Tuesday, December 20, 2016

perseverance is getting back up no matter how many times you fall

December 19 2016

Fr Christian got baptized! He will be confirmed this coming Sunday. It was interesting because the new branch president forgot about his baptism, but everything worked out okay. Fr Nicodême and Sr Pascal (his wife) came to church and had a (I think) overall good experience. They still need help to recognize the spirit and prayer and other such things. At this point I think they find the gospel simply interesting, but that is a place to start. We also did service for Fr Nicodême and got to cut down a coconut tree, fresh coconut juice tastes really good. 

I have not received the packages yet, as the Calls have not yet arrived, but they will be here this week. That is, after all, how we are going to do the skype call; so I should get them then. 

We also bought some "bush meat" meaning that people hunted the animal, fresh. Then we cooked it after they cleaned it (they cleaned it okay, then the Africans in our apartement cleaned it again) We also saw a live Pangolin there (that thing that is kind of like an armadillo, but different) Quite the experience. 

So, an interesting, good and experience filled week. We also learned that working with the members makes things a lot easier, now we just need to do it.

Keep on persevering! I like to say that perseverance is getting back up no matter how many times you fall. Thank you for all your love, support and news. Also I have pictures.

Fr Christian next to me with President Zang of the branch of Bieymassi, Sr Brenda, Fr Christian's sister far right
Our bush meat before being cooked. I don't really know what kind of animal it is, but my companion keeps calling it a "chatlynx" cat-lynx, even though it is nothing like either of those things.
Elder Best taking a selfie
Je vous aime tous tellement!
Nous ne craignons personne!
Elder Russell



Monday, December 12, 2016

totally off topic, the Eensy Weensy Spider played as I wrote this letter

December 12 2016

We had a pretty good week this week. It has been a little hard to work with members but that is mostly because the telephone companies have been having some network trouble recently. Fr Nicodême said he would come to Church with his wife but sadly wasn't able to make it, but hopefully next week he will. We have been working our way with other amis also. There is a Fr Robert who was interested in what we had to say but wasn't really interested in leaving his Church because he had an experience where everyone thought his wife was dead but God said she wasn't and she wasn't. He took that as a sign that his Church was true, then he asked us if he thought it was fake or not of God and we said, "No, that was of God" which obviously surprised him. But what really surprised him was, after I explained that someone needs the authority to baptize, when we were able to explain what the priesthood was and show verses of it in the scriptures, including mentions of the "order of Aaron" and the "order of Melchezidek" So I hope that will help him open his heart. We have also been watching "The District" during companionship study, one reason is because President Monga wants us to, but it is really helping us see how to work and plan properly, so that is good. We also started companionship language study to help Elder Bouthot learn English, so that is cool.

I actually have dreamed in French several times, so that is cool.

Je vous aime tous tellement!
Nous ne craignons aucun homme! (just another way to say it)
Elder Russell


And totally off topic, the Eensy Weensy Spider played as I wrote this letter... I hadn't heard that song for what seems like forever.

Don't remember if I showed this already. Elder Izere left me a gift before I left Douala

 
Elder Odimba being silly.

amis who rally want to read the Book of Mormon....and we don't have any

December 5 2016

Salut!

We had some great lessons this week. There were two amis (Fr Frederick and Sr Jamelle) who had some questions concerning the Great Apostasy, so we explained very clearly and very simply. It is always interesting to see the amis when they start understanding the concept of the GA. Either they sit there silently and you can see the gears turning in their head or they say something that shows they had an "oh!" moment. Anyways, now we have two amis who really want to read the Book of Mormon, but one of them doesn't have it yet and we don't have any... so yeah. Anyways. We also had a lesson with a very scientific ami and we had left him a scripture about charity and faith and he asked if people really had charity and faith these days. What the spirit revealed to me is that he worries to much about the world and not about himself, so I asked him if if someone who doesn't know how to do math can teach someone else to do math. He said no. Then I said that it is the same with Christ-like virtues. We can't help someone else develop charity if we haven't developed it ourselves.
Fr Christian is progressing well and I am excited for when he will be baptized. The other amis with a baptismal date... not sure if they'll be ready for the date we set, but we will continue to work with them and they will get baptized!
There is no snow here. In fact we are actually entering the hotter season of the year, so that will be fun.
Something that I've thought a lot about recently is the Temple. That is something you really start appreciating when the closest Temples are a plane ride or a boat ride away from you, and you can't go to them. Having a Temple close to me is something I will take full advantage of when I get back.

Je vous aime tous!
Nous ne craignons personne!

Elder Russell
My companion, Elder Bouthot, and me.

The new area's good

November 28 2016

Right, so the new area's good, though a bit vast, so we have some trouble juggling the transport money. But the branch will split in two weeks and we will, probably, get two missionaries around that time. That will probably lighten the load of transport. We have a Brother of a converti récent, Fr Christian, who is preparing for baptism. He is really cool and though he has some difficulties in his life he sees the light of the Gospel, which is neat. There are some others but they either have problems coming to Church or their schedule makes it difficult to meet with them. We have at least two new awesome nouveaux amis (new investigators). One is a little scientific, Fr Nicodème (French version of Nicodemus), so it should be interesting talking about faith and the Holy Ghost in depth. The other, Fr Gervé, has had some difficulties and finds that all the other religions he has been to are missing something. So I hope it goes well with them and that they can feel the influence of the Spirit in their lives and feel God's love for them. I've also learned a lot with my new companion as we look for scriptures a lot (mostly because of the scientific) The branch is nice, still don't remember people's names very well except the ones we worked with. But it is a nice and calm branch. Fr Christian actually asked us about the parabole of the vineyard in Jacob 5, I told him I would bring a sheet of paper (because one of our branch leaders in the MTC gave an in depth analyses and I took notes) with the explanations. We said that, in short, it is the history of the world. Which it is.

Je vous aime tous!
Nous ne craignons personne!

Elder Russell

A nice view from our balcony

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

I actually sounded French!

November 22 2016

Well, I'm loving the new area, despite all the hills. It's actually a lot bigger than Douala C so we take more taxis, but there are still plenty of hills that taxis cannot take so we do end up walking a lot. We've worked two members already: Fr JC and Sr J. We worked with them for the entire day so we ended up having a lot of lessons in presence of members. There are two amis getting ready for baptism- one of which is quite ready and the other of which still has some preparation -and some others who are waiting to ask their parents. Also apparently the branch will split soon. And we had 15 amis at the Sacrement meeting. So yeah, that was cool.

In the apartement there are six missionaries, just like at Douala, and they're all cool. I don't remember if I said I was with Elder B, but I am with him. It's cool seeing again since he left Douala, and Elder K, though he is in the other District. There are at least five branches, though I am sure there are more, and there is a District (which is like a pre-Stake). From what I can tell the Branch of Ekounou is a good Branch. I already forget pretty much everyone's name from last Sunday except a few people we worked with.

As for French, it is coming along well. One of our amis, who was kind enough to give us a ride home one night, said I actually sounded French! Still practicing, I also speak French a lot more, even though there are two other Americans in the apartement. I'm also trying to write in French a lot more, which is fun but a bit odd since French has a lot of tenses that are limited to writing or extremely formal speech. I started restudying the lessons again because I recognized that I had fallen into a routine with them, now I'm actually trying to discern the needs of the amis. Ah, and I did meet Elder Christofferson and shake his hand. It was cool (he is a very relaxed person).
Thanks for all the love and support! I know this time is precious and I wish to use it to the best of my abilities! Continue learning and growing in the Gospel (and other things, but the Gospel first) and applying it in your lives!

Je vous aime tous tellement!
Nous ne craignons personne!

Elder Russell

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Apostles, Sickness and Transfers.

November 16 2016

Apostles, Sickness and Transfers. Those are the big highlights of this week. Elder Christofferson was very cool and very relaxed, it was very fun to see him and to have him talk with us like it was totally normal. He talked about repentance, and I learned quite a bit. One of the things that stuck out to me the most was that he prays to know what sins he hasn't fully repented of, and usually they are very small things from years ago and what he needs to do is ask forgiveness from someone. He also said he is glad that the Lord is quick to forgive. That is a good thing for all of us. 

Also pretty much the entire apartement got sick this week. I was out for a day and my companion two. Let's just say I'd rather not be sick like that on the mission again, it is painful staying in the apartement all day. As I am writing this, I am in Yaounde, because I got transferred. After about 7 months Douala has seemed like it is pretty much just my home, and now I'm in a new city where 1. It is colder 2. There is a lot more dirt 3. There are a lot more hills. My companion is Elder B from Quebec. He is a nerd. Which is awesome. I'm also with an old friend, Elder Be, in the apartement! it was really interesting to see him again. Elder B is really nice and I'm excited to start working with him. 

Sr C gave her first lesson in Sunday School and she did great! She taught about eternal marriage and we talked a lot about traditional marriage in Africa and the difference between that and the dowry. I think what we decided was that the dowry isn't necessarily bad, people just abuse it and ask for exorbitant amounts of money and stuff. So that was interesting.

I hope Gatlin had a great experience on his mission. I also hope Shelby found a great man to get married to and that they will love and serve one another, and God, and raise a wonderful family. So I hope that they do their best to do those things before and after their marriage. I hope Rachael is having a great time learning and growing in the Gospel. It is true that the family is the best place to teach children, mostly by example. Because that will affect their entire life. Which is why having a family is such a great responsibility and one of the many reasons the Lord sends 18-25 (usually) year olds on missions, so that they can learn what they need to take on that responsibility. And I'm put of time so pictures will come next week.

Nous ne craignons personne!
Je vous aime tous!


Elder Russell

The Weevils got into our food storage rice...

November 7 2016

Well, once again a bit of a crazy week. But we got to see the calls! I know I said that they would come the eleventh but, je me suis trompé (I was wrong, though more literally translated it is along the lines of "I deceived myself"). 

We found an interesting investigator named Fr C. He knows the Bible very well; if we give him a verse he can usually tell us what it says, even with the verses that people don't know as well. Second lesson and we have already given him the Book of Mormon. The only complication is the plan of salvation. From what I can tell he basically believes there is no sin (though often he condradicts himself on that point) and doesn't believe in the atonement. So if we can help him resolve that then he will make a great member! He is also nice, he gave us free soda. Sr C will teach her first lesson in the Salle des amis (Investigator's room, if I translate that literally, though it is in reality the gospel principles class) so that is cool. Sr S still isn't progressing; we also didn't visit her this week. Sr P progresses slowly, though as my companion said she understands much easier if a member is present. We also started teaching a Sr T, who is very interested in the gospel. She is Catholic but she doesn't actually go to the Catholic Church. 

My studies are going well, often I help Elder Z and Elder R, and sometimes we are all confused together about French, sometimes my companion has the answer. It is good having lots of people who speak French and English.

I got the postcard from hogsmeade, thanks a lot! What I learned this week is that God is always there and ready to help us repent of our sins. Also that people are crazy, though I already knew that. We have a kind and loving Heavenly Father who holds out his hand just waiting for us to take it. All we have to do is reach out let him help us do what we need to do. Because we cannot do his work without his help. No wonder we are always indebted to him.

And the last thing is that we get to see Elder Christofferson next week! So I won't actually send a letter on Monday because that is the day we go to Yaounde. If I get the chance I will totally send a picture.
The Weevils got into ur food storage rice.....

​Elder Z and Elder R lost their DVD player so the Calls brought a new one
​Elder N and I just taking a photo

​Elder T taking a selfie

​Je vous aime tous!
Nous ne craignons personne!

Elder Russell

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Big ol' nerds

October 31 2016

We had a long week this week with all the things we had to do. Being a zone leader, or the companion of one, without a couple is a lot of work. We had to make sure bills were payed, that all the money was in the right place, clean the Call's apartement for their arrival the 11th... wow. 
I also did splits with Elder R, the second time I've worked with him since my second day here. It was pretty cool. There was this beautiful view from a hill, sadly I totally forgot my camera. Also, most of our current investigators are progressing rather slowly. And Halloween isn't a thing here. Anyways. Sr J, such an awesome lady, is just waiting to inform her family to get baptised. Her mom has heart problems so she doesn't want to scare her out of her wits and cause an accident that way. The other investigators understand the docterine, they just have problems with application of it in their lives, actually some do have problems with the docterine, but not many. Sr P has lots of questions, which is good, but by her question we think she isn't reading the Book of Mormon, as in REALLY reading it. Same with Sr S, who also is very worried about how others view her. Sadly I don't have a lot of information this week. 

The new Elders in Bonaberi are cool, Elder C (from Guadeloupe) and Elder D (from somewhere in the US, I think Arizona because he mentions it a lot but I realized I haven't actually asked him) They're people I would have definitely hung out with if we had lived in the same area. Big ol' nerds. Apparently Elder C talks about Pokémon a lot with Elder O. So yeah, that's cool.

I'm glad you had a great time at the Chili cook of and trunk or treat! I noticed I am starting to get a bit complacent, especially in terms of study French. Unacceptable! I shall renew my efforts like never before! Even though I said that in a joking sounding voice in my head I'm serious. Getting complacent is the first step to getting lazy, and being lazy isn't good.

So yeah, that was my week. Language facts: I jolo giza (Ee jolo giza) is Kurundi for goodnight.

Pictures!

​Just all the missionaries playing soccer, this time in the city proper

Je vous aime tous!
Nous ne craignons personne!

Elder Russell

Sunday, October 30, 2016

What a nice guy!

October 24 2016

Okay, I had quite the week this week. First off we visited a less active member and we asked, basically, "Are going to Church this week?" and she said "No, my heart isn't there." To make a long story short she claimed that it was God telling her not to go, then my companion went to 2 Nephi 32:8 and told her those feelings were of the Devil, then he asked her if she was going to Church and she said... no. So then Elder I bewilderedly asked her if she wanted to follow the Devil. It was... interesting. I also fell in a hole in the sidewalk at night and scraped up my arm a bit. That hurt but no infections, so that is good. Lots and lots of ratez-vous this week, seems like everyone is busy. We did get to teach Fr B P, a recent convert who we haven't seen in months, that was cool. Sr C is still coming to Church, though we didn't teach her this week because she found work at a hotel (doesn't work Sundays though!). Even so, now she has money for transport and her family. I went on splits with Elder T this week, and the first lesson was English (even though I had spoken French when I called the investigator) and Elder T didn't understand a word of it, so that was a bit awkward. The investigator's name is S and he had some very relevant questions about prayer, baptism, sin and such. I responded to the ones about prayer and sin and when he asked about baptism I said, "Next time" because we were already late for our next appointment, who wasn't there. Fun times. I've had lots of good study's lately though, so at least that is going well. The examples of the people continue to inspire me, like Alma the Younger. He takes the judgement seat but when he sees his people in iniquity he leaves everything to go preach. A great example of faith. Oh, I don't remember if I mentioned but Elder Christofferson will be coming to Yaounde in November, I'm pretty excited. And we lost our telephone and had to buy a new one (fortunately not that expensive) and do stuff with SIM cards and whatnot to have the same number.

Give my congratulations to Bailie! I hope she will be happy also.

As for the cat, I had no idea it was cat when I ate it. It was afterward when someone mentioned that it was good cat that I found out. We Elders are doing fine. I did buy stuff to make no-bakes this week, though I'm going to try replacing chocolate powder and peanut butter with something like nutella (because choco powder and PB are EXPENSIVE, around 4000 Francs each, so I would be using 2/7 of my soutien for those)
"Maman" basically just means mama, though it is usually used with older ladys. Like in Tahiti, the older men and women are often called "Papie" and "Mamie" respectively.

Je vous aime tous tellement (a lot)!
Nous ne craignons personne!

Elder Russell
Me with Elder T


Pictures of my battle wounds with the ground. You can see that my desk doesn't always stay organized.

Our new telephone (Elder T also gave me a pair of pants. What a nice guy!)

I can SEE!

October 17 2016

This week was a great, if unexciting, week. One highlight is that we saw Sr A again this week! That was great, it had been so long and it was very wonderful to see that she is still trying to live the gospel and ready to renew her covenants when the opportunity comes. She went back to the village today so we're not sure when we will see her next, but she said it will be soon. Sr C was out of town for this Sunday, but she said she will be back next week. A one year contract was signed for a building in our sector. I hope that helps at least some people come to Church again (I know it will help one Maman who has lots of children, she comes when she can. I also totally forgot her name) Sr S is interesting. We've noticed that she is very focused on people. This last lesson we tried to help to realize that the people don't matter, God matters. We're not sure understood entirely. We had a meeting with President Monga Sunday at Bonaberi which was awesome. He definitely helped me realize that most things rely on our efforts as missionaries. Working with the members, progression of amis (up to a point. I can't force anyone to get baptised) and lots of other things. Sr H, an older Maman we teach came to Church this week! That was great.

As for Fr P and Sr P; Fr P is out of town a lot and We haven't gotten hold of Sr P again. We have a return missionary who we call (Fr N B) because he is the one who presented us to her and her number doesn't go through. We hope to teach them both this week.

The new glasses are nice. I can SEE! You never realize how bad your eyesight is until you get new lenses. As for food, We don't get many Manger-vous (mahn jay voo. Where you eat at an appointment) here, though apparently, they are common in Yaoundé, and practically non-existent in Brazzaville. I've had Ndole, Fou fou (fu fu?), Coq, gumbo, plaintain (like a banana, but kind of bland) oh, and it turns out cat tastes pretty good and I'm not allergic to the meat. That was in a sandwich from a lady who sells stuff near the apartement (Sr N, actually. She stopped taking the lessons a bit after our arrival). I am looking forward to the Calls coming back!

Je vous aime tous!
Nous ne craignons personne!

Elder Russell

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Ce n'est pas facile, mais, c'est possible

October 10 2016

This week was okay. We all were excited for conference and Elder Z and Elder R downloaded it on Monday. The new Elder, Elder T is from Tahiti, so it is fun to talk to about what we here from the other Elders in Tahiti. He is very happy and a hard worker, he cleaned the living room very well this morning. We received a few amis (short for, "amis de l'église", which is investigators in French) from some recent activities and started to teach them. There is Sr P and Fr P, though we were only able to teach Sr P this week out of those two. We also started teaching the sister of one of the members and she is very ready to learn the gospel. The second lesson we gave her a Book of Mormon. Sadly she lives in Edea but she visits Douala often, so it shouldn't be too hard to teach her. We were not able to teach Sr S this week, as there was conference and she had something going on the time we usually teach her. She was not at church on Sunday :(

Conference was cool, though almost no one came Saturday and we had technical problems at the end on Monday. Also for some reason the branches weren't together... not sure why. I expected at least our branch and that of Village to be together as they are in the same building. Also it turns out that Church has already bought property here in Douala, probably so that they have it when the Church is big enough to build its own building. So that is cool. So basically we have the same thing happening. Investigators you know and love either don't progress or stop progressing, you find new ones and you are always praying so dang hard that they will soften their hearts and accept the gospel fully in their lives. What we like to say is, "Ce n'est pas facile, mais, c'est possible" It's not easy but it is possible. Also, ça va aller! I really liked Elder Shmutz' talk and how he mentioned the necessity of trials, because I think that is something a lot of people often forget.

Je vous aime tous!
Nous ne craignons personne!
Elder Russell

French Word of the Day: Malheur. Sadness or... badness? Opposite of Bonheur, happiness.

Bonheur/Malheur?

Bonheur!

Camerounaise

October 3 2016

This was a pretty slow week for us, but still good. Sr C bore her testimony on Sunday. We had some crazy stuff happen again with the zone leaders and transfers. Speaking of transfers; I'm still here in Douala C. Elder K, Elder B and Elder R are all going to Yaoundé. We are also getting a Tahitian Elder, whose name escapes me. We visited Sr S and I asked if she had really been reading the scriptures. She said that one time she felt prompted to and she found the answer to her question that time. We emphasized the importance of studying the scriptures, even if just for fifteen minutes. She said she would do better and I really hope that will help her to gain a firm testimony. Hopefully this month we will be able to move into a new building. That will make it a lot easier for contacts to come to Church and see how everything goes; that will also help quite a few less-actives.

As for conference, we haven't seen it yet. We will see it this week though, so that is good. I sent a picture of Sr C's baptism last week, but apparently the member taking the picture wasn't too aware of how to use my camera so there are no photo's of me there. And last week I actually said that we were at cyber at the least effective hour to write emails and such. That hour is around 6h because everyone is either in cars, on motos or in a huge rush to get home. Not fun to be going to or from Bonaberi around that time. Elder K bought a cookbook with a bunch of Camerounaise recipes. So that is cool. Tell Aaron hi for me! I'll be sad to miss the chili cook off but I'm on a mission so: ça va! Don't forget to send me pictures of your costumes for Halloween! Also I found a simply way to make a wizard like costume with some stuff I have so I will send a picture of that... next week because I totally forgot to take pictures this week.

Je vous aime!
Nous ne craignons personne!

Elder Russell




we will miss you soldier

September 27 2016

First off, Sr C (I've been spelling it wrong this entire time) got baptised Saturday! It was very cool, even if everyone showed up late and the font hadn't been filled... again. Also everything went haywire this week in the apartement. The electricity went out and we had to by an expensive part to get it fixed and the water went off twice this week. We also had to replace almost all the lights because our electricity problem burnt them out. So for two days this week we ended up doing almost nothing. Fortunately, today we went to cyber after all our lessons at the least effective hour for proselyting, because it is Tuesday and all the cybers lost connection monday. So except for the cool baptism everything was just crazy and I barely remember anything else. I don't have your postcard yet (those come with transfers, and then only if someone is transferred in the same general area, or if Pres Monga is coming by he might bring it). All the missionaries ate at Pres Mbengue's house, it was fish with Ndole and a vegetable mix. That was good and we had lots of fun talking. Also our Branch did an exercise activity and my legs burned for two days after. And some random guy took my glasses and asked me why I was there, but his friends told him to let it go and give me back my glasses. There are some interesting experiences on the mission, no doubt about it. Oh, and one of my dress sandals broke. A sad day indeed, we will miss you soldier.

Sr A is doing well. She says she is continuing to read her scriptures and do everything she can even though she can't get to Church easily. I have no doubt if she has the means she will come, as it was the last time she came. We talked with Fr M again this week and emphasized the importance of reading the Book of Mormon and being ready to act. Sr S is still having some trouble getting to Church, and I think that might be mostly a lack of understanding about what we are inviting her to do. Oh, and unfortunately due to craziness we didn't teach Fr G or Sr S :-( But this week we will! I pray for Aaron too.

I'm doing very well. I keep learning new things every day, many of which I see how it will help me in the future. I am so glad I came on a mission! I wouldn't want it to end right now but if something entirely out of my control made me go home I could honestly say that it was worth it.

Je vous aime!
Nous ne craignons personne!

Elder Russell
Sr. C's Baptism


It's hard to take selfies with a regular camera


we will miss you soldier

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

we fixed the AC again. Yay!

September 19 2016

This was a pretty slow week. We had quite a few ratez-vous (When the person isn't there for the lesson) but the people who we did visit are progressing well (They were also all sisters, for some reason). Sr K is going to be baptized next week! I am excited for her. Continue to pray for her so that she may be able to stand firm in the faith. Sr S is still on that edge of really deciding if she wants to get baptized and making that commitment to serve the Lord with all of her heart. Pray for her also. Pray for Fr G and for Sr K in regards to their work. Sr K is looking for a job and Fr G really wants to be able to go to Church but his work prevents him. Pray for Fr M so that he may feel the truth of the Book of Mormon and take the decision to be baptized. And just pray for everyone. Saturday was an interesting day. Because the calls are gone Elder Izere has to do a lot more things, like distribute soutien money. So we had to go to Bonaberi, which wasn't as bad as it normally is, because normally the traffic is insane. Then there was a baptismal service, which started two hours late because no one was there on time. But six people still got baptised! So that was good. Also, we fixed the AC again. Yay!

I'm glad to hear that, despite all the problems and complications that come in life, you had a good week. I'm glad to hear that you are continuing to progress and that Stacey is having a good time at school (Mr Gillingham is quite hilarious. Has he told you any stories yet? And say hi to Mrs Kersten for me!). I hope the whole family is doing well. Don't forget to send everyone my love and tell them to keep on keeping on. Be happy. Smile, cry, laugh, and help others. And above all trust in the Lord. Now that is the secret to happiness.

Je vous aime! (and "I miss you" in French is <Tu me manques> which is interesting because word for word that reads "You me miss" Interesting the differences between French and English)
Nous ne craignons personne!

Elder Russell


Sorry for the lack of photos! I wish I had at least some from the baptism but I thought I had left my camera when we at the baptism, and I only realized later that I had brought it!

Friday, September 16, 2016

....safety vests, for safety

September 12 2016

Well, we started working with members more this week, although we only actually managed to visit one family. I asked them to do what the missionaries would ask us to do and make a list of names of people they would like to share the gospel with then pray to have opportunities to do so. That was cool. Sr K's baptism is still holding and I keep praying for her. I also pray for Sr S; who we weren't able to teach this week. Dang it. Fr G is planning to talk to his employers to see if he can get his schedule changed to allow him to come to church. He is a cool guy. We gave the book of Mormon to one investigator who understands what we teach very well. I know he will read it, so I pray that he will pray about it. We found a rat in our apartement this morning and we had an interesting time chasing it and trying to hit it with brooms. Still not sure where it entered as all the doors are closed at night. Clever little creatures. Unfortunately, I don't have much time as we will have a family home evening with the Calls, as they are going to Brazzaville to do office stuff for a bit until we get another senior couple.

I'm glad to hear you are all doing well! Wish Rachael and Stacey good luck for me in their schooling! Also tell Aaron I love him. Tell thanks to everybody for supporting and encouraging me.

Je vous aime tous!
Nous ne craignons personne!

Elder Russell


The AC was fixed! Then it broke two days later. looks like it'll get fixed again
Sr S's brother is interested now too. He works at some fancy parking place where they end up putting cars on boats to ship them off places. Or something like that. My French still needs some work. We had to put on safety vests, for safety.

Friday, September 9, 2016

...as is fitting for a medical advisor and his wife

September 5 2016

Today was a pretty cool week because we had a zone conference with President and Sister Monga. The area medical advisor was also there with his wife and they gave us lots of medical advice... as is fitting for a medical advisor and his wife. He was actually born in South Africa and raised in Canada. We got to eat at a Chinese restaurant called "Restaurant Chinois" which literally means, "Chinese restaurant". They had really good food, including fish and shrimp. Delicious. We fixed Sr K’s baptism for the 24th of this month and Sr S said she would like to get baptized the 24th of December, because Elder and Sister Call should be back then, though I honestly hope the Holy Ghost touches her heart to do it sooner. Fr G is doing well, though it is difficult at times to teach at his house because he has a very chatty father. Also his father is either polygamist or got married three times, not sure which. Oh, and he still can't come to Church because work prevents him, though you can tell that really upsets him. He said during one of the leçons that that "ennerve"s him. At least I think that is how you spell it, I haven't looked up the word yet. The main topic of the Zone Conference was about the Holy Ghost. That was a really good leçon and I think it helped everyone. I've also noticed that I talk to people more easily, I'm not as awkward any more. So that is good. We are going to give the Book of Mormon to Fr M next Sunday. He's a new investigator, and he read all of the brochure, so it was really easy to teach the restoration. Fun times! Also one night I was out on our balcony and I thought, "This is really pretty" so that's good that I'm starting to like the area more! The Church is also trying to acquire a new building closer to the members, which is towards Bonapriso in our sector and about 30 minutes to an hour away from the apartement. They actually got a temporary permit so that someone else couldn't come along and take the building while the Church did everything necessary to acquire the building. The Calls still said "Get people to come to Church in the building we have now!" during the Branch Counsel. Pray that we get this building. Pray for Sr K and Sr S to stay strong in their testimonies and their decision. Pray that Fr G can find new work that will let him go to Church or that he can negotiate with his employer to change his hours to allow that. Oh, and also to legalize his marriage. We will also teach him more about marriage next week. Pray for Sr J too, so that she can stay strong until she can take the lessons again and get baptized.

Thanks for all the support and encouragement you give me. I can't believe Rachael and Stacey are already back in school! Time really is flying. Now I just got to take hold of it while I can.

Je vous aime tous!
Nous ne craignons personne!

Elder Russell




So apparently computers hate me and don't want me to send you the most recent pictures I've taken. So here is that baptism I talked about for ever ago!

Sunday, September 4, 2016

....habituated to AZERTY

August 29 2016

I'm typing with a keyboard whose keys don't match up! Also I am now habituated to AZERTY style keyboards, fun. Anyways, Sr S still had some stuff she had to do at her house so she wasn't there this week. We challenged her to baptism and she said yes when she receives an answer about the Book of Mormon. She also wants Elder Call to do it and the Calls will be going to Brazzaville soon because the couple in the mission office will be leaving soon. Yep. Sr K agreed to be baptized though! She stills has some doubts but She reads the Book of Mormon regularly and she loves the teachings. Another new investigator is very interested in the Book of Mormon too. We haven't given him one yet as we first responded to some concerns about the fall but I hope we will soon. Lots of people yelled at me this week, called me a liar and other such things. It was honestly kind of funny, though also sad. Because they have prejudices against white people and Churches that impedes them from hearing the message of the restored gospel, and that honestly pains my heart.

I'm glad to hear your week was good again. Thanks for all the support and advice you give me. I'm glad that you're going to the temple together and helping those who have passed on come to the blessings of the atonement. Yes, I am a Senior companion. That just means I get to do more planning pretty much.

I pray that you continue to learn and grow in the gospel each day and continue to love each other and those around you.

Also, could you send a pizza dough recipe?

Je vous aime tous!
Nous ne craignons personne!
Elder Russell


And now the computer won't show the new photos, dang it. I'll have lots of photos to send next week, that's for sure.

We have an air conditioner. It doesn't work.

August 22 2016

I am doing excellent! Are investigators are coming along. One newer investigator who is the younger Sister of a member came to Church unexpectedly (we hadn't yet invited her to come) so that was cool. Her name is Sr K and we gave her the Book of Mormon last lesson. Sr S said she will be able to come to Church a lot more because she found better housing while she works on her house (she is a hard worker) so that will be really nice. Fr G wasn't able to make it to Church these last two Sundays, work is still a big obstacle for him, but he loves taking the lessons. We also helped Sr S understand the Grande Apostasie (French there) better, namely in how the authority of God had been lost and taken from the Earth, then restored to Joseph Smith. Now she really understands that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the only church with the authority of God on the Earth, or the only true and living church. Sr J will be going home this week, but she did ask if she could continue the missionary lessons when she returns next year. There were also some baptisms this week, all kids (one was a teenager but that is still technically a kid) because one investigator wasn't properly informed about where the baptism would take place. Elder Kincaid and Elder Nkashama had a fun time with that. Oh, also for transfers nothing changed except that all the Americans became Senior companions. Elder Izere is still Zone Leader, and Elder Nkashama is still District Leader.

We have an air conditioner. It doesn't work. But as it is the rainy season it isn't too bad -unlike when I arrived here, that was hot.

Unfortunately, our Branch is rather disorganized when it comes to activities, as are all the Branches in Douala. We had a service activity once. That was fun.

(In response to a comment from his Dad about a lesson He (Rich) taught about the temple) I remember someone in conference had said something along the lines of "Everything we do should have Celestial Marriage in mind". The mission is preparing me for that I am sure, and exaltation is the goal. That can only be accomplished by going to the Temple and being sealed to someone for time and all eternity. Which is amazing.

Je vous aime tous, portez-vous bien!
Nous ne craignons personne!
Elder Russell


And sadly the computer doesn't like my camera again. Weird

Two Little Ducks....

August 15 2016

This week was pretty good. We found some new investigators who are really interested in the gospel and sincere. One of them works on Sunday and when we told him that Church was on Sunday he was sad but he said that he would try to make it regardless (he didn't make it last Sunday, but still). He also read the entirety of both brochures we have given him. His name is Fr G. We had to explain the spirit world to Sr S again because we didn't explain it well the first time (and looking over it, without careful explanation the scriptures in Alma 40 are confusing). Also she didn't make it to Church on Sunday. Also we need to figure out how to work with members, it’s a bit difficult for several reasons. 1 we don't know where anyone lives. 2 we don't know anyone’s phone number and that just makes it hard. Also most people are occupied during the day. But ça va aller! We will work with the members!

My French is coming along well as I am striving to speak it more with Elder ZoBell and Kincaid, as they often simply speak in English with me. I haven't had a full dream in French yet, though there are always French words in my dreams. I'm in the New Bell Branch. (Responding to a quote from his mom) “Be honest, do the work, enjoy the journey.” Yep that applies to life. Everything in life really. It will be so weird to come home and not have Aunt Denise, Uncle Ben, Calvin and Amanda there.

Nous ne craignons personne!
Je vous aime tous!
Elder Russell

Yep, lots of water that day. My feet got soaked but I thought it was fun.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Hard but Good Week (and pictures!)

August 8 2016

This week was a hard week. But a good one. We got a lot of contacts, a lot of whom don't pick up, say they are not interested or don't keep rendez-vous. Also a lot of our investigators we already had didn't keep their rendez-vous. And we invited someone to be baptized but her mom won't let her, one of our older investigators still hasn't prayed to know if the scriptures are true and seems to want to see the words, "The Book of Mormon" and "Joseph Smith" written in the Bible in order to say he believes. Whew. There was a lot of rain this week. My feet got wet. Néanmoins! (nevertheless) The Lord is always there to comfort me, and I will continue to serve him and improve myself.

People always say, "Bonjour cher frères et sœurs!" at the beginning of meetings and talks here, so that is similar to that ward there (in Atlanta). I also spilled cubes of sugar in the supermarket today. Oops. We asked a lady what to do and she said it was fine, just put the sugar back (or something along those lines) Fun times. We bought emergency supplies because it had been neglected and everything was expired. That was with the Calls. We made Schwarma and ice cream. Yum. Sr S came to Church again, finally! Though it turns out Sunday is her only day off, so that is something that makes it hard for her.

Yep, crazy week!

Je vous aime tous!
Nous ne craignons personne!
Elder Russell

Me in Sr S's shop

Some small souvenirs I bought

Sunday, August 14, 2016

ça va aller

August 1 2016

Okay, this week a little disappointing in terms of lessons given and investigators found, but ça va aller! We did talk about how we, the missionaries, could help the branch. We talked about visiting members, which was something I wanted to do anyways, and coordinating that with the Elder's Quorum President, who happens to be our barber, so that shouldn't be hard. The Branch President wasn't there but it was still a good Sunday anyways. One less active who had stopped coming to Church before we came here has been to Church a lot recently, so I hope that helps him. 

We played football at Bonaberi again this week and this time we were the ones late, an interesting change. We bought some food at the market there, which is much less stressful than going to the market in the city proper because that market there is huge, confusing, smelly and cramped. I also see that French is starting to affect my English grammar. Ever since Elder Izere found out that I was the President of the Deacon's or Teacher's Quorum (I never remember which) he has been calling me "President". Yep.

Sr S, Sr P, Sr R, Fr B and others still haven't come to Church/come to Church again. Sr S is eager to learn but she needs something to help her understand why this Church is so important. We also have a nice investigator named Sr AB, who hasn't quite comprehended that our Church is different from her Church and that we WANT her to ask questions. At least I do. Keep praying for these people and for the members, particularly the less actives, here, so that they may find the means to come to Church.

It sounds like you guys have had a fun week! (Responding to comments about the power of our minds) Honestly the mind has an amazing amount of power over the body. Just thinking about stress leaving the body helps that stress diminish. Wow. Also I love in French how the words for spirit and mind are the same: Esprit. Makes a lot of sense when you think about it.

(Responding to various questions) Football is nice, though going to Bonaberis still eats up tons of the day. We go to an internet cafe to send emails. Normally we eat dinner at home. Eating meals with members or investigators tends to be a very sudden thing. You go in and they say, "I'm preparing food! Stay and eat!" That is how that normally goes. The members are nice and I hope we will start working with them more, that will be great. Our investigators go slowly. People really do have difficulties going to Church, even when they have a car. Also lots of people want to talk about the Gospel but when it comes to an actual change... not so much. ça va aller. Tell Uncle Randy and family that I love them!

Don't forgot to tell yourself that "You fear no man!" every morning. Like Mom and I said, the mind is a powerful tool. Then you will not be ashamed or timid, especially when relying on the Lord.

note: ça va aller means "it will come" though word for word it is "it is going to go"

Je vous aime!
Je ne crains personne! Vous ne craignez personne!
Elder Russell

pics!

Or maybe this computer is going to hate me and not let me attach my images. Dang it computer.

Tithing helps the nation

July 25 2016

I think I'll start with what happened this week rather than responding, change up the style a bit! (Though that will respond to some questions)

So the first thing that comes to my head immediately is that on Saturday I was super tired. This is because only one lesson actually happened and we ended up trying to contact the rest of the day, which wasn't very successful. So we got home, I ate some bread and then went to bed. Fortunately, I slept well and was able to work hard Sunday.

The other thing is that we had Zone Conference! Elder Ellis, a Seventy or an Area Seventy, visited us. The biggest thing that stuck in my mind is what he said about tithing. He asked what difficulties Douala was happening and the lack of buildings was mentioned. He talked about tithing, as that is what is used to pay for buildings. What I learned is that tithing has more blessings than just opening the windows of Heaven. In Malachi it talks about also, in short, how it helps the nation. Elder Ellis ended it by saying, "Wouldn't it be nice if there were more jobs in Cameroun?". I never realized that about tithing before.

Fr B still hasn't come to Church, though he is improving with Smoking. Sr S and Sr R also still have problems coming to Church. Sr P doesn't seem to have received her answer yet, but we taught her from the Premortal life to the Fall of Adam and Eve and she took it in very easily and gave her own insights as well. We also taught Sr S the same lesson and she received it very easily also. We played Football (Soccer) again this week at Bonaberi, but we left on time this time, so we actually have the time to do everything... time. Transfers are next month, 20 somethingth if I'm counting correctly.

May Brother Campbell find joy in the paradise of the spirit world, and bring many more souls to a knowledge of the Gospel.

I have been drinking more water, like at the beginning, by taking 1.5 liters into the sector. Very effective.

Je vous aime tous! Beaucoup beaucoup!
Je ne crains personne et vous ne craignez personne!
Portez-vous bien

Elder Russell

Camera died. No pictures again :-(

July 18 2016

Okay, first things first, I don't have any pictures because the camera completely died. Fun times! Looks like I'll have to get a new camera. Thanks for the encouragement and I say the same to you. (Rich wrote: Our elders quorum lesson was on Howard W. Hunter from the Teachings from the Presidents of the church manual lesson 11.  The part I like the most was:“True greatness [comes from] the thousands of little deeds and tasks of service and sacrifice that constitute the giving, or losing, of one’s life for others and for the Lord.” and "The end result may not always be clearly visible, but it seems that it always requires regular, consistent, small, and sometimes ordinary and mundane steps over a long period of time.")

For P-day we went to Bonaberi and played football... soccer. I don't actually like going down to Bonaberi because we are always there for longer than intended and it leaves no time to do the other stuff we need to do in the day. Also I didn't really play because I accidently dehydrated myself Sunday, though I'm doing better now. I drank lots of water after that. Though that was at the end of the day that the effects of dehydration kicked in, so that was a good thing.

To get to places we either walk or take a taxi. For Church, especially since it is particularly far, we also take a taxi. Sometimes that is annoying because the taxi drivers will charge anywhere from 500 to 1000 francs, so when they try to charge more it ends up being a negotiating session because you know that you can get a ride for less. When I say sector that means our proselyting area, which I'm pretty sure are the Branch boundaries also. I'm pretty sure that most government buildings we are not allowed to take pictures of, other than that not sure. (Responding to the question "When you were sick, you read the WHOLE misson library? How long were you sick?) I was only sick for one day but you know how much of a voracious reader I am. Plus I had already read Jesus the Christ, so I finished the other books then.

Frère B is going okay. We've talked to him a lot about the Word of Wisdom and gambling, as those are the two things he really has problems with. Fr G also the WoW. We finally were able to contact and teach Sr P! She was having lots of doubts about the truthfulness of the Bible and... really the basic problem was finding truth. So we talked about prayer and the Holy Ghost. I love that message so much because that is how they really know. It isn't by listening to us but by reading the scriptures, meditating about them and then asking God. She was very comforted by the fact that Elder Izere was Catholic before joining the Church. Well I guess she was comforted that he wasn't already LDS when he asked for his answer. That was a powerful lesson.
Sr S still has problems coming to Church, but we keep praying for her. We haven't been able to really contact Sr J and every appointment falls through :-( Fr E and family are going well, though it is sometimes hard to see them as they live further away.

Je vous tous aime
Je ne crains personne!
Elder Russell

Vous êtes vous

July 11 2016

…sorry about the (lack of) pictures. A lot of the time I just don't know what to take pictures of, especially since it says don't look like a tourist in the missionary handbook and there are buildings that I cannot take pictures of, but I can at least take more in the apartment. Also my camera was being a bit wacky but I fixed that.
(In response to a question about what birds He has seen) I have mostly seen little brown birds with red eyes, though some people have had parakeets for sale. Also bats will fly over our apartment from time to time.
The lessons are going pretty slowly, though there are some investigators who I think will be progressing well soon. Some investigators we haven't been able to get a hold of (which makes sense since I found it is vacation time here, like at home, not sure how long it lasts here though) so, yeah. I Also got sick on Saturday, so that wasn't fun. I stayed in the apartment with Elder ZoBell (Elder Izere had to go do a baptismal interview) and read the whole mission library. I am better now, so that's good. It is also transfers. Elder Kadima got transferred to Gabon and we now have Elder Nkashama (I think that is his name) who will now be training Elder Kincaid. Elder Izere is Zone leader (and not happy about it) and I can't remember who is District leader. Other than that our District is the same. People I'd like you to specifically pray for are Sœur P (haven't been able to get ahold of her, and we know from Sœurs R and D she is still in town), Frère B (Word of Wisdom), Frère G (Word of Wisdom also), Sœur S (Sabbath Day, she usually can make it to Sacrament but normally cannot stay), Fr E and family (new investigators) and Sœur J (appointments now always fall through).

Happy Eternal Family Anniversary!

Memorable this week... wow. I learned a lot reading the missionary library. I love "Our Search for Happiness" by M. Russell Ballard. That is a great resource for understanding the doctrine, both for members and non-members. Two messages have stuck out to me this week: the wonderful blessings of the Atonement and the joy we can have in eternal families (would you look at that!) I am so glad we have such a wonderful, loving, Heavenly Father that He made a plan so that we can become like him and have everlasting joy in families. Culturally, or linguistically, I learned that for the tribe of the Bamileke (Bah-mee-lay-kay) Bonjour is "Uzio" (Oo-zee-oh) and that in Kurundi (the native tongue of Burundi) Merci is "Mwaramutse" (Mwar-ah-moo-tzay). Fun times! The best part of my week was learning that we are probably going to have a district soon as the combined sectors of Douala are big enough for a district now, so we will also probably get a new building. Also I had a really good night’s sleep last night, so that was nice. It was sad saying goodbye to Elder Kadima but I'm sure he will do well in Gabon. I've laughed a lot at Elder Izere calling me "President Russell" and others calling me "M. Russell Ballard" or "Russell M. Nelson" Ah, so silly. Also I say "Vous êtes vous" (You are you) a lot and we laugh about that. Overall I feel great. I love it here right now and I am excited to continue to grow and learn and serve the Lord better.

Je t'aime
Je ne crains personne!
Elder Russell


I will send pictures next week!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Happy Independence Day! (and family reunion via email)

July 4 2016

We actually made cheese quesadillas one time. They were good (but cheese is expensive). Elder Kincaid made potatoes which was pretty easy. (He) is pretty on top of finding recipes from his mom. We are going to eat hamburgers tonight for the fourth of July. Yum!
This week was very slow. We had a lot of Ratévous (appointments fall through) and our sector is so small that we tend to get a lot of contacts for the two other sectors in our district. The best part of my week was that one of our contacts came to Church without first having a lesson. Also Sœur Anita came this week. We have been teaching a less active member, Sœur Rosaline, and she commited to come to Church. Unfortunately she often works late so getting up early is hard for her, so she didn't make it this week. The members have started looking for a building that they could use closer to everyone, so that is cool.

-----

(Rachael commented: I'm getting almost as tan as you, hahahaha, just kidding I don't think I could ever get that tan.)

Yeah, I think I'll be as dark as a Malagase (Madagascar) at the end of my mission, though they are not as dark as other Africans.

-----

(Aunt Sarah commented: I am interviewing all the family and asking them these same questions. Be detailed and specific
It is your birthday dinner, what do you want to eat? It can be anything.
What would you choose for your birthday cake? Flavor, icing, decorations?
What would you choose for ice cream?
If you were an animal, what would you be and why?
You walk into a candy store and it has every imaginable candy and sweets in it. You can have something free, what do you choose?)

1. I would have clam chowder in a sourdough breadbowl
2. My birthday cake would be chocolate with vanilla ice cream in the middle. there would be a creamy chocolate topping with a light coating of blue frosting saying "Happy numberth Birthday!"
3. I would choose vanilla chocolate ice cream.
4. If I could be any animal I would be... a dragon, because dragons are cool (I'd be a giant, flying, lizard, that is pretty cool). Now, if it has to be a real animal... a narwhal, because then I'm a water unicorn.
5. I'd take... some dark chocolate. But not too dark. It tastes good.

-----

(Replying to Grandma)
Thank you for your love and support grandma. I miss you too but it will only be for a small time. And in that small time I have much work to do.

-----

I love you all! Happy birthday to Chris and Maggie. I miss you all. Continue to learn and to grow and trust in the Lord.
Je ne crains (that is the correct spelling) personne!
Je t'aime!

Elder Russell

Sending love to Elder Russell from siblings and cousins

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Progress and Updates

Monday June 27 2016

It is so great to hear about the amazing experiences you are all having! And it was funny to hear that Dad had installed the wrong doors, similar to when we had trouble with the closet doors. Keep on working Dad to be the best father you can possibly be (you are already a great father in my opinion). It is so sad too hear that so many people will be out of the ward! I wish them all good luck and hope they find great joy wherever they are going.

Sœur Suzy's son is probably at least five years old, so I really imagine circumcision wasn't fun for him. Unfortunately, she was not able to make it to Church this last week, but I pray she will this Sunday. Frère Bruce is the one who is struggling and reading the Book of Mormon. He still has some doubts about reading it but I know he can overcome them. Sœur Anita is currently in Village (I think we should ask the Missionaries for that sector to see if they can teach her) because her mother has had some health issues. I pray everything turns out all right for her and that she will stay true to the Gospel. We have also started teaching an investigator who former missionaries had found and who had been gone for a while and she seems to have a deep desire to learn of the Gospel, her name is Sœur Patricia. We are also teaching her friend, Sœur Rosaline, who is a less active member who had introduced her to the missionaries. 

Also our Branch received computers for doing Family History work! I am very excited that soon the missionaries will be able to say that we have somewhere where people can do their family history and that they will be able to feel the Spirit of Elijah. I also picked up and started reading Jesus the Christ on Friday. I only do it in the morning just after exercising and taking a shower and at night after Supplementary Study and right now it is like I'm just reading a book but I am so excited to actually study it because even form just reading it I have learned so much about the Savior... also Jewish culture at the time of Jesus. 

The missionary companionships in the apartment are: Elder ZoBell and Elder Razafieremanana, Elder Kincaid and Elder Kadima, and Elder Izere and I.
Unfortunately I keep forgetting to bring my camera, so I don't have pictures :(

Je vous aime! (I love you all!)
Je ne crainds personne!

Elder Russell

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Gospel learning and peace

Monday June 20 2016

Sœur Suzy came to sacrament meeting again! She is so excited to learn about the gospel and she is learning fast. She taught us half of our last lesson because she had learned about prophets during Church on the 12th. She wasn't able to stay the entirety of Church yesterday because her son got circumcised.

This week I remembered to bring my journal. I found my little study journal I got at the MTC (it was in my suitcase) and so started using that again, so that is nice. We had the assistants work with our apartment and the Bonaperi apartment (the other apartment in Douala) so that was cool. The assistants are Elder Lergerski (whose blog we've probably read) and Elder Midika. 

We finally had an investigator accept to read the Book of Mormon and now he is struggling in life so I pray that he finds peace and help through the Gospel. 

We made pizza this week and it was good! Do think you could send me some simple dinner recipes too? So far I've only made tacos, pizza, eggs and beef, and spaghetti.

Je t'aime!
Je ne crainds (crains? I need to check that again. and it is pronounced like crayon, but without the o) personne!

Elder Russell
Selfie! (Hair is gradually getting lighter)

my soul delighteth

Monday June 13 2016

My French is coming along well. I have set a goal to speak French as much as I can (sometimes it is hard when you have English speaking missionaries in the apartment). Sometimes I have parts of dreams in French, but not a whole dream yet. My companion is super. He is very patient with me and is always making sure I am okay. The new missionary (Elder Kincaid) is from California. He has a great desire to learn and keep the all the mission rules. He speaks French well and he knows lots of interesting facts. 

Currently I have just finished the Isaiah chapters of second Nephi. It was actually really cool because the French scriptures have things called CAD which give explanation to some phrases, and other phrases are much more clear when translated in French (but others not so much) So it is nice to use the French triple combination with my quad (but not the French Bible, the Church doesn't have its own French Bible yet so there are lots of weird things there). I've also been studying more about the atonement and repentance.

The Senior Couple introduced us to a new investigator who is very eager to learn and get baptized. She says she knows the Book of Mormon is true because when there is a passage of scripture in the Bible she doesn't understand if she reads about that topic in the BOM it is clear. So that is really cool! She gave us little souvenirs too (she is an artist, a very talented one too) She has two kids. We also gave a blessing to a member last week and he is doing much better.
The weather is hot, but since I'm already in the hottest area in the mission it can only get cooler.

Je t'aime
Je ne crainds personne!

Elder Russell


Voila, images!

Gift from Soeur Suzy -  wood carved turtle

Soeur Anita's Baptism