Russia 1/26/2011

January 27, 2011

Well, a lot has happened the past few days:

I got my visa renewed in Helsinki
I started getting sick
I was sick all day on Tuesday (with some sort of a cold– nothing to worry about, mom)
2 sister missionaries from the zone here in Krasnoyarsk die (go home to America) today
We changed apartments today (we may be moving again in just a week though… it’s complicated)

Also, later today we have a meeting with Michael– it’ll be our second meeting.

So, with the sickness and moving and sisters dying and all, I’m kind of overwhelmed.

Finland was a lot of fun– we met up with my friend Juha who I met last trip and he made us an authentic Finnish meal (a delicious salad, meat loaf, mashed potatoes, Finnish bread, and to top it all off, traditional Finnish licorice icecream).  It was awesome and probably the best meal I’ve had since…. in a long time.

We also got to go to the temple in Finland. I honestly don’t know if I’ll ever make it back to that country again– we’ll see. It’s pretty strange– I know the city of Helsinki better than I know Krasnoyarsk.

Thanks for the mp3s, Brother Edmunds and Justin!  and just a reminder that if you guys send me any mp3’s, i have a very very easy way of listening to them right now. So the best way to send any music to me for the next few months is via email.

–Elder Tyler Froelich  

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Russia – January 19, 2010

January 20, 2011

(Double-click to enlarge photo)

 

Alright:

Some of you have been asking me about sending me music! Exciting news! We’ve got this super cool cd player here that has an input for flash drives. So– all you have to do to send me music is to email me the mp3’s and i’ll save them on this little guy here and I plug them in and we’re good to go.  So any mormon tabernacle choir, any classical music, any interesting conference talks or any other mp3 that you think i might enjoy– send it my way!  (worse comes to worse if it’s not “appropriate” music then I delete it and/or don’t listen to it). (this could also be voice recorded messages… just a thought i had…) (it plays WAV and MP3)

Also, I’m heading to Finland tomorrow! It’ll be my last visa trip– which is pretty wild.  I don’t have a “death date” yet, for those of you who have asked. But the last day I can legally be in the country is 90 days from tomorrow.  So either in exactly 90 days or even a few days before that (it’ll be close to 90 though).  I’ll let you all know when they give me my official date.

My new companion is so awesome.  Elder Petersen. He’s from Seattle, he listens to the same music that I do (except for we don’t have a ton of bands in common– we’re both striking gold by exchanging music recommendation lists), he has the most bizzare stories ever, he was in my zone in Novosibirsk, and we get along great.  I’m really excited to be serving with him.

This week while we were walking around outside, my companion stopped a certain moustached man and told him that we have a message about God’s plan.  We talked to this man for about 2 minutes.  Within those two minutes he was intrigued to hear about the Book of Mormon, clarified that “oh, so you guys are selling a book?”, found out that “no, we want to give this book to you as a gift if you’ll read it”, and then promised us that he would read the entire thing in two days.  Well, we called him back 2 days later and he apologized– he was only in the middle, but in his defense, it was a hard book that you had to read kind of slowly.  He asked us to call him back the next day.  So we did. This time he went on and on about how this was one of the best books he’s ever read, that it wasn’t a coincidence that we met on the street, and that he’s very very thankful to us.  He also told us that everyone in his apartment building also needs a copy– because now they’re really interested in this book, too.  We asked if we could meet and we could give him more copies. He agreed.

We arranged for the branch president to be there with us (the branch president is the first man baptized in Krasnoyarsk– 13 years ago) and we waited VERY NERVOUSLY as the clock ticked past the appointment time. I called him up, praying that he would still somehow show up and—- yep, he was just a little lost. He got to the building and had brought his wife with him.  We sat down and talked for about 30 minutes and he agreed to take the missionary lessons.  We’ll see where this goes from here, but so far it’s been pretty miraculous.  This experience has taught me that the Lord really does prepare people– even the people that we casually pass on the street.  I’ll of course keep you updated with his progress, but if you would pray for Michael (Mee ha eel in russian, but Michael is the translation) to have a soft heart, we would really appreciate it.

I’ll get mail in about 30 minutes if I had any for me in Novo…

and I think that’s about it….

i love you guys!

let’s see if photos will work….

–elder froelich



January 12, 2011 Krasnoyarsk!

January 12, 2011

Wow.

Transfers: I’m in Krasnoyarsk (not as a zone leader) with Elder Sage Petersen!  My zone leaders are Elder Byers and Elder Lilinquist.  There are also two companionships of sisters, Fronk and Fesenko; Reed and Filatova.  
For those of you who follow transfers (sister calderwood), here are the other highlights:
Rupper is AP with McConnaughey.  Wheeler is shotgunning Irkutsk with Prokopsevs.  Ryan Nelson is in Irkutsk with a newer missionary. Player is still in Irkutsk.  Whitchurch is in the office with Birther, all the sisters got moved out of small cities into the three big ones (omsk, krasno, novo)… so yeah… oh. Sister Vasilevskaya is training in Novo.

I got off my first train today at 2pm and walked out into the Krasnoyarsk air and was greeted by my zone– including the Senior Couple here– the Aleman’s.  It was an interesting train ride.  The authorities gave us lots of trouble with baggage and limits and this and that and it was mostly them being difficult.  But I made it to Krasno.  This city is amazing.  It’s so beautiful– the architecture is great, it’s colorful, filled with life, and everything just looks exciting.

I’ll be going to Finland next week and when I get my visa information I’ll be able to see clearly how much time I have left in Russia. I have decided to take the earlier date to come home, which means that have 90 days left after I get my visa (so the 100 day count down has already begun).  It makes me kind of dizzy and confused to think that I’ll be coming home in just 3 months– and that my time in Krasno will be just half of what I had in Novosibirsk (and that went by fast enough as it is).  So by all expectations I’ll by “dying” in Krasno, and this last move to a new area was my last on my mission (although something crazy could happen and I could still be assigned to another city from now until then).

It was rough leaving Novosibirsk.  A mission is such an incredible toll on the brain.  The amount of incredibly sincere handshakes accompanied by lengthy Russian “I wish you all the best”‘s and how often you’ve got to throw that painful notion that you’ll never see this person again in the back of your head leads to some pretty intense emotions and thoughts about life.  There were so many beautiful things that happened in Novosibirsk.  I can’t even begin to explain all of the moments the last week or so that are very dear to my heart.

And, well in line with an observation that I often make “life is so weird!”– now it’s time for me to sprint to the finish line.  I’ve got three more months to do everything else that I’ll ever do as a missionary in Russia.

Thanks for all the letters and emails.  I got several Christmas cards recently– thanks, and Dad, I got your letter…. and now I’m not in Novosibirsk, so I’ll get my letters in one big delivery every several weeks instead of every several days.  (But that shouldn’t stop you from writing– remember– you only have 3 more months to write letters to Elder Tyler Froelich.)

Well, I think that’s about it. I’ll try adding photos this time, but if it doesn’t work, I should have a bunch for next time of the city of Krasnoyarsk!

–Elder Froelich


Russia, January 7, 2011

January 10, 2011

Dear All,

С Новым Годом! Happy New Year’s! The past week and a little bit more have been very interesting ones. We spent New Year’s at President Trejo’s house where all of us Novosibirsk-zone missionaries had a delicious meal, watched Fiddler on the Roof and Wall-e, and played an amazing board game that I was recently introduced to: Pandemic. This game is super awesome. Family– this should be purchased. If it’s not in our house by the time I get home, I’ll go out and buy it. Friends– this game is intense and nerdy and very strategic and everything! We’re totally getting together and playing it after I get home.

Along with New Year’s and the resolutions and the finishing of old year goals and the starting of new, I’ve had lots of thoughts about life and the mission (and these stupid kids playing computer games are being SO irritating). It’s really scary to look at the time left for me on the mission, the things that I still want to do, etc. etc.

I officially get transfer calls tonight. I may or may not know a thing or two about where I’ll be serving in a week (Krasnoyarsk *cough*), although nothing is official until I get the call tonight. So *if* I get transfered, I would be transfered on Wed the 12th (I’ll be transfered), spend a few days in my new city trying to get a hang of things, then go for a visa trip on the 20th and by that time the transfer (a five week transfer) will feel almost over.

Last night for English club I told them that I would possibly receive a transfer and asked them to all stay for my spiritual thought. I shared the parable of the rich men who donated much money and the widow who donated her two coins. Christ taught that those two coins were a lot more than all of the money that the rich men donated because it was all that she had. Something that I’ve learned on the mission is the value of being sincere. Living in a country of people that I feel are more sincere than Americans, serving them with all that I have, teaching them, helping them make hard changes in their lives that will make them happier has helped me be a more sincere person. I’ve felt the difference between going through the motions and doing something with your whole soul and energy of heart. We all have different things to give, but it’s the sincerety and love with which we can give them that will increase the worth of any personal sacrifice. I’m thankful for the Atonement of Christ and the relationship I have with Christ which teaches me how to be motivated by pure love and sincerety. I’m glad to know that there is such a force in the world and that it is enough support us to do great things.

This has been a pretty distracted email session. Next week may be pretty distracted too, though.

I love you guys.

Elder Tyler Froelich