by K Fletcher

Pues... (Yes!)

This week I had an incredible faith building experience. We had made an appointment with a RC (recent convert), Greg, but we needed an exchange (An exchange is when you are meeting someone of the opposite sex and require another person of that gender to attend). We talked to everyone we could, sent out a mass text, and still nothing was happening. Finally, I just said, "Plan it. We will pray, and the Lord will give us an exchange." That night was one of the most fervent nights as far as prayer goes for me. I really had faith it would happen. We had done everything the Lord had asked of us, and everything in our power, and then the next morning, we had an exchange lined up! Greg actually ended up cancelling, but it was such an experience no matter the final result. He has his agency, we have our faith.

When that fell through, we had planned to give me an opportunity to exercise my Spanish a little more. So, with a whole lot more faith, I said, "Let's visit a Spanish sister in the ward". Yep. An hermana. That speaks little to no English. The second we stepped out of the car, a man said, "Buenas Tardes!" I responded similarly and he got excited, (I'm pretty sure) he asked if we were from a church and if we had a book for him to read. I was devastated. We had no libros de mormon! But then I remembered that I had packed my only folleto de la restauracion (Restoration pamphlet) to give sister Diaz to give away. So I gave him the pamphlet and on we went. At Sister Diaz's, I hardly understood anything, haha! But it was wonderful, and I could tell she appreciated the visit and the brief message on exercising faith by our works. On Sunday she kept trying to talk to me, even despite knowing my handicap with the language, and she signed up to feed us! I have one month to learn all the spanish I can!

Our final miracle was with Renee. She hadn't been returning our calls and was sick the last time we visited her. Well, we thought it was time to stop by. She welcomed us with open arms! She was so excited to have us come by. She had had bronchitis, but invited us to share a lesson with her. We taught the second half of the plan of Salvation and she just nodded and agreed with everything. Every time I just wonder why we are even teaching her, she believes everything we believe! she wants to come to church, and has committed to once she overcomes her infection.

We also have THREE baptismal dates, two of which may change to be earlier, one might be a little later. It is so exciting!!!

We've had the opportunity to be invited into many members' homes to have dinner, and while I've tried some North Carolinian foods like the barbecue, collared greens, hush puppies, and fried (everything) chicken, my favorite nights are the Mexican food nights! I've had green chicken enchiladas, pan dulce, and the most amazing hot chocolate type drink. I almost died of happiness when I got to take some of that last one home. I love being around the hispanics. It makes me feel like home.

Every week we do get to do some formal service at the Hope Station, a food pantry that serves about 600 families a month. It's a wonderful place and the people there are great.

Goodness gracious, everyone in the south is nice. Even if no one wants to hear your message, they'll tell you, "I really love what ya'll are doin' out there!" It's great.

Last two orders of business:
THANK YOU LARISSA. She sent me a letter. It was so much fun to read and really made my day. I'm trying to phase more into hand written letters and less e-mails. I have so little time! Plus, hand-written letters are the best.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY FATHER. Yes, I know it isn't until waay later this week. I still love you. haha.
This week I'll challenge you all to exercise some faith. Trust in the Lord to guide you. Hope for the best, doubt the worst.

Creed en Dios. Creed que E'l existe y que creo' todas las cosas, tanto en la tierra como en el cielo. Creed que E'l tiene toda sabiduria y todo poder, tanto en la tierra, como en el cielo.  Mosiah 4:9

You can't do it. But with Him, you can.

Con amor,
Hermana Fletcher

Care package from the Agua Fria Ward Cub Scouts and a few extras my parents threw in.

An AMAZING honey and oregano chicken and fancy rice I made. Yes, I made rice for the first time in my life.

by K Fletcher

Life! Life life life! As they always say, the days are weeks and the weeks are days.

Right now our primary investigators are the following:

Renee: A lovely black woman with more faith than I've seen in most of the church. She is so wonderful and teaches me something every time we speak with her. She loves having us over and has invited her 8 year old granddaughter and fiancé to both listen in on our lessons. She is eager to learn and very open to everything we tell her. She suffers from MS and has had some incredible trials in her life, but she is so willing to trust in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We have high hopes for her.

Dawn: A cute older white lady who struggles a little with self worth, but before we even brought up the Word of Wisdom decided she wanted to quit smoking. She is doing amazingly well and is such a sweet spirit. She is willing to learn and loves our lessons, but I've only had the opportunity to meet with her once. She just had hip surgery and has been out of commission for a while. 

Carla and Skyler are the two most golden investigators you could ask for. They called us and told us they wanted to be baptized! Carla's sister was baptized last year and so she and her boyfriend, Skyler, have been coming to church for the past two months. They've seen the happiness here and have that desire to change. They are a delight to teach and I look forward to future lessons with them. (we've only taught them once so far). I can just see the faith in them grow.

Erika: Erika is amazing. She's a young southern belle and just barely got engaged to her Mormon boyfriend. I just taught her today and she is wonderful. She asks questions, she thinks logically, but she has such a faith. Her mother has opposed her decision, but there is nothing she wants more than to be sealed to her fiancé for eternity. In this last lesson she set a date for baptism and we are so excited for her! She said that this faith is worth defending. I am in awe in the face of the faith of our investigators.

The work goes well here. Wilson is informally referred to as the land of miracles. It is one of the most convert rich areas in the mission.
However, right now we are focusing on strengthening the ward. The ward is amazing and relatively receptive to missionaries (we get fed at least 3 to 4 times a week. This next week is every night!) but we want to help them realize that what they have is for everyone. There is nothing more important than member referrals. I can just see how much better Erika has gotten on with her boyfriend (now fiancé) strong in the gospel. It seems so fruitless to try and contact randomly to invite people to see what they have never experienced. It is the problem of the church that we don't see the impact we can have until we are in the midst of a different part of life. Just like when I was RS president of my YSA ward, I finally comprehended the importance of visiting teaching. And now as a missionary I comprehend the integral nature of member missionary work. Without members we are just knocking on doors hoping to find "goldens".

So that is what we want to emphasize in this area, sharing the happiness that I can see in the ward, that EVERYONE can see in the ward with all those people they know, who might be content in their lives, but who could have so much more.
The church is true. This gospel is true. Share it.

To end with a funny story:
I went tracting for the first time. My first "take the lead" door was a Jehovah's witness. Oh the irony. 

With Love,
Hermana Fletcher

Sister Cahoon and I. Being Misioneras Bonitas!

Package from Jade! I was so dang excited. Thank you so much!

"I went on exchanges with Sister Youngberg!"

My study area with art courtesy of Cason!

My "Exchange Journal" makeover. P-day activity

by K Fletcher

Hello Wilson

Leaving the CCM was absolutely lovely. Our district had been prepping for it for quite a while (naturally) and on Sunday it all was pretty well ignored until right before dinner. Then our district gave one another blessings as we prepare to enter el campo. Emotions. Then there was dinner. Then the pictures started.

Then we had our going away slideshow in which we saw every missionary leaving that week on the big screen. There were 120 of us leaving this past week. And then, like we have done every Sunday since arriving at the CCM, we sang Para Siempre Dios Esté Con Vos (God Be with You Till We Meet Again). And, you should know, I haven't really cried since being on my mission. I'm 'the rock' of our district. Well... I cried. so much. Just let it happen. Then we had a massive testimony meeting with everyone there (En ingles), and I said goodbye to all of the incredible people I had met here. Bittersweet. 

Monday morning, nearly all of my favorite people left. Our brother district (All Mexico serving) and mis compañeras departed early Monday morning. I spent that day with a lovely set of Missionaries, Hermana Warner and Hermana Anderson who leave around the same time I do. It was fun, but I have never felt more out of place being at the CCM without my district and without my companions. 
(The three pictures here are from saying good bye)
Elder Milky

Hermana Newhard

Elder Rush
And then I flew! We met at the the reception desk at 3:30am and I flew out with basically all of the elders in my district. Our flight was delayed due to fog, but it was gorgeous once we got above the clouds, but left me with no time for layover. We finally arrived in Virginia about 5:00, were fed dinner and briefly got to meet Presidente. Then sleeping in a hotel and to transfer meeting the next morning.
And so today marks my first official week in the mission field and it has been quite the experience. Let's just say that for the next twelve weeks, this blog should be called, With Love, Sister Fletcher. Yep! I'm English Speaking! I knew that it would probably happen. There are only 6 hermanas here and 4 are in training or training. We weren't sure how President would accomplish it, but he just gave us to English! It was strange the first couple of days, especially at transfer meeting when none of the hermanas on the first row knew how to say Our Purpose in English (I still don't know the first vision in my native tongue). However, the mission goes well. I've come to really enjoy teaching in English, it's much easier than I expected, but I guess that is all about that Holy Ghost!

I wasn't able to teach a lesson really for the first 36 hours in the field, people just didn't want to open their doors. However, there was one or two lessons taught, to less actives, but then we received a Media Referral from a lady named Renee. She was lovely. We were only there for 15 minutes or so, but I was able to feel the spirit so strongly. We returned to teach her on Saturday and taught the entire Restoration. She had already read the introduction, testimonies, and first chapter of the Book of Mormon, so none of it was a surprise to her. She has such faith, and I look forward to teaching her more and more. I swear I could just listen to her for hours! She has an incredible wealth of wisdom and knowledge gained through a lifetime of hardship.

I have felt the spirit more than I thought I was able to here on my mission. I am very sensitive to my thoughts and feelings that drive him away, and to the power that I am able to have when he is in my life.
Mi companera, Sister Cahoon is 20 and has been out for 13 months. I am her first trainee and it's been quite amusing to exhaust her with all my Greenie Fire. We'll be making goals and my favorite thing is to up it just one more, just one more. We've had a few miracles through our desire to be better. She is from Canada and is the second oldest of 8 children. She is very animated and delivers the first vision very well (which is a good thing, because I can only say it in Spanish!)

My area has 2 sets of missionaries to one ward, but we are a sister, and hermana and dos elderes. The ward is about 1/3 white, 1/3 black, and 1/3 hispanic. Crazy stuff, and I love every minute of it (in hindsight ;D). My first Sunday we actually had a progressing investigator show up for Sacrament meeting. She is newly engaged to her Mormon boyfriend and is really interested in being with him for eternity. But baptism needs to be her choice. We were so glad she came! Then sister Cahoon let me go to the Spanish Sunday School which made me nostalgic for the CCM. I miss having church in Spanish, especially the hymns. Then Relief Society, where I will get the chance to brush up on my talents because no one plays the piano. Wish me luck, Mom!
I don't get to use my Spanish that much, unless talking to our Zone or District leaders (both Spanish missionaries) or at the ward building. People are willing to speak with me and I appreciate it so much. There's only so far you can get listening to the Restoration DVD en espanol.

Our investigator pool is relatively small right now, but it has a lot of potential. Our most promising at the moment include: 
Mary Mary, a single mom with three beautiful little boys, and her boyfriend Jason Renee. Mary said she would invite her family to listen to us this week. 
Dawn, who has a tentative baptismal date set but whom I have not yet met.
Erika, who came to church on Sunday
The Medina Family, a part member family (who actually speak mostly Spanish!)
We also have a big focus on less active members in the ward, all of whom are lovely.
I love it so much. The work will progress. Nothing can get me down right now. Also, have I ever told you how much I love black people? Their prayers are the best. And praisin' Jesus. It's really cool to meet so many people that already have such a wonderful testimony of Jesus Christ. Everyone loves him here!
I hope you are all having an amazing week, and I'll see you next time!
With Love,
Hermana Fletcher

by K Fletcher

Moving Day

From Hermana Fletcher 1/5/15
My companeras (from the CCM) have already left for Houston. This morning, actually. I got to spend the day with another companionship, which was really fun and very different. Giving me a taste for my next, bigger step, to the mission field! It was kind of ridiculous saying goodbye to everyone. It's only now that I realized just how much love I felt for all of them. I can't wait to get into the mission field to love everyone so much more. 

I'm so excited. Just wanted to let you know. I got all your e-mails and wanted to thank you so much. I also heard about Jade and Jeremy!!! (Her sister got engaged this past week) Much excitement! 

I don't know if I am prepared, but I do know I am ready. jaja, Fue nacida lista! jaja. (Haha, I was born ready!) Give me three months. I will be fluent. 

I am also not sure if I will be able to call in the airport. Seems kind of weird, but I'll ask! (Note: mom and dad did not get to hear from her at all. We did receive a phone call, e-mail and pictures from the mission office letting us know she had arrived safely, was having dinner and then would enjoy an orientation latter that evening.)

Love you much, but I have only half the night to sleep. Wish me the best! I leave the CCM at 3:30am tomorrow morning.

Pictures of me and my district! (The slideshow picture for eveyone to see us and cry, haha)

From Robert and Sue Jones:  Have a wonderful mission! We love you!
Robert and Sue has a file to share with you on OneDrive. To view it, click the link below.

From mission President Baker 1/7/15 of the Virginia Chesapeake Mission.
Dear Brother and Sister Fletcher,

Sister Baker and I were delighted to welcome Hermana Fletcher to the Virginia Chesapeake mission yesterday.  She arrived in good spirits and has been assigned to her first proselyting area.  She is assigned to labor in the Wilson Ward of the Goldsboro, North Carolina Stake, and her trainer is Sister Mikaela Cahoon.  I have attached two photos of Hermana Fletcher: one with her trainer, and one with Sister Baker and me.

Hermana Fletcher’s address is:

Hermana Kelene Amethyst Fletcher
110 Hawthorne Lane Apt 3-C
Wilson, NC

Thank you for sending us such a fine missionary,

President Baker

Post by dad to Virginia Chesapeake Mission facebook page 1/7, and comments:

So excited to learn that Hermana Kelene Fletcher has been assigned Sister Mikaela Cahoon as her trainer. Her first area is in Wilson, NC. Can't wait to get our first e-mail from her next week. Does anyone know anything about the Wilson ward? Note: Hermana Fletcher is in a “zebra companionship”, where one speaks English and the other speaks Spanish.

From a relative of Sister Cahoon: I can tell you that Sister Cahoon is awesome! She and Sister Brewer just had a baptism two weeks ago. She loves the Wilson ward. She says they are so supportive of the missionaries. About 1/2 Hispanic. Sister Cahoon has been eagerly learning as much Spanish in her area so she will be very supportive of your daughters language training. She also grew up with cousins that are 1/2 Peruvian so already loves the language and cultures.

From a sister RM:  Last July I opened Wilson to Sisters. It is such a great area. I loved the area and the ward was great. So many great people. Such a cute apartment that the sisters live in. I Loved Wilson!

From another sister RM: I trained Sister Brewer, Sis Cahoon's last companion. She's in an awesome area as an hermana. The Wilson ward has one of the biggest active Spanish membership in the mission. I was there 6 months and they're an AWESOME ward. Sister Cahoon is so great too, I served with her when she was in Rocky Mount. A very missionary minded ward.  Your daughter is very lucky.