Monday, September 23, 2013

Sept 23

Hey mom!
All is well here!  We have been working hard, and working with practically no miles this week.  Yay for tracting!  Ha!  We had a great meeting last nigth with the S family.  Sister Frampton said that she has been waiting for the opportunity to teach a whole family like this her whole mission, so we are way pumped!  It is definitely hard to stay in control of the lesson always, but the family has promised to diligently find truth through praying and reading.  Good things are going to happen there, I just know it! 
Dani, Jennifer A, S Frampton
S Frampton's B-day at the park w/some of the elders
Our ward has been putting a huge push on members going teaching with us.  So this last week we have had a lot of our lessons with the members here.  It makes a huge difference for the investigators as well as for us.  It is one of those things that if you do it you walk away feeling so good, and knowing that it is something that we should be doing (John 7:16-17).  I wish I had been more active in the work back home.  This week we had Brother K invite a girl named Shanique to his home for a lesson.  We shared the restoration with her, and she loved it!  Brother K had such a powerful testimony, and I knew that him being so involved was key to her feeling the spirit.  Unfortunately she will be returning back to Oakland, CA for pediatry school next week.  I think she is definitely going to be baptized when she gets there though.  We never know whom God is preparing, or who needs to hear the message. 
S Frampton's B-day at the park
Believe it or not, it is already time for boots here.  It has been pretty cold already, but not consistently yet.  I may need to go get new walking shoes though that are more waterproof.  We will have to see how it goes.  Sister Frampton wears a pair of croc brand shoes (not the clunky ones with holes), and they seem to get the job done with all of the rain.  I will give it some more time, and see if it is worth it.  They look just as bad as the other shoes I have to wear so what could be worse, right?  
I love you all, and pray for you daily.  Talk to you soon:) 


Monday, September 16, 2013

Sept 16

I don't know if the emails will shorten.  I am sure they will, but I love telling you all of the things that happen here.  Being a missionary you see miracles every single day!  It is incredible how much our Heavenly Father's hand is in the work. 
It is cold here now.  Amazingly enough we had the hottest day ever on Tuesday (90), and these last few days have been ranging between 50-60.  Definitely time to bring out the raincoats and umbrellas too!  We have had a bunch of rain, which makes tracting even more interesting! 
This week Elder Bowen from the 70 came and spoke to us.  It was incredible experience!  Sister Frampton and I walked away feeling like we needed to do better about talking to everyone and teaching pure doctrine, rather than finding common ground in Jesus Christ.  Everyone here is Catholic, Protestant, or Lutheran, and we all have Him in common.  Our difference lies in the Restoration and the unique truths that have been restored because of it.  So we have been having more success. 
Our mission wide goal is for every companionship to have at least 3 new investigators weekly.  Sister Frampton and I were very inspired after Elder Bowen to achieve this goal.  We did it by Friday and were so proud of it!  So Sunday rolled around, and we had about an hour and half to work that night with no appointments.  So we went tracting!  We had a lot of rejection all over that street.  We finally came to a home, right before we had to go in because of the dark, with the lights on.  Their door is glass, and inside a woman was sitting at her kitchen table canning tomatoes and pumpkin butter.  She just waved us on in.  We walked on in, and she thought we were her son's friends.  Ha!  Surprise!  You just let the Mormon missionaries in!  So funny!  After talking for a bit, we found out her brother is a convert to the church, but that her family is still Catholic.  We talked with Mary and her kids, Charles and Marcella, who are about 18.  Her brother was sealed in the SL Temple, and they had tons of questions.  Some of their questions were way weird, and we didn't know where they got those ideas, or how to answer.  We turned the conversation back to the Restoration and taught very simply.  Mary kept asking strange questions, and insisted that there is no need for just one faith.  Her kids were seemingly in awe though.  At the end of the lesson I felt prompted to bear testimony to Marcella specifically.  I just told her I knew it was true and that she could too.  They asked about the Book of Mormon for a bit, and I handed it specifically to Marcella.  She is excited to read it.  We have an appointment with all of them on Sunday again.  So to total up our investigators for the week: 6 new investigators!  We doubled our goal!  Don't tell anyone, but sometimes I think tracting is fun! 
I know The Lord's hand is in everything we do, especially when it comes to gathering the House of Israel.  We just have to have faith.  Faith leads to miracles.  I love being a missionary!  I love seeing the way people's eyes light up when they recognize the truth we share.  The church is true!  I love you all! Thank you for your support!  
P.S. the pictures is of Sister Frampton and I in front of Handel's Ice Cream.  My understanding is it started here in Ohio, and it is still centered here.  It is incredible ice cream and everyone here is obsessed!  Also the other picture is of me and Sister Wygant, a Sister Training Leader, who I went on exchanges with about two weeks ago. 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Sept 9

Hey Mom!

I know it is crazy that time keeps on rolling!  Time has started to go faster this week.  I finally am starting to find my feet and feeling success.  I really appreciate you sending me everyone's letters each week, and getting letters from everyone.  Always fun to get letters in the mail!  Tell the kids I would almost rather them write me hand written letters.  I have more time to do that anyway. 
 So this week we have had a lot of fun and success!  Sister Frampton and I went out to follow up on some old referrals and less-actives right after I email last week.  Nothing went through, and we had a lot of negative mean responses that day.  So we went to the last house, and after being rejected again we noticed a construction worker sitting and waiting for his concrete guy to come up.  We went over and found out his name is Craig.  Craig doesn't believe in church.  That is great because neither do we!  Ha!  I told him that, and he immediately dropped his guard.  We told him how we believe in the gospel of Jesus Christ, and that it doesn't matter what building you attend, you always find the same teachings there.  He liked that.  He told us that our church was the best he had ever heard of.  So we taught him the whole restoration right then and there!  He was eating it up like candy!  His eyes were glowing and you could tell he was feeling the spirit.  After we shared the first vision, he said "I believe everything you are saying."  He asked if we would keep teaching him right there! Ha!  We didn't want to overwhelm him so we are trying to set up a good time to meet back up with him.  He accepted to be baptized and everything!  The church is true!  If that was the only good thing I do for the next 18 months, it was worth it!  I love being a missionary! 
On Thursday we went out tracting, and kept being rejected.  People here are mostly Catholic because of tradition.  We knocked on our last door for the night, and a big dog came rolling out barking and growling.  We heard a laugh from a man inside, who put the dog in another room.  He came out and said, "sorry, the dog is a Lutheran."  Ha!  Never heard that before!  The man's name is Tom, and he is a journalist and a recently graduated lawyer.  He made the joke that he is Tom, which means by nature he is Thomas the Doubter.  He is super smart, and was fascinated by us.  We were the first missionaries he ever met, and kept pushing us to argue.  When we didn't he decided he wasn't interested and left.  Before he did, we shoved a card in his hand with our number on it.  He scoffed and left.  On Friday much to our astonishment we got a call from Tom with the Lutheran dog!  He said he wanted to hear our message.  We met with him Saturday.  The lesson was a bit wild with questions.  He has read a lot of literature, just none that has been sanctioned by the church.  The best thing we walked away with though, was establishing what he wants.  He told us he was envious of our faith and surety of what we believe.  He said he wanted that in his life, and has been seeking the truth.  He says he can't have the truth without us being able to answer all of his weird Joseph Smith questions first though.  We will see how that goes, but I feel like if we can help him establish and understanding that God loves him, and that the Book of Mormon is from our Father in Heaven, the questions won't matter.  It is just about getting him to that point. 
Well, I love being a missionary, I love Ohio, and I love working.  I am starting to understand doctrine more and more, and hopefully I will be at the place as some of these other folks!  Thank you for all you do for me! 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Labor Day

Sister Frampton is from Highland, Utah.  She graduated in 2011 and attended BYUI.  She actually went to Disneyworld at the same time as Erin and may know her.  We have a couple of friends in common too.  She is really nice, and is a hard worker.   We have a lot of similarities and really push each other. 
This week has been interesting.  We ran out of miles last week, which is the first time that has ever happened to S. Frampton.  So we ended up doing a lot of walking!  We found quite a few potential investigators which was cool.  I am learning to open my mouth more.  A member also took us to the Canfield County Fair on Saturday.  It was HUGE!!!!!!!  It was crazy trying to find people to talk to there because it was so packed with all sorts of things.  To give you an idea of how big this fair really is, Train was one headline band and the other was Sheryl Crow.  Some people say it is one of the biggest county fairs in the country.  It was cool to go see what The Boss was singing about. 
We have been doing a lot of service this week as well.  We went to the Ki's home, who have an orchard, to help.  We spent the afternoon picking raspberries.  We were scraped up pretty good, but it was a lot of fun.  We also went to the Youngstown Rescue Mission to serve food there.  It was an eye opening experience to see the security and things.  There was a lady named Edith there who sang about Jesus to everyone for lunch, and people were brought to tears.  I loved it.  Serving God's children is a huge blessing we, as missionaries, get to do all the time! 
We have been teaching a lot, and have been rejected a lot.  Our focus right now is on the ward.  Helping to establish a ward plan, as well as getting the members involved in the work.  We are putting our focus on cottage meetings right now.  These are like mini firesides or large FHEs at members home, where we share the message and let everyone socialize and bring their friends and families who would benefit.  Right now we just need to start the flame.
We have also been working with the A family.  They are all less active members with the exception of Jennifer, the mom, who is not a member.  We went to their home for a labor day cook out and met the whole big family.  Many of them don't know anything about the church, so we had a great opportunity to talk to people about our missions and teach them a bit.  Jennifer has been progressing a lot.  She used to not want to hear the messages, but Sunday she invited us to share a message with everyone before we left.  She made the initiative!  We are hoping that this is a sign of her progressing towards the desire to be baptized. 
I love you all.  We don't have a lot of time today, so tell the kids I will write them next week.