Russia October 28, 2009

October 28, 2009
To start out, I have a few comments about the emails that I received last week but read after I sent out my weekly email:

Hadley– thanks for the continual news from home; your emails always make me laugh :)Parker– that was awesome that you hiked old rag– and really exciting that you had your first priesthood session of conference! ¬†I’m jealous– i didn’t get to go to Topeka’s after I saw priesthood session… :(Chris– wow, get better. I’ve been praying for you– I’m guessing this effects your school work quite a bit, right? ūüė¶ ¬†Hang in there!!
Zoe– great to hear from you and about your performance and everything. ¬†Senion year is crazy stressful, but then suddenly its gone and you’re wishing you could relive some of it. ¬†Don’t get too caught up in all of the stressful paperwork of college applications– it all works out in the end. ¬†Don’t let your senior year sneak away from you because of college apps.
Dad– Thanks so much for the song Holy Holy Holy– it was the last one in that PDF that I needed. ¬†It’s my favorite hymn of all time and when I was at zone conference this weekend I was able to play it on a nice electric piano– it was really special for me. Thanks
Mom, thanks for the vanilla ice cream recepe– its just what i needed. ¬†do you have any idea what half and half and heavy whipping cream technically is? In russia you buy cream by the percentage of fat or something– that’s how most dairy products are categorized, so I don’t know exactly what I should buy for the ice cream… any insight?

All,
This week we had Zone Conference (we just got back from Tomsk late last night). ¬†Zone Conference is a 2-ish day event where the President of the Mission interviews all of the missionaries in a given area and we all meet together to hear things from the President and his wife that can help us in missionary work. ¬†But backing up a little bit…
On Sunday my companion and I woke up at 6:30 like usual, and started preparing out apartment for Sacrement meeting. ¬†We got everything ready and we looked at the time– it was 5 minutes before the meeting was to start and no one had showed up yet… we were getting kind of nervous b/c several people promised us that they would attend this week…Then it was 11:00 and my companion asked “…well… should we start?” ¬†We couldn’t figure out why no one was here yet and then I suddenly remembered: maybe it was daylight savings today. ¬†We thought a while about the possibility and decided that it might in fact be daylight savings. ¬†Then we started to feel quite silly that we didn’t wake up at 6:30, but 5:30 today. And then one of our investigators showed up– he also didn’t know about daylight savings time. ¬†So we were just waiting around with him for almost an hour until others started to come.
The talks for this Sunday were going to be Ksyousha, one of our new members, and another member, who called us the night before informing us that she would not be at church this week. ¬†So my companion let me know that I probably would have to speak because we can’t count on our newest member to give a really long talk or anything.Well, when Ksyousha started to speak she established that her topic was prayer and she began to give an amazing talk on prayer. ¬†I was completely amazed (besides the fact that I could understand about 80% of everything she was saying) by how spiritual and mature the talk was. ¬†The Spirit was very strong and she just continued to speak– for about 30 minutes– it was amazing ūüôā ¬†Elder Ignatyev and I were so nervous that we would somehow have to take up a huge amount of time. ¬†It was a testimony building experience for me because since the two girls have been baptized there have been moments where they have born their testimonies or in this case, given a talk in church and they have covered perfectly gospel truths that we really haven’t taught them. ¬†There’s a scripture that says that after we receive the ¬†Gift of the Holy Ghost we can speak with the tongue of angels. ¬†Ksyousha and Ira are evidence of this. ¬†Ksyousha’s talk was one of the most insightful on prayer that I have heard in a long time. ¬†She spoke very sincerely about how when she prayes she knows she is not praying to a wall, but to a loving father who hears and answers our prayers. ¬†She explained the process of how we can receive answers to our prayers while praying if we are receptive to whisperings from the Holy Ghost, and she described how praying should help us desire to serve one another.
After this amazing talk we had a few more minutes left and I thought that we’d finish up with a hymn and end 3 minutes early. ¬†But no, my companion then called me up to give my talk. ¬†I had spent the morning having my companion help me translate a story that I wanted to tell from english to understandable Russian. ¬†The story was about the time when our family was driving to church, at the intersection of Pump and Broad, when a pickup truck lost all of its lumber that it was carying. ¬†My dad, without delay told us that we should help him and my mom should drive the rest of the family to church. ¬†We hopped out of the car with our white shirts and ties and proceeded to help him reload his truck. ¬†Then the Pericle’s joined us, and then some other church members. Then someone suddenly picked us up when we were done and took us to church. ¬†It was a fun talk to give because the people listening figured out pretty soon that because of the complex grammar and the very Russian way I was telling the story it was obvious that Elder Ignatyev helped me translate it, and they all really enjoyed the story and my message that we should all look for opportunities to serve one another.
Then we headed off to Zone Conference after Sacremement Meeting.  The Conference was centered on the Mission goal to complete the goal at the beginning of the year to have 144 baptisms. We have 64 to go, so the whole mission is pulling together and working and sacrificing more than we have all year to do everything we can to allow this goal to happen.
Oh yeah. And we got to Zone Conference only to hear that the Assistants forgot to bring our mail. So it’ll be another, probably 3 weeks until I get mail. ¬†I should get it when I go on my Visa trip, which will be Nov 11 to Helsinki. ¬†Parents– what is that cousins name who is serving in Helsinki?
Well I’m running out of time.
Michael, thanks for the pic– made my day.Justin, thanks for the newsletter– haven’t read it yet but its on my camera so itl’ll get read today later. did you ever get the letter that I sent?

Love Elder Froelich

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Chocolate Game
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Chocolate Game

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Chocolate Game

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Chocolate Game

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Sunset

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Magic Fire

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Tyler with Ira

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Russia Week 9

October 19, 2009
Birthday-- how emBEARassing

Birthday-- how emBEARassing

Note: ¬†Christmas time is coming. ¬†As it takes a long time for letters/cards/packages to arrive by mail, it would be good to send now. ¬†Tyler’s Russian address is:

630102 Novosibirsk, Russia

ul. Kirova 46

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

Russia Novosibirsk Mission

Elder Tyler Froelich

_________________________________________________

All,

I started off since last email, by watching the Priesthood Session of General Conference last Wednesday night. ¬†It made me miss my dad. ¬†Dad, it’s frustrating because while I know that we are still able to communicate through emails and letters while I’m on a mission, and that our relationship can definitely be strengthened over these next two years despite the fact that we won’t see eachother– it’s still really frustrating not being able to see you or talk to you on the phone. ¬†Right after the talk about strengthening relationships with fathers I immediately wished that I had heard that talk before my mission. ¬†So Chris, Hadley, Parker– take advantage of the fact that you can talk to Dad.

Then, in a lesson with and investigator I found myself very strongly reminded of my mother (in a not-homesick way) and all that I have learned from her over the years. ¬†We then, yesterday, went to Sister Tamara’s again to provide service and teach her a lesson. ¬†We used the Liahona article that may be a couple months old for you guys about the importance of women in the church. ¬†Again I was reminded of how strong of a role my mother played in getting me to Siberia to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. ¬†I read this morning about the strippling warriors and how much of a role their parents played in there lives and determined the kind of character they were able to display.

Mom, Dad, I love you– thanks for everything!

There’s nothing really ground breaking that has happened recently– we’re working with several investigators who are slowly making progress. ¬†We’re anticipating zone conference which will be next monday and tuesday (where I may get mail that some of you may have sent!). ¬†Elder Ignatyev and I were talking with eachother the other day about the Branch here in Kemerovo. ¬†It’s so exciting to work here because the branch is right on the edge of either falling or becoming something great. ¬†Everything is really dependant on the strength of the members, and it’s so exciting to see our newest memebers, Ksyousha and Ira taking such a strong roll in being involved with the branch. ¬†We are all very anxious for a building to meet in where we can start offering free english classes, have bigger activities, and not sound so creepy when we tell people that we meet for church in our apartment. ūüôā

I didn’t get very much time to read all of your emails this week (thank you, btw, there were a lot of emails and I feel very loved) — i took pictures of them and i’ll read them later today. ¬†So if i didn’t respond to an important question, then you may have to wait til next week.

Mom, I think you asked about Halloween– I am sad announce that there is no Halloween in Russia…. and in order to not feel miserably homesick on the 31st, i’ve convinced my companion that we should have a branch activity halloween party! ¬†So! ¬†A big request to all: ¬†recepes, ideas, games, etc ¬†for halloween parties. ¬†Maybe if someone could send some halloween songs to my email or something like that. ¬†Specifically one question I have: how do you bake pumpkin seeds?

Also, everyoneРi am really curious what everyone is planning on being for halloween!  let me know please!

K, I’m running out of time.

Shout out to Chris– get better! I miss you. ¬†I told the two girls we baptized to look for the chimpanzee song on youtube ūüôā

Andrew or Sean or someone who reads xkcd– could you send me the comic about conversions between metric and us measurements? ¬†and I know it’s got some bad words– could you photoshop them out or somehting? I want to show people here about the temperature coversion chart since i’m now thinking in how cold it is celcius-wise.

And yes, parker, it continues to snow. almost every day it snows at least a bit.

Amber, thanks for the pictures!

K, i’m out of time

Love you all so much!

–Elder Froelich

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Taxidermy at its finest!

All,
I started off since last email, by watching the Priesthood Session of General Conference last Wednesday night. ¬†It made me miss my dad. ¬†Dad, it’s frustrating because while I know that we are still able to communicate through emails and letters while I’m on a mission, and that our relationship can definitely be strengthened over these next two years despite the fact that we won’t see eachother– it’s still really frustrating not being able to see you or talk to you on the phone. ¬†Right after the talk about strengthening relationships with fathers I immediately wished that I had heard that talk before my mission. ¬†So Chris, Hadley, Parker– take advantage of the fact that you can talk to Dad.
Then, in a lesson with and investigator I found myself very strongly reminded of my mother (in a not-homesick way) and all that I have learned from her over the years. ¬†We then, yesterday, went to Sister Tamara’s again to provide service and teach her a lesson. ¬†We used the Liahona article that may be a couple months old for you guys about the importance of women in the church. ¬†Again I was reminded of how strong of a role my mother played in getting me to Siberia to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. ¬†I read this morning about the strippling warriors and how much of a role their parents played in there lives and determined the kind of character they were able to display.
Mom, Dad, I love you– thanks for everything!
There’s nothing really ground breaking that has happened recently– we’re working with several investigators who are slowly making progress. ¬†We’re anticipating zone conference which will be next monday and tuesday (where I may get mail that some of you may have sent!). ¬†Elder Ignatyev and I were talking with eachother the other day about the Branch here in Kemerovo. ¬†It’s so exciting to work here because the branch is right on the edge of either falling or becoming something great. ¬†Everything is really dependant on the strength of the members, and it’s so exciting to see our newest memebers, Ksyousha and Ira taking such a strong roll in being involved with the branch. ¬†We are all very anxious for a building to meet in where we can start offering free english classes, have bigger activities, and not sound so creepy when we tell people that we meet for church in our apartment. ūüôā
I didn’t get very much time to read all of your emails this week (thank you, btw, there were a lot of emails and I feel very loved) — i took pictures of them and i’ll read them later today. ¬†So if i didn’t respond to an important question, then you may have to wait til next week.
Mom, I think you asked about Halloween– I am sad announce that there is no Halloween in Russia…. and in order to not feel miserably homesick on the 31st, i’ve convinced my companion that we should have a branch activity halloween party! ¬†So! ¬†A big request to all: ¬†recepes, ideas, games, etc ¬†for halloween parties. ¬†Maybe if someone could send some halloween songs to my email or something like that. ¬†Specifically one question I have: how do you bake pumpkin seeds?
Also, everyoneРi am really curious what everyone is planning on being for halloween!  let me know please!
K, I’m running out of time.
Shout out to Chris– get better! I miss you. ¬†I told the two girls we baptized to look for the chimpanzee song on youtube ūüôā
Andrew or Sean or someone who reads xkcd– could you send me the comic about conversions between metric and us measurements? ¬†and I know it’s got some bad words– could you photoshop them out or somehting? I want to show people here about the temperature coversion chart since i’m now thinking in how cold it is celcius-wise.
And yes, parker, it continues to snow. almost every day it snows at least a bit.
Amber, thanks for the pictures!
K, i’m out of time
Love you all so much!
–Elder Froelich
Birthday Celebration

Birthday Celebration-- Ulia, Sashlika (Shishkabobs)

Baptism Day

Baptism Day

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Baptism Day-- Ira

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Baptism Day-- Ksyousha

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Russia Week 8

October 13, 2009

All,

Things have been going great in Kemerovo.¬† We are still experiencing difficulties resulting from last transfer such as realizing that one day a week the entire day (wake up extra early, go to bed extra late) is spent traveling to Tomsk for a 1 hour District Meeting, followed by lunch at a restaurant.¬† It’s frustrating knowing that our entire day is simply that.

But it’s been exciting to see how active and enthusiastic our newest members of the branch are. They both attended their first weekend of General Conference this last weekend.¬† We get DVD’s in the mail a week after General Conference and then we watch them on the same schedule as Utah, just a week later.¬† Conference was great, especially Elder Holland‚Äôs talk on the Sunday morning session, right after the Choir sang “Oh Divine Redeemer.”¬† Wow.¬† I watched his talk again today because I loved it so much and if any of you out there missed that talk I urge you to watch it, it is really powerful.

We get to watch the Priesthood session tonight– so Dad, Chris, Parker: I’ll be thinking about you.

Well I spent a lot of time sending pictures and things that I need, but here’s a little spiritual thought I returned to today in my personal study…

I was reading Jacob 1:7 “Wherefore we labored diligently among our people, that we might persuade them to come unto Christ, that they might enter into his rest.”

Rest.¬† Sometimes we don’t think about the church as being a method of resting with all of the things that we have to do– it can be stressful sometimes.¬† So I looked around for more scriptures that teach about rest.

I found in Isaiah 28:20 “For the bed is shorter that a man can stretch himself on it; and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself in it.”

When I first got to Kemerovo my companion asked me which bed i wanted.¬† There is a big, nice queen-sized bed and a couch that has been made into something like a bed. I thought it was some sort of trick question… “uh… i’ll take that one” as i pointed to the nice queen bed.¬† “Ok” he said. Ever since I have been sleeping on quite a spacious bed. ūüôā

The gospel is like a bed that is big enough to sleep on.¬† We can receive rest because we can feel the comfort of knowing that we are forgiven of our sins and that we are becoming better every day.¬† Just a thought…

K, i’m out of time.¬† Thanks everyone for your emails. a shout out for my family who is just sending me a bunch of emails in the past 14 minutes– i love you, get to bed ūüôā

Love you all, thanks for your support,

–Elder Tyler Froelich

Justin Trapp– Things are going well. Russian is still tough, but i’m making progress.¬† Great to hear from you. 26 lessons is awesome– keep up the great work! ūüôā

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Russia Week 7

October 7, 2009

Leaving for the MTC(Note: To find ways to write to Tyler, click on “Contact Information” on the right side of the screen)

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All,

Thank you so much for all of the emails this week.¬† It was really encouraging for me to hear from each of you.¬† Another little note to people who may just be added to the list recently: I can’t send individual emails, but I can have this one big email forwarded to you individually.

I sat down this morning to try to figure out what I should write and I figured I could maybe just include my journal entries rather than trying to remember everything that happened the past few days.

October 3,
Wow, today was so enourmous and amazing.¬† The entire day before 3:00 was devoted to preparing for the baptism. we cooked cookies, brownies, and made root beer, prepared music, baptismal clothing– double checked EVERYTHING.¬† Elder Washburn and his trainer, Elder Bendixon, were here since last night for the baptismal interviews (since two of our Elders left we needed more missionaries to help us with the baptism, so they arrived on bus from a near by city).¬† We finally were all ready and we left the apartment to meet Kostya (a Priesthood holder in the branch, he’s about 22 years old and he’s really cool), and Ksyousha and Ira.¬† We went to the Bania– a Russian Bath House– it was a pretty nice room, though the water in the “font” was pretty dirty. We dressed in white as we waited for one more church member, Ulia, to arrive.¬† We sang “Come Follow Me” and Kostya gave a talk about Baptism– most of which I understood.¬† Then Ulia gave a talk on the Holy Ghost.¬† She read from her journal which she wrote in immediately after she herself received the Gift of the Holy Ghost and she began to cry.¬† Then Elder Washburn sang “When I am Baptised”.¬† The Spirit was so strong as we walked to the baptismal font.¬† My companion, Elder Ignatev, baptised Ksyousha first.¬† Then I baptised Ira.¬† It was an amazing experience– both of these girls were so excited to be baptised and become members of the church and the members, Kostya and Ulia, were so supportive of Ksyousha and Ira– there was so much love and support.

After the baptism when we started to eat the cookies/brownies Ksyousha and Ira announced that it was my birthday– something that I had essentially forgotten– and everyone sang happy birthday to me.¬† In Russia, people sing Happy Birthday like we do in English… just with a really horrible Russian accent. ūüôā
The girls then presented me with a birthday present (I found out later that they spent all night working on it) of a handmade journal and a beautiful airbrushed birthday card.  I wanted to cryРit was such a simple but perfect and beautiful gift. I was so happy.

After the Baptism Ulia said she wanted to take me to Shashlika for my birthday (shishkabobs) and take the two visiting elders on a tour of Kemerovo.¬† She drove us all over the city to places that I have never seen before– it was beautiful.¬† The last place we went to is this statue of a miner (its a coal based city) overlooking the city.¬† It was the most spectacular landscape I have ever seen in my entire life.¬† Sunset, smoke stacks, Siberian sky, River, fall trees, industrial flame tours… it was amazing.

Well I’m pressed for time, so i’ll stray from my journal.

The next day we didn’t have a whole lot of people at sacrement meeting, but it turned out to be alright.¬† Ksyousha was confirmed and received the Gift of the Holy Ghost from my companion and I confirmed and gave the Gift of the Holy Ghost to Ira.¬† Then we had a testimony meeting since it was our Fast Sunday.¬† Ulia bore her testimony after my companion, the branch president.¬† Then the two new members bore their testimony, followed by Kostya, myself,¬† Sister Tamara, and then my companion bore his again.¬† I don’t remember much of what was said exactly except that a phrase that was commonly used was “I can’t explain this feeling with words.”¬† It was an extremely spiritual meeting.¬† There was so much love in that room.¬† It’s amazing how this branch is set up– not one of the members could stand alone, but because of how much they support one another it is the strongest, most loving family-branch I have ever seen.¬† I was talking with another missionary about it later– it’s a family, it’s not a branch.

The whole experience left me with a disctinct feeling that I knew that God knows me perfectly.  It was the most amazing experience and for it to correspond with my birthday was overwhelming.  I know that we are given times like this to remember when things get rough.

Well, time is about up, which is really lame.

When the other elders arrived they brought us mail! So I got letters from Sam Schaffer, Kerry Lubecki, Erica Larsen, Mom, Lexi, the Carters, Matt and Karla.¬† Thank you so much! ūüėÄ (most of the letters were mostmarked sometime in september) The ball was fun.

Mom,¬† Thanks so much for your email to me– it meant a lot.¬† There’s a member here who really loves root beer. If you end up sending a Christmas package or something, coudl you put in about 3 bottles of rootbeer extract in there (if you can find it at the store).

I would have pictures of the baptism, but Kostya ran off with my memory card. so you’ll have to wait until next week.

Well, I wanted to say a lot more, but not enough time.  I love you all!

Thanks so much for your letters/emails!

Taegan: Will do.
Justin: thanks for the mp3 ūüôā
Everyone that wished me happy birthday: Thank you ūüôā