Monday, February 3, 2014

February 3, 2014

Mom and Family,
I miss you all so much it's not even fair.  The work here in Rancho Park, Ontario is a little slow right now.  Although my comp has been here for six weeks and works hard, his last comp wasn't really into the work here because he had been serving in a Tongan ward and didn't really like the change.  On top of that, the companionship before them was super great at teaching and baptizing, but not so much the finding, so they left the place cleaned up...with no one to teach and starting fresh for finding.  In addition, it's super tough to start from scratch for finding because the ward doesn't have the strongest relationship with the missionaries here, so we don't get a lot of referrals.  So the ward is kind of mine and Elder Bringhurst's (my trainer) goal for this transfer, is to build relation with the ward.
Elder Bringhurst is pretty awesome, he's only been out since November, so we're both new and excited to work hard.  He works hard and loves the work and the people.  Oh my gosh he loves the people.  Just everything he says, you can tell the gospel really does make him happy and he wants to share it with others.  I look up to him and have a lot to learn.  He doesn't get mad at me when I do stupid things, which is nice, because I do a lot.  He's a visa waiter and he's actually supposed to be in Brazil, but California's cooler.
So the food was alright in the MTC, but I've been in the field for less than a week and already my urine is a healthier color.  I assume that's a good sign that I'm doing better.  However, I am gaining weight...HA! AND I DON'T EVEN MIND!  It's pretty awesome.  So the whole "eat everything" rule doesn't apply here in the states...and I am so happy.  I gave it a try last night (eating everything) and well...I had a steak, two baked potatoes, three servings of veggies, two bowls of salad, four slices of bread, three plates of spaghetti, and a bowl of ice cream (she just kept bringing out food).  It was delicious, until it came back up on the side of the road on the way back to the apartment.  Yeah, awesome huh?
Anyway, it was day two after getting here when my comp and I were out visiting a PI (potential investigator) and we just went by to set up an appointment to come back and teach a lesson...but we ended up teaching almost all of lesson three (Gospel of Jesus Christ).  She's now an investigator and everything we said she said she was thinking about earlier that day.  It was a miracle.  It was really awesome and she wants us back over to teach the rest of her family.  A very small number "PI"s actually turn into "I"s.  That was awesome.
No one speaks English one.  We were tracting an there was this lady walking down the street.  My comp leaned over to me and was like "Alright, go talk to this lady that speaks absolutely no English."  He was right...she didn't.  We're going to pick up some Spanish materials today as we're out shopping.
Speaking of which, I actually haven't bought the bike yet.  I'm borrowing one and I think I might just buy it.  It needs some repairs but it'll be fine and it's a buttload cheaper than buying a new one.  So I don't think I need any money for it.
Please, please, please, PLEASE give referrals to the missionaries back home and talk to people about the gospel.  Half of our ward are converts and they weren't introduced to the church through the missionaries.  Ward members are more effective in finding than missionaries will ever be.  Non-members, less actives, recent converts, refer the missionaries to all of them.  And please share the gospel.  Ask people if they want to go to church with you.  Nothing bad will happen.  I promise they won't kill you.  I don't know if I could stress this enough.  Members are the way the work moves forward.  You will see the blessings in your life as you share the gospel with everyone.  All of your friends.  The work is amazing and I don't know if you have any idea how much you play a part in it.  I love this gospel and I know you do too, please share it.  Pray for those who don't have it.  Thank you for all you do.  You're amazing.  As you share the gospel with all you meet including (and especially) your friends and loved ones, Elder Ballard promises us that fear will be replaced with faith and confidence in the gospel.

Elder Russell

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