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

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