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
SLC, UT 84130-0150
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