as of September 11, 2013

Sunday, August 23, 2015

August 18, 2015 – My last email as a missionary

Dear Mom, Dad, Lauren, and Ian,

Wow, this is something weird! My very last letter home as a missionary. I'm not sure if I should talk about my last week here or how I feel. How about both?

Well, this past week my companion, Elder Walters and I spent a bit of time learning a few more songs for another choir activity. But I only needed to learn one song so we didn't spend much time working on that :D But the activity was a graduation for a Self-reliance class the church is doing. This class is one of the first in the world and they earned degrees from BYU so this was a pretty big deal! There was a news team from the country covering the graduation. If you look it up you might see me on the piano. ;D Anyway, the activity went great! I played well and everything was all good.  ^_^

Well, after that whole thingy, Elder Walters and I turned our attention to finding those 60 references we have received over some time through the English class we were teaching. We had 30 people come to the class!!! We had the highest number of references received and contacted in the zone. We were happy with that.  :D Unfortunately, not one of them came to church because it stormed and Dominicans are terrified of the rain. But that's ok, because something that would happen the next day would cheer me up.

So, I got a call from my ZL's asking if I could come to the capital and help in translating for some US Navy doctors coming to visit the country. Boy, it was an amazing experience!!! The troops doing this service project were all fantastic! Also, there were different jobs for different translators. Some were translating for the doctors, but I was assigned to translate at triage. Basically, I was the welcoming sign in. So, I got to meet every single person that came in. That day something like 250 or 300 people came in. I had to sign them in and ask what the problem was. Man, I heard some interesting things. Mom, I'm leaving it to you to include what you think should be included with what I heard. XD But it was a great experience! And I will never forget it! (This is Elder Froude’s mom…I decided not to include his stories of his triage experience as most of them were inappropriate for this blog. Funny, but still inappropriate. Just ask him when you see him. J)

So, this one is a little random, but I thought it was really cool! So, Elder Walters and I went to go to a member's house to pick something up. When we got there the member went into his house to get it and Elder Walters and I were joking around and talking, as we usually do, while we waited. When the member came back and saw us, he told us that we didn't look like normal companions. We asked him what he meant, and he said that we look like we don't just bear one another's presence. He said we looked more like great friends that just happened to be companions. I guess he meant that there are two types of companionships, one that just kinda works together and one that are the bestest friends. I thought it was the coolest thing! That not only am I a happy missionary, and Elder Walters too, but other people can see it too. It was a neat little moment!  ^_^

Well, this letter and my mission is coming to an end. It's a very funky feeling. I felt like I have been doing missionary work for as long as I can remember, and loving it, and now it's coming to an end. I'm sure any returned missionary knows how this feels. And I guess now it's my turn. It's been an extraordinary experience. The miracles I have seen, the happiness I have felt, the things I learned from my mistakes, they all have come together to make me a better person than I was before the mission. I'm nowhere near perfect but I think I'm a little closer to it, much more than I would be had I not served. It's weird, I can notice a difference in myself but at the same time I cannot. It's like piling up hay. Each piece of hay is almost weightless and I can carry it like nothing. But with time, the hay piles more and more and before I even notice, I'm 10 pounds heavier without realizing it.

I know I have changed; I'm just not sure how much. What I know for sure is that my testimony has grown and so has my love for the Savior and His work that He has called me to. And I have learned things that I probably would not have learned had I not served a mission. I have loved every moment of being a missionary and I hope to be able to apply what I learned out here in the world so that I can be able to let my light shine before the world, especially with the state the world is in. It will be harder than before but I feel that the mission has prepared me to be the best disciple of Christ that I can be.

Well, that was my little emotional splurge. X) I hope it makes a nice final entry for the blog. It's been a great two years! For the last time, thank you guys so much for being on and chatting with me on my p-days and for all your love and support! I love you all! And God be with you till we meet again!

-Elder Froude

Our apartment is on top of this chicken restaurant. 
You want to buy an ax?
Pres. Corbitt's birthday
Found this cane-brella and just couldn't resist buying it. Cool, right?

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

August 10, 2015 – Second to last letter home

Dear Mom, Dad, Lauren, and Ian,

Great, you all have me counting now too! X) Anyways, it's weird but I'll only do this long letter one more time and then I'm home... Waaahhhhh! But fortunately, I have quite a bit to write about! I can go about it day by day because we had quite an eventful week. Even though it was eventful, again, we didn't get to go out to teach much :( I'll start from Tuesday since I already wrote about last Monday.

Tuesday was getting ready for moving day which meant spend the day cleaning and packing not only our house but the house we were going to move into as well. So that’s exactly what we did. And since the new house was just down the street, we figured we'd just carry all the little stuff on over so that the people coming to help could just focus on the big stuff. We spent all day doing that, so we didn't have much time for teaching. In fact, we didn't teach at all that day :( Same with the next day, but different story! O:

So Wednesday was our moving day but I didn't get to help move. I was asked to go to a leader's meeting to share my last testimony for all the leaders. President Corbitt does that for any missionary that has been a ZL before in their last transfer. I went with 18 other missionaries. It was awesome! I felt like I was at a high school reunion. I took lots of pics and even some videos! It's always nice to see other missionaries! ^_^ But it took us a while to get back to our apartment though. We arrived at the meeting about 8:30am and we got back to my area about 8:30pm. Again, not able to go out and visit some people.

But not only that, the district of San Pedro asked if I could play the piano for the choir for the District Conference that same weekend. I said sure, and then they picked 4 songs that I didn't know how to play. Great, I thought, I have to take the time to learn these songs. They were “Come Come Ye Saints,” “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” “Peace Be Still,” and another one that Elder Walters ended up learning. I'll get to how I did later.

Thursday was our District meeting, so no teaching that morning. And then we went home and took a little power nap before we went out, but I woke up with a cold! I had felt it the day before, but I didn't think anything of it. Well, it got a little worse and it gave me a bad sore throat and I lost my voice! So, we didn't go out that afternoon but used the down time to continue learning. The process repeated for Friday and Saturday.

Friday though, we were able to go visit a progressing investigator to get at least something. And I was able to talk a little, so we toughed it out for the appointment and then went back home. Well, the investigator wasn't there, but his wife was, who, till that point, had been a little quiet during the lessons. Well, we got to know her and it turns out that she is incredibly smart and so cool! AND she wants an eternal family! We went there planning to talk about the Proclamation and she told us that she said that she had a feeling that when we came over that the family would be discussed. It was INCREDIBLE!! The Spirit was very strong and we could tell that she really did want it. She said that she'd keep the copy and give her husband a stern talking to so that they could get baptized and sealed. Yay!!!! We're going to visit them more often :D

Now comes Sunday, the day we have to play for the choir. I played “Come, Come Ye Saints” and “Battle Hymn of the Republic” just fine. Then I had to play “Peace Be Still.” The first verse went off without a hitch. The second verse, my right arm started to hurt. The third verse, not only does my right arm completely cramp, my fingers lock in place! So, not only am I in a metric ton of pain, I can't play correctly! I just moved my arm up and down trying to hit the right notes and it didn't work too well. XD The fourth verse my arm relaxed and I tried to play something that resembled the hymn. It was so embarrassing! DX But I tried X)

Then today for P-Day, we took a much needed break and just stayed home and played some dominos ^_^ I'm enjoying what I have left of the mission. And at the same time, working hard! It may not be in the missionary work, but it's stuff people needed us to do. And that's what Jesus Christ's ministry was all about, wasn't it? Serving others? I hope that we can keep serving people as much as we can. Hopefully, this week we can balance them both. We'll see what happens! I love you guys! Thanks for being on!!

-Elder Froude

My previous companion, Elder Tillman!

August 3, 2015 – The Not So Long Letter

Dear Mom, Dad, Lauren, and Ian,

Well, this might be a little short seeing as how there won't be much to report on this week, but I have a piece of good news though!

Well, the reason why there isn't much to report is because we haven't gone out a single day this past week. Elder Walters was still recovering from the burn on his leg and when he made some progress, he got sick with a bad cold. So, we were kept in all week last week. We talked a lot about stuff though, being best friends and all.

But on the bright side of things, we had a fruitful fast yesterday!! We knew we were a little low on investigators and had been meaning to look for more but we just haven't been able to. Well, there's this guy in our branch that runs a radio show and he's been inviting people to come to our English class, which has been a little short on students. Well, he's been finding people all week and on Sunday he comes to us with like 31 referrals for us to meet on Saturday when we can get their info!! With that, we'll be busy for the next while. Thanks miracles!!

Well, that's about it unfortunately. But this next week should be much longer! Promise!! Love you guys!!

-Elder Froude

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

July 27, 2015 – Tough Week

Dear Mom, Dad, Lauren, and Ian,

Boy, this week has been a little tough! It seems that life is trying to slow me down! A lot of our plans fell through for other things and errands we had to do. Now granted, I don't regret doing those errands/things because they helped other people. Perhaps that's why things kept coming up. But allow me to explain in full.

So this week, Elder Walters and I planned to do some hardcore contacting, looking for more people to teach. There is a certain time of day we do this because during mornings almost no one is available, and nighttime is too dangerous to contact so we usually take a chunk of our afternoon to contact. Well, almost every day this week when we had gone to contact, an errand would come up and we would have to drop our plan and run that errand. It happened so consistently that I was suspicious of the universe being aware of our efforts to do missionary work. Then, when we thought we were clear to work again, my poor companion drops a super hot pan on his leg and gets an almost third degree burn on his thigh, so then we couldn't leave often because his leg hurts so bad he couldn’t walk.

After some reflection, I came to realize that my desire to work had been a little selfish. That perhaps I wanted to work hard just so I could say I worked hard my last few weeks here in the mission and not that I was working and doing the things the Lord needed me to do.

Other than that, Elder Walters and I are still best buds and trying our best! Hopefully, this coming week will be a better week for us. Sorry, I don’t' have much to share, nothing much else happened, haha! Oh by the way, it was my birthday this week! It was a nice and quiet celebration. My comp and I worked like normal, but we came back to a cake and a mini-celebration with the other two elders we live with. It was nice. I purposely didn't tell anyone it was my birthday. If I did the branch would have thrown me a giant party and you know how I am. I get uncomfortable when I have a lot of attention on me. Haha!

Oh, and I got my birthday package! Thank you so much! It was awesome!!So good! I haven't tried the Teriyaki Spam before though but it was so good! ^-^

I can’t believe I only have 4 weeks left on my mission and I’ll be home! But until then, I'll continue going at it till the last day of being a missionary! Thanks for all the support, guys! Love you all!

-Elder Froude

Can't believe I'm 20!!!
My favorite soda here in the DR

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

July 20, 2015 – Last Transfer But Not Done Yet

Dear Mom, Dad, Lauren, and Ian,

So it was the first week of transfers and it was a little nuts. My companion and I were only able to work like 2 days in our own area. Even though we didn't do a whole lot in our area, we still did a whole lot! XD

There were two elders coming into the area. Oh by the way, I'm staying with Elder Walters this transfer! Yay! Anyway, they were supposed to come on Tuesday, but they didn't show up until Thursday due to a strike that wouldn't let them leave their areas until it settled down. But we didn't know that so we basically waited in the house for two days until they came. XD Then after, we had to do an emergency intercambio (exchange) with the Zone Leaders for a certain meeting, and then we had more meetings. Bleh. But now we're in the normal flow of things!!

Something cool that happened this week was at a birthday party we got invited to. It was for this little girl in the branch turning 5. It was Doc McStuffin themed, and the little girl was dressed up and looked JUST LIKE Doc McStuffin!! It was so adorable!! I wish I had gotten a picture! DX

Also, I'm getting better about Vlogging! Since it's my last 6 weeks, I'm gonna get at least one in every week until I go home, highlighting the week's activities and adventures and such!

About the work here, it's speeding up again! We're working mostly on completing families in the branch. There were a few that we didn't know about. So we'll be working closely with them. One of them is Manuel's father-in-law who apparently is a tough brick. But we shall see! They want us to teach him and teach him we shall! We have an appointment with him on Tuesday, so we'll see what happens!!

I saw all the pictures you sent from Tita Nora’s funeral. It was nice that you all could see each other again. Though no lie, the pics were sad. But I'm glad that you were all there to support each other. ^_^

Thanks for the birthday greetings! I actually haven't gotten the package yet, but I will soon! ^_^ We're so far from the capital, they only bring stuff from the office like twice a transfer :P Hopefully, they bring them  this week.

I hope you all are doing ok. Even though I have little time left, I'm still not done! Here's to my final sprint to the end!! Talk to you all next week! Love you guys! Thanks for all your support! :D

-Elder Froude

Crazy rain in the DR

Me and my companion, Elder Walters

Yummy fish! 
Happy birthday, Elder Froude! From your nieces Laney and Hannah.

July 13, 2015 – Till We Meet Again, Tita Nora

Dearest Family,

I send all of my love and regards to you. The passing of Tita Nora is not easy for any of us, especially because of the kind of person she was. She had been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. She was as loving and caring as a grand aunt as anybody could ever ask for and more. I remember her always being there for our family’s special or grand occasion as she was able.

Tita Nora was the third person who has had a place in my life that has passed away during my mission, and second family member. The first was Tito Chuck, who tragically and unexpectedly passed away last October. The second was an old high school friend of mine, who about 7 months ago, took his own life. If I’m being honest, I don't know how I would still be out here had I not known what I know now. My mom sent me the news of Tita Nora's passing written by Tita Lulu, and in it she wrote that Tita Nora was describing what she was seeing in her final moments.

Death isn't the end for anybody. It's just another path in our journey; one that we all must take. Our life here on earth, as well as our death, is all part of our Heavenly Father’s plan. That being said, we should all take comfort that Tita Nora really is with her loved ones, waiting for us to join them when it's our time as well.
As sad as it is that she isn't with us now, she isn't gone, nor will she ever be. She's in a much more beautiful place, a paradise where her diseased body no longer has a hold on her. And when it's our turn to pass on, she'll be there with arms wide open and a beautiful smile on her face. I, personally, cannot wait for that day!
You all are in my prayers and I love you all so much. I miss you and I'm sorry that I cannot be there with you at this time. I'd like to share with you all a favorite scripture of mine, and I hope that it brings you comfort as it does me. Isaiah 41:10 reads: 

“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”

Elder Ryan Froude

At my graduation. Tita (Aunt) Nora on the left and my grandma on the right.
Tita Nora and my dad

July 6, 2015 – 4th of July and Happy Birthday, Richard!

 Dear Mom, Dad, Lauren, and Ian,

It's pretty interesting how just one day makes an entire week of struggle seem like it didn't even happen!  I say that because this week was tough! Nobody was around to be taught! Appointment after appointment would fall through, even with members! We dealt with that all week. Usually, it would be pretty discouraging, but with what was coming up that Saturday, I told myself that Saturday would make it all worth it. And it did.

On Saturday, Elder Walters and I traveled to the temple to be at Felix and Santa’s sealing and arrived at about 8 am. We were told that the session would start at nine but it turned out that it was moved to 11. I hadn't seen them at this point because I wanted to surprise them. So we hid in the MTC and ended up helping a teacher teach a class of 3-day old missionaries! Boy, it brought back memories :) Anyway, 11 came around and Elder Walters and I changed into white clothes for the session. We waited in the sealing room and in came Felix and Santa, happier than I’ve ever seen them! It was such a sacred and happy feeling, one that I have never felt before. And that moment they were sealed together forever.

To finish off the day, we baptized Manuel!! A spiritual feast, Saturday was. It's also such a special feeling to complete a family. That day was a very good day :) We couldn't celebrate with food or soda because we were fasting, so we're doing that today.  ;)

Next week is transfers! Let's see where the Lord will take me for this last transfer for me. I hope I stay honestly. But we shall see! Thanks for being on and for everything! Love you guys so much!

-Elder Froude

Felix and Santa's sealing
Manuel with his wife on his baptism day