Monday, January 25, 2016

Leaving Puerto

sigh...... I´m leaving Puerto and my Hija..... AHH I can´t believe the
time has already come to an end here in Puerto.  I will be serving  in
Cusco and I am super excited for this new chapter.  I will actually be
the Hermana Lider for the Hermanas Here in Puerto so I will be able to
return. :)  I am super excited.  Hermana Alailima has been the
greatest companion.  We literally have always gotten along and its
been a joy to train her and to watch her grow.  she will have her
first latina companion but I am not even worried about her.  She is
going to do great things here in Puerto.
  Bueno this last week has been really good. but it also has been so
hot..  Its like a furnace here..
  Well this Sunday they released our branch presidency.  We have a
new president and I am really excited for this branch.  I think its
going to work a little more smoothly,  THe best thing ever is that our
recent convert, for rescue, Hermano Benito will be the second
conselor!  I was sooooo pumped when I heard this!  I am so excited for
him and his family.   We talked to him after and he thanked us for
visiting him and helping his family.  It was probably one of the best
moments ever.  I am so happy for him.  I know that this will help him
and his family make it back to the temple and be even more strong.
It was a really good way to finish my time here.
  wE also had an activity with the young women.  I love them here and
its been great hanging with them recently.  They don´t have a
president so I have been teaching their lessons.  WE had a spa
activity and I think i curled about 4 girls hair.  But you don´t
understand.... these girls have more hair than all of the russell
girls put together!  Seriously!  GIGANTE!   I wanted to cry but tHey
all turned out beautiful.  But at the end i was sweating so bad that
little drops of sweat were dripping off my eyebrows... my EYEBROWS.
gosh one little girl looked at me and said "you are shining!"  Anyways
I would say it was a successful activity. and Hermana Alailima and I
made quite a team.. She corn rowed everyones hair and I curled it.
  Yeah so last but not least is Leonor.  She is literally the best
and I am going to miss her so much.  She said Saturday night that
since she has been reading and living with the family she has felt so
much better.  I think she is really going to be baptized soon.  she
has real intent and I can see that she really wants to know.  I sent a
picture with her.
  well,  I have learned so much here in Puerto.  It has been so so
hard.  Probably the hardest sector, but I am so grateful for what I
have learned.  I have truly learned to lean on and trust in the
Savior.  He is our brother, our friend, and our Redeemer.  He is with
us through the failures and the successess.  I cant wait to tell him
thanks.  I know that everything that is wrong in the world can be made
right through His Atonement.  God´s plan is perfect and is Gospel will
help us return home.  I love you guys... have a great week!!
Love, Hermana russell
p.s.  Thanks for putting up with the ugly pictures :)
p.s.s.  Ellie and grace are not in any way allowed to drive or date.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Sunny Puerto

Hey familia!!!!

      So the best news that we got this week is that

1.        Jeffery R Holland is coming in February!!!

2.       And we got cell phones……HALALUJAH!!

And basically that is it….

Love, Hermana Russell

Just kidding..  what´s shaking guys !!!  Its been a great week.  It
went by really fast due to my trip.   We have been working so hard
this week that I have been getting home so exhausted.  WE go to bed as
fast as we can and literally are like zombies in the morning.   We
decided to start running in the mornings because it makes us feel so
much better.   I don`t know why I am so exhausted….  Oh Puerto…. Haha

This week the Hermanas from cusco came to visit us.  They are so
great.  I spent the day with Hermana white.  She is the best and so
great.  We shared the restoration with an investigator and the spirit
was so strong. When we challenged her to be baptized she said yes and
accepted a date for the 20 of February!  I am really excited for her.
Her name is Juliana and honestly it feels so good that someone finally
accepted a fecha!!  Yaya later we visited my favorite person ever
named Leonor!  She is 86 years old and literally still kicking it.
She is hilariously sassy and is accepting the church.  We
visited her and right off the bat she said she won`t get baptized.
She lives with members, by the way.   Anyways we started talking to
her and she said that the only difference between catholics and
Mormons is that we didn’t worship Mary.  So we talked about Mary and
shared a scripture in the book of Mormon to answer her question.
After she seemed more comfortable.  We had planned to teach lesson 2
on the plan of salvation but I felt like this lesson we needed to
focus on the book of Mormon.  I asked her if she had prayed about it
and she said that she had.  I asked her how she felt and she said she
had forgotten.   Palm in face.   #teachingoldpeopleprobs   anyways we
bore our testimonies about the restored church and the spirit was so
strong.  She said she was feeling it and it was such a sweet moment.
I challenged her to baptism and I thought she was going to say yes.
She was smiling and nodding her head…. And then she said no…. haha we
will keep trying.  She came to church and looks so comfortable there.
She is surrounded by members and even comments in Sunday school.   I
love her.  Especially when she tells me all her crazy remedies to
cure my legs.

And that’s about my week.   Changes are next week.  So we are dying.
We will probably get a change because we have been together for three.
  I don`t want to leave Puerto but she doesn`t either.  I have learned
how to love here.  I have learned about sacrifice here.  And mostly I
have learned that the Christ is the center of the God`s plan.  I
testify that he is our Savior. He loves us and he is mindful of us.
He will be with us through our triumphs and our failures.    I  love
being  a missionary.  It’s the best thing ever J

Love Hermana Russell

Monday, January 11, 2016

Machu Picchu

Hey family!!

 Bueno we just got back from Machu Picchu and it was AMAZING!  I am
so tired though.  I haven´t slept in 24 hours because reuniting with a
certain old compi kept us up whispering all night, but we did have to
get up at 1:30 to head to Machu Picchu.

  Well this week was super hard in terms of the work and we were
super duper frustrated.  Hermana Alailima is a great support and I
love her so much for her hard work and persistence.  Its not easy
being here but I know one day it will be worth it.  Because it was
just a boring week I will skip right to macho picchu.

  After sacrament Sunday we headed to Cusco.  Another Hermana went
with me and we travled with the zone leaders.  It was a long but
beautiful ride like always.  In the terminal I was greeted by Hermana
MInaya and it was the BEST REUNION!  Later I went to the Cusco house
where Hermana Solar and Hermana Campoverde and a ton of other awesome
Hermanas were there.  IT was so fun to see them and reunite with them.
 And so that night we woke up or stopped talking at one thirty and at
two thirty we had to be at the church.  We got picked up in a little
van and were driven to where you take the train to machu picchu.  It
was super long and I was so cold!  Gosh I miss the warmth of Puerto.
Hahah Anways when we got there we took the train up to Machu Picchu
village and from there we took a bus to Machu Picchu!  It was
beautiful and the tour guide was the best.  He would stop us every so
often and talk to us about the culture of the quechuas and what Inca
really means.  It was so interesting and I wish I could tell you guys
everything I learned.  We spent four hours walking around and
exploring with the tour guide who is a member and was wearing all BYU
gear.  He was super cool and answered every question I had  without
laughing… haha.  Its such a cool cool place!   I can´t really even
explain…. I guess ya´ll gonna have to come.

Something I asked was why they had to build their temples or live so
high up in the mountains because its literally takes all morning to
get there and its super well hidden.  Well Beto the tour guide said
that they believed in sacrifice.  That you had to work a little and
sacrifice a lot to build a temple.  I just loved this.  The Lord does
require sacrifice, but everything that requires sacrifice is amazing
and worth it,  just take Machu Picchu for an example.

Well I love you guys a lot.  I am going to keep working hard and
sacrificing because I know that its for the best cause we could
possibly imagine.

Love you guys un monton!

Hermana Russell

Monday, January 4, 2016

The Cat Lady Missionary

He must love us alot!

Hey family!

So I apoligize greatly for my short email last week… hehe I just
wasn´t feeling it I guess.  The good thing is that this was kind of a
boring, but good, week so I can just say what I wanted to say last

So guess what??  Next week I am going to Machu Pichu!!!!  I am
pretty pumped!!  But not looking forward to the 12 hour bus ride.  I
think I will have the company of another Hermana so that will be good.

Last week we rescued two families.  I love them so much and it has been
such a joy to be able to work with them and watch them grow.  We were
talking to one of the families this week and they have a goal this
year to return to the temple.  They are already sealed but haven´t
been back since they have been sealed.  I was so excited to hear that
J then in testimony meeting he bore his testimony about how he wants
to spend this year in the church.  Their daughter came up to us after
and asked us what she can do to go on a mission J  I am so excited for
this family because this year is going to bring amazing things for
them.    The other family was rescued and their daughter was baptized.
The baptism was awesome and they were so so happy!  They also have a
goal to go to the temple this year to be sealed.  It´s so amazing to
watch the change that the Gospel can make in a family.  It's true that
the gospel blesses the families and that the doctrine of Christ is
there to unite families and help us return to live with our father in
Heaven together.

Well then we had our Christmas dinner with President.  It was a really
good night.  Our theme this year will be Know Him, Follow Him, Become
like Him.  We have a new book of Mormon challenge and its already the
best J   We watched a new movie named Freetown and it is super great.
 My favorite quote was this “You Elders serve an all-powerful God”  I
loved it because its true!  I serve an all-powerful God, and nothing
is impossible for Him.   We had a turkey dinner which was accompanied
by plastic forks.  You can imagine how many forks started breaking and
I felt like we were back in café Rio breaking our forks over bean
burritos… haha the good old days.  Anyways it was all great. J

We finally contacted a new investigator this week.  His name is Hardy
and he has read all the way to Alma!  HE is super cool and we are
talking about baptism with him.  He is a policeman so sometime his job
gets in the way and he doesn´t have a lot of time.  But he always
makes time for the lessons and church.  The only problem is that he
can only attend at 10 and we start at 8.  We are trying to get the
branches to switch because it’s the new year, but some people have
gotten a little use to sleeping in… J  but Hardy is super cool.  This
week we were walking past the prison and he saw us from the Guard
tower,  He started shouting and waving and I thought “Who is that
maniac?” but than I was like “Hardy!!! QUE TAL?”  haah super cool guy.
  We are already planning on setting him up with a ysa and thinking
about all the girls we could bring to the lessons! Haha making eternal
families J

Last Friday our zone leaders came up to us and asked us how many new
investigators we had so far.  I told them that we had three and they
said that we all needed to get six to meet the goal of the month.  I
knew that Saturday we wouldn´t really have time with the baptism and I
looked at the Sunday appointments and we had a potential of one new
investigator.  I looked at them and I was just said yeah we can do it.
Saturday night we set the goal of three new investigators and we prayed about it
and I felt good.  I felt like we could do it.  We went to church the
next day and behind us was a lady I had never seen before.  Her name
is Leonor and she is a friend of a great family and they just happened
to bring her that day.  I hurried and made a appointment with her in
our only available hour and a little bit later she became our first
new.   As we were at this members home teaching Leonor, we finished
and they told us to go visit their neice, who is a menos active,  so
we went over there and found her with her boyfriend Kevin and we
taught him and he became the second new investigator, then we went to
our last appointment, a family we had contacted,  and guess what?  The
whole family was there and we got like three new investiagtors and
they are getting baptized the second Saturday of this month!! ……..
just kidding they're not getting baptized this month….yet. .. I just
wanted to make it sound more exciting..    But the point is that we
got 5 new investigators and met our goal and met the goal as the zone.
It felt super great.  I know that it was an answer to our prayers and
I really felt that day that God was leading us around and we could
have never planned for that.   Prayer power is the best J  Its right up
there with Priesthood power…..

Well I just want to leave you guys with my testimony of the Atonement.
I know that it covers everything and anything.  I am so grateful for
my Savior Jesus Christ who fulfilled his promise.  He must love us a
lot.  I hope you guys have a great week J

Love Hermana Russell