Hey there family
It was quite the week in Matagalpa. We have been busy and it turns out that the work was all worth it! This week we had physical and emotional challenges but we were able to keep on moving and the Lord really blessed us. I got sick on Wednesday and had several days outside my area but we were able to prepare for the visit from Elder Duartes.
Sunday morning was pretty crazy. I don't know if I have told you about how it is in the morning Sundays. At 4:30 am we wake up so that we can be showered, ready and knocking on the Ward Missionary Leader´s door before 6:00 am. We leave with Ward members to invite other people to church and we try to get them all there at 8:00am. We arrive at church all sweaty and tired but ready to here spiritual messages. That can be pretty difficult for a family of 8 without wáter or food that lives 20 minutes walk from the church, but it happens every week. It is quite amazing to see the faith here.
We had a last minute choir and I helped accompany on the piano. I kind of just made up stuff but it ended up sounding good. Elder Duartes told me to you thank you mom. He told me to thank you for obligating me for all those years to practice. He said that the spirit had entered the room that it would serve me for years to come.
The whole zone had success this weekend at the authorities said that we had achieved miracles here. We are still awaiting the news to see if we are going to have a stake or not. We hope so because it is a huge step forward to have a temple in Nicaragua. The members suffer so much to go to the temple. 17 hours in the bus with few stops and they have to pay a ton of Money too. We had a meeting with all of the priesthood holders from Matagalpa and Elder Duartes talked to them. He told us and commended us to work as hard as we could to make it all happen. He said we should be like the race horses. Race horses have a clothe over their head that specially covers their eyes so that they cant see their surroundings- that way they can just focus on the goal. I liked that. I have committed myself to keep more focused.
If there is one thing that the mission is teaching me it is that we should be anxiously engaged in the work of the kingdom. I was active before the mission but I wasn´t actively engaged. I want to search for opportunities to serve. I want to do all that I can to help the Lord in His great work. I am going to visit people until I drop.
I know that this church is true. I know it. I am just sure of it! I can feel it in every fiber of my being and I can see it in the eyes of so many members here who are true disciples of Jesus Christ. It is hard for youth to get to church let alone leave their houses in Nicaraguan´s heat at mid-day to visit with a whole bunch of less active members with missionaries. But that is a daily occurrence in Nicaragua.
May the Lord bless you all.
Elder Grant Russell
I didn´t know that Rachel got a mission call, where? Give congrats to Alan. That is great! Tell Sean that I am proud of him for his desire to serve.
I don't know if I can ask a few things for the next package. If you could send me a few piano songs or sheet music from my list of stuff there. Maybe even one book would be enough.