Monday, April 29, 2013

привет из молдовы!

I can't remember if I've said anything about how the Chisinau zone goal is going, but we made a goal to invite 25 people to be baptized, and thanks to a lot of hard work from all of the missionaries, we were able to meet that goal just before the end of the transfer! And because we invited that many people, we were able to receive some yes's! The branch president here thinks that in the next two months, we should be able to have at least 5 baptisms... One of those should be Aba! We invited him to be baptized when he finds that "understanding" he's looking for, and he said, "Yeah, why not!" So we'll be working with him a lot to help him receive answers through prayer, and reading the Book of Mormon. Miracles are popping up every day in Chisinau, and I'm loving every second of it. 54 people also came to church on Sunday, that's the most I've seen since I've been here!

Elder Monroe and I were on an exchange last week, and guess who we decided to go visit? Коля! We haven't seen him for the past 3 months, so getting up to ring his doorbell kind of got my heart racing because I had no idea what he would say when he opened the door. He was excited to see us again, and let's just say that it seemed like he cleaned up his life completely. He had a new haircut, his apartment didn't smell like smoke, we didn't see any beer bottles lying around, no cigarette packs on the windowsill, and he just seemed happy. BUT, he mentioned to us that he had stopped reading the Book of Mormon because he had no one to talk to about it. So we read Enos with him, he really enjoyed it, and assigned a chapter for him to read before we come back. I'm pretty sure that in the 3 month period where we didn't stop by, Christ was able to work in his life. It's AMAZING what Christ change in our lives when we let him.

So every Tuesday, I have to take bills to a member who lives on the edge of the city, and one of the craziest things happened to Elder Garlick and I on the bus. An old man was looking at our nametags, so we started talking to him. We told him where our church was, and then a lady budged into the conversation and told us how she goes to the church right across the street. All of the sudden, the two started arguing about the "One Lord, one faith, one baptism" scripture, and we had no idea what was going on. Then some other guy came out of nowhere and started shoving his finger into the old guys face... So we kind of just stood there and watched the chaos unfold. Eventually, they all calmed down, and the old guy turned to me and asked me how much the Book of Mormon was. I told him it was free, and gave it to him. He then started to read it right on the bus! Apparently, he knows about the Mormons and was interested in learning more, so we exchanged contact information. Another cool experience was when we went street boarding with the Romanian elders. It was probably the most successful I've seen for a while. At one point all four of us were talking to people, and one girl from Sweden said that she was reading about the Mormons in the book Around the World in 80 Days and thought to herself, "I want to meet these people someday!" So she told us that it was no coincidence that we met. She was right! We all got numbers and return appointments. Thank goodness for the great weather!

We've been teaching this young man named Andrei, and we found out two days ago that I won't be seeing him again till September because he's going to America. So I told him to find the missionaries when he gets there, and to also find some Mormon families because they would love to have him over for dinner ;) He's a very humble kid, and I'll miss teaching him, but I'm excited for his experiences in America!

Easter Sunday is coming up here in Eastern Europe, so we'll be looking for a lot of families to teach! That's it for the week. I'm loving the work, and I'm grateful to have such a good companion. I love you all and have a beautiful spring week!

-Elder Farnworth

P.S. A t-bone car crash happened right next to Elder Garlick and I, but nothing happened to us. It was sure scary though! No pictures this week. My USB drive has a virus... So it deleted all my pictures.... Good thing I have my SD cards!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Small World

Guess what I found out this week?! Elder Garlick and I are RELATED, and my MTC companion Elder Grover is serving with an elder from Moldova right now. How crazy is that!? Elder Garlick's great great grandpa (Brigham Farnworth) is my great x3 grandpa's (Moroni Farnworth) brother. We would like to thank FamilySearch for that. Here's a picture: Mine is 2nd from the right, and his is 4th from the left.


HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY MATT!!!!! С Днём Рождения Мэтт! It's so crazy to think that he's 18 now. That was me about 2 years ago.... I just barely realized that my birthday is in less that 2 months.... Anyway. This week was awesome. The weather has made this entire country look Emerald City, and It's beautiful. I was getting tired of all the gray anyway. And guess who arrived this week in Moldova? Elder Hammer! The newest Russian elder! Can you believe that I was the last Russian elder to come into the country? It's good to have him here and Elder Monroe said that he's got the MTC fire with him, so that's going to help a lot with the work here. Seeing his jet-lag reminded me of when I got here and had no idea what was going on... 

(Elder Garlick and I at a dancing and singing concert... You can see president and sister Hill in the background.)

Zone conference came and went this past week, and Elder Taylor (A Romanian missionary) had an awesome quote: "Make your mission sacred, not just great." That seemed to be the theme of the conference and they had us read our call letters again to be reminded of what we promised to do as missionaries. All the Moldovan missionaries also had separate meeting with President and Sister Hill the day after. We may or may not have more zebra companionships, and exchanges with the St. Petersburg mission as a result of that meeting. Maybe!

(Zone conference! Sister Sam and Elder Schiers)


Elder Garlick and I are working hard. We've been doing a ton of contacting, especially in the parks here. Which are huge and a lot of fun to talk to people in. One particular guy we met lived in Switzerland for 3 years, knew about the Mormons, and didn't want to take a Book of Mormon until after we shared the verse Alma 37:37. He bookmarked the page with our card and took it right out of our hands. It was pretty funny to see his reaction. That same night we got back home 15 minutes early, so Elder Garlick turned to me and said, "Let's go talk to some people." And right after he said that, Chief Police FHE guy (the one who gave us a ride home in his BMW) pulled up to the parking lot we were in and two Arabian guys name Mohammed, and Joseph, stopped and talked to us for 30 minutes. The Arabian guys had been living in Moldova for 3 years studying medicine, and have 3 years left. That's a long time! We got their numbers and hopefully we'll meet up soon. Another day we did "area book drop-bys". One of the people we wanted to stop by had been in jail for 36 years earlier in his life, but wanted to be baptized but he couldn't because he was on probation when these other elders were teaching him. And on the teaching record it said, "His probation ends in two years, visit him then!" And guess what? That was two years ago! So we found his door, but some other guy was living there and had no idea who the guy was that we were looking for. So we guessed that he was probably back in prison... who knows! After walking out of that apartment, we saw a guy sitting on a picnic table by himself so we went and talked to him. After explaining who we were, he told us how he wished that people in Moldova were the way they were 30-40 years ago, how the worldly things have corrupted our generation, and how grateful he was for what we were doing. So we gave him a restoration pamphlet and he wants to meet up again. I love talking to humble people, they are so nice and friendly! Another interesting lesson we had was yesterday with Vitalli and his family. It lasted 2 and a half hours and they threw questions and scenarios at us to challenge our beliefs. In the end, all I did was give him a Plan of Salvation pamphlet and told him to read it. Before I did that, we read Alma 40:11-14, and he like it so much that he almost read the entire chapter. Our commitment to him was to read the Book of Mormon more often because that's where he'll find his answers to many of his questions.

Elder Groberg and his new companion set a baptismal date with a former investigator! I'm tellin ya, area book work is productive. There's a million ways to do missionary work. I'm doing great here, and I hope you're all doing great in Orem (and other cities in Utah.... or wherever in the United States...) I love you!

-Elder Farnworth

Monday, April 15, 2013


3 months till my year mark...? Holy cow! 9 months out in the field and I STILL feel like a new missionary, but guess what!? We're finally getting another Russian elder this week, so that means... transfers! My new companion is Elder Garlick, and Elder Monroe is training the new elder (Elder Hammer). I'm really excited for him! Elder Monroe is a hard-worker, and they'll do great together. Elder Groberg and I were not excited about the news though... In 3 days, the zebra companionship will be no more, and I'll be back with a Russian elder until he goes home in July. It will be strange to have someone by my side who speaks the language better than I do. I'm going to miss Elder Groberg and his goofiness though! We got along really well, and I learned a ton on how to be a good district leader and a better missionary. At least we'll still be in the same city! Oh yeah, I'm also going to be in Chisinau till at least July. That's a LONG time in one city, but I'm loving every minute of it!

A lot of our week was spent putting together a poster for "street-boarding" (I'm pretty sure I've explained this in earlier emails), but the poster we had before was way too cluttered and messy, so we simplified it a ton and put the question How can I find happiness?" at the top. After 2 days of working on it, we finished it and took it for a test run... Let's just say it didn't go as well as we wanted it to.... Elder Groberg got yelled at by a crazy drunk guy, and I tried my best not to argue with a bunch of Atheists. All we could do when we finished was laugh at ourselves and carry the poster back to the church. And to put the cherry on top, our poster's stand broke on the way back... Oh the joys of missionary work! I love it though. There's nothing else I'd rather be doing than this. 
 We went to go visit the "village-guy" again this week, and the senior couple went with us. This man is definitely ready to receive the gospel. His intentions might be a little towards the wrong direction, but I could feel his desire to change his life according to the teachings of Jesus Christ. Elder Groberg gave him a light baptismal commitment, and he said yes without hesitation! Us missionaries have been told a million times that the people who are ready to hear the restored gospel live in the villages... the sad thing is is that we don't proselyte in the villages. I just hope that someday we will be able to! The people are so humble and kind. Speaking of very kind people, the sisters and their investigator walked into the church one day while Elder Groberg and I were working on the poster, and their investigator insisted that we eat the food that she made for us. Eventually, we gave in, and guess what I ate for the first time in my life....? ...Liver... It actually wasn't too bad! I probably won't ever try it again, but it's all about the story right?

 To end the week, we were able to see two of our English students come to church. I was so happy to see them, and they stayed the all 3 hours! I hope they enjoyed it as much as I did since it was fast and testimony meeting. The Spirit was so strong and the testimonies of the members were powerful and uplifting. Elder Jiles also gave his last testimony in Chisinau ever because he's finishing the last three months of his mission in Balti. I'm gonna miss him!

If anyone hasn't seen the new "I'm a Mormon" videos yet, PLEASE go watch them! The stories of these people are so great, and they're all from the UK/Ireland. So you get to listen to a whole lot of cool accents. Well. I think that's all for this week. Lots of great things happened and I hope a lot of great things happen for all of you too! I love you all.

-Elder Farnworth

P.S. Guess what we made for dinner after we fasted on Sunday Dad? CURRY! Reminded me of all the times only you and I ate it because Lindsay, Heidi, and Matt didn't like it. Anyway, just thought you would like to know!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Conference in Moldova

Hello Family! How were the General Conference cinnamon rolls? I'm sure they were heavenly as always! ;)

It seems like everyone has asked me the same question about how we watch General Conference here, so here's the answer.... We have a satellite system in our church building that lets us watch the sessions live... Well, most of them... But nonetheless, General Conference was amazing! I received a TON of answers, and there seemed to be a lot of talks about missionaries. One quote in particular has stuck in my mind... "Your name tag shouldn't just be on your jacket, but in your heart." That's not quoted exactly, but you get the idea. Every member really IS a missionary whether or not they're wearing a name tag. So remember to have the name of Christ in your hearts always! We watched the Saturday morning session at Brother Alto's (that included a steak/potato thanksgiving feast), and it felt different being in a home watching it on a big screen tv, instead of the third floor in the church watching it on a tiny tv. So while I was there, I thought of all of you and the many memories I have watching conference together as a family. How grateful I am to be raised in the gospel! On Sunday, we watched the rebroadcasted priesthood session and Aba came. It was great to see him there, but he left just before the prophet spoke... It was frustrating (because we wanted to talk about it with him after), but I'm sure he received some answers... as we all did!

"Destroy the area book!" This was the goal I set for my district this week. No, we're not literally destroying our area books, we're contacting as many potential and former investigators as possible in one week. So on a rainy day, when everything did not go the way we wanted it to (which happened to be the case the entire week), we just decided to go back to our apartment and do area book work. After 3 hours of calling and calling and calling, we found a handful of former investigators that haven't been contacted by the missionaries for 3 years, and they wanted to meet up again. A mission is full of developing a testimony of all kinds of things, and area book work was one that I have started developing thanks to this experience. There were hidden treasures that Elder Groberg and I found, and we're praying that these people that we contacted have had a change of heart and want to continue their progression towards baptism. 

This week was full of unnecessary stress.... I went on an exchange to Orhei on Wednesday, and when I got back, Elder Groberg wanted to do Internet real quick, so we did, and during that time, President Hill decided to call us and talk to Elder Groberg.... "Something happened with one of the assistants and I would like you to be my assistant until you go home." Let's just say, we were both not happy about that news.... Basically he told him that he would probably have to head back to Romania the next day, and that I would receive two new Romanian-speaking companions.... The whole time I'm thinking, "Are you kidding me?!" So we went back to our apartment that night so he could start packing... To make a long story short, President called later and told him that he'd be staying here, and that everything was figured out... Thank goodness! That would've messed up a lot of things. So all is well now, and we're still companions! Also, it was his birthday on Saturday, and Elder Smith's (my trainer) on Wednesday, so happy birthday to them! 

"A more excellent sacrifice." Something every single missionary in Moldova was asked to do Saturday night. There's a lot of repairing to be done here, and this "more excellent sacrifice" is going to push us to do better in every aspect of missionary work. I'm grateful to have inspiring leaders today that help us know which direction to take and how to travel that path. Can you imagine a bunch of missionaries attempting to do their work without any leadership and guidance? I can't! 

I KNOW this is Christ's restored church here upon this earth. I KNOW that this message that I share brings happiness into any persons' life if they let it. I KNOW that what I'm doing is pleasing to my Heavenly Father, and I KNOW that good things are ahead for the people of Moldova. I love you all and remember to re-read the conference addresses as soon as you can! You'll be spiritually strengthened and guided by them. Have a great week and I hope the weather there is better than the weather here.

-Elder Farnworth

Friday, April 5, 2013

Letter from Elder and Sister Pinder

Dear Farnworth Family,

We have had the opportunity to spend time with Elder Farnworth several times over the past few weeks and just want you to know what a great missionary he is.  He is now the District Leader over us and he is outstanding as an example and teaching us all wonderful lessons to improve our missionary efforts.  

He introduced a new concept from your training - What is the meaning of "insanity" - doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result!!!  It was something the district needed to hear and to try some different approaches to their work.  This is a very difficult mission and the Lord has sent only the best to try to break through the Russian mentality.  Elder Farnworth is always happy and energetic in the work and very good in all relationships with his companions and other missionaries.  

We have had an unusual situation with our work where we have needed he and his companions, Elder Groberg, to come and help translate for us because our translators were both in the hospital.  He is always willing to serve and help in any way he is asked.  We know how proud you must be of him and you should be - he is so kind and respectful of us.  He also helped us move a huge container of goods for an orphanage.

We have attached a few pictures of him that you might not have.

Our best to you and your family for happiness.

Elder and Sister Pinder