Monday, March 20, 2017

Alofa Atu Philippines


The time has come!!! My mission is just about complete and I am going to miss this place and these people like home!  Philippines I love you !!

What a crazy experience a mission is. It definitely didn't go as expected, but that's a good thing because I learned more than I ever thought possible. My mission has been FULL of miracles, laughs, smiles, tears, and the most wonderful people!!!! I'm going to miss being a missionary!!!

This week was a great way to end it off. First of all, I found out that this family I taught in my last area, the husband of which I was the first to start teaching, was BAPTIZED!!!! AHHHHHHH!!!! That's the best news ever. This week, we went to Ormoc on exchanges with the STLs and I got to practice more of my Cebuano;)...The language I was assigned to speak and never did, hahaha. Waray waray is the one for me;). The rest of the week was full of finishing off training Sister Aumua, packing, saying goodbye to the members, and finding some AWESOME new investigators. The next missionary assigned here is going to be so lucky!!! And THEN, on Saturday, we had a wedding!!! With member Geraldine and our investigator Christopher who will be baptized next week. President Maurer himself performed the marriage and it was a great day. It's fun that I got to start and finish my mission with a wedding:)

Sunday, yesterday, was one of the most emotional days of my mission. Cried a lot. I'm going to miss my wonderful companion - Sister Aumua, she is the best!!! Amazing Amazing!!! Just like a sister.  All four of us sisters sang in church - a combination of Bring the World His Truth and As Sisters in Zion. I could not even make it through the song I was tearing up so much. Why did we have to pick a song about missionary work! Haha, all the sweet members were crying. We took lots of pictures afterward, and then went around and said goodbye to everyone and were fed a lot haha. I LOVE Dagami!!! 

I know this gospel is true and that unexperienced peace and happiness enter into our lives when we embrace it and strive to become strong in it. I know the Church of Jesus Christ was restored and that Joseph was a true prophet of God. I know our Savior lives and that he lived perfectly so that we could know how. I know He died for us so that, if we choose, we may return to Him again. 

I'm so jealous of the missionaries still here who get to carry on this great work, for it truly is one of the most important amazing things a person could do is to be involved in the changing of a life and soul through the gospel of Jesus Christ!. 

I love you all! Excited to see you, 

Sister Russon

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

In the Face of Opposition


It has been a challenging one - but as always, the more challenging something is, the more you grow. One thing I've learned on my mission that has really helped me is learning how to have the spirit even when you are faced with opposition. 

We've had several interesting experiences this week that have taught me more about this. The first one was, last Monday, I'm sitting in the lab emailing, when the man next to me looks up some anti - mormon sites and some unfavorable information about Jospeh Smith and the Church. And then, in a voice loud enough for the entire lab to hear, he asks me if this stuff is true. For example, "Is it true that Joseph Smith did...(this and this and this)" . Haha, and then he precedes to look up a video on YouTube entitled, "What the Mormon Missionaries Don't Tell You". Well, I gave him the site to the church so he could have more reliable information, and then talked to Him about the gospel. I don't even know what I said or how I said it, but I testified that I knew Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and that the gospel had been restored. By the end of our conversation, this man was reading the Restoration pamphlet and committed to come to church. Haha, it's an AMAZING feeling to feel the spirit work through you. 

Another occurrence that happened this week was when we met a man while waiting for a jeepney to Tacloban. He was a man of little faith, though religious, and believed every truth needed a very logical scientific explanation. The ironic thing is, everything does have a scientific explanation, but it may not yet be to the knowledge of humankind. He pretty much told us that he would listen to us until he caught something we said that didn't add up, and he would know we were liars and only pretending to teach the truth. Again, I felt the Spirit work through me and my companion and we testified of the power of holy ghost in testifying of truth. 

I LoVEd these experiences and hope both these men one day open their hearts to the gospel. 

My heart is full of appreciation for my mission as the close approaches. It's going to be a busy week this week. I've been asked to give a training on tuesday with my companion in Zone Conference on being an extraordinary missionary. Wednesday and Thursday, we go to Ormoc for our last exchanges with the STL's. Saturday we should have a wedding for an investigator so they can get baptized next week. Sunday is my last Sunday and I'll speak in church and be singing with my companion and roommates. 

There's nothing like the mission. It's the best:)

I Love you all and I'm so excited to see you!!!

Love, Sister Russon