Thursday, March 29, 2012

Flashback #1

Here we are! This comes from last summer, July I think, when I was a brand new missionary working in Nashville, Tennessee.

Isn't it interesting that when the Lord wants us to learn something, a lot 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.

    Confession: There are some things that I do not like about myself. It's true. I think that as human beings we all have those things. For me it's not gray hair or a crooked nose or freckles, but things about my personality. The irony is that I don't like that I don't like my personality! So I've been stuck in a self made vicious cycle, having no direction because I don't know where I want to be. I'm not wishing to be someone else, I'm just striving to be the someone that I know can be better, but who is that?

    Last week's district meeting helped to answer that question. It was the lesson I touched on in my post about Goober. Part of the lesson taught was on being grateful for what we had instead of waiting for it to be taken away to be grateful. There was a scripture illustrating this concept with humility. I can't remember all that was said, but I do remember that I could feel the Spirit more strongly than I have in a long time. I love how the Spirit can teach individuals more in an instant than man can in a lifetime. It impressed in my mind, "Sister Franson, you can change. You are a divine daughter of God. Your goal is to live up to that title and your calling as a missionary. Trust the Lord to guide you and trust yourself to follow, and then you will be who you want to become."

Phew! I just read through that! I remember not posting this one because of so many insecurities that I felt and had. But this lesson is one that I have taken with me wherever I have served. Because of the atonement of Jesus Christ, we CAN change! If we are unhappy, we can be filled with joy again through the gospel of Jesus Christ.

So, dear friends, today I invite you to change.

"Each new day that dawns can be a new day for us to begin to change. We can change our environment. We can change our lives by substituting new habits for old. We can mold our character and future by purer thoughts and nobler actions." -James E. Faust

Have an action-packed day!
Sister Franson

Thursday, March 22, 2012

One Hundred!

Guess what I just realized today? Thanks to Blogger for letting me know, this is my 100th post!

How incredible is that? I was super excited, and I thought to myself, "Self, what are you going to do special for your blog post?" I thought that I could start a crusade about writing the next 100 posts about things I am grateful for. Then I realized something sad... I have only 68 published posts. The rest are all unpublished! Most of them are unfinished because I ran out of time, and some of them I just ended up not posting because it has some really personal things.

 My blog has been great for me on my mission because as I write about something that I want people to read and know, I've received many answers to my prayers and many thoughts about what to share with friends I teach. In many ways it is extra time for spiritual study. So, here is my decided crusade: I will publish EVERY unpublished post and explain a little bit about where I was in my mission when I wrote it and some thoughts I had then about it and thoughts I have now. Like I said, some of these posts have some really personal things, but I have a companion now who has taught me that by sharing some of those personal things, I can begin to heal from some past experiences, forgive myself of my shortcomings and take that big and often difficult step of moving on. As for the posts that never got published because of time... well, you can have a laugh right along with me when they stop mid-sentence!

I can't wait to see what posts are coming! Have an action-packed day!
-Sister Franson

Friday, March 16, 2012

Stay Afloat!

In my old set of scriptures, I have this poem written in the very front before anything else. I remember reading it as a freshman in seminary, and it has stuck with me ever since. I hope you enjoy!

Have an action-packed day!
-Sister Franson

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Agency and French Toast

Have you ever wondered... how do bad things happen? Or maybe even why? Well, dear friends, it is one simple word, one simple idea, and yet plays a HUGE role in Heavenly Father's plan. I've mentioned this idea before, and it's been on my mind again today. Well, here is why!


It's the ability that we have to choose. Isn't that wonderful? And the greatest part, everyone else has it too! So, here's how it works:

 Say for instance I get up in the morning and I get ready and my wonderful companion decides to make french toast for both of us. I have agency so I can 
  1) Thank her and enjoy some fabulous french toast made by a genuine Alaskan!
  2) Get mad at my companion for not making pancakes instead
  3) Not eat the french toast (in which case I would be crazy) and have a bowl of wheaties instead
  4) Not say a word to my companion and hoard ALL of the french toast
  5) Take the french toast, drizzle it in syrup and powdered sugar, and throw it in my companion's face. 
  6) Do... something else. 

 Well... these are all possibilities right? And I can choose to do any one of them, or any combination. That is my gift and my freedom to choose. Sounds like so much fun, right?

 For a moment, let's think of Sister Jasper's side of the spectrum. What if I were to choose #5? Is that Sister Jasper's fault? Did God make that happen to Sister Jasper? Do you think that Sister Jasper would expect her companion to do something like that? Of course not! Because God has given each of us agency, I chose to use it unwisely. 

Then we get to consequences. For example, if I chose option #2, I would feel icky inside because I know that is not the kind thing to do. That is a natural consequence. In addition to that, Sister Jasper can use her agency right back at me and punch me in the face. Again, that's not God's fault, but He won't take away Sister Jasper's agency to do so back to me.

Dear friends, agency is not limited to breakfast. Agency is in everything we do. Every choice has a consequence, good or bad. Every person has his agency, to use for good or bad. So, when you have a bad day, don't blame God, don't even blame the other person, but use your agency and choose to do good. Choose to make it exciting! Choose to have a positive attitude! When that man in the red truck rear ends you in the parking lot, choose to forgive, and hand him a pass-along card about Jesus! How much more exciting and wonderful would that make the world? Do not be afraid to be creative!

Use your agency to have an action-packed day! And post about your experiences!
-Sister Franson

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Oh Happy Day!

You know, sometimes sister missionaries just run out of energy after working so hard with all of the miracles that Heavenly Father has placed in their lives. Isn't that wonderful? Today is one of those days. How many miracles can you see in your day? Post your comments!! Oh, and happy wonderful Pi-Day!

"And now, remember... that God has entrusted you with these things, which are sacred, which he has kept sacred, and also which he will keep sacred and preserve for a wise purpose in him, that he may show forth his power unto future generations." Alma 37:14

Keep it action-packed!
-Sister Franson

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Who is Invited?

So I haven't had the greatest week. All at the same time, I have had a FANTASTIC week! I love how much I am learning, how much my mind is expanding. And, lately, I was thinking about a personal experience that I had about a year or two ago. Quite honestly, I am really sad about my behavior towards the situation. 

 When I moved away to school, I found some great friends. People that I wanted to be friends with! They had super high gospel standards and I was motivated to be the same. That was one of the happiest times that I remember having- that particular summer spending good time with those particular friends. I was becoming someone I knew that my parents and the Savior would be proud of. 

Then there was a time that I moved home from school. Of course, at home I had friends and people that I cared about there too. Then these people started making fun of me and telling me that I was being ridiculous for attempting to uphold the standards, attitudes, and likes that I had in college. They were good people, don't get me wrong, I just felt silly or almost preachy when I stood up for those good things. I remember some movies in particular that they would talk about that made me uncomfortable. In a sense, I felt like they mocked the things of God. They also would use language and words that I didn't really like and I normally wouldn't say, and when I asked them to stop, they got upset and told me that I needed to accept them for saying and liking those things. I still loved them and cared about them, I just wished that they wouldn't be part of those things that were not wholesome and good. 

Sad to say, I didn't want to fight it anymore. I wanted to fit in and not be made fun of for being good, so I wouldn't say anything when we watched a crude movie. I started using that language that I normally wouldn't and didn't like to say. I even started to enjoy being part of this crowd. Still though, every time a moment like that happened, I knew it was wrong, but quickly found a way to justify my actions, or in some cases lack of action. And I was quickly finding myself miserable. 

In many ways, my mission has been good for me to be constantly surrounded by positive people and influences. I have also been able to see people that are in the same situation that I was- doing things that wouldn't necessarily keep me out of the temple, but things that were not in line with the things of God. I look at how I felt then and how I feel now. I have made a goal that I will not lose these good habits and standards that I am establishing in my life on my mission! 

So, dear friends, when is it ever okay to use foul language and words? When is it ever okay to toe the line and watch shows and movies that do not invite the Spirit? Who and what are you inviting when you do those things?

Just a thought. Post your comments!

Have an action-packed day!
-Sister Franson

Sunday, March 4, 2012

My Testimony

... can I just say something today??

 The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is Christ's true church on the earth. It has the fullness of the gospel. Joseph Smith really did see Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ in 1820 in Palmyra, New York. Through the power and care of God, he RESTORED the true gospel and with it also organized the dispensation of the fullness of times. As the prophet of God, Joseph Smith also translated the Book of Mormon, which book I also testify is true. It contains that full gospel, restoring and bringing to light many truths that have been confused, twisted, or in some case lost through the many translations of the Bible. I reiterate the promise that a man can get closer to God by abiding by its precepts than by any other book. 
 I also know that the aforementioned restored church is still alive and guided by a living prophet. His name is Thomas S. Monson. When we heed his counsel and also the teachings of the living apostles, we are heeding the counsel of the Living God. These men cannot and will not lead us astray. 
  Most importantly, I know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. I know that He lived His mortal life in Bethlehem, Egypt, Nazareth, Galilee, Jerusalem, and in all other places that are witnessed and testified of in the Bible. His miracles were and are of the greatest divine influence. One of our greatest purposes and honors is to strive to live as He did and walk as He would walk. I testify that nothing is impossible, no task to great, no trial too difficult, no pain, no fight, nor any other earthly trial in this mortal existence impossible for a man when God is on his side. I testify that the Atonement of Jesus Christ is real. He suffered for us in Gethsemane, He died as part of the Plan established by His Father. Were He not to die in the circumstances that He did, the Plan would not be perfect. More important than His death is His resurrection on the third day, and as a special testimony and full-time servant of the Lord, I know that He lives today. I have seen His hand and influence in the lives of so many people. Were it not for Him, this church would flounder. I know that because this is His church, sanctified by Him that it is growing as others are coming to a knowledge of the truth. I know that Heavenly Father loves us. I know that He listens to prayers, and I am so grateful to know that He also answers those prayers according to our faith and also according to His great power and purposes. 
 My dear friends, and my many hopeful readers, I promise you that these things are true. Every word. I invite you, that if you question this testimony, I invite you to read the Book of Mormon, attend church services, meet the involved members, study the scriptures, meet the missionaries, ask questions, and most importantly, pray with all of your spirit to know these things as well. I know that you will be answered, and you can feel the overwhelming and incredible love from your Father in Heaven, as I have. I please pray that you do. And, if you have come to this knowledge, be not afraid to share this message with those you love. We need everyone to be there, hand in hand, as the Savior welcomes us back into His presence. 
Of this I testify in the sacred name of your Savior and mine, Jesus Christ, Amen.

Thursday, March 1, 2012


Sometimes sister missionaries are so busy with meetings and appointments that we don't really have time to blog. Isn't that wonderful?! 

Wanna know why we have been so busy??? Well, you see, Sister W. and I have been teaching a family for the past six or seven weeks or so. The mom has already been baptized, and as we have visited with them we have grown to love this family and have shared with them the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. And, last Saturday, the dad and two sons were...


It was so special. And this family has their own goal of going to the temple in year to be sealed for time and all eternity!! Isn't that wonderful?!
This week has been so action-packed for us! Monday was my birthday (Thank you to the many who sent me cards and messages wishing me a great day!) and Sister J. and I had a fabulous day full of activities and spending time with great families (including the family that we just held a baptism for!). Tuesday was lots of hard work mixed with meetings.

Wednesday, WE WENT TO THE TEMPLE! I love how completely set apart the temple is from the world. I was able to feel so much peace there, more than I have been able to feel in a long time. I did an endowment session for someone who was born in the 1800's, and now she has almost all of the ordinances that Heavenly Father has to offer. In the Spirit World, she will now be able to be with her dear friends and family and have all of the blessings that Heavenly Father has to offer. (Sister W. did and excellent blog post about the Spirit World not too long ago!) ISN'T THAT WONDERFUL???

Today, well, we still have meetings and such, and soon now we will be back to work. I just love this wonderful work, this wonderful area, and not to mention this wonderful weather! (It's at least 70 degrees with the sun shining and the whole thing!)

So, dear friends, what is wonderful to you today? Post your comments! Inspire someone today! Look for the great things in your life! They are there, I can testify to that!

Have an action-packed day!
-Sister Franson