Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Flashback #24: I Believe in Family

From a long time ago when I was in Nashville:

I've been having a bit of trouble composing my posts lately. My plan is to have one post about each of my family members and talk about a Christlike attribute that I see in them. To me, there are few things in this world that can teach better than example, and they all come from Divine guidance.
   It's not that I've been homesick (sorry, Mom and Dad), but when it comes to family and home, it's hard for me not to share the most exciting experiences and the times when I have learned the most from this family member, and I want those experiences to stay special.

In my own life, there are similar times when I have learned specific lessons from my Heavenly Father. What I have learned is so great that I want to share what I know with the whole world! I am so grateful that I am able to do that to a small degree by serving a mission. I want to tell everyone that their life, their family, and any weakness they may have can be healed through obedience to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It really is that simple.  

 And then I think of my heavenly home, and my Heavenly Father. I want to stand spotless before Him one day and tell Him that I did ALL that I could to fulfill what He has in store for me.

I'm not entirely sure where I was going with this one either. I do know that I really wanted to make my parents proud. Two weeks left. Yikes. I actually said it. I don't have long. However, with the short amount of time that I do have, I know that the Lord is not wasting any time in trying to teach me the value of family and what it really means for a family to be made eternal through the gospel of Jesus Christ.

This week has been a tough one for sure as I have had many thoughts and concerns that have been pressing on my mind.

I believe that I have talked about President and Sister McKee before. Last week we received some very sad news that Sister McKee is in the hospital as they are treating her for a heart attack and a stroke and a number of other things including at least two surgeries that have all taken place within the last seven days. I truly do believe that the only thing that is sustaining her other than the carefully trained physicians are the many prayers and fasts that are being offered for her sake.

My companion and I were also sad to hear on Thanksgiving, the same day that we were informed of Sister McKee's condition, that one of our very dear and remarkable sisters from our ward (congregation) passed away suddenly, leaving behind a 13 year old son, 18 year old daughter who was at college, and her husband and extended family. She was young, just 47, and a very healthy, active, energetic, and enthusiastic woman. We need more wonderful people like her in the world.

It was just a few days later, that Sunday, when we also found out that there is another dear family who welcomed a new son into the world who is fighting for his life in the NICU. It was just a month or so ago when she bore her testimony about how much she values family and that it has been a trial for her and her husband to have their own family. My heart and prayers truly go out to them as well.

I really must admit that this past week with all of this going on has really been hard for me, and there have been many nights and church meetings and a memorial service filled with tears. Selfishly I have thought to myself, "I can't leave these people now. I would feel like I am walking away from them and not supporting them at all." I have suffered loss before, and I have faced hard trials, but not like this. I do know that missionary work goes on, and God's Plan of Salvation goes on. I know that these challenges aren't intended for me. Call me crazy, but I do feel so blessed to be part of them and to witness the miracles that have come and are continuing to be poured out upon the family and friends that are involved with these three situations. I have seen great courage and character and leadership happen on levels that astound me.

There was a night, I think it was Monday night, when I really was having a hard time. I feel helpless. I did talk a little bit to a dear friend of mine. That usually helps. Right before bedtime, there were some words that came to my mind. My favorite motto that I have said over again,

Everything will be okay in the end, and if it's not okay, it's not the end.

I also recalled some overheard words of wisdom from a few weeks ago, that sometimes we don't let present trials shift and change us to be the person that God intends us to be.

My dear friends, I want you to know that I KNOW that through the gospel of Jesus Christ, families can be together forever.

No matter what happens to Sister McKee, no matter how painful it may be for the family to lose their young wife and mother, no matter how challenging it may be for the family with their child's life hanging in the balance, I KNOW that it will all be made right because of Christ.

This is what is bringing me comfort. I know that God will provide a miracle and through these trials many of us are presented with the opportunity to know Him more, and to know His plan.

My prayer is that each of you, if you have not met with the missionaries before, if it has been a long time since you have had a strong relationship with God, or if you are looking to improve your faith that you already have, or for any reason at all, I hope that you will find the missionaries to find out how it is possible to receive comfort and learn more about God's plan for families in the gospel.

I promise that you will never forget or regret your experience.

Please, go out, and have a miracle-filled day.
With much love, Sister Franson

Also please feel welcome to visit this blog (click on the picture) to learn more about Sister McKee's condition. All are invited to pray tomorrow, November 29, 2012 for her at 12 Noon Central time.

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