by K Fletcher

Hush puppies & Learning about the Atonement

I don't have a lot to report this week. Just that we have seen miracles. When it rains for 4 days and you keep walking and keep knocking and keep teaching, miracles happen. Hermana Limb and I are the first Spanish speaking missionaries in Goldsboro in several years. Several people, including the bishop, speak Spanish so we do have some member support. We are finding people that are ready for the gospel. We found 2 families to teach and had a 10 year old boy read the pamphlet. We got surprise dinners and had 7 people in our Spanish Gospel Principles class. It was a very good week.  I learned that you get to choose to be happy. Faith is a choice, every single day. It's hard work and it's dirty work. It will make you laugh and it will make you cry.  We all have things to overcome in this life, but life is better with faith. Taking time each day to remember the love of God is so important.

Goldsboro is great. I could see that right away. For some reason I can't stay away from hushpuppies. You can buy them a dozen for a dollar a couple hundred yards from my house.
 So we sometimes use our fancy dinner dishes to eat hushpuppies. 
And sometimes we make our own!
In order to end on a spiritual note, I wanted to share a 5 minute talk I wrote on the Atonement in preparation for Zone Conference:

"We believe that through the atonement of Jesus Christ, all mankind may be saved by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel." Let's talk about the Atonement. I once read; 'an attempt to master this doctrine requires an immersion of all our senses, all our feelings, and all our intellect.' I only have 5 minutes, but if you will bring all that to the table, I will do the same.

Put simply, the Atonement was made in order to reconcile man to God. 2 Nephi 9:6-7 says: 
"For as death hath passed upon all men, to fulfill the merciful plan of the great Creator, there must needs be a power of resurrection, and the resurrection must needs come unto man by reason of the fall; and the fall came by reason of transgression; and because man became fallen they were cut off from the presence of the Lord. Wherefore, it must needs be an infinite atonement." 

In an incomprehensible way, Christ's suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane, his suffering and death on the cross, and his glorious resurrection opened the way for each one of us to walk back to our heavenly home. That is the Atonement. I only have one question for you now -- Why? Why did He do that?

As Moses said, "I know man is nothing, which thing I never had supposed." We are nothing! From an outside perspective, there is no logical reason for Christ to have gone through all that and given so much to a people that could never pay it back!

It cannot be paid back. It was not meant to be paid back. It was given by the grace and infinite love of God. "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

Bruce C. Hafen said that, "Christ's atonement is at the very core of this plan. Without his dear, dear sacrifice, there would be no way home, no way to be together, no way to be like Him. He gave us all He had. Therefore, how great is His joy whenever one of us 'gets it'? When we look up from the weed patch and turn our face to the Son." ... He loves us. He loves us! Accepting that love is the first step to accepting the Atonement. That is how we thank Jesus for all He has done -- by accepting His love, remembering His sacrifice, and applying His teachings and Atonement in our lives. Christ's gifts are freely given but they must also be freely received. 

I want each and every one of you to study this topic. The immersion of all your senses, all your feelings, and all your intellect. Anything less will not be enough!

Tad R. Callister stated that, "One does not speak lightly of the Atonement or casually express his appreciation. It is the most sacred and sublime event in eternity." 

Learn about the Atonement. Discover the mysteries of God and pour out your thanks. God loves us. What a beautiful message this is! When I think on the Atonement it moves me to the most intense gratitude and appreciation of which my soul is capable. He lives and because He lives death has no sting, the grave has no victory. We can live with the confidence that comes from knowing God has a plan for us and that he is our loving Father in Heaven.  I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Con Amor,
Hermana Fletcher 
by K Fletcher

Welcome Back to the South

Long story short I can now understand Spanish speaking people better than I can understand English speakers. 

So, Hermana Limb and I are in Goldsboro! We have been tearing this place up, hitting the ground running. It's been amazing. Our ward is so much bigger and we have a stake center and a HUGE family history center. Our district is the size of our last zone and our zone has about 16 sets of missionaries. I actually started my mission in this zone. I've missed it :)

Sad news is that we had to leave behind our wonderful investigator Yvan. He is so ready. He just has to decide it is true. He's living the word of wisdom and reading the Book of Mormon and was supposed to go to church this past Sunday. In honor, Hermana Limb and I named our car after him. He's so great. And when we sent our good-bye text to all of our people with an 'Adios' at the end he responded, "Adios means good-bye forever. This is only an 'hasta luego'" It was a great end to out time in Nags Head.

Then we had our 4 hour drive to our new area, got unpacked and went to work! We've seen so many miracles already. We found a family of 5 and taught them about the restoration and have a return appointment, with a promise from the mom that they will all read the pamphlet. We thought we didn't have an area book, but then the elders found it in their apartment! It's super out of date and almost all the numbers are wrong, but the addresses are there and now we can find people. Miracles, all over the place. We are looking forward to seeing all the incredible things that happen here.

Also, today is September 21st! 192 years ago the Angel Moroni appeared to Joseph Smith and told him about a record called the Book of Mormon, which was engraved onto plates of gold and instructions for how he could find it. I wonder if Joseph understood how much that Book of Mormon was going to change the world, and the lives of millions of people who have read it. That Book of Mormon creates testimonies, softens hearts, solves problems, and "a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts than by any other book".  Most importantly, it is a witness to the world that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God.

Con Amor,
Hermana Fletcher

The little ninos (children) that always run up to us and give us hugs and follow us around. 
 They help us by pointing out houses where families speak spanish.
Saying goodbye to the Covingtons
Our wonderful Peruvians
Our new home!

by K Fletcher

Two Strikes

And I'm getting shotgunned again. In fact, the entire area is getting dumped upside-down. All the sisters are leaving and all elders are coming in. There will be two experienced elders (and we are talking He-Has-Been-Assistant-To-The-President-For-9-Months experienced) and 2 greenies fresh out of the MTC to fill our places! We are ecstatic. It is just what this area needs.
And now, *drumroll*
Hermana Limb and I are staying together and opening Goldsboro to Spanish! I'm going back to my home zone!

We are so excited. It will be an incredible opportunity and we are going to tract all up and down that place.

But I am so sad to leave. I had a wonderful experience this week: I really and truly loved an investigator. We were sitting and talking and he was expressing his doubts and he told us he hadn't done his reading that week and I could feel real and legitimate sorrow for that. Later in the lesson I was testifying of the Book of Mormon and what our purpose as missionaries is and I realized that because I had real charity for this man that I could say any truth, as boldly as I could, because I care. And he knew that. That is what it means to be a missionary, and a friend. To care for people so much all you want is for them to be happy.

So that's the news. It's pretty exciting. 
A few stories and a few pictures:

This is what happens when my family sends me army men and I get them while on an exchange. I spent the whole evening setting them up and blowing them down. It was like world war three in our beach house. Everyone was just laughing at me, but when you get army men what else are you supposed to do with them?

This is a picture of us with our Assistant ward mission leader. He takes care of us and sometimes jokes about selling us drugs. I tell him I have a pharmacist father for that. The peace sign signifies peace between America and Canada.
A picture with some of our investigators. They are so great, even when they are sick. We had one last lesson with them. I swear, investigators are never more anti the church structure than when transfers take place :)
Once upon a time we had deep clean (where we clean the entire house for 3 hours) and Hermana Limb couldn't let the pot/pan cupboard go so she took everything out and organized it and just announced, "Now there's enough room for a person back here!" and promptly crawled in the cupboard to prove it.
Once upon a time all the sisters were sitting and chatting after daily planning and maybe a water bottle was thrown and maybe then a lotion bottle, and then maybe all the contents of two desks. But I've never laughed so hard in my mission and the clean-up was easy.  #officewars
One day we walked up to the door of someone that we had contacted months previously and we saw a little smudge from a distance. As we drew closer we saw a picture of Jesus on the door. It was OUR picture of Jesus! Faded and ragged from being on there so long. It's nice to know that some people really do care.
This is my favorite picture of our resident Canadian. she entered the store and quickly located this sweatshirt, first from everything.
And finally a cute picture of all of us visiting the Wright Memorial.
I love you all! Go be member missionaries!
Con Amor,
Hermana Fletcher

by K Fletcher

12 Steps

I don't know how many of you explore or but recently I had some time on those websites and I discovered something incredible. It is the 12 step program of the church for overcoming addictions. they made a short video series about it and I was able to watch some of it.

It has changed to way I see the world.

And it may sound strange, but I want to do the 12 step program. And I want everyone else to do it as well. Because we are all addicted to something. We could be addicted to self-pity, to pride, to greed, to apathy, or to the natural man. And the 12 step program is not about quitting bad things. It is an exercise in humility and trust in God. And I need those two things a little more in my life.

And so, I want everyone to go and watch the videos HERE
Step 1 - Honesty: Admit that you, of yourself, are powerless to overcome your addictions and that your life has become unmanageable.
Step 2 - Hope: Come to believe that the power of God can restore you to complete spiritual health.
Step 3 - Trust in God: Decide to turn your will and your life over to the care of God the Eternal Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.
Step 4 - Truth: Make a searching and fearless written moral inventory of yourself.
Step 5 - Confession: Admit to yourself, to your Heavenly Father in the name of Jesus Christ, to proper priesthood authority, and to another person the exact nature of your wrongs.
Step 6 - Change of Heart: Become entirely ready to have God remove all your character weaknesses.
Step 7 - Humility: Humbly ask Heavenly Father to remove your shortcomings.
Step 8 - Seeking Forgiveness: Make a written list of all persons you have harmed and become willing to make restitution to them.
Step 9 - Wherever possible, make direct restitution to all persons you have harmed.
Step 10 - Daily Accountability: Continue to take personal inventory, and when you are wrong promptly admit it.
Step 11 - Personal Revelation: Seek through prayer and meditation to know the Lord’s will and to have the power to carry it out.
Step 12 - Service: Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, share this message with others and practice these principles in all you do.

It all comes down to trusting in God and having faith that he will fulfill his promises. And he will. I know with all my heart that he will.

The mission is incredible. The ability to see people change as well as see myself change is priceless.
I'll keep it short today. I just want to invite all of you to change. To find something you want to change and do it.

Con Amor,
Hermana Fletcher

What happens when an investigator leaves his car parked outside of a less-active's house we are visiting.
Another day at the beach

by K Fletcher

Lessons in Humility and Fun

A brief example from the life of the incredible Hermana Limb. We were sitting with an investigator and while we had prepared a lesson on the Gospel, her need and wants really were on the Atonement and Plan of Salvation. We explained a bit and she asked some questions. We explained a bit more and she asked more questions. She was ranging from, if the world needs another Atonement, to why God allows suffering and why are men fallen, etc. etc. Here I was, scripture pages flying, Spanish at 100 miles an hour, trying to FIX everything when Hermana Limb takes a deep breath holds up both hands and just says, "Wait. Everybody just wait." (Cue revelatory face)

She relates the fact that we are here as guides. We are NOT here to answer every question. We are here to help you find your own answers through the Holy Ghost.

The rest of the lesson was incredibly spirit-filled as we explained that we had studied all of this for years and years and we could give her "all the answers" but what good would that do HER? And so we gave her the pamphlet and a sticky note. We told her to read it and answer her questions, and when we come back we can talk about her answers together.

We closed with a prayer and invited everyone in the home to participate. Our investigator explained to everyone how to pray and they said they would be there the next week. It was truly a miracle, all because Hermana Limb listened to the spirit instead of her own knowledge. That is the power of missionary work.

But do you know another important part of missionary work? Having Fun.
It might be building a sand castle and destroying it (or watchign a Canadian destroy it) and it might be pretending to be a veloceraptor and practicing running like a dinosaur.
It might be singing a remix of "12 days of Christmas" to a 9 months missionary and sharing the contents of your wonderful package with your roommates.
It could be having a Spanish and English class where two cultures are trying to direct each other blindfolded to a box of donuts.
It could be posing with a really really rundown building with sketchy broken glass on a hot and humid day in the middle of 2 hours of straight tracting time.
It could be having dinners with members and investigators and taking selfies afterwards.
It could be doing service for two hours cleaning someone's house while a member takes her out for lunch and shopping.
It could even be find a Littlest Pet Shop figurine on a creepy abandoned dryer in the middle of a bunch of trees.
Be spiritual. Have fun. Men are that they might have joy.
Con Amor,
Hermana Fletcher

PS- The district!
Elders: Richins, Sidoway, Ward, Alpanalp Sisters: Fletcher, Limb, Evans, Lowry