January 6, 2010 E-mail

Happy New Years!
well, just putting it out there: i don’t have much to respond to this week. mom, sara, taegan, and a short email from chris. but no worries
Mom, here is how I celebrated my New Year’s in Russia:
We’re not allowed to wear tags new years eve after it gets dark (4:00 pm) and we shoudn’t be on the streets that night or the entire next day.  We met up at the other elder’s place to celebrate after cleaning our apartment.  We sat and talked and just relaxed (a sister missionary here said “how to missionaries celebrate holidays? we just relax and do nothing!! :D”).  Close to midnight the sisters called so we could all hear eachother screaming once it hit midnight.  We stood at the windows with some poppers that Elder Nelson got from home and when the New Year arrived we opened the windows a bit (it was like -35) and pulled the little strings on those popper things and watched as the fireworks started.  It was cool because it was a panoramic firework show: everyone does big rocket fireworks for New Years (although I heard it was quite pathetic this year as compared to other years because of the financial crisis and because it was so cold).  There was a guy doing fireworks directly below our window, 8 floors down, so we essentially had fireworks exploding a few meters from our windows.  It was pretty cool.  Then we watched a BYU- Utah football game that was approved by the mission president and we one by one eventually went to bed.  The next morning we slept in (wow), the sisters came over, we prepared a Ukrainian salad, watched a few approved movies, had a New Years dinner and played Risk.
And then it was time to get back to work.  Although working at this time is rough. There is officially 10 days of holidays in Russia, so no one wants to meet, no one is on the street– someone told me everyone is just home doing puzzles.  So needless to say it’s been a little frustrating trying to meet with people, and contacting on the street is pointless– hardly anyone is outside.  I actually had a pretty discouraging period of time a few days back.  Things were rough, I wasn’t getting along as well with my current companion as I had with Elder Wheeler (come to think of it, Elder Wheeler and I became REALLY good friends.  Luckily we’ll see eachother every 3 months to explore Helsinki, but I hope I get to serve with him again some day), and the area was still new to me so that I didn’t feel like I knew what work needed to be done here and what needed to be taught to certain church members and investigators.  It was a rough Saturday and the next day was Fast Sunday– so I started seriously thinking about what to fast for in order to get things back under control.  And I suddenly realized:  I hadn’t been relying on the Holy Ghost.  I’d been so worried about the language and about planning good lessons that I wasnt’ letting the Holy Ghost lead the lessons.  The fast and testimony was an answer to prayers and more questions than I know I had.  It really strengthened my testimony that when we feel like we’re going under and life is too hard– it just means we’re relying on ourselves too much and not enough on the Lord.  When we rely on the Lord we can do all things.
CLICK FOR FULL PHOTO

Christmas Day

I also realized during that Sacrement meeting why it is so important for us to go to church every week, more than just to follow a commandment of God.  For some people it is very very important for them to come to church and see friends and other members– people who are also struggling in life but trying hard to live the gospel and do what is right.  We go to church to serve others.  Just by showing up and sitting through meetings we are helping others– especially those who have had a rough week and are at a hard point in their lives and just need to see that they are not alone in trying to do what is right.

Well… I haven’t had my camera on me the past few days, which, of course means that I saw some of the most interesting things lately– pretty ice sculptures, huge new year’s trees, cars completely buried in snow (i got a pic of that, actually).
So things have been quite cold, but managable.
To answer some questions: my music limitations are as follows
Mormon Tabernacle Chior (but I have almost everything they’ve done)
EFY (which I listen to only when I have to)
Classical Music (which I could always use more of)
Reverent Arrangements of Hymns (very vague…)
but I’ve also heard that if I want something else approved I just have to get the Mission President’s wife to listen to it and people say she approves a wide range of stuff– as long as it inspires and uplifts.
As far as format goes: something that would play on a CD player is the safest.  Also, most apartments (like where I’m at now) have an MP3 CD Player.  But you could even send me dvd’s and worse comes to worst I just have to ask a church member to transfer it onto an mp3 cd for me– no biggie (but please: mp3’s. not M4a’s or MP4s, etc).
K well that’s about it for today, I think.
Oh yeah– In less than 2 hours Kemerovo gets a building.  They are exchanging the keys at 2:30 Kemerovo time.  WOW.
I love you!
Oh yeah– for those of you who have received letters from me– please let me know.  I hear letters from Russia to the US only get there some of the time and I’d like to know who got something that I sent.
–Elder Froelich
Chris, yeah, i got that email and the attachment– haven’t listened to it yet though. hopefully today or soon.
Hadley, keep up the art work! 🙂
Parker– how are things going? when do you start school again? how’s roller hockey?!
Sara– sounds fun.  the girls in this mission have to have their hair above their shoulders. fun fact.
Mom– thanks for the email, it was great.  You can send them as PDF’s– that’ll work fine. then i can print off multiple anyways.  but also: if you go through this website pianofiles.com you can get lots of sheet music for free. Chris knows how to use it and I’ve got an account and stuff– you can get pdf’s from there and send them to me.
Brendon– I don’t know if you read this, but if you do– did you get the letter I sent to Cooper Union? I sent it to the actual school in your name, so they should have delivered it to you if it ever made it to New York.
Turners/Froelich family– thanks for the pillow case! It’s very cool– I especially appreciate the attempts to write messages in Russian 🙂
Also– shout out to any old piano students who may read this! for those of you who aren’t taking lessons right now, find a teacher! don’t quit! you’ll regret it! :O

Happy New Years!
well, just putting it out there: i don’t have much to respond to this week. mom, sara, taegan, and a short email from chris. but no worries
Mom, here is how I celebrated my New Year’s in Russia:
We’re not allowed to wear tags new years eve after it gets dark (4:00 pm) and we shoudn’t be on the streets that night or the entire next day.  We met up at the other elder’s place to celebrate after cleaning our apartment.  We sat and talked and just relaxed (a sister missionary here said “how to missionaries celebrate holidays? we just relax and do nothing!! :D”).  Close to midnight the sisters called so we could all hear eachother screaming once it hit midnight.  We stood at the windows with some poppers that Elder Nelson got from home and when the New Year arrived we opened the windows a bit (it was like -35) and pulled the little strings on those popper things and watched as the fireworks started.  It was cool because it was a panoramic firework show: everyone does big rocket fireworks for New Years (although I heard it was quite pathetic this year as compared to other years because of the financial crisis and because it was so cold).  There was a guy doing fireworks directly below our window, 8 floors down, so we essentially had fireworks exploding a few meters from our windows.  It was pretty cool.  Then we watched a BYU- Utah football game that was approved by the mission president and we one by one eventually went to bed.  The next morning we slept in (wow), the sisters came over, we prepared a Ukrainian salad, watched a few approved movies, had a New Years dinner and played Risk.
And then it was time to get back to work.  Although working at this time is rough. There is officially 10 days of holidays in Russia, so no one wants to meet, no one is on the street– someone told me everyone is just home doing puzzles.  So needless to say it’s been a little frustrating trying to meet with people, and contacting on the street is pointless– hardly anyone is outside.  I actually had a pretty discouraging period of time a few days back.  Things were rough, I wasn’t getting along as well with my current companion as I had with Elder Wheeler (come to think of it, Elder Wheeler and I became REALLY good friends.  Luckily we’ll see eachother every 3 months to explore Helsinki, but I hope I get to serve with him again some day), and the area was still new to me so that I didn’t feel like I knew what work needed to be done here and what needed to be taught to certain church members and investigators.  It was a rough Saturday and the next day was Fast Sunday– so I started seriously thinking about what to fast for in order to get things back under control.  And I suddenly realized:  I hadn’t been relying on the Holy Ghost.  I’d been so worried about the language and about planning good lessons that I wasnt’ letting the Holy Ghost lead the lessons.  The fast and testimony was an answer to prayers and more questions than I know I had.  It really strengthened my testimony that when we feel like we’re going under and life is too hard– it just means we’re relying on ourselves too much and not enough on the Lord.  When we rely on the Lord we can do all things.
I also realized during that Sacrement meeting why it is so important for us to go to church every week, more than just to follow a commandment of God.  For some people it is very very important for them to come to church and see friends and other members– people who are also struggling in life but trying hard to live the gospel and do what is right.  We go to church to serve others.  Just by showing up and sitting through meetings we are helping others– especially those who have had a rough week and are at a hard point in their lives and just need to see that they are not alone in trying to do what is right.
Well… I haven’t had my camera on me the past few days, which, of course means that I saw some of the most interesting things lately– pretty ice sculptures, huge new year’s trees, cars completely buried in snow (i got a pic of that, actually).
So things have been quite cold, but managable.
To answer some questions: my music limitations are as followsMormon Tabernacle Chior (but I have almost everything they’ve done)EFY (which I listen to only when I have to)Classical Music (which I could always use more of)Reverent Arrangements of Hymns (very vague…)
but I’ve also heard that if I want something else approved I just have to get the Mission President’s wife to listen to it and people say she approves a wide range of stuff– as long as it inspires and uplifts.
As far as format goes: something that would play on a CD player is the safest.  Also, most apartments (like where I’m at now) have an MP3 CD Player.  But you could even send me dvd’s and worse comes to worst I just have to ask a church member to transfer it onto an mp3 cd for me– no biggie (but please: mp3’s. not M4a’s or MP4s, etc).
K well that’s about it for today, I think.
Oh yeah– In less than 2 hours Kemerovo gets a building.  They are exchanging the keys at 2:30 Kemerovo time.  WOW.
I love you!
Oh yeah– for those of you who have received letters from me– please let me know.  I hear letters from Russia to the US only get there some of the time and I’d like to know who got something that I sent.
–Elder Froelich
Chris, yeah, i got that email and the attachment– haven’t listened to it yet though. hopefully today or soon.Hadley, keep up the art work! :)Parker– how are things going? when do you start school again? how’s roller hockey?!Sara– sounds fun.  the girls in this mission have to have their hair above their shoulders. fun fact.Mom– thanks for the email, it was great.  You can send them as PDF’s– that’ll work fine. then i can print off multiple anyways.  but also: if you go through this website pianofiles.com you can get lots of sheet music for free. Chris knows how to use it and I’ve got an account and stuff– you can get pdf’s from there and send them to me.Brendon– I don’t know if you read this, but if you do– did you get the letter I sent to Cooper Union? I sent it to the actual school in your name, so they should have delivered it to you if it ever made it to New York.
Turners/Froelich family– thanks for the pillow case! It’s very cool– I especially appreciate the attempts to write messages in Russian 🙂
Also– shout out to any old piano students who may read this! for those of you who aren’t taking lessons right now, find a teacher! don’t quit! you’ll regret it! :O

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