Monday, October 27, 2014

Nashville Tribute: Sinners Welcome!

Hello family, and my dearest friends! 

I just want you to know right off the bat that I LOVE YOU'NS! You'ns is a southern word that this town is teaching me. It is more Southern than y'all but it means the same thing. My Southern accent is really coming along. I said, "fixin to" the other day without even thinking about it. Oh boy, a whole new side of Sister Frampton is coming out. 

This week was just too awesome, in a funky way. We have been able to organize the area really well now, and have a plan of attack. We had so many great plans for this week, and we wanted to get way more members teaching with us than ever before, but golly, the Lord taught us instead that it is not our plan, but His. My companion got pretty sick. She was miserable--but so positive and still great to be around--so we didn't get to spend as much time out and about as we would have liked, but the Lord still helped us as we prayed for His guidance. 

To give you'ns a sense of this town, it is a retirement community of really humble people. They are the sweetest, kindest things, but have a hard time making it to church because everything hurts, and they are tired. Gosh, I have really been reflecting on what it means to endure to the end. I thought enduring 20 years was good, but these folks have me beat!! And the way you teach out here is so different than in the city. It's a lot slower pace, and its all about LOVE. Just purely LOVING them and creating a spiritual environment with them. It's really sweet. I am grateful the Lord is allowing me to be humbled, and see these people with different eyes. I love them A LOT already. 

Friday night there was a special event going down in the stake. Yep, the Nashville Tribute Band was coming to play a free concert! If you don't know who they are, they are a famous gospel music band to the missionaries, because that's what we are allowed to listen to on our missions. So, we took our investigator, Nick, who is set to get baptized in two weeks, and his girlfriend Carly. And our new convert, Tammy came too. It was so awesome. They sound amazing in real life, and they had all the missionaries gather before the show and say a prayer with the band members. And then, during the concert, they had all the missionaries in the audience come up and sing songs from the "Work" and "Called to Serve" CD. It was so wild. Dan Truman and Jason Deere are the nicest! It was a really awesome experience. I had a hard time holding in my excitement and not dancing and yelling. I don't know how others hold it in. Life if great, let's show it right? (Except when you are a missionary..he he)

Our investigator, Nick has SUCH A SOLID TESTIMONY! We bonded over his love for X-Men. He is pretty much like Garrett, it is freaky. The Southern version of Garrett. 

Carly and Nick Sturgill

Anyways, we met this lady and her two-year old son last week. We went back to see if she read the Restoration Pamphlet we gave her, and I was floored. SHE ACTUALLY DID! And remembered lots, and said that even though it was different, it felt right! Did you hear that, it felt right. I could hardly keep my smile back. We went through and taught her the restoration and asked her to read some of the Book of Mormon and pray about it. She said, "I don't need to pray about it, I can feel the Spirit in my heart telling me it's true." THESE SPIRITUAL GIANTS. I do not have that kind of faith, I love it. And then she and her son came to the trunk or treat/chili cook-off our ward put on on Saturday night for everyone. It was a huge competition with everyone in the ward. It's known for the best Southern Chili. They had judges and everything. And there were so many non-members, less-actives, and inactives there. About as many as there were members. I was shocked. People came out of the woods for some chili. It was a huge success. And it was so fun to see people we have been working with for a while come! That is my favorite thing about this ward. They welcome everybody in. And don't judge. And people can feel that, and come on in. 

Then, Sunday was ward conference and they moved church back an hour, and everybody came. WHAT!!! The room was packed. Usually there are about 50-70 people in Sacrament. There was 104 at church Sunday. My companion and I kept dropping our jaws at who we saw walk through the doors. All I have to say is church needs to be at 10. I am seriously going to push that with the Bishop. ha ha It was a really powerful meeting. The stake president gave a great talk and quoted Elder Meredith who said, "Our church sign shouldn't say VISITORS WELCOME, but should say, SINNERS WELCOME, because that's what we all are." So true. So TRUE!! 

I can't really describe all of the good things that happened and the good relationships that are building. Sister Clyde and I are really doing everything in our power to love these people and help them come closer to Christ. Ah, I'm excited about it. Bishop is a whole new person since the baptism. He is joking with us, and is so happy! He keeps saying, "you are guys are wonderful. Air five, front five, back five." (with his hand in the air) Oh, its too classic, but probably not as funny in writing. 

So I had an amazing realization at district meeting this week. We had a training about teaching with sincerity, and it hit my heart so hard. Our District Leader had all of us break off in twos and teach our companion the plan of salvation in 5 minutes. Went great. Then he had us ponder on someone in our family or one of our friends that mean the world to us. It was cool to hear who each person looked up to in their family. Then he said, "Now, pretend that this person has never heard of the gospel, or doesn't have it in their lives, now teach them the plan of salvation." It was a totally different experience because you teach it with so much more love, emotion and sincerity. Then he made the point that everyone we meet is our brother and sister. They are our family. And we need to teach them the same way and love them the same way as we would our family. I don't know if I had ever fully realized that before. Am I teaching these folks like I would my family? I should and I am going to make even more of an effort to do so. What a beautiful way to look at the world all the time, like we are family! 

I'm so grateful for my mission and all that the Lord is trying to teach me. My thick head will get it one day. I love all of you, and just remember, the gospel is REAL!! Use it every day, for everything. Nothing else works:) 

Sister Frampton 

P.S. Can you find David Archuleta?

Monday, October 20, 2014

Guess who came to my birthday party! David Archuleta!!!

Oh my goodness, what a wild week. Yep, so many good things to tell ya'll. I am 20 . . . AHHH . . . who ever thought I would be this old?

First off, funny story: Our investigator GOT BAPTIZED this Saturday. She is so humble and awesome. We had a lesson with her Monday night of last week, and talked all about the commandments. At the end of the lesson, I went up to hug her. Keep in mind, I no longer do my hair or wear make-up--I LOVE the COUNTRY! But anyways, she says, " I just have to tell you, you look just like the PICTURE OF JESUS." What did she say? I was thinking that she probably thought I have Christlike attributes or something, but she went on to say, "The way your hair looks, and your eyes, it looks just like Jesus." I can't get over it still. Too funny. Mission moment to remember forever. 

The rest of the week was spent teaching and trying to find people around. Golly, our area is so big, we are in the car a lot. It takes about an hour to get most places in our area. I am still getting used to it, but I feel like I am ready to learn new things here, and I am so grateful for that. We also had to prepare for our investigator's baptism, so, that was an adventure. The ward hasn't had a baptism here in a LONG TIME--a couple of years at least, and so no one could remember how to do a baptism. It was an interesting experience, but we figured it all out, and it was awesome. 

Thursday night the ward has a movie night where they show church films, and our investigator came. Guess what we got to watch? God's Not Dead. It was awesome. I don't know if ya'll have seen it, but go and watch it. That is the most Southern movie, and explains my mission life! I was so pumped by the end. It made me really realize that is important to never deny your faith. Even in little ways. To constantly have integrity and be open about what you believe. That is the only way you can truly help people, by being open and real. This is what my new companion lives by. She hates when people aren't real. Satan wants us to hide our problems, God wants us to work through them. She is teaching me so much, and I love it. 

This whole week did not feel like my birthday. Seriously, it was so weird. For the first time in my life, I had no burning desire to celebrate myself. I know right?  I did get the package and the letters. THANK YOU SOOO MUCH!!! It meant so much to me, and really felt so good to hear from ya'll. 

Friday night we met a family that let us right in and teach the restoration. It was such a MIRACLE! And they got it! They totally got it, and the Spirit was so strong. And while teaching, they didn't even think Joseph Smith was weird. They felt so prepared. We are going back this weekend. Pray that they will still be open to the gospel. I feel good about them. Oh, thank you, Father. 

Then Saturday it was our investigator's big day! Golly, we were so excited. We had the programs all made. We cleaned the church and the font so it would all be ready. We got to the church around 2 o'clock to start filling up the font, and OH MY!! The pipes had not been used in so long, or something, because the water was GREEN and dirty and murky. Oh my gosh, we were freaking out. We tried filling it up twice, and we just got to a point where we had to just run with it.

Jamestown baptism experience, that's for sure.  I had to go down in the font and unplug the water stop n my skirt and everything. Too funny.

When our investigator arrived she was so ready. So HAPPY. She didn't care. She has been waiting for this day for a while. Her conversion is the most spiritual conversion I have ever witnessed. And its because even though she doesn't have all the worldly knowledge, she gets the Spirit. And when she prays, she knows who she is talking to. And when she reads the scriptures, she knows whose words they are. It's quite humbling and amazing. I don't know why most of us don't rely more on the Spirit for our faith. Well, at least me. Truly, the only one who can tell you the truth of all things is God. 

When our investigator went down in the water she looked determined, like she had worked so hard to get to this point. And when she came up out of the water I have never seen so much rejoicing in someone's eyes and heart. She threw her arms up in pure joy, and I'm sure she held back a few "Hallelujah's and Praise the Lords!" It was like a relief moment of "YES, I AM CLEAN. I AM CLEAN!" (Ironic, huh?) And then she rested her hands on top of her head, like you do at the end of a marathon, with a smile. Oh, how I hope never to forget that sight. 

Sister Clyde and I sang, "How great thou art" and were praying for the help of angels, because we aren't the best singers, but we did it, and she loved it. Her face said it all. Oh, I love that woman! What a great day. She didn't even care that the water was green and that the refreshments were Cheetos. It was a great thing for me to see, and to learn from. We sometimes let putting on a show mentality take away from the ordinance, which is the most important part. 

Well, then of course, came Sunday. Yep, Sunday, my 20th birthday. It was very surreal. Like, this isn't my birthday, but it is.  For the first time, I think, I prayed and thanked God for the past 20 years and all that He has blessed me with. Gosh, the Lord is so merciful and has been so patient with me. I've had so many great birthdays, and have had so much help along the way from wonderful family and friends.Thanks for all your support. 

The ward was so nice to me. They sang to me in Relief Society. It'S about 15 people big, and all are over the age or 55, but they sang to me. I wanted to cry, it was so touching that they knew and brought chocolates. A few ladies came up and hugged me, saying, "This is from your Mom." I thought you would like that Mom. I am sure falling in love with these people fast. I sure hope I can stay here longer than six weeks. 

Right after church we headed down to Madison, three hours away, to a special mission meeting. Everyone had to come, but no one knew why. Everyone thought the prophet was coming or something. We drove down to the meeting with Sister Hargadon and Hulme and my district leader. They were so sweet and sang to me in the car. It was so great when we got there because I got to see ALL of my companions. They wished me happy birthday and we got to talk. 

Sister Rokovitz

Sister Gates and I share a birthday! 

And now for the moment you have all been waiting for. The special guest speaker was DAVID ARCHULETA!!!!! I was dying. All the missionaries were dying. It was so cool. He is literally such a great person, inside and out. He sang us three songs, and answered any questions we had for him. He was super open about his personal life, and his mission. He served in Chile and was bore his testimony in Spanish. Oh, the Spirit was so strong, I thought of Zach the whole time, and everything he said, was like an answer to my prayer. He loved his mission, and had great advice to help me gain some perspective back. 

Gosh, and we got back to the Sisters Apartment at 11 p.m. and so we spent the night there because we still lived another hour away. So, my birthday was very blessed. I got to spend it with a great ward, a great companion, David Archuleta, AND have a sleepover. That never happens. So fun! 

I am so grateful for the amazing people and experiences I have had these past 20 years. Gosh, it's meant the world. I'm so grateful to have a testimony of this gospel, that gives me hope to continually change, and continually find strength in the atonement. Ah, what a wild adventure huh? 

I love you ALL!!!! 



Sister Frampton

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Twilight Zone!

Seriously, seriously, I had the most different, crazy, weird, back-in-time adventure this week. I think I somehow have entered . . . THE TWILIGHT ZONE!!! It's a dream come true. 

Jamestown, oh Jamestown--I love it. But golly, its like I am in a new country. I am on the very edge of the mission, and there aren't even cell phone towers here, so we never have service. EVER. Not even in our apartment. And there are no such things as garbage men, or trash cans. We have to drive our trash to a dumpster, but most people just burn it in their back yard. Oh my, I am in the sticks. It is awesome! Seriously, the town square is less than a mile, and its within walking distance from our home. I found Mark Twain Park. 

There are so many winding, country roads, with gorgeous red, yellow and orange trees everywhere. All of the houses are humble and far apart. It's the exact opposite of all of my other areas. 

Get this! I got to hold a squirrel. And I even KISSED it! One of my investigators is raising squirrels. I was dying. Also, everyone has guns, and loves to talk about their guns. And they have such strong Southern drawls, and they talk so quickly. And they talk A LOT! I have never had to work so hard to actually get a word in. It looks like my dream to become a Southern Missionary is about to come true. 

What else? I got car sick for the first time in forever because all of the canyon windy roads, driving to part of our area. It takes 2 hours about to get from one end of our area to the other. It is huge!!! And I also met and talked to my first Amish person. They are everywhere, riding their horses and buggy, and there are even signs on the roads telling you to watch out for them. I will send a picture to you all some time. 

It is a very humble area, and no one is busy. It's shocking. People are almost always home, and welcoming. Golly, I don't know what to do with myself. Seriously, it's so slow pace. Everyone in the ward is Grandma and Grandpa's age. There are only 2 young women, and no young men. Hardly any in primary. My companion told me, the moment you come to Jamestown, you inherit millions of grandparents. yah!

And something I am excited about, is that my companion has so much motivation to help this area, and is so nice to me. We just get along great. I love her a lot. We have good feelings about this transfer. 

Our investigator is the most humble person I have ever met. She is so sensitive to the Spirit and will be getting baptized this Saturday. We went over to teach her this week, and she said she was praying on her knees, just crying to know if this was the true church, or if she should go the church close to her house. It was raining all morning, and we can only teach her outside, so we wouldn't be able to go over if it kept raining. MIRACLE: It stopped raining, and cleared right up for us to go and teach her, and she said that's when she knew that this was the true church. It was so powerful, all she wants is to stand in front of Heavenly Father, and have him say, "Well Done, my child." Ah, I am so blessed to be apart of her life, and am so excited for her baptism. 

We have been working really hard to pump this area UP! There has been a lot of discouraging things going on in the ward, because it is shrinking fast, and so I have felt so strongly that it is time to really ignite the fire here in this ward. This Sunday a member was giving a talk and he finished it with this story:

There once was a really small town, with only one church in it. One day, it caught on fire and everyone from the town ran out to come and help water it down. Some came just to watch what was going on. The preacher was amazed. He said, "I didn't know so many people lived in this town. Why haven't they ever come out to the church before?" A man answered back and said, "Because the church has never been on FIRE before."

It hit my heart so hard. I felt so strongly that Jamestown Ward needs to start a fire, not literally of course, but really start burning brightly again. So, my companion and I are determined. We are really trying to give this area all we got, and let the Lord help us with the rest. 

Even though it was hard to leave my last area, and I am still adjusting quite a bit, and trying to get the hang of the culture here, I feel very strongly that this is where I am supposed to be at this time. And I am so grateful, that the Lord has a plan for me here on my mission. I feel like I will be learning some very important life lessons here. Ah, and the holiday season is on its way . . . and I am turning 20 in less than a week. Oh, I am so old. But I am very hopeful for this transfer and hope that I can overcome a lot of my fears. I am reading the New Testament right now, and Jesus always taught, "Be not afraid, only believe." I love that.  By golly, I will increase my faith and lose my fear if it kills me.

Jamestown, here I come! 

Monday, October 6, 2014

Jamestown: Finding Joy in the Journey!

I got transferred AGAIN!!! I am going to Jamestown, Tennessee, which is on the border of our mission,and absolute COUNTRY! I have wanted to go out to the sticks my whole mission, so that is a plus, but when the president called I just sank to the floor and sat there, HEART BROKEN! I was just in shock. AGAIN? AGAIN? What is the Lord's plan for me? Maybe he keeps breaking my heart, to let me know that all I need is a contrite Spirit and I am good to go. :)
I am all packed up again, and ready to start a new journey. A new adventure. My new companion's name is Sister Clyde and she was also trained by Sister Hargadon. Sister Hargadon will be in my district, so the family is coming back together. Let's pray President will let me stay there for a while. Crossing my fingers. Looks, like Zach and I are on the same path. He's on his way to Chile and I am on my way to the real South. Wish me luck! 

My week was amazing. On Monday night my Ward Mission Leader set up a concert for a Mormon string band called CrossStrung.

They play gospel songs and stuff. So, we got one of our investigators to come and he LOVED IT!! He was singing along, and we were having a great time. It was total fiddle country music, and I loved it. The mission has changed my heart ha ha. I swear I had more fun the all of the other YSA kids there. They were all hooked to their phones. Real life is such a fun sucker. Everyone, get off your phones and enjoy some FIDDLE MUSIC. Ha ha

Tuesday was SUCH A MIRACLE OF A DAY! We got to watch Meet the Mormons, which is sooo good. And guess what, my first companion, Sister Hargadon is IN THE MOVIE! Yep, she is that cool. You all have to go see it.

Then, I went on an exchange with a Spanish Sister in Mt. Juliet. My HOMELAND! MY BIRTHPLACE!! It was seriously so awesome. I taught half of the lessons in Spanish and half in English. I could actually understand the Spanish, and it made me think of Zach. I felt like I was in his shoes for a day. The Spanish people are literally so humble and kind and AWESOME! They lived in such meager, humble circumstances and they had such faith. Zach, you are going to LOVE CHILE! I also, couldn't say much to them because my Spanish is horrible, so I would bear my testimony and my companion would translate it into Spanish for me. It was rough to be unable to communicate. (Zach, you got this! Bear your testimony, that's all they need.) 

I also got to see some of my families from Mt. Juliet. I saw Jamie get off the school bus, and I yelled out, "JAMIE!!" Coolest 14 year old boy there is. I love that family! 

I also got to see my peeps, the Hendricks family. They have the best energy! I walked in, and they didn't know it was me because the lights were off and they were watching TV. I said, "You don't know who I am, do you?" They all looked up with a shocked expression and they all start yelling and hugging me.   Moments like these make the mission worth it. They yelled, "ITS THE ORIGINAL JESUS GIRL!" Ha ha. Then they grabbed my hands and said, "will you say a prayer for us?" It was just such a cool experience. I read them a scripture and committed them to come to church again, and read the Book of Mormon seriously. The 15-year-old daughter, whom I ADORE, kept looking at me and saying, "There is something different about you." I told her I was aging and she laughed, and said that the light that I carried was stronger. It really meant so much to me. 

Mt. Juliet caused me to reflect because everyone I saw that knew me 10 months ago kept saying how much I had changed, and how much more I talked. They said I was more confident. Sometimes you forget where you started from.

The rest of the week was full of miracles. One of my investigators committed to live the word of wisdom, and he is such a boss!  He told us this week, that this is the longest he was ever gone since he was 12 without drinking coffee. BOOYAH! He wants to get baptized, but his family is opposing Christianity in general. Pray that his family's heart will soften. He needs the gospel. He just LOVES it!

Ah, golly, Conference was too good! Gosh, its like the Super Bowl for missionaries. I was so into it, even though I felt so sad about transfers.

One thing that helped me was that I read a talk by President Monson, called "Finding Joy in the Journey." It is really good. It's in the October 2008 conference. He quotes the Roman philosopher Horace, “Whatever hour God has blessed you with, take it with grateful hand, nor postpone your joys from year to year, so that in whatever place you have been, you may say that you have lived happily.”

That really hit me. We never know how much time we have anywhere so we can't put things off until later. We need to enjoy now and make the most of it. And you know what, in my heart I feel like Jamestown is where I need to go. I can feel good leaving here because I worked my very hardest here. I learned SO MUCH HERE! And there were so so so many miracles. Probably more miracles than any other area thus far. I have had more investigators progressing here than ever. I am sad to leave them, but they will be taken care of. There is nothing I would take back. 

One of the members comforted me by telling me, "This is the best the missionary work has looked in our ward in a long time. What you needed to do must have been accomplished. It's time for you to go to Jamestown." 

That meant a lot to me. 

I am doing well today. I am ready. And most of all, I am willing.  


Sister Frampton