Thank you for your thoughts and prayers on my behalf! The mission just keeps on moving on and I am shocked and thrilled for Brian and Jon! I can’t believe that the two years are already up for them! I am sure that they have served the two years with all of their heart might mind and strength. I imagine that their countenances (along with being two years older) have been filled with an indescribable light and love that comes from serving the Lord. It is the experience of a life time and I am living it up! I really feel the hand of the Lord in my life daily guiding me, shaping me, lifting me up and wiping the tears away from my cheeks. I have come to know those two gentle hands of His. With such perfect love they hold me up.
Last week we had the Farewell Conference for President Fraatz. It was like standing in a holy place. This man has changed my life. I will forever look to him for an example of faith, obedience, hard work, creativity, and diligence. That is what he has taught us here. It is true that I sang a song and played piano for the first time ever (writing the lyrics and all too) and it turned out really well. It was a part of a (music and the spoken I received many compliments but the best feeling I received was to know that the Lord was happy with my sacrifice. It wasn’t so easy after all. The mission is now officially split and one new President comes tomorrow. The other President will come Wednesday and it will be quite the hectic day of training for President Fraatz. He is excited to serve the Lord in his next calling. In that sacred setting the mission President put us under covenant to do two great things and I felt like it was a bout as serious as the covenants we make in the temple. He put us under oath to never murmur and to always continue with all energy of heart to serve in the church wherever we might be in the future. I have covenanted with the Lord and I feel strengthened in my capabilities to complete with this covenant.
Due to a list of so many spiritual experiences that I have weekly, it is most difficult to decide what to write about. We continue to prepare investigators for baptism. This week we baptized a super awesome lady that was a reference of a member. Migdalia is a wife of an inactive member but she is going to change this family. I have faith that in the future, she and her husband will be dressed in white together making covenants with the lord over the sacred altar of the temple. She is reading the Book of Mormon and has a strong testimony of the church! It was a pleasure to teach her. She invited us over to her house on Saturday night after the baptism and with such love thanked us for what we had done for her and her family. We continue to teach Jamie too and he is super excited for this Saturday. He is understanding the lessons really well and is making huge progress in his repentance.
I have found the over the course of 2 months my teaching of the Plan of Salvation has drastically improved. Why? I have been focusing all of my teaching in the Book of Mormon. The spirit is so strong when one teaches the Plan with the Book of Mormon that investigators can’t help but accept it. The Book of Mormon is true. My favorite part was when we taught about the Atonement and testified that this man would be able to be forgiven of his sins…no matter how big or great. I am eternally grateful for this Great Example, the man who took away my sins. I thank Him for His patience, His long suffering with me. I thank Him for not only walking the Garden of Gethsemane but for also walking by my side when I feel I am in similar experiences. There is nothing that I feel that is outside His understanding. I love Him. That is why I do what I do.
May He walk by your side always…
Elder Grant Russell