Monday, August 26, 2013

August 26th

Familia y mis amigos!!!! ¿Que tal todo? I kind of want to write a letter in spanish but it would probably be a mess and no one would understand me haha. This week was super hard and a little rewarding. I am suuuper tired right now but I feel the hand of the Lord in my life everyday pushing me forward. I am going to try to send some photos with this email so I hope it works well haha. Monday! Well we went bowling last week which was super fun and I have a few pics so I'll send them! After, three of our investigators bailed on us so we ended up contacting and it actually went pretty well! Tuesday! At 12 we had a lesson with a woman named Loves which went well but we didn't have too much time. We taught about the restoration and she seems interested! She is from Nigeria but speaks English and Spanish which is great. After, we had a lesson with Mike, our less active, and it went good! He is progressing a lot and has a few things to straighten out in his life but is working hard to recieve the priesthood. Oh and he told us that his girlfriend in Nigeria is going to be baptized in a week! So exciting! after we went to a recent converts house, Jesus Jr. We taught the end of the plan of salvation and it was so great to see his dad helping him understand. After we went to Consuelo and Enrique's house to teach her friend Isabel. It went really good and she accepted the invitation to be baptized! Another really cool thing is that she is going to live with Consuelo in September! Perfect! Wednesday! Well we had the opportunity as a zone to go to the Temple in Pavones! It was soooo awesome and it really lifted my spirits. I love seeing all the other missionaries. We are kind of isolated here in Fuenlabrada. After, we had two less active lessons with Purificacion and Amparo! They went well and I was glad to be able to put in a good amount of input. After we went to a members house who lives with some semi investigating people and shared a little message which was good and I definitely felt the spirit! Thursday! Well we had to plan the week of course so we were in our apartment until 4. Three people bailed on us but we still had two more lessons which went really well! One was with one of our new investigators, Estela! She is pretty interested and agreed to start reading the Book of Mormon which is a start! We walked a ton and got a few references as well which is always good! Friday! I had my first companion exchange and I was actually pretty nervous but it turned out awesomely. I went to Mostoles with Elder Smith and we taught two lessons and gave a blessing in Spanish to a lady who is having some health difficulties. It went really well and I spent the night there. Saturday! Well I woke up in Mostoles and went to work! We contacted pretty much all day and I learned a lot from Elder Smith. He has only been out for 3 months but taught me a lot. This was also the date that we had set with Solange and Rafael! Well they bailed on Elder Echegaray and Elder Abplanalp on Friday night and so we weren't even able to have a chance to confirm the date and have an interview. Super sad but I have faith that they will be baptized on another date. Sunday was good! Around 35 people showed up to church including almost all of our less active members! I can see the change that we are having here. The rest of the day was good and we contacted alot. We were a little down about Solange and Rafael but we kept on pushing forward. Today we went and played soccer in Pavones! Not much else to say but we continue to work hard! Keep praying for all the missionaries out there! Elder Franklyn

Monday, August 19, 2013

Familia y mis amigos!!!

Thank you all for your love and support. This week has been a tough one but I am learning more than I ever thought I could. I hope all of you are doing well and I love reading all of your letters. I don't have too much time today but I'll do my best. The keyboards here are weird too. Tuesday! Pretty rough day haha. We started out with a lesson with a man named Garvey. It was easily the worst lesson that I have had and basically he was yelling at us and quoting scriptures at the top of his lungs against our beliefs. But we still ended with a prayer which was good haha. After we had a lesson with our good friend Mike who is definitely progressing and I would count him as a full fledged member now! After we went to Consuelo and Enriques which was great and they gave us some super weird but good food and this drink that was basically milk, sugar, and blended up zuccini but I enjoyed it. Wednesday was our district meeting and I taught a section about baptism. My spanish is definitely coming along and I did well even though the Zone Leaders were there. The rest of the day was hot with a lot of walking. Thursday! Good but hard. We walked a ton and there weren't too many people in the street. We did have a lesson with Esteban though which went super well! He is progressing tremendously. Friday! Half hard, half amazing haha. The beginning was rough and we had a difficult lesson with a pastor named Aloy but he opened up in the end. After we finally had English Class and I got to teach! It went well! After we taught Bright which was decent and then we headed to Solange and Rafael's. Solange told us that she knows it is true and is ready to be baptized but Rafael doesn't have as solid of a testimony. But he is almost there! Saturday! One of the harder days on my mission haha. 4 of our lessons fell through but we did have a great lesson with a man named John who is really interested in hearing more. Sunday was great! President and Sister Jackson came to our church building and stayed for the first two hours! It was great to see them and I taught the second hour and they were amazed at my Spanish skills haha. Even though I knew I messed up a ton. Oh and basically they told us that we are going to be staying in Fuenlabrada together for another transfer! Im excited about that! The rest of the day was hard and 5 of our lessons fell through. Today has been great and we went bowling in Madrid with a bunch of missionaries! Super fun!! Love you all and thank you for everything!! Elder Franklyn

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Week three in Fuenlabrada is done and on to week four!!

Can't believe that I have already been living in Fuenlabrada for three weeks. So crazy! This week went really well/hard/hot/tiring/everything! Haha one thing is for sure: the days are long and the nights are short. I am learning a ton though and Elder Echegaray and I came so much closer this week which is great. We are super good friends and he loves to joke around and repeats English words that he knows at hilarious times haha. Tuesday was really hard and hot but really rewarding!! A buuuunch of our lessons fell through in the morning and so we contacted a lot. It was really hard and I was frustrated a bit but we ended up getting 11 refferals which is my record so far! Later on we had a lesson with Margarita which went good and she is continuing to read a bunch which is good. I really hope her testimony is growning but we just need her to have a greater desire to be baptized I think. We are working hard. After we had a lesson with Consuelo and Enrique who are recent converts and I lead the lesson for the first time. They sent us home with some super good food which I always love. Wednesday was like the "less active" day haha. Well we had our district meeting at noon which Elder Echegaray and I taught which went really well and I am feeling more comfortable with my Spanish which is always good. After we had a lesson with our less active Nigerian friend Mike who is super awesome and really wants to make a change in my life. He even asked me what the LDS marriage life is like which I didn't really know how to respond but I said that it is the best marriage life you can have. He has a girlfriend who is investigating the church in Nigeria and I am so greatful to have such wonderful parents as an example for me and so I was able to tell him a little about them. After we had a lesson with Amparo who is also less active. It went well and she always gives us chocolate milk and cookies which is great. I might have said that before but its just great! Then we had a lesson with Jesus Jr. who is a recent convert and only 11 years old. He is great but a little shy. I led the lesson on the plan of salvation which went well! Thursday! We took the train to Humanes and taught a recent convert named Andrew in his home. He lives with other people who have little kids so it was pretty loud but it went good. After, two of our lessons were cancelled and so we contacted around for a bit which went well. I am getting better and better. One of the good things is that Elder Echegaray always corrects me and tells me how I could have done better which is obviously kind of hard but its good because I can make changes. I learn so much! Friday was half and half. The beginning of the day was a bit hard and long but the evening went by quick. We had a lesson with a semi investigator named Juaquin who owns a little shop by the train station so we always get a soda and some candy from him. We taught about the Gospel of Christ and it went well but I just feel like he isn't entirely interested all the time. After we contacted for a while and then had medio dia of course. After, we had a lesson with a less active member named Purificacion, who has smoking problems, and we had a great lesson on hope. When we meet with her I can tell that she feels the Spirit and really wants to make a change in her life, but she doesn't follow through the rest of the week which is hard. After we had English Class and noooooooooooo one showed!! I have all of this planned stuff to teach but don't get to teach it! I ended up teaching Elder Echegaray a bit which was fun and he knows more than he thinks. When we contact English speaking people in the street he always throws out a "Where are you from?" or something which is awesome. He just needs more practice. After we had a meeting with the Branch President and I think he is starting to realize that we need help and that he can give us that help. It is difficult without a ward mission leader but we do what we can. I hope all of the members in my ward are helping out with the missionary effort because it is so important to me!! After we went straight to Solange and Rafaels apartment to teach them. We taught the Gospel of Christ and their questions were great. I can realllly see them improving and learning. Rafaels mom and dad are members and they all live together so they made us some Brazilian food named Fedjuada (I think thats how you spell it) which was suuuuper good and they gave us some to take home as well (SCORE!). Saturday was probably the hottest day of the week I think. It hit around 42 degrees Centigrade which is preeetty hot. All four of our lessons fell through too which was a bummer. The weekends are always hard though and a lot of people are on vacation so its understandable but still hard. We hit the street HARD and contacted a lot though and were pretty successful. Not much else happened. Sunday was good but also kinda sad. We only had 20 members in sacrament on Sunday and I felt like we had worked harder than ever this week. Mike came which was good and a semi investigator Anibal made it too which was great. Elder Echegaray and I taught the second hour on the Word of Wisdom. Andrew the recent convert came too. He's awesome. I basically just translated during all three hours for Mike who only speaks English and Nigerian which is good practice but sometimes hard depending on who is speaking. After church we ate some Fedjuada and then hit the streets and met a man named Isaac next to one of the metro stops. It was our first lesson with him and we taught the Restoration which was good. He has a lot of questions and I think he is interested. He kept saying "Oh, voy a leer esto libro, voy a leer." Which translates to "Oh, I am going to read this book, I am going to read." He seems really interested in the Book of Mormon which is great! After, we continued to contact and ended the week out with 37 total referrals which is pretty decent in my opinion during the summer in Fuenlabrada. Today is P day and its hot but good! I went to go get a haircut but the owner went on vacation and the place is closed for like 2 weeks. Thats kind of just how things go here though. I am loving the mission and although it is hard, its worth every minute of it. I am learning so much that I know I would never learn otherwise and I know that I am going to learn more and more. Can't wait to start week four and work hard! Thank you all for everything! Elder Franklyn p.s. Shout out to Shubin: That toenail that I stubbed at your house when we were swimming and making that video finally fell off!!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Another week down!!

It feels so weird to be done with my second week here in Fuenlabrada. Or Fuentelabrada as I call it because 'fuente' means 'fountain' in spanish and there are a ton here!!! Thats probably one of the coolest things here. I'll have to take some pictures of some to send home.
Funny story to start off the email and explains a little about how things are here in Spain. So we were walking back to our apartment after church yesterday and there was no one around us but a big building to our left. We were just walking and all of a sudden I felt something hit my pocket of my shirt. I looked down to see if it was a bug or something and I saw a cigarette sitting on my missionary handbook in my pocket!! I was blown away! I literally just started laughing because what are the odds that someone throws a cigarette out of the window and it lands in the pocket of someone probably 7 or 8 stories down? It kinda stained the top of my handbook but its a good memory to have.  Basically everyone here besides the members of the church smoke and its a biiig problem.
Well Tuesday was pretty good! A few of our appointments fell through but thats okay. We watched a video on being free from addictions with a couple/investigator of ours and I think it went pretty well. We made a goal with them to quit smoking by the end of the month and they agreed so I hope they follow through! After we had a dinner with recent converts, Consuelo and Enrique which was bomb. They are one of my favorite families in the branch here. They fed us some crazy stuff that was basically pink rice and this sweet meat but it was amazing.
Wednesday was a little rough because a family that we have been teaching has skipped out on us twice but we are pushing on. We taught a recently baptized kid named Jesus Jr. and he is really cool but a little shy. After, we met in one of the local parks, also one of the really awesome things here, with Esteban and Eliana and taught the first half of the plan of salvation which went really well and they are really receptive.
Thursday! Pretty good day all in all. We met with a man named Juaquin who is a friend of our investigator Juan and taught about the gospel of Jesus Christ. It went really well and he seemed pretty interested so I am excited to see where that goes. Later we had two lessons with less active members and then Margarita. Margarita was supposed to be baptized last Saturday but doesn't have a firm testimony of the Book of Mormon. She has actually read up to the book of Jacob which is awesome but needs to pray more about it. We moved her baptismal date to the 24 and I think that she will definitely be ready for that day.
Friday! The weekends are always a little more rough because that is usually when people go out of town. We had a lesson with a less active guy named Aldo who is actually really cool and skateboards but doesn't think he can come to church because he has two little daughters which are super cute. On Fridays we are supppooosed to have English Class but no one showed up again! After we had Family Home Evening which only a few people showed up to but we taught a little and after we met with Solange and Rafael who are progressing so great! We set a date for the 24 for them to be baptized and they told us they will pray about it. They are some of my favorite investigators because they ask questions and are really interested.
Saturday! Pretty hard day but ended on a good note. We walked a toooonnnnnn on Saturday. Two of our meetings fell through which was a little discouraging but we had a lesson with my Nigerian buddy, Bright, and he literally asked me ¨So how long do I have to wait until I can be baptized?¨ Haha I was a little blown away by that but we set a date for the 31 of August to make sure he is ready and will continue to come to church after. Retention is important! After we went to a members house for a birthday party which was really fun and some of our investigators came too! I can still remember hearing this Spanish party music in the background while looking out of the back patio on the 8th floor at the sun setting on Spain. It was picture perfect. They fed us too which was great! I put some hot sauce on my food and everyone was freaking out because they thought I couldn't handle it but I've had my share of Buffalo Wild Wings and pounded it like a champ.
Sunday was good but also hard. Sacrament was the highlight because a good amount of less active and investigators showed up and it made me really happy. I bore my testimony and it made me think that my Spanish is a little better than I thought! I am definitely learning every day. After, I got hit by the cigarette and then we walked a lot and didn't get any referalls but it was just one of those days. We had a lesson with a semi investigator named Anibal and it went really well actually and we are planning on having more lessons with him too.
Today was P Day of course and we went to Pavones next to the CCM and played some FUTBOL!!!! There were a pretty good amount of Elders there and it was really fun but I am tired. I got to see Elders Wilson, Nielson, and Bohne which was really cool. They are all doing great and learning a ton.
Life out here is hard but like Elder Holland said in a talk of his one time, "it has to be hard because if it wasn't hard, we wouldn't remember it".  I know what I am doing out here is important and that I am having an impact on the people of Spain. I am so glad to have this wonderful opportunity to serve the Lord.
Love you all!!!
Elder Franklyn