Merry Christmas – December 29, 2010

Dear Family,

I had the Best Christmas Ever.  I just want to say how extremely pleasant it was to be able to talk to you all on the phone.  You all sound great and happy and funny and weird– It put me in the best mood ever to hear your voices and talk to you for a while.  I’m still giddy about it.  Chris– you speak such great Russian! Oh my gosh!! It was SO COOL to be able to speak to you in Russian!!! You understood what I was saying and you speak Russian– it blows my mind!!

These past few days have been monumental for me.  Something about having Christmas, Christmas phone call, an awesome family, a letter from my Dad, conversations with my companion, a realization that I may be leaving Novosibirsk soon, a realization that I’ll be leaving Russia soon, New Years coming up in a few days, and lots of other things has really given me some out-of-thin-air desire and encouragement and excitement to work a million times harder and be a million times better. My companion and I have talked about some amazing plans to help missionary work take off and to help all of us feel better about ourselves and our service in Russia and our use of time.  It’s going to involve a lot of personal sacrifice and focus, and this week we’ve already discovered some amazing things.

 So a big ‘thank you’ for all the Christmas cheer, Christmas pasts, and this Christmas.  I think the best part about life is when you can look positively, brightly and enthusiastically towards the future– having a vision of exactly how awesome things can be.  All Christmas really is is a message that tells us “we can make it; the future is going to be so great.” Seeing how Russians don’t really celebrate Christmas, it makes my experience here very interesting.  These two or three weeks just sort of bleed together and you have the awkward “American Christmas celebrations,” the Russian New Year’s Celebrations, and then the “I hope I won’t be disappointed with the downplayed (but I know I will)” Russian Christmas.  Merging Christmas into New Years is great.  I’m greatful to have the “start off fresh”/”clean slate” feeling and to know where it comes from.

Thanks for the christmas packages and letters that continue to appear in my mail box, family/extended family/friends/ward members.

We moved into a new church building (Novosibirsk 1st branch).  I’ll get you pictures soon. It’s incredible.

С любовю, Рождественской Радостью, и жирафами,

–Elder Tyler Froelich

hey– here are some pictures.

ahem.

I’m epscially proud of the bird one and the ice house/book one, Hadley, for their artistic qualities.  The book falling on the ice house is actually “Shakespeare” in Russian.

There’s the Christmas morning photo, of course.

There’s my companion and me at the Christmas party at the Trejo’s.

There are some close up shots I did on random nativity sets in the mission home that I thought were pretty cool….

And there is me with my yet-to-be-named future wife… *sigh*….

And last but not least– i made some delicious orange rolls today. they were so good. mom– see the letter that you’ll be getting in about 3 weeks.

Love you!

(double-click on individual photos to enlarge)

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