Well, the business first. I got your package and THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! I was super excited. You know when you are a missionary when you get excited about receiving a toothbrush. Elder Josh Gosnell came with his grandpa, dad, and cousin to visit the mission. It was great to see him with his family at church. He served his mission very honorably. The directive for the phone call is that we have 45 minutes and we can use webcam. I am going to see if we can go with a member and call you from their house. I will call you via Oovoo Sunday at 8:00 my time or 6:00 your time. Oh and tell Elder Christopher that he is officially dead :)
Well,. I got a lot of talking to do. The first photo is of an activity that Elder Gosnell and I put together with the members, investigators and converts. We played a bunch of games.
My team got to the finals in tug of war but the ward secretary and his team beat us out. So close!!
The other photo is of Elizabeth and her baptism a week ago. She and her sister are so cool. They love the gospel. We are working with her mom, dad, and brother so they can join them as well.
The other photo is when we received the package. I was so excited. Elder Egan got jealous that I got a toothbrush, toothpaste, and whitening. I laughed pretty hard. We are such missionaries :)
The other was a baptism of Delia. A really cool sister in the ward told us that she knew somebody who had already received the lessons but wasn't baptized. She told us that her friend wanted to be baptized now. We showed up, interviewed her, and she was ready to go. A true Eunic. To my surprise it was Delia. I had tried to baptize her 4 months earlier. She had prayed last week and knew that she should be baptized. Even with all of the opposition from her family she took the decision. I am so proud of her. The teenager next to her is a young man who is the only member in his family who just received his mission call. He is going to Guadalajara. He is going nuts.
The last pictures are of a man Hector. The missionaries had passed by his house trying to get him baptized for years. His brother in law told us that he wanted to be baptized. We showed up and asked him what had made the difference. He said that his daughter came up to him one day and asked him, ¨Daddy, are you going to baptized me when I turn 8?¨ The short story, the daughter won. He had a complete change of heart and has already placed the goal to baptize his daughter in the following February and be sealed in the temple a year from now. The truth, a great weekend.
This past week we had a Conference of Leaders in Cuernavaca. It was so special to see the President Spannaus, his wife, and almost all of Elders whom I have a close relationship. It was President´s last training of leaders. I love President Spannaus. He has made a tremendous impact in my life. We are going to have a Zone Conference the 16 of May. I still have another chance to talk to him and enjoy of his counsel.
The past few weeks have been filled with emotion. I have a goal to do more work in these last 3 month than all the work I have done up to this point. I loved the comments of Elder Egan when we were talking about church yesterday. He mentioned, ¨Elder Russell, I have never seen a ward more involved in missionary work than this ward.¨ I told him that he was to thank the recent work of Elder Gosnell and I. To truly see the hand of the Lord in the lives of the people is the greatest joy that I have. To have leaders and companions who have led me to know and do what the Lord expects of me has been a tremendous privilege and love. As President says, when you know how to be a missionary, you finish. I feel a bit like that right now.
Nonetheless family, I am excellent. I am happier than ever. I feel that I know what the Lord expects of me. I just have to do it. May we bring the power of Godliness in our lives and in the lives of other through the making and keeping covenants. Without the making and keeping of ordinances and covenants, the glory of God cannot be manifest. But when it is done, God begins to bring about miracles in His vineyard. Of that I so testify in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.