Wednesday, October 15, 2014

October 15, 2014

Mom, Dad, and Family,

So this is going to be like way super short because we have an appointment in like a half hour. :P  First off, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TAYLOR.  I totally didn't forget.  I have his present and I've been meaning to send it for...the last two weeks.  But P-Days haven't been accommodating (for example, yesterday was Columbus day) but I will send it soon.  I promise...ish.  I hope the day is going great and that he's having fun y cosas.

Yes!  I totally have seen Meet the Mormons, twice in fact.  I saw it over a week before it came out (missionary perks) on Wednesday two weeks ago.  It was super cool.  The other time I saw it was at a meeting for new missionaries.  All of the new missionaries that came out this transfer hadn't seen it yet (because they were in the MTC when it came out) so we watched it their first day here.  We're actually not allowed to go out and see it in the theaters.  The reason is it's not meant to be a proselyting tool, and they don't want missionaries to be there because we scare people away from things.  So we just kick back and watch it with other missionaries.  Actually, we're not even supposed to bring it up with people unless they're already investigating the church (at least until it moves from the theaters to Netflix).  But yeah, good movie.  I'm one of like 10 missionaries here that has seen it twice.

I guess that brings me to my companion.  Elder Mitchell is from Las Vegas and has been out in the field for six days.  It's weird, because they assigned me as trainer, but the Elder I'm training already kind of knows everything--so nothing much has really changed.  He's way cool.  He's a singer, he ran in highschool, and jokes around a ton.  So we kind of get a long.  We laugh literally like all the time.  It's rather ridiculous.  We had some other changes in the Zone as well and we have some awesome awesome missionaries that moved into the Zone.  I'm super pumped for the transfer.

The week was kind of awesome.  We talked to this guy on the street named Justin. He's 16 and we asked him if he had every talked to missionaries before.  He said no and long story short, we came by the next day to teach him.  This kid has gone through things that no kid should ever have to deal with.  He's super nice and really sincere.  He wants to make his relationship with God stronger and he's just awesome.  If you could pray for him that would be awesome!  He's a great guy.  He's who we're seeing right after this.

This week has been such a blessing and has actually gone by super fast.  God truly does watch out for us and loves us a ton (but like, actually more).  Don't forget to read your scriptures.  Don't forget to pray.  Don't forget to attend church and serve in callings and love one another and help each other out and be kind and loving.  And most importantly, don't forget to look Up.  I love you all and pray for you everyday.

Elder Russell

Monday, October 6, 2014

October 5, 2014

Mom, Dad, and Family,

I totally did get to see conference!  Pretty stellar, huh?  I really appreciate the directness of the talks.  Especially Klimingat (or however you spell his name.  We have some Ukraine missionary evacuees in our mission, he was their old mission president.  Pretty cool to hear them talk about him).  I think one of the talks I loved the most was Elder Bednar's talk.  We went over to Robert and Paula's house for the last session of conference (Paula has never seen it and Robert hasn't watched it in over 15 years!); after ELDER Packer's talk, I was kind of wondering (I don't know if she's getting much of this...) and then BOOM.  Elder Bednar *ahh....understanding*.  Great conference overall.  I'll definitely be studying next months Ensign (SO happy we get those).  Tell the fam to email me all of your favorite talks and why.  But yeah, in that choir I saw a lot of familiar faces.  It was weird actually.  Last conference, there was a choir that sang from the Orem institute of religion (that was the institute I attended).  Had I stayed another year back home, I could have sang in two general conferences.  Also, Ephraim Tripp was in the MTC choir during priesthood session.  But I'm pretty sure coming on a mission was better.  I got to meet two of those prophets (and Larry S Kacher of the 70) and shake their hands (I even hugged Elder Nelson) anyway. Nbd.

Crazy developments with Corynne and Bryce.  But if there's any couple I know that could pull through something like this and still remain faithful and positive, let's face it, it's Corynne and Bryce.  A gift of the spirit that Moroni left out in Moroni 10 is resilience.  And Corynne and Bryce are truly resilient.  Pretty stalwart people.  I'll keep them in my prayers.

All I have to say about the FJ that car has a mind of it's own.  You should ask Corynne and Robyn to write a talk with that story though.  Sounds like something that could provide a lot of metaphorical power (I want you to slowly clench your fist and say, ever so maniacally, "metaphorical power").

We haven't heard back from Sharon.  She's choosing to kind of remain aloof in the situation.  Super depressing for us, but we'll stop by again this week and see how she's doing.  She's an awesome lady and we really respect her.  Just want her to come into the fold...y cosas.  But we keep praying.  She'll come around some time or another.  It's hard to break away from a faith you teach in.

Poor Elder Depew.  After 7mos in one area, he finally got transferred.  That's not the poor Elder Depew part though.  He not only got transferred, but into the same ward as President Hobbs.  I love being around President, he's an awesomely inspired man--but let's face it; no one wants to work under the boss's direct gaze.  But he's a good missionary and President loves him, so it will all be well.  President takes care of his missionaries.  So now I have a different companion.  But we'll have a lot of fun.  We have a lot we want to do this transfer and some pretty high hopes.  Speaking of which; we have a lesson with a potential investigator who wants to know about some of the archeological evidence for the Book of Mormon.  I told him it wouldn't matter in getting an answer even if he did have proof (you can't learn spiritual truths doesn't work.  It's called looking beyond the mark and Jacob has a few things to say about that.  So does Elder Ballard...but anyway).  But he's still curious, and frankly I am too.  It's been a while since I've seen that kind of stuff and I think it's awesome. So I was wondering if you could send me a picture of Dad's wooden tablet from Bolivia--the one with the two sticks.

Anyway, things are going super well.  I'm excited for the transfer.  I've been studying virtue in the Book of Mormon.  I have decided I really admire virtuous people.  Preach My Gospel says that virtue originates from our innermost thoughts and desires.  If that is true (and I think we oughta say it is) than Lehi had to be a virtuous person.  He received visions from God in his sleep (so did Nephi--see 2Nephi 4).  I think that being virtuous is one of the most heavenly attributes of the Savior because you think the way He thinks, you see the way He sees, and you feel the way He feels.  Which I am so impressed with.

I love you all and miss you dearly.  You are always in my prayers.  I am so thankful for your examples and for all you do.  Please take care and know I love you.  And...Don't forget to look Up.

Elder Russell