Monday, July 9, 2012

We Felt a Taste of the Joy........week 102

My dear family,
Thank you so much for your letter.  My heart is full right now from your words and the great opportunity that I have to serve the Lord as a full time missionary.  Tell all of the young men that I am way excited to hear that they are worthy and excited to go serve the Lord.  Tell Johnny Lightheart that he is going to absolutely love his mission.  He is going to see miracles in the service of this choice people. 
Well family, my heart is full right now.  This Sunday was very special for Elder Egan and I.  When we went to church, about half of the people who were there in church were converts, investigators, less active, or inactive families with whom we have specifically worked with.  We felt a taste of that joy of which Alma speaks.  There is still a whole lot of work to do but I am so excited to keep working. 
This week we had a Mission conference in Chilpancingo where we were able to meet our new mission President, President Kusch and his wife.  They are extraordinary.  I received a deep witness that he has been called of God and that he has the keys to the direction of this mission.  His wife said something in her talk that struck me deeply.  She said, ¨Elders, you can plan your preparation but you cannot plan your future.  Actually, don´t do so.  Plan your preparation and watch as the Lord guides your future.  If I would have planned my future, it would have been much less than what the Lord has given me¨  It was exactly what I needed to hear in that moment. 
I would like to share a very special experience that I had this past week.  It was Wednesday if I remember right.  We were cooked in the sun.  It was one of those days that we all have.  That night, I prayed specifically so that the Lord could give me the strength to keep the work up.  That night a had a dream of a young man who asked me, ¨Elder Russell, when can I meet with you so you can share me your message.¨ In my dream I referred to the 21st of July and said, ¨It seems like there is not going to be enough time before I leave.¨  In that moment, with tears in his eyes he told me, ¨Elder Russell, I don´t want nor need of something physical, I need your spirit here with me.  I need to feel of your spirit.¨  In that moment, I arose to the alarm and got on my knees to talk to my Father in Heaven.  There was the perspective that I needed.  There was the response to my humble prayer.  I know that God lives and answers the prayers of His servants. 
We are preparing a few people and a family to be baptized in these following two weeks.  We had prayed to be able to baptize a family who would be sealed in the temple in one year before we came home.  God gave us the Castillo family.  We are going to have a baptism of Araceli who will be baptized this Friday and she has placed the goal with her inactive husband to be sealed in the temple in one year. 
I am full of joy for the tender mercies of the Lord.  I want you to know family that God answered my prayer this week that I made about 2 years ago.  I prayed to be able baptize and seal a family before I went home.  This Saturday in the Mexico City Temple at 9 in the morning, I will have the privilege of being present in the sealing of Brother Alfredo Brito to his family.  He was the brother who was baptized the first Christmas here while I was in Amiltzingo.  I do not know what to say.  I am stunned and in awe.  This is going to be one of the most joyous moments of my life. 
Well family, I pray for you.  Live the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Work everyday so others can come unto Christ.  There is no greater joy.  In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Elder Russell