Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Hello family!!!
Every week here keeps getting better and better... and every week that goes by, the more excited I get to go out into the field! Time's still flying! I can't believe I've been here for 6 weeks. (4 weeks, 5 days left!!!) It feels like yesterday I was just getting here! But the Russian is coming along well, I'm finally starting to understand it, and I'm almost done with the Book of Mormon! I've never read it this fast before. I guess that's what happens when you have 8 hours of study time every day. Oh yeah! The new Russian Elders and Sisters get here TODAY. We're so excited for them, and that they get to be speaking the best language in the MTC ;) Ct. Brooks (our zone leader) asked us if we would write notes to the new missionaries, so I did, and on my note, I wrote down the scripture Alma 7:23-24, which says, "23 And now I would that ye should be humble, and be submissive and gentle; easy to be entreated; full of patience and long-suffereing; being temperate in all things; being diligent in keeping the commandments of God at all times; asking for whatsoever things ye stand in need, both spiritual and temporal; always returning thanks unto God for whatsoever things ye do receive. 24 And see that ye have faith, hope, and charity, and then ye will always abound in good works." This is THE scipture that I wish I could have read my first week here, which, by the way, was one of the the worst weeks of my life (and by some miracle, I've made it this far!). This scripture helped me realize what I needed to do when I needed that "divine intervention" with transitioning into this completely differently life. So, I thought this would definitely help them like it helped me.
Every single day I'm grateful for the opportunity to be here and the two years of my life that I'm sacrificing to bring my brothers and sisters in Moldova unto Christ and show them how much God loves them. At first, I wasn't very happy with the fact that I would be here for 12 weeks, but now, I see it as an opportunity to strengthen my testimony, and build a solid foundation for learning this crazy Russian language. But, of course, I wouldn't have gotten to where I am now without my wonderful family (and friends!). Dad, thank you for being a worthy priesthood holder and a father who showed his love and support for me daily (sorry I didn't go golfing with you as much as I should have!). Lindsay, thank you for the example you are academically, and with the hard work you put into everything you do. Heidi, thank you so much for being an amazing motherly figure after Mom died, and for showing me how I can be productive even when I didn't want to be. Matt, thank you for being a brother who cared so much about the simple things in life, and Í'm sorry I wasn't as good of a brother as I should have been. But most importantly, thank you for being my family, and I'm so grateful for the blessing that families can be together forever. Because I couldn't ask for a better family.
I wish I could think of some stories to tell you, but nothing too exciting happened this week. I just wanted to express my deep gratitude for you guys, and how much I love you. До Свиданя (I think that's how you spell it)!
-Elder Farnworth
P.S. Thank you for the cookies Heidi! They were delicious! Also, thank you for the letters! I love reading them.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Ups and Downs of the MTC

As of Monday, I have 6 weeks left here at the MTC! The older districts have left, and we are now the only districts... until next Wednesday! That's when the new Russian speaking missionaries come in! Woohoo! I'm way excited for them. And just so everyone knows, I AM in the choir, but I will be leaving the MTC a week before conference. I know, I'm pretty bummed about it too. Anyway, both of our progressing investigators are preparing to get baptized, and Ct. Grover and I are really excited for them! Our techers decided to throw a curve ball at us though... We will now be teaching the other missionaries in our district as progressing investigators. My progressing investigators name is Dimitri, and he's an athiest. We got to plan them all out. It's pretty cool!
I'm really struggling with the language right now. So many things to learn in so little time. Some days I feel unstoppable, and some days I can't do a single thing. But it all comes back to Heavenly Father, and that He is there to help me with ANYTHING. I don't know if you have seen it yet, but Connie took a video of me bearing my testimony in Russian. I hope you like it! Even though my companion is a million times better at bearing his testimony.
This week has been a week of answered prayers! So every day last week, Ct. Grover and I walked into the MTC store and looked at a book named 550 Russian verbs. We would hold it in our hands, flip through the pages, and ask ourselves if we really wanted to buy it. But. Every time, we would leave the store without it. SO. On Monday, we were all sitting in class getting ready to head back to our residence halls, and one of our zone leaders walks in with a box. And guess what he pulls out? The book we've been wanting to buy! He threw it on the ground and said, "Whoever wants it can take it!" And of course, I was the first one to the floor... We now have that book, and we cherish every moment with it ;) Okay. The second prayer... Every week we have one devotional (Tuesday nights) and one Fireside (Sunday nights), and so far we have not heard from a single general authority. So last night, we had our Tuesday night devotional, and we usually get pretty good seats for it. We walked in, got our seats, and noticed that the projectors weren't showing us who was speaking tonight. Didn't think much of it. But then we noticed that the district presidencies were there, and they are pretty important people. This is when I got really excited. Anyway, to make a long story short (since I don't have much time on here), Neil L. Andersen came and spoke to us! It was so awesome to hear an Apostle speak to us missionaries. It was an excellent talk, and I enjoyed it very much.
Oh yeah, I need a ENGLISH-RUSSIAN RUSSIAN-ENGLISH Dictionary by Kenneth Katzner. So if you could send that to me as soon as you can, I would very much appreciate it!
Everything here is great and I'm going to go and find Elder Petersen now!
I love you all and I'm grateful for your examples to me. Pray, read your scriptures, and go to church! :)
-Elder Farnworth

Monday, August 20, 2012

One Month in the MTC

As of today, I have been in the MTC for a month! Crazy. Hmmm, where to start... So we have two investigators, Elena and Nikolai, and last week Ct. Grover and I planned a really good lesson for Elena. So we went into the room, asked her how things were going, and she said that her friend had died. All we could do was sit there and say, "we are so sorry". So after sitting there awkwardly for about 30 seconds, we realized that we had to discard the lesson we had planned for her. Luckily, one of our 3 teachers (Bro. Adams), was sitting in on the lesson as a "ward member." He turned to us and said, "Teach her the Plan of Salvation." Now, you have to remember that we're teaching in Russian. We had no idea how we were going to teach the Plan of Salvation in Russian when we didn't even know the vocabulary for it! But we ended up being able to do a presentation on a chalkboard and give a good lesson with Bro. Adams help. Oh yeah, another really cool experience. So the next lesson after that, I had her read Alma 40:11-12, which is about the afterlife, and as soon as she finished reading, she asked me a question about the scripture. She asked, "who are the righteous?" In russian, of course. And I had no idea what she asked... Then BAM. It hit me like a train. The verses in English came to my mind and the first word I thought of was righteous. So, I answered and said that the righteous follow Christ. THE CHURCH IS TRUE! What a miracle.
So I found out last week that Moldova is expanding to more cities, so I'll spend my whole mission in Moldova. No Romania, kind of sad, but oh well! Also, I was "called" to be a district leader on Sunday, and now I get to go to a lot of meetings, woohoo! Sunday night we had a Fireside... like we do every Sunday... and before the Fireside started, Ct. Jones and I found a scale. It said that I weighed 166! Sadly, the next day, when I didn't have 10 pounds of clothes on, it said I weighed 155, so I haven't gained weight yet... But guess who played the organ at the Fireside?! Mr. Durtschi! It was really good to see him and he said that he'd put up a Facebook status saying that he saw Elder Farnworth at the MTC. Our service day guy Paul left us, so now we don't have any way of getting news of the outside world! It was a sad day for all of us, and now our service guy is someone who hates life. If only P-day was ALL day, I could tell you all the funny and exciting things that have happened. I guess they will just have to wait till next week!
I'm still alive and well, and I hope you're all alive and well. Every day keeps getting better and better, and a week from now, the older districts will be in Russia, and we'll be the older districts. Pretty exciting! Also, when does Matt Petersen come in? Can't wait to see him here! Glad to hear the Olympics went well for the good ol' U S of A, and that Russia ended up coming back from 2 down to win the gold in Men's Volleyball ;) My old life is slowly fading, and my new life is becoming more and more routine. "Two years is a tiny fraction compared to an eternity." I can't wait to get out and serve the people of Moldova, even if it means being at the MTC for 6 more weeks! I love you all, and I love the letters!
-Elder Farnworth