Tuesday, September 21, 2010

September 21, 2010 MTC....... week 9

Dear my wonderful family,
I hope that everything is absolutely wonderful. I want to thank you so much for the package, I received it yesterday. I really am grateful for the fact that I have such a supportive family. Also, thank you for your notes on Elder Bednar's talk. They were awesome and helped out a bunch. Thank you so much for everything you do.

Well family, your overly anxious son / brother is remaining in the MTC until further notice. It is really rather funny because there are only about 5 missionaries from our zone including Elder Egan and I that have permisos. None of us know what we will be doing but we have been told a few things. Right now, we tentatively have 3 options. We could form a new district with the remaining Elders and have a teacher, class, etc. Second, we could be moved to be with the upcoming advanced district on Wednesday until further notice. Lastly, we could be put in another classroom and have study / temple time every day (I bet you can guess which one is weighing the heaviest in my mind right now). None of the Elders really know neither do the teachers nor travel desk. In all reality, all of us are just loving it. We are having a great time and we will really be happy with whatever.

So family, as usual, I am constantly amazed, taught, and molded each and every day. This week was a very powerful week for me. First off, a bit crazy because the first members of our district are heading off to their temporary reassigned missions. It has been a tremendous blessing to rub shoulders with each and every one of them. Secondly, something immensely powerful struck me this week. I thought deeply about two concepts: Preach my Gospel and the Restoration of the Gospel. We were taught a lot about Preach my Gospel and what it really is. I believe it was Elder Holland who said that "if we didn't feel that we wanted to make a few changes to it, it would be cannonized in the standard works." We were told of all the revisions and work that the apostles and others put into Preach my Gospel. As we are not capable of being instructed directly from the Twelve Apostles and the First Presidency like as in the days of the Language Training Mission, Preach my Gospel is the personal training for each missionary from the Brethren. So amazing! I made a goal to use every part of it and even thus far I have seen how inspired this book really is. Every portion of it is inspired. My goal was to become a PMG missionary and I am loving the fact that I am working towards that. Second, was that I wanted to be a Restored Gospel missionary as well. I realized in very poignant moments how extremely unique and absolutely vital the Restored Gospel is. It is everything. We teach, preach, and speak of Christ as He is the means of our Salvation. Yet, without the Restoration of the Gospel with the Priesthood authority, the keys, the Book of Mormon, etc., we could not truly come to Him. I believe it was Elder Ballard who made a comment that without the Restored Gospel, we cannot have full access to the Atonement. Its amazing no?

Thus this week has strengthened me and helped me realize that my faith is very simple. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. It was through him that we have the Book of Mormon which has the fulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ by which we can come to know of God and His plan of us. Simple, yet absolutely essential. It is this message that I cannot wait to share with the people of Mexico.

It is my testimony that He lives. I know that Christ is the head of this Church and leads and guides the affairs of the church for the salvation of His children through prophets. I know that Thomas S Monson is the Lord's annointed prophet. I know it to be true, and of how great importance to share it with the world.
I know these things are true. I love you family and may we always look to the Restored Gospel as the foundations of our faith.

Elder Russell