Thursday, May 22, 2014

"You Can Collect Your Gold Star After Church"

 I love Catford Ward so much.
This week has had it's challenges. It was just one of those weeks where we talk to tons of people and they just wouldn't stop. That's okay. That's the nature of this work sometimes. Despite that we saw some great things happen, we especially saw miracles yesterday. I feel like the Lord will reward us more for the labours we perform when we're tired. On Saturday morning we saw that our lesson total was way down, but we felt that we could still get to 20. We made plans to achieve it. We worked diligently. Hardly anything happened on Saturday and even Sunday morning but we kept going and the Lord provided the rest. What a great experience. I know that when a standard is presented by our leaders, we can achieve it if we do our part. It might not be pretty or glorious or mind blowing, but it doesn't need to be. That's not what's asked of us. We just need to work our hardest! And smartest, I might add! :)

We've also seen our finding become more effective as we've used the Book of Mormon in every finding encounter (within reason.) Based off the experiences we've seen from it, I've set a goal- to have a spiritual experiencec from the Book of Mormon every day and then to use that experience throughout the day. It's very small and simple but by small and simple things great things are brought to pass! :) It also helps them understand how important the Book of Mormon really is.
Sorry this is a bit short! We have a great P-Day planned today- getting some Jimmy Spices at the O2 with some other Elders from the Zone :) and then we'll clean the flat and I'll start purging my suitcases of... well, random stuff. I know there's still two weeks but I do NOT want to be "that guy" who has to throw away tons of stuff at the Visitors Centre. HAHA before my mission I was defintely that guy. But not anymore.
I love you all so much! I know that this is God's work, that Jesus is the Christ, and that this is HIS church on the Earth today!
Have a great week! :)
With love,
Elder Frederickson
The picture is of the Wandsworth Zone last P-Day :) I know my hair is really long but I got my hair cut reallyyy short.

Pushing the Work of Salvation forward

Dear family and friends,

It's been a really good week. We saw a lot of success. I attribute this to renewed diligence in planning. Not that we weren't diligent before, rather, we just put more emphasis on planning out our appointments in a smart way. We put enough space between each one to ensure, for the most part, that we could contact along the way to every day. It's a small and simple thing, but we were greatly blessed for it. We found many new people.

In the midst of this, I also learnt a great lesson. While we were contacting to an appointment, there was this guy covered in tattoos smoking outside of a tattoo parlor. I thought to myself "there is no way this guy will be interested" and geared up for rejection. We talked to him and he turned out to be way interested! He is already a Christian but doesn't have a church and wants us to help him quit smoking. Goes to show that we can't judge anyone on the streets. We cannot know who has been prepared by the Lord until we talk to someone. It's the same principle as finding out if the church is true, really... we don't know until we ask God! We can't know if someone is interested until we ask them!

We also picked up a new baptismal date. There is an investigator who was found a couple of years ago who, for various reasons out of her control, hasn't been able to be baptised. Things have fallen into place and, at last, she will be baptised this month :) we have set a date for May 31 but we might move it forward if she can quit smoking before then. She is SO excited and so are we. Our other baptismal date, Cash, is doing great. He is really excited for baptism. He said he wants to be baptised this week! But we have to teach him... so we set a date for May 31. We'll move it forward if needed, but since we can't see him much that will probably be the actual date. We have a number of other people who can have dates soon. It's exciting, exhausting, and fun! :)

I also had a really cool experience this week with family history. I decided to use some of the Work of Salvation internet hour to go on Family Search and work on the My Family book. I was reading up on one of my great-grandfathers on my moms side of the family. Naturally, I wanted to see if he served a mission. According to the document, he did... and his first companion was James A. Cullimore... Elder Cullimore's great-grandfather. WOW. When I read that, I felt something extremely powerful. As if there weren't enough crazy things about the fact that Elder Cullimore and I were companions! When I was skyping my family yesterday, I asked my grandma about all of this and she confirmed it and added that James Cullimore and my great grandfather were best friends. Wow. Talk about the Spirit of Elijah! I immediately formed a bond with my great-grandfather, a man I never met, and strengthened my bond with one of my best friends. What a blessing Family History work is!
I love you all oh so much! You are all incredible! I feel your prayers and love hearing from all of you each week!
With love,
Elder Fred

Monday, May 5, 2014

Best Stake Conference Ever!

Sarah got to see Matthew at the Wandsworth Stake Conference! Both she and Sarah Signore are on BYU Study Abroad in London!  Such a tender mercy! #Oaktonstakereunion

Greetings From Sunny South London

Dear everybody,

This week has been great. Not much to report regarding investigators. We are still trying to build up our teaching pool. I was quite impressed with the articles that the Assistants and also the Eastbourne Elders wrote for the Harvester. After reading it on Saturday night, I felt that we could be doing more to increase our teaching pool. As it turns out, the solution seems to be simple planning smarter- ensure there is time for contacting between each and every appointment and keep things interesting by always being on the move! They said something in particular that struck me, "rarely did the Saviour have set appointments, he did most of his work while He was travelling." I thought about that and it is so true! What a wonderful insight! We set goals and made plans to talk to more people (everyone we possibly could, within reason), followed through, and saw miracles. We met several people who seem to be prepared to receive the Gospel.

I also learnt a lesson regarding persistence. Now, usually, I'm quite a persistent person... but when it comes to contacting and a conversation is going on and on and it doesn't seem like it's going anywhere I start to get a bit flustered. My mind starts to wander a bit. I just want the conversation to be over and to talk to any one of the hundreds of people walking by... but that isn't right. We stopped someone and they've stopped and we owe them our time and attention, even if what they have to say isn't quite what we want to hear. Yesterday we were talking to this guy who used to be a Jehovah's Witness but now does NOT like organised religion. We talked and talked and talked... on three seperate occasions I almost just ended the conversation... but for whatever reason, I felt we shouldn't. We kept talking and in the end, he actually was quite interested. If we give these people the time they deserve, we are also giving the Holy Ghost the time HE deserves to work on the hearts of these people.

I am also really grateful for the AUF project. We are finding some great people from it.  the Lord is also softening the hearts of these people and those that live around them. The way things are going, by the end of this week, our teaching pool will be composed almost entirely of people found from the AUF project. What a blessing.

I also love the goal our Zone has set to read the Book of Mormon in a transfer. I feel my testimony of it strengthening even more! I love reading it cover to cover because it allows me to "connect the dots" more, relate one story to another, and simply read it in the way Heavely Father laid it out! When you read Chapter 3 of Preach My Gospel, you get a similar effect. When we read with the Spirit, we can be informed regularly that these things are true and divine in nature. I would invite all of you to join me in beginning the Book of Mormon. It is so powerful and so true. It changes lives. I'm not going to ask all of you to read it by June 1st (which is the deadline I've given myself) but I'd invite you all to start reading!!!

I am really grateful as well to have my wonderful cousin, Sarah, as a member of the Catford Ward for my last few weeks of my mission. Who would've thought that was going to happen? The tender mercies of the Lord are real. It was also awesome to see BOTH Sarahs yesterday at Stake Conference. I feel like I see people from home all the time hahahaha apparently an Apostle once counselled missionaries "if you can't avoid it, enjoy it." I haven't been able to verify that, but I like it haha.

I'd also like to share two talks with all of you that I listened to this week and really struck me. Throughout my mission, I've developed a deep love of the word of the Lord as given through his inspired servants. Often times, throughout my mission, when God wants to communicate directly to me, he does so in the form of a that is sent to me or that I find in a shelf in our flat. Anyways, here a couple that I loved this week. The first is by Neal A. Maxwell and deals with our unique view of "Pre-mortality", the belief that we lived with God before we were born, a doctrine unique to our church. The second is a talk that I love by President Monson because it's just awesome.

This week will be good! We have Zone Conference in Crawley tomorrow. It goes without saying that I am excited.

I love you all so much! Have a wonderful week!!! :)

With love,
Elder Frederickson

First Week of the Last Transfer :O

April 28th
Good morning, everybody!

It has been a good week. Our numbers (at least with lessons) were a bit down because we spent a lot of time working on AUFs and I have found that it is quite a bit more difficult to teach lessons on a doorstep than on the street. It is, however, necessary since we have 36 total AUFs that are spread out all over humanity. AUFs are something called "Address Unknown Files."  We are also instructed to knock at least 20 doors near each one. When I was in Basingstoke we had 10 and it took us a whole transfer... so you can imagine how much 36 is hahahaha and we have til June 4th to do it! We've definitely seen some cool miracles from the project though, including finding a less-active who wants to come back and has three children aged 9, 10, and 12. Another cool thing- two of the AUFs are a married couple who were actually referred to us by our Romanian investigators... so I guess they're members?! I recall them talking about their "Romanian Church." Could it have been THE church? :) We'll have to pick them up again and check into that. So far all of the AUFs that we've spoken to (I think 12 or 13 now) have been pleased to see us.

We also picked up some new baptismal dates. We began teaching this awesome guy named Ashley. He said that the message we share (we've taught Restoration and Plan of Salvation) "makes sense, logically" but that he needed to double check to ensure everything "matches" with the Bible. It does. Now we need to emphasize church attendance and the Book of Mormon. We also began teaching a French/African woman named Lisette. She LOVED our message, she double checked every time we quoted scripture to make sure we weren't making up scriptures hahaha. In particular, she loved our testimonies. She was impressed with our message because we invited her to ask God and said, with confidence, that he'd answer. That was refreshing. They, along with Susan and Cash, are dated for May 31st.

Lately, we've been seeing a lot of success with getting our less-actives to church. I'm struck by how prepared some of these people are to come back- all they need is a bold but loving invitation. It takes a little bit of faith to do this but it makes a world of a difference.

A couple of days ago, the streets of South London began to adorned with Rick Ross posters and I have to admit, I laugh every time I see one! Also, only a few of you will understand this, but someone on the street we were knocking the other day was blasting "I've Got A Feeling" and I cringed. It's been what, three or four years now? And it still send shivers down my spine. 

Also, word on the street is that the Wizards are up 3-1 on the Bulls in the playoffs? That's what I like to hear! :) Shout out to them for making major, major improvements in the past two years.

This weekend we fasted as a Zone to have 15 baptisms in the Wandsworth Stake this transfer. I know it will happen. We also broke our fast with one of my favourite Nigerian members who fed us Jollof Rice and Goat. It was really really good.

Yesterday was also Elder and Sister Bradford's last Sunday in the Catford Ward. The work they've done there the past two years has been incredible and I am going to miss having them around SO much. 

I know this work that I am engaged in is the work of Almighty God. I am so grateful for the privilege I have to share the Gospel each and every day to the people of London.

I love you all! :)

Elder Fred

Shout Out to the London Marathon

April 14th -
Wow! It is hard to believe I am writing this letter again! The past week has flown by. There have definitely been ups and downs but that is what missionary work is all about. It certainly hasn't been an easy week.

First thing, big time shout out to the London Marathon for starting right next to our chapel and shutting down all bus routes to our chapel, especially in Greenwich and Charlton! Hahaha but also big time shout out to everyone who did the London Marathon because I could never do that ever. Maybe some day. :)

One thing that was particularly hard, but that I learnt a lot from, was regarding one of our investigators. He kept every single commitment we gave him. He stuck to the reading calendar. He came to church. He saw Conference. We did everything we could for him- prepare lessons, acts of love, we even organised a temple trip! But he just didn't progress. He didn't get an answer Why? I'll be honest, I asked myself that this week. He did his part, we did ours, why didn't the answer come? I feel that sometimes these things happen because that's just the way God wants it to be. Like a lot of things on my mission, it's confusing and doesn't make sense and is a bit hard to swallow, but sometimes we have to just trust God and accept the fact that His thoughts and ways are simply higher than ours. I do know this- that he felt the Spirit We plan on getting him hooked up with missionaries back in Colombia. I think that he'll be much more willing to accept the Gospel there where he can hear it in his language I'm grateful for the opportunity we've had to plant that seed of faith in him. I am confident that some day, it will grow and he will be baptised.

On the other hand, Lux is doing great! Besides Church Attendance (which was an all-around nightmare yesterday due to the London Marathon) he is fantastic. The first thing he said to us when we walked in was "I have several questions regarding the book of Enos." He also referred us to one of his friends. He is excited for his baptism. We'll have to push it back a week but that't okay. He has changed a lot since I've met him. It goes to show that you cannot judge the people we meet on the street (or knocking!) because you never know who will progress. We need to always be following up as Elder Ballard counseled us last week and that is when miracles come!

P-Day should be good. It's so hard to believe it's the last one of the transfer! We're not doing anything too crazy. Maybe going to Greenwich and taking some pictures.

I am sorry if this letter makes me sound down, I'm super happy I promise! :) But some weeks on a mission are more challenging than others and this was definitely one of the more challenging weeks. This week will be wonderful though. Lots of appointments, progressing investigators, pancake breakfast with the zone, and exchange... it'll be great :)

I love you all so much! I know the message that I share each day is TRUE!
With love,
Elder Fred

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Love Conference!!!

Good morning, my friends.

Everything is great here! Conference was good. In particular, I enjoyed Elder Ballard, Elder Bednar, President Uchtdorf, and Elder Oaks (Priesthood session.)  Since Wandsworth Chapel is... well, on the other side of London, we decided it would be a much better idea to organize viewings at our chapel and at the homes of less-actives. This was fruitful. The Spirit was felt by all, in some way or another.

This week, the focus was progression. We spent the week doing things we felt would strengthen our investigators. Perhaps we could've done a bit more finding, but at the end of the day there isn't much point to finding if you don't progress those you find! :)

I've been making a concentrated effort to pray for and expect miracles. These miracles have taken the form of referrals! From investigators, from members, from it's awesome! If you ask everyone for referrals (including the Lord!) you'll receive, sometimes in ways you don't expect. I'm learning that you can think of all the techniques, tricks, and schemes possible to get referrals but at the end of the day the biggest things you can do are ask, serve, and WORK! If we do those things, the Lord will provide.
Our investigators are doing well. It's really crunch time with them. We're bringing them both to a baptism this Saturday. We're taking Andres to the temple.  He saw the Sunday morning session yesterday. He was obsessed with President Uchtdorfs talk!  Hahaha I wish I could peer into his mind to see how it works. We were able to focus on President Uchtdorfs talk though and help him recognize that he is feeling the Spirit. He is definitely progressing though.

L. is one of the fascinating people I've ever taught. He's amazing. He finished 2 Nephi this week and when asked about how he liked 2 Nephi his comment was that he couldn't believe they ate raw meat but he researched it and found that when you cook meat, it loses a lot of vitamins so now he understands. He also commented on how he loved the Isaiah chapters. Wow. We also made him a CD of Churchy songs he can listen to on Sunday, because he asked for hymn recommendations when we taught Sabbath day.
We also began teaching an Italian girl.  She is SO COOL! We brought along Tony, a recent convert and he did amazing. She is Catholic but she said that our belief that God isn't three people mysteriously in one, but that God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are seperate beings makes "much more sense." Amen to that. She accepted a date for May 3rd. We'll see what happens! She's YSA so that's always good, means we have a great support system.

Today will be fun! The Zone is getting together at Wandsworth chapel just to chill I think. It'll be good to hang with everyone and play some sports.
I love you all so much!
-Elder Frederickson

Picture: (Most of) the original Basingstoke District. Idk what the pose is, I was trying to make fun of Sister Wests pose but ended up channelling Spider Man.