Monday, November 26, 2012

A Mission is Like a Grand Piano

This week was probably the best week of my mission so far! We traveled on a 12 hour train ride down to Bucharest on Wednesday night, had zone conference all Thursday (this is what I did for Thanksgiving), and headed right back here to Chisinau Thursday night on another 12 hour train ride. Zone conference was fun, but the train rides, not so much! So basically I did not celebrate Thanksgiving this year, I was kind of bummed, but my district is going to try and celebrate it today. Sounds like Thanksgiving was a lot of fun at Grandma's and Grandpa's house this year though! I'm glad you were all able to be filled with lots of good food :) At zone conference, Elder Kerr came to speak to us about how if we make 1 to 2 degree changes in our missionary work, then we will see those big differences we're working for. We also got to hear from President Hill and his wife. Lots of great direction was given, and now we have to apply that advice and make those 1 to 2 degree changes!
Christmas is just around the corner now and Elder Smith and I found some Christmas CD's hidden in our apartment... so we've been listening to them and it's brought back a lot of memories of Christmas at home. Tis' the season to feel the Spirit of Christ, and I hope all of you are recognizing that Spirit more than any other time of the year.

So as you all know, we teach an English class, and this past Saturday we taught the word "self-absorbed" and our students said that we were selfish by being here in Moldova teaching English! Of course, we didn't want to argue, but I was really confused by what they said. So we had a discussion on what it means to be selfish and hopefully they change their minds. Because if we were selfish, we wouldn't be here!

We are still teaching Eugene and we've been really wanting to show to him lately how important the Book of Mormon should be in his daily life... So we did. It ended up being a really powerful lesson. A recent convert was there too, and she basically told him that he was ready for baptism! It was awesome to hear her say that because Eugene REALLY IS ready for baptism. I also told him (at the end of the lesson) that it's not between him and us, him and his family, or him and his friends; the decision to be baptized is only between him and God. We're really hoping he prays about it this week because he hasn't yet (and we've invited him to many times). I keep thinking that nothing is going to stick until he recieves that answer from Heavenly Father. So we're going to work really hard this week to help him get that answer!
Also, my companion and I came up with this really cool analogy during companionship study yesterday... A mission is like a grand piano, the missionaries are the keys, and God is the pianist. If we do not work the way that we're supposed to, then Heavenly Father cannot make a beautiful masterpeice; he does not want to use a key and have it be flat, or not even work at all. A pianist will use every key in their own unique way, so those keys always have to be ready to be "played". So in order for the Romania/Moldova mission to have more success, we all need to make sure we're working the way God wants us to and to be ready when he needs to use us.

I'm going to send some pictures of my P-day last Monday, so I hope you enjoy them! I hope my email is good enough, and I wish I could answer every question, but that would take a while. It's always good to hear about how all of you are doing though. Life is good here, and it seems like life is good there! I love you and pray for you always.

Scripture of the week: Jacob 4:10

1Wherefore, brethren, seek not to acounsel the Lord, but to take counsel from his hand. For behold, ye yourselves know that he counseleth in bwisdom, and in justice, and in great mercy, over all his works. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Elder Fahrenheit

 I've been in Moldova for two months now, and the lessons I've learned (and will continue to learn) never cease to amaze me. Heavenly Father really does know where us 19 year old young men need to serve in order to change the lives of many, and at the same time, change our own lives. It really is a blessing in disguise. In that talk that Johnny Harris gave me it explains it perfectly, "Don't you see? Only when you lose yourself in the work, can you find yourself." I'm paraphrasing this of course because I don't have the talk with me, but the message is basically that when we give ourselves FULLY to the Lord, He can transform us into what He wants us to become. "Это не важно, откуда, но куда." (I know you'll be putting it into Google Translate, but it doesn't translate it correctly! It means that it doesn't matter where we came from, but where we are headed. Food for thought.)

EXCITING NEWS! President Hill came up to Chisinau this weekend and announced that in 6 months, we should be DOUBLING the amount of missionaries here! Guess what that means? I get to be a trainer! 6 months is far away, but in the meantime I have to get a lot better at speaking Russian, но всё хорошо! I'm really learning a lot and like you've said Dad, this life is slowly becoming more and more normal every day.

Thanks for highlighting your questions in your email, so here are my answers!

What do I eat the most of? Pizza. I've never eaten so much pizza in my life, and It's mostly because almost every restaurant here is a pizza restaurant.

What is the currency here? It's called Lei. It's feels like toilet paper, really small, and the coin is called Bon.

What are some of my monthly expenses? Every month we get about 3380 Lei (we all have cards, that's how they get the money to us): I pay for bus passes, marshutka's, food, toiletries, and that's basically it!

The Elder Fahrenheit story? So we have FHE every Monday night after P-day is over, and one night, we had to do a role play of welcoming investigators at church. So Sister Modsolewska (she's Polish, and we struggle saying each others names) SO, she was in my group and she turned to me saying, "You're the investigator Elder Fahrenheit!" And we all just busted out in laughter... So ever since then, that's been my nickname!
We all keep joking that the world really is going to end because Obama got re-elected, but we're praying for our country either way! That's so exciting that Erica got her mission call though! I had no idea Janae was planning on going on a mission either, but that's what every mission needs: more sister missionaries!

I still haven't received the care package, but hopefully it will be in Bucharesti when I go down there for mission conference on Wednesday. That reminds me, can you tell Grandma and Grandpa Perkes (and Grandma Farnworth) to send me their email addresses? Because I would like to email them and respond to their letters. 

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving! I wish I could be there, but instead, I'll be on a 12 hour train ride to mission conference in Romania. I think of all of you often and hope each and every one of you are doing good things always! Be happy, and remember that happiness comes from living the Gospel of Jesus Christ. " thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity."

I love you all, and have a fantastic Thanksgiving week!
-Elder Farnworth 

Scripture of the week: Alma 29:9

 I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do anot bglory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy.

Monday, November 12, 2012

First Hair Cut

Writing emails is quite the chore! But it's good to be back at the internet cafe here in Chisinau telling you of my many mission adventures!

This week was full of "firsts". I cut my hair by myself, which surprisingly ended up looking not too bad! I finished my FIRST transfer, and I attended my FIRST baptism of a little 9 year old girl in our branch. It was a great experience to see how happy and excited she was to be baptized. Oh yeah! We also had a big celebration of 15 years since the first baptism here. They talked about how it all happened (which was really cool), had a slideshow, and then we ate a lot of Moldovan food!

I also went on my fourth exchange, yes, my FOURTH... and I've only been here for 6 weeks! I was with Elder Jones, who's been here for a little over a year, and we had a lesson with Alex and Marina together. We FINALLY got an actual lesson in with them, and it did not turn out very well. We planned on talking about families and reading The Family: A Proclamation to the World, but it ended up being kind of an argument between Alex and Elder Jones... One of the biggest problems Alex has is: "why does God let bad things happen to people?" Of course, a lot of people have this question in mind, but the answer is: it's not God's fault... It's ours. Many times in the scriptures God commands us to feed the poor, and clothe the naked; yet, there are still homeless people, and very poor living conditions throughout the world. So we tried explaining to him that God has put His trust in us to help these people, and that it's not God that's letting this happen, it's us. 

We worked on finding a lot more people to teach this week, so hopefully all the appointments we have set up will reveal some great investigators! By the way, I'm still with Elder Smith. They had some problems with Visa papers, so until that gets fixed, we're still together! I'm loving every minute with my companion, he's taught me a lot, and we get along very well. Sorry for the short email this week, but I hope the pictures will suffice.

I love you all and hope you have a fantastic week!

-Elder Farnworth

Scripture of the week: Romans 5: 3-4
 3 And not only so, but we glory in atribulations also: knowing thatbtribulation worketh cpatience;
 4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope:

Brian has always been a problem solver. He has some interesting ways of solving things. Looks like he's still using those skills on his mission :)

Monday, November 5, 2012

English Classes

Well the end of the world is next month.... Just kidding! Can't believe it's already November. And I bet all of you didn't know this, but they celebrate Halloween here! I had NO idea. We had a zone training meeting, and a very delicious lunch with everybody. But to start out my email, I would just like to inform you that I have a nickname... Everyone is now calling me Elder Fahrenheit. Funny story behind it, but that's for later!

English classes started up again! A ton of people showed up to the introduction meeting and the class that I teach only had 4 girls show up... The other classes had about 20 each... Unfair, but whatever! I'm really looking forward to teaching again, and trying to find more investigators. The weather is good though! I'm surprised it hasn't snowed yet... But count my blessings, right?! What are my plans for Thanksgiving? I have no idea... Probably a big dinner with the zone, but no one's talked about it yet.

A lot of hard work this week. I went on another exchange, and we talked to EVERYONE. Also, we were given some goals by President Hill in order to have more success in the mission. I don't know why, but I've had more stress on my shoulders this week than any other week on my mission. Reading this scripture made me think even more of the heavy responsibility we have as missionaries:

Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their awatchman:
If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and awarn the people. 
Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his ablood shall be upon his bown head.
 He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul.
 But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not awarned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I brequire at the watchman’s hand.’

As for our investigators, Eugene is getting really close to a baptismal date! We had some really good lessons with him this week, and he came to church for the first time on Sunday and LOVED it! I'm so grateful for these tender mercies, and I don't know what I'd do without them... Sad news though, so because we're like our own little mission up here, President Hill calls each companionship and informs them of transfers. SO. This week he called us... Ct. Smith is leaving me and going to Balti (Belts), I am staying here is Chisinau and my new companion is Ct. Monroe. Ct. Smith was an amazing companion and I'm gonna miss him! But I'm really excited to work with Ct. Monroe. A BIG stress reliever was the opportunity we had yesterday (Sunday) to go to Brother Alto's house. He's from America and works here, but his house is an American PARADISE! He invited us over for dinner, and the first thing I saw when I walked through the door was a bowl of American candy, and chips and salsa... Oh boy do I miss America! But we had Chilli, cornbread, and the best apple pie I've ever had. Mmmmm!

The rest of this week will be filled with changing apartments and getting adjusted (again). I really do love the missionaries here. We're like a family, and even though the work is very stressful and hard, we support and love each other through the good and bad times. I wish you were all here to experience these things with me, but I hope you know that I love you very much, and can't wait to talk to you around Christmas! Tell Erica congratulations on getting her mission papers in! That's awesome and I know she'll bring an amazing spirit to wherever she goes. Who knows, she may even come here!
-Elder Farnworth