Tuesday, March 18, 2014

March 17, 2014

Dear Mom, Dad, and Family,
Thanks so much for your email.  It always means a lot to get an update on home.  I'm glad things are going good back home and no one is dying.  Sounds like things are warming up over there.  They are over here, too.  The other day it was 85 degrees.  Not that I think that's too hot for being March...but it totally is.  Here it gets to about 102 in the summer.  In the desert (where I'll probably be in the summer) it gets to 115-120.  So not too bad.  It's pretty moderate weather.  Thanks for giving my note to the Barlows, I love that family.
The week has been good with the moving of the Spanish Elders in (elders Yankura and Hernandes), they're super fun and hilarious...but ridiculously messy.  It through some things off for Bringhurst and me and we're still trying to get things readjusted.  They taught us how to play the card game Magic.  I had never played it before I came out and it is the definition of nerdom.  The Spanish Elders play it during lunch and just before bed every day.  They're super fun to have around.  There is never a dull moment.  I caught a lizard the other day.  We named him Theodore.  We keep him next to our pet black widow, Linus.  Also, the Spanish Elders are helping me learn Spanish, and I kinda know how to pray in Spanish.  And I contacted some people in Spanish, that was pretty cool.
The work is picking up with the new investigators we have.  Most of them are pretty cool and we have two that are just the bomb!  We've been teaching more lessons and most of our lessons are investigators (whereas earlier they were mostly RCs and LAs).  Crazy stuff though.
So Neil A. Anderson showed up the other day (Saturday), I shook his hand and he gave a talk.  He's super funny!  He was making jokes the entire time.  He had us all laughing.  He spoke to the entire mission and the Redlands mission.  I saw Kallie Baker there.  Didn't get a chance to talk to her because she was in the other mission.  Or at least I think it was her.  Did she get called to Redlands?  Anyway, the talk was awesome and insightful.  I learned a lot.
So I was thinking about the law of Moses recently.  In the law of Moses, people are taught to "love thy neighbor as thyself" (Lev. 19:18)  Which makes sense.  It's the golden rule, right?  Part of do unto others and you would have done unto you.  Everyone should treat others the way they want to be treated.  This was part of the law of Moses.  Other parts include the ten commandments, sacrifice rituals and worship services, and other such religious rites.
When Christ came however, He came to fulfill the law of Moses.  To do all that was necessary to institute a higher law.  This changed sacrifices to symbolic covenants and Sabbath day observance to service and selfless work.  But Christ also instituted a higher law of love.  Instead of loving others as we love ourselves, Christ told us to "love one another, as I have loved you." (John 15:12).  Christ loves with charity.  More than we love ourselves.  The new commandment of love is more than we love ourselves.  It requires more than we consider to give ourselves.  It requires us to love others as Christ loves them.  Enough to do anything and everything we can for them.
Love others that way.  You will be blessed for it.  Thanks for all you do,
Elder Russell

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