Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Letter 4/29/2013

So.... this week.

So this week has been really interesting. Fist we started this week by reactivating an ex bishop who hasn´t gone to church in like 12 years which was awesome for me because the Leaders of our ward told us it was literally impossible to get him to come to Church because they tried like a thousand times. But yeah we went anyways to his house last Monday and the lesson was about an hour long. For about 45 minutes it was us and him basically almost yelling at each other and us whipping out scriptures like crazy. So yeah I was sitting there thinking that this was a horrible idea and that we shouldn´t have gone to this house when out of no where it gets quiet for like 15 seconds and then he tells us "Maybe you guys do make sense... I think Christ would want me to go to Church and take the sacrament to remember him." I was just like WOOOOOOAAAAAHHHH. Because he was literally apostatizing the church like 5 minutes before. So yeah we felt super accomplished for helping him out because I was def starting to lose hope there for a second but then out of no where it hit him what he needed to do. Then at the end he bore to us his testimony about the power of our calling and the importance of reading the scriptures. Also we are going to try and get him called as our mission leader because the one we have right now we only see on Sundays.

So also this week we´ve encountered like 15 people who literally came up to me and told me they wanted to baptized .... but ALL but one live in other areas. So it was cool because I was an instrument in the Lords hand to help them come to Christ but also sad because I only got to really teach them once and after other missionaries will do it. But something cool this week was when me and my comp were sitting in the park. So we were contacting some people when my comp challenged some kids to tennis so we walked over to this park and I sat down and watched my comp play tennis with some kids. But as I was sitting there watching him this 20 year old kid came up to me. He walked straight up to me and asked me in perfect english if he could learn more about our church the "Mormons" because he wanted to become a member. So I gave him a sweet lesson and got him set up with a baptismal date and everything. It was awesome!!!! But then I ended the lesson and I asked him when we could visit him and he gave me his direction and OF COURSE he lives in the other area next to us. But it was a really cool experience. So yeah not much has happened in our area other than super awesome people that want to get baptized but live in every single place but our area.

Well thanks for the letters and support I´ll try and write all of you back, but no promises this letter might have to be it. Love you all. Talk to everyone next week. CHAO!!!!

Love Elder Russon

Monday, April 22, 2013

Letter 4/22/2013

Hey everyone.

So this week has kinda stunk. Our investigators NO PASAN NADA!!!! Well that´s like my favorite phrase ever in Spanish. You can´t really translate it to English though it basically means they don´t do anything.

So I got a lot to talk about. First off I forgot to tell you this but about 2 months ago the office lost my Passport and my Visa and my Peruvian ID so that is why I couldn't pick my packages up. But anyways this also basically means I am an illegal immigrant. So for the last 2 months and until they get me a new passport I´m an illegal immigrant in Peru. Pretty exciting right. I think I´m going to go into hiding soon the police are hot on my tail.

So yeah what else, oh yeah. Well I really really need some money. Like everything I have is falling apart. So mom if there is any way you could send me money to my card that would be awesome. So right now I only have 1 suit and it´s the smaller of my two suits and it barely fits. My other suit got destroyed by my sweat and tears. Also I only have 1 pair of church shoes right now and they are slowly dying. There is holes in the bottom of them and they are getting bigger every day. Also my only running shoes are very destroyed. My shoelaces are out of commission and the front of the shoes have holes in them. Yeah what else. Yeah so I would love some money because I really really need it. Also everything here basically costs the same. Shoes cost like $90 in dollars in USA and they cost like $90 in soles in Peru. But $1 of dollars is like $2.50 of soles so yeah send me some money so I can make bank off the exchange.

Oh yeah so I had an awesome experience with some Peruvian food this week. So we came in for Lunch one day this week and the pension was cooking up our lunch and we were just sitting there talking while we waited. Then she finished our food and plopped down two bowels of soup on the table. So I´m like... sweet just another good old day with some soup. But then I look at the soup, and you would never guess what she put in my bowl of soup. Sitting right smack dab in the middle of my soup is a pair of chicken feet... Straight up some chicken feet. They were not fake I promise. They were real legit chicken feet just chillin in my soup. So yeah I ate it and everything and oh man that was hard. Hopefully my pension saw the pain in my face as i ate those things and hopefully she wont make me eat that any more. My pension is freaking awesome though. She is hilarious probably the funniest lady I´ve ever met. Don´t worry I wasn´t offensive to here at all either.

Well I love you guys. Thanks so much for the letters. I´ll keep you updated on my citizenship status in this country. Hopefully they don´t deport me anytime soon. Well I don´t have any more time and I can´t think of anything to say... soooo Hasta Luego. Les amo muchisimo!!!

Love Elder Russon

Monday, April 15, 2013

Letter 4/15/2013

Hey everyone

So I haven´t really read any letters yet, but I´ll read them all after my hour of email. So we had a huge announcement the other week in the mission. So for the last year and a half or so our entire mission hasn´t had the opportunity to play soccer. And we are in South America. Soccer is crazy huge important here and every mission in South America could play soccer except us. But the other week we finalllyyyyyyy got permission to play soccer so the entire mission is like going crazy. So last week our President decided to have a tournament between all the zones in Arequipa. It was awesome!!! So on Monday last week our zones took like 3 taxis over to this soccer field and we were all super pumped. It´s pretty far and the traffic is absolutely insane in Peru it´s like The Fast and Furious movie all day long here. So we jumped in 3 taxis and zoomed off to the field like 30 minutes away. So We are sitting in the car when the other Elders from our zone pull up next to us in a taxi and are like egging us on to race them to the field. So we are like We Will DESTROY YOU. So we are like pumping up our taxi driver giving him inspirational messages. And the light turns green and off we went and as the light turns green the song "Play that funky music white boy" goes on. So yeah it was awesome. We raced Fast and Furious style through the streets of Peru while the song "Play that Funky Music White Boy" was playing in the taxi. Then we did work in soccer. We beat every zone that we played against the first 6 games. Then we got tired and lost every game we played after. Definitely is a day I will not forget.

So the pictures I´m sending you guys are some baptisms we had this week. We had 3. Unfortunately none of them counted as Missionary Baptisms because the kids were all 8 years old and had a member of their family that is a member. The two little kids in white in the pictures are Louis and Fabricio. Their families are inactive and we are helping reactivate them and I baptized one of them. It was a really good week. Our numbers mission wise are pretty horrible for that last week. But we helped 2 souls come to the waters of baptism and helped 2 families come back to Christ. So it was a good week. So I don´t have much else to say I´ll read the letters in a few minutes though. Well I love you guys. Thanks so much for all the letters and support they meant the world.

Love Elder Russon

Monday, April 8, 2013

Letter 4/8/2013

So this week was General Conference. It was sweet. Oh and we had a baptism also sweet. Hope you guys watched General Conference I learned a ton of really cool stuff from it. So for GC this week I got to watch in English which was awesome. So me and 2 other gringos sat in a room together just chillin while we watched GC in english. It was really fun. 10 hours hanging out with two other people who spoke english while listening to the prophet and apostles in english while watching tv. Definitely the first time I have ever watched a full session let alone all 5 of them hahaha. It was just a really awesome 2 days. But something cool happened between conference sessions while we were waiting for hours in the Chapel. So we had an investigator who attended the conference. So in between he was getting interviewed by our leader. So I was sitting there with his cousin who accompanied him to the conference he is 16 years old and not a member. So I was talking to him just making regular conversation about his school and home and what he wants to be when he grows up. Then I slowly started to run out of things to talk about with him, so I was thinking to myself and I was sitting there with him so I just decided what the heck I´m going to teach him the Doctrine of Chris and commit him to baptism. So I started giving him the lesson and everything and it was going great. So I finished the lesson ( more of a conversation) and I explained to him what his cousin was going to receive in a few hours and I explained what he felt while he was watching conference and everything. So I asked him if he wanted to follow in Christ´s footsteps to be baptized and if he believed the things I taught him were true and boom he was like " Yeah I want to get baptized." When I was explaining the Holy Ghost and the Gift of the Holy Ghost he actually said "COOL" like in the lesson. Ahhh it was just awesome. Unfortunately he doesn´t live in my area and he is moving a little farther away to our Zone Leaders area. But I brought one of our Zone Leaders over and got them signed up to visit him and get permission from his mom and everything. So needless to say I was a little proud of myself since I did all of that by myself while my companion was across the room talking with some other missionaries. But I definitely didn´t have much to do with it all. The conference and what he felt there had everything to do with it and the example of his cousin too. So later in the day (yesterday) we baptized his cousin and confirmed him in the Church. I don´t have any pictures of the kid I taught but the boy we baptized Joni is in the pictures I´m sending.

Well I love you all. Thank you so much for all the support and everything. Keep writing me thanks!!!!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Letter 4/1/2013

Hey everyone. Sorry I haven´t written in a while. Some things happened and I just couldn´t. So anyways last Monday I got changed to a different city. A city in Arequipa, it´s called Dolores or Satelite, which means "pains". My new companion is called Elder Palacios. He is from Chili. He´s really really cool. He´s our District Leader. This past week we´ve been living with the Elderes of the city next to us. Elder Cook from Idaho and Elder Dias from Peru. This last week has been really really fun because we have 4 missionaries to every week which is a ton of fun. Unfortunately all of the fun ends today since we  moved houses today a few hours ago. The city we live in Satelite is really rich. It´s almost like America. I´ve actually had hot showers this week. Unfortunately because the people are really rich they pretty much don´t want anything to do with anything we say. It´s pretty crazy how stubborn these people are. I imagine it´s a lot like this in the States. It´s pretty cool though because at the same time the members of our ward are very cool and want to feed us which is a first. We had a visit Saturday where we were going to eat pizza but we had to fast so we couldn´t which was sad. So also there is a street in our area that is called Estados Unidos which is United States of America street. It´s got tons of cool stores and restaurants from America so it´s really cool because I have my own little piece of America in my area. Like last week we had burgers and fries, it was really cool. I think today we are going to go eat some more burgers and fries and also there is a cake store so I think I´m going to down a cake today.

The other day we had a really crazy awesome experience but then we realized something which didn´t make it super crazy awesome, but still cool. So yesterday we were talking with some members and they gave a reference to this house with a kid whose parents were requesting the missionaries which is like unheard of here. So we went to the house and we meet this 8 year old kid and his aunt who takes care of him. So we talk with them and we teach him about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and commit him to baptism the next Saturday  And he´s like "Yeah I wanna get baptised really bad, I know it´s what I need to do in this life to follow Christ." His aunt is a member and she bore her testimony and everything and she was crying in the lesson. It was awesome. All of this is like unheard of in this part of Peru. So we end the lesson we are talking and the Aunt is telling us about his parents. So we find out they are separated and the dad isn´t a member but want´s to learn more, but the bad part. So the mom is a return missionary and inactive. So yes it´s a little sad that she´s inactive, but it´s also sad for us because since she´s a member this amazing lesson his baptism and everything that we received doesn´t mean anything for the mission. So yeah we we´re a little sad since it´s like impossible to get anything done in the past of Arequipa. But it´s still cool because maybe we can re activate the mom baptize the kid and even maybe baptize the dad.

Yeah that´s all for this week. Chillin in Satelite in Arequipa. It´s smack dab in the middle. Thanks for all the support and everything. Well thanks for everything. Thanks for all the emails and letters and support. Love you guys a lot.

Love Elder Russon