Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Week We Found An Acai Store!

If you know me even just a little bit, you know that I LOVE acai and so when we found an acai bowl shop in Fairhope, I was overjoyed !!!  But don’t worry, that was not the highlight of my week, something to do with missionary work was ;)

This week was probably the hardest I’ve had on my mission but it motivates me to have an awesome super happy week this week!  We just had a ton of dropped appointments, our car was in the shop for most of the week so we did a ton of biking in the August heat, and to top it off, I’m starting to get sick again. :/ But no matter how rough the week was, there was one amazing moment last evening that truly made all the hard times worth it. 

Last night around 8 pm, we were in south Fairhope going to a few investigators' homes to try and teach them a lesson. We already had three appointments drop earlier and no one was available for a lesson. Normally when it’s that late and everything drops, we go to the pier for the remaining hour of proselyting time to find and meet people who want to hear a message about Jesus Christ. When we were about to head there, I had an impression to go and see one of our recent converts, Linda. I said it out loud to my companion, then we both kind of laughed because of how ridiculous that would be since she lives about 15 miles from where we currently were. (and if you know anything about driving on a mission, miles are CRUCIAL, so you usually want to plan a time to go to different places and see all the people you wanna see out there, not just make separate trips.)  For some odd reason, we both felt good enough about seeing Linda to spend the miles and time to get out there. 

Long story short, when we got there, we talked with her for a while and she stressed how she has been really struggling with church lately and with feeling important or loved. We sang her the hymn, “How Great Thou Art”, which brought her to tears, then shared a scripture that connected so well with the fourth verse of that song. She just let everything out, all her concerns and worries and said she really needed us to come tonight. The Spirit was piercing in that room. We were all in tears. Through this experience, I have learned how REAL the Spirit is, how much God loves His children, that He sends us as his servants, to those who need His comfort and love. How beautiful it is that this time in my life, I am able to be a direct servant in God's hand, to bring comfort and peace to God's children, his most precious children. I don’t know how I got so lucky :)

The Spirit is REAL! Never ignore a prompting. It will bless your life, it will lead you and direct you in everything you do. I’m so grateful for this gospel of Jesus Christ in my life and for this opportunity to serve a mission in the south, despite the hard times. Look for ways the Spirit speaks to you this week. I love you all very much! 

sister fletcher
Found a cute Coca Cola sign!

My absolute favorite person - Beverly Giles


When the district mis-matched clothes

Sleepover with the

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Life is Beautiful in AL :)))

Hi y'all :) How is everyone doing? I hope you guys had a great week with summer coming to a close. This week was kinda rough at first, but the last three days have been amazing! 

We went to the chiropractor on Friday and also this morning finally! I am still in some pain from the car accident, but I know the chiro will help :) So when we went on Friday, I started talking to the lady at the front desk named Mandy. She asked me all about our church and said that her and her husband moved here a few years ago, are Christian, and have been looking for a good church to go to but none have really clicked yet. I shared with her the basics of the gospel of Jesus Christ and she gave me her phone number and address. I am so excited to meet with her! It's cool to see how God has prepared us to be in different places just to have a run in with one person. Again, I believe the whole car accident happened for a reason.

We have been doing a ton of yard work this week! I would like it a lot better if it wasn't so blazing hot but it's all good. It feels awesome to serve others :) Some people act like its complete madness that we are mowing the lawn, since we are girls. It's pretty funny.
On Saturday, we had a lesson with one of our investigators, Sandra. She has not been progressing a whole lot but we continue to meet with her because there is so much potential and faith in her. We taught her more about the power of prayer and the spirit was so strong. I walked out of that lesson not remembering anything I had said. I realized it's because it was all the Spirit. The only reason we were able to make more progress with her is because GOD made the progress with her. We invited her to come to church the next day and she said she would try her best to get there. So Sunday came and we kept looking back every time the door of the chapel would open. I was so hopeful she would come. Finally, for what seemed like 283484 hours later, (even though really it was just like 10 mins) she walked into the chapel. Sister J and I were ecstatic!!! She stayed for all three meetings and at the end of the final meeting, she looked at us and started to cry. Tears came to my eyes as she said something along the lines of, "Girls, thank you for bringing me here. This is exactly what I need to get my life together again. I feel something special here that I can't wrap my finger around, but i just feel happy. I need that in my life" I am so excited for Sandra and for the Spirit she was able to feel at church. God answers prayers, everybody. Often times, he answers them through reading the Book of Mormon or through experiences we have. Sandra expressed to us that the Book of Mormon has already "changed her life". Having an investigator at church literally feels better than any gift I've ever received. It is pure joy and happiness. 
Yesterday we visited Therese Maradik, a lady in our ward who hasn't been to church in a while, as well as her husband who isn't a member. You guys, they are the DEFINITION of Alabama. I love it so much! They live way out in the boonies, in the middle of nowhere. It is so peaceful back there. They have their own garden and hunt all the time. They also built their own house and get mad at us when we say "you guys" instead of "y'all". I love them so much! They fed us fresh deer meat, pear juice from the pears they just pealed, and a pear pie fresh from the oven. Then we all went out to their garden and they gave us like twenty different vegetables they've been growing and some homemade jam. We call them Grandma and Grandpa #2, we just love them so much! We invited them to read the Book of Mormon together and they said they would, and the husband John, who isn't a member was eager to read. SO awesome !!!

There are two songs that are constantly in my head out here on the mission..."Everything is Awesome" from the Lego Movie and "Life's What You Make It" by Hannah Montana. I have no idea why, but they really motivate me! Cause man, Everything is awesome!!!! I could not be happier with what is happening in my life right now. Life truly is what you make it. I have really been able to gain a greater understanding and knowledge that everything we do in life, the good or not so good, it all is a matter of our perspective. If you choose to be positive about whatever gets thrown at you, I guarantee you will be a happier person :)
I hope you all have an amazing week! and thanks for reading my emails :)
sister fletcher

Debbie Winters :)

Selfie on the pier
Bowling last P-day with the district
Farmer's Market!
Me with Krispy Kreme!
(her name is literally Dimples and i just adore her)
oh and she gave me this dress ;)
The Maradiks!
Beautiful Alabama Trees!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Quick Email!

Dear my faithful email readers,

How is everyone doing? I don't have a ton of time this week, but I just wanted to say hello :) This week has been kind of rough but there have been many tender mercies in every single day. It has been raining like crazy! but luckily no severe damage here.  There has been lots of flooding in Louisiana which I'm sure you are all aware of! Please pray for them. 

One of our most progressing investigators called us on Friday and told us that her health is continually getting worse and she just doesn't have time for the gospel in her life. That broke my heart but we were able to meet a 16 year-old girl, Jhe'merial, like ten minutes later, with so much potential. I have not been this hopeful about someone yet!  She is so prepared already and has really seen how God has had his hand in her life. We are so excited to teach her, so I will write more about her next week. 

We started teaching a man named Hector who doesn't speak the best English but we can understand each other enough. Sister Jackson and I are brushing up on our Spanish and I am really putting my three years of high school Spanish to use ;) Hector is so awesome and so humble! I just love teaching him!

We sometimes show some investigators awesome Mormon Messages (short videos online) in hope to strengthen their testimony and allow them to feel the Spirit. We showed our friend, Gypsy, one called, “Because of Him”, which I am sure many of you have seen. I have seen it many times since being out here on my mission, but during this specific time, I noticed a part specifically where a man was stumbling and could hardly walk and then fell into Jesus Christ's opened arms. The Spirit was immediately so strong, and I realized that person is literally me, that is all of us. I am really starting to fully understand that during ALL my struggles, all my trials, Jesus Christ is always there along side me, to lift me out of bondage, and heal my broken heart.  All we need to do is come unto Him, He will make up all that we lack, He will give us the rest. I invite you all to watch the Mormon Message on LDS.ORG: “Because of Him”. Even if you have already seen it, I promise, you will get something new out of it! 
Have an amazing week!

So much love,

Sister Fletcher
Precious little boy!

Our 103 yr old friend, Olivia

Our friend Bill playing us guitar

Dying of humidity and heat!

The district homies!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Alligators, Transfers and Car Wrecks!

Hi y'all!
This week has been absolutely crazy. I can’t think of a better way to sum it up than that word.

Last Tuesday we visited with a lady named Therese.  She doesn't come to church very much but she is in our ward.  She has been in the hospital because her heart went into a-phib (I hope that's how you spell it). Meeting her has been so great! She is a convert to the LDS church, and here is how she came to be a part of it. So about fifteen years ago, Therese was babysitting her baby grandson and had just put him to sleep for night.  She then was planning on taking her life. She laid out all her pain killers on her lap and decided to turn the television on.  The first channel that came on played a Mormon.org commercial. Rolling her eyes, she changed the channel. Channel after channel, Mormon commercials were playing about how God and the gospel can change your life if you let him/it. Therese went through SIX channels of different LDS commercials, then decided to give in and call the phone number.  She spoke on the phone with a man from church headquarters about what she was about to do.  After three hours of conversation, they were both in tears. That's when she decided to take the missionary lessons and then get baptized three months later.

There is no greater sign from God than that!  Her story made my testimony deepen. I know that was no coincidence. God was so especially aware of her and knew she needed the truth in her life.

On Wednesday, apparently the dictionary word of the day was “Fletcherize”. So everyone in the ward is now using that word as a joke and now say whenever I'm over at their house, they are being “Fletcherized”. It’s pretty hilarious. Who even knows what that means.  hahaha.

We had transfer calls last night and thank goodness, Sister Jackson and I aren't being transferred! I don't even WANT to know how it’s going to feel leaving Fairhope. This place is home. These people are literally my family! But let’s think happy thoughts :) I get to be here at least six more weeks! Unfortunately three awesome elders in the district are leaving.

We went out to eat on Friday night with one of my most favorite families here, the Langi's.  They took us to this beautiful seafood restaurant on the Cosway, where you sit over Mobile Bay. We saw some alligators! Finally! They have four little kids and we were all so excited to see some :) Sis Jackson and I shared the “Yo Mammas Platter” which consisted of cheese grits, turnip greens, gumbo, hushpuppies, and fried shrimp, fish, scallops, oyster, and crab.  It was awesome and so southern!! haha

Lastly, we got in a car accident yesterday afternoon. We were in a member’s car and were stopped completely and a car rammed into us. Luckily, the member’s car was a medium-sized car with a large bumper on it because if it had been our small missionary car, who knows how much damage could have been done to us and the car.  We felt really shook up and not in any pain at first, but as we were getting our vitals checked by the police and fire department, I started feeling really woozy.  My head was pounding. then my neck and back started to hurt.  It was nothing severe, but both myself and Sister Jackson were feeling like we were going to throw up and the hot hot hot weather wasn't making it any better.  They wanted to take us in an ambulance to the hospital but we didn't think it was bad enough to pay for that.  The member took us to the hospital and we waited for a while and we went to a bunch of different rooms. Finally, we got in and had some X-rays done on our necks and everything looks okay.  It’s just our muscles are tensed up and stuff. Our mission president called us and said itll be worse the next few days, and that is true for sure...we are definitely are feeling it this morning! He called our parents and I can’t imagine their concern when they saw a call from Florida. haha. Everything will be ok :) The elders in our ward and our ward mission leader stayed at the hospital for four hours waiting for us.  It was so kind of them.  Then the elders gave us priesthood blessings before we went to sleep.

This may sound weird, but I am 100% grateful for this car wreck experience. It didn't discourage me at all!. Laying in the hospital bed for two hours, completely alone, without family, friends, any technology, makes you really rely on God completely.  It made me realize for the first time, that God is truly ALWAYS there and you can rely on him ENTIRELY. Because He is all I literally had in that moment. I could picture Jesus Christ at the foot of my bed, comforting me, and telling me everything was going to be all right and to give the pain over to Him, to let Him take it from me.  I felt such peace and comfort. Here is the huge reason I am grateful to have been in the hospital. I met a man named Michael who works there who took me to get my X-rays.  He is like 35 years old and loves God so much. Long story short, he told me that meeting me was for a reason and that he needs the gospel of Jesus Christ in his life.  He is excited to be taught by my companion and me.  I can not tell you how purely happy I was to meet him. Who knows, maybe going through that whole car wreck and all the events of that day was just to meet Michael. God really places us where we need to be.

I have never felt such love from my Heavenly Father before in my entire life. I feel the love He has for not only me, but for His children here in Alabama. God is so aware of us and what we need.

Thank you to all who read my letters. I am so grateful for the support, prayers, and love. I pray for you all as well. I hope you have an amazing week, and I invite you guys to think of all the ways God's hand has been in your life every single day, every single hour, every single minute. You will see it, I can promise that!

Sister Fletcher
The Langi family!

Linda, our most recent convert
Life is good in Fairhope!

A country string instrument
called a "dossamer" that
one of our investigators made

Chilling in the hospital bed



Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Two Months Old YAY!

Happy August everyone :) Today I start the third month of my mission and life is good. I hope everything is going well with all of you! This week has been kind of a turning point on my mission. We did not have the most success as far as teaching a ton of lessons to new investigators, but I myself have changed in terms of really starting to love this work and the people. I have been praying a lot for more charity and to be filled with the love Jesus has and I have definitely seen that in my life this week. Now that I have more love for the work and the people and as it grows more and more everyday, everything will become better and more natural. Missionary work really is the best work in the world. I love the light people get in their eyes when they feel the spirit or find a principle or doctrine is true for themselves.

We had exchanges this week (where my companion and I switched companions with the Sister Training Leaders.) They came down to Fairhope and we split up for the day and got to work, teaching and finding. It was awesome! My companion for the day was Sister Redfearn and she's just great :) That night when we were about to head home, we had a strong impression to go inside Arby's. Not really sure exactly why, we went to the front counter to ask for a water cup and the guy working said: "Missionaries?? for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints?? I was just baptized into that church!!" His name is Tim and he wants to go on a mission but has really been struggling with some things in trying to prepare to go. He said he has been praying and praying for something to change in his life and meeting us is an answer to his prayers. It was so incredible! We are now teaching him and helping him get ready to go serve the Lord.

On Wednesday night, we went over to a member's home for dinner and as we wrapped things up, we asked them if they knew of anyone who would be interested in hearing the gospel. The mother said: "Yes, Hunter (her 16 year-old son's friend) who came to youth conference and lives next door. We should go say hi to him and let him meet y'all." Excited, Sister Jackson and I went over to his house with them and when we walked through the door, the mother said: "Hunter, these girls want to teach you the Mormon lessons and get you baptized." We were in shock that she said that. It was so awkward and her son was beaming red from embarrassment. Hunter surprisingly agreed to meet with us next week and as we left, Sister Jackson and I said, "Well, that's one way to do it!" hahaha. It was hilarious.

On Friday, we did service all morning for a family who is moving here from Indiana who aren't members of the church. Six of us in my district went and we helped move them in. It was SO HOT! That humidity is so much fun, let me tell ya but I'd like to say missionaries are just as good as a pro moving company! haha It was awesome.

On Sunday, a man we see every week named Bill, came to church after not coming for seven months. It was the most amazing feeling and he loved it! Sister Jackson and I taught the 11 year-olds in primary and I had so much fun. I decided that teaching primary is most likely the best calling in the church (besides being a missionary of course haha ;).

We had one more miracle that I want to end this email with. Last night we went to the pier and talked to a ton of people and got turned down more than usual. Discouraged, we made our way to one last man on the way to the car. His name is Hani and he is going to school in Mobile.  He is from Saudi Arabia and has only been in the states for three years. He said he didn't really believe in God or religion but would maybe be interested in hearing more. We got his contact information to give to the Elders who serve in Mobile. We shook his hand goodbye and as we were about to get to our car we heard someone say: HEY! He was following after us, and said, "Where do I go to learn more about your church? What church should I go to on Sunday? When can I be baptized?" It was UNREAL! We were shocked and thrilled. I saw first hand, someone who has been SO prepared to receive this gospel. If only missionary work were always that easy! But if it were all so easy, moments like that wouldn't mean so much :)

I love my mission so much and I love the south and the people here! I hope you all have a great week, Write me soon!

Sister Fletcher
Sister Kinghorn, Redfearn, Jackson, and me... My BFFS!!!

All the shrimp we caught last week!

This amazing castle we found in Fairhope!
A man lives there and let us tour his house inside...
 It is literally straight out of a fairytale!
 (look up Dean Mosher to learn more)

Sister Redfearn and I (: 

The biggest watermelon ever!

The super cute kids I taught in primary this week!