Monday, November 10, 2014

October 19, 2014

Mom, Dad, and Family,

Y'all are the bomb!  It's good to hear from you.  Sounds like things back home are still in order.  Good...just how I planned it. ;)  Sounds like y'all had a good week.  Thanks for your letters.  They mean a lot and I dig the picture of everyone looking up (that's part of my morning rites.  Just kidding, I don't have morning rites.  Elder Mitchell does though).  We do run in the mornings though.  I make him run every morning.  And he puts up with it.  He was faster than me in high school.  Not so much anymore.  But it still beats lifting weights.  We like running.

The Mauritzens...I definitely remember the name.  But I've had like a zillion coaches, you'd have to tell me which sport and team.  But anyway, tell them hi and thank you for being my coach.  I really looked up to my coaches back home.  They taught me a lot.

Awesome about your knee.  I hope it keeps feeling alright.  I'll keep ya in my prayers.  Probably made Goblin Valley a little easier.  Hey it's probably not even 100 degrees there this time of year, huh?  I don't know if I could ever say 100 degrees is bad anymore.  Granted, I wouldn't like to live in 100+ weather, but I've had worse. How're Corynne and Bryce doing?  They recovering okay?  I still haven't heard from either one of them.

Tell Robyn I'm only mildly offended she didn't want to share what I gave her.  But I guess she can share whatever she wants. ;)  No it's not a problem.  That was just super super recent when I wrote that, so it was on my mind.  There's loads about missionary work that she could share.

Speaking of sharing things.  Elder Mitchell and I gave talks in Sacrament meeting yesterday.  That was super fun.  The Bishopric gave us kinda vague subjects; they wanted us to speak on what prepared us to go on a mission and why we came out.  Well that's kind of super not that interesting, I've just kind of always wanted to go and had a super great family.  In the name of...  So we kind of took parts of that and ran with it.  I spoke on testimony and the Restoration, and Elder Mitchell spoke on the Atonement and the Plan of Salvation.  No we didn't plan that, we just kinda ended up teaching the first two lessons over the pulpit.  It was a way fun experience.  We had a good time.

This week has been long feeling, but also short at the same time.  I feel like it's been forever since I've been emailing, but at the same time it does feel like it's been less than a week.  But it's been way good.  Elder Mitchell still surprises me with how prepared he was before he even got to the field.  He works hard and he's very effective and he just loves doing missionary work.  We were talking one day when we were late getting out to proselyting.  I said "Man, the Spirits just kind of lagging today."  He says "Yeah, I think when we're not out working, it tends to do that."  So neither one of us like meetings, or being in the apartment.  It's super awesome.  I feel kind of bad.  We're supposed to let new missionaries kind of adjust to missionary life...we skip lunches to be out working.  It's super fun but sometimes we'll be on the way to an appointment and we'll look at each other and say "I'm super hungry."  Fortunately, dinner usually takes place a couple hours later.

But the week has been good.  Life is good.  I love being a missionary and the work definitely keeps going forward "unhindered" as President Monson would say.  We did family home evening with a family last night, and we were trying to figure out what to do for the lesson.  They have some younger kids with shorter attention spans.  So we were discussing our most memorable FHE lessons and I told Elder Mitchell I could tell the story of David and Goliath backwards because in FHE we would do that lesson about every other week with action figures.  Couldn't tell him where the story was in the scriptures (although I think it's earlier in 2nd Kings), but I knew the story inside and out.  So we did the story of Ammon with action figures.  And I'll pretty much bet ice cream on they'll remember it if they do it again.  Pretty sure.  So that was fun.

So I'm still studying virtue in the Book of Mormon, and I've come to some sort of a semi-sure conclusion that virtue is feeling the way God feels.  I've also decided that virtuous people receive revelation super fast because they think like God does.  But sometimes that doesn't always feel good.  We were listening to this talk about receiving answers to prayers, and this speaker talked about how sometimes in an answer to a prayer, God gives us a knot in our stomach.  We'll be somewhere, or doing something, and we just feel a pit in out stomachs.  Sometimes that's how our Heavenly Father communicates with us.  Well I was reading in Mosiah 28, and in verse three the sons of Mosiah get that feeling.  These men are so in tune with the Spirit, that they feel pain for others the way God does.  Just uneasy, trembling and quaking, they describe it.  They just don't feel good.  And that's what drives them to serve their missions.  Sometimes God uses that pit to answer our prayers.  I thought that was interesting.  Because of that answer, an entire nation was converted to the Lord.  Multiple peoples change their lives to come closer to their Savior.

Thanks for all you do.  I love an pray for you everyday.  You are all awesome!  Don't forget who your Savior is.  In John 6:66-69, Peter bares testimony and remains faithful in an apostasy among members.  Develop the faith to be as Peter.  Don't forget to pray.  Don't forget to read scriptures every day.  And don't forget to look Up.

Elder Russell

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