Thursday, December 29, 2011

It's been a little chilly outside lately, and when we're walking as missionaries it's great when someone lets us inside and we can stay warm. However, nothing can compare to the warmth that sharing the gospel brings, and nothing can open more doors or blessings than Heavenly Father. 

Missionary Work
Linda Campbell Staheli

"Yesterday I was cold,
not tall enough to reach
the sun.
Taller ones than I
wrapped blankets around me,
Showed me how to plug
in the electric heater,
Gave me a candle
with a glowing flame,
And sold me solar heat
door to door.
Today I am surrounded,
warm enough to be content.
Tomorrow doors
will open,
Allowing warmth to scatter
to colder ones than I."

Share your testimony with a friend today. Lead them to a door that will forever flow out blessings. 

Have an action-packed day!
-Sister Franson

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Beating Stick


Something that President Uchtdorf said in a talk a few months ago has been in my mind lately.

"I want to tell you something that I hope you will take in the right way: God is fully aware that you and I are not perfect.

Let me add: God is also fully aware that the people you think are perfect are not.

And yet we spend so much time and energy comparing ourselves to others—usually comparing our weaknesses to their strengths. This drives us tocreate expectations for ourselves that are impossible to meet. As a result,we never celebrate our good efforts because they seem to be less thanwhat someone else does.

Everyone has strengths and weaknesses.

It’s wonderful that you have strengths.

And it is part of your mortal experience that you do have weaknesses."

Sometimes being a missionary is stressful. Sometimes being a human being is stressful. Sadly, often times it is easy to get caught up in the net that President Uchtdorf talked about- a mess when we compare our weaknesses to someone else's strengths. 

A dear friend of mine brought to my attention that I sometimes carry around a personal "beating stick," and when I do something wrong, I whack myself with this beating stick time and time again, until sometimes I don't even remember what I'm beating myself for. Then I get frustrated that I used the beating stick and beat myself up over that. This constant pattern has, in a very sad way, made this beating stick quite comfortable in my hands. 

But that is what the Savior is for. It's hard to let go, but we each have vices that we hold on to. Sometimes rationalizing that they are actually good for us, or maybe not that bad, or we say that we are so far into the habit that we joke about it and say it is too late to change or stop. This is not true. Do not let Satan convince you of this. There is always a way through Jesus Christ. There could be no better way to continue to celebrate His life than to honor what He did for us and let the atonement take place in your hearts. So, as the new year begins, let it be a fresh start to repent, in other words change your actions and your choices to be congruent with the Savior's teachings. Let go of whatever vice or beating stick you have, and hold to the Iron Rod that will lead you to him and will never cause you harm. 

"But if ye turn to the Lord with full purpose of heart, and put your trust in Him, and serve Him with all diligence of mind, if ye will do this, He will, according to His own will and  pleasure, deliver you out of bondage." -Mosiah 7:33

Have an action-packed day!
-Sister Franson

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Christmas Nativity!


This is one of the early Christmas presents that my family sent in a package! I was told it was Dad's idea. Isn't it cute? And perfectly appropriate for a missionary!


But... there is something different about this nativity set. Look closely. Do you see it? You see the three wise men, check. Three shepherds, check. barn animals and a camel, check. Mary and baby Jesus, check. So... Where is Joseph, Mary's husband?

I admit that when I set up the nativity set I was very perplexed. I almost thought that maybe Dad sent it that way on purpose. The box didn't look previously opened though.

But it's just Joseph, right? The Nativity would be just the same without him, right? Well.....maybe not. Actually, probably not.

Imagine what it would have been like for Mary to have no one to care for her while she was carrying the Son of God. Especially in that day, she would have, as the scriptures say, been made a "publick example" (Matthew 1:19). The birth of the Savior would have been completely different. I love how even modern day revelation tells us that "Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity" (The Family, a Proclamation to the World). Yet another way in which the Savior is the perfect example.

In Micah in the Old Testament, it is prophesied that Jesus would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2). This is just one of many prophecies of the Savior that were to be fulfilled in his lifetime. However, as Luke 2:4 explains, Mary and Joseph were in Bethlehem to be taxed ONLY because Joseph was a descendant of David and thus had to make the journey to Bethlehem for that reason. Had Joseph not been there, Jesus would not have been born there and the prophecy would not be fulfilled.

And of course, Joseph was the protector of Jesus Christ when he was told by an angel to flee into Egypt with his family to escape Herod's furious search for the Christ Child King (Matthew 2:13-14). I don't believe that any other person could have been as courageous or honorable as Joseph was.

Like Joseph, we may sometimes feel insignificant or looked over by the world. However, even the simple moments when we show dignity in our works, there is much more good that happens than we ever realize. Do not ever underestimate yourself, how much you mean to someone, or how much you may play a part in Heavenly Father's plan. You do.

"Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are numbered. Fear not, therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows." Luke 12:6-7


Have an action-packed day!
-Sister Franson


Friday, December 16, 2011

Most WONDERFUL Time!

Tooooooooddddaaaaayyy...... Hmm. Well, it's Chrismas!!! Or soon will be! And it's so different because there is no snow here in Tennessee. In fact, it is RAINING today! How strange is that for an Idahoan? And yesterday it was sunny and almost 70 degrees. This is weather fitting for September, not December! But I must say, I am grateful that it is a bit on the warmer side for the season, especially since Sister D. and I will spend about half of it walking to wherever we are going!
  We are asked all the time what it is like to be a missionary around Christmas. Well, it's like Christmas! Everyone is focused on the Savior and His birth and recognize that they need Him in their lives. With the new year fast approaching, the children of God also have desires to start the new year right in studying and accepting the gospel of Jesus Christ. There is one wonderful sister in our area who even wants to have her baptism at midnight on New Year's Eve! What a blessing that will be to her!
   As far as traditional Christmases, Sister D. and I have a 2 foot tall fake tree with ornaments that a member donated to us. Also in the Spirit of Christmas we have a nativity set that my dad mailed me! And it's special. Stay tuned for this next week to find out why! (Basically Sister Franson just realized that she forgot her camera to upload a picture of the nativity today, so she WILL be sure to bring it next time!)
   Do you know what else is great about Christmas time? It's also the birthday of the prophet Joseph Smith on the 23 of December! There is an LDS family I know that on this day celebrates the holiday of Mormonza. (Really it's just a holiday to just have a holiday. We DO NOT celebrate OR woship Joseph Smith like we we do the Savior.) It's kind of fun! They have all the traditional "Mormon" foods- funeral potatoes, green jello with carrots, frog-eye salad, etc., all the things you would see at a pot-luck in Utah....
  So here's a question for you: Why do we celebrate? Not just Christmas, but things like birthdays, Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving, President's day, and Pi Day..... Why do we make these days different from all the others?
There are a number of reasons. To remember someone or something or some event, to show gratitude for something, to have an excuse to eat as much food as we want and not count calories, but whatever the reason, there is one. Dear friends, do share! Leave a comment, post something on facebook, talk to a friend, but do something special today, and tell someone why Christmas matters to you!

Have an action-packed day!
-Sister Franson

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Miracles!

Wow! it's been an entire month! Life here in Clarksville is very different, but still great. My companion, Sister D. is awesome. We have found many new people that are wanting to hear the gospel, and unfortunately we have found that the adversary I working just as hard. That just means that we need to rely on the Lord more and work harder! I hope that sometime I can fill in what's been missing for the past month, but I'll start with this morning. As a mission district, we have been focusing on miracles. This morning, as Sister D. and I we're talking about having the faith to precede the miracle (see Ether 12:6) we came up with this brilliant conclusion. Just as faith is an action word, A miracle is an attitude. Think about it. There were so many people who saw the miracles of Jesus Christ and still did not believe that He is the Savior of the world. If we want to see the miracles in our lives, if we want to have the faith to have miracles in our lives, we need to have the attitude and the faith that we will see one. The Lord promises miracles to those who keep His commandments. With our attitude we will be able to see the miracles around us.
 Have and action-packed day!
 -Sister Franson

Friday, November 11, 2011

Unexpected Announcement

Last Monday night I found out that I would be transfered to Clarksville to open (start) a new area for sister missionaries and train a sister who has been serving in Temple Square how to proselyte. It was as unexpected as unexpected can be! The rest of the week, including the last two days my new companion and I have been here, have been absolutely insane. We are staying with some spanish speaking sister missionaries until we can move into our own apartment in December. So, I don't know how much I'm actually going to be able to keep up with my blog and facebook account for a while. We will see. But I haven't forgotten! My mission life is under construction, and hopefully I wil be much improved by the time this is through!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Tracting on Sesame Street

Sometimes, sister missionaries have one of those days when no one wants to talk or can give you rides or can't let you in their home for... whatever reason. Two days ago was one of those days. After another dose of rejection, I admit, I kind of turned into this guy: 


 And as you can imagine, turning into Oscar the Grouch gets you nowhere when you want to teach someone about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It was around this point that we decided to stop in and see one of our favorite families. I love this family. They remind me of....




Elmo! Always happy, and always wanting to share their happiness with others. They give out copies of the Book of Mormon like CrAzY! We love it! We are always anxious to hear about how their friends are interested in parts of the Gospel. So, in the midst of my Oscar the Grouch moment, the kids were coming home from school. One of them had a T-shirt on with the face of....


Cookie Monster. Yep. And THAT reminded me of a story that was once told by Bruce C. Hafen and his wife:

"[O]ur family once watched a segment of the children’s television program “Sesame Street” in which the Cookie Monster won a quiz show. What a moment it was! After Mrs. Monster joined her spouse on the stage, the emcee congratulated the couple and offered them their choice among three big prizes—a $200,000 dream home next month, a $20,000 new car next week, or a cookie right now. Mr. and Mrs. Monster furrowed their furry brows and carefully weighed the pros and cons. As the timer buzzed, a big smile broke across Mr. Monster’s face, and he greedily announced his choice: 'Cookie!'

Now, there is nothing wrong with a good cookie. The problem is not that the cookie is bad, but that its satisfaction cannot last. Not should not, or might not, but cannot last. Yet, whether the subject is love, education, or investing scarce resources, Satan deludes us into believing that a cookie is more valuable than a dream home—because we can have it right now."

Sometimes, much like Cookie Monster, we want what is called "Instant Gratification." In many cases, as human beings we feel somewhat entitled to certain privileges. We wonder why we aren't receiving certain blessings when we are living a righteous life, or in the same circumstances we wonder why life and trials are so hard when you feel like you are doing the very best you can. You know that your mansion in Heaven is being prepared, but want the taste of the cookie NOW.

Like Elder Hafen said, there is nothing wrong with a "good cookie." However, is there something more? What are you willing to sacrifice in order to follow the Savior?

"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it." -Matthew 13:45-46

Later that day, Sister Anderson and I kept trudging through the work. It did get better, not perfect, but better. And patience... is something I am continually learning.

Have an action-packed day!
-Sister Franson


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

What We Did On Halloween!

I can't believe that I didn't post yesterday what Sister Anderson and I did on Monday night! All of this was set up by our mission president. Since crazy holiday parties and such are not part of a missionary's lifestyle, on most holidays we are asked to be in our apartments no later than 6:00pm. If you're in at 6:01, you are disobedient, and the Lord doesn't give out blessings for being disobedient. 


Well, this was the case for Halloween. Monday was also our preparation day, or day-off of sorts. We can go grocery shopping and do laundry and usually some other fun activity. So, that day we went and took care of those things, stopped in to see two families that night, and we were home before 6. Then... it was time!

Side note: As missionaries we are only allowed to watch any movies that are produced by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Even then, we only have a few of that group that we can watch for training or during lunch or dinner time or on P-days. The movies include The Restoration, Finding Faith in Christ, and Preach My Gospel missionary training videos. We are also allowed to watch Mormon Message videos for part of our computer time. This helps us to stay focused on the work!

So, what we did was EPIC. President McKee instructed all of us missionaries to watch The Testaments at 6:00 that night! We were so excited. Sister Anderson and I even had some hot cider and hot chocolate ready and we put the little DVD player on a box in the middle of the room between our two beds so we both could watch. I hadn't seen that movie in a long time, and it touched me. I was grateful to feel that that night. Following the movie, we were instructed to write down our testimonies of the gospel of Jesus Christ and send them to President and Sister McKee. In the letter we were instructed to also make 1 week, 1 month, and 1 year goals and share those goals with President and Sister McKee. Then we were to write our testimonies in 10 copies of the Book of Mormon to give to others. 

I'm grateful the President gave us that special opportunity to strengthen our testimonies that night. It was definitely different from any other Halloween I have ever had in my life! But, as funny as this sounds, I really like it- the ghosts and ghouls and spooks of Halloween are gone, but the Holy Ghost is here to stay!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

A small piece of sunshine

I found this to be inspiring today. Hope you do too! :)
 
*

Have an action-packed day!
-Sister Franson

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Two by Two

This is my companion, Sister Anderson.

Isn't she pretty???
We are a very crazy bunch together...
Taking an iconic picture at the Brown residence.
One more with Sister Brown in the picture. She's pretty much amazing and  helps us out so much!

And I was just taking this one to make sure that my camera worked. Good enough, right?

 Together, we have discovered many new, crazy, and still wonderful things!

This... we were confused about. Someone said they are called  may apples...  they look like apples, but aren't. You can't eat them. Before we knew what they were called, we referred to them as Non-Apples. Sometimes we still do.

Some people that we teach grew gourds!!! On bailing twine! It's pretty neat. Took this picture standing on their porch.


You know what is so special about me and Sister Anderson??? We knew each other in the MTC! We had different companions, but in the mission field, we got paired up.
L to R: Sister Franson, Sister McCall, Sister Bishop, Sister Anderson


 And this... was in September. We celebrated her birthday at a member's home. They made her a cake and everything! It was so much fun.


We've seen some rainy days....

It rains really hard in Tennessee. REALLY hard. That stream wasn't there two minutes before...



And some happier ones!

The member who drove me and my last companion to transfers  bought us cupcakes! And had us pick one for our new companions too!!!

And we trudge through it all, TOGETHER. 


"And ye shall go forth in the power of my Spirit, preaching my gospel, two by two, in my name, lifting up your voices as with the sound of a trump, declaring my word like unto angels of God" (D&C 42:6).

Have an action-packed day!
-Sister Franson

I Am a Child of God


 This video makes me happy!! I love it so much!



Have an action-packed day!
-Sister Franson

Thursday, October 20, 2011

October 20, 2011

Today is one of those days when certain sister missionaries have a scheduled appointment... and no one is home. They go to their back-up appointment, and no one is home. Then they make some phone calls to confirm more appointments in the week. Sometimes the people answer!! Yay! Then they go to your next appointment for the day, and no one is home. They go to your back up for that, and find it's a really creepy house, but knock anyway. No one is home. Then they go and talk to an apartment manager lady about a vacancy because they're looking for a safer place for them and future missionaries to live. Then they make a phone call. And then... they pull into the grocery store parking lot, heave a big sigh, both look at each other and say something like, "Now what?". They gather their thoughts and ideas and try to be productive. Onward and upward they go! Trying to find energy and enthusiasm. Creepy machine phone message received and quickly ignored. Then it is time for internet missionary-izing!

One of these certain sister missionaries is actually in the process of making her own mormon.org profile. I really do want to make a difference on here! I get so excited when I check my blog stats and see that someone read my page! Or at least saw it for five seconds at minimum. A sister missionary can dream....

Part of my reason for coming on a mission is because I want to make a difference in someone's life. I want to help them remember who they are: a child of Heavenly Father. Days like this make me wonder if I am doing the best I can on the Lord's time. My companion and I did well teaching together yesterday, and we felt that the things we had planned for today were right. Maybe, just maybe, the Lord is preparing each of us for something else. Maybe He is preparing us to do something we have no foresight to yet.

Today is one of those days when a certain sister missionary tries to do more than just say it's going to be a good day and show her teeth.  Today is one of those days when she really wants to see what the Lord has in store for her, then go and share the good news with the world.

Have an action-packed day!
-Sister Franson

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Rocks in the Well



I found this picture when I was on create.lds.org. The picture captured my attention, and then I read the story to go with it:

"The story behind this photo is quite simple. This little guy (name unknown) was having quite a time throwing rocks and fall leaves into this wishing well. He'd pick up a handful, deposit them into the well, and immediately start hunting for more. He seemed to understand the concept of dropping things in. Maybe in lieu of money he used what was at his disposal. Maybe he was wishing for a new toy, and maybe he realized that it was worth a try anyway, even if his contributions were from off the ground. Children are amazing."


I have to agree with the artist- children are amazing. Here is what I learned from "this little guy."

He didn't seem to know the true value or purpose for the wishing well, but he had watched others throw things in and make wishes, so he used his knowledge and observations to make good use of the well. And he was persistent in his efforts! He had hope that his wish would come true and his work wouldn't be for nothing.

Constantly through our actions and prayers and service, we are depositing all we know into Heavenly Father's wishing well. But will we truly know the value? The only thing we can do is put in everything we have. For some miraculous reason, the blessings we receive are of far more worth than  the rocks and fall leaves we put in. 

Elder D. Todd Christofferson, an apostle of the Lord, visited the Nashville area this last weekend. As missionaries, we had the very unique opportunity to ask questions and hear him give us council. The meeting was strictly missionaries only. One of the last things he said to us was something that had never before crossed my mind. He us that we must not, he said "Don't you dare", return from our missions thinking that the Lord owes us something for our service. We came here indebted to Him, and we return home even deeper in debt. 

I pray that on our journey to our Heavenly home, that we may ever be grateful for all the blessings we receive from the hand of Heavenly Father.

Have an action-packed day!
-Sister Franson

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

You Know Enough

It's been a few days since I have been on my blog! I know I'm not always as consistent as I could be, but I do love to see if my posts have helped to brighten someone's day.

Lately this talk by Elder Neil. L. Andersen has been on my mind. It's entitled You Know Enough. How often do we believe that of ourselves? How often do we feel inadequate and unsure? Sister Anderson and I see it every day. We invite people to make commitments to read the Book of Mormon, to come to church, to be baptized, and almost every. single. time. we get the response, "I'm just not sure yet. I want to know more, but I can't say 'yes' right now. But we do love having you here!" To which on the inside, I think UUUGGG!!! You have felt the Spirit, you KNOW that what we teach you is true, so why not commit? Patience is a virtue I have yet to master...

I have come to the conclusion that the gospel... is like a car. What do I know about cars? Not much. I know basic things like wearing a seatbelt will keep you safe, if you obey traffic laws you are far less likely to be in an accident, turning the key makes the car start, the gas makes it go, the brake makes it slow and stop, and other simple things like that. But ask me about the engine, cylinders, wiring, radiator... I recognize the name but can tell you nothing about it. These parts are essential to making the car actually work, but is it essential for me to know everything about the car? Nope. But I know enough to let it help me in my life.

So... the gospel. I know simple things like I am a child of God. Heavenly Father answers prayers. The Savior lived, taught, and died for us. The Bible and the Book of Mormon are the words of God. We receive blessings when we obey the commandments. Do I know everything about God? Nope. But I know enough to let it bless my life.

This, dear friends, is where faith comes in. Sometimes you just have to trust what you feel to be good even if you don't know it all. The only way we learn is by applying and trying principles in our lives. The Lord promises that "by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of ALL things" (Moroni 10:5).

Sometimes, ya just gotta do it.


"Challenges, difficulties, questions, doubts—these are part of our mortality. But we are not alone. As disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, we have enormous spiritual reservoirs of light and truth available to us. Fear and faith cannot coexist in our hearts at the same time. In our days of difficulty, we choose the road of faith. Jesus said, “Be not afraid, only believe.”




Have an action-packed day!
-Sister Franson

Friday, October 14, 2011

Ponder & Pray

Even the devils have knowledge of Christ, so, how does our knowledge of Christ make a difference in our lives?

Interesting thought, no? I thought so. I first heard this last month during Sunday's Relief Society (Women's meeting) lesson. It also made me think of the statement, "Don't just believe in Christ, but believe Christ." So, I am asking you this question: What are you doing today to show that you believe Christ?

It is not enough to simply acknowledge that He is real. 


Have an action-packed day!
-Sister Franson

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Trials of the Week

No one is home. People don't show up to scheduled appointments. No one is available to give you a ride when you seem to need it most. Your socks don't stay on your feet. It gets dark earlier and earlier every day. People tell you they are not interested. No one will come to church. People won't pray to know if what you taught them is true. Day after day you ask to find someone to teach. For the entire week you teach one lesson to a nonmember. You ride your bike up and down hill after hill, fixing chains and waiting for cars at lights only to have to turn around and go right back. You get dropped (people permanently cancel visits) by two people. You wonder why certain younger brothers won't write you a letter!!! As you're trying to eliminate a bad habit, you feel like you're failing every day. 

The one person you teach that week understands your purpose as a missionary more clearly. They want to learn more. Members of the congregation sign up to feed you dinner!!! One sweet sister offers to give you a ride to your next appointment without a moment's hesitation or notice. Your companion makes waffles enough for two that day. You volunteer at a Christian thrift store and people tell you how much your work is appreciated. You realize that you are blessed to be healthy and able to walk and bike wherever you need to go. YOU GET MAIL!!! A letter from the grandparents, and a package full of many of your favorite things like new outfits, healthy snacks, church magazines, and a letter from home. Miraculously your package makes it to the right apartment number after you forget to give the complete address to your mom... And you find something happy to post on your blog.

These things, my friends, are pieces of my life since Monday. I wouldn't trade it for all the phone calls, television shows, glass bowls, matching silverware, every day folded laundry, sleep-in Saturdays for the world. This is the world I chose. 

I sincerely pray that YOU have an action-packed day!
-Sister Franson

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

More about Sheep!

    Over the weekend Sister Anderson and I received some sad news about a family we have been visiting about once a week. We were told that this family has chosen to take a step back from life- and the gospel. We are not to go and visit them for an undetermined amount of time.

    We see a lot of people. We also receive a lot of rejection. This one, though, is one of the few times I have had so far that my heart really ached. I love this family so much. We have a special gift as missionaries to love people in a way that will be different from any other for the rest of our lives. Although I do not know everything that this family is going through, nor can I comprehend how they must feel, I know, I KNOW that the gospel will bring them more happiness than they can find anywhere else, in spite of what anyone has to say.

Here is where the the sheep come in.

Remember the hymn "Dear to the heart of the Shepherd"? There is a line when the Lord asks us to "seek for [His] lost ones, Off from the shelter astray".

And "Lord, we... answer thee gladly, Yes, blessed Master we will! Make us thy true under-shepherds; Give us a love that is deep. Send us out into the desert, Seeking thy wandering sheep."

    This is my calling right now. I have been set apart to receive the love that is deep for the Lord's children, and to help bring them back to the fold. With this family, I feel like I am standing there, watching them walk the dangerous line between the gospel and the big wild world. I can only hope that someone in their life can be that light and example, another "under-shepherd" to bring them back to what they know to be true. Maybe you are that someone today for a lost sheep. Have you done something to draw another child of Heavenly Father closer to the Master Shepherd?

My dear friends, that is your assignment. 

Have a gathering-packed day!
Sister Franson

The Spider and the Fly


Will you walk into my parlour?” said the spider to the fly.
“’Tis the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy,
The way into my parlour is up a winding stair,
And I've a many curious things to shew when you are there.
“Oh no, no,” said the little Fly, “to ask me is in vain,
For who goes up your winding stair, can ne'er come down again.”

“I'm sure you must be weary, dear, with soaring up so high
Will you rest upon my little bed?” said the Spider to the Fly.
“There are pretty curtains drawn around; the sheets are fine and thin,
And if you like to rest awhile, I'll snugly tuck you in!”
“Oh no, no,” said the little Fly, “For I've often heard it said
They never, never wake again, who sleep upon your bed!”

Said the cunning Spider to the Fly, “Dear friend what can I do,
To prove the warm affection I've always felt for you?
I have within my pantry, good store of all that's nice
I'm sure you're very welcome, will you please to take a slice?”
“Oh no, no, said the little Fly, “Kind Sir, that cannot be,
I've heard what's in your pantry, and I do not wish to see!”

“Sweet creature!” said the Spider, “You're witty and you're wise,
How handsome are your gauzy wings, how brilliant are your eyes!
I've a little looking-glass upon my parlour shelf,
If you'll step in one moment, dear, you shall behold yourself.”
“I thank you, gentle sir,” she said, “for what you're pleased to say,
And bidding you good morning now, I'll call another day.”

The Spider turned him round about, and went into his den,
For well he knew the silly Fly would soon come back again
So he wove a subtle web, in a little corner sly,
And set his table ready, to dine upon the Fly.
Then he came out to his door again, and merrily did sing,
“Come hither, hither, pretty Fly, with the pearl and silver wing,
Your robes are green and purple, there's a crest upon your head
Your eyes are like the diamond bright, but mine are dull as lead!”

Alas, alas! How very soon this silly little Fly,
 Hearing his wily, flattering words came slowly flitting by
With buzzing wings she hung aloft, then near and nearer drew,
Thinking only of her brilliant eyes, and green and purple hue
Thinking only of her crested head, poor foolish thing! At last,
Up jumped the cunning Spider, and fiercely held her fast.
He dragged her up his winding stair, into his dismal den,
Within his little parlour, but she ne'er came out again!

And now dear little children, who may this story read,
To idle, silly flattering words, I pray you ne'er give heed.
Unto an evil counsellor, close heart and ear and eye,
And take a lesson from this tale, of the Spider and the Fly.

Mary Howitt


    There is so much to learn from this story. The Spider, playing the role of the devil, does all he can to lure the Fly (us) into his nasty web.
    When looking closely, there are many gospel truths and parallels to be learned. First, is that the adversary knows how to entice us. He will mix some truths with lies, rationalizing that the usually poor choice which we are about to make is actually harmless, and convinces us that we are the exception to the rule. Dear friends, gray is just diluted black, and no matter how much white you try to mix in, the black, or sin, will still show through. 
    Second is actually the lesson I remember learning the first time. Do not stay around sin when you know where it is and how to avoid it. The Fly did not run straightaway from the trap, in fact, she was almost polite to the sin. In this case, her lack of changing, avoiding, or even repenting if you will, led to her demise.
    Third, and this is what makes my blood chill, is that the devil knows who we are and the value that we have. The Spider complimented the Fly on all the beautiful qualities she had: the green and purple robes like one of royal inheritance would wear with even the crest to further acknowledge her importance. He describes her eyes like diamonds, which to me can mean the beauty that Heavenly Father gives to us in our bodies that we need to respect, and also the inheritance and entitlement to see clearly what is right and wrong. The Spider mentions his dull eyes, and like the adversary will never see the light of Christ again. 
    Brothers and sisters, we see clearly all of the mistakes that the Fly made. When it comes to temptation and sin, I believe Ms. Howitt said it best: 


"[T]ake a lesson from this tale, of the Spider and the Fly."


Have an action-packed day!
-Sister Franson

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Dear to the Heart of the Shepherd, Part 1

When I was growing up, we had some family friends who owned lots and lots of sheep. 


    And almost every year, when those sheep had lambs, my mom and dad would take all of us young ones out to see the lambs. We would let them suck on our fingers an we could pet them and play with them through the fence. If they ever let us take one out of the pen it was very special and we were told we had to be extra careful.

    Since that time in my life, whenever I have heard Christ be called the Master Shepherd or the Good Shepherd, I think of those baby lambs that I saw. They needed care, and they looked for it. So are we as the sheep of the Master. I love the hymn Dear to the Heart of the Shepherd. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir does a beautiful arrangement of this song. "Dear is the love that He gives them," it sings. And it's true. He loves us so much. Our purpose in this life is to know the Savior, and to know when He calls us.


    "Behold, I say unto you, that the good shepherd doth call you; yea, and in his own name he doth call you, which is the name of Christ; and if ye will not hearken unto the voice of the good shepherd, to the name by which ye are called, behold, ye are not the sheep of the good shepherd. 

    "And now, if ye are not the sheep of the good shepherd, 
of what fold are ye?"
Alma 5:38-39

    My dear friends, the Savior is asking us to follow Him. We had many invitations this last weekend at General Conference to do so. Are you heeding to the call? Are you keeping His commandments, every one with all the strength you have? Are you following His voice?

"Behold, he sendeth an invitation unto all men, for the arms of mercy are extended towards them, and he saith: Repent, and I will receive you" (Alma 5:33).


Have an action-packed day!
Sister Franson

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I am bound and determined that everyone should read this talk by Elder Uchtdorf. One of my favorite talks I have ever listened to! 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

What happened last night...

STORY TIME!

Sister Anderson and I have set some pretty hefty goals for the transfer. How do we accomplish these goals? We set smaller ones, silly! And those goals lead to bigger goals, which lead to bigger goals, which lead to.... well, you get the picture.

To be quite Sister Franson because my name is not Frank, the past couple of weeks have been... fine. Just fine. Nothing spectacular or magnificent, so Sister Anderson and I decided we were going to change that, starting with following up on our goals and managing our time better.

And here's the story:

Sister Franson: "Sister Anderson, how many lessons did we set a goal to have today?"
Sister Anderson: "One."
SF: "Oh really? And how many lessons with a member present did we have today?"
SA: "One!"
SF: "Really? That's fantastic! Sister Anderson, how many other lessons did we set a goal to have today?"
SA: "Three."
SF: "And how many other lessons did we have today?"
SA: "Three!
SF: "Really?! Hmm... Sister Anderson, how many referrals did we set a goal to receive today? And how many new investigators did we set a goal to find?"
SA: "One each."
SF: "Sister Anderson, did we reach that goal?"
SA: "Why yes, Sister Franson, we did!"
SF: "And sister Anderson, how many member visits did we set a goal to have today?"
SA: "Two, Sister Franson."
SF: "And how many member visits did we make today?"
SA: "Two, Sister Franson."

Yes. We set our goals, and we MET them. Today was weekly planning. Because we have been working hard to reach our goals, and we have reached them, we set the bar a little higher for the next week. That's right. We're turning Gallatin into a missionary paradise, one lesson at a time. And it all starts with setting goals...


"Behold, I say unto you, that whoso believeth in Christ, doubting nothing, whatsoever he shall ask the Father in the name of Christ it shall be granted unto him; and this promise is unto all, even unto the ends of the earth."
-Mormon 9:21

Have an action-packed day!
Sister Franson

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Something Good, Round 2

So, a while ago, I asked what it means to be blessed. Thank you so much for your comments! I love hearing how the Lord communicates with each of us in a very personal way. I've been thinking about that question again lately, about what blessed really means. And, strangely enough, part of a song from the Sound of Music comes to mind: 


"Nothing comes from nothing, nothing ever could, so somewhere in my youth or childhood, I must have done something good."* 

To me, a blessing is simply something good. When the Lord gives us those "somethings", it's receiving a blessing. To go even further, something good is something that we want in our lives, something we accept, something that makes us happy, something we are grateful for, something that makes us better children of our Heavenly Father. We can obtain those good things when we do other good things- that's how it works!

So, I ask you again, look around your life, and find those blessings, those something good's in your life, and you will see how much the Lord has given you.

Have an action-packed day!

Sister Franson

*("Something Good" from the Sound of Music).

Friday, September 16, 2011

Where do you stand?

Gotta be honest. I love the missionary rules. I love every. single. one- all the way from the music we can listen to, to the length of our skirts, to the dinner appointments and time management. Does that mean that I don't struggle to keep them sometimes? Of course not. Sometimes I would really love to listen to the radio. Sometimes I would love to wear pants during the week. Sometimes it's nice to sit and visit with people for an evening who understand the fullness of the gospel. Waking up at 6:30 every morning to exercise isn't always peaches and cream. But do you know what? I love it when I obey the rules



Why do I love it so much? Because I can feel the Lord's love. It's one of the blessings He gives to us. I can mark a gold star for the day. I did something hard, and I did it well! Doesn't it feel good to do something right? Doesn't it feel good to know that you are better today than you were yesterday, even if today means you obeyed all the rules TWO TIMES IN A ROW!!!??? (I promise that I've been obedient to the rules for longer than two days...)


So... here's the gospel connection for the day, and I hope you think about it. There is an excellent talk written by President Boyd K. Packer talking about Lehi's dream. It talks about where people stand in the world in respect to accepting the gospel, but it also talks about the importance of the dream to everyone. There are so many applications we can take away from that dream.  There are those who accept the fruit (The gospel, or obeying rules/commandments), embrace it, and want to share it with their families. There are those who accept the fruit, and then turn away ashamed that they do so. There are those along the iron rod with one hand on the rod but looking back and reaching with their other hand to see what else there is. And of course there are those in the great and spacious building laughing and mocking at those who are eating the fruit. 

There definitely are those who don't understand why we have all the rules we have as missionaries. we as missionaries have been known to make full, drawn-out conversations as to why some rules are in place, but does it really matter? Or does the principle of simple obedience matter?



... So... Where do you stand when it comes to obeying the rules?


Have an action-packed day!
Sister Franson

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Back to Basics

Topic for today-


THE SCRIPTURES!!!! I mean seriously, aren't they great? Can you think of any book that can do more for you than the scriptures?

But... when was the last time you read them? And not only read them, but pondered on them and applied the story, the verse, the lesson, to your life?


 Ok. Who has ever had a bad day or a frustrating time with life? Who has something that is just eating at them, who has some problem that is so complicated and you don't know what to do? Who is exhausted from enduring a trial and you don't know where to turn?Find solace in the scriptures. Trials may take time to overcome, but at least in the scriptures, you can find peace for some small moment in your life.

The answer to what you need is so simple. Find solace in the scriptures. Trials may take time to overcome, but at least in the scriptures, you can find peace for some small moment in your life. And if it really is that simple, why not give it a try?

Just do it.

Have an action-packed day!

Sister Franson

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Time for another Mormon Message!

When I first saw this Mormon Message, and I think it's an older one, I cried. It reminded me so much of home, and of my family, and of course specifically, my youngest brother.



Family is so important to Heavenly Father. He loves us so much that He gives each of us our own, and what we make of our family is up to us.

Have an action-packed day!

Sister Franson

Friday, September 9, 2011

When...?

When was the last time you needed more help in your day?












When was the last time you needed someone to be there for you? 



When was the last time you told someone all about how your day went?








When was the last time you felt incredibly blessed?





When was the last time youprayed?


"But behold. I say unto you that ye must pray always, and not faint, that ye must not perform any thing unto the Lord save in first place ye shall pray unto the Father in the name of Christ, that he will consecrate thy performance unto thee, that thy performance may e for the welfare of thy soul."  2 Nephi 32:9

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Gallatin, Ho!

As of Tuesday afternoon, I am no longer serving on the south side of Nashville, but in Gallatin with Sister Anderson. That morning went smoothly... except for the ridiculous amounts of rain wherever we were. I have no idea why I even tried to do my hair at all...

One kind member from our ward picked up Sister Valentine, Sister Barnes, and myself to go to the church where we would meet and go our separate ways with our new companions. I love this sister so much! She even took us to a gourmet cupcake shop where we picked one for each of us, one for our new companion, and two for President and Sister McKee. She is so kind, and she also told us some excellent stories on the way to the church!
  We get to the church and a little while later I found Sister Anderson! I was so excited and I gave her a big hug. I am feeling ready and anxious to serve the people in Gallatin. I have heard so many good things about the area and the members that live there. I admit that I am a little sad to go, but I know that this calling I have is of the Lord and this is where He wants me to be. Another member from Gallatin drove Sister Anderson and me back to Gallatin where we got busy right away. Sister Anderson is so great to tell me all about everyone that they have been teaching and about where we will be working together for the next six weeks. The first family we visited I just fell in love with. They are not members of our church, but they are so kind hearted and Christian and I am excited to look for them on Sunday.
  We then did some basic grocery shopping during our dinner hour and then off to visit more people! It definitely is different than where I was before, but great things are going to happen here! There is so much work that we can do together, and so many opportunities we have for the Lord to bless us and His people. I cannot wait to go deeper and deeper into the work. So a new adventure begins!

Have an action-packed day!

-Sister Franson