Monday, March 24, 2014

Hey how y'all doing! It's been a minute since i've given y'all a good update so I'll write a little more today. There have been some good things going on.
I'll do it in the 'random story format'
Random story #1:
The other day we were out with our good friend Stephen--he's an awesome member that comes out with us fairly often. We were teaching some people and then at lunch time stopped by the best fast-food restaurant (a.k.a. Wendy's). While we were there I got a crispy chicken sandwich with a tomato.  That's kind of besides the point but I just threw it in. While we were eating we found out that Stephen didn't know what fri sauce was (he's not from Utah...), so Elder Baird and I immediately rushed to go make him some. While we were making it, him and a guy that was sitting at a table by us started a conversation. Stephen is a great member-missionary. He was inviting him to hear from the missionaries and come to church. When we came back we got to talk to him a bit and learn a little bit about him and his religious life. It was just a cool little experience. Stephen is so willing to follow promptings. The other week he gave a pass-along card to a friend at work and she got baptized a few weeks later. 
Random story #2:
We're working with a few people that are really awesome. They're the Cole family. They are some of our favorites, we just met them last week. They are probably best defined as "strictly orthodox non-denominational Christians" (which is interesting I know). They love the Bible. They know it VERY well too. They have really good questions that we love talking about. When we met them I noticed all of these Jewish decorations on the walls with Hebrew writing on them and of course loved talking about it with sister Cole. She has a big interest in Hebrew culture. To explain a little bit about how they're orthodox she wears a covering on her head whenever she goes out in public because that is what the Bible says women should do. Brother Cole seems to shadow her as far as doctrine goes but he is still VERY well educated on the Bible. He's one of the nicest guys I've ever met. He's very sincere. You should hear him pray. He has amazing prayers. Then there's the brother Jim. He loves classical music, but he loves the Bible a little bit more. To describe how much he loves and knows classical music i'll tell you a game he'd play with his friend who equally loves that genre. They used to play a random song and have to answer the composer, the year it was composed, the orchestra or symphony performing it on that recording and the conductor of that group. He has a collection of every piece and not only every piece but several different orchestras who perform the piece. It's crazy. So anyway, Elder Baird was talking to him before one of our lessons about classical music (Elder Baird is a musician and plays bass and is going to BYU as a music major so he loves classical music as well). They started going of on all of these composers and conductors they love. Jim said his absolute favorite was the Cleveland Orchestra with George Szells as the Conductor. So after that we went on with our lesson talking about a lot of good stuff with a lot of Bible scriptures mingled in--having to do with the bible just made me think of something I forgot to mention: the first night we met we were talking about the Bible and sister Cole said that Mormons need to read the Bible more but then by me showing her my Bible and us referencing it so much in our lesson she learned that we love the Bible as well as the Book of Mormon. When she saw that she actually gave me this giant book called, "the Strong's Exhausted Expanded Concordance of the Bible." it's really thick. I love it though. It's really helpful to study with. Anyway, back to the lesson--so we were going on and had a pretty heated lesson with them on a lot of points and by the end we were settling some things and saying how though our passion is strong we don't want it to ruin our relationship as brothers and sisters in Christ. There was still some intensity in the air and Jim said, "well,"--slowly in a very sober and reverent voice, "there has.. been truth spoken tonight....   George Szells is the absolute best conduct--" then we all interrupted a bit laughing. He's a funny guy. Later Brother Cole gave Elder Baird a George Szells CD. He's really such a good guy. 
Well.... I'm outta time to say more.. But just know that I love y'all! God is great! I love life.
Elder Russell.

                                            Elder Baird and many funny church advertisements. Ha Ha

Monday, March 10, 2014

hot sauce on his hand

La Familia,
So I will just tell y'all some random stories that have happened recently. My journal has been pushed to the back burner most of the days this week because of other stuff so I'm pretty much taking what I wrote in it. 
So one story. We were out with this awesome member teaching and for lunch we went to firehouse subs. I love firehouse subs for two reasons. 1. they have really good sandwiches 2. They have all of the hot sauces from hot to hottest so you can feel manly when you use the hottest one I guess--which is what we always do. So anyway, as usual we got our sandwiches and looked through all of the hot sauces and got the hottest ones they had. On one of the bottles it said for the description something like, "you think you know hot? Not until you've had this. Use very sparingly. Only one drop at a time! Also works good for melting wax on hardwood floors or removing grease stains on sidewalks. enjoy." It ended up being pretty hot. But that's besides the point of the story. So we got all finished up and one of the people who was with us went to the bathroom and took quite a while. maybe like 10 minutes later he came out with a surprised look on his face and explained how he kind must have got some hot sauce on his hands and should have washed his hands before going to the bathroom. The hot sauce bottle had said something about not getting it on your hands or skin because it irritated or something haha.. but anyway.
Sunday was a good day. Church was pretty good. In sacrament meeting Mitt Romney's name was only mentioned like 15 times. (Texas....)
The rest of the week was awesome. I can't pull out any particular moments that'd be worth writing. I guess instead I'll give y'all a scripture chain you can study. That'll be worth while:)
So these might not all be in the best order but I think if you read them all you'll definitely learn something. take an hour out of your week and just look at these and think about them.
Matt. 22:36-40; Col. 3:14; Moroni 7:45-47, 48; 1 John 3:1-2; Moses 8:13; Mosiah 5:7; Gal. 4:4-7; 3:26; 1 John 3:3(1-3); John 14:16-21, 23; 1 John 3:3; 3 Nephi 12:8; 2 Peter 1:4-11; 1 John 4:16-17, 20-21;John 17:3; D&C 14:7; 2 Nephi 32:6 
Love Y'all! 
Elder Russell

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

peaceful and content

man, I've been slacking on the updates. even my journal has been a lot worse lately.
But this week was really great. We've been spending a lot of time with some of the less-actives. I love the people we work with. The members and the people we're around are just awesome. 
I just hope everyone of y'all have a really good week. We have a good reason to be happy. I've noticed as I've tried to read and ponder every chance I get and just fill my life with the scriptures and good thoughts that I've been really

peaceful and content. I love life. And I'm also listening to some cheesy EFY music right now as I'm emailing (we email at the church) and it's making me happy too. 
So here's a good topic/question for y'all to inspire some of your studies this week. 
So first off, all of us that come to this world die physically and spiritually, we are redeemed from physical death by the resurrection and that is a free gift. Why do we receive that gift for free but then we have to work for the other? Or do we get a redemption from spiritual death for free as well? 
also, we know that the second death is a spiritual death (alma 12 and 2 Nephi 9), so then, what is the first death?
That's just some food for thought for y'all. I hope y'all are reading and praying every day. We've gotta do that. it's the best way to live. I love y'all! 
-Elder Russell