Perseverance

Franklin’s first birthday out in the field was on the 25th of January. For those of you from church who were in his birthday video, he loved in and said it was “awesome.”

For the last three transfers, Franklin has been with the same companion, Elder Anderson. He is the oldest of six kids in his family and is very articulate and professional, “which can be really funny in Spanish when he forgets the words.” Franklin and Elder Anderson work well together for the most part and Franklin is looking forward to continuing their hard work. “I’m not going to let this area die; sorry Satan.” In another email, he mentioned how hard it can be to show people who aren’t members the effect of the Spirit in a person and in a family. “The difference it makes is slow but completely changes the direction of peoples’ lives. . . That building [church] is a dedicated place to learn about God and feel His spirit. Going to church is an act of faith and as one missionary put it, ‘no faith points go unearned.’ It makes a spiritually lifesaving difference when people do go to church.”

The most recent news is of a very unexpected and distressing tragedy. A friend of Franklin’s who was serving a mission in Romania, Elder McKay Choy Burrows, died on January 30th, 2010. There was a gas leak in his apartment and Elder Burrows and his companion never woke up. Franklin met Elder Burrows at BYU in his freshman year; they became good friends and anything we heard from Franklin about Elder Burrows was in high regard. While this was an unforeseen hardship for so many people Elder Burrows had an influence on, reading emails from other missionaries that knew him has given the impression that there is an incredible feeling of peace among them. They know he is not forever gone and that death is merely a passing away of a physical body, not a spiritual body. In thinking about this situation and about how hard it is, especially for the Burrows, I have wondered if Elder Burrows has been watching those he loves suffer through the pain of missing him, and if through watching them he too is enduring hardship—that of seeing loved ones so hurt.

These are a couple links that talk more about it:

http://www.ksl.com/index.php?nid=148&sid=9522925

http://www.sltrib.com/ci_14307053

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