Monday, November 9, 2009

A BIG FAMILY........week 26

¡Buenos días familia! Me hace sentir feliz escuchar que todos están bien y espero que el Señor siga bendiciéndoles por su fidelidad and obediencia.

So another week has passed and well, it is a thing of the past. This week was a very good one for our companionship as we have made significant progress with many investigators.

I think I forgot to fill you in last week, but we had a baptism. Carlos, the 12 year old son of Margionie and sister of Sidney (both recent converts of a month) was baptized and it was a nice service. Simple, short, but powerful. I will try to attach photos in this email along with a few other things I have been up to…

We have been working all this week with the Narbaes-Sanchez-Espinoza-who knows else family haha. They are about 11 in the immediate and extended family. We started teaching the Narbaes family which consisted of Victor and Ester and their second oldest daughter and son. Then we met the husband of the daughter. Then we met the brother of the sister and his family. Then we met the other daughters and their husbands and boyfriends. It is quite a big group and it is kind of funny how we ended up teaching all of progressing investigators at the same time…productive if you ask me.

Anyway, we watched several church films this week with the families and we focused our messages on Eternal families and the Restoration. I can testify that the spirit was present in each of our meetings and I know that each of the families left the lessons edified and better people. Now that is not to say that we had no problems or that they had no doubts. They are a very catholic family and have several BIG traditions that we must help them overcome. But there is no challenge that the Lord cant overcome. I can promise that.

One lesson this week, we were blessed in a very special way. The family favored us with one of their prayers and ways of worship. Sure, it was very different than what we do in the church for prayer. But as they each gave thanks to us for having visited them and taught them, they testified that they had felt something that was indescribable, something they had never felt before or at least not in the same way. As we thanked them for having shared this prayer with us, our gratitude was full and the spirit lifted our hearts. Throughout this past week, all accepted the invitation to pray and ponder about be baptized this coming week. We could potentially baptize 3 families and about 10 individuals in one day! It would be quite the way to finish the mission for my companion, this week being the last. He leaves the 17th for Honduras after serving faithfully for 2 years in Nicaragua.

I stand all amazed at the miracles that God works across the world. I see firsthand the growth of the church here in Nicaragua. People have so much faith to accept such a dramatic change. The family after a life of living one way is willing to change and accept baptism as a renewal of the faith in the Savior and covenant with Him to serve Him and keep His commandments. They have repeatedly commented on the power of the Sacrament as they have partaken of it, I and I know too of its cleansing power. I feel it every time that I partake.

I can testify of the reality of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I know that when we repent of the wrongs we have done in our life and bring about fruits of repentance, the Lord forgives us completely. It is a full forgiveness and He doesn´t remember more what we have done. I have felt this in my life and I see it in so many lives here. I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints IS the TRUE church of Christ on the earth today. They fruits are many that testify are many, the testimonies greater, but not one testimony is as a great as the personal testimony gained by a humble son or daughter who asks the Eternal Father if it is all true. I have that personal witness. It is true and I know it! Even Ester, the matriarch of the family said, “if it weren’t true, the church wouldn´t grow like it is!”

I love all of you. I thank you for your prayers. I can testify that throughout the day I walk and suddenly the spirit tells me and reminds me that friends and family are praying for me. I feel the strength. Thank you.

May the Lord bless you always,

Elder Grant Russell

P.S. Brittany Blue is getting married!? Wow! Tell her congrats for me. Camilla too!? That is such good news and I am so happy for them. Please tell them that I wish I could be there to celebrate but I am currently a bit occupied ha ha. I think they will understand.

About the package, the brownies and cookies were great even though they had been sitting for so long. The vacuum package helped. Both were a little airy, the cookies were stuck together but they tasted good. I am willing to accept another batch ha ha. The pants fit fine, a little tighter than my other ones…I don’t know if I am getting fat or if they are just smaller…but they work out thanks.

If you want to send another package, go ahead and do it, but I don’t know if it is a financial burden? It looked liked the other package cost a lot to send. Maybe you could send in an envelope if it is cheaper. My favorite were the photos. In the next set if you could send more photos and maybe even include some photos of my friends from home and school. In the rush of the mission prep, I didn´t bring any photos of my friends from school. Maybe you could look on facebook and print of a few pages of my friends. Sean could help with that during Thanksgiving break maybe. Also a few email addresses from my friends would be great! What ever you can do.
Sending letters is a little slow these days plus it is more expensive.

Facebook friends that I would like their email addresses (or mission addresses):
Carson Bennett (serving a mission in Brazil), Daniel Brown (in Thailand), Nathan Zabriski (Cambodia), Mark Vomicil (don’t know if he got his mission call yet), Cherry Quist, Sini…(hard name…from Finland). With those, I can get the rest. Thanks.