Monday, February 28, 2011

Working hard, learning a ton......week 31

Dear wonderful family,
Wow, enjoy spending time in Hawaii. Sounds like you are having a great time. I only have literally a few moments to write so it comes short and to the point. Working hard, learning a ton, and seeing the Lords hand in ourselves and in the work here. This is the last week of changes and I feel like I am going to leave beautiful Amilcingo the following week. I am going to give it everything I got and all the projects and things that I have wanted to do here I am going to do my best to put into practice. Amilcingo is an extremely sacred place for me. What I have learned in the service of my God here has changed everything for me. When my worry is no longer me but what God wants me to do and be is when He blesses me and this work. If you don't hear from me in the following week is most likely because I have been transferred (and I feel it is going to be in a place very warm so that I can enjoy what it really means to have a Mexican summer :) ) I love you family and take care. Send my best wishes to everyone!

Elder Russell

Monday, February 21, 2011

Being Shaped by the Hand of the Lord....... week 30

My dear family,

In the same way, I am awed that we have already passed by another week. It is absolutely amazing how the time flies in the service of the Lord. Tell Joy and Josh that they have my permission to name him Clayton Neff. :) Tell Grant congratulations for his scholarship.

Well where do I begin this week? What do I say about being in the service of God 24/7? What do I say about every moment and every day an experience and a learning about who the Lord expects me to be as a missionary and as a servant all of my life? To say it simply, there is absolutely nothing so amazing in the world! As usual, I am running short on time but know that Elder Russell is being shaped very profoundly in the hands of the Lord. And he absolutely loves it! Everyday seems like the most sacred experience of my life. I look at where I am right now and I realize very strongly that the Lord has molded and shaped me into a better servant of Him. I have no doubt in my mind that He lives. He leads and guides His church. He willing and capable to change us. We just have to learn to let Him. I am not the same Elder Russell I was 6 months ago nor the same I was last week. I came to this earth to progress and become more like my Savior Jesus Christ. In this personal journey, I have the great privilege to help others to commence their own. Tell me if there is anything more worth my time in the world? Absolutely not!

Family, know of my constant prayers in your behalf. Rely upon the Lord. Give Him your will and He will make you into more than you had even previously aspired to be. As a living witness of the reality of Jesus Christ, I know that He has all power to change us. Let Him. When we do so, it is then that we truly begin to understand who we are and why we are here. Never forget it. Do whatever is necessary to allow Him to change your life. As you do so, you will find the enrichment and pure joy that you seek. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Elder Russell

Monday, February 14, 2011

I know that the Lord will always guide and direct us as we obey what He asks......week 29

A Day of Love...Happy Valentine's Day...from mom

My Dear Sweet Family,

Once again I find myself here in writing to you. It is so fascinating to me how quickly things pass here. There is hardly any time. Sounds like the family is really working hard and things are starting to get really busy. Like the people here always say ¨eche un buen de ganas¨ (like ¨put your best foot forward). Know that the Lord will always guide and direct us as we obey what He asks. I know that He has and does continue to bless my family. No hay duda!

This week has been one of the most significant weeks of my mission to date (wow, what a way to start a letter Elder Russell). It has to do with one of the topics that Elder Grant Russell likes to reference. It is about becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ. I have thought a lot about how much the missionary work depends upon the conversion and the discipleship of the missionaries who work within it. The Lord, through various means, has taught me what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. This week was one of such occasions. This weekend an Elder McKay came to Amilcingo to work with me. When he came, we had various plans about what we were going to do in the day. We were heading for an appointment when we received a phone call that we should go visit a certain member in the ward. We spoke with her and while we were talking to this Sister, I felt that we should visit another family less active in the ward. After finishing the visit with this Sister, we left and I commented to Elder Mckay that I feel that we should visit this family. We changed our plans and we headed off for this family. We entered and we began to speak to the family. In this moment the family was passing for very difficult trials. The Father doesn´t have work, the Mother has to work too much, the son doesn´t want to go on a mission and the brother of the Mother just passed away. We came and began to speak to this family about service in the family and why we have afflictions in our lives. I was reading a talk that Hna Spannaus gave me and as I was reading the talk, there were various points that really struck me. As I read the talk, I felt that I had to write this quotes down for the chance to share them with somebody. I found myself sharing one of these quotes within three different occasions. This family had very poignant concerns and doubts about how some members could compose themselves in the church. To this family and to everyone who thinks about why we have to pass through trails, I shared this quote from a prior Mission President. Translating from Spanish...

¨Every challenge that comes to us, everything hard that we confront, every bad thing that happens to us, even if it is unjust; every conflict, every sadness, tragedy, every frustration and broken heart, every temptation and every opposition with which becomes our turn to fight happens with one solo purpose: to give us the opportunity to respond applying in our lives the teachings of Jesus. As we do so, we going to appear more like Him.¨

It is so true. I know that we live so that we can change so that we can become more and more like Him. The Spirit filled this family with understanding and comfort. In this occasion, Elder Mckay and I knew without doubt that we we sent to this home. As we give our hearts to God, we become his servants. When we have turned our hearts to God, we become His disciples. It is then and only then that we begin to really bring about His work. And His work is the salvation of the children of men.

Let us commit ourselves to do the best that we can so that we can become the disciples that the Lord desires that we would be. It is my prayer in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Elder Sean Russell

Monday, February 7, 2011

Don´t worry about Elder Russell, he is happier than ever!....week 28

Dear Family,

I have only a few moments to write so I will have to make it short. Wow, sounds like the family is starting to enter the craziness of the year. Always busy. I love it.

Real quick, this week was crazy. I couldn´t believe it. Crazy as ever. We are working really hard and trying to implement different projects here in Amilcingo. Something that I love is that there never is a “I´ve done too much” in two places, our families and in the church. It’s beautiful. The missionary work is the best work in the world. I love it. We had a devotional Sunday night which we gave a lesson about family home evening and the power of the example of the family in the missionary work. So awesome.

Well, I got to run but I hope and pray that everything continues being great.

Don´t worry about Elder Russell, he is happier than ever. And yes, I am the jealously of the ward and the missionaries with my tie. It really makes me smile. I love you family and I send you my best wishes.

Elder Sean Russell