Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Last and Final Weekly Email October 11, 2016

Hey yall!
We were able to visit a less active family earlier in the week and it was such an incredible experience. We talked about Christs disciples and how it was hard for them to follow the savior and we invited them to make the decision right now in this moment to never leave him. It was the sweetest thing because right before we left we asked if there was anything we could add in the prayer and she said " That we can have a stronger desire to come back to church and know the savior on a personal level." My heart was full! I knew that was a request of true intent! We also went to waffle house with the Millsapp sisters because we love them! They are hilarious!

District Meeting was actually really awesome! We talked about the importance of turning our will over to the lord and how when we figure out how to truly do it, it will bless us. I have a strong desire to continue to do the lords will and to never leave him! It was a really awesome meeting!

We were able to walk with our favorite Sister Lemon! She is the sweetest thing ever! She is from Germany and has the best and saddest stories ever! She wanted us to walk with her because she hasn't walked in 5 years outside because she was injured, old age and so forth. It was a fun thing to do with her especially with knowing that the savior would have gladly walked with her too.

I am so grateful for the prompting I received to serve a mission when I did. I am so grateful for the countless individuals who have shaped and molded me into the person I am today. It is hard for me to put into words the full magnitude of my gratitude towards the lord for allowing this imperfect hot mess represent his son Jesus Christ and through his grace and mercy I have been able to do it! I KNOW THIS WORK IS TRUE! I know that this is the one and only true church on the earth with Christs teachings in its fullness. I'm not going to apologize for knowing and testifying of that truth! I know this because I did a lot to find out for myself. I prayed sufficiently and read my scriptures and applied the teachings! I know that God has not left us alone. I was reading this week in Alma 17 and the king asks Ammon if he wanted to dwell among the Lamanites or his people. and he response is " Yea, I desire to dwell among this people for a time: yea, and perhaps until the day I die". My heart has been touched completely by the people of Georgia, and quite frankly I never want to leave, but I will forever remember the incredible moments where I came to know my savior like no other time in my life. I will see you all when I get home!

Sister Russell 

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Weekly Email October 3, 2016

I am really just full of gratitude and love towards my savior. I have felt this past weekend that he truly was there in the conference and he was there along side me as I took notes. I have such a profound determination to be a better person! I cannot get overwhelmed with all that I need to work on but take it one step at a time. I will tell ya I knelt down in prayer on Saturday pleading with the lord to help me to prepare that morning in my studies and I was prompted to read JOHN 6. When the savior is talking about that he is the bread of life and the disciples found it too hard. It was a beautiful thing to read and I committed to the lord that I will never leave him nor this gospel. It is what truly makes me happy, it is my savior and his teachings that keep me grounded. I hate the natural man of me, I am just a horrible person without the gospel. I will never leave him. M. Russell Ballard and I must be on the same wave lengths or we must be related....RUSSELL. I was sitting there while watching conference all bug eyed because I couldn't believe that I read the exact passage he had based his talk on!

I loved General conference so much. But now WHAT?!? Okay so my game plan is im going to figure out what I will do daily to prepare myself for the sacrament, I am going to think of people I can share the gospel with and invite to church so if you are reading this and you just got goosebumps...that means im sharing it with you when I get back! I am going to make sure I do not get laxed with the sacred things God has entrusted me with here on this earth, as I was reading this past week I thought about all the sacred things God has given me testimony, my family, the scriptures, the gospel in its fullness, and the ability to choose.

ALMA 37:14-15 

14 And now remember, my son, that God has entrusted‍ you with these things, which are sacredwhich he has kept sacred, and also which he will keep and preserve‍ for wise‍ purpose in him, that he may show forth his power unto future generations.
 15 And now behold, tell you by the spirit of prophecy, that if ye transgress the commandments of God, behold, these things which are sacred shall be taken away from youby the power of God, and ye shall be delivered up unto Satan, that he may sift you as chaff before the wind.
I testify that God will help us in this journey in becoming more like him and his son, Jesus Christ. I know as you go to him in prayer ask him to reveal to you what you need to repent of and what you personally can improve on. HE WILL TELL YOU. HE LOVES YOU AND ALWAYS HAS LOVED YOU. End of discussion. So stop delaying your happiness and draw closer to him and if you don't believe in God and you're reading this.... why not? why not hope that you have a loving father in heaven who cares for and watches over you. I promise you he lives and love you, he sent his son to prove it to you. 

Sister Russell 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Weekly Email September 26, 2016

I went on exchanges on Wednesday with sister Davies and i told her i really wish Heavenly Father would just give me an answer already and i felt like i didn't know if it was something that i did or didn't do and that's why he wasn't answering. I did my plan and that threw me overboard. i cried. i was stressed and just really couldn't deal with the fact that my plan was telling me to plan out my life but yet i had no idea what i was going to do. 

Thursday- got a priesthood blessing and it was of clarity peace and direction. 

he said that i would continue to be diligent in my missionary efforts

that god trusts me to make decisions

that through my example my siblings would have the desire to serve

that i would be sensitive to the promptings of the spirit


Friday- i had lots of clarity as i prayed and i didn't side track and think about something else as i was praying to him. We were on a team up with a member and she goes to gergia state and i just felt the spirit so strongly. I started to cry and told her that i just feel like i belong here. I feel like i can be myself and not have to feel like an outsider. I feel like i am needed here and i just feel such a sweet spirit. 

Saturday- WOMENS CONFERENCE! Utchdorfs talk and how that we shouldn't have to listen harder we need to listen differently.

Sunday- two women got up to bear testimony but specifically one of them said " i don't know why but i feel like i need to share this story, i have a friend who returned from the military and wanted to serve a mission. talked to his stake president and he said no. and then he went to 6 others and they said no. long story short he never went. i think the moral of this story is the fact that each path is different. just because its the path that's for everyone doesn't mean its the path for you. just because its a different one doesn't mean it bad it just means it the one for you. 

TODAY I read this in preach my gospel. 

Elder Dallin H. Oaks:

“[A person may have] a strong desire to be led by the Spirit of the Lord but … unwisely extends that desire to the point of wanting to be led in all things. A desire to be led by the Lord is a strength, but it needs to be accompanied by an understanding that our Heavenly Father leaves many decisions for our personal choices. Personal decision making is one of the sources of the growth we are meant to experience in mortality. Persons who try to shift all decision making to the Lord and plead for revelation in every choice will soon find circumstances in which they pray for guidance and don’t receive it. For example, this is likely to occur in those numerous circumstances in which the choices are trivial or either choice is acceptable.

“We should study things out in our minds, using the reasoning powers our Creator has placed within us. Then we should pray for guidance and act upon it if we receive it. If we do not receive guidance, we should act upon our best judgment. Persons who persist in seeking revelatory guidance on subjects on which the Lord has not chosen to direct us may concoct an answer out of their own fantasy or bias, or they may even receive an answer through the medium of false revelation” (“Our Strengths Can Become Our Downfall,” Ensign, Oct. 1994, 13–14).


I am so grateful that heavenly father has allowed me to draw closer to him by paying attention to the spirit. I testify that heavenly father speaks to us and that if we ask him to teach us how to understand how he speaks to us he will deliver. I am so grateful for the lord and how he helps me strengthen my testimony! I would just invite all of you to watch general conference and have questions  that you want answered. The lord will speak through his servants and through the spirit. I LOVE YOU ALL! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR SUPPORT AND ALL THE EMAILS! 

Sister Russell

Monday, September 19, 2016

Weekly Email September 19, 2016

Hey Y'ALL!

Okay so this week was super fantastic and hard all wrapped in one!
We had the privilege to go to zone conference and be spiritually STUFFED. It was such a beautiful experience to see all my favorite people missionaries all in one meeting! Also I got to see one of my mission mamas JENNY WOOD! I LOVE HER SO MUCH! It was all on how we can exercise more faith and how we can become more consecrated to the lord. My mom and those who know me really well know that faith is something that is always wavering. I am not proud of it but I have faith in Christ not really faith in others and their agency but I have faith that Christ fixes it all. I am so grateful for the chance sister Harman and I have to be companions in this crazy place.

It has been really tough this week trying to help people realize that we are Christians and the message we share is worth their time. I am so grateful for the elders this week, they brought me a lemon-berry slush because they owed me for bringing them toilet paper when they were sick. It was so awesome because they brought it to us at the end of the day and it was AWESOME. It was exactly what I needed.

This Sunday I was so looking forward to partaking of the sacrament. I made a goal to have the savior sit right next to me at church and boy did I feel him. I opened my scriptures and read in Isaiah 43 and I just have been really focused on being fully converted to my savior Jesus Christ. I have had how firm a foundation stuck in my head all week especially " i'll never no never, i'll never no never, i'll never no never, no never forsake!" I have been telling heavenly father that I am going to fight and going to stay on his side. I don't want to go home and then completely forget the lord. I am also a little apprehensive about coming home...I'm not sure if that's the right word but I'm hesitant. I have never come home from a mission, im not sure how I will feel, but as I read these verses tears filled my eyes and its as if there was a loving brotherly arm stretched around me in sacrament.

"But now thus saith the Lord‍ that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee‍ by thy name; thou art‍ mine.
 When thou passest through the waters, I will be‍ with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned;neither shall the flame kindle upon thee."
Isaiah 43: 1-2 He is my savior, he is my friend. I will follow him until the very end. I wont give up and I wont back down. I love my savior!

The atonement is real. I know that it has helped me become who I want to be. I testify that god lives, he sent his son and that he wants us to come to him. don't waste another moment suffering on your own because that's not how he intended it to be.  HE LOVES YOU! Its your choice whether you want to see it or not.

Sister Russell

Monday, September 12, 2016

Weekly Email September 12, 2016

It was a pretty long week. I felt like everything was out to get us this past week. My allergies were up the fritz! It was pretty horrible... i was like a zombie all week but i was still diligent!
 I am really excited that Labor Day was my last holiday as a missionary. I really despise holidays... no one wants to talk to us and i haven't had any good opportunities to talk to a lot of people.  It was a long day but it ended well, we went to empty nesters. FHE for people who don't have children. I had fried catfish and it was delicious. That sentence was not a typo mom, i like seafood i guess. I was shocked too!

Pday we went to the Crazy Fun Millsapp sisters house and cross stitched and they ordered us pizza! I love them so much! They are related to the Wood family in Ensign that i absolute adored!!!! I love the millsapp and wood family! They said i can be apart of the family officially! YES!

We had our first district meeting and it was awesome! we are really working on helping members with their missionary work and so forth! I love my district leader...........*drum roll please*................ ELDER PLATT!
I served with Elder Platt and Nelson in Snellville and Elder Solomon from good ol az is in the district too! It is going to be a great transfer, it is a great transfer!

We have been blessed to meet some really sweet people and they are kind but really have no intentions of ever meeting with us. It has been a really good experience working with members and finding new people. It gets exhausting only when you don't allow the spirit to guide and direct you!

I was privileged to go to the temple this past Thursday with the Snellville ward and it was like coming home. I loved seeing everyone there that i loved so dearly! The spirit i felt there was so strong. I loved seeing sister Christopherson there she was just GLOWING! I got to see my favorites!
After i left the celestial room, a lady came up to me in the dressing room before i had put back on my clothes & badge and she said " I KNEW YOU WERE A SISTER MISSIONARY EVEN WITHOUT THE BADGE" That was the BEST compliment ever! i had been recognized as a representative of Jesus Christ in the temple when we are all dressed in white. That made my week. i seriously was so happy because that means all my hard work trying to acquire Christlike attributes is really showing!!! :)))

Overall i am loving this work, it is a beautiful thing to be in his service! I love that i have the opportunity to help others draw closer to Christ! KEEP BEING GOOD EXAMPLES TO EVERYONE!

Sister Russell

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Weekly Email August 29, 2016

Hey Y'all! 
This week was pretty fast and Its hard for me to remember all that happened so i will highlight the important stuff! I have one transfer left and i am leaving Newnan! I am getting transferred! I am really excited and look forward to my last companion and area! Its fun to see that i need to benefit from someone else before i go home so that i can be who the lord needs me to become. 

We went on exchanges and honestly i really look forward to going on exchanges and it just wasn't anything that i thought it would be. I was really bored and i didn't learn much. I did love that we were able to help this lady that was really struggling. She thought that when people said "FEAR GOD" it means to literally fear him and his wrath. I explained to her that i had felt that when people said that i took it literally, but it made no sense. I explained to her that we should be more into what god thinks of us rather than man, we should care what god think rather than the world. I told her it is a good thing to fear god because that means you respect him and what he thinks of you! (: We were able to go to a ysa activity that night with Ivan and everyone was so welcoming towards him! It made me really excited to go to a ysa ward...but as a missionary i think its super weird. I felt like everyone was flirting with me and i would just walk away so they probably thought i was super rude. HAHA. 

Every Wednesday and Friday morning we do a district call and we will talk about what we have learned that week or who we are working with. I had read in Luke i think it was 18 I'm not completely sure but its when the man asks Jesus what he must do to inherit the kingdom of god. Jesus tells the man you must forsake all your riches and follow me. That man just couldn't do it and left...but later in the chapter a blind man hears a bunch of noise and asks whats going on. Someone tells him its Jesus Christ he has come! The blind man believes that he can be healed by the savior and he tells him he has faith to be healed! Straightway (good word!) he follows the savior and gives praise to his name! I expressed that I have been reading a lot lately about people forsaking all that they posses including their natural man tendencies to follow the savior. I have been truly blessed to work on a Christlike attribute every transfer of my mission and i want to continue to follow his example! I want to take up my cross and follow him, yes i will go through my own Gethsemane and Golgotha but i will be walking paths that have already been paved. That's the beauty of it! We covenant or promise to follow the savior and he will make a way for us to do it! We just have to have the faith to do it! We can if we are consistent in our Sabbath day observance, scripture reading, and communication with him. I want to follow the savior not just for 18 months and when its convenient but ESPECIALLY when its inconvenient. 

Ivan was baptized this weekend!! (: It was an awesome day for him! He said he felt so good afterwards and then you wont believe this! He then went out with the elders and helped teach someone about the restoration and he invited the guy to church because the elders didn't!!! He is so awesome! He loved receiving the gift of the holy ghost! This week was really great and I'm so grateful for the opportunity i had to come to Newnan and be able to help so many people in a short span of time!

Sister Russell