Monday, September 30, 2013

Sept. 30th

Familia y mis amigos!! This week has been a rough one. I began to be sick on Tuesday and it has still carried out till today. Just a runny nose and a cough with some headaches mixed in there - so nothing to worry about but it makes the missionary life a lot harder. We have been working reaallly hard here in Fuenlabrada though to try and end this transfer on a great note. I have never exercised this much faith in my life and I owe everything I have to our Heavenly Father. Last monday we went to Parque Sur which turned out to just be a big mall and not even a park at all! It was really cool though and we went bowling with the missionaries from Mostoles which was fun. I am undefeated in bowling in Spain which is a good start. Two years to go so I've gotta keep my "A" game going! That night we had a lesson with Margarita which went good! After we went to Hermana Consuelo's house for dinner and it was great. She is so nice and basically my mother in Spain although we all know that no one can replace my real mom. Tuesday I went to Mostoles again on an intercambio haha. We had a really good day and found a man in a park named Franklin and taught him the first lesson and even invited him to be baptized! All in all it was a really good day and I got to be with Elder Smith from Utah and was able to speak English! Its like breathing fresh air some times. Wednesday we had our last district meeting with Elder Echegaray because next week is Zone training and the week after is the Temple! It went really good and I learned a lot! He is a great missionary. After, we had a lesson with Purificacion, the less active, and gave her a boost to continue trying to stop smoking. She only smoked 3 on Tuesday so she's almost there! Then we had a lesson with Miguel Angel and Ana because they live together. They have really separate needs but one of the amazing things is that Ana asked, "If there were always prophets in the Bible and then we had Joseph Smith, why don't we have a prophet today?" It basically blew us a way and we taught her more about President Monson and she understood everything so well. She might even come to watch General Conference with us next week!! Thursday went okay. We planned the week for a while and had a good amount of people cancel on us but we continued to work hard throughout the day. The branch president actually came to a lesson with us which was great and he is really starting to help us. Friday we had intercambios with the Elders in Toledo and I stayed in Fuenlabrada with Elder Moreland who is actually from Irvine! He is really cool and we like all of the same things so we talked for hours about life in the States haha. Well we had a lesson with Mike and then Amparo, both less active members and it went really good! Then we went and had a lesson with Margarita and she accepted to be baptized again! Hopefully this one follows through and I have faith that it will. After that, we kiiiind of took the wrong bus, got a little lost, had to walk a little ways and I kind of broke my chapa (missionary badge) on a fence haha but all is well! I felt a little dumb but we still saved the rest of the night by contacting and ended up receiving 9 referrals in one day. Saturday Elder Echegaray came back and laughed about my broken chapa story haha and we went to work. We had a lesson with the less active member Angel and with another less active member named Kiverka and both of them went really well. Kiverka even came to church on Sunday! Then we stopped by Solange and Rafaels apartment and had a short lesson with them and watched the video of President Monson wiggling his ears. It went good but Solange was a bit sick but we gave her a blessing too! I really hope they continue to have interests and one day be baptized. Sunday was great and we had 3 investigators in the chapel! Ana couldn't come because she had some problems with a man that she shares the apartment with and she had to call the police and it was just a big deal but she's okay. We went and ate with the Counselor of the Branch who lives like 30 minutes away by car and it was really good! Their family is awesome and so strong in the church. After that, we headed to Ana's and she explained the whole story to us. We then had a lesson with her and a friend of hers and it went really great! We invited her to be baptized and even set a date for the 26 of October. She agreed almost immediately! Her questions are perfect and we can tell that she really does want to know if our church is true. Today was P Day of course and it was great! It has been raining for the past few days but I am enjoying the weather change. We headed to Sol because President Jackson called up Elder Gutierrez, who is in our district, and told him that he was going to the Canary Islands today! We had lunch at an authentic Mexican restaurant which was super good but not as good as El Farolito. Then we headed back and have been relaxing for a bit. All in all a good week! I am loving the mission so much and wouldn't trade it for everything. I have given up so much to be here, but in reality, Jesus Christ gave everything for us, so my service is just a small portion of that. I am loving every day and can't wait for General Conference!! Cuidense mucho! Elder Franklyn

Monday, September 16, 2013

Sept. 16th

Hello everyone!!! Well this week has been up and down a lot but mostly up! The fact that we don't have a lot of success is frustrating but we are trying our best out here. I wanted to start off with telling everyone that Elder M. Russell Ballard visited Madrid and talked with us and we all got to shake his hand!! It was the first time that I had shaken the hand of an Apostle before and it was an amazing experience. The Spirit that he brings with him is indescribable. I loved every minute of it! That was probably the highlight of the week for me and one of the best days out here in Fuenlabrada. Well Monday was decent! Our investigator Esteban bailed on us again because he is always super tired from working all day but we went out contacting and were moderately successful. A lot of people here are just really not interested in talking to two nicely dressed handsome young men from different cultures who happen to have the true Gospel of Jesus Christ and are searching for the salvation of their souls. Haha but it is going good and I am learning a lot about patience. Tuesday was a reaaaallly good day. We had a lesson with our recent convert Andrew in the morning which went good and he's becoming a good friend of ours. After medio dia, we had a lesson with our investigator Paul and set a baptismal date for the 12th of October! He gives us so much hope and we are so excited for him. It was one of the most spiritual lessons I have had yet too. After we went to Jesus Jr.'s house and taught him, preparing him to receive the Aaronic Priesthood in a month or two! He is really opening up especially for an 11 year old which is good. Then we contacted for a bit and then went to Gloria's house, a less active. She wasn't home but we actually taught her son Mario and it went really great! Wednesday we had our District Meeting which was Elder Echegaray's first one and it went really good! Very spiritual and I learned a lot! After medio dia, we had a lesson with Purificacion and we shared a message with her and reviewed her goal to quit smoking. In two weeks she has dropped from 35 a day to 15 which is definitely some progress!! We are working hard with her. After we had a lesson with Juan, our new investigator in the church building and it went really well! He definitely has interest and so we will be focusing on him a lot. Thursday we planned week three which made me realize that I've been in Fuenlabrada for two months already which is crazy and then we went and had lunch with Andrew and Juan Romero, who is basically an eternal investigator. It was good and Juan told us that when he finishes the principles of the Gospel book, he will be baptized. I hope he follows through! After, we had a lesson with Amparo which was great and she received her temple recommend as well which is exciting and I am glad to have that success. Then we went to Esteban's house but he's not the one that bailed on us on Monday so I'll just call him Esteban Español since he's spanish. It was good but also a bit difficult because he isn't very receptive. After we stopped by Gloria's house and there wasn't a male home so we had a lesson in the doorway! She agreed to come to church too! Friday was different but good as well. We had a lesson with Paul in the morning and he is super sick and had to go throw up a few times during the lesson but some how it was still spiritual and he was still really interested. We offered to give him a blessing and he agreed which was great. During medio dia, basically everyone cancelled on us buuut we had an opportunity to help a young married couple move out of our area to Leganés which is close by but in a different ward. It felt good to do some service for once and when we were driving back, it really hit me that I am a missionary serving in Spain. It took me 8 weeks to figure it out but I think I just finally accepted the idea of it. Saturday morning we got to hear from Elder Ballard which was amazing and then during medio dia, pretty much everyone bailed on us agaaaain! We did have a lesson with a less active member named Saide which went well and she ended up coming to church. That night we visited a refferal from Barrio 5 named Bes and it turns out that he has a wife and three children! He's from Nigeria but has been living here with his family for 15 or so years and seems really interested!! He told us about 19 times that he would come to church which was great. Sunday went good!! I gave my first talk and it was like 13 minutes long which I was kind of amazed that I could talk in spanish for that long haha. It went really well and I was nervous but not too bad. Bes didn't come to church though and the only one that did was Pablo who is in a relationship with Saide. After, we had a lesson with a less active member who is also partly deaf named Angel. It was hard becuase he can't hear very well but it was good! Then we headed to Loranca and had a lesson with Aldo and all of his family. His wife and daughter aren't members and so we are going to focus on them as well! Super exciting to have new investigators. We contacted the rest of the night which went decently and I felt guided by the Spirit. Today has been pretty good! We went and played futbol at Pavones again which was fun and I got my haircut by President Sullivan who is the counselor of the CCM and a really cool guy. Just found out that our two lessons for the night can't make it but we will just have to hit the street!! Loving every day and learning hard! Elder Franklyn

Monday, September 2, 2013

Family and Friends!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sorry, I got a little excited. Its just that I finished my first transfer out here in the field and its awesome!! So I wanted to start this off with answering a question from my sister, Cassie. She asked me why it was so sad when our appointments fall through. I've been thinking about that alot this week and in all honesty, it is simply because I know that the lessons we have to teach our investigators are true and that it can bless their lives in ways that they can't even imagine. I know its true with all my heart. I wouldn't be thousands of miles away from my friends and family if I had a hunch that what I was teaching might be true. I know that this is true because I have felt in my heart that these things are true and I have seen the blessings that we are promised come to pass in my life. I feel the hand of the Lord in my life every day while I am out here. It is truly amazing. In other news, I am staying in Fuenlabrada with my companion Elder Echegaray. The cool thing is that Elder Echegaray just got called to be the District Leader down here! We were talking about it and he said something really cool. He told me "somos lideres de distrito ahora y tenemos que ser ejemplos por nuestros misionarios." That translates to "we are district leaders now and we have to be examples to our missionaries." The cool thing to me is that he doesn't consider himself a district leader but that we are both in this together. We are growing so close and I look up to his example a ton. I am going to learn so much! Monday!! Well we played futbol like I said which was super fun but I started to feel really sick after. Not sure what was up. After, we headed out and contacted for a while and actually found a less active member named Maria Angeles. Basically she had been offended by another woman in the branch yeaars back and still can't get over it. Be nice!! Tuesday! Pretty solid day! We had a lesson with a man named Juan who is a new investigator of ours and is pretty interested in hearing more! Very spiritual lesson and I think he was touched by our testimonies. After we went off to Loranca by bus and had a lesson with John, one of our Nigerian investigators. He hasn't been reading and will not pray with us and so it is difficult to measure where he is at. We are gunna focus on those two things for our next lesson because they are important!! After we had a lesson with Jesus Jr. which went great and then headed off to Consuelo and Enrique's house. They are amazing and I always feel so comfortable with them. I have a picture too! Wednesday! Well we had our last district meeting with everything being the same which was weird but exciting. The AP's were there and it ended up being the best district meeting that I have been in so far. After, we had a lesson with Purificacion and set a smoking goal for her which I hope she follows. Ahh I am running low on time. Thursday was pretty good but a harder day. We planned the week and had a lesson with Paul who definitely can feel the spirit and is reading a lot in the Book of Mormon! Friday was good but sad. Enrique is leaving to go find work in Ecuador and so we had the opportunity to give his family a blessing during Noche de Hogar. I blessed both of the children in Spanish which was super difficult but I got through it. Saturday was good and I went on another intercambio to Mostoles! Love those missionaries over there and we worked hard. Sunday was great actually and I learned a ton! We contacted super hard and had two lessons with a woman in the park named Virginia and I taught the second hour. Mike, our nigerian friend, is now a full fledged member and hasn't missed a sunday in over a month! Well I have got to head out but I just want to thank all of you for your letters and love. I feel it! Thank you all and keep working hard! I love you!! Elder Franklyn The photo below is of: Consuelo, Enrique, Jessica, y Esteven (and Elder Franklyn!)