by K Fletcher


Here I am. At the end.
1.5 years. 18 months. 79 weeks. 553 days.
I've learned a lot. It's kind of impossible not to. But I'm going to tell you one of the greatest and best kept secrets of all full-time missionaries:
Missions are absolutely terrible

They are hot, sweaty, tiring, and emotionally, physically, and spiritually draining. There are days and weeks and months of rejection and stress. It is harder than you can imagine to spend 24/7 with a complete stranger with whom you may or may not have anything in common. You eat way too much food and then hardly any food at all. You'll walk ten miles one day and then sit inside for eight hours the next. Some days you doubt everything you believe in and have spiritual breakdowns and have to patch it up before you go into a random house after 4 hours of knocking and have to teach something you wonder is true. You have to smile and hug everyone even when you want to curl up in a ball and not talk to anyone. You have to practice teaching the same 5 lessons over and over and over again and you would not believe how boring a mission can possibly be. And you go months and months without seeing anyone progress or commit and it is the hardest thing not to let discouragement creep in. 
To quote Hermana Johnson, "it is the worst two years."

Please don't stop reading... because I have one more thing to say:
Missions are absolutely wonderful

President Baker taught me that the key to having a successful mission is to remember the miracles. Do you think that Jesus is sad because He suffered, or does He rejoice because He triumphed?

The mission is exactly how you remember it to be. 

Because the moment you see someone step into the waters of baptism and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, it is all worth it. You see the light of Christ enter their lives. You see people change. You have the opportunity to see the weight of sin and sorrow lift from their shoulders. Sometimes we might forget why we go out. But that moment always reminds you. Missions are the best. 
They are the greatest learning experiences, they show you your limits and your potential. They teach you the gospel, you meet people you'd never have looked at before, you learn what is means to put someone before yourself for the first time in your short life. You get a Mission President -- someone to look up to for the rest of your life. You learn how to have perspective. You make short term goals. You make long term goals. You come to savor the gospel, the scriptures, prayer, and obedience. You begin to learn the meaning of sacrifice. You learn how to love people and see the world a little more like the Savior does.

You learn about the Atonement.

You learn that Jesus Christ suffered for you. And died for you. And paid your debt of sins and sorrows.

For the last 18 months I have been His representative. My purpose has been to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.

But just because I'm taking off the missionary name tag doesn't mean I'm not His representative. I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. I have taken His name upon me by covenant of baptism. It doesn't end here.

In fact, this is just the beginning.

Con Amor,

For the last time,


    by K Fletcher

    The Fruit of Your Labors

    This week we have been preparing for Vicente's baptism all week. I had planned on singing "Cristo, Senor" and so my lovely, wonderful companion offered to play for me. Well, that requires practice, unfortunately. What do you do when one companion needs to do paperwork on the computer and the other needs to practice the piano? Well, you bring the piano into the library!
    So here we are, practicing and working when someone knocks on the door. It's the Elders, Elder Gardner and Elder Adamson. They give us the most confused look, kind of a How-did-you-get-the-piano-in-the-library look. (Hint: It has wheels). Well, they leave and we continue on. A few minute pass and we hear them playing the piano in another room. Or is it? Finally Hermana Coombs says, "did they roll a piano outside of the library?"
    Yes, yes they did. 
    I love our Elders. 

    We also had the opportunity to give some unprecedented service when we were out tracting and came upon this scene:
    Fortunately I know the dogs and they work well with cats, but they were still giving this kitten a hard time, and there were other wild dogs running rampant that I know for a fact are not nice (see white dog of previous blog post). So we rescue the little kitten, distract the dogs, and put it back on his porch. What does the kitten do? Follow us! We walked for a quarter mile trying to lose this stubborn little kitten. It didn't end up happening. So we picked him up, took him to our car and pondered what to do with him. Long story short, we took him to Nancy who knows someone with lots of animals and thought it might be his. Kitten rescued!
    Now, let me tell you something. 
    In the mission, weeks are long, weeks are hard, months are long and months are hard. 
    But when you hear font water running in the church you simply forget all that. 
    This week, Vicente was baptized. I've been with Vicente from the beginning and for 8 months he has learned about the gospel, attended church, and read in the Book of Mormon. Now he has received the first ordinances of the gospel of Jesus Christ, baptism by immersion and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. And he glows!
    The baptismal service was one of the best I've been to. He was baptized by Brother Garcia, his friend who introduced him to the gospel, and he was confirmed by Brother Heath an older gentleman who doesn't speak much Spanish but sure knows how to love people. After Vicente was baptized, he and Brother Garcia hugged for what seemed like eternity. Hermana Coombs, Bishop, and I turned to Narcisa (who should be baptized soon) and she was wiping away tears in her eyes. 
    I just want to let you all know that "if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!" Doctrine & Covenants 18:15
    The joy is great indeed.

    Con Amor,
    Hermana Fletcher
    by K Fletcher

    An Amazing Week

    Monday: We followed a hunch trying to find a new place to tract for Spanish speakers. It was just North of a heavy tracting spot in another missionary's area, and so we drove around just looking randomly. Well, after 15 miles we find some solid looking trailers and my companion decides to use more miles and drive to the end of this nice long street. But we see a few people who look like they might speak Spanish! Yay! We park and try the first house. White guy, tattoos, just out of prison. Scary Grandma. We teach him an amazing 
    Restoration discussion right there on the porch. He wants to change his life. He promised us three times he'd come to church. As we walked away Hermana Coombs said, "He's the reason we're here. Can we go home now?" No. :) So we go and find a whole Spanish speaking family to teach and get 4 new investigators. Also, turns out everyone on that street is Spanish speaking... except the first guy. 

    Tuesday: We took an elderly white woman to visit Narcisa. One doesn't speak any English and the other doesn't speak any Spanish. They hugged so hard I thought the world would end!

    Thursday: Today we didn't have a dinner, but then Hermana Cisneros called us and said, "I can't have you over, but I have a bunch of food made for my son's surprise party! Come and get some before I leave!" And that's how we ended up eating Mole, chicken, tortillas, rice, and cactus salsa in a Walmart parking lot. Also, every time I eat mole, I wear yellow and I ALWAYS get mole on my yellow. This was no exception. 

    Friday: Today was specialized fitness training with President and sister Baker. The first half was about self-reliance, personality differences, and food preparation. The second half was a HUGE tournament of Oompa Loompa! Picture a super fun super intense mix of football, basketball, and ultimate frisbee. And President Baker came out in workout clothes! It was so much fun. 
    Saturday: Exchanges with the sister Training Leaders. We did service for 2 hours pulling weeds, finding treasures in the garden (like frogs!), and hoping her cow would give birth. Then at the end we caught 8 chickens and transported them to another members house. What a day! 
    Also, Sister Oleson may or may not have eaten a mealworm. Apparently it tastes like egg yolk.
    It was a really amazing week. Also, I have some good news:
    Vicente had his baptismal interview!!! 
    So next week, look for white. 

    Missions are so great. If you are considering going, go. It'll change your life for good. It's the perfect starting point for a consecrated life. If you didn't have the opportunity to go, work with the missionaries, ask how you can help. Share the gospel!
    I love you! 

    Con Amor,
    Hermana Fletcher

    PS- In this picture, 5 of us are going home. Can you tell?
    Last but not least, this is the terrifying little white dog that almost killed my companion from last week.

    by K Fletcher

    Missions. It's the life.

    Have you ever found a machete and just wanted to chop down a whole bunch of forest to get to that one person that needs to hear the gospel?
    I have.

    Have you ever driven past a small moving object on a road, pulled over immediately to the dismay of your companion, run back and saved a turtle from certain death?
    I have.

    Missions. It's the life.

    This week has had a real focus on members. Did you know that until the members are strong and ready to support missionary work it is almost impossible to do missionary work? We've developed a plan to build all the members in our ward. We visit them. We share with them the story of Nephi building the boat (1 Nephi 17). We ask them what their vision is for their family. We ask them what their tools are to get there. We help them make the tools. And the tools are a series of steps:
    1. Daily prayer and scripture study (individual and as a family)
    2. Attending church regularly
    3. Regular Family Home Evening
    4. Keep the Sabbath Day Holy
    5. Keep all the commandments (10 commandments, word of wisdom, tithing, chastity)
    6. Participate in sharing the gospel (visiting teaching/home teaching, missionary work, family history)
    7. Attend the temple regularly

    Where are you in your vision? What do you need to do to change? 

    Now, we can't just walk into a random person's house and start interrogating them on how they are living the gospel (though sometimes we do just that). So to build trust and show our love (WE MISSIONARIES ABSOLUTELY LOVE YOU. Please remember that) we do service! Service is how we show our love.
    So for a few hours we visited the Shafer's house and sorted through all of his collected metal, looking for aluminum! We did it with the elders. Have I ever told you have much fun elders are? They are fun. See following picture for demonstration (both of these bikes are broken):
    and this is the whole yard:
    I think the whole point of this blog post is that we, as Missionaries, love you, as Members.

    Also, it is no big deal, but this is my last zone picture ever. 

    Con Amor,
    Hermana Fletcher
    by K Fletcher

    Mishun Life

    If you ever want to know what a week in the life of a missionary is like, enjoy my week. 
    Monday: 30 minutes knocking
    Tuesday: 3 hours knocking
    Wednesday: 4.5 hours knocking
    Thursday: 30 minutes knocking
    Friday: 30 minutes knocking
    Saturday: 2 hour knocking
    Sunday: 20 minutes knocking
    For a grand total of 11 hours and 20 minutes tracting this week. 

    But we had a TON of fun. Let me tell you, all the best mission stories start with, "This one time we were tracting..."
    We got sno-cones, came up with a synchronized dance, got temporary tattoos, (Mt. Olive pickles), tried some vegan recipes, made a bouquet out of dandelions, and ran away from a tiny terrifying dog.

    Really thought, that dog is crazy. If you come within 10 feet of his property, even if he was literally just sleeping he will jump up, bark and snarl like crazy and try and kill your companion. This next picture is of us taking a "sad tracting face" picture, and right after words (we didn't realize we were near the house) the dog appears OUT OF NOWHERE and tries to kill Hermana Coombs! We proceed to protect ourselves with our purses while we run away in terror. The dog is literally shorter than our knees. I'll get a picture this week. 
    Another time we were walking about tracting and we see this nice black man sitting on his porch. So we go over and start talking to him. He's pretty open to the gospel and gives us his info to give to the Elders then he asks, "Would ya'll like somethin' to drink?" We say sure (as he was inside we take this picture) and when he returns he gives us both a big chilled bottle of sweet green tea. We awkwardly walk away and dump it out at the next house. 
    Finally, because sometimes you really do have to take a break while tracting, we decided to smell the roses. Well... we were in a trailer park, so there were only dandelions. So we made a bouquet and gave it to the little girl at the next house. And we got a new investigator! 
    So remember, if your week was bad, at least you weren't knocking on doors for 11 hours in hot humid weather getting rejected by all but two people. Never give up. Okay?
    I love you. I'm praying for you. So keep going strong.

    Con Amor,
    Hermana Fletcher

    This is how I feel about my last month in the mission field: