Monday, March 25, 2013

Slower Week

Hello family!

This week has been a little slower than all the other weeks of my mission (along with really cold weather), but just because it was slow didn't make it bad! Transfers were last week, so I went on another 14 hour train ride to Bucharest to pick up my companion and spend the day there. We arrived pretty early, so we had some time to walk around "Old Bucharest" and take some pictures. The buildings reminded me a lot of Amsterdam, and I felt more like a tourist than a missionary. When we got back to the train station, I finally got to meet my new

companion! Elder Groberg is from Bountiful, Utah and he has 3 months left on his mission (So basically he might be finishing his mission in Moldova). He's very talented with the Romanian language and is well on his way to master the Russian alphabet! I'm loving this zebra companionship. It's really pushing me to learn Russian a lot better, and I think it was the perfect time for me in my mission to have this happen. I feel a better connection with the people, and my understanding has drastically improved. 
On Sunday, the branch presidency met with all the missionaries and basically they want to improve the effort we're putting into rescuing the less-actives. "This branch used to have 90 active members... Now we are down to less than half of that." What happened? I don't know, but we're going to fix it! Finding seems to be going a lot better. Elder Monroe told me that they met a woman knocking that we handed a card to 3 months
ago, and her and her daughter committed to be baptized when they receive their answers. We're starting to see the fruits of our labors! There was actually one day where all the missionaries in Chisinau extended the baptismal invitation to somebody, and not everybody said yes, but it shows that we're all helping our investigators work towards baptism.

We had a lot of lessons fall through, and people not answer their phones, but we keep moving forward and finding people. Our first full day together, we decided to walk from our apartment to the church and talk to people on the way. It turned out to be a lot of fun! I was surprised by how well people listened to us and responded back
in both languages. We talked to a lot of Jehovah's Witnesses and two guys gave us their numbers so we could meet up later. One of those men expressed an interest in learning more about our church, and meeting with us. We met with Vitalli again yesterday, and he only speaks Russian, so poor Elder Groberg just had to sit and smile the entire lesson. Luckily, I had a recent convert with me to help out because I had the responsibility of
being the lead teacher. He understands everything we teach perfectly, and he said he'd come to church next week! But at the end of the lesson he showed us a clip from Passion of the Christ where He is being beaten, whipped, and crucified. It was so graphic that it was hard to watch, but it brought the Atonement to a whole other level for me... It made it more real... The suffering that Christ went through for each and every one of us is

unimaginable. He went through every pain, every suffering, and every sadness that anyone will ever go through, and after watching that video, everything that Christ did for me sunk deeper into my heart. The awesome thing is is that I get to share this testimony and these feelings I have about the Savior of the world every single day. I don't know why I never had this realization before my mission, but I wouldn't trade this knowledge for anything.

I wish I had a better memory, but my mind is running all day long, so it's hard for me to make my emails more detailed. I'll work on getting better! Sorry for not sending any pictures for the past two weeks too, my usb drive
was being stubborn... I hope you enjoy the pictures for this week! Thank you for your continued support and love. I pray and think about every single one of you every day!

-Elder Farnworth

Monday, March 18, 2013

Zebra Companionship

Dear Family, I am pleased to annouce that I have been placed in a ZEBRA companionship as a District Leader for this next transfer....

Okay, that was a little weird. Want to know what a "zebra companionship" is? It's a companioship with two languages. My new companion is Elder Groberg, and he speaks Romanian. To be honest, I'm pretty excited to see how everything turns out since almost all of my investigators only speak Russian (which means that only I teach the lessons). I'm up for the challenge, but it makes me really anxious at the same time. As of today, I've been on my mission for 8 months, I'm the youngest one in Moldova, and I'm being put in a position that is really going to stretch me in every aspect of missionary work. It's great how there's ALWAYS something to work on. 

Anyway. I'm glad you were all able to see the videos that Lizzie put on Facebook! It's always fun to be able to get out of the missionary groove for a little bit and "sing a song", or "play the piano". Seems like you all had a lot of fun in Disneyland and Seaworld without me ;) Thanks for the pictures and stories!

As for investigators, we had two lessons with Elena. On the first lesson I was able to give my FIRST blessing in Russian. It was incredible. I can't really explain how it went, but I basically told her that she would find her answer about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. She was really struggling to find those answers, but later that week we had a branch party and she came up to us and told us that in the middle of the night that week, she woke up and basically received a confirmation that the Book of Mormon was true and that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. It really changed the way I look at Priesthood power, and how it works when we have the faith. Finding has been a little slow lately because of the transfers and everything that's been happening, so after that branch party, Elder Monroe and I decided to go knocking. First door we knocked this older lady let us in. She seemed to really listen to our message of the Book of Mormon, and I'll be back with my Romanian companion on Thursday to explain more!

I'm going to miss Elder Monroe. We've been together for a LONG time, and it's sad to see it come to an end.... But the cool thing about this mission is that we'll probably be back together next year! I've learned a ton from him and how to be myself and also a good missionary. He's now the Zone Leader, and it'll be fun to still work with him in a different way. I'm a little nervous about being a District Leader, but it'll be a good opportunity to learn from the other missionaries. Also, one of the Moldovan missionaries, Elder Peterson, ended his 2 years today. The Moldovan family is going to miss him!

Next week at this time I'll be with another companion, but still in good old Chisinau! I love you all and I hope you have a wonderful week.

-Elder Farnworth

P.s. Pictures don't seem to want to work this week... sorry!

Monday, March 11, 2013

What Matters Most

Hello family (and friends)! Just to let you all know, after 13 weeks, my apartment finally has a shower curtain. It was a glorious day, and It's funny how much my companion hates it.

I've been reading through my old emails... and I've decided that for this email I would like to talk about my investigators.

You all remember Aba (the guy from Nigeria)? He's back in contact with us! We hadn't seen or talked to him since the beginning of February, so we kind of thought that he just disappeared. So during companionship study on Thursday, a thought popped into my mind to call him as soon as I could... so I did, and after two rings I heard, "Hello?" HE ANSWERED! It was quite the miracle to hear his voice again. He told me that he had been out of the country for training, and had received our text messages, but could not respond because of the money it would cost him. So we met up with him as soon as we could, and had a great lesson about the Atonement and talked about 3 Nephi 9:13-14:

 13 O all ye that are aspared because ye were more brighteous than they, will ye not now return unto me, and repent of your sins, and be converted, that I may cheal you?
 14 Yea, verily I say unto you, if ye will acome unto me ye shall have beternal life. Behold, mine carm of mercy is extended towards you, and whosoever will come, him will I receive; and blessed are those who come unto me.

We're still meeting with Vitalli and his family once a week on Sunday, and we just love going over there to teach them about the message of the Restoration and listening to their thoughts about it. They still haven't come to church, but we decided to show them the site and the talk by Elder Holland "The First Great Commandment". I think this is the first REAL commitment we've given to them to help them progress towards baptism (we've talked about it a lot) and coming to church to bring the strong spirit that's in their home to the church. We told our English class that my companion and I only have a week left together, and let's just say they were as devastated as we were. So guess what we did? Taught our entire class the Word of Wisdom! It was funny to see everyones reactions, but it was also powerful to see how they understood what we told them. After we explained everything, we opened it up to any questions they had about our church or what we do. Guess what the first question was? "Do you have a lot of wives?" We were quick to answer with a no! I'm really going to miss everyone we're working with right now. I've made a lot of good friends, and we're not sure who's leaving Chisinau, but it's most likely me. If it does happen to be me, I've had a fantastic 6 months here, and I'll be back anyway (since we only have 3 cities)! 

We're having our first baptism in Chisinau since July and it's because of a lot of hard work from the Romanian missionaries: Elder Hollist and Elder Barney. It's great to see hard work pay off. Of course it's never us that does the converting, but it's us that does the finding. She had some lessons with us and the other elders about baptism, and this past Saturday she texted them and told them that she wanted to get baptized the next day! She has a date set, but there are more lessons to teach, she has to get permission from her husband, and she still has to be interviewed. It's a feeling like none other when someone has the desire to be baptized and follow the example of Jesus Christ and live by His teachings. 

I don't know how many of you watch Mormon Messages, but if you've never watched them, go watch Moments that Matter Most. Our mission made Mormon Message DVDs for all the missionaries, so lately I've been watching them when my companion is doing calls at night. It has a good message for everyone to hear, and it just makes you feel all good inside! So go watch it!

I'll end this email with a quote by Elder Russell M. Nelson, "Don't demand things that are unreasonable, but demand of yourself improvement." FOOD FOR THOUGHT. Love you all, glad to hear you're having fun in California, and I hope you always remember the moments that matter most.

-Elder Farnworth

No Pictures this week! Instead you get to enjoy some videos :)

Hello to Family :)

Drops of Jupiter

Showin off on the Piano :)

Monday, March 4, 2013

"There is no such thing as a hard mission!" - Elder Jiles

I had a LOT of cool experiences this week. Most of them came about because of the goal-setting Elder Monroe and I have been doing. First of all, the weather has been BEAUTIFUL this week, and it's helped a lot with our street contacting because people are in a better mood, and the sun makes EVERYONE happy. One particular experience was when we handed an older lady a card, and the first thing she asked was if we spoke English. Of course! She continued by saying how grateful she is for us and the hope we bring to the Moldovan people. It really touched my heart because earlier that week, we watched the new Mormon Message "Mountains to Climb" and it pretty much conveyed the same message: "Many of you are now passing through physical, mental, and emotional trials that could cause you to cry out..." We are showing people that through these trials, they can find that joy and comfort through the gospel of Jesus Christ instead of feeling lost and afraid. Oh yeah! Fasting works everybody! As I'm sure you already know. But there was a daughter of one of the Bromanians investigators that was quarantined because of how sick she was, and so they asked the whole district to fast. We did, and right as we ended our fast we got a phone call from one of the Romanian elders telling us that everything is prefectly fine with her now. This really helped me to strenghten my testimony in the power of fasting and the faith of those who fast.

 My companions birthday was this week, so we had a surprise birthday party for him! He had NO idea. I think that's the first time in my life where I didn't ruin a surprise ;) He's 24 now. FIVE years older than me! Remember how I talked about how frustrating Russian is? Well. We decided to speak Russian ALL day, and it has helped a TON. I feel so much more comfortable speaking and understanding. It's still frustrating at times, but practice makes perfect! We also have this recent convert named Маша and she is quite a handful! But she decided that she wants to serve a mission... and she was baptized in September! So to kind of help her understand the steps she has to take to be prepared, we took her to a members house where they both served missions. The husband got out his journals and said, "THIS is my mission. Everything I did, everyone I talked to, everyone I served with, my ENTIRE mission is written on these pages." They also told her about all the blessings that come from serving a mission. She really loved it, and she's even more excited to serve now. 

  Last P-day we had the opportunity to go to a violin recital of the little girl that was baptized 3 months ago, and it reminded me of all the times when I had piano recitals in my younger days. Her face lit up and she had a big smile when all the missionaries walked into the room. It brought me back to the days when all of you would come to my piano recitals and how good it made me feel to know that I have support from my family. It also made me think about how grateful I am to Sister Fisher for teaching me how to play piano better, so thank you Sister Fisher! It comes in handy when I need to play for meetings :) February 28th has passed, and tomorrow is March 5th... I've been thinking a lot about Porter and his example and frienship to me lately. It's tough to have those good memories rush back into my mind of loved ones that have passed on. It wasn't easy having Mom's death date and Porter's so close together, but Heavenly Father always promises His comfort.

Well. I hope this was enough! It's tough to put EVERYTHING in, but that's why I have a memory and a journal too! We are still working with some investigators, but we're also still working on finding. As always, I can feel your love and support every single day. Thank you for your prayers, and letters. I love you, I pray for you, and I hope you all have a great week!

-Elder Farnworth