Monday, May 26, 2014

Letter to Dad

Thanks for such the kind letter this week, Dad. It always means so much. Things have been going pretty good. This next week has a lot of tracting in store, so we will pray like a boss for divine help. It's cool to hear about your garden and everything you all are getting done in the house. What have you been up to today, I hope I get an email back before Pday ends. 

I can't believe Zach is graduating already and then will get ready for his mission. And it is summer for everyone. It blows me away, because it's the first not really summer for me haha. I really realized that I love to be busy. To be actively doing something and being energized from that. It is hard for things to move slowly and slowly! Haha, too much time to ponder. Balance is key!

This is the last week of the transfer, and my companions birthday, so we will see if we stay together or what, I think that I am staying in the area for a while longer. At least over the summer. I don't think I have learned my lesson yet from this area. Dad, you know how I used to get really down in the dumps about lots of things. And you guys would try to help me see all the good things, and I couldn't see it. I wonder now, if The Lord is helping me find inner happiness or ways to cope and to find it in the hardest of situations. So that when I go home, I can use that to find the joy in life. Enjoy the journey ya know, even when the journey isn't everything you thought it should be. Ya know?

So we will see. I love you so much, and am grateful for your example. I think that you have taught me so much about how our real Heavenly Father loves us. About unconditional love, and time spent showing love and care. 

Ah, the gospel is true. I feel that so strongly. The opposition and the hard hearts are strong too. But we are planting the seeds and things will come out of it. I hope you have such a great week, and I hope the family is doing okay!

Love, Sister Frampton


There have been a few thoughts on my mind, that I've been pondering.
How have I used the atonement in my life? How do I want to use it on
my mission? How do I tap into that power and trust in God? But most
importantly, how do I find happiness?

It hit me really hard what you guys have been trying to teach me. I've
always tried to be strong enough on my own and as good as I can, so I
don't have to repent. Well, so much for that. That equals miserable
and never good enough syndrome. Finally, I realized that repentance
doesn't mean you are a bad person, or that you failed. It means that
we love our Father in Heaven and we want to let him help us. He gave
his Son, Jesus Christ so that we could be HAPPY! Not so that we would
have to feel bad all the time when we didn't do it perfectly. Ah, am I
making sense? It's so easy to judge yourself in that of the world, but
hello, every time we repent, we are just refocusing on God and
thanking him for sending his Son.
Every night in my prayers, I account to The Lord what I did that day,
and ask him to make my efforts better than I could have on my own.
It's helped me feel calm about the work here. And I've become obsessed
with the teachings of Jesus Christ. I watch the bible videos about him
every day now, and just love what he said. Ah, it's all about peace,
love and hope! It's so easy to get caught up In everything else.
He truly is the center of our message, our advocate to the Father, and
someone who has felt what I feel. It's okay to have weaknesses, and we
won't conquer them everyday. I wish, but we just need to get back up
and use the atonement to comfort us, and let it say to our souls,
"It's okay!"
And you know what, Heavenly Father answers prayers. In little ways, in
big ways, in some way and some time. We just have to have faith that
he will. It's so easy to say, well, if he answers me, than I will have
faith that He is there for me. Nope, you have to believe that He will
first! Trust that your prayers will be answers. Give your heart to
it. And it is after that, that your prayers will be answered. Just
like in Ether 12:6, "And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat
concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is
things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not
because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of
your faith." HAVE FAITH. HAVE FAITH AND HAVE FAITH. What have you got
to lose, nothing! You know why, because I promise you, all of you,
that God is there and he cares. He cares how you feel, and he wants to
help you. He's just waiting for you to ask, and open your eyes to see
the answer.
So, family, I have a challenge for all of you this week. Start
tonight. Each write done one question that you have. One prayer you
NEED answered. Every day, read the scriptures like you do, and pray
specifically to get an answer to that prayer. Individually and with
the family. Make it a big goal. Now, find a time when you can all go
and do baptisms together. Make a deal with The Lord, that is you work
hard this week that will receive an answer this week, and feel of His
love in His house. I promise you guys will see an answer to each one
of your questions. Okay, it's going to take work, but BELIEVE! Don't
let anything get you down or doubt. He knows you personally, He loves
you more than we can comprehend and the best part of it all, is He is
smiling down on you CHEERING you on. Giving you a big bear hug. He's
already blessed us with the knowledge of the gospel, we just got to
use it!
And I want to hear how it goes. I can read about it every night. Let
me know what you think.
Also, a cool experience this week, we helped a nonmember girl make all
of this Hawaiian food for an end of the year party. She grew up in
Honolulu, and is very spiritual and active in her church, but this
lady in my ward is determined that she will accept the gospel. She has
been working on her for 7 years, and she has called President Andersen
twice to keep me in huge area because we have the Hawaiian connection
ha ha. She never lets us in, or anything though. This was big headway,
I made Musubi with her and fried rice. We talked about Hawaii and I
was able to talk about my mission and how it works. Then, afterwords,
we got to say thank you and she invited us in her house and just
talked to us. She told us about how you have to faith that the Bible
is the word of God, and I was just pleading for the Spirit to help me
bear testimony of the Book of Mormon. She was shuffling around
cleaning things at the same time.. I didn't know how to work it in or
what, and next thing I know I was relating that at the end of the day,
I just have to have faith that the Book of Mormon is another testament
of Jesus Christ. She stopped cleaning and stood and looked me straight
in the face. I kept on going about how I knew it was true, and the
experiences I have had with it. Then, it was time for us to run to out
next appointment. When, I said we had to go, it cut the air, she
looked startled, caught up in the Spirit in the air. SHE FELT IT TOO!
I know she did. I didn't realize it was there so strongly, until I
said we had to go. I walked out of there, so humbled and grateful for
the Spirit! It works wonders!
Gosh, long email huh? I had a lot to tell you all this week. I will
reply to all the fun stuff you sent me this week too, next!!
(Ether 12:6)

Alicia Ferrucci

James and Alicia saving the day

Monday, May 19, 2014

Ready for some miracles?


My gosh, how are you all? Did you have a good week? I don't know about you, but here its the last week of school for the kids so everyone is getting really excited. I got the pictures of you in Hawaii! That is so crazy! Ah, wow, you guys were so much younger when we were there before. It was fun to see you standing next to Terina--such a small world. 

This week, gosh what even happened this week. So many wonderful things and hard things. A mission is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get the next minute. At the start of the week, we had President Interviews, and our new council is to tract every day for one hour. And so, we were knocking doors, and we met a guy who loved to draw Native Americans, so I related the Book of Mormon heritage to this guy, and was able to commit him to read the Introduction. Little miracles! But with all good things, comes opposition. I didn't want us to be late for our ride to President Interviews, and so we started walking back to our apartment. My companion got upset at me because we only had been knocking doors for 55 minutes and not a whole 60. I lost it at that point. I was trying so hard to be on time to something else and I meant well, and oh my. Not my most shining moment as a missionary. I was pleading for help walking into President Interviews.

And the Lord provides help. It was such a relief to feel the love of my mission president and his wife. The moment I walked in to talk to Sister Andersen, I just felt the unconditional love she had for me, and she wanted to help me. She reminded me to focus on the beauty of nature, and the little chirping of the birds, and all of the beautiful things around, instead of getting wrapped up in the stress of it all. And then the first thing President asked me was, "How are you doing personally?" Ah, he is so in tune with the Spirit! He was able to talk me through things, and make me feel good about all the things I had been doing. I felt SO much better when I walked out of there, because I was beginning to get worried that I had lost my spark and my kindness. And my favorite part, is always when he closes with a prayer. Heavenly Father really is in charge of this work, and I felt so much love from Him in that moment.

And the next day, I got to go on an exchange with a sister down in Hohenwald. Now, keep in mind, this is the boonies. My first time getting to serve out in the real sticks. It was so crazy and fun. I loved the small town, small homes, lifestyle. They lived in a little trailer home. And we decided to go out and tract for an hour, I like to call it the "FINDING POWER HOUR" We started down this road, and miracles were just flying through the air. I was in shock. I have been knocking for months, and all the sudden the second door we knocked on, a nice mother and daughter came out. We were able to bear testimony of the plan of salvation, because we found out her dad just passed away the day before. It hit me so hard, seeing the sad face of that girl, and being able to teach her that families can be together forever.

Things didn't stop there. We knocked across the street, and this nice couple let us in their home. WHAT THE . . . I was in shock. My mind was reeling . . . they are letting us in, what do we do know? This hasn't happened to me before!! It was almost too easy, and felt so nice. This couple and their parents sat around, and listened as we bore testimony of the Restoration of the gospel. It  was my turn next and I had the privilege to say the First Vision. The Spirit was so strong, and none of them looked like they were questioning for one moment what we said. And as I said the words of Joseph Smith and his experience, the sweet lady who let us in, started to cry. There were tears streaming down her face. I think this is the first moment where I realized the power and the significance of those words. There was a cutting silence and peace in that house that I haven't felt in a long time. I wanted to weep because I was so humbled. Before we left, I asked them how they felt and they all said "Good!" And my companion scheduled to come back on another day.

I literally walked out of that door in pure shock at the power of God. No questions. No fighting. They just listened with a smile on their face. Ah, there really are prepared people out there to hear the message. We found 7 new investigators that day! More than I have found in a while...We sat in the car afterwards and said a prayer of thanks. I wish I could see and really appreciate all that the Lord does for me on a daily basis. Sometimes my natural man is stronger than I realize, but thank goodness for the atonement! Right?

When I came back to Thompson Station, there were a lot of ups and downs, but I will never forget the look that lady had on her face when she heard the First Vision. Ah, gosh the Spirit is so awesome!

This Sunday, we met up with our new ward mission leader. He is so excited and ready to work hard. He said so many things that I have been fighting for and working towards! What a MIRACLE!!! I just feel so strongly that we are going to build this area up and miracles are just going to start to fly out of windows. We won't be able to believe all of the moments coming our way!

A fun story to finish off the week...we went to a Baptist Bible Study that is held every Sunday night. I guess missionaries have been going for years as a way to contact people, and we just found out about it. It was a whole new experience. It was full of kids that were college age, and the woman in charge has made it a place of refuge for these kids. It's an open door policy. Literally, she hates it when people knock on the door, and don't just walk right in. It inspired me to see how much she cared about these kids, and wanted the best for them. The South is filled with SOOO many wonderful people, worshiping Jesus. Seriously, it is astounding in so many ways. They went around and sung some common hymns...well, I had never heard them before....but anyways. And then we read the book of Jude in the Bible. Her husband is a Pastor at the church. Apparently, its a big scandal that Mormon missionaries go to it, but hey, we like to make things exciting! Listening to them talk about Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit,  I was overcome with a feeling of, "THEY ARE SO CLOSE!! We need to help them see the big picture." There relationship with God is so important to them, they just need help on their way.

It inspired me to do that for youth when I come home some day. Don't let me forget this idea, okay? Youth are going through so many different things, and trials. They need a comfortable place to feel loved and welcome, no matter what. A good environment to get out their feelings, otherwise they will go and get it out somewhere else. How cool would it be to open up your house to the youth on Sunday nights, to eat, and sing songs, and have a spiritual message. I don't know, am I becoming Southern yet? It's my biggest desire...aside from helping the people here reach salvation!

Anyways, I guess my message this week is, there are good people out there. The Lord is preparing people to hear the message of the restored gospel. Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, and really a servant of the Lord to help all of us find clarity and happiness in this life. The Restoration is so powerful and SO REAL!! I hope all of you are feeling how pumped I am about this. The gospel is meant to make us happy. We have more knowledge and are more blessed these days, than ever in history. It's time to be happy. It's time to be to really relish in the inner happiness that comes from being on a mission, and forget about all the little things that can get in my way. I know that this is where I am supposed to be, and what I am supposed to be learning.

I LOVE YOU ALL!! Go out and there and be happy. SMILE AND BE HAPPY!

Olivia Broome

Monday, May 12, 2014

Slow and Steady Wins the Race


Man, I cannot tell you how much it meant to me to talk to you all yesterday. It was so weird to see you standing there and you all looked the same. It was like, WAHBAM, REAL LIFE again! It just reminds me how much I love you and how grateful I am for you.

Thanks for comforting in me in my hard times. I really was praying that you guys would say something I needed to hear. And it hit my heart and really helped pick me up and help me move forward. I realized how much joy and happiness matter. And its important to search and find it in all things. I remembered a lot of my old self, and how I used to love to cheer people up and help them, and sometimes here I forget that. Yesterday, was a tender mercy in and of itself. After, I got off the Skype with you, I did NOT want to tract doors. I wanted to have a silent moment and just pray. But we were lucky enough to visit with lots of members, and for the first time I felt like I clicked with them and I was friends with them. You forget how long it takes to build relationships sometimes, and so it was so fun to get to feel settled and at home in peoples homes. We wrote mothers day cards to the moms in the ward that have looked out for me and Sister Lala. I really needed that. Things are going to get better, I have a good feeling!!

I didn't realize that you guys only know a small portion of the things that go on everyday and the miracles that happen. I want to try and convey the miracles that do happen, because that is what makes the mission worth it. The moments where I have felt the Spirit strongest, and felt it comfort me, have meant the absolute most to me. I hope Zach, that when you go on your mission, you focus on the Spirit. It seems, like Duh! But I have forgotten that on several occasions, and that's when discouragement comes. Just relish in the Spirit, it makes you happy!

Also, random question, Did Papa ever use say, "sweetheart"?

What else, oh miracle today at Walmart grocery shopping: That lady that we took to Sweet Cici's and talked to her about the plan of salvation, we saw her again. And she told us she is breaking up with her boyfriend!!! MIRACLE!! (because she lives with him) The Lord is preparing her, that's all I am saying. She asked me about sister wives too, and I was grateful to clear that up for her. I used to think that show was funny, but boy does it create issues for us out here.

Hmmm...I get to go on exchanges this week with an awesome sister, and I have president interviews, so this week is looking up! Slow and steady wins the race right? Or am I right? Ha ha

Did you see the Mormon missionaries on CNN last night? I had a lady in our ward text you about it. Those missionaries were my zone leaders in my last area. Elder Bishop is the one that I beat playing tennis that one day. Crazy huh? I wish we could watch some of it, we will see.

I can't get over what a cool family you guys are! Ah, I just love ya to death. Seriously, I was so lucky and blessed. And we will all be blessed for the service we give to the Lord. I was called to Tennessee for a reason. I am in Thompson Station for a reason. I knew before this life that I would serve here, and I am going to do all I can to fulfill that purpose. Zach and the boys, there are people around that need you, specifically! Never forget that! Not just any missionary can do your job. I heard a story recently that this old couple joined the church, and got their patriarchal blessings. In it, it said that they would have joined the church much earlier if the missionary they needed would have chosen to serve a mission. WOW. Isn't that wild! Keep that purpose in mind. I feel so comforted that Heavenly Father is looking out for you boys.

And Mom and Dad, oh I sure do love you guys. Thanks for how you raised me. You never made me feel bad for anything I was, and I am forever grateful! I needed that pep talk. That's what I remember most about home. I could always here a good talk that would boost me up. Those were good times. Remember the famous, "I LOVE IT!" and "GO FOR THE GUSTO" You might want to type those out and send it to me, so that I can print it and read it on a bad day! Ha. You guys mean the world to me. You've given me so much love! Its awesome. 

Sister Ashley Hacker

Monday, May 5, 2014

"Be the same person in the dark that you are in the light."

It's funny when you are a missionary, because you try your hardest to follow the Spirit and you say what you feel, and you study your heart out, but you never really know how what you said might have effected someone. I made a special prayer to have the Lord help me see the influence and the importance of my companion and I's work here in my area. And I was so grateful for the Lord to answer that prayer over and over. Tender mercies . . . my heart LOVES them!

We are teaching the new member lessons to a new family who was recently baptized. They are going through a lot of trials and so when planning for them the night before, we started talking about the word opposition. And helping them to understand what it is, how it works, and most importantly HOW TO OVERCOME IT!! So, for morning studies, I looked up lots of scriptures and tried to create a vision in my mind of how I wanted the lesson to go.

I realized the difference between the Spirit of contention and the Spirit of God. And really when we believe and have faith in that power of God, we can get through ANYTHING. I think sometimes our minds our dulled to the term gift of the Holy Ghost. Lots of us have it, and are used to it. But a light bulb went off for me saying, "Do you realize that you are promised to have the Holy Ghost to be with you at all times as a CONSTANT COMPANION when you are doing what is right?" It is easy for us to give the adversary more power than he deserves. Giving into our weaknesses and our short comings. Yes, we have them, but we have the tools to overcome them. We need to have confidence in that power. We need to have confidence in our testimonies. Confidence in the atonement, and that through Jesus Christ we can change for the better. He is the only one that can change our hearts. I felt like my Spirit was going through the ultimate pump up speech before the big game.

Can I just say, the real life version was a bit crazy and not what I would have wanted to happen.  They had some tough concerns and I was pleading for the Spirit. I gave it all I could. It might not have been what I wished would of happened, but I knew that the Spirit was helping me get out the message.

And even though, I walked out of there more worried then when I walked in. The Lord in his grace, gave me a tender mercy the next day in Sacrament Meeting. One of the counselors in the Bishopric, started off his testimony talking about the opposition he has felt. BOOM! Just what had been on my mind the day earlier. Maybe I wasn't so crazy after all? And then the lady we taught went up and bore her testimony about the opposition we had counseled her on the day earlier. She came up to me and was shocked at how the Spirit worked and it was just what she needed to hear. It really hit me that Heavenly Father knows all, and has a plan. We just need to trust in its power to lead us. Not every time I teach, do I feel good about what happened, or that it was right. But I need to trust that if I am doing all I can to be obedient and read my scriptures and pray for these people, I am being lead to what needs to be said. It was a good lesson for me to learn this week.

This work really is bigger than us all. I can't wrap my mind around it all, but it is exciting. It is real. The restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ really happened, and gosh are we lucky to be a part of the  Lord's work. I hope that we are all making an effort to stand as witnesses of Christ. I love the quote from Jabari Parker that President Monson used in his talk in the Priesthood Session that goes along the lines of, "Just be the same person in the dark that you are in the light." By doing that, we can all grow and be the person we always wanted to be. I love you all, and I sure love all the people supporting me and writing me letters. It makes a missionaries life!!! 

Have a good week:)

P.S. I got a haircut