Monday, May 18, 2015

LAST ONE





Well,

This is it. The LAST ONE!!! My last email that I will be writing. 

This last week was really great. We saw a ton of miracles. The biggest of all of them though has definitely been Norma and Marco. We finished all of the lessons with them this week and we had their baptismal interview on Friday. Elder Ward did it of course and they both passed perfectly. I will be having two baptisms on my last full day as a missionary. The Lord has been so good to me. I never asked for anything like this but I am so grateful that I have had the opportunity to be here in Santa Cruz and to have been able to teach them the message of the gospel. Like mostly all of the baptisms that I have had on the mission, I honestly feel like I haven't done anything. Gabriela and her family were the ones that brought them to the Church and Heavenly Father was the one that brought about the change in their hearts. The day of their interview was soo hectic because Norma's cousin was coming from Cuba and she had to go pick her up at the airport. Elder Ward was running a little bit behind schedule and so we got to her house late. The best way to put this is that Norma's flight was miraculously delayed a few hours (thanks Heavenly Father) so that Norma and Marco could have their interviews. Everything went wonderfully and we are so excited for them taking this most important step. I love them so much!

Another miracle that we saw this week was with a man named Candido. He's from Cuba (yeah I love the cubans). We contacted him in the street two weeks ago and he hasn't missed church since. We had a first lesson with him last week and it went incredibly well. He accepted the invitation to be baptized and is progressing wonderfully. On Sunday we had Candido, Norma, Marco, Miguel, Maria Fernanda, and Antioneta (Gabi's mom) all at church with us. All of them are cubans besides Miguel (who is from the Dominican Republic) so we kind of had a cuban party in the chapel this week haha. It was amazing though and we are seeing soo much progression in Gabriela's mom, Antioneta. She basically bore her testimony during the second hour and Norma jumped in too. It was incredible. They love us soo much. 

I wanted to finish this email by bearing my testimony about this experience of being a full-time missonary and also of this Church. During these last two years I have been through good times and hard times. The mission has never been something easy for me to go through. It's always hard but I have seen myself grow so much during this wonderful experience. I have never felt a greater feeling of love in my entire life than I have while serving as a missionary. I love the mission so much. I know that my calling has been of God. I have seen so many people change their lives for the better while I have been sharing this message with them. I know that the Gospel changes lives. It has changed mine more than I have ever imagined. I know that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world and the Son of God. I know that this Church is His Church. I have no doubt about that anymore. I know that Heavenly Father has been watching over me during my whole life and guiding me by His merciful hand. I know that I am not perfect but I have never felt as close to the Savior as I have felt while serving alongside Him in this work. I love you all and I can't wait to see most of you in just a week!

Love,

Elder Franklyn

Monday, May 11, 2015

Pizza and Mission Conference!


Marcos

"phone home"

Pizza with the Gil Familia




Holaaaaaaaa,

This week was awesome! 

On Monday night we went to the Gil's house (local ward members), we shared a message about sharing the gospel and they bought us pizza! I have a picture that should be attached.

On Tuesday we had intercambios in Santa Cruz! I stayed here with Elder Boone and Elder Koeven went to La Laguna with Elder Ward. It was way fun! Elder Boone is a hilarious kid and we get along pretty well. We had a great lesson with Norma and Marco and they fully accepted the Word of Wisdom without problems (yesss!!!).

On Wednesday, Elder Boone and I contacted in the morning for a bit and then we headed to La Laguna to meet up with our best friends, Elder Koeven and Elder Ward. After that, we went to the airport, boarded a flight and WENT TO MADRID!!! We were all soo excited. We got there, realized we had no food and took an unsuccessful food hunting trip that ended with us running into the Las Palmas missionaries aka ELDER PRIEST. It was awesome to see him! I don't have any pictures with him because my camera is dead but I will also be seeing him in a week so I will be sure to get one then.

Thursday was the day of the big conference and it BLEW MY MIND APART. It was without a doubt the best conference I had ever been at in my mission. Elder Dyches (Area of Seventy) spoke and Elder Allen (Managing director of the missionary department) also spoke. It was soooo good and I learned soo much about how to use technology wisely and how to use these tools to bless the lives of others. Turns out that I'm not going to be getting an ipad because of how soon I will be returning home but I learned a tooon about how to use technology after the mission. We got back to Santa Cruz at around 10 at night on Thursday and then just hit the pillow hard.

Friday was good. We planned the week and then had an indexing activity in the afternoon. Before the activity, we were contacting in the street and Elder Koeven was kind of whining about going to an indexing activity (he's such a girl haha juust kidding). We go to the church and let's just say that 45 minutes later Elder Koeven was hooked on indexing and was sad that the activity had ended. I love my companion.

Saturday went well and when we got home I was covered in milk. Wait... what?? Yeah let me explain. We had a good lesson with a new investigator named Hilda in the morning. In the afternoon we had our ward talent show! I played Let It Be by the Beatles on the guitar with Gabriela playing on the clarinet (she is a beast). Our second act was an interesting explanation of what a missionaries morning routine is. I sat down in a chair with a desk in front of me and Elder Koeven was kneeling behind me covered in a blanket and his arms looked like they were my arms. The first task was eat cereal (here's where the milk comes in to play). He spilled a ton on my shirt and almost ruined my missionary handbook! After he tied a tie for me and made a few phone calls. It was hilarious! And I walked home covered in milk.

Sunday was great! A few awesome investigators came to church and then of course, SKYPING WITH THE FAMILY! It was awesome. I miss my family a ton and every time I see them I love them even more. I kept my record for not crying during a skype sesh so I'm proud about that. We Skyped at Gabriela's house and they fed us some bomb cuban food before we left. Gabi's mom (Mama Cuba/ Ationeta) is the best and my mom cried a little when she said hi to my family in english. 

I know this Church is true. I know that Jesus Christ is my Saviour. I am so grateful for this time that I have had to be here in Spain and especially here in Santa Cruz. I love the Lord and I know that He is my Boss. I will miss this place so much. It is so strange to me to think that I will be home in only 2 weeks. I am excited to see all of you! Know that I love you all and that I am praying for you. 

Elder Franklyn

Monday, May 4, 2015

Opposition: 5/4/2015




Wellllllll...

This week was pretty good! We saw some awesome miracles and the week flew by like always. We also saw a lot of opposition which was kind of hard but we are missionaries right?

Great and wonderful things: Norma and Marco now have a baptismal date for the 23rd of May and they are progressing wonderfully towards that date! Yes, that will be my last weekend in the mission. Heavenly Father loves me. And all of you too. They are great though and they came to church again this week. That makes 4 weeks in a row and they seem pretty happy with continuing that streak. Sorry if my spelling is rough. I'm just confusing myself over here.

Other good things: Gabriela's mom wants to get baptized! She told Norma she wanted to and then she told Gabi and then she told us too! She is incredible and is definitely going to be a president of something someday. She came to church again as well and is doing great but she just doesn't have any time to meet with us. She works from 9 to 2, takes an hour break to eat and then works 3 to 9. Every. Day. Besides Sunday mornings which is when she comes to church. I'm sure she will get baptized but it will most likely be after I leave. 

Opposition: There have been like 4 days out of the past week that were holidays and so we saw a toooonn of rejection in the street. We also lost our phone and my missionary agenda, breaking my two records for never having lost either one, but we don't have to talk about it. Really the last record I have on my mission is not throwing up in 2 years but let's try not to jinx anything here. 

Elder Koeven and I are doing well together. He is totally trunking me out but I'm doing a good job at resisting it. He usually ends up just trunking himself out and I'm the one that is focusing in the street haha. We get along really well though and enjoy each other's company as companions. 

We had another investigator named Andr├ęs come to church on Sunday. He's a really great guy and seems to have true desires to investigate the church and our message. Hopefully we can continue to see some growth with him!

Life is good though. The mission is great. It's hard at times but I still love it. We are heading to Madrid this week on Wednesday to be trained on iPads so we will see how that goes. There are lots of rumors going around that my group will not be receiving them and I am totally fine with that.  Just pushing on and doing my best to stay focused!

Elder Franklyn