Monday, December 26, 2016

Merry Christmas!

So I had a small head cold during the week, but enjoyed a very nice Christmas on the Mission! 

On Friday, we had a mission x-mas party with a gift exchange! I gifted a rechargeable flashlight, and received a cool - knit - tie.

On Saturday, Xmas Eve, we basically walked all around town contacting and looking for service opportunities. That was nice, its such a blessing to serve - in any way, shape, or form. In the night, we went to eat hamburgers, and a real nice guy offered to buy them for us, saying the word of God is good.

Most importantly of the entire week, I called home yesterday afternoon on Christmas Day. It was SUCH an amazing-unforgettable experience to be able to have! It made me feel more support, happiness, and motivation to work harder. We had a great Xmas, and I hope you all did too!

Happy New Year!

PS - (Make some realistic goals this year...haha!)


Elder Russon

Monday, December 19, 2016

Feliz Navidad...Prospero Ano y Felicidad!

Feliz Navidad de Mexico...!

So, we had another baptism last Thursday! His name is Jonathan, and hes 15 years old. We also baptized his little sister of 8 years old as well. Its always great to see a baptism. 

Well, I really cant believe that Christmas is in 6 days, it's sooo close. But my companion and I really don't feel the Christmas spirit. We have a tree, some Christmas songs, and today we got gifts for each other, all wrapped! But I just don't believe its almost here!

We're gradually finding new investigators to teach, which is great. Were also seeing difficulties in the ward, how they work and support each other and us. Its real hard sometimes, because if a ward doesn't support the missionary work, the missionary work just doesn't progress. So were straddling some hurdles and learning a lot of humility.

I had a pretty good week, I'm actually just a tad bit sick, it started yesterday, but I'm trying to get over it as quick as possible. Its all good though, I'm not worried.



Elder Russon

Monday, December 12, 2016

Who Let the Dogs Out?!?!...Who, Who, Who?!

Ignore the title, just an advertising song we've been hearing in the streets every now and then...haha!

So...Less than 2 weeks til Christmas, I can hardly believe it! Honestly, I don't feel any different, I don't feel any part of Chirstmas happening soon, super weird.

One thing I'm really starting to notice is how confused the people really are. Satan has the people so confused, that they don't even know what they believe in. Almost every time I ask  them a question about their religion, they never answer my question. They always divert the question and respond with something else  random. And its hard to find a true catholic, the majority are just following traditions of their ancestors, and its real hard to change their way of life. Which its understanding, but sad to know there is something better in life for them. On the other hand, I am meeting people who are being prepared by God to listen to the gospel. Not everyone is ready receive the message of the restored gospel.

Anyway, this week, we'll be having a baptism of Jonathan on Thursday at 6pm, you're all invited, haha! Jonathan is great, he's 15, happy, and wants to follow Jesus Christ. Its been great to see his progress and teach him, I'm excited for his baptism!

Elder Macias and I are working great here in Cortazar. We're learning and experiencing lots of cool things. The church is true, and the more I study and pray, the stronger and clearer my testimony develops!

Have a great week! And enjoy the Holiday Festivities!


Elder Russon

Monday, December 5, 2016


Lo siento, se me olvido a decirles que...we watched the Christmas Devotional LIVE last night in the chapel with about 20 members. It was great, I encourage all who didnt watch watch it! Always a blessing to listen to the prophets.

And wow, were starting to find investigators who are rather smart. One, who we found in a corner library, actually a reference from a member, is a wizard. Almost a second Einstein, mas o menos. But it really helps us to strengthen our testimony and knowledge of what were teaching, to an even higher level!


Elder Russon

Macia and I Stay A Second Round

So we had changes, ''transfers'', yesterday, but nothing changed for us. We're both staying for another change here in Cortazar. We're both really excited for this new change. We have some new goals we want to achieve this change. We get along very well, and we're united in the missionary work. Here, we'll pass Christmas and New years, woohoo!!! - My first Christmas in Mexico!

This month, we'll be having a baptism of Jonathan on the 15th of December! Other than him, we have a few other getting ready for baptism. The next one will be the 5th of January, Carlos, I'm excited. 

Right now, we have 10-15 investigators, which is a little low, but we keep on trying to find new investigators. All I can say is its hard work. Several times we're just walking the streets trying to contact people. 

From what I've seen, its 1 out of every 4 people that will give you an address or phone number. Of those 1 out of 4, 3-5 out of 50 turn out to become investigators. So it takes a ton of contacting to find new people. That's where the work of the members really comes in, but not many members really know or understand. 

All is going well, we keep learning new things, have a SOLID week!


Elder Russon

Monday, November 21, 2016

Oh, bytheway...

Were having a baptism this Saturday of Fortino!!!

Pics to come next Monday!


Elder Russon

From The Looks of The Pics, You Could Say Its Been A Nice week of Food...Haha!

We had another good week here in Cortazar. Were learning several things.

But, also, we've had a lot of trials, in a way. Lately, we've focused a lot more time on contacting, and trying to find new investigators. We don't have very many, and we've been having a hard time. 

For example, after we found a new investigator, we had a few lessons, and on the 3rd lesson, we all felt to put a baptismal date with her. We did and she accepted, and came to church the next day. Then three days later, the craziest thing happened that I still cant believe. She shamefully told us that her family scolded her for attending church with us, and that her husband, suddenly came up with enough money to get married by the catholic church. Ahhhhh! I just couldn't believe it. We all know for a fact that she felt the spirit strong with us, and now she's deciding to change her mind because of peer pressure. I can testify that Satan works REAL Hard. And all of this happened within a week and a half, real fast!. 

Along with that, we've had a few other trials, but don't read me wrong. Were also having success, but more than anything, were learning life long lessons.

I know the mission helps me in every little thing I do here, to prepare me for the rest of my future.

I also can't believe today is the last p-day of my companion Elder De Leon, from Guatemala. He leaves us this Sunday, super hard to believe, and Elder Macias and I are going to make sure he ends the mission strong and happy!

I know the mission helps me in every little thing I do here, to prepare me for the rest of my future. Hope y'all have a solid week!!!


Elder Russon

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Re: Rain, Clouds, and Freezing Cold Weather

November 14, 2016
 This was the first complete week of pure cloudy weather. Every night, I slept with a snow cap, 2 gloves, and long socks, with 2 blankets and 1 sheet. Its not cozy warm, but its enough, haha!

We had a nice week, hard, but successful. The hardest thing is when our appointments and plans fall through, or especially when people arent home, or they gave us false information, its rather annoying, but we have to Press Forward!

I improved a contacting method that Elder Macias gave, with these 8 questions in the photos below. So far, its been working out real well. We simply ask people to read the questions, and tell us which one they like the most. Then I answer it with a scripture and explanation, and then try to get their contact information to visit them, I love it!

We put 2 baptismal dates with 2 investigators we only found just a week ago. They accepted, and they'll progress well. One came to stake conference yesterday. Speaking of stake conference, we went to Celaya as a ward in a bus, and it was actually for all of Mexico. It was a broadcast from Utah by Sister McKonkie, Elder Benjamin Hoyos, Elder Robert D Hales, and Elder Russell M Nelson. It surprised me when Nelson and McKonkie spoke in Spanish for themselves, that was cool.

Anyways, this week went well, and I hope your new week goes great!

Pics: Yep, you guessed it! Its that time of year again! We bought a 1.2 meter Christmas tree for 120 pesos today, Sweet!


Elder Russon

Ummm...homemade hambugers!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

New Elder Macias & Contacting

November 7, 2016
My son, Elder Macias arrived last Monday night, who is from Juarez City, Mexico. He speaks Spanish pretty well, so that wasn't a problem (Ha Ha Ha!) This new Elder is fantastic, he's 18, works hard, has a strong testimony, is really nice, and shares a lot of his things/food with us, and he just wants to do the right thing. 

He's awesome, and I've been able to see how he learns the most by example. One thing we can all do as members of the church, is set an example for others (Members, non-members, friends, family, etc). Its a way we can improve the world.

Here in Cortazar, for the past couple of weeks, we've have had some problems finding new investigators, and haven't had a lot of success. But this past week, we contacted a lot, and we're starting to find good new investigators that can progress well. It's been a good learning experience for me, to contact more. I can see how the Lord teaches me things in the perfect way, His way. And everything I do here on the mission, I can see how it applies and will help me in the future. I can also testify of fasting and prayer, but we all need to have faith first. All that's important is to study, ponder, and pray with real intent, and on the Lords time, we will receive answers.

Life is wonderful, and I hope y'all have a solid week!

P.S. - 2 hours ago I just bought a basketball and pump, so I can start getting back into that habit, haha!!!


Elder Russon

Monday, November 7, 2016

My New Son!

Elder De Leon will be heading home soon!
Oct 31, 2016

Just 2 more hours before I get to meet my new trainee!

Last Thursday, I went to a conference at President's house with all of the other trainers. I wrote, learned, and applied several things that I want to do this change. We were trained well on how to train new missionaries. We also probably ate the best meal I've eaten my whole mission! Mainly from Costco, and I don't believe there was an ounce of chile or spicy things, so that was awesome!

This past week, we've been contacting a lot. We need new investigators, so I'm really learning how to contact better, and building more confidence to do it. Last Saturday, from talking to people on the street, knocking on doors, we contacted about 20 people. And man...contacting takes SOOO much energy out of you, it's great, but it's hard too.

I can't believe my companion Elder De Leon is probably heading home in 3 weeks. I'm excited I get to finish his mission with him. And I'm really excited to train this new Elder! Once again, I'm going to learn a  bunch more this change. 

This past week, I also received another package from my Dad! And I got 2 pounds of licorice, wooohooo! (Licorice is non-existent here...:) Anyways, all goes well! 

I pray that each of you will have a wonderful week!


Elder Russon

Monday, October 24, 2016

Baptism!!! Another New Member in the Church!

October 17, 2016
Last Thursday, I had the privilege to baptize Santiago, who is just a real Faithful guy. The water was cold, Because we couldn't get the boiler running, but we really didn't even think or notice so much of how cold the water was. But we couldn't believe how fast the ordinance was. We did it right the first time, without any repeats. I made sure to push him enough under the water. It was all great, every baptism just fills my soul with joy. 

You could really see that Santiago was happy, its been real awesome to know him, and watch his progress. After, we gave him a white shirt and tie that he wore to church on Sunday, hes really grateful for us. Something cool as well is that his son Carlos, wife, and 2 kids came to church yesterday for one hour, and they enjoyed it. I think they felt something different there. Santiago was really glad to see his son there, and hopefully we can start teaching them!

So we went to visit an investigator who is having some problems in his business. When we arrived, he saw me, and said, ''There's the man with the Eternal Smile''! We both smiled even more and began chatting with him. A smile really does go a long way.

Here in Cortazar, we're in need of new investigators. We tried an idea the bishop mentioned. To stand in front of the chapel, and invite people passing by to show them the chapel, baptismal font, and explain what we do there. He said they would even invite people to be baptized right then and there. So we tried it yesterday, but not many people were walking by, so I was only able to talk to one lady, but she wasn't interested. I think I actually frightened her by not gaining her trust in me first. Two strangers asking someone immediately to come inside to a building they've never entered takes a little trust, haha. But well probably try it again another day when there's more people passing by. 

Alrighty, so here's some photos! 
One is of Santiago and his baptism, another of the shirt and tie we gifted him, another of a speaker I bought for my USB to finally be able to listen to the latest general conference (including women's session!, haha), another of some fireworks they did here outside the house two nights in a row, and the last one about my planner that I've used this change, I put the two pictures as covers.

I'm still learning a ton of things, and the mission is great, because it's hard. But the time is flying, and I'm changing more than I can realize. This is the last week of the change, so transfers are this Sunday. Anyways, have a solid week this week!!!


Elder Russon

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Another Rapid Week in the Mission Field! (Ya paso una otra semana en el campo misional!)

October 10, 2016
Man, the days are so short, they happen so fast. But I'm seeing more the reality of life, and when you have more responsibilities, the faster the time goes. Because you're always thinking about something, or the next thing, and you don't have any time to think about time. This week was a nice week, we're working real well with the members.

This Thursday, we're going to have a baptism for Santiago, woohoo! Santiago is the ideal investigator, a really faithful guy. First of all, he found us, has listened and accepted every doctrine we've taught, and has been faithful to every invitation we've extended. He also quit his job for another job so he could come to church on Sundays. And, this last Sunday, he paid his tithing! So I'm pumped to see him baptized, he's a great example to me and so many others. He inspires me, just seeing how hard and rough his life has been, and how he continues to press forward faithfully, with a smile!

So...hey, after being a man of more than six months, I can say the mission is  pretty great!...because it's challenging. I made a motto for the mission that's real helpful. Be Dedicated, Disciplined, and a Disciple (of Jesus Christ). The 3 D's of the mission. I read a quote from Gordon B. Hinckley that says, ''if you serve a dedicated, faithful mission, you will be better husbands, better parents, better students, and better workers.'' And wow!...ain't that True!!! I'm always trying to give my all and progress. I can already see so many blessings from the mission in my life. The missionary work is going well down here in Mexico, and before I know it, I'll be back in Utah to do some more work up there! Hope all is well, and that y'all have a great week!

Sorry, I didn't really take any new cool photos this week. But I cut my hair (every 3 weeks, I cut my own hair, for free), and here's some photos from G. C., last week!


Elder Russon


Tuesday, October 4, 2016

General Conference 2016!

Wow, what a sweet, wonderful general conference this weekend! I was able to watch it all in English with a member who is from the US, but lives here. My comp also watched 2 sessions with me in English, but he only understood about 30%, thinking he would understand a whole lot more. I took notes on every speaker. They were very direct in their talks. They mentioned a lot about prayer and repentance.
I've been thinking about conference, and how simple the truths are that they share. The gospel is not complicated, it's real easy. The hard, but very important part of life is agency. The leaders of the church teach us basic principles of what we need to do to live the gospel. Now it's a matter of choice to act and follow the counsel they give us. The gospel is so perfect.
Things here in Cortazar continue going well. We're working hard and well with the members and investigators. This past week, I hit a record of 10 lessons taught with a member present. which is very important for greater retention of investigators in the church. I'm developing great relationships with the people of Cortazar, and it'll be hard to leave.
This Thursday, I complete 6 months, wowisimo! Already a fourth of the way done, the time just flies. Really , the answer for anything hard on the mission is work! Forget yourself and Go To Work - said someone really amazing. Don't take anything for granted in the gospel, as Pres. Dieter F Uchtdorf said. Especially your families, the temple, and general conference. I hope y'all have an incredible upcoming week.

Elder Russon