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