Monday, April 28, 2014

Miracles and hardships

Hey Daddy!!

Its so great to hear from you every week. For some reason, your words bring me so much comfort! Ah, I am glad you had a fun trip in Hawaii and got to see everyone again, that must have been really surreal. And you are home safe and sound, which is the most important part!

The mission is the HARDEST experience by far in my life! Ha ha, you know what I mean. It is not only teaching, but I am realizing that even habits I picked up from being the only girl, and not having to share things or work together on things has stuck with me here. I'm such an independent thinker, and its hard for me to work with someone else all the time. And mesh her ideas and my ideas or what not. And I have a hard time taking criticism. Look how good this will be for me in marriage! Ah, my husband will be blessed for all of my learning experiences out here ha ha! I have had to take more correction and criticism in the last 2 months or so, than ever before and it hurts naturally, and I am working to take it in humbly and move on. I have to pray super hard! But sometimes, I fail and I get angry or sad. My trainee pulls out preach my gospel and the white handbook and uses it against me to nit pick all the things I am doing wrong. She can't see how hard I am trying to do my very best and that I am learning.

I realized how you guys must feel as parents. You know you are right, but its hard to get the kids to see or listen to what you say. And we use all our knowledge to prove we are right back. Ah, its so hard! Being a parent must be so difficult! Kudos to you for being so kind to me growing up, even when I was the most stubborn thing. I still am pretty stubborn, but I am working on it. Its weird too, how rules can blind you from your purpose and progress. When you follow all the rules, you think you are doing a good job, but are you really helping people? Are you really changing? Are you being obedient because you want to or because your supposed to? Ah, too many thoughts in my head. You know me!

Its been a great week and a hard week. I never knew it would be like this. I have so much to learn too. I have no idea why I am trying to teach someone else, but I need to recharge, refocus on my purpose, and give it my all. In some ways, I have lost my connection and trust with the Spirit. Its a hard language to master. I need to step it up, and dig deep. This really will be the best two years for my life. Or year and a half.

But I am getting SOOO excited for mothers day! I can't wait to talk to you guys! It will be so weird. And just think in a year from now, I will talk to you all, and be coming home a month later. This time will fly. I am loving it. I love meeting new people and the members or lots of times the best parts. The relief society president is a beast, she is the nicest one to us! I'm grateful she lets you know how I am doing. She wants me to be confident and believe in myself. I learned that you do need to fake til you make it. Because when you don't people doubt you, and that's why my trainee has learned to doubt me. But hopefully, lesson learned and I can do better next time!

Training is hard though. Just like being a mother. It's weird, the first day after my third companion left, I felt the weight of the adversary settle on my shoulders, just like, "Now, I have more time to focus on you!" And I need to really work on feeding my Spirit. Being in greater spiritual shape to handle everything that is coming at me, whether it be planning, teaching, finding, or working together with my companion. None of those are easy! But I have established a pretty open relationship, where she feels comfortable telling me the things she is feeling. Which are usually about the things I am doing wrong, which causes me to pray out the offense. I am learning to really just love, to be patient, and to find stronger ways to trust God. And to follow the Spirit. Serious, spiritual workout, you know what I mean? Ha ha

A fun miracle that happened this week, so I won't claim to be the best driver, its been 8 months since I have really driven. And now, I am the designated driver on these skinny Tennessee roads. Another weakness I have, directions. I don't get it unless I drive it myself. So, I am learning, and making my comp stressed ha ha, and then I took the wrong turn. I was like, no big deal, I will go around the cul de sac and fix it, right? Wrong. On my way out of the street, a metal sliding noise came from the bottom of the car. I was freaking out inside. We stopped the car, tried to figure out the problem. Tried calling some people, no one answered. Ah, I was praying so hard! But my natural man side was screaming, "Of course this would happen to me. Its my first day driving. I will have to call the mission office, oh how embarrassing!!!!" But, my lovely companion had a brilliant thought.--"I think we need to talk to someone on this street and ask for help. I'll say the prayer." Next thing I know, I turn around and there is a man walking his two dogs. I felt like a damsel in distress, calling out to him, "Hey, do you know anything about cars?" But he tried to help us, and we ended up getting a hold of some ward members to come and help us. Just before they arrived, we started talking to this guy about our church. Turns out he just moved in and doesn't have a church family yet! Plus, he just had a new born baby! MIRACLE! MIRACLE! And get this, right after he walked away, and our help came, the metal noise stopped!! I was shocked...stunned...amazed...it was so cool!

So, our wonderful relief society president went and bought a baby outfit, and we knocked his door to say thanks a few days later. His wife answered, and we found out that her grandpa was Mormon and had grown up as a kid going to church on occasion, and had the missionaries over often! What the heck? This is not a coincidence. She gave us her number and we are going to go back next week or so. I was so grateful for this unexpected tender mercy. I am so grateful for the small and simple ways the Lord shows us that He loves us and that He is there. You just have to open you eyes wide and be ready for miracles.

Lets see, other than that, it's been a normal week. It is raining really hard here today! Apparently a pretty big storm is coming through, good thing we don't have the car right?? Ha ha, fun adventures to come! I need to refocus and really find my mental stability out here. I need to find my inner missionary chi! Ha ha, gotta love the mission jokes right?

Well Dad, I am praying for Mel and Chad. And the Family. I am glad to hear most things are going well. I get homesick sometimes seeing nice dads talk and play with their daughters. You are such a blessing to my life, and I know that I needed you to be my dad. I wouldn't have survived this life with someone else! Thanks for always being my support and having confidence in me!

I love your letters. They make me feel so comforted and loved. I was thinking about how I feel loved most, and I think it is time spent talking and listening. I'm so grateful that you and dad always took the time to talk and listen to me. 

Love, Sister Frampton




Monday, April 21, 2014

Humble Pie

So each week, I'm racking my brain to think of a fun way to tell y'all
what I learned. Cause to tell you the truth, sometimes what I learn
isn't very fun. But that's what creative writing is for right?

No, but seriously, it's amazing how grateful you become for simple
things. Like a good juicy apple. Or time for a ten minute power nap
during lunch. Or a funny unexpected joke. Or the little tinge of the
Spirit running through your body telling you it's all okay, and it
will all work out. Those are the moments that make you smile and make
you reflect.


It's been a reflective couple of days, because first, it's
Easter.....it's Easter!! Second, transfer calls came in this week and
I realized that I have been out in the field now for 4.5 months. And
third, I found out that I am staying in Thompson Station, still
training, but my other companion will be leaving the fabulous trio. So
I thought...I have been out quite a while, what have I learned? What
effect have I made in the areas I have been in? Have I found joy in
each situation? Have I overcome trials and pushed through the hard
times, or have I let the hard times harden me?

I always thought, okay, you go on a mission and BAM, you are changed.
If that's what you go on a mission for, think again. You have to let
the mission change you. It is a thought and an absolute choice whether
or not to let the mission change you. So now comes the question! Have
I let the mission change me yet? And I don't know. I think I am
finally catching on to what mission life really is. I know...I'm
slow..but I really am starting to see my mission vision.

Anyone serving a mission, I would encourage all of you to make a
vision for your mission while you are preparing. Put it up where you
can see it. Do you want to be an obedient missionary? Do you want to
be best friends with each companion? What relationship do you want to
have with God? I'm sorry I'm so full of questions today, but as I look
back, I wish I would of made a picture of what I wanted my mission to
be like. Because you make the experience happy or miserable. It's all
in the choice you make. And the adversary tries to blind your vision.
Don't let him. Continually open your eyes to the vision The Lord has
for you.

I'm 4.5 months in, and that's time I can't take back. Oh, I sure
haven't been the perfect missionary, but who is? I want to take what
I've learned and be better. Strive to live more like my Savior no
matter what comes my way.

This Easter season, has really been the closest I have felt to my
Savior in a long time. At least on Easter. I read so many talks, and
read the Bible account of the Resurection in all 4 gospels, and I
studied the word Resurection in the bible dictionary. You better
believe That I went gung-ho on Easter. My heart was so filled with
excitement and happiness. I knew it was true. I know that the Savior
lives and it's because of Him that I can live with my family again in
my awesome resurected form. I'm so grateful for that.

It really hit me that without the Resurrection, Jesus Christ would
have been a great prophet in the eyes of many. It would have been a
whole lot easier to question His divinity and ask if that man was
really the Son of God. And that is why Gordon B. Hinkley boldly says, "This was not an ordinary thing. It was the greatest event in human history. I do not hesitate to say that."

It was huge! I have felt so numb to the knowledge that yes in fact, He
did rise the third day. But not everyone can do that. I don't know why
I have not totally contemplated the huge reality of what a miraculous
thing it really is. I'm so grateful for all that Jesus Christ did,
even if it took me a long time to figure that out.

My companions and I are singing in a musical presentation at church,
called the Garden. Its by Michael McClain, and it's the coolest idea.
There are 4 characters who are struggling in the garden with different
things, like a seedling, a barren tree, and a milestone, and you see
the adversary working on them, and then the Savior comes in and
performs the atonement, singing the famous prayer to his Father. Ah,
it's the most touching thing to hear, and sing with. I never imagined
being an object in the garden watching the Savior suffer, it's whole
new perspective that has really made me think.

Well, if you haven't realized yet I love talking about Jesus Christ.
It's a Southern thing, ha ha. This week was a lot of reflection. In
other words, a big fat piece of humble pie. Now, I just need to figure
out how I can do better and work on the things that are hard. But most
importantly, I want to enjoy this journey. And every journey.

So, I wish all of you joy on your journeys this week! 


p.s. I just got back from Nashville! So fun! sister Gopinath took us out there. She is the craziest, nicest lady ever. She is all into being your natural self and into this book written by Carol Tuttle. It's all about Dressing your truth. You should tell grandma about it. I'm a type 2. Calm, chill, I'm the worrier of the world. Etc. etc. ha ha. But it's really fun. She took us out to the Pancake Pantry. Apparently the most famous pancake shop in Nashville, and there is always a line to get in. I got the Parisienne Pancakes, and it was obviously the best choice!! Haha, the French stuff always pays off. Then, I got myself another mission bag. I couldn't resist, haha, so I just treated myself. I thought you'd be proud. We walked around the boutiques and the old little bookstores. Sooo fun! It's nice to get out and do something. But I felt the Spirit of the World. I'm not used to it anymore. It feel sooo heavy and out of control. You don't realize the veil you have as a missionary, until you get out of it for a second. Its shocking actually.


Monday, April 14, 2014

You're Tatum Kila Frampton

Not going to lie, this was a rough week for me. One of the toughest yet. That's usually how it goes though right, when you pass one trial, the next one has got to be harder! Or else what are you really learning?

So, let's see. It started off really well, with some people actually letting us come into their homes and set up appointments to talk to them later. I was so darn happy about that, I can't even explain it. I walked away from that, just floating. You forget sometimes how nice it is to be accepted into a home, and talk about Jesus Christ is such a nice way. But something I have learned on my mission is that when you have a good day, opposition is ready to fly at you like nobody's business. Just be prepared. Recognize it, and don't let it get you down like I do sometimes.

I let discouragement get to me, and frustration take over me. I kept praying and reading my scriptures but I just couldn't kick it on my own. Ah, I wanted to be a nice person, but inside I was so grumpy. I know its dumb, but it happens okay? And sometimes, working in a three person companionship is hard because you are always dealing with three different opinions and personalites. I was just overcome with restlessness, and I wanted to be the best missionary I could be, and focus, get things done and teach. I was pushing so hard to be happy and get us all moving...that I became really overbearing. I was blinded by what I wanted and what I thought was the best idea...ah, you live and you learn I guess. I just wanted so much good, so badly! I was trying to talk to people about the gospel and plan out our days, but I wasn't very good and talking it through with everyone. Boy, I sound like a crazy person, but the natural man is a real real thing.

But there were little miracles put in my path all week that kept playing over and over in my head to keep me sane. The first one, was in a letter from my little brother Garrett. I get so excited to read my family letters, and he ended his letter with, "Is it tuff? Well, whatever, you got this, you're Tatum Kila Frampton." That hit me so hard. He sounded so confident, like no doubt, you got this! It made me feel at ease, like I could handle all of the things coming at me, and all of the thoughts terrorizing my mind. So, every time I felt dumb, or like what I was doing was wrong, or tired, I would play that in my head. "You're Tatum Kila Frampton."

And then on Friday, we had a big meeting with all of the trainers, and trainee's to learn how to better train the new missionaries and help our companionships. They talked about stress and how to manage it...and as they were explaining the difference between stress and distress. I was freaking out because I realized, "I'm distressed!" Like, what I didn't realize everything I was dealing with was part of the fact of being distressed....ah, no good! So, I was feeling down again, like how do I get out of this mess? I was talking to one of the assistants to the President, and he said, "They don't call you FrampChamp for nothing." And it hit me again. A sliver of hope touching my heart that I was strong enough to do this. Again, I kept playing that over and over in my head.

And then the bad days of all bad days, hit on Saturday and I was just really hurt. I realized that I was overdoing it. I had been overexerting my energy in the wrong directions.  To know it was not the best thing I could of been doing for the companionship, ah, I was just really tired, sad, mad, all of the above. And I went into a room by myself and prayed for a really long time. The only person who could strengthen me was my Father in Heaven. I pleaded for the enabling power of the Atonement to help me through my trials. To lift me up. And I can testify that I was filled with peace that it would be okay. I know that I haven't been a perfect trainer, or missionary, or person, but I can't give up. It truly is only through the Atonement of Jesus Christ that we can say sorry, or be healed from our wounds and find hope in the days to come. It's been a real learning experience for me. One that I never expected to come, but one that I needed.  It taught me to use what I preach. I tell people all day long about the Redeeming love our Savior has for each and every one of us, but do I actually use it, or believe it? And now I know, that when you feel so low, and just in a big fat pit you can't get out of, Jesus Christ will not only send a ladder down, but go down in there and help carry you out.

I even had to ask for help...which is SO HARD...but I sucked up my pride and asked for a blessing from an Elder in my district. It was so hilarious because he couldn't pronounce my name! He kept saying, "Tatum Kila Franscon?" "No, Frampton" "Okay, Franscon?" "No Elder, you have only served with me the past 5 weeks, but whatever!" We were all dying laughing. He knew my name before...at least I thought. But the blessing is exactly what I needed to hear at that moment. And we were all laughing after. I think part of the blessing of that moment was laughter and joy. I feel like that's when I notice the grace and mercy of God the most.

And you know what else I learned? That everybody, no matter how strong they look on the outside, need to feel like someone believes in them. Like they have self worth. And that they are needed. When people say kind words, I truly believe that if Heavenly Father was sitting down next to you he would say those things and more. I would challenge all of us to take some time to make another feel believed in. To feel trusted and needed. I think that's the greatest act of kindness another can EVER receive.



Monday, April 7, 2014

Swoosh! The Spirit shoots and scores!

Well, well, well, there is no other way to start this email then to shoot a big CONGRATULATIONS TO MY FREAKING AWESOME BROTHER ZACH, who just got his mission call to Vina del Mar, Chile!!! I am so proud of you, oh I just cant get over it. On Wednesday, I was trying to hold in my excitement, but I kept thinking of places you were going. I wrote this in the letter I sent to you this morning by the way, but I was thinking Canada, then Kansas, then New Zealand. I felt super good about New Zealand. My companions were getting irritated, with what I call  my "prophecies" I kept saying, "Guys, where do you think my brother is going?" Ah, and then I didn't find out until 10:29, one minute before exact obedience would have failed!! So, I laid in my bed pondering on Chile!! Chile! It felt so right, and I just knew this is the place you need to serve. Oh, you are so needed there! One of the missionaries guessed that you would get called to Nashville, and I got so pumped! I was like, " That would be awesome, because we would take down the mission together." But, hey I know the Lord has a plan that is a lot less selfish than mine! Even though, I couldn't be there, I want you to know that I was praying a lot, and my Spirit was lingering somewhere in the room! I am just grateful for he way that you have lived your life, and your willingness to serve. Serving a mission is not easy, oh no, it's not, but I am learning more than I ever thought and I wouldn't trade that for anything.



Some of my mission thoughts have been filled with words like, "Humility, Love, PATIENCE, Kindness, Service, Obedience." All things that I need to work on, and all things that I know would greatly bless my life. I will be the first one in a room to yell out that I am weak, oh so, weak and I need help. I guarantee that would be me, and I thought that because I knew that fact that I was pretty humble. Well, slap, if you think you are kinda humble, think again. Ha ha, I sure have. I studied humility this week, and I realized that it doesn't mean realizing your weaknesses. That is a part of it. But true humility is calling upon God, to strengthen you and being courageous enough to do his work in Faith. It is a lot harder to trust in God to push through your weaknesses, than it is to wallow in your natural man. Wallowing is so easy, but miserable. Random tangent, but its true right?

And as I was walking down the street with my companion, a little discouraged, we saw two teenage boys playing basketball. My companion yelled out, " Hey, her brothers are almost like professional basketball players. Super good..." And the conversation went on from there. We found out that they were from another faith, which is almost ALWAYS the case here in the South, and I invited them to our Church Tour that we do every week. Almost as soon as I said the words, "If I make a shot, will you two promise to come to the church tour, this Thursday?" I regretted it! The boys were like, sure yah, and passed me the basketball. They picked a spot on the driveway, probably right under the 3 point line if there was one. I was praying so hard in my heart. Why did I say that! This is the most pressure I have ever felt to make a shot. THEIR ETERNAL SALVATION IS AT STAKE!!! So, I said a short, emergency call to Heavenly Father, hoping for a miracle. I could my companion praying like none other. And when I shot the ball, I must say, it didn't feel like I shot the ball. There was no natural stress in my arm, like usual. The ball flew perfectly into the air, and then next thing I knew, "SWOOSH!" I jumped up in pure joy! The boys were shocked, heck I was shocked. They promised to come, and after we walked away, we stopped and said a prayer of thanks. It might seem like a little thing. But it is moments like these that keep me going out here. The Spirit is real! Even if the boys didn't show up to the church tour (which they didn't) that we did all we could to invite them and show them the truthfulness of our message. So, that's my promise, the Spirit Shoots and it Scores!!

The Holy Ghost is definitely the coolest gift that one could ever receive! It is what has kept me out here on my mission, every day. When I pray for different things, or when I need strength or comfort, it is always the Holy Ghost that manifests itself to me. I will walk away from lessons, or frustrating situations, or from personal study and realize, "Wow, thank you Spirit. That was not me!" And there are so many times where I have realized that I didn't follow the Spirit or even realize it was there at the time. Preparing for General Conference this weekend, I actually had the coolest study. I have been struggling lately in personal study staying focused, and making it meaningful. I will fidget and get restless, and want to just get all my energy out. But, Sunday morning I decided to study and ponder the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. I was overwhelmed with the Spirit. That hour flew by, I was mesmerized by reading scriptures in the Bible. I had never really taken the time to realize the importance of the Resurrection. And then in conference, Elder Todd D. Christofferson's talk was EXACLTY what I studied. I was dumbstruck! The same scriptures and everything. What are the odds? I gained such a love and deep appreciation for my Savior and Redeemer yesterday.  I wish you could have heard my excitement telling my companions about it. They looked at me, like I was literally mentally insane. But why do we have to look serious and bored when we talk about Jesus Christ!  I feel like the Spirit speaks to me, through the way I get so pumped off the gospel. I just start talking with my hands, and energetically. Because, People, IF the gospel of Jesus Christ is real, if what he did for us really happened, Why aren't we smiling ear to ear all the time. This is something to get excited about. I sound so Southern...bless my heart! And I know it is real. Jesus Christ was tempted, tormented, and ultimately crucified for all of us! And then, he proved to all the world that he really was the Son of God, when he was Resurrected three days later. I feel like I have taken that knowledge for granted too much throughout my lifetime. This isn't something everyone knows or realizes. Even though it might be everyday knowledge, it shouldn't lose meaning and significance.

If I am crazy for getting excited about this knowledge, you know what, I am happy. Will of you just be happy with me? And realize the truly amazing love our Savior has for us personally. He suffered so much for us to never have to be alone. If everything else in life is horrible, miserable, unfair, whatever, at least we will always have one thing to be happy about and grateful for.

I know that Jesus Christ died for me, so that I might be free of my sins, my afflictions, my sorrows, my pains, and my weaknesses. I know that and love that more than I ever have before. I really am humbled, and grateful for all that I have been given in this life. Thanks Mom and Dad for always taking the time to teach me with patience. Even when I was and still am a stubborn soul.  I am grateful for my brothers, and that they are constant reminder to me of the courage I can have, and the person I can be. I am grateful for all of my cousins, uncles, and aunts, and the love they constantly showed me. You have been there for so many great memories with me. I am grateful that I am out here on my mission, because I am learning so many things I would have been too stubborn to see or to change without it. I am grateful for my brothers decision to serve. I look forward to hearing all of the miracles he finds. I am grateful for my trials, because gosh, without them I wouldn't have learned so much, and realized how much I need my Savior and my Heavenly Father in this life. And you know what, when you have the Spirit, you will be able to get through anything. In the words of Jeffrey R. Holland, "Don't you give up, Don't you quit. You keep walking. You keep trying. There is help and happiness ahead...It will be all right in the end. Trust God and believe in good things to come."

That's all the deep thinking I could handle this week! Talk to y'all next Monday!