Archive for March 2010

Hard Work

March 19, 2010

Things have been so busy lately, Franklin hasn’t had time to write letters so we’ve just been hearing from him through emails.

Franklin is still in the same area but he has a new companion, Elder Jordan. They’ve been around each other for three months already so they are pretty set. The Tapia family is being taught again (Franklin and his companion stopped teaching them for about two months) and the Escarsegas are still doing well. This last week especially, Franklin and Elder Jordan fought hard. They were unable find many people they wanted to visit or get a single member out with them. “It’s easy to feel like all we did is spin wheels all day sometimes. But if we didn’t care about these people we’d stay home. We’ll take the blessings when they come, no problem with that.”

Of their zone leaders, Franklin said, “We have two pretty laid back zone leaders, they are working missionaries and do everything well but definitely make sure to have fun, another change. I’ve never had leaders I didn’t like but they sure are different.”  Missionary descriptions of maybe not-so-good things are always so gentle.

Some of Franklin’s latest scriptural thought came out of Alma 13: 3 and 12. “I was put to thinking about why it can be so easy to give in to things sometimes. I knew there was something in there about some people and sin eventually being revolting, or disgusting to them. And that’s what we’d all like I think, to be able to avoid sin that way, unhappiness that way. I like verse 3 because it describes all of us as we started making decisions and came here, and shows me that even if we feel defeated and worthless, the fact we’re here is knowledge we chose the good then.”

Change

March 2, 2010

On July 1st, Franklin’s mission will be split. The goal is to get the New Mexico Farmington Mission to be able to focus more on the Native Americans. The El Paso, Mount Franklin, and Las Cruces stakes will go to the Albuquerque New Mexico Mission which means Franklin’s current mission will shrink and the Provo Mission will give up some along with the Phoenix Misssion and possibly the Mesa Mission. The new Farmington Mission and the Albuquerque Mission will both get new mission presidents and wherever each missionary is after the transfer before July 1st, that’s the mission that he/she will belong to. Whoa that’s a lot of change.

Franklin talks a lot about the Escarsega family in his emails. He will be sad to leave them when that time comes. “I’m wearing a suit he (Brother Escarsega) bought with me and shoes he gave me last night off his own feet. They don’t fit the best but I don’t really mind. I know I’m not supposed to worry about it but I know each one of the family so well and I hope whoever takes my place if (when) I leave takes care of them.”

While most of the family has become Mormon, the mother, Alma, is still progressing. She doesn’t have a solid answer about Joseph Smith being a prophet, nor will she find time to read the Book of Mormon, but she loves church and talking about the gospel. Franklin said about finding that connection to truth, “. . . the connection usually clicks in some funny other way, like when they read a conference article or someone says something in Sunday School and it sticks in their head. She’ll find it, I just might not be here with her to see her get baptized. Anyone who wants to find the answer to whether it’s true or not and reads, comes to church, and prays about it – God’s not going to let that phone ring forever.”

Franklin calls another member of the family, Sister Escarsega, the “black sheep” because she is a little more vulnerable right now as her extended family tries to pull her back to the family religion. Nonetheless, Franklin is impressed by her example and Brother Escarsega’s too. “She doesn’t need me or Elder Andersen to know these things are true.”

To end this somewhat lengthier post with some interesting insight, here are Franklin’s last thoughts in his latest email: “I was thinking in church, sacrament meeting is the only time during church we really have to sit and think. I was thinking about Jesus Christ and His example in little things like not making bread out of rocks or not getting impatient with people or following every little thing not just the big things. I wondered if He cared a lot less about the effects it might have had on Himself and instead knew if we saw Him giving in just a little, our faith in Him would evaporate.”