Monday, November 26, 2012
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
Thursday, November 22, 2012
Monday, November 19, 2012
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!
Monday, November 12, 2012
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!
Monday, November 5, 2012
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