as of September 11, 2013

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

January 27, 2014 – Hace mucho tiempo! It’s been a while!

Dear Mom, Dad, Lauren, and Ian,

Wow!  Sorry I haven't written the past couple of weeks! All the zone activities that would take all day decided to take place on Mondays.  But anyways, I've got a lot of adventures to tell you about! Too many, in fact, so I have to condense them. But that's ok! I'll put in as much detail as I can.

Firstly, I have a new companion, Elder Vazquez. He's an American from Arizona but both of his parents are Latino, so his Spanish is pretty much perfect already. But he's a good companion! We work very well together.  We're finding a lot of people to teach and are getting close to baptizing them, some of which have baptismal dates for February 8th! We're both really excited for them!

The other big piece of news is that my very first baptism that I performed was this past Saturday! With who? Alexandra's little brother, Brayan! He's a good kid and Alexandra helped out a lot with teaching him. She's also come with us to teach other people as well. The converts and investigators here are so cool! I wish you all could visit the branch here and visit the people I’ve met. They all want to meet you guys!

Meet Brayan, the newest member of our branch!
Oh! I should write about the next two baptisms we have planned for the 8th of February! Oh wait, Dad's birthday is this week, I should greet him happy birthday now so I don't miss it! Happy Birthday, Dad!! I'll only miss one more of your birthdays and then I'll be home!  That actually reminds me something about Elder Rocha and his dad. They both love, LOVE Band of Brothers. His Dad has all ten discs in Blu-Ray, just like you!!!  Dad, I'm telling you, you need to be best friends with Elder Rocha's dad!  Lol!

Anyway, the youth being baptized on the 8th are Miguel and Jasmil. They're neighbors, so we were able to teach the both of them together. They both are very good! One is 13 and the other 14. They both have come with us to appointments that we’ve had.  Miguel enjoyed them more and is very interested in being a missionary!  Wooooo!!  We're so excited for them!  Actually for a while, we were a little worried about baptizing Jasmil because she was scared to ask her dad for permission.  So one cita, we decided to help her ask for permission.  Her dad is very "fuerte" or strong.  He could rip us in half!  We were a little scared too! So to start, we asked Jasmil to offer the opening prayer.  Instead, she blurted out "Papi, yo quiero bautizarme!"  Translation: “Dad, I want to be baptized!”  We were surprised at how suddenly she asked!  The dad asked if she was absolutely sure, and she said yes, and he said, Ok! Of course, there was a bit more dialogue than that but I can't remember exactly what was said.  But wow! What a spiritual moment!  When the Spirit wants something said, He will make sure it happens, whether we expect it or not.

Those are all the significant stories from the past few weeks. There will be more next week because the Zone Leaders will come down to interview Jasmil and Miguel.  And one more thing, I saw all the pictures of my big sister's new daughter, Hannah Claire Dye.  She's a beautiful and healthy baby girl! I can't wait to meet her when I come back! I'll write ya'll next week!  ^_^  I love you and miss you!!

-Elder Froude

My new companion, Elder Avarez
Me on the "Super Moto Concho" or motorcycle Taxi. Hehe ^_^

 This is an e-mail from a couple who met Elder Froude in DR...


My name is Lori Dunn.  We just returned yesterday from a trip to the Dominican Republic and we were lucky enough to meet your son Elder Froude and his companion Elder Vasquez!  What handsome young Elders!  Both were all smiles all the time.  They seem to get along very well and genuinely like each other.  We attended church last Sunday.  We were all so impressed with your son's bright countenance.  There were about 20 of us from our travel group who were there.

Later in the week we, as a group, painted a school there in the Dominican.  Your son and Elder Vasquez were tracting nearby and someone told them there were a bunch of white people painting a school. :)  So they dropped by, and we got to see them again!  This gave those in our group who were unable to attend church a chance to meet your son.  It was an awesome photo op for those of us who have children currently on missions (and are missing them so much :).

My husband and I live in Sandy, Utah and are the parents of five sons.  Four are married and we have two amazing grandkids with another on the way - due next week!  Our youngest son is serving his mission in Madrid, Spain and has been out 7 1/2 months.  He is my fourth missionary.  I know very well what it is like when someone sees my son while he is serving and then tells me about it :).  I just wanted you to know how impressed we all were with your son.  You should be very proud!  He is serving cheerfully and is working hard.  The people in the Dominican are lucky to have him there!  And as a further aside, I would LOVE for my son to serve there!  It is absolutely gorgeous, and the people we met were all so nice and loving.  AWESOME!

I am attaching some photos of your handsome son - a couple with us as well.


Lori Dunn

Thursday, January 9, 2014

January 6, 2014 – A very Happy New Year to all!

Dear Mom, Dad, Lauren, and Ian,

Hey, everybody! Happy New Year! A bit of sad news though... Today is a holiday here in the DR; this particular one lets everyone have a day to relax, which means nothing is open, even the internet cafes. I'm in the church e-mailing right now, but there's only one computer, and Elder Rocha needs a turn too. So we agreed to only send whatever pictures we have and one long email so it would be fair. Sorry, guys.  :( But I have a lot to talk about from this week! I'll start with the pictures ok?

It's a little downy hearing about Ian's predicament with the bed bugs. Yikes! But, hopefully, they won't BUG him for much longer. Aha. Aha. Aha. Ok, the puns are done.  Anyway! It's pretty weird to say that it's 2014. It was a very fast year, especially since I left. It's like a year's worth of events happened within the past few months; I leave for my mission, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Dad gets released, Ian comes home, Christmas, and New Year's. Next is Lauren having her second little girl! Woo! That's a lot of stuff to happen in just a couple of months. Out here, a lot of stuff has happened, good stuff! I read back through my journal the other night and I noticed I sound different now than I did on Day 1. It’s a good different! I still have my enthusiasm but it's like every day I understand a little more why I am here. Not that I didn't know why I came! It’s really hard to explain... Ian and Richard should understand what I'm trying to say; maybe they can translate my vague thoughts into regular English, hehe!

Anyway, this week has been great! The work hasn't slowed down at all since Christmas! It started with us finding a new investigator, Elvin. He's the husband of Manuela, one of our other investigators we found a month or so ago working in a banco (there are two kinds of bancos or banks here; one that works as an actual bank, and the other that sells lotto tickets.  The latter ones are tiny, essentially a concrete box with a glass window and a door.).  We usually taught her in her little booth since very few people came through, but she said that she would be working in another banco much closer to her house so we should just continue the lessons there. She also said her husband would be at home too, and we asked if we could include him in the lessons and she said yes!  We had no idea how receptive he would be! We placed a Book of Mormon with him after the first lesson, on the 1st of January, and we visited with them again just yesterday. They have been reading it and are already in the Book of Jacob, and they prayed and said they knew the Book of Mormon was true! AAAHHH! Felicidad!!! We're making sure to meet with them as much as we can! For now, it's only on Sundays because that's when they're both together, but we're praying for other days too!

This week was also the last District meeting for our DL, Elder Cudd. We baked him Nutella cookies before he left that day.  It was a really fun District Meeting.  ^_^ My district is just the right amount of crazy! :D

That's Elder Cudd we're holding.
Also this week, our ZL's asked us to fast for the zone and for miracles since it was the first fast of the year. This fast was particularly hard because we walked around a lot that Saturday (here, we start fasts Saturday before lunch and end them Sundays at lunch), and during one of our citas we were offered Chicherron (Lechon to us Filipinos), which Elder Rocha and I have been craving for weeks. Ugggghhhhhh! But they understood and said they would save us some for tomorrow.  It was sooo good! Mmmmm! ^_^ But the fast did bring miracles because yesterday we had 7 Investigators at church! For some missions, that's pretty regular, even a low number. But for our humble little branch, that's a really good Sunday! We were really happy! ^_^ Alexandra also bore her first testimony ever! Paraphrasing, she talked about how dark her life was until Elder Rocha and I showed her the Gospel and Holy Spirit, which brought her light and happiness. I almost cried, not because I was in a testimony meeting, but because looking back in my life, I don't think I've ever done anything more important than help bring Alexandra to the waters of Baptism, and I hope to bring much more!

I'm happy doing what I'm doing out here. There's a scripture in Matthew 6: 19-21 that describes pretty well how I'm able to feel all this joy serving a mission. Of course I miss you all, I always do, but you all are in the Lord's Hands, and what reason have I to not trust Him?

That's all I have for this week :) The next transfer will happen next week, so I’ll tell you then if I'm staying or going or gonna be a trainer or all that good stuff! I miss and love you all!  Ian, Good luck in college! Lauren, take good care and feel better from that flu! Mom and Dad, thank you both for raising me, Ian, and Lauren the way we are.  :) Until Next Monday!

-Elder Froude
This was our New Year's Day feast.  Thanks for the Hickory Farms!  We loved it!
Elder Rocha and I cooked breakfast this morning.  I made the pancakes and he made the quesadillas.  Yum!

December 30, 2013 – Great seeing you all!

Dear Mom, Dad, Lauren, and Ian,

Hey everybody! First, I´m sorry that you´re all sick :/ I hope you all feel better soon. These are all crazy stories! Geez, this is a heck of a Christmas! I hope that New Year´s turns out a little better. Mine was alright. Very different than America. Here, people don´t really have the Spirit of Christmas. They only get excited when they have a bottle of beer or something stronger in their hand. Holidays like this are just another reason to drink and party, nothing more.  :P  We didn´t do a whole lot either except work and listen to the Piano Guys.  ^_^

Happy New Year! Almost! It's the 30th over here. I hope you all have awesome plans for it, because as a missionary, I can't have any plans that don't have to do with working! lol! I don't mind it. Though, I have the feeling that New Year’s is gonna be a little crazier than Christmas here. Well, Christmas was actually surprisingly calm over where I am. I think they're just saving their energy for the bigger celebration that is New Year’s. I'm not sure how the whole "Be back in by/ You can leave by" thing will work this time. They'll tell us soon.  ^_^

Anyway, remember how last week I was bummed that my companion and I weren't teaching that much? Well, right after Christmas and our Skype call, people decided to be available for us to teach! It was crazy, we spent the last 4 days walking and teaching, we're pretty exhausted! This p-day was a nice break.  :D I wanted to get in as many citas as I could before the New Year and I got exactly that! Maybe even more! I better take advantage!

Oh mom, you'll be proud of me as a cook, because the other day, for a little Christmas thing for some of the members, I made Nutella cookies! They all liked it! It was actually pretty good for my first time! But they're a little too rich, so I gotta find a way to make it a little less rich. Elder Rocha and I actually cook pretty often! I learned how to make Tostones, deep fried slices of Plantanos, and other stuff! When I come back, I'll cook for you guys!

Well, time is running low. Gotta end the email here. And sorry no pictures this week :( Nothing to take pictures of. But maybe this week! :D  I love you guys! Miss you all! Talk to you next week! :)

And I also wanna wish my brody luck as he goes back to BYU this week. Good luck, dude! You're an RM now, and as a younger brother, you have my permission to get married while I'm gone!  ;) Haha! Love you, bro!

-Elder Froude

December 23, 2013 – Long and fruitful week

Dear Mom, Dad, Lauren, and Ian (huh, that's weird),

I want to start this email by saying AHHHHHHH!!! WELCOME HOME, IAN BRODY!! That's right; my brother is finally home after faithfully serving the Lord for two difficult but indescribably joyous years! I couldn't be more proud of him! Now it's my turn to walk the same path my brother has so that I can have a better relationship and understanding with God and Jesus Christ. ^_^

This week was the baptism of Alexandra! My first baptism ever! Well, I didn't actually do the baptism, but as a companionship! I did, however, speak on Baptism at her baptism. I’ll try to stop using the word now; it's starting to sound weird.  X) Anyway, it went alright. I feel like my talk for Sunday was better.  I had more time to prepare for that one than I did for this. I had only about 1 hour to prepare for it. But Alexandra said that I did really good! ^_^ Our branch doesn't have a font, so we had to go to a member's house close by and use their pool.  Even though it was a cool night and the water was cold, Alexandra was doing nothing but smiling when she got into the pool.  I can't even begin to describe the joy I felt to see her be baptized.  Being a part of leading someone unto Christ and baptism is truly something special. I can't take even half of the credit though; it was the Holy Spirit that testified unto her the truth.  All I am is an envoy of the Holy Spirit; I say what He wants me to say and I do what He tells me to do.  And if I learn to do that without fail, everything will be ok.  ^_^

Now for the rather down-y part. It's the holidays and lots of people aren't available. And also, we spent most of the week traveling all over the Dominican Republic for conferences and activities. Out of the 25-30 lessons a week we usually teach a week, we only were able to teach 8. I suppose it's understandable why the numbers would drop, but man, that's just sad. My companion and I agreed that even though it's the holidays, we're gonna try much harder to make citas (appointments) and try to get the numbers back up some. It'll be hard because of the holidays, but we're gonna work even harder. If it is truly our best, I know that the Lord will understand, and hopefully we won't feel as bad for the low numbers. But like the scriptures say, He doesn't want us to run more than we have strength (thank goodness!). So we will do our best to improve! However, despite the low numbers, we had good opportunities to serve people. This week we had to help re-cement a garage for a family. We had to mix and spread the cement ourselves, and whoo! what a work out!

We also had a really powerful Christmas Conference with the Zone and a neighboring Zone. Wow, Elder Jeffery R. Holland is a powerful speaker!  President Hernandez played an audio recording of a Mission President Conference on “Why Missionary Work is Hard.” It made me cry, hehe.  Ask Ian about the things he said, it's sooooo good.

That's about it for this week. No phrase of the week though :( I haven't had the time to catch one. Next week for sure! I can’t wait to Google+ all of you  this week for Christmas! Feliz Navidad a todo! Merry Christmas everyone! I love you all! And again, welcome home, Bro!  :)

-Elder Froude