Monday, December 24, 2012

December 24, 2012 - Elder Froude's Christmas Video

Click on the link below to see Elder Froude's video message in Tagalog and English...

Some pics for you all!

Manila Philippines Temple
Had an opportunity to be a tour guide at the temple

Remember the Arduo family from Pasig?  
Christmas Conference - not everyone could come though.

Sister missionaries - I love them all!!!
A ward missionary with Elder Scanlan.  He is a beast at proselyting!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A special thank you!

December 15, 2012

This is a special thank you to those who have sent me letters, money, or packages this year and ESPECIALLY this Christmas season. Your support and your love are more precious than gold to me being so far away from you all.   It may take a while for a letter to come out of this country and get to the states, but I’m doing my best.  As a missionary, I don't have a lot of time to write each and every one of you, so please read my blog!  It has all of my adventures and all of my awesome stories in it.  It's the best I can do keep you all up to date on my life as a missionary. 

I appreciate your efforts and your kindness and I miss you and love you all!  Thank you!!! Salamat po!!! And Merry Christmas!  Maligayang Pasko!

Happy Birthday Mama!!!!  Magandang araw po!  I hope this little note finds you well.  I miss you and can’t wait to see you and speak to you in Tagalog when I get back home!  Thank you so much for the monthly contribution you give for my mission fund.  ^_^  

Love you all!

Doing you Proud,
Elder Froude ^_^

December 17, 2012

This is a letter we got from the Mission President...

December 15, 2012 - Christmas season is here!

Dear Mom, Dad, Ryan, and all others who think that hotdogs and hotdog buns should stop being sold in 
packets of 8 and 12,

What is on my mind today, nothing much. In fact, life is just quite satisfying. The Christmas season is here and all of the hustle and bustle of Christmas time is slowly approaching us in the office. We have a lot of Zone conferences, Christmas conference, and much preparation that needs to be done. Sometimes, I feel that the in-field missionaries have it easier because all they need to do is work and not worry about these things. But I worry not, everything works out well. One thing I’ve learned on my mission and my time here in the office is that, “The Lord knows your timetable and he will provide for what you need, when you need it.”

Story time! It was around last week and I was finishing up fixing all of the rent checks for the mission, getting the tax forms signed and organizing them by zone. About the night before I needed to hand them out, I found out I was missing a check. 1 check was not where it was supposed to be and was missing. I started freaking out like it was nobody’s business. I was looking everywhere for it, moving papers, organizing my entire workplace and still no check to be found. It’s not a small check either…it’s 3 month’s rent. So I was freaking out and then I decided to pray. Afterwards, I felt an impression to forget about the check for now and go out and proselyte. So I followed the prompting. We went out to work and had a good time. Still no check though.  So the morning comes and we get back to the office and I say, “Okay, we have an hour to find this check before we go to the meeting. Where do I start?”  Sister Harris, one of the office couples, said to check some of the blue folders.  So I did so, one by one. And finally, with plenty of time to spare, I find the last check stuck to some papers. Kind of a predictable story line, huh? That’s okay…it’s the pattern of the Lord’s miracles. You have faith, you act on your faith and try to find an answer, then just when you think you can’t give anymore, or time’s running out, you give just a little bit more and that’s when the blessing come. It’s true!

I guess things have been cooling down this week. Not as busy as last week but it’s going; it’s going good.  Zone conferences started this week. This means I basically get to see everyone in the mission this month, except Mindoro.  Shoot, those are most of the people I want to see too! Haha! It’s all good though. I’m sending them a letter. Things get a little bit, well, down sometimes as a missionary. It happens to everyone. Everyone experiences a little bit of discouragement sometimes. Like last night, Elder Scanlan and I basically got punted by everyone we were supposed to teach last night. But you know, the best way to deal with these things is to just appreciate the little things in life. I can find great joy in the little things in life. Like, we were driving down the street and I saw some Christmas lights on the telephone poles all along the C-5.  It was nice ^_^.  I really do believe in the scripture D&C 123:17; “Lets us do all things cheerfully that lie within our power.”

Since I wrote the part up there things have quickly started to become crazy at the office once more. I love it! The Assistants and President are going to Mindoro this weekend so Thursday night they went to President’s house to sleep for a few hours before their flight leaves at 5 am. At 4 am we get a call telling us to pick up some sisters in the hospital. O.o  Say what?!  So we get up and get dressed and rush over to the hospital. Anyway, about 4:30 we get there and take the sisters home. It’s so early and we are all tired.  And we find out it was not them that had some medical problem but their housemate and her companion. Since Sister Delamare is out of the country for a wedding and President and the APs are in another island, Elder Scanlan and I had to take the lead in making sure these sisters are taken care of and everything is fine.  

Oh, best part about this week besides getting that package! On Thursday, I had the opportunity to attend a temple wedding and a temple sealing. ^_^  The Calayo family, a family in the Cubao Ward finally were able to go through the temple together. ^_^  It was a great experience and I’m glad I had to opportunity to see it and be invited to it. Don’t worry I have a lot of pictures! ^_^  The spirit was so strong and it’s definitely a great builder to my testimony that families are indeed forever through the ordinances of the temple. It was great!  The elders were smiling, the sisters were crying; it was an overall awesome experience!!! ^_^
And that was my week, I hope you are all doing great!

Doing you Proud,
Elder Froude ^_^
Thank you, Tita Jona and Tita Jackie for the gips!
With sister missionaries at the temple.
Waiting for the sealing...
The Daclan Family sealing with missionaries and friends.
Making sure a sister missionary is getting the treatment she needed.
Sign at the hospital.  Funny but true.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

December 8, 2012 - Hey Guys!

Dear Mom, Dad, Ryan, and of course, you,

I’ve just been having some thoughts lately that I would like to share with you.

Should I go to school as soon as I can after my mission?  It’s something I’ve been praying about lately to find an answer for.  Well, we got a notice from President that everyone who are scheduled to go home after the January 3, 2013 will be extended 2 weeks in order to synchronize with the new MTC schedule to accommodate for the surge of new missionaries.  So, this means my release date which used to be Jan. 16, 2014 is now going to be move to Jan. 30, 2014.  This means I’ll be even farther from when BYU winter semester starts.  So I’m thinking maybe I should stay home, get a job, and go to community college until Spring and Summer semester.  Most of my friends are going to be on their missions still anyway like Stacy, Megan, Mariah, Chad, Morgan.  Although most of my mission friends like Elder Waite, Herr, Barrow, Rhodes, (missionaries going to BYU after their mission like me…except Elder Waite…he hasn’t decided if he’s going to go or not.  Haha! He should!)  are going to be there for winter term because they are 6 months older than me in the mission and were asking me to room with them… shoot! That would be the best day ever!  Anyway, so it looks like that might be my answer.  I’ll stay home with the family!!!  Yay!  I just hope I can find enough things to do or I’ll go crazy!!!  Haha!!!

Spiritual Gifts:  I was reading President Eyring’s talk about how he as a father could see the spiritual gifts that his children had and he made them all a wooden carving about their spiritual gifts that he saw in them.  So I was wondering, Dad, what spiritual gift(s) do you see in me?

Small town vs. big city:  To be honest I’ve actually been thinking of what kind of environment I want to raise my family in.  I’ve been in the talagang (real) province of the Philippines and in the city so it’s a really good experience to see what I like most. The thing is I’m kind of torn between the big city and a small town. When I was in Mindoro I loved the fact that after like 4 months when I walk down the street people know who I am, when I go to the one store in the town I know all the cash registers and I can say hi to them whenever. I enjoy the closeness that comes from living in a small community. But then again, I love the city life, like LOVE!  I enjoy having super huge mega malls nearby, all of the lights, the sounds, the tons and tons of people, the great secret places to eat!  It’s like an adventure every night.  Always something to do, always something to explore.  I’m going to need a good job cause I love exploring places to eat.  I hate traffic though… that’s the only thing living in the city; maybe a nice suburb outside of the city would be nice.  But I love how everything I need is so close. I’ve seen some “I’m a Mormon” videos and all of the New Yorkers love New York, love the city kind of a thing. Anyway, just a few thoughts about it.

What I’ve learned from companions (so far):  I am an extremely lively person, apparently. I love life and I love to show it.  For some people, shyer people, it makes them feel uncomfortable how lively I am, that’s what I learned from some of my companions. I also learned that my zeal for the gospel makes people who are somewhat struggling uncomfortable around me too.  Most of the time, I get along well with people.  I’ve noticed I get along really well with my kabahay (housemates) but not so much with some of my past companions. That’s because my kabahay are usually fireball missionaries (Elder Herr, Elder Duenas, Elder Hilbert, Elder Waite, Rhodes, Stoddard, the AP’s) and some companions I’ve had are more like candle-light missionaries.  In most cases though, through learning about them and learning about myself I’ve been able to help them shine brighter which is good and I enjoy learning about that, even if I don’t see it immediately.  I’ve been spoiled having Elder Barrow as a companion for a transfer, he totally gets what being a missionary is all about and is a total fireball!  Okay, my companions haven’t been the most pasaway disobedient) missionaries…no that’s not it.  They just haven’t given it their all yet. They haven’t given their whole selves to the Lord and that’s what the difference is.  They’re still holding on to something temporal and that’s what noticeably impairs the Spirit. Mark well my words, people can tell if you don’t have the Spirit with you. There is a noticeable difference between the sincerity/charity in a missionary and just working for numbers. 

Oh, I just remembered, Lauren!  What was the name of the song that you listened to when you were a youth…it goes something like, “my soul like a river runs deep” or something like that? I don’t remember it too well but I remembered that we listened to it in Mexico and I liked it.  Is it from EFY?  We have every single song from every single EFY in the office computers.  Haha?  Anyway, I was just wondering because I want to hear it again.  Maybe you can you email it to me?  Thanks! Love you!
Hey Ryan! How come you haven’t written me in a while?  I need to know what’s been up with you, bro!  All I heard was that you got a job at Target!  You should be the one telling me these things  >.< and keeping me updated on things going on!

Spiritual thought:  This Sunday I was working with Sam Vibal, he just got his mission call to Bacolod.  Anyway, it was extremely depressing the first few doors we went to (Okay that might be a bit of an exaggeration) but we had a few strong no’s or "go away we don't want to listen to you." So after a while I started to wonder how all of the great missionaries found the "ripe fruit." Then I remembered that Jesus Christ is the Lord of this vineyard.  He's been working in this area long before we got here so He knows where all of the ripe fruits are.  So I decided to ask Him.  We kept walking and I seemed to be led to a certain neighborhood. It was nothing special on the outside but you know, I decided to start at the beginning of the street and knock my way until I find someone.

1st door: Nothing. 2nd door: A resounding NO.  3rd door: A man came out and started to talk to us. He was fluent in English and decided to let us in after a little bit of BRT (building relationships through trust).  Once inside we started to talk about all of the interesting decorations he had in his house which eventually led to a discussion about families.  He was really prepared to listen to the Gospel; he is an intelligent yet humble man who loves his family and is seeking for the truth and he loves the work we do as missionaries.  This man was so prepared it shocked me how easy and even natural everything came.  One thing led to another and now he wants us to come back.  This is a potential strong family for the church and I was glad to have been an instrument in the Lord's hand to find this man and his family.  The work certainly is true; all I needed to do was show a little Faith and Desire.  I know the Church is true!

This week, we've spent the last three days doing a ton of driving for the mission. Wednesday, Zone Leader Council.  Elder Herr and Elder Duenas came up to the mainland and they brought Sister Weller with them.  Sister Weller is probably the most astig (tough) sister missionary I know and was a great blessing to Mindoro but had to come to the mainland to deal with an ear infection on her last transfer.  We took her to Taguig to her new area...she was heartbroken to leave.  Sigh... I would be too.

Thursday, mail run in Pasig City and then we had to help move people for an ET (emergency transfer).  So we picked up an elder from Taguig, went to Antipolo for the halfway switch, came back to Taguig, dropped the elder off and picked up Sister Weller’s replacement and brought her to the mission home. This whole day we were in the car from 2:30-10:00 pm so we were exhausted!  Then, we woke up at 3:00 am to take the Mindoro-bound missionaries to the airport.  Friday, we spent all day helping sister missionaries in Taytay move to their new apartment on the 10th floor of a building.  All together we've been in the car for maybe, 20 hours or something this's a lot of driving!  Haha!!!!!!  I'm exhausted but it's great.  I love the work!

By the way, please tell Bro. Shiels that I say Hi and that being his home teaching companion has been one of the best trainings for me as a missionary.  I'll write him a letter but I want to make sure he knows.

YES, I GOT YOUR PACKAGE!!!!!!!!!! It's so big! AHHH!!!!! I can't even look at it. I keep it in the office so I don't accidentally open it!  Haha! Your Mama Mary stickers make me laugh every time.  Everyone else just cuts out pictures from the Ensign and tape it to the packages.  But don't worry, it's how I can tell it's mine.  Haha! 

Thanks, Mom, for staying up with me.  It really means a lot to me.  I tried to come earlier but this was the earliest I could make it.  I love you so much!  I hope you know that.  I really needed to talk to you today too ^_^ so thank you!

Doing you Proud,
Elder Froude ^_^
It's only November and we already got tons of Christmas packages!

At the office
Picking up mail with Elder Wilde
Do you see me at the bottom?
With Branch missionaries

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

November 19-24, 2012 – Crazy Week!

Dear Mom, Dad, Ryan, and all else who are reading,                

Probably the Craziest week I’ve ever had on the mission so far. Transfer week in the office. The last one wasn’t so bad because the Millers (Couple missionaries) were with us training us how to do things so we missed out on most of the craziness. Anyway,  so let me get story telling here…

First off, this is just a little outline of the week so you can catch a glimpse of the insanity.  Monday: Office meeting, Tuesday: Prep for transfer day, Wednesday: Exit Thursday: Transfer day/ Thanksgiving, Friday: Organize office, Saturday: Thanksgiving dinner/ P-day.
Monday begins and we are all scrambling around to get everything ready for transfer day on Thursday. We had an office meeting where we all met with President and Sister Delamare, the APs and the office couples to basically strategize how we are going to tackle everything including rides and such. Coding is a pain, especially when President is coding on transfer day.  Haha!  

Anyway, Tuesday is the day we just did a ton of office work.  The biggest problem was that we were out of money and a lot of people needed money; you know the small stuff like, new landlords, new phone orders, medical expenses…there were actually a lot of pesos that we went through the last week.  

Tuesday was also just a catch up day; the biggest thing that happened was that Elder Scanlan and I were assigned to pick up 3 of the 7 exiting missionaries. So we left at 4 pm and got back to the mission home by 9.  Haha!  Although it was quite a long time, we actually got to the mission home on time. Traffic was horrible. We started from the Office in Quezon City and went to Pasig to pick up Elder Cazimero because it is the farthest away. The distance is about from our house in Sacramento to Costco (about a 12 minute drive) but with intense traffic the whole way. In the end, it took us about an hour and a half.  For those of you in Utah, it’s from Provo to Lehi.  Haha! I am never going to complain about traffic in the States anymore!!!  So, after spending about an hour getting lost and trying to get to the right place, we pick up one of the Elders and then head back to Quezon City to pick up Elder Sims. After spending a few hours in traffic and getting lost, we eventually find his apartment. The next was Sister Macaranas who is in the same zone but on the other side of town. So at around 8:00, we had everyone and went out to get dinner at McDonalds. They serve rice here in the Philippines!  It’s so weird! We had a nice time and enjoyed them ending their missions.  

Wednesday was a great day; we didn’t even have enough time to go to the office at all. Haha!  Well, let’s start at about 4:00 am when we took Elder Brown to the Airport to go home.  So, by the end of that I was already tired and the day had just started.  Haha! Then we went to the mission home to have breakfast with all of the exiting missionaries. We saw a video that had a slideshow of pictures of the missionaries. I was getting trunky (homesick).  Haha!  Joke lang!  Then after that we were able to go and do a session in the temple.  Wohoo!!!  It’s been 6 months but I’ve finally been able to go!  There is no temple in Mindoro, sadly…yet…haha!  I told President Delamare and afterwards he said, “You know, if you had told me earlier I would have let you and your companion go.”  Sayang!  Awww man…my bad! It’s all good though.  Life is good.  Afterwards, we went to the War Memorial in Manila with President, the whole office, and all of the exiting missionaries. I sent a ton of great pictures!  I loved it!  Haha!  By this time it is about 1:00 pm.  Man, what a day!  Afterwards, we ran some errands, set up the chapel, made sure everything is ready and in place for the CHAOS of TRANSFER DAY!!!! This is also Elder Waite’s last day with us before he goes back out to the field.  He’s so happy!  Haha!

Thursday.  Transfer Day!
6:45 am - Pick up the New Missionaries from the MTC (Missionary Training Center)
7:00 am - Breakfast @ the mission home
7:30 am - Begin introductions and orientation
*Note, the Missionaries were actually a surprisingly excited and energetic bunch.  They’ll do great things!
9:00 am - Transfer meeting

I saw Elder Hilbert again for the first time since I left Mindoro!  He just got called to train an American! Haha!  I’m happy for him. It will be great for his Tagalog. He’s a really good guy. I hear he’s been doing so well in the field since he left Pasig. It was really nice to see everyone I’ve met since I’ve gotten to the field.  Elder Barrow is doing great work as a Zone Leader in Cogeo right now.  Elder Peralta is still a Zone Leader in Antipolo.  Big News…Elder Olvido is now a Zone Leader in Marikina!  Good for him!  I’m so happy that he’s been doing great work and is in a good leadership position. He’ll grow so much.  A few of the sisters I met in Mindoro are now training new missionaries so that’s awesome! Elder Wilde is training too!  Haha!  That lucky duck.  He’s the first one of our batch to train.

According to president, the wave of new missionaries should hit us around April 11th  so a lot of older missionaries are going to be training.  My Zone leaders in Mindoro, Elder Herr and Elder Duenas are still together in Mindoro for another transfer!  This makes 5 transfers for Elder Herr and 4 for Elder Duenas.  Haha!  Man, they’ll have spent 6 months together as companions.  It’s great though; they are both Fireballs and do such awesome work with the leaders in Mindoro.  ^_^  I’m so happy for them, but kind of sad I won’t be able to see them in the mainland for another transfer.  Actually, they’ll be coming up for a day in the beginning of December so that’ll be great!  I keep telling them that they’ll finish their mission in Mindoro.  Haha!  They still have a good 8 months left or something.

More Pasig updates:  Alice is now married and has moved to Australia by the time you read this. The Ormunds are also moving back to Australia because they were reassigned for work. The Pallisigue and Gomez family are about 4 months away from getting sealed in the temple. WOW! Time flies by so fast! They had better invite me to their sealing.  Haha!  I’ll write them again just to be sure ;)!  Life is good.

10:00-11:00 am - Office after transfer meeting
So, this basically means I was in the office for about an hour trying to reimburse everyone for rented jeepneys, taxis, lost phones, etc… utter chaos trying to help a hundred missionaries at the same time. I’m so glad I can at least multi-task a little bit.  Haha!  I felt kinda sayang (too bad) though because I couldn’t go around and say hi to everyone I wanted to.  It’s okay.  I’ll see them again.

I’m getting tired writing out the whole schedule.  Haha!  I’ll just summarize for now.  You probably didn’t need to know all of that anyway. The thing is, what I write here I’m going to copy and paste onto my journal.  XD
The rest of the day was spent at the orientation/ training meeting for the missionaries from the Provo MTC.  Then we spent the rest of the night trying to take the new missionaries to their apartments around the mission. So that took a while.  P-day is only 2 days away!!!  I need a break!  *Transfer Day happens every six weeks, FYI.

Saturday was a nice relaxed/great Thanksgiving day!  We had a lunch/dinner thing at the Mission home with President and every couple missionary in the mission. Since we have the PAO in our mission, it’s a lot of couples.  But it was good, the food was delicious and I ate a little bit more than I should have.  Haha!  It was so good.  But my belly was so full!!!  Sakit sa tyan!  (My tummy hurt!) Haha!  Man, but you know it’s all good. ^_^  We had a great day, nice amount of exercise. We have intense badminton games. Haha!

Sunday was a great day for the work. We spent 2 and a half hours tracting today.  It was a good time. I worked with Sam, a branch missionary, who is getting his call this week. I taught him a lot of things I knew about tracting.  It felt like I was training.  Haha!  It was a good day; we handed out many pamphlets and made the presence of missionaries known amongst the people. The only bad thing about this week is that we’ve been so busy we haven’t been able to teach all but 4 lessons this whole week. Man, that’s crazy!  

Wow!  3 pages long for 1 week….That’s pretty intense!  Anyway, that’s all for this week. I hope you are all doing well!  Okay, I need to go now…it was nice talking to you!!!! ^_^  I love you and miss you all soo much!

Doing you Proud,
Elder Froude ^_^

Just a sample of how crazy traffic is in Manila.
Filipino Santa!
Philippine flag at the War Memorial

President DelaMare

Me and the Amercan flag
Good to see these elders again!
Thanksgiving feast at the mission home
20 years old and still relegated to sit at the kids table!
Couple missionaries
Tracting with Bro. Sam before he goes on his mission.


November 23, 2012 – Happy Thanksgiving!

How are you all doing this fine afternoon?  This week has been the extreme craziest to the max so I’m so glad it is P-day.  It was transfer week and Thanksgiving so things have been super crazy.  I haven’t even had time to write my long letter this week.  Shoot.  Just to tell you about my Thanksgiving…it was super crazy! We had to deal with transfers all morning and afternoon, trainer's meeting right after that and then we had to take the new Mindoro missionaries to the airport at 4:00am!  Haha! 

Great Thanksgiving Day!  Doing hard work for the Lord!  I'll write more details later today but for now we've been invited to Thanksgiving dinner at the Delamare's (Mission President) and all of the senior couples at 2:00 pm so I may not have the opportunity to talk to you today.  Sayang... pero Happy Thanksgiving!!!  (Too bad…anyway, Happy Thanksgiving!)  I love you all and appreciate all that you do for me. ^_^  I wish you all the best.  I fear not because of the Promise the Lord gave in D&C 100:1, 12, and 15.  ^_^ !

My spiritual thought is from a general conference talk by President Uchtdorf. 

Have a great vacation! Kita Kits!  (See ya!)  BTW, I want pictures!  I have good ones for you in my next email.

Doing you Proud,
Elder Froude

November 17, 2012 – Email of the week!

Dear Mom, Dad, Ryan, and all other fellow travelers through life seeking happiness,

Gave out a baptismal invitation to a new investigator Rick today, he said he would join the church when he knows it’s true!  Wohoo!  Now just for a specific date of the baptism. Rick is a 60 year old man who has been searching for the truth but has only been kept from it because he knew not where to find it. We have great hopes for Rick and his family as well. We met a new investigator on Sunday as well. The niece of Sister Go, Mary-Grace Manangan. She has basically grown up in the church but she hasn’t been taught about the gospel because her mom is not a member. So we taught her most of Lesson 1 on Sunday and I felt the Spirit and gave her a baptismal date for December 22nd.  She said yes! It’s close! But I think she can make it. She’s been going to church for a while now.  ^_^ She seems very interested for a 15-year-old. It was a great week for missionary work overall.  Right now we have 2 baptism dates and 1 potential baptism date as well. Not bad for the smallest area in the Philippines and for the shortest allotted time to work. Well, 2nd shortest…the APs have less time to work than we do. Then again, our work is different work, but it is 
still work for God, nonetheless.

I did receive some training this week from the Philippines Area Office for my new position. They did answer a lot of the questions about the work I’m supposed to do and it’s a lot deeper than I had thought. But it’s okay…Kaya ko!  (I can do it!)

Having my camera back is great! I left it in the van I turned in to the PAO to get fixed. Good thing they kept it for me. It feels good again to take pictures and save memories. I realized a few months ago that one of the attributes of the Philippines that I’ve had even in America was the innate desire to take pictures of everything special to me. Haha! All of my Filipino friends in school had digital cameras and would always take pictures. Another thing that people in the Philippines here love is what are called “remembrances.”  It’s a little thing that people give each other here as a remembrance of them. It doesn’t have to be something big or glorious, just something to remind them of you. For most people I write letters and give them a picture or a tie. But sometimes you get key chains, t-shirts, etc., just a little “something-something” of sentimental value. I realized that I got that from my heritage. Haha. It’s probably something I’ll do when I get back home.

Spiritual thought:

My Spiritual thought for this week comes from a video I found on about the victims of Sandy.  It’s a really touching video about Christ-like love and unconditional service shown by the “yellow vests.”  This video can say more than I can so enjoy! ^_^

This video gives me hope for the people in this world. It just goes to show that when a catastrophe strikes, it can bring out the best in people. It tells me that when people come together for a similar cause and work together with nothing but a desire to serve their fellowman and serve God, that is when true happiness and the true blessings flow. Unity is of God, service to others is of God, love for one another is of God.  I know that if people can come together and do these things, they can feel whole and full in heart.  Though they may have lost every earthly possession, they will feel through your own service and sacrifice the love of our Father in Heaven. In the name of Jesus Christ Amen.  

Doing you Proud,
Elder Froude ^_^

Zone Leaders teaching missionaries how to cook "sinigang."
Splurged on pizza.  Not a wise decision, I know.
A fish coin purse that Elder and Sis. Harris gave me.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

November 10, 2012 – Life is Good!

Dear Mom, Dad, Ryan, and all my readers,

Nothing too amazing happened this week except for the fact that life is good! Nope no damage, no car accident, just working in the office and getting everything ready for the new apartment leases I’m supposed to get money for by Jan 1st . It is a long process as you can imagine. On the bright side, we have a baptismal date for a part member family on 24th of November! Yay!!! His name is JR Nietes.  He is 10 years old and is quite smart. He does the reading assignments so we committed him to baptism.  We also have another potential baptism from a house we tracted a few weeks ago. His name is Ricardo Castillo and he has so many questions about doctrine that can all be answered with the Plan of Salvation. *Special note to those of you who want to serve a mission* Study the Bible more than you do now! There are many people that you will meet who will not listen to you unless you use the Bible, then afterwards you can work your way into bearing testimony of the Restoration and the Book of Mormon and then solidify what you know with that second witness. Trust me. It will help you so much!  But things are going well with Ricardo; he is taking the lessons well and feels enlightened whenever we come by so, hopefully, we can work him to baptism as well. ^_^
Missionary work in Cubao Ward is pretty interesting. Most of the members are RMs (returned missionaries) and former APs (assistants to the President) and MTC (Missionary Training Center) teachers that want to live close to the Temple. The bishop is pretty much amazing at his job and they have like 97% home teaching! As for their less actives (our area focus), they only have like 40 less actives and they are all either super offended or moved out. And we have 6 missionaries in our ward. Therefore, I guess all we can do is do more finding and teaching like all of the other missionaries. Haha! The ward is super functional. We do not have to do any workshops or trainings like I used to do on Mindoro and when we met with bishop and brought up some things he could help us with as missionaries, he said that they were already talking about it in their meetings and changes would be made soon. Awesome! It feels good to not have to  worry about the ward and focus more on missionary work, for what little time we have every day to work. Haha! 

Just a little update on church worldwide missionary work:
The Brethren have projected that because of the new age change we will approximately get 90,000 missionaries by next year around June or something. That means, with the 310 missions we have now, each one would get around 267 missionaries per mission. We have 171 missionaries right now and some areas of the Philippines only have like 85. So in order to compensate for the new amount of missionaries, the First Presidency has asked each area presidency to request the creation of 3 new missions each! So with that they project around 234 missionaries per mission for the summer of next year.  Crazy right?!?  That’s a lot of missionaries! Our complement (?) has gone up from 180 to 212 missionaries since the announcement so we’ll be getting in a new wave of missionaries pretty soon.  Still Crazy.

Do you know what else is crazy? Well, we were in zone interviews on Friday with the Quezon City South Zone (the zone our office is in) and it is a pretty big zone. We’re talking like 18 missionaries. Anyway, so President was making these announcements and such and was saying how the office Elders will now officially be a part of your zone. Which is a good thing!  I was like, “Okay, so we have a zone now… that’s good.” (Before we didn’t have a real zone, it was the zone with all of the senior couples in it and the APs because we work in the Office.  Haha!)  Then president says something else…he says, “And as part of this growth to your Zone we’ll have Elder Froude be a new District Leader in the new 4th District in the Quezon City South Zone next transfer.  O.o   Say what? The most I’ve ever heard of was 3 districts in a zone.  Wait? What!?!  You’re making me a district leader?!?  I was so surprised!  And everyone else was too because being in the office is already a leadership position in itself, now I’m a district leader too! I’ve never heard of this happening, of course I’m still pretty new. Elder Waite says it’s happened before but I think he’s just messing with me like he always does.  Of course this will start next transfer which will be Thanksgiving Day!  Haha!  

But yeah, that’s my news for this week.  As a closing part to my blog for this week, I’m giving a birthday Tribute to my Mom whose birthday is tomorrow.  ^_^  Love you Mom!

Doing you Proud,
Elder Froude ^_^

PS.  When I said nothing amazing happened this week, I wrote that part around Wednesday before any of this happened.  Haha!  Sorry ;)

Dear Mom,


I just wanted to wish you a special happy birthday and hope that all is going well for you. Wow!  It’s almost been a year now since I left to serve a mission. Man, does time fly by fast!

How are you doing? Gosh, the hardest part of writing is choosing what to say, so for right now I’m just going to write down what’s on my mind. Mom, I love you. I want to thank you sincerely for all that you have done for me. I still remember all of the things you taught me in order to be a good man like saying please and thank you palagi (all the time). I even remember all of the things you struggled to teach me, like washing the sink after cleaning the dishes. I have found that I tend to do the things that were harder to learn more often now because it makes me feel closer to home. Haha! I really do appreciate how much you’ve loved me all of these years and for everything you have blessed me with. If there’s one thing I’ve learned being here in the Philippines it is that I have been blessed beyond belief to be born in this family and to have had an amazing, loving mother like you. A lot of people say they have the best mom ever, but that’s because they haven’t had you as their mom ;) luckily I have. And I frequently pray in thanks for that.

From your  famous cooking to helping me edit my essays…(even in college, haha!) to every weekly letter you’ve sent to me, you just make me Love you more and define for me that I should strive to find someone with  no less love and no less greatness than you (of course, after my mission ;) ). You have been there for me every step of my life and I feel so lucky to have you as my mom. I don’t know what I would have done without you. I knew I could always go home to a loving family and a loving mother. That kind of feeling and welcome in a home is priceless for a person in their journey through life. Many, many families do not have that and many more do not eat together at dinner, which surprised me most. Because of you I have learned what it means to raise a family and how influential I can be in the lives of my family and those around me. Don’t worry, I’m not planning on getting married for a good while ;P. Many of my memories of pure happiness always bring me back to the great times we have had together.  Shoot, this is so hard for me to write without tearing up every 2 sentences. That’s why I started writing this on Tuesday, Haha! so I can make sure it’s perfect by the time Saturday rolls around. You know what I’m trying to say, right? ^_^

One of the things that always brings me home is the sound of your voice in my head, singing a song of 20 years of compassion and comfort that has constantly brought me peace when I needed it the most. (Naks naman!) I can always think back when times are hard and say, okay I’m not just doing this for me, it’s for the people and it’s for my family as well. That too gives me the strength to press on when times are hard. What brings me inspiration to do my best for the people here in the Philippines is the thought that, you know, maybe if I am worthy enough I can help a family become like us.  A missionary converted you when you were young.  I am hoping that my works, a few decades down the road, will lead many families somewhere on the same road that we are on and that they will have a love for each other as we do. The full moon looks beautiful at night…I can just imagine looking at it for a second and know that you are looking at the same moon. How it kind of brings us closer together.

What is success? How does one measure success in life? These are a few questions that I have pondered about lately being on a mission. I had much time to ponder the things in life and what I want for after the mission. For me, it always leads back to whether or not you have true happiness. Many people in this life have happiness and pleasure mixed up pretty badly.  Pleasure is so temporal, so fleeting, so selfish; it’s great for a moment or two, but when the dust fades, all you find is yourself alone. Happiness on the other hand, is in itself eternal. No matter where you are or what you are doing, if you have true happiness you will always be happy.  Like I am right now.  Even though we are apart, I am happy knowing that we will never be far apart with the Plan of Salvation. This happiness and peace I have attained in my life is how I measure my success on the mission. Even greater success in life is if I can bring that to other people. It truly is a great happiness that comes from helping someone find their happiness.

Thanks for everything, Mom!  I love you so much!  Have a great birthday! ^_^ 

Love, Elder Froude

Monday, November 5, 2012

November 2, 2012 - Here’s to you!

Dear Mom, Dad, Ryan and all else who are reading,

It is official. Many of my friends back home are going on missions within the next few months, which means I’m going to be the one waiting for people to get home when I’m back.  Haha!  I love how I turned my calendar to November and I see that you put on the calendar the day that Breaking Dawn Part 2 comes out.  HAHA!  I was laughing so hard when I saw it!  I just hope the other Elders don’t notice.  :P

Monday was pretty much the WORST DAY EVER. We had mail run that day.  That was a ball of fun. We took the AP’s van because ours was still at the PAO getting its tire fixed.  So, we take the mail to Marikina, like it says on the calendar.  We got lost for a bit then we found the chapel but no one was there.  Apparently, they had a zone activity that day, which means no district meeting (where we usually hand out the mail). Their calendar, which is wrong, says that they have zone interviews on Wednesday when it’s supposed to be next week.  Sayang.  So, we go back to the office and then we try to take Pasig and Taguig their mail run.  Traffic was horrible, but I stayed calm.  It took us about 3 and a half hours to get to both of them.  While driving to Pasig, a jeepney tried to get into my lane without signaling so I hit the brakes and he clips my front bumper!  I didn’t think anything of it at first, I thought it was just a scratch so I just kept going to Pasig chapel, which was like 5 minutes away at this point.  When we got there, I found that about half of the front bumper was just hanging down a little.  >.<  I was totally stressing out at this point.  I was like, “Okay, I just want to be done with driving and get back to the office as soon as possible.”  Next thing I know, we spend 2 hours trying to find the Taguig chapel.  After looking and looking, we decided to just follow a jeepney and hoped it would lead us to the chapel. Traffic was horrible and the streets were so tiny we could barely get the van where it needed to go!  But we did get there in the end and made it back to the office safely, after listening to the same EFY 2004 CD for 5 times straight and then some!

So we think the day is done right?  Well, we get back to the office and the APs ask us how things are going.  I’m super stressed out at this point because of the car.  As soon as I stepped out of the car, I was surrounded by elders asking me about reimbursements and account numbers and medical costs and such.  I’m just glad I didn’t yell at anyone at this point.  Ha ha!   But then the best part…we switch cars back with the APs and we’re *coding again!  Yay!  Office till 7 pm!  Then the APs locked their keys in the car.  >.<   So, we’re all coding and have no way to open the car!  Oh gosh… pretty much WORST DAY EVER!!!  It’s okay they don’t come too often.  I just don’t ever want to drive again.  I’ll have to, I know, but until then I’m done driving!!!!!!!!!!

*Cultural note: Car coding happens  to all cars once a week during the weekdays. This means that when you are coding, you cannot drive your car from 7-10am and from 3-7pm. This is determined by your license plate number. 

Tuesday was a good busy day, I had a lot of things to do and it was good fun.  I had to fix a problem with Quezon City North’s JPM cards. 3 elders from another mission just got their cards from our mission and it had $4000 in it and they withdrew it all in one day!  Now they’re in trouble.  Ouch!  It was actually quite inspired how I found it. I was just led to finding the password and usernames I needed to do to bring up the right records and such.  Anyway, then I solved some bug issues, figuring out phone load, and making sure checks are getting in and out as needed.  We also took Ben Delamare to a party, came back and I tried to fix a finance problem but in vain because the internet randomly turns off.  It was a good busy day. I like being busy, it makes the time pass by faster and I accomplish a lot more.

I really like writing, whether it be an email or in my journal, it helps me relax, vent, and record all of the awesome experiences that I have. I enjoy typing a lot more than actually writing because it’s just much faster and easier to edit this way.

Thursday 11/1
I’ve been in the office too long.  I don’t have any news about progressing investigators or people I’m teaching that is going really well. We do go out and teach at night but nothing too exciting is going on yet.  Except that today was Zone leader council, which means all of the zone leaders go to have training with President and the APs.  Elder Scanlan and I were able to go and have lunch with all of them at the mission home so that was good.  I got to see some of my good friends on the mission. Elder Peralta, my trainer is now a zone leader.  Good for him! He really looks like he’s been doing great in the field.  Elder Herr and Elder Duenas  were on the mainland for the day so I got to see them too.  Mindoro is doing great I hear!  The district is running smoothly and everyone else is doing great. I missed Elder Herr and Elder Duenas.  Haha! Elder Duenas says that without me the house is quiet now.  Haha!  Maingay ka daw!  (I’m loud and noisy) My follow-up trainer, Elder Barrow, is also a Zone leader now too!  He’s probably my favorite companion so far.  So hard working; always seeking revelation and service to others.  Haha!  I missed that Kid.  He and Elder Herr are talking about getting housing for fall semester. They asked me when I was coming back and I said January 16th so I don’t know if I’ll be able to make it for winter semester. I’ll need to think about it. But being roommates with Elder Herr and Elder Barrow would be the best Day Ever! I’m glad they’re going to the Y. From Elder Barrow, I got a lot of information about my first area, Pasig 2nd Ward. So, here are some updates on a few old friends...

Brother Israel Pallisigue and his family are doing great and are fully active in the church! ^_^  Yes! They are planning on getting sealed in May.  I hope they invite me!  Wow! Time goes by so fast. Sister Mae-Rose Gomez is also doing great and is still active in the ward. They are also planning on getting sealed in May.  Sister Alice Almocera is now married! She married an RM (returned missionary) from Australia named Jared and they are moving to Australia in a few months or weeks.  O.o  Oh my gosh!  Haha!  Wow, I knew she had an internet boyfriend but I didn’t know they were that serious.  Apparently, they got engaged and married all within a week.  That’s pretty fast!  I hope things turn out well.  Sister Alice did write me. She thanked me for all that we did for her in bringing her to the wonderful truth and strength that comes from the Gospel. ^_^  It really does make a missionary happy to hear from their recent converts. The Arduo’s are hitting their year mark this December so they are excited to go to the temple as well. ^_^  I’m glad to hear everyone is doing well in Pasig 2nd.

I got to work with Elder Herr and Elder Duenas while they were here for the day and so that was really fun. We had a nice dinner appointment at a good restaurant with a ward missionary. Then we took them to SM (ShoeMart, it’s like Macy’s) to get things that the sister missionaries need down in Mindoro.  I miss those guys!  They are doing great.  I felt so much of a stronger Spirit working with Elder Herr.  It was just like the good old times!

Friday 11/2
Today has been great!  You know, Elder Scanlan and I are really starting to warm up to each other. We actually have conversations now, share interests, and talk about investigators and less actives together. We’re doing well. We did some tracting yesterday and we got one potential investigator and 1 new investigator.  Rick is his name and he’s really confused about doctrine so it made it easier to teach him. He’s willing to learn although he is pretty madaldal (talkative) sometimes. Haha! Anyway, we’ve been working in unity as of late so things are going well. I’ve just had to look at him differently, see more with my heart than my eyes. The best way to be a good missionary is to see people as they become, not who they were. That is looking with an eye single to the glory of God. Things are all good and doing well. We even had casual conversations during meals, so it’s good.  We understand each other more now.

Spiritual Thought:
“Do you young people want a sure way to eliminate the influence of the adversary in your life? Immerse yourself in searching for your ancestors, prepare their names for the sacred vicarious ordinances available in the temple, and then go to the temple to stand as proxy for them to receive the ordinances of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost. As you grow older, you will be able to participate in receiving the other ordinances as well. I can think of no greater protection from the influence of the adversary in your life.” ~ Elder Richard G. Scott

I hope you all have a good week and that you are enjoying life.  I know I am. ^_^  Take care and I love you all!  Sorry, no pictures this week!

Doing you Proud,
Elder Froude  ^_^