Friday, January 9, 2015

January 5, 2015

The Frozen Chosen
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Mom, Dad, and Family,

Last week was nuts!  The Valley is totally not the Desert.  Not even a little bit.  And I'm such a Valley kind of guy so it was crazy to adjust.  Don't get me wrong.  I love the Desert.  I'm stoked to be here.  But it was crazy getting adjusted to the difference.  Elder Carter is the bomb and he works super hard.  Pray for him, he's doing great!

So Victorville looks pretty much like the area between Utah Valley and Cedar City.  Except the mountains are smaller and more spread out.  And there is less shrubbery.  It's pretty awesome.  But it's super cold!  What's up with that?!  Here in Victorville it got down to 26 degrees and over in Wrightwood (other side of the District) it got down to 7 degrees.  What the heck?  It was 80 degrees last Christmas.  Where did this come from?  Oh yeah, and it snowed.  That was odd.  But hey, it's all good.

We had a baptism this Saturday.  That was really cool, I wish I was there to teach him all the lessons.  But Fransisco ate everything up.  He was golden and is just on fire.  He was actually baptized into the singles ward in Barstow,  but his fellowshippers were in our ward.  So we taught him all except for one lesson and he came to church in our ward until after he got baptized.  He was just great.  His spirit was so strong and just a powerhouse.  We also found two new investigators this week and I'm super excited to be in this area.  Everyone is super nice and fun and the ward is really motivated to do missionary work.

I totally have a testimony that God really does want us to be happy.  I've seen that this week as I got to the area.  That as we work hard and be obedient to God's commandments, He blesses us with joy.  It's such a simple promise, but it's so effective.  We don't need to go looking in weird places to find it.  It's always with us.  As King Benjamin, I often like to "consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God."  He loves us a lot and He wants to bless us with His Spirit.  It's just a matter of accepting the laws and obeying the ordinances.

Sounds like Park City was a blast.  I miss you all a lot.  Logan was a good one to bring in my stead though.  He's an awesome kid.  Hope everything else is going well too!  I love and pray for you every day.  Keep doing what you're doing.  Keep loving the gospel.  Keep praying.  Keep reading the scriptures.  Keep going to church.  And keep on keepin' on.

Elder Russell

P.S.  Our temple trip is on the 22nd.  If you could get me Grandpa Josip's blue card before then, that would be awesome!
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