Monday, January 26, 2015

honored to know the people I get to teach / power” through which “the worlds were framed

Hey I'm going to give an update for the week and this one will be a little longer than the ones that I've been giving y'all lately. Sorry they've been so short!
So we had an amazing week this last week!! it really was filled with a ton of miracles and good stuff. Last Sunday I got to see someone I had baptized at the first of my mission named Hilario. It's been over a year since I've seen him. I was so excited it probably is best explained in alma 27:16-18 when Ammon meets Alma again. haha I guess I didn't lose my strength from how happy I was but it was awesome to see him. He told me he's going on a mission soon. He just has to do dental work first. He's so awesome. On wednesday we had a good day. We had district meeting and saw some people. later a member from my first ward (who lives really close) took us out for dinner. It was really good to see them. They're names are the Shong's. On Friday I went on an exchange with Elder Jarvis. His area is a spanish area. it was really fun. We got to bike a lot. A member from their ward took us to a place called Don's Cafe. It's a Vietnamese restaurant. We had Bahn Mi and Pho (that's a sandwich and soup). Their area is pretty ghetto haha. Elder Jarvis is really funny we had a good time. We taught a lady who got baptized into my ward on Sunday. Her name is Zayneb. Her and her family are awesome. I interviewed them for baptism but the thing is that her and her husband Tariq only speak Arabic so a member named Brother Tensmeyer came (he speaks Arabic). He translated it all when we taught them and when I interviewed her for baptism. I can't tell you how much of an amazing experience it is to know them. They are so solid. Tariq was taught the word of wisdom last week and has given up smoking. He's getting baptized this upcoming Sunday. The amazing thing is that he's been smoking since he was 4 years old (yes 4 years old) and he just quit. They have amazing faith. We had dinner with them too and they made us Iraqi food. It was cool sitting indian-style around their table eating with them. They are an amazing family. Saturday we had an awesome lesson with a lady we started teaching. Her name is Trish. She's preparing to be baptized. We had some awesome members come over with us to teach her. She came to church the next day (which was yesterday). A miracle happened at church. After sacrament meeting we helped Trish's kids find their classes and then we went to gospel principles class with her. The lesson was on families and family relationships or something like that topic. The lesson was really good and the class was totally full! There were a lot of less-actives and non-members there. After the lesson was about to be done Trish rose her hand and said, "I just want to say that this lesson was for me. I have been having some troubles in my family and this was exactly what I needed." It's amazing how God has everything worked out! So rewind a bit--Mike's baptism on Saturday! It was amazing. Man, I can't tell you how cool it's been to know him and see him change. He's the coolest guy. He's really got a ton of faith. On Sunday he got confirmed. That was also really cool. He's so humble and you can tell that he has really good desires. We're going to try and help him get ready to go to the temple to do baptisms. Later that day (Sunday) we had Zayneb's baptism. It was all translated into Arabic and Elder Jarvis (who baptized her) memorized the prayer in Arabic. She and her husband also have amazing faith! When Zayneb came up out of the water her husband was smiling so big and came up by the font and said something in Arabic while he pointed up to God. It reminded me when we taught them on Friday and he did the same motion when we taught the first commandment (no other God's before God). He has a stronger desire to follow God than almost anyone I've seen. When we taught him and his wife about the commandments like Word of Wisdom, Tithing, Fasting, and others they responded with similar responses to, "of course! God is first!" I love this gospel. I know it's true. The Spirit has confirmed that to me so much. I love y'all! Thanks for everything! I am so glad to be a missionary right now! I feel so honored to know the people I get to teach out here. They are precious to me, I can't imagine how God feels about them. 
Well, I love y'all! Do what's right. Say your prayers and read the scriptures:)
love, Elder Russell

 These are the bees behind his apartment.

 Mike's Baptism
Zayneb and Tariq

thanks, I was probably going to write more but we had a storm and the power went out last week so we just went home, the storm was actually really cool but I think some people got injured because in some parts I think it was like a tornado, but dont worry t was not that dangerous, especailly in our area. It rained a lot for a while and then the next day we got to do service for a lot of the day. giant trees had smashed some parts cement houses, we spent probably from 8-about 4 doing tree service, I had a feeling we would, I honestly enjoyed it, sort of a change of things and we got to us mashetis a lot to, most of it was fallen branches. This whole week seems to have been more of a service week. I think it was two days after we helped a guy named Carlos set a foundation for a part of his house that took most of the day too but also it was really fun, I really enjoy that sort of simple work where you only have to endure and you dont have to think all that much. By the way the guy we helped gave us some really good food, he has been making a lot of lomitos lately because he has a problem in his foot and he cant really walk that far, that is probably the main reason why we are helping him. he is super nice and he might progress in the gospel and his mom and wife too. except his mom might take some time because she doesnt know spanish that well yet and she cant read still. anyway he also gave us some really good fish soup, I am not sure why we dont really do that in the US. I went fishing today early in the morning because it is p-day of course, I only caught a small fish, it is like a catfish but different, ha ha when I caught it the little kid we were with pretty much told me it is no good and threw it back in the water, the funny thing is he is right, he and his dad seem to know a lot about fishing, they use this things that look like snails to fish, they only have one real metal fishing pole, the rest were two sticks with fishing line and just fishing line, that is what I use, it turns out you dont need a fishing pole to fish, that is just to look fancy, you can use the line with a sinker hook and bait. Like I said before, they have piranas in the river but they dont look that visious, my friend caught one. Hey this is good too...
have you guys read this !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ?
The traditional belief of our Bible-based Western culture was always that the order of nature is subject to God, who created that order in the first place, who sustains it, and who can alter it according to his own will. But in the seventeenth century, the “mechanical philosophy” envisioned nature as a great and perfect machine, created by God but now running on its own. From this philosophy it was easy to take the next step in the nineteenth century to the present version of scientific naturalism, which holds that self-existing scientific laws are themselves the causes of the order, not God. This philosophy seldom asks why those particular laws hold, rather than other possible laws; it simply states that that’s the way the universe happens to be, always has been, and always will be. This secular viewpoint holds that God has no direct relationship to nature. In this view, if there is a God, he, like man, exists and acts within nature. This mechanistic philosophy holds that miracles do not and cannot happen. And that nature itself has no intelligence, no will, and no purpose.

The Prophet Joseph Smith carefully taught the elders in Kirtland that “faith is … the principle … of power” through which “the worlds were framed by the word of God” (Lectures on Faith, 1:13, 14). It was through faith that “the whole visible creation” was not only organized but by which it also “continues in its organized form, and by which the planets move round their orbits and sparkle forth their glory” (7:5). Hence, “any man who hath seen any or the least of these hath seen God moving in his majesty and power,” even though he might not recognize how the order of the universe continues, for “the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not” (D&C 88:47, 49). By this power, all things “exist, by it they are upheld, by it they are changed, or by it they remain, agreeable to the will of God” (Lectures on Faith, 1:24).
Love ya ELder N. H. Seffker

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

amazing change / knowledge and intelligence

 I really have no time so this is going to be fast typing and might have some typos. Los siento. 
Anyway, So this last week on sunday I got to go to the baptism of someone we had taught in my last area in clearlake 1. I loved seeing him and how he's doing. Also, I got to see a ton of people who we worked with in that ward including a few converts. It was so good to see them! I love seeing the amazing change that the gospel brings into people's lives. A member named brother ajayi drove me down when we went there. He's an awesome member. He's a convert from Nigeria. We talked a lot about what life was like in Nigeria for him and how spoiled we are here in America. He said if people that lived here went had to live like he did when he grew up they'd probably kill themselves. 
Random subject change sorry. We went to the temple today. I love going there! I'll send some pictures. 
Mike is doing good and should be getting baptized this Saturday or Sunday. We're meeting with him tonight. 
There's a lot that I wish I could also say here and now but I have no time left! Sorry. 
-love elder russell.
Y'all have a good week!

Elder Seffker's update:
I think it was this week that we gave another blessing. It was interesting. I am learning more about knowledge and intelligence. In my words the word intelligence is sort of like applied knowledge, I read that a very smart person can have no intelligence for example- Satan. Also something similar is wisdom, it seems to come from experience and can be applied knowledge in experiences. This week has helped me increase my intelligence. The light of Christ is our path to that. We can gain light by His grace until we have a dayful of light and a knowledge of all things clear as a day. I am learning it is a pretty good idea to record your dreams, both goals and literal memories you have.
Love ya,
Elder Seffker

“believing it to be beneficial to review our past life and not only our privilege but duty to keep an accurate account of our proceedings.” Pres. Wilford Woodruff

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

getting baptized / many blessings

Hey so here's a little update for the week. 
We are working a lot with Mike. He's doing good. Mainly just working on the Word of Wisdom but he came to church yesterday. It was kind of a weird first time for him because we had a unique meeting where our spanish/english overlay organization for the stake got combined so it was a meeting mostly working out the logistics haha. But it was good. He's getting baptized in a couple weeks. We had a good week. I don't know what else to write haha. It's been a little colder...
Well I love y'all. Have a good week!
Elder Russell

 This week we had a good time, The missionary work is super rewarding right now, we went to church and a new person showed up that wasn´t invited by any of the missionaries, it was a member! After hearing a talk from Elder Molina on the Book of Mormon, he asked for one, I think we will visit him today with Daniel, he is a recent convert. We went out with him a few days ago and ended up teaching one of our investigators. She has prayed about the Restoration and told us she feels she got her answer, we were so happy, she has a date to be baptized soon. I knew I would be part of something important but I wasn't ´quite sure if I would be able to witness very much of it so soon. The Lord is really guiding us all the time, we just gave a blessing about ten minutes ago, I did the anointing, I love doing that, I have been privileged to give many blessings here in my mission.
Yeah this week was cool, changes are upcoming and I am enjoying the pday today. yeah  well the success of someone eh, its nice to see someone that benefited from the work, i am sure you will see similar things in your life soon, I keep hearing how you shared the Gospel with someone, that is what makes a good missionary not what the people actually say, recently i went on a division , one of them told me that it doesn't matter to much what you say as long as you have the Spirit with you, it is true. he was one of the assistants, they get to do divisions every week, we were the first companionship they did a division with that lives far out, they are really good missionaries.
Love you 
Elder N. H. Seffker

Thursday, January 8, 2015

working a lot / added unto him

Alright here's a little update for the week. We had a good one! First off it was transfers on wednesday. We have a new addition to the companionship--Elder Johnson (as you may have seen in the pictures). Yeah it's really cool since we've known each other practically our whole lives. We've had a good week. It's awesome being in a trio because now whenever we go out with a member we can split up and can accomplish the work of two companionships. We've been working a lot with Mike and Demitrick and kelly. 
We had a funny experience this week. We were out with a member and it was storming and dark and we were on this awesome ghetto road and this guy walked by us on the street and said, "hey y'all gotta tell me I ain't trippin. Tell me what those look like"--then he pointed up to some freeway lights that were nearby. You could only see the lights because it was dark. "ain't those lookin like UFO's?" The member we were with tried to convince him they were just lights but he didn't believe us. Well, I gotta go there's a lot more I wish I could tell you but I'm outta time. 
Love y'all, Elder Russell

                                                     A sweet lady named Rosa!

 Insert from Mom...So this Elder on Michael's left is Elder Johnson. We have been good friends with their family since they were babies. We thought it awesome they were called to the same mission and even cooler that they get to be companions now!!!

19 And he who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto him, even an hundred foldyea, more.  I thought that was a really cool scripture I have really felt that in my personal life lately, especially as I study and pray sometimes I feel like it would be awesome to have a day to Study, pray and maybe eat some food. here is a related scripture

17 Verily, verily, say unto you, ye are little childrenand ye have not as yet understood how great blessings the Father hath in his own hands and prepared for you;
 18 And ye cannot bear all things now; nevertheless, be of good cheerfor will lead you along. The kingdom is yours and the blessings thereof are yours, and the riches of eternity are yours. Love you and good luck even though I dont believe in luck.  Heavenly Father is over all things. Elder Seffker