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.