Monday, March 31, 2014

Transfers... good news is I'm staying in El Ferrol!!


Elder Gentry left for the Canary Islands

Elder Ortiz left today to go HOME!

Goofing around with a new tie I bought

Family and Friends!

Well this past week has flown by but I learned a lot and we worked hard. It was the last week of this transfer and I got the transfer call on Saturday annnnnddddd... I'm staying in El Ferrol, training Elder Nickerl still, and I'm District Leader! I'm pretty excited and a bit nervous to see how it goes but I'm sure it will all work out well.

Well this week was great and on Monday we had a lesson with Rigoberto and just talked about the problems he is having. We kind of just let him vent to us and he said he felt a lot better after. We gave him some council and bore our testimonies of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  He felt the Spirit as much as we did and I think he is progressing little by little.

On Tuesday we had a more difficult day. It happens... but I think that we as missionaries grow the most on the difficult days. We went out and contacted for a while and then ate with Wendy and Guillermo during lunch. We had a lesson with Gracian too which went bad because he really doesn't want to pray with us. I know how important prayer is and we are trying to help him see that but he is just so shut off its difficult.

Wednesday we went to Santiago for our last Zone Training Conference together as a Zone. Our two Zone leaders are leaving to go home in a week so it was good to see them one last time. They are amazing missionaries and I have learned a lot from them. We got back and had a lesson with Manuel which went good at first but he just doesn't really want to find the truth in what we say. It pains me to see him reject what he knows is true but he still has his agency of course. After we had a family home evening at a recent converts house named Julio and his daughter Amanda. Amanda just sent in her mission papers actually and is waiting to recieve her call! It was a great night though and we felt the Spirit strongly.

Thursday we planned the week and set some good goals for the coming transfer. High hopes! After we had a few people bail on us but still had English class which went really well. Luciano came and  8 or so members came too! It was fun and I had a good time teaching English.

Friday morning we went out contacting and had a little miracle. I asked Elder Nickerl where we should go and we walked and walked and walked and no one wanted to talk to us. We could feel the Spirit guiding us somewhere though and we kept going. Still no one wanted to talk to us until we met a young student named Jaime. We stopped him and he started to talk to us for a bit and we asked him if he would like to meet with us another day. He said "Look..." We thought oh no... he's gunna say no, but then he said "I'll give you my number and you guys can call me so we can meet up another day. The afternoons are best for me." My companion and I were kind of shocked just standing there and it took a minute for us to realized what happened haha. It was just awesome to see and he seemed so interested in our message. It raised my spirits up so much. After we had an awesome lesson with Alex the Dominican and with Angela Estela. They both are really interested and excited to learn more. We ended the night at the Calderon's which was great and they gave us some great food. They are like my family away from my family.

Saturday we had another lesson with Rigoberto in the morning and then went to Ada's to eat. We shared a lesson on the importance of families and Ada cried. She's great but tends to cry alot haha. Then we flew to Victoria's and had an amazing lesson with José the 9 year old. He wants to get baptized and when we went to set a date with him he said "How about... tomorrow at 6?" Haha we still have a bit more to teach him but he has some great desires!! We ended the night with Enrique. We had a really amazing lesson with him too and he has dropped his cigarette number down to 5 a day which is wonderful. We are just trying to build up his faith little by little to get him over those last ones. I felt the Spirit speak through me and teachings were coming to my mind that we didn't even plan. I am growing and learning so much out here.

Yesterday was good. Elder Nickerl had a surprise talk in church and did a good job!  Hermana Patricia gave a talk and I cried when she bore her testimony haha. It was amazing. After we ate at Irina's and then found two new investigators named Andrew and Amable. They have some crazy beliefs but are really great men that have a lot of potential. We also had a great lesson with Roger and Soren and Roger really wants to get baptized! Soren is still struggling with believing in the line of authority but we tried to explain and testify the best we could. Little by little.

Well I'm a little stressed out but I think I'll be okay. I am excited for what I am going to learn as District Leader and I'm sure these 6 weeks will fly by even though I want them to slow down. Kinda how life/the mission goes!

Love you all,

Elder Franklyn

ps I heard about JP!! Thats awesome!! Germany!
Also, this weekend we are going to watch General Conference in the chapel in Spanish with the other members. I am really excited for it!!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

March 24, 2014

Some photos from this week:
My District

Elder Gentry gave me these glasses

The beautiful sun

This is the "traveling tie" it has been to Ukraine, Romania and will go to New Zealand next

Hermana Dolly gave me this polo shirt

Another week down and we are excited for the next one!

This week has been great. We are seeing some challenges with a few investigators but we continue to find new ones and help them get closer and closer to baptism. Daniel, Marlene and Luciano are soo close right now and they each are just lacking a little bit to get there.  We are working really hard with them and hope to be able to see them get there during these next few weeks.

Monday was good. We met with Daniel and discussed baptism and talked about some of the trials he is going through right now. He knows the church is true and that we have a prophet of God but is passing through a hard time with his wife right now. After we headed to Armando's and had a great lesson with them there too. They are always so grateful for what we do and I can tell that it really comes from their hearts.

Tuesday we had lunch with a less active member named Yolanda and her boyfriend Eduardo with Jose Martinez. It went well and we taught them both. I could really feel the Spirit testifying through me and hopefully we will see some improvement with them. After we had a meeting with a member (Africa) and her friend Lucía who is a Jehova's Witness. It went really well and we were really comfortable with them as we explained a bit of our beliefs. We are going to meet with them this week too and I hope it goes well! She was really nice and very respectful. After we headed to Rigoberto's and had a quick lesson with him about the priesthood authority. He understood pretty well and I think he enjoyed it. He is going through a hard time with one of their children but he has some desires to learn. After we cruised to Irina's and taught Leonardo a bit about missionary work! He enjoyed it and I feel like their family is mine. I have gotten to be so close to this family and their brand new testimonies of the church help strengthen mine each day.

Wednesday we went to our district meeting in A Coruña. It was the last one with all of us together because this week we are having a meeting in Santiago and then transfers are up! It went well though and I learned alot about helping investigators get to church. After we headed back and then went to Hermana Victoria's house and ate with them. We tried to have a lesson with Jose but it didn't really work out because Victoria was kinda yelling at him for half an hour about going outside alone haha. Kind of awkward but thats alright. We came back and had a lesson with Amanda and her dad Julio (recent convert) and it went really well. Julio is awesome and really likes our friendship to him. Amanda just sent in her mission papers and is really excited to go! That night we got bailed on my a good amount of people but we still worked hard and talked to a lot of people in the street. Trying to spread the gospel!

Thursday we planned the week and then headed to Rosa's house for lunch. We had a good lesson with their kids and they all came to church on Sunday which was awesome to see! Then we had a lesson with Gracian which went good and English Class after which was full!! Like 12 or 13 people came and it was awesome. After we went to Irina's and had a great time with Emiel and Leonardo.

Friday was a little more difficult but we had a mini miracle go down.  A lot of people bailed on us so we decided to stop by an old investigator's house named Alex. He's 20 and super cool and was home so he let us in. We shared a scripture with him from the Book of Mormon and he told us that he wants to meet with us more. Recently he had actually started reading the Book of Mormon and said it was new, but he liked it. I am really excited to get on board with him and help him come to the knowledge that it really is the word of God. He is a great guy and we were so happy to meet him again!

Saturday we had an awesome day! We went to Marlene's in the morning with Amanda and had a great lesson about the law of chastity. She is so ready and committed to coming to church, which she did, and was telling Rigoberto to come too haha. He didn't but Marlene is a really good example. After we headed to Ada's and her son had his  girlfriend over! We had a lesson with her and it was amazing to see the parents testifying and teaching basic doctrines of the church. The room was filled with the spirit and I really enjoyed the lesson. Ada started crying and it was really powerful. After medio dia we had a lesson with Manuel which almost went amazing but at the very end he just started doubting everything and trying to show us that we are wrong which was sad to see. After we went to Luciano's to eat and had a great time with him.

Sunday was awesome too. 4 investigators showed up to church and we had a lesson with Luciano right after. He accepts everything we teach him and is so close to getting baptized. After we ate at Irina's and then had another lesson with Gracian. He's doing good but still doesn't want to read or come to church. He said he would pray though and even that is a good start. I hope he feels the answer like we feel it. Then we headed to Hermana Dolly's and had a great lesson with Roger and Soren. Hermanos Wendy, Guillermo and Ada were over too and joined in on the lesson. Their testimonies were soo strong and I think we are making great progress with them. They might be moving back to Cuba soon but they have really liked what we have taught so far. They are amazing people and so strong in their faith!

Overall, an awesome week. Sorry if my English is a little wack or if I make mistakes but I think my spanish is improving at least haha. I love this work and know that it is true. I wouldn't be out here for two years of my life if I hadn't received my own personal testimony of the Church, Jesus Christ, and all of the lessons that we teach. The mission has changed my life and I have seen the Lord change the lives of others through my service. I love you all and just like Paul said, "Salute thine bretheren with an holy kiss!" Haha keep up the good work.

Elder Franklyn

Monday, March 10, 2014

Birthday Week -


Brothers and Sisters!

Well I honestly am really short on time this week because some things came up but I just wanted to give a little overview on how my week has been!!

Well the beginning of the week was a bit rough and it was difficult to find and set a lot of lessons but on Wednesday we woke up and lo and behold... THE SUN CAME OUT!!!! I'm not even kidding, I hadn't seen the sun and felt warmth in like 3 months. It has been sunny since then and might continue this week too. My mood has been a lot better and  I think I just missed the sun alot.

We've been doing a lot of street contacting this week because more people are outside with out the rain and it has been great! Elder Nickerl is learning so much and it reminds me of my first few weeks in Fuenlabrada. The work is progressing great here though and we actually set a baptismal date with Daniel for the 23!! He seems really set on it too so hopefully I can put some white pants on in a few weeks. We also met with Roger and Soren just last night and they seem really interested in the church!! We invited them both to be baptized during the first lesson and Roger said yes. Soren was baptized by her father in the baptist church so we are trying to help her understand the need to be baptized again but I have a lot of faith in them.

Everyone else is  good and we are working really hard up here. We've been visiting a few more less active members and saw a lot of them in church on Sunday!! I know that Heavenly Father is helping us and guiding us out here and I really feel His love every day. Thank you for everything, all of you and just remember that you are all in my prayers. Keep up the good work at home and tell Bishop Dalton that he's the man. I'm excited for Chris' new calling too and I'm sure he will do a great job. Love you all!!

Elder Franklyn

ps   Hermana Patricia and Wendy have invited me to come over on my birthday. Patricia's daughter Shaine is going to make me a cake so I am excited about that! I haven't gotten a package  yet but I am sure it will come soon!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Train Trip to Madrid for Training, Drawing lessons

drawing lesson

Train ride

my drawing lessons from Nickerl

Echegaray - my trainer!

Nickerl and I at the Madrid Temple

Family and friends!!

This week has been awesome but hard too!   I'm starting to feel like thats just a normal week in the mission haha. Obviously I've been hearing some news about Ukraine and trying not to stress about my cousin Ryan being there and all but I am glad to hear that he is safe and sound.  It's a great thing that we are fighting on the Lord's side.

Well Monday we went and played volleyball which was great. We had a pretty good sized group come too which was fun. After, we met with Daniel to talk about some difficulties that he is facing. He told us that he wants to be baptized in the church and knows that it is the right thing for him to do. He has some family problems though and his wife really doesn't like that we meet with him or that he comes to church with us. We are moving slowly but surely with him and I know that he will get baptized one day. We are planning on trying to meet with his family and explain a bit. After we went to Armando and Zaida's like always and had a great time with them. Armando struggled trying to say Elder Nickerl's name and we laughed about that for a while. We shared a great message on Jacob 3:1-2 and I exhort all of you to take a look at those scriptures because they are powerful.

Tuesday was rough. A lot of people cancelled on us but at least I wasn't locked up in our piso like Elder Grochmal.  We had lunch with Wendy and her family and we taught a lesson on the Plan of Salvation with a wooden puzzle that my mom sent me (thanks mom!) After we had a lesson with Marichú at her house with José Martínez which went well. She is very old and very catholic but still very nice to us. Then we had correlation with Alan which went really good and ended the night at Irina's and taught Leonardo a bit.

Wednesday we sat on a train all day! We actually had a tour of the mission (basically a conference in Madrid) with an area  seventy (President Teixeira) who spoke to all of us. So we had to head down to Madrid and the train took about 7 or 8 hours! I actually spent the time learning how to draw from Elder Nickerl who is an awesome artist and we had a great time together. We stayed in a hotel that night and it was like a sleep over for missionaries.

Thursday morning we woke up, ate breakfast, and then headed to temple square! It was soo exciting to see a ton of my missionary friends there and Elder Echegaray was there too!! I was so stoked and I gave him a big hug. He's seriously awesome. The conference was really good though and we learned alot about missionary work. President Jackson and his wife spoke as well and I loved their council for us. After we ate some pizza and our train didn't leave until 10:30 so we got to go through the temple!! It was such an amazing experience and I had really missed it a ton. That night we bought some food and then slept on the train ride home in some tiny beds they had.

Friday was rough too! It rained non stop the entire day. We had to plan the week which went well actually. Then we headed out and got poured on. I think my shoes will never be the same. We had a lesson with a girl named Aida which actually went really well and she seems ready to hear our message. That night the ward had a birthday activity in the church so we met up with them for a bit - lots of fun.

Saturday it rained non stop as well. In the morning we had a lesson with Rigoberto (Marlene was sick) and it actually went good. We read over Mosiah 3 and he really liked it. Then we went to Ada's for lunch and shared the talk from President Monson on how Jesus Christ never leaves us. It went really well and the spirit was really strong. Later that night we had a lesson with Flor who still won't read the Book of Mormon but I think if we invite her enough, one day she will get interested. It was a decent evening even though my shoes are falling apart little by little.

Sunday was good. Daniel met us before church started and we had a lesson with him. He said his wife doesn't really want to meet with us but we are going to keep trying. We had 65 people in church which was a pretty good sized crowd and a few investigators came as well. After we ate at Irina's to break our fast and shared a quick message with the family on a scripture in Ephesians. I'm learning so much about the Bible. After we went to Guillermo and Wendy's because Guillermo wanted a blessing of comfort. They kind of got in a fight the other day and so I basically gave them some marriage council right then and there and it was more the Spirit talking than me so I think it was good. That night it didn't stop raining either but we worked hard and  got in touch with a few people we met before. It was a good night and we got home tired and wet.

 I am really learning so much about the mission. To those of you who are serving, never give up. To those of you who are preparing to go, be a missionary before you leave and invite a friend to church. To those of you who are thinking about going on a mission, pray. If you're a guy, go!   You will never regret the decision to serve the Lord. I love you all!! Thank you for all of your emails and love.

Elder Franklyn