Sooo I am still in Abancay with Hermana Holland! We are so excited for this change because we have so many families with potential and we love working together! And In case you missed it the mountains here look exactly like the back drop of the famous painting of when Christ came to the Americas, so yeah I am basically living in the land of the Nephites. Abancay is still paradise and all is well here.
So for responses, Primero Dad, I loved your email about missionary work when you were a kid. It has changed so much and one thing I forgot to mention is that we extend the baptismal challenge in the first lesson. Hermana Holland and I are really good at this and I love it. The Baptismal challenge is a sure fire way to know where their heart is and what they really want out of your visits. Also Dad I loved your hilarious stories from you trip. You always have the best things happen to you. I had a lot of stories like that happen this week but I will have to share them at a later time. J So Mom, Changes in missions happen every 6 weeks, we call them cambios and I do not like them. You can hardly focus in the mornings. WE usually get an email or our zone leader will tell us where we are going. Last week we didn´t get an email but after we signed off the computers we ran into the ZL´s. So yeah that’s that. It´s very rare for a trainee and a trainer to stay together like this in our mission, so we are definitely expecting a change next time, but for now we are enjoying every day and working really hard! Also mom you are hilarious and I love your emails. Thanks for all the small details of your day! And last but not least I just want to express how much I love my family and all the friends who right me. You guys are seriously the funniest, strongest people I know and I am honored to wear our last name on my tag. It is such a privilege to represent the Russell Family, and don´t worry mom, everyone here uses their dad´s last name and mom´s last name, so the Nelson name gets brought up a lot.
Well I will just skip to the highlight of this week. Carolina is Baptized!!! OH man it was such a beautiful beautiful day! I am so extremely grateful for the opportunity to teach her and watch her progression in the Gospel. WE had so many ups and downs, but I know that because Carolina applied the doctrine of Christ and read her scriptures every day, she was able to gain a testimony. Lots of people came to the baptism. WE made invitations and passed them out to everyone. Hermana Rene and Candy (YSA) made a beautiful cake and did so much for us that day! Hermana Holland and I along with the Elders sang Oh my father but to the tune of Come thou fount of every blessing! It sounded super awesome I think. Elder salvatierra can play the guitar really well, and I feel like we all were blessed with the ability to carry a tune. AT least Hermana Holland was! Anyways I can´t describe how happy I was that day. I feel like God has blessed me so much and I don´t really know why. Carolina is amazing and she has a desire to be a missionary and I am so excited for her to accompany us everywhere. Just wow! Saturday and Sunday were just fantastic.
Also one fun thing that happened this week was that I found my CCM teacher in Abancay! He has been here all summer and had references for us. It was so fun to get to talk to him and guess what I understood him word for word!! And he was speaking Spanish that time, because he is also fluent in English. Anyways he gave us some good advice and even though we didn´t get to meet is references it was still wonderful to see a familiar face and laugh about all the funny things in the CCM. I thought I loved the CCM a lot but being out here in the field I realize how much I didn´t like it.
I don´t have any ungoogable facts but I do have a funny story. WE were at NOche misional this Friday and we wanted to start with a hymn. Michelle (YSA) picked the song Come come Ye Saints, so we all turn to the page and Candy (YSA) says, “Its not here!” and we all look and its true the whole page is just blank. Absolutely nothing for the two pages. WE all laughed a ton and thought it was hilarious. So she shared with someone else and we started NOche misional. We played a super fun name called BOMBA! Its super fun, I will teach you all when I can. But to close we sang another hymn. Battle Hymn of the republic. And the same thing happened! Candy opened to two blank pages! Well we just laughed and laughed! Haha! Who knows why it was missing! But it’s a pretty Peruvian thing to do.
Well this week has been wonderful!! I am so grateful for all the blessings I have in my life. Missionary work is hilarious and so much fun, its also very tiring, emotionally and spiritually. I am learning stuff I would never learn at home. I love you all and am so grateful for the support and love I feel from here. Have a great week!
Love, Hermana Russell.