Russia August 25

August 25, 2010

I just spent lots of time uploading photo’s. So i’ll let the photos represent thousands and thousands of words, so don’t feel cheated– this is actually more than I usually write!

I’ll send as many pictures as I can and we’ll see how much time i have left for any other thoughts.
……

Hey, so I hope you enjoyed the pictures.

I know that Christ is our Savior. I know that Heavenly Father hears our prayers, and I know that following the Gospel and the teachings of the church bring real happiness.

Love,

Elder Froelich

(Click on any photo to enlarge)


Russia – August 18th

August 20, 2010
Dear All,
This week has been a good one.  Things are happening pretty fast here in Novosibirsk.  Last Saturday we had another triple baptism.  Alexei and Marina (a married couple with a young son named Ilya) were baptized, along with a cool guy named Vitale– an investigator of the office elders.  From there things have just continually gotten better.  On Sunday the announcement was made that our branch in Novo (the first branch. there are 4 total) will be merged with the 2nd branch– making our congregationsize a lot larger, with lots of new people to meet, work with and become friends with!  It’s also nice because the branch is happy about having a larger group of friends to see every Sunday, and it’ll really help missionary work move along faster.  We also had a big English activity yesterday to bring more and new people into our English club program.  My  companion and I had put in LOTS of work into this program, which was scheduled to happen yesterday, as well as tomorrow.  There was a pretty good turn out yesterday and we’re hoping for even better tomorrow! (prayers for a good turn out would be appreciated)
These last few weeks have been jam-packed and life is moving pretty quickly– it’s hard to think that in about a week and 3 days we’ll get calls for the next transfer!
Something that I’ve been seeing a lot in missionary work and in my life personally lately is the importace of personal growth and progression.  It’s so interesting how often and now natural it is that we look back on our past lives.  We naturally want to have made progression from the past.  If we make it a daily habbit to do something better each day, and actually track and record our progress, we can really make a difference in our own lives.  Somethign that the mission has really taught me is the value of taking time to sit back and look at how far you’ve come, and then make adjustments to life to ensure that you’ll go farther, in the right direction.
Anyway– I’m having trouble formulating my thoughts today.
Thank you, Roth family, for your package.  It was VERY entertaining, and I am still showing off to all my friends the cool things that I got from Japan.  I deeply appreciate it.
I’m overdue for sending photos– this stupid internet place doesn’t let you upload stuff, so we’ll have to find another place to do interenet, because I have quite a few cool photos to show you.
Thanks for the emails,
I love you
–Elder Froelich

Russia August 13th ish

August 13, 2010
Hei! (that’s how to say “hey” in Finnish),
Sorry I didn’t write yesterday, i didn’t get time in finland to do the whole email thing.  I’d like to quickly say a few things before I forget (I probably will only get about 20 minutes to write this email).
I got a package from the YM of Innsbrook ward, including CD’s by Brock! Thanks a lot, guys! For some reason it took a pretty long time to get to me (no one can figure out what the Russian post does with packages and letters. Sometimes they come in a week, sometimes they don’t ever come).  It was really nice to get the candy and games and letters– i really appreciated it!
Jeff and Emily– thanks for your letter.  I got it just before leaving on my visa trip and it was really nice to hear from you guys.  It’s wild to hear how fast your family is growing up!  Did I ever send the picture of me holding that ferret?  If not I’ll have to send it next time (I don’t have my hard drive with me).
Zoe– I got your letter– thanks so much! It was so fun to hear from you.  I’ve got another letter already in the mail for you– hopefully it’ll get to you before you leave to college(??)
My report on Helsinki:
So we flew in to Moscow Tuesday morning.  We got permission to take a small group of missionaries down to Red Square in the city where we took some cool pictures, browsed the Russian souvenirs, and headed back on the metro to the airport.  It was interesting to be in the city with all the hype about the fires in Moscow.  Apparently smog has been really awful lately because of fires, which has caused all sorts of problems in Moscow.  While we were there the smog wasn’t as bad as I’ve seen it in some dramatic photographs, but it was very noticable.
We made it into Helsinki Tuesday evening and had a little bit of time to head out into the city, walk around a bit, find some food and then make it to the temple housing by night.  We walked down by the river, took some fun pictures, and just spent lots of time together talking and enjoying each other’s company.  This was the last visa trip of Sister Calderwood, who has been with me since the beginning of the mission in the MTC! (She was in our district of 12; 6 of those 12 went to Novosibirsk along with missionaries from other districts)  So it was pretty unnverving to realize that a sister missionary from my group will be going home soon– that means that I’m getting old (according to “mission life”)!
We spent time in the Helsinki temple, where I bumped into Roman Ignatyev– my second companion on the mission who served with me my second transfer in Kemerovo– and his WIFE!  That was also a shocker: seeing someone who would still be serving a mission if it weren’t for his knee problems already MARRIED (he got married back in April).  It was lots of fun to talk to him and hear how his life is working out.
Then we headed back to the airport, flew through the night, got home early Thursday and slept.
I think I had a deeper thought to share with you but I can’t think of it right now and I’m pretty much out of time.  I’ll try to send you a couple pictures from my trip!
Love you!
-Elder Froelich
PS We have 3 baptisms coming up TOMORROW! 😀 Our investigator Alexei and his wife, Marina and an investigator of the Office Elders, Vitali.  So we’d appreciate your prayers that everything will work out fine and that they’ll all three continue on to be strong members in the church.

Russia– August 4, 2010

August 4, 2010
Hello all,
I have less time than usual today- the internet man said something about having to turn off the computers today, so i’ll just write as much as I can. Also know that I just took pictures of all my emails I got today, so I haven’t read them yet.
Things have been great in Novosibirsk with my new companion.  I’m starting to feel much more comfortable here, getting used to how things work and how to get around the city and stuff– enough that I can feel like I have valuable input and say into what goes on.
I’ll get right to the point that I wanted to make this week.  Yesterday I had one of the most amazing meetings of my mission.  We met with a less active member named Brother Yeftine.  He lives alone in a little house that’s a little bit outside of the city.  He hasn’t been to church in quite some time, but he used to be a very active member.  Elder McConnaughey has been working with him for quite some time, trying to help him make a little progress to hopefully see him at church someday.  So we started off the meeting talking about how often in life we get very busy with doing good things– like work and school and repairs around the house, etc.  But sometimes those simple things can be very dangerous to our personal progression in life.  We can find ourselves wasting so much time on good things that we miss the things that are really the most important.  For example, a father might work 6-7 days a week for long hours to support his family so they have food and commodities– and that’s good.  But if he’s not spending time at home with his family, then he’s missing the most important thing.
As the meeting progressed things gradually started to change.  But it didn’t happen first with this man.  It happened first as for some random reason, my companion and I started complimenting eachother while teaching.  I would say something like “I know that what my companion just said is true. And if you follow this way of living…” and my companion would say things like “my companion is really smart– I’ve seen how he does this in his life and it really makes a difference.”  Suddenly the room was filled with one of the strongest feelings of love that I have ever felt.  This old man suddenly was sitting on the edge of his seat, asking us for the details on the assignment we gave him– to make a list of little things that sort of poke at his spirit– things that get in the way of the most important thing: working on our relationship with Christ.  He suddenly was saying things like “you know what’s really important that I really need– is to come to church to feel that spiritual rejuvination that I haven’t had in a long time.”  He himself said that he needed to come to church, without us pressuring him or suggesting it or anything!  We left the meeting on a high note– with each of us more excited to become better people and eliminate those bad habbits that we have that take away from things that are most important.  After the man prayed– earnestly thanking his Father in Heaven for this conversation/lesson and for all the blessings that he has in his life– and for the opportunity to improve and make progress in life despite our weaknesses, we stood up to shake his hand.  As I shook his hand there was some intense eye contact that happened– this man was deeply touched by the feeling of love and excitement and warmth that we had all just felt.
My companion and I walked out of the meeting, not really knowing what to say– except for we both agreed that it was an amazing lesson and we both noticed that even 10 minutes down the road the feeling was still strong within us.
I want to say a few general announcements/information:
Now that I’m in Novosibisrk, I can get mail on a daily basis.  I can also send pouch mail on a regular basis.  Pouch mail is a church system where the church takes it to America for free, and then the American post will deliver it to you guys.  Or vice versa, you send it to the church and the church sends it to Russia for free.  So you can use my pouch address, it’s probably about as fast as air mail (not 100 percent sure about that though).  You have to write on one side of a single piece of paper, fold it in thirds, tape it shut, and then address the outside (the backside of that one piece of paper that you just wrote on) to the following address:
Elder Tyler Froelich
Russia Novosibirsk Mission
POB 30150
SLC, UT 84130-0150
USA
and put a regular American stamp on it– 44 cent one.
(but this is only one page of writing. yo ucan’t include pictures and attachments, etc unless you’re really sneaky and they don’t catch you)
This brings me to my next request– i only have 4 more American stamps left.  So family, friends, etc– if you send me a letter and want me to respond quickly– include a stamp I can use! 😀 (And fam– if you could send me a book of stamps i’d appreciate it!)
CHRISTOPHER FROELICH:  I decided I really want that crazy pencil in the MTC for 24 bucks.  I think you said it’ll come out to 16 with your discount.  Please find a way to buy it for me and send it to me. Mom and DAd– you can arrange money from my account to his if you need to, or something like that. I really just care about the pencil, but if it’s no trouble to send something else too– get me some purple led refills for it.  I’ll love you forever if you can get this sent to me somehow.
I want to say a quick thanks to people who sent me stuff (I got several letters this week):
Sister Warnick– Thank you! It was so nice to get such an interesting letter from you and to find out about how things are going with some of the seminary and scouting programs recently! 😀
Taegan– Got your letter, and have written a response.
Parker– thanks for the cool post card, man! B-)
Mom/Dad– I got the package with the jeans. In fact, I’m wearing them right now! It’s amazing to wear something that has not been washed in Russia yet! So soffffft…  I’m also wearing the polo shirt, which was a signature Sean Schultz shirt in high school– the American Eagle green with white horizontal stripes.  So Sean, I feel like i’m you right now, it’s weird.
Andrew– Idk if i told you last time or not, but I got your package! THANKS! SUPER INTERESTING STUFF!! My companion goes to Harvey Mudd college– he’s also pretty nerdy and into cool interesting stuff.  He also appreciated the package 🙂
Alright– this email turned out to be way longer than I thought it would.  Thanks for all your love and support
-Elder Tyler Froelich

Russia– July 28, 2010 (one week late)

August 4, 2010
So I’ve been here in Novosibirsk now for over a week!
We had zone leaders’ conference on Monday and Tuesday.  It was a really amazing experience.  We talked a lot about goals– setting them, planning for them, and then working to attain them.  Along with goals, I’ve started what is called the 40 day fast for this transfer.  The idea is that you fast for a day, thinking about making a list of things that “poke at the spirit” that you feel like you should change.  You write everything down– the bad habits you want to kick or the good ones you want to start– and you make a goal that you will not do those things for 40 days, with the goal in mind being that by doing this you will feel more sensitive to spiritual things, and especially that you can become a better missionary.  It’s nice to have a natural “starting over point” where you can look at your life, the things you’ve done and the things you want to do, and then to make a firm decision to make things change in the name of reaching a higher goal.  For those of you who regularly pray for me out here in Siberia– I’d appreciate some help on holding strong to this “40 day fast” commitment that I have made. 🙂
We had a great meeting last night with a very sincere guy named Maxim.  It was the first time that I’d met with him, and probably the 5th time I’ve ever taught with my new companion, Elder McConnaughey.  It was a remarkable meeting.  This man has strong faith in Christ, and he knows that he wants to be baptized (he knows that the Book of Mormon is the Word of God), but he feels a separation between himself and that goal.  When we teach about Faith and Baptism on the mission, we teach it in the context of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Christ explained that we have to do certain things in order to return to live with Heavenly Father.  The five steps are Faith, Repentance, Baptism for the remission of sins, Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Endure to the End.  So, we spent a good 45 minutes talking with this man about the step in between that he’s missing: repentance.  The meeting went really well but for me the special part was when we lead the lesson in to talking about the amazing benefits and miraculous feelings that we can feel after repentance.  Just trying to imagine standing before God, knowing that you are clean and worthy to stand bring such peace and comfort– it’s hard to describe.  I’ll keep you more updated with Maxim’s progress; when he left the meeting we all felt really good about the plans we had helped him make for his future baptism.
Alright, well I’m running out of time.
Let’s see…
I got letters from Chris and Mom (that card you sent me– thanks!)
and just today a nice package from Andrew– dude you are amazing, I haven’t looked through it all yet, but I’ve already bragged a little that I’ve got a friend who is cool enough to regularly send me cool things in the mail that cost him an expensive stamp.  *high five*
Alright, that’s all I can think of even though there’s probably more to say.
Thanks guys, love you,
Elder Tyler Froelich