Dear Family,

This week Elder Brightwell and I have been musing at our horrible luck.  We don’t know where we picked it up, but it’s been hanging on to us for quite a while now.  While we have had bright moments of hope, like when our washing machine came monday morning (we haven’t had a washing machine for six weeks since it broke).  The technicians set it up and then invited us into the kitchen so they could show us how it works.  They turned it on and said “This is the button to turn the machine on.”  Then they said “all you have to do is turn this dial and pick what mode you want.”  …  … they turn the dial a few times and nothing happens… … they turn it a little harder and try pressing a few more buttons… .. … they press every button they can find on the machine, unplug and plug it back in… .. “well, we’re going to uninstall this for you, take it back to the store and bring you one that works.”  They leave and Elder Brightwell and I go “man, we ALMOST got a washing machine!!”
They did come back however later that day and the machine is now functional in our apartment! Except that the next day the power went out on and off all morning so we couldn’t complete more that one load of wash… and then this morning the water to our apartment was off so we couldn’t do wash let alone take showers….
But despite all of the things that seem to go horribly wrong one after another, I’m in a pretty good mood the last couple of days.  Our zone as a whole is seeing a lot of exciting missionary work happening with 4 or 5 upcoming baptismal dates, the church members here beginning to trust us more and more and the weather! It’s beautiful weather today! To give you an update on the weather, snow is still piled up everywhere and it snows almost every single day still.  We’ve been told that the snow will last until sometime in May, probably.  What we’ve been dealing with the last week or so was the phenomenon of the temperature dancing around 0 C in Siberia.  It makes some days remarkably dirty and muddy and wet and gross (Elder Brightwell last week stepped into a puddle in the street that he was expecting not to be very deep.  He then found himself up to his knees in water :D) and then when it gets cold again you get to walk carefully over newly frozen ice.  But it’s great because it’s starting to warm up and people are beginning to walk around outside more, so they’re more open to talking with us, more open to coming to English club, and more open to coming to church on Sunday!
Sean– thanks for your email to me.  Как раз (it just so happens) that I was thinking a little bit about that myself this week– the idea of those great heroes of the world being nothing more than regular ordinary people who just manage to fake their way through being hero-like.  I was thinking a little about all of the responsibilities that are sometimes heaped on missionaries.  We have to find people to teach, be interesting, change their lives, be friendly and talk to people all the time, look professional, comfort members, always be ready with spiritual thoughts, be able to find scriptures you want to use in lessons, be able to speak russian well enough to answer people’s questions, deal with complicated questions and problems that no 20 year old should have to be in charge of, etc.  I was feeling slightly overwhelmed about it all for a few days.  I realized a few things– one of them being that a lot of times we feel like we can’t fill the shoes that we need to fill.  Sometimes we think that someone else who is more qualified or talented or smart should be taking care of this stuff.  But it’s amazing what we as humans can do if we can just tell ourselves that we are qualified for this work.  Most of the time we’re just scared of stepping out of our comfort zone.  Most of the time it’s just us being afraid of becoming great.  Many times, I think, the difference between those people who doubt their qualifications and those people who somehow become remarkable leaders and heroes is simply a conscious decision to have a positive point of view of “this is possible- and I’m going to do it.”
Another part of this problem that I realized was the problem of us relying too much on our own strength.  When we focus on our own abilities and strength we find ourselves sorely lacking.  A quote I loved from last General Conference: Two men can do anything as long as one of them is the Savior.  When we recognize the need for help from the Savior we can do things that are otherwise not possible.  For my friends who read my emails and are not so into the whole religion thing– it’s still a really interesting aspect of life and the role that faith and religion plays.  Think about the power that a person gains when he sees that he alone cannot complete some difficult task without relying on some unseen unlimited source of strength and ability.  Regardless of where you say this strength will come from, it will come, thus allowing us to be stronger and better than we were in the first place.
K, well i’ve spent enough time rambling on. I’ll just leave it at that and not worry how much sense that made. My time on this computer is almost out and i’m getting stressed out with these constant notifications telling me the computer will shut off soon.
I love you all! I’ll get mail this week for those of you who have sent me things several months or weeks ago! 🙂
–Elder Froelich
Parents/Friends/Family who want to send me packages:
some quick notes on things i’d like…hot chocolate is avaliable here– don’t bothersending it to me. apple cider is not though, so i’m always up for some of that.I want GAMES for english club, game night, and family nights.  Uno, Racko, Skip-bo, Gestures (I know it’s big and probably expensive but it would be SOOOO  amazing to have here in Russia) Taboo, Catchphrase (the electronic game), and any other non-face cards games, especially those that don’t have a limit on the ammount of players. oh! and Pick up sticks, PLEASE! 😀
also:any usa stuff to be a proud american in russiaVA IS FOR LOVERS SHIRTCD’s of music that are appropriate of bands that I love that I could give to russian youth to copy (a compilation of weezer, ben folds, architecture in helsinki, etc– just stuff you guys know i like.  no swear words or questionable themes in the songs please– i’m a missionary)and also….. i’m hesitant to ask for it incase it gets lost in the mail, but my chinese yo yo would be way fun to entertain people with
k, gtg love you!

One Response to

  1. Cracker says:

    I know him!!!! thats cool page!

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