Monday, November 4, 2013

He loves us and wants all men to partake of His salvation (2 Nephi 26:24)

So the update for the week.
It's been really great. We're starting to see some awesome
improvements with things in the area. We got calls this morning
telling us whether or not we'd be moving to another area (or be
transfered). I was certain I'd be transfered because I've been here in
this area for like 9 months! But I'm staying! I'm so glad. I love the
people in the ward and the people we're teaching and my companion's
So earlier this week we had our district meeting and it was great and
then we were going to go eat lunch but the other missionaries had to
go somewhere else so Elder Iloilo and I went to eat at this awesome
restaurant down here called Jerry Built, we just ate with the owner of
the place cuz we're pretty big hot-shots around here. Just kidding,
but the owner really did eat with us, he knew some members of the
church and talked to us about how much he respected the church and
stuff. He was a really nice guy.
We've been spending some time teaching Hilario still (I've talked
about him in the past a lot) he's doing great. he should be getting
baptized within the next couple weeks. It's amazing seeing the growth
he's had since i've known him. He also gave me this keyboard last
week. it's been really good to be able to play the piano more, we
don't have a ton of time to play it but when we do it's great.
On Halloween we had a normal day. It was a good one though. To start
it off we did some service with that fence I mentioned about helping
with last week. we put it up all the way. During that morning it was
raining really really hard and some of the streets were flooded with
about a foot of water. We were so drenched by the time we were done
putting up the fence. It was actually way fun. Later we were about to
head in for the night (we had to be inside by 7 on halloween night)
and some people had started trick or treating. They were like, "hey
it's the Mormons like from the play!" (the Book of Mormon Musical was
recently shown here in Houston) so we got to talk to them a little
Eli's family is doing pretty good. They're really busy so it's kind of
been hard for them to read and do some of the other things we're
teaching them about but they are progressing. When we went over there
on Friday Elder Iloilo was teaching the lesson and I was trying to
keep Eli entertained (I don't know if I told you but he don't focus on
one thing very well haha) so he pulled the pass along cards out of my
pocket and gave me half of the deck. They were all pretty much the
same and all had pictures of Jesus on them. He put a card down and
said, "alright who are you going to use now?" (I think he though of
them as pokemon cards) I kept putting down my cards and I thought we
would tie since we both had cards with Jesus on them but somehow he
won. We've been trying to help his mom and grandma to quite smoking.
We're going to focus on that this week.
We taught out investigator Zach on Saturday. He's doing great. He
knows the lessons pretty well and learns really fast. He came to
Church with us on Sunday and most people thought he was a member, one
guy asked him if he was an RM. He wore a suit and answered questions
and everything. He's doing really good.
On Saturday we went to a young women in excellence award night or
something like that because one of the girls we've been teaching was
there, her name is Silanche. Her and her two brothers (Videstae and
Beltray) are from Zambia and are an awesome family. Her brothers were
sitting with us during it and taught us a little bit of swahili (Thank
You: Asante, How are you: D'iambo, Goodbye: quede')
We also stopped by at the apartment of a guy we'd been teaching. His
name is Chris. We'd been teaching him a lot about the Word of Wisdom
and we'd made several plans to help him quit smoking. He'd had a hard
time with it but made a little progress. When we stopped by on
saturday his friend answered and she was crying and told us Chris got
caught with some drugs and hanging around the wrong people and is in
jail. She was picking up everything in their apartment and throwing
away most of it because she had no where to stay now that he was gone
and the rent wasn't payed. The sad part was seeing his little toddlers
wandering around in the house, the situation was pretty rough. I was
just thinking "if only Chris would have realized the saddness he could
have been saved from if he'd done more to follow God's commandments.
God's commandments really do free us. They save us from the cords the
devil binds people with (2 Nephi 2:22) The only reason God wants us to
follow Him is because He loves us and wants all men to partake of His
salvation (2 Nephi 26:24)."
Well sorry to end on kind of a sad story. here's a better one to end
on. So Bob (that guy that does canning and he's a trucker and
less-active) is now coming to church in a white shirt and tie. He's so
nice to us. Yesterday we shared a message about become like Christ
with him and he loaded us up with homemade bread and bread pudding and
rootbeer cake. He gave us this really good shepard's pie last week.
He's one of the most generous people I know.
Thanks for the email. I love y'all.
Elder Russell

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