Saturday, September 4, 2010

Though the name might be worn off, the name has been permanently engraven upon my heart........week 68

Another week has come and gone and I can hardly believe that I am writing again. I think the weeks are passing by quicker and quicker these days. I am so happy to hear that everyone is doing well and the pictures of the kids were great! They are so big these days.

As for me, this week we had a crazy week with training meetings and my companion and I were able to go to one of the two day sessions. It is a new approach the church has for helping missionaries become better teachers. It is a 8 lesson training based in Preach My Gospel that helps missionaries focus more on the needs of the investigators. I liked many of the lessons but the biggest things I learned have to do with teaching investigators and not lessons. The lessons have focused me more on teaching by the spirit. I now am listening more to the investigators so that I can be sure that they receive the right lessons at the right time.

I had an unexpected miracle this week as I was in the office. It seems word of that I am in the office has spread to my past area in La BorgoƱa because a family that I baptized a year ago there came to visit me in the office. Their visit was great! They have had their difficulties but they have renewed covenants and have new goals to go to the temple as a family. The family came to ask my permission to baptize their son who had just turned 8. Seeing as the father is just now returning back into activity, I was willing to perform the ordinance. Together with the baptism of Wilian from our area in Montserrat, I baptized the young Denzel. As I stood in the baptismal font, I smiled at the family and I could see that they were so happy to be there. It was a special moment. The time was erased and I felt like we had never been separated. There exists a special bond between a missionary and those he helps be baptized. It is impossible to describe. We are just willing to do anything for these people...the best word would have to be pure love.

Wilian's Baptism

The whole group

The Sanchez family at Denzel's baptism

Experiences like this one make one reflect about life. I began thinking about how much has happened with me since I taught this family. I feel like it was so long ago but at the same time I feel as if it were just yesterday. Time is precious. It is so important to take advantage of the time that the Lord has given us. I am ever grateful for the time I have had in the mission. I have seen miracle after miracle and tender mercies have been more common than not. Rain, wind, sun and other physical elements of time have begun to wear off the letters on my name tag. It reads something like ¨Elder Russell, La Iglesia de Jesucristo os Santos mos D...´´

But even though the name might be worn off, the name has been permanently engraven upon my chest and heart. I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called to labor among this people so that they can receive everlasting life. (see 3 Nephi 5:13)
He directs me and I recognize more than ever now that I am nothing without Him. As we put our trust in Him, He puts everything right.

I testify that this is His work. He lives! God knows who we are, what we are going through and what we need. Through prayer we can rightly receive the promised blessings that He has ready for those who only ask sincerely with real intent believing in Christ. May He be the reason why we do what we do. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Elder Grant Russell

P.S. Have my contacts come in yet? I would like to have them soon because I am on my last pair now.