Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Good morning, everybody! The sun continues to shine and the time continues to fly here in sunny (for England, at least) Basingstoke!
To be honest, I don't know what's happening any more. We have forgotten ourselves and gotten lost in the Lord's work... and He is moving everything forward.

There is a fire about missionary work in this ward that I have never before seen. It is incredible. Everyone is getting involved. The key has been persistence. We just keep asking- over and over again. If they back out, we remind them that they backed out! We hold them accountable for the quality of member missionary work that is being done within the ward... and it's working. We were able to get people out with us every night last week. We received multiple (for lack of a better word) endorsements in church. It's not about the month of invitation any more, it's (as our Bishop so perfectly put it) "the start of something good" and "how things need to be from now on." What a miracle.

Besides the explosion of member missionary work, the other thing that the Lord has blessed us with is courage. How, you might ask? It started a couple of weeks ago in Zone Training. A recently returned missionary from Uraguay gave an exceptional presentation on inviting everyone to be baptized- including on the street. I think the whole zone really caught hold of this idea. We began to account for the number of baptismal invitations we extended. We learned that the number of baptismal invitations that we extend is directly proportional to how little fear we have. We need to be bold- especially when we have our members with us. 
I have never been happier. Truly, this is a marvelous work and wonder. Earlier, I stated that I didn't know what was happening. Allow me to make a correction- what is happening is that the Lord is moving his work forward. It is as simple as that. We have the blessing of be his vessals. All we have to do is be smart, follow the White Handbook, open our mouths, and have no fear. Perfect love casteth out all fear. So, essentially, the more fear we lose, the more love we have. The more we love others the more we will challenge them to claim the blessings of Eternal Life. That is what it's all about, really.

Love you all - Elder Frederickson

Friday, June 21, 2013

Love these shots of Matthew! Such a happy missionary!!!

Dear faithful friends and family,

I love being a missionary! It is such a blessing to serve God with all of my heart, might, mind, and strength each day.

It's P-Day today (obviously...) our first proper one in two weeks. It will consist pretty much just letter writing. It'll be good to just be able to relax a little bit haha it's always a good feeling.

I don't know what is happening in this area (or the Reading Zone, for that matter...) perhaps it's the fact that we were motivated by seeing an apostle of the Lord. Yes, I'd say that's what it is!
Somehow, we managed to pick up ten new investigators this week. To be honest, I have no idea how that happened. I guess we just allowed the Lord to work through us, we put in our all, and miracles happened. Now, I am starting to learn a lesson about miracles- if you have a high number of miracles, a high number of new investigators, a high number of lessons... a high number of anything, really, then some of them are going to fall through. That's just the way life goes. For example, we really took our Zone Leaders council to heart when they said we needed to be inviting everyone to be baptized. We saw an absolutely amazing miracle regarding this on Wednesday. We had a new baptism date. Then, we saw her in town the next day and she informed us she had "better things to do with her life." Is this discouraging? Yes, obviously. It is discouraging for one days miracle to become the next days (struggling for a word here...) anti-miracle?
We were, however, able to call down miracles from on high throughout the week. The triumphs FAR outweighed the tragedies this week. What a blessing!
All in all the work is moving forward at a remarkable pace here in Basingstoke
I know this is the work of God. I am blessed to be called to do His work each day. The fruits of living the Gospel of Jesus Christ are delicious. My invitation to all of you is to partake of that fruit today!

I love you all so much.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Faithful family and friends,
Where do I even begin? Even if I used the entire two hours of allotted email time, I couldn't begin to describe half of the incredibleness that happened this week. I suppose I should start with the most exciting thing, which will help all of you understand why I did not have a chance to email yesterday.
On Saturday night, my companion was doing his normal accounting. Elder La Mazza said that at the end of accounting he had an announcement that would blow everyones mind and apparently was the best announcement of his mission. I, having a tendency to be slightly cynical when it comes to announcements, kind of brushed it off... until we heard the announcement. He said "we might not have P-Day on Monday." He then continued that there MIGHT be a special Zone Conference. In Hyde Park Chapel (central London.) With the London Mission (also, IN the London Mission might I add!) With a "special speaker." The western zones would not get to go. Here was the catch though, we wouldn't know until 10 AM on the day of! We needed to be in our very best, ready to shoot off to London at 10 AM. Sure enough, at 9:45 Monday morning, we received a message instructing us to call our Zone Leaders for travel plans. We did just that. The whole Zone congragated at Reading Station at 12:15 then we all took a direct train out of our mission to London Paddington. We then walked through London, explored Hyde Park (we took a Zone picture out of the mission... hahahaha), and met up below the Hyde Park chapel. I was then able to have a joyous reunion with my wonderful trainer (who I hadn't seen since he left Trowbridge), Elders Astle and Erickson (who I hadn't seen since the MTC... Elder Astle and I have lost 90 pounds between the two of us), and many others.
After about an hour of waiting, we went up and for ten minutes, Elder M. RUSSELL BALLARD OF THE QUORUM OF THE 12 addressed both the London and London South missions. Then, the London mision was dismissed (they had had most of their conference already) and we moved into the actual chapel. First, we heard from our Area President, Elder Texeira. He gave a wonderful presentation about how we needed to set higher goals and raise our visions. Then, Elder Ballard addressed us. He said we needed to "find more, teach more, baptize more, and reactivate more." He invited us to teach with greater simplicity and turn the balance of our missions over to the Lord. We then heard from Sister Millar and President Millar. President told us that several months ago, in the very building we were in, he was told that the work could explode in Europe... but if it did, it would need to start in the UK. If it was going to start in the UK, it needed to start in the London and London South missions. He then said "The gauntlet has been thrown down, do you accept that challenge?" With smiles on our face and our MTC experience a year prior fresh in our minds, Elder Grachyov, Elder Astle, and I looked at each other and said in unison "CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!" We all left the meeting fired up and ready to find, teach, and baptize.
Needless to day, yesterday was pretty awesome.
The work is going wonderfully here. Our investigators are all progressing again. The members are getting excited. We're getting excited. I had an amazing interview with President Millar last week. We are calling down miracles from on high on a daily basis.
I hit my year mark last Friday. That is strange. It's going by far too fast...
I love you all. I hope your week is half as wonderful as mine is going to be!
With love,
Elder Frederickson
PS The picture is me with my trainer- Elder von Allmen. It was so good to see him!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Six more weeks in Basingstoke!!!

Good morning everybody! Summer seems to have arrived in England! As such, I will need to buy some short-sleeved shirts. I will do that today. I hope everyone is doing wonderful. Things are good here.
As far as the work goes, it has been a wonderful week! It has had it's challenges, but then again... so does every week!
Our investigator is still wonderful. We'll be teaching him tomorrow and he should be coming to church on Sunday. He is still good for July 6th.

We have been able to commit our other investigator to another baptismal date. It's August 3rd, quite far away. Even if it's far away, for various reasons we know it's right. She continues to learn and grow. She loves knowledge and is curious. What a wonderful attribute that is! It is clear to me that as her testimony grows, her countenance changes. It is an amazing blessing to see that change in her.

We had an interesting experience yesterday with other investigator. We had planned to teach her Tithing and Fasting. Unfortunately, on our way to the appointment, we realized that I had forgotten to bring the Tithing and Fasting pamphlets. Unsure what to do, we just said a prayer and handed it over to the Holy Ghost. We knew that we couldn't do it on our own. We went in there, still not knowing what we would share. We had planned previously to extend a new baptismal date, but we also weren't sure if we were going to do that anymore. We got in there and they were playing monopoly so we waited a few minutes for them to finish up. We began the lesson and it was quite awkward. The only thing I could really compare it to is that video on the District where they have to do the emergency exchange and have no clue what they are doing. What happenned next, however, was amazing. Everything was calm. All of those contentious feelings were driven away in an instant. Were we still in the dark? Absolutely. Did we have a clue what we were going to teach? Nope. But we knew the Spirit was there. We knew that as long as we allowed the Spirit to speak through us, we could work miracles. For whatever reason, right after the opening prayer, my mind was drawn to that story in Preach My Gospel where they read 3 Nephi 11 and the guy decides then and there he wanted to be baptized, so we read 3 Nephi 11. Very slowly. We stopped every few verses and tried to put it in as simple terms as possible (because she has a really hard time understanding.) She understood just enough. When we finished, we weren't quite sure where to go. For reasons completely unbeknownst to me, I suggested we make her a baptismal calender. She agreed to this and agreed to work towards July 6th as a baptism date. The spirit was incredibly strong. I am so grateful that I could literally lose myself and allow the Holy Ghost to speak through me in a way that I could never have done on my own.

Elder Aichele and I have set a goal to "endure to the end" with our weekly goals. We want our weekly goals to actually matter, to be something we talk about and work towards daily. We found that the most efficient way to do this was taking a suggestion offered by a friend of mine serving his mission elsewhere. He suggested that we set key indicator goals BEFORE planning anything. This requires that we look back on our weekly objectives. It also requires us to be far more in tune with the spirit. It has been wonderful.

My biggest focus for this transfer is going to be to teach with simplicity. By the end of the transfer, I want to be able to teach and testify about every principle in the lessons in one minute or less. I'm going to have to be diligent about this- because following through on study plans is not something that comes easily to me. But I know I can do it! My other goal for the transfer is to be fearless. To boldly invite everyone I meet to come unto Christ. To have no reservations about inviting people to repent and be baptized. To put complete trust in my Savior. I know that as I do that, miracles will occur. Faith thins the veil, that is plainly taught in Ether 12.

I love this gospel and I love this marvelous work and wonder that I witness every day!
Love you all so much! :)
-Elder Frederickson