Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Letter 8/27/2013

***The reason I didn´t write yesterday is because the internet wasn´t working yesterday in our village***


Ok so first off. The pictures I sent. So there is a picture of me next to a statue. This statue is in the middle of a plaza in the Little Side village like 15 minutes from our village where there is no church. But we visited there last week. The other picture of the kids I will explain. So me and my comp were walking down the street the other day when 2 twins walked up to us (members). I guess they are pretty popular in school because like 1 minute later half the school was surrounding us. So we started handing out pamphlets to them but we ran out. So we were like "Who want´s a pamphlet" And all like 20 of them said yes. So We walked back to our room with a line of like 20 kids following us. And the picture is of me in front of our house giving them pamphlets.

So also Yesterday I FINALLY GOT MY PACKAGE!!!!! Thank you for all the things you all sent. It was awesome. Me and my comp had some nice real hot chocolate last night and I scarfed down those sour candies in like 3 seconds. Thanks for the socks those are exactly what I needed. All my other socks have holes in them. Thanks for sending everything you sent!

So also this week we had a cool experience giving a blessing. So on Friday we were visiting an investigator. He´s been sick for about a week now. Really sick. He´s told us multiple times that he is going to die. I don´t think he will though. But we were going to his house to see him and we were outside waiting for him to answer the door when we hear this really really loud moaning. So we are like OH NO he is dying! So his son finally answers the door and we go in. Then we go in the room with the super loud moaning and it´s not even him. It´s his other son. So we are like "Uh Hey what´s wrong?" Then he painfully explains he drank a bunch of beer last night and then ate rotten pig and the rotten pig is destroying him. So we are like dang that stinks. So we ask him if he wants a blessing. So he nods his head yes and we give the blessing. As I´m finishing the blessing (I blessed him that the sickness would go away) he starts moaning and groaning really loud. And right as I say amen and step back he turns his head to the floor and throws up EVERYTHING. He had been sick since like 3 am the night before and it was like 12 noon and still hadn´t thrown up. But right after the blessing he threw all of it up. Then I asked him if he felt better (he couldn´t talk) and he nodded his head and started to pray silently. It was pretty dang cool. We have taught him before and was pretty not into our message but I hope he´ll be a little more receptive now.

Oh this week it snowed here. Pretty cool. This is the only place in the mission you can get snow.

Oh and congratulations mom on passing the CPAT. That´s awesome. It´s cool to hear some of the big young guys that were doing the test couldn´t pass but you did!

Oh um now that Davey´s games are starting you have to tape them for me!!!! Seriously I want to see them.

Well I gotta go.

Love you all a lot. CHOU!!!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Letter 8/19/2013

Hey everyone,

I love my area it´s very very very cool and these are the legit Peruvians here :). This time of year there are tons and tons of tourists though which makes two white dudes not quite as special but o well. Our Branch meets in a house so we have to baptize in the river that goes through the canyon.

Wow Davey finally got his license I hope I see the car again after him and Mikey drive it.

SO this week was crazy. Very crazy. First this last Monday and Tuesday we were at Arequipa in the mission home for a few days for some training and pday. It was awesome. The mission home has got to be the nicest home in all of Peru. There is CARPET in it!!!! WOW was it nice to walk around on carpet. I sent you a picture of me sitting on the couch in the Living room with carpet. Oh and we ate SOOOO GOOD. I had like 30 French Toast for breakfast with real syrup and jam and fruit sauce. It was delicious. 

We got back to Chivay just in time for the Independence Day of Peru. It was absolutely insane. It was a party that no joke did not stop for 3 straight days. Bands playing every single minute all through the night and day for 3 days without stopping. People drinking beer for 3 days straight I have never seen or talked to or even heard of so many drunk people in my entire life. It was absurd how much alcohol there was here.

So one night of the party we were in our Church House waiting to interview some people (never showed up) when the drunk owner of the other half of the house busts in the room completely wasted and asks us if he can bring some people up. We told him he had to go to church if he wanted them to come in but he kept insisting that he was catholic and couldn´t so we finally said yes. Then about 3 minutes later after he had left and we were in the office I was reading a Liahona and my comp was doing some paperwork when we heard this band coming closer to us. So I look out the window and I see a band of like 30 completely drunk people charging our church dancing and playing their instruments as hard as they could. Me and my comp got freaked out a little so we locked the office door and watched 30 crazy drunk people barge into the church and march up to the top floor where the guy lives. I don´t think the 3 floors put together could hold all these people let alone just the 3rd floor. Then after an hour of losing our hearing from their yelling and singing we left to go back to our room for dinner. To get back we had to cross the plaza of our village and oh my gosh there was like 2,000 people in this little plaza and 3 different concerts going and sooooooo much alcohol. We had to squeeze through all these drunk people at these concerts. It literally took like 20 minutes to cross through them all. It was insane.

Well that is my crazy story for this week. Love you all thanks for the letters. Hope everyone is doing great. CHOU CHOU!!!!

Love Elder Russon

Mission home in Arequipa (They have carpet!)

View from mission office in Arequipa

Monday, August 12, 2013

Letter 8/12/2013

So this week in the Branch we only had 16 members attend, 2 investigators and a few dogs. But we are finding a ton of investigators so we will have success very soon and a lot of it. 

Also this week we started running in the mornings. We actually ran up to the point where I took one of the pictures. And OH MY GOSH it is really really hard to run here at 12,500ft. We ran for like 3 minutes before we had to stop. It´s crazy just walking up slopes here gets me tired. I do not like it at all but when I get back to normal altitude I will be running for like an hour without stopping. 

We have traveled to Arequipa 2 times this week. Right now I´m actually in Arequipa for our pday. We should be doing something awesome I hope. Oh and also I want to tell you all about an investigator we had at church. He is our neighbor named Alejandro. He is 96 years old barely speaks Spanish and is pretty much 99% blind and 99% deaf. But he has been a member of a different church for a while but we teach him with pictures and lots of yelling.  He came to church and oh man was it funny. He walked in when I was giving a talk and the first thing he does is walk over to the chair yell at me GOOD MORNING then starting bowing down and praying while yelling. 

Well I gotta go. Love you all sorry I can´t write more today. CHOU CHOU

Love Elder Russon

Monday, August 5, 2013

Letter 8/5/2013

Well my new comp is Elder James Self from Arizona. He´s a cool guy and has a month more than me in the mission. He wrestled and played football. It´s awesome being with another white guy though. We speak lots of English which probably isn´t great for our spanish but we are having tons of success. When it´s two white guys walking around in a foreign country pretty much everyone wants to talk to you unless that country hates the USA. 

My new area is called Chivay it´s a little north of Arequipa. It´s just a little village of a few thousand people which sounds like a lot but isn´t big at all. I´m sending pictures but I don´t think they will get there in time. But one is of me and my comp and my old comp from the MTC in Peru in between us. He is leaving Chivay. Another is of me in a ditch and I don´t remember the last one but I think its the picture of where we had a baptism this Saturday. It was the other companionship that had the baptism so I didn´t take any pictures of it but we do the baptisms in the river which WILL BE SOOO COOL the first time I get to do one.... I hope I get to do one before I leave here or I while be very sad. 

Something cool is that right next to us we have the Deepest Canyon in the WORLD. It´s called Colca Canyon i think. 

Oh so I gotta tell you how my first Sunday here was. So yesterday we had a GRAND total of 4 missionaries attend church 2 investigators 16 members and 3 dogs. Oh and by the time sacrament ended there was only 8 members left. So it was very very very unusual for me to experience in Church.... OH and also I´m the first counselor in the branch so I sat up front the entire sacrament meeting which also was weird. And I also do tithing which is also very weird. But I love this place a lot. What else could I talk about. Oh I also have a bunch of pictures of a herd of sheep surrounding me and herds of cows and bulls and sheep walk down our street daily. 

 I am doing very good. Don´t have anything more to tell you all for now and my time is up but I love you all and thanks for all the letters. Gotta go CHOU!!!!!

Love Elder Russon

Letter 7/30/2013


Well sorry i didn´t write yesterday. I got changed from my awesome area and my awesome comp.

So first off I still don´t have my packages and it will still may be another week or two because the place i got moved to is far away and crazy.

So first I´ll tell you about my first part of the week. When I was dead sick. So on Tuesday we went to the hospital because my comp had a operation where they put a camera down his stomach and he was super out of it from all the medications. It reminded me of when I got my teeth yanked. On Monday was pday so we did almost nothing except 2 1/2 hours of work then Tuesday was that and we only worked for like an hour. When my comp wasn´t drunk anymore then the next day me and my comp woke up and we were basically half dead. We both had fevers the entire day and I couldn´t even walk. Something we picked up from the hospital I´m guessing. So that day we did a few interviews and slept in our room all day then the next day we starting working normal. But it was crazy because I was sooo sick I couldn´t even get up to walk and I didn´t eat for like a day and a half.

After that my comp was going to baptize and investigator in one of the wards where there are sister missionaries so we went there Saturday night. She was super excited to get baptized and the baptism was set up and tons of members. They get in the water to do the ordinance and she tells him she can´t. So we close off the baptism and us and the sisters and a few members all go to the baptismal room to baptize her. But she just would not do it, so we have her do it on her knees and she refused to dunk her head in the water (she has a fear of putting her face in water). So I jump in the font also. So me and my comp are both in there trying to baptize her ( I´m just in my work clothes, pants, belt, regular white shirt and tie and everything). But long story short we were in there for like an hour and a half and she just couldn´t do it. She wanted to get baptized but just couldn´t put her head in the water. So at like 830 we finally leave the font to go change in the bathroom and then I realized I have nothing to put on and we are really far from our house. So I put on one of the baptism jump suits and we had to go all the way back to our house with me looking like a complete clown (I sent you a picture of me when I got back to our room). It was funny.

Then Sunday we had changes and now I´m in Chivay a little north of Arequipa. It´s sooooo crazy though. It´s basically like a little village. There are 4 missionaries here. It´s sooo cool though. It´s not nearly as modern as Arequipa it actually reminds me a lot of the village in the grand canyon called Havasupai that me and Davey (idk if Mikey went can´t remember) went to before I left. It´s crazy though here its only a branch of like 30 people and my comp is the branch president. We also have to wash our own clothes by hand on top of our roof and the wind here is freezing cold because we live at 12000+ feet. Oh and yesterday the internet like didn´t work in the village so we had to write today.

Well that´s all I got for this week. Oh and also my new comp Is Elder Self from Arizona. First gringo companion. Should be interesting. Well I gotta go love you all a lot!!!! Oh the pictures are of me the night in the clown suit, me my last day with my pensionista (the lady that cooks for us and we live in her house... basically my mom in the mission, but don´t worry mom you´re still my real mom and I could never replace you), and then me with some of the members in the village and the other missionaries. The guy in the red shirt is my companion. Well that´s all Love you all a lot can´t wait for my package. CHOU!!!!!

Love Elder Russon