Monday, April 28, 2014

Weirdest Week and My Sister's Gift

 April 28, 2014

Family and friends!!I don't have too much time because we have a lesson with a Spanish family in like t-20 minutes but I'll see what I can throw down in that short time. Here it goes...Well this week has been one of the hardest in the mission so far. We saw little success but worked our tails off talking to everyone we could. Lots of rejection. I was pretty down on my self honestly but I learned a good lesson.Lets see. Well main things are that we met with Jose again. He hasn't been able to meet with us for a while and so we changed his baptismal date for the 10th of May and he is pretty stoked.On Tuesday we had intercambios and I went to Santiago for the day for an entrevista. Sorry for the spanish but its gunna happen because I'm writing fast. Google translate!! So I had the entrevista with Miguel and I wasn't exactly sure if he was ready at first because he has a past of smoking but the entrevista when really well and I felt the Spirit a lot. He bore his testimony and everything and it was awesome. He was baptized and confirmed a member of the Church last weekend. Great to see some success over there in Santiago. After we contacted for a while. I was with Elder McKeigan and he is basically a legend. His spanish is so good that the natives think he is from Uruguay. He's awesome. I learned a ton from him because he has been out for around 22 months now. If anyone out there is from St. George, tell him I say hi in a few months when he comes home.The rest of the week was just difficult. We set a lot of lessons, and a lot of lessons fell through. We contacted in the street for hours and received a few references so we will see how they turn out this week. Walter (the new argentinian) wasn't able to meet with us last week but we have high hopes for this week. One strange story was that we were knocking pisos a while back and met a woman named Alexis (name has been changed). We taught the first lesson to her in the doorway and she seemed really interested. She is from Brazil and told us we could come back another day. We came back last night to visit her and she was super stressed out and we caught her right as she was coming home. She invited us up and before entering we asked if there was a male home (missionary rules require it). She said no and we told her that we have a rule that says we can't enter into the house of single women. She went off and got really offended for some reason and she asked us who we thought she was as in a man or a woman. I responded politely saying that she was a woman and she responded with "NO." We were completely blown away and did not know what to say. Yes, I had a lesson with a transvestite. She told us not to come back any more and we left.So the week was kinda like that. A little bit on the difficult side. Saturday night was rough and I just felt like I had been working sooo hard and hadn't seen anything. I remember praying and just trying to receive comfort. I went to write in my journal about it and noticed that my sister Lauren had written in the back of it when she gave it to me for my birthday. I had read the message before but I decided to read it again. Her words filled my heart and gave me so much hope. I was relieved to realize that the Lord was still with me and that I didn't have to be discouraged. Thanks Laur. I'm back and hungry for another week and my testimony is as strong as ever. I know that this Church is true. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that it really was written by ancient American prophets. I know I am fighting on the Lords side. I wrote an inspirational 2 liner of the day and I thought I'd share it with you guys: Fight till I die, Preach till I fly. I will never give up because Jesus Christ never gave up on us.I love you all!
Elder Franklyn

Monday, April 21, 2014

A Horse and an Octopus...

April 21, 2014

Elder Nickerl's Birthday Party

Octopus or "Pulpo"

Guillermo helped us cook it!



Well this week has been good but crazy. In most hispanic cultures, before the Easter holiday, they celebrate a week of holidays called the Semana Santa. Many people leave for vacations and here in El Ferrol, there were many parties and parades in the cities main square. They usually start after we get home so they didn't affect us too much but many of our investigators were out of town or plainly did not want to meet with us during this week.  We made the best of it though.  No sign of egg hunts or bunnies or anything over here! 

On Monday we had a lesson with Jose, who has a baptismal date for the 10th of May, in a park and it went really well! He is such a great kid and has a lot of desires to get baptized. After we headed to Armando's as usual and had a great time there. They are so nice and are always so grateful for what we do. Oh sorry if my english is bad this week; we only spoke spanish this last week and it went really great but sometimes I get confused on my english rules and such.

Tuesday we had a toonn of people bail on us haha. Like everyone actually. But we had some octopus or pulpo during medio dia with Wendy and Guillermo and it was Elder Nickerl's birthday so we threw a party in the chapel and invited a ton of people. It turned out well because a ton of the hermanas took over the planning and made it fun. Elder Nickerl gave the speech of his life and it was awesome.

Wendesday we had district meeting which went really well! I think I'm getting better at it haha. After we had intercambios and the zone leader, Elder Fausett, came with me. We had a great time and found a few lessons in the street.  That night we had a noche de hogar with Amanda and Julio and watched some of the videos from General Conference which was great and I could feel the spirit really strongly.

Thursday morning was heeectic. I didn't know that it was a festival day and that the bus schedules had changed and so switching back was hard. We went to the bus stop in the morning. The bus never came. So we headed to the bus stop and Elder Nickerl left from Lugo to come to El Ferrol. We met up with Emiel, a cuban member, and Elder Fausett left for Lugo later on. We were waiting for Elder Nickerl to get there and his bus didn't come... So we had to wait another hour in the bus station and he had managed to catch another bus that arrived later. In the end it all worked out but I was stressing. After that, we planned the week and then met up with Andrew to help him prepare for a lesson he had to teach in church. After we had english class which went really well. We have a family of 3 who are coming right now and they seem pretty interested! Hopefully we can meet up with them and get them to church! They are really nice.

Friday was awesome and we had a little miracle go down. In the afternoon we had a few people cancel on us so we went out to contact people in the street. There was like no one so we went to knock some buildings. After 3 or 4 doors of nothing, someone let us in. We went up to the apartment and a man opens the door and is super friendly! He explains that his name is Walter and that he's from Argentina. He lets us in the door and we have a lesson right then on his couch! It has been a while since that has happened and he was soo open to everything so it really made my week. We ended the night at the Calderon's and had a great time with them like always.

Saturday was decent. We had a lot of people bail on us as well but we managed to find a few lessons. At the very end of the day we met up with Zorkan finally after like months of nothing and he seems like he's still a bit interested so we will see where that goes. He really wants to learn english too so we'll see!

Sunday was a good day. We had a lot of members in church which was great and Luciano and Jose came as well. We taught the second hour and helped Andrew teach the third hour so we didn't have much time to relax and listen to others haha. The talks during church were so inspired though and I felt the Spirit really strongly. It doesn't matter where you are, it always just feels great. We had two solid set set set set set set set set lessons cancel on us that afternoon too which was a bummer but we visited some members and grew our relationships with them. Last night Hermana Dolly, Wendy's mom, fed us hamburgers and french fries which was awesome even though it reminded me of home a little haha.

All in all I think it was a great week. We worked hard and I am really excited to start teaching Walter. Miracles are everywhere. We've just got to look.

Love you all!

Elder Franklyn

Monday, April 14, 2014

"Exhausted But Wouldn't Want to Be Anywhere Else"

April 14, 2014

Hey Hey Hey!!!!

Well this week has been nuts! Super crazy, super busy, super tiring, super rewarding. I don't have too much time but I'll hit the highlights.

On Monday night, I got a ton of calls from this less active member named Carlos who dished out probably every single cuss word I have ever heard in the Spanish language to me over the phone and said that I was a joke of a missionary and a disgrace to the Church. He slammed the phone up on me and so I called him back to see why he was so mad. The same thing happened again with some words I don't know in Spanish and slammed the phone up again. I had never met the guy and never even talked to him but his number was in our phone. We visited his house on Tuesday and he came to church with us on Sunday. Turns out he has an amazing collection of music in his house and even though he yelled me out, we became friends.

On Wednesday I went on an exchange with the missionaries in A Coruña and we had an interview with a 10 year old girl who got baptized on Saturday! She was so ready and I was nervous because it was my first interview but it went great!

On Friday I went on an exchange to Santiago and I was with Elder Becerra. We were supposed to have an interview but it had to get pushed back. We spent about 4 hours in the street contacting and I was dead when I got home haha. We ended up finding two Dominican kids though that are super ready and it was a true miracle that we met them. We had a lesson with them there and they seemed really excited to learn more.

On Sunday we had 77 members in church with a less active family and about 3 or 4 other less active members there. It was amazing to see the success of our hard work with them and we saw one of them paying his tithing! So great to see. Two recent converts are working on receiving the priesthood as well and it just makes me so happy to see them progress in the Church. Gotta love the mission!

Well I am exhausted to be honest but I don't want to be anywhere else. I am so happy to be here in Spain and just love the people here so much. I know that the church is true and that I am here serving the Lord. There is not a doubt in my mind.

Love you all!

Elder Franklyn

Friday, April 11, 2014

April 7th

My late Birthday!!

My package arrived - after the Madrid Post Office kept it hostage for a month!

Excited over my  In-n-Out t-shirt! Thanks

Mis queridos amigos,

Conference was great!!! The talks were so inspired and I learned a great deal from it. This week has been good but challenging as well. I feel the need to keep pushing harder and harder each day -  which is probably a good thing.

Tuesday we had a pretty decent day. A lesson that went well with Rigoberto on the Book of Mormon and a few others throughout the day. We worked hard though and had a great time with Irina and her family at night. They are awesome and so strong in the church.

Wednesday was the first district meeting for me! I think it went well. It was great to see Elders Smith and Malan. They were serving in Mostoles when I was in Fuenlabrada and now they are up here!! It was a good day though. We had a lesson with Gracian who is still strruggling to act on what we teach. We had a great family home evening meeting with Amanda and her father Julio! Julio brought a friend over and at first it was weird but it got better as the night went on.

Thursday we planned the week and then went to Rosa's! They have like 4 sons and so it is always fun to hang out and joke around with them a bit. They are good kids and two of them are almost done with their missionary papers. After we headed to Jacobo's with Hermano José Martínez and had a good lesson on General Conference. I found some great scriptures on the Nephite General Conference in Mosiah 2:1-9 and he liked it! After we had english class which went well and we had a lesson with Luciano. He is soo close to making the committment but just doesn't feel ready yet. He is a great guy and our bond with him has really grown. I just know how important these things are for him and I can't wait for him to get baptized! Its going to bless his life so much.

Friday we had exchanges with Elder Malan! It went really well! A lot of people cancelled on us but we kept looking for those intercambio milagros. It actually happened on Saturday morning when we were contacting. We received like 7 references in a few hours and were super excited about it! Elder Malan is a great elder and I enjoyed the time to be with him.

On Saturday we switched back, studied 12 weeks and then headed to GENERAL CONFERENCE!! We were so excited and every time they announced who was going to speak, Elder Nickerl and I would freak out and get even more excited haha. I truly know that we have a living prophet today and I feel so blessed to be able to hear and understand his words. The Apostles were amazing as well and there were so many talks that I loved. You should all watch them because they are life changing! Sunday was pretty much just all General Conference. We watched it in Spanish here in the church building and I felt bad that Elder Nickerl  had a difficult time understanding.  I remember last October I felt the same thing and it was frustrating.

Well that's this week! I've got a busy week next week filled with intercambios and hard work to be done so wish me luck!! Keep on being who you are and remember that you are all children of God! I know this church is true and I am so grateful to be out here serving the Lord and spreading the great news. Love you!


Mom - Big news!! I got your package!!! The vans are awesome and thank you for all of the treats and other presents as well. It was my first 'birthday party' thing in April - haha but it was great. Thanks for the pictures!! I liked them a lot! Good job on taking the advice from Elder Ballard, that talk was great! General Conference was great!   Elder Scott translates his own talks into spanish so that was good!

Thats so awesome that you met up with Elder Nickerl's mom! She seems awesome and her stories remind me of you!

Good luck with replanting the  garden Mom!  How's the avocado tree? Gosh I can't believe Carol is getting married!! Thats so crazy! Sounds like its gunna be a fun reunion down there in California! Thank you for everything.
Elder Franklyn