Well, we finally had the opportunity to watch conference this week! It was amazing.
I surely did miss watching it at home on the couch in pajamas with the family while someone's cooking breakfast, but I've never gotten more out of conference spiritually than I did this one.
We watched it in the chapel with some members and all of the other missionaries in our district. I'm so sad, I forgot all my notes at the apartment! So I'm just going to try to remember the ones I thought were great! President...Eyring? I think is the one who spoke about the lost sheep and how it usually has been a term applied to missionaries and members seeking to share the gospel with the world, but it's also referring to the Savior and how he will always find His lost sheep.
I'm pretty sure Elder Uchtdorf is the one who spoke about how Heavenly Father cannot force us into Heaven. It is crucial that we have trials and temptations because with trials and temptations come choices and with choices come agency. We have to choose Heaven. It's not something we just randomly come upon as we're meandering through our lives. There was a lot of other great talks! I loved this session!
There were some surprising things from conference too. I think you would all be surprised about just how cut off from the world we are here. Elections are going on in the Philippines right now and it is the main focus. No one cares about the world news even on a daily basis, but especially not now. Many of us were shocked when we heard about the bombing in Belgium - I think it was in President Nelson's talk. What a miracle that the four missionaries survived but what a horrible thing to have happened. Yeah, we were all shocked that we hadn't heard of it happening thus far.
Really striving to get our investigators progressing this week. If any of you remember P, the 11 yr old who just loves us who has a really horrible family background, we met her older half sister, C, this week. C is just golden. She's 22, married (unusual that they were married, it's rare in the Philippines) and has a little boy. She's only been taught twice, and the second time, she invited a bunch of people to listen and taught them all how to pray, while P - who is 11! - bore her heartfelt testimony of her experience in coming with us to Glady's baptism.
Then, their uncle stopped by for a quick visit in the middle of the lesson, and shared his whole crazy story about their family and the parents of P and C and what horrible paths so many of them have gone down because of drugs and alcohol. Then he points at P and tells her sternly she better not ever drink or take drugs and that she better do exactly what we ask her to do and stick with us always. Hahaha, even though they have a lot of problems, they're just a great family.
This week, during our lessons, 2 times, a lizard has fallen from the ceiling and landed on my companion's head! Hahahahahahahaa, I laughed my head off. It happened once to Sister Erandio, my last companion, and it scared her to death. Karma is gonna get me, I know it's gonna happen one of these days.
Spiritual thought of the week: Our MTC President in the Manila MTC gave a talk about how this life is like climbing an escalator - One that's going down, while we're trying to go up. It symbolizes temptation and trials. The top is where the Savior is, or the Kingdom of Heaven. Our climb is our dedication to following the gospel. The point is, if we stop, we will always drift away from the Savior. If you're not getting closer to Him,. you're getting farther away. However, you can't just go through the motions either because you'll never get anywhere. You actually have exert effort in getting to the top. I know it's worth it.
To quote from Elder Holland's talk at the end of conference, "The great thing about the gospel is you get credit for trying".
Love you all to pieces! Try to be-the-extra for someone this week! Everyone needs someone like that, even if it's something small.
I'm so grateful for you all and for this gospel in my life! There's a lot of people here who have been through a lot - I'm always amazed at how ignorant I was back in the US - and I often think to myself, "Why did I get so lucky?"
With the blessings we've received comes great responsibility. Remember why you're here. Remember your purpose. You're eternal purpose.
Much love, Sister Russon
Answers to moms questions:
Laundry: Calbayog has a laundry place (bliss) that I use. My companion thinks the whole laundry place is wierd and abnormal and she refuses to use it, so she washes all her clothes every week because that is what she has done her whole life. Hahaha, the cultural differences is so fun sometimes.
Companion: Things are getting better now that my waray waray is much better and her English is slowly improving, so we can communicate better. She is great. It's hard not to love her. Sometimes the language barrier is stressful for me. I have been explaining to her about computers. Before her mission, she had NEVER used one. Only a typewriter!!!! It's fun to talk about the differences.
Food: In allen, it was always rice and chicken or beef or veggies because that's all they had. I'm gonna be sad when I get transferred from Calbayog and dont have my super metro grocery store. Every day for breakfast I eat oatmeal and an apple - fast and easy - , sometimes eggs. Lunch and dinner is always sandwhiches, salad, fruit. I'm being so healthy:) salad every day and fruit every meal. We have dinner appointments occasionally or go out to eat or at zone meetings when I am immersed back into Philippino food, which is good. I like it. There was some wierd stuff in Allen that was out of the norm. But nothing makes me happier than a normal peanut butter and jelly sandwhich. Reminds me of home:)
Apartment: It is a complex, each apartment is right next to each other. Ours has two floors - the bedroom and study room upstairs.