Tuesday, April 30, 2013

April 28, 2013 - Guess who I saw this week!

This week was so amazing!  So many things happened!

First, I want to talk about the National Day of Service.  It was at the Pasig stake center and it was an emergency preparation workshop done with the help of the city.  Anyway, we were assigned to hand out fliers to people outside but guess who I saw there?  It’s Alice!  My first baptism!  She’s back in the Philippines and she was helping the stake youth with the choreography.  They flash mobbed the palengke (outdoor market) and then at the church parking lot to “We’re All in This Together” by High School Musical.  I’ve got a video for it that I’ll send sometime.  Last I heard she was in Australia but I guess she’s back now until she can go back to Australia with her husband, Jared.  Anyway, she’s doing great and it was good to see her again after almost a year. 

Me and my companion, Elder Lim
With the zone leaders

Area missionaries
Sister Alice and her son, Mateo

Elder Lim and I decided to do a little bit more tracting and happened to get in to a really nice house of middle class investigators.  Don-Don and his family were willing to listen to us and are really nice and friendly.   We’ll be going back to their house this week and hopefully help them progress more.  Jeffrey Collo is the friend and kabahay (housemate) of Emil, a young man in our ward.  The family has been wanting missionaries to teach Jeffrey the gospel.  So we went over there last week and he accepted the Restoration.  He prefers English too so I was able to speak more powerfully.  We then went back on Friday and finished up the Restoration lesson and I felt impressed to invite him to baptism.  Before I could even finish the invitation, he accepted with a resounding yes.  He’s been waiting for the opportunity to get baptized because he sees Emil’s family and he wants to model his family after the same standards.  It was such a great spiritual lesson that Elder Lim was speechless because he said yes so fast!  So we’re going to try to get him baptized by the end of next month.  We’re going to work hard on this one.  He’s 18 and ripe to be a missionary as well!

Elder Lim and I decided to do a little bit more tracting and happened to get in to a really nice house of middle class investigators.  Don-Don and his family were willing to listen to us and are really nice and friendly.   We’ll be going back to their house this week and hopefully help them progress more.  Jeffrey Collo is the friend and kabahay (housemate) of Emil, a young man in our ward.  The family has been wanting missionaries to teach Jeffrey the gospel.  So we went over there last week and he accepted the Restoration.  He prefers English too so I was able to speak more powerfully.  We then went back on Friday and finished up the Restoration lesson and I felt impressed to invite him to baptism.  Before I could even finish the invitation, he accepted with a resounding yes.  He’s been waiting for the opportunity to get baptized because he sees Emil’s family and he wants to model his family after the same standards.  It was such a great spiritual lesson that Elder Lim was speechless because he said yes so fast!  So we’re going to try to get him baptized by the end of next month.  We’re going to work hard on this one.  He’s 18 and ripe to be a missionary as well!

Elder Ian S. Ardern of the Area presidency spoke to us on Thursday this week.  It was a great devotional about our duty as missionaries and how we are entitled to the Gift of Discernment and Gift of Teaching as missionaries.  It was very spiritually uplifting especially since he was very loving the whole time.  We have to work for it was what he said, there is a price to pay for the gift, and you will not gain it if you want it just for yourself.  You have to have the desire to use it to glorify God and it will be granted unto you.  So, that’s my goal for this week.  To be worthy of these gifts.  

But it was also a sad day because it was the Whiting’s last day in the Philippines.  President Whiting has been having some heart problems lately… so sad.  I told them to email me on my mission and keep in touch with me.  They were so great…they were like the Mormon grandparents I've never had.  Sister Whiting would always know when I had a problem and would always talk to me about it.  And President Whiting had so much wisdom on how to be a man and how to honor my Priesthood.  They’ve been so great especially when Lola passed away.  I’m going to miss them so bad! 

Well, that’s all of my news for the week.  It was so busy and so rewarding.  The fruits are ripening and just ready to pick. We’re going to keep working hard here!!!  I'll talk to you next week, but we'll be having a zone activity so I'm not sure if I'll be online while you're awake at that time.  I love you and all that you do!

Doing you Proud,
 Elder Froude ^_^

Yummy sizzling Sisig with egg!

The volleyball poles were stolen so we had to improvise

April 22, 2013 - Summer's here!

Dear Mom, Dad, and Ryan,

It’s hot…really hot!  It’s so hot that the Filipinos here are complaining about how hot it is!  I got sunburned on my first day back to the field and got a really nice watch tan.  Haha!  I’ve gotten so dark and it’s only been like a week.  But the work is good.  I love being able to be out finding and teaching again.

I’m back to the cold bucket showers and washing my laundry by hand.  Yup, spending a lot of P-day washing clothes and other such things.  I was so spoiled in the office.  A labandera (washerwoman) and hot showers for 6 months has made me soft.  Haha!  It’s okay, I’m learning fast how to wash clothes again.  It’s about as annoying as I last remember it.  Haha!

My companion, Elder Lim, and I are doing great.  We’re like best friends cause we’re both pretty crazy. He knows how to sing all of the oldies songs that we use to listen to on road trips all of the time.  Listening to him sing is like listening to Dad’s iPod.  Haha!  He’s a lot of fun.  We sing all of the time. There is one road we walk down where there is like absolutely no one around and we sing our hearts out.  Haha!  We basically laugh about everything.  He’s Cebuano too so he’s really good in English.

We’ve been working really hard this week.  We had district leader training so I was gone for an entire day while Elder Lim worked in another area, but we were still able to teach a lot of good lessons and gained 2 more baptismal dates.  I’m really glad that we’ve been able to work really hard in this area. Taguig Zone has been one of the zones that has been struggling the most in the mission since it’s so small and mainly squatters, so they transferred half of the zone and put a bunch of new missionaries in. I'm hoping that my enthusiasm will be able to help everyone change their attitude about Taguig City.  We've also been really trying to become more unified as a zone.  Like for General Conference, I texted everyone to bring ulam (a dish) for a potluck and today after district meeting, we had volleyball set up for the zone.  So it's been fun.  It’s a different feel from when I would visit as an office elder dropping off mail and such.  I've been working close with the zone leaders (my kabahay- housemates) to help them get everyone excited to work here. It’s been going well. Everyone is loving life.

This week’s spiritual experience comes from last night.  Elder Lim and I were going home and it was like 8:20, we thought, hey! we have 40 more minutes, let’s do some tracting and see if we can find a new investigator.  So we tried walking down this street and Elder Lim wanted to ring the doorbell of a really rich house and I said, “Get back here! What are you doing! They’re not going to let us in!”  Then we started walking and then we looked at each other and said, why not?  So we went back and Elder Lim rang the doorbell then hid behind me.  Suddenly, the door opens and I was face to face with this really rich looking man.  The only thing that popped into my mind was to try the English approach.  So I said, “Hi, we are missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and we want to share a message with you about how families can be together forever.”  Now after I had said that I was like, What am I doing! We don’t usually tract in this mission and I’ve never tried the English approach before, or haven’t had much chance to in the last 6 months.  But he replied, “Is this going to be long?” and I said, “No, no, no, only 10 minutes of your time.”  So he let us in kaagad (right away)!  I was so shocked! I’ve never been let in that fast before.  So, we taught a good 10 minute lesson on who we are and we’re going to try to go back.  The guy’s mom wanted us to leave cause it was late.  Haha!  But it’s all good.  It still worked and we declared the word!  I love the work!  I’m glad to be back in the field!

It's been great but I’ve got to go now.  Elder Lim has been done emailing for a while and we need to go shopping.  Thanks for everything!  I love you all!

Doing you Proud,
Elder Froude ^_^

Full moon in the Philippines
Farming side of Taguig
This little body of water leads to Laguna Bay
Where we ride boats to go from place to place
Found some wandering goats

Some of the places in my area 

Interesting, huh?
I can fit in here, I swear!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

April 15, 2013 – Another Chapter of my Mission Adventures!

Hi Everyone!

Sorry, it's so late for me getting this week’s letter out.  I've been running around with my new companion and a few zone mates at the mall trying to figure out where to get everything.  The worst thing is transportation!  I have to wait now to get to where I need to go and pay money!  I miss the truck T_T  Haha!!!  Anyway, transfering is so hard.  And by that I mean packing.  In my 6 months in the office I’ve collected a lot of stuff.  I think I am now sobra on shirts and I’ve put my giant bed cover in the attic of the mission home to collect later.  Don’t let me forget it.  Anyway, I had to leave a lot of things behind that I’ll have Elder Peralta send me at mail run.  Haha!  Anyway, other than that, people still text me about support even though I’m not in the office anymore. 

Anyway I'm doing great!  I'm loving the field!  I've transferred to Taguig City.  We've been out working really well and getting things done here.  I even got sunburned from being out in the sun too much on my first day, and I’m tanning pretty fast.  Haha!  So, that's what sun feels like!  Gosh, it's so hot here!  I'm glad our apartment is on the 3rd floor and is windy at night.  Anyway, I was really surprised to go to Taguig, of all places. To be honest, Taguig was probably, at least, in the bottom 3 of zones I wanted to transfer to because of the endless hours I’ve spent in traffic over there.  Haha!  But I’ve come to love the area; I feel like I am a lot more patient with people and with getting punted and schedules not working out since I came from the office.  Because really in comparison to what I had to do before, regular missionary problems feel like nothing to worry about.  I just shrug them off and move to the next thing I need to do, and taking time to appreciate the good things in the area.  Like how, when the sun starts going down, the people fly kites everywhere and it looks wonderful!  Or, when there is a nice breeze coming down the street.  I have definitely learned to appreciate things more and not worry so much on the bad things.

My companion is really good, Elder Lim; he’s from Cebu and he's a hard worker and wants to do much good for the area.  We communicate well and are both willing to do what it takes for the Lord.  I've come to love him and we've had some good times already.  It's still going to take me a while longer to get the area down, so I’ll do what I can with the knowledge that I have.  Public transportation is so hard to get used to again!  I know how to get places while having a car, but now taking trikes and jeepneys…it's killing me!  I don't know how to get to places that way anymore.  Haha!  I’ll just have to adjust then.  Oh, by the way, I am a District Leader here.

I can't believe how much I’ve missed being a missionary; talking to people and teaching people and meeting new people all of the time.  It’s so much fun!  My Tagalog is slowly coming back, thanks to Elder Peralta, and I feel like I’m still communicating well with the natives.

General conference was awesome as always, I really like President Monson's talk about obedience and his experience as a boy!  Haha!  But it's true that you learn so much from mistakes.  I feel like I’ve learned the most on my mission when I’ve made the biggest mistakes.  And it's totally true with the language too.  Anyway, the obedience is such a powerful thing as a missionary and is the difference between success and getting a full day of getting punted.  Haha!  I also enjoyed Enrique Falabela's talk, as well.  I'll bring my notes next week so I can share with you some of my impressions that I’ve gotten. But one really good one was from the Priesthood Session about Ministering by David L. Beck. "To minister means to love and care for others. It means to attend to their physical and spiritual needs. Put simply, it means to do what the Savior would do if He were here."  As a missionary I am called to minister unto these people in the Philippines.  As Christ’s representative, I need to show people his love for them by loving them.  It is the most fulfilling joy I have ever experienced, to minister unto others. 

Other than that I am so proud of my brother Ryan for being able to finish up his mission papers this week and I am waiting anxiously to hear that he'll be serving in a mission especially prepared for him. Ryan, don't let anything stop you from doing what's right, YOU GOT THAT?!?!  Haha!!!  I'm not worried about him.  He knows how to make the right choices and knows how to give more to the Lord. He'll be a great missionary and I’m excited to serve with him in the field.

Yes, I got President Thomas' letter… it was really nice.  Anton also wrote me. ^_^  I need to write him back.   Haha!   Have a great week!  I love you all!!!

Doing you Proud,
Elder Froude ^_^

April 5, 2013 - I'm transferring!!!

Dear Mom, Dad, Ryan, and all my friends and family,

                Well the craziness continues…. My replacement has come in on Wednesday.  Elder Cox from Morgan, Utah.  He’s 6’4” and he’s super hilarious.  He’s only been in the mission for 3 transfers so far, about 4 and a half months, and now he’s going to be the new Finance Secretary.  He’s overwhelmed, of course; there is a lot to learn and not a lot of time to learn it in.  So I’m trying to teach him as much as I can but make sure that he can retain it all.  Fortunately, I’ve taken care of most of the problems that we’ve been facing so far, so he’ll be able to have some time to adjust before he gets hit with the hard stuff.  I’ll most likely be called in to spend another day or two after I transfer to finish training him. Things have been so busy lately we’ve been on the road most of the time and not so much in the office.
Like for example on Tuesday, we spent the entire day after lunch at the LTO (Philippines DMV) helping Ben and Sister DeLaMare get his license.  Which took like 4 hours of waiting in a room with like a hundred people and no air conditioning. The weather is getting very hot very fast.  I’m not so excited now to be going out to the Field in the middle of Philippines summer.  Anyway, after that I was just setting everything up for Elder Cox for when he gets in.

Training the Last few days has been good.  Yesterday, though we went to get Elder Cox his license, which is a lot easier than Ben’s because we just need to convert his existing driver’s license to a Philippines one.  Because here in the Philippines, if you have an American license, you are over-qualified to drive here. Haha!!!.  But unfortunately, when we were getting Elder Cox’s eye’s checked, I found out that he is legally blind in one eye, so the physician sent us to the hospital to get a doctor to approve his sight for driving.  So we spent a long time driving to the hospital, got him the letter that approves him to drive, went back to the physician and then over to the LTO and, lo and behold, it was already closed!  We missed it by 15 minutes!!!  >.<   Sayang naman!!!  (Too bad!)   Anyway, we were quite upset about that, but through all of the driving we learned a lot about each other, and had so much fun!  Haha!!!   We had a great conversation about families and how much way more we appreciate them now than before.  I mean, I started to think about it, and all of my life I’ve had a loving family who supported me in everything I did, and of course we would have our rough times.  But rough times here involve people living in houses as big as my bathroom, or family members being sent to jail or killed on the street.  Or that even strong members of the church would be fighting over whether or not their child should go on a mission because they need help providing for the family (it is a very cultural thing that when you are old enough, you get a job and help provide for the family), in which case some families disown their kids for choosing to serve God.  My companion is the only active member in his family, and everyone was against him serving a mission.  He’s the 2nd youngest of 7 and everyone is of a different faith, and both of his parents are dead.  But he’s still here serving strong.  I know he will receive a hundred fold for his sacrifice.  Just being in the Philippines, it makes all the worries or problems I have seem so miniscule in comparison.  I realize then that I have been so blessed in my life.  I think everyone should live in a third world country for a good long while in order to appreciate what they really have and realize that no hardship we face is anything in comparison to living by the day and not knowing whether or not you’ll have food for tomorrow, or living in a room big enough for everyone to sleep laying side by side. 

                In other craziness, Transfer week starts on Monday!!!  Luckily, I’ll only deal with it until Wednesday afternoon when I finally go back to the Field!  I have no idea where I’m going yet.  I’ll let you know next week.  Haha!  Probably on a Monday.  Oh!  In other news, Elder Stoddard is also transferring! Which means that there will be a new Assistant to the President.  We called him earlier today…it is....*drumroll* …Elder WILDE!!!  My batch at the MTC!  He’s going to be the new assistant.  Good on him!  The funny part is that he is Elder Cox’s Trainer so they are so excited to be kabahay (housemates) again!  Haha!  It was a funny call because he was freaking out.  Haha!!!

                I’ve been reading Jesus the Christ and the New Testament lately and I had a very interesting reading of the parable of the talents.  How the Master gave one servant 5 talents, the second servant 2 talents and the third servant 1 talent, and he went on his way.  When he came back the 1st servant brought back 5 talents and was made a lord over many things, the 2nd servant brought back four talents and was made a lord over many things, and the last servant brought back the same 1 talent that he hid and the Master chastised him and called him a slothful servant.  Then it came to me that the first servant and the 2nd servant both got the same exact blessing even though one earned more than the other.  But the point was that the both of them did the best with what they started with and made more with it.  Double for the both of them, and they both received the same praise and the same blessing. This means to me that even though you may not have the most opportunities or the most talents or circumstances, if you make the best with it and do all you can, the Lord will bless you as much as the elect of the earth, who started out with more.  So let us remember that no matter our circumstances, if we do our best, we can receive the best of all blessings.  It is not about how much you make, but what you can do with what you have.

Well, I do believe I have made a decision, and I’ll talk about it with the new mission president, but I’ve decided that I'll be going to school in January and being home for Christmas break will be a perfect way to adjust back to the real world, di'ba?  Anyway, that is how I feel right now and is the path I will be following.  I’ll serve the Lord the rest of my life, I’ve already promised Him that, so I should pursue this course.

Well thank you for again staying up with me to chat.  I love you all so much!  I love you and appreciate how our home is a shelter from the storm.  But I have to go now and give others a chance to email.  ^_^  You all are the best!  I wish you all a great week and hope that you will magnify your talents and bless the lives of others.

Doing You Proud,
Elder Froude ^_^

Philippine fruits
Seafood dinner with our ward Missionary Leader
Elder Cox, on the right, is my replacement
My old MTC buddies, Elder Rakuro and Elder McCoy
6'4 Elder Cox and me
Elder Cox getting his eyes checked

Thursday, April 4, 2013

March 29, 2013 – Happy Easter!

Dear Mom, Dad, Ryan, and everyone who has ever celebrated their 1st birthday,

            I am sad to report that not much has occurred since I last emailed you due to a sudden case of food poisoning from a meat lover’s pizza from Papa John’s Pizza. I have since spent 2 full days in bed throwing up and losing an uncertain amount of weight and basically eating nothing but Gatorade or Sprite and Skyflakes (crackers). We were spending the night at the mission home with Ben while President and Sister DeLaMare and the Assistants went to Mindoro. Anyway, Ben ordered 2 pizzas, Pepperoni and Meat Lovers. I ate 3 of each, my companion ate 1 pepperoni and 3 meat lovers’ slices and Ben ate all pepperoni. My companion had bad LBMs all night and most of the next 2 days. I didn’t feel anything until we got to the office where I proceeded to throw up everything I’ve eaten from the last 24 hours. The Harris’ were kind enough to drive us home and I spent the next couple of days in bed. It was horrible! Worst day ever really. But on the bright side, I lost a few pounds.  Haha! I’ve just been recovering from that experience; this is my 3rd day back fully functioning in the office and I’ve been mostly taking it easy. I’ve eaten probably a 4 meal’s 
worth of food all week.

            Sayang naman, kasi, (it’s really too bad) I just happened to get sick when all of the stores were open. When I got better, it is Holy Week and all the stores are closed!!! But the streets are so empty, I can get everywhere so fast and all of the streetlights just happen to like me this week. Just zooming through traffic well, since I’ve been strong enough to drive again. Haha!  Holy week is so interesting here. Like last year, there are hoards of people walking up to the mountains; on the roads, parades of giant Catholic floats of Saints. And there are a few other interesting traditions.  Some people walk down the street with whips and they whip their backs to repent for their sins.  In San Fernando, Pampanga, I saw on the news in a restaurant that they have people lined up and they crucify people for 5 minutes and then let them down.  Full on real nails and everything. It’s Crazy! It’s also a tradition that the first rain that falls after Easter Sunday is Holy water, so they will put out buckets and bottles to catch all of the rain. I’ll get a picture for you when it rains. Haha!
            Besides that I’ve spent a lot of time reading the Bible this week, studying about the life of the Savior and his last week in dedication to Holy Week. Jesus the Christ by Talmage has also been a good read while I’ve been sick. It was really great to read again about the life of the Savior and actually set aside a good amount of time besides personal study to read about the Savior. I’ve been mainly focusing on how he teaches and what kind of questions he used.  It’s really nice; I’m not done yet so next week I’ll let you know what I find.  J  I’m excited!
            A few friends have been emailing me since the change in emailing rules. I just wanted to thank everyone for taking the time to email me.  But even though I can email everyone now, my time is still very limited and I hope you can understand if I can’t always get back to you. Thanks!

Thanks for staying up with me and thank goodness for internet service this week!!! I have to go now but I Love you all! Have a great time watching my favorite movie.  I hope you all have a great Easter and remember the real meaning of the Sabbath day and the true meaning of Easter.

Doing you Proud,

Elder Froude ^_^
Metro Manila Skyline at night
Another one...
Metro Manila daytime

With a hat that Elder Harris gave me.  Yeehaw!
Aurora Chapel/Mission Office - I work at the basement.
With Elder and Sister Staton

Morong, Rizal Province - City of Teresa

We dropped off an elder here in Morong.