Monday, October 5, 2015

When you feel His love, you are never the same

Hello my beautiful family! 

What an exciting week (mostly day) for the Franklin family! Welcome to the worlds best family Grey :) He is so loved already, and literally came right from heaven. So amazing! 

I don't know if my week was quite as exciting as our new member to the fam, but it was still a great week and conference made it even better. Everyone feel free to tell me your faves. I don't know if I can choose just one, they all said something that I needed to hear. But three that I did love were Christofferson, Eyring, and Uchtdorf. It hit me hard this weekend how amazing it is that we have the prophet and his apostles not only to guide us, but the fact that we get to hear from them as much as we do. It truly is modern day scripture. Such a blessing and part of the reason I put that as my subject line. We have all felt His love, and because of it we have all been changed by His love. Prophets and apostles are proof of His love and we should apply every little thing they tell us because it truly is from our Heavenly Father.

Another reason that is my subject is because Drew's baptism is on Saturday (!!!) and Sister Call and I are singing. That line is from 'Come unto Christ' and that's what we are singing so hopefully all goes well. Drew is doing as good as ever! Last week when we taught the law of chastity and word of wisdom, she didn't bat an eye. The law of chastity she kind of laughed and said 'you don't gotta worry about me for that one' and then the word of wisdom she was like well I do drink a cup of coffee every morning.. we were like oh great. But then she continues and says 'but I don't really care, I think this is more important so that should be pretty easy to do, yeah you know what I can do that!' haha She is so great and I really have come to love her and I am SO excited to see her enter the waters of baptism on Saturday. 

We saw a cool miracle on Friday last week. We went to visit this lady named Melodie. We ran into her a couple weeks ago when we went to visit a less active. Turns out the less active moved and Melodie now lives there. She let us right in so we thought she was a member too. She's not, but we gave her a BoM and got her number. We called her a week later and she was out of town but said she'd call us. and guess what? She called us!! That never happens. She called and said 'I just got back in town and couldn't remember when ya'll said you wanted to stop by?' We were so excited!! So we went to see her on Friday. She said she was searching probably 4 or 5 times throughout the lesson. What better way to share the gospel than to someone who is looking for the truth? it was so cool and I'm excited to see where it goes :) She travels a lot for work so that might be hard, but it'll work out! 

We have gotten a few referrals the past couple weeks and we are excited to be able to visit them. It's been hard to get in touch with them, but one of them we visited we are seeing again on Thursday! We told her we had gotten a referral online to come see her and she laughed and she was like, " oh it was probably my cousins in Utah. haha Utah has such a Mormon rep, especially out here, I love it. 

After hearing Holland's talk, I had a cool experience that night. I prayed (out loud) and as I was praying, I got the impression to pray to have my kids help me out when I'm struggling. It brought a new perspective as I thought about my future kids cheering me on up there. It was so cool, and of course made me grateful for MY mom and the other moms in my life that are such good examples to me. 

Well everyone, I love you and I hope you know that. one of the talks this weekend said 'those who truly love us will help us strengthen our faith' and you all have strengthened mine SO much. This weekend also reminded me how grateful I am to be able to be with you all forever! We have felt His love, and we are not the same because of it!! 
Have an incredible week and tell baby Grey I love him every day! :)
xo sister franklin

Scatter Sunshine Socks
Devon Tower

Monday, September 28, 2015

hey everyone! 

Bad news..I have to keep stopping myself from saying "ya'll"  it's happening! haha I have said it maybe twice since I've been here and it just doesn't sound or feel natural but I guarantee I'll start saying it on a regular basis pretty soon. But anyway, it was a great week here in Mustang, as usual! 

Drew is such a champ! I was going to take a picture with her this week but I totally forgot. This week we taught her the Plan of Salvation and some of the doctrine of Christ and she just loves all of it. She is the definition of a "golden investigator", if I haven't said that enough :) We asked her to read Alma 7 and the next time we saw her and asked if she had read it, she's like yeah, 3 times!! Then she went on to tell us what the chapter was about. I wish someone could have taken a picture at that moment of mine and Sister Call's faces. haha We were so happy because we could tell she really had read it and understood it! Ahh,  feels so good!

We had a cool experience the other day. we went over to the Stott's (members) house for dinner. We got there and sister Stott said it wouldn't be ready for another half hour so we told her we would be back. She told us to go visit her neighbors that she had been trying to talk to. So we went and knocked on their door and they were so happy to see the Mormon missionaries and both happily accepted a Book of Mormon. They can't wait to meet with us tomorrow to learn more. :) As if that wasn't already cool, it was even cooler to be able to go back and share that little miracle with the Stotts! I really feel like we are getting the trust of the members, and they actually know who we are. It feels so good and I love them all so much already. 

We had zone conference this week and it was so great. Our Stake President came and told us his vision for the stake and it was really cool. Then of course President Walkenhorst talked to us. He is such a cool guy. He is so laid back in the sense that he wants us to figure things out for ourselves, but yet he makes you want to be the best missionary you can be. I don't know it's hard to explain but I love him, he is such a good guy. 

So it turns out, coming on a mission doesn't make you perfect. weird right? I struggle with not feeling good enough and it seems like I realize a weakness every day. I know that is partially a good thing, but we need to remember that if it starts making us feel bad about ourselves, it's from Satan. Humility is something I have noticed I really need to work on, so if anyone has any scriptures, talks or quotes or anything to share, I would love it. That is also something President focused on, was letting go of pride. Easier said than done but we can't do it without His help, hence the subject of this week's email :) 

Today we went with an investigator to the OKC Zoo. It was a good time! Apparently a popular place for us "Mormons". Tons of people were like 'Hey Sisters!' and in Oklahoma if they say that, you KNOW they are members, so it was fun. We even gave away a Book of Mormon! 

As you all already know, Womens Conference was amazing! One thing that made me realize how cool conference is out here was the closing song  'Go Forth with Faith'  because those words were hitting me so strong. It made me realize we are all part of this work, even if we haven't been 'called' on a mission. We were called to this earth to help his children return to him by helping them Come unto Christ. 

The other thing I LOVED... was Linda S. Reeves, when she said 'was that all that was required?' That was so powerful and I felt the spirit testifying that it was so true. We are going to get up there and realize He asked so little of us down here. I love all of you. and I want you to know that being able to tell you about my week is a pump up for me and testimony builder. I truly wouldn't be here without you guys, and I mean that. I cant wait for conference! Someone told me the last time they called 3 apostles was like 1906 or something. So this is a pretty big deal. So cool that we have prophets and apostles on the earth. I think we sometimes take it for granted, but it is basically like our Heavenly Father talking to us. So cool! Anyway, in case you forgot, I love every single one of you. thank you for your prayers and support. have a wonderful week! 
xo sister franklin

                                              My attempt to show you how beautiful the sunsets are!

                                                        TWO MONTHS!!! (what?!)
                                                              A picture at the zoo!
 This was at the zoo, and I had to take it for obvious reasons :) I can't believe how many butterflies I see everywhere!

Monday, September 14, 2015

hey familia! 
pretty sure i say this every week but we saw so many miracles, heavenly father is blessing us so much. where to start? 

i guess i will begin with the most exciting news. we set a baptismal date!! her name is drew, and she is like 60. she and her boyfriend came to church a couple weeks ago (he is a member but just not active) and she's not a member. she commented in gospel principles and wore her cross and is just super religious. we got her number and went over on wednesday with sister tucker and taught her the restoration. she nodded her head the whole time and just agreed that it all made sense. toward the end of the lesson my heart was beating really hard and loud (like when i know i should bear my testimony at church) and i knew i needed to invite her to baptism. so i waited for sister call to finish her thought and then i bore testimony and invited her to be baptized. she's like sure i will definitely do that. i couldn't help but smile! it was so great! we are meeting with her again tomorrow and i am so excited to see her learn more and more about this wonderful gospel :) 

another great thing that happened this week was ronnie. he came to church yesterday and the elders told us that in priesthood when he introduced himself he said that he hoped to be here many more sundays. he is so cool. last night we went over and taught him and his nephew jay the restoration and again they just nod (or say amen cause he's ronnie) and agree that it all makes sense. i'm excited for them too. they both agreed to read 2 nephi 31 and i know they both felt the spirit so strong! 

next cool thing from this amazing week was debbie. we knocked into her a couple weeks ago. it was actually kind of cool. there was a car and in my mind for some reason i said if they pull into that house we'll go knock it. sure enough thats where she pulled in. so i told sister call and we walked over. she talked to us forever and was just so nice and invited us back. so this week we went over with a sister in our ward who served her mission in new york. after the first vision, she shared her testimony about how cool it was standing in that very grove and how she could never deny that joseph smith was a prophet. it was so powerful and we were all crying. i cry a lot more ever since i've been out here. not sure how i feel about that but whatever, i guess i'll just have to accept it :) 

transfers are this week and me and sister call got the call last night that we are both staying here! we were both super excited to hear that because of the progress we have been making together in mustang. this place is so great, i love it. i know i'm supposed to be here, and i absolutely love the ward! they love the missionaries and love being able to share the missionary moments they have too. we visit quite a few less actives every week and i love/hate it. haha i feel like we are helping but majority of them have testimonies but just dont see the need for chuch.. which i have a hard time understanding because i love church! but i need to remember that i am here to invite others to come unto christ. so grateful for this work, it is amazing. thank you for your prayers and support. i have never felt so loved :) and i hope you know i pray for you guys just as much, and hope you feel of my love because its never been stronger. sorry i didn't plan very well today and am out of time just like that. i hope you guys have an incredible week! 
xo sister franklin
Our zone leader that goes home this week Elder Bueno
                                                late night selfie in the streets (aka 8:30)

Monday, August 10, 2015

Hot, humid & happy

hello hello everyone! 

emailing is hard because so many things can happen in a week.. but i'll try my best. so we got here on tuesday and literally the second I stepped off the plane and took a breath I could feel the difference in the air. its not quite as bad as I thought but so much different than good old utah. speaking of utah, every time I tell people that's where I'm from, they kind of roll their eyes.. like oh of course. hahah sorry not sorry okies. tuesday night we all met with pres walkenhorst  for like 2 minutes each so it wasn't much but still enough to tell that hes a great guy. 

oh and my bike!! holy! thats so nice guys, you better believe I'm bringing that home. we are in a car right now, thank heavens because it is ridiculously hot. but we also have limited miles so we have to be careful. 

so we didn't meet our trainers and all that until wednesday and my trainer is sister call. she is from spokane washington and comes from a family of 9 kids!! crazy huh? she is a great missionary though. she's been out 6 months and one of the first things she said was that we were going to learn together, not just her 'training' me. shes a cutie. hahaha I love it.  these members are so awesome though. before every meeting (besides sacrament) they ask for missionary experiences from the members and they don't start until they hear a few. how awesome is that? they are all so nice and have such strong testimonies. thursday we do our normal morning schedule which is:

6:30-7 work out, 7-8 eat and get ready, 8-9 personal study, 9-10 comp study. and then we do weekly planning for like 2 hours! I was not expecting that but I totally see why its necessary. president told us that the reason we do weekly planning on thursdays is because every thursday morning the first presidency and the quorum of the 12 go into the temple and pray specifically for the missionaries so we have some extra help that day you could say :) isn't that the coolest thing ever? I sure think so! oh also.. the first day with my trainer and stuff, we taught a lesson AND went and talked to the young women about being on a mission.. welcome to the field sister franklin! I felt so dumb kinda.. I'm like well, this is my first day but the mtc was great? haha they asked a few questions that I could answer though so it was still good. there is a family getting baptized on saturday, (the mom) asked me to speak on her baptism. I'm like, you know you don't have to choose us? because she asked sister call to do the talk on the holy ghost. and shes like well duh but I want you to. shes like I know you're new and have only taught me like 2 lessons but I love you already. shes hilarious and SUCH an okie talker. which just means, we have the hardest time keeping her focused because she can talk..for like forever. but she's got such a strong testimony, I'm excited for their family. they already have the date set to receive their endowment and be sealed because they are so pumped to go through the temple. its like the year mark of their baptism, to the day. they already get how big of a deal the temple is!

so for the most part, the elders in our area took all of our investigators because they had to split the 1st area and they took all of the ones the sisters before had so that's a bummer. but that just means more finding for us! (president doesn't like the t word...tracting) its finding with faith. so we go to a neighborhood in our area and start knockin. theres plenty of people that just say no thanks I'm not interested but theres a few that let us at least explain who we are and what the heck we are doing sweating our guts out in the middle of the day. 

I had my very first bashing experience and oh man it was something else. she was on our list of unknowns, which just means shes either a nonmember or a less active so we went to find out. she took a look at our nametags and said get off my property I want nothing to do with that cult. so we were about to do just that until her daughter came around the corner and they just had to explain everything wrong with the church. the reason I say bashing experience and not bible bashing is because she didn't pull out ANY scripture, just sat there bashing on 'us Mormons.' it bugged, I won't lie. me and sister call just stood there and listened for a few minutes and could not find a 3 second gap in her rant to say okay we're gonna go. she was so crazy. and so many times I thought of a comment to say to her but me and sister call were talking about how her heart is SO closed off, its not worth it to put another bad taste in her mouth about us. after we finally left we started talking about it and it made us so grateful to know what we know. I asked sister call if we could say a prayer because after that I just wasn't feeling the spirit.. for obvious reasons, so we did and both got emotional and felt so happy to know the church is true. as we were walking up to the next house I saw a white butterfly and started to cry all over again. chels and my father in heaven knew that I needed that right then and there. 

I have seen a butterfly every day but one. it was the first thing I saw when we walked out of the church on the first day and I was amazed at how big of a comfort that was. mission life is hard, we are on the go 24/7 and every hour is planned out but there is something so fulfilling about walking around, FINDING, as we are hot and sweaty. something sister call says a lot at doors is that we would not be away from our homes for 18 months, and walking around in the heat if the book of Mormon and the gospel hadn't blessed our lives. and how true that is! 

the night we came to meet the bishop, there just so happened to be a dad and his daughter meeting with him too. his name is R and her name is A. he just got divorced and they are both having a really hard time with it and literally came to the church looking for help. we got there and bishop was like can I borrow you sisters for a minute? and then he introduced us to them and explained their situation and said that alani preferred talking to girls and talked about how he was ready and willing to do anything and how he already felt good about it. long story short we have a lesson with them on tuesday and its going to be great. the lord definitely prepares people. 

oklahoma is hot, flat, and humid and I am so happy to be here :) haha I love you all so much more than you know and I couldn't be doing this without your love and support because its definitely hard and can be frustrating and makes you question every little thing you do but in the end, when you lay down at night, you can tell if you have given your all that day. I hope you all know how much I love you because its grown times a million being out here. sister call hears about you probably a lot more than she cares to but im not sorry..haha keep on being the best ever. love you!
xo sister franklin 

Sister Call & Sister Franklin


                                                                  mission selfie


                                                                     first purchase

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

learning, living & loving

hello everyone! first official pday and i have no idea where to start! i brought my journal with me so that i could remember some of my favorite things that i've experienced. first i'll start with my companion sister g. (yes mom the one i met on fb!) she is from idaho and she is so great and we get along really well! heavenly father knew i needed a good companion to start this journey off so we got put together. we have a lot in common.. sometimes too much because we can never make a decision. haha but couldn't ask for anyone better. our roomies are sis c and sis w and they are absolutely adorable! the day i got here i was 1 of 750 missionaries that day.. WHAT. isn't that crazy?! in total there are about 2100 missionaries here in the mtc right now. so the mtc president told us that we are literally the 2000 stripling warriors. so awesome. the first song we sang was helamans army and you know when it says 'we will be the lords missionaries?' we all sang 'we are now the lords missionaries to bring the world his truth' oh my gosh i couldn't believe the spirit i felt and especially the confirmation i had that i'm exactly where i'm supposed to be. 
satan hasn't given up on me and probably wont. i had a day where i felt like i am so not good enough to be here, so i prayed to my heavenly father and the next day was wonderful! we are so lucky we can call home whenever we want! and he directed me to the scripture that says we need to have perfect faith not perfect knowledge, which is what i need to keep reminding myself of. an area seventy came and talked to us on sunday and he said that because we are on missions we are officially an enemy to satan, and that means we are at war and should be ready to battle with him 24/7. as strange as it sounds, that was a huge comfort to me because teaching is hard stuff.
so my district! me and sis g are the only sisters in our district which at first we were bummed about but now i'm glad because we get along so well not just with each other but with all of the elders too. as a district we sometimes have a hard time staying focused because we're friends now but we're working on it. i met my branch president sometime last week. (don't remember the day because time is really weird in the mtc) but anyway his name is pres h and he is an amazing guy. when he interviewed me, he said that i need to be in the book of mormon everyday so that i can be there on the hill of bountiful when christ comes. it was so powerful. when we had a zone meeting he said that 'the savior has given you all a long rope of leeway, dont screw it up and dont hang yourself.' WHOA. intense huh? that might not be the exact phrase but it was crazy spiritual. just like everything here is. 
my teacher is bro p he definitely has some good insights and has helped me grow a lot! we learned that the phrase 'be not afraid' is written 386 times in the scriptures, so pres h said 'missionaries, be not afrad.' he's awesome. 
we are teaching two women right now, trinity and erika. we have learned so much from them! with trinity we have been talking too much and not teaching enough. but with erika, we've only had one lesson and we taught her about the restoration and i asked her to be baptized.. haha who am i?! but before you freak out you should know that she knows a lot about the church from her boyfriend but.. i said 'erika, as you come to know these things are true by praying to your father in heaven, will you be baptized by someone holding the priesthood authority of god?' she responded and said 'the second i know its true, i promise i'll be baptized!' ahh! so cool. shes not even a real investigator but it feels like it. i can only imagine how it will be in the field! 
we already got out travel itinerary.. they kick us out of here fast when we're speaking english! im not complaining though. so crazy that next week i will already be out there in oklahoma.
i haven't even gotten to sunday.. ahh so many thoughts. we watched a thing from elder bednar called the character of christ and it was easily the best talk ive ever heard and apparently it can't be found anywhere except here in the mtc.. bummer because i was going to tell all of you to listen to it! it was amazing though. i learned from him that my testimony is not enough. i need to be truly converted to the lord, and thats something we all could work on. he said 'get over yourself. this mission is not about you. but as you lose yourself in others, you will find yourself when you're not looking.' it was AMAZING. 
LAST thing sorry this is forever long. today we went to the temple i felt like i could literally feel god's love pouring down on me. this place is incredible. no better army to be on than the lords army. 
im a missionary i know it i live it i love it! (see what i did there?) 
i love you all.. a lot. i miss you. but i pray for you every night. thank you for being my light and support. I LOVE YOU. talk to you next week. 
xo sister franklin 
love these sisters

sis g and i

first night at the mtc

my amazing district