Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Forget Yourself and Go to Work!

Like the title says, thats how Ive felt this past week, a little. The CCM or mission is a lot of work. Literally, from 6:30 am (or earlier) till 10:30 pm (or later), we are going nonstop. They're 16 hour days. Even though its a lot, its actually not really boring, or hard, but very tiring. About 3 in the afternoon and 7pm is when it hits me the hardest. Sometimes I want nothing but to sleep right then and there. It's also very helpful to have the spirit throughout the day. 

As I may have said before, I know prayers are answered. There are millions of people around the world praying for the missionaries as well as angels above. And Ive truly felt them, Im constantly amazed how little homesick I am, which was my one concern before coming out here. Its extremely important as a missionary to forget yourself and go to work. Any kind of missionary work is the main reason why we are all here on earth, to invite others to come unto Christ. 

So far, Ive memorized the missionary purpose, Moroni 10:4 and 5, the baptismal invitation, and most of the first vision (just two verses) all in Spanish! Im also working on my third 4 to 5 minute talk in Spanish. The gift of tongues is real.

So after the temple trip, I was reminded of how crazy the drivers are here. They are TERRIBLE! Utah drivers are highly qualified for driving, I will never complain about American drivers again. Everything down here feels like fend for yourself attitude. As I look at everyone, all I see is much people, police, problems, unhappiness, lost, and poor. They all need the gospel so much. Its very eyeopening and humbling to see life Mexico. America is sooooooo much better! Also driving through the city can be scary, but I honestly feel very safe, I don't worry about safety because I know God is watching over me and he will protect me as long as I have exact obedience, and you just feel better doing it.
...willing to take upon them the name of thy Son...

One cool thing Ive notice and thought more about is the missionary tag. It is the highest honor to put this tag on every day. To be able to represent Jesus Christ and teach others about the gospel is amazing. I feel different when I put it on, and feel lost without it. Also, the temple trip was very nice and spiritual. I loved it!

As I look around at different companionships and districts, they are placed there specifically by God. They all fit each other very well, and work together. Im amazed at how perfectly placed the companions are, and missionaries are truly called to specific places.

The days are very long, but the weeks are starting to fly by, even though Ive only been here two weeks. Also, if anyone is thinking of sending me a package, don't do it until I'm out in the field, don't send any packages to the MTC, it takes too long to get here, and other reasons. But if you already did, I bet it would make it! 

But, you can easily send me a letter by emailing:, and they will print it out and put it in my mailbox, it takes like 2 days. Just put my name, and probably my district number:7A. I would love to get letters during the week besides p-day while in the mtc (may 16). Also, Ive played basketball like 11 times now, haha! Es muy importante! and I realized Im spending an eighth of a year just at the CCM!

Yesterday, our trio taught lessons for three different investigators right in a row. We taught them the same lesson, and I loved it. We are getting very good at teaching, much better than before, and our Spanish is coming right along. Ive learned so much more in these past two weeks. The spirit was present in each meeting. They are all from outside the walls of the CCM, and all were members. I could actually feel a sincere love for them each, they were super nice, and it was very helpful to teach more real people than our teachers.

FULL DISCLAIMER: Im sorry for the typing and words, I only have an hour each week to email, and the keyboard is hard to type on a little. 
Because of the lack of time, I can't respond to all the emails sometimes, but Im trying my best to respond ASAP. But do keep the emails coming, I really appreciate reading them. Im going to take pictures of them so I can take time to read them later!
Also, sorry if I repeat myself, its hard to remember what Ive said.

Pictures: Ready for Bball, Home Sweet Bunkbed (I'm the bottom-it's made mom!) Need better watch to deal with the humidity, Great Companions! In the right place!

Reminder: Don't take cheap Gym Shoes!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Hola from Mexico! The Gospel is Amazing!

I testify to anyone and everyone reading this that, THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER DAY SAINTS IS TRUE! Being down here in the CCM (MTC) is very spiritual packed and amazing. I love and miss you all, but prayers are truly answered. All except for the first day, I havent even thought much about homesickness. Right now Im doing great and Im not worried or nervous about anything too much. Ill be back before I know it. Tips for future missionaries worried about homesickness: Dont worry, God knows you personally and will help you through anything. Also, the intitial transition into the MTC and becoming a missionary is hard, but after a few days or so, everything is great! You also just need to have a great mindset to  realize what youre doing for the next two years, be prepared and everything works out perfectly. The CCM is big, in comparison to the Provo, the Mexico is 90 acres while the Provo is 30 acres. But the Provo can hold 2,500 missionaries while the Mexico can hold about 1,200. So the land is huge here, and there are tons of apartments. I dont exactly feel like Im in Mexico City exactly, not sure where exactly, but its pretty sweet, the campus used to be a highschool. Right now, there are only about 200 missionaries, but in the summer, there will be a flood coming. 

The weather has been wonderful! Sunny, 70 to 80 degrees, and sometimes a small stormy clouds at night. Loving the weather right now. The food has been pretty good. Mostly tortillas, enchiladas, mexican food. But they definitely have a good share of American food. Weve also had pizza, hamburgers, and cereal. I eat pretty good. The gift of tongues is real! Already Ive learned more in this first week than I have in a year of highschool, haha. The lessons with our investigators are completely in spanish, and Ive done pretty well. Weve been able to get the message across. And after five lessons, yesterday, we committed our first investigator to baptism yesterday, so, booooyeeaahhh! Getting to bed on time has been a struggle, especially the first few days because theres so much to do that you need and want to do, especially writing in my journal, so far I have about 20 pages written, its a lot! But Ive been pretty tired in classes because of all the work and somehwhat lack of sleep.

Most importantly, Ive played basketball five times now! I also saw a basketball court on the way to the CCM. Every other night, our room says a prayer in spanish with the several Latinos in our apartment. Then they say a prayer in English the other night with us, I love it they are super nice! Theyve asked us a lot if we need help with anything, and thats the whole reason why were down here, to serve others, it really just opens your heart. The flight down here was just over three hours. I sat next to two nonmembers and really talked a lot with the one on my left next to the window. I just told him I was an LDS missionary and jst befre we left, I told him if he was interested about the church, to check out I hope he does. The plane was a smaller size and we had some turbulence, but it was cool. Just watching the land pass as we flew to our destination made it seem not so far away from home. On a map it can seem like Im really far away, but Im really not, in my mind. After the flight, we went through customs and met the representatives from the CCM. We got on a bus, all 15 of us, thats our zone. We took the bus ride to the CCM for about 30 to 40 minutes. It was very eyeopening to see everything. Its so different. I heard Mexico city is the second biggest city in the world, and I believe it. All the buildings and houses are jam packed next to each other. Driving is terrible. There are all kinds of cheap vehicles driving fast and kind of crazy. At some places, there arent even any lanes to drive in. There were a bunch of taxis, street vendors and people. Also, we saw a military truck with 3 guys standing in the bed with jumbo guns, that was really eye opening as well,I really wanted a picture, but no go, haha. Everything in America is so much nicer. It was very eye opening to see what the other part of the world is like. The standard of life down here is so much less, but dont get me wrong, its a nice place too, and there are good people out there. All I was able to see of mexico was from the bus, and since then ive only been in the mtc. Right after this, Im going to the temple, well be able to go about three times in the mtc, i hope more in the mission field. I learned the elevation here is 7350 feet, so a lot more than Utah. 

My companions...are pretty great. Right now there is Elder Loosle who is my companion, and also Elder Vea who joined our companionship. Then there is hermana Aden and hermana Masapua, and thats our whole district. The other 15 that flew with us is our zone, and there all going back to the states. Elder Lossle and hermana Aden are serving in Oaxca, and Elder Vea is serving in Vera Cruz. Hermana Masapua and I are both serving in Queretaro, so thats cool that someone else is going there too. Elder Vea is going to play football for Utah state and weve played basketball together every time, hes really good and athletic. Him and I get along really well, and weve all been able to bond really well and become really good friends. It feels like weve been here for about a month. Also, my companionship is a trio, which has its own challenges, but I like it. My p day is thursday, and they give us one hour for emails. 

Each letter, I want to try and say something in Spanish without any help: Yo se que la iglesia de Jesucristo de los santos de los ultimos dias es verdad. El CCM es muy bien y la comida es muy bueno. Nuestro Padre Celestial es nuestro salvador y yo amo esto evangelio. Use google translate. My spanish is coming pretty good, and Im continually amazed at the endless miracles I see here.

Sorry for my typing, Im just trying to go fast so I can say everything I want, and the keyboard here is spánish...

Hasta luego!


Elder Russon