by K Fletcher

9 MONTHS-Happy hump day to me

It's kind of crazy to be half-way through this crazy roller coaster and what a week we have had to celebrate! Today I want to talk about inspired drops and blessings.

There comes a point in every investigator-missionary relationship when you really buckle down and ask yourself why you are teaching this person. Is it so they can feel good about the word of God and have free access to the spirit once a week from two wonderful missionaries? Or is it to test them and try them and prepare them to enter the waters of baptism? This last week we had 3 lessons where we asked these kinds of questions. And we dropped three people. They were our regulars. They were the ones you could always count on a lesson with them. But there they go, blown away in the wind until another missionary comes by when they are better prepared. 

The field is white, already to harvest.

And we have 3 progressing investigators, brand new.
Nicole is reading the book of Mormon and her children want to go to primary.
Jasmin read the pamphlets that we have given her and asks real heartfelt questions like: the definition of the Fall and why the Atonement was even necessary. And when she doesn't understand something she asks for clarification.
Adriano describes himself as a 'lost soul'  and wants to know how religion can help. He wants to change. He wants to change so much. In between lessons we realized we had forgotten to give him a Bible like we had promised so we dropped by unannounced. He comes out of a bustling house and you can just smell the beer. He is chagrined. He wasn't expecting us. He tells us that when he knows we are coming he doesn't drink (we haven't taught the Word of Wisdom yet). His friends tell him to, but he tells them the missionaries are coming, he won't drink that day. He told us he loves when we come because if we come 2 or 3 times a week, that is 2 or 3 times a week when he doesn't drink.

The gospel changes people, but only if they are willing to accept it.
President Ezra Taft Benson (1899–1994) said:
“The Lord works from the inside out. The world works from the outside in. The world would take people out of the slums. Christ takes the slums out of people, and then they take themselves out of the slums. The world would mold men by changing their environment. Christ changes men, who then change their environment. The world would shape human behavior, but Christ can change human nature.”

Study the doctrine. Figure out what you need to change. Allow Christ to let it happen.
Happy 9 months, everyone

Con amor,
Hermana Fletcher

Once upon a time we were at dinner with a member. They gave us leftover fish. There was no where to put it but in my bag. Only in the Outer Banks will you walk around with smoked barracuda in your bag. 
Cute planes that fly around on the outerbanks with wedding proposals
These chilis are tiny but BURNING HOT. Sister Lowry and I had some numb tongues for a bit!

This little man (we named Marcus) chilled with us for 13 miles at more than 55 miles an hour. A lesson in strength.

by K Fletcher

Just Run

Hermana Limb and I made a goal for this week: Run every day for 7 days. And because we make weekly goals on Thursday, we're half way through. Let me tell you though, running on preparation day is one of the worst things ever, especially when it is on sand and it's humid and your alarm didn't go off so you have to exercise a little later in the morning than usually and overall you may or may not feel a little cranky. And as we were running, we had a little less time so, we reached a certain point which we usually go past and I said that we needed to turn around. Hermana Limb looked ahead like she really wanted to keep going, like it would be a failure if we didn't go farther than we did yesterday.
And in that moment I had a little bit of a breakthrough. God doesn't ask us to run farther every single day. He just asks us to run.

"And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order." Mosiah 4:27

Taylor Harman and I have this saying, "Came to win." And it doesn't mean you break yourself getting there, because then what do you have? It means giving it your all, while taking care of yourself, while being wise, while recognizing your own weaknesses, bit by bit and slowly overcoming them. 

Something I've noticed a lot on the mission is that when you study the gospel so much you have a tendency to pile up on the things you need to work on,  because your mind is much clearer, and you notice those things that keep the spirit a little farther from you. So you make lists and you make goals, and as you continue studying the gospel you just find more things that you need to improve on, but progress really does take time. 

Don't get mad at yourself because you aren't seeing leaps and bounds of progress. Don't hurt yourself trying to be perfect. Just run.

Con amor,
Hermana Fletcher

Me touching a $6,500,000 Yacht
Torin, basically the only person that speaks Spanish that can come out with us
I put army men on my Preach My gospel. Because we save the "man down"
From a great story in the August 2015 Ensign. Go check it out.

by K Fletcher

Pig Pickin'

This past week we had a whole mission conference in Chesapeake. We learned about the Atonement, the Gospel, and Ordinances, and how to teach those in every single lesson. We also started a mission wide read of the Book of Mormon with an emphasis on those topics. So my previous read through the Book of Mormon underlining every reference to the Atonement has really prepared me for this!
After that we gathered together for a real, Southern pig-pickin'. I don't know if you have heard about it, but a pig pickin' is where you cook a WHOLE PIG and then you get a couple hundred people and you eat it. Let me just tell you... it was delicious.
And I had the opportunity to gather with all the Hermanas again!
And all the Hermanas from my transfer in:
And do you recognize this lovely Hermana?
I didn't until I heard her name. Hermana Coombs. My long lost MTC companion! She made it! I was so excited to see her. The gang is all here.

It has been quite (as President Baker always says) a "revelatory experience" reading the Book of Mormon with these 6 points in mind. It helps me see how Faith, Repentance, Baptism and covenants, The gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end all relate to each other and to the Atonement.
Because that really is what it is all about. The Atonement makes salvation possible, and living the Gospel allows us to access the Atonement. How simple! How genius!

A mission is interesting, because overall you don't learn all that much new information. The church doesn't basically change because you are serving. But you change, and you learn these basic things over and over and over and over again and every single time it is miraculous. You realize the miracle of this gospel. Every time I see that I just want to go out and help everyone else see just how integral this is. It kind of goes back to, "Is it still wonderful to you?" [Gérald Caussé]

Make the gospel wonderful again.
Con Amor,
Hermana Fletcher

I also received a wonderful healthy package from my parents. Thank you so so much!
And here I am with one of the exactly 100 horse statues in Nags Head, North Carolina. Gotta catch 'em all.

by K Fletcher

Teaching with Power and the Spirit

We had two huge miracles this week:
1) It was a day when our only appointment fell through and so we knew we'd just be walking and knocking on doors for 4 hours. On those days, the first IO is the hardest. Well, we walked to a house where we knew spanish speaking people lived and there was awkwardly a man sitting in his car outside of the house. We didn't know if we should knock on the house or on the car! We almost, ALMOST kept walking, but then we decided to just go for it. Turns out he has a wife and child, his grandmother in Honduras is Mormon and he'd love to meet with us! We got his number and gave him ours and not 30 seconds later, he texted us to learn our names! And then this morning he called us and said he wants to come to church! I wonder how long his grandma has been praying for us to go to that house!

2) This one has to do a lot more with me and how I teach. I just realized it, but basically my entire mission I wanted people to listen to ME. I wanted to teach the gospel instead of allowing the Spirit to do his job. Finally I realized that no one wants to listen to me. I'm only 21 and basically know nothing. But I know the scriptures are true. All of the commandments and promises of God are contained within. And so, we taught keeping the Sabbath Day Holy to an investigator, Lupe. I decided to fear no man. This wasn't my commitment, it was God's commandment. So we read Exodus 20:8-11.

the sabbath day, to keep it holy
Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it."
I look her straight in the eye and told her that the Lord has commanded us not to work on Sunday. We read the blessings in D&C and the Sacrament prayers and she committed to come to church this upcoming Sunday. It was the most powerful lesson I've been in on on my mission.

I finally feel like a missionary. And that is really wonderful.

We've had a lot of success in contacting people. Hermana Limb and I have been trying so hard to rely on the spirit on where we need to go, which houses to knock on, who to visit, and what to say. Sometimes we get incredibly prepared investigators and sometimes it's just a bottle of water when you really need it. 
We also had a really fun activity for a visiting returned missionary, Sister Garvin, and 2 investigators came, and brought 2 friends! It was really fun. Southern people really do know how to cook.
We also had the chance to go to the beach. I finally finally understand why everyone falls in love with the Outer Banks. It is lovely here. the people are prepared, the work is well, and there are so many miracles coming our way. 
Con Amor,
Hermana Fletcher
PS- No change in transfers! I'm here another 6 weeks with Hermana Limb!

by K Fletcher

Pictures, pictures and more pictures

This week is going to be picture heavy and word light, but first a story and a shout-out to the power of member example!

We were tracting an area and following up on potential investigators when we run into two boys. Of course, we go and talk to them and one of them, after hearing the name of our church asks if we know a certain girl. Well, she's the daughter of the Bishop. Yes, we know her. He mentions how she just moved to Hawaii for college and how he really misses her (At this point I can tell he likes her). We talk a little more and we find out that he has even come to church once! and then he comes out and tells us he really does like her, but he thought the reason they didn't date was because he wasn't Mormon. He told us that he didn't want to join a church just because he liked a girl. But then we find out he is open and would love to learn more about Joseph Smith!

That entire conversation never would have taken place if not for this lovely girl's righteous influence in the life of her friend. Quote, "Preach the Gospel at all times and if needed, us words". You are the example. Each one of you.

And now a photo essay in the life of Hermana Kelene Amethyst Fletcher:
One day were were out in the blisteringly humid heat of day for about 4 hours, just walking and tracting and trying to find people. The heat does some things to your brain.
Here I am trying to get one more person to read the Book of Mormon (I didn't think he wood branch out, but he stumped me!):
and then were may have tracted into an active member that we didn't know lived there, and she pointed out a GIANT weed in her yard to her husband while we were talking. We told her we would pull it out and she told us not to worry about it. We worried about it. and we triumphed:
We visited the lovely Buchanan Family and taught them about the Book of Mormon and how we can better apply it in our lives. They then proceeded to feed us dessert #Thisisthesouth:
This is a lovely gift from my parents. I think it fits well:
Also, every week we teach English Class at the business of our Ward Mission Leader. This is what he builds for a living. Yep. Yachts. 
And of course we have our super exciting District meeting every week! We have Elders Sittoway, Richins, Alplanalp, Wardell, and Sisters Evans, Barker, Limb, and Fletcher.
This is one of the biggest struggles of the Outer Banks in the Summer: TRAFFIC. Apparently there are about 1.5 million visitors to the outer banks every week. And so a distance that normally takes 45 minutes took us 2.5 hours. Good times.
One of the biggest struggles we have in this Branch is that we can't always find a third woman to accomany us to lessons with male hispanics. So sometimes we have to cancel appointments with people that we shouldn't have to. But then we just make gift baskets for them, with ties and bubbles and church videos and pictures of the temple and Jesus Christ!:
Also, I'm almost a senior missionary! Only one more month and I hit my hump day! My companion was nice and put together this sweet little display to celebrate my 'birthday'.
speaking of gifts, the 27th was a Sister's P-day in President and sister Baker's home and we were told to bring a white elephant gift. This was my STUPENDOUS wrapping job. Top that, Curtis. (hint: it's an ancient car seat we had in our basement for some reason).
And that is my life. Transfers are in 2 weeks and the entire mission is coming together for it because apparently there are close to 50 missionaries coming in and it is going to be a mission-wide training and then transfer. Who knows what will happen!

This is the work of the Lord. And I hope you all appreciate the great blessings we have every single day because of this knowledge. Live it. Share it. Love it.

Con Amor,
Hermana Fletcher