Thursday, August 29, 2013

August 25, 2013 - Stormy days are here again!

Dear Mom, Dad, and Ryan,

            HELLO!!!!!!!  So this is what’s going on… I’m in a computer shop, this is the only computer which doesn’t have working internet, and no other computer is open.  So right now I am writing this letter with the hope that eventually a computer will open so I can send this email to you all.  Hopefully, soon.

            Anyway, this has been quite an interesting week.  On Tuesday, we were supposed to have a district meeting in Morong but our mission president sent a text that no missionaries are to leave their house because of the bagyo (storm) that came and the intense amount of flooding in Metro Manila. Well, for us here in Rizal Province, it didn’t look like too much of a problem so we asked if we could go out and still teach.  But we found out that the order came from the Area Presidency and that a missionary in Pasay got electrocuted so everyone was to stay indoors. Well, we did and it was a pretty dull day.  We just played games and talked the entire time, listened to music, and Elder Robertson and I just talked about Utah things for a few hours.  Haha! And naps, yes, we took naps and it felt good!  ^_^

            Other than the intense bagyo that happened, it rained really hard on Wednesday too until about 3:00 pm but we still got a few lessons in.  On Thursday, the APs (assistants to President Revillo) worked with us in our area so we took that opportunity to contact as many people as we could. We have a far area in Barangay San Guillermo so I used the opportunity to teach all of our investigators there with Elder Kmetszch cause we could use the car.  Haha! I miss driving… 

            Saturday, though, was interesting because my companion Elder Millora was sick that day so we stayed in the whole day while he slept.  Man, he’s been in and out of a sickness for a few days too. Getting a small fever here and a cough there but he’s doing better now.   We were able to get like 6 lessons in yesterday to make up for all the lost time.  So despite all of the storms, rain, and sickness, the week’s work was good.  We have a ton of people progressing and we had 10 investigators come to church yesterday!

            One of the highlights of this week was that yesterday I was able to confirm Jay-M and Rose Ann- Venadas.  It was a really good experience for me cause I felt the Spirit so strongly when I was confirming them even though it was in Tagalog and I was struggling a bit to say what I wanted to say.  It worked out well and I knew they understood what it meant.  It was the best I’ve felt in a while so I’m glad I had that opportunity. They were supposed to be confirmed 2 weeks ago but they always came late to church. On the bright side, their house is looking pretty good and is almost finished.  Don’t worry, I’ll send pictures. I’ve been waking up sore for a few days too.  Nothing that a good night sleep and ibuprofen can’t fix. Haha!

            On top of that we have a baptism this Saturday! Brother John Mark Langres (Langris?) has been one of the kids we’ve been teaching at a recent convert’s house.  He’s 8 years old so the Branch President approved his baptism.  His father is not a member so he asked me to baptize him instead!  This will be great because then his brothers, Mario and Jaymil and his father will see his baptism and get more excited for it!  His dad is our investigator too. Anyway, life is awesome! I love being a missionary!!!

            Smile it’s a good day : )

Doing you Proud,
Elder Froude ^_^

Just goofin' around pictures...

August 18, 2013 - New Companion

Dear Mom, Dad, Ryan, and everyone who plays monopoly, buys boardwalk, and no one lands on it the entire game!!! 

This week has been a little bit hectic because of transfer day.  We, now as Zone leaders, have to make sure that everyone gets to their new zone with a companion with them and that no sisters travel alone and such like that, and some of these people don't know how to get everywhere like I do.  They get pretty anxious about having to travel across the entire mission with nothing but directions and a taxi driver they've never met before.  You can understand how things get frustrating sometimes.  Anyway, it was the 2nd time for our mission to do transfers this way so we're still experimenting but for the most part, it worked out well.  It was the most stressful day of the week for me.... >.< 

But other than that the week has been good.  My new companion is Elder Millora from Mindanao. He's a really good guy.  We've had 2 areas that were the same.  He also served in Mindoro in my area, and in Taguig after Jeff got baptized.  So we kwento (talked/discussed) a lot about the specific trials and challenges in those areas.  He knows a lot about oldies songs and plays basketball but he actually really likes computer games.  I can already tell that we'll get along well.  We like to sing oldies songs sometimes.  Haha!

In other news, Brother Rodel and his family have been evicted from their house.  It actually was not their house to begin with but they were living there while he was trying to find a new place.  In any case, on Wednesday we were trying to find them a place to live when a member said that there was a lot that they can build a house on.  One of the Senior Couples has a friend who donated money so that they could buy the lot and materials to make them a house there.  The best thing is that this lot is owned by an investigator of Elder Robertson who was in desperate need of money so everyone is being helped out by this.  We were able to spend a few mornings working on the house and building it. We're getting there but it might be till next week when they can move in.  So everyone is getting blessed here and it's amazing!  Here are some pictures.  (see below)

Okay, so it's been tiring work and I’ve been waking up sore this whole week but it's going well and it's worth it. Unfortunately, Brother Rodel and his family are now in the other area so we can’t teach them anymore.  But it's okay, Elder Alvarex and Elder Robertson will take good care of them.  ^_^

In closing I want to share a nice spiritual thought from this month's Ensign about decision making.  This was a story by President Boyd K Packer…

“Shortly after I was called as a General Authority, I went to Elder Harold B. Lee for counsel.  He listened very carefully to my problem and suggested that I see President David O. McKay.  President McKay counseled me as to the direction I should go.  I was very willing to be obedient but saw no way possible for me to do as he counseled me to do.

“I returned to Elder Lee and told him that I saw no way to move in the direction I was counseled to go. He said, ‘The trouble with you is you want to see the end from the beginning.’  I replied that I would like to see at least a step or two ahead.  Then came the lesson of a lifetime: ‘You must learn to walk to the edge of the light, and then a few steps into the darkness; then the light will appear and show the way before you.’  Then he quoted these 18 words from the Book of Mormon:

“‘Dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith’” (Ether 12:6).

Let us all walk to the edge of the light and beyond with faith in knowing that the Spirit will tell us if we are going in the wrong direction.  I know that this is true and this is how we can show our faith.  It will be tough, the future is uncertain, but have the confidence in knowing your Heavenly Father has a plan for you and that there is more than one way to do what is right.

Doing you Proud,
Elder Froude ^_^

August 12, 2013 - Blessings of Prayer

Dear Mom, Dad, and Ryan,

Man, this was probably the most stressful week of the entire transfer!!!  We had so many meetings this week and so many changes and so many announcements for changes to the changes being made and to top it all off, it's transfer week and Elder Acera is leaving me.

So, let's start off with the beginning of this week when Elder Acera and I went to visit with the District President to coordinate our missionary effort with the District Presidency.  Then, the next day we had our mission leadership council.  Many things are changing now that President Revillo is getting used to being a mission president and we've had some very heated but successful discussions as a council to what we should do to better the mission.  Most of the details of them aren't really important but one major thing is that our district meeting is now changing to Tuesdays so it is not on P-day anymore.  Anyway, the meeting lasted most of the day and then President let me drive him from Aurora Chapel to Antipolo to help him get to a meeting on time.  Antipolo is about 3/4 of the way from Cubao to Teresa so we gladly took the free ride and were able to get home by about 8 o’clock that night.  Man, it was pretty long day!

The next day, we had exchanges and I had the opportunity to work with Elder Coe again, my 4th companion.  He's gotten a lot better at Tagalog and he looks pretty happy.  He seems to have mellowed down a little bit and is a lot more reverent to sacred things and noticeably more humble too.  It's cool cause we were companions almost a year ago and too see each other again and how the mission has changed both of us.  It was kind of a wake-up call.  Haha! He's doing really good.

Friday, we went to Binangonan to interview an investigator to be baptized.  It’s about a 45-minute jeepney ride so you can guess it was pretty exhausting.  And that was the day before our baptism day.  So, after we got back we had to make sure everything was ready for the baptism.

So Saturday, we had 5 people getting baptized; 3 of the kids of Brother Rodel and 2 from Elder Bagonbon's area.  It was a great service except they didn't have any baptismal suits for kids in our chapel so we had to go all the way to Morong to see if they had any over there, which they did, luckily, and we were able to get it to them.  Unfortunately, there wasn't a good coordination going on.  We had everyone there at 5 pm but we had to wait for the Branch President to come and he didn't get there until 6:30 so we all were watching church videos until he came.  It was super stressful naman especially since Sister Janet was there with her kids Jay R, Jay M, and Rose Ann since like 1:30 pm to make sure they got all the kids there ready and on time.  It was so funny though, cause we visited them Friday night and Elder Acera said that they need to go to the church early.  How early?  He said..."tutulog kayo dito (sa bahay nila) tapos gigising kayo doon sa simbahan."  (“you’re going to sleep here at home but wake up already at church.”)  So, the kids thought he was serious when he was just joking and Nicole, one of the youngest, woke up the entire family around 6:00am already dressed trying to get them to go to the church.  Haha! It was cute... she was really upset though when she found out she wasn't getting baptized yet because she was only 7 years old.  I felt so bad.  But ganun pa man (nevertheless), Brother Rodel was able to baptize all 3 of his kids.  So it was a great day!  We even taught him how to recite the baptismal prayer in Tagalog because he can't read. 

 We have a recent convert family, the Heve family, and they have been a really great blessing to me here in Teresa.  Sister Heve was the only member in her family until we were able to teach and baptize her daughter Julie Ann.  Since her baptism their family has been progressing so well in the gospel.  We committed them to have family prayer every night and they have actually been keeping that commitment.  The difference in the Spirit in their home is almost unbelievable.  All 4 of them have been participating in that family prayer and there is just such a strong love and happiness that is in their home.  They have 2 non-members, the dad and the Ate, Sister Joann.  She has been progressing very well, though.  Since she started listening to us she has now gained the desire to be baptized when before she wasn't sure.  The spiritual change that has occurred since they started family prayers has influenced the entire family.  Tatay Heve has become more accepting to us and will even listen to our lessons now and when we have family home evening, he used to be shy to give any comments or remarks about things but now he presides family home evenings well and confidently.  Sometimes, Julie Ann says that she'll get home from school and go to bed and her dad would wake her up and remind her about family prayer.  It's amazing!  I love missionary work!  By small and simple things are great things brought to pass, no?  We also got a text from them earlier this morning that their neighbors were wondering what they were doing last night that made them sound like they were having such a good time.  They shared about family home evening and the church and now their neighbors want to go to church with them!  Best Day Ever!!!

Doing you Proud,
Elder Froude ^_^

The Heve Family

Thursday, August 8, 2013

August 4, 2013 – I Know That My Redeemer Lives

Dear Mom, Dad, Ryan (the soon to be elder), and everyone who considers laughing an abdominal exercise,

Okay so first of all the shift key on this keyboard sticks so it will be hard to capitalize things that I want to capitalize.... English majors, please forgive me.  (Elder Froude’s mother naturally fixed them before posting this.)

Awesome news!   Brother Rodel's kids are going to be baptized this Saturday, which makes 3 coming up! Since he has the Aaronic priesthood now he can baptize his kids. The other elders also have 3 baptisms coming up so we'll have 6 baptisms in Teresa Branch this Saturday!!!  WoHOHOO!!!  Their names are Jay-R, Jay-M, and Rose Ann Venadas.  It's been a really tender moment thing teaching those kids because none of them have school education and it takes them a while to understand things.  But recently we've been teaching them about the commandments and they have been able to absorb information a lot faster now and even remember things we’ve taught since the beginning.  They are excited when we come by and even try to yell out answers before we even say anything.  Haha!  Anyway, we were teaching them about tithing and I was kind of hesitant about it at first because they don't know how to read let alone calculate 10% of your paycheck and such. Anyway, we went into the lesson and tried to have them say “sampung porciento” correctly.  Haha!  It took a while but they got it.  I got this brilliant idea on how to teach tithing.  I told them that if you get 10 pesos, you pay 1 peso for tithing.  Then I took out a 50 peso bill.  Then I said, if you have 50 pesos, how much is your tithing?  1 peso!  No…what you have to do is take out the 0 and then you can figure out how to pay tithing.  I then covered the 0 on the 50 and said... what number you see.  5!  So then how much is the tithing... 5 pesos! And that worked!  They understood it.  So I pulled out a 20 and did the same thing.  They caught on so quickly it amazed me!  The Spirit was really working with them and we've been seeing a steady increase in their ability to retain knowledge.  It's been really sweet and now they are getting baptized.  That will be sweeter!

Last Thursday, we worked with a branch missionary named Jeff.  We surprisingly got 5 lessons that day and had a great last lesson. We taught Brother Joseph's family (he is 15 years old).  At first when we got there, no one was home.  But we waited and we saw him and his girlfriend walking up the street towards us.  Next his Mom also came from the other direction.  So we invited them to listen to us and we all went inside their house.  Now Joseph acts like a kid sometimes and my companion wanted me to lead because he didn't like Joseph's nonchalant attitude towards us.  So I started the lesson about prayer.  Brother Jeff shared a scripture and I kind of more focused the lesson on his mom.  After that the Spirit was able to come into the room even though I could feel Joseph didn't want to be there.  But then halfway through the lesson he began to participate and so did his girlfriend and it ended up being a nice lesson.  We ended with a thought about how important it is to communicate with our Father in heaven. Everyone felt good afterwards.

The next best thing was when I interviewed Elder Bagonbon’s and Elder Robertson’s potential baptism, Nanay Merci.  Elder Robertson always talked about how ready she is to be baptized and such and so I was excited to meet her.  This would be the 2nd time I would meet her.  Anyway, so we did the baptismal interview at her house because she is handicapped from the waist down and can't come to the church too often.  Well, when I interviewed her I felt her sincere desire to repent and the Spirit that radiated from that room was super strong.  There were many things she wished to be forgiven of and so when I bore my testimony of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the power of repentance, it made things even more indescribable… there was so much joy and hope.  Elder Robertson and I then sang “I Know That My Redeemer Lives.”  While were singing, Nanay Merci started crying and then Elder Robertson started crying as well.  It made me start to choke up but I knew I needed to keep singing till the song was over.  The love in the room was super strong!  And at the end of the song there was not a dry eye in the room.  It was a sweet moment that I'll never forget.

How about you?  How was your week?  I wish you all the best and I can't wait to see you all soon!  I miss you too and love you all soo much!  Talk to you next week!

Doing you Proud,
Elder Froude ^_^

July 29, 2013 - Congratulations, Ryan!

Dear Mom, Dad, and the newly ordained  elder, Ryan Froude, who is now 18 years old...and everyone else who is as shocked as I am that my little brother now has the Melchizedek Priesthood,

I am sitting in a computer shop; I am all sweaty and tired from our zone activity. We went to Daranak Falls in Tanay, Rizal and it was gorgeous!  I just wanted to take pictures all day but, unfortunately, other people know I’m a good photographer so I felt like I was taking pictures for everyone so they'll have good pictures to send home, including my companion, haha!  The sad part about my talent as a photographer means I can't use this talent to photograph myself so I had to give my camera to someone else and hope they know how to zoom in or place people correctly with objects so that the waterfall is the focus of the picture and not me.  Anyway, I have a few good pictures I’ll send out and I hope you'll enjoy them.  We had a potluck (boodle fight) up in the mountain a short distance from the waterfall.  We also had a tour guide take us through the caves.  They were pretty awesome.  In any case, all the coordinating worked out and we all had a lot of fun (20 missionaries).

The zone has been great this week, half of the companionships hit the goals we’ve set so we wanted to do something special for them, all for the cost of a little under 200 pesos. :)

But now about my week.

I made my first attempt at Bicol Express (a spicy dish) today and boy was it great!  You just sauté some pork until it's cooked, then add some coconut milk (fresh from the palengke (market)), and chili (or Sili sa Tagalog) and you have yourself a good tasting Bicol Express.  It was delicious! I hope I can make it for you when I get back.  Elder Lim taught me how to make it in Taguig but I never tried it until this week.

Anyway, I want to start off by first talking about my wonderful kabahay (housemates).  In our house in Teresa, there are 4 missionaries; Elder Acera, ako (me), Elder Bagonbon, and Elder Robertson.  You know about Elder Acera already.  He's probably one of the most hardworking missionaries I’ve been assigned with; we've been hitting all of our goals and seeing miracles like crazy. He's from Isabella and doesn't speak much English but he's a very charitable missionary.  And he's great! Elder Bagonbon has been out for about a year now.  He's training Elder Robertson and he's great at the guitar and singing.  He also cooks good Filipino food for us all of the time.  He's about comparable to a cartoon character cause he reacts very loudly to things and is super energetic.  He's a real funny guy; we are currently working to write an EFY song.

Elder Robertson is an 18 year old missionary from Utah.  He's a greenie and every day is an adventure to him.  The energy he brings to the house is awesome and we all just laugh cause he talks about the first time he had Balut and his jeepney rides and he just loves life.  I went on exchanges with him on Tuesday and he slipped in the mud and concrete when it was raining. When he got up he just yelled,”Tthat is SO going in the journal!”  Haha!!  He spends hours updating his journal every day.  I have like 3 types of journals so I’m not too worried.  I have my regular journal, my long emails, and my camera; all of these things basically cover every second of my mission.  Haha!

I also had the opportunity to go on exchanges with Elder Watters from Canada in Malaya.  It's a very province area as well where it's between a mountain range and Laguna Lake.  So that was fun.  What I learned from all of these exchanges is that there are so many great people in the world, member or not a member.  We meet and teach so many people and so many of them are really cool people, like there are a lot of people here I would totally be good friends with after the mission.

Like for example, yesterday, Elder Acera and I decided to do some finding to hit a goal we had set in the zone.  We just walked in front of the church and there are two people there nakatambay (loitering) in front of the church grounds and Elder Acera said, “Let's go talk to them.” so I said okay.  And we talked to them.  One of them was a 21 year old with only one leg but this guy could freestyle rap in Tagalog like I’ve never seen before.  Just without thinking he raps about us as missionaries, how we don't drink and smoke and we help people with the Love of Christ and all this stuff.  I could only catch like half of what he said cause he was rapping so fast, but Elder Acrea daw was really touched by this guy’s rap so we set an appointment to go teach them.  It was a great natural missionary experience.  We just talked about music for the first 5 minutes and we shared a little bit and got their contact information.  You bet we're going to go visit them this week!

Other than that, the best adventurous moment this week was going with President Revillo to visit Tanay Branch and Sampaloc Branch on Sunday.  We went to go visit those branches and attended their meetings and then checked out a potential place to open a branch in a place called Gabihan.  Anyway, we toured the place, tried to find a meeting house and a place for a missionary apartment and such.  It was fun!  President Revillo is so funny!  I can't really describe how it is but he just laughs about everything; the traffic, the unpaved roads, and other such things. It made it more comfortable, really, driving around with him. We related a lot through my experience in the office and I actually was telling them a lot about how the finances of the mission worked and such.  It was kind of like I was giving them a tutorial about the mission, with roads, and finances and such.  So it was cool.  Anyway, the place is so green and so nice looking.  I love every part of this zone!  Haha! I hope I stay for a long time.  Elder Acera has been here 5 transfers now so I have a good chance of staying next transfer.

Well, I wish you all a good week, trust in the lord and remember to do CPR if you have any trials you can't face.  Church, Prayer, Reading... if you do those you'll revive your Spiritual life like CPR does to physical life.  I know this to be true in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Doing you Proud,
Elder Froude ^_^

July 21, 2013 - JesuCristo

Dear Mom, Dad, Ryan, and people who think that broccoli isn't as bad as TV make it seem,

What a wonderful week really!  More hard work, more miracles, and another baptism!  Sister Julie Ann Heve was baptized on Saturday by Elder Acera.  We've been working really hard to get her baptized.  Her mother has been a less-active for a while but is active now.  She wants her family to be baptized as well so we started with her daughter, Sister Julie Ann.  She was really accepting to the message and was feeling the Spirit quite quickly. They both really want their family to be all members so we'll be working with her Ate Joan Lyn and Tatay Heve next.  Although they are available pag-Sunday lang (only on Sundays).   In any case, it's a good start for them and they are seeing changes in their family accepting the missionaries.  Many of my baptisms so far have been from part-member families.

We are also teaching Brother Rodel's children now.  He has 3 of them close to baptism; Jay-R, 12, Jay-M, 11, and Rose Ann.  They are very nice and very sweet children but they are slow at learning.  We've taught them 3 times this week and we've spent most of the time trying to help them pronounce Jesus Christ's name correctly and remember who Thomas S. Monson is.  Like, one day we asked them who came to earth to atone for our sins and they said, “Jesus Krast” or “Jesess Kreses.”  One time, I decided to try it in Tagalog instead, JesuCristo.  So I said, copy me… "JE"..."je"... "SU"... "su"... "CRIS"... "cris"... "TO"... "to"....”JesuCristo”...”Jose Ristal!”   Ahh!!!!  It’s definitely like one of those movie scenes where they still say it wrong no matter how hard you try.  But it's fine, they eventually got it.  We just need to work with them enough so that they can get baptized as well.  They really haven't had any education in that family so it's a little difficult for them but with love and patience, it'll work out.

Elder Acera and I, for the first time in my whole mission, have been able to achieve all of the mission standard for key indicators!!!!  Note: there are a set number by the mission president for the key indicators (or where we should focus our efforts for the week) in order to help us balance our focus from recent converts, investigators, finding new investigators, and so forth.  It’s a various amount of work and we were able to hit the number for all of them this week!  I'm so excited!  That includes the Baptism and Confirmation goal as well!  Anyway, for those of you who don't really know what I’m talking about, we were able to focus and plan our work in order to be the most productive and effective missionaries we can be and we hit the goals we set to attain this effectiveness.

In my personal study, I found a great spiritual thought this week in John 17:20-22 about the oneness of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost in purpose, in power, and in authority, and but how they are still separate and distinct beings in the Lord's intercessory prayer.

20 Neither pray I for these (meaning the apostles) alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word ;(everyone else)

 21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

 22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:

The last verse emphasizes that the sacred oneness that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost have achieved is not exclusive to only them.  It shows that we too can become one with them through our exceeding faithfulness and obedience to the laws and commandments they have set, that if we follow the path that they have set for us through their prophets, we can also with them enjoy eternal glory in the life to come.  Isn't that great to think about?

Oh my gosh!  I’m getting a headache just thinking about all the coordinating that had to happen to make Youth Conference a success!   I feel that way too, sometimes, where we set goals and make plans with other missionaries.  Or with the branch members we expect to attend a baptism and everyone arrives like 30 minutes late and such like that.  Where we are in charge of the food and drinks and decorating and basically everything and then the leaders don't even get there on time.  Sometimes it's really embarrassing and super stressful.  Thank goodness I learned how to deal with stress in the office!

Ryan said he really loved Youth Conference and the temple baptism was one of his favorite parts. Things are working so well for Ryan these last few months and I'm glad.  He's having many great experiences before his mission.  You too!  You are having so many great experiences as well.  Are you and dad planning on serving a mission?  You should!  It's the best!  Do you think that your calling is preparing you for something else in the future?

Oh, I might not be online on time next week because we have a zone activity in Daranak Falls. So, we'll be there on the other side of the province most of the day.  Don't stay up late waiting for me.  I might not get back until late.  I pray you have a great week.  Until next week!  Take care of yourselves!  I love you and can't wait to see you again in 5 months!

Doing you Proud,
Elder Froude ^_^


Thank you for spending the time to reading this blog.  Your support and prayers mean a lot to me and they give me strength constantly.   ^_^