Tuesday, May 28, 2013

I love teaching the Gospel. It's so rewarding. I feel so happy

I'm glad you got to meet Broderick. He's awesome. Ya my new companion is straight outta the MTC. He's from las Vegas and is really cool! He is doing really good, he adjusted to the mission a lot better than I did. Thanks for the prayers that our investigators would come to church. It helps. I'm glad you liked the baptism pictures. (it's actually Dmitry not Dieter but I can see where you're coming from (Dieter-German, Dmitry-Russian) close enough haha).
That's awesome to hear about Johnny. He's always been pretty athletic (or at least full of energy). If he keeps it up in Tumbling he'll be really good.
ya I remember Lexi! that's really cool that she's going on a mission, she's a good example.
That's so crazy it's already summer! It's hard for me to get back into reality and think about school ending for everyone and stuff haha.
Well, this last week was pretty crazy with Elder Brown leaving and then having transfer meeting and stuff. We've been able to teach some awesome people. One of them are the Lowes. They're an older couple we taught and we had a great lesson with them on sunday. They accepted the invitation to be baptized and they are pretty solid. They are very spiritual and are coming so close to God. We also have another cool guy we're teaching named Halario. He's starting to read the Book of Mormon and really liking it and progressing really well. We're also teaching a guy named Erik who's a religion major at a University in virginia. he's really cool and really fun to talk to. He's actually pretty open and has some awesome insights on the readings we give him. The work is going pretty good! It's really exciting.
I love teaching the Gospel. It's so rewarding. I feel so happy and excited all the time it's kinda weird. But it's great being out here, everything's going great. It is starting to get pretty hot, usually the high 90's.
The GPS is working great, It would be helpful to have the mount for it if y'all could find it, if not it's ok.
Thanks for everything. love y'all.

Monday, May 20, 2013

"does the God still love everyone of us even if they're like me and sometimes have doubt?"

 This is for you mom. as I was reading president Boyd K Packer's talk from conference this morning I came upon this part I really liked when I heard it the first time, "I have come to know that faith is a real power, not just an expression of belief. There are few things more powerful than the faithful prayers of a righteous mother."
Love ya
Oh and here's a treat for y'all:
Plan Of Salvation
Job 38:4-7
Proverbs 8:22-31
Jeremiah 1:5
D&C 138:55-56
Abraham 3:22-28
2 Nephi 2:17-25
D&C 29:39-40
2 Nephi 2:11
2 Nephi 2:27
D&C 29:41-42
Alma 42:14, 9, 16-22, 15
Alma 34:9-14
Mosiah 3:7
D&C 19:15-19
2 Nephi 9:21-23
D&C 29:43
Alma 42:23-26, 30, 13
Articles of Faith 1:3
D&C 15:4-6
Alma 40:11-14
D&C 88:14-18
D&C 76:111
1 Corinthians 15:16-22, 29
1 Peter 3:18-19
1 Corinthians 15:39-44
D&C 72:4
John 10:34-35
Psalms 62:7
2 Nephi 33:6
This is how I would teach the Plan of Salvation only using scriptures, it's not perfect but there are some awesome scriptures in there that help me to understand better.

So I just dropped off Elder B Brown at the Mission Home. Crazy! We've only been companions 2 transfers (around 3 months) but we've become pretty good friends. It was really weird seeing a missionary end their mission. He was really weirded out too haha. Right now I'm on exchange with another missionary named Elder Davis until Wednesday (transfer meetings) which is when I will find out who my new companion(s) is/are.
Anyway, last week was good.
On Tuesday I got to go to the Houston Temple like I think I mentioned in my last email. Thursday I was on exchange in the Spanish area. It was pretty fun. We got to help a Less active member set up for a wedding. I tried to learn a little spanish but it didn't work very well haha. On Friday we had a lesson with a recently baptized women and her husband. They are awesome people. She has some pretty amazing experiences she has shared that have happened with her conversion. Her story is amazing. It's just so good to see when people sincerely read and pray. The gospel will make you happier and will change you for the better if you sincerely desire it. When you have a desire to grow, you act on it by reading nd praying and all the other good stuff. It's so rewarding seeing people do this and have that change of heart like it talks about in mosiah 27. On saturday we had a lesson with Pengfei. We were able to share a great message with him and all of us felt the Spirit. We read a lot in Alma 32 and talked about faith and how it grows like a seed. He really liked it. He asked us an interesting question at the end of the lesson. It was, "does the God still love everyone of us even if they're like me and sometimes have doubt?" If we cannot believe at first, we only have to desire to believe and that desire will grow into a believe and grow stronger and stronger. "But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words" (alma 32:27) "That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light, and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day" (Doctrine and Covenants 50:24). On Sunday we got to go to a Devotional where recently converted members shared their conversion experiences. It was really good.
Well, I love you guys, have an awesome week.
-Elder Russell

Ya we haven't had that crazy weather. It's been pretty normal here. The other day it broke 100 ...and that was really hot here with the humidity... That'll be hard getting used to haha.
Happy birthday to Becca and Addi! Chuck-E-chesse huh? We haven't gone there in a while. Do they have any changes they've made with the place or those robots of chucky and the gang jammin out? (who's your favorite opossum?)
---Ok. Brief intermission. I have to go drop off my companion at the mission office and I'll finish this message later today. Adios for now

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

still had an amazing testimony

Well, you've probably all been waiting to hear this news I have to tell you. It is very exciting. I have a witness (my companion) that it actually happened... I can finally do a one-armed pull-up! haha (even with the 15 pounds of extra weight (it's all muscle of course...;))
This morning we went to the Houston Temple. It was really neat, that temple is beautiful. It was so good going there! It's so weird being used to having so many temples so close in Utah and then here you have to drive a ways. (You're so lucky in Utah to have so many) It felt so good even just being on the temple grounds. Anyway, that's why I sent this email today instead of Monday like I usually do.
Some of the highlights last week:
1. On one of the nights, I think it may have been thruday or friday, but we were on our way to try some people we had planned on and on the way Elder Brown remembered a less-active guy that we passed and he said we should visit him. We parked and got out and knocked on the door. We asked for Bob (that was the guy's name) and he said he wasn't home so we started telling this guy about who we were and what we were doing "we're missionaries from his church..." and he said, "actually let me go see if he's asleep." then this guy came out from the other side of the house and he looked like some of the people I worked with back at Mckay Demo (Biker vest, old shirt, grandma length and styled hair, and old 70's glasses and a weight-lifting glove) We started talking with him and we found out he's a trucker (suprising..) and we got to know him more. He told us stories of his life--of him going to school, where he went to school, his conversion story--he still had an amazing testimony. Later he told us of how he's really into food storage and taught himself how to can food and dehydrate food. He gave us a tub of some homemaid raisins (which were amazing) and some homemaid  canned Picante sauce (which was almost as good as your salsa mom;) He turned out being an awesome guy and he told us about his neighbor who he wanted to do missionary work with and now we're starting to help him with that.  
2. We did an exchange but neither Elder Brown or I had to leave because it was with a tri-panionship, we just stole one of the companions from them. This was on friday. In the morning it was raining really hard. We prayed that it'd let up enough so we could visit some people. It did when we were done studying. We did some service at the senior center we usually go to about once a week and we were helping clean up the lunch they had eatin... I was about to type this story down but I'm deciding right now I'm not going to haha.
well anyway next highlight
3. Mothers day. Church was great, we got to visit with our friends Betty and David (who are some people we're teaching right now). They're awesome. And of course it was awesome being able to talk with Family! thanks for making time to do that! It was so good to hear from everyone! It feels like I saw y'all yesterday, time is flying by.
This week is Elder Brown's last one. It's crazy. It'll be a good one, he's an awesome companion! Keep praying that for us it's helping a lot.
Love you guys, have a great week! Make sure you're taking advantage of the amazing resources we have to grow from (Gen. Conference, Scriptures, Lds.org, Prayer). I'll talk with ya next week.
Elder Russell

Monday, May 6, 2013

How would you define faith?

Hello family,
Thanks for the prayers! I know they're helping. Ya the rain is all dried up now (and my planner is too). Happy birthday Melissa! (and all the birthday's in May). Ya Bing is progressing well. His baptismal date is on June 1st. he's really smart. last week during one of our lessons I asked him, "so Bing, how would you define faith?" and I didn't know what to expect since he's grown up in an agnostic society and we haven't told him very much about faith. But he said something like, "faith is the knowledge or believe you have in something that's true and when you don't know for sure you have faith and that is how you know it's true" It was pretty funny haha, he learns really fast. We also had another lesson with a guy who was a brain surgeon in China and came down here for a fancy Scholar visit or something like that. He's also very smart. When we talked to him about prayer we told him how much Heavenly Father loves us and how He wants to hear from us and the things we want and need help with and are thankful for. then he was like, ok ... "God, show me the parifilation of the lung cancer cell" (along with some other fancy medical terms) "amen" haha. it is amazing how much faith these people we teach have.
So on saturday we baptized a kid named Dmitry from Russia. his family moved here and his Mom and sister were baptized but not him, he was just nervous and stuff but is very smart. He knows all about baptism and can answer all the questions in primary. It was an awesome experience. The Spirit was really strong at his baptism. Everything else has gone pretty well this past week. One thing we're really trying to focus on is working better with the ward members and the ward council. One very effective way of getting new people to teach is through the friends and family of the members. I want to get our ward pumped about missionary work, it's such a blessing to be participants in sharing the message of happiness with everyone, it's so rewarding.there are some awesome families that help us a lot but I think we could defienitly do better. If you could pray that my companion and me will be able to work better with the ward members it'd help a lot. thanks. Oh and for the skype on Mothers day, just expect an email from a guy with the last name of "Newcomer" they are our ward mission leaders and we planned to do it at their house. They can work out the time and whatever else there is. haha. Thanks for the email. I love you guys. thank you for everyone who sends me emails and letters, I love getting them!
-Elder Russell.