Monday, July 25, 2011

"Be something and then teach".......week 52

My dear family,

Congratulations mom on being called in the Primary. There is no other calling better than the Primary. It is good to hear that the work of the Lord is going forth at home as well as abroad. I would like to make some comments about how it is going abroad.

This week my companion came down sick with the flu. We were locked up for a few days. As such we had a lot of time to talk, pray, and seek the Spirit as to what we can do to be better missionaries and leaders here in Acapulco. We had interviews with President Spannaus and he gave us a very clear direction as to how we should help the missionaries. I learn each and every day here in the mission things that change the course of my life. I don't remember if I mentioned this to you but I love how Elder Campos described the mission. He said that his Stake President in his interview said that his mission was to baptize and in the process, the Lord is going to teach you everything that you lack. I am a living witness of that. I recognize that habits of years are changed in instants as they are put before the altar of God through humble prayer. I feel of the divine guidance of a loving Heavenly Father as He speaks of eternal potential. I also feel the deception of the adversary who is ever so subtle to say that we cannot.

In this week of reflection, study, and prayer, the Lord has taken habits and utterly changed them. He has taken someone imperfect and thrust him in the fire to see the latter brilliance of his journey. I have reflected about my mission so far. If I am not mistaken, I am already half way. I must tell you the truth, I made me a little bit unsettled. I offered many silent prayers as if to say ´no, I cant go back.´ As I thought about this I came across a quote from President Monson. It reads ´My dear brothers and sisters, no do fear. Be of good cheer. The future is as bright as your faith.´ In this moment the Lord taught me a very powerful lesson. I felt a very strong comfort come over me. There is no fear. There is only faith. The degree of my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is what will ultimately give me the light which I desire. Do not fear.

In talking with President Spannaus he taught me another very powerful lesson. I asked him what I could do to help the missionaries in our Zone. He said, "Elder Russell, worry yourself for your companion and your area. Be something and then teach." I felt humbled and determined. Elder Russell, your primary goal is be the missionary that you must be for the other missionaries. After, and only afterwards, can you teach them. But be something first. It was a lesson of great humility. I have repented and I am determined to achieve what the Lord wants me to achieve.

I would like to share another experience which was powerful for me. We went to visit the sisters of the Zone to speak a bit with them. They have felt very uncomfortable in their area as they feel that Satan has a very strong hold on the people, their home, and even on the sisters. We were informed that we should go talked to them and bless them as well as their house. We spoke to them and we shared a message with them. As it says in Ephesians 6:12 that we do not have a fight against flesh and blood rather spiritual forces. It is true. After giving a blessing to both the sisters, we shared our message. They felt better and we knelt down in prayer to bless their area. They live in a rather rough part of Acapulco and we felt it appropriate to bless their area. As we knelt, I offered a prayer to my Father in Heaven to bless and protect this area and that the preaching of the Gospel would be done with power and authority. As I prayed I felt the Spirit guide my words and as Christ describes it when He healed the woman with the issue of blood, He says that he felt virtue, or power, leave Him. I felt the same as we blessed this area. I felt power leave me. I knew that the Sisters were going to be fine and the work of God would spring forth in this place.

I know that this is the true Church of Jesus Christ. I know that the Lord loves all of His children and offers them His Gospel. Let us appreciate and live it. As it is states in Romans 1:16 "I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as it is the power of God unto salvation." It is my prayer in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Elder Russell