Thank you for all of the support, letters, and love across the miles. Mom, you are right, you always have awesome experiences with airports. I am still here in Amilcingo. I avoided another round of changes. I believe that I am going to be here for another 6 weeks unless there are special changes. I am really glad because there are still many people to talk to and there is still much work to do here. Amilcingo is my testing grounds for missionary work. I have a goal that when I leave Amilcingo I will have many ways to work as a missionary and I will know better what works and what doesn´t. Today was a funny day because I saw many Elders leave as well as others who came. It is really weird because there are many of the Elders that have the same time as me who are beginning to be trainers to the new missionaries. More than anything else, today made me think about how quickly everything has past as well as how much I still have to learn. I was a rather sobering thought. Nonetheless, I enjoyed the fact that I have another change to try some new things. But as Dad always says, you can run but you can´t hide. Hopefully I can run long enough :)
Well this week, where to begin. We had various experiences really amazing. One of which is what I learned during the week about the manner in which we should go about preaching the gospel. There is a quote by President Harold B. Lee that really struck me profoundly. He said that
“Missionary work is but home teaching to those who are not now members of the Church, and home teaching is nothing more or less than missionary work to Church members”
I have thought much about this quote and it has changed my perspective and as a result my approach to missionary work. Elder Campos and I have talked a lot with the members about how they can really share the Gospel. We have talked about how we must first love the person and we must demonstrate that love through service. And how do we start to love and serve our neighbor? Its rather simple, think of what responsibilities we have as home teachers and as visiting teachers and do those things for those who are not members of the church. The way which has struck me really hard in which we should start this process of loving and serving our neighbors is one of the gifts most precious of our Heavenly Father, our families and our homes. A family that lives the Gospel of Jesus Christ in their home and invites others to participate in that immense joy becomes not only a home full of love but a source and a light for missionary work. How hard is it to invite a family to have dinner within the walls of your home? When these people enter into your home, are your walls full of pictures of your family and of the Gospel? Can they feel something different? Is this family invited to pray within the home? It is within the walls of our homes that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is applied, taught, and shared. How can we think that the Gospel is something that we discover? It is something that is caught.
I know that the Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world. He died so that our families could pertain after this life. When we lose ourselves in the service of others, it is then that we truly find ourselves. My invitation to you my wonderful family is to work side by side with the Lord. I am here because you have done so. I would like to invite you to invite a family friend who is not a member of the church to have dinner with you. Allow the world to feel what has formed who I am. Let those who desperately need the Gospel to find the consolation that they need as they kneel in prayer with my dear family.
I know this is His work. I am His servant and there is nothing that brings me more joy. Until next week family, take care. Remember who you are and what we have. And that we have, it grows as we share it. It is my prayer that we can all do it better.
Elder Sean Russell