Monday, December 15, 2014

Dec. 1, 2014

Mom, Dad, and Family,

Sounds like Thanksgiving was great for y'all.  It was for me too.  I went to a family in our ward.  One of our investigators was supposed to come with us, but he ended up going to his daughter's instead.  Understandable.  If you didn't get a chance, I would strongly recommend watching the video In The Spirit of Thanksgiving on .  It's a good one.  And then make a list of things you're thankful for--or better yet, just say a prayer and give the list to God.  He likes that kind of stuff apparently.  But yeah, this week was good.

Key indicators are the way missionaries report their doings to the Mission President (fun fact, it's also what the church builds most missionary statistics off of).  There are 10 of them.  So every week we send in our numbers through the Zone Leaders on how many lessons we taught, how many investigators we found ect...  So anyway, with this season being the season it is, the church has rolled out a new campaign called He Is The Gift.  You'll never guess; it's about Christmas.  As part of the campaign, they've added on to and created a new website called .  Check it out, it's the bomb.  Elder Mitchell and I (we're supposed to study the church websites) spent a goodly amount of time on that site.  It's pretty amazing.  Also there is a new pass along card you can get from your missionaries.  Pass a lot of them out.  This is kind of a really big deal.  Also, this Sunday, visit; it's the only advertiser on that website on the 7th.  Pretty intense.  I like it a lot.  So anyway, I'm super pumped.  Go crazy with it.  OH!  And if you share the link on ect. and put #heisthegift, it will link you to the church's social media site and then all your friends can see it.  So share it a lot.  So now we report on how many investigators we find through

Also, Elder Mitchell and I made a key indicator up.  It's really cool, we're collecting it from the district every Sunday night before we send the numbers to the Zone Leaders.  It's the number of pies received, and the number of pies eaten.  Pretty awesome.

So I just finished the Book of Mormon again and I think it's a pretty good book.  Being a missionary, I notice a lot more things pertaining missionary work and gospel ministry.  Most recently, Moroni 8 and Alma 42 have stuck out to me.  Both are words from fathers to their sons.  The last few verses of Alma 42 are super awesome to read as a missionary.  Because missionaries mess up a lot.  And it's cool to have repentance to overcome that obstacle.  So when you read Alma 42, the entire chapter is spent on justice and mercy and sin and punishment and kinda makes the sinner feel super low.  By verse 25, I feel pretty bummed out for sinning.  Rather remorseful.  But the last few verses are so hopeful.  Alma doesn't actually exact a punishment, declare Corianton's doom or give him a penalty for his sins.  Rather, he simply tells him something very similar to what Christ said to the woman taken in adultery.  When the woman was found guilty, Jesus didn't give her forgiveness per say, but he also didn't sentence her to any sort of disfellowshipment in the church.  Instead, he directs her to "Go, and sin no more."  Alma also says to Corianton " son, go thy way..."  The very word "go" I think is very freeing.  It means that there isn't anything set in stone yet in terms of his salvation.  The is time to repent.  There is still time to prepare to meet God (Alma 34:32).

The other chapter you're probably thinking "That's about baptizing infants."  Well you're right.  But verses two and three are so comforting.  How cool is it to hear those words from a prophet.  Moroni's doing the missionary thing and his father writes him and only tells him how proud of Moroni he is.  Pretty cool stuff.  So there's always hope, if you're where Corianton was as, you can always make it to where Moroni was.  There is always hope for repentance and forgiveness.  Anyway, just some thoughts I had on that.

I gotta get going.  But I love you all to death.  Haha, that's a joke.  I love you all to life! (Don't die.)  Take care.  Thank you for your love and support.  Thank you for your prayers.  I can feel them every day.  Don't forget to read your scriptures.  Don't forget to check out He Is The Gift!  Don't forget that God forgives.  And don't forget to look Up!

Elder Russell

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