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.
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!!!