Encore?;) hahaha

Hi everyone! 

A lot of people have recently requested that I write another "weekly email" for the blog.    I enjoy writing, but I haven't written hardly anything down the past two weeks because things have been so crazy! I want to write about my last week in the field, where my thoughts were at, and the amazing  things I experienced.

The last week of my mission went by so. incredibly. fast. Every journal entry from that week begins with "Wow. Where did the day go?" Or something similar. We were running everywhere! We had tons of appointments, and so many people to say goodbye to. It never really hit me that I was saying goodbye to Missoula and the people there until my very final day in Missoula as a missionary. And then the tears started....and they didn't was pretty bad. 😂 That Thursday was the most stressful day of my life! Sister Crosland and I were in charge of the housing and travel arrangements for five sisters going home from our section of the mission. At four in the afternoon, plans changed and we had ANOTHER sister needing to drive down. Long story short, all of the plans changed , and it was absolute insanity from that time forward. It all worked out in the end though! #sistercroslandisachamp 

Friday morning the four of us staying at the Hendersons woke up at 4:30 to get ready and finish packing up. We needed to meet the other two sisters and be in the car and on the road by 5:45. All was going soooo smoothly until I walked outside with Sister E. King to load up the trucks 😳 unbeknownst to us, a blizzard had come through during the night, and all of Missoula was absolutely covered in snow. Perfect. It was way below zero and my hands were totally numb! For some reason I had packed every single pair of gloves. 🤦🏼‍♀️ We ended up getting on the road around 6:15am after defrosting the cars and getting all the bikes on the back. Picture this. Two trucks. Six sisters all bundled up. Six bikes. 18 suitcases. And a whole lot of snow. 

We made it to Helena in one piece with only a few scary moments that I will not disclose at this time. In Helena we met up with a few other missionaries and all of us sisters hopped in the transfer van with Elder Baird the "car tzar" of the mission. Of course, I called shotgun. We had a long road ahead of us and I needed to glean  as much wisdom as I could from Elder Baird. It's a tradition for everyone to share a miracle they have seen in their area in the last week. I think almost the entire drive the six of us sisters shared miracle after miracle. It was amazing. It was also really hard the closer we got to Billings. Reality hit when I saw those rims again. So many memories flooded back and the realization that I was in fact leaving Montana the next day- needless to say, I was reduced to a puddle of tears. 

The mission office was a buzz of activity when we arrived. There were 18 missionaries flying home this transfer, it was a pretty massive group! We had pizza, we laughed, we cried. Just your typical day in the MBM. I had my departing interview with president. That was tough. Again, lots of laughter and lots of tears. He's my fav. 

We had a testimony meeting that night. It was so cool to see how each missionary I've served with has grown. At the beginning of my mission I can remember sitting in a similar testimony meeting, just wondering what it was going to be like 18 months from that moment. I sat in the exact same spot somehow. But everything was completely different. Listening to everyone else, and recognizing the growth in each and every person, it was a moment I'll never forget. The senior missionaries all shared advice with us and bore their testimonies. Again we cried and we laughed and we cried some more. After the meeting ended, no one wanted to leave. 10:00pm passed by, and then 11:00pm. All of us just holding on so tightly to these last moments together. Oh man, it was rough. Eventually, we all split off to the separate places we were sleeping at. Sister Hodgson and I somehow lucked out and got to have one last missionary sleepover together. We had 7 months of stories to catch up on! I think we fell asleep around 1:30 😳 4:30 in the morning came much too quickly. (Yes. 2 nights in a row with 3 hours of sleep.) 

We spent the morning at the temple. What a sweet way to end a mission. It was amazing to look around and see my sisters and best friends all dressed in white in the celestial room of the temple. We all saw each other at our best. Lots of hugs, and many more tears. After the temple we headed back to the mission office to make breakfast for everyone. President claims to be the pancake king, and he definitely proved that to be true! Haha it was so fun :) The excitement of seeing my family started to set in being there and seeing Sister Pearson and Sister E. King each reunite with their families. The knot in my stomach just kept getting bigger and bigger. 

So at this point, I should probably confess something. About 3 months ago I devised a plan. If President wasn't going to let me extend, I would simply pray a blizzard would come so I could be a missionary for just a little bit longer. So selfish, I know, but that's what I did! So, when the snow starts falling as I'm leaving Missoula I'm thinking, "President is going to kill me" Hahahaha 😂😂Saturday morning, it's a full on blizzard. And now everyone knows it's my fault. So we get in the 12 passenger van. President is driving and I'm sitting shotgun, and the rest of the car is absolutely full. As we are winding up the road to the airport (we are LATE and the roads are VERY icy) I turn to president and say, "yknow...maybe it wasn't the best idea to pray for a blizzard" to which he responds "Ya think?!" Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha 

Everything is such a blur from that moment forward. All 18 of us got our boarding passes and checked all 34 bags of luggage in. And then, the worst goodbye of my life. I'm simply not going to write about it because it's still a soft spot and tears are already coming as I type. There were lots of tears, not so much laughter in that moment. My heart just sank with every step I took. Our plane couldn't take off for another half hour or so. I sat next to Sister Hodgson, Elder Syrett, and Elder Hatton on the plane and once we started thinking of the exciting things ahead of us, we had a great time :) It was the most surreal experience stepping off the place in SLC. It felt like my feet were not even hitting the floor. My stomach was in my throat and the tears would not stop coming. At this point I don't think I even know if they were happy tears or sad tears. 

When I saw my family, I finally realized just how much I missed them. I all of the sudden realized just how long 18 months is. Everyone was bawling. Kelsey was at least a foot taller. That was kinda freaky. Quinn was so confused as to what was happening. Ciara and Aubrey looked the exact same. Mom and Dad too. The whole airport was absolute chaos with the 10(?) of us missionaries reuniting with our families all at the same time. It was such a cool moment. Man oh man I'VE MISSED MY FAMILY!

"The hardest thing I've ever loved to do was getting on this plane, and coming home to you. In a million ways completely torn apart as a land so far away (well, pretty close in my case ;)) still owns my heart." Oh how I miss the Montana Billings Mission :) But oh how wonderful it is to be with my family again :) 

Much love, 
Sister Fletcher ;) 

 Too tired to pack

 Prayed for blizzard

Homeward Bound


Montana (heart)

To all the people I love: 

Man oh man. The weeks just fly right by don't they? I am in awe that I'm sitting here in Missoula, with clothes, books, and suitcases piled all around me waiting to be packed up for the last time. Yikes. There's a pretty big piece of me that doesn't want to write a weekly email today, but they have become somewhat of a journal for me and it's therapy for me to write. So bear with me ;) 

This last week was so great. It was a roller coaster for sure though. We started off the week with exchanges with the Colombia Falls sisters. I was with Sister Anderson (she returns home the same day I do) and we saw the COOLEST miracle on our second night together. We received a referral from saying that a man had requested a Book of Mormon. We called to set up a time with him, but he didn't answer so we decided to stop by. He lives in a very old, very creepy looking apartment complex. Turns out there are like 8 different entrances....after almost walking into someone's basement, and almost breaking a door, we finally found his apartment. After we knocked, the door flew open and I'll never forget this next moment. He looked at our faces, looked at our name tags, and then to the Book of Mormon in my hand and his face just absolutely lit up. I have NEVER seen ANYONE have so much joy on their face. "I've been waiting for that book! Can you teach me more about it?!" My jaw had visibly dropped at this point. He had seen an add on YouTube about the Book of Mormon and clicked on it. He's from Saudi Arabia, no religious background really, but he wants to learn. Ah. It was just so cool. We had a lesson scheduled with him on Saturday, but he had to cancel because he was taking finals :( I'm sad I will not be able to continue to be a part of his journey, but that little moment is one I will remember for forever. 

Tuesday we had our Christmas Conference. Oh how I LOVE Christmas. As a mission we have all be reading the Book of Mormon and marking the attributes and characteristics of Jesus Christ as we read. During this conference many of the missionaries shared what they have learned. Reading the Book of Mormon in this way really changed my perspective of the scriptures. All of the sudden I was seeing how Nephi, Enos, Ammon, Teancum, Moroni and others were Christlike. The Book of Mormon wasn't just a novel to leisurely enjoy, but a roadmap to guide me closer to my Savior. I love the Book of Mormon. In my departing testimony to the missionaries I shared my current favorite scripture in the Book of Mormon that describes the Savior. "Therefore, hold up your light that it may shine unto the world. Behold I am the light which ye shall hold up..." (3 Nephi 18:24) LIGHT. That's my favorite way that Jesus Christ is described. He truly is the light and brings light into our lives. :) At Christmas Conference we also had the Wadsworths there. I cherish every minute I get to spend with them. They have changed my life. I can always count of them to make me laugh and really enjoy this special time of my life. If I didn't have my family waiting on the other end of this mission experience...I wouldn't not be coming home ;) 

I spent the end of the week in the lovely town of Lolo! It's beautiful there. I think it was about 30 degrees that afternoon...and we spent ALL of it walking around town talking to people and knocking on doors finding people to teach. You never feel more like a missionary then when you are walking on the side of the freezing temperatures...smiling and waving at everyone you see. When we got back to Missoula, Sister Crosland and I drove past a frat house where there was a party going on. There were SO MANY people our age drinking and partying and I could help but think. Wow, they are spending a Saturday night at a party "enjoying themselves" and we are here driving around at 8 o clock at night trying to find people to teach about Jesus Christ. Hahahaha Wouldn't have it any other way :) 

We had 7 appointments set up for Saturday...only 3 of them actually happened....Haha #thatmissionarylife  We had this SWEET lesson with Flo and HER FAMILY. Flo is a less active, she hasn't been to church in 30 years. She has 6 kids, and 4 of them still live at home with her. None of them have been baptized and really have no religious background. We brought Brother McBride and his son Conner with us, Conner is headed to SPAIN on his mission in February! Anyway. So we have Flo there, and then her 12 year old daughter, 18 year old son, and 21 year old son. We had previously taught all of them the restoration, except for the 18 year old. We taught the plan of salvation and it was SO cool to see all of the wheels turning in their heads as we testified of our purpose here on earth. The 18 year old was especially interested. He asked questions and even said the prayer at the end. Ah. It was just such a cool moment. Family. That's what it's all about! 

Wow...I'm just hoping that if I don't stop typing this will end up not being my last letter....yikes. I am SO glad that I came on a mission and that I came to Montana. When I first decided to come on a mission it was because of a priesthood blessing I received. I can't remember anything from it except the line, "God is trying to lead you to the path that will bring you the most happiness." A mission :) And it truly has put me on a path where I have experienced SO much joy. And I know that there is so much more happiness ahead of me too. Y'all might have to keep reminding me though ;) I'm leaving a big piece of my heart here in big sky country. I can't put into words all that I've learned and all that has happened. But I do know for sure that serving a mission has helped me to know Jesus Christ. He is my best friend and the only one that will really understand how these past 18 months has influenced me for the rest of my life. Our Father in Heaven EXPECTS us to do hard things, but he doesn't leave us to do them alone.  I am so grateful for this time I have had to learn to do hard things and to be an instrument in His hands. I know that God has a plan for each one of us, we are his children and he wants us to succeed. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. No doubt about it. Read it and you will also know for yourself! :) 

I love you all so much. Thank you for all of the love and support. I hope to see many of you in the coming weeks. My homecoming talk will be on the 18th, you can get more information from my mom on that :) 

Be happy, work hard :) 

Sister Fletcher 
Saying bye to the Krantz's 
Colombia Falls sisters! 
Lolo sisters! 
Bathtub...7 months...#nuffsaid
Christmas conference. 
That awkward moment when they make you go first...
Missionary protection is real...right? Sketch bridge.
 Lolo National Forest!