Tuesday, August 24, 2010

August 24, 2010 MTC week 5

Dear Family,
Thank you so much for your letter. As I love to say, good to know that my family is always busy serving and working hard. Good qualities! I was able to see Sister Corbin and talk to her for a bit. There have been quite a few more missionaries from school that have rolled in and more presumably will be coming in the next few weeks. Real quick before I forget, I will be sending some hard copy pictures that Elder Egan took and I'll be sending them in the next week or so. And I was also wondering if I could get Grant's mailing address as I don't have a lot of time to email each week but I could get a hard letter off to him. If you could get that to me that would be great.

So, updates for this week. Well, amazing to start off. One thing that I am realizing more and more each day is that the Lord is in charge of His work. As I am called to represent Him and declare His gospel, He takes little persuasion to start molding and adjusting His missionaries. Each lesson, devotional, personal study, song, companionship study, person I meet, etc. is a testament to me that He knows exactly where I am and exactly where I am going. Elder Egan and I have had some wonderful conversations about how much the Lord is guiding and directing our efforts and studies.

I have realized being here that there is so much to do and improve on. Particularly, I have really tried to improve my ability to teach and resolve doubts. Our companionship taught our first Spanish only lesson the other day and it was great. We felt great about it. We of course have some improvements to make but having completely changed our approach on teaching as well as trying to speak in Spanish, we all felt pretty good about it. I am loving it!
What else. Well, the language has been coming on really well. The funny thing is that your son is a nerd. There is no doubt about it. I believe I have bought close to 1000 notecards as of yet and I believe I am on the 500's right now. That's not stated to say that I actually know anything but if you thought a college student with a huge backpack, glasses, a laptop case, and books was bad, imagine a missionary with his glasses, hundreds of notecards, pens in the pocket, planners, highlighters, scriptures, a backpack and happier than ever to be doing so. So yes, being a missionary is the coolest thing ever and I love it so much.

I have been immensely impacted by different lessons and studies about teaching, doubts, commitments, goals, and the Spirit. What has struck me so powerfully is how everything in missionary work is based upon the Spirit and faith. I have had so many amazing study sessions which started with inspiration, were studied in inspiration, and concluded in inspiration. I have been realizing more and more how every moment of our lives is an opportunity to exercise faith. Each morning I arise and do my best to seek inspiration as to what I am to do today. Each study and each class is started and concluded with a prayer. So of the most powerful lessons and most significant study sessions which have had which have drawn me closer to my Savior happened when I wrote a small impression down during the day. It is absolutely wonderful. I know that when I listen better, He talks more.

It is so wonderful to be part of this work. I am so blessed to be part of it. May the Lord continue to bless you as you continue to have faith in Him. I love you all and thank you for your prayers and your examples in my life.

Elder Russell

PS tell the siblings that latinos are the best. I have never said "guapo" to cooler people in my life! :)