Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Three Months

Sorry no pictures from Josh today.  Caley sent me a few pictures and I will put them in her blog.

Today marks three months on the mission. But it definately does not feel like three months, I feel like I just got here today. But I am loving every second of it. 

two strange things happened this week. First, I got cat called by some ladies on the street. They whistled at me and tried speaking to me in english, but it was not anything offensive, just really funny to me. Second, we have an investigator who really likes my hair, she used to cut hair, but now owns a shop downtown. She loves the color and the texture. 

Also, I flew over my handlebars this week, but thankfully I didnt get injured. I was riding my bike, hit the brakes, flew over, tumbled (which I learned how to do from my mom, how to crash a bike) and popped up with a sore knee. There were some people passing by asking me if I was okay and I told them I was fine and I am going to walk now. Elder Gadelha almost had a panick attack because he thought I broke something. But I have to say, it was kind of fun, in the adrenaline kind of way. But I can walk and ride a bike so no preocupados. 

We had a Family Home evening based on the sectors of Piduco. Family Home Evening was established by the Church to strengthen families, basically, one day of the week, usually monday, families have a lesson, activity, and have fun together for an hour or so. We did this on a Thursday and had some members, and some of their friends show up. We taught about baptism, the sacrament, and repentence. Then we played a game, talked, and ate cake. 

On saturdays, we have an english class, and afterwards, we play soccer, and I learned that the bishop is incredible in this sport. He is in his late 20's, pretty short, but is a monster in this game, he scored every point for his team. He cannot be defeated. But he is an awesome guy and really helpful in the work here in Piduco.

This week was really uplifiting, relaxed, and a little crazy. And I appreciate all the experiences, good and bad, because all they do is build us up and strengthen us.

I hope your week went great and will continue to do so!!

CHOW

Josh, I win for the bike wreck for sure if you just banged up your knee.  I got some nice air, a bike flip, bounced a couple of times and landed face first into a pile of dirt.  It's the one time I wish we'd had a GoPro Camera.  I got an 8 week concussion out of that as well.  At the same time, I'm so glad he's okay.  It's scary as a mom to be so far away, but I know he's being looked after by members, local leaders, up to their mission president.

 I was asked why the Church lets our missionaries ride crappy bikes and live in poor areas.  Shouldn't they have nice apartments and cars?  As a missionary, you live the same way the people in your country do.  No fancy apartments or expensive cars.  Or in some cases, not even a car depending on the country.  A lot of areas are bike missions and Josh says he covers a lot of area on a bike; up to 20 miles a day.  Living like the people do brings missionaries closer to those people they are in contact with every day.  It would be hard to touch people's lives any other way.


Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Pictures!

Yes!  Pictures!!! There are so many I don't know where to start!!!  Only a brother and sister could do this picture and not get in trouble.  I'm so glad they get to share a country, yet serve in their own areas.




This week just flew by, I had a wonderful week.

My spanish is starting to pick up a bit more as I am starting to understand more of the people, I can pretty much understand a lot of the members, but our investigators and some contacts are really difficult, but I am loving the challenge and all the frustrations that come with it. 

Saturday night we had a soccer game going and across the street was this man wielding a shovel screaming voy a matarte, look it up later, but he was mad as heck, thank goodness the churches here are armed to the teeth with walls and protection. 

I had my 5 week training at the mission home this week and it was awesome, I got to see some of the missionaries from the MTC in Mexico and they are all doing great and I loved seeing their bright smiling faces.
I got to mow a lawn again, but this time with a shovel, because he didnt have a lawnmower, and we were outside in the blazing hot, dry sun for 2 hours, but it turns out I can tan, so it was worth it. No but I love helping other people with hard labor. 

We gained two new investigators this week and I want to share with you the name of one of them. His name is Reiner Hernandez, he is this small, but strong chilaen guy, same age as me, and he is dating one of the members of a less active family, and let me tell you I live to see the spirit bear witness to people the truth of the gospel. We had a lesson on faith and to see his face light up with hope and thought moved me in a way that I can`t express except for the love I have him and his family. He`s going through a lot in his life and prayers of support for him would be awesome. 

I also had another great experience with a family who are not members except for their son who is and served a mission in Argentina, he is also our Ward Mission Leader. His family fed us lunch the other day and I had the opportunitity to share about the Atonement of Christ, as they did not know what this is. For those of you who are reading, its the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for our sins, an act of love and a part of God`s plan to redeem his children (us) so we can return to live with him one day. And I just love them so much and their kindness towards us, their family is wonderful and I cherish them like my own. The spirit of thier home is beyond anything I can describe and again, I live to see the spirit of God touch the hearts of others. 

Thank you for your support and love towards me and these people, I hope its not too cold where you are because I'm working on my second summer this year, one in the states, and one in Chile

Chow

This is Josh's missionary companion.  Now that I need his name, I can't find it.  He's from Brazil and speaks Portuguese and no English.  They have both struggled with communication skills together but are working things out.   

Mom:

Thats funny (refering to my snake pokemon meme), my sense of humor has really opened up and I find myself being entertained by lots of things that would bore me, like kicking a flat soccer ball with one of the kids in a member family, their son Cristofer is like 5 years old and loves to play soccer, and everytime we walk into their store, we have to play a match, first to three, and I let him win obviously, but that would be annoying to me back at home, or how I spend time organizing things that are already neat. 

Mom the computers here are terrible, sufficient enough to send letters, but gosh I hope you get something that kicks butt. 

Here is Josh in front of the Mexico City Temple:



Friday, September 16, 2016

Picture Problems

Josh and I haven't managed to get pictures working.  It appears the Church has them use a Google Drive set up for them.  However; we can't get anything to work as their permission thing is dumb.  I have a couple of pictures that made it through.  Once we get this figured out, it will get easier.

We had a poll to see if he made it over the bush or not.  Most of figured he face planted.  He swears he didn't, but I don't know.



Josh and Caley at the Mexico City Temple


Letter to Mom

Mom I am doing great out here, I`m exhausted, we probably ride 20 miles a day, probably more on our bikes, and trying to learn a new spanish is insane. People here don`t use their ´s´ all that much and dont enunciate. They mumble and speak so fast. But I have recieved many compliments from members and investigators here on how much I am already understanding for my first week. I hope I can keep it up.

Reality hit me at church the other day when I thought about how resentful I was to serve a mission and I look down at my tag and realize, holy crap I`m actually in Chile and my heart swelled up with happiness and comfort.
Through the spirit, and relying on Heavenly Father, I realized that I have nothing to worry about, despite my emotions trying to bring me down. I find myself saying, don`t worry, this will come little by little, with patience, and time. I really do love it here.

Bishop Kunz asked what Josh's favorite scripture was while on his mission.

As for a favorite scripture. 2 nephi 17, which I think says and my father, he dwelt in a tent¨ its about Lehi, and how he was chastized for his vision by his sons, but that verse proves that circumstances don`t matter, that anyone can recieve revelation and feel the spirit of the Lord, whether in a mansion, or in a tent in the wilderness.

When I asked how much Joshua gets for an allowance he sent me this.

I get 100 dollars a month for food, hygiene, and only needs. If I want to buy souveniers or whatever, clothes, its on me. It would help, I would like it, but I don`t need it. 

"Don't worry Mom.  I got this."  That's Josh's favorite thing to say.  Well, as we found out, he didn't. 

The bank he uses flagged his account when he used his card in Mexico City and sent me a new one.  When I talked to the bank they couldn't help me.  I'm not on the account and have no power of attorney to fix it.  He didn't tell the bank he was going to Chile for two years.  There's nothing I can do.

I went to my local bank and asked if I could set up an account with Josh as a user.  The lady said they needed his signature to be on it.  He's not here so that's not an option.  I can't believe that there's no way to send him money via an account.

I got a bill from Verizon wanting 1200 dollars to pay for his two phones and iPad.  He told me that he'd worked it out with Verizon to suspend the account but they misunderstood and thought he wanted to stop service.  Legally I have no obligation to pay the bill and again without power of attorney I can't even work out something with their billing.  It made me sick knowing I don't have 1200 dollars to pay it for him now.  Maybe with a tax refund next year. 

 


First Week in Talca, Chile

Well I made it safe to Chile, and I am assigned in Talca, Chile. Its pretty big, at least big enough that my new companion Elder Gadelha, and I need bikes. Elder Gadelha does not know any english and his native language is Portuguese. Despite not always understanding each other in language, we have a ton of fun, we prank each other a lot, tease, and laugh a ton. Having a non english speaking companion is helping me like crazy. He has been in the mission for a year and today is his 20th birthday. He is just seriously so awesome and I am incredibly blessed to have him as my trainer.

There is absolutely no spicy food here. Everything is either salty or sweet. Breakfast is small, Lunch is huge. We have 3 course meals for lunch. Usually salad or pasta, and bread. After is a huge plate of just about everything, one time I had a huge pile of rice, with french fries, a grilled chicken breast, and a heap of vegetables. Afterwards is a sort of desert, typically fruit with cream or some sort of Jello. Dinner, or here is called once (11 in spanish) is usually some sort of hot drink like Mate or Ecco, a wheat based coffee substitute, and a sandwhich or bread with a fruit spread. Nobody drinks water, its all coke and juice. If you ask for water, you look insane. The food here has made me sick all week. My body is not used to it, but no worries as its getting better.

The people here are so nice, you literally cannot leave a house without some sort of food in your hands. I feel like I don`t have to go grocery shopping because we come home everyday with a couple bags of snack from members. The people here speak very fast and use a lot of words that I have never heard of. But the members really enjoy helping and apparently I am picking up fast because I get told often that its weird that I can even have a conversation. I probably won`t have this language down until about christmas time.

My zone had an activity today, we played soccer and I picked up a nickname from it. I am now known as ¨La Machina´´ or the machine. It was a lot of fun and I scored 4 points for my team, but the natives who play are amazing. I can`t compete, but I can kick straight with a lot of force.

We have two baptisms coming up this month, and I am hoping to get one more with another members husband. His son is being baptized but he hasn`t expressed the desire, he`s had all the lessons and doesn`t challenge it, he just needs the desire and I hope that I provide that to him. His name is Hermana Hernadez. His son, Nicol├ás is awesome and his wife is very sweet. 

There are no dog catchers in Chile and the streets are flooded with dogs, I have been chased a few times but not bitten thankfully. They are hilarious when they try to hunt you down but all you have to do is look at them and they run off. 

We live in a house that runs on gas, has no heating, and is in the ghetto. Its tiny and I hit my head on members chandaleirs a lot. The houses are all connected like a duplex with 15 houses connected together. All the houses are barred and fenced off with tiny to no yards. The winter here is dry and not to cold. Summer is coming up soon and the sun here is crazy strong, I am going to get sunburned. 

Despite all of this craziness, I am really enjoying my time here, I can`t wait to see whats next and hopefully I`ll keep this positive attitude.

I love you all and I will talk to you next week. 

In Rancagua Chile

August 24, 2016

Dear Family of Elder Joshua Sinclair Frerichs,

Sister Harris and I just finished welcoming the missionaries that arrived this week to serve our Lord in the Chile Rancagua Mission. Here is a photo for your family.

It is clear that these missionaries are very dedicated, that they love Jesus Christ, and that they have desires to share the gospel with the Chilean people. This work will make them happy, and the Lord will bless them for the service they give.

The people here in Chile are very kind, and the missionaries have opportunities to share the gospel every day. Thank you for the support that you provide, it is very important to your missionary.

Sister Harris and I love the missionaries and we will take care of them during their time here. We ask for blessings from the Lord for all of you.

If you are interested, Sister Harris has a mission blog site, with photos, etc.  Here is the address:  https://harrisesinchile.wordpress.com

Sincerely,

President and Sister Harris
 

Leaving For Chile

I only have a few more days until I leave the CCM. I have had so many wonderful experiences, but I am ready to get out of here and find my way to Chile. 

I leave the CCM 630am on Monday and I won´t be at the mission home until at least 2am tuesday because we have like 10 hours of flying to do.

Elder Everett, my companion is our travel leader so we are just the dream team.

I don´t have to much to say, but I should have some more pictures hopefully.

I don´t know when my next Preparation day will be so for now, thank you for reading and supporting me.

Les amo mucho!​


Aug 23 2016

Hola, I'm actually in Talco outside of Rancagua, my first companion doesnt speak any English and there are stray dogs everywhere. I love it.  

My P-days are on Mondays. Anyway I don´t have much time. I love you all so much and please don´t worry about me. 

Adios

Solo uno semana y medio (Only a week and a half)

Hey everyone!! This week has been pretty typical as far as classwork, service projects (I am a champ at folding sheets), and gospel work. 

I guess I only have some stories and memories I forgot to tell you all about. The water in Mexico is not safe to drink. So the CCM (MTC) brings in water jugs that we put into machines that dispense the water. I have one in the apartment just like everyone else. The first time I tried replacing it was with Elder Hinton and Everett. We got the jug on and thought everything was great, we had clean water in our apartment. But when we woke up, the hallway was flooded because the jug had been leaking all night. 

Caley and I see each other every day and I always walk into her class to bug her district. 

This past Sunday was fast testimony, and I got to bless the sacrament for the first time in my life and the microphone was broken so I had to throw my voice across the room in spanish. It was great! We had the choice to bear our testimonies and I was the first one who went up. Unknown to me, I was being kind of silly and apparently I ran up there with joy (according to my district) and I decided to recognize my sister and tell I her I loved her in spanish and she was soooo embarrased. 

I had to pick a musical number for my district for this Sunday as we are leaving not this week, but sometime next week roughly. I chose ´´Jevantud de Israel¨ or Hope of Israel as this district is just that. They are so powerful, hopeful, desirous, and I know will wield the double-edged sword of truth and right. In the words of Elder Dannemen ´´Hoorah for Israel!!!!´´ 

I had the opportunity to see a live broadcast from the MTC Provo Devotional last night with the speaker being Elder Anderson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. It was his birthday as well. His words were wonderful and powerful. 

My time here at the CCM is coming to a close and I´m about to open a new chapter in this mission and go to Chile. My heart is full of joy and I am so grateful to be here and soon in Chile. I have made some awesome friends and have had some wonderful experiences. 

I can´t express how much this church is true and that it is the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Atonement is infinitely powerful and brings so much happiness in my life. I´m grateful for the prophet today, Thomas S Monson, and his teachings. I also can´t emphasize the importance of prayer. Heavenly Father knows us, knows our struggles, and listens to our concerns, complaints, and our stories of faith and happiness. I know that we can recieve these sacred feelings through the Holy Ghost. I know that families can be together forever in the Celestial Kingdom of our Heavenly Father. If you ever have any doubt in your lives, kneel down in prayer, and express your needs to God, he WILL anwser your prayers. I love you all and I hope that you are having as a fantastic time as I am. Thank you for your support and love as I don´t think you realize how much it truly means to me. 

¡Salud!

Second Week

Okay technically I started my 3rd week...

This week has been incredibly busy and very spiritual. My companion, Elder Everett, and I are finally teaching in spanish with some solid fluency. We don´t use our notes too often and we don´t rely on our dictionaries when we get lost in a sentence. Our grammar classes are long, tiring, and very engaging. Our instructors demand a lot of effort and the progress we as a district have made has been unreal. 

I see Caley just about every day as she is in the class down the hall. She looks like shes enjoying herself. During class yesterday, we played this game where we were told a name and when the instructor said the name, everyone would get out of their chairs, the instructor would take one away, and we would have to find a seat, the last person standing had to use the verb gustar in a compound question. The name given to me was called and I charged for a chair and accidentally laid out another sister missionary. Everyone died of laughter and we stopped playing soon after. Don´t worry shes okay, she won the chair. 

I had the opportunity to visit the Mexico City Temple and attend a session. What an awesome experience and I chose to do it all in spanish, which made the experience much more meaningful, but a lot harder to understand. I will attach pictures of the temple.

I love being in a position of leadership and the experiences I have gained from it. I have had the opportuninty to give blessings, teach at district meetings, and lead some very spiritual discussions. Last night, we had an Area 70 from the Mexico Area give a talk with his wife. He expressed how powerful our work as missionaries can be if we maintain exact obedience. I learned that phrase, exact obedience as soon as I was recieved by the CCM. I pondered its meaning, prayed about it, and read about obedience, at first I thought just stick to the schedule, but when Elder Salinas was giving his talk, I recieved a very strong impression about what exact obedience is. Exact obedience isn´t measured in time like on a schedule, its measured in effort. 

I love you all and being able to read emails from you is easily the best part of my week. I hope your weeks are pleasant and filled with joy. I´ll upload pictures soon, they will be shared on my drive so if you can´t see them, let me know and I will figure my life out.

First Week!

Don´t fall into a lake. The CCM is huge, there is a ton of open space and the elderes y hermanas are awesome. I got called to be a district leader the second day I got here. I absolutely love my district and we act like we´re family. I have some good stories already that I´ll share more of in the future. Love you!


Hey everyone, I made it safely to the Mexico City CCM (MTC). The plane was full of missionaries just like myself and the trip was a blast. The air here is so thin, we are a little over 5,000 feet above sea level so working out is hard because I get winded after like 20 minutes. We are thrown into speaking spanish. There is no remorse, but in the week I´ve been here, I've been getting really comfortable speaking the language. We had a few hundred words to memorize and 120 phrases to know by this Sunday. I was called to be the District Leader for my district, Distrito 8-C. We all get along so well. There are 12 of us and we act like we´ve known each other since birth. We speak in spanish all day and do everything together. I love being with them, they are so motivated, spiritual, and a little crazy. My companion, Elder Everett, and I had to teach our first lesson in spanish the second day we got here. 

The Gift of Tongues is real. You have to work hard and have the spirit to be with you to recieve the help. It´s not just automatically knowing the language. It´s the ability to relay what you teach based on the needs of the investigator. Speaking spanish is hard, but every day it gets easier. Its like taking a spanish class all day, every day. Most of our vocab is related to the church and its lessons, which is what were here to learn about, the lessons. 

The weather here in Mexico is pretty consistent. It´s warm all day and it rains quite a bit. There are parrots everywhere and they are very loud. The city surrounding the CCM is also really loud. The natives here like to party late at night, drag race, and sometimes shoot each other in the middle of the night. There has not been a night where I haven´t heard sirens go off and police trying to talk down an active shooter. Thankfully the CCM is gated off with a large fence and barbed wire. 

I was finally able to dunk a basketball the day we started having time to work out. Our district has become known as the Rancagua Dunk Squad, as 6 of the 10 Elders can dunk a basketball. We have been getting a lot of attention from the presidency here as we have been working insanely hard as a district to learn the language. 1st Councilor, President Call, expressed that we were the tallest district he had ever seen. Our group for our branch is made up of four districts, so roughly 48 people attending sacrament on Sundays. All of our services are in spanish. We also recieve a topic for sacrament talks that we get randomly selected to give during sacrament for 5 minutes in spanish. The work is hard here, but the knowledge is irreplaceable.
During my third meeting with our mock investigator, I tried to express saying today which is "a hoy" in spanish and instead i said "ahoy" and started laughing uncontrollably at myself which resulted in Elder Everett and I restarting the lesson.

Once I get an SD card reader, I´ll have pictures for you all. 

Thank you for you love and emails as they really help me. I hope you are all doing wonderful and I miss you all. 

Arriving At MTC


Josh and Caley received their mission calls the same day.  Caley read her letter first and said she was going to the Osorno, Chile mission and left July 12 for the Mexico City MTC.  Josh had already scanned his ahead and had a funny look when she finished.  He read his letter and was going to the Rancagua, Chile mission reporting the same day.  They both hugged each other and we took pictures.


After that came sticker shock.  If you have kids planning on going on a mission start saving now.  With help from family we were able to purchase what we thought we needed.  A wonderful thank you to those who were so kind to help my kids go on missions.  

The hardest part about shopping?  Finding winter clothing in the middle of summer.  



This is the first email I received from Josh.  We sent Josh and Caley off at the Omaha airport at 3am July 12 2016.  Elise Lewin came with us.  

Hey mom, I made it safe, I´m having a wonderful time and the spirit here at the MTC is impeccable. I have never felt so much joy and love when being received like this. Funny story, an elder threw up on the plane. Made me laugh, anyway. I love you and Dad and I will contact you guys as soon as I get another chance.