Well Dad, that was a nice surprise. Thanks for writing me! I look up to you father. You are one great dad.
I love your comment about my "desires" to not be home for summer. That is definitely not the case. I hope to have a month home with the family to get caught up and I will be spending as much time as possible with all of you. I just have had the feeling the more and more I think about it that I need to go to summer school. I need to get back into the swing of things. I have learned thus far on the mission that there is no time for sitting still in the kingdom. The Lord needs us to be anxiously engaged and I just feel a need to get back into the Lord's work as soon as possible. I feel that I will have most opportunity to serve at school. I feel there is something waiting for me there. I don't know how to explain it. But that is good news about the scholarships. So if I understand correctly, I could get the fall and winter scholarships like normal but also receive a summer scholarship separately if I apply?? I just need to apply for the an earlier deferment then...okay now I am understanding. Yes, sign me up for as many of the classes that I mentioned as possible and I will decide when I get home what classes to take.
So mom is on facebook now? Wow! I never thought I would see the day! GO MOM! She is so cool. It is really a great tool to keep in touch. I plan on using it to stay in contact with a lot of members and converts here in Nicaragua. It is an amazing gift.
I appreciate your comments about becoming instead of just doing. My mission President actually has had a huge influence on my life since he has arrived in that very aspect. He arrived in July and found the missionaries working hard, very hard. In May we had incredible success and the missionaries all thought that we had hit our peek. However, I feel that his motto has really helped me: Do the right things for the right reason! Many missionaries worked out of fear. Others worked out of the straight obedience principle. He is really focused on getting the missionaries to find, teach, baptize, and retain families because we love the lord and want to obey him. I have felt more joy and success in the work since I have changed my attitude. It has been amazing. At the same time as feeling more happy, I feel like I have had more progress spiritually. I now work just as hard (if not harder and smarter) but i enjoy my work and I am becoming more like the Savior Jesus Christ. I know I have a lot to learn though. So much is still ahead.
This week one of my good friends left the mission. He finished as AP and we entered the office together. It was hard to let him go. He is the Elder that has been the longest with me I think. I look up to him a lot. We have to have these types of experiences I think on the mission though. It is a deep sense of loss but I know that he is now being blessed for his service. Plus I will see him again. It is kind of a sobering way to understand the death process.
On the happier side, I am still in the office. I am still financier and I am still not training a new elder. I don't know when I will leave ha ha. Wow am I in for a trip! I know the Lord is preparing me for greater things. This is a really great experience to be in such a close proximity to the President and his family. Plus, we are having a lot of success in our area. We continue to baptize and the people are really excited to live the gospel. Many are progressing in the Book of Mormon and others are committing to go to the temple and to go on a mission. Today we baptized Juan Hernandez to complete a family. His wife has been a member for years and finally has the blessing she has most desired. The Bishop shared a testimony in the baptismal service today saying that he had promised her less than a year ago that her family would be changed if she just stayed faithful. He marveled that it had happened so soon. Juan hugged my companion after he was baptized today and gave me a big hug afterward. He was so happy to join in the Lord's church and to finally follow Jesus Christ like he has always wanted.
I am happy. I feel content to know that the Lord is blessing us. I am more content to know that He is blessing his children for being obedient. The Gospel of Jesus Christ has changed my life completely. I know that it changes all those who humbly seek and obey his will. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Elder Grant Russell