Monday, December 16, 2013

December 16, 2013 – I’m leaving on a jet plane!!!

I told you all to have faith and it has paid off!  The Lord had blessed me with a phone call earlier today and President Revillo said that MY passport came in earlier today! I'll see you all on the 18th! But please pray for Elder Wilde and Elder Alvarez, they still haven't gotten their passports yet. And if they don't get it, then they'll miss Christmas and I'll go back home by myself.  So, please pray for my good friends, Elder Wilde and Elder Alvarez! Thank you once again for all of your prayers! I told you it would all work out and it did. I am so grateful for the Lord and his generosity towards me in my mission.  ^_^

I love you all. Goodnight!!!

Doing you Proud,
Elder Froude ^_^

P.S. Yes mom, you can breathe easy now.  Haha!

December 13, 2013 – Hopefully, my last email!

Dear Mom, Dad, Lauren, and Elder Froude, and everyone waiting for Christmas!

Well, this is it…my last email, hopefully, as a Full-Time missionary. It’s been a great and wonderful journey, and I’ve enjoyed every step of the way. I hope and pray that my passport will be able to come in from the Immigration office on time so that I can spend the Christmas season with my family. I ask my kind supportive readers, if you will pray for me tonight and 1. Tell him 5 things that you are grateful for this year, 2. Ask Him if it be His will to bless the missionaries who are waiting to go home this Christmas season who should have been home by the 4th and the ones trying to come home by the 18th (including me) and 3. Whatever else your heart desires. I would be so grateful for your support!

Things have been more crazy than usual this week. Mainly because my schedule looked like this.
Monday: Prepare for Christmas Conference.
Tuesday: Christmas conference for the 1st half of the mission (all day)
Wednesday: Mission Leadership Conference (all day)
Thursday: Christmas Conference for the 2nd half of the mission (all day)
Friday: Prepare for transfers… + Meeting with President
Saturday: P-Day+ Christmas Party at Quirino 1st ward (song presentation)

Christmas Conference! Was simply the best, besides the fact that I had to MC the whole thing.  I introduced all of the songs and skits we performed per zone and the gift exchange numbers with games and everything! I feel like I had the most exercise in the longest time because I was running around so much taking care of everything.  Man, you’d think with 3 APs things would be easier!  Haha! Well, it was a fun time. I have some pictures but most of them are in the office computer. What I mainly have are videos which you’ll have to wait for if you would like to watch. Haha!  They are funny! We were also able to watch a nice Christmas movie like last time that was heartwarming and everyone loved it. We were kind of nervous cause we never really watched it and we decided to go with it. Luckily, it was good! However, one of the missionaries got a little too excited from the party and we had to take him to the hospital. That was not fun but he ended up okay in the end.

Wednesday was the Mission leadership conference and we met with all of the zone leaders and sister trainer leaders to discuss the new changes. It took all day. And since I was going home, President sent me to take care of a few errands with Sister Revillo and another elder for preparation for the next day’s Christmas conference. I got to drive President’s car! O.o  It was so nice! It was a Hyundai Santa Fe and it just glided over the street. It was great! Then we did the same thing on Thursday as we did Tuesday with different people. I got a women’s perfume one day for the exchange gift which I quickly traded for a teddy bear, then the next day I got razors… saying (too bad), I just bought one the week before.

Next week will be transfers, exit day, and of course, my last day in the field. I will spend the next few days organizing with my companions all of the logistics of the whole transfer week and such. No time to falter now! Just keep on going to the end! And if my end is extended then be it so by the Will of God. And if it be His will that I shall be home at the right time, then it shall come to pass. Mosiah 2:41 please read and ponder until we shall meet again!  I love you, goodnight!!

Doing you Proud,

Elder Froude ^_^

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

December 6, 2013 – Pray for my exit visa!

Dear Mom, Dad, Lauren, Elder Froude 2, and all who are excited for the Christmas season,

Well, it seems that my mission will soon be coming to a close; my adventures and all of the many great people I’ve come to meet, I will soon, regrettably, be leaving behind. It was definitely a most wonderful experience, beyond what I could have ever imagined. I could not have hand picked a better mission for me to be in, or how things could have turned out. For in all that I did and in all that I had accomplished, the Lord was there and His hand was guiding the events around me to work out not in my favor but in His favor. So in the end, everything turned out all right; no matter how much I struggled or worked hard, or thought I was all alone, I have only come to realize that He was there with me the whole time. Thanks be to my Savior who had helped me in some of the most difficult times of my life. Thanks be to the Philippines for being the perfect place to make this boy into a man. Thanks be to all of you who have supported me throughout my mission and have sent letters, gifts, advice, or even a short email; your support and your love have really helped me and inspired me to work harder.

Though the time is far spent and little remains, I have no time to relax yet, no time to falter for there are many more things that are required of me in the next couple of days in preparation for Christmas Conference, Mission Leadership Council, and of course, transfer and exit day. But before that, I would like to let you know a little bit about my week.

 I've been quite blessed this week with many great opportunities to serve and even a hot shower! ^_^ We had our Zone Conference and Christmas Conference in Mindoro and we stayed there for 2 days. President was kind enough to book us a room at a hotel where we enjoyed much great food, nice beds, air conditioning, and a hot shower!  ^_^ It was a nice break and we were able to catch up on sleep in preparation for the conferences. It was a great experience! The skits were good, the songs were great, and we were able to unwind and just enjoy being in Mindoro. We even worked for a full day over there and we had many great experiences, a few referrals, new investigators; the work is doing so well over there. Even President Gabriel, the branch president of San Jose, is looking really well. Actually, one sister I met in Mindoro, Remy Del Rosario, who used to work with us missionaries all the time back when I was assigned there, came with us on the plane back to go to the MTC. She is serving a mission! Congrats to her!

Of course, all of these great things that have happened didn’t  last long. Yesterday, we just received into our mission 11 more elders. They are all pa-uwi (returning home) missionaries but since their exit visas have not gotten back to them from Immigration, they have to stay in the Philippines for another week. I sincerely hope that does not happen to me! This also happened last transfer except it was only for 24 hours. So, everyone in my batch going home is getting restless and anxious about what might happen in the next few days. We might be delayed or something like that. I really hope not; it would be so hard to book another flight out of the country around Christmas time. It's all done by immigration in Makati. Their director got sacked so everything is so much slower now cause the new guy doesn't know what’s going on. I've done all that I can from here to try to get those visas in on time; I’ve sent emails, texts, I’ve talked to president about it. I went personally to our travel department to follow up on it. So, I've been doing all I can from here, trust me. According to President Revillo, even the area presidency are doing all they can to get these visas on time now. All hands on deck daw. Imagine how many angry parents have called them about this, so we're hoping that will speed up the process a bit.

Wow, I really don't feel like I’ll be going home in about a week. It's crazy to think about really. I'm actually going to go and visit my previous areas and say some goodbyes today so that might help me feel it more. I'm really excited to go home but I’m also going to miss the Philippines and being a full-time missionary.

Till next week!!! Thanks for being online today! I've got to go visit my old areas now! Just one more email session and I'll see you in Cali! Alright, I love you all! Have a good night!!!!

Doing you Proud,
Elder Froude ^_^

On the way to Mindoro with Elder Pedrola and Pres. Revillo
Nice view!
Good to see the old familiar area.
Remember Elder Rakuro, my batch?

Zone Conference in Mindoro
The hotel we stayed in called The White House.  Haha!
Ahhhhh!!!  Nice bed!!!!
With Sis. Remy Del Rosario...MTC bound!
Back to Quezon City

Monday, December 2, 2013

November 29, 2013 – Missing some turkey dinner

Dear Mom, Dad, Lauren, Elder Froude, and everyone who just enjoyed a Thanksgiving turkey dinner while I had spaghetti,

Haha! Man, I miss turkey right now! I had some turkey jerky if that counts! Well, how was Thanksgiving on your end? Here it was just okay…nothing too special happened, although, we were asked to speak at a conference for psychiatrists in our chapel that day. It’s actually been a quiet week for the most part. Well, as quiet as things get in the office. That just means we had more time to work in our area. We actually just split it again so there are 3 companionships in our ward now. We basically gave the sister missionaries most of our area and all of our investigators, except for the area around the Aurora chapel and Eastwood. So, we did a lot of finding yesterday and it felt good to go out and work again.

Other than that we just had one zone conference this week and it was good. It was a lot more organized than the last one, in regards to our workshop, mainly because we found out how to get the training video to work on President’s laptop! Yes! So that went until 5 and then we had a couple emergency transfers to do, which took us all over the mission, literally from one end to the other so we didn’t get home until midnight and that was killer. I drove for 6 hours… O.o man that was a long time, but the road we took was so nice! We went up to one of the mountain areas of our mission and the stars were so clear and there were no cars at all!!! It was a nice change from the traffic of the city.  I loved it!

But the next day I got sick, I had a sore throat which eventually led to being a cold. Nothing too bad, it just made life miserable for a little bit. We all need to feel misery every now and then to understand true happiness, di ba (isn’t that right)? Opposition in all things. In any case, it helped me to reflect and do some self-evaluation and I realized that I need to give more of my time to the Lord as I am working. Things have become a little too routine for me and I should be a little more sincere in my prayers and read my scriptures more often. But I’m repenting and trying to do better. It’s my last few weeks in my mission and I need to give it my all, and I need to give my all to the Savior as well. He gave me his all so he deserves nothing less from me. I owe it to Him. But it seems to me that the more I try to pay Him back for everything He’s given me, He blesses me more! At this rate I could never catch up but, nonetheless, I will do my best.

On the bright side though, I have been able to catch up on some rest and heal up. I still have a bit of a cold but it’s really nothing major. I do, however, feel good cause I had a good night’s sleep. And we’ve been fed by other families the last two nights.

We had a great time at the Benfit family’s house doing their first FHE as a family! They’re preparing to go to the temple and they are not looking back! Haha! It was great! Brother Todd got a little bit emotional because of all of the great changes they’ve made lately and it’s really brought them together as a family. That’s what missionary work is all about! And it’s been great to get to know them. They told me that in July they’ll move to San Francisco! I entirely want you all to meet them! It will be great! 

I finally got my travel itinerary and I'm really excited but I’m trying to not let my excitement distract me. I'm actually a little anxious about going back to the real world. Everything will be different really. Nonetheless, I will go forward with faith. My vision gave me some good direction. I'm planning to close out with nothing less than my best. I will go out with a bang! I just finished printing out and organizing a 37 page mission rules/resource book for all the missionary companionships in the entire mission made with my design! It's over 6 weeks in the making.  Haha! Then, I've been practicing Tagalog Christmas songs for our Christmas Conference. I’ve also been working on making a mission song…just new lyrics to a hymn but specifically for the Quezon City Mission. So, things are keeping me busy here. And, hopefully, I’ll be able to leave behind a lot in influencing this mission for the better.

That’s all for now! Till next week!  I love you all!

Doing you Proud,
Elder Froude ^_^

Here are some pictures of the relief efforts we did with ABS-CBN network last week. They are newscaster/actors from the news station ABS-CBN; they are famous from the tv show It's Showtime!!! Ann Curtis announced on their news station a personal thanks to the missionaries of the Quezon City mission for their help in this project of preparing relief goods for Tacloban. This was filmed on the set of Pinoy Big Brother.  We even had a few elders interviewed. I got to meet one of the artistas. His name was Erruption. He's an RM from New Zealand that got famous in the Philippines. He was the one who got a hold of our number and called us to have us help them with this project. It was great!!! While I was carrying rice he asked for me personally and we talked for a little bit and he gave his thanks. Several elders took pictures of us but I couldn't cause I was talking to him but I’ll try to get those pictures and send it to you. Man, that guy was big!!!

Ann Curtis with other actors

November 18, 2013 – Relief Effort

Hey Mom! How's it going? I only have a short time to email you today because we are going to a news station nearby (ABS-CBN) and packing relief goods into trucks and such. So I’ll have to supervise that in a couple of hours. But I also have to get ready too. Anyway, to answer your question… yes, it's still pretty bad here. We have a whole chapel filled with relief goods and the government won't take it to Tacloban! It's crazy, it's been a week now! Here are some pictures.

Mattresses for the 16 missionaries we got from Tacloban Mission
So, the Chapel is full and ready to go but it's still sitting here. We got 16 new missionaries from Tacloban assigned to our mission.  2 of them are office elders and I have a new companion; Elder Peck. We are a tri-panionship of APs now. 

I'm not sure when I’ll be able to get online again cause this week is pretty packed. We have zone conference tomorrow, District leader training the next day, and getting my new companion a driver's license. We haven't had a P-day yet in the last week and a half.  I need a haircut! Haha! We are going to load some relief goods into trucks a little later today.

Anyway, that's how my week looks so far! We've been trying to take care of these new missionaries, taking them shopping getting them to their new areas, and interviewing them for needs and concerns. Also trying to balance all that with the Mission Leadership Council and all of the other meetings we have. It's been a long week but we're still going strong.

Doing you Proud,

Elder Froude ^_^