Russia– July 28, 2010 (one week late)

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
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