Monday, September 30, 2013

Ooooookay. Missionary work, gotta love it!

Hello family!

To start off, I want you to WATCH THIS LINK:


Okay. Did you watch it? Thoughts? Did you see me and all the missionaries??? Pretty cool, huh?! Yes, the many hours of service that we put in at that kindergarten contributed towards this celebration of a newly built kitchen that was funded by the United States and the church. A senior missionary and Elder Adams were interviewed by the news while Elder Westover and I got to stand up at the front as representatives for the church. After the ribbon was cut, we got to watch the little kids do a Moldovan dance and sing. It was the cutest thing I've ever seen! Later, they invited us into a room to eat with the U.S. Ambassador for Moldova, the teachers, faculty, and organizations that helped build the kitchen. We danced in a circle, sang some Moldovan songs, and talked with everybody. It was great publicity for the church and it was the perfect opportunity to talk about what we're all about. This was an experience that I will never forget. 

The Kindergarten. Elder Kneib just getting done with his speech about what the church provided and how many hours of service the Elders gave (which was about 110+ hours)

Cultural Dance!

The next biggest thing was Russian transfers..... Elder Monroe gave me a call (since he's the other zone leader) and told me who is going where..... I will STILL be in Chisinau with Elder Lippert (he's from England) and Elder Westover is heading up to Balti to be with Elder Feil. I can't believe that I'm already parting ways with my "son" after only 6 weeks. I have no idea how much longer I'll be here, but once again, it's a good thing I love everything about Chisinau. October 3rd is my year mark in the country AND this city. 

Funny experience of the week: We were doing some survey contacting in a park in my old area and while we were talking to each other we noticed a guy in a speedo slowly walking towards us. I don't know about you, but that's just akward. He was about 15 feet away when he yelled out, "Is that the Book of Mormon?!" At first we were hesitant to approach him, but as missionaries it is our responsibility to talk to as many people as God puts in our path. So we talked to him. His name was Paul and he knew the previous branch president here because they were Jehovah's Witnesses together. It's a small world! He wanted a new copy of the Book of Mormon because he didn't know where his old copy was. He was really nice to us, wished us success, and told us to stop by the park anytime because he's always "working out."

Ooooookay. Missionary work, gotta love it!

As for Anya, we're still getting her ready for baptism. She cancelled a few lessons on us this week, but it's totally understandable when you're that age, and there are other things you'd rather be doing. We hope and pray that everything goes through smoothly. It will be different having a companion again who knows the language. I'm excited, but I'll miss working with Elder Westover. He'll do great in Balti! I think that's it for the week. Love you all and have a good week!

-Elder Farnworth

"Missionaries are full time teachers, and members are full time finders." - David A. Bednar

"You can teach only what you know. You can teach powerfully only what you have a testimony of." - Unknown

Monday, September 23, 2013

.... all the Russian elders rejoiced. It was a good day for us.

Hello everybody!

Sometimes I forget that I have a mission blog, and investigators like to let me know about the things I write, but hey! At least people are STILL reading my weekly letters! And just so you all know, we've only had three Russian copies of the Book of Mormon for the past three months, and we received around 150 this past week

Stefan cel Mare holding up his cross, us holding up our copies of the Книга Мормона

.... all the Russian elders rejoiced. It was a good day for us.

This week went by way too fast. I can't believe it's already P-day again. Has anyone heard about missionaries receiving their 88:73's? (Hint: look up D&C 88:73)

P-day picture in front of a big thing in the center of Chisinau.
Lessons with Anya: A member helped out on one of the lessons, and she bore a strong testimony about how she knew that she would be able to help her family be together forever if she got baptized. She teared up, and it made me tear up too!  Elder Westover was able to lead the lesson, and it made me a proud "father" with how well he taught and testified. Another lesson was the Word of Wisdom lesson, which kind of made me nervous since a LOT of people here love tea, coffee, and smoking, but she had no problems except for green tea and was willing to change right away! We still have a lot to teach her, and there were a few days where we had no way of getting in contact with her, but she showed up to church and that was a big relief. It's so amazing to be able to see someone make the necessary steps towards baptism. Jesus Christ can and will change those who are willing to change. One morning, my companion was praying to find something for one of our investigators, and he came across Alma 32:16 -

16 Therefore, blessed are they who ahumble themselves without being bcompelled to be humble; or rather, in other words, blessed is he that believeth in the word of God, and is baptized withoutcstubbornness of heart, yea, without being brought to know the word, or even compelled to know, before they will believe.

We also had the opportunity to teach one of my old English students who came into Elder Hollist's class and said, "I want to learn more about your church. How can I do that?" So they went through the Restoration and gave him a Book of Mormon. The next day, they invited us to help teach, since his first language is Russian, and this English student told us about how he learned English in prison. He compared that learning environment which he created for himself to the environment that we have at Family Home Evening. He found God in prison. And now he's found the only true church on earth by going to FHE. 

It's starting to get dark around 7:30 now, so our street contacting time has now become our knocking time. I'm approaching my year mark in Chisinau, and I can't believe that I'll be in the same apartment that I was when I first got here. It's a good thing I love it here! 

A good father with his two sons at the lake park.
Well. I sure do love all of you. Thank you for your emails and words of encouragement. They are a source of strength to me. Always remember that promptings are usually answers to someones' prayers! So let's look up to President Monson's example and follow the promptings that we receive. Have a great week!

-Elder Farnworth

Monday, September 16, 2013


This week was a lot better than last week due to the fact that I didn't have to take 2, 12 hour train rides, and have an 8 hour meeting in Bucharest. However, it has been raining on and off recently, but Elder Westover and I had a lot of really cool spiritual experiences with our investigators this week! 

Once again, we have started another transfer, and as a zone leader, we get the opportunity to present goals to the zone. Basically, we are going to do a lot better with finding. Our mission president created two new "key indicators" that have to do with our time spent finding, and copies of the Book of Mormon handed out w/ TTIP (Teach Testify Invite Promise). "We are a finding and contacting mission." - President Hill. We're really excited to see how this all works out. It's really helping our companionship be more aware of the time we spend finding each day, and the effort we put into getting out and talking to people.

Here's some really exciting knew for you all: Elder Westover and I were able to set our first baptismal date together with Аня! This was the investigator who came up to me last Sunday and expressed her desire to be baptized and become a missionary. "There was not a time during that lesson where I didn't feel the Spirit." - My companion to me after we taught Аня about the steps she has to take to be baptized, and watched the Restoration video. I asked her what brought her to this point of wanting to be baptized, and she simply said, "I just woke up one morning and had a burning desire to be baptized." God really knows what he's doing! Ever since our first real missionary discussion she's been keeping all her commitments, praying every morning and night, coming to institute and church, and even bringing her friends along. She gave a Book of Mormon to her math teacher too! We have a lot of work to do to get her ready for her baptism over these next few weeks, but we're looking forward to it!

The Elders Quorum had an activity on Saturday and my companion and I got to go to a members house to help him cook the meat for the activity. When we got there, he basically said, "Well, I'll cook the meat, and you two can..... pick up all the walnuts." I don't know if any of you have every seen the Russian Squat, but just imagine us doing that while picking up a million walnuts. I wish I could've taken a picture, but I'll let your imaginations take care of that. The member we were with was a really funny guy, so we had a lot of good laughs while we were over at his house. The members here are so incredibly strong in the gospel, and I've gained such a strong love for every single one of them.

Well, I finished the New Testament for the first time in my life from beginning to end and I now I'm going to try and tackle the Old Testament... We'll see how that goes.... But I just want to leave you with my testimony of the power that the scriptures have. They have power to change lives, and teach us lessons that only can be taught when we are sincerely looking for enlightenment and answers. The Book of Mormon and the Bible are the word of God. Look to them and live. They testify of the divinity of Jesus Christ, and show us the way to eternal life. We are commanded by God to study from them, and that's because He knows what they can do for us.... and so do I! I love you all, and I hope you always make "time for family, time for work, time for study, time for yourself, and especially time for the Gospel of Jesus Christ." - L. Tom Perry. Have a great week!

-Elder Farnworth

Doing some forest contacting.... Actually, we just got lost looking for a potentials house.

Our English students brought a Black Lab to class. Look at those cute little eyes!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Фарнворт! (Farnworth!)

Dear family of mine,

Not much to write about this week since I was in Bucharest from Tuesday to Friday for Mission Leadership Council, but there were still some really cool things that happened!

First of all I would like to praise my companion for the way he handled things while I was gone. Usually when I get back from exchanges or meetings, I usually like to ask my companions what happened while I was gone, and Elder Westover said that they taught some lessons and helped some of our investigators get some good progress towards baptism. I have a such a great companion!

On Saturday we were eating Lunch at our apartment, and suddenly our phone beeps. I checked the phone and saw a text from one of our investigators, "You wanted to meet my mom?" Well of course we do! So we hurried over to the church as fast as we could. There was an activity going on and we had the opportunity to talk to this investigator's mother and we really wanted to make a good first impression, and according to our investigator, WE DID! The next day at District Conference, this investigator told us that her Mom really liked us! First impressions are so important, especially as a missionary.

Speaking of District Conference, President and Sister Hill were here for it, and the theme for the conference was, "Why does God give us commandments?" There was a really powerful Spirit there and a handful of investigators came and sat by each other. At the end of the meeting, I got up to walk outside, and I heard someone saying, "Фарнворт! Фарнворт!" I look around and realize that it's Дима's girlfriend wanting to tell me that she wants to be baptized and be a missionary. I was really surprised (and very happy to hear this), and then she continued to ask, "What do I need to do before I get baptized?" Of course I could have told her the steps right then, but there were a ton of people around us talking, so I told her that on Tuesday we would meet up with her and Дима and talk about what she needs to do. Attending church and studying the Book of Mormon really are the most powerful tools in the conversion process of investigators. I've seen it many times on my mission. 

I've been thinking a lot about how lucky we are to have the gospel in our lives. I mean, look at all the blessings we have! A strong, happy, loving, supporting family, work, a way to be relieved from our mistakes and burdens, and a knowledge of what God has planned for each of us, and what we need to do to find peace and happiness in this life. Taking time to recognize and internalize these blessings is a blessing in and of itself. I love my Saviour, and I will be eternally grateful for the sacrifice he made for me. He lives and loves us. I know this! And I hope you all know that I love you. Have a good week!

-Elder Farnworth

 A really awesome license plate I randomly saw while we were walking around in Bucharest

The "Loveshack" (Elder Ward, me, Elder Hollist, and Elder Monroe) in front of Caru Cu Bere (A famous restaurant in Old Bucharest)
Waiting in the Bucharest Metro

Monday, September 2, 2013

Summer is over...

 Russian car at the kindergarten we do service at.
Doing some more service underneath the kindergarten
stacking some chairs and tables.
The first day of school for Moldova is today and so everyone has there outfits (which took them precious time to pick out) and backpacks on to show that they're all ready to shine on their first day back to school! And you know what this means for us missionaries? That everyone is back from the sea, vacations, and their villages to be found and taught the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. Even though most of the young people we know aren't so excited to go back, we're really excited to finally have the majority of the population back in Chisinau. I'm not even joking when I say that most of the people here left right as August started. It was a tough month for finding, but August is finally over and September has started. 

Elder Westover's first time knocking!
Elder Westover is a fantastic missionary. This is a ton of fun working with him and he especially enjoyed this past Thursday because we had an exchange in Balti. So that meant Elder Monroe's companion, Elder Temus, would be with Elder Westover here in Chisinau while Elder Monroe and I were in Balti with some other elders. They seemed to do just fine that one day without their trainers! We have a great group of missionaries here in Moldova, and I'm grateful that I get to work with each one of them individually. The elder that I was with in Balti always has a smile on his face and is a very optimistic person. We went tracting for an hour and in that hour we were able to find a man who knew about Mormons, and a family who seemed interested in our message. Both of them wanted a Book of Mormon but we weren't able to give them one because the Elders up in Balti only have 2 copies of the Book of Mormon in Russian. It was hard not to give it away, but that's what stop-bys are for! I love the people that I get to meet everyday whether they are interested or not. My energy and love for finding has only grown since I've entered the mission field.

We've been really busy this past week, but we had one night where we got to go knocking for 3 hours, and as a trainer I have to show Elder Westover how it's done. So we got to a door and a lady was on her second story balcony and asked who we were. After we told her that we were missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ, she came down to talk to us at her front gate. She had been an atheist but something happened in her life that made her a believer. She had never seen or heard of the Mormons before so it was a perfect opportunity to show her the Book of Mormon. She listened really intently, took it, said she'd read it, and that we could come back. A few doors later a girl peeked her head out of her front gate and said, "Oh, hey guys, sorry I would let you in but my dogs would eat you." (she said this is perfect English) To make a long story short, she lived in New York for 3 years, her husband is American, and she has a Mormon friend in California. Small world. She even asked us how our day was, which no one ever does, so that was nice of her! Elder Westover did very well saying all that he could say when someone answered their door. It took me back to my first days of knocking and it's weird to think that I'm now in that "experienced" missionary position.

Funny experience of the week: we had to go to the church for a lesson early in the morning and right as we opened the front door we heard a loud snap. The handle broke and so I told my companion not to shut the door because if we did, we wouldn't be able to get it open again. I went upstairs to get ready for the lesson, and when I came back downstairs I see my companion on the other side of a closed front door.... We both just started laughing because I was now stuck inside and he was stuck outside. Luckily there was a window on the first floor that we could climb through, so Elder Westover, and our investigator made it in for the lesson. The door still hasn't been fixed so on Sunday we had to use the front door (which we don't usually use) as the entrance. 

I have a ton of other stuff I could say, but email just overwhelms me and I get easily stressed by all the things I COULD write. I love you all and have a good week!

-Elder Farnworth

P.S. We're working with a really cool person right now, but this person informed us this morning that they don't want to appear on my blog, so I can't reveal their name or what's been happening..... Also, I'm going BACK to Bucharest again with Elder Monroe and so I'll pretty much be there this entire week for meetings and transfers.