Thursday, September 27, 2012

Flashback #17: A Blurb With Perspective

From Gallatin, again, last year. If I remember this correctly, it was at the end of October, possibly the beginning of November.  

I GOT A PACKAGE TODAY!! Yes indeedy, I got a package. 

This week... has been one of the most challenging weeks of my entire mission up to this point. I've had some really tough moments before, but this week it has been spread out gradually day after day. People just aren't home for some reason. We had one of the ward members who was so sweet to drive us around for two nights in a row, and we visited house after house, knocked on door after door, and Sister Anderson and I are to the point where we are trying to find people who have been taught over a year ago to try again just so we can have someone to teach. Want to know how many lessons we have taught this week so far to a non-member? One. And the member that we brought with us got along so well with that non member that they did most of the talking to each other. And that is GREAT! We love it when members come out with us! But this week that has been it. The only people who have let us into their homes this week besides that are members, active and less active. People have cancelled and not shown up to appointments. Yesterday we couldn't get a ride to meet one of our appointments, so we had two choices: walk or ride our bikes. We figured it would take us an hour to walk so we decided to ride our bikes. Up and down hill after hill we went, fixing broken chains and waiting at stop lights along the way until we finally got to the church where we were meeting our appointment. Annndd.... no one was there. We rested for a little while, tried to call, and then headed right back.
   Today has been pretty much the same. We walked to a christian thrift store that we volunteer at every week putting clothes away, hanging them on hangers, organizing, and whatever else they need us to do. It's something that I sincerely look forward to every week because I know that they can use the help. After that

I actually remember this experience all on its own without the blog's reminder. I remember it fairly vividly, actually. The day that Sister Anderson and I rode our bikes, we were late getting back to the apartment to have Sister V. from the ward pick us up from dinner, and we rode right through a cloud of gnats and I remember spitting and sputtering and finding bugs in my mouth. Sounds great, doesn't it? And even though plans were falling through and Sister A. and I were having a few bad days, we bonded closer together, and we even took a time out and treated ourselves to white chocolate bread pudding at La Riviere's, which I've been informed has sadly closed since then.

 I started this post saying that I got a package! I mean, who doesn't love getting packages from home with goodies and treats from Mom? I think that all too often we are so quick to count our crisis and not our blessings. I admit, it is hard to for me sometimes! Then I try it. I don't ignore or discount the negative, but I learn how to combat it with the positive! Doesn't the Lord always come through in the end anyway? I was once given a piece of perspective early on in my mission:

And it's all made possible by the Atonement of Jesus Christ

I could go on and on about this topic. If you want more, read this. It's quite possibly my most favorite conference talk ever given. Plus I was sitting in the audience when it was delivered. It's powerful.

Have an action-packed, blessed day!
Love, Sister Franson


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Flashback #16: With a CHALLENGE!

From... last Fall... obviously, when I was in Gallatin. 

It's time for FALL!!!

And that's all I said! Plus this nice picture. This year, as I am looking outside, seeing the leaves fall, the weather cooling down, Halloween and other Fall decorations going up, I think to myself, "NOOO!!!!!!"

Partly because I love summer time. I REALLY love summer time. This year though, Fall means something else:

It means that I am going home soon.

Yep! Home. Back to Idaho. I am really sad to know that I am leaving soon. I am trying hard not to think about it, but it is VERY hard not to. Last week, I did something that I have never done before.

I counted the number of days until I go home.

I DID! I can't believe I did that! And do you know what I found out? I have less than 100 days before I am on an airplane home! Yikes! So, instead of this number making me homesick and want time to pass by faster until I go, I did something special with this number. The number was 82. (I can't tell you how many days from today and I don't want to figure it out!). I have 82 specific things that I need to do before I go home. I won't tell you what it is (yet), but many of you may figure it out, I hope!

I think I can do it! But you know something? I can't do it alone. Most importantly, of course, I have the Savior. I am praying that he will help me with this goal. I also have a wonderful, obedient, and supportive companion that is willing to help me to accomplish this goal. There are also great, strong members of the congregation we work with that support us and give us so much help! I couldn't do it without them! And of course, there are many other dear friends and supporters for the missionaries. You are so important. We pray for you every day.

So, dear friends, do you want to be part of this miracle that is about to take place? Here is what you can do to help:

Invite the missionaries over to your home.

That's all you need to do! No matter where you are or who you are, invite the missionaries to their home and listen to what they have to share with you. WILL YOU DO THAT? When you do, tell me about it.

"By small and simple things are great things brought to pass." Alma 37:6

The best way to make the day action-packed is to invite the missionaries over! :D
Love, Sister Franson

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Flashback #15: My Aha Moment In Progress.

This was an Aha moment that I have been working on understanding for my entire mission. I was just reminded of it this week at a missionary meeting. You might already think you understand this concept, and maybe you do. Something that may help to understand this post better is by reading this talk by Ezra Taft Benson. Highly recommended.

This post is about a subject that can be sensitive.

It also comes with a challenge, if you're willing to accept it. Have a pencil and paper ready :)

November 11, 2011

I've been thinking for a long time about what I want to put for this, my next post. I can't really describe what's been happening in my missionary life over the past two weeks. Touched by the Spirit, changed by God, born again if you will, in a mission sense. (I have learned that this is a continual process) Although these ideas seem to come close, none of them really feel quite right to me, There is something more.

 I've thought about blogging on repentance (one of my favorite topics!), faith (the other favorite), the Holy Ghost, what it's like to be in a hard situation, or what it's like to feel despair, abandonment, lonliness, confusion, frustration or anger from a missionary standpoint. I've also thought about what it's like to look for hope when you feel hopeless. I have felt each of these topics hit my life hard for the past couple of months on my mission, and especially over the past two weeks after the transition to Clarksville. The battle wasn't between me and the work, it was between me and my own pride.

Pride is probably my third most favorite topic to study. It is often said that pride is the root of all sin, and as I have studied, I have seen that it is as true as anything I have ever seen!

I came up with this pride chart in my first area. I want to improve upon it to make it easier to read and understand. I think though, that one can get the general idea.

"But Sister Franson," you might say, "How is depression a form of PRIDE? People who are depressed aren't proud or boastful." (see updated note below, 2nd paragraph.) Well, my dear friends, pride is not limited to haughtiness and being stuck-up so to speak. Pride is whenever we are not allowing ourselves to do as God would have us do, to think as God would have us think.

 The one flaw (Now I would say that there are many flaws- this post is just tracing my growth!) I have found in this graph is the bottom right hand corner. I don't think that anything falls into that category. If you are truly humble as Heavenly Father would have you be, you would KNOW who you ARE- a child of God. That assurance, that strong testimony of knowing who you are cannot leave you feeling negative about your self-worth. It is simply not possible for those two ideas to be together and isolated from other pride issues.


I actually just added the pride chart today. I didn't have a copy in front of me, and like I said, I think it might help you to get the idea. I really haven't spent a lot of time on it, and I am open to suggestions- positive and constructive please :) I recognize that this chart it at least as flawed as I am.

I did at one point have depression in the bottom left corner, then I had a dear friend point out that there are many forms of depression that aren't a result of pride- for instance, when you lose a loved one or for those who have medical conditions or other tragic events that happen in life. However, I have found from personal experience that whenever I have a negative thought of any kind towards myself, others, or anything else in my environment no matter how great or small, it is traced back to pride: to not believing or being frustrated with God, to being afraid of man more than God, to being envious of others success, etc. When I find myself searching for the root of the problem, I can change that thought, if I am humble enough and willing to let God help me to fix it.

THE CHALLENGE:  If your have any thought, negative or angry, ask yourself why you might be feeling that way. Write it down if you want to. Be completely honest. Maybe you will ask yourself what you fear, what or who you feel has hurt you, or you can ask yourself what it is that you really want. Take it to the Lord. He will listen, and He will help you know how to overcome it.

Just try it out. I dare you.

Have an action-packed day!
Love, Sister Franson