Monday, June 24, 2013

Stressful & Crazy Week

Hello my wonderful family! Can you believe that we're almost done with June? Time just goes by faster and faster as each month goes by, and to add onto that, my trainer (Elder Smith) will be home this week. He's taking the train to Bucharest today, and then he'll be on a plane headed home early Wednesday morning. An elder I was able to spend 9 weeks with is completing his two years as a missionary. It's a great opportunity for me to reflect on my past 11 months and look forward to the next 13. 

Well. This week was a really stressful and crazy one for Elder Monroe and I. We got chased by a crazy guy through the back alleyways of Chisinau, we traveled literally EVERYWHERE for exchanges/teaching appointments, we were randomly interviewed, and a lady almost called the cops on us because she didn't understand our message. AND summer has arrived. The temperatures suddenly boosted 20 degrees along with the humidity, and the sun just drains the energy out of me.

Ciorescu: a small city just outside of Chisinau. We took a short bus ride there to meet up with a young family who said we could come by anytime, but they didn't answer their phone while we were there. Soooo, we had a lot of time to do some contacting before the next bus came by. Understand that this is a very small city, and that maybe a total of 5 people were on the MAIN street there. Our destination was a small store in the middle of town, so we tried our best to share the Book of Mormon with those five people! We eventually arrived to the store to get some ice cream, and while we were inside we heard people speaking English. We asked them if they needed any help, and one lady said, "Oh! The Mormon missionaries!" What are the chances? There were about 4 of them and they were peace core volunteers who just barely arrived in the country to do extensive language training. One of the ladies mentioned how she lived in Salt Lake City for 15 years with her husband. So that was how she know who we were. We weren't able to talk for too long because we had a bus to catch. The funny thing is is this week we made a "zone rule" to always have a Book of Mormon in your hands, and while we were at the bus stop, an older guy sat down, looked at my Book of Mormon and asked, "What's with the book?" We took this opportunity to explain who we were. He had never heard about the Book of Mormon before, and he told us he's a "big atheist", but respects people for believing in something. As we traveled back to Chisinau, he told us a little about himself and he even asked if he could read a little bit of the Book of Mormon. He almost read the entire introduction in one sitting, which I have never seen before on my mission. People usually read two sentences, shut the book, and hand it back. But when he finished, he said it was interesting, and so we gave it to him. Very nice guy, and he even said he'd share it with his friends. Well that's nice of him to do! As for everything else, we countinue to find, and even though we don't have a ton of people to teach, the work moves foward. 

We have no idea when everything is going to switch around here in Moldova, but we SHOULD have some changes when we get two new elders on July 10th. As always, I love all of you and I encourage you to serve at least ONE person you love this week: pay it forward! 

-Elder Farnworth

Monday, June 17, 2013


Здравствуйте, мои дорогие! Let's try this in Finnish.... Hei kultaseni! ;)

I have no idea if that's right, but I cannot believe that another Farnworth has been added to the missionary pool! How great is that!? Finland Helsinki Mission, and Romania/Moldova Mission. Two foreign missions is so exciting! Finnish eh? I've heard that's a pretty difficult language to learn, but If I can learn Russian then I'm pretty sure anyone can learn a language!

As for this week, we had mission leadership council in Bucharest for 3 days, so a lot of our week was taken up by that. But before we went down, we decided that we aren't going to half-heartedly contact people. So before we got on the train we were able to give two copies of the Book of Mormon, get 2 numbers, and talk to a guy who had no idea about the orginization of Christ's church. Thank goodness for the Book of Mormon because it makes more clear the doctrine in the Bible that so many religions interpret differently. We were also able to teach a young man named Tudor who has known about the church for the long time, but just barely started reading the Book of Mormon and having full discussions with missionaries. We taught about the restoration and how it means to bring something back to its ORIGINAL form. That's something very important to understand about this church: it's the exact same church with the exact same authority that Jesus Christ organized while He was on the earth. We also taught him the First Vision, and after we read JSH with him, I told him to put himself in Joseph Smith's shoes. I continued with this question, "What would you ask God and Jesus Christ if they were right in front of you?" He answered, "I would ask the same question that Joseph asked." Exactly. So because a young boy sought out truth, and had a pure heart, he was able recieve an answer. Even though we won't have the same experience that Joseph Smith had, our Loving Heavenly Father still answers our prayers when we come before him with a broken heart and a contrite spirit. The streets here are filled with prepared people, and Elder Monroe and I have been talking and talking and talking with so many of them. I love it. The people I get to meet are so humble, kind, and willing to talk about the gospel. Just like in our last area, we are building up this new area with new investigators and people who will meet often. Heavenly Father has a lot of trust in us, and we never want to let him down with the area that He has given to us.

Our newest convert has been helping us so much with lessons and bringing such a bright spirit to the missionaries and the members. She has such a strong testimony, and understands everything like a champ! She might be going to America next week, but we don't know for sure yet. In the meantime, we are continuing to help her transition into her new life as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ.

Once again, I would like to end this email with a quote that I read in the June 2013 ensign: "I had assumed that, just because I had a righteous cause, I could use the priesthood and fasting and prayer to change the will of God." Missionary work (and life) is basically trying to understand the will of God for each and every person we meet because He has a plan for all of us, but sometimes it takes a lot of fasting, reading, and praying to align our will with His. I'm so excited for Lindsay and the best 18 months of her life that she has ahead in two months. I can't wait for her to join me out in the field! I love you all so very much, and keep having good days.

-Elder Farnworth 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Happy Birthday Elder Farnworth

Well hello my family!

Whoa. Today is my birthday. Holy moly I can't believe it's already here! We started celebrating this morning by having breakfast at this placed called Andy's, and now we're all here emailing. We still have no idea what we're doing for the rest of the day... but I'm one lucky Elder to be able to have my birthday be on a P-day! Thanks for the all the birthday wishes though, makes me feel like I'm still close to home. Thanks for all the pictures of Erika's wedding too! I wish I could've been there, but it looked like everyone had a good time. Congratulations Erika and Daniel!

This past weekend had to be the best days of my mission so far. Elder Monroe and I had our first baptism together, and it couldn't have gone any better. President and Sister Hill were in Chisinau for district conference, so they were able to come and see the baptism. Lots of members and investigators were there to support, and everything went exactly as it was planned. She looked like the happiest person alive! Saturday night I looked back in my journals to see where this all started, and I found myself on February 26th. It's fun to look back and track the progress someone makes toward baptism, and to also see the miracles that happen along the way. We're excited to have her be a part of the Church (family) of Jesus Christ, and she is already an amazing member! She's a great example to me of faith, and optimism.

This week was filled with a lot of preparation for the baptism, and saying goodbye to two amazing missionaries: Elder Groberg, and Sister Cook. They both bore their testimonies in district meeting and something that Sister Cook said really stuck out to me, "My testimony hasn't grown, it has been deepened." I agree 100%. A missionary should already have a testimony of the gospel before they go on their mission. But out here we learn to deepen that testimony, and make it stronger. Elder Groberg also said his goodbyes yesterday. He was one of my favorite companions and he taught me a lot. He'll be home this week, so today he gave me a call from Romania to wish me a happy birthday. These missionaries will be missed! They helped the Chisinau missionary work move along so well, and I know the lives they lead in the future will bless the lives of many.

To end this email I would like to leave all of you with my NEW MISSION SCRIPTURE. Phillipians 1:3,4,7,17,20,21,24

"I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy. Because I have you in my heart, I am set for the defence of the gospel, in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you."

Love you!

-Elder Farnworth

P.S. One more quote.... "I received nothing that I wanted, but God gave me everything that I needed." - District conference

Monday, June 3, 2013

Back with Elder Monroe

Well. Saturday night, Elder Monroe (the zone leader for Moldova) called me and told me, "Hey Elder Farnworth, guess who your new companion is? ME!" So that means him and I will be zone leaders together for a while! It was really sudden, but that's normal for us Russian missionaries. It's great to be back with an elder I grew a lot with, and we both look forward to the work ahead of us. 

Ever since I've been here though, we've had baptismal dates set by a lot of investigators, but none of them have gone through... But I have some really good news for ya'll.... one of the sisters.... from our English class.... Is 100% commited and ready.... for her baptism on the 8th of June!!!! She chose Elder Monroe to baptize her, and me to confirm her. What a priveledge it is for me to be able to give her the gift of the Holy Ghost, and to be a part of one of the most important decisions she'll ever make in her life. This will be the first baptism the Chisinau branch has had since last July; the members, and the missionaries are very excited for her! She'll be an amazing member, and a big help to the missionary work here. I'm sad to leave Elder Garlick, but his experience will really help Elder Hammer grow in his missionary work. I'm also sad to leave Дима because he's such a happy kid to be around, and he also expressed his desire to be baptized. One night we were walking him back to his home to get permission from his Dad to go to EFY, and he said, "I'm a member of your church, right?" We simply answered, "No, not yet." He seemed disappointed by our answer but continued to say, "Well how can I be?" That's a great question! "Baptism." He seemed to really ponder how he can get to that point, but that's why we're here! To help him get to that point, and to help him understand that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ we all can change.

During personal study one day last week, I was reading in Our Search for Happiness (if you haven't read this, READ IT!) and I came across the quote we all know from Joseph Smith, "Why persecute me for telling the truth?" I think that's a big question all missionaries/members have. This was apparent to me as I was up in Balti (for the first time) and we had a lesson with a guy who kept telling us that he doesn't agree with our beliefs and how his faith is just in the Bible, but I told him, "No, your faith should be in Jesus Christ, not a book. The Bible is an instrument to build your faith." And these scriptures always pop into my mind when I'm teaching people about the restoration: 3 Nephi 27: 8-11

 8 And how be it amy bchurch save it be called in my name? For if a church be called in Moses’ name then it be Moses’ church; or if it be called in the name of a man then it be the church of a man; but if it be called in my name then it is my church, if it so be that they are built upon my gospel.

 9 Verily I say unto you, that ye are built upon my gospel; therefore ye shall call whatsoever things ye do call, in my name; therefore if ye call upon the Father, for the church, if it be in my name the Father will hear you;

 10 And if it so be that the church is built upon my gospel then will the Father show forth his own works in it.

 11 But if it be not built upon my gospel, and is built upon the works of men, or upon the works of the devil, verily I say unto you they have joy in their works for a season, and by and by the end cometh, and they are ahewn down and cast into the bfire, from whence there is no return.

This IS the Church of Jesus Christ, and it IS built upon His gospel. Nothing anyone says will ever hurt my testimony of our message. "It's true, isn't it? Then what else matters?" - Neil L. Andersen. I love missionary work. I love how much it has MADE me grow. I love the companions I've had, and I look forward with faith to the many miracles ahead. Jesus Christ is my Savior, and your Savior. His church has been restored, and it's the only true church on earth today and for eternity. I love every single one of you, and I hope you have a wonderful week!

-Elder Farnworth