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?

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