Sunday, November 29, 2015

This Week....

Well hello my marvelous parents and my little kiwis!

Just another week here in the Philippines and boy have I learned a lot!

To start off, this week has been extremely hard at some points, and
really easy at others. First of all, just about every single possible
thing that can happen to a person's body has happened to me. Monday, I
started to feel my throat swell up, which wasn't a big deal except
each day it got worse until finally I spiked a huge fever on friday
and we had to stay home the whole day. My companion had to convince me
at first because I really didn't want to, but it was
for the best. I could hardly function. So I slept all the day long.
Tuesday, I stepped on this bridge wrong and broke through it and
almost fell all the way through, scraping up my whole leg in the
process. Most American missionaries supposedly break the bridge
hahaha. Tiny Filipino people. Luckily though, I'm the first one who
didn't fall in the water. Today my awful cough and sore throat are
finally seeming like they're going away. Since I haven't felt very good 
I'm hardly eating anything each day because I'm just not hungry. 
Oh and also, my entire body is covered in one of the worst rashes 
I've ever had. But that's not something I'm too worried about. I'm the
rash queen.

So those are all of the things that are wrong with my body:) It's
slowly getting better though. At the beginning of this week, we were
also struggling with the work. Sister Mortensen said other than the
language, this is one of her hardest areas as far as people being
receptive to the message. Part of it's probably because there are a
lot of smoking and drug problems here among the youth, and we're both
American, so a lot of people are too shy to talk to us.

These past couple weeks, I've been constantly thinking about what a
mental struggle a mission is. Constantly thinking about missing family
and America in general and then trying to remind myself of why I'm
here and what my purpose is. It's exhausting. Well, I had a spiritual
insight these last couple of days when I read the Fourth Missionary.
It's a talk that one of the Elders in the MTC gave me. Haha, I'm not
entirely sure how, but I have felt a lot happier since reading it. It
talks about the difference between the third and fourth missionaries.
The Third missionary is obedient and does what he/she is supposed to,
but doesn't want to. The life of the Third missionary is still based
on the will of the missionary instead of the will of the Lord like the
Fourth missionary. Basically, it says the way of the Fourth missionary
is actually easier, because the mission isn't such a mental and
emotional struggle. Sure, each missionary will have struggles, but
choosing the way of the Fourth missionary is what he calls the
"Intelligent" choice, because with that way, you personally benefit
from you mission more because you allow the Lord to mold you and make
you the person he wants you to become.

Heavenly Father can make a lot more out of you than you can make of yourself.

So reading that, somehow, struck me a little and helped a lot!

Other than that, the week hasn't been super eventful! The language is
coming a little better. Comparing myself to my Spanish from 5 years,
it's amazing what I've learned in a couple weeks, but comparing myself
to the natives here, I've got a long way to go:)

Happy Thanksgiving this week! I'm thankful for all of you!!!!

There isn't very many food options here so today we're going exploring
because I will make as close to a Thanksgiving dinner as I can...even
if we don't have an oven...and even if our Philippino roommates are
going to absolutely freak out because there's no rice involved. Hehehe

Tomorrow we have another zone meeting so that's something exciting to
look forward to! Darn, I was hoping I'd get the package tommorrow but
it'll probably be at our next zone meeting then which I think is
December 16th? I don't know, we'll see. It's okay:)

If you ever think of a good quote to send me, especially movie quotes,
send em! I love them! Dad sent me that one from the Hobbit and I loved
it and put it in my quote book. Yes I brought that with me.

Say hi to all the family for me and tell them I love them and miss
them and am thankful for all of them!

Thanks for keeping me updated on everything that's going on! Don't
forget to keep doing that:)

Also, tell Kacie to send me dance pictures and boy stories:) Lexie too:)

Love you all! Miss you! See you soon,

Love Sister Russon

UPDATE from Shelly: I emailed Makenna's Mission President to check on her for me to make sure she is healthy. Their home is 8 hours away from where she is serving. I found out that he and his wife were going to her area the very next day. He sent me an email back saying "I am sitting 3 people from your daughter right now, She is happy, glowing and confident". After their meeting they talked to her and she said she is doing much better and everything is fine... and they sent me this picture... So thankful for them and knowing they are taking care of these missionaries :)

I am never eating rice again so long as I live

Hello my blessed family!

Can I just say how much I love you all? Like a lot! 

This week has been more of a roller coaster of emotions then I've ever had in my whole life. Honestly it's been a bit ridiculous. Thank heavens I've been able to pull myself together. Since Saturday, it's like I've finally gotten over that first wall and been able to get set in the mission mindset. Thank Heavens!!!!!! 

So here's what I found out this week. There are 21 missions in the Philippines. Tacloban is the hardest one of them all because there is a different language or different use of the languages in every zone. I also found out that Allen, the area in the Catarman zone is the hardest area in the whole mission because everyone speaks their own combination of 4 different languages - Tagalog, Cebuano, Waray S, and Waray H (For your information Waray S and Waray H are about as far apart as America is from the Philippines). Guess where your lovely daughter is serving?

Thats right!!!! Heavenly Father or the mission president or someone has an insane INSANE amount of faith in me because I am currently in the hardest area in the hardest mission in the entire PHILIPPINES!  Ha, I'm still in shock. 

One thing I've thought a lot about though is what our teacher Brother Pasikala said to us in the MTC. He drew a circle on the board and inside it wrote "comfort". Then he drew a larger circle around that and inside it wrote "growth". There is no growth in the comfort zone. It's so true. I am mostly out of my comfort zone I'd say about 98% of the time I'm awake. Even when I'm asleep, I'm sweaty and dirty and think a bug is landing on me everytime the fan blows a hair on my arm. Let me tell ya, the struggle is real. What's helped a lot is just knowing how much farther I'm going to be in the language when I get out of this area. Hopefully I"ll know a good chunk of all 3!

Out of everything, being here has made me realize really how much I have to learn. About everything! About the world, about myself, about Heavenly Father and the gospel, about other people and what they're going through. 

Our daily schedule pretty much consists of waking up, showering with a bucket - hoorah, eating rice and bananas - yum, getting ready, one hour of personal study, 2 hours of companionship study, 1 hour of language study, lunch, and then proselyting - walking all over the place, talking to as many people as we can, and teaching lessons. Most people are home during the day, and though most people have phones (which is another weird thing because they probably have hardly enough money to pay for food since most of them live in houses with dirt floors), we don't set up appointments ever. Just show up and hope they're not sleeping. I still haven't figured out how most of them get their money cause they're always home. 

This week, my favorite experience happened on Wednesday. For the most part, I speak hardly at all. Sister Mortenson does most of the talking because I have absolutely no idea what anyones saying 93% of the time. On Wednesday though, we started talking to this family on the side of the street and they had a ton of little girls over playing in front of their little house. While Sister Mortenson was saying who knows what to the Nanay - mom, I knelt down and was trying to talk to the little girls. Then it started to rain, so we stayed under their little covering for about 15 minutes just talking. Hahaha I taught the little girls how to play patticake and they loved it! It was so cute, they were trying to say "patticake" with their thick Philippino accents. It was adorable. They were probably like 3-5 years old. When we got up to leave they all grabbed my hands and were tugging on me and saying "upod upod upod", which means "again". Adorable. 2 of them we've seen a couple times since and they just love us. Their names are Princess and Precious. They have really different names here haha

Tomorrow is going to be super fun because we have zone conference, so I'll get to see the people I know from the MTC that are in my current zone and one of them is Sister Rex! Yay! Tomorrow, hopefully I'll get the package too. The zone leaders pick up the packages from the Mission office, so if they don't have it, then I'll have to wait for the next zone meeting which could be for a couple more weeks. :(

1) How are you feeling? Are you healthy? Has the food been bugging you at all as in making you sick?? 

-I got a random cold this week and my throat swelled up. So that was weird but it's pretty much gone now. I wouldn't say I'm healthy though and may never be. All we is is rice and meat with the rice and bread- they have a lot of bakeries here. Usually I have a banana at least once a day so that's good. Sometimes mangoes. Veggies only a couple times a week:/ But I'm taking the right vitamins so that'll help a little at least. 

2) Are you using the oils for anything? I love the oils!!!!! Could you email me though about ones that would help my back? 

3) Will your companion leave before Christmas?
-My 2 Philippino roommates will leave before Chrstmas, but my companion doesn't leave until after our 12 weeks together, so late January. Each new missionary has a 12 week program for the first 12 weeks and then could possibly get put as a trainer for a new missionary after that, but usually gets a new companion who does another training program with them for the next 6 weeks.

4) Do you have access to a CD player? Do they give them to everyone? 
Yes we have a CD player for each missionary in our apartment. The only thing we really use it for is Sister Salamancas music which is a BLESSING! I MISS MUSIC! The music rules for our mission are really slack so it's nice cause she has a bunch of fun Christmas music and EFY music we listen to during meals and while getting ready. She's gonna give it to me to put on my Flash Drive because you can just plug it right into the CD player, so that's cool. 

5) What are you eating? Do you cook everything yourself or do you go to members houses for dinner?
Most of the meat includes pork or chicken, sometimes fish. Mostly just a lot of meat and carbs. Great. We cook everything ourselves, well, specifically Sister Lucero. We all pitch in for the food and she loves to make it for us. There aren't many meal options because all the grocery stores have really is bread and pastries, rice, meat, and then fruits and veggies. Today is p-day, so I'm gonna make sure I buy a ton of fruit and vegetables. We have plenty of money. Everything is so cheap here. 

Side note: When I get home, I'm literally going to run for the hills if you ever try to feed me rice again. Also, you know how in the movie Signs, Boe says the water tastes old? Yeah, I know what that means now. Haha, nothing anyone said about the food tasting good is even a smiggen true. It's motivating me though to get really good at cooking when I come home! And, I'm also probably going to be sleeping on the carpet for a week because it is a luxury I never knew I had before. 

Love you all to pieces! Can't believe Kacie won 21 pilot tickets, hurrah!!! 

Love you all, think about you every day!



 The stairs to Makenna's apt she has to climb everyday. She said it is worse than it looks :)

Sunday, November 8, 2015

First Area - Catarman

Hi Family!!!
I have never missed anyone so much in my whole life! I miss you all with every fiber of my being!

Honestly, the first few days here were some of the hardest of my life. I wasn't really in culture shock, it just hit me that I was stuck here for the next 16 months and without anything American. I almost cried when I heard there was a KFC in Tacloban. 

The day after I last wrote, we went to McCarther park - look it up, lot of history there - and were assigned companions. My new companion is Sister Mortenson, haha one of the only Americans. I lucked out with that one but I can hardly understand her English because her accent is so thick. She's going home soon - I'm her last companion. 

After that we ate lunch at the mission home, said another horrid goodbye to everyone in our zone - most were with me in the MTC, and drove to our area. Sister Garcia got to come with me because we were going to drop her off at her area, so that was a blessing. Sister Rex, Sister Prudencio, and Elder Fisher, all from my zone in the MTC drove in the van behind us, because they are in the Catarman zone with me! So I'll probably see them 2 or 3 times a month!\

Catarman is the farthest north zone in the mission. Here, they speak a mix of waray S and tagolog. So I pretty much have absolutely no idea what's going on. At all. However, most speak some English, they just don't like using it. Here is what I've learned about the language here: NO ONE speaks with the same language. Everyone uses a mix of Waray S, waray h, tagalog, cebuano, english. So it's pretty much a do-what-you-want-whenever-you-want-and-hope-those-around-you-can-figure-it-out kind of thing. Haha, makes it easier for me though because I can just use english with a mix of whatever else I can use and for the most part, they'll understand. 

Driving up here, I LITERALLY thought I was going to die. Not even kidding. We drove a van up - which is a surprise because I haven't seen one yet. The driver was a flippin maniac. MANIAC. AND, our area is the farthest away from Tacloban, an 8 hour drive. This guy no joke, was going over 100 mph in some areas that I guess could be considered Philippino-versions of residential areas. On top of that, every street is a winding mess, so I sat in the front. I'm absolutely amazed I didn't get sick. God is definitely with me. 

The first day, all the Philippinos gathered around me to watch me eat who knows what, and as I choked it down, I nodded my head and said, "Mmm, good", which was a total lie, but they all cheered. So far my favorite thing has been the ice cream made of leaves. I am not kidding. Made. Of. Leaves.  After that, we said a prayer and I screamed in the middle of it because a moth the size of my fist (not an exageration) slapped me in the face!

Haha, somehow laughing about everything has gotten me through the last couple days. There's a lot to get used to. I don't like how everyone stares at me all the time. I'm more popular than a Ferrari in Willard Utah. Cars of men will go by and they'll cheer, and then there's all the women who just want to stare at me. They put bleaching agents in their soap here to make them whiter. Haha, it's actually funny how I probably look like a disgusting sweaty hobo, and they think I'm absolutely gorgeous. Don't know if I'm gonna get used to that. It's not exactly a good feeling to be examined all the time. 

I also miss carpet. There is not carpet here. None. Ever. Just tile all the time. 

And I really miss Mom's cooking and knowing what I'm putting into my mouth. 

After multiple times of wanting to cry, I finally had an ah-hah moment of remembering why I'm even here and keeping myself motivated. I'm been happy and positive ever since:) I feel like I have this huge mountain ahead of me, probably because everyone around me is going home soon, even my Philippino roommates - they leave in 6 weeks. But I've kept myself from thinking that way by writing letters to myself to read at different points in the mission. Self progression was always really motivating for me. 

My companion and I are getting closer little by little. She's from Lehi and is the nicest thing ever, but we're very different in personality so that'll take some work. But it'll come!

The ward members are absolutely wonderful! They all love me to pieces, and laugh when they know I have no idea what's going on - which I just pretend to think is funny too. On Saturday, we were asked by Mark, one of the Bishopric members to come to his wedding reception. 

Haha it was so fun! American music is everywhere here, which is a true blessing! The other day I heard some Pearl Jam and Ed Sheeran. The first day I'm pretty sure I teared up when Shake it off came on downstairs. T Swift! I won't forget you!

Talking to investigators is starting to become something I'm looking forward to. The first time I beared my testimony I almost lost it with emotion. I love the gospel so much! 

It gets completely dark at about 5:30 here and we have to proselyte til 9. So yesterday, we were walking around in the dark and it was just beautiful! The Philippines is so beautiful. The trees are huge and tall and lush and don't look anything like America. There was every sound imaginable - Dad would've loved it. And then I looked up to the sky in between the trees and the stars were so bright and gorgeous. I wanted nothing more than to lay in a hammock right then and there and stare at the sky. 

When we came back home, someone across the street turned on Beyond the Sea by my one and only love Frank Sinatra. Someone's looking out for me in heaven. 

I like this area much better than Tacloban. Our house is right on the water. 

We live in an apartment complex on the 3rd floor and to my surprise it's not too dirty and there aren't too many bugs (The moth was an exception). Just a lot of lizards.

Tacloban was down. Here it is too, it just doesn't look as dreary and eveythings very colorful. The trees are super small in Tacloban too. I don't know why this bothered me so. I think it's because I already felt so out of place. Everythings bigger in Texas but everythings mini in the Philippines. The first time I saw a tree bigger than me, I almost cried. Haha, there have  been a lot of almost-crying moments.  

Please send me in an email what the equivalency is for kilograms to pounds and kilometers to miles - it will help in the confusion:)

Love you all more than I can explain. It's finally becoming an adventure being here. I'm trying to focus like I should and not think about the end. Especially because EVERYONE says it just absolutely flies by! 

I miss you all and think about you every day! Don't forget it! Love always and always and always. 

See you soon

Love Sister Kenna Russon 

Hello from Tacloban!

Hello Family!!!

I don't have much time to write but today was our first day in Tacloban, my mission. This is by far the hardest thing I've ever done with my life. The MTC in Manila wasn't bad at all, it was so much fun because I was with my district the whole time, who've become family to me, and it was like school. Here, we got about 10 minutes of sleep last night and they already had us out proselyting today. The heat and the humidity are unbearable, I'm about ready to shave my whole head off. I can't speak the language, everyone here either treats me like a celebrity or they are scared of me because I'm white, and I can't imagine walking around in the heat and the humidity everyday like we did today.  Plus, we had to leave more than half our district at 12 this morning because they went to other missions, so I've been missing them and I keep feeling like I'm seeing them everywhere. Last night, we all gathered in one last district prayer in a circle. Elder O'Rullian said it, our district leader, and I completely sobbed! Sobbed like I've never sobbed before. I love them all so much.  And while this is going on, you literally have no time to think about how youre feeling (which is probably a good thing) because you're so busy. 

It's been an emotional day. And it's been really hard. But, about a half hour ago, I went outside and was playing with a bunch of Philippino kids. They are so cute! The cutest things you've ever seen! They can speak a little english and they're tiny! Just tiny! And they were running around singing Christmas songs in waray waray. Haha it hit me that the harder this is, the more I'm going to learn from it. So I've just gotta not think too much about it and lose myself in the work. 

Don't worry about anything! The Philippines is gonna become home soon. 

Love you all. I'll email more when I get the chance!

Love Kenna

I'm in the PHILIPPINES!!!

Can't talk long but I'm here at the MTC in the Philippines!!!!!!!!!!! Ahhhhh!!!

So sorry I couldn't call from LA. I really wanted to call Dad and then see if I'd have time to talk to Mom and Tess but we had to book it to our next flight. We had no time at all to do anything because everything was delayed since we had to return back to Salt Lake. I was gonna call from Hong Kong but same story as LA. 

Don't fret though! Glad I got to hear all of your voices!!!

We got to the Philippines yesterday at about 1 in the morning here - we were exhausted!!!! We got off the plane and it was like, well a group of white missionaries surrounded by small Philippino people. We stuck out like a sore thumb. But everyone here is so nice! I LOVE THE PHILIPPINO 

PEOPLE!! They're so cute and they all want to wave and talk to us! 

We got on a bus after landing and drove about 45 minutes to the MTC. It was 1 in the morning and traffic was still crazy. I can't imagine what it'll be like later today. There's lines on the road but no one look at them at all. I'm so glad I'm serving in Tacloban and not Manila. It's super exciting here but really ghetto. There's graffiti and garbage everywhere, and as we were driving here there's random huts on the side of the rode that I'm pretty sure people live in!...and a few small fires here and there. I'm like, hello! That's illegal! Just kidding, we're not in Kansas anymore. 

The humidity was like a wall when we got off the plane. I'm having to get used to breathing. I haven't been outside yet, but at 1 in the morning it was pretty gonna have to get used to that too:) Overall it's not too bad! I'm not even really nervous about anything! I'm SO STOKED! It's so fun being in another country!!!!! There's so much that's gonna happen between now and the next time I email, which won't be until I get to Tacloban, so I'll write everything down and try to tell you as much as I can. 

We fly out of here on Wednesday, couldn't be more excited!!! 

It's beautiful here too! There are tons of shades of green everywhere. It's gorgeous!

Today, our first day, we're going on splits with missionaries in the area and going proselyting!!!! Good heavens our first day! They're like, "The missionaries and most people you meet will speak Tagolog. So just say what you can in Cebuano and have them translate". I'm like, "Uh, I'm gonna need a translator even if I was speaking Cebuano!" Good heavens their faith in the gift of tongues...

I'll probably be writing a jeepney today, or a put put, no big deal. Just on a little car racing through the streets of Manila. 

Hahahaha, I've been here a day and it's already been an adventure! What is happening right now! I can't even believe I'm in another country!!!! 

Love you all! Tell the family I love them! Happy birthday soon Tess! 

Be strong. Be happy. Say your prayers. 

You're my favorite family:)

Love Kenna

P.S. hopefully I'll be able to call from Tacloban, but nothing too promising! I'll talk to you as soon as I can. Love always!!!!!!

Oh, and, I don't even have any jet lag! Woohoo! We are blessed:)

Last Week of the MTC...what?!

Hello Pamilya!!!

Can you believe this is my last week?! This right here is my last Friday in the MTC! I CANNOT believe how fast it's gone by! By the time I get to the field, I'll have 16 1/2 months left. I'll be home before you know it!

This week has just been about the same as usual - 9 hours of study in the same classroom everyday (ugh...), meals in between (which no one wants anyways because it's like cruise food - there's so much of it you get sick of it pretty fast), devotionals, skyping Philippinos, spending the whole day long looking forward to the end of the day when you get to go back to sleep... and the beloved cycle continues over and over. 

Yesterday we had our In-Field Orientation. It's just a general seminar for all of the missionaries leaving on their missions within the week - and it lasted 10 hours. My life has been glazed over after being in the MTC so long. It's like everything before today was a weird dream. I cannot wait to get to the airport and be in the real world again!!!!!!!! GET ME OUT OF HERE!

Seriously though, the MTC isn't that bad. Leaving will be bittersweet. I love it, it's just super monotonous. And 9 hours of class a day isn't exactly a Disneyland trip. And we're exhausted 24/7, and oh my HEAVENS there are way too many rules. And, you know, everyone gets just a little bit more insane with each day passing, but all in all it's not too bad. I really do love it here and will be sad to leave. 

We got our Travel Itineraries this week!!!!!!! YES YES YES!!! So here's the plan:

Leave MTC.......................................................3:30 am (kill me now)
Salt Lake City- LAX - United Airlines ..................7:35-8:40am 
Call Home - Yipppeee!!!......................................
LAX - Hong Kong (what?!) - Cathay Pacific..........12:25-7:05pm
Hong Kong - Manila Philippines - Cathay Pacific...8:05pm-10:10pm

Arrive in Philippino airport and drive for 2 hours through crazy Manila traffic to MTC.....who know what time because we're traveling into the future:)

So that's it folks! After a couple of days in Manila to get our visas figured out, we're either flying to Tacloban, or flying to Cebu and boating to Tacloban. Not sure yet. I'm sending another email from my mission president in case you didn't get it already about plans when we hit Tacloban. 

As far as flights go, our whole zone and our districts are going to be split up for the Salt Lake to LA flight, but we'll all be together for the other flights and together in the midst of going into crazy Manila city. We'll be able to stick together. 

This Sunday we watched a talk that Elder Holland gave at the MTC several years ago. I think it was called Missions are For Life. He is a great man. Half the time all us missionaries are cringing in our seats because he's yelling at us (in a good and loving way:) ), and then the next half we're cracking up.  It was so good. All about how we have a year and a half to serve our missions with all our hearts and then the rest of our life to think about it. I LOVED IT! 

This week has been super spiritual for me. I've learned a lot and my testimony has strengthened. The biggest thing I've learned all week is that it is good to question. The world can be confusing and the plan can be confusing, so stick with the basics and what you know to be true, don't ever forget them, and then dig deeper. Find out what you don't know and the answers to all of your questions. 

A couple of days ago, Brother Pasikala (I don't know if I've described him before. He is one of the coolest guys I've ever met. He's a DJ, his name is DeeJay..hahaha..., and he's an enthusiast of the Philippino people. He loves life), led our class in a deep doctrine discussion. Basically everyone threw out random questions they've always wondered and we all tried our best to answer them, or look up talks or scriptures on them. It was so cool! Brother Pasikala just broke down in sobs at the end bearing his testimony on how much he loves the Philippino's and how much he loves our Savior/ How much our Savior loves us and the Philippino people. It was definitely pretty insightful. 

Here is a story I'd like to share:

A little girl goes to her Father and says she wants a bike. 
He says, "Okay, save up as much as you can and we'll get you a bike." 
Over the next few months the Father gives her chores to do around the house to earn money for her bike. At the end of a couple months, she grabs her piggy bank full of coins to her Father and they go to the store to get her the bike. 
She sees the one she's always wanted and runs to it excitedly. 
However, when she looks at the price, she begins to cry. 
"What's wrong?" her father asks. 
"I don't have enough money and never will. It's too expensive". 

Then the Father says, "It's okay. You give me everything you have and I'll pay the rest". 

Christ paid the way for us. He expects us to give it all we've got but even after all we can do, we are saved through his grace and his sacrifice. He doesn't expect you to succeed in everything, but He does expect you to succeed in trying to. What's important to remember about this story is that, like the Father, Christ is with you every step of the way. He doesn't just sit back and watch you attempt to get it right. 

In a football game, He isn't the coach or the ref, but our Savior is the quarterback leading the team. 

This week I started reading the book Jesus the Christ. It is so good! I love learning more about the gospel that I never knew before. It's amazing how much more I'm getting from that book and the Book of Mormon and the Bible because I'm actually studying it, making sure it makes sense to me, and then moving on to the next section or the next chapter. 

Our of every single thing I've learned this week, this is the biggest one: If, throughout my life, I had always know what I know now, there never ever would have been a single moment where I would have not wanted to go on a mission. 

This week we had the opportunity to hear from Chad Lewis, a retired professional football player at BYU and return missionary. At one point he had a football friend of his get up and speak - Tayson was name. Tayson served a mission in Australia and his mission president told Chad that Tayson was the best missionary to ever serve in that entire country. One thing Tayson said was, "I've played in many stadiums and I can tell you that not one of them even compares to being on a mission". He told one story of a time where he was injured and was sitting on the sidelines with Chad. Both of them had been injured. They both looked up and in one of the box seats were 6 apostles. Hahaha even apostles like football games. They went up there and talked to all of them. One of the apostles told him, "Tyson, if the Lord needed you to be in this game, you would be. But he doesn't, so it's your job to figure out where that is.

When things get hard just remember  - "If it wasn't easy for Him, then why should it be for us?" - Holland. 

(This totally reminds me of one of my favorite Mormon Messages. It's by D. Todd Christopherson about the current bush. I can't remember what it's called. Look it up if you have time. It's really great. )

Chad spoke about that day as well. He had to sit on the sidelines during the Superbowl. After catching the winning point to help his team get there, he tore a ligament in his foot and couldn't play in the game he'd always dreamed of. He said he looked up, while sitting there on the sidelines, and in the stands saw his family. Right then and there he realized they were his Super Bowl. 

I cannot write in words how much I miss you all and how much I love you all!!!!!! Don't worry, it's going by really fast so I'll be home soon. This is such a good experience for me and for the rest of my life. I can't imagine going a day at home without thinking about my mission. And I haven't even been out to the field yet! Stay strong! You are loved! Don't ever ever forget it:)

Kiss Kiss

Hugs hugs

Sister Makenna Russon