Monday, January 28, 2013

God Feeds His Children

Last week of my 3rd transfer, and Happy Belated Birthday Heidi! It sounded like you had a lot of fun up in Logan with the family. Just think, next year at this time, I'll be getting ready to finish up my mission!

GOD FEEDS HIS CHILDREN. Yesterday, Elder Monroe told me to put that as my journal entry because of everything that happened. So we had one lesson scheduled with that Vitalli guy, and after church he changed his appointment from 4 to 3. So that messed up our lunch because on Sundays we have to go home to eat... We decided that maybe we could eat after the lesson, but we made the dumb decision (well, it seemed dumb at the time) to call one of our other investigators, Rocky, to see how the grand opening of the new mall went. We were expecting a quick answer and a scheduled lesson, but he told us to just meet him at the mall in 10 minutes... The first thing I thought was WE'RE NEVER GOING TO EAT. But because our investigators are more important than our hungry stomachs, we hurried to the mall. To make a long story short, he ended up feeding us some scrumptious banana/strawberry jam crepes with ice cream, and a slushee FOR FREE. God really does care about his missionaries! We were really hungry, but because we decided to go visit an investigator in his time of stress, we were fed. We love to look back on these kinds of experiences and see how when we do what God wants instead of what we want, he blesses us.

This week I also went on an exchange with one of the Bromanians, Elder Hollist, and since I was in his area and they had no one to teach, we contacted ALL DAY. It was so tiring, but somehow we made it to the end of the day so we could go knocking. Knocking here is better than anywhere else in the world by the way ;) I explained to him the success we've had, and that him and his companion could have the same success if they kept at it. We met a lady who wanted us to marry her daughter, but her husband was persistent on getting her to be quiet, and as he was shutting the door, the wife yelled, "You two are very cute!" I got a good chuckle out of that and so did Elder Hollist. Unfortunately we did not find anyone that night, but it left a good taste in his mouth on how we do work up here in Moldova. So I hope they see the success that we've seen!

We invited Коля to church again, he said that he would definitely come, but he did not... It's such a crummy feeling to not see a man show up to church that we've been teaching for 8 weeks... But we're not giving up! We decided that next week we will just go pick him up at his house and go with him to church. We feel like that's the key.

I've made a goal to know the Bible, Book of Mormon, and D&C better this transfer. So every morning for personal study, I read something from the Bible, then from the Book of Mormon, and then from the Doctrine and Covenants. It's really cool to see how everything relates and fits together even though they were written at different times in history. The church is true everybody!

Well. I think that's all for this week. Not much, but maybe I'm just really impatient with writing novel emails. I hope the pictures suffice. Love you guys and have a fun-filled week!

-Elder Farnworth

Scripture of the week: D&C 101:7-8

 They were slow to hearken unto the voice of the Lord their God; therefore, the Lord their God is slow to hearken unto their prayers, to answer them in the day of their trouble.

 In the day of their peace they esteemed lightly my counsel; but, in the day of their trouble, of necessity they feel after me.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Lots of Cool Experiences

Still really cold there? Because the weather is surprisingly nice here!

So the 18th of January was this past week, and on that day I realized, "...I've been on my mission for SIX months..." 1/4 of my mission FLEW by just like that, but somehow it still feels like I left home to start my new life only two weeks ago. Also, that Ion kid who I taught twice on an exchange in Orhei got baptized this past Saturday too! A lot of exciting things happening.

This week had a lot of cool experiences. One in particular was going back to visit that guy (Vitalli) who basically is a pastor of his own church. He couldn't meet during the week, so we decided to go back yesterday (Sunday). We knocked on the door, his wife answered, and the first thing I could hear was him and his "church" praying, so we thought that maybe we were interrupting his service... But we weren't! So we went in, sat down, and he introduced us to everyone. It was him, his two brothers, his wife, and some random drunk guy. Oh yeah! Just so everyone knows, basically every first lesson we give, the people here always ask us if we want coffee or tea. And our answer is always, "No thanks, we don't drink coffee or tea." And their answer is always, "Really? Why?" It's always a perfect opportunity to teach the Word of Wisdom, and by some miracle, I had my Doctrine and Covenants with me! So I showed them D&C 89, and they pretty much agreed with everything it said. It was really cool. Anyway, he gave us his life story about how he found God. He was in prison when he was young, and one day he looked up to the sky, and asked, "God, if you exist, I want to die." And he said that God responded with, "Are you ready?" This hit him hard. He knew from that time on that if he wanted to be ready, he had to get baptized. So ever since then he promised God that he'd read the Bible, and get baptized. He went around to a lot of churches, asked them about how they do baptism, but he still hasn't been baptized. Right after he told us that, he asked Elder Monroe and I what he had to do in order to get baptized into our church. We gave him the answer, and then I told him that even though there are many churches, baptism is only possible if we have that authority from God to perform that sacred ordinance. But the lesson went great, and we'll see them again this week!

We also met with Aba (the guy from Nigeria). He is legit. He's a part of a humanitarian group, and he will be in Moldova for around a year. But President Hill told me that if he gets baptized, he'll have a lot of member support in Nigeria! But he told us that he really wants to rededicate himself to going to church every Sunday, and he has an unbelievable faith in Christ. His mother made him go to church when he was young, but he said he's very grateful for it because it's helped him understand the importance of going to church.

Let's see, what else... We said goodbye to one of the sisters, we had a ton of people show up to English, and I gave cake with milk to them and they thought it was tasty! I thought you'd be proud of me for doing that Dad ;) Elder Monroe and I get to teach at zone conference tomorrow, and we hope our lesson will help the missionaries here in Moldova in some way. Коля is our progressing investigator (I don't think I've mentioned his name yet), but he said he was going to come to church yesterday... But he didn't show up again... So we made it a goal this week to have a member present on EVERY lesson with him. He still has that wall to get over, but when he gets over that wall it will be smooth sailing from there.

Thanks for forwarding Steven's emails, it's great to read the experiences he's having. Almost forgot about the new Romanian missionaries we got up here!? They are HILARIOUS. I love these guys to death already. We even have a nickname for them: Bromanians. They are going to help a lot with the work, and I'm excited to see what they can bring to the table. I think that's it for this week. Hope life in Utah is going well, and that all of you had a good week. 

Я люблю тебя!

-Elder Farnworth

P.S. Picture descriptions: basically, most of them are pictures of the second oldest trainstation in Europe, and then there's one of me at the church with my companion and the sister that left last week.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Power Companionship!

Холодно, я все еще здесь, и работа движется вдоль красиво! (Cool, I'm still here, and the work is moving along nicely!) Transfers came... Everybody changed... Except for us! President Hill has a lot of confidence and trust in our companionship, so we're going to work our butts off to get some baptisms this transfer.

I've been thinking a lot about the phrase in PMG "Nothing happens in missionary work until you find someone to teach." And with all that finding Elder Monroe and I have done while we've been together, we've got a LOT of lessons and a LOT of people to teach. Something we've been working on a lot this week is 10-minute Book of Mormon knocking lessons, and one night we found these three girls around our age that let us in and we gave an unforgettable Restoration lesson. BUT they wanted a Romanian Book of Mormon, so now the sisters are teaching them, but all that preparation paid off!

We met a lot of really cool people this week too. One of them was a referral who was supposed to be a girl around our age who was struggling with the death of her Dad, but we ended up teaching her mother, who just happens to be one of the nicest ladies I've met here. She's a doctor, a very deep believer in Christ, and has so much optimism with the situation she's in right now. Of course, I can't talk to you about the situation, but let's just say, it's a strange one. Some other people we met while knocking with the sisters (we knock with the sisters because it's not safe for them to knock by themselves.) One particular guy said that he goes around to hospitals to teach people the New Testament, but he never has had any to give away. So when we showed up at his door, he basically said that we were an answer to his prayer! How cool is that!? The problem was was that he wanted us to buy 20 New Testaments, but we can only get him 2. He wants us to come back though! So we'll see him again tomorrow. 

Our progressing investigator also said to us on one of our lessons that he would come to church so we don't look like bad missionaries, and I thought that was pretty funny. But he didn't show up... So hopefully next week! And thanks to the sisters, we have a NEW investigator. They talked to him while doing Internet one day, and he said he'd come to church. Well, he came (and stayed), and now we get to teach him! He's from Nigeria, he's very interested in what we have to say, and we have a meeting set up with him. Missionary work is so much better when we get to teach all day instead of finding. Of course, we still set aside time to find, but all these lessons are nice.

Our English class has also turned into an improv class. Yes, that's right, an IMPROV class. We decided that we don't know English grammar well enough to teach it, and that our students already know English very well. So we changed how we do things, and they LOVE it. It's hilarious to watch them act out random situations and it's definitely helping Elder Monroe and I create that close relationship needed before teaching the gospel. 

Heavenly Father is definitely testing my patience with myself and with the people I'm teaching. I'm so lucky to be having this experience right now, and my 6 month mark is in 4 days! Time flies when you're having fun, and Elder Monroe and I are absolutely having fun doing what we're supposed to be doing. It's crazy how the little things like 100% obedience and being humble really do make up the big things like turning investigators into progressing investigators and finding people to teach. I think that's it for this week, I hope I'm keeping you updated enough. I try to get as much as I can in during this short time, but I love you all and have a great week!

-Elder Farnworth

Monday, January 7, 2013

Russian Christmas

Today is Russian Christmas. We get TWO Christmas' here :D So Merry 2nd Christmas everyone!

It's always good to hear from you guys and let you know how things are going. It's good to hear that Steven is in Vienna, Kyle's doing well, and Matt too. I'm glad we all get to be experiencing missionary work at the same time.

The secret to missionary work is WORK. Every day we walk and walk and talk and talk and knock and knock, but it's all worth it when we find. Finding is my FAVORITE part of being here. It's tough, it's exhausting, it's stressful, but all of that is nothing compared to when we find individuals/families in need of the gospel. It's a feeling only a missionary can experience.

New Year's was like a day back at home. All Moldovan missionaries came down to Chisinau, we went to the Hobbit (Don't worry! We weren't breaking the rules! My mission president said we could go see it), it was in Russian, so I really didn't understand all of it, but nonetheless it was way cool to see a movie in a theater! After the movie we pretty much ate a ton of junk food, went to Center, danced in a circle, listened to Romanian music, and watched a really cool firework show. We got home at around 12:30 that night, and got to 
sleep in till 8 the next morning. I'm pretty sure I have the best mission president ;) But of course, after those kinds of days are over, we get right back to work!

So there's this apartment that I see every day when I'm on the 22 bus heading to the church. So, one day, Elder Monroe and I decided to go "exploring", and find this cool-looking apartment. We found it, went to the top floor, and met 4 fathers just having a good time together. They talked to us, showed us some New Year's videos of them dancing, and they were very friendly to us. They even told us to come back the next day and talk some more! I could say it a million times: I LOVE THE PEOPLE HERE.

We have NO idea why our English class keeps coming back... We're not even teaching them English! We decided to start doing improv, and they love it. Now we just have to get to the next step... Teaching them the gospel. I'll be sure to let you know how that goes!

Elder Monroe and I are really trying to be 100% obedient because we know God is just waiting to bless us in our work. Thank goodness for an amazing companion. He has pushed me to be a much better missionary every single day.

I'm sorry that my emails aren't very long. I've never been the best email writer, but if there's one thing I always 
want you to know, it's that I love you, and I love the opportunity to be here. Thank you for being so supportive and encouraging in everything that I do.

-Elder Farnworth