Wednesday, October 24, 2012

October 21, 2012 – I’m back!

Dear Mom, Dad, Ryan, and everyone who reads this blog,

So, the internet was down in the office all Saturday and Sunday so I couldn't email.  >.< Then I went to a place with internet and the website was down for maintenance, so President said I can email today!  Sorry for the wait, there was nothing I could do.  
Things have been crazy at the office but slowly slowing down. Sometimes, I find myself trying to find more things to do just to keep myself busy until it’s time to close the office and go out proselyting at night. Anyway, so driving is still the most stressful thing I do. Did you know that the Philippines is the 3rd worst country in the world to drive in? Crazy!  Mom, I’m afraid that when I come back home I might get pulled over for driving like I do here.  Haha! Joke Lang!
Anyway, so news for this week my new ward has 6 missionaries: 2 sisters, the Assistants to the President (APs), and Elder Scanlan and I.  We elders can only work at night and the APs work whenever they can.  But luckily, we have sisters holding the ward up.  They are great and so hard working! Sister Repollo and Sister Bowman. These two sister missionaries have provided the ward with 2 baptisms on Thursday! It was great! It’s been a while since I’ve seen a baptism. The families are so converted to the gospel. I was able to teach the two that just got baptized once before so I was able to get to know them at least a bit before Thursday so it was great.  ^_^  The 6 of us sang “When I am Baptized” and “I Believe in Christ” for their program. I sang the bass line with Elder Waite while the other 4 sang melody. It was fun to learn but now the bass line is stuck in my head when I hear the song. Haha!  Unfortunately, none of my investigators in Mindoro were able to make the final step to baptism before I left, although, many were prepared to receive 
the gospel.

Spiritual Experience:
Last Friday we went to visit Brother Jose, a recent convert of 1 day. Haha!  We went to see how he was doing and he said that he was sick. He had a stomach pain and so he was slouched over so he couldn't come down the stairs. We went up to his loft so we could teach him. So we taught him about priesthood blessings, then I gave him a very nice inspired blessing that had me saying things I didn't know I could say. Afterwards, we asked how he was feeling and he didn't speak for about a minute, he was just moving back and forth, standing up, evaluating how he was feeling and then he started laughing. Then he said, "Elders! It's like magic! I'm okay!” Haha!  He felt perfectly fine!  He said when we laid our hands on his head he felt this warm feeling come over him and the pain dissipated.  It was a great spiritual experience and I'm glad I was able to have it. It came at a good time too because I was feeling stressed out about traffic and how it took us 3 times to go around the block to find his house. Haha! But the Lord knew we needed to be there to heal this man. He has such strong faith!  For without faith it would not have worked. :) It was a great way to end the night.  ^_^
I have good news and bad news. The bad news is, I’ve been eating out almost every night, or at member’s houses…so I guess it’s not that bad. But Good news! I’ve been working out a lot more since I’ve been eating more. Haha! The missionary handbook says you should exercise 30 minutes a day after you wake up. It’s been something I’ve been trying to work on, but I’ve been doing well this past week!
So I just finished watching conference last Sunday.  Yeah, we get it late over here so it can be translated into Tagalog and such. So, I decided to dedicate this part of the email as spiritual impressions I’ve had about all 
of the great and wonderful talks during conference.

So first off, you guessed it, our Beloved Prophet, President Monson’s announcement of the new age for missionaries to begin their mission. 18 for young men and 19 for young women. Excuse me, can I just say… O.o Oh. My. Goodness!!!  I do not think you realize how HUGE this is!!!!!!!!!!!!! Okay, so you might have a small idea, but this is gi-normous! The bar has raised yet again. The Lord needs a lot more soldiers in his army, more workers in his vineyard, more souls that need to be saved. Can you feel it? Can you feel the signs of the times moving forward as you read this?

Let me first address the young men. I hope you watched the priesthood session of conference because that is what this whole next section will be about.  Referring to Elder D. Todd Christopherson’s talk, “Brethren, as priesthood holders we have work to do.”  I’ll give you an advice as to how you can be successful in all that you do.  DECIDE NOW that you want to be successful at everything that you do.  I believe the reasons why we do not do as well as we should is because we have not decided to do our best in all that we do.  We tend to think that doing just enough to get by will suffice, so that we can have more time to do the things we want and not the things that are required of us. If you want to be great and do great things, then DECIDE RIGHT NOW that you will do your best in all that you do.  Please understand that with all of your strength and effort you can probably become a great man, a great person, however, if you give all of your strength, talents, time, heart, and effort to God, I guarantee you He can make you more than you can ever imagine you can be.

Remember that in order to serve the Lord you will have to be more clean and more obedient than you are right now. You cannot afford to lose the Spirit when the memory of an unsolved sin comes or regret in your heart creeps up when you are bearing your testimony.  Get those things solved and get those things right because the Lord needs you!  He sent out the call through our Prophet. Like Elder Holland said last year, “If you are not active and you are not clean, then get active, and get clean!”  Make the decision NOW.  You have the choice.

“Though you have the freedom to choose, you cannot control the consequences.”
(Much like the Story of John from Japan as shared by Gary E. Stevenson)

Now to all of you, young women, mainly the ones I know at BYU…when I heard of the change in age for sister missionaries, I could not help but think of the ways you helped strengthen my testimony of the Gospel through the examples you’ve set and the many adventures we’ve had.  I imagine the impact you can have on the lives of many young men at school, out on the field, and the lives of many that need this gospel. Now you have a choice. Of course, you do not have the same priesthood responsibility as the young men do to serve a mission, but can I just say a few things as one who has seen and worked with Sister Missionaries? Sister Missionaries are GREAT!  Everyone loves Sister Missionaries! They just have a way of getting things accomplished and getting things done right. They bring a certain air of reverence that invites inspiration when we are in our meetings and their insights and testimonies inspire change in even the hardest of hearts. Pretty much the people we worry the least about in the Office are the Sister Missionaries. They do great miracles and they can make things happen. We definitely need more of them.

Now heed this next message…my mission is THE most difficult thing I’ve ever had to do in my life, emotionally, spiritually, mentally, and physically. It is draining and it can get to you if you are not prepared. But trust that through the Lord all things are possible and He will be with you at all times. The call has been given. What will your answer be?  Many are called, few are chosen. Would you like to join the few?  The choice is yours.

Of course, being 100% biased in this situation, let me just say, “Going on a mission will NEVER be the wrong decision!”  I could list all of the reasons why but that would be cheating you out of a great experience. You’ll just have to find out for yourself what I have found through constant prayer, study, and service dedicated to our loving Heavenly Father. I suppose I could tell you, but you would have no idea as to what it means unless you have sacrificed all for the Lord.  Unless you have labored with all your might, walking exhausted down miles of sun-beaten road.  And unless you have given your all, and then given more, will you realize how close your Father really is to you, and how much he knows each and every one of his children.

Do not fear the future, my friends.  Do not fear the unknown, for fear is the opposite of faith and comes only from the father of lies. I love missionary work because there is nothing to fear when working for the Lord. I love missionary work because all I have to do is tell people what I know to be true! I promise you that with everyone you meet, every question they have, the answers can be found in the scriptures. Every problem they face can be solved with faith; every sin they have ever committed, no matter who they are, or what they have done, can be cleansed by the gift and power of the Atoning Sacrifice of Jesus Christ.  And you can be the one to give them this awesome truth, if you accept the call that was given by revelation.

I close this with a spiritual thought for everyone and especially my brother Ryan ;p : realize now that no matter how prepared you are, there will still be trials and oppositions. But be not discouraged, for it is my belief that the Lord is always with us and wants us to be Stronger, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Doing you Proud,
Elder Froude ^_^


Hey, I just saw the video and it was great! I loved it. Best ending ever! So everyone in the office was watching the video with me and they all think Laney is the cutest thing ever! They were all laughing too that my relatives were all having trouble speaking Tagalog and such.  Haha!  It was nice! I loved it!  ^_^  I really did, konte lang trunky na ako!  Haha! ^_^  Best gift ever!

Hey, so I guess I'm going out to with the APs and President and Sister Delamare (mission president and his wife) for lunch :)  They haven't had a birthday in the office in a while so this is a great opportunity for them to relax and enjoy a good meal with the Elders :) I feel honored.

Have a good night!  I love you!  Bye! Thanks for the great gifts and the Love and the Video; it all made this a great birthday! ^_^  I love you all!!! Talk to you both Saturday, okay…if the internet is on.  Haha!!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

October 13, 2012 – Hello!!!!

Dear Mom, Dad, Ryan, and all those who are reading…yes you!

Sorry, I haven’t been able to email until now.  It’s been like what?  12 days?  I can’t even keep track anymore.  Everything has been crazy.  And I mean different from the normal crazy.  This is literally insane and things have just started to slow down a bit.  Meaning, I finally have a P-day and it’s a great feeling!  So anyway, this is what has been going on…

I was doing regular personal study on Tuesday, just reading my Book of Mormon and all, when suddenly my phone rings.  It’s Elder Waite, one of the Assistants to the President, and he says “Hi,” you know, all normal and whatnot.  Except APs don’t call regular missionaries like me all basta-basta (for no reason).  He asked me, “So Elder Froude, what do you have planned today?”  Then my mind flashbacked to when Elder Herr, my zone leader, told me about how he got a call from an AP who asked, “What are you doing today?” before he found out his companion was getting transferred.  So, nervously I replied…”Uhh… you know, regular missionary stuff.  You know, teaching lessons and maybe a little bit of tracting,” totally not knowing what’s going on.  Then he said, “Oh, that’s great.  Instead…you should pack your things and say some goodbyes because you’re flying back to Manila tomorrow morning!”  Then my mouth dropped, all the while Elder Herr and Elder Duenas were laughing because they already knew what was going on.

*Cultural Note* Missionaries do not just ET (emergency transfer) off the Island of Mindoro for no special reason.  The only ET I had heard of coming off the Island of Mindoro was a missionary a few transfers ago that did something he shouldn’t have.  So, my mind was all boggled trying to figure out what this could possibly mean!  I asked, “Why?”  He replied, “You’re going to come to the office as the new Mission Finance Secretary!”  O.o Say what?!?

*Mission Note* The 4 office Elder positions, since I’ve been out, have been filled by couple missionaries.  The Millers, a couple missionaries, were going to be transferred to a branch as leadership support and so they called Elder Scanlan and me to fill in their positions.  We have been reassigned to the Office.  It is not a new calling…I am still 100% missionary.  I just work (proselyte) mainly at night now, if at all.  Elder Scanlan, a Samoan from Alaska (I know, right!), is the Mission Secretary and I am the Finance Secretary.  O.o  Oh, snap!  So basically, this is why I haven’t been able to email you for the last 13 days.  It was transfer week and a day before P-day I was sent to the office, and we do not get P-days until Saturday.  Aww man! Haha!  That will throw off a few things.  But it’s okay, kaya natin diba? (It’s okay, we can manage, right?)

So, these last 4 days I have been on intense training for all of the programs and procedures for all of my duties.  I am over reimbursements, phones, debit cards, taxes, support, receipts, reports and many other things that have been a whirlwind of information, but I think I got it.  Do I miss Mindoro?  Of course!  I had a few investigators close to baptism but they will be fine with the Elders over there right now.  I’m just sad I won’t be with my roommates Elder Herr and Elder Duenas anymore. They are awesome missionaries who get things done.  Nevertheless, the Lord needs me here.

There are many advantages though!  The office is pretty much the dream of all the missionaries here.  Air conditioning, filtered water, toilet paper, reliable electricity…haha!  Really I mean it!  My last night in Mindoro, I had a wonderful farewell brownout at 1:30 at night 3 hours before I was supposed to wake up so I was like, AHHH!!!!  I couldn't sleep because it was so hot!!!  Haha! So, I’m glad to be in the office now.  I also am now rooming with the APs.  They have hot shower!!!!!!!!!  BEST DAY EVER!!!!!!  I also now have my Philippines Driver's license and it's pretty much the scariest part of my mission…driving in Metro Manila.  Oh my Gulay! (Gosh!)  Haha!  We have a truck!  We travel sometimes to the Area office to pick up checks and coordinate events happening in the mission.  It's in Quezon City, on Aurora Blvd. We both have our own phones and rotate days driving.  My apartment is in a nice gated area.  Not too far away, and there are a lot of good restaurants on the way.  Oh my gosh! The food here is so good!  So much better than just Jolibee!  Haha!  So things are a lot different here.  Oh hey, President just walked in!  Haha! 

We work Monday through Friday in the office from 9 - 4:30, then we can work the area after...hopefully. Haha!  Things come up sometimes. :)  So we'll see how that works.  We do not know the area yet so we'll be going with the assistant ward mission leader later tonight and he'll take us around.  Saturday is P-day and Sunday is probably the most proselyting we'll get in a day.  

I'm so happy right now!  I just got my birthday package too!!!!!! Okay... so I didn't open it because I wanted to wait until my birthday so I had my companion open it and get the pens out, because I wanted to have pens (I’m out) for the office and such.  So yes!  The next day, my belt broke and I kinda peeked inside the package and found a belt!  So I was like, alright!!!!  And then when we got the truck, I looked inside the box for the CDs so we could listen to music.  So, I’m pretty sure the package you sent was Inspired because it's been helping me with a lot of things lately!!!  HAha!!!  It's like you're here supporting me, even in America!!!  Yeah!!!  Thanks a ton!  I love you!!!

I'm afraid I'll lose my Tagalog that I've spent so long trying to learn! Haha!  Ay naku, gusto ko kausapin ang mga tao at OYM (open your mouth) ang mga strangers tungkol sa Ebanghelyo ni JesuCristo kahit kailan, pero ngayon sa gabi lang.  Ayos lang.  Hahayo ako at gagawin ang mga bagay na ipinaguutos ng Panginoon. :)  (I really wish I could talk to people about the gospel of Jesus Christ any time but now I can only do it at night. It’s okay, though. I will go and do the things which the Lord has commanded me to do.)

Oh gosh, that will be weird!  (When told that Ryan will be going on his mission before he comes home from his mission so they won’t see each other for 3 and a half years.)  It's great!  I hope my friends decide to serve missions so that we could all be great RM friends!  Haha! I'm just excited to see how many more missionaries we get. This news is huge!!!  I’ll write about it in my next email because I’m out of time now and I want you to get some sleep.  I still have a ton of stuff to do for P-day.

Goodnight!!!  I love you!  Thank you so much for staying up with me.  I actually prayed that I would be able to talk to you tonight and I am happy you were able to get my letter. ^_^  I miss you guys and love you a lot.  Especially after finishing watching the Saturday session!  :)  Have a good night.  I'll see you next week, okay?   Bye!

Doing you Proud,
Elder Froude  ^_^
Goodbye to my companion and roommates
I'll miss these wonderful missionaries
Goodbye to Elder & Sister Whiting
Goodbye Sister Missionaries
I love this couple missionaries!!!
My last sunset in Mindoro.  Goodbye beach...I'll miss you...
Leaving Mindoro early in the morning!
I'm leaving on a jet plane...don't know when I'll be back again...
First day at the office.
My new companion, Elder Scanlan
My office space
AHHHH!!!  I am overwhelemed!  LOL!
With Jollibee!

October 10, 2012 - Good Morning Po!

Due to surprise circumstances that you should not worry about, I will be able to email you on Saturday! At what time I am not sure because it's General Conference weekend but I will be able to email you then!  So, try to stay up on Friday night or just get my email on Saturday morning.  By then, I will let you know what's been going on.  Don't worry, it's good news, I think.  So Mom, don’t freak out!  I'm 100% okay.  Just a bit overwhelmed.  

Okay I think I've given you enough small hints and clues. Hehehe!!!  Have fun with that.  I love you!  See ya Saturday!

Doing you Proud,
Elder Froude  ^_^

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

September 30, 2012 – Nandito Ako! (I’m Here!)

Wow!  Time has gone by so fast!  It's merciless!  It just keeps going!  And if you don't keep up, you're going to get left behind trying to catch up, like chasing after a wave on a surfboard.  With that analogy, it's October and I'm already close to my 9 month mark on the mission!  Oh man, does time fly!  And next week is transfer week, so i'll be spending most of this week being anxious as to whether or not I am transferring!  Wow, it feels like Elder Coe just got here! Haha!

Well, let me write down a few awesome experiences we’ve had this week.  One, with the new OYM (Open Your Mouth) focus we've been able to contact 3 UMCs (upper and middle class families).  We actually have a return appointment to one later today.  Wish us luck!  It's just made work much happier because we talk to people, get to know them, laugh with them. I definitely feel like I’m getting to know the people a lot more and my Tagalog is getting a lot more casual and conversational.  All forms of fear are slowly dissipating with faith.  Of course, there is always that nervous feeling but I can testify that as you have the desire to share the gospel, the Spirit will put into your hearts, the things that ye must say, even in the very moment that you need it. (D&C 100) Don't be afraid to share the gospel.  Remember that we have the ONLY TRUTH!  All those you care about deserve to know what makes you, you, and how they can attain the happiness that emanates from you.  It is noticeable in your countenance.

One of our investigators in Bubgo Barangay came to church on Sunday!  The Perez family.  They walked the 6km to get to church.  WOW!   Such faith is amazing!  You know 6km doesn't seem that far if you have a car, but it's a long way for someone new to the gospel to take that leap of faith and walk to church.  ^_^  BEST DAY EVER!   Brother Munar, who is in the process of returning from less activity, has now officially stopped smoking!!!  YAY!!!! BEST DAY EVER!  I have no doubt he will be returning soon! Nikko and RJ Novencido are our other focus for reactivation.  Their dad has just been reactivated, thanks to his RM daughter and now we are working on his sons, who are less active in the gospel because they go to a private Catholic school and are doubting the principles of the gospel.  But they are asking us great questions of the soul which can all be answered by the scriptures. 15 and 18 are their ages.  So, this is a critical time for them to figure out what they believe in.  I have great hopes for them.

Transfers in Magsaysay went great! Elder Alvarez thinks there's a ghost in their apartment and it has had history of freakiness, but nothing weird happened when I was there. Go figure.  It was just a little uneasy, is all.  Anyway, that's not the important thing.  We were able to teach some really good lessons, Elder Alvarez and I.  He's a great missionary and he has such great love for everyone.  My favorite lesson was teaching about the Atonement to a part less active family.  When teaching about the Atonement, I asked an inspired questions and the Nanay (mother) started to cry.  She felt the Love of the Savior and shared a great testimony of the knowledge that Christ is her Savior.  The following Sunday, her husband who had been less active for 10 years came to church!!! WOOOHOO!!  Magsaysay Branch is really growing; they went from 37 people attending church to 117 last week.  Elder Quinton and Elder Alvarez are doing so well.  ^_^  The work is moving forward and I know it is true.

Spiritual thought of the week:
"Let your hearts be comforted, for all things shall work together for good, to them that walk uprightly, and to the sanctification of the church." (D&C 100:15)
I hope you all feel comforted in knowing that the Lord will always be with you.  Ask for His blessings. He wants so much to bless you.  I testify that the Father and the Son live, and that they do love us, and that they talk to men today through prophets and scriptures. These things I say in the Name of Jesus Christ.  Amen.

Next week is transfer week so I won't be online until Wednesday (here) okay?  It's been soooooo fast!!!!!!!  I hope I can have my birthday here in Mindoro with the Whitings and everyone. 

Bye, Mom!  Thank you for being such a great influence in my life!  When I’m in doubt, I just think, “Okay, what did mom teach me to do?” and I usually end up fine!  ^_^ I love you so much.  I hope you have a good night, bye!

Doing You Proud,
Elder Froude ^_^

Just goofing around...
With Elder Alvarez during exchanges
Some investigators
I have weird friends, but thanks for all of the drawings!!!!!
Full moon in the Philippines

September 24, 2012 – Long email of the week!

This week has probably been one of the most stressful weeks but one of the biggest learning experiences of my life.  Well, let's start with Tuesday.  Last week, we found out that one of the members of our branch that lives with an investigator family for school, found a potentially cancerous lump on her breast.  So, she went to 3 different doctors who decided she needed surgery to have it removed.  Well, she's only 17 and needs parents’ permission.  After a long stressful time of trying to get the number of a less active family on another island to tell her parents, they decided not to approve the surgery and the girl's older sister threatened us with legal action if she goes through with the surgery.  (This whole time I’m translating from Tagalog to English, the telephone conversation that they were having.)  So we said, okay, we aren't involved.  It was her decision.  Anyway, it was a big headache and I’m worried things will get worse before she can get the mass removed.  It takes 4 days and 5000 pesos for her to get back to her home island and she doesn't have any money or support from her parents.  So, they're going to have to deal with that.

It's just that all this third world poverty is really depressing.  We teach great people, people who are so close to baptism but cannot be baptized because they don't have enough money to get to church, or like Noemi's family, they can't go to church because her husband doesn't have a job until bukid (harvest) season in November.  >.<  I just feel so bad for them.  That there are many people here who are willing to listen and accept the gospel but cannot come to church because they are so far away from the church building.  Around 6km!  Elder Coe and I have been praying for a solution and so we'll see what happens. But you know, it might not be their time yet.  And I'll have to be humble enough and accept that everything happens in the Lord's time.  If he wills it to be IT will be done.  So, we'll just do all that we can for them in the meantime.

You know, I have been thinking a lot about life lately just seeing all of these people here in the Philippines.  I wonder what I did in the Pre-existence to deserve all of the blessings I have.  A complete family in the gospel...a loving mother and father.  A father with a good job.  A nice house, air conditioning, reliable electricity. A good education and toilet paper and such.  I don't know what I did to deserve all of it. But I am very grateful for it.  So much so now more than ever.  Why me?  I ask myself a lot of the time.  When I teach people and see that their kids have no clothes or the family eats by candlelight during a storm and such.  Very humbling indeed.

On the brightside, my district leader, Elder Quinton, committed us to OYM (Open Your Mouth, which means build relationships with random people) 35 times a week.  Haha!  We only hit 16 but in the process we got return appointments to teach 2 middle class houses (DelaVega and Ducalang family). Tracting actually worked!!!  Haha!  I haven't done much tracting because of our LA focus, but we've been punted a lot by LAs lately, so we're focusing on Investigators and finding more.  So, we did a little bit of tracting and got into the door of the DelaVega family and we taught the whole first lesson. It was great!  Not many of my companions even taught me how to tract so I’m kinda doing a trial and error kind of thing.  But as always our focus here is establishing the church and the leadership.  There have been so many great changes and miracles.  Things are looking up!  We are working with the leaders to the point that when we leave, they will be able to support themselves.  I mean, how many branches have you heard who have 8 missionaries?  This is definitely important!

I haven't had mail run for a month!  Mail is coming though on Saturday, so if you've sent me something from 6 weeks ago, I have yet to get it.  Sorry!  Please bear with me.

Besides that, things with Elder Coe are doing great.  I am definitely having a lot more fun and enjoying myself in the work. Sure it's a trial, but in this trial I am learning so much, especially in helping Elder Coe grow as well.  It's a strange thing; the more you need the Lord's help, the more He helps you.  I have definitely been able to exceed my own abilities as a missionary this week just trying to help these people overcome the problems in their lives.  The most receptive are the investigators.  They love us!  Haha!  I love being able to just talk to people about their families and such.  And get to know people.  It really is all about love and charity.  If you have charity for the people you work with then the Lord will work miracles through you and make up what you lack!  Charity!  It's a gift from God, so ask for it. He wants to give it to you.  :)

Spiritual Thought:  Doctrine and Covenants 3:3; "It is not God's work, but the works of men that are frustrated."  

Ponder it and see how that applies to your life.  I know God loves us and that he's given even his own life for us.  In return he asks for little.  The more you sacrifice for Him, the more you realize everything already belongs to Him.  I know that there is a plan for us all and if we keep His commandments, He'll give us the strength to overcome all things.  In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Doing You Proud,
Elder Froude ^_^