Where to start! I think that I might just say that since the last time i wrote a LOT has happened. First off, I am now in Managua. I am serving as the new zone leader of Las Palmas, the ward that meets in the oldest church building of all of Nicaragua. It has been quite the change in climate, both literally and spiritually this week. But it has been a good change.
So they called me Tuesday night to say I had changes and I wasn't super surprised. I felt like I had changes even though I didn't want to admit it. It was hard to say goodbye to so many of the Matagalpans. Many will be eternal friends. I cried a little and when tears streamed down the faces of a few, I felt a little bit like Paul. I will always remember the faith of those poor members of Matagalpa that sacrifice so much for the work of the Lord.
My new companion is Elder Aroche, also from Guatemala. He is my third from Guatemala in a row ha ha. Basically all the missionaries are from there here though. He has 14 months in the mission and we work well together because we can both teach and there is a lot more unity in the companionship. I hope to have time with him. it is quite the change after training.
This last Saturday we had two baptisms to finish off the month and the baptismal service went really well. Many people from the ward arrived and one of the baptisms was touched by the service. Sunday was a super spiritual day. We are being blessed like none other. During the week we had been working to invite families to church. We visited with one man named Luis and he is super excited about the church. He had already gone two times to church but his wife hadn't visited. When he shared with us how they had had some problems in their marriage we left them a video to watch. Figure that we had put the goal to give out two videos that day and the Lord blessed us to complete that goal. When we arrived on Sunday morning we saw something that you could call a miracle. More than an hour before church we arrived at the house and we said "buenas" as usual but to our surprise the little boy answered the door. He was all dressed up and I thought suddenly...创shoot, they are going to her church.创 Then in the background we saw the mom and dad and other little girl all ready and spiffy for church. I was super happy ha ha. They said that they were going to go to church and when we arrived there they were, waiting for us.
It was a powerful meeting. I was given the last talk and I talked about how if we love the Lord we will feed His sheep. Then I related how the lamentation that sheep really need is the living water and bread of life that the gospel bring. I talked about how many people have been blessed here in Nicaragua from this message and how if we love the Lord we will feed the sheep and share the gospel message with everyone.
We had several powerful lessons with my companion this week and in one lesson we made a plan for a family so that they could understand the importance of the Book of Mormon. We talked about how in the Bible the truth had made people free. We compared it to the Book of Mormon and how many had been made free in the same way and how together the two books today help us to break the bonds of spiritually slavery and be free. I know that the Book of Mormon is true and I am so glad that God has given us the way to be free and sure in this day and age.
I know that this is His church. It really is true. I give thanks to Him for His trust and His bounteous blessings and opportunities.
Elder Grant Russell
PS-hey by the way...Elder Palacios says hi to Troy. He served in the same mission at the same time and says that Troy was a super sweet missionary that knew a whole bunch about the Bible haha. It made me proud to here about my brother. He is now married and has a little girl.