Monday, May 27, 2013

Subway Singing and Such

Hey, I apologize there will not be a very lengthy weekly update this week...

I've got NO time today.

But I will mention a few things...

The family I talked about last week…Is FANTASTIC. So solid. We've been meeting with them and their 15 year old daughter is attending Young Women's activities with the ward! Next step... getting the WHOLE family to church... Please pray for us.

I can't remember if I've ever talked about Bishop Yanez (Yawn-yez) (Mom! He's from Chile! Along with half of the ward... Haha.). Due to experiences with irresponsible missionaries in the past, the bishop hasn't been too fond of the missionaries. I've always personally been a little terrified of him. BUT guess what... We got invited to WARD COUNCIL this week for the first time in a long time... ALL 7 of us. Pretty cool right? The bishop was on FIRE. He spoke very passionately about how we missionaries desperately need the help of the ward to do as much teaching as we should be doing. It was awesome. I think he's been really pleased with the work my district has been doing. At least, I hope that's what that means.

Another interesting thing that happened... Sis. Van Langen got pretty darn sick. So we went on Splits with the Sisters serving in the Young Single Adult Queens ward. That way Sister Mann and I wouldn't both have to be cooped up all day.... SO AWESOME. I love the YSA ward. I have a feeling I might end up serving in that ward at some point... Who knows?

We started doing a thing where we go sing hymns in the train station. That's pretty darn cool. Watch for me on Youtube folks. All the Asian tourists video us. Haha. But really it's amazing how music brings people in and lifts everyone's spirits.

Speaking of singing...I got asked to sing at the Mission-wide Sisters Conference next week. WOOO-whoo. Haha

Uhh... I'm running out of time!! But I love you all! Keep the faith, and remember to be an example of the believers!

Hermana Franklin


The Three Musketeers

 We Love NYC


 Outside the apartment!

Monday, May 20, 2013

I Knew You Were Different

Alright everybody. I will apologize in advance... I'm not really sure where to begin with this update. SO MUCH HAPPENED THIS WEEK.

As I informed you last week. I'm in a trio!

I LOVE IT! It's been super great. Turns out, I had absolutely nothing to worry about. Sister Mann is the BOMB. She's from Logan (Hyde Park), Utah. Another one from "La Fabrica" (The Factory... as the Hispanics call it. Haha.) We get a long SO WELL. Too well, actually. Haha.

She adds so much to the companionship. Seriously, it doesn't even matter that she doesn't know Spanish. Her ideas and her positive attitude have blessed us so much. We've started getting used to having 3 people in our tiny studio apartment... and things are going well. :)

We had a Mega-Zone Conference this week with Elder Koelliker of the 70. Such a great conference. He talked a lot about our need to teach our investigators how to pray and how essential it is that our investigators pray with us all on our knees. It was good to think about what prayer means to me, and what role it played in my conversion.

President Calderwood also upped our standards of excellence. He made a couple of changes, but the one that made my eyes widen a bit was "1 baptism per companionship each transfer". AHhhh!

Well, it may take some time to achieve this. But the bar has been raised. If we're looking at this from a high jumpers point of view...the Bar's at 6'. I've never even been able to jump 5'8"... So I've got a lot of jumping to do. As my strength increases I'll be able to reach the bar. If I have to knock the bar off a thousand times so be it. One of these days, I'll make it over the bar!

We're all on board and we're ready to work harder than ever before so hopefully I'll be able to tell you about a baptism this transfer. :)

Let's see... what else is new?

We found a new family to teach, and they're pretty great. They have two very sweet daughters and haven't lived here that long. We've only taught them once, so I'll keep you updated on how things progress with them.

I also changed a tire for someone on the side of the road this week. Yes, in a skirt. Haha.

We had stake conference this week and guess who was there!? JOSEPH! The Egyptian guy I found a few weeks ago! He came up to me and thanked me for being in the right place at the right time that day. He said, "I saw you, and I knew you were different. There was something special." He told me that I couldn't have presented the church to him at a better time. And he was ready to accept it. Even though I didn't get to teach Joseph, I'm so grateful I had a small part in his life. And I'm grateful that I had the privilege of seeing him change. I'm grateful Heavenly Father has a perfect plan.

The last thing I want to share with you is a message from Boyd K. Packer (from stake conference)... the message is this: It's NEVER too late to change. It doesn't matter where you've been... As long as you know where you're going. Heavenly Father provided EVERY man with a way back. And for this, I couldn't be more grateful. I'm grateful that the almighty God, the creator of a universe, provided a way for all of us. You, and even little ol' me. Remember that the worth of souls is great in the sight of God. Never assume it's too late for you, or someone else to change and come unto Christ. No matter how rough and dark the past may seem... The future is bright!

Keep the faith! I love you all! 

Hermana Franklin

PS. Here is a lovely "self portrait" of my companions and me.

Monday, May 13, 2013

And Then There Were Three...

Well our first transfer was coming to a close and Sister van Langen and I made lots and lots of goals and plans for this upcoming transfer...I was feeling SUPER great about the things we were going to try to accomplish...Feeling pretty dang confident, and ready to get out there, dive in and get to work on my goals.

Then. We got a phone call.

Yes. The dreaded phone call. It was the office elders telling us they would be bringing by "an extra bed for the new missionary". WHHHHAAAATT?

News to us, we were going to be in a trio this transfer.


President called us shortly after to inform us that the missionary who would be joining our companionship is a brand new missionary from the MTC, and in fact, a visa waiter... she could be here for pretty much any amount of time between 6 and 12 weeks. Here's the thing... she's waiting for a visa to go to she doesn't speak Spanish. She speaks Portuguese...unfortunately Brazilians are a little scarce around these parts. Haha.  (There's a few in our ward they should be able to help her with her language...I most certainly can't.) We'll do the very best we can to make sure she has a good experience here. But we'll hope for her sake that her visa goes through soon.

So there's the update on my companionship...trioship? Haha...Needless to say, all my goals require a different plan of action now.

Funny how life does that to us.  Just plan to be surprised. :)

On a completely unrelated note...We had a FREAK rainstorm on Saturday. I've never been that soaked in my life. Haha. Nothing more pitiful than two girls in nice Sunday clothes walking around in "raining cats and dogs" weather. On the topic of weather I've had a couple previews of the summer days ahead. HOT and HUMID. Pretty sure I'll have to carry an extra shirt wherever I go...Sheeesh... It's awful.

Everything is good though. Honestly, I couldn't be happier. I got to talk to the best padres en todo el mundo ayer, and I'm preaching the great news of the gospel in this wonderful place, serving in a great ward with soon to be TWO awesome sisters, and we have 4 of the greatest elders in the world...... WHAT MORE COULD I WANT?

Well, I do want one thing... And that is for everyone else to be as happy as I am. I hope you will help me in my efforts to share joy with others. Everyone could use some joy, right? And EVERYONE can use the atonement. Invite your friends to church, invite your friends back to church if they're not active, invite others to invite OTHERS to church, invite someone over for dinner, be a good example of righteous living to those around you, share a smile, write a note, help someone weed their yard or paint a fence, pick up trash at the community park...  WHATEVER! There's always something we can do to help. :)

Love y'all so much! I hope all you mothers had a great day yesterday, thanks for ALL you do! I know I'd be just about nothing without my dear mom.

Have a great week!

Hermana Tara Franklin


MTC Pictures...

    MTC District Sisters

   MTC District Elders

   MTC Companion Hermana Dean

    THE Map Pictures

   One of Tara's best friends -- On her way to Russia

   BYU-I roommate Brooklyn and Hermana Julie Dean

   View from the Brooklyner

   View from the Brooklyner

   View from the Brooklyner

   View from the Brooklyner




   Radiating happiness as usual

   Zone Leaders -- Elder Heaps & Elder Hogge

   Elder van Mondfrands & Elder Nielson

   Hermana Franklin & Hermana van Langen
Tara didn't send any captions but if you have been reading her letters here on the blog you will be able to recognize some of the people and places.  I tried to add what I think they are. 

Monday, May 6, 2013

Cast Not Away Your Confidence


Well this week went by like a rocket... But from what I remember it was pretty good. 

Things are really taking off here in Woodside. The ward is just getting stronger and stronger. I love all the members so much. I know I say that ALL the time. But honestly, I never realized that by leaving my family behind for a year and a half I would gain another one. :) (Don't worry family, I'm not replacing you. Just adding on.)

I would love to talk for a moment about my district. I LOVE MY DISTRICT.

I truly have the greatest District Leader in the mission field. Elder Van Mondfranz is the best of the best. He's such a good example to us.... He works hard ALL day, EVERY day. He knows how to get the job done. He would kill me if he knew I was publicly boasting about his awesomeness... but I don't really care. Haha.

Elder Nielson is ROCKIN' it like he always has. He's always got a smile on his face. I've actually never heard him make a negative remark of any kind.  He's improving so much in the language... and he works hard. He's just a gem.... Everyone's "little brother", if you will.

Elder Heaps and Elder Hogge (Zone Leaders) are the bomb. Elder Heaps is going home after this next transfer. I'm not gonna lie, I'm pretty sad. He's one of those people that just drives you absolutely NUTS in such an endearing way...(??) I hope you know what I mean. I dare say, Elder Heaps speaks the best Spanish of any Gringo I've EVER seen. Funny story about him:

He bought a brand new suite to wear home from his mission. It looks great on him and he bragged about it plenty, so we were all aware he was wearing a brand new suite...

One word. PIGEONS. Haha. Hahaha.... Haha.....Ha.

Well... You can all guess. He had bird crap in his hair, on the front AND back of his jacket, pants, AND his backpack. NICE. Pretty sure he made it through 2 years of serving in this pigeon infested land and never took a hit till that. Haha. Life is just too great sometimes.

Elder Hogge is such a good Elder. He's super enthusiastic and is always ready to help out wherever he can. If you would like an accurate Disney character comparison... he's Flick from Bugs Life. Haha. Seriously. It's spot on. I hope he serves here in Woodside with me for a long time.

There you go. Now you have a little bit of inside info about the missionaries I'm with day in and day out.

How is the actual MISSIONARY WORK going, you ask? FANTASTIC!  I love the nice weather. It's starting to be warm every single day and all the greenery is out! BEAUTIFUL. Lot's more people are out on the streets during the day and there's always someone to talk to. Things have started to take off with some of our "finding efforts"... which has been awesome! 

Guess what, y'all. I draw (Charac-a-cher... NO idea how to spell that...) caricature (correct spelling inserted by Mom) pictures of people in the park, to get them to talk to me for a few minutes. SO great. Haha.

We've been working with several less actives and WOW. It's truly been a miracle to see some of the changes they have made in their lives. We've had a lot of success in my companionship (as well as all the other companionships in my district) with reactivation. We're all really happy about that.

My spiritual thought for today... Read Hebrews 10... 32-39 are the best verses.

Remember.... We are not of those who "draw back"! We are of those who believe in the saving of souls!

In honor of Elder Heaps and the Timpview Cross Country team... Some days you're the pigeon, Flyin' high, with everything goin' your way. Some days you're Elder Heaps. Haha. On those days... remember who you are and "cast not away your confidence"! You're a child of the most high God. And he loves you very much.

And so do I.

Con todo el amor puedo dar,

Hermana Tara Franklin

P.S. Congrats to my beloved sister who is now a college GRAD!!! WOOOO WHOO! What a smart cookie. LOVE her.

Congrats to Tommy-Ray and Laura on their engagement... I knew it!

Congrats to Uncle Jeff! An IRON MAN!? What a boss!

Way to go Uncle Scott!  You will be a great Bishop!

And to the best mom ever…I always thought that you should be the Relief Society President.