as of September 11, 2013

Monday, December 16, 2013

December 16, 2013 – Have yourself a Merry little Christmas!

Dear Mom, Dad, Lauren, and soon-to-be Brody Ian,

Christmas is almost here! This week we have a bunch of Christmas things to do! Tuesday, we’re helping a family build a little Nativity scene, Wednesday is our Branch Christmas Dinner, which I've been asked to play music for. Yay buddy! They honestly don't care that the music is in English. In fact, it's always the same song they want to hear! "Elder Froude, por que no tocas Hallelujah ahora mismo??"  Translation: “Elder Froude, why aren't you playing Hallelujah right now?”  Lol! That reminds me, the members here, despite being well aware that my name is pronounced Froude, call me Elder Fraud, which means fraudulent. It's really funny so I just go along with it.  It’s more like a term of endearment.  And soon enough, it's going to be my name!  XD  Anyways, Thursday is our Christmas Conference in La Romana which I'm also going to play for. I'm playing and singing Storm by Lifehouse…thanks for the chords, Mom! :D It sounds great; I think I'm going to do decently.  ^_^ And then Saturday is Alexandra's baptism! Good week ahead!

This week has been pretty good.  Alexandra's entrevista bautismal, baptismal interview, was this past Saturday. She's ready for Baptism!! We're all really excited for her! :D Also this week, we took two of the young men with us to a cita with a girl their age. It seemed like a great idea at first; people to be her friends when she came to church! Well, the lesson that was supposed to be 20 or 25 minutes long took close to 3 hours! The jovenes, youth, bless them they're fantastic, but let's just say that they aren't ready for missionary work yet. Not in a bad way, though. They just spent nearly the entire time talking about different things. It was really difficult to get things back on track. So, the lesson in this experience? Make sure that the youth we bring are coming with us to teach and not to chill. Don't get me wrong, I love those boys like little brothers, and we aren't angry with them in any way, shape, or form, but there's a time and place to have fun and a time and place to teach. It's ok though, they're both young, 15 and 14. They have plenty of time to learn and grow.  ^_^

So yesterday, I spoke in church for the first time! It was actually pretty last minute O: One of the people assigned to talk called us the night before at about 7:30 telling us that she couldn't speak and asked if one of us could speak for her. Elder Rocha happily volunteered me to speak! I spoke on Service.  I also used the parable about Jesus Christ saying, "If you have done it unto at least one of my brethren, ye have done it unto me." in Matthew 25.  Surprisingly, I spoke for ten minutes despite having so little time to prepare. And my Spanish was unusually good, I noticed.  O: Thank you Holy Spirit for helping me to talk well!  I still have LOTS to learn in Spanish. I can communicate decently now but there are still grammar quirks I'm still trying to get down. For example, the English word Was. In Spanish, there's four different kinds of Was for four different situations. My brain is still trying to process it.  X)

The progress with the mellas (mellas are fraternal twins, gemelas are identical twins) and their mother is going very well! But to our luck, ANOTHER family joined in our last  lesson and they want to continue the lessons! This time it’s two boys and their mother.  The Lord is really blessing us :)

Now for the phrase of the week because I realized that I missed the past few weeks for it.  X) This week's phrase is "Pero Muchaho(a)!" Literally, it means But Boy/Girl!  But it's used in the same context as "Duuuuude!" For example, if someone stepped on your new shoes, you wouldn't approve of that, so you would say "Duuude! My Shoes!" In Spanish, it's "Pero Muchacho! Mis Zapatos!"

That's about all for today. This week I'm going to take LOTS of pictures from the parties and activities. ^_^

The next time I write, Elder Froude 1 will be Ian or Brody or Broseph or Brometheus or Brotato Chip or Bronut or Brobo Cop and other sorts and forms of Bro :) Give Elder Froude 1 a huge bear hug for me! :) Love you all so much too!  I miss you all! Until next week!  :)

-Elder Froude 2

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

December 9, 2013 – Marvelous work and a glory!

Dear Mom, Dad, Lauren, and Elder Froude 1, soon to be Brody,

I want to start this email by saying how crazy it is that my brody is finally coming home! The tables have turned, and now he's going to be the one emailing me from home. He can finally see all the bumps and scratches I put on his car while I had it.  ;) Just kidding bro! Your car is in great shape and has been really good to me.  ^_^ You're going to have lots of movies to watch, music to listen to, and video games to play. Take it one step at a time, ok? I don't want your brain to explode!  ;D

Entonces, anyways, my week has been pretty good! A lot of it was spent preparing Alexandra for her baptismal interview this Friday. She's so excited for her baptism on the 21st! Also, to our happiness, we found a lovely family that is taking lessons now! The family consists of a mother, father, and two gemelas adorables, adorable twin girls of 9 years of age. They're seriously the sweetest girls; they might give me diabetes! Lol! Anyway, they're all interested and our next lesson with them we're going to finish the Plan of Salvation. The girls actually went to church a few times with a member before so they already like church. The mother actually came to church this past Sunday and she said she liked it too! Seeing our investigators making progress and sincerely interested in the gospel brings me a kind of joy that I’ve never felt before. It's a very special feeling that I can't really describe. I'll be sure to get pictures of them next week for you guys!

In other news, the 18th of this month is the Branch Christmas dinner. The members asked me to play music for them for the activity. Should be fun! I don't know what I'm going to play yet though; I don't know any Spanish songs. But the members said that they didn't mind if it was in English, they just want me to play something. Lol! I was also asked to play something for the Zone Christmas Conference as well. Ooooh buddy! I gotta pick some songs and practice them!

That's about all the important stuff this week. Alexandra's baptism is so close and I can feel that the new family will accept baptism too. Perhaps we'll invite them this week. Depends on what the Spirit tells us. :) And I'll also have more pictures… I keep forgetting to charge the camera! X)  And one last thing Brody, have a safe flight back home! :D

I love you and miss you all!

-Elder Froude

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

December 3, 2013 – Sick on Thanksgiving week :(

Dear Mom, Dad, Lauren, and Elder Froude 2,

First, I'm so sorry I didn't get to email you yesterday. A member wanted us to visit with a less active that happened to be during the email time, and then after that a member wanted to feed us. It went well though, so it was still good. Luckily, we have a bit of time today in between citas to send a quick letter.

I read all your email and saw all your pictures. Wow! Hearst Castle looks beautiful! I'm gonna have to pay that place a visit when I come back! And Laney looks like she had a lot of fun in that parade ^_^ And Dad, I know this is gonna be a bittersweet for you, but you should know that you have been a wonderful Bishop, and the Lord is grateful for your faithful service to Him.

The last week has been pretty tough for the most part. Elder Rocha and I have been sick the whole week. During the week one or the both of us would have to go back to the house during the day because we felt too sick to work. I had a fever and Elder Rocha had a bad cold. It was actually really weird; for 3 days my body wasn't retaining water. I wasn't sweating and I was thirsty all the time. I know it's ok to rest when we're sick, but it feels weird not going out and teaching. Of course, I would study or something when we had to go back home, but there was quite a bit that we could have done but couldn't because we were sick. I don't know, it's just a weird feeling.  :P Don't worry, Mom and Dad, I’m fine now, I just drank water constantly until I started sweating again. Elder Rocha and I are 100% again and are out and about.

Now despite the negative things, there were really good stuff that alsohappened last week! We invited Alexandra to baptism, and she said yes!  We set her baptism for the 14th of December! Yay! Elder Rocha and I are really happy about our first baptism as a companionship. We invited Sanmi to baptism too, but she's praying on it. We're checking with her tomorrow to help her with her questions and see how her prayers are going. Hopefully, she says yes too! Oh, and sorry there's no pictures today, Mom :( The computers here are super old and are slow with downloading pictures.

So, I didn't get to celebrate Thanksgiving here, but we have something really big planned out for Christmas! It's a multiple Zone Activity at the mission office in Santo Domingo. It sounds like a lot of fun! It's on the 17th; I’m looking forward to it!

Well, I have to go now; we have another cita to go to in a few minutes. I'll write you again next Monday! Love you all! :)

-Elder Froude

Monday, December 2, 2013

November 25, 2013 – Drink lots of water or end up getting dehydrated!

Dear Mom, Dad, Lauren, and Elder Froude 1,

This week was not as quite as eventful as last week, but I did learn a lot from it. However, I must first say how proud I am of my big brother Elder Froude 1 for being so quick to action in the Philippines with relief efforts for those affected by the typhoon. He has always been an amazing example to me and he is the kind of missionary I strive to be. Of course, with time and a lot of practice, perhaps I can achieve that, and boy do I hope I can!

Entonces, well then, now for my week. Elder Rocha and I had intended to invite two of our progressing investigators, Sanmi and Alexandra, to baptism for the 7th of December. We weren’t able to meet with Sanmi at all this week, tristes (sad) :( but we were able to get her to do the next best thing, attend church! We´ve been inviting her for weeks and she finally came!
Sanmi finally attended church last Sunday! Alexandra came too but she left before I could take her picture.
Now Alexandra, we were able to meet with her last week and had a lesson planned for her, but we weren´t able to teach her anything. For some reason, the Spirit just wasn´t there. Usually it wasn´t hard to keep Alexandra´s attention. However, this time around it was very easy for her to get distracted and we weren´t able to teach much at all. :( I guess she needs a bit more time before she´s ready to be invited. As missionaries, we work on the Lord´s time table, not ours. Will we fully understand how that works? No way. Will we follow it nonetheless? Absolutely! I´m glad I learned this so soon into my mission. I know a few people that don´t like it when they don´t understand why things happen. This situation, among many others, is where the Lord tests how strong your faith in Him is. Through Faith in Him we can overcome any adversity, and when we overcome adversity, we get blessed. It's that simple. Easier said than done, of course, but it´s always comforting that the Lord will lift us up when it seems like we cannot lift ourselves up.

Oh, I suppose I need to tell you that I got really sick yesterday into this morning from bad dehydration. :P We were fasting for people to come to church, but it happened that that particular day was really hot and we walked around a lot. I´m completely fine now though!

Oh yes, that reminds me! Literally the next day after p-day last week I got your first package!! It´s made me so happy! ^_^ It was during Entrevistas, interviews, with the president with the zone.  So the AP´s brought all our packages and letters to the church for us to get. Thank you so much for all the food and candy! It made me feel at home! :) I haven´t eaten all of it yet, I´m saving them all carefully until I get the next one!

And another piece of good news, there was an American family from Texas that came to church this Sunday and they were nice enough to take us to their vacation house in CAP CANA for lunch, it was gorgeous! And Dad, you´re gonna love this, I saw the most beautiful golf course there and thought ´´Gosh, Dad would love to play golf here!`` I have pictures!

The Stewart Family from Texas
Amazing golf course in Cap Cana resort

Yummy Sunday lunch with the Stewarts!
 My companion and I are going to a Noche de Hogar (It’s Family Home Evening but with more people from the ward or branch) in a member´s house tonight. I´m playing a song tonight. It´s the A Team by Ed Sheeran. A member gave me the lyrics and chords and the song is fine, no romantic lyrics in it and it´s clean, so it´s ok.  Finally, they got sick of hearing me play Hallelujah!  ^_^

Disculpome, forgive me that the letter isn´t too long this week. But I can finish it off with a good phrase of the week! This week´s phrase is ´´Me Duele Mi Alma``. This means ´´My Soul Hurts`` or ´´That Hurts My Soul.`` It actually isn´t a sad phrase, it´s used jokingly in Latin American countries. If someone tells a bad joke, someone would say Me Duele Mi Alma because it was so bad it’s painful!  :)

That´s all I have for this week. Hopefully we´ll have more Progress on Alexandra and Sanmi soon!  Until Next Monday! I love you mom!

-Elder Froude


November 25, 2013 – The Stewart Family

Hello Froude and Rocha families:)

My name is Brianne Stewart. We had the honor of meeting your hard working missionaries this past weekend at their branch conference in Pueblo Bavaro. We have been blessed to vacation in a small area of their mission called Cap Cana. It is beautiful!!! We took your missionaries to our villa for lunch and had a great time showing them around this beautiful area. We have three sons of our own and love to take any opportunity to surround our boys by faithful missionaries in hopes that they will all serve a mission one day! It is wonderful to see the church is true and thriving all over the world! Thank you for raising faithful and wonderful sons that can lead and guide our own:)

Much love,
The Jarod Stewart Family


November 18, 2013 – Vamos a la Playa

Dear Mom, Dad, Lauren, and Elder Froude 1,

Before I talk about my week, which was fantastic, I just wanna say that I WENT TO THE BEACH TODAY!!! AY MI MADRE!  IT WAS SO PRETTY AND FUN AND GAAAHHHHH!! The beaches here are so beautiful! I went with my district to the Beach in Bavaro, which is close to Punta Cana, North, I believe. Anyway, we just walked along the shoreline and took silly pictures because we´re silly people!  ^_^  For lunch, we ate grilled fish not far from the beach. It was run by this very nice Russian couple. That´s a weird thing, I wanna say really fast, there´s a LOT of Russians here! Not just in the beach, but inland too, in Pueblo Bavaro. Que Raro, how weird!

Okie dokie, now for my week! Elder Rocha and I have become contacting champs! We´ve done probably 40 contacts this week. President Tarvez, the branch president, taught us contacting techniques and now we´re getting contacts left and right! Of those 40 contacts, we met one that is particularly special. Her name is Alexandra, she´s 24 and has two kids. When we contacted with her, she started crying; she is really sensitive to the Spirit, I suppose. Since then, she has been super receptive to the Gospel! She couldn´t come to church this week because she was moving. But here´s the amazing thing; she has a job on Sundays so she wouldn´t have been able to come to church anyway, but for two citas now, she´s been reading and praying about the Book of Mormon. We visited her this past Sunday to see if she needed help moving, but she was already done by the time we got there. When we invited her to come to church the next Sunday, she said she´d quit her job and find another to come to church. AAAAHHHHH!!! FAITH ALREADY!!! It was definitely one of the coolest things ever! Our next cita, we´re gonna invite her to baptism; gosh I hope she says yes!

We´re also making good progress with Sanmi too! Our last cita with her we shared our favorite scriptures in the LDM with her, and she said that she really liked what she read from it and would read more! She also expressed her desire to be a member of the church. That sounds a lot like she wants to be baptized to me! We´re gonna invite her to baptism next cita too! The Lord has been blessing us so much this week. I thank Him every night in my prayers for the people we’ve met and for the Spirit that they and we can feel. I also pray for you all you every night.

I don´t remember where it says this in D&C, I think section 100, you all are in the Lord´s hands and he will protect you and guide you. He also protects His missionaries. For those of you reading, all missionaries in the Philippines have been accounted for and are safe. He does so much for us, the most I can do to show Him how grateful I am is dedicating two years of my life to serve Him and help Him gather his lost sheep. I have never been happier with any other decision in my life!  :)

Phrase of the week! This week´s phrase is ´´Que lo que contigo,`` This phrase is actually something I can´t use, not because it´s bad, but because it´s the slangiest of the slang here.  XD It means ´´what´s up with you,`` but in American, it´d be translated to ´´What it do witchoo,``which is something that missionaries shouldn´t say because it isn´t formal. Although, I use it for jokes and to be funny, but not to greet someone. In that case, it´s fine. Slang here is called ´´Tiguraje,`` language of the Tigure or Tiger. If you can picture the kids in America that are all about Swag and Yolo and all that dumb stuff, that´s a Tigure, or equivalent to a tigure. Next week, I will send some pictures of the members and investigators so you can get to know them too! I miss and love you all so much!  :)

-Elder Froude

 “Vamos a la Playa” is a song that we all sang all day. Look it up on YouTube.  It´s Vamos a la Playa by Righeira. I know it because we watched it in my Spanish class in high school and it´s been stuck in my head all day!  XD  Be careful, it´s demasiado 80´s; just way too 80´s! lol!

I´m loving my companion more and more every day! It turns out that he´s a mimic too! He can do spot on Latino accents and I can do spot on accents in English; it´s like a match made in heaven! LOL!

This is my awesome District :) They´re all so great!
Bavaro trip with my District
Awesome beach!

Not a mermaid...a mer-MAN!  Hahaha!!!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

November 11, 2013 – Happy Birthday, Mommy!

Dear Mom, Dad, Lauren, and Elder Froude 1,

First, Happy Birthday Mommy!! Sorry I can´t be around to wish you happy birthday in real but the best I can do right now is to make this long email a gift for you because I had some really powerful spiritual experiences this week!  I did hear about the disaster in the Philippines and was freaked out for a few days about Elder Froude 1. But after praying fervently, I felt that he was ok. And after reading the emails, it was spot on! I´m really glad he´s ok, but I´m still praying for the other people that live there...

Let´s start from last week. For the first few days after last Thursday, things were starting to get a little frustrating because lots of our citas or appointments kept falling through. Also, the people we invited to church didn´t show up…again. Urrrgh. It happens a lot, though, to missionaries so my companion and I kept our heads up and kept going. One day, we were on the way to a cita we had, which was a referral from a member. She wasn´t there and we had about an hour and a half of downtime, so we decided to tract a bit in the apartments we were in that were new to us. The first person we found let us in and we talked for 45 minutes, essentially giving the first discussion! Her name was Yahaida, she was so nice to us and is interested in the church! She also fed us lunch, lol! People here are so great. During the lesson, I bore one of the most powerful testimonies I had ever given so far. Being on a mission and knowing how true the church is has taught me how to bear a testimony. If I am to invite others to Come Unto Christ, it would help if they knew that we are men of God with powerful testimonies in what we are doing. People listen to men and women like that. Confidence and sincerity sparks curiosity in people and it also makes room for the Spirit to testify unto them.

Anyway, along with Yahaida, we have two more new investigators. One in progress, Sanmi, and one that we just had our first lesson with, Christian. Both are really interested now especially after Elder Rocha and I bore our testimonies to them. Christian´s entire family are members so the church isn´t unfamiliar to him. I feel good about these investigators. I kinda feel like Lehi at the Tree of Life, wanting everyone to come and partake of the fruit because of how happy it made me. I want to share this with everyone! More on their progress next week! We have more lessons with them this week. Wish us luck!

Oh, I almost forgot! The phrase of the week! This week is ´´¡Ay Mi Madre!``  This is used in the same context as Oh My Gosh.  EVERYONE here says it, lol!

Again, Happy Birthday Mommy! :)  Elder Froude 1 will be home just in time for Christmas. I miss you all. I´ll write again next Monday with more stories. Bye bye!  Thanks for all your pictures!  It´s great seeing all of you :)  Laney is growing up so fast!  I have to go now :( Have fun in Apple Hill! :D  Enjoy your birthday!  I love you!

- Elder Froude 2
My companion, Elder Rocha, and I

Missionaries in my district.  They're all funny!
My first Pica Pollo.  Everywhere else in Latin America, it's called Pollo Frito.  
Our casa
So many mosquitos!
That pool is right outside our apartment!  Talk about tentaciones! Temptation!  LOL!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

November 4, 2013 – The Hardest Fast Sunday Ever!!!

Dear Mom, Dad, Lauren, and Elder Froude 1,

Don´t let the title make you think my week was bad, it´s actually a funny story!  But first, I must say that my apartment building has been without water for about eight days now. :( We´ve had to use our drinking water for showers. I’m sure any day now the water will be back on.

My companion and I are gonna make awesome husbands because we´ve both been cooking this week! Mom, be proud of me because we made Adobo and Fried Beef with the fried chicken batter you made me bring this week. It was yummy! Also, as companionship, we found our first investigator!! Her name is Sanmi, pronounced Sammy. She´s super nice and seems pretty interested in the church! So excited! Including her, we have a total of 5 investigators; two with a baptismal date. The 4 investigators we had before Sanmi are both couples; Ana y Fran, and Jose y Mercedes. They both need to get married before they can get baptized. Ana y Fran are close to it; Jose y Mercedes need a bit of work. Don´t worry, we will find a way!! After they´re all taken care of, we´ll move on to the next pueblo over. Right now we´re covering three; Pueblo Bavaro, Veron, and Casita Bonita.

The branch is very small, maybe a little more than 20 people.  The branch president is cool!  He is feeding us tonight. :) The members and investigators are starting to warm up to me, mostly because I´m starting to talk more and more! My Spanish is good enough to understand conversations and make a funny comment here and there. (Btw, I bore a simple testimony at church yesterday.) They also really like that I can sing and play music. Let me tell you, Dominicans love the movie Shrek and any music that has to do with it, mainly Hallelujah by Rufus Wainwright, which to my luck I know in both piano and guitar! Every time a member sees a piano, they say ``Froude, ¡toca Hallelujah de Shrek!`` They´re so funny! It makes me feel at home how nice they are. They say they´re going to make me Dominican and have since been trying to teach me songs in Spanish, mostly Enrique Iglesias. Lol!! I love the people here!  :)  Oh btw, I´m also starting to dream in Spanish! Elder Rocha said I´m talking in Spanish in my sleep now!  :P

A quick little bit I just want to say really fast…the motorcycle taxis here, called motores, are the best thing in the world. It´s just a plain motorcycle that fit three or four people on. It´s pretty cheap and it´s fast. Sometimes, you get show off-y drivers and that´s when things get a little sketchy. Other than that, they´re super fun!!

This Sunday was fast Sunday, so we decided to fast dinner on Saturday and breakfast Sunday so we could have lunch that day. Well, that night, a member invited us to pick up some PIZZA for our Sunday lunch. We had to meet them at a local pizza joint, surrounded by people eating pizza. The member was eating too. As we grabbed our pizza, the waitress brought out this 2-liter bottle of Coke to the member. Elder Rocha and I (jokingly) almost cried when we saw all of this in front of our eyes. The hunger wasn´t a problem for me but thirst was, and that Coke was super tempting! But we did not break our fast! We grabbed our pizza and got out as fast as we could. Lol!

I´m doing ok here. The missionary life is starting to grow on me. The adventure is just beginning and much more will happen in the coming week…I know it. Before I end this letter, you know how Elder Froude 1 has his signature thing he does in his letters? I found mine! Phrases of the Week! Funny little snippets from the week I learned or heard. This week, it´s ´´Que Fastidio.´´ It means “How bothersome,”more or less. A member, Maria Teresa, says it all the time. I said it jokingly once in conversation and everyone thought it was hilarious because they knew where I got it from!

Well, that´s all I have for this week. I´ll try and send pictures next week because these computers are ancient and can´t upload them. Thanks, Mom and Dad :) I miss and love you both and Lauren and Elder Froude 1 too! Until next week!

-Elder Froude 2

Elder Froude 1 was right about the happy things trumping the bad things. They really do! :D  We will work hard on our investigators; I want them to be blessed with the Gospel in their lives just as it has blessed mine :)

Monday, October 28, 2013

October 28, 2013 – First week in the field

Dear Mom, Dad, Lauren, and Elder Froude 1,

Goodbye MTC, hello mission field! The transition was really fast. In the morning, we all got onto our buses to the mission office where we would receive our trainers and areas. My trainer is Elder Rocha from Guatemala. He only speaks Spanish so I´d be pretty immersed in the language! Anyway, our area is Bavaro-Punta Cana, a 4-hour bus ride away from the mission office. (Note: Google says that Bávaro is a touristic area in Punta Cana, located in La Altagracia province, the easternmost province of the Dominican Republic. Bavaro was developed together with the resort area and tourist region of Punta Cana, as a town for resort workers.) A good chunk of that day was spent just getting to our area! It was about 8 o clock when we got to our apartment. We ate dinner, got to know each other a little bit with the little Spanish I knew, and then went to bed.

For the most part, I spent the week with Elder Rocha getting to know the Branch and its investigators. The people are the nicest, most loving, and happiest people I´ve ever met! Some of them have very little and live in very humble conditions, yet they treat my companion and I like family. Even strangers that we meet that day would let us into their house and put a fan on us for the heat! It´s really humbling…I could learn a lot about charity from these people.

I learned a really big lesson about being a missionary this week. During the week, we made a lot of visits to people. Although I noticed that when we visited the investigators we had to teach, we didn´t teach them. We´d give a little spiritual thought, but not a full lesson. That can´t be right, I thought. We need to teach these people and bring them unto Christ! We can´t just waste time talking with them about this and that, we need to teach them doctrine! I even started to think that my companion was just too relaxed with missionary work. I came here to teach the people, I thought. Then a thought came into my head; it said “Do you love them?” That´s what it was that I was missing! The MTC had prepared me for teaching people, so much that I had almost forgotten that I have to love them too. I think that maybe the only thing more important than teaching the people about the love of Christ is that we should love them as Christ would. We are representatives of Him after all. I am learning to love the people.  I was blessed with the opportunity to teach a youth, Adolfo, how to play the guitar this week. He and I are already good friends! I´m really glad.

No exciting stories of baptisms or stories this week but I do have some big news! While I was wondering where all the work I was supposed to do was before I learned I had to love people, Elder Rocha called the mission president to ask for more missionaries in the area which is something we really need. Our area is huge and it is only Elder Rocha and I that serve the area. We need more missionaries here. Well, the mission president essentially said that if we successfully set up another branch in a place called Friusa, a few miles away, he´ll send more missionaries. Well, the Lord always did say “Ask and ye shall receive.” I have a lot of work to do! Well, I´m going to be really busy right off the bat, yet, I´m excited to get to work! I know that through the strength of the Lord, I can do His will! Oh! I almost forgot! I have to teach English too!  I will be teaching at the church every Tuesday.

Spanish is coming along nicely but I still have a lot to learn. The people I’ve met are all surprised I have only two months in conversational Spanish and they always ask if I´m Latino. I chuckle and say that I´m Filipino. Then they try to insist that I´m Latino! They´re so funny, though, because they made it a goal to turn me into a Dominican, so I can be one of them.  Lol! One member asked me if I spoke English when I met him. He was surprised when I started talking with a gringo accent. Apparently, I can sound like I know what I´m saying. That´s a good thing because more than half the time, I can barely understand what they’re saying. Lol!

I´m eating well (Dominican food is good!) and showering and have a good source of water. And yes, I know how to say “allergic to peanuts” in Spanish!  XD Sorry I forgot my camera cord at the apartment so I can’t upload my pictures.  I promise I’ll have lots of pictures for you next week!

We´re logging off now.  Bye mom! I love you! :) Thanks for your love and support, you and dad :) It keeps me strong!

Until next time,

-Elder Froude2

Thursday, October 24, 2013

October 24, 2013 - Letter from the Mission President

Presidente Heriberto Hernandez


Republica Dominicana   Santo Domingo   Gazcue   Avenida Bolivar #45  

Dear Froude Family,

For me, it is a great pleasure to inform you that your son, Elder Ryan Froude, arrived at the mission home safe and sound and ready to start his mission.  We want to thank you for having sent him to serve in this marvelous work.  His own life and that of his family will be greatly blessed.

Your son will have very special experiences in these two years of service.  The people of this country are very kind and have the desire to know the truth.  We are sure that with your support and love, and the guidance he will receive here in the mission, Elder Froude will obtain success.

We are at your service to respond to any inquiry that you may have with respect to your son or his mission.  We expect him to communicate with you each week via letter or e-mail.  He will also communicate with you personally by telephone on Christmas and Mother’s Day.

Elder Froude will receive all of our love and care.  Without any doubt, he will be a blessing in the lives of the many people he will bring to the light and the truth.

May you receive blessings in abundance from the Lord.


President Heriberto Hernandez
Dominican Republic
Santo Domingo East Mission.     

Elder Froude and his trainer/companion, Elder Rocha
With his mission president and his wife, Elder and Sister Hernandez

Thursday, October 17, 2013

October 17, 2013 – Goodbye, MTC. Hello, Santo Domingo!

Dear Mom, Dad, Lauren, and Elder Froude1,

I have lots to tell y'all about! First, my trip to the campo, the country side.

After lunch last Friday, the East Mission missionaries and I got onto a bus to see what it was like to proselyte in our mission for the day. We were out from about 1:00 to 9:00. It was a very sobering experience. All the MTC staff tells us that the temple and the surrounding area is the nicest part of Santo Domingo. Not 5 minutes away from the MTC, we saw hillsides covered in favelas of shanty homes. We didn't proselyte there; we went to a place that was close to it. Funny enough, I was assigned a Spanish-speaking companion! Two other Elders got a Spanish-only companion too while everyone else got one that could speak English. I didn't mind though, I was excited to see if my Spanish lessons paid off. And they have! We were able to communicate very well! His name was Elder Cruz, he liked to Beat-box (I love to beat box), liked to sing, and loved anime (Japanese cartoons)! We got along very well! We spent the day going to teaching appointments and making contacts with people. My companion understood that I could barely understand what our investigators were saying so he did a lot of the teaching. But he had me talk about a few things and bear my testimony so I was able to practice! The people are so nice here. Even when they don't want to hear about the church they are the nicest people about it! They also all thought I was Spanish; it was funny! But all in all, on the way home I realized that what I did that day, it was something I wanted to do for the next two years. Despite the heat and the sweat and knowing only a handful of Spanish, I was happy. I can't wait to go out and do this 24/7!

That's the biggest thing that happened since I last emailed but I have a few little things to share that just made me super happy! First, the other day we were in class. My teacher handed us a sheet for self-improvement on our teaching and one of the elders in the room said "Oh, it's in Spanish." And I said jokingly, "Claro! Gustaríale in Alemán?" (Of course! Would you like it in German instead?) After I said that, my teacher started laughing heartily. I asked what was up and my teacher said "You are almost Dominican!" and he laughed some more. Apparently, I made a joke that a Dominican would make. I think I'm gonna fit in just fine here!

On Sunday, I sang in a quartet for a musical number for church.  I sang with my companion, Elder Merrell, my roommate, Elder Barnet, and Elder Curtis.  We sang How Great thou Art in harmonies. I sang the tenor part! It took a lot of work because tenor was the hardest part, but we sounded great! The mission president's counselor and his wife thanked us for the song and it felt really nice that people felt the Spirit.

There is a brother that works in the temple where I go every Thursday named Hermano Kanyanga.  He is hilarious! He knows a little bit of English and he is always there to welcome us to the temple. He also makes it a personal goal to joke about my name every time he sees me. This is not a bad thing, I love it! Anyway, he welcomed me this morning and he said "Elder Frood (how most people here pronounce my name)... not Fruit!" I love the guy!

Crazy thing! Last Tuesday, we had our Area Seventy talk to us.  It turns out he was Richard's mission president!!  Richard served in Bilbao Spain, right?  Yeah! His name was Elder Zivic and I told him that Richard served there and he asked what his name was. He said he knew Richard!

I'm doing great! These are my last few days in the MTC so I'm getting excited!  The next time I write, I will be in the mission field doing the Lord's work. I'm super excited to go and I can't wait to tell you all about it!

I'm all out of time :( I'll write you on my next P-day which is probably the next Monday since I'll be getting there Tuesday.  I love you!

May the Spirit be With You,
-Elder Froude 2

Saturday, October 12, 2013

October 10, 2013 – Life changing talks from General Conference

Dear Mom, Dad, Lauren, and Elder Froude1,

There's a whole lot I need to write about! I'll start with the University trip from last week:
It went very well! It was definitely much easier this time around. We were able to understand what people were actually saying this time! More or less, lol! But it was still lots of fun. Nothing too different from last time, but that's ok! It gives me more time to write about other things.

Last Sunday, I watched all the Sessions of General Conference (Mom, explain what General Conference is, my cruise friends are gonna keep up with the blog now :) ) and boy did I take notes!

What is General Conference?

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints worldwide gather twice yearly for what they call “general conference.” This is in addition to their weekly worship services each Sunday.
General conferences are conducted each April and October and comprise five two-hour meetings held over two days. The April meetings are called annual conferences and those in October, semiannual.

The sessions on Saturday morning, Saturday afternoon, Sunday morning and Sunday afternoon are open to everyone, while a session on Saturday evening is for Latter-day Saint men and young men who hold the priesthood.

Latter-day Saints travel from all over the world to attend general conferences, which originate in the 21,000-seat Conference Center in Salt Lake City, Utah.  Since the vast majority of the Church’s 15 million members are unable to attend general conference in person, the meetings are broadcast via satellite to over 7,400 church buildings in 102 countries. Members can also watch conference on television through Salt Lake City-based station KSL or BYU-TV. In addition, the Church streams the meetings live on the website and on the Mormon Channel.

During the conference, Church leaders speak on a variety of spiritual topics. They address Latter-day Saints as well as government, faith and community representatives and other conference guests. Speakers include the worldwide leader of the Church, President Thomas S. Monson, and his counselors in the First Presidency, the governing body of the Church. Talks are also given by the members of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles and other leaders.

General conference talks vary in length from about 5 to 20 minutes. Topics are not assigned; each speaker chooses his or her own subject matter. Talks usually cover basic gospel principles or address significant issues of the day, with speakers encouraging individuals and families in their efforts to follow Jesus Christ.

Today, the conferences are simultaneously interpreted into 92 languages ranging from Albanian to Yapese to serve a large and growing international membership. American Sign Language interpretation and closed captioning are also available.

I know most everyone at home says that their favorite was one of the 12 apostle’s talks, or one of the First Presidency's talks, and I agree that they were fantastic! But this year, my favorite talk was by a member of the Seventy, Elder Edward Dube, entitled Look Ahead and Believe. 
Elder Edward Dube of the Seventy from Zimbabwe
Right off the bat he had my attention because he said something that I decided to make my motto for my whole mission. He said that his mother taught him when he was a boy, "Don't look back on what you have done; look at what you still have to do." I really take that little quote very personally. I'm going to be working and studying non-stop for the next two years of my life. And I have lots of work to do! It may make me sound very cold right now, but in this moment, thinking about home and all the fun I had with my video games and my friends will make me homesick and distract me. If I can keep myself focused on the things I have ahead of me, which is A LOT, I'll be 1-year and 11months into my mission before I know it!

Another thing, my MTC (Missionary Training Center) President showed us a devotional given by Elder David A. Bednar, about the Character of Christ. I now understand why Elder Bednar is Elder Froude 1's (my brother) favorite apostle. OH. MY. GOODNESS!!! It was so rich with doctrine and teaching that I actually had to stop taking notes so I could soak it all in! In the church, we are always taught to try to be like Jesus. Elder Bednar taught us exactly how to be like Jesus in this devotional. He also said something that makes me shiver just thinking about it because it is so profound! He said, "A testimony is simply what you know to be true. Conversion is being true to what you know." Wow! My brother always told me since he left for his mission that the first person I should convert is myself. Now I know what he means. Don't get me wrong; having a testimony in the church is fantastic! It's a great thing! Unfortunately, it is pretty common for return missionaries to fall away from the church soon after coming home, and Elder Bednar explained why. He said that it was because even though the missionary had a wonderful experience, all they had gained out of it was a testimony, and a testimony was not enough. We have to be truly converted to the gospel, and being converted to the gospel is how we can be like Jesus. Wow, I just preached! Just a practice ;) My point is, what I learned was really special to me and I wanted to splurge a bit because it was so awesome!
Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
As for what's new with me, I'm getting much better in Spanish. We did a challenge to speak at least 95% Spanish for the whole week ending tomorrow! It really helped! Not to sound prideful, but I think our district is progressing much faster in the language than the other districts O: Also, tomorrow, the CCM is sending out my batch of missionaries to go out into "'el campo", the country, to go on real splits with full-time missionaries for the day!! Already??? I'm really excited for that! :D I'll be sure to write all about it next week when I get back.  Anyway, I don't have much time left so I have to make this next bit fast.  Thank you for all the love and support you and Dad give me; it's really comforting to me. ^_^

Until next Thursday!  I love you!

-Elder Froude2
Santiago Dominican Republic Temple.  I've gone every week since I got here!  It's beautiful inside and out!
With Elder Villeta
Creepy faces with Elder Neely
Elder Farnsworth gives the best hugs!
With Hermana Winger and Hermana Despain

Sunday, October 6, 2013

October 3, 2013 - Vamos a la Universidad!

Dear Mom, Dad, Lauren, and Elder Froude1,

It seems like the P-days come faster and faster! It's always really nice emailing back home. And thanks to everyone that keeps me updated on what is happening, and If I'm missing anything. It means a lot!

So this past week, the MTC sent us out once more to the local University campus and do first contacts with Dominican college students. For those of you that don't know what first contacts are, essentially, it is a first impression of the church given by missionaries. We don't necessarily teach full lessons, but we do summarize very briefly what the church is all about and what our message is. We usually hand out pamphlets for the questions we don't have the time to answer, or even Books of Mormon. We're supposed to keep the meetings brief so we can talk to as many people as we can. Anyway, the experience was absolutely fantastic! My companion and I stretched the little Spanish we knew and talked with people about the church. The people here are soooooooooo kind and nice! Even if they aren't interested in our message, they'll still listen and talk quite happily about what we have to say. Not one person turned us away, or even showed reluctance to listen! Well, there was one lady we tried to talk to and said no, but she was on her way to a big test, so that's totally understandable! There was one instance where while we were talking with someone, the subject of singing came up. My companion had the idea that we could sing to this lady since she liked it. I thought why not! I can't remember the title now, but we sang I Know That My Redeemer Lives in Spanish. She thought it was awesome! What a great idea too. If we can't speak our testimony, we can sing it! I play piano and I always felt that playing hymns were a way I bore my testimony about the Gospel. It'd be especially handy out here since I can't bear my testimony like I can in English! One more thing about going to the university; I'll be completely honest, I barely understood half of what the people were saying to me. XD As discouraging as it would be to some, it's encouraging to me. It encourages me to learn as much as I can soon so I can talk to these loving and humble people. They're so much fun to talk to!

So that's the progress on my language, but what about my progress as a missionary? I have one name to tell you about… Ramón. Ramón is a practice investigator that one of my teachers, Hermano Ramirez plays so we can practice teaching. It also so happens that Ramón is the HARDEST practice investigator in the entire MTC. He's a lawyer, likes alcohol, reads the Bible a lot, thinks that all churches are businesses, and thinks Mormons are the CIA (it's a common belief here in the DR). However much my companion and I are struggling with trying to teach this guy and how discouraged we get when lessons don't go well, we learn three times as much about how to be a good missionary. Hermano Ramirez is seriously one of the best teachers here. He would come into the class room after the lesson and teach us something fantastic about being a missionary. He prepares us so well; I know it will be a huge help when I get out into the field. I'll be sure to write back when we finally commit Ramón to baptism! ;D

So this coming week, we go to the University again tomorrow and to the store on Tuesday. I need to stock up on my snacks again. Chistes Chistes! Jokes Jokes! I'll write again next week; more adventures and stories to come! Hasta proxima semana...Until next week!

-Elder Froude2
Important things that I got when we went to the city. :)
My companion, Elder Merrell, and roommates, Elders Barnett and Hill.

Friday, September 27, 2013

September 26, 2013 - El Segundo Grande Mensaje

Dear Mom, Dad, Lauren, Elder Froude1, and other fans of delicious fruit,

It is now my second week at the MTC and boy does time fly! I've gotten into the swing of things now, thank goodness!

Lots of things to write about but I got cut off last week so here's the remainder of my previous week! Let's see, I left off at being called as the Musical Director. After that it's been nonstop learning and practicing. There's so much information and lessons being stuffed into my tiny little brain! @_@ But thank goodness my brain is just soaking everything in like a sponge...and I'm loving it! I think I might have already mentioned this in my last email but I'm picking up Spanish faster than I ever thought I could. I literally learned more Spanish in 2 days than I did in two semesters of Spanish class at school; it's incredible! By my second day, I learned how to bear my testimony and say a prayer in Spanish. By the 5th day, they had us practice teaching our first investigator! Well, a teacher playing an investigator but it's so amazing how much I'm able to say! Don't get excited just yet, because Spanish is still a huge barrier for us. There's so much to say about the Gospel and not knowing how to say something even when you know you should say it is the most frustrating thing ever. I try my hardest, I really do! I'm studying harder than I have ever studied before. If I had studied like I do now when I was in school, I would have been a straight A student! XD  It made me realize, "Oh, THIS is how I should study!” I've learned so much and I still have a lot to learn!

All of that was essentially my first week, time for the second week! The first awesome thing about the second week is that we all got to go the store down the street from the MTC for a bit! It was really nice to leave the MTC and see the city; we were starting to feel cooped up in there. XP Anyway, we walked out of the MTC and it was a pretty nice day. It wasn't too hot and it was early in the morning so I thought it would be a pleasant stroll. Not 3 minutes later, I find myself soaked in sweat. It was the most bizarre thing ever! I have never sweated so much in my life from walking for 5 minutes! I thought if that's just 5 minutes, how am I going to be when I have to walk around ALL day?? @_@ Anyway, walking through the city was nice! The trees were beautiful and so was the sky. ^_^  And then, I smelled it. What did I smell, you may ask? I smelled the Dominican Republic. A family friend who served here a while ago warned me that everywhere you go is going to stink. In the DR, the plumbing is very bad so no one flushes used toilet paper down the toilet or else it would clog the sewage. So, they just throw away the used tissue in a trash bin. BLEH! I also had to remind myself, "This is the nicest part of Santo Domingo, enjoy it while it lasts!" XD Anyway, we got to the store eventually and it was like a Dominican Target. It was so cool! And everything here is super cheap, too! At least, the non-American products. It's about 42 or so pesos to the American dollar here. I spent about 1000 pesos on various snacks for myself and my roommates... the important stuff ;) JK! It was a fun little trip!

Tomorrow, the teachers are sending us to a local university campus to start making first contacts with natives. OH BOY, I'M NERVOUS!!! Contrary to popular belief, people don't speak Spanish here. They speak Dominican; a completely different language. I tried speaking to someone in the main lobby in the MTC for practice, and this is how it went:

Me:  "Hola! Como esta Usted?" Translation: Hello! How are you?
Guy:  "yjbfjkfgjkdnfgfjgvbdgheufgb"
Me:  "O_O Mas descansado por favor, mi Español is muy mal" Tr: Um, slower please, my Spanish is bad.
Guy:  "Soy asdfhjkdla, cual es su nombre?"  Tr: I'm so and so, what's your name?
Me:  "Oh! Soy Elder Froude! Otra vez, cual es su nombre?" Tr: Oh! I'm Elder Froude? What's your name again?
Guy:  "adfhjkalhsdf"
Me:  "Oh... Chevre...? Tr: " Oh... Cool..?

I just need to learn to get an ear for them. I'm sure I will! :D All nervousness aside, I’m really excited to meet Dominicans tomorrow! It's great practice and we’ll be building up the Kingdom of God...slowly but surely!

Before I left, a lot of my friends were telling me that I would miss home so much and I thought they would be right. The fact is that there is so much going on here I don't even have the time to think about anything else! XD Between studying and practicing Spanish and studying the gospel and much more learning, there simply isn't any room to think about home! As busy as that sounds, it helps with coping with being away from home. This is the first time I really thought about home since last Thursday. The kind of work that I'm doing really does need all of my attention. Some of you that are reading this may not understand but I can promise you that how busy I am and how much I am learning is the pathway to becoming a great missionary, and a great missionary is what I want to be :)

That's so awesome that Ian is an AP (Assistant to the (mission) President) now! I kinda figured though; he's the kind of missionary that would become the bestest AP!  I'm really glad to hear that everyone is doing alright over there.

I'm out of time :( I'll write again next Thursday with more stories and experiences! Hasta proximo Jueves! See you next Thursday!

-Elder Froude

Thursday, September 19, 2013

September 19, 2013 – My first week at the MTC

Dear Mom, Dad, Lauren, and other readers,

Hi! I'm finally on!  Sorry, I couldn't email you last Thursday.  They decided since we showed up so late on Wednesday night, our classes would start on Thursday. 

To answer your questions in order:  I'm doing very well!  The missionary life is busy but I'm learning so much!  The language is coming to me so fast, it's nuts!  Within the first two days, I was able to bear my testimony and pray in Spanish!  They challenged us to make sure that all our prayers are only in Spanish, and I'm following that!  It's great practice and it's helping me learn so fast!  The next two days, I met a missionary going to the Mexico City MTC named Elder Santos, a native from Santiago.  I was able to carry a conversation with him!  And not just "Hi, how are you?" or those simple phrases; I was speaking to him!  It's so crazy how much I'm learning right now.  And only 7 days of classes!  I'm not getting prideful or anything, I'm just so happy that I’m learning so much!  Being immersed in the language helps so much.  The teachers only speak English when they want us to understand something important.  Every day I understand more and more what they are saying and I can speak more and more to them!

I'm eating and sleeping very well here.  It was a little harder for me to fall asleep because I'm getting used to the bed and room and stuff, but I don't fall asleep in class anymore!  At least, after two days and it was only one time in the mornings and it was study time.  I'm fine now.  The food here is great, AND THE FRUITS ARE SO AMAZING, OH MY GOODNESS!!!  All the fruits here are so sweet and juicy and, urrgghh, so good!  Breakfast and dinner are different every day but lunch is always a variation of the same; two kinds of rice, two kinds of meat, and a bowl of beans.  You guys were spot on!  XD

My companion is so great.  His name is Elder Merrell and he's a super righteous missionary!  We work together very well and we both strive to be awesome missionaries!  I'm making lots of friends too!  My roommates, Elder Hill and Elder Barnett, are awesome as well!  They're so funny and we always joke around every night and laugh with each other!

Me and my companion, Elder Merrell
 And yes mom, I'm using toilet paper. XD  I miss you guys a lot! I think it's so awesome that you're into Big Bang Theory now!  X)  I wish I discovered it earlier so I could've watched more of it! I'm glad to hear that Ian wasn't hurt; the Lord has plans for him ^_^

We went into the temple today before P-day started; the temple here is so beautiful, Mom!  It's surrounded by all these tropical flowers and palm trees and it's so close to the ocean!

MTC President Freestone and his wife
Elder Ryan Froude at the Dominican Republic Santo Domingo Temple grounds 
This week has been non-stop learning and practice that I can't even think about writing about all of it without sweating!  So, I'll take it by day so I can make some sense:

Day 1:
Lots and lots and lots of flying @_@  It turned out that at least 30 missionaries were heading with me to the DR!  When we landed there the humidity hit us like a baseball to the face; it got so hot so fast! Lol!  We arrived at the MTC at about 11:30pm, so they fed us, let us email, and sent us to bed because our lessons started the next day.

Day 2:
We met our teachers, Hermana Laureano for the morning and Hermano Ramirez for the afternoon and evening.  Of all the language study we had that day, and there was a LOT, one thing that stuck out to me was that as a missionary we teach people, not lessons.  People's Eternal Happiness is on the line here, how can we bring that to them when all we're focusing on is how perfect our lesson is?  They told us that we need to learn what the needs of our investigators are to guide teaching them.  We were also organized into districts that day; I'm in the Shiblon District.  And who is the District Leader? My companion, Elder Merrell!  He's so awesome!

My district
 Day 3:
During our morning lesson, our MTC president, President Freestone, walks in and tells me that I'm called to be the MTC Music Director.  Um... WHAT??  3 days in and already a calling?  What an honor!  I have the responsibility on picking out the hymns for meetings (songs all in Spanish) and organizing special musical numbers whenever there's a guest speaker.

Oh no!  I'm all out of time :(  They only give me 45 minutes here, and I spent most of it emailing my family.  No regrets about it though ;)  I promise the next email will finish this week and the next.  Until next Thursday!  Love you mommy!  You'll hear much more from me next Thursday!  :D  Miss you guys lots.  :)

-Elder Froude

My side of the room.  Isn't it neat?