Monday, July 29, 2013


My first area... I'm sure I am going to have some wonderful times here. Oh I almost forgot to tell you where in the Spain I am! The city I am serving in is named FUENLABRADA!! Took me forever to figure that out because I didn't see it written down for like a day or two. My companion is so awesome and we are already becoming good friends. His name is Elder Echegaray and he is from Argentina! He is a native speaker so it is difficult to talk to him sometimes but we figure it out. I sure am learning a ton!! He is learning english too so I help him out a bit haha.

So I'm pretty sure my mother wants me to do this in a day by day format and if any of you have a problem with that, you can take it up with her because she's my mom and I do what she says. And also because I don't think anyone out there is gunna have the guts to tell my mom to have me write my letters in a different format. I know I wouldn't...

So Tuesday! It was a craaazy day. We said goodbye to all of our friends from the CCM in the morning because those going to Barcelona and Malaga had to leave at 6 am. After that we finished packing and headed over to the stake center which is like 20 steps from the CCM. The aps came and picked a few of us up and took us to the Jacksons house which is awesome!! We had a little lesson, took some pictures, ate some food and then headed back to the stake center to wait for our trainers! There, they basically called each trainer up and linked them with their junior companions! I was super nervous but really excited. After I got paired with Elder Echegaray, we headed off to Fuenlabrada by metro and train, don't worry, mine wasn't going 170 mph or something crazy!   After that we dropped our stuff off and headed straight to an investigators house!! Her name is Margarita and she has a baptismal date for this saturday!!!! We have been praying and fasting for her to feel ready and I have faith that she will. Oh and I bore my testimony which was super scary but great! After that we headed to a member's house for dinner and I wasn't hungry at all but I ate as much as I could.

Wednesday! Well we had a district meeting which was in a city called Parla and of course in Spanish but I got to meet a few of the Elders that are in our district which was really cool and one of them, Elder Smith, was in the CCM with me which was awesome! After that we headed back to Fuenlabrada and ate some food and then had a lesson with a less active member who is struggling with a smoking problem. Oh and if you didn't know, Spaniards loooove to smoke. There are cigarette butts all over the side walks and gutters here. Next we had a lesson with a new investigator named Bright! He is from Nigeria and speaks english!!! Its kind of hard to understand his accent but we get by. The cool thing is that he literally asked us if we could go to our apartment and get a Book of Mormon because he was so interested in it. I am excited to see his progress!

Thursday! On Thursdays we plan the coming week and with Medio Dia, we don't get to leave the apartment until 4... Oh maybe I should explain a bit about Medio Dia. Basically we have to be in our apartment from 2 to 4 eating and studying every day unless we have a planned lesson because some people get ticked off  if you try to call or contact them when they are sleeping and almost no one is in the street. Its really weird and all the shops close too. We had a meeting after medio dia with another less active member which went really well but during it, she told us about the train wreck and turned the news on. During the closing prayer we got a text from President Jackson telling us that Elder Ward was on that train and is in a serious condition in the hospital. I prayed for him all day and all night. After that we had another lesson with Margarita about the law of chastity and the word of wisdom which went surprisingly well! She is definitely progressing! After that we contacted for a little bit and got a few references as well.

Friday! Oh I should probably mention that because the sun doesn't go down until around9:30 or 10, we don't wake up until 7:30 and go to bed at 11:30. Its a little weird but I am getting used to it. Friday, a lot of our plans fell through so it was a hard day but I learned a lot. We have Noche de Hogar on Friday which is basically family home evening for the branch which went great and I got to meet a lot of the members in our branch. After that we had a lesson with another progressing investigator named Solange and her husband Rafael on the Plan of Salvation. I got to say some stuff on it which was great and they were really receptive!!

Saturday! Started out pretty hard but got better! A few of our plans fell through in the morning but we had a ward barbacoa, or barbecue, which was so much fun! I got to have some actual spanish food which was literally 90% meat and 10% bread. It was good but I probably ate too much haha. We played soccer with some of the little kids a little too which was great. Oh and we taught a lesson to a member referral that night to which went really good and I felt the spirit really strongly!

Sunday! Well church was good! It starts at 10 but most of the members show up at around 10:20ish because rarely anyone has cars here. Thats probably the most difficult thing for people here. They have the autobus but its pretty slow and unpredictable at times. Later on, we went to a city called Mosteles, which is where Elder Smith is serving, and watched the missionary conference that was broadcast to the world because the members and Elders here hadn't seen it yet. It was amazing as always even though it was in spanish! Ilooove seeing other missionaries for some reason. It shows me that there are others out there struggling but working hard. The meeting went long and we had to go back to our apartment after that.

Today! Its P day as you probably know and so we went to the gym this morning which felt great and reminded me of my gym buddy/roomate at BYU Austin! He's serving inFarmington, New Mexico and is a really cute kid. Just saying. After that, Elder Echegaray showed me some amazing stuff he can do with a soccer ball and juggled it for over 300 times! I'm gunna practice a lot but doubt I'll ever be as good as him.

Well I am really excited for this week and thank you all so much for your emails. I love hearing from all of you so keep it up!! All of you are my family and I love you!!
Elder Franklyn

Monday, July 22, 2013


Well, I am leaving the CCM tomorrow and I can not be more excited. We have been given a litttle time to send an email off before we head out and I seriously am sooooo excited!! I was getting prettty comfortable in the CCM but after this weekend I am seriously so ready to head out! This has been the beeeest weekend ever so far in the CCM and I wish I could tell you all every thing but I don't have much time.

So on thursday we hung out and packed a little and got to play some futbol too which was so much fun and I wish I could have taken pictures of how ghetto "The Oven" is here which is our little futbol court. Hopefully I'll be able to take some pictures if I end up serving here which is actually pretty likely. Oh and just a little background about Madrid, there is a lot of grafitti. Like a ton. Everywhere.

Well Friday was so much fun and I learned a lot and was getting more and more excited to head out into the field.

Saturday, Elder Dunn and I paired up again and hit the park hard. It was a little less of a successful day today but I learned a lot about listening to people when they speak and understanding different accents because there are a lot of people who travel to el parque retiro becuase it is absolutely the most beautiful place that I have ever been. On the way back, after a long hour and a half of rejection, we met a young guy around the age of 22 named Carlos. Right when I saw him, he was wearing reflector aviators, an argentinian soccer t shirt, with headphones in and tattoos scattered on his arms. I didn't think that this guy would be interested but Elder Dunn walked over to him on the metro and simply said, "Me gusta sus gafas!" Immediately he took his sunglasses off and his headphones out and we began to talk to him about the church and ended up getting a reference from him. That really taught me to never judge someone before you actually talk to them because we are all children of our loving Heavenly Father.

Sunday was theeeee best day that I have been a missionary. President and Sister Jackson came to the CCM!!!! They interviewed all of the missionaries serving in Madrid which was a wonderful experience and I am so glad I got to meet them. They also spoke to us at a fireside later on that night which really got me excited to have them as my mission presidents. I honestly am going to miss the Sitteruds so much and I have grown really close to them as a zone leader but I can't wait to get out into the field. We also had a talent hour on Sunday which was so amazing! We started out with a bunch of really funny skits and songs by missionaries and my district did a medly of Llamados al Servir and"God be with thee till we meet again" which was actually amazing and powerful. President Jackson played the accordian for us as well which was awesome!! That night, as always, we had the opportunity to sing on the temple steps. Right as we are walking out to get into our spots, it starts to rain pretty good which is rare because it has only rained two other times since I have been here. President Sullivan, who directs the music, called on me to give a prayer to ask for the rain to subside so we could sing our songs and touch some of the people that were there. I did so and it was drizzling as we began to sing. By the middle of our third song of six it began to subside and by the last note of our last song, the clouds departed, the sun came out, and lit the temple up in such a beautiful way. I know that that was an answer to my prayer and I am so happy to have this opportunity to serve a mission in Spain.

I am so excited to get out, meet my trainer, and hit the streets in a new area. They are about to open astake in the Canary Islands in September so maybe I will get called there! I can not wait and I just wanted to thank you all for your love and support. If you would like to send me a letter, send it to the mission home instead of the CCM so I can get it!! I know this church is true and my testimony of it has grown so much because I have seen the impact that it is having on the lives of those around me. I love the Gospel with all my heart. Thank you!!
Elder Franklyn
p.s. if you want to see president and sister Sullivan's blog here's the link!! I've heard great things about it!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Family and Friends!!

How are you?? I miss you guys so much but from what I hear everyone is doing good. Spain is amazing! Each day I am continuing to learn and grow tremendously. Its my last week in the CCM over here and I am a little nervous but mostly excited to get out into the actual field. I wonder who my trainer will be!! I bet he will be awesome.
This week has been pretty normal but a normal week in the CCM is an amazing one.
On saturday, I was able to be paired up with my usual companion Elder Dunn!! We ended up passing our stop for the park three times because there were so many people to talk to on the Metro! Only one of them ended up being interested in hearing more, and one bashed our religion for quite sometime in English but it was still such a great learning and growing experience! The park was fun but not very successful. We ended up meeting a lot of atheist people which I am realizing that there are a lot around here! The people are ridiculously nice though and I had some really good conversations with people. My spanish is improving day by day!
Sunday was awesome as always. Our devotional and fireside were unreal and I learned so much. We had the opportunity to sing on the temple steps again and it was fantastic!! So many people and missionaries showed up and a man ended up getting taught a lesson right after we finished! A bunch of cards were handed out as well and so many people came to hear us! I am so glad to be able to have a positive influence on someone even if it is just through singing.
MondayTuesday, and Wednesday were pretty similar. Hermano Pickup, who is one of our teachers, is out of town this week so we had a substitute teacher who's name is Hermana Griotti. She is from Uruguay actually and uses the sh sound instead of the ll or y which makes it harder to understand her but so cool to hear her accent. We have begun teaching her and she agreed to be baptized on our second lesson! It was so awesome and I feel the Spirit so strongly when I teach her. We have begun learning the subjunctive tense in our grammer class which is insaaane but I am understanding it... I think.... The hardest part is just knowing when to use it which I guess will just come in time. My testimony has probably been growing faster than my knowledge of spanish though. I always thought that I had a pretty strong testimony and a pretty good knowledge of the gospel but I did not realize it would or could grow this much!!
We had the opportunity to go to the temple again today which was amazing and always calms me down and relaxes me. I just want all of you to know that I am absolutely loving it here and learning so much every single day. My futbol skills are getting pretty good too! I know with all my heart that this church is true and I have seen it change peoples lives already. It is a wonderful message that we are bringing to the people all over the world and it can bless all of your lives. Know that I am doing great and I love being a zone leader!! Getting to know all of these missionaries is amazing and they all have had such a great impact on my life.
Love  you guys!
Elder Franklyn

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Greetings from Spain!!

There is so much to tell I don't even know where to start! I guess I'll just go back to last Thursday night.
So my companion, Elder Dunn, and I were called to be ZONE LEADERS!! I realize its just in the CCM and we don't have a lot of responsibility, but I have definitely been watching myself closer to be a better example to everyone. The rest of Thursday was great! We went to a local mall and I bought an awesome Adidas practice jersey so I'm pretty excited about that. 
On Friday we had more language study of course which is going good and I'm feeling more and more comfortable speaking Spanish. The vocab is one of the hardest barriers but I am getting a lot of the conjugations and common phrases down. 
Saturday was amazing! I was paired up with my first park companion, Elder Evans, and I was able to see how much the both of us had improved in both speaking spanish and teaching the Gospel. The weird thing was that we kept meeting people who spoke English! I was happy about that!
One quick story: So we are walking past this lady sitting on a bench with two small children and we decide to stop by and talk to her for a little. We start speaking in spanish and she is responding not very well so we ask her if she speaks English and she did! Turns out her name is Raquel and she is from the Philipines working in Madrid taking care of the two little boys, Tomás and Mateo, and she believed in God but did not practice religion at all. So we start talking to her and the conversation is great and we start talking about the Gospel a little and I bear my testimony and we have her read Moroni 10:4-5 which she loved. Elder Evans bore his testimony and the spirit just rushed around us and I was starting to tear up because it was so amazingly strong! So I'm like turning my head to try and not show this lady that I'm crying and Elder Evans is trying not to burst into tears as well and she is listening so intently. He asks her if she will read the Book of Mormon to know that it is true and she says: ''To be honest... my eye sight has been really bad recently and I haven't been able to read for longer than a few minutes because of the strain it puts on my eyes... But don't worry, I promise you two that I will read this book to know if it is true.'' It was so amazing!! We were both blown away and it just built my testimony so much of how true this Gospel is and how much it can bless the lives of everyone in the world, no matter where you are from.
The rest of the week has been awesome. Everyday I wake up tired, learn spanish tired, teach fake investigators tired, play some futbol tired, and go to bed tired, but every second I am here I can not wait to learn more and work even harder. Being tired just shows that you're doing something right as a missionary.
Oh so some other news is that the Russian missionaries left! Elder Dolgopolov is an amazing missionary and I am really excited for things he is going to do in Ukraine. We all said goodbye to him and he left on Tuesday morning at 3 AM. The sister missionaries all left on Wednesday and I'm gunna miss them a lot too. They were awesome!
Elder Holt, who is in my district had to go to the hospital because of how bad his stomach has been hurting and they gave him some medicine on Monday and although he hasn't been feeling better I really hope he does get better. He is an amazing missionary and the only way that you could tell that he is in so much pain is while he is holding his stomach but he really is amazing and continues to work hard and be as obedient as he can. I am trying my best to be a good zone leader and a good example to others around me. I hope I am.
I just want you all to know that I love you guys! And I love this Gospel and how much of an impact it has had on my life. I know it is true with all of my heart. I already have seen it have an amazingly strong impact on people around me and I can not deny the truth of it. Thank you all so much for your support and emails. I love everyone of them!
Just know that I am having a great time and loving the food here because its fantastic.
Love you all!
Elder Franklyn

Friday, July 5, 2013

Happy AMERICA DAY everyone!!

This week has been fantastic. I am continuing to learn and grow so much I can’t even believe it. One of the amazing things for me is how much time we devote to preparing ourselves for our investigators. It’s all about the investigators here and I love it so much!

So on Saturday we went to the park as always and I was with Elder Quesne (which is pronounced like Cane, he’s from England). So some background before I get into this story is that he had met this same guy two weeks in a row at the park so far and he had been really interested in learning more about the church. So our goal today was to go out and find him because he had told Elder Quesne that he wanted a Book of Mormon in English so he could practice reading English. So we start walking and walking, hoping to find this guy and we come to this four way stop in the park and we could not decide where to go. So we decided to pray. Always a good idea, just saying. So we pray and we go left and we walk for probably around 10 minutes and we were walking back on the road that we had already came on and all of a sudden Elder Quesne just stopped dead in his tracks and started looking at his watch, explaining that it wasn’t working for some reason. He happened to turn around at the same time and said ‘’There he is!!’’ in his awesome British accent. I turned around and saw him standing in the middle of the walk way just 20 feet behind us! It was such a miracle! So we sat down with him, gave him a Book of Mormon, and read Moroni 10:3-5 with him. It was so awesome!! He absolutely loved it and I could feel the spirit so strongly. I know that he felt something as well.

The rest of the week has been good!! We received new investigators, so now Élder Dunn and I teach Miguel Luis and Alejandra. Its going great and they are both progressing although they both have their separate challenges. Miguel is struggling with feeling worthy to pray so we just keep on bearing our testimonies and sharing scriptures. Alejandra is catholic but doesn’t believe in God which is actually super common here and really weird but we are trying our best.

My Spanish is coming along great!! As sort of a measurement of my Spanish, I just got done memorizing the baptismal prayer, our purpose, 
D &C 4, Moroni 10:3-5, D&C 130:20-21, the first vision, and Amos 3:7 in spanish which is really useful! I now feel pretty comfortable having a conversation and only need a few notes, mostly in English, during our lessons. I am loving it here!!

Today has been exceptionally great! At 6:25 am this morning, we all woke up a little early and hung a flag in the hallway, repeated the pledge of allegiance and sang the national anthem as loud as we could haha it was so much fun! We are all feeling quite patriotic and for lunch, they decorated the cafeteria with a bunch of USA decorations and we even got KFC and hot dogs!! It was so much fun! I am pretty sure we are going to some awesome mall in Madrid today which will be super fun. I am loooving the CCM but can’t wait to get out into the field!

Thank you all so much for your emails and letters. Oh and thanks for the package mom! I feel so blessed to be able to come to Spain for two years to serve our Heavenly Father. 
Yo sé que la iglesia es verdadera y yo sé que el Libro de Mormón es verdadero también. El Evangelio es una gran bendición por nosotros y estoy muy animo por la oportunidad de servir en España. 
Its the best!! I love you all!

Élder Franklyn