Monday, December 21, 2015

Merry Christmas from the Jungle


I can`t believe Christmas is here!!  I have loved this Christmas
season.  It has been one of the hardest times on my mission but I have
felt so close to the Savior.  I will be calling at 6 o clock peru
time.  I hope this isn't very inconvenient because I know you guys have
things going on but this was the best time.  We will be skyping from
ipads and mac computers in air conditioning.  So holler back!

Well I don`t have much to say this week.  The work has been hard but I
have the best comp ever.  Hermana Alailima is so great!  She makes me
laugh and keeps me going on.  We laugh a lot and we also see a lot of
little miracles.  I have love watching her grow up.  She speaks super
great now and teaches like a boss.  She has a love for the people that
is just amazing and loves being a missionary.  Although sometimes we
do say this line when a the tenth appointment falls through “well i`m
going to start walking back to the states…”  But its only a joke.  We
don`t really want to go home.

This week I got attacked my a thousand ants under my desk.   I really
hate ants now.   They always get me really good.  I didn`t turn the
lights on and didn`t see them.  I noticed the trash was fallen over so
when I went to pick it up I got a thousand hungry ants on my hand and
feet that bit me like crazy.  I can`t believe a small ant can hurt
that much!  But seriously I`m alright now.   Also we had a guy come
and spray for bugs all over our house.  So that will be really nice
and probably will be the best Christmas gift ever.  Also the
landlord´s dog was found sleeping on my bed.  He happens to have blood
sucking sand leeches all over him and so I serisously had to strip my
bed and now I get the heebie jeebies every time I look at it.   Oh man
I love the jungle. ..

This week we visited a very special lady who told us we were wasting
our time and that the Church should pay us for going on missions and
that its stupid that we don`t gain anything blah. Blah blah.  It
didn`t make us to happy especially because when we tried to explain
why we were here and why it wasn`t a waste of time she just talked
over us.  We ended with our testimonies and left but it left us
talking and it left quite an impression on me.   Mostly because I
don`t feel at all like that.. and I was dumbfounded that someone would
say that to us.  I studied the next couple of days about sacrifice and
it helped me a lot.  The church requires a lot of sacrifice.  But I
read a talk that said at the end of it all we will say “Was that all
we really had to do for all of this?”  Isn`t that wonderful?  We are
sacrificing now for something so great and so beautiful that we won`t
even feel like we sacrificed enough.  I found this line that I have
hung onto  you all week that says “The blessings you receive are
better that you could ever give up”  I love this.  I love being a
missionary.  It may be a sacrifice but I feel like I am getting so
much than I give or could ever give up.

I also studied about eternal families this week.  I know that families
can be together forever.  I am so grateful for our Savior that makes
this possible and for the Restoration of the Gospel.  Without those
two things we would never ever be able to be eternal.  I found a
scripture that I absolutely love in D&C  130:2  “And that same
sociality which exists among us here will exist among us there, only
it will be coupled with eternal Glory, which glory we do not now
enjoy.”  I LOVE THIS! The same family that we have now will exist
forever.  I am so grateful for you guys.  I love you with all my heart
and think the world of each one of you!  HAVE A GREAT WEEK and a very

LOVE, Hermana Russell

Monday, December 14, 2015


Hola familia!!

So this week has been better.  I felt your prayers and support and
love and it lifted me.  Things are getting better.  Hermana Alailima
has officially finished her training.  It’s pretty sad but we are
both staying here for changes  J  I am pretty pumped because we are
going to have lots of success for this change.  This hard but its so
worth it J

I received another package this week! It was amazing!  I loved all the
Christmas cards and especially the conference talks!!! Yes I had been
dying to receive them.  Anyways thanks for all the love!  I really
adore you guys.

Oh my bleeding foot.  Stepped on a staple.  It didn´t hurt at all but
when I pulled it out it was like a dam broke.  Hahah we just had to
take a picture.  And the turtle.  Yes there was a turtle inside of
there.  He was pretty grumpy and didn´t want to come out.  Just so you
know turtles weigh a lot more than you think!  They also do move
really slowly!  And mom yes there are Christmas trees in Puerto.  More
than in Abancay so its good J

Um so for the funny stories this week.  You  may have to edit this
part out.  Lately I have been having some problems in the shower.  One
night I was showering just normal like and all of the sudden the
lights just went out.  It was pitch black and I couldn´t see my hand.
I waited awhile but my eyes still weren´t adjusting.  I could hear
Hermana Alailima in the other shower.  I think she turned off her
shower and got out.  She grabbed the flashlight and came and found me
in the other room.  I got out , wrapped a towel around me and we
searched for matches to light the candles that we had bought.  Then
after we lit the candles we went back to our showers and had a candle
lit shower.  It was pretty great.  Haha sometimes the lights just go
out for no reason here.  Its especially awful when the fan shuts off L
 and another shower story. Oh man I don´t know what’s been up lately but its like a mini

Oh this week we found a pension!!! For dinner. Her name is Gloria and
she is the best!  I love love love being in her house more.  She is
less active but has been to the temple!  She is just the greatest and
its just great to now have all three meals now. J

This week we were at a members house
waiting for her so that she could come to an appointment with us.
While we were waiting I guess I walked to close to a monkey and it
jumped out and just clung to my leg!!  It would not let go!  And when
I tried to pull it off it tried to bite my leg and I definitely do not
want to get rabies shot sooo it just clung on my leg.  I was so
scared!!! Even though it was a smaller monkey it was still scary.
Slowly we coaxed it onto my arm and then with a little better angle I
pealed it off of me real fast and ran away.  And so I successfully
escaped from a monkey and avoided the rabies shot.

This week has been hard as well but its better now.   We had a really
slow week and our numbers were super low.  In church this week there
was not one single investigator when it started.  I felt really bumed
but I also accepted it because I believed that really no one would
show up.   Shamefully I didn´t really have an ounce of faith that
anyway would show up.  Well after sacrament Hermana Alailima looked
around and she saw an investigator named Lucy.  It was her first time
coming to church and she had brought her little boy.  She whispered it
to me and It just made me cry.   I didn´t have any faith that anyone
showed up.  I think the Lord taught me a lesson that It really is His
work.  I am just His hands here in Puerto.  It taught me that I should
never lose the faith.   Faith is so vital and so important.   It
really is an anchor for our souls.   As I sat there I heard the words
in my head “I love you, keep going”  I know that it was the Lord and I
know that even though there are times where I forget it, I know he
loves me and I know he loves us.  He is so aware of every one of our
needs.   Its so amazing.

This week I also read in Ether about faith and weakness.  I was
reading in the famous verse in ether 12 27 and asked myself what
weakness has to do with the gospel of jesus Christ.  I learned that
without our weakness of our natural man we would not need the gospel
or His doctrine.  His doctrine his designed to show us that we are
weak, but it is also designed to show us that we can make weak things
strong.  Never in my life have I seen my weakness so blunt and so laid
out in front of me, than in my mission.  But never before in my life
have I applied the doctrine like I am doing out here.  It helps me see
my weakness, but the doctrine gives me the tools I need to make the
weak thing (me) strong.   I love the doctrine because it allows us to
progress.   I am so grateful that because the Savior lives we can
become better.  There is hope for everyone and this is why I love
being a missionary J

Love you all,

Hermana Russell

Monday, December 7, 2015


Well I am not going to lie and say this was the best week ever.  I
really don´t have a ton to say.  It’s been a super hard week in terms
of the work.  Hermana Alailima is great though and we just keep going.
I decided because I am usually very scattered in my email that I will
just say one funny thing and one spiritual thing. :) that way they
won´t be so long!
   This Sunday we had a terrible lightning and thunderstorm during
church.  It was so loud that it was hard to hear the 80 year old
sunday school teacher and then when the lights went out it was hard to
hear over the squeals of all the little children.  haha. But the
thunder did keep all the sleepers awake so I guess that was a
brightside.  Anyway I was seated next to our pension, Hermana Eusebia
and next to me was a new investigator.  I was trying to help him by
following the scriptures that the teacher wrote on the board, but after
a couple of minutes Tomas the investigator told me that he couldn´t
read or hear.  So then I stopped trying to help him and he just sat
there. I didn´t get a chance to talk to him after priesthood so
hopefully he had a better experience there.  Or at least learned
something.  Anyways next to me was Hermana Eusebia.  She is very
faithful and loves the gospel.  She had the lesson manual with her and
was reading and highlighting the scriptures as she basically taught
herself.  I was asked a question by this 80 year old teacher and you
can imagine that besides the thunderstorm, the age factor and language
factor made it a little hard for me to understand  I think I rambled
off something about God´s love because after all he had written "God
is love" on the whiteboard and after I was done speaking I turned to
Eusebia and told her that I didn´t understand the question very well.
She whispered back that the question was in fact not understandable
and that she didn´t really understand anything he was saying.  So she
then proceeded to teach me the lesson with the manual.  It was pretty
funny.  We would read the scriptures alone and then she would
highlight it and point to a question that the manual asks.  I could
just picture her answering in her head.  It was pretty great.  ahh
Peruvian Sunday school class.
      This week we visited a less active member who is having a really
hard time.  She feels like when she was a faithful member of the
church she had more problems and that its better for her just to leave
the church alone.   She told us that she didn´t really think God loves
us and that she didn´t even know if he exists anymore.  We talked to
her about the plan of salvation and it was super hard at first because
she said that she´d just hopes that after this life that’s the end.
She didn´t really even want eternal life.  When she was telling us
this I offered a silent prayer that God would help me have the words
that would comfort her and help her.   I find myself bearing a
testimony about the atonement and all Christ did for us.  I felt the
spirit enter into her little room and even though she didn´t say
anything else I could see that for a moment she was truly reminded of
how much our God really does love us.  He loves us so much that he
sent his only son to suffer and die for us.  THis week I gained a new
perspective on the atonement when I asked this less active to think
about someone she knows and loves, suffering like the Savior did.  I
pictured my father suffering like that and felt overcome with a love
for the Savior.  There is no way to repay him.  All we can do is
accept his sacrifice and come unto him. That is all he asks of us.
Without Him the plan of salvation would include the spirit world,
life, and death.  There would be no eternal life. There would be no
eternal families.  But he lived and he still lives and because he
lives we have the opportunity to go, if we are obedient, right back
into the outstretched arms of our heavenly father. I am so grateful
for the Savior.  He  carried me this week and I am so grateful for the
opportunity to serve Him.
Hope you all have a great week!  Love ya guys!

Hermana Russelll

Monday, November 30, 2015

Come and See

Hola familia!

So it has been a crazy and unusual week this week.  Puerto has been
having a strike all this week and it means that we have had to walk
every where and basically that everyone has been home.  It hasn`t
stopped the work so that is really good but it just has made it really
annoying to work.  Nothing has been open and I don`t know how we found
this internet store opened.  I think I have already explained what a
strike is but basically angry men just roam the streets destroying and
block off whole streets.  There isn`t any transportation and it looks
like a zombie apocalypse happened.  There is trash all over the
streets and only people walking around.  Its kind of scary and spooky.
Like the city is abandoned or something.  Also people are running out
of food because no food is coming in and no one is making money to buy
food.  So we have a favorite store on the corner and we usually buy
our snacks there.  Well on Saturday night we stopped by to get some
things for sunday and the store was all closed except for a window
where they were taking orders of what people wanted and then grabbing
it for them.  This is a usual strike thing because of the strike
people come by you have to close everything really fast or they will
destroy your store.  Anyways the owner knows us so he opened his door
for us and we were able to grab the things we needed.  But there was
such  a crowd outside that they didn`t have time to take our money.
We waited patiently and we were cool with it.  Anways the funny part
was that there was so many people looking through the window and
yelling basically about what they needed.  It was like they were
preparing for war.  One lady was asking for so much they just let her
in because she could get it for herself.  Anyways we were just
laughing because this lady came in and just started buying everything!
 Literally she grabbed like 20 candy bars and napkins, breadsticks,
gum!  Everything!  We were laughing pretty hard inside.  I hope the
strike ends soon because its been pretty annoying to have to walk to
the district center which is about 2 miles from our house in 100
degree weather.  Ugh.  Its been so hot this week.  But its better now.
Its raining.

So why do we have to walk to the other chapel every day this week?
Because we are practicing a Christmas song for our Christmas
conference with President.  It’s going to be great but I don`t know
why we have been practicing so much.  I think we are all getting sick
of it because yesterday we had a practice for about 2 hours.  Oh and
we didn`t have church yesterday because of the strike.  Anyways we
were practicing and the elder who is playing the piano starts jazzing
it up and speeding it up so it becomes this jazz slash rock kind of
song.  There was this part where he just stopped playing and all the
elders  scream “A BEACON IN THE NIGHT”  oh man!  It was pretty
hilarious.   I think the heat got to all the missionaries this week.

This might be kind of random but this week during weekly planning
there was a bunch of ants on the floor by my desk.  I didn´t really
know why they were there because there wasn`t any food and I had just
mopped and swept that morning.  Anyways I decided to kill them really
quick with some spray we got so I sprayed it all over and then told
Hermana alailima to be careful because it was a little wet right
there. Now looking back I should of just cleaned it up really fast but
nope.  So we continued planning and I went to the fridge to get some
cereal and when I was walking back to my desk I totally slipped
hardcore.  My cereal flew out of my hands and flew across the room and
I fell right on my back with my feet up in the air.  It hurt but I
couldn`t help but laugh.  We laughed for a pretty long time.  I now
have a nasty bruise on my elbow.  It looks like the strike attacked me
or something.  But I just really don`t like ants but I learned that if
you are going to kill them just make sure you wipe it up with a towel
instead of wiping it up later with your entire body….

Even though we had a strike this week we had a great turnout at the
friendship night!  Which sounds better said in Spanish.  Anyways tons
of people came.  And tons of investigators.  It was on thanksgiving so
we talked about gratitude and went around the circle and said what we
were thankful for. It was a sweet night and a great reminder for
everyone.  Later we played a super fun game that I will  have to
explain later but literally everyone was laughing and crying of
laughter.  It was super fun and I think we will just keep making those
nights bigger and bigger.

So on to the spiritual side… J

We have a great family named Alan and Salomè!  Alan is a member but
less active and Salomè is his wife who is not  a member.  THEY ARE
MARRIED. THEY ARE MARRIED!  Its amazing!  Anyways they have the cutest
little family and Salomè is really interested in the temple and in
being sealed as a family.  I love visiting this sweet family and on
Saturday we shared the plan of salvation with them.  Salomè comes from
a religious family so she has a lot of questions and little doubts.
She always asks them in a respectful way and we always try to answer
them to the best of our abilities.  Sometimes they are really
complicated but we bore our testimony about this wonderful plan and
she said that it all made sense.  After she had lots of questions
about baptisms for the dead and temples.  The spirit was there in the
lesson.  it was just a peaceful and quiet experience.  I think that
she is really going to be able to progress and we want to give her a
baptism date for the 25 of Christmas J which would be so amazing.  I
really hope she decides to read and pray because I know that the Lord
wants her to know that it is true.

This week I ponderized the scripture in mosiah 15:7.  I love this
scripture especially the end, that the will of the son being swallowed
in the will of the father.  What a perfect example the savior gave us
of obedience to God.  I am so grateful for this Christmas season and
especially grateful that our Savior was born.  You all need to go
watch the video that the church just put out.  It’s beautifully done as
always. J we will be using it to contact and to teach this Christmas.

Well I love you all so much.  I was touched this week while reading in
Jesus the Christ about when Christ was first picking his apostles.
Some of them after being chosen went to their friend or brother to
invite him as well to follow Christ.  They said “come and see”.  I
love this so much.  We are invited to come unto the Lord to find out
for ourselves if he really is our savior.  Each one of us has this
responsibility.  To personally find out for ourselves if our redeemer
lives and if he truly laid down his life for each one of us.  I love
the savior and I know that he lives.  How wonderful it is to testify
of Him.
Love you all!

Hermana Russell

Monday, November 23, 2015

Interesting Weekly Update

Hey family!

So right now we are in a strike and we basically risked our lives to
get to this internet.  You are welcome. Just kidding. There was just
angry men blocking the road.  We are entering a strike and its going
to get crazy.  Or that’s what they say.  Supposedly the natives are
going to come with their bow and arrows to fight.  I hope its not too
serious because we have lots of work this week.

Alright so this week was probably one of the best weeks ever.   It was
just fun.  I love being a missionary and I love Hermana Aailima and I
love PUERTO! I never thought I would love it so much.  I don`t feel so
hot anymore and I just love the warm weather and the people.  It’s the
best!    Okay so last Pday we had zone pday and it was pretty great.
We decided to make oreo cheese cake balls.  One of the elders tried
them and asked us if this is why America has diabetes.  Hahaha.
Probably.  Anyway as we were sitting in the hall waiting for our
companions in the bathroom a crazy running cat flew by us and turned a
corner where we knew it was a dead end.  He kind of skidded around the
corner and hit the wall and just kept going.   We knew there was no
way he could get out so we went to look at him and he wasn´t there.
We were so confused!! Me and Hermana Miceli thought that he had jumped
into the ceiling because there was a whole in the ceiling and we were
convinced that was now in the ceiling of the church.  We were laughing
about it, and we just couldn´t believe it!  It was just so marveling
but then we got a little closer and we realized that one of the glass
panels on the door of the church was missing.  Hermana Miceli and I
laughed for a real long time because we had been so gullible.  It was
a memorable moment.  Oh and to make the cheesecake balls we used the
sun to melt the chocolate and literally it did a really good job.  It
was amazing!  The sun is so hot here.  I don´t really understand why
since I am not as close to it as I was in Puno, but yeah its super
crazy hot.   Wednesday we had interviews with Presidente and training
form the assistants  It was probably the most amazing training and
interview that I have ever had.  I was awesome and gave me so much
energy to keep working!  There is so much potential here in Puerto!
So much!  Its just up to us to be obedient to Presidents advice and
keep moving forward.  It was a great day and after Hermana Harbertson
came with us to an appointment in the pouring rain.  We had to walk
through some crazy muddy roads but she was a great sport.  I love her
sweet example and even though she doesn´t speak much Spanish you can
just feel the love she has for the people.

Thursday the Hermana leaders came from Cusco!  They are the best!  We
had a great day and because we were working both in the same sector we
visited a ton of people.  they are the greatest! J  I left with
Hermana Salas and she is the best teacher and taught me a lot about
how to love the people and how to explain and teach with more clarity.
Man she´s the coolest.

Saturday was the best!

We had a cita with recent converts, Sofia and Milagros.  When we got
there they weren´t there so we asked their mom, who isn´t a member, if
we could help her with anything.  She said that we could help her make
empanadas!!  Oh man she makes the best empanadas in all of peru and we
got to help her.  She was so patient.  She just let us go for it and
didn´t get mad when we made mistakes.  They turned out great and she
gave us each three!  Wow they were so great and it was so much fun to
just talk to her and gain a little bit of her trust.  She has been
listening to us but doesn´t want to do anything without her husband
who is stubborn and insists that his family listens and not him…
anyways.  Rosa is her name and she is the best empanada maker ever.
It’s a good thing that she doesn’t sell them in our sector because if
she did we would buy one every day.  After that we had received
permission from our leaders to go buy some things at a store to
prepare us for the strike that is coming because we might not be able
to leave.   We ran over to a store in our sector and there was a man
that kind of hunted us down and asked  “are you guys Mormons?” I said
yes and he told us that he was a member but wasn`t able to attend
because  of work.  He was kind of really weird and I got a bad feeling
about him.  He didn´t know any of the branches names and asked if we
had a phone number.  I said we didn´t and that he could come to the
church at 8 Sunday.   We left and did our quick shopping and when we
were checking out he came up to us again.  He asked us if he had a
book that he could read and then asked for our names and numbers
again.  I told him to just come to the church and we´d give him a
book.  At this point I was just really annoyed and just felt like we
should get out of there.  He said that he was going to go talk to his
boss to see if he could get time off.  He went over to his boss and I
heard them laughing and I just felt like we needed to leave.  So he
came back and tried to grab me so that I could talk to his boss and
explain why he wanted to go to church.  I definitely wasn´t having any
of that so after I dodged him, I told him that we would check out
first and then I would talk to her.  He went back to his shelfing job
and when we had finally checked out I looked at him and he wasn´t
looking at us so we grabbed our huge bags of cereal and yogurt and
calmly walked out the store but when we were out on the street we just
started running/walking to get out of there. We actually turned down a
pretty sketch alley and got pretty lost but it was one of the funniest
things ever.  We laughed so much and couldn´t believe that we had just
ditched this “less active”.  It sounds like a really non missionary
thing to do but he was giving me a weird feeling and did try to touch
me.  So that’s like two very red flags as a missionary.   After we
went to the district activity which were the DANZAS!!  It was so fun.
I love the traditional dances of peru! Our branch did the best one I
have ever seen.  The adults danced and they included a live chicken
and they threw real eggs!  It was marvelous!!!  It was a great
night! LOTS of investigators came and some even danced!  It was
amazing!  I´ll try to send a picture! 

Something that stuck with me this week is something that we talked
about in our training.  We watched a really cool sport clip that you
guys have probably seen but while the player is crossing the field
with a person on the back the coach says, give me your heart, you
promised me your best.  I love this saying.  I promised the Lord that
I would give my all to him. And we all promise that we will do our
best.  We need to give him our heart and keep pushing forward.  We
promised him our best.

I love you guys so much and I am so thankful for all the great support!

Love, Hermana Russell

District Meeting Making Oreo Cake Bites

Monday, November 16, 2015

Missing the Temple

November 16, 2015

Hey fam fam!

This week has been really quite great.  It ended on a really good note
with three investigators in sacrament meeting and two families of less
actives that we are teaching!  I love Sundays because Its kind of the
finale of your week and Its usually always rewarding. In some way.  So
I got your Christmas package this week.  Don´t worry.  I didn´t open
anything I wasn´t supposed to.  I am super excited for the decorations
and the advent calenders! They are so darling!  I love Christmas and
Christmas in the jungle is going to be the best.   wE are hoping that
we don´t have changes before then.

I think its so cool that you got to meet Hermana Holland.  She was a
great missionary and really helped me become who I am today as a
missionary. I will always admire her.

I am so jealous of the radio show!!!  Wow you guys are so cute and I
can´t believe how far mom has come in the football scene.  To think
that she wanted to leave a game early when she was recently married.
Wow!  Dad picked a good one J  Also proof that anyone can change.  But
really it sounds like a great football night.  I still think we should
do a football themed basement with framed jerseys and now a signed
football.  That would be really cool..

Well mom asked about our relief society lessons.  They are a little
different than what you would think but its still relief society.  wE
are using the Ezra taft benson manual and yes it does translate.  It´s
usually a great class but sometimes I need to bring popcorn because it
just gets really off topic.

Um yeah.  I just want to express my gratitude to mom and dad who are
always faithful in writing me.  You guys rock.  I have the two
greatest parents ever.  and for Shelby.  She never fails me.  She is
the best. And for the rest of you I can see that you are all too
gorgeous and popular for your little sister in the jungle.  J but
seriously you guys need to stop being so great.  I can just tell you
guys are becoming amazing young women.

So this week we had a not so regular zone meeting.  WE went to a
backyard and had a tree of life activity with the iron rod.  It was
super well done and super fun.   Hermana Miceli and I fell off first
but in my defense  it wasn´t my fault.  She took my blindfold off.
But we spent the rest of the time tempting everyone else to fall off.
It was a super great experience and after we got the opportunity to
repent and receive the fruit of the tree of life.  J  our zone leader
is ending his mission this Thursday and so he bore his testimony and
it was super powerful.  It made me realize that the mission is the
greatest thing and I am so blessed to be here.  I hope the next months
pass by really slowly.

We found a family that is so great!! They are name Lucy and Washington
and they have a little son.  They are from lima and live right next to
the temple but they live in Puerto for work.  They don´t have any
family here.  wE taught them for the first time this week and it was
so great.  They live in a cute clean little house and their little son
can talk forever!  They were really receptive to our message and I
can´t wait to keep working with them.  The hermanas in another sector
contacted them and then we followed up but it was sure awesome.  It
was an answer to my prayers because I wanted to find a family that we
could work with that could progress.  I just know that they are the
ones that can do it.

wE are also working with a new family of less actives who are awesome.
They are a great family that just need to be reminded of their
covenants.  They came to church and it was so great to see the whole
family there.  We met with them after church and taught them the plan
of salvation.  I think we can rescue them for December and the dad can
be worthy to baptize his little girl who just turned 8. J  they also
gave us the best food I have ever had and I love visiting them and
they love having us over. J  families like this one make me love being
a missionary.

So this week I really missed the temple.  I love the temple and I love
being able to think about my covenants and feel such a protection from
them.   I wish everyone could make it to the temple and I can´t wait
to live closer to one.  I hope that we take advantage of the temple
because its something that is so precious and amazing to me.  J  I
can´t wait to be inside of it with all of you guys one day and I am
going to make a sister temple day so that over the years we can still
get together J  I am so grateful for you guys.  You all rock and I
hope you have  a great week!

Les amo más que la lengua puede decir,

Hermana Russell

Monday, November 9, 2015

Primary Program in Peru


It was so great to hear from you guys this last week!  I love hearing
about the little fun and normal things that you guys do each week.  I
had to laugh at Ellie and grace´s birthday dinner…. REALLY?  Why don´t
you come to peru and eat rice for a year….  You guys should go on a
mission and then you will really appreciate moms good cooking and
options… you will appreciate options.  Mom asked how I teach with
power and authority.  I think it comes from preparing and trying to
have the spirit with you.  Everyday we have two hours of preparing for
the appointments we will have.  I try to study for someone with the
spirit and then when I am in the lesson I also try to follow what the
spirit would have me say.  Sometimes its totally different and I have
to be super ready to do what the spirit wants  me to.  Its kind of
cool because some lessons go really well and they were completely
unplanned.   I am sure that you were set apart mom and that you have a
power and authority to teach and help those in the relief society.

Yes sophie fasting in Puerto is super hard but I think the lord always
blesses us with a cloud covering or a fairly easy day.  The first time
it was super hard but the second time was better.  I tried to be happy
when the branch leaders planned to fast next  week together for some
families.   I am happy… I am really happy.. its going to be great!!! J

I laughed because everyone mentioned Michael Jackson this week and you
guys don´t even know what kind struggle it is.  For the past month we
have had workers working on the house we live in.  They are building a
huge roof which recently they finished and then another apartment next
to us.  Its been pretty loud and annoyoing but the worst is when they
play Michael Jackson music or any popular old time songs….and we are
studying… I just want to get up and sing and dance but I have to say
in my head.. sacred thoughts sacred thoughts… Its been so hard but I
think they will be finishing soon and I can always blast the hymns in
cello version.

Also for day of the dead we didn´t really see anything.  Everyone just
goes to the cementary and outside of the cementary they have a huge
fair.  J

Well this week was really fun but also really hard.  We laughed a lot
but we also walked around a lot.  But it was super nice weather.  It
rained all day and cooled Puerto down a lot.  It was like a tender
mercy.  But it was frustrating.  Also for news of the week my old
companions Hermana Campoverde and Hermana MInaya are Hermana leaders!!
I am so excited for them.!!  I love them so much and we still keep in
good touch.  They are my favorites.

We got caught in a jungle storm this week and we were drenched in a
matter of two seconds.  We also realized that although are bags may be
water proof they are definitely not jungle proof L it was kind of
disappointing and now everything smells like Puerto.

We have continued to teach Nayali.  She is doing great.  She came to
church with us and I am uploading a photo to dropbox right now.  She
is so great.  WE also have plans to rescue a family this month.
Marisol and Benito are awesome!  They have come to church three times
in a row and they are just amazing.  They always love when we visit
them and their kids are active and doing great.  And we are also
visiting a family named Gloria and Miguel.  They are from Chiclayo and
they are so awesome!!  I love  visiting them.  They make us laugh and
are always willing to receive us.  They are great members they just
don´t come to church.  I think they are passing through some really
hard times so we just stop in and try to bring the spirit into their
home.   I will try to get a picture of them soon.  They have boys that
are trying to go on missions and we are in the process of helping them
 get ready.

This Sunday we had the primary program.  I got to say that it was
pretty great.  One of the girls recited all the articles of faith
memorized.  It took a real long time but she did great.  My favorite
part is when I played piano for them as they sang the primary song for
this year.  We had practiced the day before and I was thankful that it
was an easy song. But as I started to play I realized that they really
didn´t know how to follow along with music.  They didn´t hold any note
for four counts or even two and they just kept singing.  I would try
to play the little notes between the measures but they would just
start singing the next part.  It took me so off guard that I just had
to stop and put my head down.  I started laughing so hard I was
shaking.  I was behind this whiteboard so no one could see but man I
didn´t want them to hear that I was laughing so hard. I was just so
caught off guard.  It was so crazy.  And while I was sitting back
there shaking they just kept singing.  And man do they know how to
belt it out.  Anyways after running through it one time I crossed off
all the notes that I would just skip over and I made Hermana Alailima
sing really loud so that they could follow along.  For The actual
performance they really did well.  It was great! Primary programs are
great all around the world.

Well I am running out of time.  I loved this week and was able to
teach the young women in church yesterday. It was so fun to be with
them.  I hadn´t planned a lesson so we talked about how special they
are and how they should really set some standards for their future
husbands.  I made them all write down what they wanted in their future
 husbands…#notsotypicalmissionarylesson  but it was actually pretty
darn great.  I feel like sometimes people don´t ever tell them how
special they are and how they actually need to put their foot down and
stick to their standards.   God loves them and wants the best for them
and I do too!

wEll If I learned anything this week it would be that we all need to
just treat and love everyone better.  Everyone is going through hard
times and sometimes we just don´t know that something we´ll say can
really offend them.  Being the confidant of many people I sometimes
cringe when I hear others talking bad about them or saying mean things
to them and I know what they are going through.  Its so hard.  But you
just have to love everyone and try to see them as who they are and how
God sees them.  Its something that I know I need to work, but I am
grateful to be able to be a missionary because I feel like I really
get to practice a lot.   Well I love you guys a lot and hope you have
a great day! And week!

Love Hermana Russell