Saturday, October 17, 2015

Last Post?

So this might be the last email I write.  I don't know how things will be next P-day since it will be the Saturday before I am leaving and there will be a bunch of stuff for the departing missionaries so I don't know if I will have time.  It has been very hot—around 45 degrees Celsius (113 F). Today it is only 107 though.  The city of Ribeirão Preto is extremely hot.  That is really the only thing I don't like about Brazil; it’s really hot here.  
So the last thing that I have learned on my mission that I am going to share with you all is also the most important.  That is that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world.  Of all the testimonies that I have borne of Him, this I bear last of all, that he lives!  I know it and I love him.  Many people who I know say they love the Savior.  But that is not all he wants of us.  We have to take up our cross and walk with him.  That is a little bit harder than just saying that we love him.  Anyone who thinks that they can be a follower of Christ and won't have to suffer just a little, won't have to do hard things, won't have to be ridiculed and laughed at just every once in awhile, does not know where Christ walked.  How could we possibly follow him when his life was never easy and expect our lives to be easy.  I am not saying that my life, or that our lives will be anything even comparable with what the Savior had to go through, but if we want to be saved we have to know him and we will never know him if we've never gone through anything even anything like what he went through.  I am grateful for my mission.  I am grateful that God let me serve this mission.  I don't know if I would have chosen it to have happened exactly like it did, but I know it is the mission that I needed to serve—that God needed me to serve.  From what I have seen and heard and done, I know Jesus Christ lives, and I know he is my Savior. That is what is most important of everything that I learned on my mission.  
I hope you all have a great life.  I guess I am finishing this blog now.  I love you all.

Elder Russell  

Saturday, October 10, 2015

"indo embora mesmo"

Writing has become more and more of a chore but I will endure to the end. This week was nice.  I did some more traveling but not too much.  We only made a short trip to Franca.  For those of you who are wondering, yes, I did serve in that city.  It was nice to see it all probably for the last time in a long time, even if I didn't spend the day in the same ward that I served in because that ward only has sisters now, sadly. (Sad, because I don't have any chance of working there, not because of the sisters.)
One thing I learned on my mission is that sometimes you are going home so don't worry about it.  I know that sounds a bit trunky,  but  it is important to remember.  My companion and I were having a disagreement about policy and when I prayed about it, the answer I got was, "indo embora mesmo" (a common phrase on the mission, usually said in joking, which means "I’m leaving anyways").  Sometimes you shouldn't worry about things.  You can't control everything.  Don't worry about what doesn’t  matter and what is out of your hands.  That is really very important for a missionary because so much of what we do is out of our hands.  People in the end can decide to get baptized or not.  So don't worry about what you can't control and sometimes you're "indo embora mesmo." 

I love you all and you all have a great week!

Saturday, October 3, 2015


Well I hope you all are having/had a good conference weekend.  I am enjoying it so far.  This week we traveled quite a lot and slept on the bus and on the floor (without a mattress) quite a lot, so it is good to slow down a bit.  Conference weekend on the mission is a little bit like Christmas.  It is actually better than Christmas for me at least. No offense to my family and all, but you just can't beat a weekend  listening to prophets.
This week I would like to talk about something very important that I learned on my mission: patience.  Some missionaries are able to find people and they are super ready and just get baptized.  I never felt that things worked out for me that way.  There was always a long process of waiting for things to work out. Patience, of course, does not mean doing nothing.  I always had to do stuff, but patience has a lot to do with trusting in the Lord.  I had to trust that the promises that God has made to me and the things that I have felt would happen and not worry about the how.  They always worked out so far so I will just have to trust a little more.  I am sure my life will have many surprises when I get back, so I just have to trust in the Lord that everything will work out.  That is patience for me.  Doing my part and trusting that God will do his.  It is important.
I hope you all have a great week to come  I love you all!

Elder Russell