Monday, October 28, 2013

"Too fow six"

well I kinda forgot what I was going to say to finish the letter from last week so sorry ya have to deal with that cliff-hanger. But ya for the update this week... We did quite a bit of service again. It's great I love it! We helped scoop and spread mulch at a park called Bell Park. It was really fulfilling seeing the park when it was all done. That same day after that project we helped distribute food at a senior/retirement center. We kinda got attacked by old asians there because when we brought the food up the elevator and the door opened they would all be waiting there and we'd try to explain "we have to bring it to your apartment door to drop it off" but most of them just spoke chinese or vietnamese so they just followed us tapping our shoulders saying "Too fow six", or "too sixateen" (their apartement numbers). It was a really good project though. we parked by this ice rink and there was a pile of snow outside of it and I got to throw a snowball (it felt so good!) it's weird how the weather isn't really changing here and the trees aren't dying or anything haha. On friday we helped a member and their neighbor take out the old fence in between their houses and put in a new one. 
We had a good lesson with a family we've been teaching. Their names are Silanche, Videstae, and Beltray. They're from Zambia. They're really fun to teach. We had a little trunk or treat with our ward (I'll try to send some pictures from it to y'all). Beltray was wearing this weird blonde wig. African + Blonde Mullet is a kinda weird mix. He's funny. We also had a good lesson with this awesome guy we've been working with. His name is zack. He's doing a music major in college right now and has played the violen pretty much his whole life so he's way good! at our lesson yesterday he played a fugue by Bach and it was so intense! I've never seen anyone's fingers move so fast. He's read the Book of Mormon and is starting on the D&C. 
Well that's pretty much the update for the week.
Love y'all.
Elder Russell
PS Thank you for the classical CD's! I love them! you guys are great!
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Monday, October 21, 2013

Plan of Salvation

OK so I have a ton of stuff I wanted to update y'all on but the computers here at the library are being very slow so I'll have to sum it up a bit. 
So I have a cool story about Eli and his family (that 7 year old kid i was telling you about). We went by there house on Wednesday and knocked on the door and his mom answered and said it was a bad time. We asked if there was anything that we could do for them and they said, "Well I guess if y'all don't mind you could take the trash out" and so we told them we would. right before the mom shut the door the grandma (Nancy) said, "could y'all pray for me before ya go, I'm having some problems at work?" so we went in and listened to her and one of her daughters talk about how at work some of the employees are trying to get them fired and stuff like that so it's making it really hard on them because they are struggling to get by as it is. after listening we taught them a little bit trying to comfort them and then offered to give them Priesthood blessings. Nancy got one and then her daughter that works with her (Amanda) got one, then her other daughter and son wanted one as well (they're all older than 25). By the end Nancy was pretty touched. We said a prayer for the family then and for Eli who was asleep. They invited us over the next night and as we were leaving they asked if they could feed us sandwiches. So the next day we came by and they had prepared an amazing meal for us. It was really touching because they don't have much to give. They were all so nice to us. While we were eating Elder Iloilo was talking to half the family on the couch and I was talking to the grandma (Nancy) and she said, "Ya, know, I wanted to ask you a question, because I was talking to my son the other day and he was talking about where we go after this life" (we had planned before meeting with them to teach them the Plan of Salvation so I was thinking, wow, she's been prepared for this lesson, but it got even better). then she said, "as I've thought about it more and more I don't think that we go straight to have because there's a space in between when we die and when we're judged and resurrected." then I was thinking, holy cow! we were planning to talk about that today! and then she started talking about how she thought from what she read that there are actually three heavens. God had prepared her and her family for the lesson on the plan of salvation--I'll try to send the rest of this later cause I'm outta time. just wait to post it

King of the hill! :)

Monday, October 14, 2013

Priest. Hood. -Blessing

Hey Fam,
So, Thanks so much for the letters and the packages. I was so happy to
get those! It's so good to hear from you. I almost forgot about
Halloween coming up until you sent that stuff in the package. so, you
said some of the stuff in the package was for Eli, or was that another
package that's coming? I hope you weren't talking about the spider
rings and the fairy-wand/glowstick. I'd rather keep those for myself.
(Just kidding) But thanks, it means a lot.
This week was good as always.
So I don't know if I told you in a letter or an email, but one time I told you about a guy named Bob that hasn't gone to church in a really long time (probably around 20 years or more). He's the one that is a trucker that does canning and dehydrates fruit. He's a really cool guy. We've been meeting with him more frequently and reading the scriptures with him. This Sunday he came to church and sat with us. It was really cool. A huge part in bringing him back has been his roomate--who's also named Bob (but we call him Robert). This room mate of his is a guy who was recentally baptized within the last 2 or 3 years and he's pretty funny. He's one of the biggest rednecks I've ever seen and is one of the most humble people I've met. He rides this little motorized scooter he rigged up to church every Sunday because he doesn't have a car. Every Sunday he shows up and had told us, "i've been trying to get Bob out here but he just aint comin. We'll get'em next Sunday though." The other day we were visiting with Bob and Robert and the Bishop was there with us and Robert said, "Now lemme tell ya Bishop, I'm no testimonial teller, but let me tell ya a story. I one time at work was changing a cleaner--purple industrial--so I stick a hose in the bucket and started to sift it out. So I put my moulth on the hose and I sucked some up and got a moulthfun, den I spit it and started throwin up. I went to da Hospital and they said my asophagos was clos'n up so they wanted to drill somethin. I told'em, 'now wait a minute here doc, I wanna wait a minute till my friends get'er'. Then I called up my buddies and they gave me a Priest. Hood. -Blessing. The doctor then came in and said, 'your asophagos opened back up.' " He's an awesome guy. Now him and Bob are coming to church together. Then later this week on Tuesday I think I already told ya but we went to the Temple. It was great. We were able to participate in a ton of service this week. I think there were 5 projects we did within 3 days. One of them we helped a lady do some gardening at a school; another one we helped put together flyers for a company that fundraises money for MS; another we helped a lady and her neighbor do some gardening; another one we turned the dirt over in some medians (Here in Houston there's a strip of grass and trees inbetween the two lanes of traffic on most rodes and they're called medians), and we put moulch over it after; --I never would have thought that all of that weeding I did at dad's work would have come in handy, doing these projects with the weeds reminded me of the good old days weeding there-- And the last project we did was we voulenteered at a festival thing for a 'national neighborhood night out'. We ran the activities. I was over the fan making booth. We colored pictures of Mulan and glued them to another peice of paper, then put a popsickle stick on the back... it felt like the same stuff we used to do for Youth Council. It was pretty fun. Oh and we also had a general authority come to our mission this week! It was so awesome! His name is Elder Christoffel Golden. He spoke to our mission about quite a few things. He expounded some really interesting doctrines too. It was way cool meeting him. Well Love y'all I gotta get goin. Have a great week. Elder Russell

Friday, October 11, 2013

"I'll take 3 Popsicles"

This week was awesome. We had a meeting for the mission where our President told us we're going to start opening the church buildings for the activities and things like that during the day (basically enacting the announcement from the mission president leadership broadcast in June or July (whenever it was)). So we're starting to plan the activities and things that will occupy the church building during the days.
Oh and I have to tell you about these cool desserts we had at a member's house this week. They're called banana boats I think. You just peel one strand of a banana out and scoop some of it out like a canoe and then fill it with chocolate and marshmallows then put the peel back over and wrap it in tinfoil and put it in the fire for a few minutes. They're way good.
On Wednesday we did some service with on of the members in the ward (That lady that sent you those pictures). It was way fun. We did some weeding at a school garden she works at. It might sounds weird but it felt good to pull some weeds. It's always good to have a little change once in a while.
On one day last week (I forgot which one exactly) we were going to an appointment for someone at 10am and they weren't home so we were hoping we could find someone else around them that would be around and available for a lesson and we tried a guy we've been working with lately and he was home and we read 2 Nephi 4 with him. Later we ran into this little kid named Eli that's probably like 6 or 7. He's really really hyper and is usually running around bugging people. Every time we see him he has asked us for pictures or books (because we had given him pass along cards with Christ on them). Then he usually runs away or hits us with a little twig or threatens to steal all our money and holds up a finger nail file. He's always getting into trouble. But we decided we'd ask him if he knew anyone that we could teach our message to. He told us we could teach his mom so we went over and they let us in and we taught them the Restoration of the Gospel. His mom and grandma had a lot of questions and it turns out they've had a really rough life. Eli's dad left his mom when she had a baby which died shortly after being born. Then Eli's grandpa passed away. I felt the Spirit pretty strong there. Later we were in that same complex and Eli told us to follow him to this random apartment that sells candy and he pulled out a dollar that probably meant a lot to him and said, "I'll take 3 popsicles". he then asked us what our favorite colors were and gave me and my companion each one. It softened my heart a bit that he would be willing to share some of the very little money he gets with us.
Anyway, Conference was amazing!! I loved all of the talks. All of the sessions were full of great messages. Y'all should let me know of your favorite lines and/or talks that ya heard. I loved Elder Russell M. Nelson's talk at the end of the Sunday morning session. It was great. Thanks for your email and everything. I love y'all. Have a good day, and week!
Elder Russell