Tuesday, August 3, 2010

August 3, 2010 MTC week 2

Dear Family,

What a week! To say the least, being a missionary is the coolest thing in the whole wide world. Just putting that out there. So this week, where to start. I guess first to say that it is such a blessing to be here. We have the opportunity to listen to different speakers every Sunday and Tuesday evening. Each have been phenomenal. The language is coming along really well. It is so very helpful for me to be able to study and work knowing that this is not for me. It is such a wonderful feeling knowing that I am serving as a missionary for Jesus Christ. It sounds rather silly but each night before I go to bed I reflect on the fact that the next day I get to put the name tag back on. It is such a wonderful feeling. Today we had the opportunity to go to the temple. It was so good to be able to go. We are preparing to learn and teach the plan of salvation and it was a tremendous way to start this week off.

So interesting things real quick. My companion and I have been working hard and we are finding so much joy in the work. Every time I go to class or hear a devotional, I feel that much more of a desire to go out and teach. It is so inspiring. I don't remember if I mentioned it but our zone is so awesome. Our residence hall is filled with international people. We house the intermediate and advanced Spanish speakers. We have been able to talk to people from all around the world. We have people from Guatemala, Mexico, El Salvador, the US, Uruguay, and Spain. I'm sure that there are others too but it has been a tremendous blessing to be able to talk to them and help each other out in their respective languages. Yesterday, during a personal study time, Elder Egan and I went to make some phone calls with some people we had talked to at the referral center. As we joined with our district during lunch, we saw that they had the biggest grin on their faces. We starting eating and they told us that they had just shook hands with President Uchtdorf. They said that he was there taking pictures with two of his grandsons. Two people in our districts were practicing talking about prophets and they said their study session went something like this. "God has always called prophets and through Joseph Smith, we have a living prophet today. We have prophets today who can receive revelation and guidance for the world. Actually, there is one right there." (at which time their eyes widened, picked up their stuff, and started following him.) Nonetheless, they will be talking about it for weeks to come :)

I'm glad to hear that everyone is doing well. Good luck with the new lines at work dad, sounds like you'll be a busy man. Likewise mom, I know you are super busy. I'm pretty sure that Joy is extremely grateful right now. I got Grant's emails and pictures, very very cool. Make sure to tell Grant that I'm right here with him on this. Remind him that he is serving the Lord to God's people speaking God's language :) My companion and I have been talking to a lot of missionaries about their visas, particularly Mexican missionaries and they are having a lot of problems. Elder Okleberry from school I believe was here for 14 weeks and is serving in provo until further notice. Hopefully things work out ok. Oh, tell Grant something for me. Tell him that he better be glad "porque esta sirviendo la gente de Dios." It is truly wonderful to be here and I love you all so much. I know that this is the work of the Lord and I am so glad to be part of it. May the Lord bless you all with your endeavors and I know that He blesses us as we obey His commandments.

Elder Russell