Thursday, September 27, 2012


Next week at this time, I'll be in my apartment in Romania/Moldova! Its so weird to think that my time is coming to an end at the MTC. It's been great, but I am ready to get out of here! Something really exciting that happened on Friday last week was that I got my TRAVEL PLANS! It's says I'm traveling by myself, but that's because I'm the only Russian speaker going to my mission right now. Here's my flight schedule: Oct 1 SLC-->Detroit, Detroit-->Amsterdam, Oct 2 Amsterdam-->Romania. A lot of long flights ahead of me, but I look forward to all that time I get to catch up on my sleep ;) But in all seriousness, we (my district) all challenged each other to talk to at least one person at each of the airports and all of our flights, since, ya know, we're missionaries! To be honest, I can't wait to see what happens.
So our teacher Bro. Okoren decided to leave us and go to Lake Powell last week, SO. In his place, we had a Ukrainian teacher and his name was Bro. K... Let me just say right now, most intimidating guy I've ever met... Anyway, we played a game with the Russian numbers (which are the hardest things to say in Russian) and he made us sit down if we said it wrong. My companion had a panic attack every time it was his turn to say a number haha funniest thing ever! Another really cool thing I found last week was a Mormon message called "The Will of God". This seriously changed my view on any trial I've ever had, ever. It's about D. Todd Christofferson's talk "As many as I love, I Rebuke and Chasten" from the April 2011 conference, I think. I'll let you all watch it on your own, because it is so powerful. Oh yeah, so I'm pretty sure many of you saw the Bigham City Temple dedication (don't worry, I got to see it too!) and it sure is a beautiful temple! I'm glad I got to see it before I went.
Hmmm, okay... Funny story. So like I said, our teacher Bro. Okoren hasn't been here, so we had another teacher named Bro. Duffy, and he had us all practice contacting him, and our district has only practiced contacting TWICE... So Ct. Grover and I just happened to be first... We went outside, tried to find him, and when we found him, we were like, "Okay, we going to walk up to him and say that we noticed his tie, then ask him if he is a business man." Guess what... NO tie! So we basically followed him like stalkers until we figured out a good way to start a conversation. We ended up telling him that we noticed his shoes... and luckily it worked. Thank goodness for the Spirit!
Well. This will be my last email from the MTC. It's been an amazing 12 weeks, and I look forward to the 21 months ahead of me. I cannot thank you enough for your love and support! I hope to have many fun and exciting stories to tell you for the rest of my mission, and I can't wait to hear your voices on Monday! Love you!
-Elder Farnworth
P.S. There's some big news coming that will "change the church". Steven Chapman told me that Elder Nelson said that maybe they will tell us during general conference, which is in a week and a half!! I'm excited to hear it! Thanks for the culturegrams too Dad, they really helped me to understand whats it's going to be like over there. Can't wait to tell you all about my first week in Romania!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Book of Mormon Musical

Hello family! One week and five days till I'm on my way to Romania/Moldova to REALLY begin my mission!!!
First of all, we had the MOST AMAZING Fireside about the Book of Mormon on Sunday. It was incredible. The person who talked to us was W. Tracy Watson. I can't remember what his position was in the church, but to start off his talk he showed a clip from the Book of Mormon broadway musical. After the clip ended, he asked us all why we weren't laughing like they were. He then began to say, "This musical has made you Elders and Sisters look like robots, and the Book of Mormon like a joke." (Don't quote me on that, it's from what I can remember!) "The Book of Mormon is a well that has no bottom." It's a book that HAS changed lives, and WILL change lives. He also told us that we need to study it every single day, teach from it, help our investigators read it, believe it, and love it, and to also KNOW the book. I feel like I have SO much to improve upon, but thank goodness for 21 months I have ahead of me to learn and grow!
Being in the MTC has made me realize how important the temple really is, and I'm so sad that I didn't take advantage of the time I could've gone to the temple before my mission. It's a place where I feel so close to my Heavenly Father, and feel an overwhelming peace from the loads of stress from being a missionary. So I encourage you to go to the temple as often as you can!
I'm pretty sure I get my travel plans tomorrow, so if I do, I'll be sure to let Connie know :) Oh yeah! I can't remember if I told you this or not, but when we got our Russian nametags, my name was spelled Фарнзворт. Can any of you see the letter in there that shouldn't be...? This curse will forever be with this family! Anyway, everyone got a good laugh from it, and it should be getting back to me anytime without that "S". WIsh I had more stories to tell, but every week is the SAME...
To end this letter, I just wanted to say thank you so much to Dad, Bishop Belliston, and Chaconne and Jeremy for the care package, and cookies! The letters too! They were delicious and my companion loved sharing with me! I'm also so grateful for the support and love from you all, and I can definitely feel it every day.  Being a missionary is a completely different lifestyle, but every second is worth it.
"Every good thing has come from my mission. There is nothing more important than the participation in the salvation of a human soul." - Elder Holland.
I love you all and pray for you every day.
-Elder Farnworth

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Roller Coaster of Emotions

Wow. What a week this has been. I've had the highest highs, and the lowest lows. A mission is a rollercoaster of emotion, and let me tell you, it's not easy! But then I think, only 2 weeks, and 5 days left till I'm in a different country! Can't believe I've been here for 8 weeks (and after I leave, I will have been at the MTC for 1/8 of my mission. CRAZY.) Even though I feel like my Russian is horrible, I'm slowly improving. I haven't realized how far the MTC has taken me out of my comfort zone until now, but boy, am I sure grateful for it! In my personal study this week, I've been reading Alma. And after I finished reading Alma 26, I realized, "Wow. This is exactly how I feel my mission is going to be!" So I encourage all the soon-to-be missionaries to read that chapter before they enter the MTC.
So Ct. Grover and I went to the health clinic to get some things checked and as I was waiting for him, I noticed a little quote behind the front desk. It went something like this, "Missionary (noun) - Someone who leaves their family for a short time so that others may be with their families for eternity." Sometimes two years seems like a long time to be away from everything, but then I remember that I'm not here for myself, I'm here for the people that I am going to teach, and help them change their lives for the better. After I read that, I was so overwhelmed. It's times like that when I am reminded of how grateful I should be for this call to be a missionary.
Okay, to be honest, my new teacher makes us all feel like idiots. For the past 7 weeks, we haven't been filling out our area book... Because none of our teachers told us HOW to.... and he noticed and pretty much "cried" repentance unto us like prophets did in the Book of Mormon... We are now filling out the area book in hopes that he won't make us feel like idiots again! Oh yeah, he also likes to "sleep" during our lessons, which also makes us feel like bad teachers. It's all a part of the experience, right?

Well, I'm running out of time and... I get my travel plans next week!!! Also, Dad, I hope you had a great birthday and I hope you liked my card! I look forward to the phone call home from the airport and I'll have many stories to tell. Hope life, school, and work are all great and that you remember to "pray every day, read your scriptures often, and go to church every Sunday!" I love you all!
-Elder Farnworth
P.S. I'll do better with responding to letters! There's not as much time as I'd like on P-days.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Sleep Talking in Russian

My wonderful family! I look forward to this time every week (which is very short) I get to email you!
Well, to start out, I have officially slept talked in Russian. WAY COOL! Ct. Brooks said that he just randomly woke up in the middle of the night and heard me speaking some Russian, he can't remember what I said, but oh well! Oh yeah, another thing... Dad, can you send me the "14th article of faith"? The one about meetings; because we'd all get a good laugh from that since that's all I do here. So lately, we've been turning worldy songs into MTC songs with missionary approved lyrics. Our favorite one right now is the Pokemon theme song... It goes something like this... "I wanna be the very best, like no one ever was. To baptize is my real test, to save them is my cause! BAPTISMS!" Anyway! Just thought you all would get a kick out of that, cause we sure do! It funny the things we do around here to keep ourselves entertained.
The new missionaries have learned more in one week than I had learned in four!  Что такой!? (That means "what the heck" in Russian) We've been having SYL (Speak Your Language) days these past two weeks, and it's insanely hard. Speaking Russian from the moment I wake up till I go to sleep without saying a single English word sometimes seems impossible. But I've managed to do it... Kind of... I still haven't lost or gained any weight, which is weird because I eat SO MUCH food here, but I can't complain! Scripture study is WONDERFUL. Revelation is so real, and I can't believe I never realized it before as much as I do now. Brother Hollingshead, who is our new language study instructor, gave a lesson on Monday (two days ago) about how going on a mission requires a lot of sacrifice, but also how it will be the best experience of our lives. He told a story about an Elder who went to Russia, seemed like a really good missionary, but ended up going home after two weeks in the field... he thought he could "relax" because he had already sacrificed enough in the MTC. This is what Bro. Hollingshead said to that Elder, "What do you think you signed up for?"  We're here to give Heavenly Father our all, 24/7, no matter what. He said that there's a difference between doing what missionaries do, and BECOMING a missionary. I have to allow these two years to shape my life, and show that I am willing to give up anything to serve a mission... I feel like I'm doing pretty good so far! Nothing happens without faith, and having faith is pretty difficult sometimes. But with patience and long-suffereing, good things will "come to pass." Sorry my emails are so short!
I love this work, and I love all of you! Hope life is wonderful, even if school started and now you have lots and lots of homework, just remember that you have more time than you think to get it done! Dad, hope all the golfing you're doing is great and HAPPY BIRTHDAY NEXT TUESDAY! I'm sending you a card, I'll think you will think it's pretty funny :) 3 weeks and 5 days left till I'm on a plane headed to Romania/Moldova!!! Love you and miss you all!
-Elder Farnworth