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


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


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