Monday, December 31, 2012

Last Day of 2012

Last day of 2012! с рождеством и с новым годом!

Hope you all had a fun-filled holiday in Hawaii, because I sure did here in Chisinau! Probably one of the best Christmas' I've had. Basically, Christmas was a ton of fun. Our whole zone (which is a total of 12 missionaries) went to Brother Alto's house again (the American), we watched a movie, played games, talked with one another, ate some delicious food made by the senior couples, and the best part of the night, was being able to see all of you on Skype :) I thought I would get all emotional, but sometimes us missionaries forget that we're not here for the rest of our lives. Of course, two years is a while, but nonetheless, I was very happy to talk with my amazing family!

We had a lot of cool experiences this week. The first one is a guy Elder Monroe and Elder Schiers met while on an exchange. He owns a food shop in a new mall they are building here, he knows English and a ton about the Mormons, he has a lot of questions and he said that if we can answer all of them... he'll get baptized. So we'll see how this turns out ;) The funny thing is is that he has a Mexican accent, but he's Persian. Anyway! He showed us around the new mall (which is way cool! I'll attach a picture of it) and when we asked him when it would be done, he said, "Only Joseph Smith and God know!" We got a good laugh out of that. Of course, we didn't meet with him very long, but we plan on meeting with him at least once a day. The other experience was that very night. We have one progressing investigator who lives in our area and he's reading the old AND new translation of the Book of Mormon, the D&C, and he loves it! But during personal study that morning, I was reading in D&C 76:40-42, and the Spirit told me to write it down for this investigator (we were planning on teaching the Plan of Salvation, so it didn't really fit with our lesson plan) but I wrote it down anyway. So during the lesson, my companion asks, "Why did Christ die for us? And what is the significance of his resurrection?" Our investigator answered with a simple "I really dont know..." And right as he said that, a bright light turned on in my head and I remembered the scripture I wrote down that morning...

40 And this is the gospel, the glad tidings, which the voice out of the heavens bore record unto us—
41 That he came into the world, even Jesus, to be crucified for the world, and to bear the sins of the world, and to sanctify the world, and to cleanse it from all unrighteousness;
42 That through him all might be saved whom the Father had put into his power and made by him;

Right as he read it, I could SEE the understanding flow into his mind by the way he reacted. It was amazing how a random scripture that I read would answer his question, even though we were planning on teaching something different. NEVER IGNORE A PROMPTING FROM THE SPIRIT. You'll never regret it. That's an important lesson I'm learning every single day, and It's something we can ALWAYS work on. Even us missionaries aren't perfect at it!

Thank you so much for the Christmas package though! It didn't come before Christmas... but it got pretty close! Now I have a huge candy stash in my apartment, just in case we ever get snowed in ;) I cannot express the deep love I have for all of you. Every day I appreciate the family I was blessed with more and more, and I hope you can see the many blessings that I can see coming from Heavenly Father because of my decision to serve a full-time mission.

Thanks for all the Hawaii pictures too. It looks like you had a lot of fun, and enjoyed the nice weather. It was freezing here until two days ago, so it's not too bad righ now. In 18 days, I'll have 1/4 of my mission completed. 3/4's to go! I'm enjoying every second of it, and I wish I was better at writing emails, but I have lots of "other" stories to tell when I get home :)

Love you all and Happy New Year!

-Elder Farnworth

I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go lyrics (read them during church and thought I'd share them with you!)

1. It may not be on the mountain height
Or over the stormy sea,
It may not be at the battle's front
My Lord will have need of me.
But if, by a still, small voice he calls
To paths that I do not know,
I'll answer, dear Lord, with my hand in thine:
I'll go where you want me to go.

I'll go where you want me to go, dear Lord,
Over mountain or plain or sea;
I'll say what you want me to say, dear Lord;
I'll be what you want me to be.

2. Perhaps today there are loving words
Which Jesus would have me speak;
There may be now in the paths of sin
Some wand'rer whom I should seek.
O Savior, if thou wilt be my guide,
Tho dark and rugged the way,
My voice shall echo the message sweet:
I'll say what you want me to say.

3. There's surely somewhere a lowly place
In earth's harvest fields so wide
Where I may labor through life's short day
For Jesus, the Crucified.
So trusting my all to thy tender care,
And knowing thou lovest me,
I'll do thy will with a heart sincere:
I'll be what you want me to be.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The Best Part of Christmas....

was getting to talk to Brian in Moldova! It was so fun getting to talk face to face (via Skype)! We woke up at 5:00am Hawaii time so we wouldn't miss him...and then he didn't end up calling until around 10am! It was well worth the wait! We got to talk to him for over an hour! Here is a video of him speaking a little Russin and some highlights!

  • His mission president is the best! He is letting them see the Hobbit (in Russian) next week. 
  • He is learning a little Romania along with Russian.
  • He will spend most of his mission serving in three cities.
  • They travel mostly by public transportation which includes a Van they pack as many people as possible into!
  • He had a blast on Christmas! They spent the day watching youtube videos, and opening presents.
  • He thought the Gangnam style video was hilarious.
  • He is getting chubby and now cuts his own hair because the barbers there take 45 minutes!
  • There isn't much for them to do on P-Days, but he has fun with the other missionaries in Moldova.
  • He has realized he as SO MUCH time during the day and encourages everyone to use their time wisely. Especially those, like his little brother Matt, preparing to leave on their mission.
  • His companion is the district leader so he has to go on exchanges a lot and he doesn't like those very much.
  • They have found a couple great contacts while knocking doors. One even decorated his apartment for Christmas just for the Elders.
  • His companion is from Chicago and comes from a similar background, and Brian enjoys talking with him about that.  

Turn the volume up and enjoy Elder Farnworth! :D

Monday, December 17, 2012

Knocking Doors Can Be Fun! :D

Hello family!

This week was even colder than last week, and it has been snowing a TON! It's no fun when it's windy either...
But this week was great anyway!

Knocking every night is becoming more and more normal (I honestly didn't like it at first), but I love it now! It's a fantastic way to find people, and cut to the chase about why we're here. I also had the most amazing experience of teaching my FIRST family this past week too. On this particular night, we didn't pick out a street to knock, so we walked to a random дом (apartment), went inside, walked all the way to the top (because we usually like to work our way down), knocked on the first door... no answer.... second door.... no answer.... third door... ANSWER! A father answered the door, we gave our spiel, he looked at us with a "why not!" look and said, "заходите!" (which means "come in") We were surprised because it usually takes about 20 doors before someone lets us in, but we gladly went in and sat down. To make a long story short, he has a wife and two daughters, the lesson was incredible and Elder Monroe and I could definitely tell that this family really loved each other and that they are very ready for the gospel. It's amazing what Heavenly Father can do with us missionaries when we're doing what we're supposed to do.

I finally got the package, and the assistant to the president said it was the heaviest package he's seen in a while. It was like an early Christmas! Thank you so much though! It's often hard to find something to eat when we're at home, so it's nice to have A LOT of snacks when we're hungry ;) Everything made it safely!

So I found out when I'll be calling. All the missionaries are doing it at the same time, so there's really not much I can do about the timing... So what I know right now is that I'll be calling you between 4 and 5 pm HERE on the 25th and in Hawaii it will be 4 or 5 am THERE. So be expecting a call Christmas morning VERY EARLY! ;) I would be very sad if I can't get a hold of you, so I hope you'll all be awake! I'm very very excited to tell you everything about my mission in more detail, and to see all your faces!

I'd write some more, but I want to save some things for next week. I'm so glad to be here in Moldova at this time of the year, and for the amazing missionaries I get to work with every day. I'm coming up on my 6 month mark, and that means 1/4 of my mission is already done. I'm so glad I have 2 years to keep growing and learning. I wouldn't trade these experiences for anything. Thank you for your support and love. I hope you all know that I love you very much, and travel safely to Hawaii! I'll see you all on the 25th!

-Elder Farnworth

P.S. Would you please send my Kenneth dictionary up soon? I really need it! Also, how are Elder Chapman, Petersen, and Wheelhouse doing? Elder Chapman is coming up on his YEAR mark, and If I could email him, I would! But I can't... So it would be great if you could let me know how they're all doing. Tell the Chapmans hi from me too!

Monday, December 10, 2012

COLD Week!!

End of the world in 10/12 days? It's been a COLD week! It snowed for the first time, and, of course, we went knocking A TON in this miserable weather. But I'm happy nonetheless! Elder Monroe is an incredible companion, and he has helped me in a million ways, especially with finding people. We went knocking every day this week for at least 3 hours. The first couple days we found nobody, but that's because Heavenly Father is trying to see if we would continue to be dliligent in our finding efforts... And we DID! God really does prepare His children to receive the gospel. Last night we came in contact with a lady who happily let us into her home to talk to her about the Book of Mormon. I could see that special light in her eyes when we taught her about the restored gospel. She said she had never really had a religious life, but she knew about our church because one of her friends invited her to our English classes. After reading the introduction to the Book of Mormon, she basically set up an appointment with us! How cool is that!? So we'll see her again on Thursday (just before the Zone Christmas party/conference) and I'm really excited to teach her more and to see the gospel change her life. 

Sorry for my email not working last week, Google said they shut down my account because there was "too much activity". No idea what that means! Ldsmail uses gmail (but in a filtered kind of way), so that's why google was involved. 

Right now there are two sisters in our mission, but they speak Romanian. One's from St. George, and the other, I don't know yet! But they're really hard workers and very fun to be around and talk to.

I have not received the package yet, and I have no idea why... Christmas chat? It should be around the 25th, but I'm not sure what day yet... I'll let you know as soon a I know though! It will be on Skype, and probably at one of the senior missionaries houses. Who knows, maybe you'll be able to meet the Pinders!

Okay, this is the information for my plaque:

Favorite scripture: Alma 7:23-24 (Is that really too long?)
Full mission name: Romania/Moldova Mission
Dates of service: July 2012 - July 2014

You're going to Hawaii!?! I knew this would happen! It will be fun to talk to you while you're there though. Great to hear that you're all iPhone users now too.

Christmas is right around the corner, and being here makes me think of all those times back at home, but luckily they like to decorate the city here with lights and they even have a HUGE Christmas tree in Center. I'm so glad I get to be a representative of Christ, especially during the Christmas season: a time where we get to focus on Christ's birth and serving others. The Spirit is a wonderful gift from Heavenly Father to help us feel that Christlike joy and peace every year around this time. So remeber to focus more on giving and less on getting. I love you all! Hope you enjoy the pictures, and have a wonderful week!

-Elder Farnworth

Random Information:

The members of the church treat us like family. They are really friendly and they are receptive to our message, but the Soviet era kind of makes it really difficult to teach people who lived during that horrible time.

Moldova is the poorest country in Europe. But also the best ;) The economy is crap, but everybody wears nice clothes and drives around mercedies. 

There are no wards here... Yet... They are called branches. The people are really great, but there are very few active members, which makes our work even harder because we have to work with less-actives A LOT. I see the members every Sunday, and sometimes when I'm proselyting!