Tuesday, August 17, 2010

August 17, 2010 MTC .........week 4

Two peas in a pod....Two cousins in the MTC at the same time....a tender mercy!

In the MTC with my cousin Sister Aubree Corbin. She is waiting to go to the Sao Paulo, Brazil MTC. She will serve in the Brazil Belo Horizonte mission. Good Luck Aubree. See you in 2 years.

Dear Family,
It's good to know that the family is still staying as busy as ever. Congratulations on the new calling mom and hopefully you not killing yourself helping out Joy. Sounds like everyone is just plugging along right now. Always good to know that my family is always working :)

To answer your questions first off, things have been great. I have been taking quite a few pictures but I am not able to upload them until I get out into the field. I am thinking about making some hard copies to be precautious but I'll let you know. To go down the list, I have seen Elder Gschwend, the Wrights, a bunch of Elders from school such as Elder Rouse and Elder Arnold (other executive secretary), and some others. Don't worry, I have pictures or I am in the process of getting pictures. Oh and a sweet story that I failed to mention earlier. I found myself going to my sacrament meeting the first week or so and I thought I recognized someone in my Zone. Long story short, I approached this Elder and lo and behold, heading to Spain was Elder Fagerston. Yeah, not like that was 10 years in the making. It was amazing to talk to him again and swap stories. It really is wonderful to be able to be here and reacquaint with so many people.

So this week, where to start. It is amazing how much the Lord teaches you and how much you find yourself growing within such a short amount of time. I would like to share a story relative to how much I feel this mission is something much much more than I really understand right now.

I was sitting in one of my classes and I our teacher was talking about experiences from her mission. It was her last day teaching us so she gave us her parting words and advice. It was a very powerful meeting. I was taught something very powerful during that meeting. I realized that so much of this work has to do with a love for the people you serve. I was moved by her remarks and they caused me to reflect deeply upon my feelings upon the matter. Nonetheless, after that meeting and having the opportunity to speak the Mexican people that are here, I know without a single doubt in my mind that these people are those who I am to serve. Even at this point in time, I really can't describe who these people mean to me. I have wanted all my life to be able to serve in this capacity and I know that I have the tremendous opportunity to serve this choice people. I am constantly moved by the stories, struggles, testimonies, and faith of these people. For instance, a dear friend of mine named Elder Nunez is from Guerrero Mexico and is heading to Chicago. He leaves this Friday and is super excited to go. I had an amazing conversation with him about why I love the area where he has lived. He mentioned the beautiful scenery of the towns within Morales and of the coasts of Acapulco expecting that this was my motivation to serve there. He told me of stories of different missionaries he saw within his mission and how there hasn't been any missionaries within his ward for quite some time. After talking to him, I realized something really important about why I am going where I am going. I am going to serve in this mission for no other reason than for the love I have for my God, my family, and these people. I realized that this is what will really make the difference in the lives of those I will teach. I am so grateful for the opportunity to do so. I was able to talk to him and he is going to give me the address of his family and visit them if my area permits it. Likewise another missionary from Mexico gave me the address of his grandparents in Cautla and told me that I need to visit them. I know that this is the place where I am to go and as Visa issues are constantly being discussed and as I have the opportunity to talk to these people and read the scriptures, my love for this work and these people steadily grows. May God continue to bless you. I know this work is true and I am so immensely grateful to be part of it.

Elder Russell

Elder Joseph Fagersten from our ward in Cedar Falls, Iowa. We love the Fagersten family. He was reunited with Sean at the MTC in Provo. Who knew? I love the networking of the gospel of Jesus Christ.