Monday, December 27, 2010

The Holiday Rush continues.......week 23

Happy New Year

Dear Wonderful Family,

I don´t have much time today because we are running around crazy. I agree with Elder Russell, Oregon is one of God´s favorite places. Mom, you pictures look amazing. That class you are taking has really shown some fruits. Keep it up!

We had our baptisms. Amazing. I was a little bit sick but to be a part of the conversion process of Alfredo was worth absolutely everything. Family, I hope that everything goes well with you all and send my love to all the family. Don´t forget to thank Sister Nay for the emails of Alan as well as the comments of Brother Marks.

Merry Christmas as well as a Happy New Year!

Elder Russell

Saturday, December 25, 2010

A White Christmas

The best Christmas presents I ever received!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Preparing for a White Christmas.......week 22

Obedience because we love God

My dear family,

First things first, I received the first of my packages. Thank you so much. Elder Campos replaced the name tag of Elder Arreola but all is well. Also, Elder Campos told me that we are able to use Skype. I plan on calling you through Skype 2:00 my time or 12:00 your time. If I cannot use Skype then we are going to go the the church and use the phone there. We are just going to call from here because it is really cheap. Thus, you don´t need to worry about buying a card or anything like that.

Well this week, crazy but really good. We have really done a lot to expand the work here in Amilcingo. We have soccer nights that we are inviting a bunch of people to play, we are beginning to teach English classes at the church, and we are trying to organize a soccer tournament for Amilcingo. It’s been really fun as well as really amazing. I still have so much to learn and Elder Campos has been an amazing help. We have worked really hard this week and we are preparing for a White Christmas this Saturday. We have a lot to do in the next few days to complete this goal but we are working to have 5 baptisms this Christmas. We cannot wait.

I would like to share something from this last week that really struck me. It’s something that Elder Campos taught me. It’s about how we need to obey the commandments of God not out of a sense of righteousness but rather for a love of God. Two people may keep the same commandment however one would be quick to judge while the other would be filled with mercy. There is a grand difference between the two. It is something that I am striving to improve in my life.

Well, I will most likely call to finalize everything in the next few days so expect a call. I pray that all is going well with everything and enjoy the holidays!

Elder Russell

Friday, December 17, 2010

A Christmas gift

President Alan Spannaus and Hermana Spannaus and 2 daughters

Querida Familia:

Les estamos enviando una foto de su querido misionero/a durante nuestras conferencias de navidad en donde tuvimos una experiencia espiritual maravillosa. Felicidades para todos y que en esta hermosa época del año podamos acercarnos al Salvador con todo nuestro corazón y servirlo hasta el fin.

Con amor,

Presidente y Hermana Spannaus

Misión México Cuernavaca

Dear Family:

We are sending to you a picture of your beloved missionary during our Christmas conference where we have had a wonderful spiritual experience. Best wishes for all during this Christmas Season, hoping to be closer to our Savior with all our heart and to serve Him until the end.

With love,

President & Sister Spannaus

Mexico Cuernavaca Mission

Monday, December 13, 2010

Saying farewell to Elder Arreola....Welcoming Elder Campos.......week 21

Craziness in Amilcingo

My dear family,

I hope all is going well with everyone. I only have a little bit of time to write today as we are in the middle of changes. Elder Arreola left for Cuernavaca today and I am receiving my new companion named Elder Campos. We are going to be running around crazy today and this week. I hope to hear from you all but I’m not sure what will be my timing. A brief side note, I am going to set up plans to send a preliminary call. I believe we are going to find a phone which I will send the number to you in which you will be able to call. Calls to Mexico are cheap but I am going to see what’s going to happen. If nothing else, there are phone booths that cost a think a peso a minute. I'll let you know.

Well this week was crazy. We were running around crazy to interview people for baptisms as well as prepare for a missionary concert that we put on. We had a missionary program with a band and missionaries singing. We have a bunch of activities this week as well. We have a missionary devotional as well as a ward party this Friday. We are working really hard with the members to try a bit of their faith to invite others to hear of the Gospel. Already it has wrought fruit.

Personally, I have been extremely impacted by the significance of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I have realized in a much deeper sense how reliant I am upon this act which was performed so long ago. For me, I have felt so grateful as well as dependant upon this act. I have realized that when trials come, we must turn to the Savior. There are so many people who resort to so many different things to support themselves in their trials but there are few who truly resort to the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the Atonement the central part. I have felt in large degree my personal inadequacies. I have felt that I cannot act nor be who I need to be without the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is everything to me. With so many opinions of people about what is most important in this world, I find my solace within the Gospel or good news of Jesus Christ. It is my faith, my hope, and my all. I do not regret it nor will I excuse it. It is the way to salvation. I know it and it is my privilege to share what I have come to know.

Elder Sean Russell

The streets of Amilcingo

Monday, December 6, 2010

I am not a Missionary but rather a "Called Disciple of Jesus Christ".......week 20

Dear Amazing Family,

Wow, congratulations to Joy and Josh as well as with the rest of the family. Everyone is really busy and sounds like they are doing really well. I don't have a lot of time to write but continue doing well family!

We are working with a bunch of people right now, particularly with families. We are working very hard to have a very white Christmas. Elder Arreola and I are hoping that we can avoid one more transfer as we have a lot of people that we can still help here. I will let you know more as things progress. We are preparing for a Christmas program this Saturday that I might be jamming out with some other Elders. Elder Arreola and I are thinking about doing some Caroling/ jamming in the streets this week. We are going to see how it goes!

Today we went to Tepozteco, a city about 30 minutes from Amilcingo to see some pyramids. I don´t think I have seen a city more beautiful than this one. We climbed a big mountain to get to them and I decided that it was about time to take my ¨Repentance¨ photo. We saw this sign that was written in Nahuatl. So cool! We also saw some vines that we had to climb. To say the least, I was thinking a bit about Boston Dr. Russell. The rest are a few of the pictures of the city. Hope you enjoy!

This week was an amazing week. I learned a great lesson this week. I learned in very plain terms that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is everything to me. There is nothing more important nor so applicable than the Gospel applied within the home. I realized that without the Gospel as taught by the prophets, I could not be happy. I realized that I cannot do anything without Jesus Christ. Without His Atonement, I am nothing. There is no other way towards happiness nor salvation except through the Gospel of Jesus Christ with His Atonement as the core of everything. Things changed dramatically this week. I am not a Missionary but rather a called disciple of Jesus Christ. The latter has a much more personal meaning to me.

Well family, I have to run but thank you for your continued prayers and love. Thank Brother Minor and Elder Alan Christopher for their letters. May you all enjoy this wonderful time of year to commemorate the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. I know that He lives and that in and through Him we can receive all that the Father wants to give us. It is my testimony in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Elder Sean Russell

A P-day trip to TepostecatlThe Russell Repentance shot....amazing view!Elder Russell looks exhausted! Or is he joking around....
AHHHHHH.....the Sean I know.