Monday, February 23, 2015


Miracles are a thing that is really weird.  I believe that many people would define a miracle as something that defies the laws of science.  Moses parting the Red Sea certainly defies the laws of science as we know them.  But I don't really believe that something that defies the laws of science is a good definition of a miracle.  And if science laws really are what governs the universe, God would have to obey these laws as well since he is perfect and just. If God broke a law of science he would cease to be God. Therefore, I am forced to conclude that our comprehension of science is limited.  God uses the laws of science to complete his work.  It is us that don't understand the laws yet.
I believe that miracle is a word to describe an evidence that we see in our life of God's existence. So miracles happen every day if we let them.  I have learned more and more that nothing happens just because. Everything has a purpose.  But if we don't see the hand of God in our lives, we choose to not have miracles happen.  This is all a bit of brain storming, but it is where I've gotten up until now.
This week was pretty cool because we had two people that we invited in the street to come to church, come to church.  It is hard to get the people that we know to go to church, and this time two people we didn't really know, came.  It was really cool.  One of them came mostly because she knows some people who are Mormons and she wanted to know what made them so happy.  So if you are Mormon and want to be a good example, be happy.
I love you all.  I had a good week! I hope you all do too.

Elder Russell

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Later Post This Week

So this week we had interviews with our mission president so our P-day was moved.  So that is why it is so late that I am writing.  This week was good.  We definitely were working much more this week than some of the others and we plan to continue doing that.  Yesterday for example we knocked doors for the whole day because we stopped visiting almost all of our investigators.  I think in a lot of places it is the people who say they don't want to talk to the missionaries, but in Brazil a lot of the time we have to make the decision to stop visiting the person.  This may seem a bit unloving but there are a lot of people who will let you visit them and talk to them about God and the scriptures until the end of time, but they will never go to church.  A lot of them don't even read what you ask them too, so in the end you have to stop visiting them because you are using the time you could be visiting someone who wants to do something rather than visiting someone who doesn't. Therefore, we looked for new people. In the whole day knocking doors we were able to teach a good number of people.  I am quite satisfied with how things went. We are still trying to be smarter though because there is always room to do that.
Last week we also went to the shoe mall in Franca.  It is a mall completely of shoes.  It wasn't really that interesting but we decided that we would go there at least to take pictures of the tourist attraction.

Other than that, we crossed a bridge that doesn't seem very secure but I think it is and it saves time walking.  I will include a picture.  It was quite fun. 

I hope you all have a good week!  I love you all! 

Elder Russell

Monday, February 9, 2015

It Was A Wet Week!

So it has been raining a lot and Elder Mendes and I seem to have the worst luck with rain.  When we are in people's houses, it is not raining.  When we are in the street, it is.  We have gotten quite wet this week, several times.  But this is all good because it is supposed to be raining this time of year in Franca and things get really messy when it doesn't rain.  A semi-tropical region, where I am, is very dependent on the rain. 
To tell you the truth this was one of our worst weeks in quite a while in terms of how many lessons we taught.  That was because we turned into pseudo-private investigators this week.  We have been teaching a girl named Karollayne who has wanted to be baptized for a very long time but because she is only 14, her parents have to sign a form giving her permission.  But here is the catch, she doesn't live with her parents.  She lives with her Great Grandmother who is not her legal guardian so she couldn't sign for her.  Her Mom lives on the other side of the city, out of our area, and we didn't even know if she had legal guardianship anymore.  And Her Dad was a bit difficult to find.  So basically, we spent two to three hours every day this week trying to get this form signed. There were a lot of miracles that happened and in the end, Friday night, her Dad was found and he was convinced to sign and she was baptized on Saturday.  It is really awesome to see her faith.  Her family is not really in favor of her being baptized.  Actually, opinion varied greatly between the different relatives.  Yet in the end she did what she knew was right.  I am really grateful to have gotten to see this miracle happen.
I love you all!  Have a good week!

Elder Russell

Monday, February 2, 2015

School is Starting Again

Out with the cows

So school is starting in Brazil again.  But it works a bit different here than it does in the U.S.  Usually, school is only like three or four hours.  Kids go to school in the morning, or in the afternoon, or at night.  So it is really quite different.  However, now the kids will stop flying kites in the streets. (Kite-flying is very popular in Brazil amongst kids, and lots of adults as well.)  And kids will, in general, be a lot less present from now on.  
The week went well for us.  This week we are going to work even harder though. That is always nice. It is better to just work harder I think.  
In other news, we have begun to use some trails lately because they are a lot faster to get from one bairro (neighborhood) to another sometimes.  I included a picture with cows.  I don't think I have ever walked through a cow pasture before and when you have to go everywhere in a white shirt it makes every nature adventure just a bit more risky.  That is always fun.  We really weren't expecting the cows to be there because they had never been there before, but it seems like the cows weren't expecting us either because a lot of them looked at us rather startled.  The picture is a bit strange but whatever, I'm sending it anyway.
The week was a good one.  I love you all!

Elder Russell