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