Saturday, May 23, 2015


So I think I forgot to say that even though I am still working in the mission office I got moved to another area to work at night.  This one has a favela.  We don't actually work there though.  There is plenty of area that is a little better suited to the night work we do. 
Today for P-day we went to the Shopping Iguatemi.  For those of you who don't know, Iguatemi is a string of malls in Brasil that is absurdly luxurious.  We really just went to see what it was like, but it is situated in the rich part of Ribeirão Preto.  Ribeirão Preto is the city with the most rich people and the most poor people that I have seen in Brazil (which is, granted, a very limited array).  The difference between the rich and the poor here is really quite shocking.  It makes the protests on wall street and all the talk about the one percent just look stupid.  Many families here live on six or seven hundred reals a month (that ss about $200-250).  Obviously the poverty isn't comparable with some other places, I mean this isn't Tanzania but the standard of living for these people is a lot different than what people call poor in the US.  Actually it just makes those in the US seem like whiners.
In other news I would like to talk about prayer.  I feel it works like this: God tests you; He tests you until you can't go any further, until you have to know, understand why or what or when or some other question.  Then you have two options, give up or ask.  And if you ask. he answers because at that point you are ready to hear and follow.  That is why many people never receive an answer about the Book of Mormon or what we teach. It is because they aren't ready to hear and obey.  Most people, even those who pray, don't ask for guidance.  They give thanks and ask for stuff but not guidance.  And even fewer are ready to follow what God says and aren't just asking hypocritically.  That is what we have to do.  We have to ask being willing to obey.  And He answers.  It is really awesome too, because then all that stress and anger and curiosity and lack of understanding just disappears into tranquility.  I hope we can all feel that someday or another.
I love you all!

Elder Russell

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