as of September 11, 2013

Monday, March 24, 2014

March 24, 2014 – My first confirmation

Dear Mom, Dad, Lauren, and Ian,

Sorry I wasn’t able to write last week for the blog! I got onto the internet late and ran out of time fast.  :( But today that gives me time to write about the cool stuff that happened last week!

So last week, we baptized Felix and Santa on Sunday after church because that´s when they were available. It was a super spiritual experience not just because it was a baptism but because this particular couple is very special to me and my companion. They already had a very strong religious background. However, they felt like all those years they were going to church and searching for the true one, they never felt satisfied. They never felt like they learned anything about their Savior. That is, until they met us. I´m not bragging, this is all stuff they had told us. I don´t know, there´s just a joy in learning that you really brought somebody closer to God. Let me rephrase that, because that´s the Holy Spirit´s job. …there´s a joy like no other when you see the fruits of your labors especially when those fruits are big and colorful! Felix and Santa are genuinely happier because they’ve accepted our invitation to Come Unto Christ.

Just yesterday, we confirmed them members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Elder Vazquez confirmed Felix and I confirmed Santa, in Spanish, of course! It was weird; I’ve never confirmed anybody before, let alone in Spanish.  The branch president or counselor usually does it. I tried my best to follow what the Spirit wanted me to say. It was a really cool and spiritual experience!  ^_^

Unfortunately, I don´t have any cool stories this week. But what I do have is something I´ve been using to teach people for a while now! I call it, “Do the Harder Thing,” or “Haz lo que es Mas Dificil.” It´s not a talk I wrote or anything; it´s just something that makes sense to me. It goes something like this:

I think we can agree it’s much easier to be disobedient than it is to be obedient. For example, is it easier to swear when you´re angry or to control your words? Is it easier to make money on Sunday by working or to sacrifice it and go to church instead? I could go on and on with examples like this. But my point is that, yes, obedience is hard. Wilford Woodruff once said that “Obedience is never an easy [endeavor].” But here´s the thing, does it make sense that when we do harder things we benefit more from them? Don´t we become stronger when we lift heavier weights? Don´t we make more money or be more successful when we work harder? Obedience is no different! When we do things that God wants us to do, which isn´t always the easiest things, we receive more blessings. That said, Do the Harder Thing! It´s so worth it to receive blessings from God! And if I were to receive blessings, our Father in Heaven would be the absolute best person to receive them from!

That´s basically the way I see life now. I hope that the people who read this can try applying this to their lives and see if it makes any difference, because it sure made a difference in mine! I´ll try to put the little moments during the week into the letters so that you all can see what life is like out here.  For example, Dominicans LOVE putting in salt and oil when they cook their rice. Also, to “help cook it,” they put a plastic bag in the rice while it cooks. Then when it’s all cooked, there´s a lot of hard rice at the bottom, which they eat. It’s called “Con Con.”  And don´t get me wrong, their rice is good, I just don´t want to get diabetes by the time I get back! Lol! I cooked rice a few times for the members here the way you both taught me. The first thing they said to me when I started cooking was “Where´s the salt and oil? Where´s the seasoning?”  Haha! When I served it, they gave me a weird look and asked, “Where´s the con con?” I laugh every time I think about it! Elder Reyes, one of the elders in my district, always jokes that when there´s Con Con (in Mexico, where he´s from), it means the person doesn´t know how to cook. HAHA!!!

They´re all teaching me here how they cook their food. I´ll cook some when I come back! Their jugos, I´m definitely making too! Jugo is juice, but more like a Jamba Juice kind of thing. Like frozen fruit, crème, stuff like that. I´ve mastered their strawberry shake thing!

That´s all I have for this week.  I love you guys! I miss you and pray for you every day! Until next week!

-Elder Froude

Scouting a place for our zone activity and found El Macao Beach.  Beautiful!

Made a new friend at the beach; we named him Bob Marley because he's so cool!
Me and Bob
Our newest converts, Felix and Santa, preparing for their baptism.
March 16 - Elder Vazquez and I with our golden converts.  I love them!

With some members of the branch.  The guy kneeling down in the front is our branch president.
Baptizing Felix

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

March 10, 2014 – So Much Traveling This Week

Dear Mom, Dad, Lauren, and Ian,

This week has been a little uneventful on account of traveling the DR twice. @_@ We´ve spent about 2500 pesos going to places like La Romana, Higuey, and the Capital, all super far from us. I´m pretty sure we´ve spent more time sitting on a bus than we have been teaching. A mi no me gusta mucho. I don´t like that very much. But not saying that the trips weren´t good! They were! We´ve had a lot of fun activities and good meetings! Especially the trip we made to La Romana yesterday for Stake Conference. We were able to bring Felix and Santa, who are getting baptized this weekend! They said they loved it! It was their first time in a real church building. It only made them want to be baptized even more! We´re so excited for them! ^_^ Also, we got permission to baptize them on a beach. That´s right, A BEACH! AHHHH! MY DREAM!!!

This week we´re going to the capital again for a Temple trip. I´m really excited because it will be my first temple trip since the CCM 6 months ago. I love the temple here. It´s really big, too! Really, the only big events I have to write about are all our trips and Felix and Santa´s baptism. Not much else than that.

But I will take lots of pictures and write a lot about the experience! I´m running out of time.  :( I love you all! I miss you! Kiss Laney and Hannah for me! And also, Congratulations on getting called as the 2nd Counselor in the Stake Presidency, Dad!

-Elder Froude

Monday, March 3, 2014

March 3, 2014 – Cool things this week

Dear Mom, Dad, Lauren, and Ian,

We baptized Jasmil and Elizabeth this weekend! They are the third and fourth baptisms I´ve had out here, but Jasmil is the second one that I actually baptized. It´s a very special experience; baptizing someone. Especially seeing how happy they are afterwards! It really brought pure joy to my heart. I have each person that I have helped bring to baptism written down in my journal because I plan to keep in contact with them when I go home. Because I had the thought, what´s the point in baptizing people if they just go inactive when you leave the area?
Jazmil and Elizabeth's baptism
Baptizing Jazmil
It was in that moment that I made a promise to myself that I would do the best I can, during and after my mission, to keep in contact with the recent converts and help them with strengthening their testimonies during their lives. I helped them come unto Christ through the waters of baptism; it would break my heart to see them fall away later on. These are special people to me, and I promised them that their lives would be happier with the Gospel. What kind of missionary would I be if I have forgotten, or even worse, ignored these people? Christ has not forgotten me, and as His representative, I will not forget His brothers and sisters.

That´s my little spiritual thought for this week! ^_^ Oh! I think my Spanish is improving too! Yesterday, during the testimony meeting, a tourist (we get them all the time on Sundays) wanted to bear her testimony and asked me to translate for her. I said yes before I even thought about what I was going to do! Lol!  But up I went and I translated.  Surprisingly, I did it! I didn´t say it exactly word for word, of course, but I was surprised that I was even able to do it! Thank you, Holy Ghost! Am I fluent already? Not even close! XD I just figured out how to think in Spanish quicker than other missionaries. When I translated, I didn´t think a single word in English. It just sort of came out, really. :P

I do believe that is all for this week. Oh, one more thing, we had to push back Felix and Santa´s baptism one week so that we can prepare them a bit more. Advice for future missionaries: Baptize people when THEY are ready, not when you are.

 Anyways, I´ll write you all next week with more progress in the mission! The work is progressing here! I love you and miss you all! Bye!

-Elder Froude
Our version of the First Vision
My District
Zone activity at La Caleta Beach

It means "The Cool Zone."  Guess which one I am.
My companion and I with Jazmil.
Elizabeth's in the green shirt.