Monday, September 29, 2014

September 24, 2014

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Mom, Dad, and Family,

Good to hear from you again.  Sounds like the family is doing well and that homecoming went great.  Taylor's part seemed to be positive and sounds like he had a blast.  Haha!  Homecoming is a fun day.  I enjoyed mine a lot.  Of course my date was the best date a guy could ask for, so that helped.

I just got out of the temple not too long ago.  It was amazing!  First time in 8mos!  Which to people outside of Utah might not seem that long...but to me it felt like an 8yr famine!  So it was great to go again.  We left the mission...which didn't actually feel very weird at all (it's happened by accident to me before) and went to Redlands (where Kallie Baker is serving, used to be all one mission before 2013).  The temple is very small.  Angel Moroni looked very big on top.  It's design is very similar to that of the Mt Timp or Bountiful temples, but about half the size.  It was beautiful nonetheless.  The entire Upland Zone got reservations there and so 24 missionaries were all in the same session.  It was so good.  I did get Grandpa Josip's information (I actually had a copy with me the entire time, but I wasn't sure if there was any other information I needed).  Unfortunately, when they printed off the cards, there were no ordinances done for him.  So I didn't get to go through for him.  But the temple was still a great experience.  I loved it a lot!

Some of the highlights for the past week and a half:  Last week, I had to bear testimony that Joseph Smith was a polygamist (I never EVER thought I'd even have to do anything remotely close to that in my life...but there the situation was, and I took the opportunity.)  I went on back to back exchanges (which means for a time, I was serving in other ward.  One day I was in the 2nd ward, one day I was in the 3rd ward--the Robbins' ward).  I sang again in Sacrament meeting (my arrangement of Abide With Me; 'Tis Eventide, it was a quartet).  But yeah, the time is going well.  I'm learning tons and the work is moving forward.  I love being a missionary and teaching the gospel.  Oh yeah!  We're back to finding (we're running short on investigators) and while we were tracting yesterday, we got chewed out by this near-deaf-old-shirtless-loud-bible-basher.  It was actually really frustrating.  But it's whatever.  Anyway, I love you all tons.  We're running short on time today.  Keep doing what the Lord wants (He's like...super smart).  Read your scriptures (like as much as you can), pray ( seriously and fervently), go to church (but do more that; BE at church), and always...don't forget to look up.

Elder Russell

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