Russia July 21, 2010

July 21, 2010
Dear All,
I got a transfer! I am no longer in Tomsk.  I’m sitting at a computer right now in Novosibirsk, as the new co zone leader with Elder McConnaughey.  Two missionaries from the good ol’ MTC district are in my zone: Elder Player and Sister Caulderwood! (And Elder McConnaughey was in another district but in the same MTC group)
Also, Elder Eborn went to Omsk to serve with Elder Nelson; Sister Rivas went to Ulan Ude.  Elder Wheeler will be taking my place in Tomsk with Elder Whitchurch and Elder Capps is coming from Novokuznetsk to serve with Elder Hansen.
It was quite an event leaving Tomsk.  It’s such an amazing city, with so many amazing people.  I was so sad to leave such a great Branch President, such great families, like Sister Olga and her children, Sonya and Misha, and some amazing valiant youth– two of which are serving “mini missions” (uliana in barnaul and looda in irkutsk).  It was a shame to leave because we recently have been teaching and becoming great friends with several amazing people who really are sincere in their desire to find truth (the sincerity of a person that you’re teaching makes a HUGE difference on how the lesson goes).
We had a good lesson last week with a member on the topic of ‘hope.’  Hope is a tricky thing to define, especially in comparison to faith.  But, in preparing for the lesson and the actual discussion on hope I realized how important it is to us.  When life just goes badly and things don’t work out, and we feel stress and depression– it’s really only hope that can keep us smiling and helping others and being positive people.  We hope for a better world.  The source of our hope is in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Hope comes in great handy when life is hard, but how much do we think about hope when everything is great?  When life is great, hope plays a different role in our life– we should always be looking for people with sad faces who are having hard times and share the hope that we have.  Sometimes I think that people lose so much hope that they just don’t know how they’ll ever get back on their feet, and the only thing that they can do is wait for someone else to lift them up.  Our hope allows us to make other people happy– especially when they’re feeling sad.  So, I don’t know– hope is such a hard thing to describe and define– but it’s amazing to try to put this abstract feeling/value into use.
Since i’m in Novo now i’ll get mail super super fast. and i have access to things like peanut butter. and there’s a metro here. so… cool stuff.  send me lots of letters, k?! and i’ll write back! 😀
I love you guys, take care!
-Elder Froelich

Russia July 14, 2010

July 15, 2010
So last night someone brought a ferret to English Club. It was super awesome.
And after having a fun english lesson where we made up a story about superman, an old lady, and dead horses, I accompanied Elder Whitchurch as he sang “Где Мне Найти Покой” “where can I turn for peace.”  The chapel here in Tomsk where we hold English club has incredible acoustics, so the musical performance went over very well. It was possibly the highly of the week for me.  It’s always a huge comfort to look at the side to the teachings of Jesus Christ that are: Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
I’ve been looking around a lot lately at my surroundings– this familiar city with all my good friends here that I’ve made.  I’ve been in Tomsk for 7.5 months now, and I’m anticipating transfer calls which will happen in two days.  I think chances are high that I’ll be transferred, which will be weird– i’ve been in essentially the same area of the mission for a year.  So I’m looking forward to either another 6 weeks with all my good friends in Tomsk, or I’ll be going somewhere new, where I’ll get to experience some huge nostalgia for Tomsk.
С любовью,
Elder Froelich

Russia June 30, 2010 (see also July 7 below- I guess I didn’t post last week)

July 7, 2010

Happy Birthday, Elder Whitchurch (my companion)!!!

Man, I don’t even know where to start this week.

How about with this one:

Elder Eborn gave a funny comment about life in Russia.  Apparently the other elders were out of q-tips, so they decided to go to their grocery store.  To their surprise, the store had been remodeled.  They took out the hygiene section completely, to make more room for the alcohol section.  Sometimes you have to ask yourself why there are so many problems on the streets of Russia– other times you don’t have to. 🙂

Wow, I can’t even explain how great things are going right now.  The summer has hit full force in Tomsk, although there is still strange sensation of snow– the trees here release these cottony seeds like crazy, so it’s like a warm snow storm.  (I had to look up the translation from ощущение to sensation to come up with that word– maybe that’s a good sign for me and my russian fluency)  After weeks of really hard times, slow missionary work, and business, everything has suddenly turned around a complete 180 degrees.  I would have to say that the last 3 days have been the best since the time that I got into Tomsk.  My companion and I had a renewed goal-setting session where we came up with lots of ideas of who we can help and how we can find people who are ready to hear about the gospel.  Since then we’ve found tons of people who have really great potential– amazing families, really cool, smart kids from universities, and this awesome girl who actually spent quite a lot of time living in Bountiful, Utah on an exchange program!

The last few weeks were really tough on me and everything seemed to be crashing down.  I focused my studies a lot on enduring trials patiently and how we can get through hard times, and I’m just so thrilled to know that there really is another side.  Everything we’ve been planning has been working out and our attitudes have completely changed.  So all of you having a rough time right now– hold on a little longer, things really do turn around.

Sean, I’m really glad to hear from you– sounds like you’re having a lot of fun with those classes.  I miss school. 😦

Andrew– I’ll write you another letter soon! (I looked through all the xkcd you sent me again not to long ago– thanks again.)  I read my friend here your fork lift story– he got a huge kick out of it and was super impressed that you make robots and stuff.  He was very jealous and thought the robot band thing was super hard core.

Chris– I can’t believe you got those letters so quick.  Hey– you can send me stuff through pouch too, then (or you should be able to).  Ask about it.  It should be completely free since we’re both on missions, and while you’re in the MTC, it sounds like it goes pretty fast.  I’ll write you a letter about all my mtc stuff– i don’t remember my room numbers right now… but what building are you in? what class room– tell me all your room numbers/info.  We hid something cool in our room– you’ve got to find it!!!! 😀  And yeah, I do know Ivan! Give him a hug for me! 😀  He served in Kemerovo on a mini mission, so he lived in the same apartment that I did for the first 4 months of my being in Russia.  Find out if there are any elders going to Novosibirsk Mission!!!!

Hadley– idk if you’ll get this or not but I am PSYCHED that you’re having so much fun with this art thing.  Wow. Jealous. A lot. man….

Sara– keep up the great work on the mish!  (someone add her to my forward list:

K, well I’m going to be finishing this one up, and I’ll try to send a few pictures.

I love you all, thanks for the support!

Elder Froelich

Russia July 7, 2010

July 7, 2010

Happy Ivana Kupala Day!

So far I’m disappointed in this Russian holiday, but the concept is that on this day you’re supposed to throw water on people!  Supposedly people throw water from their windows/people carry water guns, etc.  Maybe it’s because it’s been raining all day today, but I haven’t seen any evidence of this holiday yet.  But it’s a cool idea, nonetheless.

Well I don’t really know what to report about this week.  Yesterday we celebrated 4th of July in English club! We had lots of food (root beer, apple pie, pancakes, cookies) and played crazy games with our Russian friends (step on other people’s balloons that are tied around their ankles, eat donuts hanging on strings w/out your hands) and we belted the national anthem with everyone at the end– it was a lot of fun! 😀

We’ve been blessed to have met a girl recently who is interested in finding out more about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon.  She’s very smart and well educated and speaks many languages– I love talking to her b/c it feels like I’m back with all my Governor’s School friends.  She’s brought up a lot of good questions and arguments about religion, which as really made us stretch as a companionship to find the best way to answer these questions and arguments.  But the best thing about the whole situation for me is that it’s really helped me see the real focus of it all: Jesus Christ.  What it really comes down to is “does the Book of Mormon help me come closer to Christ?”  Because coming closer to Christ and learning more about him is really the quest of any Christian– we’re all trying to be more like him.  I’d just like to share my testimony with you all that I know that Christ is our Savior.  That he knows us all individually and that his arms are always open to us.  I know that the Book of Mormon is a true testament of him.  I know that he leads the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints through a prophet today. I know because I have personally gotten an answer from God that Christ really does live, and that he is active in our lives, and that he leads this church.

I’ll keep it short this week.

-Elder Froelich

Amber– got your package 😀 thanks!! it made my day/week