Saturday, May 28, 2016

WOW, what a week!


The mission is WOW! This past week has been pretty hard, stretching, and lots to take in. Its hard to go throughout most of the day not understanding a ton or being able to speak a lot. My Spanish is getting better, but its hard to understand people when they speak super fast with an accent. But, I was in a lesson, and understood about 65 %, and i taught about the fall of Adam and Eve, That was great. 

This past week, I've probably been in 12 lessons'ish, more to come though. Ive met a lot of people. The first day was hard, pretty homesick, but once I made friends, and got into a routine, things are much better. I'm just worried about the 22 months left, but I know if I forget myself and got to work, the time will fly. Right now, I'm doing much better. 
Out here in Mexico, its pretty eye opening, and it makes me so much more grateful for the life in Provo. I'm learning to rely on Jesus Christ completely. Unless someone has served a mission, they can't comprehend the things that you go through. Its an experience you have to experience for yourself. But, I'm doing much better now, and I'm excited to bring other unto Christ.

Also, I shared my testimony and invited a family to be baptized, in Spanish, and they said yes. The spirit was there, and the mom started crying. That was a cool experience, the investigators and members are nice, they always give us food and juice. Things are great, lots more to learn, but the time will fly.

Sorry for not responding to all of you, I'm so grateful for all your emails, don't stop sending them! I just run out of time with how busy everything is, but thank you personally to each of you! Have a great week!
Elder Russon 

From an email with my mom:

Alright, first off, I LOVE YOU AND MISS YOU! Right now I'm sitting literally 10 feet away from the busy street in a random small store writing emails that charges by the hour, but everything is cheap here. My apartment is super nice, washing machines, microwave, and jumbo, two stories, like 6 rooms, and only four of us now. But the other two that live here are secretaries, one is from Lindon, he's sweet, and the other and my comp are from Mexico. I like the house, but its still in the ghettos. I eat my own cereal and fruit and juice for breakfast, we mostly eat with members for lunch, or buy something like 2 times a week, and dinner I eat some small frozen pizzas that I bought and some juice or whatever. Lunch is at like 3 and dinner at like 9.
FYI: My co-worker is from Mexico and I asked her what pastor meat was. She said that pastor meat (she pronounced it pahs-tor with more emphasis on second syllable and a good roll of 'r') is pork, vertical spit-roasted with onion and pineapple and spices like guajillo chiles and achiote (a seed from a shrub/tree.) Then it's shaved very thinly and served on a soft tortilla (similar to  a greek gyro.) She said they are typically small and very delicious.

Monday, May 16, 2016

I´m in Querètaro!

Hasta Luego!
Well, I made it! This past week has been all over the place. I had to say goodbye to my companions and district last night and early this morning. The past few days I have just been thinking about leaving into the mission field, and saying my goodbyes...its super hard, es lame! But, this morning, I left at 5:30 am from the CCM to my mission field. They drove us to the airport, and we waited there for an hour to take a nice charter bus to Querètaro. Hermana Mapasua from my district is going to the same mission, and we were able to sit next to each other. 

Querètaro is nicer than Mexico city, it was a three hour bus ride, and I was able to see some country. It's not really that pretty, but estabien. Once we arrived, we got on another bus, with a member I think, to go to the mission office, its nice. The whole time as we met more missionaries and talked about expectations, I got hit with homesickness. I was on the verge of crying half the time, but estabien. I KNOW through God, we can do all things, and be strengthened, Isaiah 41:10 I think.

I met my companion, he seems pretty cool, he's latino, and knows little english. I should learn Spanish pretty quickly! We went to our apartment and dropped off our stuff. I pretty much live in the ghetto, here's some pics of my apartment and my companion. So my P day is gonna be on Mondays. 

I guess there are close to 200 missionaries in my mission, I'm pretty sure. There's like 12 different areas. Things are good for now, but it's crazy how much nicer America is. Also, the CCM is a mini America, its way nice, and I already miss it a lot. But I'm out here now, and its going to be great. I'll adjust to the schedule and routine quickly I hope. I'm going to learn a lot, mucho, mucho, mucho. I love you all, thanks for all your support, and don't forget to email me! haha, have a fantastic week!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Mission Field is Next Week!

So, Ive been here for almost six weeks now. This Monday morning at 530 am, I'm headed to my actual mission. Im excited for all its going to bring, but Im keeping in mind any challenges that might come up. Last Friday, I started getting sick, and I still have a slight cough, ugh, so annoying, but estabien. Our trio companionship is better, our district is great, we act like siblings. Its going to be hard to say goodbye to everyone, and the CCM. Today, we started packing, didn't take very long.

The time has flown by, but, most importantly, I was able to call home for Mother's day. That was super nice, it was 30 minutes, probably the fastest 30 min of my entire life. I'm so glad that I'm able to do emails every week at least. It was so nice to hear my family's voice.

So I found out that I'm taking a bus, all 7 of us, to Queretaro on Monday. Its about a 3 hour drive, only a couple more days. Its a big blessing that I don't have to fly, or else I would have to pay extra fees for my luggage, because of weight for a carry on. It didn't matter coming here, but now your carry on has to be under 22 pounds. Glad I'm not flying, my luggage would've been way over cuz I only have one suitcase and one carryon.

So on Sunday night, at 2:37 am, the earthquake alarm went off. It wasn't very loud for us, but I immediately woke up and grabbed my companions, and our whole casa went outside. We waited for about 15 minutes, actually we locked ourselves out, oops. But nothing happened. Apparently there was an earthquake in Oaxica that triggered the alarm. Elder Vea and I were hoping for some action, but nada. 

So for these last two weeks, we were supposed to be speaking solo español. We tried, but its too easy to speak english with each other. However, I have learned mucho español, and I feel like I could survive if I had to converse with only latinos forever. Our teacher thinks that within 1 to 2 months from now, well have the language down, he said our Spanish is good. 

Also, so far, Ive already gone through two whole brand new pens, Ive been writing a lot, especially in my journal. There is so much that happens on the mission. Also, another missionary (hermana), had to leave home, thats the third one now, just goes to show how much pressure there is to serve a mission. 

Something I thought about, It can be hard to grow up in the church, surrounded by mormons everywhere. You don't necessarily experience anything but the church, so its hard to determine between the good and the evil, because all you've known is life in the church. It is so important to develop your own testimony. Just because you grew up in the church, doesn't meant you automatically have a testimony. It's something you build, and have to find for yourself. I think that's what happens to a lot of teenagers, but we can always pray with faith to know the truth for our selves, and search the endless teachings from the prophets, scriptures, etc. The gospel is true. I Know it is, but it is so vital to gain a testimony for yourself. It may take a while, but if you have faith, I know God will answer you on His time, which is best for you because He is perfect, and Knows all.

Thank you guys for all your support, I love the letters, keep them up. If any of you have questions for me, feel free! Love you all, and have another great week! Next time I'll be in Queretaro!

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Gaining a Stronger Testimony of the Gospel

This past Sunday, we had a testimony meeting as usual for fast Sunday. Elder Vea and I blessed the sacrament, in Spanish, and that was great. There were about 20 missionaries in our ward (3 branches) , so pretty small. We got right into testimonies, and majority of everyone got up. After about 4 people went up, my heart and blood pressure were pounding. So I got up, and immediately the spirit testified through me. I said some thoughts and bore a powerful testimony. By the end, my eyes were teared up. That was a sweet experience. Many others testified, and I loved hearing them. 

At the end of the meeting, we sang All creatures of our God and King in Spanish. Everything we do is in Spanish. I almost started crying, it was way powerful. Some said they felt like angels were singing with us. This was one of the best sacrament meetings Ive ever had. Its important that we testify of what we KNOW to everyone, it strengthens our own so much. Everything this week is basically the same schedule. We went to immigration and got out green cards for Mexico. I was able to talk to a guy in Spanish for about 5-10 minutes. It was bien, everyone there seemed interested in who we are. 

Our teaching as a trio is becoming much more unified and better. Ive learned so much, and I continue to learn much more. On Sunday, we said goodbye to our closest district who left this last Monday morning. Most people leave at like 3 in the morning, crazy early. I cant believe I leave a week from this Monday.

Today we went to the temple again for the second time. We just got back 2 hours ago, and it was another great experience. The CCM is awesome. Im getting more used to Mexico, but I will be very happy to return to America, it truly is so much better than down here! Im getting super excited to get out into the mission field of Queretaro!

Cookies! All right!!! Muy Bien!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Exact Obedience

There is no doubt in my mind that this gospel is true. I Know it deep. It's a simple choice for people to accept it or not. Some are ready, others are not, but the work of the Lord will press on, and every tongue shall hear it. But, once we come to the realization that its true, its up to us to have exact obedience in all of its teachings. The gospel is everything, and we have so much to be grateful for. Life is amazing, and we should enjoy every second of it. If anything, know this, study the scriptures and pray with real intent, having faith, and God will testify to you of the truthfulness. 

This week has been good. We're into the week-to-week rhythm of life at the CCM (MTC). Its a lot of work, and it almost doesn't matter how much sleep I get, Im always tired during the day. Our district of five is pretty good, were all pretty close. Sometimes one of the Elders and one of the hermanas can really get annoying, but its bien. We work together. Our teaching skills are really coming along. We can teach much better, we teach in unison as a trio, and help each other. Theres tons of room to improve, but its coming. My Spanish is pretty good, Ive memorized the 5 good sized things were supposed to in Spanish, like the first vision, etc. Ive learned way more Spanish here, then I did in one year of high school. I can understand and speak what I want to say pretty well, but theres a ton more I need to learn. 

Life is great down here, I spend 24\7 with two Elders, and we're having a lot of fun. The mission is peaceful. Its like putting your life on pause for two years, stress free. The sole focus is to preach the true gospel to everyone and forget yourself. It sets a firm course for the rest of your life. On Sunday, we learned about sincere prayer by president Tenorio (former seventy, general authority who lives here and is the mission president.) I know if you sincerely pray to God, with faith, he will answer your prayers according to his perfect will for us. Too often we pray like we are ordering things from a grocery store, we need to be more sincere. 

I think I said this before, but the more I look around at companionships and districts, the more I realize how our perfect Heavenly Father leads and guides His church. It is impossible for any man to assign these companionships so perfectly. Each companionship matches each other with personalities, looks, and characteristics. Every new district that comes here all look so perfect together, they fit each other. Something cool, Elder Vea, my companion (best friend out here, were tight) put his papers in way back in August, but wasn't ever assigned till late November. So it took three months for his call. We're all needed at certain times and certain places. Just goes to show how God Works. Side note, Elder Vea was actually offered a scholarship to play football for BYU, but lost it to someone else. So he can walk onto Utah state, but he is a super humble guy, and Im glad he's in the trio!

On Tuesday this week, we watched a live broadcast from Elder Dallin H Oaks from the Provo MTC to all MTCs. It was really great. He used a lot of scriptures and we studied PMG a lot. It was about a 45 min talk, but it literally felt like 5 minutes. I wrote a lot down in my study journal. Life at the CCM is great. You get into a routine quickly, and everything is busy, fun, and spirit-driven. Time is moving fast. Also, our teacher showed us a video of one of the other teachers who workds here, in a mormon message. Its like: Im a mormon, recovering addict, (his name is Valentin). You should check it out on youtube. I really like all my teachers. Hermano Guerrero, Ortiz, Hurtado, and three hermana teachers. They are bueno.

If anyone reading these emails has any questions about the gospel in any way, shape, or form, please shoot me an email and aske me, Id love to hear them. But, if you have problems, or are wondering what your purpose here on Earth is, I know the only way to get help is through the gospel. Check out

Spanish: El CCM es magnigico! El espritu es muy fuerte aqui. Tenemos much trabajar a hacer. Mis compañeros y distrito es muy bueno. Yo se que la iglesia es verdad. Yo testifico de la verdadero, y yo se que Dios es real. El libro de mormon es la palabra de Dios. Cosas son bueno, hasta luego!

Thank you everyone for writing me and emailing me, I really appreciate them, dont quit! I love you all!


Elder Russon