Tuesday, January 22, 2013

January 18, 2013 - I've been thinking...

Dear Mom, Dad, Ryan, and everyone who accidently wore different colored socks but were too lazy to change them,

Another busy week, Elder Peralta is starting to catch on to his new assignment as the Mission Secretary. That’s good; he’s really starting to catch up on all of the work he has to do so I can focus on mine. I’ve been helping him learn how to drive and do some typing exercises. He’s a great humble guy and I love serving with him. I just feel like we learn so much from each other.  I feel bad for our area though.  So, before we had 6 missionaries in the Ward. The Assistants (who are almost never there), us, and the Cubao Sisters. Well, Sister Velasco, who extended her mission, finished her extension and went home on Wednesday. That leaves the job of working in the whole of Cubao to the APs and us office elders. I just feel so bad for the area because we haven’t been able to work in it all week. Sayang (Too bad), we’ve had appointments but they would cancel on us, which was usually a good thing since we’ve been stuck in traffic almost every night.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what I am going to do after my mission. I’ve been able to talk to a lot of missionaries going home about what they are going to do with their life when they get back. A lot of them have some idea, and a few of them were just freaking out about what they were going to do when they get home. The bishop in my ward right now talked to me for a long time about having plans and planning at a ward party one time. It is important to have plans when you get off of your mission. Because most of the missionaries that go less active after their missions are ones who told him they didn’t know what their plans were after the mission. I mean, of course I have plans, I have goals to reach after my mission and I’ve been talking to Elder Stoddard about them last night and we had a interesting conversation.

It’s funny because we were both doing Mechanical Engineering majors before our missions.  Haha!  Anyway, I guess I’ll keep this part shorter. Well, the reason why I went into mechanical engineering was for the many options open for me after my first 4 years so that I can do whatever I wanted and have a solid resume with me for graduate school for whatever field I desire to pursue.  I’ve been watching a lot of the “I’m a Mormon” videos during my breaks and the most of the videos with people that I respect after only seeing 3 minutes of their lives are people that have done something to change the lives of many people. Like creating Bulgarian orphanages, or innovating prosthetic legs, or trying to find the cure to cancer. In any case, what I admire about these people  is that they do their job well, help people, and still have time to go home to their families. I guess that is what really is important for me and what I want to do after the mission is that I want to be able to come home to my family every night and be there for my kids while they are growing up. Much like “Jack” in this video http://www.mormonchannel.org/tv-ads?v=912421103001

I’ve also been talking with a lot of the senior couples that we work with a lot in the office. Elder Enderle is one I really respect. He a convert that lived in Alaska and he told me that he used to work big machines. Like bulldozers and such. He got a job offer to work big equipment in the mountains and earn much more money. The only problem is that he would be away from home for several months at a time. He then immediately declined the offer and said, “I didn’t get married to be away from my family.” And after that, made enough money in life to have gone on 3 missions with his wife and do many great things with plans to go on more missions. ^_^ Their children are successful; their grand children are successful; and all because they were following principles of the gospel.  That’s what I want. 

Hey mom, hey dad, I have to go and finish up the things I need to do for P-day. I love you! Thanks for emailing me today! Have a great weekend and I'll email you next week, okay? LOVE YOU!

Doing you Proud,
Elder Froude ^_^

I got Christmas cards from the Diakoumopoulos Family, The Wawro family, Sis. Thorderson,  Andres’, Mama, and many others.  Can I just say thank you to those who sent me a card for Christmas?  It really made my day, even though it came like 20 days late. Haha!  That’s Manila mail for you.

Manila Philippines Temple
Driving in the Philippines
EDSA traffic.  Horrible!
Good to see the Whitings again!
Taking the Whitings to the airport at 4 am.
Elder and Sister Whiting on their way back to Mindoro.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

January 11, 2013 - One Year Mark!!!

Dear Mom, Dad, and Ryan,

                Wow, life has been just awesome! Busy and I’m a little kulang(lacking) on sleep this last week because of emergency transfers, taking zone leaders to the airport and just catching up from transfer week so things have been a little bit crazy, but all in all, life is great and I’m learning so much.
                My companion is awesome! He’s a really great loving guy.  He’s pretty humble too and I enjoy how he applies the gospel to everything.  He’s been helping me speak Tagalog a lot more because I’ve been slacking living with Americans the last 2 transfers. He’s the best!  I just feel sorry for him a lot of the time because he had almost no training for his new position so he’s stressing about it.  I’ve been doing my best to help him and it works out a lot of the time but we are just always stressed trying to get all of our work done, especially since we’re on call by president.  So we just do what we can. The president sends us out to run some errands or we need to get a few things and it just takes up so much time being in traffic.  Speaking of which, we had to do some emergency transfers yesterday.  5 companionships were affected.  And guess what? They were all at different ends of the mission from each other, so that took up our whole morning, and I got lost on the way home so that took us a while too.  Haha!  Man, life is crazy, but I’m so glad I have my supportive companion with me. He’s always making stressful times happier times and we talk about a lot of things so we are quite open with each other.  It’s fun. 

                Other than that, we are just doing our normal running around trying to keep the mission running; all of the behind the scenes stuff and it’s been good.  Oh, I was able to teach a district meeting for my district for the first time this transfer.  It was great!  We were able to set very specific goals to work on to help us focus on finding and bringing more priesthood to the church.  Our goals were: 

1.         5 referrals asked for (not necessarily received) each day per companionship.
2.        Member visits about sharing the gospel
3.        Focus on teaching potential priesthood

So with these goals, we are hoping to get more finding done and get the wards more involved with missionary work. I have high hopes for these goals because I have prayed about them and feel they are what my district needs. Later, after the meeting, Sister Shumway came up to me and said, “Thanks for these great specific goals. I have been praying about how we’re going to tackle this area and your goals have been an answer to my worries. It’s comforting to know that our district leader has been seeking revelation for our areas.” One thing I’ve learned and have been seeking to do is pray for confirmation regarding goals and solutions to certain needs and hardships about our areas. It was something that helped guide us in Mindoro and something I want to bring over to the City too.  So I can’t wait to see how this affects the missionaries in my district in the next few weeks.

Other than that, I am officially one year old in the mission. Whoohoo!!!  It’s bittersweet, but all I can do is just keep serving with all my heart and mind and I’ll make it the best last year of my mission. I can’t wait to see how this next adventure will unfold.  I can’t wait to see how this will make me grow, and I can’t wait to go out and help those people the Lord has prepared.

I hope you all are doing well.  Until next time…

Doing you Proud,
Elder Froude ^_^
Playing with my camera
Being resourceful and improvising
With Sister Shumway, a sister I served with in Mindoro
More missionaries
My new companion, Elder Peralta (a different Peralta), left foreground, Elder Duenas (he used to be my DL in Mindoro, now an AP) sitting on the chair, Elder Stoddard (AP), and me.  We're the office missionaries.

Friday, January 11, 2013

January 3, 2013 - Happy New Year!!!

Dear Mom, Dad, Ryan, and everyone who survived the Mayan predicted end-of-the-world day,

Well, it is 2013 and things are going well here in the Philippines. And there have been a lot of major changes lately. Well for one, it is 2013!!! We happened to spend New Year’s with the DelaMare’s playing games and watching fireworks. Wow, the fireworks here are so intense, it’s like world war 3 and you are just surrounded by fireworks going off all of the time! Haha!  The next day the streets were just full of firework debris and broken glass.  Haha!  It was intense! And of course, this was the Monday and Tuesday of transfer week. Exit night and transfer day were slowly approaching our office staff.

*cultural note* the best thing about New Years and Christmas here is that there is no traffic the day of or the day after because everyone is basically hung over
*cultural note* fireworks are bought by basically everyone in Metro Manila and they light them all off so close to each other on New Year’s Eve

Well, then Exit Day came around, and let me tell you, 16 sister missionaries going home in the same room is pretty intense. When we were picking up some of the sisters the night before, it was really tough to see all of their housemates crying, saying goodbye to each other and such. Man, sisters just give off such a strong atmosphere of emotion! I remember driving a few of them home from the Memorial Cemetery and I just remember listening to the song we had in the car and I suddenly felt that something was really wrong and I looked in the mirror and all the sister were basically on the verge of tears  because they are going home. Shoot!  It felt really awkward, so Elder Peralta and I performed our song for them that we came up with on our first day together and it perked them up a bit. After wards, we were all able to go to the temple for their last time in the Philippines. And yes, there was more crying but that’s to be expected. Then we all came to the mission home for the testimony meeting. I enjoyed how this batch of missionaries going home was entirely spiritual testimonies and not storymonies or I’lljusttellfunnystoriesfrommymission-monies. The Spirit was really strong even though it was sad to see such strong sisters leave the mission, but alas, their journey continues and so do ours.
               It’s just that the occurrence of change in the mission is just so frequent, it’s like you finally feel like you’re getting to know someone and then you transfer, or someone else transfers. You finally set up a good pattern, and then boom! Transfers. It is pretty sad sometimes, and I’m usually anxious when it comes to transfer day, but in the end, change is usually the best thing for us, no? In life, things change all of the time, adapting is part of learning, part of growing, and each change brings on a new opportunity to use the principles of the gospel to become better people. And in my case, change brought me a new companion that is just hilarious and great at being a missionary. Anyway, change is just a regular thing in missionary life.

Well, Best Day Ever!  Elder Duenas is now the official new AP.  Elder Waite became Elder Herr’s companion in Mindoro, and Elder Rhodes took Elder Waite’s spot in Morong, Rizal. So, people are moving around quite often.  Elder Alvarez is now a district leader in Pasig! Good on him! He’s a great missionary.
                Other than that, we’ve just been kulang (lacking) on sleep because of New Years, getting missionaries to the airport and other such mission occurrences that require my driving skills. Elder Peralta is my new companion now. Not my trainer, a different Peralta. This one knows how to cook and sing and is super clean and magaling (great) at being a missionary and happy! I’ve been so excited to teach with him cause I’ve been feeling the Spirit so strong when we teach. It’s good ! ^_^  I hope we are getting to our investigators and less actives. All 5 of them… haha! That’s life in the office.  All in all, life is good, the apartment is the cleanest it’s ever been, and things are looking up for the area.
                 As for 2013, I think I’ve found out what my purpose is on my mission, and that is to serve the other missionaries. Like literally and figuratively, I just always feel the happiest when I help out other people, or help missionaries get the things they need to bring people to the gospel. I’ve had several people say they love being around me because I make them feel happy and help them relieve the stress they feel in their areas. I guess just making people feel good in general, but this year I am going to focus on serving others, and helping them prepare or grow or whatever the Lord needs me to do. With my Year mark coming up, I am going to have to give it more of my all. More to the Lord, more to my investigators and less actives, and more to the mission. Giving of myself for others, I think is my purpose here. Like a candle, how it consumes itself while giving off light. I believe that is me. It’s been my favorite symbol of late. ^_^

Well, I hope you have had  great news and a great time reflecting on who you are, who you want to become, and how you are going to get there.  Remember that the great gift the Lord has given us is the opportunity to change and become better, repentance.  It is never too late. An elder who went home after a few months on his mission has now returned and is going to Mindoro!  He has such a different atmosphere about him now and you can tell he’s ready to make miracles happen.  This time, he’s here for the right reasons and he’s changed for the better. I promise you all that you can change and become a better you through the power of Christ and His Gospel. Trust in him and trust in your leaders.  I pray we will all have the courage to change ourselves to become more like Him, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Doing you Proud,

Elder Froude ^_^
Happy New Year!!!!

Goofing off with Elder Stoddard and Sis. DelaMare
Unique ukelele!  I gotta get me one!
Restaurant tables set up as chess boards.  Cool!
Yummy breakfast!  Tocilog!
My new companion, Elder Peralta