Archive for September 2009

The first days..

September 28, 2009

Excerpts from his last letter:

“A lot of things are making more sense now that I’ve landed out here in the field. There are a lot of things the MTC can prepare you for and a lot it can’t.” Of his departure from the MTC, “I was the last one [from his district], it was weird and quiet and I wanted to leave. We got on the bus and my companion for the trip, Elder Burns from Idaho, went with me through the gates and checking etc. to the phones where I called home, bought a little food, talked to some people, smiled and watched people look at you and that kind of stuff. The plane ride was really quick, we were on a teeny tiny plane. Got to Tucson and met the president and Sister Walker and the assistants, looked at (real) cacti for the first time. Next morning we had our companions set and were sent off across our humongous area.”

…”After I bought a bike the rear tire went flat in a day, many many people don’t show when they say they will, a lot of others love seeing you and will talk to you forever but don’t have a place for the gospel in conversation, all the time I have very little idea what’s being said. This mission is very active and we do have a lot of ward support.”

…”A lot of times I kind of feel like I’m on the verge of getting something done but never cross over because of my limitations. My companion has been teaching a very ready family, and then has to train me. Trying to get to know members and leaders is tough. But somehow despite everything, stuff happens.”

…”I’m happy here I promise.”

He’s out!

September 22, 2009

Franklin’s finally out in the field! His first companion is a native Chilean but moved to the states when he was 13 so he speaks perfect English too. Franklin says so far, teaching in Spanish is ok but understanding can be very difficult. He’s a little intimidated for the next transfer (when missionaries are moved around and they get new companions) because his companion now has been in the same area and ward for the past 8 months and can pick up friends instantly. When he leaves, Franklin will have to do more of that on his own with a completely different companion.

More will come (this mini update is from an email)!

Almost there

September 12, 2009

Franklin heads out September 15th. He’s ready but very nervous, hoping for a good trainer and hoping that all goes smoothly at the airport. He wrote in his latest letter about how he wonders how his family came to join the church. Ancestors were once his age making the same decisions he’s making. The parallel is so close.

One other concern of Franklin’s is his ties! Worried that they won’t hold up, he’s scrambling to trade his silk ties with other ones from around the world that foreign missionaries have carried in. “I want a Tongan or Marshallese tie for sure, but I think I might have waited too long.”

One of his last lines: “One thing I’m very blessed to see as a missionary living the way I do is that nothing in this world lasts, only us.”

Countdown

September 4, 2009

In his last letter, Franklin excitedly stated, “I’m a month and a half older than when I started!” He and his district are now becoming the ‘viejos’ (old ones) and will be heading out into the field pretty soon. Recently, the missionaries at the MTC were able to experience the Oquirrh Mountain Temple Dedication. Franklin describes the scene as an auditorium holding 2,200+ missionaries that was COMPLETELY SILENT. He was impressed by the importance of respect that all the missionaries seemed to understand.

One of the most striking things Franklin wrote was his last two paragraphs:

“This gospel is the most inviting and fair thing I know. The world judges on accomplishment, talent, and reputation, and will influence those in it to do the same as soon as it can grab hold of whatever part of us we leave in it. That is the world’s nature. Sometimes I catch myself wishing it would change, but I already know it never will. The gospel allows everyone, no matter what or who. In a world of twisted priorities the gospel is the voice of a loving Father in Heaven who only wants the best for us. We are all suffering the effects of this world which has never been more influential and persuasive and never more prepared to drag us down the moment we waver. But God’s voice is always there, if we listen.

God doesn’t look down on us and say, ‘You could’ve done so much better, you fail to do your best each day, you do not honor your God, your word means little.’ He could, He would be right. But because He says, ‘I accept your offering today, it is small, and flawed and not all I asked, but it is honest, and I love you and will help you,’ we grow.

Someday, we’ll be fully aware of how much God loves us. Maybe that’t the very end.”