December 16, 2009

Before I forget:
Andrew– thanks for your email– it was awesome to hear from you again.  I’ll look forward to getting your letter 🙂
Grandma Harlan– Yes, i’ve talked to a couple missionaries to figure out that the Stewarts served in Ulan Ude. It’s the farthest eastern city in the mission (about a 2 day train ride from Kemerovo).  Also, I never met Elder May in Finland… but there’s always next time! (in about 6 weeks)
Justin Trapp– I found the email you sent me, thanks.  Chris told me it went to my other account and so I had to log into my tyler.froelich@gmail account and luckily found your email amoung the 2900 unread emails in my inbox :O.  I’m glad things are going well– keep up the good work and thanks for keeping me updated.
Mom– I got the book you sent me in the mail– thanks so much.  It was a very nice unexpected gift to receive 🙂
Erica– I also got the conference talk you sent me– thanks!
Family,
This week we had Zone Conference in Tomsk.  It was actually probably the best zone conference experience that I’ve had so far.  The President focused us on our two goals for the next year: Teach more lessons, teach better lessons;  work with the members.  It was an interesting conference for Elder Wheeler and I on the “work with the branch president and ward leaders” section (considering my companion IS the branch president).  The conference was very uplifting and encouraging.  Our interviews with the president went well also. We talked about what we need to be focusing most on in Kemerovo.  The President wants the branch to be able to stand without missionaries, so we’ve got a lot of work to do to get to that point.  As of now we have no priesthood holders (our reliable priesthood holder just got dragged off by the army).  So the president encouraged is to find families and find priethood holders.  He said “if you need a branch president, go find a branch president. If you need a relief society president, go find one.”  So, because of the detailed game plan that we both received in our interviews we are both thinking that we’ll be here for another transfer.  So these next couple weeks we’ll be exercising a lot of faith in our efforts to “go find” priesthood for our branch.  As far as we know, the paper work for receiving a building is still on schedule, so we should be moving into the place within a couple weeks! (crossing our fingers)
I’d like to share a cool experience that Elder Wheeler and I had right at the end of zone conference.  The president dropped us off at the Bus Station and we bought the next availiable tickets (the bus would leave in 1 hour and 20 minutes from when we bought the tickets).  Then I made a sarcastic comment on how the Assistants forgot our mail.  My companion called them just to make sure they weren’t joking.  Turns out they weren’t; they just forgot to tell us that they actually DID bring our mail (no comment on how upsetting that was).  So we looked at the time and figured we could make it back to the branch building and then back to the Bus Station in 1 hour and make our bus back to Kemerovo. So we hopped on a city bus to go back to the branch building.  Traffic was really bad and we got nervous as we realized how it would be quite a task to get back on time.  But we got to the building ran inside, found our mail, and called a taxi.  The taxi took forever to arrive and we kept getting more and more nervous.  Finally he arrived and we started back to the Bus Station.  We had about 20 minutes until our bus pulled out.  The driver took some really weird route to the station and it was looking like we weren’t going to make it.  We were both praying pretty hard that we could actually make this bus some how.  We paid him before we arrived and when we did arrive we ran out of the car.  Instead of running through the bus station building, we ran around the bus station, running down the road that all the buses leave by.  It was 5:52 and our bus was supposed to have left at 5:50.  Right as we started down that road on the side of the building we see our bus, seconds away from pulling onto a mainstreet.  We frantically knock on windows and tell the driver that we’ve got tickets.  He lets us on and while we’re still trying to find our seats the bus is driving down the road, exiting Tomsk.  We sat and looked at eachother and decided that there is no way we actually made it.  In all reality we SHOULD NOT have made that bus.  If we had waited at one more traffic light in that Taxi, or had went through the bus station, or if the taxi driver had been 10 seconds later to arrive to pick us up, we would not have made it.  A sister missionary had borne her testimony about miracles that she had seen this transfer and both my companion and I knew then that we had absolutely witnessed a miracle.  It was literally a matter of 10 seconds, but the Lord put everything into place, even as far back as waiting for that taxi driver, just, as I felt, to show us that he is really in control– even down to 10 seconds.
Thanks for your emails this week; they were encouraging as always.
Chris, I’m so happy to hear that things are going well and that you’re home and safe.  It helps me feel more comfortable here in Siberia knowing that my family is together and happy.  And Hadley– I’m so glad to hear that the ballet went well.  Dad sent me pictures and they’re wonderful- i’ll be showing all my friends here 🙂  Mom, don’t get too stressed out about things– take time to appreciate the time of year and the increased love for the Savior that we can feel during Christmastime.  Dad, thanks for your insights into King Benjamin’s speech.  I really love hearing how your seminary class is doing.  Oh, Hadley, if you see Brother Beens again, tell him I said hi and that i’m doing great and thank him for being such a great teacher.  Parker– make sure to spend lots of time with Chris while he’s home. Before you know it he’ll be gone. Maybe you guys can go rock climbing!
Friends– what’s going on for Christmastime?  Is everyone home from college? any big plans? When does school start back up?  Listen to some Sufjan Stevens Christmas for me. And someone please watch A Charlie Brown’s Christmas and the Pinky and the Brain Christmas Episode, and the Nightmare Before Christas for me! 🙂
Well, like I said before, this Christmas will be different, seeing as they don’t really celebrate Christmas here in Russia.  It’s such a sad thing– Christmas is such a great time of year to show how greatful we are of God’s gift to us– sending his Son to make it possible to return and live with our Father in Heaven.  Take advantage of the love and happiness that people naturally tend to feel this time of year and try to really experience it.  I’m sad not to be so exposed to the caroling and christmas cookies and Eggnog, etc– so experience it double for those of us in Russia 🙂
–Elder Froelich

Before I forget:
Andrew– thanks for your email– it was awesome to hear from you again.  I’ll look forward to getting your letter :)Grandma Harlan– Yes, i’ve talked to a couple missionaries to figure out that the Stewarts served in Ulan Ude. It’s the farthest eastern city in the mission (about a 2 day train ride from Kemerovo).  Also, I never met Elder May in Finland… but there’s always next time! (in about 6 weeks)Justin Trapp– I found the email you sent me, thanks.  Chris told me it went to my other account and so I had to log into my tyler.froelich@gmail account and luckily found your email amoung the 2900 unread emails in my inbox :O.  I’m glad things are going well– keep up the good work and thanks for keeping me updated.Mom– I got the book you sent me in the mail– thanks so much.  It was a very nice unexpected gift to receive :)Erica– I also got the conference talk you sent me– thanks!
Family,
This week we had Zone Conference in Tomsk.  It was actually probably the best zone conference experience that I’ve had so far.  The President focused us on our two goals for the next year: Teach more lessons, teach better lessons;  work with the members.  It was an interesting conference for Elder Wheeler and I on the “work with the branch president and ward leaders” section (considering my companion IS the branch president).  The conference was very uplifting and encouraging.  Our interviews with the president went well also. We talked about what we need to be focusing most on in Kemerovo.  The President wants the branch to be able to stand without missionaries, so we’ve got a lot of work to do to get to that point.  As of now we have no priesthood holders (our reliable priesthood holder just got dragged off by the army).  So the president encouraged is to find families and find priethood holders.  He said “if you need a branch president, go find a branch president. If you need a relief society president, go find one.”  So, because of the detailed game plan that we both received in our interviews we are both thinking that we’ll be here for another transfer.  So these next couple weeks we’ll be exercising a lot of faith in our efforts to “go find” priesthood for our branch.  As far as we know, the paper work for receiving a building is still on schedule, so we should be moving into the place within a couple weeks! (crossing our fingers)
I’d like to share a cool experience that Elder Wheeler and I had right at the end of zone conference.  The president dropped us off at the Bus Station and we bought the next availiable tickets (the bus would leave in 1 hour and 20 minutes from when we bought the tickets).  Then I made a sarcastic comment on how the Assistants forgot our mail.  My companion called them just to make sure they weren’t joking.  Turns out they weren’t; they just forgot to tell us that they actually DID bring our mail (no comment on how upsetting that was).  So we looked at the time and figured we could make it back to the branch building and then back to the Bus Station in 1 hour and make our bus back to Kemerovo. So we hopped on a city bus to go back to the branch building.  Traffic was really bad and we got nervous as we realized how it would be quite a task to get back on time.  But we got to the building ran inside, found our mail, and called a taxi.  The taxi took forever to arrive and we kept getting more and more nervous.  Finally he arrived and we started back to the Bus Station.  We had about 20 minutes until our bus pulled out.  The driver took some really weird route to the station and it was looking like we weren’t going to make it.  We were both praying pretty hard that we could actually make this bus some how.  We paid him before we arrived and when we did arrive we ran out of the car.  Instead of running through the bus station building, we ran around the bus station, running down the road that all the buses leave by.  It was 5:52 and our bus was supposed to have left at 5:50.  Right as we started down that road on the side of the building we see our bus, seconds away from pulling onto a mainstreet.  We frantically knock on windows and tell the driver that we’ve got tickets.  He lets us on and while we’re still trying to find our seats the bus is driving down the road, exiting Tomsk.  We sat and looked at eachother and decided that there is no way we actually made it.  In all reality we SHOULD NOT have made that bus.  If we had waited at one more traffic light in that Taxi, or had went through the bus station, or if the taxi driver had been 10 seconds later to arrive to pick us up, we would not have made it.  A sister missionary had borne her testimony about miracles that she had seen this transfer and both my companion and I knew then that we had absolutely witnessed a miracle.  It was literally a matter of 10 seconds, but the Lord put everything into place, even as far back as waiting for that taxi driver, just, as I felt, to show us that he is really in control– even down to 10 seconds.
Thanks for your emails this week; they were encouraging as always.
Chris, I’m so happy to hear that things are going well and that you’re home and safe.  It helps me feel more comfortable here in Siberia knowing that my family is together and happy.  And Hadley– I’m so glad to hear that the ballet went well.  Dad sent me pictures and they’re wonderful- i’ll be showing all my friends here 🙂  Mom, don’t get too stressed out about things– take time to appreciate the time of year and the increased love for the Savior that we can feel during Christmastime.  Dad, thanks for your insights into King Benjamin’s speech.  I really love hearing how your seminary class is doing.  Oh, Hadley, if you see Brother Beens again, tell him I said hi and that i’m doing great and thank him for being such a great teacher.  Parker– make sure to spend lots of time with Chris while he’s home. Before you know it he’ll be gone. Maybe you guys can go rock climbing!
Friends– what’s going on for Christmastime?  Is everyone home from college? any big plans? When does school start back up?  Listen to some Sufjan Stevens Christmas for me. And someone please watch A Charlie Brown’s Christmas and the Pinky and the Brain Christmas Episode, and the Nightmare Before Christas for me! 🙂
Well, like I said before, this Christmas will be different, seeing as they don’t really celebrate Christmas here in Russia.  It’s such a sad thing– Christmas is such a great time of year to show how greatful we are of God’s gift to us– sending his Son to make it possible to return and live with our Father in Heaven.  Take advantage of the love and happiness that people naturally tend to feel this time of year and try to really experience it.  I’m sad not to be so exposed to the caroling and christmas cookies and Eggnog, etc– so experience it double for those of us in Russia 🙂

–Elder Froelich

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