Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Emma of the Jungle


Yup it’s true that I am in the jungle and I absolutely love it! Namely
because there isn´t one single bug bite on my legs J  YESSSS!!  The
weather has been perfect.  Yeah it super hot but I am here with my
best friend and an awesome second companion.

The music is perfect.  Thanks Hannah.  Also mom please do learn
Spanish.  It’s so fun to speak Spanish and lots of the funny things
that happen are usually in Spanish.  And no they don´t give us worm
pills…. But that doesn´t mean that we don’t have worms….

Oh and to answer your question about ward names… usually they are like
American names but pronounced completely different.  I am sure that
you are pronouncing the name of Carolina wrong. But yeah the names here
are completely different and almost sound Asian, it will be
interesting to learn them.

Well I didn’t want to leave Puno.  I was happy there and working
really well with Hermana Minaya.  I guess I got comfortable because
God always knows when we need a change and he knew that I was getting
used to it…ahhh man…. Puno is slash was amazing.

WELL I am here in Puerto and training to be a trainer was amazing.
Tuesday and Monday I said good bye to everyone and it was really sad.
Tuesday at like 12 we traveled to Cusco.  There was a bunch of sisters
that had changes so it was fun to travel together.  It was great to be
with Hermana Minaya for a little bit more time.  In Cusco we spent the
night in the house of the sisters and we anxiously waited for the next
day.  Wednesday we all got ready and went to the chapel for training
with Presidente before we met our companions.  It was a super awesome
training… I loved it and I am so excited to train and be with my mom!
Then I met Hermana Alailima.  SHE is from Hawaii and so cute!! She’s a
big Y fan and literally already acts like a normal missionary.  She
has really good Spanish and is not afraid to speak it.    We all get a
long great and have been enjoying the tropical weather storms which is
a crazy rain that I have never seen in all my life!!  OPWOW  its
beautiful here.  The drive was amazing.  Cold showers are great. And
it’s a great sector.  WE are really busy and have a lot to do which I
like.  Three gringos is definitely a rare thing in Puerto.  As we went
home this week we closed the gate behind us to find aty least 7 little
kids all staring at us.  They asked us where we were from and when we
told them the United States their little mouths just dropped open and
hung in amazement.  Super cute!!  The kids are so cute here.  I kinda
feel like I am in the movie Rio and the town kind of looks like the
movie Because of Winn Dixie.

I decided that instead of ungoogable facts because I am completely out
of them, I would do man vs. wild.  But this time Missionary vs. Jungle…
Because lots of time this climate just does it’s own thing.    So
first…. Cut my bangs three weeks ago… the humidity makes them go crazy
wavy and I have pulled them up since… bbye banges.  JUNGLE 1 Hna
Russell 0.    Cold showers every day… the highlight of the night… Hna
Russell 1 Jungle 1….. but then the cold showers give you a cold
Jungle 2….I feel like I  could write a book like the one dad would
always read to us when we camped outside..  that’s bad.. no that’s
good!  Haha J

I learned this week that God really is in control.  Presidente pulled
me out to talk to me while we were doing something and told me how
this change came to pass.  I know that it was truly inspired. And I
couldn’t shake the feeling all the change before that I needed to be
with Hermana Holland and that she needed me.  I know the Lord answers
prayers.  He is so great and his way is always better.  I read a talk
by Elder Anderson this week that said this.  We each try to do out
part but He is the grand architect.

I love the mission.  It’s going to be a huge amazing adventure here in
Puerto but I am so excited!!

Love you guys so much!!!

Con amor, Hermana Russell
Together again with Hermana Holland! And a New Hermana!

Saying good bye is hard. This is the sweet sister that has been feeding Emma every day.

Emma's new companion

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

A Change is coming!

September 21, 2015


Oh my gosh I am going to serve with Hermana Holland and we are going to
train together!!!

Seriously I am freaking out that I can´t even breath right now.
Wednesday I will see my mama Hna Holland and we will recieve our
HIJA!! Oh my my Puerto is going to be an adventure for sure.

Well I have seem to forgotten everything that I can possibly say or
tell you but I wanted to ask you guys about if you are going to come
and pick me up J heheh also congrats to BYU and Taylor and Ashley.  I
am so excited for them!

Poor Cougar… I hope he is better but maybe if you get rid of him we
will have more luck with the season.

Well I loved my package!!  It was the best.  The earings, the music it
was all great J  and no I haven´t gotten the package from Mimi but I
think my leaders of zone have it.   Well also I loved Sophie´s soul
mate picture…… find one for me J

Well this week was pretty normal… Nothing really happened that´s super
exciting.  WE are looking for less active members and this week we
found a really great one named Laura.  She is a ysa and super cute and
friendly.  She hasn´t attended since she was little and in primary.
But we are super excited to work with her.

Well this week I studied a lot about God´s Grace.  You all have to
read the talk that President Uchtdorf gave in the general conference.
It is amazing and helped me so much!! Read it because right now I
can´t even think straight. ...

Well I love you all so much!! Thanks for all that you guys do for me….
Pray for me lots.  I am a little scared to go to the jungle but I am
so happy because I´ll be with my mama J


Hermana Russell

Monday, September 14, 2015

Beautifullness of Peanut Butter M&M's


Sorry for not writing very much last week.  J  we didn´t have much
time and I had to fix some things with my photos.  But all is well
here.   And so. We are truly enjoying my birthday package J and so
are the ward members because we have been bringing M&M´s to them so
that they might be able to try the beautifulness of peanut butter
M&M´s.  Mom asked if I remember watching Pysch and I honestly don´t
remember anything I did when I was home.  I faintly remember my last
night and don´t remember anything of the summer before besides Hannah´s
wedding and things pertaining to my  mission.  I do however remember
crying because I couldn´t find jeans for the mission J  hahah oh man.
What I did I do with so much time in my house??  Thank you for the BYU
updates.  I was so happy to hear that they won and feel like it’s a
birthday present from my favorite boys.   I think we should schedule
the Utes to play for my birthday because si o si they would be
trampled.  Keep up the updates because they just make me happy J  ALSO
Oh and I totally loved the description of the BYU players celebrating after the win.  Hugging
the ref is a classic and forget about all the movies that I will miss
on my mission, i just want to watch the 2015 BYU season please J

Well this week was an odd one.  Especially when I realized I got
excited when Hermana Yrma told us in ward counsil that we were going
to eat rice and fried egg and banana for lunch….. Hermana minaya is
currently suffering (I think) from a stomach infection and so she
slept a lot this week even though she didn´t want to.  Monday we went
to our ward mission leaders home for what we thought was a family home
evening but it turned into a birthday party J  He´s the best and I
love his family.  He served us the biggest slice of cake ever.  We
were also with Hermana Campoverde because her companion had to go to
Lima for papers.  Anway so we ate so much cake and then we had a
family home evening with the Bishop and he invited us to hamburgers.
I was dying inside but they were super good.  We returned to our
apartment close to 9:30 and we all crashed after a super long day.
Anyway I woke up at about 4 with super bad stomach pains and ended up
throwing up…. Haha no more hamburgers and cake for me for a while.
After that I was good and woke up normal….  But literally I don´t want
to eat a burger until I am home which makes me sad… haha J

Wednesday was a super hard day.  We were still in a trio and working
two sectors is so hard.  Finally Hermana Nuila arrived and we were
free to only work in our sector.  Anyways I could tell that Hermana
Minaya wasn´t feeling well and so I made her sit down and rest for a
bit.  We had walked a lot that day and it was unsually hot.  Anway we
said a prayer that we would find someone to help or teach so that the
hour would pass quickly and Hermana Minaya could get her mind off of
her stomach pains.  We decided to climb up a huge hill to visit an
investigator and it was a blessing that we found her in her store and
that she needed our help chopping vegetables to package in a pre made
soup package..thingy….hahah anyways it was an answer to our prayers
and we were able to sit down and talk and help Estela.  She´s
hilarious and we gained a lot of trust with her.  She asked us all
about our lives and our lives as missionary.  She is hilarious and
right now is trying to find her Book of Mormon because someone gave
one to her a while ago.

Thursday we had interviews with PRESIDENTE!  It was awesome as always.
We also had a mini interview with Hermana Harbertson.  sHe always
trains us on how to help our companions learn english.  I have been
trying to speak more English  and we have been praying every time in
English. I am pleased to inform you guys that I can now pray normally
in english.  Seriously applaud me because it’s so hard.  President is
the best and we are now focusing on finding menos activos and
reactivating them.  He promised us that as we do we will find new
people to teach and families that aren´t all baptized.   The
assistants trained us on how to work with the ward members and talked
about the importance of knowing the name of each of the ward members
and getting to know them.  It was a super good day. J and in the night
we had the privlege to be accompanied by Hermana Harbertson.  We
visited Cynthia our recent rescue and it was a great lesson.  Hermana
Harbertson is the best and such an amazing woman.

One funny thing that I don´t know if I have mentioned but Karen the
sister of our ward mission leader knows the song Some nights by FUN.
But she doesn´t know the words just the rhythm and the what the words
sound like to her.  One day she asked me if I knew this song and she
started to sing to me.  It was hilarious because she didn´t say one
single word in English but it all sounded like the song.  I couldn´t
help but chuckle a little.  It sounded like that one game where random
words sound like phrases…… hahah she is hilarious.

I was studying this week in the Book  of Mormon in the book of
Helaman.   I love his counsel to his children Lehi and Nefi.  He tells
them to build on the foundation of Christ and to remember their
ancestors.  Later Lehi and Nefi leave on missions and it says that
they kept the commandments of God.  A few scriptures later it says
that they taught with great power and authority and were not confused
by the Nephite dissenters.  I think that this a great example of what
obedience can do, it brings the spirit and a power that will be with
us as we teach.  They converted 8 thousand people.  WOW.  The lord
blessed them because they were obedient and because they were obedient
they had the Holy Ghost with them.  I know that we can be more
obedient and especially me J  I also read a talk by Elder Michael T
Ringwood this week that is called Truly good and without Guile.  This
talk is so amazing and helped me reazlied that I need to be motivated
by love and be good just to be good.  I want to be a member that goes
above and beyond and serves out of love.  He talks about that we need
to change our motivations and basically stop seeking recognition or
power  he then says this that I loved and thought I would share it
with you guys.  “The good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is that
the desires or our hearts can be transformed and our motives can be
educated and refined.”  Isn´t the Gospel the BESt?  It allows us to
change and to become better.  I am grateful that we are not all stuck
to live and die without progressing and putting off the natural man.
What a blessing that the Atonement gives us.

Well it’s been a good week all in all. J  Next week is changes and we
will see what they will bring.

Love Hermana Russell.

The only cell phone we have is a banana phone!

The apartment!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

September 7

Hola famila,

Well this week I don´t have much to say, sorry that this might be a
little short J

I got your packages this week and it was literally the best to open on
Sunday!  Thanks for all your support and love.  It’s seriously the
best.  My birthday passed really well and it was super fun.  The
companion of Hermana Campoverde had to go to Cusco so we are in a
trio, which means I was lucky enough to spend my birthday with two of
my very best friends in the mission.    Hermana Yrma surprised me with
my favorite meal and later in the night we had a family home evening
and thanks to some Peruvian traditions I got a whole lot of cake
smashed in my face. ..

This week was a hard week but we had a lot of success.  We are finding
lots of new people and the ward is progressing a lot.  I love being a
part of it and seeing how the ward is really making a difference in
the work.

Cirilo recieved the priesthood this week and he is really doing great
in his progression towards the temple.  He is going to be in charge of
blessing the sacrament J  we are happy for him but sad because his
wife is replacing someone for a month in their work and hasn´t had
time to come to church or recieve the visits.  Its been hard but I
know that Cirilo is a good example for her and that pretty soon she
will have more time.  Cirilo asked us at church who the wicked people
were, Hermana Minaya explained that it was people who didn´t do good
things.   And then Cirilo said, Oh like Hermana Nieves….. hahah J
He´s pretty hilarious.

Well that´s about it J sorry for being super boring but I just don´t
have very much to say J

Oh one more thing.  The son of our bishop  is trying to go to BYU in a
year to study..  But with the program that he is going through he will
need a sponser.  I don´t really know a ton about it but they asked me
to think about someone for them.  From what I understand you don´t
have to pay but I don´t really know. He´s going through pathway.

I LOVE YOU GUYS SO MUCH!  Thanks for all the love and support.

Con amor, hermana russell

I promise to write more!!

And p.s. I might have cut my hair…J

Wednesday, September 2, 2015


Hola familia!

It’s been a really great week! It’s super nice to have a companion that
has lots of energy and excitement for the work.  We are doing great.
I hope all is well at home and that the girls are enjoying school J
Hermana Minaya is the best and it’s so great to have such a great

I think this week we witnessed a miracle We have been working with a
menos activo named Cynthia.  She has been coming to church for about 5
months now but hasn´t had time for the lessons.  She even has a
calling in the ward and is in our consejo de barrio.  No one really
knows that she has been inactive, or they have forgotten, so its been
really hard to visit her.  But as a zone we have been praying
invidually for each companionship and the people that they are working
with.  Cynthia´s name is on the list and I know that everyone has been
praying for her.  It was an awesome feeling to finish all the lessons
Tuesday with her and finally achieve this rescue.  I was so happy and
grateful because I know that the Lord has answered the  prayers of the
missionaries here in Bellavista.  Cynthia is an awesome faithful
member and has plans to go through the temple in February.  I am so
grateful to witness such a great miracle.  WE also met our goals for
the month of August and its such a good feeling.  We are excited for
the month of September because we are going to have even more success!

Last Monday we had a noche de hogar with a family in our ward.  We
invited a less active member and our investigator Juana.   IT was
super great.  The family Rojas is the best and not just because they
are named Jesus and Miracle..  WE had a great lesson and then we
played games and in Peru they are really serious about punishments for
losing.  They have all kinds of punishments from dancing the chicken
like dance or yelling something riduclous from the window.  I was
unfortunate to lose and was punished accordingly.  I won´t tell you
guys what I had to do but you can trust that it was hilarious and now
on facebook…. J  I told Jesus that I wasn´t coming back for a family
home evening!  Haha but it was great and Juana is progressing super
bien!  The ward is supporting us so much and even though we have a lot
of work to do in teaching the lessons but I know that she will be
baptized soon.

OH this week we visited Ilaria!  It was a short lesson because she
didn´t have a lot of time (we visit her in her store).  While we were
teaching two teenager boys came in and were making lots of noise and I
suppose just doing dumb teenager things.  Later they left and were
just outside the small store still making lots of noise.  I guess they
were friends of hers or something like that.   Anyways at the end of
the lesson she would not pray and kept saying that she would pray
later and that I should say it.  We´ve heard say it before so it was
super frustrating and we both knew that she didn´t want to say because
of the teenagers outside.  I think she was a little ashamed or
embarrassed.  We kept persisting and she kept saying no…. ah it was
super annoying J  but after a really long time I asked the teenagers
if they wanted to join us because we were going to pray.  They said
yes and quieted down and entered they small store and I offered the
prayer.   It was a good moment and later I was happy that I invited
them to pray for us.  I think it helped Ilaria know that we are proud
members and that we shouldn´t be embarrassed to pray. J and maybe it
left an impression on the teenagers or at least ilaria.

One last fun thing we did this week!  Our menos activo Johanna (sister
to Cynthia) is going to have a baby in September so Saturday morning
we went to their house and helped make empanadas!  We made 200 little
empanadas and oh my hands hurt so bad from rolling out the dough but
it was so much fun.  The familia Segura is the best.  Only Johana is
inactive now and we love helping them.  Hermana Charro is the mom and
she was in the kitched all day Saturday.  The party started at 6 and
at 8 she was showering and getting ready.  We returned again in the
night to help decorate the cake and they night before we were there
making alfajores.  Don´t worry I have all the recipes! J  Anyways it
was  super great to help them an dI know that Hermana Charro was super
grateful.  The poor thing was super tired after.  Also it should be
noted that they call a baby shower….baby shower and that it started 3
hours late and Bombomcito made an appearance J We never went to the
party because we had to be in our room but we heard it was success J
haha oh  I love peru!

Anyways that was my week.  J  haha Love you all so much and I want you
guys to know that I don´t even miss you one little bit J  jk.. But
don´t worry about me.  HErmana Minaya and I are super great and I am
loving the mission. It’s the best thing ever,  I hope my hermanitas
think really hard about the mission because it blesses your life in
more ways than I ever thought.  Thanks for the love and the support!

Con Amor, Hermana Russell

2. waiting for a combi and hermana minaya makes me hold everything....
just kididng we did it for the picture.
3.  we met our goals for August!
4. because we weren´t cold enough we decided to buy ice cream
5. helping Hermana Charro and Amik make empanadas

6. we are ready to go pro....