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!