It sounds like the family is doing wonderfully. I realize more and more how the Lord is in charge of His children. He knows who they are and what they need. I am eternally grateful to God that He gave me my family so that I could live up to the potential that the Lord has for me. Thank you Mom and Dad. As I talk to people every day, there are constantly experiences in which I pause to myself and I say, ¨thanks Dad¨, ¨thanks Mom¨. I thoroughly enjoyed your letters this week. Thank you. You are my greatest joys. As good ole´ Abraham Lincoln ¨All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother (and father)¨. How blessed I am to have you all.
The work is amazing. Its really funny right now. We are working like crazy and bringing about a lot of fruits. I am achieving results that I have not had in my mission. But all of these results have gotten close to baptism but they have not reached it as of yet. But as I have learned in my mission, before you can stop to think that you have done a good job, the Lord lets you know that you still have a lot to learn. Right now, I feel that the Lord is going to teach us a bit more and with His help, we are going to become super baptizing machines! I love missionary work because it is a mirror of oneself. Missionary work is so great because everything is one´s fault :) Elder Ballard has said it this way on one occasion. ¨There are two places where we can never say that we have done everything we can, they are in the home and in the Church.¨ If I achieve a good outcome, you have to have a great one. If you have a great one, an excellent. If excellent, extraordinary. And in this way strive for perfection. I absolutely love missionary work and this time that I have here. In the missionary conference that we had with Elder Ballard a few weeks back he told us that there is no other place where it would be more exciting to be today than in the mission field. I am a witness of that.
To sum it up, I am having the time of my life. This past week with Elder Smith, I have felt that the line by line and precept upon precept are starting to make an image of what I should do.
This week I was really impacted by I Nephi 18:1. He´s building the boat and he says something along the lines that the Lord from time to time showed Him the way in which He should work. I renewed my testimony of the Book of Mormon with this scripture this week and I give my testimony that it is true. When the Lord sees it pertinent, we are blessed. It is true.
Oh, I want to share a funny story with you from this past week. We had an appointment with a family that we were preparing to baptize this past week. They didn't show up. I felt that their Grandma had said something incorrect about the Church and they felt reluctant to hear from us. So we came to their house. And you want to know that happened? It was the first time in my mission that someone really chased us out of their house. It followed something like this:
Elder Russell-¨Good morning, how are you¨
Grandmother-¨Get away from my house, no one is home.¨
Elder Russell-¨It's OK ma am, I am going to speak to your daughter¨
(talking the daughter)
Elder Russell-¨So what have you thought about your baptism this Saturday? You didn't want to go to the appointment, right?¨
Daughter-¨It's that I don't know if its would be a good idea¨
Elder Russell-¨It's OK, well, we want you to follow the example of Jesus Christ. That's really all that it comes down to.¨
Grandma - ¨Tell them that your busy¨
Daughter-¨Elders, I´m a bit busy right now¨
Elder Russell-¨It's OK, can we talk with you and your family in the evening?¨
Daughter-¨Sounds good, we can .....¨
Grandma - ¨You stupid missionary, she said that we are busy, get out of here.¨
Elder Russell-¨I'm sorry ma am, I imagine that they have commented to you about their baptism. Could we come by and explain more about that to you?¨
(Now comes the kids of this family to greet us with smiles)
Grandma -¨Now I am mad, get out of my house. You do everything wrong.¨
Elder Russell-¨May we help you with the laundry, we would really like to speak to you without any hard feelings¨
Grandma - ¨WE ARE BUSY AND GET AWAY FROM HERE!¨
Elder Russell-¨OK ma' am, we are going to leave. It was a pleasure in meeting you. ¡Hasta Luego!¨
I don't know if I did it justice or not but this Grandma was serious business. I left and I began to laugh. I thought to myself ¨the church is so true. Why else would there be crazy grandmas who want to kill us?¨
May we find joy in our service for the Master. It is an inexplicable that comes from giving one´s heart to God. May we do so even more in our lives. It is my prayer in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.