Monday, February 27, 2017

It's not you, it's me!

Dear my faithful readers, 
This week was pretty good! We went tracting a TON and had some success and were able to pick up some new investigators which is always good.

Trent is such a rock star.  He is getting baptized on Saturday!!  The ward has done so well with fellow shipping and loving him. We taught him the Word of Wisdom last Wednesday and we made a deal with him that we won’t drink soda if he doesn't drink sweet tea.  That’s a hard one because we all know I love root beer, but we have kept our end of the deal and I know Trent will too. We will all be blessed for it :') Trent and his girlfriend, India, actually came tracting with us this week.  He looks forward to serving a mission!

This week we taught Yanelli, the 11 year-old who came to church with her dad a few weeks ago. We brought two members with us and had a great lesson with her on the Restoration of the Gospel. The spirit was so strong throughout the whole time and as we were wrapping up, we invited her to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it, to know that it’s true.  I then asked her when would be a good time for us to come back and she got so awkward.  We all sat up in our chairs, waiting for an answer, then she finally answered, "Yeah, about that...y'all won’t be coming back."  SO incredibly confused, I said, (in a loving way of course) "WHAT???" haha It honestly felt like she was breaking up with us or something, like a "its not you, it’s me," moment.  It was so awkward because she didn't want to tell us why we couldn't come back. Finally she explained what was going on.  She told us her mother doesn't want us teaching her at her house because she doesn't want to have to clean the house for our visits.  Yanelli suggested that we could teach her after church when she is with her dad on the weekends.  I was so relieved!  She said she still wants to be taught and get baptized...thank goodness! 

A year ago from this past Wednesday I received my mission call letting me know I would come to serve in the Florida Tallahassee Mission.  That call from a prophet of the Lord completely changed my life, and little did I know back then a fraction of what I would experience.  I absolutely love my mission.  I wouldn't trade it for the world.  The people I've met, the experiences I’ve had, the opportunity I have had to grow so close to my Heavenly Father.  It means everything to me!

I have been thinking a lot about perspective - eternal perspective.  I heard a few quotes this week having to do with our perspectives:
"As far as the moon is concerned, He is always full."
"Vision is the art of seeing the invisible."
Aren't they incredible?!
It is all about the way we see things, all about our perspective.  I was reading the other day in the Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi Chapter 17:1-2, Nephi talks about how blessed He feels even though he has been commanded to flee into the wilderness:  

And it came to pass that we did again take our journey in the wilderness; and we did travel nearly eastward from that time forth. And we did travel and wade through much affliction in the wilderness; and our women did bear children in the wilderness.
 And so great were the blessings of the Lord upon us, that while we did live upon raw meat in the wilderness, our women did give plenty of suck for their children, and were strong, yea, even like unto the men; and they began to bear their journeyings without murmurings.

Then, in verse 20, Nephi talks about his brothers, Laman and Lemuel, and their perspectives, which is totally the opposite of his:

 20 And thou art like unto our father, led away by the foolish imaginations of his heart; yea, he hath led us out of the land of Jerusalem, and we have wandered in the wilderness for these many years; and our women have toiled, being big with child; and they have borne children in the wilderness and suffered all things, save it were death; and it would have been better that they had died before they came out of Jerusalem than to have suffered these afflictions.

I love comparing these two accounts.  It happened all during the same time, about the exact same situation, but the difference is all in the reaction.  So, how do we gain an eternal perspective and how do we keep it?  We need to realize we are all created equal through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, yet we are all so unique - BUT, the reward for all of us is the exact same.  At the end of the day, it comes down to this...Did you take what God gave you and magnify it? Did you fulfill what you were created to do?  The secret to joy and happiness is eternal perspective- to see things how they really are.  This life truly happens in a blink of an eye! 

I hope you all have a blessed week.  Thanks for all the prayers and love! Love you all!

Sister Fletcher
Rainy days with my fav
Marci's bridal shower
(I can't believe she's younger than me)
I love Peggy!
My cute lunch date!
St. Andrew's Marina
It was beautiful!
The Bay 
Another Bae:)

Monday, February 20, 2017

Zion is the Pure in Heart

Such a great week!

So Trent, the 16 year-old boy getting baptized next Saturday, is on fire! We taught him on Wednesday and Friday.  Both days we were able to have three other youth in the ward come share their experiences and fellowship him.  He is so excited to be a member of this church and to go to the temple just a few weeks after his baptism.

Sister Hart and I did some service with the elders on Friday evening, pulling lots of weeds and shrubs. We all got ATTACKED by a type of bug native to Florida called, “sand gnats.” A member in our ward told us they are so small and all they have is a mouth to bite. We literally have red dots all over our bodies.  I thought mosquito bites were bad, but these are worse. I have never been so itchy or uncomfortable! lol But, I’m not sharing this to have you all feel sorry for me because it was actually a blessing in disguise getting bit by all those bugs.  Sister Hart and I were out for dinner with a member on Saturday night and he told us we really should stop by the store on the way home to get some anti-itch cream.  Instead of going to the Walgreens or CVS right by our house, I felt that we should go to the Walmart instead. We walked to the medicine aisle and guess who was there?....Rafael and Yanelli, the father and daughter who came to our church building the last two Sundays!  The phone number they gave us didn’t work and when we stopped by Yanelli's house on Tuesday, no one was home.  We were so worried we wouldn't be able to reach them, but of course, God put them in that aisle, at that exact time, so we could set up another appointment to share the gospel with them.  It was SUCH A BLESSING.  To say this was just a coincidence would be crazy.  I have had so many experiences like this happen on my mission, I don't know why I would EVER doubt this gospel.  Sister Hart and I think we got all those bug bites simply to run into Yanelli and Rafael.  It was definitely worth the pain to me!

We had a lot of investigators come to church this week, which seriously gives me a type of joy I cannot describe.  The one we were most excited about was Greg, who is really progressing and changing and wanting to get baptized on March 18th.  He enjoyed himself so much and felt so good all day.  He said he wants to do nothing but serve everyone now!

I had the opportunity to meet an apostle of the Lord on Saturday and it was such a treat. Elder Stevenson from the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles came to Tallahassee to address us, as well as Elder Maynes and Elder Parker.  The following day, Elder Maynes came to the Panama City Stake and spoke in our stake conference.  There were several things Elder Maynes spoke about that really impressed me. He focused on the gospel and how important it is to spread it to God's children.  Something he repeated a few times throughout his address was, "Zion is the pure in heart."  It is good to establish the church, but it is better to establish Zion.  It is good to be active, but it is better to be faithful.  As he said this, it confirmed my faith even more...that the church is NOT the gospel!  They are two separate things. The church and the organization of it is so good, but it is not the gospel of Jesus Christ. Church is meant to support our testimonies and to support us as people.  It is a place where we can come together and worship our Savior Jesus Christ.  Good, pure in heart people, who live Christ-like lives, who serve and love and comfort, those are the ones who are true followers, true disciples of Jesus Christ.  As missionaries, we teach about the gospel of Jesus Christ day in and day out. It is a gospel that will change your life if you let it!

I feel so grateful to be a representative of Jesus Christ, to be wearing His name on my heart. I know with every ounce of my being that Joseph Smith, a humble seeker of truth, saw God the Eternal Father and his Son, and that they called him by name.  He reigns as the prophet of the restoration of the gospel.  Three years ago I stood at the foot of his grave in Nauvoo, Illinois, and felt the spirit stronger than I ever have. I know the Book of Mormon does nothing but purely testify of Christ, and that it can bring anyone closer to Him than any other book. This gospel is true, it is Christ's.  I know it with everything inside of me. There are SO many blessings that come if you allow the truth into your heart. I am SO grateful.

SO much love,
sister fletcher
Food storage and the Salvation Army
Pretty lakes
An actual snake in Elder Burch's hands
Sister Housel, how I love her!
Sister Jackson, my trainer!
Elder Johnon!
The 805 Cali Crew
(This was not my idea)
India and Trent

Monday, February 13, 2017


Happy early Valentine’s Day! Tomorrow Sister Hart and I are celebrating with a newly married couple who is taking us out for a fancy dinner. They are so kind to bring two single and sad sister missionaries along. haha  Just kidding about the sad part, the only man I need right now is the one upstairs!  hahaha

This week was amazing!  Where do I even begin?!  I’ll start with the best news.  A few times this week, we have had lessons with a 16 year-old named Trent. One of my favorite youth in the ward, India, has been dating him for a while.  He has been coming with her to church and to the Wednesday night activities for about a month now. We have been able to get really close with India.  She has come with us to teach a few lessons and we have developed quite the friendship. Last week we were able to meet Trent and taught him the restoration and the plan of salvation. He has taken everything in so well. His questions are so insightful and he completely understands the need for a restoration, the priesthood authority, and the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Yesterday we committed him to be baptized on March 4th and he was so excited. India couldn't believe her ears.  She whispered to us, "Did he just say YES to getting baptized????"  Then India started crying out of pure joy and the spirit was so strong.  She gave the closing prayer and we were all so excited. India is so mature beyond her years. She and Trent have had countless talks about how he should join the church for himself, and that even if they break up, he needs to continue to go to church and have a strong testimony in the gospel.  He does, he SO does. March 4th is going to be SUCH a beautiful day.  Sister Hart and I are excited to be preparing him for his baptism as well as his membership in the church. It is amazing how many blessings are awaiting him!

We have been doing some service for one of the members in our ward who owns a horse ranch. I LOVE it! Horses have always been my favorite so helping with the horses has been a dream. I love serving!  It truly makes me happier than anything else.

Sister Hart and I have been tracting like crazy. We really want to find more solid investigators. On Friday and Saturday we spent most of our day in the hot sun. It was pretty tiring but fun because I feel like a real missionary whenever I am out tracting. (even though I am actually one) haha  It’s cool because I know tracting is what my Dad did most on his mission in Osaka, Japan, so I get to be like my dad for a while. We haven't had the most success through tracting but I have had the realization that although tracting hasn't brought us many new investigators, God has provided them for us in other ways. We are teaching Trent because of a young woman in our ward.  We are also teaching Erica and Trake (I mentioned them last week) because of the faithful members in the ward who referred them to us and these members allow us to teach them in their homes. Also, another miracle happened with finding prepared people to teach!  Last week a man named Rafael just showed up at our church building, curious about what we believe. He doesn't speak much English but he gave us his 11 year-old daughter's phone number to contact her because he wanted us to teach her and be a part of this church. We tried contacting her a few times throughout the week but no one ever answered, but at church this Sunday, Rafael came again and brought his daughter Yanelli! Talk about miracles!  We are stopping by Yanelli's house on Thursday to teach her a lesson.  I am way too excited about all the work going on here in Lynn Haven. I know that if we work our hardest and are perfectly obedient, the Lord will give us success and provide for us, and sometimes it will be in ways we don’t expect. 

On Saturday we are having a full mission conference in Tallahassee. Elder Stevenson from the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles is coming to speak to us. I am PUMPED! It is going to be great. I will keep ya posted about it next week :) 

I seriously love being a missionary. It is the best job in the world, and it really isn’t a job at all.  I feel so much joy and happiness to see others come to find happiness. There is nothing I would rather be doing.  I had the realization this week that I will really miss all of this when it’s all over.  This has made me more motivated to work hard and to not take anything for granted. Missions are the best, they are life-changing!  I love you all and hope you have a great week! and Happy Valentine’s Day :))

lots of love,
sister fletcher
Happy Valentine's! (I love my ward)
My cute little Josalynn

Emma and Jakey
So, funny story...we were tracting and the lady
who answered the door of this house told us we were brave
to knock on their door because of their Buddhist
statues.  It turns out they aren't Buddhist at all.  They
put the statues there to scare away solicitors. haha
  Moral of the story is: Don't judge
a person by their front door statues.

My BFF<3
Cute Jenna and her mini horse

Monday, February 6, 2017

Coming @ you live from the happiest place on earth!

Today has been a blast. This week has been amazing. Life is just SO GOOD!  Sister Hart and I just got back from the beach and pier park and it was such a nice little break for the week. I seriously love Sister Hart so much, I feel so blessed to be her trainer. We have truly come to be the best of friends! 

Every day was great this week, except for Tuesday... Tuesday was rough. We had literally five planned appointments, all with members planning on coming, and every single one fell through. It was pretty discouraging. For our back up plans, we decided to go tracting. In the afternoon, we tracted a couple streets and didn't have an ounce of success. We even got a couple doors slammed in our faces (don’t worry we just laughed it off) haha. We were pretty bummed and after our 4:30 appointment got canceled, we just decided to tract the whole street where the canceled appointment was. We finally saw some miracles! We met a man named Matt who just moved here from Israel who is looking for a church to join. You bet we were stoked out of our minds to hear that! We talked with him for a bit, got a return appointment then went on our way down the street. We then ran into three more people interested in having us come back and share with them a message, so we are so excited to see what happens! I’ll keep ya posted :) I was just so grateful for the tender mercies we saw in what seemed like such a bad day. Although it was rough, amazing things still came out of our efforts.

On Wednesday we met the most prepared lady EVER! Her name is Deborah and she was actually a referral from her neighbor (a member of the church in the ward). We taught her the restoration of the gospel and established with her our purpose as missionaries.  At the end of the lesson she said, "I do have one question..." we replied, "Yes?"  She asked, "What is that health law about not drinking caffeine?" We then explained the whole Word of Wisdom.  A little worried, she asked us, "So can I not drink my Diet Coke?" haha We were so relieved! She was laughing and told us she can definitely do without coffee and tea but needs a Diet Coke at least once a week. haha I love her already :)

That night we also had the most amazing lesson with our new investigator Erica. Brother Dame, a member in our ward, owns a hearing office and told us about his new receptionist, Erica, and asked us to come to the office one day to meet her. We came in and acted like our ears hurt. (it was hilarious) It turns out he actually did need to clean our ears out! haha. Afterwards, we went up to the front desk and Brother Dame told Erica about what we do as missionaries and how this gospel really could bless her life. She has had a really hard home life.  She is 25 years old with two young children and one on the way. She is recently divorced and is now dating a new guy, Trake. She sounded really interested in having a lesson with us, so Brother Dame invited all of us over for dinner. The dinner was amazing and the lesson with Erica and Trake went so well. The spirit was so strong, especially as we talked about Joseph Smith's First Vision. 

Our investigator Cathy, who we have been teaching for a while and has a baptismal date for next week, is going through a lot of horrible things and apparently, the bishop told us she is putting us in danger because of her home situation, which is out of her control. I love Cathy so much, and she knows this gospel is so true. It’s just heartbreaking, but now is not her time. I just know one day soon, she will be baptized into this church!

I have been studying a book we have as a part of the missionary library called, “Our Search For Happiness”.  It talks about what Mormons believe, and how all of our beliefs really do bless families and bring so much happiness and joy in this life and in the next. As I was reading this week, this thought came to me:  If we could really know and experience being in the presence of Jesus Christ now, falling down at his feet, feeling his scars, we would give EVERYTHING to Him and His work NOW. We would serve to the best of our ability and always live worthy to be in His presence. But even if we don’t get to physically be in His presence now, we can still feel Him there. We can allow Him to carry our trials with us, we can turn to Him for peace. I promise with everything inside of me that Jesus Christ and His teachings (the gospel of Jesus Christ) are the ONLY way to lasting happiness. I have seen it in my life, as well as the lives of those who turn their lives around and repent as we have taught them here in Florida. 

This is such a beautiful work and I am so blessed to be a representative of Jesus Christ to fulfill His sacred work. I love you all so much. Thanks for the love, letters, and prayers.
-Sister Fletcher
Florida (such a tourist)
Celebrating Black History Month
with some 50 cent corn dogs
One of the 3482053 streets
we have tracted this week!
Sister Jensen!
Our view during weekly planning
The lovely Sister Hart