Tuesday, July 10, 2012

July 9, 2012 – A Great Challenge for a Missionary

Man, I still can't believe that I'm so far from the family when it feels like I was just there at Lola's house.  I was crying for a bit reading all of your emails and looking at the pictures.  This week has been especially tough for me, finding out about my grandmother's passing and still having to work every day.  It's been a real challenge but there have still been many ups this week too, as well as the downs.

For instance, on Tuesday I had the opportunity to work with one of my zone leaders, Elder Herr from Hawaii.  From companionship study, I was already impressed with the Spirit he was able to bring into the room just from the few different things he did to inspire unity.  There aren't many differences but just how he respects the time given him to study, is the only way I can explain how it felt studying with him. Then, as we worked we were able to teach together, back and forth, finish each other's thoughts, expound on doctrine and testify to the things taught…like a great companionship.  It was a great day learning from him!  When my companion and I teach, it's usually he teaches until he's done talking, then I teach things he may have missed, testify, and then amen.  Preach my Gospel says that companionships should teach people with one companion sharing for a little bit, then switching back and forth.  Something I've noticed my Filipino companions do is just teach until they have nothing left to say.  It makes it harder for me then to teach much unless I start the lesson.

My biggest trial this week has been my companion, Elder O.  Not that he did anything disobedient or anything…it's just we have a huge communication issue.  He's quite a social guy, I've noticed, but whenever we work and I try to start conversations with him, it doesn't really get anywhere.  He kinda just brushes off what I say and keeps walking.  He's never really said anything to me to start a conversation either.  I feel like he's closed himself off from me.  I've been trying to become friends with him all transfer while we work so that the long times spent walking aren't boring.  But I'm not really getting anything from him.  Oh my gosh, I got so frustrated earlier this week.  I was feeling really sad about everything that has happened this week and I've been thinking about home and being distracted during lessons sometimes.  The worst place to be when there is a loss is in your mind.  You need to go and talk to someone.  So, I tried to talk to Elder O. about it and have him give me advice as my companion and district leader and such.  So I said, I'm sorry, Elder, I've been distracted lately with thoughts of my family and my Lola and all.  Then, he just says, okay, and keeps walking!  Oh my gosh, I was so mad!  I feel like I can't talk to him about anything.  It got to the point where Sister Whiting (President Whiting's wife) noticed that something was bothering me.  She said on Friday, “Hey, Elder Froude, how are you doing?”  I said, “Oh I'm fine,” then she said, “You know, I'm a mother, I can tell when something's bothering you.”  So, I let her know and she gave me really good advice. ^_^  She always knows what to say.  Also, I talked to the Zone leaders earlier today too, just to vent.  Because what I really needed the most this week is a companion to talk to, but Elder O. isn't too good at communication.  Anyway, enough about that, I talked to him about it during companionship inventory and it's been better.  I hope he got the message.  Cause really the problem isn't him, I just needed someone to vent to and no matter what I did this week, I didn't get any counsel from him.  So, that's why I've been mad at him.  But I've been finding opportunities to serve him when I get ticked off.  Like, I cleaned the house when I was mad or on the worst day, I made dinner for both of us.  The answer to my prayer was just to serve my companion.  So, I've been doing that. Talking about it to the ZLs and Sister Whiting have been the best help though.  :)

Okay…now to things that were great about this week.  The Whitings (missionary couple and 2nd counselor to President Delamare) are great people and teaching resources! I have a deep respect for couple missionaries and think that many more people should go on couple missions and this is why.  Imagine two 19-21 year olds teaching a young family about how families can be together forever and how blessed families can be in the gospel.  Then, they turn the time over to the couple missionaries who share about how the Gospel has helped them in their marriage for 49 years, through 6 kids and 16 grand kids.  With the couple missionaries is the look of two people still happily married and having lived through most of the trials of life.  Their testimony is in the fact that they are happy and still married!  This testimony can be told no matter what the language is.  In the Philippines, or basically anywhere in the world, if you have your own family and see this happy, older couple missionaries and they tell you the gospel is true, it's a lot stronger testimony than anything a single, young missionary like me can say, let me tell you!  Haha! I love couple missionaries, they are great!

It has been raining all week, but it has stopped in the last few days.  A lot of the roads are flooded.  I had to walk through knee high water to one area. Haha!  It was great!  I looked so short!  I'll send the picture next week…it's on Elder Herr's camera.  Worst day ever… we had a brown out last night and 2 nights ago too, and it was so hot I couldn't sleep!  Luckily, after much prayer, it came on around 11:30pm.  ^_^ Prayer works!  I'm telling you!

We're kind of losing people to teach.  It's about that time of the year where people go to get jobs, and there is nothing here in Mindoro for people to work at unless they own a farm or a tryke.  So, we've lost many people we’ve been teaching already.  And our best fellowshipper, Sister Saus!  I know!  She won't be back until December daw!  Sigh.  She just got married, too!

Basically, this week I've had to rely much on the enabling power of the Atonement of Christ to help me keep going.  The Lord sends people your way who can help you and answer your prayers, even if you didn't know you were praying for it. :)  I'm grateful that I have been given this opportunity to learn from what has happened.  When you feel like you don't have the strength, or you can't go any further,  or don't have any more patience, I ask that you pray for the enabling power of the Atonement to help you, not to change your situation but to receive the strength to overcome your trial so that you may grow and become stronger.  I know this is true.  I've had to rely on Christ so much during my mission. This is my testimony in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Doing You Proud,
Elder Froude

Guess what?  This week will be my 6 month anniversary, ya know!!!

Halo-halo!!!  Yummy!
This was our Zone Activity Day last week.
Missionaries doing the Tinikling dance 
Yours truly doing the Limbo
Played in the rain
Ocean baptism with Sister Missionaries.
So cool to witness an ocean baptism!
Found a Mexican restaurant in Mindoro!  Yes!
The cheese in the quesadilla tasted like plastic.  Blech!
The burrito was much better but expensive!

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