Monday, June 23, 2014

I love days like that

This last week was great! We have some awesome members in our ward and some great people in our area. We had a really cool lesson with a non-member who's the only non-member in his family. His wife and daughter are great members. The daughter came over lastnight for the lesson and we talked about the spirit world and baptisms for the dead and family history. I love those topics. They help resolve a lot of big concerns that are pretty common for Christians to have. The Spirit was really strong. I played "praise to the man" on their piano after the lesson because Diana (his daughter) said it came to mind at that moment. I love the way music can really change the mood of the an atmosphere too. It's amazing. We are still continuing to work with Jeremy. He's made some really significant changes in his life and it amazes me at how willing he is to do it. He is getting baptized on Sunday. At church yesterday in Elder's quorum he kind of bore his testimony about the service of missionary work and it really touched me. I just thought how rewarding it was to be able to know such an amazing man and how great it is to be able to participate in such a great work. I love it! We had a really busy day yesterday. We had a meeting in the morning and then went with a member to pick up someone for church and then after church we ate lunch and after that it was appointment after appointment consecutively until we came home at night. I love days like that. 
We're allotted a certain amount of miles each month for the car each month. They vary in amount depending on the size of your area. We're running a little low on them so we've been doing a lot of biking. I love biking! I forgot how great it was! Even in the hot sun it's just such a good feeling. We were biking up to the top part of our area the other day and there was a deer like 5 feet away from the sidewalk. We thought it'd move when we passed but it didn't. It was pretty odd. Our area is a pretty developed area so it's not very common to see that. We also bike along the Bayou and there are a lot of pelicans and turtles in it. We're keeping our eyes out for gators so we can take a picture with one;) haha... (I don't think we'll get a chance to sadly). We got to eat dinner with an awesome family in our ward yesterday and had some great crapes. I also forgot how good those are! We ate quite a few of them. 

Well, I hope y'all have a great week! Keep up everything and keep reading, praying, and going to church and see what you can do to make each of those more meaningful. 
love y'all! Elder Russell

Monday, June 9, 2014

people making good choices

Hey it's been a great week. I guess it's best that I start out by telling y'all some of the items in the 'Elder Russell' cookbook. 
1. Tuna and mac n cheese: 
how to make it: Put tuna in mac n cheese
2. Elder Russell's tropical burrito:
how to make it: put a tortilla on the burner of the stove top (no need to dirty a pan), and turn in on medium. Spread peanut butter on the tortilla and then unwrap a banana and place it on the tortilla. Then start smelling something burning, "whoops" (ya, the stove was a little bit too hot). Then wrap it up and eat it. 
3. Cajun Burrito:
how to make it: Make some Zatereign's jambalaya rice and add some white-trash meat (such as hot dogs, tuna, bologna, spam), add cheese and a lot of siracha and "slap ya mama" cajun seasoning. 
4: Fiber toxicity:
how to make it: get a bowl and fill it with wheat flakes (great value brand is cheapest usually). Pour in a mixture of 50% whole milk and 50% water (it saves you money on milk). Oh whoops, actually you were supposed to pour quick rolled oats on it first, then pour the milk. 
--well that's all I'll give you this week so you don't get too hungry. Don't forget to pray before you eat.
So this week was pretty good. We had a great zone meeting. It went really well. I really love our zone. There are some amazing missionaries in it. We are still working with Jeremy. He's doing great! An awesome member in our ward is helping him by being his friend at church. We also have been working with Juan and Christine. Their kids got baptized a little while ago but they are still working out some things before they can but they really want to. They had been struggling with coming to church but they came last Sunday and sat on the front row. It's great to see people making good choices. Well I gotta get going so I just want to leave y'all with my testimony:
I just love this gospel. I absolutely love learning and growing. There is no better institution, organization, or anything, that will more effectively help us to become like Christ and learn and grow into the beings we can be. There are no teachings that could better prepare a civilization or group to live in harmony and peace and joy together. There is no better way to live that will increase the joy in the home. I love the Book of Mormon. It is true. I love Joseph Smith, he really was a prophet. I love Jesus Christ, He really is the Savior and the Only Begotten of the Father, "full of grace and truth, even the Spirit of Truth, which came into the world and dwelt in the flesh" (D&C 93: maybe verse 13 or 12... i don't know for sure). 
Love y'all,
Elder Russell

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Gospel influence people from all of the different types of cultures

We have been teaching a few people who are making some good progress. One of them is Jeremy. We met jeremy while we were walking back to our car after trying someone at one of the complexes we were at and my companion heard some faint voice saying, "hey! do y'all have a mormon book?" We walked over to the voice and this guy was hidden behind his plants which were growing on his small porch of his apartment (he had quite a few of them). He told us how missionaries had talked to him before and that somehow he lost contact with them and moved. We've been meeting with him and he really wants to get baptized. He liked church this last Sunday. He's a really good guy. At our last lesson we got on the subject of a topic of which he had struggled with and he told us how when the temptation came up to make the sin he looked over at the wall and saw "a big, black, giant spider" (I guess he's not a fan of spiders). But he said he put down the source of his temptation right then and then the spider went away. We told him how even the danger of the spider was not close to the danger of sin. We really like meeting with him. He catches on really well. When we went over last time he showed us a stand (I'll call it a rameumpton) he made out of "kinnect-toys" for his Book of Mormon. He's funny. He really liked church on Sunday and he participated in the classes and stuff. Another guy we're teaching is Jacob. He has been doing pretty good as well. We teach him with a newly wed couple in our ward. They are perfect for him. They help him a lot and are great teachers/friends to him. In missionary work it is sooooo helpful when members be the friends and check-up on the people who you invite them to fellowship. It really makes the experience for the investigator. With another guy we've been working with named Robby, we've been struggling with helping him progress much because he's recently had some complications in his life making it hard for us to meet with him. He's pretty willing and wants to be baptized but the contact is hard. Past addictions in his life have really hindered his spiritual progress. He feels that they have hardened his soul to a point that he can't feel God's influence. It's pretty sad. We have some good talks with him though and he is really close to moving forward. Keep him in your prayers if ya will.
We had a really good meal appointment that stood out to me this week. It was with the Garcia family. They are great! Brother and Sister Garcia mainly speak spanish. They speak very little english, but they are the nicest people. When we went over they treated us so well. I was almost just not used to how polite they were. They made us Peruvian food and when it came to the lesson, we shared about the story of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon and although I don't think they understood even half of what we were saying the Spirit was there. I love seeing the Gospel influence people from all of the different types of cultures and parts of the world. 
well, see y'all later. love ya,
Elder Russell