Monday, August 7, 2017

How blessed are we!

Hey y'all!
This week was good :) We picked up a few new investigators and were able to teach some awesome lessons! Samantha and Devinee are going to the temple this Saturday which is SO exciting!! I am so happy for them. man, I wish more than anything we could go with them. Maybe in a year haha.

I have been studying the book of Mosiah in the Book of Mormon. I love Mosiah SO much. I feel like no matter how many times I have read this book, I always learn so many new principles from the teachings. I was in chapter 27 yesterday and I love verse 37 specifically. Prior to this verse, Alma the younger and the sons of Mosiah are doing evil and trying to destroy the church of God, but then they had an amazing experience that completely changed their hearts and turned them to repentance. They no longer wanted to do evil but wanted to do good always, and to share with others the amazing light the gospel brings to all of our lives. In verse 37, it says: "And how blessed are they! For they did publish peace; they did publish good tidings of good; and they did declare unto the people that the Lord reigneth."

I just love this verse. How blessed am I that I get to declare Jesus Christ's gospel to His children. I feel so grateful and lucky for this opportunity. I meet so many people everyday who have really opened my eyes to what life is all about, to what the gospel is all about. I don't know what I did to deserve wearing this name tag on my heart, to represent my Savior, Jesus Christ every single day for 18 months. ahhh, I just love this gospel, I love being a missionary!

How blessed are we to know the gospel, and because we know the truth, it is up to us to share it with others! People want what we have, even if they don't know it yet.

Love and miss you all!

-sister fletcher
Pretty Fort Walton Beach last week


Pic taken on my low quality camera on a high quality day
Me and sista j




Monday, July 31, 2017

Baptism Day!! (7 // 31 // 17)

What a week to be alive. I'm so grateful for this opportunity that I have to serve a mission. Nothing compares to the experiences I am having, people I am meeting, and the person I am becoming. I feel SO blessed. 

Samantha and Devinee were baptized on Saturday! It was such a beautiful day. The lyrics to a Nashville Tribute song keep coming to my mind to describe the way it feels when someone you have been teaching, who you come to absolutely love, enters into that covenant with Heavenly Father: "The most wonderful sound I've ever heard, is the sound of water running in the church. When someone I've come to love got dressed in white, my eyes saw the first glimpse of Heaven's light." So true. 

Everything about the baptismal service was beautiful. The girls were really nervous before, especially Sam, because a lot of people were planning on attending. I sent Sam a text the night before and told her to read Doctrine & Covenants 84:88 for comfort and it was so cute because the next day, right before she was baptized, she kept saying she just needs to remember that angels are surrounding her and will bear her up, AW. 

The spirit was so strong and both Sam and Devinee said they felt completely clean and renewed when they came out of the water. After the ordinance was performed, the service continued and I sang/played, "Glorious," by David Archuleta (Sam and Dev's favorite song). It was hard to get through because every time I looked up, I saw tears in the girls' eyes so in the middle of the song I just stopped and kinda laughed and cried at the same time, then tried to continue.  

Sam and Devinee got confirmed as members of the church and received the Holy Ghost the next day in sacrament meeting. Their blessings were amazing. I am so excited to hear about all the wonderful things these cute girls will do in their lives. I look forward to the day I can be there with them as they are sealed in the temple. I have truly found my friends out here in Florida, two friends that I know I promised before we even came to this earth that I would help share the gospel with. What a joy it is, sharing this gospel and preaching repentance, inviting people to change and better their relationships with God. I am just so happy. 

So on a side note, I stepped in a red ant pile on Saturday night during our ward pioneer day activity and got attacked. I haven't been able to sleep like at all the past few nights because every time I move, I'm woken up from how uncomfortable they are. NO FUN. I also got bit by a mosquito on my face right by my eye...pretty hilarious. Gotta love the south in the summer!

In my email last week I mentioned Ronnie and how prepared he is among all the hard trials he has been through in his life. We were able to teach him a couple more times this week and he was able to come to church again yesterday. It is rare that an investigator is this eager and excited about coming to church and we feel so grateful for that! The one thing Ronnie wants to know more than anything is how he can find God in all of this. We are trying to help him see and feel how much Heavenly Father loves him. 

It is so interesting. before my mission, I probably would have been a little nervous to teach someone like Ronnie, who has spent a lot of his life in prison and made a lot of mistakes. I probably wouldn't have believed that someone like him could turn his life around. I think it really all comes down to the fact that I didn't truly understand the atonement of Jesus Christ and the healing power that He offers. Christ can literally take someone who may be so far gone and completely change him (if that person lets Him.) I think that is the important part. We have to give Jesus Christ who we are and LET him change us, better us, into someone we thought we couldn't become. He has that power, we do not. And that is what Ronnie is doing. He is allowing Christ to change him and heal him. It is so amazing to witness true repentance and change in someone's life. I feel like I am finally coming to understand even just a small bit of the atonement of Jesus Christ. 

Thank you all for the prayer, letters, and emails. I love hearing from you all! I love my mission. I feel so blessed to have been given this opportunity! I love y'all :)

-sister fletcher

my address:

430 Riverwood Dr.
Crestview, FL 32536

Baptism Day :)
Ninjas
Celebrating Pioneer Day
Exchanges
Sam and Devinee - I love these girls!
Ward party (when I got bit by ants...)
Cute Devinee
Hammocking with Heidi
Me and my comp!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Too good to be true

Yeah...this week was exactly what my subject says...too good to be true. Miracle after miracle, SO many blessings!

To start off...Sam is getting baptized on Saturday! but guys!!!!!!! not just Sam, DEVINEE, her sister is too!!! A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that their mom wouldn't let Devinee since she is only 16 years old. We took that leap of faith and invited Sam to be baptized with the hope that their mom would see the positive influence the church will have in her life, and then maybe, let Devinee get baptized sooner than when she turns 18. Well, after church yesterday, Devinee ran up to Sister Jarvis and me with a huge smile on her face and said, "Sister Fletcher, you must be a psychic." I was confused and replied, "Why?!!" She said, "Remember yesterday during our lesson, you said you had a feeling I would be able to get baptized sooner than we all thought? My mom sat me down last night and said, "If Sam is getting baptized, you might as well get baptized on the same day." OH MY GOODNESS!!!!! So now both Sam and Devinee will be baptized on Saturday. I am so so so so so excited for these cute girls, I just love them SO much. I have never met such prepared people in my entire life. There will be a youth temple trip on August 12th that they will now be able to go to. Man, just thinking about all the blessings ahead of them in their life...I'm so happy and proud of them :)
 
We received a referral from the elders last week over in Niceville for an investigator named Ronnie Way. He went to church out there last Sunday with a friend and told the elders he actually lives in Crestview which is our area. We went over to his place on Saturday and taught him the restoration. He seemed super interested and intrigued about our message and totally recognized the need for a prophet and that the Book of Mormon could be true. He said he knows the Bible better than any baptist preacher and it makes sense that God would give us another testament of Jesus Christ to show His love for His children on every continent. He then showed us his ankle bracelet...and told us he had just gotten out of prison last August after being there for 10 years. He talked about how miserable it was and how it really made him turn to the scriptures and prayer. He seemed so sincere and genuine and expressed his desire to turn his life around. He came to church with us the next day and halfway through sacrament meeting, told us he needed to use the restroom. He came back in the chapel, tapped me on the shoulder, and asked me to come out to the lobby. Sister Jarvis and I followed him out as he apologized to us for leaving his gps tracker at home. If his parole officer found out he had done this, he would be in serious trouble so our ward mission leader took him back home. He was texting us all day telling us how much he loved church and how excited he was to keep learning more. He is already in the book of Jacob in the Book of Mormon. Crazy! It is just the coolest thing, meeting with people who have had such challenging lives, who want to change and repent and better their relationship with Heavenly Father. I just feel so blessed to be meeting these incredible people out here who are completely changing my life and my perspective. 

My mom sent me a talk by Elder Holland where he shared an amazing experience of a missionary who actually found and eventually baptized his long lost brother whom he had never met before. It confirmed to me how each missionary is called to his/her mission through divine inspiration and for reasons we may not know or understand at the time. The more I have been out here, I have realized the reasons I have been called to the Florida Tallahassee Mission. I have truly come here to find my friends, the people I promised before this life that I would come here to find. Sam and Devinee are two of those people, and I know there are more eternal friends out here just waiting to hear of this gospel from me!  
The missionary who found his brother in Elder Holland's talk said, "God has sent me here to invite you to come home." That's exactly how I feel out here. As missionaries, we are just inviting those who have, for whatever reason, taken a different path, or those who have not been exposed to the gospel in the first place, to come home. How great is this calling :)

I love you all! Have a wonderful week!!

-sister fletcher
Eating free crab in Destin
Pretty beach
Zone conference with my cute friends :)
My comp and me!
Lake by our house

Monday, July 17, 2017

Humbled

Hey y'all :)

What a week! Long but good :) We have zone conference on Friday and a sister in my zone and I are singing "How Deep" by Kings Kaleidoscope but with our own rendition.  I will play my guitar and she will play her ukulele. If you don't know the song or have never heard of this group, LOOK THEM UP! They're SICK. I'm excited, it should be fun :) anyways...

We had a great lesson with Sam this week. We invited her to be baptized on the 29th of July and she accepted!! She has to find the courage to tell her mom, which she is really scared to do. Everyone please keep Sam in your prayers, and her mother also, that she will let her go through with the baptism.  Guys, I love Sam so much. Seriously, she has become like a little sister to me and it's been so amazing to teach her but also learn so much from her and her example. Sam and her sister, Devinee, have been SO prepared to receive this wonderful gospel.

I have had a lot of time to reflect this week, about the gospel and about life in general. My mission has humbled me a lot (and I know I still have a ways to go ;)) but it has truly made me see and realize how good and easy I had it back at home and how I took so much for granted. 

We have been working at soup kitchens here in Crestview two days a week for the past seven weeks and it just breaks my heart to see some of the situations I have seen. People who have absolutely nothing but are still so positive and grateful for the small things around them. It brings me to tears, Teaching people in such humble circumstances, who have finally found the truth in their life, and then when they realize that is really all they need in their life to be eternally happy, nothing materialistic, nothing temporal, just the gospel and the joy and peace that comes with it.

During my personal studies on Friday morning, I was specifically studying about Heavenly Father and how much He loves us all, so individually. Something that I have always been so passionate about and believed so strongly is how much worth we truly have in Heavenly Father's eyes. We are all spiritual offspring of a Heavenly Father, which means we all have so much potential. Because we were made in the image of Heavenly Father, that literally means there is nothing we as individuals can not do or accomplish and so many times we forget this. I forget this. But we CAN'T! We are capable of accomplishing anything we put our minds to, not because we are so perfect and great, but because the most amazing being in the universe created us, and one day we can fully be LIKE HIM! It blows my mind. 
I guess I am going on this tangent because it made me realize that all these people I have met who are going through so many trials and troubles, who have literally nothing but the clothes on their back, who are not even sure where they are going to find their next meal, have SO MUCH potential and are so special. It breaks my heart because if everyone truly knew their worth, they would follow all of their dreams and accomplish anything they want because they would know it is totally possible because Heavenly Father created them. I want EVERYONE TO KNOW THIS! Everyone should know they have a loving Heavenly Father and they are precious in His eyes and they can communicate with him through prayer, today, tomorrow and forever.

I love you guys SO much,
sister fletcher
Skunk on my head nbd
The District
Pretty lake
Happy B-day Sister Jarvis!
s/o to my mom for sending her
a birthday package!
:)
GUESS WHO CAME TO VISIT ME!!!!
BROOKLYN!!!!!!!!
Her family took my companion and me
out to breakfast!!:))


Monday, July 10, 2017

7/10/17 :)

Hi :)
This week wasn't too eventful, just lots of finding! So I'm sorry, I'm going to make this short :) I love this area! and this work!  #nevergoinghome  Just kidding ;) I love you all! Here are some pictures!

LOTS OF LOVE
-sister fletcher
Happy 4th!

Got to see my mamma on Wednesday!

When you have a car seat in your missionary car

:))

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

It wouldn't be the 4th in the south without 100% humidity!

What's up party people! Happy Fourth of July :) So I may be exaggerating a little on the subject of this email but it's still pretty dang hot and humid out here. This week has been one of the best on my mission. I have never seen so many miracles in my life. We were able to pick up five new investigators this week and I feel like they have all been previously prepared by God to learn about and accept this gospel. I am SO excited !!!!

A few weeks ago I mentioned Sam and Devinee in one of my emails. Well, Sam is 18 years old and can choose to get baptized, where her sister, Devinee, is younger and has to wait until her mom softens her heart and gives her permission. Over the past few weeks, Sam has had some reservations about being baptized, questioning if she has ever had a for sure answer that this is what she should do. We have had a few lessons about the spirit and how to recognize answers to prayers, but we realize that only she can receive the answer for herself. I have been fasting and praying a lot about her situation and what steps to take. This past Thursday we had a lesson with the girls and in the middle of our discussion, I asked Sam how she felt at the moment about baptism. With tears in her eyes, she said, "I now know I truly want to get baptized." The room was silent and I was SO happy. Her sister, Devinee, started crying and was surprised. She said, "Really??!" Sam then said she wants to be baptized but doesn't think it's fair that she can and Devinee has to wait. She is now praying about what to do as far as when to get baptized. We feel it might be good for their mom to come to Sam's baptism and witness the positive change in Sam's life, then maybe she will allow Devinee to be baptized also. So, fingers crossed!

This past Saturday morning we did lots of service.  In the afternoon and evening we had some appointments planned that unfortunately fell through.  After knocking several doors and getting no answers, I said a prayer to myself trying to decide the best thing to do with the hour and a half we'd been given before it was time for dinner.  For some reason, the thought came to me for us to go back to our apartment complex to look up a video on the computer located in the basement area for one of our investigators. I told my companion maybe we should head home real quick and do that.  We dropped our bags off at our apartment and headed to the building where the computer was.  We walked downstairs and saw a young man sitting at the desk. His name was Junior and we asked him if he wouldn't mind us using the computer next to him.  He told us we could and he started up a conversation with us. He started asking a lot of questions about what we believe and what we do as missionaries. I told him we would love to meet with him and teach him more and he said he had time right then if we did! Of course we did! (funny how Heavenly Father allowed that to work out ;)) I said a prayer as we planned on teaching him the restoration but the conversation quickly changed to him asking questions about what our purpose here is on earth and if we believe in heaven/hell. It was very apparent to us that we needed to teach the plan of salvation. After teaching the lesson and really feeling the spirit there, I was low-key freaking out inside because I realized I'm the worst missionary ever! I didn't have any of my stuff with me so I couldn't give him a Book of Mormon, but then I looked up and saw a book sticking out on the book shelf behind Junior. I got up and saw what it was, and guess what...it was the Book of Mormon. WHAT THE HECK!! It was literally like it was delivered there straight from the heavens. We handed him the book and told him to read it and pray about it. He then asked us a question, "When was the last time you have felt a prompting from the spirit?" We gave him some recent examples and then he said, "I asked you this question because this just happened to me. I got home from soccer practice an hour ago. I was planning on showering and relaxing a bit before I came down here to study but the spirit was telling me so strongly to come down now, and now I know why. It was to meet you girls." 

HOLY HECK, what a MIRACLE! Junior stays busy with playing professional soccer, working and taking college classes, but when he is free, he said he would love to learn more. He told us he is going out to California next month and wants to stop in and say hi to my mom and dad (just a heads up, guys ;)) 

Seriously, God is so aware of all of us. I am so grateful for my mission. What a blessing it has been. It scares me to think of all the things I would have missed out on if I hadn't come out here, and I still have four wonderful months to go.

I love y'all so much! Have a Happy 4th :)

-sister fletcher
Thought this was cute for the 4th lol
Had to say good-bye to the
Swapps...so sad :(
The district
<3
Destin on p-day

My companion and me!
A gator skin (behind me)
and the skull...so sick

Monday, June 26, 2017

Jesus Savior, Pilot Me

Hi!! How is everyone this week?! Life is good out here in FL, just super hot and humid! This week we have done lots of service, lots of painting, moving, unloading and loading trucks, and lots of other stuff in between. It's been tons of fun! 

My district is going to Destin today which is known for the prettiest beaches and a huge mall so that should be fun :) 

This week we have done a lot of finding yet again and haven't had the most success. It can get pretty discouraging from time to time but then I remind myself of all the times the Lord has blessed me out here and directed me to His prepared children. Yesterday was no different! An 18 year-old girl in the ward, Cumorah, who is preparing to go on a mission, came out with us in the afternoon. We had a couple lessons planned but they both fell through. It was a bummer and I kept saying a prayer in my heart as to what we should do next. We ended up driving to a potential investigator's house and she wasn't home as well so we walked down the street to see another potential, and of course, he wasn't home either. On our way back to the car, I noticed a lady sitting outside on her porch with her 10 year-old son. We walked up the driveway and started talking to them for a bit, explaining what we do as missionaries. She had kind of a hard exterior and wasn't too interested in talking. She had some cool tattoos and I asked her what they were. She opened up telling us they were in memory of her father who died from drugs a while back. She then mentioned her nephew just recently passing away from suicide. She said that a loving God would never take away His children or make them go through these awful things. She said it has really made her question her faith and she doesn't really believe in Heavenly Father anymore. We testified to her of how much Heavenly Father really does love us and started teaching points of the plan of salvation. All the sudden, I saw her crying (which totally surprised me). She could really feel the spirit. She stopped me in mid sentence and asked, "I have one question... why do y'all not celebrate Christmas??" We started laughing and answered, "No ma'am, we aren't Jehovah's Witnesses!!" She replied, "Seriously?! Oh my gosh, I'm so relieved." hahaha It was hilarious. THEN she became so much more open with us and said we could come back and teach her. I feel SO good about Veronica. It's interesting that the Lord allowed all of our appointments to cancel and fall through perhaps just to run into Veronica yesterday. She is incredible and I can't wait to help her see how much God really does love her...it's amazing how much love I already feel for her!

I love hymn # 104, "Jesus Savior, Pilot Me."
  1. 1. Jesus, Savior, pilot me
    Over life's tempestuous sea;
    Unknown waves before me roll,
    Hiding rock and treach'rous shoal.
    Chart and compass came from thee;
    Jesus, Savior, pilot me.
  2. 2. As a mother stills her child,
    Thou canst hush the ocean wild;
    Boist'rous waves obey thy will
    When thou say'st to them, "Be still!"
    Wondrous Sov'reign of the sea,
    Jesus, Savior, pilot me.
  3. 3. When at last I near the shore,
    And the fearful breakers roar
    'Twixt me and the peaceful rest,
    Then, while leaning on thy breast,
    May I hear thee say to me,
    "Fear not; I will pilot thee
The words are so beautiful and have really helped me this week, and every week! Our Savior can be the pilot in our lives. In the first verse when it mentions a "chart and compass", I was thinking about what that chart and compass may be. I think some of the "charts" God has given us are the scriptures. We need to read and study them everyday because they can give us an outline for our lives. Also, conference talks can be a chart. They show us what a prophet of God wants us to know. Partaking of the sacrament each week can also be a chart in our lives. I am so grateful we can go to church every Sunday and renew the covenants we have made and receive a promise that the spirit will always be with us. I know I need the spirit with me, all the time. As far as our compasses in life, I think a compass can be the light of Christ that has been given to all of us when we were born. Also, the power of prayer, that we can literally reach our Father in Heaven whenever we need Him. Prayer is a constant source of inspiration and guidance. Another compass can be the family and friends we have in our lives. I am so grateful for my family and the love they have for the gospel! 

Just like the hymn concludes, Jesus is telling us, "fear not, I will pilot thee". I know this can be true if we allow Christ to help us in our lives. If we heed to the words of the scriptures and of our modern day prophets, we will have nothing to fear. I am so grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ and I am so grateful I get to wear Christ's name on my heart everyday. 

I love you all. Have a blessed week :))

-Sister Fletcher
Bowling!
The bolt that got stuck in
our tire last week...hahaha
<333
:)
I got to see my mini me, Jersey, on Sunday at
Stake Conference!!!!!It has been 6 months
and I was so happy to see her :))