as of September 11, 2013

Monday, December 1, 2014

December 1, 2014 – Christmas already?

Dear Mom, Dad, Lauren, and Ian,

Tis the season! People here have already started decorating their houses and put up their Christmas trees. I'd be more excited for the holidays here but people here celebrate Christmas like they do any other holiday, with a ton of alcohol and large speakers attached to their cars blasting Dimbo and Bachata music. Also, as far I know, we aren't allowed to go teaching on Christmas or New Year’s for safety reasons. I think we can visit with a member close by, but for now, it's that way, like last year. At least I'll be with other missionaries! If I get transferred to an area with 2 other missionaries that is, lol!

So this week was pretty good! We found a ton of new people to teach, finally, and more people are starting to progress! We had to postpone Pedro's date to the next week so that we can prepare him better for his interview. But we had a pretty cool lesson just yesterday! We're teaching a woman named Idalia and her neighbor, Julio. Idalia had a lesson with missionaries before but she says she likes us a lot more. Yesterday, we introduced to her the Book of Mormon and during the lesson she had to tell us that she liked our form of teaching. When we asked what she meant, she said that she could feel that we really believe what we were teaching her, which makes her want to learn more. She said the last missionaries a long time ago that gave her a book of Mormon didn't explain it well and didn't make her want to read it. That was the first time anyone has ever told us that they like the way we teach. It made me feel all fuzzy inside! Thankfully, it didn't puff me u, because I know who's the real one teaching during the lessons. Haha!

So here, the mission has started the initiative He is the Gift, in Spanish, El es la Dadiva. I'm sure you guys already know about it. They asked that we really apply this to our work and report certain numbers along with this initiative. We just started so we don't know much for now, but as the month goes on we'll see how well this works, and I'm sure that it will!

Btw, I got a little fever last night, but I woke up fine this morning. I don't know where it came from. At church I was fine, but the rest of the day I just started getting really tired. When I got home at like 9 pm, I laid down and I felt warmer under the sheets than usual, then I told myself, Yep, I got a fever. Haha! I took some Tylenol and went to sleep.

Man, Christmas is coming on way too fast! This will be my last one here... I have so much to do here and so little time! I'll take advantage of every minute I have here. I'll write you all next week! More progress on the investigators and Operation: He is the Gift! Thank you so much for all your love and support!  Love you guys!

-Elder Froude

November 24, 2014 – Belated Happy Thanksgiving and Anniverary

Dear Mom, Dad, Lauren, and Ian,

As a request from Dad, I'll make the majority of this email about how I'm doing personally. Now that I look back, I do notice that I'm writing a lot about how others are doing and less about how I'm doing. I've been doing that a lot out here, worrying about the needs of others over my own :P I'll think about myself for a tiny bit, I guess! ^_^

My district is keeping me nice and stressed out.  XD  I've been praying a lot and working with them for a while now. They don't anger me or anything like that; I really do want the best for them. It's just that they know what they have to do; they just aren't doing it. I won't give up on them though!

I am, however, enjoying the rain here. The past few days it has been pouring! Well, pouring for about 20 or 30 minutes at most, and then the rest of the day, sunshine. Actually, there were a few days of overcast, so that was a nice break from the sun! Daylight savings also doesn't exist here. So, it's the same everything until I go home. XP Oh my goodness, I go home in almost 9 months!  Man, the time flies way too fast. Elders and sisters I met when I started are already going home. Well, sisters more than elders. O:  But the sister from my group, Hermana Hilburn, is already going home next transfer! Sometimes to a missionary 2 years seems so long, yet the next day, 2 years doesn't seem like enough time. I'm freaking out that I have so little time left!  Others will say, ''Psh, 9 months? That's forever!''  I'm almost positive that kids in high school will say that. I know I did, lol! But it seemed like Ian was gone forever! Maybe more so for me because I won't see him till I come home. O:  That’s 3 years and 8 months!

We still can’t have any zone activities per Pres. Corbitt.  We can do one as a district, but I won't be able to because my district are all sisters.  XD And about eating, we are not allowed to eat at member’s homes anymore (but at first we just couldn't eat with investigators (I only ever ate with members).  But for lots of missionaries, it's really hard to kindly refuse the food without offending them. We actually lose investigators when we do that.  It’s the new rule because of safety (missionaries are getting sick from eating some food.  I, personally, never got sick.) and time constraints. Dominicans have the habit of cooking something after the lesson for the missionaries to be nice, and it wastes time because they cook for so long. I never had that problem because the food was already ready by the time we got there. So President is meeting up with the Stake Presidents to set something in stone for us.  P-days are basically spent doing laundry, cleaning the house, and shopping for food for the week.

So, those are my feelings for now. As I look back on what I did, it seems so short. It only seems like a few weeks ago since I was in Bavarro, and even shorter since I was in Los Tres Brazos. It's crazy! I'm loving the experience though. I'm learning so much as I go on! I just feel bad that I can become the best missionary I can ever be the day I fly home. I'm trying to soak in as much as I can. All your letters of help and love and support helps me get through it all. Thank you so much for everything! I miss you! I love you guys!

-Elder Froude

Thursday, November 20, 2014

November 17, 2014 – Progressing!!!

Dear Mom, Dad, Lauren, and Ian,

Whew, this week has been something! Not just looking for and teaching people, but stuff within the district as well. I suppose I'll talk about this one first.

There's supposedly been a little tension in a companionship in my district. I won't name any names, but the Sister Training Leaders (STLs) and I have been working on trying to get them to fix it for a while. Well, more of planning out what we want accomplished in a companion exchange. The reason why I'm working with the STL's is because this certain companionship are sisters, and since I can't go on exchanges with sisters they do it for me and report to me on what happened. Well, their report to me was a little unsettling. Now, this companionship doesn't want to kill each other, it's nothing like that. But it's definitely a very big lack of communication. One sister thinks that everything is peachy keen and the other is miserable. Not the best kind of thing to hear within my district. XP  It's also more frustrating for me because I can't counsel sisters on these kinds of things. Hopefully, they can sort it out, but I really hope it is soon because there's a chance that one of them will be going home for bad health. If that happens, I would want it to be that she goes home on good terms with her companion. That's been in the back of my mind this week.  :P

On the positives! We're starting to really enjoy the fruits of our labors now. Pedro, whom I wrote about last week, has a baptismal date for the 28th of this month! And today, we're going to try and put a date with his wife as well! He's a very nice guy and loves coming to church. Before, he was attending with a Christian church, but after exploring ours, chose ours over the Christian church. He's also reading the book of Mormon as well! We hope that his wife can join us in the lesson tonight. Also we found a woman named Kirse, a referral from a member. The poor woman has lived a very hard life and is still in very tough conditions. Her outlook on life is all misery and sadness, and the question,” Why is This Happening to Me?”  We bore very heartfelt testimonies to her that she is a daughter of God and that he loves her, and that we're here to help her find the peace that she has been looking for all her life. That, among other things; it was a very spiritual lesson. She told us after the closing prayer that she felt more relaxed than she ever felt in a very long time. She can feel the Spirit! We're going to work very hard on her.

I sure hope that our other investigators can progress! And hopefully the sisters in my district can sort things out :P Thank you all for all your support! Happy Thanksgiving next week! Love you!

-Elder Froude

Sunday, November 16, 2014

November 10, 2014 – They Call Me King!

Dear Mom, Dad, Lauren, and Ian,

This week has been a little weird. For some reason, a good chunk of our citas fell through. Luckily, one day of this week we were able to visit everyone we planned for, which saved us from a low lesson number this week, haha! But it was tough! Not all in vain though. Our back up plans helped us to find people that are pretty excited to learn more. Hopefully, they can progress well! One of them comes to church on his own, so we have a good feeling about that guy. But anyways, we're continuing in trying to get this area to progress. It is certainly much more than what we started with!

Hermana Santos, a rather sick sister in my district had to spend the whole week in the hospital for treatments on her lungs. They worked and she's able to work again but she can't push herself very hard. We're going to keep a good eye on her. ^_^ Also, we have two new sisters that are going to whitewash one of the areas in my District, Hermanas Peacock and Bocanegra. It will be their first time whitewashing, so it will be quite the adventure for them!

As for us, we're still looking diligently for more people to teach, and we are finding! They have yet to progress, but we will continue doing what we should. One of them is a family, a dad, mom, and their son. How we contacted them was funny! We were walking along and started talking to this woman we contacted the day before. When we were trying to put in another day with her, her husband, who's a pretty scary looking guy (but the nicest guy ever), walks out of his house and asks us who we are. We explained that we were missionaries that contacted his wife and wanted to make an appointment with the both of them to share the gospel. He said to come back on Saturday and we wrote it down and asked his name. In a deep voice, he said in English, "They Call Me King." And we were like "Yes sir! See you later!" And we went off. I was trying hard not to laugh in front of him not because his name didn't fit him, because it did. I just didn't expect that at all! But when we came back for the appointment, he turned out to be the nicest guy ever and is super interested in the gospel. He said he wants to become closer with God and would like to do that with his family. We have bright hopes for this guy!

Hopefully, we'll have more progress on these new investigators and help our old ones to church as well. It's hard, but it's worth it!

Times almost up, so I'll just write you all next week, ok? And HAPPY BIRTHDAY TOMORROW, MOMMY! Miss you and love you guys so much! Have a good Thanksgiving!

-Elder Froude

November 3, 2014 – I’m staying!

Dear Mom, Dad, Lauren, and Ian,

Transfers are over and the new one has begun! I'm going to be sticking around to finish Elder Tillmond's training. Hermana Petersen is going to finish her mission tomorrow, so for our last Zone Meeting we had her share her testimony. Really nice meeting.

As for our week, we definitely have some stuff to do now. Joel didn't make it to church this Sunday because of something he had to do with his family. It has actually been pretty hard to meet up with him lately. We've seen him but he's always doing sports or something. But there's a pretty big need to teach him the Word of Wisdom though.  We saw him at his friend's birthday party and they were ALL drinking alcohol. It's actually so normal here that a lot of parents buy it for the teens at parties and nobody bats an eye. He isn't binge drinking, of course, but that's our next lesson for him, lol!

On the subject of drinking, my companion and I met one of the cleanest drunkards I have ever met. This Seventh Day Adventists kid called us over to ''preach'' to a man that is always drunk and always says pretty awful stuff to people whenever they try to preach to him. Honestly, I first thought, ''Oh boy... this should be fun.'' So, we went to him on the street and introduced ourselves as the Mormon missionaries. Surprisingly from the beginning, he didn't swear or anything. He just tried to shrug us off by saying he was Atheist. We said that was all good, we don't try to change people's beliefs or lack thereof. But for some little thing, he quoted a scripture. I asked him if he was with a religion at one point because it's pretty weird for an Atheist to know the Bible. He said no, but he knew the bible.  After more talking, he said he was Agnostic, and then with more talk, he said believed in the Living Christ and the Eternal Father. We then opened up with the Restoration and he actually listened! It was a really interesting experience, but now that I think about it, these are the exact kind of people that Jesus Christ would preach to and heal. His name is Haibe, and he also invited himself to church with us on Sunday. We'll be with him this week to try and prepare him well to come. My companion and I have a good feeling about this one.

On the negative side of things, I learned that one of my old companions, who was in Pueblo Bavarro with me, was sent home early. Not for anything he did bad, but all I heard was family issues. I sure hope everything is ok.

Apparently, I still have something to do in this area, whether it be to finish Elder Tillmond's training or finding somebody or I don't know what. But I'll keep working hard. We're starting to see the fruits of our determination and your prayers. Thank you for everything! I'll write next week!  Love you all! Have fun at Apple Hill!

-Elder Froude
With Bishop handing out vests.
With Hermana Narda and her youngest, Aylin.
With Oliver, the bishop's son.
Some of the youth in our ward.
Mormon Helping Hands.  Some ward members.

Add caption
My District
Selfies during Zone meeting.

Our Zone.

Elder Garcia
Elders Montero & Ruiz
Hermana Santos & Hermana Peterson who is leaving tomorrow.
Hermana Pichardo
Elder Kirk
Dominican grasshopper called Esperanza, or Hope.

October 27, 2014 – Last week of transfer already!

Dear Mom, Dad, Lauren, and Ian,

Wow, it's already the last week of the transfer! It has been a pretty tough one, but I learned a ton from it. There's a good sized pool of people we are teaching now, and one of them is coming to church now! A boy named Joel. We're teaching a lot of his friends too, but he has been at every single meeting we set up so far. He's also reading the Book of Mormon now as well! His friends are as well! Joel and his whole group of friends are between 15 and 19 years old. Joel is 17, I believe. But yes, a lot of them are starting the Book of Mormon now, and they like it so far. We have a few others that are yet to progress, so we will continue with them!

Stake conference was yesterday! The talks were great. President Corbitt also spoke to the congregation, and had a great talk about the missionary work. Said that the members have just as big a responsibility of missionary work as the missionaries do, and he's right! Out here it's a little tough to get references from members, not because they don't want to give us references, but mostly because they aren't looking. There are those few members who are just golden and help us out however they can, though. And then Elder Zivic spoke to us as well! He had a lot of time to talk, so he talked about different things but a big focus was the Book of Mormon. It was perfect because our investigator Joel was there to listen to it! As a highlight, Elder Zivic talked about an intended Anti-Mormon sign he saw when he was traveling through Tampa, Florida. It said ''Don't pray about the Book of Mormon; it's how they get'cha''. Lol! He then proceeded to talk about how that is the only way we can ever know if it is true. If not, we'll never have a strong basis or testimony of the Book of Mormon. He said a lot of other stuff as well, and Joel was listening very intently.

Boy, this area is finally starting to grow. It took a LOT of work, and a companion that was willing to put in that work, and now things are happening. It just like how you always tell me; “When you give your all and then a little bit more, miracles happen.” Thank you so much for helping me with all your counsel and advice and love! I'll try to see if they can fix the photos problem here. Until next week! Love you all! Thanks for everything and the package! Send my love to everyone at the Celebration of Life thing!

-Elder Froude

October 20, 2014 – Happy birthday, Brody!

Dear Mom, Dad, Lauren, and Ian,

Firstly, Happy Birthday Brody!!!!! I don't know about you, but he's feeling 22!! Lol, I'm silly. I've been waiting to use that one!  XD But yeah brody! Do something awesome for your birthday! Unfortunately, for me, as you already know, it'll just be another day in the office for me. I'll party with you on the inside!!

Mom, thank you for sending me the pictures of the funeral. Everyone looks great even though it was a somber occasion.  Tito Chuck was a loved man I can tell. There’s a ton of people who attended his funeral!  I'm glad that they liked my letter. To be honest, I wasn't sure if they were the right things to say but I'm glad that Tita Jackie and Cameron appreciate it.

Well anyway, this week has been a little less than interesting. The work this week has been a little slow. We went 2 days without a single cita because they had all fallen through the whole day. We planned out so that we can avoid that from happening again. And so far, it's working pretty well. But it will be this week where we make it or break it because Elder Zivic wants to meet our investigators, and we haven't had an investigator at church in a while. We have investigators, and we're going to make a big push to try to get them to church. Oh that's right! I mention Elder Zivic because he will be attending our Stake Conference this Sunday. Should be a good conference!

Unfortunately, other than this, there isn't much else to mention. My companion and I are getting a long well and he's a great worker. Still working on Spanish of course, but that comes with time. Oh, and our investigator, Kelvin, moved away all of a sudden. 

Everything is ok here.  Weather is cooling down a little, and no, they don't celebrate Halloween here.  They sell the candy though! 

Send all my love again to the family when you meet up with them again on Nov 1! That's all I have for this week. It's a little short, but hopefully this coming week will go better! Love you all! Until next week!

-Elder Froude

October 13, 2014 - Things are looking up!

Dear Mom, Dad, Lauren, and Ian,

Last week went pretty well for a change! We're starting to get a good groove going on and we're doing more and more stuff every day. Our little strategy with the members is starting to kick-in. We're getting a better relationship with the ward and Bishop, and are working with a lot of the ward's less-actives. Hopefully, this'll show the ward that we're here to work. We're trying very hard. Elder Tillmond, whom I'm training, is adjusting well too! We're still on Spanish of course, but as soon as he learns to talk without mistakes, he'll learn two times faster. He's got a great spirit about him, and I'm glad, this is exactly what this area needs!

So in a few weeks or so is Stake Conference and Elder Zivic will be present and has forewarned us that he wants to meet our investigators. So, we better get cracking! Luckily, we do have a few new ones that we're teaching! Four teens that, actually, are very well instructed in the gospel and like what the Lord's message says! One of them actually read the pamphlet a few times before we came back the next day because he liked it so much! We have bright hopes for these boys.

President Corbitt also told us that he'll do another mission interview tour, and on Wednesday it's my Zone's turn! That should be fun! President Corbitt has been doing so much since he got here. I've seen him more times in just a few months than I did with President Hernandez in like 8 months.

Welp! That's about it for this week. But this coming week I feel like a lot will happen, with the work and the interview. We'll see what happens! Mom, the email to the family will come right after this. I love you all! See you soon!

-Elder Froude

Hermana Cuevas, one of the sisters in my district, was called to Aruba to replace a sister that was sick, so they essentially switched places. She's an awesome missionary and SO funny!

October 13, 2015 – Rest in peace, Tito Chuck

Dear Family,

I hope that these past few days the Holy Spirit has touched you and brought you all comfort in this time of great sadness with Tito Chuck’s passing. I felt a good deal of sadness out here, too, especially since I won't be able to go and mourn with all of you. Thankfully, I've also found a great deal of comfort. You all have heard it once or twice from my parents, sister, brother, and I about the LDS gospel. That we believe that there is a happy life after this earthly life. Now, I won't use up this letter to start preaching, but I feel that I should share with you all how much peace this gospel has brought me. Out here in the Dominican Republic, I've already attended 4 funerals, and recently, I was asked to speak at one, to a boy's family, who were not members of our faith. Understandably, these people were found in an almost inconsolable sadness. But when I started speaking, I felt a very special spirit fill the room, and I think that it had, maybe for a moment, helped this family to feel warmth, the love of our Heavenly Father, in their souls.

If anything, I hope that this letter does the same for you all. Tito Chuck may be gone, but it is only for now. I promise you that we will see him again one day, along with Lolo and Lola, the world's best Darl and Darl. I know that when that day comes, we'll all feel a happiness that we won't be able to describe. I hope that this letter was able to bring some of the feelings that I have felt out here to you; feelings that the Lord is watching us, and that he mourns with us when we mourn, and also rejoices with us when we rejoice. I send all of my love to all of you, and you are all in my prayers. Until next year, family…


-Elder Ryan Froude

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

October 6, 2014 – General Conference

Dear Mom, Dad, Lauren, and Ian,

First of all, I want to send my condolences and love to the family about the passing of TIto Chuck... especially to Cameron and Tita Jackie. I'll be praying hard for them. I never thought it would happen so soon! I honestly don't know what to say any more than that. I am as shocked as you are. Feelings about Lola's passing comes back to mind. I remember how difficult that time was for all of us. As sad as we were, the gospel of Jesus Christ brought me much comfort, knowing where Lola was going and what would happen afterwards. That same comfort comes back as well at this time. Expect a letter from me to the family next week.

I suppose I should start talking about this past week now. First though, it's awesome that you all went to conference! I'm glad you got to see all the general authorities and hear their voices live. You probably heard Elder Hugo Martinez talk in Spanish. I met him personally a few weeks ago at a zone conference. He told me that I must write my testimony to Laney and Hannah after talking to him for a bit. A really nice guy!

Well, General Conference  was awesome as always! ^_^ Don't ask me who was my favorite, I loved all the talks, haha! I was able to watch it in English this time around in a little tv. It was a lot of fun! Not only conference, but watching it with the other Elders and Sisters in my zone made it a lot better as well. It was an awesome experience! ^_^

The work is progressing in its own way. We've decided to help out the ward before we make a push for a lot of investigators. What we're going to do, with the help and approval of the Bishop of course, is prepare members to share the gospel with friends and associates whenever the occasion permits. This would be a huge help because we'll have more people doing missionary work instead of just us two. We won't be around for every single opportunity to share the gospel, but with more people around, ready to share something, it will be more efficient. We spent the week meeting with the bishop and working closely with him, and now we're starting to put into effect this little strategy. Wish us luck!

Hopefully, the work will progress at this pace. I'll write you all next week with how that is all going. I love you and miss you all! Send my regards to the other family members, please! I'll send pictures and a video next week!

-Elder Froude

Watching General Conference with the Zone Missionaries

September 29, 2014 – New companion, new mission

Dear Mom, Dad, Lauren, and Ian,

Boy, I've got quite a bit to write about. Well first, I have a new companion now! His name is Elder Tillmond, from Las Vegas. Man, he’s a greenie, fresh from the MTC, but he's pretty ready to be here! He's got a great work ethic and is super excited to work here. He also listens to the Holy Spirit really well, so that's super helpful. His sensitivity to the Spirit has actually helped out a lot here.

Finding people in this area has become really hard recently. Not only that, the people we're teaching has become really flaky. Not the best way to start a mission :P But we fasted on Sunday and Elder Tillmond thought about trying to help the ward become more involved. The ward is cool, but they're pretty complacent when it comes to helping the ward grow. They also rely a little too much on us to grow the ward. What Elder Tillmond and I want to do is to help them realize that the growth of the ward is their responsibility too. So, for the next few weeks, that will be our biggest focus; visiting members and ward leaders and training them a little bit on how their calling can help the work. We're also going to get Bishop to start the Preach My Gospel class started up. This ward has no ward missionaries. We want to teach the ward that we need their help, and with it, the work can advance 10 times faster. Maybe our numbers will be a little lower for a bit, but this will help us in the long run here. I'm just glad I have a companion who is ready and excited to work as I am!

Well, the Family History Fair was this past week and I gotta say, it wasn't as successful as I hope it would be. This is partly what we had planned to focus on helping the ward. The Stake made 4000 invitations for this activity, and divided them among the 6 wards to invite people. Each companionship of missionaries was given at least 200 to invite, and we gave them all out. The rest went to the members. Well, the night of the fair, there were only about 80 or less people there, and most of them were members. My companion and I invited more than 200 people and NONE of them showed up. My new companion and I talked a bit about how we felt about that and we both agreed that there needs to be a change. So, we'll be focused on how we can improve the work ethic of the ward. We're both excited to get started!

Hopefully, we can get some good work done here! If we're able to get the ward to work better with us and if we can have better meetings with the ward about the missionary work by the time I leave this area, I'll be satisfied. It's a personal goal of mine to leave an area better than I found it. I'll write you all again next week! Thank you so much for all your support and love! Miss you all!

-Elder Froude

September 22, 2014 – Transfer week

Dear Mom, Dad, Lauren, and Ian,

First of all, Happy Late Birthday Lauren!! I didn't get a chance to write it last week, but last Thursday I kept it in my head to write it today. Wow, I'll already be home for the next one!

Anyway, as tough as this past week has been, there are big pieces of good stuff that made up for it. First, Hermano Jorge Nuñez was baptized and confirmed this weekend! The first baptism I've had in this area! My companion and I didn’t do the actual baptism, but a nephew of Jorge's, who just returned from his mission about 3 months ago baptized him. It was a nice service.  :D  He was already super prepared to be baptized though.  He was what we call a ''Mormón Seco'' or a dry Mormon. He's basically a member, just not baptized yet, hence, dry, lol! We're all really happy for him!

Hermano Jorge Nunez and his family

So this week, we're going to spend a bunch of time at a Family History fair that the stake set up. Our job, of course, is to invite and bring as many people as we can. It's set up a little differently from the Family History youth conference that I did a few years back, but it should be a success! I'll let you know how it all goes next week. We spent a good chunk of this past week inviting people and handing out invitations. Like you said, Dad, it's a numbers game at this point. We handed out something like 200 invitations, if we're lucky, 20 or so people will come and out of those 20, 3 or so might become investigators, and maybe even 1 baptism.

Well, just like that, 1 transfer has passed by! And surprisingly, my companion who just got here this last transfer is already transferring. I'm staying in Ralma to train another missionary! As excited as I am, it's pretty funky that my companion who just got here is already leaving the area. I guess I still have something to do here.

Well, that's my letter for this week. Quite a few changes going on, but maybe it’s for the better! I'm excited to train another missionary. There's a huge group of Americans coming in too, about 24 or so. It may not seem that much, but for here it’s a big group! Until next week! Love you all!

-Elder Froude

The sister missionaries gave me this on my 1 year anniversary.  They were sweet!
My district!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

September 15, 2014 – The area is improving!

Dear Mom, Dad, Lauren, and Ian,

This week has been nice. The baptism for two of the sisters in my district went through smoothly on Saturday! The area is starting to improve with the number of lessons we have and finding more people to teach. We're also, as a stake and zone, preparing for a Family History Fair next week. It should be really cool! It's going to be from Tuesday to Saturday and we're all going to be doing something about Family History. But for this week, it's the last week of the Transfer. I don't think there will be too many changes with us. Half the zone just started training. One Elder is finishing his mission, though, Elder Palacio, and is going home this next Tuesday. The Elders in my zone all came over for lunch to say goodbye to him. We ate Mexican food because today supposedly is Independence Day for Mexico.  XP  Other than that, things are going ok.

This week our Zone went to the temple, and it was, as always, really nice! ^_^ I also forgot my temple recommend but President Corbitt is so awesome; he signed me a "replacement" recommend so that I could get in. Did you know that the temple here is one of 12 out of all the 140 something temples that has a Room of Solemn Assembly? The Temple President and President Corbitt both spoke to us in this room. It was a really cool experience! Then they fed us pizza from Papa John's afterwards! Oh! Cool story now that I think about it! There's a less active member named Erikson and he's never been too active in the church before. He didn't drink or smoke or anything like that but it seemed like he just wasn't interested in the church. His mother, who's very close to us, confided in us back when I was with Elder Pronk, that she prays and fasts very hard for her son. That night I felt the need to share with her about Divine Providence. I think I read a talk about it from David A. Bednar. That was about 2 months ago. Well, just a few days ago, she told me that out of nowhere, Erikson said that he wants to serve a mission! So, we'll be working with him to help him get back into the swing of things and prepare him for his mission.

Jorge Nuñez passed his Baptismal interview last Saturday! We're so happy for him! The process would have been much longer if it wasn't for his wife, who is already a very strong member of the church. That reminds me…his young daughter, Jasmin, who's only 5 years old, was sick one day when we came over. Brother Jorge asked us to give her a blessing. When we blessed her, we asked if she believed that the blessing will help her feel better, and in the cutest response, she said "You already sent it away!" As adorable as it was, that response also amazed me, in a way. If people these days could have such an innocent and pure faith like tiny little Jasmin, people would be so much happier.

So, Jorge's baptism will be this coming Saturday. It will be our first baptism since I arrived in this area! I hope we can do some good here, if not baptisms, then reactivating the less-actives. Encouraging less active members is just as important to the Lord. Wish me luck!

Mom, remember that memory card you sent me three months ago? Just last night I finally saw the videos in it because Elder Aguirre's camera reads the video files, so I watched all the videos and I loved them! Finally! Dad, my companions and I loved that you started saying the Padre Nuestro in the video at Tita Jackie's house!  They were also impressed with Tita Lit’s Spanish! XD  Laney and Hannah are so cute!

Hey I gotta go now, clock's run out.  :( I love you all! Thank you so much for your words of love and support and prayers!  Talk to you next week!

-Elder Froude

Friday, September 12, 2014

September 8, 2014 – Seguimiento…Follow-up

Dear Mom, Dad, Lauren, and Ian,

It's nuts to think that I have been here almost a year!  I just got here!  

It seems that these last few letters has been me about how I have been struggling in this area. Well, I think I finally figured out what it is I had to learn here!  Follow-up. It's much easier said than done, quite honestly, and in my last areas I've had fixed appointments most of the time so I haven't had to work too hard on following up with investigators. Well, being here sure taught me otherwise! XD  It helped out a lot following up. Our numbers may be a little lower than usual, but we are working on it! Following up also helps to sift out promising investigators.  So far, the fruits are good! We found our first family here, and they're all super nice! The family is a good-sized one too, a mother and father, 2 daughters, and a son. They all seem pretty interested but are busy all week long. Seeming interested is interested enough!  Haha!  We'll do our best to continue with them. Also, our baptismal date, Jorge Nuñez is progressing well and has so much support from his family! His interview is this Saturday, so we'll be spending the week preparing him for it.  His bap date is Sept. 20.  We're still working on Kelvin...he just needs to come to church!

In other news, we're finally going to the temple tomorrow! I haven't gone since February, so we're all excited for that. Also I did my first baptismal interview this past Saturday. It is an investigator from one of my districts, Mi Hogar. His name is Rafael, and he's a solid one! Super ready for baptism! It was a really cool experience! I also decided personally that it would be something I take very seriously, interviewing people for baptism. Sure baptisms are important, but how much easier would it be to be sure that that baptism was still active 3 weeks after his baptism? The recent converts here were baptized the week before I arrived, and so far, we're still working with them to keep them active and to help them keep reading the Book of Mormon. Now I'm not going to ask these people super difficult and deep questions, but I'll be listening very closely to the Spirit during the interviews. And the interview I did, I felt that the brother was ready for baptism!

Still no changes about what we can and can't do on our P-days though. Missionaries here are starting to get a little unsettled about it. Not accounting for the fact about the strictness of things, it's a pretty steep change for us here, so I would say that that would be the biggest reason. We're still waiting for word from President, and he'll either say things will stay the same or he'll tell us what we can and can't do.  I hope he says something sometime this week!

Ok, well the clock on this thing is running out, so I gotta get going soon. Thanks for the advice, Dad! It's hard to make these people commit to stuff but yeah, sometimes we have to be stern with them.  XP

I'll write you all next week ok? Love you all and miss you!! Stay strong! I'm praying for you all!

-Elder Froude

Zone picture with Area 70 Elder Hugo E. Martinez and his wife and Pres. Corbitt and his wife
Happy 1 year as a missionary, Elder Froude!!!
Add caption

September 1, 2014 – Ups and downs

Dear Mom, Dad, Lauren, and Ian,

Happy anniversary!! I'm glad that you finally had some quiet time to enjoy together.  The rain let up a little bit now, but there's still a bit of storm passing by. About P-days, well, Pres. Corbitt is deciding what we can't and can do during P-days with a lot of prayer and fasting. He relies a LOT of revelation from the Lord to help him in his calling. But until he gets and gives us an answer, things are pretty strict as to what we can and can't do.

Well, this week hasn´t been one of my best. Thankfully, it was the little things this week that kept it from being my worst.  ^_^  Well, our numbers have become a little low. Our citas and back up plans this week have been falling through much more than usual. To top it off, our investigators that we have aren´t keeping up with commitments, not even our baptismal date, Kelvin, (which, as well, has fallen through) has gone to church yet. So, that adds to a bit of frustration.  :P  What´s more, we went contacting to look for more people to teach, with no success.  A lot of people here are Jehova´s Witnesses and they won´t give us the time of day, usually.

On the positive, however, some cool stuff happened this week. Just this past Tuesday, the mother (not a member) of a youth in the ward passed away and just hours after she died, I was asked to share a spiritually comforting message to his family who also weren´t members. When we got there, I saw the young man whose mother just passed away and he looked at peace compared to his other family members who were understandably sobbing. The first cool thing is that this young man has incredible faith in the Plan of Salvation. He knew where his mother was going and maybe even felt that she would accept the gospel there. The second cool thing was how I came upon sharing the message. While looking through the scriptures for a comforting message to share, I remembered a short section in D and C that I had found just that morning, section 137 verses 7 and 8. It was perfect! I shared those verses and bore a very spiritual testimony about the Plan of Salvation to this family. It was a very special experience for me.  ^_^ I had gone to 3 other occasions like this before, but this was the first one I had formally spoken at.

Well, the things about not finding people to teach have gotten a bit better as of yesterday. We went on a splits with the ward and our zone leaders came and helped out. We now have a lot of less-actives and some references to visit now! If not investigators, reactivating less-actives are just as important.

I sure hope that we can improve this week! I haven´t given up yet. Also, good luck in all your new callings Mom, Dad, Lauren, Richard, and Ian! I guess the Lord has lots of plans for us! Talk to you all next week!
Thank you for everything!  Love you all!!!

-Elder Froude

Finally! Pictures from last week's zone activity where there was a storm and it flooded.  Best zone activity ever!!!  The hermanas are in my district.

My dream of playing in the rain and flood was fulfilled!

August 25, 2015 – Crazy storms

Dear Mom, Dad, Lauren, and Ian,

This week has been full of rain! A tropical storm has hit this part of the DR and it's been raining hard lately! I love it! It's the first time I haven't been sweating in almost a year! We also had an awesome zone activity today and we all played in the rain. So awesome! It was one of my dreams to play in some hard rain. I have awesome pictures too! Thanks to the waterproof camera! It' starting to flood here though. The sewage here isn't the best and in some parts it comes back out when it floods. We didn't cross any sewer water on the way home though, so that's good.

Anyway, as for the work here, we have a new promising investigator! It almost counts as a family, but the wife is a member and the 3 kids are too young to be baptized.  They’re the Nunez family and the guy’s name is Jorge. But he's really awesome! He's really receptive and likes the church a lot. We hope he can progress well; he has a lot of support from his wife. As for Kelvin, he's progressing very well.  He only needs to come to church!! He's still reading the Book of Mormon and loves it, but it's like every Sunday something comes up that keeps him from going to church. We aren't giving up on him yet! He has so much potential!!

Oh, a cool bit of news. This week we're going to be visited by the 2nd counselor of the presidency of the Area 70, Elder Hugo Martinez. It should be interesting! He's going on a mission tour and checking out all the zones, so we'll see how that goes. Other than that, we're still looking for more people to teach. They're out there; they're just a little tough to find. I hope we find them!

Well, I hope this storm doesn't keep us in for too long. I'll write you all next week and send more pictures! This internet doesn't have a USB port to send them, bleh. But until next week everyone! I love you all!

-Elder Froude

Monday, August 18, 2014

August 18, 2014 – New companion, Elder Pena

Dear Mom, Dad, Lauren, and Ian,

Well, this week has been interesting! It started with getting my new companion, Elder Peña. He's a Guatemalan elder that has 14 months on the mission and he's a cool and funny guy. A little quiet during the lessons, but I'm sure that when he gets to know everyone he'll open up. I also got to meet the new sisters in my district. They are both trainees, Hermana Pichardo from the DR and Hermana Cuevas from Florida. Her parents are Dominican and she already knows Spanish. They're both super excited to work! I noticed that that Spirit has lifted up and encouraged  and motivated the sisters already in my district too! So that's good!  We’re helping them with a service project tomorrow.

Now for the week. We still haven't visited with Kelvin; he's still mourning a bit for his grandma who passed away, but he said we can continue teaching him tomorrow. He's been pretty out of it lately, and we totally understand. When we first started teaching him, we told him that even though he's seeing changes in his life, it won't always be any easier, in fact, it would be a little harder. I'm glad I said it then because he's still willing to be taught. But I also feel horrible because his grandma passed away, which can be extremely hard for anyone. We'll see what happens with his progression.

Oh! Funny story! My companion and I were kinda tricked into going to a bible study group. XD We contacted this lady who said she'd love to hear about what the Mormons are all about but when we came back on the day of the appointment, there were 7 or 8 people sitting in a circle with all their bibles out. I thought, ´´It's a Trap!!´´ So, we sat down and started to listen, and boy, they had some interesting interpretations of who God is and other things. Usually, during a lesson, we would try to humbly correct people about the scriptures if it was necessary, to teach them something about our lesson, but my companion and I both felt that it wouldn't be wise. Mostly because the environment of the appointment was not conducive to learning. If we said something, a person would pull out a scripture trying to prove us wrong with his or her interpretation, and if we answered, another person would do the same. However, if somebody directly asked us a question, we answered it with scripture, sometimes not along the lines of their beliefs, bore our testimony, and let them continue. They seemed satisfied with our answers though. But boy, they said some pretty funky stuff, like God is Knowledge and that baptism shouldn't be by immersion because water isn't knowledge or something like that. XD Other than that, we didn't say much. It was actually pretty funny how it all happened! Haha!

Well, hopefully this week we'll get to visit and find some more people. This week all the people we found are either part of another church or aren't interested. But we will keep looking! Anyway, that's all for this week. I'll write you more stories and send more pictures! Talk to you guys later! Love you!

-Elder Froude
We had FHE with this amazing family and we baked the brownies that you sent me for my birthday.
It was yummy!  Thank you!
Elder Pronk's last day in our area.
With Elder Bateman
With Elder Granados.  He looks like he's 12. Haha!
Love this quote from director Cecil B. DeMille.