by K Fletcher

Bueno, Estoy aqui en Newport News!

He hablado mas espanol en esta semana que todo en mi mision! Y he tenido mas nuevos investigadores tambien!

Newport News. Spanish Branch.
Population: about 30
English speakers: 3 families
Branch Mission Leader: Incredible
Potential: Limitless

I am so excited to be e-mailing you from Newport News! It has been quite the week. The work here is incredible. There are an average of 2 new investigators a week. There are very few progressing, but we will get there soon! It's amazing. Spanish work is so very very different from English work. The people are so open and willing to allow you into their homes. You can actually talk to people! (Pues, not if this is your first Spanish area and you can't really speak Spanish, but in a very general sense ;D)

My first day in the area, of course I was nervous because I haven't spoken much Spanish at all since the CCM, and even there I wasn't extremely good at it. Pues, in my first two lessons here I understood almost everything that my companions and the investigators were saying. Which is a huge deal because I never have understood Spanish. But I did. Fast forward a few days, and at church I didn't understand hardly anything again.

Wait, did the gift of tongues leave me? Am I not being righteous enough? Do I need to pray more? No. What I learned was that God grants us power according to our needs. I knew nothing first coming here. I needed to understand. I needed that tender mercy. But if God just gives me that power, what have I learned? Nothing, of course. I need to be able to learn and grow and stretch and reach for that strength. I need to rely on him, but I also need to learn to walk (or in this case, talk).

And that is what a mission is. That is what life is. It's learning to Walk. It is learning to Talk. It is learning to Be all those things that God needs us to be.

And I guess that is what I am excited for most.

Anyway, I have two companeras otra vez. Hermana Johnson and Hermana Phillipy. Hna Johnson just finished training and Hna Phillipy has 6 months left but due to some special circumstances has been out for almost 16 months (if not more). I am a very fortunate lady. Hna Phillipy is stunning. She is humble and sweet and so dedicated to the work. I know that if I am like her by the end of my mission, I can call it a success.

I don't have much to report on the work here, because, I'll be honest, I don't know what a lot of people are saying. But I'm getting ready for it. And I'm learning Spanish as fast as able. Give me a couple of months and I'll probably feel comfortable having a chat with Uncle Michael and Danielle! Jaja.

Con Amor,
Hermana Fletcher

PS- The three pictures are my district.
Hnas Fletcher, Phillipy y Johnson
 Elderes Smith and Kelly
 Hnas Reed and Camps

by K Fletcher

Dramatic Drum Roll Please!

Let me cover this week in a series of fabulous pictures:
SISTERS CONFERENCE. All the sisters in the mission drove up to Portsmouth to participate in a clothing swap, devotionals, lunch, fun, etc. Because we came all the way from North Carolina, we stayed with Sister Evans and Hermana Mardis.
The conference itself was very nice. Lots of love, very Relief Society feeling, jaja! But I got to meet all of the Hermanas, and develop some good friendships with a few of the sisters. Here are all the Hermanas in the Virginia Chesapeake Mission:
BIRTHDAY THINGS. I got some lovely packages from family for my birthday, and not the least of which was from my dear Nanny, Vilda Fletcher. She gave me this super sweet whiteboard to write cool things on!
And a great package from my parents filled with all sorts of needful (and unneedful, but delicious) things. The crowning gifts were a replacement Young Women's medallion (yes, I've lost mine) and a homemade bookmark. Thank You!
We also had a miracle referral:
We had stake conference, where I finally got pictures of my whole district:
Zone Leaders, Elder Remund and Merkely (Spanish)
 District Leaders, Elder Maughan and Novak (Spanish)
 Sister Averett and Barker
 Elder Brown and Melander (Elder Melander went home this transfer!)

and then in a mish-mash of companion, parents, ward and investigator, I prepared to have the BEST BIRTHDAY EVER.
Yeah. We had a baptism. I AM SO HAPPY. It was the best birthday gift I have every received. Yeah. I cried. Carla, our dear golden investigator, was baptized on February 15, 2015. It was lovely and wonderful and I don't know that I've ever been happier in my life. And while we didn't have time for a formal jumpsuit picture, we had this crazily snapped selfie on the way to the font.
And a real posed picture with Carla, her boyfriend Skyler (who unfortunately was not permitted to be baptized), and her sister Ana. I love them all so much.
And now for the drumroll news.
I am being transferred. We received calls from President on Saturday. My new area is Newport News, in the Spanish Branch. I will be fully immersed in Spanish.  I am ecstatic to learn Spanish, to fulfill my call to the fullest extent and to come to know and love the people of Virginia. But I was not prepared for the devastation I felt at having to leave Wilson. I love it here. I love the people, I love the ward, and I am so desperately sad to be leaving. You don't fully appreciate how much you love an area until you are called to leave it.
But now I head out, to meet my new companions (I'm in a trio again, jaja), Hermana Phillipy and Hermana Johnson.
Wish me luck!
Con Amor,
Hermana Fletcher

Have enough pictures yet?

by K Fletcher

This week... Let's see.

This week was the longest week of my mission and I have no idea why. We were busy, we were working, but looking back I can hardly believe that it has only been 1 week since last P-Day. It makes me laugh. 

Speaking of which, we had a zone sister's get-together where we came in from across the zone and played games and ate candy and acted weird. Because we're missionaries, haha.
The most important thing that happened this week was a lesson in forgiveness. Our Sister Training Leaders issued us a challenge to forgive someone. I didn't think there was anyone in my life that I had been withholding forgiveness from, but a name came to mind. And it was someone I'd never really come to terms about. But I learned a really amazing lesson; that  forgiveness is essentially the same as repentance. As it says in the bible dictionary, "Repentance is a fresh view of yourself, the world, and God" And that is what I needed. I needed to let go of my preconceptions about myself and the way I thought I should act because of the experiences I have gone through, and I could be whatever God wants me to be.

I am trying. It is difficult, but I am trying.

Something else my companionship has been doing: We challenged ourselves to remove as much of the words "um, like, so, and any general expletives" to clean up our language and speak with more power. It has helped a lot. I am more aware of every word that goes through my mouth, and I have to speak with deliberation as I watch myself avoiding those words.

And so, to everyone reading this, I have two challenges for you:
1. Forgive someone. Really look around your life for someone to forgive. And then do it. 2. Set a goal to watch what you say and how you say it. And stick with it. Don't give up because you don't change perfectly in one day. Remember it every morning and live up to your goal.

Sister Cahoon and I are working especially hard on building ward trust and unity. Our 'numbers' have gone down temporarily, but we have already received many more referrals than we have previously and we look forward to working with ward members who we have come to love and know and trust. It's a good feeling. I love to serve our ward, and we had the opportunity to do just that!

On Saturday morning we went over to the Taylor's, a wonderful part-member family and had the opportunity to paint their cabin and one of their children's rooms. It was so much fun and I loved getting to know them and building those friendships. It will be a regular service activity every other week or so. I love to serve!

Con Amor,
Hermana Fletcher

PS- Tambien, Feliz cumpleanos a mi prima Danielle Cook y mi tio Michael Fisher! No puedo esperar para hablar espanol con ustedes!!!

 Happy Valentines Day!!!

by K Fletcher

Trial Brings Stength

It was a good, but rather heartbreaking week. My first story, a positive one, has to do with a family in our ward. We had just finished dinner, and as she was driving us home, her two boys started shouting from the backseat: We want ice-cream! We want ice-cream! Well, finally she decided that SHE wanted ice-cream. So we pulled into McDonalds and made our selections, and when she asked if she could do anything else for us, the youngest boy, Parker, said, "You can take a Book of Mormon!" Well, we laughed and drove forward, but then Tucker, the older one, said, "No... no.. We should really give her a Boom of Mormon! Do you guys have one?" Well, of course we did! So we put a pass along card in it and handed it to Tucker. All of the sudden the excuses came, "No, I'm too shy, I've never done this before, I can't!" So we did a quick role-play. Then as the lady was handing us our last item, he pops out the driver's window and hands her the book saying, "Will you read this book? I know that if you do that and call the number, it will change your life!" She took it and said, "Will do, sir!" We drove off and Tucker was just saying over and over, "Take no refusals! Take no refusals!"

Member missionaries. They are the best addition to this work that I could think of. Let me just say something about member missionaries. DO IT. You can go places we can't go. You can touch hearts we couldn't touch. In this world, missionaries are something that people think they can treat like dirt, because they are right, we will never fight back. But in the real world, with real members, people will listen to you. You can share your testimonies in ways I couldn't even imagine. People will take copies of the Book of Mormon from strangers, even if they never would from a missionary. So this week, do something that scares you. Share the gospel. Share what you believe.
Take no refusals, haha!

On the other hand, this week had a downturn. Carla and Skyler were all set and good to be baptized this next week, when we told them they needed written consent from their parents. Well... Skyler's dad has just recently begun to go to a new church with very anti-mormon standpoints. He denied permission for a year and a half. He is still able to take the lessons and continue going to church, but cannot get baptized with Carla.

And then Renee, our potentially golden investigator partially dropped us. as in, "I'm canceling our appointment, going out of town, and I'll call you when I get back"
My heart broke this week. I love these people so much and I wish there was a way to allow everyone to see the world and the gospel the way I see it, but of course I can't. That is the job of the Holy Ghost.
I love you all. I hope you are doing well.
Con Amor,
Hermana Fletcher
PS- Number of times I've eaten fried chicken: 4

My Spanish Verbs

Hot cocoa. Every. Morning. Thanks Mom!

 Someone gave us crosses. The gift was thoughtful but they don't understand that our focus is that while our Savior hung and died on the cross we look to the fact that He overcame death, He was resurrected and He Lives.  Because of that we will also live. The perfect Son of God suffered and paid the price in the Garden of Gethsemane, even an eternal and infinite price. We, through righteous living and repentance, can have eternal life with our Heavenly Father thanks to Him!