Monday, December 5, 2016

The Air Was Glass


What a week What a week It has been!!!

Our proposal for the missionary concert in Calbayog has been approved!!! We're gonna Light the World and I'm so excited! There's still a lot of things that need to happen for it to run smoothly, but the members in Calbayog are excited and dedicated and essential to making this happen. They're the best! 

The Light the World Initiative is a great way to introduce people to the church. We've really tried to take advantage of it as missionaries. A lot of people are excited for Christmas and this is a way to make it the best one yet. 

We've had a lot of crazy experiences this week. A mission is such an adventure. Sister Portin and I were able to go on exchanges this week with 2 companionships that are both in training. I got to work both times with the new missionary - the trainee. They amaze me every time because they have what we call the "MTC Glow" - fresh out of the MTC and they shine with the Light of Christ. The MTC is a spiritual experience unlike any other. Anyways, I got to learn a lot from them too in the process. The sisters are wonderful and will make amazing missionaries. 

I am continuously amazed by the people Heavenly Father is sending our way. It's been fun to see what how our area is blessed when we give it our all. We were completely exhausted this week from hard work all day every day. The mission is finally starting to wear on my body haha. But miracles happen, and every day we wake up fresh and ready to go. This week we've reached higher key indicators than I have my whole mission and had 14 investigators at church - 4 of them being their first time. We're expecting 6 baptisms this month, hoping for 10 if one of our familes can get married. I love being a missionary!

Though it has been a great week, I experienced quite a bit of rejection this week, more so than normal. It's funny how much the mission has changed me. Before I probably would have cried myself to sleep and now I can just brush it off my shoulder. No matter what experiences like this come our way, there's always other experiences to come that make it all worth it. One of them happened this week that I'd like to share with you. 

His name was Henry. 22 years old. A referral from one of our branch missionaries. Had some questions about the church and had to sneak out of the house so his parents wouldn't know where he was going haha. This young man is one of the many I've seen throughout my mission that just are prepared. There's no other better way to put it. They're ready for the gospel and are missing it in their lives even though they may not yet realize it. Teaching him was a spiritual experience unlike any other. During the lesson as we moved from apostacy into the first vision, the spirit became so strong and it was as if the air was glass, like every word was chosen so carefully and spoken so gently. It was the strangest sensation, and we were all so still in giving this message. I didn't even want to move afraid to change the atmosphere in the room. We concluded the lesson having him commit to read the Book of Mormon after telling us that he knows the message was true. We're looking forward to teaching him again. 

Here's my spiritual commitment for you all this week. Pray for desire to share the gospel, pray for an opportunity, and pray to know what to say when the time comes and then....just do it. Heavenly Father knows His children and He knows who in your life is ready to hear the gospel. Everyone needs this gospel and at some point in their lives will need to accept it if they are to obtain all the happiness God has in store for us in this life and the next. 

I love you all so much! Happy Christmas season! Missing you always:)

Sister Russon

Light the World!


Hello!! Happy Christmas Season!
What a week!!!

We had District Conference this week where we heard some wonderful talks from our District Presidency and our Mission President. My companion and I were also surprised with the request for a musical number, which we sang for over 400 people. Salamat for the heads up. Oh well, it turned out well. And we had tons of new investigators that came! It being their first time at church!!! All these people are preparing for baptism! 

Something is happening this week that i'm So excited about............the new Christmas Initiative by the church. It's awesome! This year is Light the World! The church has come out with the best video which you can see on It's all about serving others and being the light to the world this Christmas season like the savior was. Each day starting Dec. 1, there is a different act of service that Christ did, and ways that we can be a light in that same way to others around us. This is my assignment for you all for Family Home Evening. Plan how you can light the world with your family. Watch  the video! It's the best!

Being a missionary is the best:)

Love you all! Make this Christmas extra special:) Remember why we celebrate. 

Sister Russon

Happy Thanksgiving America!

Family, you are missed!

It's been a great week this week! I received a wonderful new companion! - Sister Portin! Another Philippina! Sister Healey is really missed - we will party with each other in America. But Sister Portin and I have really warmed up fast to each other and I'm super excited for this cycle. She's 24 from Luzon. Tons of fun! I'm training her to be an STL, but I don't have to do much, she's a natural. She's an amazing teacher, singer, cook, you name it. Any talent. She's got it. I'm gonna have to do my best to learn as much as I can from her. 

A lot of great things have been happening hear in Catbalogan. We killed it this week in the work! Just a good week of pure hard missionary work:)

An RM came home from his mission. He's got the glow of a hard working missionary. It'll be exciting to see how he can help the branch with us.

District Conference is next week. After being asked a month ago to lead the choir for our branch because I of all people am oh so qualified...(sarcasm if you didn't get it), I turned it down and asked if a member could do it so that we wouldn't need to take so much time out from missionary work. We attended practice yesterday, and guess who is now the choir director for Catbalogan Hahaha. We hurried and threw together something and will be performing it for the District and President Maurer on Sunday. 

We're working on getting a lot of investigators married so that they can FINALLY be baptized! 

One thing I've been contemplating on a lot this week is the freedom the gospel gives us. You can tell when a missionary worked hard on their mission. That confidence you see often comes from the work they put forth during their mission in overcoming the natural man. They worked hard when they wanted to sleep, or relax, or break mission rules. Even for members who are not missionaries, this applies. Nothing but our following of the gospel can bring us such confidence, self purity, and perspective on life. We are blessed! 

Love you all so much! Serve those around you. You will find yourself when you lose yourself in others. Promise:) From Jesus Christ:)

Love Sister Russon

Master Chef Pinoy Edition

Happy Tuesday family!

Happy Tuesday Family!

Happy Transfer week as well! I am losing my companion:( Sister Healey is transferring from Catbalogan. She will be missed. I find out later who my new companion is and will receive her tomorrow at Grand Tours - the van place. Changes are not always fun at first, but I'm looking forward to it all the same. This next cycle is going to be really fun, especially with all the Christmas activities going on:)

We had Specialized Training this week in Tacloban with just the sisters in the mission. The Elders' training will be held on a different day. This was a training unlike any other. Sister Maurer called it, "Master Chef Pinoy Edition"....we got to cook!!! We were all put into groups and given a shopping list and some money and sent to the grocery store and the wet markets. The goal was to get back as fast as you could with everything on the list and the least amount of money being spent. We came back together with our team afterward and cooked up some of the most delicious things I've ever eaten - chopsuey, chiken fried rice, and banana turon. And what do you know, guess which group won the prize for Most Delicious.........wooooo! We did. I'm ready for marriage. Hahaha jokes. I'm gonna go home only knowing how to cook Philippino food haha. 

We had a great FHE activity that Sister Healey and I planned. The Branch got together and had a great time. At one moment, all of a sudden all the nanays and tatays were having a dance off! Hahaha! It was the funniest thing I had ever seen. Love Catbalogan:)

I got to go on exchanges this week with some pretty great sister missionaries and work in our area to evaluate them and see how their doing in their callings and also learn from them as well. I love going on exchanges. It's so fun getting to know the sisters. I learned something this week that I would like to share with all of you. I heard a statistic the other day that each day, on average a child hears close to 350 negative comments, and only 40 positive comments. There was a talk I heard from John BytheWay this week as well on 'praising more'. Everyone needs a little praise in their lives. A compliment. Recognition. We all can remember things people have said to us over the years in that aspect. It can really influence. Just like negative comments can influence too. Being a missionary is not even CLOSE to easy, and all these sister missionaries could do with a little boost. It's something I've been trying to work on this week. So I invite you all to apply this concept to your lives as well - in school, or work, at home with your kids. Give praise more often:)

The Christmas season is upon us here in the Philippines and everyone's getting really excited. I hope youre all making goals to make this Christmas the best one yet and centered on the Savior:) 

I have a testimony that He lives. He loves us. And because of Him, we can find happiness in this life like non other and in the next life as well. 

Love YOU ALL!!!!

Sister Russon