Thursday, September 21, 2017

I found a white shirt .... for two cents

September 18 2017

We had a great week this week. We received quite a few contacts and found a few. We have Fr Olivier, who has talked with missionaries at Pointe Noire but is now in our sector; he is interesting and I hope we progress well with him. We also have Fr Hervald who stopped us en route. Yeah, we'll have some work this week with all these contacts. Elder Kisimba is doing well. He loves singing so we just sing together sometimes. He is a good worker too, and has a good desire to follow the missionary manual.

We got Debit cards for our mission. It's really awkward because most ATMs are in the open... it's kind of scary. We're going to have to look for other ATM's too. 

I found a white shirt the other day for two cents, I just need to get the sleeves tailored for two bucks. So little by little I'm acquiring new clothes.

I keep learning cool things from the Book of Mormon student manual, like this, "If we follow the commandments of Satan, we will receive answers from Satan. If we follow the commandments of God, we will receive answers from our Heavenly Father" and, "If we do not obey the commandments then we are ungrateful towards our Lord (we are also in rebellion against him)"

I'm also learning more and more how to "Fear no man"

Je vous aime!
Nous ne craignons aucun homme! or Nous ne craignons personne! or Nous ne craignons pas l'homme! So many ways.
Elder Russell

Language thought: In kitouba (a local language) uhn (pronounce eh-uh, put together fast) means "yes"

Elder Kisimba 

you know I love reading!

September 11 2017

I'm glad you are learning about charity, mom. It is a very important virtue (and is very linked with all the others). What you said about an outward mindset reminds me of a talk they had at the MTC called "The Character of Christ" by Elder Bednar. He talked a lot about looking outwards. 

I've been relearning a lot by going through the "First Twelve Weeks" booklet for new missionaries. It helps me see where to improve.

Elder Kisimba is already good at giving lessons. He is really kind and patient.

I've also learned more about prayer, just by reading Enos. It just gives such a great example of a sincere prayer and makes me want to pray more sincerely. Also reading in President Gordon B Hinckley's manual about learning was awesome. I love that when he was retired he would read in his library and then think about what he read while he sat on his stone wall outside. It makes him a bigger role model for me (you know I love reading!).

Fr Vieclaire, Fr Paul, Sr Gracia, and Fr Romich all got baptised this Sunday. I got to baptize them. It was cool but I forgot an extra pair of garments so they were wet afterwards... oh well.

My companion got his shirts tailored today also because they were too big. I didn't find any new shirts, they were all too small. But I'll find some eventually!

Je vous aime tous!
Nous ne craignons aucun homme!

Elder Russell

I was valiant; I am valiant: I will stay valiant.

September 4 2017

So a lot has happened here. First off: transfers. I am training. My trainee is Elder Kisimba from RDC Lumbuumbashi. He is about my age, give or take a few months. He is quiet and gentle and reminds me of me when I arrived in Douala, save it be not as big. I acquired a lot of experience from my time with Elder Cicon and I see that it prepared me for this.

I've also been reading the life and teachings of Jesus. Great book. I just read the part about the Beatitudes and how they help us progress and become like Jesus. I also read a part about the premortal life and how an apostle was wondering what he did, how he reacted, to the council in heaven. I came up with this motto from reading that: I was valiant; I am valiant; I will stay valiant. Yeah.

We will also be meeting with Elder Hamilton this week at the zone conference. Fr Vieclaire is getting baptized the 10th and Fr Ebibas the 24th. I didn't really take anymore pictures this week...

Je vous aime tous!
Nous ne craignons aucun homme (I'm improving with that)!

Elder Russell


August 28 2017

One cool thing this week was that we were talking about talents and I made of list of mine so I could see what I could work on. I still need to make some concrete goals but I'm excited to do it. 

One highlight of the week was that people got baptized! Sr Belvie and Sr Sagesse (for some reason her daughter didn't get baptized). We have some other children we are preparing for baptism in addition to others, they are mostly cousins or siblings of other members. We are planning Fr Ngoyi and Fr Ebibas's baptism for the end of September. So still working hard!

We also went to the beach for a zone activity today. It was cool but after taking pictures you don't do much except get sunburnt.

Je vous aime!
Nous ne craignons aucun homme!

Elder Russell

Friday, August 25, 2017

...and smacked my head on a tree branch. Except that last part it was really fun.

August 21 2017

I'm so happy for Rachael and Tyler! Perhaps a little disappointed that I wasn't there and that I won't be able to see a total solar eclipse near us, but being here is definitely better than the eclipse.

We weren't able to visit Fr Ngoyi and Fr Ebibas often enough to prepare them to be baptized the 27th (they also weren't at Church) Fr Vieclaire doesn't feel ready but it's good with Sr Sagesse and her kids. So we'll have three baptisms this week. Sr Gloire came late to Church so she wasn't confirmed (but her mom came!)

We read about the Book of Mormon this week in the teachings of Gordon B Hinckley and I was really touched by the testimony that if we read the Book of Mormon with an attitude of meditation and prayer that we will strengthen our testimony, have a greater desire to keep the commandemants and something else that I forgot, but just those two there are really cool. SO I'm going to do that.

We still got lots to do. We finally talked to our Bishop (who was in Pointe Noire), who happens to be Fr Ghilson! Cool, right? He helped us know some other amis that we should visit, so that is good.

Things are still going well with our apartement. Elder Cicon is a goofball, but a good worker and Elder Robin and Elder Muyala are getting along also.

Oh! We got to help out at an orphanage on Saturday! I washed clothes and plates and smacked my head on a tree branch. Except that last part it was really fun. I have some pictures, though I'm not sure I'm in any because I was mostly taking them. We'll see! The lady running the orphanage was really touched, and apparently confused because 1) The Bishop was helping 2) We didn't bring the publicity (in her terms "the TV, someone said, "God is our TV!" in response after the activity).  

Je vous aime et felicitations! 
Nous ne craignons acun homme! 

Elder Russell

Elder Cicon and I with Sr Gloire and the whole family except the father and Sr Fael 
A terrible, silly picture, with red eyes

Helping the Orphans

Helping the orphans 2

We also found a bunch of yummy foodstuffs (ketchup, maple syrup....yummm)

August 14 2017

Yeah, this week was cool. We visited a lot of people who are preparing themselves to be baptized the 27th (There's Fr Vieclaire, Fr Ngoyi, Fr Ebibas, Sr Sagesse and her two children, Sr Belvie among others.), and we might have more if all goes well. This coming week looks like it is going to be full because we have around 10 people who we really want to focus on and the members say they have people they want us to finish too, so we shall see how we will juggle all of that. Sr Gloire was baptized this Sunday. It was a good experience and all the Young Women were there to support her.

One cool thing is that I have noticed that my prayers are a lot more like conversations now instead of being like reading off a list.

We also found a bunch of yummy foodstuffs on sale (ketchup, maple syrup.... yumm) so we bought that.

Things are going well with Elder Cicon, like I said he likes to work and we study Preach my Gospel together so that we make sure we are doing things right. It's great!

Sounds like your week was alright! I like that analogy with the pond, it is also true. It is a lot easier to work spiritually if we fill ourselves up constantly rather than waiting every couple days. I admit I am super excited for Rachael and Tyler's wedding, even if I won't be there physically I will be praying for you all.

Je vous aime TELLEMENT!
Nous ne craignons acun homme!
Elder Russell

Elder Cicon, someone, and me

President Thompson, Sister Thompson, and me

WE played Football last monday!

Just me

Elder Kincaid and me

Me, again

Elder Cicon with a funny face

He is hilarious, chill, and serious all at the same time

August 7 2017

It was a good week here. We visited a lot of our amis and it was nice to see them progressing little by little, though we have some complicated cases.  We have Fr Theophile who has this burning testimony but he has some fears concerning his uncle who is a pastor in a revivalist Church, so that impedes him from being baptized. There is also the Mother of Sr Gloire, Sr Atese, who wants to be baptized but she has problems with her husband. There is also the Sr Belvie who will have to wait a bit because she needs her interview but the timetable is a little hard to work with. We also had a cool lesson with Fr Ngoyi about the Holy Ghost because he had a lot of worries about receiving a confirmation of the truth, but the Holy Ghost was there in the lesson and we testified of that so I hope that will help him.

We also had an awesome zone conference with President Thompson. He is hilarious, chill, and serious all at the same time. It was a great spiritual experience. He emphasized the importance of the message of the Restoration, something that Elder Cicon was doing with me. We went through it and saw that the Restoration of the Gospel (as in the story of Joseph Smith) covers all the points of which we speak in the lesson. I also started a more in-depth study of Christlike virtues so that I can develop them better. Sunday went well. I like the ward and everyone seems very happy. I'm excited to get to know the people better. So that was my week!

Je vous aime!
Nous ne craignons aucun homme!

Elder Russell