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

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