Monday, February 24, 2014

Walking London

This has been an interesting, difficult, and rewarding week.

To cut a long story short, I was without an Oyster (through no fault of my own, might I add!) so we were on foot all day every day. Between companionship goals, and stake mission plans, and District goals we had a LOT of travelling to do. Nevertheless, we were able to do the vast majority of our visits and we were rewarded for our dedication to carrying out the plans we'd made. It was EXHAUSTING, like I've never been more exhausted from missionary work.

We are working right now with a family from Grenada who have been investigating the church several years. Their son is baptised but the parents are not because they are not married. This is because they've struggled to obtain a British citizenship. However, as we were discussing them in correlation meeting, our Ward Mission Leader commented that where he served his mission (Salt Lake) many people thought they couldn't be married for the same reason, when citizenship is not actually a requirement for marriage. He invited us to do some research on the matter. Luckily, our Bishop is a lawyer so we called him and he worded his answer as follows- "anyone can be married here." Exciting! So they will be baptised in the near future. I think they'd be married and baptised this week to be honest but the mother is recovering from surgery so it might take a bit more time. We are so excited for them.

Things are doing well. The focus continues to be growing our teaching pool and getting people to progress. We're doing this by making as regular contact as possible. We try to see everyone each day but it doesn't always work out. We think we can improve the quality of those visits by making them of a more spiritual nature rather than just quickly following up. Teach them the doctrine they need for the day.

We also are trying to be more charitable in our work and demonstrate our love by action! We did all manner of acts of love this week- giving blessings, baking cookies, and providing people with suitable clothes for church. It's paying off! It really helps build trust between missionaries and investigators. They are MUCH more willing to be honest and bring up concerns.

Things are going well. Still a bit slow, but we're trying to go by the Lord's timetable and not our own... and I feel we're being blessed for that.

Sorry this is a little short and all over the place... haha I am still a bit tired! :) Another big thing- I think this was the first week on my mission (probably my life actually haha) that I wrote in my journal every day. I want to keep that up! Some of you (well, actually just missionaries in my mission that I've been close to recently which is like three of you) might know that I have obsessively studied PMG (Preach My Gospel) chapter 8 (Use Time Wisely) for like two months now and learned SO MUCH from it. I've now moved on to chapter 4 which is about the spirit! My focus this week comes from that chapter- now that I've improved the quality of my evening prayers, I want to improve the quality of my morning prayers! We'll see what happens. I am also going to try and recognize the Spirit more throughout the day and learn a bit more about how he speaks to me.

I love you all so much! I hope your weeks are rewarding and full of miracles! 

With love,
Elder Frederickson

Good Morning!

Hello dear friends!

It's been a great week. We're being blessed bountifully for the work we are putting in. We're going to see the Big Ben again as a Zone today. That will be fun! :)

Things are moving along, although perhaps at a slower pace than the natural man would want. That's okay. These people are on the Lord's timetable. If we are doing what is necessary, we can be satisfied that the Lord is pleased with our labours.

Right now, we are trying out different ways to communicate with/build the trust of the members, especially the ward council. Members here are SO busy supporting their families that we often go long periods of time without seeing them.  We decided that we needed to communicate with the Ward Council on a more regular basis. We now email our progress record to the whole ward council every Friday and include with it some notes on how our week went, who we're working with, and what actions need to be taken to help move the work forward. We also include some brief reminders about praying for the missionaries, the wards baptismal goal, and things like that. We also list off our teaching appointments for the next week and ask who can come. This has been incredible effective. The members LOVE it. They're always thanking us for the updates.  Now we are going to try and emphasize having that information filtered into the individual quorums and auxiliaries through the Ward Council so that the whole ward can join together in moving this work forward.

Our investigators are doing well. We're trying to see all of them each day so we can follow up with the commitments we've left in person. It's been quite effective. We're doing out best to plan for this effectively while scheduling in quality finding time. It can be challenging but it is definitely rewarding. It really all does come down to effective planning. We also need to write EVERYTHING in our planners. Well, I do at least. Otherwise, I forget everything! :)

Since the mission is emphasizing the Sacred Time between 6:30 and 10 AM, I prayerfully considered how I could better make use of that time. I decided that I was also making 10 to 10:30 PM sacred time. From 10 to 10:15 I write in my journal, since I've found that the better I am about writing in my journal, the easier personal revelation comes. At 10:15 I pray, allowing me plenty of time to be in bed by 10:30. It's made waking up in the morning SO much easier. People who know me well know that I am NOT NOT NOT a morning person, I know it is simply the Lord blessing me for obedience to His schedule.

You guys are all so wonderful and I love you so much! Have a great week.

Oh, and happy late Valentines Day ;) and Presidents Day... forgot that existed...

With love,
Elder Frederickson

Friday, February 7, 2014

Visit from Bishop Buhler

Matthew's Curry Recipe

I guess he has learned how to cook!!! Here is Matthew's Curry recipe!!!
Hmmm well I've made two. One that's tomato based and one Korma tasting one.
I use the same powder for both of them. Here's what I do
Get a little bowl, mix up a bunch of spices until it smells good.
The three main ones are garlic powder, coriander, and cumin. I also put in a lot of Garam Masala. I also sparingly use cinnamon, ginger, cardamon, cayenne, paprika, chinese five spice, ground cashews... basically whatever I can find :)
Then I dice and fry an onion or two, as well as a red chili or two. When it's done, fry the chicken then throw in the powder and let it fry for 1-2 minutes. Then you put in a little water, a medium amount of yoghurt, and quite a bit of tomato puree then you mix it all together and let it simmer for twenty minutes. 
The korma one you just do the same thing except replace tomato puree with coconut milk, red peppers with green peppers, and put in a bunch of ground almonds and a bit of peanut butter :)
Always serve over rice :)
I'll have to make it for a family dinner over the summer.

Using Time Wisely to Fulfill Our Purpose

Dear everybody!

The work is moving along at a brisk pace, although not quite in the way that I expected.
R. is doing okay... we set a new baptism date with him for March 1st. He has committed to do the stop smoking program after he goes on a one week holiday to Egypt.
D. is doing well.  At the moment, he is dated for February 22nd. I know it can happen. He just needs to exercise his agency. We're visiting him every day. At this point, it's pretty much all on him. Funny story about that, by the way. D. has a flat mate named A. who, to say the least, isn't a big help with the Word of Wisdom problems. When we visited him on Friday, A. was there, there was this guy named E., who I'd never met, in A.'s bed and he just sat there the whole time grinning. Obviously D. was there too. They were all drunk (it was 11 AM...) and we told D. that he wasn't receptive to spiritual truths while he's drunk. A. (who, up to that point, was singing along to something on his phone, I think it was R. Kelly) just stands up and rebukes D. and saying that he needed to "keep his committments" and that our time was "precious." Profound. I think we are going to try and teach him. Also E. spoke up at one point and told us that we "ought to bring a member of the church who used to be alcoholic but changed his life." Evidently, these guys had a peek at Preach My Gospel Chapter 10.
D. came to church yesterday and "loved" it. We're teaching her tomorrow. Hopefully we'll begin to see her more regularily.

Forgive me, as a lot of what I am about to say will make a lot more sense to my fellow-labourers.

I learnt so much this week. It all stemmed from a District Meeting that was inspired in every way. First, the Zone Leaders addressed the whole Zone on having more meaningful street lessons. It led me to deeply ponder the purpose of finding and key indicators and how we use them in our proselyting. I have come to a few conclusions on the matter:

1. Their purpose, in my opinion is to help us keep track of the progression of those we're teaching, to assess where we are and how we can improve, which, combined, help us fulfill our purpose as effectively as we can.

2. Key Indicators represent events for a specific individual that lead to lasting conversion. They represent the progress of specific souls towards eternal life. As such, we should do all that we can to make them meaningful. If the key indicators ever become about us or our prideful desires, then we need to repent.

3. You should aim to have increasing key indicators each week. You don't just wave a wand and quadruple the number of lessons you teach. You work hard. You pray with faith. You do all you can to demonstrate charity. You obey with exactness. The work progresses. The members see this and then the work takes off.

Based off these conclusions, Elder B. and I have set goals and made plans to change. To re-assess the way we look at key indicators and the souls the represent. Why are we here? Love. If we focus on love- love of God, and of all mankind, then we cannot fail. We will have been successful missionaries.

I hope I don't sound too preachy :) these are just a few thoughts that really struck me.

In the actual District Meeting, Elder B. asked Elders F. and O. to prepare presentations on hope and charity. They were incredible. I can't wait to apply their inspired counsel.

Lately I've also been studying prayer- especially it's purpose and the way I pray. I am going to continue studying it throughout the week. I am so excited to see what things I learn.

It is such a blessing to be in this zone. I love London! I love the people here, I love my companion, and I love my mission leaders. Their counsel is so inspired. I am excited to see what this week has in store.
Also, shout out to my incredible trainer, Elder von Allmen, who finishes his mission next week. He is one of the finest missionaries the England London South Mission has seen. I am so grateful for his friendship, service, and all that he taught me.

You all are awesome! I feel your prayers each day.Transfers are next week! Always exciting :) I know that the message we have is true. It's changed my life and it can change everyones.

With love,
Elder Frederickson