Tuesday, November 25, 2014

uh.. maybe a little / feel the Spirit again

So now my companion is Elder Sika! He's from Tonga. He's awesome. We had a good week. it's been kinda rainy but luckily it got a bit warmer. It was back in the 70's and the 80's. On thursday we had dinner with this awesome family named the Trevino's. They made a ton of really good spaghetti. They loaded up our plates and I didn't think I would be able to eat half of it when I first saw it. But I endured a finished it off and was soooo full! My companion ate as much as me and they said, "elder Sika, do you want more?" He was even full but said, "uh.. maybe a little." they gave him a lot more. so anyway, when we left we were sooo full! and then we went to our next appointment who was this awesome guy named Basil and it was at his girlfriends house who is a member. I had forgotten but they said they were going to feed us as well. So by the end of the night we were really really full. well, great update huh? haha we also did other stuff besides eat but I don't have time.. whoops.. sorry
love, Elder Russell

This week has been another good week, we had some good lessons, I think I learned a lot. We ended up teaching a less active member in a really cool lesson, his name is Carlos. he still has not gone to church even though it seems like every time we go he says he will, I think really he is just scared of going back to some of the members but all in all has a desire to come back and feel the Spirit again in his life. anyway we ended up taking a member with us he is a really cool guy, he was baptised when he was ten or so and went inactive after about 7 months, later he got a girl friend and eventually one time they pretty much asked each other why they weren't living the Gospel so they became active years later but now they seem to be strong in the church, any way we took this guy to visit carlos and it turns out they actually knew it each other, they might work together and they happened to be active at the same time, both when they were about ten or so i think, im pretty sure carlos is in the same situation he just hasnt yet decided to come back. they both could relate really good and we had a good lesson, this week was just a really good week as always so far my spanish is getting better and the things I am learning I wouldn't have imagined myself knowing now just a week or two before. the Lord really blesses us with things as we are able to receive it. also this week i almost stepped on a stick bug, they are really cool bugs, that was i think the first time i have seen one ever in real life, it looks simply like a stick, a little twig, i am glad my companion told me before i stepped on it.
they dont have healthy cereal here at a cheaper price it, another interesting thing is they dont have peanut butter here, if they do it is really expensive. i have never seen a tortilla shell here either. yet they do have something here i really like, mangos, they have a ton of them except they are a bit different here, they are more like celery, they have some cool fruits, they other day I ate this watermelon,cantelope,pumpkin looking things juice it is pretty good, they have another fruit that a lot of people like i am not sure how to spell it but it looks like a tiny watermelon and it grows on trees.
  we go to the mission home pretty much for changes only, when we get mail it is typically from the president and his assistants bringing the mail to our area every month, i actually got a package recently with some cool Christmas things so I only used the things that were already unwrapped, but I checked the side and it sounds like there is some pretty cool stuff in there, i liked the pen!! 
Thanks so much!  
Love ya all.
Elder Seffker

Monday, November 17, 2014

It's the best way by far! / gift of faith

This week turned out really good! It has been a huge pay-off of the work and efforts we've been putting in. God's blessed us a lot this week. We had two people come to church. One is from Jordan, he's cool. The other's name is Demitrick. He's awesome. We have the best member that fellowshipped him. His name is Brother Allison. He is actually the one who we live with. Him and his wife build our apartment (a room above their garage) for the purpose of being more involved with the missionaries. They're an awesome couple. Anyway, brother Allison was with us when we taught Demitrick and he was great to have at the lesson! He was able to relate to him so well and share a lot of good things with him about eternal families and the blessings he and his wife have had from the gospel. It was really touching hearing him talk about those things. He's such a good guy. He then invited Demitrick to church and gave him a ride. after church on Sunday we ate lunch with the Allisons and Demitrick came then we taught him. It was a really spiritual lesson. We had another really good experience with another member. Brother Alexander came with us to teach a guy named Kelly. It was amazing how close he could relate to the person we were teaching. Members have to be involved in missionary work! It's the best way by far! I love working with the members too. We have awesome members.
Well, we got transfer calls this morning and my companion Elder Chamberlain is getting transferred. I will find out who my next companion will be on Wednesday at transfer meeting. I'll let y'all know who it is next week.
Love y'all!
Elder Russell
p.s. It's getting cold now! it was 49 degrees the other day and with the humidity it feels pretty cold. Luckily this week it's supposed to go back up to 70's.

My week was really good, We had a division on Thursday so I stayed in our area as we switched companions for a day, I really learned a lot, I think it was a good lesson of  confidence for me. We all have a huge capability to serve and I think most times we are just too satisfied where we are at and not happy enough where we are at too. Well anyway on the division I wasn´t sure I could navigate around the area that well but actually I just tried to have a good attitude and do my best and it turned out that I didn't really get lost ever. Also I ended up seeing another blessing when we found a house that we have been looking for for a while. She is a new investigator where we just forgot where she lived. That tends to happen in a place without addresses. I found the house because we happened to pass by her on the division while she was walking past her house. Her house is sort of hidden behind two trees. A day or two later we went by to see if she was at her house and she wasn't so we went to the next house, and tried there, usually that doesn't happen but my companion said these people were looking at him in a different way so that is why he tried it. We ended up finding two more investigators. One of them seems to be really interested in the Gospel. She said it was sort of like a sign to her that we came because recently she has been thinking about some of the bad things going on in her church. She also seemed fairly excited to pray to know if the church is true. It is always great when you meet people with a gift of faith. Also this week I gained a greater testimony of fasting, and that we have the commandments to help us. That is how we should feel when we keep them. The best way to keep them is with love for Heavenly Father. We can always learn more by keeping them until we know everything. I don't have too much time but that is something I was able to share with a less active member on the division that I think might really help him D & C 93. 28 is a scripture that talks a bit about that and the scripture I shared with him was in alma 32. We need to keep the commandments to progress. It is that simple!!
Love ya Elder Seffker 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Saviors love for him / learning things still but in a greater quantity

 I ended up giving a talk on Sunday it went pretty well. It was about five minutes short of 15 min. but I felt like it was okay for only having a couple hours to prepare. Back at home it would have taken me more than that. The topic I felt like doing was interesting. Keeping the Sabbath Day holy is what I felt like doing.  I think the first commandment I remember learning was this. I was really little but I remember it pretty well. I was waiting around on a Sunday thinking about the new mario kart game we got for the n64 the day before. I remember that it looked really fun so I asked Mom if I could play it even though it was Sunday. She told me to say a prayer.  That is the part that I remember well.  I said, "can I play this game today?" I got the answer no so I asked again. Again, "no" so I just said yes in my head and persuaded myself I got the answer yes. After that all I really remember was blurry... because I got in a fight with someone else that wanted to play probably. That experience seems kind of dumb but to me it actually taught me a lot about keeping the Sabbath Day and of course about praying with real intent.
     An interesting experience...we were going to Estanizlou´s house. He is a recent convert. He said he had a surprise for us which is not surprising at all around here. He said to come over to his house. We get there and he has a little bag hanging up. He tries to dump out what looks like a dead frog. It was alive barely. It was a special kind of frog that looks cool. It inflates as its defense and it is poisonous.  When at his house  we get a call, it is one of the sister missionaries crying and it sounds like she got robbed or something. She is talking to my companion here on the phone but I can hear. Some preacher guy went to these two elderly people´s house and has been there since yesterday. Now remember these people are like  85 so I´m pretty sure maybe 90 and this Chinese preacher is staying at their house. He won´t leave even though they told him to so me and my companion leave the frog thing and go there. The sister missionaries were doing the arrangements for them to get married soon and this week we were going to go to the interview.  We start walking toward the house and meet up with the Hermanas. One of them is crying and the other looks the same way. Of course we have seen some over reactions in the past so this doesn´t exactly say the preacher is violent or anything like they explained it to be. Then a gold car pulls up and this Chinese preacher guy and his caddy boy or assistant start telling us a bunch of annoying things that barely make any sense. We pretty much watch him and then my companion says a few things and eventually he gets back in his car and drives away. Our branch president shows up on his motto. He was going to the interview too. Now before this happened I could feel the Spirit tell me things are all good. At this time the Spirit prompted me that now we would go to the more important part. We showed up at their house, sung a nice hymn and talked a little bit. It was a completely different feeling than before. You can´t really feel any love during contention. In the gospel we preach all about that. Christs love is the sort of light that shines out things of darkness. Serving is the way we teach that I would say. Anyway, they will get baptized later. They still have to get ready with some things. Hopefully they choose to do that.
    Also I had a cool experience a couple days earlier. It was really a simple one. The gospel is simple. Truth by itself I believe is simple but the lies are what directs us away from the truth. That is why we need to live on the pure truth and the important truth. Anyway though, we were in a visit with a really cool member, her name is Agueda. I´m not sure how to spell her name. She recently has started to activate and I think she has a strong testimony but we were talking with her and some one passing on the street said something interesting like, ´´I need to eat the devils leaves´´ something weird and probably slightly innocent due to some mental problems. This guy asked if he could come in, apparently Agueda had known who it was because she let him come and visit with us. We ended up listening to him quote some scriptures or something that sounds similar. It was hard to tell but eventually we went to the scripture in the Bible where it talks about the lost sheep and how the Savior loves everyone. I remember thinking about the life of the man who was visiting with us. He probably doesn't have a lot of friends and doesn't understand what is going on well. He walks the street with his walking stick and in his head probably does well at his job. Maybe he has a family that helps take care of him maybe not so much. I think I felt just a little bit of the Saviors love for him, I know that He loves all his sheep and I am glad that He came and talked to us. Life as President Monson says is ´´perfect for none´´ so basically the thing we should be focusing on is what can we do that the Savior would,  rather than what we see missing in other people. Well I love you guys see ya later 
Elder Seffker

This week I'm just gonna give a brief update. It was a fast week.
One of the highlights was that we went to the temple as a mission. We had to divide our mission into 4 groups and go 4 different days. We went on Friday. It was really good. I love the temple. I have been reading a lot of scriptures about the temple that have helped me learn a lot. I've also been reading the Book of Mormon a lot lately. This stake that I got transferred into was committed by the stake President to read the Book of Mormon by the end of the year and so it pushes me a lot to read more than usual. I love that book. I am surprised that it seems I'm learned more now as I read through it than I learned last time and the times before that I've read it. Not only am I learning things still but in a greater quantity each time. Last night we had a ward mission fireside put on by our ward mission leader at a member's house. A member taught about biblical evidence of the book of Mormon. It was really good. We had a couple non-members there and some less-actives and others. I love the members in this ward. They are so great.
Well, I love y'all and hope you have a good week!
love, Elder Russell

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

perfect timing / Spirit is the teacher

This past week has been great. It went way too fast. It's getting a lot cooler now down here. One morning it was 50 degrees! But then during the day it gets back up to the 70's. Man, that's too chilly!
So this last week we got to do some good service. One project we helped sister Shong (a member from my first ward on the mission) at a prairie behind a school. It was so good to see her! Her and her husband were some of the most amazing members in that ward. It was really great to be there again. I don't know if I mentioned that my area is next door to my area that I started out in the mission in. Another project we helped out with was at a girlscout program thing. We were at a station teaching the girls how to do lashing. Elder Chamberlain and I had to brush up a bit on how to do it before. I can't believe how many knots I forgot haha. I guess I didn't know a ton before but... It was really good though except we didn't get any girlscout cookies.
We also had a really good lesson with a guy named Adrian. We had an awesome member there with us. Adrian really wants to change his life around but he seems to be wanting to talk about it more than do it.
The other night we had a really cool experience. We had previously gone through some really old records of people missionaries had seen in this area. We pulled out a few names that we felt we should try. One of those names was a lady who we tried lastnight. We stopped by and she welcomed us in. She said she didn't know why the missionaries stopped coming but it had been about a year. She was going through a really hard time in life and it was perfect timing for us to come by.
On Saturday we ate dinner at brother Ajayi's house. He fed us Fufu. (I don't know exactly how to spell it. It's a food they eat in Nigeria). It was really good. It's a type of potatoe thing mashed up into a substance with a similar texture to bread dough. You put meat and sauce over it. The meat included some other intestines and stuff but it was way good. It was pretty spice which made it even better. Brother Ajayi is awesome.
We also had a ward trunk or treat on Wednesday. That was good. It's great to be around everyone in the ward.
Well. I love y'all! Have a good week.
Elder Russell

So  Mom yeah the missionary work is going really good, I would say you are right, you can not teach people unless you love them, because really the Spirit is the teacher and if you dont try to really help them then it is not going to go as well, yeah Daniel is doing really good i think, i fasted that he would be able to come to church and he came it was really cool, him me and my companion and another recent convert named estanizlou fasted for that last week too. this week estanizlou got to pass the sacrament for the first time. ha i hope that retainer makes it someday  love you Elder Seffker