Russia Week 3

Dear Family,
This week was a strange one as far as scheduling and stuff goes.  At the beginning of the week my companion, Elder Kolpakov, had to go to Zone Leader’s Conference, which was held in Novosibirsk.  So for a few days I was in a threesome with Elders Wheeler and Ignatyev.  Dad, I forgot to reply about this last week: Elder Kolpakov does speak english, and quite well.  It’s fun b/c he asks me about the context and definition of certian English words sometimes, and especially lately as he started to read Jesus the Christ.  It took about 30 minutes to get through the preface, having to explain all of the words that Talmage uses.  But Elder Kolpakov is the zone leader as well as the branch president (so its great for me- I get to see how a lot of stuff is run in a branch that is so small).
So Elder Kolpakov returned on Wednesday, our preparation day, and we all left on Friday for Zone Conference, where us four elders in Kemerova went to Novokuznetsk where we gathered with the four elders there and the Mission President, his wife, and the two Elders who are assigned to be assistants to the President were there.  We had a great zone conference, my first.  There were some good talks, activities, food, etc.  After the conference the President drove us back to Kemerovo (about a 4 hour drive) where he attended sacrement meeting with us (in our apartment).  We, luckily, had a very high attendance that week and really didn’t have too much room for anyone else in that small apartment/chapel, so it was great for us to be able to show the Presidenth how much we need a building here in Kemerovo.
One thing that I accidently left off of last weeks email I want to include now.  I mentioned before serving at Sister Tamara’s house.  She’s the branch’s babushka (grandmother) and she’s so amazing.  Two Sundays ago she gave her first talk ever.  Elder Kolpakov didn’t know she hadn’t spoken before (but it makes sense that she hasn’t; she’s a very new member) and he asked her to speak on Faith in Jesus Christ.  We were pleasantly surprised when she accepted the opportuninty to speak.
We went to visit her to help and make sure she had all the materials and everything that she needed for the talk and she told us she was doing just fine.  Sunday came and I sat behind my little keyboard (I’m the branch “organist”) and watched this little old lady walk to the front of the room and stand behind the bar (our “podium”), where she was just barely tall enough to uncomfortably place her elbows on the table.  She then opened her little notebook and began to read from the talk that she prepared.  She was shaking the entire time, not because she was old, but because she was so nervous to be infront of the congregation of 10 or 11 church members (including all the missionaries) and 3 or 4 investigators.  I didn’t understand everything that she said, but I understood a lot of it.  But I realized as I watched her give that talk that it was very possibly the best talk I had ever heard on Faith in Jesus Christ, just from seeing the sacrifice that she was making to give that talk.  When we visit Sister Tamara it takes about 1 hour of transportation time; a mix of walking on long dirt roads and riding a very long elecric train across the city.  She makes that trip every Sunday and walks up the 10 flights of stairs to get to the 5th floor where we hold our meetings.  When we teach her new member lessons she humbly accepts the docterine that is different from what she knew her entire life.  At the end of the talk Sister Tamara put down her notes and looked at the congregation to bare her testimony that she knows that Jesus is the Christ and that through faith in him all things are possible.  It was possibly one of the most spritual moments that I’ve had since arriving in Russia, and it was definitely the most concrete example of Faith in Jesus Christ that I have ever witnessed.
And lastly there’s some exciting news of a girl we’re meeting with pretty regularly now.  Her name is Ksyousha– she had heard a few lessons a few years ago but was indifferent. But she realized she wanted something more in her life and came to one of our activities and since then has been really interested in everything.  She’s been reading the Book of Mormon for a little over a week and she’s in 2nd Nephi.  She has great questions and you can just see in her face that she gets it.  Her roommate comes with her too, so we’re hoping that Ksyousha’s enthusiasm will rub off on her friend.
Thanks, mom for those recepes. GREAT timing. my gmail account says you sent that a minute after i got on the computer just now. I can print it off, so i’ll make sure to do that. thanks. and thanks to you too, dad, for the recepe i requested.  Dad you asked if my emails are overwhelming and I just have to say that I got four this week: one from you, one from hadley and two from mom.  So no, i’m not overwhelmed with emails (and if i get a lot I can either print them off of just take pictures of the computer screen).  So I just want to put a little bit of encouragement out there to my friends– you can send emails to me to this account, i just can’t write back to you individually.  Justin G, i sent a letter out to you in the mail; no idea how long it would take.  But also, Justin G, could you maybe look into sending me a copy of that song from The Fall? Symphony number 7? Classical music is allowed, i found out, and i’m just dying to hear it. if you email it to me i can probably find some way to burn it to a cd (mp3 format is fine).
Well– good luck to you hadley and parker, with starting school!  Sounds exciting!  Mom, keep your head above water– sounds like you’ve got a lot on your plate.  and dad, have fun in paris 🙂  Chris, email me.
Love you all,
–Elder Froelich
Dear Family,
This week was a strange one as far as scheduling and stuff goes.  At the beginning of the week my companion, Elder Kolpakov, had to go to Zone Leader’s Conference, which was held in Novosibirsk.  So for a few days I was in a threesome with Elders Wheeler and Ignatyev.  Dad, I forgot to reply about this last week: Elder Kolpakov does speak english, and quite well.  It’s fun b/c he asks me about the context and definition of certian English words sometimes, and especially lately as he started to read Jesus the Christ.  It took about 30 minutes to get through the preface, having to explain all of the words that Talmage uses.  But Elder Kolpakov is the zone leader as well as the branch president (so its great for me- I get to see how a lot of stuff is run in a branch that is so small).
So Elder Kolpakov returned on Wednesday, our preparation day, and we all left on Friday for Zone Conference, where us four elders in Kemerova went to Novokuznetsk where we gathered with the four elders there and the Mission President, his wife, and the two Elders who are assigned to be assistants to the President were there.  We had a great zone conference, my first.  There were some good talks, activities, food, etc.  After the conference the President drove us back to Kemerovo (about a 4 hour drive) where he attended sacrement meeting with us (in our apartment).  We, luckily, had a very high attendance that week and really didn’t have too much room for anyone else in that small apartment/chapel, so it was great for us to be able to show the Presidenth how much we need a building here in Kemerovo.
One thing that I accidently left off of last weeks email I want to include now.
I mentioned before serving at Sister Tamara’s house.  She’s the branch’s babushka (grandmother) and she’s so amazing.  Two Sundays ago she gave her first talk ever.  Elder Kolpakov didn’t know she hadn’t spoken before (but it makes sense that she hasn’t; she’s a very new member) and he asked her to speak on Faith in Jesus Christ.  We were pleasantly surprised when she accepted the opportuninty to speak.
We went to visit her to help and make sure she had all the materials and everything that she needed for the talk and she told us she was doing just fine.  Sunday came and I sat behind my little keyboard (I’m the branch “organist”) and watched this little old lady walk to the front of the room and stand behind the bar (our “podium”), where she was just barely tall enough to uncomfortably place her elbows on the table.  She then opened her little notebook and began to read from the talk that she prepared.  She was shaking the entire time, not because she was old, but because she was so nervous to be infront of the congregation of 10 or 11 church members (including all the missionaries) and 3 or 4 investigators.  I didn’t understand everything that she said, but I understood a lot of it.  But I realized as I watched her give that talk that it was very possibly the best talk I had ever heard on Faith in Jesus Christ, just from seeing the sacrifice that she was making to give that talk.  When we visit Sister Tamara it takes about 1 hour of transportation time; a mix of walking on long dirt roads and riding a very long elecric train across the city.  She makes that trip every Sunday and walks up the 10 flights of stairs to get to the 5th floor where we hold our meetings.  When we teach her new member lessons she humbly accepts the docterine that is different from what she knew her entire life.  At the end of the talk Sister Tamara put down her notes and looked at the congregation to bare her testimony that she knows that Jesus is the Christ and that through faith in him all things are possible.  It was possibly one of the most spritual moments that I’ve had since arriving in Russia, and it was definitely the most concrete example of Faith in Jesus Christ that I have ever witnessed.
And lastly there’s some exciting news of a girl we’re meeting with pretty regularly now.  Her name is Ksyousha– she had heard a few lessons a few years ago but was indifferent. But she realized she wanted something more in her life and came to one of our activities and since then has been really interested in everything.  She’s been reading the Book of Mormon for a little over a week and she’s in 2nd Nephi.  She has great questions and you can just see in her face that she gets it.  Her roommate comes with her too, so we’re hoping that Ksyousha’s enthusiasm will rub off on her friend.
Thanks, mom for those recepes. GREAT timing. my gmail account says you sent that a minute after i got on the computer just now. I can print it off, so i’ll make sure to do that. thanks. and thanks to you too, dad, for the recepe i requested.  Dad you asked if my emails are overwhelming and I just have to say that I got four this week: one from you, one from hadley and two from mom.  So no, i’m not overwhelmed with emails (and if i get a lot I can either print them off of just take pictures of the computer screen).  So I just want to put a little bit of encouragement out there to my friends– you can send emails to me to this account, i just can’t write back to you individually.
Justin G, i sent a letter out to you in the mail; no idea how long it would take.  But also, Justin G, could you maybe look into sending me a copy of that song from The Fall? Symphony number 7? Classical music is allowed, i found out, and i’m just dying to hear it. if you email it to me i can probably find some way to burn it to a cd (mp3 format is fine).
Well– good luck to you hadley and parker, with starting school!  Sounds exciting!  Mom, keep your head above water– sounds like you’ve got a lot on your plate.  and dad, have fun in paris 🙂  Chris, email me.
Love you all,
–Elder Froelich
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