Archive for October 2009

Slow Mo

October 24, 2009

From his letter dated 10/19/09 Franklin said his week was a little bit slower. Elder Cuevas (Cueras? Handwriting is difficult to read..) came down with a bad stomach flu through which he tried to keep working but eventually had to return to the apartment. He got to the point where he couldn’t even hold down water so he was given a blessing along with some medicine and slowly he recovered. “…it was a little scary for a while, since we were all trying to do everything through phones and keep the situation from getting to hospital level, and keep everyone’s investigators taught. There was a lot of long restless study hours and a couple frantic moments.”

Through exchanges and zone training, Franklin says he is finally figuring out his zone and “who we are.” His determination to improve his own character is unchanged: “I’m determined to not be the same things again out here to my companions. Being patient and relaxed is hard, I’m pretty weak in those areas. Being friendly and earning trust of other missionaries is slow. It’ll happen, I’m just so tired of the way I feel sometimes that’s just like the same stuff again. Change is so slow!” At least right now, it seems like relations is the hardest challenge for Franklin. That said, I don’t think he has ever been fully aware of the positive impact he has had on people in the past.

As of October

October 13, 2009

So the mission continues. “…I’m trying to get to know the area but it’s slow going. I’ll get it though!” At least Franklin’s bike troubles are flattening out…for now. However, among the members Franklin says he is still struggling to gain their confidence, so he’s doing his best to get to know them. “…I’ve been making progress but my Spanish isn’t exactly awe inspiring. It’ll be alright whatever happens though.”

The last Conference really impressed Franklin. Describing it, he says, “Something about their [general authorities] callings and General Conference leaves an impression of the Spirit so hard, and when the meeting’s over and the Spirit leaves, nothing can fill that impression the same way.”

On October 4th, Franklin’s companion baptized an investigator and members of this investigator’s family are also gradually progressing in the Gospel. There is much love and appreciation shared between this investigative family and the missionaries.

Of research Franklin recently did on the Holy Ghost, he says, “Even though many people aren’t holding the gift of the Holy Ghost many, if not all, have felt the power, and communication with the Spirit is directly from heaven and, in the moment we receive it, completely pure.” Powerful insight. More comes in the research he did of Doctrine and Covenants and “how if we want a blessing, it’s by obedience to an eternal law set before the foundations of the world.” The simplicity of it is striking but the difficulty of it seems inevitable. “…how blessed do we want to be? Follow the law of heaven and we’re not going to get lost – then by the end of the day we’ve made so many mistakes and slipped up so many times.” Franklin gives the example of Peter denying Christ three times, then later Christ asked him three times if he loved him. “I wonder if after the third time Peter felt like he had lost some heavenly estate he couldn’t get back by breaking a promise he made with the Lord. That must’ve tortured him. But Christ promised he’d be forgiven, and Christ is never going to change His mind about what He says.”

Franklin, his comp, and not sure who the other guy is..

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The latest

October 5, 2009

Franklin has bad bike karma. His tires keep popping..

Yet the missionary world keeps turning: “One woman is raising 4 girls by herself while her husband is in Kentucky looking for work, she has really been transformed by the gospel and is one of the few people eager to learn. I realize more and more how we aren’t the ones doing any teaching. All of our efforst in trying to be righteous and get ourselves together and help other missionaries do the same and do everything possible for people makes wherever we teach a temporary sacred place where the spirit can be there. If everyone there has their heart turned the same way we can all feel it.”

Franklin says he can already feel himself slip into old habits like getting distracted and complaining. I (Emma) say that even just a realization of this is progress toward NOT slipping into those old habits. Franklin says “…somewhere in the scriptures Jesus teaches every idle word we’ll have to account for. The most powerful examples I’ve seen and look up to are people, missionaries or members or anyone, who never say anything bad about anybody. They never have to worry about if they’ve said something offensive. What a great way to live!”

I tried to pick out a line or two from Franklin’s last email but I couldn’t choose which ones I like best. So here’s a somewhat large quote: ”

The part of everything that always seems to make all I do so specific is that the people I’m connected with, my little sphere of influence, is a responsibility nobody else can take over for me. No other prophet or calling or man or woman can take my place. That brings me a little bit to being terrified. Like a responsibility ¬†way beyond what I asked for, knowing every person I meet will be getting something from me they can’t get anywhere else and will depend on me doing the right thing…

…This morning I looked up fear in the bible dictionary. At the very end it says ever since the fall of Adam, God has been calling on us to not fear, but have the courage to go to our Father and ask for forgiveness with confidence we will receive it.”