as of September 11, 2013

Monday, February 24, 2014

February 24, 2014 – Much more work to do!

Dear Mom, Dad, Lauren, and Ian,

Hey everybody! Sorry, I´m so late, we had a zone activity today. But because it´s so late, I only have enough time (and money lol) to send a long letter :(  But just letting you all know I´m ok today! Tomorrow is transfer day and my companion and I are still together. That´s right, I´m not getting transferred! I still have a lot of work to do here in Veron!

I´m glad to hear that you´re all doing so well! I really am glad to hear how you all are doing and all the advice you have for me. It makes me feel at home out here! Laney Reese and Hannah Claire are more beautiful each time I see them. Whenever I show pictures of them to people they all say they´re the most beautiful babies ever! Haha, but anyway, Mom and Dad, you both are doing awesome work in the ward and stake, from what you´re telling me. I hope to be able to make an impact like that out here!

This week has been quite a few adventures! Firstly, we have two baptisms this Saturday…Jasmil’s and Elizabeth’s! I totally forgot to take a picture of them both and send it to you but I´ll take the pictures this weekend for sure! But anyway, Jasmil´s faith is just so fantastic! She told us that last Sunday her parents and family went to the beach together, but she went to church instead because she´d rather go to church than the beach. Wow! She´s really excited for her baptism this Saturday…and Elizabeth too! There was actually a baptism for an 8 year old boy yesterday evening, and Elizabeth went to it and saw the baptism! She´s really smart for her age. Seeing the baptism ordinance increased her excitement for her own baptism.

I also want to write about the couple that we have that is investigating the church, Felix and Santa. They are GOLDEN. They´re the first investigating couple that I´ve met that is legally married out here! Also, they´re already super interested in religion and told us that of all the churches they´ve explored, they feel that this is the most organized and reverent and correct (because it is!). They´re also the nicest people! They truly believe in the saying, ´´Mi Casa es Su Casa,`` my house is your house. The ward is also doing a very good job of making them feel welcome in the church, which they enjoy very much! Their baptism is the Saturday after this, the 8th of March. They´re very excited!

It’s a couple like them that makes me feel so much joy in what I do. They notice the blessings in their lives with the church, and seeing their progression just makes me feel so happy! Not that I forget why I´m out here, but it reminds me of how the Gospel can truly bless the lives of people. As Christ´s representative, it´s my job to make sure that everybody I meet has the opportunity to accept it.

I have lots of pictures this week, but I´ll have to send them all another time because I have so little of it today :( But anyway, that´s all the news from this week! I know you said you´re worried mom, but you don´t have to be! Not only are you in the hands of the Lord, but I am too! He´ll take good care of me out here; He did the same with Ian!

Welp, I believe that is all for this week. I´ll send you all the pictures later this week, ok? I love you and miss you! Bye!

-Elder Froude

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

February 17, 2014 – The Work Goes On!

Dear Mom, Dad, Lauren, and Ian,

Happy Late Valentine´s Day!! It´s actually pretty funny… people celebrate Valentine´s Day here more than they do Christmas. We also had a Zone Conference this week, so I decided to make some Nutella cookies for the zone! First, I gotta say something about Zone Conferences for my zone. Most other zones have them every week. Our zone is special because ours is the most spread out zone in the mission, so we only get them once a month. That being said, Zone Conferences are very looked forward to because we´re all excited to see other missionaries, haha! Anyway, while I was making the cookies, I found out I had accidentally made Nutella Fudge! So, I brought that to the meeting and everybody loved it! I can make things now! Haha!

Anyway, about my week... it wasn´t too eventful. It was spent preparing our baptismal dates for their interviews this Saturday. Best Case Scenario, we´ll have four baptisms the week after this!

Oh, a bit of news, my companion and I have been able to establish quite a few things in the branch. We teach an English class now which is working great for finding investigators to teach! We also started Mutual for the youth in the branch and are trying to bring more nonmembers to it to teach them too. We also started a Gospel Principles Class, which we also teach. It´s working very well too for our investigators and new converts. We don´t want them to get lost in all the deep doctrinal classes, so we´re starting them from the beginning. And also, as of last week, we started teaching the young men. The branch has a YM president but he´s inactive. We´re trying to reactivate him and get him to do things. But all those things have been keeping us pretty busy, along with all the proselyting we do. The work is progressing here!

That´s all the things we´ve been up to.. maybe next week I´ll have a crazy story to share? Maybe! Anyways, I´m glad to hear you´re all doing ok. ^_^  I´ll write you all next week! I love you all!

-Elder Froude

This is a guanabana. On the outside it´s the most hideous looking fruit ever, but on the inside is some juicy sweet goodness! It´s one of my favorites out here!
One of the sisters in the ward gave me this giant Hershey kiss for Valentine's Day!

February 10, 2014 - El Jardin Del Señor, the Garden of the Lord

Dear Mom, Dad, Lauren, and Ian,

Happy Valentine´s Day! Thanks for the package and the photos! They were a really nice American break from all these Dominican days of “We can Eat, Drink, and Be Merry, for tomorrow we die" (name that scripture! Hint…it´s in the BoM.)

Anyways, this week was much better than the last. We´re making excellent progress with an officially married couple, Felix and Santa, no, not Claus. Lol! We had a very good Q&A session with them for a lesson. They had excellent questions! They found these questions reading the Book of Mormon. Yes, they´re reading it and are saying they believe it!! We also taught a Gospel Principles class at church for our investigators and recent converts. Feliz and Santa attended! The lesson went fantastic too! We taught about God, our Heavenly Father. Everybody in the class was participating! It was a very good Sunday.  ^_^

As for Jazmil and Miguel, we haven´t interviewed them yet. Mostly because we can´t until they´ve come to church for at least 3 months. I thought we could interview them before then, but I guess we can´t. I had gotten so excited with two more baptisms that I almost forgot that I can´t make people get baptized. That´s the Holy Spirit´s job. He testifies the truthfulness of the gospel to investigators and then sees to it that they are baptized when THEY are ready, not when I´m ready to baptize someone.

This reminds me of when I heard that when you arrive at an area, you are given a piece of the Lord´s garden. Being the gardener, I can´t make plants grow when I want them to. What I can do is plant seeds and be there to nurture those seeds until they sprout into a flower or tree in its own time. Some might not sprout at all, no matter how much I water it. As sad as it is, it simply means it isn´t ready to be a part of the Lord´s garden. Another Gardener will have to replant it later. But I give two years of service to the Lord to take care of and expand his beautiful garden, and He´s got a lot of seeds for us to plant! So, I better get to work!

That´s all the progress and spiritual thought for this week. ^_^ I´m sure I´ll send more because I´m learning so much out here. I can´t wait to write you all again! I love and miss you!

-Elder Froude

A sister in the branch who's leaving for her mission!
Elder Vazquez's birthday!
The coolest dog in town!
On the rooftop, surveying our area.
Selfies!  Hahaha!

February 3, 2014 – Long email

Dear Mom, Dad, Lauren, and Ian,

Hey everybody I´m on! I´m reading all your emails right now  Yes!! Laney and Hannah are the most adorable things ever!!

I heard the Superbowl was yesterday! Man I´m so out of it, I forgot there was even a Superbowl! I suppose that´s ok because I´m supposed to be focused out here anyway, haha! But anyway, my week was ok. Working as always. But I gotta admit, this week was a little tough.

The rama or branch is great, don´t get me wrong. The people in it are wonderful! They´re just as excited about the missionary work as we are! But the thing is they don´t have the training us missionaries have. Bless them, they have the best intentions. But sometimes they make plans for us and expect us to drop the plans we made and go out with them. I´ve been feeling a little off about that. And whenever we want to stick with our own plans they get mad at us. Lately it´s been a little frustrating. But my companion and I had the idea to have the Stake president come down and have a leadership training for the rama, which should help out a lot! We tried to tell some of the members how we´re supposed to work, but they just sort of shrugged it off like they knew better. I´m sure they didn´t mean it like that, but that´s what it came off as. I don´t blame them, though. We are new missionaries and they have been a great help but they have to remember that we´re the missionaries and are there to help them. I hope we can establish that with the rama…they´re all very awesome people!

As for our progress, Miguel and Jasmil couldn´t get interviewed on Saturday.  :( They need to be taught just a few more things and then they can be interviewed this Saturday, for sure this time!!! Also, we´re getting very awesome references from the members! We found a golden couple, who for a change is legally married! Almost everybody here just live together.  DX  But they´re both VERY interested in the church and ask really good questions. We´re doing service for them tomorrow so that should be awesome too! 

Today, we just did a bit of shopping. There was a zone activity today, but we didn´t go because we need to save money to go the capital on Wednesday. And not a whole lot, but we get fed sometimes. We actually decided to not let anyone feed us for a bit because people have started to fight over feeding us. So, we want to cool things down before we start that again. Haha!  And thanks for the advice, dad, it really helps us out.  ^_^

Well, that´s all the things from this week. I´ll be going to the capital this Wednesday so I´ll get your package from there. Bye, guys! I´ll write you next week with progress on the rama and our investigators! Love you!!

-Elder Froude