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 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 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.