as of September 11, 2013

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

April 14, 2014 – Los Tres Brazos

Dear Mom, Dad, Lauren, and Ian,

This week I don't have much time to write a long letter.  The area's internet cafe is closed and we don't know why.  So, we're all (4 of us) sharing one computer and it's my turn and the others are waiting. So, I can't be long.

First of all, I want to say that I made it to my new area safe and sound and I'm adjusting well.  It's a part of the capital called Los Tres Brazos, or the Three Arms.  Usually, I don't like big cities and loud noises all the time but it's different here.  Here, half the city is a favela, much like the ones you see in the movies.  Favela is a Brazilian word for poor villages and huts and stuff, but I don't know what they're called here.  It's a pretty poor area. There are nice houses, of course, but once you hit the favela, all you see is poverty.  We actually have to avoid some areas because of danger and others because it just smells so bad. I can usually tolerate the smells here but some are really pretty bad.

I also received my new companion who I'm training. In missionary terms, I have a son now!  He's really cool and funny! His name is Elder Herrera, and like my Papa, my trainer, he's from Guatemala!  It's so funny how that worked out!  Anyway, the area I'm in technically isn't new, but it's an area that was split in half.  It's still a little tough getting to know such a large area but the ward here is really nice.  They're helping us out a ton getting to know the area. We're going to spend the rest of the week doing that, along with contacting and teaching…you know, how missionary work should be!  Haha!  I actually remember the 2nd night here, one of the AP's (Assistant to the President) called me and asked me how I was doing with the new area. I told him that "I'm doing more contacting than I had ever done so far, but then I thought, Yay! This is true missionary work!'"  He laughed.  So far, we have about 3 or 4 investigators, but there are lots of names in the area book we still have to find.

Wow, this actually turned out to be a pretty long letter, haha!  I should probably give my other companions a turn at the computer.  I'll write you next week!  I love you all and miss you!

-Elder Froude

Thursday, April 10, 2014

April 7, 2014 – Big news and not a lot of time!

Hey, I´m on now.  Sorry I´m so late!  I don´t have a lot of time.  I only got time to send you pics and a video and to tell you that I´m being transferred to the big city Santo Domingo!  My zone is called Ozama, yes, pronounced like Osama, lol!  I´m opening up a new area in Tres Brazos or Three Arms.  I´m a trainer now!  I´m so nervous!  I´m gonna have to work super hard!

I actually have to get going right now :(  My letter will be extra long next week, I promise!  I´ll talk to you all next Monday with a new companion! : )  I love you!  And I miss you!

- Elder Froude

New haircut
Last picture with my district and companion
Found a cute puppy!
Zone activity at the beach.  That's Jennifer, the iguana.

March 31, 2014 – 3 Baptisms and an Englishman

Dear Mom, Dad, Lauren, and Ian,

Man! Titling these letters is so hard! They´re starting to sound silly! But really, those are the things I wanted to talk about in this letter this week.

Let´s start with the first part: We have 3 baptismal dates for the 12th of April! Two adults and a youth. One is named Elizabeth (yes, another, haha!), who was a reference.  She´s kind of like Felix and Santa in the sense that she searched for a long time for Christ and with all the churches she explored, she never felt right. That is, until she came to church with a friend in the branch.  She´s very sensitive to the Spirit and told us the other day that she knew the church was true!  The other adult is Ramon, a street contact.  He loved the church right away! He came to church yesterday and is surer than ever about baptism!  He´s also one of the smartest investigators we ever had.  He essentially explained the Apostasy and ministry of Christ to us, and correctly, too!  We were so surprised with his knowledge and how fast he accepted the Gospel.  The youth’s name is Miguel.  We actually taught him from last year but he´s been a little stubborn about coming to church, so we didn´t drop him but we focused on people we had that were progressing.  He started coming to church again and now he´s getting ready for baptism!  We´re happy for him!

Now for the next part, about the Englishman.  Yes, we met a guy from London out here.  We were on our way to a cita (appointment) when we ran into him at the same apartment complex.  I don´t remember how we started talking but as we went on he started to talk about religion, of course.  But he spoke particularly on faith and hope.  He said something about how he doesn´t have hope not because he´s sad, but because he´s “real.”  As he spoke, I couldn´t help but feel sorry for the guy.  He´s seen the worst of the world and now he thinks that´s all that exists.  He even said that churches were all the same; in it for the money.  I don´t blame him for thinking that; lots of churches have become corrupt through the years.  But we took the opportunity to at least invite him to read up on the LDS church, which he had never heard of.  Thank goodness he didn´t try and make us believe his beliefs.  It is a rare occasion where the other person we speak to only wants to tell us what his beliefs are and leave it at that. The thing I took most from this experience is that it only strengthened my testimony in the church. The gospel has shown me so much and made me so happy.  I don´t mean to speak badly about this man, but he believes the exact opposite of what I believe in.  The perspective of this man is no hope, everything is corrupt, etc.  That´s not happy at all. If there’s one thing that God wants anything for us, it´s that He wants us to be happy.  “Man is that he might have joy.”

That´s all I have for this week. I´ll try to take more pictures this week because I don´t have any :( I´ll talk to you all next week! Love you all!

-Elder Froude

Mom! I heard a song on the street the other day about being happy and I thought, Wow! This Could Be My Theme song!!  If a song is English, it would have to be super popular to be played here.  Is there a popular song over there about being happy?