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

Monday, September 3, 2012

Bristol - Because i like to see where Matthew goes!

Good Morning from Trowbridge

Dearest family, friends, and those who I choose to associate myself with,

First off, I would like to apologize in advance for the imminent shortness of this email. We have an extremely busy day today, so I do not have much time to email. Plus, the library is closed so we have to email from the Family History Center in the chapel. So yeah, keep that in mind. Sound good? Good. Also, we went on a run here so that was tiring but it feels really good. I am in so much better shape now than last time I ran! Hahaha.
This week has been nothing short of spectacular, but I think that is to be expected while serving a mission. I set a goal last Monday to REALLY focus my personal study time on "getting to know" the Book of Mormon. As most of you probably know, I am not what you would consider a master scriptorian. I decided that I really needed to know the Book of Mormon so that I could reaffirm my own testimony and allow me to more fully convey it's truthfulness to those who I teach. As a result of setting and accomplishing this goal, I have gained a greater appreciation of our study time and for the scriptures in general. I love studying them so much. If any of you ever get the chance, I highly recommend checking out Holland's testimony of the Book of Mormon. It is incredible.  (for anyone interested - the link is below!)

I had the opportunity to go on exchange to Bath last week with my good friend from the MTC, Elder Hanks. We had a lot of fun and basically knocked all day (YAY...) we had a little success out of it though, we made two return appointments. I love Bath so much, it's a beautiful place. That night we had Breakfast Burritos and while he was accounting, I wrote someone a letter and put it in the envelope and all that jazz, with the intent of sticking it in the post box the next morning. I forgot and asked the Bath elders to do it for me. I forgot, so they drew hearts all over it and made little lip things on the envelope. Too funny! 

Missionary work might sound monotonous, but it can be so much fun if you put your mind to it! This week, our district meeting was about creative finding. We basically brainstormed for an hour about the many different ways we could find people to teach. We practiced by picking random objects out of a bag, and (on the spot) thinking of ways we could tie that into the gospel. I think my favorite way is stopping random people and asking them who is wearing a cooler tie. It inevitably leads to questions. Plus, you can keep a tally throughout the day and see who has the better ties! I'll refrain from giving you guys the result this week, you aren't ready for it. ;)

We have a great day planned today. We are going to Bristol at about noon so we can go to the happiest place on earth (Primark) and see this sick street art festival. Then we are going to Weston-super-mare to see the grand pier and then go to a baptism! We are then exchanging with Taunton. (see pictures below) I am going to be senior companion for the first time haha that should be an adventure. I am going to be with Elder Aragones! He is super cool and from Barcelona. He speaks very little English, but it has improved leaps and bounds in the last few weeks! So cool.

I love being able to serve in the Trowbridge Ward so much. I have grown so close to the members and I will be so upset when I have to leave them. I cannot imagine serving in a better ward! It's hard to believe that I could be moving in two weeks (I probably won't because Elder von Allmen has been here 7.5 months.) I also cannot imagine having another companion! Elder von Allmen is so much fun and we get along/teach together so well.

Anyways, I best be departing, but I love you all so much, I feel your prayers- they uplift me every single day.

With love,
Elder Frederickson