Monday, December 31, 2012


 Hello everyone, and happy New Year! We don't have any wild plans to bring in 2013, if any of you were wondering... but that's okay haha no big deal.

This last week has been tons of fun! It was so awesome to be able to Skype the fam :) it was just like being at home, I loved every second of it! I'm so glad everyone is doing well. I am also glad that the Redskins are doing well, obviously. I also still haven't received all of my Christmas packages :( there are at least two sitting in the mission office! I am not sure when I will get them, hopefully soon?

We continue to put in our 100%. Something that I've noticed in the last few weeks that is really cool is that our level of success runs somewhat parallel to our diligence. Now, I haven't really noticed that pattern before... I'm not sure why. BUT regardless, it's REALLY cool to see direct correlation between what I am giving and the results of what I give. So often, we don't get to reap the seeds that we sow... being able to do that is a unique blessing. I hope this continues throughout my time in Chichester, throughout my mission for that matter. We've basically just been doing TONS of knocking. We were able to have nine doorstep lessons in four days. Now, that might not seem like a lot haha but in this area in this mission I find it significant! 

I am learning so much each and every day. Conditions are not ideal and no day is perfect. There are always challenges involved. If we put our trust in the Lord, however, we can meet those challenges head on. We can strive to be the best we can. When we mess up, we can humble ourselves before the Lord and repent- thus allowing us to constantly be changing and improving. Eternal progression is just that- eternal. It's not something for the future. It's a process that began before we got here, that must continue here, and will never end. It is a process that is constantly difficult, but will bring forth constant joy in a way that nothing else can. We need to always be living the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I hope some of that made at least marginal amounts of sense! :)

Everything is moving along slowly, but surely. The coming weeks will contain excitement, I know it. I love you all so much and feel your prayers! I know that the work that I do is the Lord's work- it will move forward and it will move forward with power!

With love,
Elder Frederickson

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas Eve :)

Hello! So I am REALLY short on time today, because we are having a Zone P-Day in Southampton which is on the opposite side of the Zone. So this will just be a collective of thoughts that are related in no way, some spiritual and some not! :)
-HAIL TO THE REDSKINS... always makes me smile when I find out they win! Thanks to Dad for keeping me updated :) proud to have been a fan all of these years and to be able to say I am not a bandwagoner
-Last night, I remembered the whole #OccupyRexburg debacle and I laughed to myself
-Chichester is making TONS of progress... we are finally seeing the fruits of our labors! We are working closely with President in rearranging some things logistically about the area (flat location, etc) in order to maximize our effeciency in carrying out the Lord's work here. I think it will make a MASSIVE difference!
-Tomorrow is Christmas! I hope everyone has a MERRY CHRISTMAS!
-I got an email from Elder Castro this morning informing me that one of our converts, Charlie, blessed the Sacrament yesterday :) that was one of the best presents that I could've gotten... it seriously made my day.
-Thanks to everybody who has sent Christmas cards and packages... you all mean the WORLD to me :)
-I won't have time to reply to all my emails today, but I will do my best to next week
-It's SO hard to believe that 2012 is pretty much over... 2013 will be a year that will be dedicated in it's whole to serving the Lord, and that is so exciting for me!
-Chichester ward is great and is taking care of me well! That being said, I miss Trowbridge and everyone there a lot as well.
-You're all in my prayers and I feel your prayers daily, they mean a lot.
-There is no such thing as too much news from home...

That's about all that is in my head right now.

Hope all of you have the merriest Christmas possible :)

With love,
Elder Frederickson

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas is in the Air!

Happy Holidays! Christmas is a week from tomorrow and I just cannot wait!

Things are going great in Chichester. I have recovered from my ankle and knee injury that I'm not quite sure when/how I sustained it. But it didn't stop us from working and it's all better now so it's all good. We continue to focus mostly on finding people to teach and it continues to be qutie difficult. We are meeting so many great people, setting return appointments, and preparing lessons for them... but then we get flogged almost every time. It's a pretty disheartening routine to be in, to be honest. That's okay though! We are being blessed for our diligence with many teaching opportunities that we didn't anticipate! Although the work is slow, it is most defintely moving in the right direction. As long as it does that, it will eventually get where it needs to be.

The current situation continues to be humbling but also continues to be rewarding. I am learning so much that I know I will be able to apply throughout my life. I have also now lost 50 pounds since I reported to the MTC. Not sure if that's awesome or a tad bit worrisome. Other than all of that, this week has not been all that enthralling. I'm really looking forward to this week- the Christmas conference will be a blast and I can't wait to go through the temple again- I haven't been able to go since June. I have a lot to ponder about and there is no better place to learn than the House of the Lord. It is such an incredible opportunity to have a temple in our mission boundaries!

My apologies for, once again, having so little to write about. There just isn't that much happening here... yet! :)

Hope you all have a WONDERFUL week! I love you all so much! I know that this church is true! Anything that we ask our Father in Heaven, we will have answered. He will bless us for all the we do. He knows each of us perfectly. I have a strong knowledge of that.

With love,
Elder Frederickson

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Six more weeks in Chichester!

So, I'm going to be here in Chichester with Elder Grachyov for (at least) six more weeks! The other area in our district, Portsmouth, got white-washed SO we are now the most senior members of our district... at three weeks hahaha. The new people are a new missionary and his trainer (who I haven't heard of) so that should be lots of fun. Moves week was relatively mundane- there were very few moves because Christmas around the corner. Only 28 of the missionaries were impacted by moves.

In all truthfulness, this week hasn't been very exciting. We have been doing LOTS AND LOTS of knocking and street contacting. Since we arrived we have found about 60 potential investigators, the majority of whom were also given Book of Mormons. Each and every one that we had a return appointment with flogged us. It's pretty frustrating, but I know that if we're doing all we can, the Lord will fill in the blanks.

I am SO excited for next Wednesday, we will be having a Christmas Conference! Portsmouth zone will be having the conference with Reading and Staines zones, so I won't see most of my friends in the mission but I suppose that is okay! I am just excited to be able to do a temple session and pick up all of the Christmas stuff that I hope is at the office :)

I am so grateful to be a missionary! Although the last few weeks certainly haven't been the easiest ones of all time, that isn't how it's supposed to be. I know that everything that the Lord does has a purpose, I know I am here for a reason. I just need to make the most out of these next 18 months! I know that so long as I am doing my best work here in Chichester, the Lord will provide!

Sorry this is really short, guys- there really just isn't that much going on right now hahahaha if you are ever wondering what I am doing, there is a VERY good chance it's just knocking or talking to people on the streets.


Love, Elder Frederickson

Monday, December 3, 2012

Chi town, Chi town, we gonna show 'em how we get down!

Greetings everyone! The subject line is from a Kanye West song... I couldn't resist using it, seeing as my area is CHIchester. I hope that doesn't make me a dreadful person. I don't think it does.

Anyways, this last week has been fantastic! Is it difficult? Yes. Have I been humbled? Oh yes. Would I ever change that? Absolutely not.

We had a Zone Conference with Elder Kearon from the Area Presidency today. President Millar kicked off the conference with a VERY humbling presentation regarding the number of baptisms in our mission the last three years compared to the number of baptisms in the rest of the European missions. Basically our numbers our dreadful. He then revolved the rest of his words around the quotation "where do we go from here?" He told us what needs to be done to make the work move in the direction it needs to be moving. We need to more fully apply the the principles contained in another humbling missionary experience- when President Hinckley received the letter instructing him to forget himself and go to work. This all relates to my goal that I set at the begginning of this transfer- to consecrate myself to the Lord more fully each and every day.

On a lighter note, it was great to see a bunch of my friends from the Bristol Zone and from my MTC group. We had a great time catching up and talking about our various missionary adventures. I also received my pre-Christmas package (which I LOVE by the way, thank you so much!) and a letter from Grandma/Grandpa Frederickson. I loved all of it, many thanks.

Our flat is all decorated for Christmas, we were not messing around regarding this. It looks amazing and I try and have Christmas music on as much as I can. It's hard to believe it is so SOON! If I have time, I'll include some pictures!

Chichester is such a cool place to serve. It's a lot bigger than I anticipated and transport is also quite tough. It's similar to Trowbridge, but instead of getting direct trains, we have to change trains if we are going anywhere besides Havant (which is where pretty much all the members live- not quite sure why the chapel is in Chichester.) That is okay though, it just means we have to be creative and efficient with our planning (those who know me know that budgeting time is NOT a strength of mine.)

In other news, we were contained in our flat yesterday, as Elder Grachyov was sick. I wasn't really sick so I read the majority of "Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Wilford Woodruff" and wrote some letters/Christmas Cards. I sent off like five letters today, by the way! I still have a few more I need to write but I think I'll have time for that today? We shall see!  I ended up being sick kind of... I randomly woke up in the middle of the night feeling VERY and threw up (it was NOT pleasant...) but I have felt just fine other than that so let's hope I am all better for good. I wanted to throw in a How I Met Your Mother reference using the "Vomit-free Since '93" line but I'm just not witty enough.

There is nothing else too crazy that is happening at the moment- we are just going hard all day every day, with the knowledge that the Lord will fill in the blanks. The work here is certainly difficult, but it is most definitely possible. Our God is a God of miracles and I know that as we diligently excercise our authority and live worth of the mantle which we have, we can call down angels to aid us.

I love you all, have an exceptional week!

-Elder Frederickson

Monday, November 26, 2012

Saying Good-bye to Trowbridge / Baptism

Greetings from Chichester!

Good morning everyone! It has been an absolutely WILD week. Quite frankly, I can't even remember what went down at the beginning of the week until Tuesday at 3 PM.

Elder Castro and I had just visited a referral and were doing some knocking up in Bradford-on-Avon (SUCH A COOL PLACE, just saying) when we got a call from President Millar. I answered and he asked to speak to Elder Castro. They chatted for like... two minutes and all I remember is Elder Castro saying "In English?!" so I assumed that he was being asked to give one of the prayers at the Elder Keiron conference this week. He then hung up and said that he was training. Strange. I asked if I we were going to be a three and he said that I was moving to Chichester. Having been pranked just a few weeks earlier, I did not believe him. He persisted, however, so I called President back, just to clarify. I was then informed that I was indeed moving to Chichester, which had been shut downa few weeks prior, with my good friend/one of my MTC companions, Elder Grachoyv. I would be picked up the next day at 2 PM. I was floored. I was stunned. Out of nowhere, I was leaving the area that I loved SOOOO much. We immediately started back to Trowbridge. Luckily, I was able to say goodbye to most of my amazing friends at the chapel that night, as it was youth night so pretty much the whole ward congregates there. I didn't get to say goodbye to everyone, though. It was SO hard. I love Trowbridge and everyone in it so much. I made some promises that Trowbridge would be the FIRST place I go when I am released by President hahaha. I'll send some pictures home next week.

The next day, we had a District Meeting at the chapel where I bid farewell to my amazing friends in the Bath district (even though I'm going to see them on Wednesday... haha) It was a lot of fun. I then stopped by the Turveys and said goodbye to them and went back to the flat to finish packing all of my stuff and wait for the Bideford missionaries to drop off Elder Grachoyv. After that, we waited for the APs. The APs then drove us to our new area.

Chichester is an AMAZING place. I love it here so much. The ward is fantastic as well. It's a lot smaller and the dynamics are quite different than Trowbridge, but I know that Elder Grachoyv and I are here for a reason. There is so much work to do here and I simply cannot wait to do it. I know that by demonstrating faith, we will see miracles. The area itself is actually laid out similar to Trowbridge. The chapel/our flat is in Chichester and we also work in the towns surrounding (Havant, Hayling Island, Bognor Regis, Petersfield.) I am so excited for all that lies ahead!

Also, this is my new address...

Elder Matthew Frederickson
7 Harvester Close
Chichester, West Sussex
England PO19 6XF

With love,
Elder Frederickson


Monday, November 19, 2012

Time Flies!

Dear family and friends,

This has been a FANTASTIC week! Last Friday, I had the amazing opportunity of baptizing my good friend Dean. It was a great day. I will send pictures later on from the Apple Store in Bath! The spirit was so strong. It was also the first time I’ve had a baptism that there were no issues with the Font Filling System so that was a relief! In the past, I would get a little stressed and press the “Font Fill” button too many times, but this time I only pressed it once and it worked. The water was also an ideal temperature. We also made some awesome programs that I am proud of. I might post one home in the future, we’ll see. I have all my baptismal programs saved on my flash drive so I’ll have them regardless.

This week we also had a cool opportunity to teach a lady from China. It is VERY difficult to preach the Gospel to someone in their second language. Considering my tendency to use lots of big words in my lessons, I had to really focus and rely on the spirit to allow me to put the message we share in as simple of terms as possible, because it IS very simple! We showed the Restoration video in Mandarin so that was pretty fun. It was just an all-around good experience. She also attended sacrament meeting yesterday and loved it although I don’t think she understood much. We took her on a chapel tour afterwards and when she went into the kitchen she remarked that she would love to cook the whole ward Chinese food.

I love serving in Trowbridge so much. The friendships, experiences, and just… everything about this place gets better and better as the weeks fly by (and they fly by REMARKABLY fast.) I am so grateful that I am here. I know with a surety that this is where I need to be right now. I am also grateful when we receive a text from members that say “Redskins killing the Eagles.”

Being a missionary has allowed me to recognize my many weaknesses. I am grateful for this, however, because our weaknesses allow us to learn and grow, which is a big part of why we’re on the Earth in the first place! I am humbled daily and would not have it other way. Through the continuous process of repentance, I can improve my life and improve the lives of others. I am so grateful for my Savior and His atonement- without it, this most sacred of works could not possibly move forward. As I strive daily to more fully consecrate my self to the Lord, I see Him mold me into what He wants/needs me to be- which is far superior to who I would otherwise be.

I know the work that I do is the work of God, I am so grateful to be able to act in his name and speak with the authority He has given to me. I am grateful for the simplicity of the gospel. If the Kingdom of Heaven is as a little child, then they should be able to understand the gospel in it’s fullness better than anyone else. As such, deep doctrine is just not necessary and is a waste of time! We need to strive to seek a deep understanding of simple doctrine instead of a simple understanding of deep doctrine. That is one of the most valuable lessons that I have learned on my mission thus far.

I love you all so much! I apologize to the many, many people I still need to send letters back to. I will send them soon!

Elder Frederickson

Monday, November 12, 2012

Another rainy morning, but I wouldn't have it any other way!

Dear family and friends,

It has been another superb week here in Trowbridge! The big news of the week, which I literally just received two minutes ago, is that Dean has received all of the approval he needs for his baptism, so everything is looking perfect for Friday! I am SO excited. It will be a fantastic service. We also continue to be excited for Matthew, and hope to begin teaching his family as well this week. The devastating news of this week is that the highly anticipated Christmas single from the Bristol Zone, “No Thrills Christmas”, is no longer going to be released. The studio where we recorded it got robbed so some criminals are the only people with access to those files. A truly crushing blow.

Our focus in the area has shifted to ensuring that everyone we teach has or is working towards a testimony of the Book of Mormon gained through prayer- without that, they won’t progress.

My main focus for this transfer has been to consecrate myself to the Lord more fully and I have seen great results from this. Although it is definitely not easy (more often than not, I find myself wanting to do what I want to do) it is the only process through which I can unlock my full potential and more perfectly follow Heavenly Father’s plan for me.

It is hard to believe that we’re almost halfway through November. The days and weeks go by faster and faster! I am SO excited for Christmas to be able to Skype everyone! Although I will be DEVESTATED if  I don’t get to spend Christmas in Trowbridge, but I will be excited for it nonetheless because I get to talk to the fam. I also am obsessive with Christmas music right now and whenever I am in the flat the Band Aid “Do They Know It’s Christmas” song is ALWAYS on and, I’ll admit, I am a bit weird about it. So I would love some more Christmas music. Also people should start sending me pictures again, I miss getting them.

That is about it! To everyone back home reading this, I LOVE YOU! To my friends in Trowbridge who have started reading my blog… you’re alright, I guess… no, just kidding you all are perfect.

Also we have been instructed to inform our parents that all Christmas packages are to be sent to the MISSION OFFICE this year. They will ensure that our packages are delivered to us by Christmas. So everyone send me packages. Also, I am going to be creating and sending out Christmas cards to people/families I like, so look forward to that.

That is all for the day, good friends! I am off to Bath to enjoy what should be a fantastic Zone P-Day!

With love,

Elder Frederickson

Monday, November 5, 2012

The 5th of November

Good morning, everyone!

Not sure if you are aware of this, but tonight is a very important day here in the UK! It is Bonfire Night, where there are lots of fireworks.  Today should be a lot of fun! Our District is going up to Lacock and then we are going to do some service with some awesome members down in Warminster! We are then going to have dinner and FHE with them. It’ll be a blast.

The work is progressing! Dean is still solid for November 16th and I could not be more excited! He was the first person I spoke to in Trowbridge that wasn’t a missionary hahahaha I just can’t wait. Keep him in our prayers. We also experienced a cool miracle this week- while we were walking to teach Dave, Elder Castro got the impression that we needed to knock a specific door. We did and we met an AMAZING guy named Matthew (awesome name) and scheduled a teach at the chapel the following day. The teach could NOT have gone better, he accepted all the first lesson commitments (VERY RARE hahahah that type of thing only happens on The District, which I hear is now being played as a documentary on BYUTV HAHAHAHHAHAHA) including a baptismal date for the 8th of December! We are so excited and will hopefully start working with his wife and kids as well!

Yesterday was, as per usual, an incredible Sunday. Dave came to church on his mother’s disability scooter thing. Oh, by the way, it was snowing? It was crazy hahaha we walked to church in the snow. It was awesome though. I guess Bath ward got cancelled so many people from their ward came to ours. Despite the weather, Dean, Matthew, and Dave were all at church! What a blessing it is to have people so committed to the gospel before they are ever baptized! I am so grateful to know and be teaching them. We are also now going to institute with Dave. Last week was supposed to be the first week but we arrived to find out it was cancelled. For whatever reason, we decided that it would be a good idea to attend the youth Halloween party instead. Luckily, hardly any of the youth came so it was mostly leaders hahaha it ended up being awesome. We will be going to institute with him in Trowbridge tomorrow and in Bristol on Thursday! I am so excited!

Everything is amazing. I love being a missionary!

Love, Elder Frederickson


Monday, October 29, 2012

Although Salisbury would be kind of cool .. just sayin'

MOVED to Salisbury?!?!

So I got moved to Salisbury... OR SO I THOUGHT. On Saturday, in a ruthless prank by my dear friend Elder Price, I was told that I was being moved! I began telling members and packing until, about an hour later, I found out it was a prank and that we would get our REAL moves calls the next morning. We did, and both Elder Castro and I are staying in Trowbridge! Actually, no one in our district moved, which is pretty crazy. Anyways, it has been another absolutely amazing week. We were able to set a baptismal date with our good friend/investigator Dean! I am so so so excited to see him progressing. He will be baptized on the 17th of November! So we spent a lot of time teaching/working with him this week.
Another marvelous experience we had was the "missionary night" we had with the Young Women. It was so much fun! I absolutely love working with the youth because they are so much fun and have a special enthusiasm for missionary work. On Sunday, one of them bore their testimony on how much she gained from the presentation and how she was able to apply it throughout the week and it was quite touching. I could not believe our presentation had that much of an impact! I am so thankful to our Father in Heaven for giving me that priveledge to address them and help them fulfill their missionary responsibilities.
One talk that has continuously come to my mind throughout the week is the one President Uchtdorf gave in Priesthood session a couple of years ago called "Lift Where You Stand." I don't know why, but the principles discussed in that talk have been so applicable as of late. We can make a big difference if we just make the most of the opportunities we have.
There is not much to report other than that, the work continues to progress! I hope that everyone stays safe despite Frankenstorms looming presence. I am getting so excited for Christmas! If I stay one moves longer, than I will be in Trowbridge for Christmas. We will see, we will see. That is six weeks away. Something else that I am really looking forward to is hearing from President Kearon (who apparently used to be Stake President of the Bristol Stake not too long ago) in a couple weeks time. I'm sure he will give a great message and I am also excited to be able to see many friends again!
My address is the same as it has been! I have LOTS of letters to respond to today hahaha I will do my best :) also SO excited to hear about where all my friends are going on their missions! Excitement is abound.
With love,
Elder Frederickson

Monday, October 22, 2012

Good Afternoon

Wow, what a great day it has been! We are currently emailing from Bath!  We are emailing from the Apple store in Bath! We know that is allowed because the Bath Elders do it every week!

Anyways, not an incredibly high amount to report. First and foremost, there was a competition between Bristol Zone, Poole Zone, and Plymouth Zone! We won by about 300 emails. Further more, our area got more emails than any other area! We got 130! It was amazing. Our strategy? We went into Young Womens at the beginning of the week and told them about it. We challenged them to get as many of their friends emails as possible (but they had to explain why they needed it... obviously) so that they could receive the mormon messages that the office elders send out every week! We told them that for every 8 emails they texted to us, we would buy them a large bar of Toblerone. The response was INCREDIBLE. It really goes to show that working with the ward is truly the "higher" way. The magic doesn't happen in missionary work until members get involved!

Today, we also went to a members house in Bath where he has a professional recording studio. We recorded a Christmas rap and also sang a really cool version of Come Thou Fount (it is just me singing most of the time!) so yeah let me know if you want that! Afterwards we all went to Jimmy Spices and enjoyed our meal courtesy of the Zone Leaders because we had the most emails :) it was SO delicious!

That's really all there is to talk about, if we are being honest. Moves calls will be at the end of this week so I probably won't be writing anyone back (like, letters) until next week! SO don't worry people, I'm not ignoring you- just waiting to see what my address is for the next six weeks! Hopefully it will not change!

Love you all so much!

-Elder Frederickson

Monday, October 15, 2012

An Interesting Week!

Hello everyone! It is another wet Monday morning in Trowbridge, but what else is new?
In all honesty, there is very little to report on. This week has been a tad bit stressful. Elder Castro managed to hurt his back quite badly playing football last PDay and, as such, was severely limited in his walking capabilities all week. Yet, we had to arrange a baptismal interview (while Elder Castro was in the hospital), plan a baptism (which had not been announced in church), and manage to get to church for the confirmation.
Long story short, it all went well. The Zone Leaders and Bath Elders had to come down on both Wednesday and Thursday to drive people around and make sure the interview happened. Then, at the actual baptism, no one from the bishopric showed up. I got a text from Bishop at 6:15 asking when the baptism started, to which I bluntly replied "6." The font also didn't start filling until 5:50 so that was fun. Then Bath showed up with investigators and their ward mission leader before anyone from our ward had arrived. Luckily the Starns and Turveys showed up so the High Priest group leader was able to preside. In the end, all was well and the baptism was an absolute joy to witness. Charlie was just so willing to completely change his life. I am so grateful that the Lord led us to him. We confirmed him yesterday in sacrament meeting and it was just brilliant.
So, as a whole, we had a pretty good week. Granted, you seldom have the same number of baptisms as you do teaches, but I'm not complaining! Tonight we will be back on our feet ready to go out and convert the nations... one door at a time.
Moves are in two weeks... that might be the craziest thing of all. Time soars when you're serving the Lord.
I love all of you so much and apologize for the brevity of this email- there will be many miracles to report next week, promise! :)
-Elder Frederickson

Monday, October 8, 2012

Our God is a God of Miracles

Dear friends,

This has been hands down the best week of my mission so far. I have had so many incredible experiences. I do not know what I did to deserve them, but I thank my Father in heaven every single day that I have been privileged to witness them.

The first part of the week was comparably uneventful. District meeting in Bristol, exchange with Bath, a little bit of finding. Nothing too crazy. This weekend, however was a TOTALLY different story.

Friday we had three major events- Shelby’s baptism, interviews with President Millar, and I got a haircut. I will expand on the first two.

We were told that President would be arriving at the Trowbridge chapel at 4:30 to begin interviews with us and the Bath Elders. As such, we diligently arrived to open the chapel and make preparations for the interview and the baptism at 4. About five minutes after we got there, we received a voicemail from President informing us he would be there at 5:30, just 90 minutes before the baptism was to occur. STRESS.

So, we proceeded to make the baptismal program and… well… wait (waiting and stress became a theme that night.) The Bath Elders arrived, ready for interviews but we had nothing to do… so we messed around on the organ until President got there. When he arrived, interviews commenced immediately. They went very well! He got all of his missionaries a new mini Preach My Gospel (best early Christmas present ever.) He then informed us that he and Sister Millar would be staying for the baptism. NO PRESSURE. We then turned our attention to the baptismal font we had began filling upon our arrival to the chapel. To our surprise, the font was still filling, well over the drain. It had filled to such a height that it was VERY close to flooding over into the bathrooms… uh oh. We had been told that the font filler stops automatically. Eventually, however, it did. For this I am eternally grateful.

Then, the actual baptism began. All went well. Sister Allsworth and I sang I Need Thee Every Hour so that was a blast. Then we all proceeded into the Primary room to see the baptism. Elder Jones (my trainers trainer aka my Grandpa plus he served in Trowbridge and helped begin teaching Shelby) stood as witnesses by the curtains, awaiting the signal to open the curtains so the baptism could happen. This did not happen. It was evident that she was VERY nervous and saying that she wouldn’t be baptized. We stood in the room for an incredibly uncomfortable 10 minutes (keep in mind that we have President and Sister Millar in attendance) until Bishop awkwardly asked us to return to the chapel.

We then sat in the chapel for about 20 minutes, conversing and such. At one point Elder Hanks was asked to play the piano and kept messing up so Bishop asked him “what hymn was that Elder?” It was starting to get a bit irreverent and the whole thing was just not good.

Then the miracle came. Elder Castro went up to the pulpit and silenced everyone and essentially said “Shelby is afraid and needs our prayers.” He then offered one of the most sincere and powerful prayers I have ever heard. Someone who was standing in the hall, monitering the two situations, informed us that she was baptized at the very moment that Elder Castro said amen. What a powerful witness regarding both faith and prayer! I am so grateful to have witnessed and been a part of that experience. I am also grateful that we had so many people there, including our dear President, to experience that with us. We then enjoyed delicious refreshments provided by… well, I am not quite sure who they were provided by. But they were good. We then topped off the night by getting a delicious kebab.

So then… conference. Ummm MISSION AGE CHANGE? Incredible! What an inspired announcement. I am so excited to see how this impacts the mission field. For starters, I think we will get A LOT more sister missionaries. Truly a blessing, because sisters are infinitely better missionaries than us Elders hahaha. Conference in general was great! Unfortunately we have not been able to see the Sunday afternoon and Priesthood session yet, but I am sure we will soon. Charlie was able to go to Priesthood session though! He was also at the baptism, where he unknowingly sat next to President Millar and excitedly told him that he too was being baptized next Saturday! Excitement is abound in Trowbridge.

I received a flood of emails this morning from friends and family regarding the missionary announcement. I am so proud of everyone who has decided to serve a mission and am honored to have been told about it! I also had the pleasure of talking with Harrison and Ariana, who stayed up til 3 AM so they could talk to me for an hour or two! I have the best friends in the world. I’ll send some pictures along later! I love all of you so much. The work will press on. This gospel is true along with the Book of Mormon. Have a phenomenal week!

With all the love I can give,
Elder Frederickson

Monday, October 1, 2012

Greetings from beautiful Trowbridge

Hello everybody! I hope you all are well today, because I certainly am! I love being a missionary.
Big news on the baptism front- we have a baptism (the one that was supposed to be last Thursday) scheduled for this Friday and another (hopefully) next Friday! I could not be more excited. It is incredible to me to see the changes that the Gospel can bring into peoples lives. Furthermore, our recent convert  will be getting the Priesthood soon! It brings me indescribable joy to see the friends which I have come to love dearly progress on the path to salvation.

On Saturday, I had an incredibly spiritual experience. I prayed that morning that when I opened my mouth, the words I would speak would be according to the wisdom of God, not according to me. We had a teach that day with an "eternal investigator" who has been seeing missionaries for about a year and a half. I prayed that Elder Castro and I would be able to effectively discern his needs. I am incredibly grateful to say that we were able to teach by the spirit. There is no point to teaching if it isn't by the spirit! Because of the greater obediance and reverance we were able to maintain throughout the day, we were priveledged to teach by the power of the Holy Ghost. I know that I could not have said the things I said without that spirit. Heck, I can't teach at all without it! However, by the power of the Holy Ghost, I know that ALL things are possible.

Things are going fantastic. I love Trowbridge. I love Elder Castro. I love this gospel. As Elder Castro and I get more excited about the work, I cannot help but notice that the members are getting excited as well. Members are queuing up to go on teaches with us, strengthening both them and the investigator. The ward is excited about missionary work. I am excited about missionary work. I KNOW the Lord is excited about missionary work (obviously...)
Last week, I also finished the Book of Mormon for the first time since leaving on my mission. As instructed in Moroni 10, I pondered and prayed, inquiring once again, to know if it were true. Then, once again, the authenticity of the Book of Mormon was confirmed to me by the power of the Holy Ghost. How awesome is that? I can read that book over and over again, yet the promise and that promises results are always so fresh and enjoyable. It is by far the most effective tool in helping people come to the knowledge that Joseph Smith was and is a prophet of God and that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is God's work. How can so great a thing not be the work of God?
It's crazy to think I've been out 4 months now. The time really has flown and has started to fly even faster. It serves as a reminder to me that I need to make the most of my time where I am priveledged to serve the Lord.
You guys are all so amazing, your letters/emails/prayers/everything you do mean so much to me, build MY testimony, and keep me going.
I love you all,
Elder Frederickson

Monday, September 24, 2012

Lacock - Coolest English Village EVER

They even filmed Harry Potter there ...

Matthew's letter

Dear world,

It has been another excellent week in Trowbridge! Despite a few hiccups and setbacks, the work continues to move forward.

On a much more cheerful note, I was able to participate in the confirmation of Joshua as the newest member of the Ward and Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints! Incredibly exciting. He was so happy to have been baptized and to be wearing the white shirt and tie Elder von Allmen and I got him! Not only that, we had a new investigator named Charlie at church yesterday. He has had a bit of a rough life, but LOVES going to church and getting to know the members. Despite what he’s been though, he always has a smile on his face and I love that about him. We’ll be teaching him a couple of times this week and hopefully inviting him to be baptized. Awesome stuff.

My new companion (Elder Castro) and I get along great! He has been serving in the Spanish-speaking branch in London for his whole mission so speaking English is a pretty new concept for him, but we’re working on it. We have been able to do lots of finding and have several new people that we can teach. Hopefully they will come through. 

I’ll be honest, although we’ve been doing tons of finding and have been very successful in that regard, there’s nothing else that I would deem noteworthy. Let’s see… we cleaned the chapel on Saturday morning with the Ramsbottoms. We brought donuts, obviously. We “hoovered” (that’s how the Brits say vacuumed!) the entire building. Today for our P-Day we are heading up to Bath and seeing some of the sights there. Some time in the next week or two, we are going to Lacock. Apparently parts of Harry Potter were filmed there, so that will surely be awesome. Love all of you so much and simply cannot wait to hear from you! Your emails and letters really keep me going.

With love,
Elder Frederickson

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Transfer 2 has come and gone... six more weeks in Trowbridge!

Good morning everyone! The last few days have been absolutely crazy. We got moves calls early Tuesday morning- I'm staying in Trowbridge and getting a new companion named Elder (Fidel?) Castro. I've heard some great things about him! Elder von Allmen is white-washing/training/district leader in Welling, which is as far away from Trowbridge as you could possibly get haha it is on the east side of London. It's sad that I probably won't see him for quite a long time, but I am also way excited for him.
The big event of the past few days, however, was the baptism of Josh. The baptism was on Monday night (day before moves calls) so it was absolutely crazy. The spirit was so strong there. He had dropped some dates before, so we were a bit apprehensive about moving forward, but we are so grateful things worked out the way they did. He could not have been more excited for his baptism. Since he is 12, he will also be receiving the Aaronic Priesthood soon. Way awesome! I sang "I Know That My Redeemer Lives" as well, that was a bunch of fun. Josh's sister is getting excited for her own baptism in a few weeks! They wanted separate baptisms, I do not know why hahaha. So keep her in your prayers for the 5th of October! We are also looking to extend some more dates over the next week so we will see how that goes. We celebrated Josh's baptism with a kebab, a mission tradition.

Traveling around has been nuts the last 12 hours or so. Some missionaries decided to ignore their travel plans... and we got a call at 12:30 saying that they would be at our flat in two hours. Long story short, I ended up in Wells Road (Bristol) at 5 AM when I was supposed to be in Bath at 9:30 AM... so I am exhausted and can't really think straight right now. I promise next weeks post will be better, okay guys? I love you all so much, you're incredible. I feel your prayers and am praying for you in return.

With love,
Elder Frederickson


Monday, September 17, 2012

Transfer week

Matthew will most likely be affected by transfers this week - either he will leave Trowbridge or his companion will.  This means we will not hear from him until later in the week.  He did post a quick note to mention the transfer schedule and let me know that we would not be hearing from him until later - he also mentioned that he was in Frome this week.  SO - I had to check it out. I am post a little paragraph on Frome and some pictures.  How gorgeous is this place????  LOVE it!

Frome is an historic market town in the county of Somerset in the South West of England.
Located in beautiful countryside near the lovely Mendip Hills, Frome [pronounced Froom] has a population of around 20,600.
This lovely country town is ideally placed as a touring centre, since it is within easy reach of Trowbridge, Bristol, Bath, Wells, Salisbury, Glastonbury, Chippenham and many more towns, cities and places of interest in the south-west.
There is also a great deal to discover within the town itself.
Frome has a wealth of places of historic and architectural interest, alongside a thriving contemporary arts scene.
In July each year, the 10 day Frome Festival is held, with music, dance, drama, comedy, various work-shops and much, much more. It is extremely popular with locals and visitors alike!
There are also two vibrant theatres in Frome.
The splendid Frome Memorial Theatre on Christchurch Street West hosts many fascinating shows and a variety of talented individuals in all fields of the arts.
Likewise, the Merlin Theatre, located on the college campus on Bath Road provides a wide range of entertainment.
Just outside Frome is the National Trust owned, Stourhead. This is a world-famous 18th century landscaped garden and Palladian mansion. It is a wonderful day out in a beautiful location!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Things are swell in Trowbridge

Good morning my friends, before I start off, I would like to say a couple of words...
Alright, now that we have that out of the way, I will tell you all about my wonderful week of missionary work!
Now, I haven’t really discussed this very much in my last few emails home, but the work has been REALLY slow the last few weeks. I don’t know why, we’ve been working our hardest… people just were not being receptive or keeping commitments. This week however, things changed a bit! I don’t know why, but everything really picked up this week. We doubled our number of teaches, progressing investigators, and investigators at church! It’s a really good feeling.

Big news of the week: we now have two baptismal dates! One is going to be baptized in… wait for it… A WEEK! How exciting is that? The other is going to be baptized on October 5th, as she thinks she needs to hear the lessons one more time. It’ll be nice though, because they each can have their own special day. I’m so excited for them. At this time last week, we did NOT foresee an opportunity to extend a baptismal date any time soon, but then they developed a fairly intense desire to be baptized. Truly a miracle and an answer to countless prayers.

This week I was able to go on two exchanges. First, we exchanged with Taunton from Monday night to Tuesday night. It was way fun working with Elder Aragones. He has a POWERFUL testimony and an incredible conversion story. We pretty much did finding all day and it was really successful. We found at least three people to teach! Still waiting on the other four to get back to us, as they did not want to give us their address… they took a Book of Mormon though and promised to read it. We’ll see. On Thursday, I was able to go up to Bath to work with Elder Price, which was fun (as always.) We did a lot of finding, tried to see some formers, and ate some delicious curry.

Last P-Day was probably one of the most fun ones I’ve had so far! We took the train into Bristol and went to Primark (but I didn’t get anything) and then we went to Weston-super-Mare! We went to the Grand Pier, hung out on the beach, and rode a sweet log flume ride! We then went to Taunton’s baptism, which was in Weston for reasons unbeknownst to me.

This week, I have really gained a testimony of the power of prayer. They really are answered. If we exercise just a little bit of faith in our Heavenly Father, it’s incredible what he can do. All we have to do is just ask! I can’t think of an earnest prayer we gave this week regarding the people we taught that wasn’t answered. It’s incredible what a little faith, enthusiasm, and desire to ask can do to put the work forward! I am really looking forward to seeing the work progress in Trowbridge.

If you send me a letter this week, just keep sending it to my current address. Even if I move next week (which is very unlikely), I will still get the letters sent to my old flat before letters that are sent to the mission home (because Elder VA would just forward it to me and I’d get it the next day.)

I love all of you so much. Your prayers, letters, emails, and notes always inspire me to work harder. The Church is true, as is the Book of Mormon. The work is moving forward and cannot be stopped, not even slowed down.

With love,
Elder Frederickson