Tell Landon happy birthday for me. Wow, three years old already. That flew by. Glad to hear that things are becoming somewhat consistent. Sounds like you have been running nonstop for the past couple of weeks. As usual, questions first before I forget. First, I fasted for Troy as you asked and feel free to relay that as you see fit. I have 2 sandisks and I have only been using one. I have had quite a few friends of mine roll in the past few weeks. For instance, Elder Beal is not only here but he lives like 100 feet away from me. It has been rather fun. I haven't used any of my 100 dollars that I had for emergency. It is good to go but I have spent a little bit of money on the debit card for extra language materials. I would rather have more language books than food so I have spend a bit on it. Hopefully that was everything!
Alright, where to start. So first off this past week has been filled with gratitude. Elder Egan and I were released from our callings as Zone Leaders on Sunday. We were expecting at a week or more until we would be released but we were informed on Sunday. It came with mixed feelings. It was a bit difficult to have it happen as I have grown to love each member of our Zone. I felt so priviledged to be able to help and hear the testimonies of the Lord's army. Our Zone is the largest of all the zones in the MTC and I had the great opportunity to rub shoulders with amazing missionaries and help others in small ways. During our Sacrament Meeting, as I sat looking at each of the missionaries, I had a small impression tell me that "Elder Russell, this is only the beginning." I sat reflecting that day and feeling so grateful for the opportunity to serve them and the amazing opportunity to serve the people of Mexico.
So this week has been filled with more time to study which has been received with much delight. I have enjoyed every moment to dive into the scriptures and attend the temple. Each and every time, I learn something new. I feel each and every time that the Lord leans over me and says "that will make a difference for one, this another." It is a wonderful way to study knowing that it has everything to do with others. What a way to live!
So the language is coming along very well. I feel that my time here will be the perfect amount to learn what I can. It is interesting to learn a language when you are not speaking with natives. Graciously, I have a teachers and others to talk to but nonetheless, there is some that I am not going get until I arrive in Mexico. But as I continue with it, I really love the Mexican people. They are hilarious. Their outlooks and faith are amazing. I can't wait to talk to them each and every day.
One thing that has really struck me this week is the principle of gratitude. I have noticed strongly this week how much I truly am blessed. I see so that as I am grateful, the Spirit comes much easier, I learn much more and much faster, companionships work easier and better, and each and every day is the greatest day of my life. I have never been so happy to wake up each morning (its ok mom, give it some time to sink in).
Well family, I need to run. Give my best wishes and love to all. Know that I keep you in my prayers and that the Lord is ever watchful of you. Puede el Senor bendecirles con feliz todo sus dias!