Saturday, August 27, 2011

Missionary? Facebook? WHAT?

Originally posted August 27, 2011.  Updated June 29, 2012.

Dear family and friends, this is Sister Franson. As some of you may know, I have the unique opportunity to be working online as a missionary, and it includes using facebook and blogging. It's a wonderful opportunity and it is a great tool to keep in contact with those we teach and also for finding other people who are willing to listen to what we have to share.

  I recently found out that we have been asked to deactivate our normal home facebook accounts (temporarily- until we finish serving our missions) because those we find and teach may get the wrong impression about our purpose as messengers of Jesus Christ. Not that I was a hooligan before, but missionaries have a higher standard of obedience and conduct.

So, yes. I am a missionary on facebook. Though we be few, we do exist. And to top it all off, I am a SISTER missionary. Yes, it's true! We are like toothfairies- you hear about us all the time, but do you ever see us? Only if you are quick! And Lucky!

Being an online missionary is NOT something I expected when I was turning in my information to serve a mission. I have SO many questions about it, and lately, as more people find out about it, many of my friends and family do too. Here's a brief overview of rules for friends and family back home of any faith:

   - I can be facebook friends with anyone I know. This includes friends and family from back home, except "significant others", and as far as I know I don't have one of those. Please don't be afraid to! (see final point-- keep reading!)
   -Anyone can like or post any comment on my wall that is missionary or gospel related. Please do! I'd love to hear about a church quote you like or a Mormon Message video or something great you found in the scriptures or church magazines! Feel free to share things like that! Just be encouraging and uplifting.
   -Instant chatting and facebook messaging is only for the people that I serve here in the Tennessee Nashville Mission. If you have a friend whom you think would be more receptive to the LDS church online, your best option is to go to, and they have the option to chat with someone online right then. If you want it to be more personal, refer them to me as a friend to my missionary facebook account at Then you can write me a letter and tell me all about it, or post your experience on my wall! Remember to stay positive and gospel-focused.
  -If I, or anyone on the facebook missionary team here in the Tennessee Nashville Mission sees anything- posts, tags, or otherwise- that is not geared towards my purpose as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I may be asked to remove myself from facebook entirely or I may have to block your friendship, which I don't want to do. I don't anticipate any problems, but that's the rules.
  -Last, but not least, BE INVOLVED! That's to you. There are miracles that happen when we share our testimonies about the Savior, Jesus Christ.

   If you do want to communicate on a friend-based level, feel free to write me a letter! You can get my mission address from my mom. (She's on facebook too).

   Friend networking is great. Many of the church leaders have stated that the internet was invented for the use of sharing the gospel. Maybe one post of one scripture might show up on someone's news feed and brighten their day. Maybe one note about prayer can help someone remember that they are loved and have someone to turn to in a time of need. So, dear friends,

 "Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord..." (2 Timothy 1:8)

Have an action-packed day!

Sister Franson

Thursday, August 25, 2011


"For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors." ~Alma 34:32

 When I was in the MTC, I was putting a lot of pressure on myself trying to make sure that I had a solid and firm testimony of what I was about to teach. I had the opportunity to talk to one of my teachers about it, and she didn't say too much, but she did tell me that it might be helpful to look in the bible dictionary about grace.

I was super confused. It didn't seem like it related to what I had talked to her about at all. I read the section, thought it was nice and marked a few things, and that was all.

Then I thought about it more.

Have you ever had one of those days when you    just can't take it?! You've done it all, you've tried everything you know to do? Well, that's what grace is for. When the Savior gave His life, He did not eliminate personal responsibility (PMG 52), but instead made it possibly for us to feel comfort, for us to feel joy, for us to feel love.

The life the Savior gave was not free. We still need to pay all that we can. Faith is the first step. Repentance is part of that. Our works are part of that. "It is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do" (2 Nephi 25:23).

The most important time we have to feel the Savior's love is right now. Dear friends, do all you can, and show the Lord that you love Him. You will never regret following the will of the Lord.

Have an action-packed day!

Sister Franson

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Something Good

Sometimes... sister missionaries start blog posts and don't finish them. For example, this was written over a month ago:

   "Isn't it interesting that when the Lord wants us to learn something, alot of that something is placed in our path? Lately, repentance has been my favorite thing. It's so wonderful! I'm kind of sad that it has a less than desirable reputation. Usually repentance means you have committed a sin, done something wrong, etc., and need to fix it. It's true; repentance can mean fixing something like that, but there is so much more! This strange fixation of mine has been in the works for a very long time. Last week it all came to a changing point, a climax if you will, at district meeting. I don't know if the elder who put this together realizes that not only did this change my mission, but it is changing my life. Now, I may have to go on what seems like a few tangents, but it all comes back to this, I promise."

And it goes on. I didn't publish this post because once I was typing and reviewing, I found that what I wanted to share with everyone was so deeply personal and sacred to me that I didn't want everyone reading it. Strange as it may sound, by typing out my thoughts and ideas about that day I was able to receive some personal guidance from Heavenly Father.

Today I have been filtering through blog posts that I never finished or just flat out didn't post. And some of them I think are actually some good starters for other blog post ideas. The idea from this post I am going to use in slightly different light, maybe more audience friendly. Just to warn you though, I didn't say that it's going to be peaches and cream.


Dear friends and family and others,

 I am sorry to burst your bubble, but missionaries are not perfect people. We do have a perfect calling to work for a perfect God sharing a perfect gospel, but there are things in even our lives that can use some improvement. That is why repentance, or simply changing our lives to become more like Heavenly Father, is so vital to who we are as His children. I still have mistakes, I still have regrets, some from before the mission, some even now that I am striving to improve upon. Some mistakes I have made once and only need to fix once. I do admit that some mistakes I have made over and over and over again, in spite of feeling that motivation and fire to be better.

Have you ever felt this way?

I wouldn't like to think that I'm alone in this category. Is it easy to talk about? No. Is it something that anybody likes to talk about? Not particularly.

So, my dear friends, my challenge for you today is twofold. The first, find something that you want to aspire to be and begin to repent towards being that. Second, be kind in your opinions and judgements of others. They're probably trying to change just as much as you are.

Have a repentance-packed day.

Sister Franson

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

ALWAYS Testify.

Sometimes... sister missionaries don't know what to title their blog posts. Hmm. Well, last time, I was inspired by Kylie's awesome testimony so it is called Always Testify. Nice enough, right?

This post will shares the name for a purpose.

Last night was one of the most frustrating moments I have ever had on my mission. Sister Valentine encountered a man who was unteachable, and not very kind about it either. Sure, Sister Valentine and I are young ladies and we haven't experienced all that the world has to offer yet, but it doesn't mean that we don't know what we are talking about when we share the gospel. Does it mean we are perfect? Absolutely not. I was so frustrated with this man because he refused to call me Sister Franson, because "that is not [my] name." He also proceeded to inform Sister Valentine and I that the elders were neither entitled nor qualified to be called elders. Then he continued to say that the Book of Mormon is completely false, that our method of teaching is contradictory to the Bible, and then told us that we needed to look up some anti-mormon literature so we could see the truth of what we think we are teaching people. Among other things, he told us that no one has the authority or capability of sharing testimony of Jesus Christ besides the twelve apostles He called. When Sister Valentine and I would try to say something or state a simple doctrinal truth, he would have nothing of it, and when we answered his questions, nothing we could say was right.

Now, as a missionary, that is hard. We are instructed to always leave a person or place with the best possible impression of missionaries and the LDS church. When someone tells us these things and tries to tear down our testimony and drive the Spirit away, we are advised to leave as soon as we tactfully can. We have the capability of showing men the evidence of the truthfullness of the Book of Mormon by the book itself and also by prophecy in the Bible. We have the capability (and the evangelical authority) to call this man to repentance (without being judgemental, which is difficult and not often done in such a setting). However, doing these things cannot and will not change a hardened heart. To such a person, it will simply be made a mockery of.

I felt a miriad of emotions during and soon after we left. As the man told me all of the lies he did, the Spirit testified to me that the Book of Mormon is true, that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is God's true church restored to the earth through the prophet Joseph Smith.

The thing that ate at me the most is that he looked me in the eye and told me that my testimony of Jesus Christ and His church is worthless. Brothers and sisters, this is one of the greatest lies I have ever had spat in my face. I have not seen the Savior in this life. I have never met Joseph Smith. I am not a physical witness to his first vision in Palmyra, New York. I have never seen a Nephite-Lamanite battle.

I don't know if I was at the garden of Gethsemane or at the cross when my Savior died. I can't remember any of that before I was born on this earth.

But my dear friends, I know. I KNOW that my Redeemer lives. No one can take that witness away from me.

"And now, as pertaining to this perfect Atonement, wrought by the shedding of the blood of God—I testify that it took place in Gethsemane and at Golgotha, and as pertaining to Jesus Christ, I testify that He is the Son of the living God and was crucified for the sins of the world. He is our Lord, our God, and our King. This I know of myself, independent of any other person.

I am one of His witnesses, and in a coming day I shall feel the nail marks in His hands and in His feet and shall wet His feet with my tears.

But I shall not know any better then than I know now that He is God’s Almighty Son, that He is our Savior and Redeemer, and that salvation comes in and through His atoning blood and in no other way.

God grant that all of us may walk in the light, as God our Father is in the light, so that, according to the promises, the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, will cleanse us from all sin."

~Bruce R. McConkie

My dear friends, have a testimony-packed day.

Sister Franson.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Always Testify

Greatest. Thing. Ever.

Our mission president and his wife are pretty great. They also have five AMAZING daughters that came with them as they serve for the Tennesee Nashville Mission. We love their girls so much! For a long time, we have been wanting to take them on visits to see some of the people we teach. So last night Sister Valentine and I had the opportunity to go on SPLITS for the first time! This is when missionaries take other members of the church with them and split up. The three oldest girls were able to come teach with us. Sister Valentine took two of the girls to go visit some people and I went with the oldest to another scheduled appointment. This has been the first time in nine weeks that Sister Valentine and I have been separated outside of interviews with the mission president.

I must admit that I was scared to death.  For the first time on my mission, I would be leading the lesson. I was hoping and praying that I would be able to keep the lesson on track and at least accomplish some teaching . We got into the lesson, had a prayer, and began talking about the Book of Mormon. We talked about how Christ instituted the sacrament. Kylie was so spectacular! She shared such a powerful testimony on why taking the sacrament is important. She has such a strong testimony and she is one of those people who you can tell always has the Spirit with her to bless her life.

Really and truly our testimony of the Church is all we have. When our faith is centered in Jesus Christ, people can try to disprove and degrade His life and teachings, but what the Spirit testifies to us still remains, and we continue to know always that God is our loving Heavenly Father and Christ has made the way for us to return to Him.  

Your challenge: find some way in which you can share your testimony with others . "If necessary, use words." -Saint Francis of Assisi

Have an action-packed day!

-Sister Franson

Thursday, August 11, 2011


I kind of want to talk about something hard today. Time and time again it is said that missionary work is hard, and it's true. It's intimidating to teach people sometimes. It's frustrating when a lesson or a talk doesn't go exactly how you would like. And then, as a new missionary, you tend to make mistakes and you feel embarrassed because missionaries are supposed to be perfect.

 A dear friend of mine suggested that I read this talk. I read it briefly once, and then today when I was conducting another search, it came up again. Whether your discouragement is environmental or not, I think that if you feel that you are having a tough day, you should read this.

May the Lord be with you, 'till we meet again.

Have an action-packed day!

-Sister Franson

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Today, for district meeting, each missionary was asked to prepare a short training/ spiritual thought on pride. So, naturally, I open my scriptures to begin the search, because scriptures hold the answers to ALL the questions of life. Dear brothers and sisters, I found the answer as to why missionaries gain weight:

  "He that is of a proud heart stirreth up strife,: but he that putteth his trust in the Lord shall be made fat." -Proverbs 28:25

Just thought I would share that :)

Have an action-packed day!

-Sister Franson

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Just An Ordinary Day

Some days, I've gotta be honest, I don't quite know what to write up here. I want it to be super-missionary-awesomeness, or something that will make people think.

 Today is one of those days.

 The missionary work has been going well! We had a wonderful baptismal service last Saturday. Yevette is now a proud member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. She has such a powerful testimony and it has been the pleasure of Sister Valentine and myself to teach her. We are so proud to see how far she has come in the gospel.

  We did have a really great missionary fireside last Saturday as well! Walter F. Gonzales of the Seventy came and spoke to us about how to encourage others to follow through with their actions to follow Heavenly Father. Then he opened up the room for questions on anything we wanted to know- ways we can help those we teach, questions on gospel standards, about the organization of the modern church, etc. When talking about the personalities of the twelve apostles, he said, "Humor is part of divine nature." I loved this! Sometimes people think that in order to feel the Spirit or share the gospel, you have to be serious and somber. Granted, there certainly are situations in which that is appropriate, but Heavenly Father wants us to be happy. This gospel is a gospel of joy and happiness, and as long as our thoughts and discussions are not contradictory to the teachings of Jesus Christ, laughter and excitement are part of that.

 And now, the time soon comes for Sister Valentine and I to get back to our studies and teaching. In the wise words of a new friend of mine, "Remember, two wrongs don't make a right, but three rights do make a left. Have an action-packed day!"

-Sister Franson

Thursday, August 4, 2011

What do you think?

So... I have a question. 
                  What does it mean to be blessed?

You hear that word all the time, or some form of it. Especially as missionaries. "Do this, and you will be blessed", "Having this in my life is such a blessing", "I have seen so many blessings because I have obeyed this commandment". But what does it mean?

Your assignment: Ponder on this, and let me know what you think.

-Sister Franson

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Who You Are

"[H]ow can we truly understand who we are unless we know who we were and what we have the power to become?"  -Elder Neal A. Maxwell

Scotty! Yes, he's just that great. Scott is the brother-in-law. When he married my sister I had seen him only a small number of times before. He seemed nice and normal enough.

Nice, yes. Normal... well, who is normal anyway?

Scott is very good at dressing up. In fact, he has won several costume contests at his work on Halloween. It goes all the way from old lady to gorilla masks to... whoever this is. Scott gets along well with people because he is so funny!

The reason why I love Scott so much- no matter who he pretends to be to make us laugh, when it comes down to it all, he is simply Scott. He is not afraid to be who he is, and he encourages others to be exactly who they are. I remember once when I was having a rough time in my life, Scott sent me a letter. He called me his "little sister". Because Scott and Brittany married in the temple, Scott is as much my brother as Brittany is my sister. He reminded me that I belonged to a family. 

 The more important thing though, that Scott reminded me of, is that I am a child of God. So many people forget that we are of noble birth. Forgetting such is exactly what the adversary wants us to believe. When we understand that we truly are children of our Heavenly Father, we begin to act accordingly, using good language, engaging in wholesome work and activity. The most important thing though, is that we can realize that we have the ability to turn to Him in any instance to receive guidance. We can also come to know Him, and when we know our Father like He knows us, He can teach us so much more about who we can become.


But only you can determine your future.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Because I Have Been Given Much

"Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God."
   Matthew 4:4

Sister Valentine and I have the most wonderful opportunities to meet so many people. It's comes with the tag. Last night there was a family that really touched my heart.
They don't have much, but they do know God and they want to find a way to make their lives better. Living paycheck to paycheck, and miracle to miracle they seem to get by. This family is so ready to have the true gospel of Jesus Christ in their lives. We went and visited them last night. We weren't expecting to stay long, but it was definitely one of the best visits that we had with them. We had a wonderful lesson on miracles.

 It seemed like it was such a short time before Sister Valentine and I had to go home for curfew. Before we left though, this family walked into their kitchen and insisted on giving us rolls, chips, and water, and not any small amount of each. They continued to offer us anything else, but Sister Valentine and I knew that if they could, they would give us everything they had, and our bags and hands were already full.

 I became a little emotional in their home, which is something that I do not often do. It wasn't the fact that we were grateful because we had not much of our own, but I was so impressed by their giving hearts when I know they have so few things of this world they can share, but in things of the Lord, they have so much. I don't think I'll ever forget that experience.

  "Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life." John4:14

  May the Lord continue to bless your life.
                                           -Sister Franson