Monday, March 30, 2015

The Lord's Lemonade

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I've been pondering lots this week and, I don't know, my heart is full. Franklin can be tough for sure. Knocking doors on million dollar homes, and trying to fit into people's busy life can be a heavy task. It sure is helping me learn to trust in the Lord. I swear He has a sense of humor. We have made a steady effort to tract and to weed through past investigators and such, and from what we could see, we were making our teaching pool smaller and not bigger. And then all of the sudden, AFTER THE TRIAL OF OUR FAITH, (and consoling myself with a chocolate milkshake every now and then) he placed prepared people in our path.

 "O the greatness of God!!!" It's so funny, over and over, the Lord teaches me. It's like he says something like, "Hey Sister Frampton, it's not about you. Just trust me and it will all work out!" Yep, I'm pretty sure that sums up my whole mission in a sentence.
So, Katie is a 17-year-old girl, who just miraculously showed up for church (came with her boyfriend ha), and wanted to really learn what this church was about. We taught her the restoration, and this week when we went over, she had a dream about the first vision, and woke up with the most wonderful feeling and says she knows that the restoration is true and that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God. Her mom took her church clothes shopping this week, and she is preparing for baptism. Yep . . . do you see what I am saying? Over the last few weeks, we have been teaching this family we found tracting, and my love has grown for them so much. The mom and dad are some of the most sincere and kind people I have ever met. They want a better family situation and the mom went through and marked up the Book of Mormon for her kids, bought them church clothes to feel comfortable, and has helped them to practice praying. As we taught their family, with 5 kids, the Spirit was so joyous! The 13-year-old 
pinky promised me he would pray last time I saw him. So it was his time to pray this week. He was so nervous, and he has been practicing to remember, Dear Heavenly Father and In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. And he PRAYED. And it was so good! 

Sometimes I take knowing how to pray for granted. 
We can talk to our Heavenly Dad, whenever and however. It doesn't have to be perfect, or what you think he wants to hear. You tell him what you need to say and gain a relationship with Him. That's what will help us get through this life. Ah, they were asking us so many cute questions about church and the Book of Mormon. And Sunday, they showed up all together in their cute church outfits. The dad, Johnny, he just makes my day. He has tattoos all down his arm, earrings in his ear, and the biggest smile on his face. Every time I see him, I want to yell, "Rock on Johnny!!" He is such a teddy bear on the inside. And it was about the best feeling in the world to see this family, all sitting together in a church pew. Ahhhh, I can't say I have ever seen that--a whole family of investigators taking up a church pew. Boo to the yah!!  There is also this new part-member family that moved in. They are just older then me, and just got married 6 months ago. My companion and I went on spilts and so I got to teach them with this young member couple, the Fischers. The wife has never heard much about God and prayer, and even the husband expressed his sincere desire to be better at personal prayer. There is such a difference in the Spirit when a person has sincere desire. We watched the new Easter, Because He Lives video (check it out!!) and talked about the Savior. Ah, the Spirit of love was so peaceful, and it was neat to see the Fischers bear testimony of the power of prayer. It was just a cool experience because they all really hit it off, and we're having a great time, and I was just sitting back thinking, "Thank you. Thank you." And the husband, explained how he always said family prayer growing up, but he never really was good at personal prayers. He said that that's when he felt the Spirit was when his family prayed together. And at the end of the lesson, I always offer the man of the house to pick who says the prayer, and HE VOLUNTEERED.  

 I don't know, there are definitely different daily struggles, and I could go on about the times that doors get slammed in our faces, or our investigators drop us because their pastors tell them too, but hey, I am learning that when life gives you lemons, you have to give them to the Lord, so he can make lemonade out of them. 
I'm trying to give my lemons to the Lord so that maybe we can drink lemonade together.
God Bless! Sister Frampton

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Pushing Through Molasses




So, big news. I am staying in Franklin for another transfer, which will make this my longest area so far, and ever, with the same companion!! NO WAY!!! I was shocked. Sister Lamborn will be my companion for 4.5 months. Longest companion I have ever had. We are so happy. She is the coolest thing since sliced bread. We are known now as the Frampy and Lamby team. Cheesy, I know, but still cool. 

Transfer week is always a stressful week, knowing that the future is so unknown. I don't know why I let that bother me, but hey, when you get transferred as much as me, you learn to be worried. But lo and behold, Franklin is my home for another 6 weeks. 

Some mighty miracles this week, let me tell ya. And some bad days too. But miracles override the long finding days, am I right? 

Monday night we were teaching this family. They went to their church with their new preacher and just didn't feel good there and are deciding to come to our church. We had the neatest lesson talking about the importance of the Book of Mormon, and there really was a powerful Spirit there. I take the Book of Mormon for granted all the time, but when you pause to think about it, WE ARE SO BLESSED TO HAVE MORE SCRIPTURE. Booyah! 

I got down to Thompson Station again this week. It's like my home away from home. I got to have dinner with one of my old investigators and talk to her about the gospel once again. Ah, I just love Sister Hope... it's amazing to have the opportunity to talk to all those that you meet on such a spiritual level. You really never know the Lord's plan for these people, and so its so important to try and trust in the Spirit. 


The rest of the week was kinda weird. It was spring break and no one was home, but Sister Lamborn and I were determined to stay happy.  I learned that even in the most awkward, slow paced, discouraging days, we just have to choose how to react. Most of the time, I react the wrong way, but this week we laughed, and ate loads of chocolate.

But on a happy miracle note, we had two investigators at church on Sunday. A part-member family moved into the ward last week, and they are young, and trying to make it into the music business. They are rocking awesome, and the wife, is really wanting to understand the church and what we believe in. And our new investigator, Katie, who is 17, was dating a Mormon, and came to church for the second time this week. She came running up to us and said, "THIS IS THE HAPPIEST I HAVE BEEN IN MY WHOLE LIFE. I FEEL AT HOME." I was shocked. I looked at her, and thought, "HALLELUJAH!!!" We went over to her house and taught her the restoration. Her mom is so supportive and kind to us. It was one of the best first lessons in my whole mission. So crazy, she is so prepared. And at the end, we asked her to pray, and she at first she said she didn't know how. We explained it to her, and she went for it. It was one of the most sincere prayers I have ever heard. It should have been filmed or something and put into those fancy missionary movies.  

Missionary work is just so interesting. Some days, the work flies and people listen, and other days it feels like you are pushing through molasses. I guess I am learning that there can be joy in all things and situations and it takes effort to focus on Christ. But in those moments we are one with Him, that's when our time is sacred and our hearts are spilling out with joy. 

Gosh, I have been overwhelmed too this week, with how proud I am of my brothers. All three of them. They are learning so much. I have three of the bestest friends, and am so proud of the decisions they are making. 

Thanks to all y'all who continue to support me. It makes a whole lot of difference, especially on those molasses days!!! 

Sister Frampton

Thursday, March 19, 2015

God Answers Prayers

March 9th




Hey, hey, hey! 

What a wild week. I say that every week, don't I? That is what mission life brings, what can I say! 

It's a weird time of my mission, let me tell ya--very reflective and such. I went to the temple this week and had some pretty specific questions in my heart. When I got into the temple, I decided to just flip open the scriptures and read . . . guess what I flipped open to . . . Isaiah! My first thought was, I really don't even understand Isaiah. But I decided to trust it, and read it and BOOM, God heard my prayer. In such a specific direct way, answered it. Did I tell you that it still amazes me?

God  has been answering my prayers all week. There is lady who lives in a BEAUTIFUL home built in 1894, that looks like a mini-castle decorated to perfection. Her dad loved Mormons, and knew Elder Stapley when he was alive and was given a personal Book of Mormon from him. One day, the dad was driving, and his truck got flooded by a river. He was fine, but the truck wasn't.  The only thing that survived was that Book of Mormon floating out of the river. She showed us the Book of Mormon and it barely has any water damage. Her dad always told her to protect the Mormon Bible, they call it. She came in contact with one of the missionary's grandpas out in Idaho and so we got the referral to go see her. She is awesome and a little hard of hearing. So, for some reason, older folks can't hear my voice tone. We taught her the restoration, and she had tons of great questions, but it fell to me to teach Joseph Smith's first vision. This is the most important part, so I tried to build up to the words of Joseph Smith, and I said, "I saw a pillar of light..." 

Apparently not loud enough, because she said, "What did he see?"
 
As loud as I could muster, while still being reverent, I said, " I SAW A PILLAR OF LIGHT, EXACTLY OVER MY HEAD...." 

She said, "Exactly over where?" 

So, anyway, I struggled through with hand signals and pictures. Needless to say, we laughed about it in the car afterwards. That was my first time yelling the First Vision . . . hopefully my last! 

Saturday we had a cool experience with this lady who is from Germany. She loves her church and she loves our church. Surprisingly, her favorite part of the church is Joseph Smith. She loves him!! And she called us up, and wanted us to come over. We get there, and she had read all the way up to 2 Nephi, and taken detailed notes in her study journal!!! WHAT!!??! This was her first time ever reading the Book of Mormon, and she loves it. My companion taught so well, and I yelled the rest, the best I could. We were trying to help her understand the priesthood, and baptism, and so I yelled the baptismal commitment to her. She is praying about it. I love this sweet lady, she reminds me in a cute way of my Grandma Frampton.

Sunday, was another day of miracles, but I was surprised by this one. It wasn't one I specifically prayed for, or saw coming. Every Sunday, my comp and I split up and go on exchanges with two senior missionaries that work in the office. They just make my life. And Sister Godfrey and I went and tried this lady who I had never met, and lived next door to our recent convert Tim. We never go over there, unless we go to see Tim, but I felt impressed to go see this lady. What we didn't realize is that Tim has been questioning his decision to join the church. So we were getting out of the car and I look over at Tim's and he is outside, but he is not in his wheelchair. I go up closer, and find out that his wheelchair got stuck in the mud, and so he was balancing on his one good leg, trying to push his wheelchair up a hill and out of this mud. The senior Sister and I hurried and pulled the wheelchair out of the mud, and got him back into the chair. We got buckets of water, sticks and gardening tools we found and sat there trying to dig the mud out of his wheelchair. It is the electic kind, with the motors and huge wheels. 

So this is the story Tim told us: "So, you know how I didn't come to church today, because I told you, that I had a personal commitment. I actually told another man that I would go to his church. And I loved it. The rock band was great. The people were nice. And on my way home, I prayed to God and asked him what church he wants me to go to. And then, I got stuck and y'all show up. The Lord answered my prayer. I now know that your church really is where God wants me. I was so afraid that I was wrong, and I don't want to be wrong, and so I kept questioning. But now, I know, and I feel so much comfort. I can't believe the Lord brought you here to help me."

I was shocked. That wasn't my intention at all. To find him stuck in the mud. To be an answer to His prayer. But God knew. And He made a way, for us to cross his path, and for Tim to find peace on his journey to come closer to Christ. It really humbled me. I always thought that when you were involved in seeing a miracle, you would have this feeling of, "Oh ya, I am so cool. I am awesome." Ya know, like maybe you are worth something. But that's not what it feels like at all. I can't really describe it. It is a humbling experience, because you realize that God is leading his work. Like it has nothing to do with you. You are just blessed enough to be a witness. God is so good. He answers prayers. I saw that over and over and over this week. Trusting in God, really does bring the greatest reward, because that's the time, you see His hand in your life the most. 

I love you all, and I hope that wherever you are, you can look to see how God is answering your prayer, in His timing and in His way. 

March 16th 

The sun is out and it's looking more like the beautiful Tennessee I have come to love with all my heart. It is amazing to see people actually outside, and happy. Spring is here! Spring forward is a litte rough, especially with a packed week, but hey, I survived. 

This week started off with teaching a cute family that we found a couple of weeks ago, and we finally got to sit down with them and their four kids, and teach them the Restoration. It was so awesome, and they are really interested. The pastor at their church just got voted out, so they are looking for a new one to go to. 

Tuesday, we had a big leadership meeting that lasted most of the day. I was so humbled. We learned a lot about the atonement and how to improve missionary skills. It was cool, because I have been craving a training on the atonement. I feel like it is something that I feel, but cannot explain very well. I know it works, and has changed my perspective on myself, and on this life, but it overwhelms me to try to spit it out in words. 

After the meeting, the Zone Leaders come up to me, and said, "Sister Frampton, we were thinking you could do the training on the atonement?" I said yes, but then thought, wait, I can't explain it!

After MLC that night we had a meeting with the stake president, and then a lesson, and the next morning at 9 a.m. I was supposed to have this awesome atonement training prepared. This is where Heavenly Father came in, and sent His help, just like He always does. I studied for the hour before 10:30 p.m., and woke up really early, and studied and prayed....and prayed....and prayed..... Zone Meeting happened, and I don't know how it went, but it was one of those things where I learned so much and realized God's love for all of us--all of his children. WOW. He sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to not just perform the atonement, 2,000 years ago, but so that Jesus could help us each and every day. RIGHT NOW. 

The week continued to rush forward with two exchanges in three days, with two of my very favorite missionaries. One was my past companion, Sister Slaymaker. It was so cool to really reflect on our missions and what we have learned! Oh, I admire her so much. I was really blessed to be able to be affected by wonderful missionaries. One of my heroes on the mission, Sister Dixon, who used to be my Sister Training Leader, went on an exchange with me too. She taught me so much about loving the people you serve, and being obedient.

The funny moment of the week was when I kneeled to pray before we went into a teaching appointment with my companion.  I opened my mouth to pray, and called out, "JESUS!!"  It shocked me. My companion was rolling on the floor laughing. I HAVE NEVER DONE THAT BEFORE!

Ready for a miracle? Franklin Zone is known throughout the mission as the hardest zone, and no one really likes to get sent here. Most of the areas are really hard to find people to teach. We have been working really hard to be positive and encouraging, and guess what? We got word that our zone is leading the MISSION!!!!! We usually have way lower numbers and baptisms than anywhere else, but we are leading the mission and we beat all of our records this week, by a long shot. The best this area has done in YEARS!!!!! Heavenly Father is working so hard for the people here in Franklin, all it takes is willing servants. I was dancing and screaming. We are a team, and we have all been working together. Ah, PURE JOY! Let's go Franklin! You have my heart, let's get some work done!!! 


Monday, March 2, 2015

Thank the Heavens!

Today, I feel like making this a short one. Short and sweet.


This week flew by, with two exchanges, district meeting, and a mission conference. 



Our mission is revamping Facebook, so a seventy came to our mission and trained us on how we are now going to be using our iPads and stuff. The whole mission is going on a two-month Facebook Fast. 

I really missed taking the Sacrament last week since church was cancelled. I needed a renewal, a refresh, a new start. It cracks me up that I used to love opportunities to miss church, but this week, sitting there waiting for the sacrament, it hit me: THIS IS WHAT CHURCH IS ALL ABOUT. Remembering Christ, and his sacrifice for us. And that it actually works. A spiritual cleansing is wrought in us, so that we can try again, with renewed purpose. Seriously, thank the heavens for sacrament. THANK THE HEAVENS!! 
I've been in a very reflective mood. This is a different part of my mission than I have ever faced. The world has been so far away, and now it seems like it is zooming at me at 100 miles per hour. Trying to figure out the balance between accepting real life, and focusing on the mission is trickier than I would have thought. So, I guess, I am just trying to walk where the Lord wants me to, learn what he needs me to, and make the most out of every moment. And use the atonement. 

I am so grateful that on my journey to help others come unto Christ, somehow I came closer to him as well. The atonement truly is a LIFE SAVER. 
Well, maybe it's not sweet, but it is short. And golly, if you could just see Franklin, you would feel the SWEETNESS!! #FranklinFun