Thursday, October 30, 2014


Hola family and friends
 It’s been a long week but only because I couldn't wait to tell you all the awesome things that happened this week. First off I would like to thank my mom for packing me so well!! Everyone else was a complete mess.  Also thanks to President Ferrell for giving me the great advice to try to be on missionary schedule. I haven't been very tired compared to all the other missionaries.  And finally a thanks for my parents for taking me to the temple so many times.  I did a session today in Spanish and I was able to sort of translate it in my head.  IT WAS SO AWESOME!  I also wanted to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY to half my family and my friend Katie and Crew!! I LOVE YOU GUYS!. Especially my favorite set of twins. You guys mean the world to me. I am so blessed to be a big sister to you two.  You make me want to be a better person.  I hope you guys had a great day. I was thinking about you all day!  And to my dad! You are the greatest dad ever and I love you so much! Happy Birthday!! I hope you had tons of ice cream and what not. 

 So my p day isn't usually going to be on Wednesdays. It’s going to be on Thursdays, but by a tender mercy it was moved to today.  Where to begin? The flight was uneventful. I slept a lot and ate some of the food they gave me.   Unbeknown to me, my companion sister Hill was sitting by me on the way to Lima.  She is so great and loves to get things done. She has a similar story as me about the mission.  She went to a year at Utah State and then decided to go on a mission.  She turned twenty in Sept.
 We flew down with lots of elders and 7 sisters.  Who are now my roomies. Two of them are going to Puirra so they are in a different district Hermana Mitchell and Hermana Christiansen.  Then the rest of us our going to Cusco.  Hermana love and Hermana Cooper, from Hawaii and Rhode Island.  We laugh a lot! And our district is awesome. 
 We got to the CCM (Peru MTC) about 2AM.  Peru looks very different.  The weather feels like San Diego but the buildings almost look abandoned. The best thing is that the stop lights countdown so you know how long you have till it changes.  Dad you can incorporate that into the stoplight job you want!
 When we got here we were given a schedule for the next six weeks.  Crazy filled with tons of classes. It was overwhelming at first.  But I got used to it pretty fast.  W wake up at six and don't get back to our rooms till 9:30ish. It feels long but at the end of the day it’s like "woah that went fast".
 All the Elders and Hermanas are so nice and friendly.  It’s so little here so you pretty much get to know everyone. The Elder latinos always say "hola hermanas" and let us go straight to the front of the food line.  Also the latinos hermanas are mi mejor amigas.  We play volleyball with them during physical activity and it is one of my most favorite things.  We play with the Elders and Hermanas and we have no idea what they are saying but I laugh so hard when they make fun of each other.  They say bien bien when I do something good but don't say anything when I completely fail. It’s just my favorite thing.
    The food!! It’s so good. I don't know how you could ever go hungry here.  There is so much of it.  I squirt limes on the rice to spice it up. Limes are my life these days.  Oh and guess what I have had perfect health! Like not even a little sick.  My favorite thing is this fruit called granadia.  Look it up! It’s so good! You don't chew it though, you just have to swallow it. So Ellie, it’s a no go for you.  It is really healthy for you digestive system.  I eat like 2 a day if they have them out. 
    The Spanish is frustrating at times, but I'm grateful for my Spanish background.  It has come in handy.  I know how to pray, say my testimony and most of the vocab words that go along with lesson 1. They just throw you into it! I feel like I am in primary again with what I can say.  But I kinda love it.  It makes you think about the simple things. 
    I love our teachers! Hermana Chacon and Hermano davalos in the mornings and Hermana Villanueva in the afternoon.  They are so funny and very patient with us.  Davalos only speaks to us in Spanish, but a hermana told us he speaks fluent English and doesn't have  an accent.  He won't admit it though.  But we all try to get  him to say something in English.  Hna Villanueva is so cute. She is learning English so we help her pronounce her words.  I love it! and her so much! The classes are the best and we are learning so much. 
    Saturday a bunch of children visited.  We go to greet them at the door and in the hallway.  They were hugging us and shaking our hands.  The best ever.  I already love the people so much!!
    So the district is awesome we have 3 companions of elders and 2 companions of sisters.  We stay in one room together always.  At our district meeting, an elder asked for a blessing.  It was his companions first time. And man the spirit that filled the room was absolutely incredible.  The priesthood power is so awesome! These elders were called of God to preach this gospel.  It was a great reminder to me that the Priesthood will always be here to bless me.  I miss that about you dad! You were always there to give me a blessing!
    So we watched a Mormon message from Jeffery Holland about how salvation is cheap.  It’s a great video and you need to watch it!!  Somewhere this week we also talked about the first great convert, which is ourselves! So if you haven't already done so, convert yourself!! Search the scriptures for anything you don't have the strongest testimony about.  And then pray! The way we can hasten this gospel is by first gaining a strong testimony for ourselves.  Yesterday we had the opportunity to hear a devotional from an area of the seventy.  I couldn't figure out his name. But he said we are not here to baptize. We are here to make disciples! To convert people who are going to stay active and in return convert many others.   I am so excited to preach to the Peruvians! I think that they have the greatest spirit ever!!
    I honestly love the CCM!! It is so awesome and I am learning so much about Spanish and about the gospel.  But of course I miss my family! I love you guys more then you will ever know. You mean the world to me and opening my email to 20 new messages made my heart just sing!! I can't wait to share the message of eternal families with the people of Cusco! Because that is something that is worth everything!!
  To my sisters:  you girls are the greatest girls I know.  You have the power to do great things in this life and the next.  Don't stop being examples of the Believers! If there is something you think you should do to hasten the gospel don't hesitate to do it!  The Lord loves you! And He truly does have a plan for you, so be worthy of it.  I love you girls so much and I miss my meyor amigas!  
   I love you all! Thanks for all the support and prayers!! 
                                  Hermana Russell

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Safe and Sound

Hey mom and dad and various others! i am here in Peru! the flight was great and super easy.  My companion is sister Hill who you met! She is awesome. We flew down together so that was nice.  I dont have a lot of time today and I really cant figure out this keyboard but i love you guys.  i am so happy to be here. i got my name tag today and it was awesome! i will tell you more about everything soon.  dont worry I have been making a list of things to tell you guys, send everyone my love and tell them i am so happy! Its great here and the people are really friendly. Love you so  so so much!
                con amor, 
                                Hermana Russell
p.s. thanks for all the emails. it makes me happy!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Here I Go!

    I can't believe the time has finally come! I am headed out to Peru tomorrow morning and in just three hours I'll be set apart.   Woah. I am going to be a missionary.  Its been harder than I thought to prepare for a mission, but its all so worth it.  I have learned many things along the way.  The gospel is amazing because it gives us a chance to progress and become better.  I know our Heavenly Father loves each of us.  He has a plan for all of us, we just need to find out what it is and then act on it! He will be with us, He wants to be with us! I love my Heavenly Father and my Savior.  I'm grateful for the opportunity I have to serve and bring the wonderful message of the Gospel to people in Peru.  I love my family and am very grateful that families are forever.  I know that the family unit is essential to the Plan of Happiness.  God's plan is perfect. As long as we follow Him we will find true happiness.  Serve others. Be quick to repent.  Be better than you were yesterday. Endure to the end.
Thank you for the support and all the love.  I am truly so blessed.  I can see the Lord's hand in my life as I think of all the people I have met.  The church is true and life is so good! I can't wait to do my part in hastening His work. LOVE YOU ALL!

Email me here:
Or write me here:
                     Hermana Emma Russell
                     Peru Cusco Mission
                     Av. de la Cultura 2417
                     Frente de Urb. Santa Ursula
                     Capilla Mormona
                     Cusco, Peru
There is a mail strike so.... ask my mom before sending any letters! (:

Friday, October 3, 2014

Thoughts on the Farewell

Its time for another blog post! Whoo!
     Its getting real, people!  I have been a real mess this week. (Ask my mom).  Satan is real good at his job and I struggle with feelings of discouragement or inadequacy, but it doesn't change how I feel about serving a mission.  It's exactly what I need to be doing.  I have my highs and lows, but I'm very grateful for family and friends who are so so so supportive.  
      Last Sunday was my farewell.  It was so great! The whole day I was just overwhelmed with love for all my family and friends. Wow! I am just so blessed.  So many people were there and I just loved the whole spirit in the meeting.  I spoke with another missionary, Elder Miller.  His remarks were so amazing and he just brought an amazing spirit to the meeting. He is going to do amazing things in Texas! 
     My talk was on the the first great commandment.  I learned so much while I was preparing it that I wish I could have told you everything I learned.  I found some amazing talks by our dear leaders that were inspiring and filled with quotes.  (If I wasn't going on a mission, I would print those up and hang them in my room).  I thought about sharing my talk, but I think I am just going to share the talks I found and let you do the studying. 
    • The First Great Commandment by Elder Jeffery R. Holland.  I actually did not use any quotes from his talk because I couldn't find a way to fit them in, but he has the most powerful thougths about beind devoted disciples. 
    • The Great Commandment by Joseph B. Wirthlin.  Best. Talk. Ever. 
    • Of Things That Matter Most by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf.  I just love president Uchtdorf and I love his topics he speaks on! This is one of my all time favs. 
    • The Great Commandment--Love the Lord by Ezra Taft Benson.  Another inspiring talk about loving God
Well there you have it! These are great talks to study and to read.  They helped so much in my talk. I just love our latter day prophets and I'm so excited to hear from them THIS weekend! Whoo! General Conference should be a national holiday! It's getting just as exciting as Christmas! 
      Thank you all for your love and support!