Monday, July 23, 2012

July 23rd Letter

We had zone conference on Friday. It was a day full of mixed emotions.I bore my last testimony and am still alive. The moments leading up to the testimony would prove fatal to a cardiologist because my heart was beating radically fast. Maybe some day I'll have control over my heart and it won't get all dilapidated on me when I'm older. 

This week provided some good lessons. We met with that one brother who's wife had the stroke. He likes to discuss the Gospel and so we planned on talking about the Book of Mormon and after hearing his testimony we would provide a fresh clean Book of Mormon with him and commit him to sharing the book with someone that was ready for the Gospel. What actually happened was that we discussed the importance of gaining a testimony of the BOM. From the post-lesson review we were a bit shocked. He didn't see the importance of praying to know that the BOM is true. We tried explaining it to him but he wouldn't quite accept. He asked us if we needed to pray to know if a small piece of gold weighed exactly five grams or not. It was a bit crazy and at the end of the lesson we weren't able to get him to pray but we were able to get him to think and ponder about the BOM. Hopefully the next time that we come over all will be well and he'll understand that he needs to pray about the BOM. The Spirit was pretty strong during the lesson especially when we said "As representatives of Jesus Christ...." those words are pretty powerful. Usually on a lesson, if it's even needed, it's only said once, but this time it was said twice. Once by Elder Lewis and by me. We were trying as hard as we could to help this Brother understand the need to pray about the BOM. 

We had a great lesson last night. We talked about the Book of Mormon and bore some great testimony about the BOM.  They had some great testimonies and it's just great hearing testimonies of the members over here. They are strong and stalwart. After the lesson they invited us to play some darts. We thought about it and agreed and it turned out to be a great time. We all took ten rounds and then who ever had the best score won. After about the third round the question was asked of "who is going to win?" We all said our answers and then continued playing. I said that the husband was going to win whilst he said that his wife was going to win and Elder Lewis said that he was going to win. Everyone had their guesses and we continued. After all the rounds the scores were tallied and this was the outcome. The husband took last, then Elder Lewis, then the wife and then me. I was shocked and so was everyone else. Beginners luck is what that win was. 

This week will be a good week. We have lessons planned every day and we will be busy. I'm working hard and having a great time. I'm laughing and enjoying doing the work. There is this one guy who came out of no where that we found on the streets. He wants a Bible and we are planning to meet with him and have a sit down lesson. We've talked a little bit but haven't had the chance to really explain who we are. From what he's said he's very prepared and my fingers are crossed that he'll get baptized soon so he can really change his life like he wants to. 

Thanks for the lovin' and such. I love you all very much and I'm working hard so that means the reunion will be that much better. 

Love Elder Frank

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

July 16th Letter

So I am still in my area but only for a little while longer. The other day whilst doing some weekly planning with my new companion Elder L I decided to make my planner a bit more effective and in so doing I cut out about half of the planner. Why? might you ask?? Because I don't need those extra days. It's crazy thinking that I'm in my last transfer with only so little left of time. Crazy how time goes by...I know that I have said this about every email, but it's true how crazy fast time is leaving and going to some unknown destination...probably called history. 

My few short days with Elder A were well lived. We talked and talked and had a great time. He's a great kid from Oklahoma and truckin' away at the work. It was great being in the center of a city for once. I've usually been on the outskirts of the cities and being in the action is a lot of fun. The people are busy rushing around going somewhere with a race against time. Trying to contact them was a bit more difficult because they were Russian. HAAhahahaa....laugh please. 

One morning after our morning contacting time we made our way to a McDonald's. I wasn't sure why and then it was made known unto me. It was my birthday morning and Elder A said that we were going to meet some speical guests. We however were at the wrong McDonald's. We grabbed the closest transport going the right way and made our way to the next one. Once I rounded the corner I found Elder N. I thought that I said goodbye to him but he was still around. He and his parents took us 'out' to breakfast. It was very nice and I was grateful for it. Later that night we had a belated family night. There at the place was a couple of families and some boys that Elders A and N baptized. It was a great time and a lot of fun. 

Transfer day is a day full of mixed emotions. For me it was the day that I was going to find out who my last companion was going to be and what I was in for. We all chatted and talked with one another and with those whom we haven't seen in a really long time. It was good to see some Elders that I have come close with. Then it all started. We all gathered together as cows for an auction. We found a place to sit and waited anxiously as for the upcoming news. We "patiently" waited during the testimonies of the new missionaries and then it was time to start the brouhaha. We all circled up as they do in the stake dances during the first few notes of a slow song. We looked around the room nervously anticipating who could be our next companion. One by one names were called and cheers were exlaimed. Cheer after cheer and hug after hug there became less and less missionaries standing up against the wall. Then Elder Frank Young will be serving with....every time you hear your name being called from one of the AP's in a large setting your heart drops to the balls of your feet. Elder Frank Young will be serving with....Elder L! What??!!? Again??? Yes, after the split second of confusion it then got erased by the joys of a hug, Elder L and I would be serving again. I was thrilled and Elder L was still trying to grasp what just happened. Soon all the cheers were quieted and whispers began to drown out the new information the AP's were trying to tell us. 

I couldn't be happier at the news of Elder L and I serving again. It's going to be a blast and good things are going to happen. I'm sorry to report that Masha and her husband Valik have been on vacation for little while and will be for another week or so. I only have three weeks left and there trip is two weeks. I was really saddened when I heard that they would be coming back home so late. I was planning on getting them baptized before I left this place. seems a bit out of my grasp and now my nex goal is to reactivate this less active. I really hope it works. I just want to finish the mission feeling accomplished and feeling good. Elder L and I are going to be working hard to make good things happen. They other day whilst at a members house I was taught a very heart touching leson. The member's wife had a really bad stroke about eight years ago. The outcome of her stroke is that she is now incapable of caring for herself in every way. Her husband, the member, takes care of her every little moment. The member is 71 years old and taking care of his wife isn't the easiest thing to do for him. We showed up and he said that he needed to work with is wife for a little bit longer and then we could start the lesson. She was propped up by a tower of pillows on her bed and her husband was spoon feeding some concauction to her. The tender look of love in his face overwhelmed me and taught me the lesson. I will always take care of my future wife and be with her to help her out. If this old man can take care of his invalid wife, then why can't I show some more love to my wife. He did everything for her all out of love and it really softened my heart. 

Well time is running out. Thanks for all that you do. I love you all so very much and thank you for your support. 

Elder Frank

Thursday, July 12, 2012

July 9th Letter

Thank you all for the birthday wishes. I can't believe that it's almost July 11 again. The time is flying! 

Today I dropped off Elder N at the Mission Home. That was a bit weird. I got to see some other Elders who are going home as well and it is crazy that they are all done. Seriously the time is flying. I know that I have a month left, and I'm not counting, there are enough Elders here that are counting down for me. I don't know why but they are. Dropping off Elder N was a bit crazy because we came into the MTC together and now he's done. In a matter of a few hours he'll be picking up his parents from the airport and then be touring the mission with his parents. Again...I'm thankful that you are not coming here to pick me up. It was a bit surreal this morning seeing Elder N gather up all of his items and then go to the Home and send him on his way. Just crazy. 

This past week has been busy and great. Where to start??? Well it was Elder Ns last week and so he was making arrangements to say goodbye to all of the members that he has become great friends with over the year. So we had a lot of member lessons...which isn't bad at all and yes we were able to have some investigator lessons so all is well. Don't worry about us doing work. Some of the families here are stalwart. One family was just simply amazing. When you walked in, you literally felt at home and it wasn't some awkward feeling of being some where else. I felt completely comfortable and I could feel the Spirit and the love that is in the family. It was so nice being there. It was difficult to leave because Elder N was seeing them for the last time and because being there with them felt so good. The family has been members for a really long time and they know how to really have happiness in life and that is by living the Gospel. That house has a special feeling.  When I have my own house I want it to feel like that. To where others can come in and feel right at home and feel comfortable and not awkward, pretty much have a slice of our house in my future house. Thanks for having a great house Mom and Dad. 

One morning we woke up to pouring rain. There have been some mornings when you just pray for rain the night before so you don't have to go outside because you're just so tired. However when I woke up this time and saw the rain coming out I was a bit excited because that meant that possibly we were gonna stay inside and not have to walk around the streets for an hour and half trying to talk with people. But that wasn't going to be the case. We got dressed and then grabbed our coats, grabbed some crackers, and then went outside with our contacting material. We stood underneath our little cover and ate a cracker and then took the first step out into the rain. I was a bit not too pleased with going on and walking in the rain because I knew that no one was going to talk to us. We continued our march into the rain and around our area. We walked and walked and then it turned from misery to enjoyment. I started laughing inside about the fact that we were walking around in the rain trying to avoid the splashes from all of the cars. The enjoyment was quite nice and then when the rain kind of let up I was a bit sad that it was done. Whilst walking around a member called us and told us to come to his office so we wouldn't be in the rain. We declined his request and continued our path. I can't really recall us talking to anyone but we were out there in the rain doing what was asked of us. 

The family that we are teaching is making progress. We were able to meet with them twice this week and it's just so nice to be with them. In their apartment they have the similar feel that the one family has, the one family I typed about up above. When the family gets baptized that feeling in the apartment will be so much stronger and better. The first time we met with them we finished teaching the second half of the Plan of Salvation, from death to the end. They had some good questions and we offered our answers. During the lesson I got this thought in my head. I was remined about this one talk that I listened to, it was President Packer. I think the talk is called I'll Remember your sins no More. It talks about the time when Alma talks to his son Shiblon about his problems and then goes on and talks about the spirit world and everything else. These questions that they were having dealed exactly with what these chapters talked about out. I had the feeling and the thought that before we left I had to make sure to explain to them that they needed to read these three chapters (Alma 40-42) so they could get some answers. Then before we were to end the lesson I spoke up and commited them to read those chapters. It felt good accomplishing something that I know that the Holy Ghost prompted me to do. Upon our next arrival we asked them if they read those chapters and they said that they did! They then said that those chapters really helped them out and gave them answers to what they were looking for and it was easy and simple to understand. Oh what a great relief that was. I was so glad that I listened to the Spirit and that those chapters helped them out. Our next lesson was about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and we only taught the first three of five topics. Yet again towards the end of the lesson I got another feeling that I should extend another scpriture commitment of reading 3 Nehpi 11 where it talks about baptism. We were gonna extend them to be baptized but it didn't feel right. They are ready for baptism and would be great members. The husband works on Sundays and doesn't really have a chance to change his schedule and so hopefully we'll take a page from Andrew Willmore's mission and have him pray to have his boss change his schedule so he can come to church with his wife. The family is just awesome and it's my goal to see them get baptized before I leave. I know that it is possible and that it's going to take a lot of work. I'm going to buckle down and do the right thing. I know that all will work out. 

Transfer meeting is this Thursday and it'll be crazy to see comes to me. I hope that they are ready to work a bit more smart than hard. Elder N and I worked hard which is good. He helped me set the ending pace for the rest of the mission for me. I'm excited to work and to finish strong. Till then family I'll be working hard and you'll be having a great time. Thanks for everything. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

July 2nd Letter

I can't believe that it's July already....where is time going?? Elder N and I were talking the past couple days about the powers of man and God. We, man, have some powers over some things, but God has power over all things and weather is one thing that man won't ever have control over. I'm curious to know what is going on about how the fighting of the fires is taking place and then I would love to work with someone about restoring the land BUT I'd really rather study the Book of Mormon and share that knowledge with those who don't know about it. 

This morning I did a great study about patience and confidence. Elder N has been trying to work with others and get things coordinated and some things hasn't been working out. This has been stressing him out and making some things more complicated than it really should be. We talked about it last night because he thought that I was down and depressed. I was just tired and exhausted. I have been keeping my cool and being calm and not worrying about what is going on. I have allowing him to do what he needs to do and to sit back and hope that all works out for him. I will work on being nice to him and helping him out. It's like the story C told about his comp, just gotta love, and that is what brings me to my studies this morning. I was reading all over the place but it didn't really all click till comp study. I was reading in Luke and then I changed and read in the D&C. I read section 82. There was a verse there that didn't make much sense but then when I talked it out it made a lot of sense. The Lord told Joseph and some others to make friends with mammon. I had no clue what mammon meant and looked it up in Russian. Which means rich. But the phrase is make friends with the rich of unrighteousness. That doesn't make sense because God always tells us to make friends with the good and touch not that which is evil. However in my reading in Luke I read the story about the Good Samaritan. The G.S. took care of the half-dead man and treated him with care. Yes the two nations weren't friends but still the one helped out the other. Further in my readings from Luke it talked about how Jesus went and sat at meat with some Pharisee's, some people that weren't the best, but yet Christ went and made friends with everyone. So the counsel given to Joseph and the others makes sense through some weird connections of the scriptures. That just makes the Gospel true. So what I learned from this is to be kind to eveyone and help them out, even if you don't want to. Do what Christ would have done and be kind and make friends with everyone. In the words of Dad: Make it fun for everyone. Plus life with friends is a lot better than with out friends.

Life is good and all is going well. I'm working on having more patience and understanding what it really means. So this leads to a question: What is your understanding of the relationship between patience and confidence???? If you could get back to me with what you know that would be wonderful. I did some reading also this morning about it and this is what I came up with. Patience leads to confidence which then leads to faith then to hope and then to charity. I thought about humility but I'm not sure how it loops into the circle. I thought that it was interesting. 

Thanks for everything that you have done for me. Tell everyone that I say hello. I'm working hard and having fun. Thanks for your prayers. 

Love Elder Frank