Russia, May 19, 2010

May 19, 2010
Dear All,
Things are finally back to normal. I’m back from Zone Conference, Finland and everything and the next 3 or 4 weeks are just going to be straight up missionary weeks, which will be fabulous!  We had a great time on our visa trip which, although it was shortened, was very relaxing.  Something about being able to walk around architecture in Helsinki and just enjoy the air, clean water, and food that you can’t buy in Russia is a very therapeutic experience (not to mention the spiritual high created by being able to visit the Helsinki temple).  I was able to spend lots of time with my close mission buddies from way back at the mtc– like Elder Nelson, Player, Rupper and Sister Calderwood (and Elder Wheeler who wasn’t in the mtc with me but I still loved hanging out with him).  We played a whole lot of catch phrase, thanks to my families timely package.  That helped fill the somewhere-around-10 hours of time overall that we spent in airports in Moscow.
The other day I read an article in the Liahona (a church magazine) that really touched me.  In the article there was a teacher who shared a lesson about the Book of Mormon when Nephi and his brothers had to go back 3 times to get the plates– a scripture record engraved on brass plates– from evil Laban.  After they had failed 2 times, Nephi’s brothers were discouraged, but Nephi went back the third time, not even knowing ahead of time exactly what he would do.  He just followed the Spirit and trusted that God would lead him to success if he would put forth his own effort and show his faith.  The article was about perseverance.  In our lives we have these far off goals– maybe it’s who we want to become in the future, maybe it’s the life we want to have down the road, or some other hope that we have– that the world can be a better place, or that we can one day return to live with God.  It’s important as we face difficulties along the way that we continually “go back for our plates.”  I’m out of time, but there’s this quote that I really loved that I want to share with you:  “Perseverance is a positive, active characteristic.  Iti s not idly, passively waiting for a good thing to happen.  It gives us hope by helping us realize that the righteous suffer no failure except in giving up and no longer trying.”  Thanks to the atonement of Jesus Christ, no matter what happens, as long as we don’t give up, we will not fail.
thanks for your emails, thoughts, prayers, love!
–Elder Froelich
Sean- if i were to do this crazy bike thing with you guys– would i have to have stuff organized before i got home? documents filled out, etc? when would you start? i’m not sure if i’ll be down or not, but it’s def. interesting
andrew- I need your address. I don’t know where to send stuff to you, where you’ll be living in 2-4 weeks.  So let me know and i’ve got a letter with your name on it just waiting to be passed through the Russian mail system 🙂
Caitlin– you’ve got a letter on the way
Amber– you too. and I haven’t gotten anything in the mail from you, which means i probably won’t until the end of this transfer, in 3 weeks (idk if you’ve sent something or not, but jsyk)
Roman Ignatyev– I passed a cookbook to the couple who serve in the temple in Helsinki.  I don’t know when you’ll get it, but hopefully some time soon! 🙂 We miss you!

Russia, May 12, 2010

May 12, 2010
Dear all,

I just got out of zone conference about two hours ago and I’m very excited for my trip to Helsinki coming up tomorrow morning.  I’ll be in Moscow tomorrow from 12-5, and get to Helsinki that evening at 6.  Then I leave Helsinki the next day also at 6 pm.  It’s a short trip, but I’m very excited to see missionaries I haven’t seen in 3 months and to go to the temple in Helsinki.
I’m really excited for things after I get back from this visa trip.  In Tomsk people are saying it’ll be my last transfer.  So I’ve got a ton of work to do.  We’re excited to try a few new crazy ideas this transfer.  I’m planning on setting up a “free portraits by an american” stand in a park and see how many people we can talk to and meet.  We’ve also got some great energy in our zone, especially after this zone conference to get down to work and do everything we can to allow the Lord to work through us and to allow us to feel like we’ve done our absolute best to serve him while he has given us this precious time.  I love that no matter what religion, people generally agree that life is something we need to take advantage of.  We can do so many awesome things in our life, so the most important thing is to not have regrets about using time poorly.
Parker, thanks for the wish for the snow and ice to melt… but it didnt help.  Yesterday and today it’s just been snowing like crazy.  It’s wild. I don’t know what to think about weather anymore.  Hopefully it’ll become somewhat stable this transfer so we can sort of figure out and plan various activities that we want to do outside that depend on sun.
Taegan, it was great to hear from you.  I’m glad to hear that everythings going well.  I should be getting a letter out to you soon.
Caitlin, I’m working on a couple letters to you too. I’m sad that you didn’t get anything I sent you… 😦
Nick– BARCELONA. I’m so jealous.  I want to go back there so badly– it’s such a tight city.  There’s a famous building there called the Barcelona Pavilion.  Make sure you check it out. It’s HUGE in the world of architecture.  Dang, you’re lucky.
Well, I love you all– thanks for letters and emails (like always).
Elder Froelich

Russia, May 4, 2010

May 6, 2010
Thanks for the emails: Caitlin 🙂 Sean, Grandpa– they made my day. even though yours was short, sean.
So a little about my life: My new companion (elder whitchurch) and I just got back from Novosibirsk where we attended Zone Leaders Council.  It was a great experience.  We had that 5 hour bus ride there and back, so I had lots of time to think about things. We’re having a cinco de mayo party here today b/c one of our sister missionaries in our zone is from california (her parents are mexican) so we’re going to make burritos, a pinata, and just have a big party 🙂
Then we’ll be in Tomsk for a few days before mother’s day. Then we go to zone conference in Novo (another 5 hour bus ride) and then I go on my visa trip. I’ll be in Helsinki on thursday night/friday morning, with just enough time to go to the temple and then we’ll have to fly back (the visa trips got cut shorter).  Mom/dad, idk if you sent the last email to elder ignatyev like I requested, but if you could highlight that visa trip information when you send this one to him so he definitely sees when i’ll be in helsinki, i’d appreciate it.  Then I’ll get back from finland and things should theoretically be back to normal for some extent.  We’ll hopefully be having some baptisms here in Tomsk pretty soon, too.
I was studying a little bit this week about testimonies– what they are, how we get them, what we can do to strengthen our testimonies, and what we can do to help others strengthen their testimonies.  One quick thing that really struck me was from “True to the Faith” where it says that a testimony is a witness from the Holy Ghost.  It’s when we feel the Holy Ghost that we can develop a testimony of some principle of truthfulness.  Therefore it’s our job to do everything we can to live worthily for the presence of the Holy Ghost and to be doing those things that enable the Holy Ghost to have influence in our lives.  The Bible and Book of Mormon are filled with promises of all that the Holy Ghost can do for us.  One of the things is that the Holy Ghost can act as a comforter when we simply need a little comfort or strength, or just a little reassurance that everything will be ok and that God really does look over us.  Christ tells us time and time again that if we seek we shall find, if we knock he will open.  He does this most often through the Holy Ghost. If we seek that comforting, warm, reassuring, familiar feeling we can absolutely receive it.  By reading the scriptures and trying to be sensitive to spiritual matters and by doing the things in life that we have taught are right we are eligible for the comfort of the Holy Ghost and we can then strengthen, be reminded of, or gain a testimony that God loves us and that he’s watching over us.
Thank you for your emails and letters, I love you
–Elder Froelich

April 28, 2010

May 5, 2010

I’ll be in Helsinki on the 14th of May– or that weekend, whenever it works out to be (for Erika Larsen to send her brother, for family to forward to my relative serving in Finland, and for Roman Ignatyev– I, elder Wheeler and many other elders will be there in my group. it’d be awesome if you could somehow be there too 🙂 )
Elder Lambson left– he’s on the plane right now going home! Wow!  If he ever stumbles upon this blog:  scan in the music that you wrote out to the robe, please! 😀
Transfers! They’re happening!For the next six weeks I will stay zone leader in Tomsk.  They’re giving me a new companion to be co-zone leader with me– Elder Whitchurch.  From what I know of him he’s a cool guy, so I’m excited to serve with him.  Elder Brightwell is leaving to Krasnoyarsk and so is Sister Boggs.  This transfer we’ll have Sister Degtyaryova (a Russian) with Sister Rivas (a Californian) and Elder Eborn will be serving with Elder Hansen.  It’s a bummer that we lost so many missionaries this transfer, especially because the members here started getting really used to them, but i’m excited for the change and I’m sure we’ll see some great progress this transfer– in part because of the fact that:
THERE IS HARDLY ANY SNOW LEFT!!! Yester day was HOT! It was SO AMAZING!  EVERYONE was outside walking around, enjoying the amazing weather.  We’ll be able to start talking to people in parks and having some great english club attendance…. the next few months in Tomsk should be very happenin’.
There’s this thing in Siberia called “led-a-hod” which is when it starts to get warm enough that the ice in the river starts to melt.  The water in the river increases exponentially and there is a period of about a day or so when everyone goes to the river to watch this crazy glacier-rapids phenomenon.  It’s been described to me that there are huuuuge pieces of ice that knock up against each other and then tumble and splash into the river– it looks like whales breaching.  This should happen in the next day or so– hopefully i’ll be able to be there and i’ll send some sweet pictures.
This week has been really exciting for me– I’ve seen a lot of really great progress with those we’re working with and also with the missionaries here in Tomsk… annnnd it looks like i’m out of time to tell you more about it.  But things are going great here.
Hayley! Wow! Thanks for the email! We’ve got to find time to hang out after I get back– i feel like we totally got jipped as far as having enough time together growing up.  Good luck with everything going on at home! Love you!
Heather Leake– thanks for the recepes :)Amber– thanks for the email– i’ll be waiting for the letter
Andrew– those webcomics are keeping me in a very good mood on a mission.
All– I heard sandstorm in a taxi yesterday. B-)
Bradley Weber– your members here in tomsk want you to write something! (especially roman diev)
I love you all so much!  Good luck with everything going on over there in America! 😀
enjoy the pics
–Elder Froelich