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

better and better at loving the people

July 31 2017

Sounds like things are going well for you! That's good. Things are going well here. It was interesting because we worked in a companionship of three with Elder Malu Malu as well. Elder Cicon is cool and he really loves the restoration message; which is good because, as Preach My Gospel says, that is what helps people gain a testimony. Of course the Plan of Salvation and the Gospel of Jesus Christ help but our unique message to the world is the restoration of the Gospel. It has been restored and we have a living prophet who leads the Church. And the Book of Mormon is the convincing proof that the restoration happened. 

Oh, so there was also SECOND round elections so there was no church yesterday. No vehicles on the street, all stores closed. 

I think I'm getting better and better at loving the people. I see their needs and wants, not just "how do I get them baptized" (of course I want that but they have needs, worries, questions, etc. How do I help them gain a testimony of the Gospel?) 

One of my only worries is speaking French with Elder Cicon, because it is really tempting and really easy to speak English with another English speaker. 

I am at the beginning of the Book of Mormon again and it is really cool to see how Nephi's faith and such developed and the trials he faced. As well as the difference shown by Laman and Lemuel. 

Our ward (first ward I've worked in!) is cool. They have a desire to work and the ward missionaries have a cool plan so that they can visit the investigators and all. Our first day in sector we didn't have the area book or phone so we contacted. One contact we taught again: Fr Rex. I think it will go well. We went up a mountain to visit an amie, I wish I had some pictures. But I should be able to get you some other pictures today if all goes well. SO yeah, overall a cool week!

Je vous aime tous tellement!
Nous ne craignons pas l'homme!

Elder Russell
Branch President 



Elder Robin 


Tsieme Goodbyes 
The Primary of Tsieme


Tsieme Goodbyes

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Goodbye my trainer!

July 24 2017

Things here have changed a bit with the transfers. Elder Luteso will now be working in the zone of Makelekele (Mah-keh-leh-keh-leh), which is still in Brazzaville, with Elder Razafierimanana. I will be working in the sector of Mikalou with Elder Cicon (wow! was not expecting that. The two Jared's are working together!) The sister missionaries that were in Mikalou will be working in Tsieme, so they switched us around. That will make transport easier for both groups. I'll still be in the same apartement. Elder MAlu Malu is going to Gabon and Elder Robin will work with Elder Muyala, who is from the same stake as Elder Luteso. ELder Izere is also going home. Goodbye my trainer! And good luck in life. Fr Romual did come to Church (but sadly not Fr Bel)! That was awesome. The members also brought quite a few of their friends so that was cool. We also met two cool new investigators who I wish I had another chance to teach: Fr Faveur and  Fr Leonel, lots of good questions which can be answered by the Book of Mormon. It was kind of weird being in a sector for only one transfer. I'll miss Tsieme, even though I didn't get to know it as well as New Bell or Ekounou. I got a new SD card, so I should be able to send pictures. As for musical instruments, they have their drums and I did see a weird flute sort of thing one time, but I'm not too knowledgeable on that, I'll have to ask around. I didn't bring my journal (again) so I don't have a reference of all my experiences but it was a good week. I've also had a good time keeping a study journal, I've gotten really good at keeping notes of what I studied in the Book of Mormon. It helps a lot.

NOUS NE CRAIGNONS PAS L'HOMME!
Je vous aime!

Elder Russell

Sunday, July 23, 2017

We ate goat....

July 17 2017

Wow, so cool seeing a picture of you in Peru! And I'm glad you're having a good time. Here, Sunday passed as I had said. Didn't leave the apartement the entire day. Fortunately nothing crazy happened. Things were back to normal today. We ate goat at a combined family home evening where Elder Robin and Elder Malu Malu taught about marriage. It was good. 
Also even though family home evenings are great, this one went overtime so it is a little late and I'm tired and can't remember everything I wanted to say... yeah. I'll try to get you guys more details next week, which is transfer week.

My SD Card isn't working anymore so we'll search for one Wednesday, so make sure you have the pictures I've already sent if you don't already. 

Nous ne craignons pas l'homme!
Je vous aime!

Elder Russell


....but she does speak Portugeuse

July 10 2017

Here there is not a ton going. Sadly Fr Bel didn't come to Church... again. It's really sad because he reads the Book of Mormon and understands the lessons but he has so much stuff going on in his family and it makes it hard for him to get to Church. We keep on praying for him and hope that he comes. We did meet President and Siser Thompson! That was really cool, they're great. President Thompson has pretty good French and is very patient and understanding. Sister Thompson's French is not as great but she does speak Portugeuse. It was interesting because they gave us the missionary guide things about technology (mostly concerning Ipads) and pretty much everyone wondered if we were getting ipads (I think that would be super weird in this mission). We didn't, thank goodness. It was still aplicable to the electronic devices we have so, not all that weird. We also talked with Sr Melvine, who tried to talk to twice before but she was never home. This week we probably won't be at church because of the municipal elections, we'll see.

I am having so many troubles with photos. Now they won't show up on the computer...

Je vous aime pour toujours et à jamais!
Nous ne craignons pas l'homme!
Elder Russell

Have fun in Peru!


Salut tout le monde!

July 3 2017

Salut tout le monde!

So, this week was okay. I got to go on a split with Elder Mutala, the companion of Elder Favero who is the zone leader (Elder Young is  one of the assistants, he was in Bonarberi when I got to Douala). I have not yet met President and Sister Thompson. I'm sure that will be soon. Sadly, our investigator who has a baptism date for the 16th (Fr Bel) did not come to Church this week (again). We'll have to talk to him about that. Also the 16th there will be Municipal elections, so we might not even leave the apartement. Anyways, we have three other investigators with a baptismal date: Fr Gabby and Fr Jovik (sons of a member, part member family) and Fr Romual (pronounced Ro-meh-al, the brother of Fr Bel) though he didn't come either on Sunday. My companion is a good guy and he works well.

I'm so excited for Ryan, and also for Rachael and Tyler! I can imagine that it is a little stressful. Also, I keep reading things about loving people and that that will help us serve them. That must be important if it keeps coming up. I didn't even recognize Stacey (in the pictures) at first glance, nor Calvin! Wow, everything will be so different when I get home.

The usb ports of the computer I chose don't work... dang it.

Je vous aime!
Nous ne craignons pas l'homme!

Elder Russell


Hi Calvin!!!

June 26 2017

Hi Calvin!!!
As for the transfer: I went to Douala (got my passport and yellow card from the Zone leaders first, oh, no debit card found... weird) then we ate with the Calls and went to the airport doing all the paperwork. Then we went, they gave us a nice little lunch on the way, and we landed in Brazzaville, where we did more paperwork. Then a member with a big van took us the the Mission office, dropped off Elder Kincaid and Elder ZoBell, and took me to my apartement. In other news: official last zone conference with President and Sister Monga! :( I'll miss them. President Monga cried at the meal meeting afterwards. We sang, laughed, took pictures... lots of fun. President Thomson will be getting here Friday. As for the sector... it's different. I got to talk with Elder Razafierimanana, Edler Ramanastoa and others again because the Zone Conference was combined, that was cool. Also I got to talk with Elder Young more, which was fun. Haven’t seen him very much because they have had lots of stuff (the assistants) to do with the change of Presidents coming. And that is all I have for now, plus I forgot my journal, again. I'll work on that.

Nous ne craignons pas l'homme!
Je vous aime!

Elder Russell


transferred!

June 19 2017

Hi!!! So, as for the lack of e-mail last week: there was no connection here in the Republic of the Congo. Which brings me to the next big thing: transferred! I am now working in the branch of Tsieme (Chie-may) in the Stake of Brazzaville. My companion is Elder Luteso from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. I came here with Elder Kincaid and Elder ZoBell, Elder right got transferred to Douala. We have one investigator who will be baptised soon who is named Fr Bel. He has lots of good questions. Our building is nice, though the road it is on is small. There is also tons of sand here. Tons. Things are slightly more expensive, but they have passion fruit soda and juice here! It's pretty good. Transport is different here, we get in buses instead of taxis (normally) and they have predetermined stops. It will be an interesting battle to know the area. There weren't any problems on the way here, though there were a lot of papers to flll out. Elder Luteso is a good guy, he jokes a lot. We are in an apartment with Elder Robin and Elder Malu Malu. Elder Robin is from Georgia and Elder Malu Malau is also from the DRC.So... that's it for now, I'll see if I can get you some pictures, the connection here is a little slow. Also cool with all the weddings!





arguments used against religion today

June 5 2017

Well, this week was a pretty good week. Let's see, some things that happened: Challenged Fr Bisso to get baptised, still has a hard time giving up his old life (and I think he still thinks that he can only get baptized once). The grand ma of Sr Yvonne moved so might be a little hard to teach her. We met a young friend of one of the young men in the Branch, his name is Fr Aaron. We'll see how that goes. Lots of new amis that we weren't able to visit, sadly. We'll keep trying there. Oh, and Fr Nyom is now Branch President. Wow. That was fast. Fr Obert is progressing little by litte so that is good. Other than that the week was pretty uneventful... I also didn't bring my journal with me so I am missing a lot of information (I'm getting better at writing in it).

One thing I learned this week is that the arguments used against religion today are the same ones used anciently (see the dispute with Korihor and Alma) so is actually nothing new there. That was pretty cool to learn.

I'm not sure what else to put, besides pictures!

Je vous aime tous tellement!
Nous ne craignons pas l'homme!
Elder Russell


Fr Arsene's Baptism in Yaounde performed by Elder Russell

Sunday, June 18, 2017

One kind-of surprise....

May 29 2017

Well, this was a good week. We had a good amount of lessons. Things we did: gave Fr Bisso a Book of Mormon (finally!) found about six new investigators, managed to teach Fr Obert again, and had a baptisimal service, among other things. It was a pretty good week. We did talk with the Kamdem family again (contacts from our DMB who did not accept the Book of Mormon) and we had a really spiritual lesson about the organization of the Church and the apostasie. Elder Tukumbane can be quite the impressive teacher. It was cool, along with other lessons we had. Oh! We also taught Fr Frederic again and that went well, even though he has trouble reading which makes things a little complicated. 

Anyways, Fr Arsene got baptized! One kind-of surprise was that I baptized him. Fr Ismael was in Douala at the wedding of Fr Nyom and Sr Anita and we had some miscommunication where my companion thought he would be at the baptism but I wasn't sure... so I brought a change of clothes just in case, so we were covered there. It was cool. So yeah. Cool week. And first time I've baptised someone on the Mission!

Sounds like you had a good week too. I forget a lot of holidays that we have back home... It is pretty emotional when we visit Grandma and Grandpa’s grave site. As for me, I learned a bit about the pre-existence, that there we had progressed at different levels and we had different capabilities and talents, that these things had and have bearing on our state in this life. It was quite interesting.

Je vous aime tous!
Nous ne craignons pas l'homme!

Elder Russell


Felicitations (congratulations) to a certain pair of people!

May 22 2017

Our week interesting because we had two days where we thought we would have interviews with the president and then we didn't have them. On Thursday I did a split with Elder ZoBell so that he could interview Fr Arsene. It went well. 

We had zone conference and it was really emotional because it was the last one President Monga will do in Yaounde. We had a combined sacrament meeting with the branches of Biyem-Assi, Mimboman and Anguissa (so all of the missionaries in our district were there) It was hot because we were in a small room with a metal roof, fortunately the fans were working. The old district presidency was released and the old First Councilor (I think) became the President. The Second Councilor is still Second Councilor and someone I don't know is First Councilor. 

That was also an emotional meeting because President Monga was there and gave a talk. One of the things I learned from President Monga's talks was that we are always developing throughout our lives and we must develop our capacity to feel the Holy Ghost or else it is going to be really hard for us to progress in our lives. I also read some of the Teachings of Joseph Smith and he had talked about how our thoughts must reach to the highest heaven(s?) and sound the deepest abyss. I thought that was really cool

Still haven't gotten a hold of Fr Cyrille... I think we'll have to just pass by.  We talked with Fr Obert and his wife this week and we should be able to pass by more often to see them now because we know where their house is. 

I've had some fun talking to Elder Constant from Guadeloupe because he likes a lot of the same stuff I do. He's cool. All in all it was a good week.

Je vous aime tous!
Felicitations (congratulations) to a certain pair of people!
Nous ne craignons pas l'homme!

Elder Russell


"river of shrimp"

May 15 2017
Our week was good. We found some new amis and started teaching them. Sr Sylvie and Sr Badie, they sell wood. We met them in a members taxi (we were at Happy and we needed to get to Shell Nsimeyong where our apartement is and it is a little far away). And it has gone well so far. We still haven't met with Fr Cyrile, though we did manage to get a hold of him. Hopefully this week we will see him. The lessons are going well with Fr Arsene, he has some questions and worries, especially about when he will be in his village since the principles of the gospel are harder to keep there, but he has a lot of faith (even that his family will join the Church, he is a cool guy). Fr Rodrigue I think is learning little by little (line upon line, precept upon precept) more about the Church. He did have the faith to get baptized but now comes the hard part. I think it will help him when he has the Doctrine and Covenants and such, when he is ready. Fr Bisso came to Church! He had lots of questions which I hope we can answer our next rendez-vous. I also learned how Cameroun got it's name: when Portuguese explorers came they found lots of shrimp, so they named it the "river of shrimp" in Portuguese. When the English or French came (don't remember which) they didn't feel like saying "shrimp" in Portuguese so they said "Cameroun". Voila.

I really like Stacey's talk! I'll have to start keeping a tender mercies journal. That should be cool. Also so true with the questions. All we gotta do is keep on holding on to our faith

Nous ne craignons pas l'homme!
Je vous aime tous!
Elder Russell

Picture eating at the Chinese restaurant a couple weeks back 

I made pizza!

May 8 2017

So I pretty much just talked to you, but okay! Fr Rodrigue is still progressing, lots of little questions that come up in Sunday school. Like I said for Fr Arsene, we will be able to meet with him a lot more because he has put a hold on work to take the lessons. We had a member ask if Joseph Smith was a Freemason and we just kind of said, "don't worry about it, just worry about if the Book of Mormon is true." People are very wary of things like that here (probably because of influences from the colonization period when everybody said that anything that wasn't catholic was of the devil) so with lots of people saying "yes" really puts a damper on things. Anyways, just goes to show how important it is to gain a testimony or else you will be led away. Other than that not much more to add onto what we had talked about.
As for people you can pray fror: Fr Cyrille (like I had said, he has struggles with the Word of Wisdom), Fr Rodrigue, Fr Arsene, Fr Frederic (broken foot), Sr Yvonne and anyone else you want to add in of course.

It was great to see everyone! (early Mother's day skype)

Je vous aime avec tout mon cœur!
Nous ne craignons pas l'homme!

Elder Russell


Sunday, May 7, 2017

not transferred.

May 2 2017

Well first things first: not transferred. I did however get a new companion. He is Elder Tukubane (too koo ban ey) from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He seems nice, and I'm sure I'll get to know him better. Elder Dou is working in my old sector at Douala, cool right? Fr Rodrigue's baptism was cool. He was baptised by our branch clerk, Fr Akamba. He looked really happy. We will keep on teaching him, and help him prepare for a mission. That will be cool. We didn't get to teach Fr Arsene this week, sadly. He was sick. Fr Cyrille still hasn't come to Church, nor many other amis. Well, we'll keep on trying!


Elder Russell



We ate at a Chinese restaurant.

April 24 2017

Fr Rodrigue is getting baptized on Saturday! I'm excited for him. Fr Cyrille is also progressing well. You can tell that he reads the Book of Mormon because he tells you what he read. He also commited to keeping the Word of Wisdom. I guess he was prepared by the Lord because he has a strong desire to keep it. It will just be not smoking that will be difficult for him. Fr Arsene is progressing well also. We still haven't been able to take a lot of time with him but he understands well. This week we will receive transfer letters, Elder Dou thinks I'm leaving but I'm not sure. We had Zone conference, which surprised our district because Elder Best forgot to announce it at District meeting. But it was good. We ate at a Chinese restaurant. I'll get you some pictures when I can.

Yep, that was our week. I hope you all have a great time and I hope Rachael Stacey are learning lots of things at school and Church!

Avec beaucoup d'amour
Elder Russell

Nous ne craignons pas l'homme!

...but if not then there it is.

April 17 2017

Our Easter was okay. We didn't have any mangez-vous with the members but that is okay. We did have a small mangez-vous with a Cotholic new-investigator family. Sadly this means that we didn't have a very good chance to teach. We fixed a baptisimal date for Fr Rodrigue on the 29. He understands the docterine very well, though sometimes he gets distracted by reading. Not a bad thing to read but I know personally that too much reading leads to some negligence. We still need to set the baptisimal date for Fr Arsene, but otherwise he is progressing well too. Fr Cyrille still hasn't come to Church, and last time we saw that he smokes, so we will need to help him there.

Lots of people gave us flyers for their Churches because of Easter. That was interesting. Other than that we taught lessons, tried to contact people and tried to visit members, with varying success, as usual.

Also: I'll be calling home on the 7th, if I'm not transferred out of Yaoundé, but if not then there it is. Specific timing has not yet been determined.

Nous ne craignons pas l'homme!
Je vous aime!

Elder Russell

Conference was cool!

April 10 2017

I am so bad at remembering birthdays... Happy birthday Aaron! Well, this week was okay, I guess. Sunday was weird because none of our amis came to those conference sessions and we couldn't get hold of any of them. Conference was cool. We watched it by downloading it and putting a USB into a TV. I left my journal at the apartement because we went to Mont Fébé today (where Jeffery R Holland consecrated Cameroon for missionary work) which was pretty awesome. As for our amis; Fr Rodrigue is doing okay. He wants to get baptised, but Elder Dou isn't totally convinced he is ready so, we'll see how that goes. Fr Arsene is cool, we are planning on inviting him to get baptized this week. We lost contact with Fr Cyrille... yeah. Frustrating with some amis becuase they say they'll come to Church but never do... but we keep on praying for them. Yep. That was pretty much our week. I'm going to make pizza this week.

Je vous aime tous!
Joyeuses Pâques!
Nous ne craignons pas l'homme!

Elder Russell








Well, things are progressing here.

April 3 2017

Well, things are progressing here. We are still working with Fr Rodrigue (though it seems his rent was somehow solved) We are also teaching a young man who is the grandson (I think) of one of the members. His name is Fr Arsene and he has a strong desire to be baptized, even though he doesn't know all the docterine yet. Fr Essomba came to Church again, he has been having financial troubles too among other things. He has started doubting God so we will keep on talking with him and try and help him through this time. Elder Dou is still a good companion. He has lots of stories to share so that is always interesting. I will be excited to see conference, which we will do this weekend. And I heard that President Monga is now an Area Seventy, some missionaries found out somehow. Also Happy Birthday! I have been writing in my journal more, but I forgot it at the apartement... that seems to be very common, though I did take a couple of pictures to send of me and Elder Dou.

Je vous aime tellement!
Nous ne craignons pas l'homme!

Elder Russell



This week was another slow week.

March 27 2017

This week was another slow week, lots of appointments fell through. Fr Rodrigue did not get baptized this week as we did not finish the lessons and because he has some financial worries. He has talked with the Branch President so I hope he will be able to find a solution (preferably a job). Yep. Some good news: Sr Anita is engaged! She is engaged to Fr Nyom, a return Missionary in the New Bell Branch.

I forgot to take pictures.

Je vous aime!
Nous ne craignons pas l'homme!

Elder Russell

Sunday, March 26, 2017

So lots of changes......Otherwise not much has changed

March 20 2017

We invited Fr Rodrigue to be baptized (he of course said yes. He has a very powerful testimony) We showed him the video of Joseph Smith and he cried. So I'm really excited for him, his baptism might be this week if we can teach the lessons in time. He also already respects some of the more difficult commandements so... not many problems there. Also, transfers! I am no longer with my longtime friend Elder Bouthot; I am now with Elder... Dou! Elder Dou comes from the Ivory Coast, he has also been in Yaoundé the longest. Elder Bouthot has been transferred to Doula A, the branch of Douala (that is where Elder ZoBell served) Elder Zobell will be the new companion of Elder Dou's old companion (Elder Kenabualu) and Elder Best will be with Elder Pindi (Elder Odimba is also in Douala, with Elder Tataiho). So lots of changes. It will be really cool and interesting to work with Elder Dou, Elder Wright said he is a very good person. Otherwise not much has changed. Our other amis with baptismal dates progress slowly, but they progress.

Je vous aime tous!
Nous ne craignons pas l'homme!

Elder Russell


​Many of the Zone at touristique Express to say goodbye.


Pokémon sandshrew

March 13 2017

We ate sandshrew this week... some explanation: we ate pangolin. It looks like the pokémon sandshrew so... yeah. It wasn't the greatest thing I've eaten, very tough skin and it tasted too much like liver for my taste. I don't like liver. Anyways, we got Fr Rodrigue (the investigator who has visions... literally) a Book of Mormon! We also invited him to get baptized; he accepted. So, really excited for him. Fr Frederic is going well, but he still has his foot problems, which means he can't get to church, plus some eye problems which make it difficult to read. So... yeah. Fr Essomba seems to have disappeared, but we did see his wife. I think he has lots of struggles financially right now. We had lots of amis at the Church, many were younger children. I hope the Church will influence them for good (and that we can meet their parents sometime soon.) Transfers are next week. We did two splits and I worked with Elder Best and Elder Wright. It was cool. We also got couches for the apartement, which is nice. I looked through my journal (which I still need to write in more) and it was fun to see the changes since I came on my mission.

But yeah, I might need to get new clothes soon. I didn't think I'd change so much on the mission...

Je vous aime tous!
Nous ne craignons pas l'homme!

Elder Russell


Sunday, March 12, 2017

almost one year!

March 6 2017

Yep, almost one year. Weird. It feels like school, in the sense that it seems long but when you look back you realize that, nah, really wasn't that long. 

Sr Lydie did get baptized this week! Fr Frederic was a bit busy this week so we weren't able to visit him, sadly, but I hope we will this week! We did find an investigator who totally has visions about the Book of Mormon. He came to Church one time because he is from one of the villages and saw a Church and said "Oh hey, a Church." So he came in. I think he said he was a priest or something and he has taken religious classes. Anyways. So at the end of one lesson he starts praying and my companion and I just sit there, because we don't want to interrupt his praying. Then at the end of his prayer he takes a journal and starts writing like crazy. Then he explains what he say and it was pretty much a chapter from 2 Nephi. The chapter that says "and there will be many who will say 'eat, drink and be merry; for tommorow we die; and it shall be well with us'" plus a few other chapters before and after that one. So we shared the chapter with him. So I really pray that the lessons will go well with him. Sadly we are out of Book of Mormons. Yep.

I love you all and miss you all too! Je vous aime!
Nous ne craignons pas l'homme!
Elder Russell




But we have AC!

February 28 2017

It is good to hear that all is going well! I'm writing a bit late this week because we changed apartements. The new apartement is really nice but a little small. Elder Bouthot and I will be studying in the living room because there is no room in the bedroom for our desks. But we have AC! Sr Lydie should be getting baptised this week which should be cool. Fr Frederic is still healing but we pray that it can be fast so that he can come to church. A new ami, Fr Roger, has accepted the Book of Mormon, he is really eager to learn. I'm a little rushed and I didn't bring my journal so I might miss some things. We visited Fr Essomba again and had a nice, quiet lesson on the law of chastity. He is also going through some rent troubles (let's just say things get complicated here sometimes).

Something I learned this week was that one objective of the mission is to convert me, so that later in my life I can help others and my children. Also we are back to our normal schedule, apparently there were some miscommunication somewhere and our schedule hasn't changed.
Sorry for the short letter but like I said, a little bit rushed.

Je vous aime!
Nous ne craignons pas l'homme!

Elder Russell
kitchen in old apartement

kitchen in new apartement



Sunday, February 26, 2017

We celebrated with cake (which had the flavor of sugar, but still, cake)

February 20 2017

Let's see... we invited Fr Frederic to baptism and he accepted, so we will have to work on assistance with him, which could be difficult because of his leg. Sr Lydie was not baptized this week but we put her for the 4th of March and we hope she will be ready by then. The English classes are going slowly, we had six people at the first one and five of them were children, but we hope to have more this week! We had some good lessons with new amis, one being Fr Roger, and hope to progress with them. There are schedule changes for us: wake up at 5:30, excersize and prepare for the day till 7:00 still but personal and companionship study are 30 minutes, then we get a meal and then we go into the sector at 9:00 am and return at 6:00 pm. SO that's different. 

I had a great birthday. We celebrated with cake (which had the flavor of sugar, but still, cake) and we also celebrated the "sommet" (summit, or one year mark) of Elder Bouthot two days after with ice cream. So it was good.

President Monga is coming on Wednesday for a zone conference (I think, still not entirely sure). Tell everyone thanks for the birthday wishes! I'm glad that you keep on learning and growing andI love hearing about what you learned! This week I learned that prayer is really powerful. I had some difficulties this week but by prayer (and loving companions) I received lots of support. So remember that God is always there, even in the most difficult of times, like with Job.

Nous ne craignons pas l'homme!
Je vous aime tous!

Elder Russell



And now for some silly missionary lingo: Pondu

February 13 2017

So, Sr Camille got baptized and confirmed this week! We are also going to start teaching English so that we can find more people to teach. Street contacting isn't very effective. But we continue to press foward! We hope that the English classes will attract a lot of people. We also have another investigator who will be baptized soon, Sr Lydie. She has been coming to Church for a while but her schedule limited the times we could teach her, but she said she could now do some lessons during the week. So that should be good. Fr Frederic got out of the hospital (he had a motorcycle accident and broke his leg) and he has to go back because some parts of the bone didn't stay correctly placed. But he is doing well. I'll be glad to start teaching him again. Other than that we had an uneventful week, though we did set some mouse traps because we've been having a mouse problem recently. Caught one so far.

Forgot to take pictures AGAIN. Yeah, really need to get better at that. We were told that we would have a new apartment in about three weeks so we also need to get rid of stuff, like old sofas. Though now we will be further away from our sector, so going to spend some transport money going into the sector. 

Thanks for the birthday wishes! And Happy Birthday to Stacey! My goodness how did I forget that in my last letter. I would also like to say thanks to everyone for their support, spiritual, mental, physical, no matter how. And I'd like to say how grateful I am for my loving family. And my Heavenly Father and lots of other things that go along with that (but above all for Jesus Christ and the atonement). I'll be sure to take and send photos this week.

One thing I learned this week is that we need to be patient. Sometimes very patient. and we need to be charitable, those kind of go along.

Je vous aime tous!
Nous ne craignons pas l'homme!
Elder Russell


And now for some silly missionary lingo: Pondu (Pah-dew, the pah is nasal) leftovers of a meal (technical French term is "Les restes")

Frying fish isn't easy

February 6 2017

This week was a pretty good week. We were able to get lots of things done and find some new amis. We bought some new mattresses for some of the other missionaries (with mission funds of course). Sr Camille will be getting baptized this week, that will be cool. Another amie, Sr Lydie, will be baptized next week. It is interesting because they are amies who started with missionaries long before us, so they both know the principles of the Gospel pretty well, just took a while for their conversion. Some things I learned this week are 1: Frying fish isn't easy 2: Working in a restaurant would be hard (my companion showed me a bit what that would be like) and 3: It is really sad when someone is a good person but they don't understand/except the Gospel (already knew that but still sad). We visited Fr Essomba again and... he just sort of disputed on every word that came from our mouths, even little things that didn't have anything to do with the Gospel. So yeah... still praying for him. Oh, we had transfers too. There were two transfers in the entire mission. So everybody except for some Sisters in Brazzaville are staying in the same place. Ummm... Fr Christian wants to serve a mission, so he said he'll start preparing for that (and yes, it is a book on autonomy) so, yay!

Other than that not too much has happened, we visited an ami who has a good heart, Fr Achille, but we haven't finished the restoration yet. I took a picture of Elder Pindi (Elder Kincaid's companion), but I really need to get better at taking more pictures. Should've taken a picture of Mount Fébé, that is where Cameroun was dedicated for missionary work.

So yeah, nous ne craignons pas l'homme! (That formation means, "We don't fear man!")
Je vous aime tous!

Elder Russell

Elder Pindi says hi

21 years.....wierd

January 30 2017

So the schedule changes in the mission program are changes to... the schedule we were already using. The schedule in our mission was already earlier than the schedule in most other missions and now everyone will be using our schedule (except of course the special cases). There are changes to the key indicators though (well, that we send to the Church, all of the key indicators are still there): The Church now only receives baptisms and confirmations (one key indicator), investigators with a baptismal date, investigators who attended sacrament meeting, and new investigators. As for our amis; Sr Camille is progressing very well, she will be baptized the eleventh. Sr Emillienne is traveling a bit so we will see her again this week. Fr Essomba... seems to have gotten a bit offended when he realized that we don't believe that everyone can have the Holy Ghost without the proper authority and ordinances, and that we believe that "the Bible is the word of God as far as it is translated correctly" We haven't been able to get hold of him again. Fr Christian and Sr Joli are little by little getting more and more integrated. Fr Christian received the Aaronic priesthood Sunday and is getting a calling with the young men's program (I think). They also found Fr Christian a book on autonomy, something that he really wanted because he has some worries about his work. We found a good number of new amis yesterday through some members and following up on people we had contacted. We (taught) the restoration with three of them (all together) But with the others we just did how to begin teaching. I also forgot my journal so I don't have all the details, but one family lost their daughter almost a year ago near the Church at Etam Mbafia, so we will probably teach the plan of salvation with them.
And I know, it is almost my birthday! 21 years... weird. And almost a year on the mission too. Time flies. I like what you said about Joseph Smith, it is very true. And a lot of time it just takes faith that we are on the right path, and confirming feelings from the Spirit really help.

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


And I forgot my camera, sorry.

Monday, January 23, 2017

I took a selfie...and a picture of a picture

January 23 2017

Okay, I wrote in my journal a lot more this week, so that should help with details. We taught Sr Camille (she is about 22 years old) several times this week and the lessons went well. She is already changing her lifestyle and attitude so that they are more in tune with the Gospel. She has a great desire to be baptized. We also found a new amie named Sr Emilienne, who is an older amie, but the cool thing was that she did the additional study in the back of the Plan of Salvation booklet. I had not yet seen that. We also had some difficult lessons with people who are not progressing, though one of those difficult amis came to Church and I think that helped him open up his heart (Fr Essomba). On Friday we helped Elder Odimba, Elder Best, Elder Dou and Elder Kabongo move into their new apartement (which means there are only four of us in the apartement now). My companion and I gave talks about missionary work, mine was specifically that missionary work is everyone's responsability and that we are blessed by it. People came to us afterwards and said they had contacts, I think we just need a reminder from time to time. Concerning things that I learned: I learned that the Lord gives us trials also to help us repent so that we can be pardonned. Which makes sense, sometimes we are too prideful and sometimes we don't realize that we need to repent. (here is one reference: D&C 95:1)

It is good that things are going well, I hope Stacey had fun at "Best of the Northwest" and is having fun with the Stake musical. Thank you for the photos! I took a selfie in front of a small map of Yaoundé, and a picture of a picture of one of the monuments in Yaoundé.

Je vous aime tous!
Nous ne craignons personne!

Elder Russell




We played football today, which was pretty fun. Still not good at it but I actually participate now.

January 16 2017

We had a district conference this week and President Monga was there. I learned lots of things and I forgot to bring my notes and my journal to the cybercafé, though I did start writing in it again this week. There was lots of talk about the importance of missionary work and sustaining the leaders of the Church. Basically, without those two things the work goes forward very slowly. There was also a talk about the importance of supporting (spiritually and temporally) the family. We have one new amie (technically an old amie), Sr Camille (Pronounced Camy), who wants to be baptised, so we will go through the lessons and make sure she is ready. A non confessionalist pastor, Fr Essomba, started taking real interest in what we were saying after a few lessons where it seemed like he just wanted to dispute, so we will see how that goes. We played football today, which was pretty fun. Still not good at it but I actually participate now. Fr Christian and Sr Joli are starting to open up to the other members, little by little. They still have some trouble with integration. I did two splits, one with Elder Odimba in my sector and one with Elder Gilbert (one of the zone leaders) in his sector (Éleveur). It was pretty cool to see the different ways of teaching. Other than that the week was pretty normal and we will see how the next week goes.

I'm doing well, though I have do some reparations to my mosquito net (but I take my doxy, so I haven't gotten sick) And Elder Bouthot is doing well also, though we are both a bit tired (because we walk alot to find new amis... and then don't find many) but ça va. We are looking at ways we can work with members more, I know we will have to talk to the Branch President and other leaders to have that work well. I love hearing about home and I hope things continue to go well! I also took some picture this week, though not many of me. I'll work on that.

Je vous aime tous!
Nous ne craignons personne!

Elder Russell

Elder Kincaid with a pineapple soda

Elder Kabongo

Elder Kenabualu (ken-abwa-loo)