Sunday, May 11, 2014

May 4, 2014

Mom, Dad, and Family,
The fire didn't destroy too much.  It was up in the preserve at Rancho Cucamonga though.  I'm in Ontario so we didn't get too many effects.  Just ash, smoke, and wind.  It got in our eyes while we were biking though and made it hard to breathe.  Yeah totally not comfortable, but it's okay.  it cleared up by the middle of the first day.  But the wind kept coming for the next two days.  It was nuts.  I don't recommend biking in ash and smoke.  It's not the easiest.  But everything is all good now.  Elder King and I were talking and we both wanted to go foreign speaking, foreign country, cold missions (well, for me, that or south America).  Haha yeah, we both ended up in SoCal.  It's great here though!  I really do have a blast.  Finding, as always, is tough.  But the people are pretty nice here.
The work is fun, as always.  This week was totally exhausting!  Yesterday was really hard to keep awake.  It was probably because we had a BAPTISM on Saturday night!  Maggie and Erik (our awesome investigators) are officially members of the church.  It took a whole bunch of work trying to make schedules fit because it ended up being a week earlier than planned, but they were baptized on Saturday night.  It was so awesome to be there.  Maggie's friend Bro Peterson baptized her and Elder Bringhurst came back to baptize Erik.  Then on Sunday I got the opportunity to confirm Erik.  He's such an awesome kid.  He's nine and I'm pretty sure his testimony is prophet material.  He's super bright and kind.  Maggie's husband showed up and also came to church the next day for the confirmations.  We have plans to teach him starting on Wednesday.  He's open and receptive, but it needs to go slow.  Pray for him!  His name is Maricio.  He's super cool and he got along well with those at church.  He'll be awesome.
However, now this week will be super hard as well, most of our lessons and plans this past week went toward Maggie and Erik's baptism, so now we have to focus on finding and put more attentions to that.  But we're excited.  Elder King is good at finding and teaching.  So it shouldn't be too hard.
Oh yeah!  This crazy thing happened this week as well.  Two days after the fire, there was this huge flood in the south end of Montclair (part of my area).  There were a few blocks of homes that were evacuated and the missionaries were called to help those in the city.  So we were flying priesthood power.  And we were swooping people up into the air and carrying them away to safety.  Okay, that's not true, but that's the kind of thing that goes through a missionary's mind when he's caught daydreaming.
No this week has just been a lot of fun and super draining.  As far as Mother's Day goes.  Just be ready all day.  We're going over to a member's house for dinner and then they'll let us Skype after I think.  So it'll probably be 7-8pm or thereabouts.  But still just be ready starting right after church. ;)  Also, yes, we are Skyping, I only have a Skype account and to get a face time I would need 1) an iPhone, and 2) an apostate website.
Haha!  That reminds me.  Anytime we see something that involves something outside of the rules, we always call it apostate.  So we call any websites that aren't apostate websites.  We call hearing music that's on the radio apostate (or gentile music).  It's just fun saying apostate.  You kind of learn to cherish the little things as a missionary.
Recently, Elder Hernandez and I have started going down to the track at Ontario High before breakfast to go running.  We time our mile every Tuesday morning.  ...I'm a lot slower than I was a year ago.  I won't tell you I'm a minute slower...but I totally am at the mile.  It's kind of sad...but at the same time...I don't really care.
We lost touch with one of our most solid investigators because his work schedule changed.  Dangit!  But we'll keep praying for him.  He is still really awesome and I have no doubt that one day he'll be baptized.  I just hope sooner than later.  That's always disappointing.
I started reading the miracle of forgiveness.  Sometimes I wonder if President Kimball just makes sins up.  And then I read his sources and realize no, he's telling the truth.  Which makes me feel less than awesome.  Elder Simpson (one of my ZLs) was reading some of it and he always says "Well...he pegged everyone on the planet with that paragraph."  Unfortunately...Elder Simpson says that about every paragraph.  It's kind of humorous, but at the same time, it makes me feel bad.  Because there is so much sin and there's not a single soul that doesn't sin.  Repentance truly is an amazing thing.
I love and pray for you.  I miss you loads and wish I could be there with you.  But actually I don't.  I wish you could be here with me.  How did PMG study go on chapter 2? (Yeah, I'm following up on your study as well).  Read chapter 13 this week and figure out what your responsibilities are in finding people to teach.  Also to see how you can help others in their callings.  Keep the faith!
Elder Russell
P.S.  Sorry I don't have a specific time to call you on mothers day.  We don't have a time set up yet.  But I figure you'll be home all day anyway (it's the Sabbath).  That or doing things for other mothers.  Which in that case, it would be okay if you miss my call because you're serving.  However, I do want you to meet this family we're Skyping with.
P.P.S.  This is Maggie, Erik, Elder Bringhurst, Elder King, and myself at the baptism.

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