Monday, January 26, 2015

January 26, 2015 What Being a Professional Runner has to do with Going to Church

                                                                 P-day bowling! 

Hola Amigos! We had a great week this week, the sun has been out and proudly shining and its been in the twenties and above, which I am very happy about (: (: Pray that it stays nice the next three weeks!! Well as time is narrowing down for me, the missionary work here is speeding up! It's been wonderful and as we've been working hard, we're seeing miracles, again! woohoo!
Our Doctor investigator quit drinking coffee! altogether! He's succeeded in overcoming an addiction! That takes strength and commitment! way to go!!! He also said that to get more energy, he's going to start exercising more! We had a lesson on the law of chastity this last week and he thought it was great! We all showed pictures of our families and talked about how they have been great examples to us of the blessings that come from living the law of chastity and bore our testimonies on the strength that has given us to remain chaste as well! So many good things from living the law of chastity! Self-respect, love, trust. what wonderful blessings to have in our lives! 

We've had a lot of great lessons on the law of chastity this week actually with people of every age. from 13 to 60! It's so cool to see that the gospel applies to you no matter what age you are at.

This Sunday we actually got a Less active to church which was awesome! and, he brought a non member friend! The gospel is true guys... so this is what happened. we learned that you have to spark their testimony even before they set foot in the church building again.
So this Less active is African and a professional runner. We have been working with him for months to get him back to church and even take the gospel seriously because when we are in the lessons he would just lay slumped on the couch looking bored and casual and ask questions that would go around in circles. really frustrating.
well finally I got sick of it and I got really serious with him and I asked him what you have to do to become a really good runner. he explained that you had to work really hard, eat well and have a good trainer. bingo. so i asked, what would happen if I didn't work hard before a race and I ate really bad. he said that I wouldn't be a good runner. Right. So I told him that he is already a physical runner and now we are going to make him into a spiritual runner. you should have seen him. he finally sat up straight, and was curious, listening intently. we told him that the gospel is the same way. we have to work at it, and we have to listen to our trainer (God) in what he is telling us. and we asked what he thinks he has to do to become a spiritual runner. guess what the first thing he said was? go to church. and we said Yes! exactly!  anyway, we went through all of the things he needed to do to become this spiritual runner to win the race. prayer, scripture study, etc. but it finally clicked in him what he needed to do. and he finally said it, he said "I want to go back to church." yessssssss!!!!
well, he didn't come the next week, or the next, or the next.
but we didn't give up and we slowly and patiently worked him up every time we went and taught him and kept reminding him of being a spiritual runner, until the last lesson we talked about the 10 commandments and focused on the importance of keeping them and the joy it brings in our lives, and he turned to his friend who was there and said, "lets go to church." and they did!!!  woohoo! Now for the next step, helping him gain a firm testimony, and be a strong spiritual runner to where he can run the race until the end- to keep coming to church! stay tuned!
Okay, everyone: please look up and listen to "the missionary next door" I hope that at the next general conference this will be a new commandment added to the list.
It is a girl who talks about how they did missionary work as a family, in very simple, easy ways. she bears a very strong testimony on how we are all missionaries. In fact, the set apart missionaries cannot do their work effectively without the members. As a missionary myself I can attest to that. Members make all the difference! Take time to check it out! 
Love you all! I hope you have a wonderful week! Keep up the missionary work! 
Love Sister Ficklin

(Note from Kaylani’s mom – I don’t think this is “the missionary next door” clip that Kaylani meant – I haven’t found it yet, but this one was still good!)

More photos from our lesson on samuel the lamanite gone wild!

Monday, January 19, 2015

January 19, 2015 About Prayers, and a Baptism!


Seriously a good week. (:

        This week has been filled with so many great miracles and awesome spiritual experiences!

Serious got baptized on Saturday and it was a wonderful service! She bore a wonderful testimony, it was simple, with only a few thank you's to those in the ward who have helped her and she was holding back tears, but it was a great manifestation of the love that you feel from Heavenly Father when you are baptized. So cool! She was all smiles afterward (:

We also had a very fun Family home evening with the Sandoval family hahaha, ah man, what a blast! So we were teaching about faith and we used the example of the story of Samuel the Lamanite preaching repentance on the city wall. He had a lot of faith to turn back to a city that had already rejected him, because God told him to. Especially to get up on a wall and tell everyone that they are wicked! If it were me, I think I'd rather get swallowed by a whale... But, Samuel trusted in the Lord and he got up on that wall and cried repentance! and though the people were throwing stones and shooting arrows, none touched him. He was being protected by the Lord! So we did an object lesson and had Andy be Samuel the Lamanite and Megan be the Holy Ghost who would protect Andy from the paper wads that we were going to throw at him. Hahaha the FUNNIEST LESSON EVER!!!

the funniest lesson ive ever had hahaha sooo fun

I highly recommend trying this with your family of any age (: we had a blast and it ended up turning into a free-for-all paper fight with everyone, I was laughing so hard I was crying. The kids had a lot of fun, and so did we! The Gospel is so much fun! There is so much joy from living the gospel if Jesus Christ too.

We had a lesson with our Doctor investigator on Friday and it was probably one of the best lessons I've ever had on my mission. 

We talked about prayer. He works in the pain clinic and in anesthesiology, and so he sees and deals with a lot of hard situations. He told us that a young girl with cancer had just recently passed away and he asked why God did not answer the prayers of this young girl’s parents, why did God punish this young girl? He also asked why God answers some people’s prayers and not others? What a heart wrenching question.

My heart was flooded with so many different feelings. And as I thought about that question, I had an overwhelming spirit of truth confirm to me that what I knew and was about to say was the truth. GOD LOVES EVERYONE. And God loves everyone equally. He does not pick and choose who He answers based on how righteous you are. It's simply not true. The Lord has compassion on everyone. And He will answer your prayers. 

We went on to explain what exactly prayers are. That they are not to tell Heavenly Father what we think is right and expect Him to do just as we ask and if He does not do exactly as you ask, that He is not answering your prayers. He is there and he hears you, and he loves you, and He is in control. He sees things that we cannot yet see, and all things that he does is for our benefit. It all comes down to Faith. Prayer is learning to trust in our Heavenly Father. Even when it might be contrary to what we think should be the outcome. But no matter what the outcome may be, The Lord will get you through it and there is a reason behind it.

We also told him though that miracles do happen. He asked me if I had ever gotten an answer to my prayers, and I said yes. And I have seen miracles in my life from prayers. I shared a very personal story with him and I testified that I knew that with faith, we can know that God answers prayers. It was quiet for a moment and he said thank you, that it was good to know that miracles happen. 

I hope that the truth resonated with him as strongly as it did in me that reaffirmed that God loved me very personally and loves everyone more than we can comprehend, even when our lives seem to have tests and trials, He never leaves us alone, or forgets about us. If we have faith, we will come to know how much He really knows us. 

I read this morning in John 4:16-19 that I want to share with you:
"And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love, and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein our love is made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment, because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment, He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him, because He first loved us." 
Learn to love the Lord, and to love others around you. You will come to know that there is an Everlasting God that loves you to. We live in a world that is troubled with many sorrows and we all face trials and hardships in our lives. But by the power of God, we will be able to overcome any challenge that besets us, if we will just let him. Trust in God and let love be the force that guides your life. There is much Joy to be had in life!
Love you all! have a great week!
Sister Ficklin

Some more pictures:
                                                            ajulus tie she is making out of beads

just us being silly

my and sister hunts horses we drew!

a horse that i drew

us making mexican food
 our mexican night and homemade corn tortillas mmm sooo good!

our monkey that we hide all over the house and find randomly

Books of mormon in all the languages we have in Austin- Russian, american, arabic, pohnpeian, french and Spanish

the carlos family- we did a faith lesson and had them plant a seed of faith and write their names on the pot

Monday, January 12, 2015

January 12, 2015 - My New Companion is Sister Hunt!

                                                              the -5 day of transfers

                sister Peterson picked up sister pierce the last day she was here haha

My new companion, Sister Hunt (:   She's hilarious! And she's from Mesa, Arizona.

                                                               the windmill fields

                      the polls... haha love them! Anthony, Luann, Lula, and brother Jim

                                                              sister smith and I

                Ajulu and her family, Oballa, Odonga, Aconi and her friends from Ethiopia

                              my Burmese friends, Byahmar, Tireh, Laylay and July

So now its a new transfer, and it is going swimmingly! well, actually I wouldn't want to go swimming in this weather... there's just a little bit of frost on the lake, or maybe like three feet of ice. Not like we can go swimming anyway haha I'm fine with that rule here!

Anyway, things are going great! Sister Hunt is my new companion and she is awesome! she is from Mesa, AZ and she is quiet at first but then you get to know her and she is hilarious!!

The area has been doing great and we've been able to meet some new people! Two girls we met the other day when we were in one of our investigators apartments knocking on their door and they came walking down the hallway and we said hello to them and they asked us if we were church people and we said yes and they asked if they could come to church, so naturally, we said sure! why not! so we sat down in the hallway right there and taught them about the restoration of the church and the blessing it is to have the gospel. (: 

We also had a lesson with the doctor at MAYO clinic, in his office at the hospital about the 10 commandments and the Sabbath day. What a great guy he is! He is a great example to me of sacrifice and willing to put other things aside because he wants to learn truth. He had piles of work to do and yet he wanted to meet and so he'd rather have us come to his office in the hospital than not meet at all. That shows a willing heart if I ever saw one! He is doing wonderful and loves the gospel.

Serious is getting baptized this week! woohoo! Her baptism date is Saturday the 17th (: we are so excited for her and we are doing the preparations this week to get her ready. The whole ward is so excited!

We taught a lesson in gospel principles class this week about personal work and responsibility. What a wonderful concept work and responsibility is! I learned a lot in that lesson. I've learned how everything God and Christ have done for us have been through their own efforts and work, I think creating a universe was probably a lot of work...that and bringing to pass the salvation and everlasting life of man. That's gotta be a lot of work. I've learned a lot about work on my mission as well and what a wonderful thing it is to have. It brings a sense of fulfillment into your life and when you work hard, you get to enjoy the fruits of your labor!

And when you have a happy attitude and enjoy the work you do, it doesn't make the work seem so much like work! We should all work together and bear one another's burdens and make the work load lighter. I'm grateful for my parents examples of working hard and laboring with all of their heart, might, mind, and strength in all things physical and spiritual, because now I see what a blessing it's been in my life and I want to be like them!

Work is a blessing, and I'm grateful for it!

So that's the main events of what's happened up north this week (: Lots of fun! Lots of cold (: Doesn't get any better than this!

Love you all! Have a great week! Love, Hermana Ficklin


Monday, January 5, 2015

January 5, 2015 I Get to Stay in Austin for my last transfer!

                                                             Me and Nana
                                                 and me and Martha and her kids

that's us at zone p day on New Years 2015

Time sure has flown. Sixteen and a half months ago, I started my mission by going to the Mexico MTC. Sister Peirce was my first companion. These are some pictures she had taken of our time together there.

                                                                        The Beatles

 Feliz Ano Nuevo!!! 2015

Wow this transfer flew by!! We found out transfers today and I found out that I'm going to stay in Austin for my last transfer!!! Woohoo!!!! I'm so happy! We've got some amazing people we are teaching here and I'm so happy that I get to see them for another month and a half! Sister Pierce gets to go back to Lakeville, the only other area she's been in and she's really happy that she gets to spend her last transfer there! My new companion will be Sister Hunt, who I will get to meet on Wednesday (: Well, there it is. My last transfer has finally come and now here comes the best transfer ever! I'm really going to do my best to work hard and enjoy every second of the last 6 weeks that I have out on the mission! I know that missionary work won't stop here for me, but I'll  be sad to leave Minnesota (even though it is freezing cold here). There are so many amazing blessings you get to see while on your mission. There's truly nothing like it.

Oh, hey, Happy New Year everybody! It's finally 2015!
We had a really great New Year! It was our P-day and we drove down to Rochester and had a game day with the entire Zone. We played Dodge ball, 3 step, schmendricks (a game like charades), and volleyball. Soooo much fun, it was a blast! We then went over to one of our members homes and had a prime rib dinner with their family, the bishop, and Megan. I don't think I've had anything better. yum, so good. We then had the ward volleyball night and we played with the Poll family and Megan and Cennedeigh which was just as great! I learned how to spike the ball, thanks to sister Poll, the volleyball champ (: It was a wonderful way to start off the New Year.

We've met some new people this week and we got to meet with an entire family from Burma, Thailand. They have two little girls who are the cutest things ever! They came to church with us this week (even though it was freezing cold and windy) and they loved it and asked if they could come back! haha we of course said "yes!"

One thing I really love is getting to meet new people. There is always someone you can serve and there is always something you can learn from. It's amazing and I love it!  I'm so grateful for the knowledge I have that we are all related, we are all Gods children, because I just want to hang out with these people that I meet all the time!!! It's gonna be so much fun in heaven.

Well, I hope you all have a WONDERFUL New Year! Start it off great and stick with it! Stay warm! It's below freezing here! The Minne-snow-ta is back (; thank goodness for hand warmers!

Love you all! 
Love, Sister Ficklin