Archive for April 2010

Small Miracles

April 25, 2010

After Zone Conference and General Conference, Franklin and his companion found a couple, Jesus and Teri, who are the kind of people that begin devouring the Gospel as soon they are introduced to it. “Jesus didn’t have much of a belief in anything and had shut us out before but something in him told him to let us in, he said.” Teri says she feels something every time she reads the Book of Mormon and finds answers to her questions. They are a genuine and honest couple. Franklin seems very hopeful about them and anxious to help them progress more.

Franklin has a new location! He is in the Transmountain Spanish branch and the Hondo Pass English ward now. His new companion is Elder Ehlen from Washington who is “a cool guy, pretty chill, kind of quiet” and one transfer younger than Franklin. This last week was especially good for teaching and there was a great story: “Tony, a marine who has been to Iraq four times, had been taught by the sisters and had basically driven them crazy. They left him a Book of Mormon, which he didn’t read. Out in Iraq his convoy hit a roadside bomb and as he crawled out and began to shoot he was hit in the leg three times. The medic came over and told him he had about five minutes to clamp the artery before he would die. He said he laid on his back and prayed if God would let him live he would give the Mormons another chance. Somehow he got fixed up but as he stood up, he was hit by a sniper right in the chest. The bullet was strong enough to break through his kevlar and plate, but he had shoved Book of Mormon the sisters gave him right above his heart, pragmatic guy he is. The bullet went through the book too and barely scratched his skin. Now he’s here still sarcastic and insulting as he was before I think but we think he’s awesome and can tell he’s an honest guy.”

Since this is his first transfer he’s not used to having to get to know everybody and “hit up all the members and things,” but the work is going well and Franklin is excited (“I’m pretty pumped”). He also said he’ll have more time to write people!


Uphill Battle

April 3, 2010

The last couple weeks have been tough again. Franklin and his companion had a couple investigators that seemed to show a willingness to progress but then suddenly dropped communication. “We had some amazing investigators we found in some brownish yellow apartments we lovingly nicknamed the spicy mustards, who had accepted the commitment to be baptized and were reading the Book of Mormon. They are a young husband and wife with two daughters, three and almost one. We had three wonderful lessons, then weren’t able to see them Friday and Saturday. On Sunday we came by when they were home and they wouldn’t answer the door. Left some notes and a phone call, came back one more time but haven’t heard anything back. Still no answer. The same thing happened with another investigator, an amazing first lesson where all three of us felt the Spirit so strong. No one answers the door now. Nobody can seem to get past the first three lessons or come to church.”

On the other hand, Franklin was excited to share that Abraham Escarsega finally accepted a baptismal date! Franklin also described a little miracle: “We were trying for the last time to follow up on a couple that had shut us out after three (three!) strong lessons with no explanation and were walking back to the car when we both saw two little girls playing outside and a door open. We decided to say hello and found a friendly guy who told us to come back. Yesterday we saw him again and I’ve rarely met someone so hungry for the gospel as he was. He had turned down missionaries before and has had a messed up life, but wants us to give him everything we have.”

Franklin finally got around to writing a letter and in it he mentioned how he is striving to be more obedient. While his desire in the mission has always been to do what the rules say, obedience, he says, can sometimes feel like a big obstacle. “Sometimes we would save time and resources another way, or sometimes (the hardest) you don’t want to seem as if you’re calling another missionary to repentance or anything. Obedience has always been how we receive blessings from God. . . God has never wanted to punish us, but given us standards and pretty strict rules because He sees who we are and how much we can really be, even though we can’t.”

Finally, here are some photos!