help out our investigators who speak French, we have begun to learn French ourselves with one of our members... French is hard. haha but its been so fun! Right now we are just learning the basics, the ABC's, how to pronounce words (the hardest part) and how to pray in French. We hope that soon we will be able to communicate a little better with our friends from Benine.

We had Elder Carlson from the area 70 come and visit our mission and man, the more I am around these Apostles, the more I see that they are what I want to become. They are great examples of living Christ-like lives, and still they are just average ordinary people! Elder Carlson taught many different things, but one of the things he talked about I want to share with you. He taught us to "Stay on the line".

He was explaining to us about good planning. He was talking about the daily mission life and how to plan well, but I feel like this is going to apply very well with life outside of the mission as well.

He told us that when we plan effectively and specifically is when the Lord can bless us effectively and specifically. A lot of time as a missionary is put into planning, he asked us why we devote so much time to planning?

He said, it's because planning is important to the Lord. Our God is a God of order, there is nothing left undone, nothing left unplanned with Him. So if we are to be like our Heavenly Father, we should learn how to plan.

He went on to explain, that, when we plan out our days very specifically, and then we "follow the line", when we make a plan and follow it, that is how the Lord places people in our path to bless. The Lord prepares others when we prepare ourselves, and when he trusts us in what we say we will do, that is when he opens the flood gates of the blessings he has in store for us.

Yes, He does prepare and plan blessings for each and everyone of us, and one of the ways we can receive those blessings is through planning out a course in our lives and following that line.

So, make a plan: daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, etc. And don't stop there! Don't be discouraged if your plans fall through, the Lord can make all things possible if you make dun duh dun dun!!! backup plans! if plan A doesn't work out, let the Lord know what you plan to do if your plans take a different turn than you thought. Make a plan A, plan B, plan C... Just make plans! Find out what is most important to you, set your milestones, put plans in motion and stick with it! The Lord can do no miracle if we are not following our OWN plan to happiness.

Everything the Lord asks us to do requires acting. We need to set ourselves in motion and then the Lord can set everything else in our lives in motion.

It's been so cool this week to see the reality of this promised blessing of following the line!

Sister Pierce and I decided to do that, to try it out, see if it will actually work. So, we did the leg work of planning well the night before, and the next morning we would wake up to see what it would bring. Let me tell you it was better than we thought! We followed our line to a T! well, more like an I, that line is straighter (; it was so cool! We met everyone that we needed to meet and more! we ran into 3 people who came into our path that knew about Mormons and thought that they were great people and wanted to learn more about the church! I'm telling you these are rare people to find in Minnesota that have some connection with the church, and we had 3 of them we found in 1 day! And what did we do? We followed the line.

There were many times where Satan tried to distract us from the pathway that we had set before us, and many temptations, doubts, thoughts, you name it, he tried. It really made us realize Satans small tools to get us off of the pathway to eternal happiness. Small things really that we might not even realize, but they slowly take us off track of the blessings we will receive if we follow the line.

We have been doing this for three days now, and the last 3 days have been extremely successful. Even if we follow the path and what we were supposed to do originally didn't work out, we found someone who needed us at that very point in time, and perhaps even, circumstances that were unseen to us were unfolding for our good. I think perhaps, even when we don't see any immediate blessings take part in our lives even when we are following the line does not mean that the Lord is not setting in motion opportunities and blessings for you and others. I strongly believe that there are many unseen, unacknowledged, unnoticed blessings that work in ways that perhaps you will never know of until the day you die, but none the less they are there. I believe at times that is where our trial of faith comes in. Will we trust that the Lord will keep His promises?

It's just been a very cool week of further understanding the mind and mysteries of God.

The Lord tries the faith of his people. So, I believe He is asking you to try him!
Read Alma 32.
Make a plan, and follow the line, He wants you to see where He can take you, and enjoy the fruits of your labor!

Love you all! I hope you had a very Happy Halloween!
Love Sister Ficklin

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