Monday, May 27, 2013

More Stuff About Carcassonne

Ma Cher Famille et amis,
To Mommy, in france, mothers day was yesterday (fete de mere), so happy mother's day! We gave some flowers and cookies and a card to an old lady that lives downstairs from us and she spoke so fast that I didn't understand a single word she said except that Seour Fairchild was going to get married as soon as she got home. I don't know how we got to that point in the conversationm but it was funny.
 In Carcassonne, we are seeing all sorts of miracles. Like, while we were in Lyon, our only progressing investigator dropped us, so Soeur FC sent out a mass text to all the numbers on her phone, asking if they would like to meet the missionaries. A family responded ( we are meeting with them this week) and a guy named Isaac. Isaac told us later that he was actually in Lyon too when he got the text ( he just happened to check his phone that he no longer uses on that day) but he didn't call until a few days after, and we set up a lesson. He came out in the rain to have a lesson in the park (the rain wasn't that bad but still that's impressive) he loved the lesson, asked to come to church before we could ask him and is praying about a baptismal date. And that's just the first lesson! He came to church with us yesterday and he loved it. Soeur Fairchild said she noticed him crying at one point during one of the hymns. He is a golden investigator. He is from Africa and thankfully, his french is a lot easier to understand than most people's. 
That is just one of the miracles. Because our text was sucessful, the other two sisters in Carcassonne tried it and one of the numbers ended up being the number for someone else's phone than the person they meant to text ( it was supposed to be this ex-convict person who used to be an investigator, but it turned out to be some lady) that lady wasn't interested, but she called back and gave the numbers of someone she thought would be and unbeleivably the other lady was. Too cool.
Soeur Fairchild is actually a miracle. Its a miracle that she is alive. She was pronounced dead when she was born anfd has had an unbeleivable anmount of near death experiences since. ( like being struck by lightning, land slides, fires). She is also allergic to a lot of crazy things. Some of them are more normal ( like she is allergic to eggs and avocados) but she is also allergic to certain smells like a lot of perfumes and such. If we walk past a perfume store, she has to sprint past it and we don't put any perfume in our apartment. I've never met anybody who has that, but I don't mind it at all. It's kinda fun to sprint past perfumeries, or whatever they are called. She is one of the oldest sister missionaries in our mission and will be going home in two months, so she is quite experinced when it comes to missionary work. 
For my birthday we went to the castle, visited some shop, made cupcakes ( thank you Mommy) and had lots of fun.  The castle is huge and gorgeous. We haven't even visited the actually castle part of it, just the area inside the walls. So it is huge. Carcassonne is gorgeous. And I'm excited to get to know the ward more. We love our bishop to death. Daddy, I'm sure you already do this but, be extra nice to your missionaries. We appreciate our bishop so much. He is so nice and spiritually in tune.
Now, sorry to everyone who has written me and hasn't gotten a response yet. I actually wrote a ton of letters right before we left the MTC, but I couldn't get to a mailbox before we left and I still need to get stamps here. But expect them soon! 
If emailing me is convenient, please do. Us missionaries love every bit of news, advice, love that we get.
I love you all!
The gospel is true! God loves you!
Sorry any typing mistakes!
Soeur Russell

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Carcasonne 5/20/13

Cher Famille and friends,
If you havn't guessed from the email heading, I am in Carcassone :) It has one of the largest castles ever, which we will be visiting today. Speaking of which, Thank you for the well wishes for my birthday and thank you mommy for the package. Ze are making cupcakes later. So this letter may not be as long because I don't have much time and this keyboard is wierd. So warning to those who first get this messagem there are going tot be a lot of typos because I want to write as much as possiblt. So traveling to lyon was interesting, we almost missed every flight we had. and going through security there was a guy handing out free sunglasses with a giant umbrella coming out of his backpackm, and I later saw eating pinapple straight out of a can with a metal forkm right in the middle of the airport, interesting, Once we got to lyonm we were met by presidentm his wife and the APs. They are all spectactular. I cant wait to zork zith them morem We actually stayied in a hotel until friday because we had to do legality stuff on thurs but I met my trainer on weds. Her na;e is Souer Fairchild. Will write more about her abother time but she is a very dedicated missionary. In this area we actually have two companionships, and you will never guess who is im the other companionship......Soeur Luthi. :) she cant get rid of me ( not that she wants to) Carcassone is beautiful and I am ecxcited to try all the amazing foodsa nd meet all the people. our bishop is one of the best people \i have ever met, and I just had an eclair. :) Next time I need to tell about some of the miracles we have been having but its about time to go. I love you all! Micah, that is one of the nost hilarious stories ever, Zach I love your letters and drawzings and Thank you daniel and jennifre for so didligently writing meI love you mommy and Daddy love you all love the gospel
Soeur Russell
Sorry fot the typos!!!!!!!
(Note from Mom: I thought the typos were funny - left them in :)

Sœur Russell and Sœur Fairchild      49, rue Marceau Perrutel      F-11000    Carcassonne       France

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

At the MTC with Sister Schrecengost (going to Ukraine, Donetsk)

New France, Lyon Missionaires 5/14/13

In Lyon With President and Sister Roney 5/14/13

My last few hours in the MTC!! 5/13/13

Mes cher famille et amis,
In about a little more than an hour, I will be on a bus to the airport! Super exciting! Next time I write I'm sure I'll have way to much to tell you about planes and french speaking peoples and new companions. So anticipate that!
To my family, I will probably be calling between 3:15-5:15 chicago time. And I have a calling card which takes up minutes everytime I make a connection so I'll probably be calling one person. I think it doesn't take extra minutes if we make it a three way call (or whatever its called). So I'll probably be calling Mommy and we can figure it out then. So expect my call. And I'll be sure to tell you this when I call but Happy late Mother's day!
This week has been great. Tuesday night, the sisters were all talking about ww2 and concetration camps and Soeur BN, who had been quiet up until now said, " Jews like Orange juice?" We all died. No matter what she meant by that sentence, it would be hilarious. This whole entire time, while we were talking, she was probably wondering what in the world ww2 and juice have in common.  When we finally calmed down enough to turn off the lights and everyone was falling asleep, I didn't fall asleep for a couple hours, which is unusual. So I was laying there in the dark, when I glance over and see the outline of someone sitting up in the bed next to me. I was thinking, if I didn't know that that was probably Soeur Kupfer, I would be freaking out. But it was still a little creepy. While I was staring at the bed next to me, suddenly, I hear someone speaking full on parseltongue. Truly, parseltongue. With hissing and scary sounding not really words. And the figure laid down. Let's just say I had an even harder time falling asleep after that. I told Soeur Kupfer in the morning what she ( I really hope it was her and not something else) had done and she couldn't even appreciate the full effect because she has never seen harry potter. Sad. We have some funny stories about sleep talking. Apparently, one night I was speaking french in my sleep! ( none of it made sense, but I'm still impressed) and Soeur Fortuna started sighing and saying "oh, I don't know that word". She sounded very upset. :) As you can tell, we think about french a lot. On weds, I got to be a missionary host. I would greet the cars coming in, extract the sister from her family, lug her bags up, lug them upstairs, grab her books with her and take her to her classroom. It was a pretty cool experience. Thurs, we had infield orientation, which was a lot of sitting and going between dead tired, hot, cold and spiritually ready to to go part some lake. ( what reason we would have to part a lake, je ne sais pas, but it would be cool) That night was the highlight though, SBN and Elder Taylor started rapping the first vision in french. I wish I could send you a video of it, but maybe when I get back I can show you. Remind me to ask Seour Luthi for that video. :) Friday was our last day of gym and volleyball. Too sad. Our sisters were full of volleyball awesomeness. And Saturday was our last day with Seour Sandoval. :(  Sunday in sacrament meetting, we ended up doing that musical number we had worked on earlier and it turned out well. We did part of it in french and SBN sang in italian and I sang in english and Soeur Fortuna was perfect on the violin and Elder Erickson was so nice to play piano for us. So it turned out well. Before we did it, I was being really nervous like I always do ( its unreasonable, I know, no ones going to boo me,but it always happens) and I glanced down at my sheet music and read the first line, " I know that my reedemer lives" and thought to myself, that if I can't tell a bunch of missionaries that in the MTC, there is no stinkin' way I could say that in France. And, of course, it turned out ok. In relief society we had Janice Kapp Perry come to speak. She wrote new lyrics about the sister missionaries to the tune of As sisters in zion. Its called the sisters in zion. And we were the first ones to sing it. :) The mtc is awesome. And the elders were jealous. Later we were talking about how much we appreciated each other in our district and Soeur Luthi told me that she wanted to be more like me in a lot of ways and sometimes wondered what she was bringing to our companionship. It's funny, because I felt the exact same way. Soeur Luthi was always watching over me, helping me, not getting mad when I would act like, well, me and she was such a hard worker. We were really the best possible comapnions for each other. I'll miss her and my entire district. It's a good thing we are all going to the same mission.
So, now that I'm about to leave, an overveiw on the MTC. Even though there are little things that were bothersome at the MTC, (shower lines , cafeteria lines, cafeteria food tout jour, chaque jour, wierd schedules) this really has been one of the top experiences of my life. The spirit is everywhere and everyone is so willing to serve and be obedient. I love it here. and I'm sure I'll love Lyon.
So I'm off!
Je vous aime!
Love, Seour Russell

Thursday, May 9, 2013

 Language Training

France, Lyon district (and teacher)

The France, Lyon Soeurs, MTC 5/13

May 6, 2013

To ma cher famille et amis,
Our volleyball match was fun last tuesday. To make the teams more even
they sent me to play on the Elders team ( which says a lot about my
volley ball skills) and at one point I dove for the ball just in time
for it to smack me on the lips (which says even more about my
volleyball skills). Even if  my volleyball skills do not contribute
much to the game, at least everyone is burning calories from running
to get balls that make their way from my hand to the random little
shed on the other side of the field and from laughing so hard whenever
I come in contact with the ball, net, or other players arms.
Truthfully I think I laugh the most which is saying a lot. So
altogether a fun experience, but do not expect me to go professional
So we got our travel plans the other day, which is super exciting. We
have two layovers and the other sisters are just running in circles
about being able to have Cafe Rio in the airport ( even though it will
be 8 in the morning). We are not allowed to call home even on Mothers
day at the MTC, Ill just barely be missing that, but Ill be able to
call home on Monday during one of my layovers, so expect a call from
me then. We have 22 sisters in our travel group and 4 Elders, so we
will be a fun sight.
The other day we found a note on the board that was signed by Frere
Nelson, saying he would be teaching a little late today. We were
staring at his handwriting, trying to tell if it was a prank. We all
thought Frere Nelson was one of coolest things ever, so we were
excited like nothing else that he was coming. And he didnt. It was a
different Frere Nelson and just about as opposite as you could get. I
think one of the Elders just about cried. So sad. It was still a good
lesson but it wasnt a Frere Nelson lesson.
I havent found any more interesting trees yet but Ill keep looking. To
Daniel and Jennifer, I hope their pizza turned out well, We still have
ice cream twice a week at the MTC and I hope Jennifer feels better
soon.To Micah, my district seems to like me and my wierd sense of
humor ( unless its quiet time) so giving them a talking to wont be
necessary, work hard, old chap and bon chance with your studies. To
Zach, love seminary, it helps a lot, hug mommy. To Daddy, thank you
for writing me, I love you lots and Im doing awesome so there is no
need to worry about me ( just in case you were) To Mommy, none of the
sisters here are as huggable as you, and even if they were, none of
them really like hugging (except SBN who does the european kissing on
the cheek as well) So I have no one to hug. Does Zach hug you enough?
Love you and everyone else. Oh and tell Avery I love him and miss him.
(he wont understand but tell him anyways)
When I got the immunizations report from the docters for my mission,
they said I already got all my shots, should I still tell the MTC I
need that shot? and could you tell me my blog address? I want to give
it to my teacher. Oh, and Elder Taylors Mom spoke at womens conference
( he has so many awesome connections in his family) so Mommy you might
have seen her.
This keyboard is wired for spanish or something different so if I
spell anything wrong I blame the keyboard. Ö= That was meant to be a
smiley  face.
Its crazy to think we will be in France soon. Ill miss my district
tons, but Im sure Ill like my new one tons.  I so excited to get out
there and then I think about my french and I want to super glue myself
to a tree. Speaking French in the MTC is all lollipops and cotton
candy, but speaking it to locals seems like the most frightening thing
in this universe second to chimpanzees. But the Lord wouldnt send me
there unless he felt I could handle it. Thinking about where I was
coming into the MTC, my french is unbeleivably better, but it is still
making me nervous thinking about speaking it soon. But Im sure thats
how everybody else feels too.
Wish me luck,
thank you all for your letters and prayers,
I love you all,
Je taime!!!
Soeur Russell

April 29, 2013

Subject: MTC stuff
My dear family and friends,
This week has felt a little lacking in excitement area. Not because the MTC isn't exciting, but because the other weeks were almost mind-blowing exciting. This week I had a cold, but I'm almost over it now. I was hacking and sneezing all over the place. But at least I didn't have what Soeur Fortuna and Soeur BN had. They got some 24 hour thing that hit them in a couple minutes and had them in bed for the next day and a half. They fine and dandy now, but for a while they were a sorry sight.
Our schedule changed, so now I have P-day on tuesdays and class at 6:30 in the morning. They also told us we shouldn't be waking up any earlier than 6, so I will be showering at night from now on. It feels like waking up for seminary all over again, but once I'm awake, I feel ready to take on almost anything. And then I go back to residence at night feeling completely sapped. But that is probably a good thing because it means I'm trying hard. I keep saying, MTC life (and I'm sure all missionary life) is exhausting, but its probably the best kind of exhausting there is.
So, we have been doing volleyball every gym time the past week and I know I haven't always been this bad at volleyball. I'm great when it comes to moving my arms (maybe too great), but moving my feet is harder for some reason. If the ball is like three feet away, I find myself staring at it as it touches the ground. Or I might even turn to face that direction so I get a nice veiw of the the ball heading back to mother earth. But luckily, everyone at the MTC is so nice they just smile and continue on with the game. We challenged the Elders in our district for a volleyball match tommorrow, so I'm sure you will get a fun story next time I write.
So, Mommy, you will be happy to hear this, I was going to sing in sacrament meeting this last Sunday. I was going to do a duet with S BN while S F played the violin and Elder Erikson played the piano, and it was sounding great in practice. S F plays the violin gorgeously ( is that a word) and even fiddled for us a little. Yes Zach there are fiddlers. But, like I mentioned before, They got sick and I was already sick so I didn't want to do a solo or anything. Maybe we could try again later?
On sunday, for relief society, the new YW's president came and spoke to us. I'm going to miss Sister Dalton tons, but this new president seems awesome. We were her first assignment as president and she did a wonderful job. She told us that she served as a mission presidnet's wife at 25. 25! Isn't that mindblowing. That's just a little more than 5 years older than me. I am no where near to being a mission president's wife. Amazing. She talked about how we, as missionaries, are the servants the Lord sent for at the end of Jacob 5. It was really interesting. We even got to meet her afterwards. So cool. We had a devotional by Stephan B Allen later and he was a hoot. At one point he had some missionaries come up and mention things they had given up. One Elder said, "My girl" and he responded with " On behalf of the RMs, thank you for your donation." And there were like 50 lines that he said that were just as funny. Like I said, a hoot. ( what's a hoot?) Of course not all of it was funny, but it was very spiritual as well as he described the buttons Satan will push on our missions. We watched a video later by Holland, and I've realized his talks have a pattern. He starts off kinda funny and comfy, then at some point it turns into yelling, and the next moment he is tearfully describing the depth of the Lord's love for the world and what the gospel means to him. His talks are such an emotionally rollercaoster and I love it. He makes me want to go out and start bearing my testimony over a microphone. I don't think I'll ever end up doing that, but if you hear somebody shouting over a microphone after Holland gives a talk, its probably me.
Elder Dover had his B-day earlier and we post-it noted his desk. At first all the post-it notes had nice balloons and "have a great day" sorts of things, but afetr a bit it got kind of creative anf I found pictures of pancakes and llammas and one that said " you will marry a dog named clifford". Not sure who wrote those. But we have been getting cupcakes and cookies and cakes like nobody's business. ( Any idea where that wierd phrase came from?) And our room smells nasty. Its a wierd combination of sweets, smelly feet (I swear they are not mine), and dayquil. Now that last one needs some explaining. So I didn't put the cap back on the liquid dayquil I bought that day and of course I tipped it over. So we grabbed some rags to clean up the mess on the floor and I tipped over the dayquil again while cleaning up the first mess so that it got all over the floor and my companion's chair (not her thankfully). We cleaned it up nicely but it smells funny and my district is still laughing about it. I also ate Soeur Luthi's cookie while she was gone finding a better one( She said she probably wouldn't eat it!) and she came back with no cookie to no cookie and a red haired companion chewing something with chocolate on her cheeks. She uses it to manipulate me into getting her cookies in the cafeteria. We (maybe just me) have decided that the Sisters in or district are like a family. S Luthi is the Mom, S F the dad, S BN the exchange student, S Recevuer the teenager, Me the baby, and S Kupfer the pet/ gremlin thing. We get along so well. Soeur Luthi and I are great companions. We are so different but compliment each other really well. She keeps me organized and focused and I keep her entertained. I'll get up to do something I didn't really think about and she will look at me and say nono (literally she says Nono) and I'll think for second, realize what I was about to do was really thoughtless and sit back down and S Luthi smiles at me. She has the prettiest smile I have ever seen. She doesn't smile too often but when she does its like a ray of sunshine. But she walks like a cheetah. I walk pretty fast, and she is a little shorter than me but I still find myself panting to keep up with her. I don't know how she does it.
Thank you for the letters and pictures!
I'll be on the hunt for more crazy smelling trees!
Love you all!
I love the gospel!
Soeur Russell

Finally a letter! 3 for 1 :0) April 23, 2013

My lovely family and friends,
This has been a crazy week. But first off, before I forget, I dont have any of my camera cords. So if you could send those to me that would be great. :)
Now, where to start. First off, I was so excited and nervous once I got to the MTC, that my eyes felt glued open and my legs were bouncing fast enough to make inprints in the floor, not literally of course.  There are five elders and six Soeurs, who are all going to Lyon, in my district. The Elders are all nice and I love mes Soeurs.   It was great to meet all of them, but one of them was missing, Soeur Luthi, my collegue missionaire. Of course the person I am going to following around 24/7 isn't there. :) But when I went with the others to a welcome workshop, she happened to be sitting on the same row as me, two people down.( Her flight was late) Soeur Luthi is very spiritual and focused and not a silly kind of person. ( which helps keep me on track) I love her lots, even though I don't know her too well yet. We have very different personailities, but we do great together. The other four Soeurs, who are in my district and my room, are Soeur Fortuna, Kupfer, Beunanotte,and Recevuer. Soeur Kupfer is soo sweet and a little wacky (I love that word). Soeur Fortuna always knows the right thing to do and say and is easygoing but focused. ( if that makes any sense). Soeur Recevuer is always smiling and patient. And finally, Soeur Beunanotte is a bundle full of laughs and, Micah you will like this, she is from Sicily. She speaks excellent English, and a good amount of French, and some spanish, and of course, all of Italian. And she wants to become a surgeon in the US. Impressive, right? She made me cry once, I was laughing so hard, since she doesn't know all english words and she has an awesome accent and sense of humor, so everything she says cracks me up. For instance, once, she was talking to her companion, Soeur Recevuer, who mentioned that she was freaking out. Soeur BN didn't know what that meant, so Soeur R had to explain. Then after, S BN would go around saying, it is so freaking cold, and as she told one Elder, you are so freaking slow. We were all in fits. We told her why she shouldn't probably say that as a missionary though and she no longer says it.
The residence is we are in is actually an Elder's residence, the sisters have the entire top floor and the Elders are in the other two. The MTC is trying to slowly convert it into a Sister's residence, but we were the lucky ones chosen to be in it first. The rooms are actually meant for four people, but, because of the HUGE amount of missionaries, we have six in our room. So we already surpassed almost all of my current French knowledge in class even though we only have one teacher. I can now pray and bear my testimony in French. It is a lot of work and I am exhausted, but in a good way. My first lesson in French was on friday. It was extremely stressful, but it turned out ok. Our investigator, Vincent, is a non-member(so we are told), so that makes things even more stressful. It turned out ok, for our first lesson at least. Most of that is due to Seour Luthi's french skills.
General conference was mind blowing, as you probably already know, (it seems like each conference is filled w/ more awesomeness than the next, but that's probably just me, right?) On sunday night, for Devotional, Vocal point came and sang for us, which was awesome and then, after that, we were given a choice iof videos to watch. I ended up watching a talk to missionaries given by Holland, which was awesome. He made everybody laugh at some points, was extremely profound for most of it and yelled at everybody for about 5 minutes. Which was awesome, especially the yelling part. For some reason I really liked the yelling part. So the weekend was full of awesomeness.
Monday was pretty normal, except half of our district was gone. All the French missionaries have to go to the French consulate in San Fran.  I go tommorrow but most of the sisters are gone today, and most of the Elders were gone yesterday. When you go, you get to fly down to SF, go to consulate and go sightseeing, if you want to, and then go home. It takes a whole day. So today it is just me, Soeur BN, and Soeur Fortuna. Soeur Fortuna has been feeling sick since yesterday, and after we went to the temple, she started to feel horrible pain in her abdomen. So, because it might have been appendicitis, we had to go to the emergency room in the Provo hospital. She had to get a bunch of tests and it turned out that she had a cist that popped. So she is fine, but in a lot of pain. Soeur BN and I got to eat in the hospital Cafeteria though. It was her first time trying fry sauce and frozen yogurt. It a big day of firsts for her. She has never seen snow before and, since it snowed today, she got to to see it for the first time. It was also her first time to the emergency room, first time sending a letter, first time in a shuttle, first time in the provo temple, first time trying dried Mango.
So today has been busy going all around Provo with a snow loving Sicilian and a Sister w/ possible appendicidis. :)
I love you all, sorry I didn't write more but most of you probably know I am horrible at typing.
So, I actually had the email address entirely correct except I thought it was yahoo, not gmail. Sorry :) But I'm alive and well!!!! Sometimes I feel like a zombie but that is just because I'm not used to sleeping for less that 9 hours.
San Fransisco was soo amazing. What a great little vacation. I woke up at 4 and went with 8 other missionaries in a shuttle to the airport, in a plane to San Fransico, and in a van driven by a man named Edgar to all over the city. We started at the consulate, which took about 30 mins. then we went to pier 39 (or was it 29?) And saw about a hundred Sea lions lounging on docks, soaking up the sun. I kinda wanted to join them, but then a couple of them would start fighting and I would change my mind. We ate at a sourdough place called Boudin's (you would love it Mommy) which was nummy, and then walked to Giradelhi square for sundaes. On the way there we came across the bush man. He is apparently extremely famous, everyone in SF knows who he is. He has no job, but he justs sit on a chair on the sidewalk holding some leafy branches in front of him and scares people walking past. And some people love it so much they give him money. Apparantly he is not the first, his father and grandfather did it too. Crazy huh? Third Generation bush man. We called Edgar up and he drove us to the golden gate bridge and to that famous windy road ( you know the one from What's Up Doc). And then we flew home.
So in the MTC we are not supposed to compare but we have the best district ever. The sisters are hilarious and filled with love for God. And the Elders are so sweet. A few days ago, they each wrote each Sister a letter saying how much the appreciate us. And they came up with that idea on their own! The other day, in the cafeteria, I about drenched my skirt in Ranch and two of our elders happened to be nearby. One of them started hopping in place asking me if I was OK and the other started sprinting for a wash cloth and then asked me if I wanted some paper towels. Sisters are so spoiled at the MTC, I barely need to open any doors, the Elders are so nice. And I love my sisters to death. We have been teaching Soeur BN some amercian phrases and she now goes talking in valley girl accent and saying, "I'm freakin' merican. " We didn't teach her that last one. Soeur Luthi is very patient w/ me and is has such spiritual strength. Soeur Fortuna is feeling better. And Soeur Kupfer is a hoot. She takes the weirdest pictures of herself to send home to her family and her family sends the weirdest pictures back. All the pictures of them are just of crazy faces. I want to meet her family.
We got our second teacher. His name is Frere Nelson and he is amazing. I love our other teacher too. (her name is Soeur Sandaval) But our new teacher taught us a new term, "french fried". Let me tell you, our entire class feels french fried just about 24/7. I still haven't taken a single nap, I hoping for that later today. But thinking about how much I have learned here compared to how much I learned in high school french, it is mindblowing. Then again, in High school, I wasn't planning on speaking to French people in the near future. But the gift of tongues is there. I guess I imagined that when the gift of tongues was taking place it would feel like a miracle. But, I have found that it takes place over a long period of time and doesn't come all at once, so I don't ussually notice it. Maybe a some point I might find myself saying things I barely knew, but for now, it seems like increased learning capability. But it still feels like so little when you think about what level you want to be at by the time you leave the MTC. But, for now, I am just trying to take everything one day at a time.
On sunday, a speaker came for Relief Society named Mary Edmunds. Please look her up, I want to adopt her. She is inspring, funny and extremely spunky. I bet the entire MTC could hear the audience laughing. She is a self claimed happyfier and I completely agree.  Later that day we went for a temple walk which was lovely. The day was clear and you could see the entire valley. I went on for about 10 minutes how pretty it was and I'm pretty sure I got some weird looks. But it was gorgeous.
I've gotten to see Sam and Sister Kirshishnik ( I'm sure that is spelt incorrectly) and Sister Shrek, who all seemed excited to see me. Today, I got to go to the temple again. So lots of fun going on. I'm glad you finally get to hear from me. I miss everyone, but I am so happy to be here. It's exhausting but missionary work is not a cheap experience. The Spirit is so strong here and everyone is so supportive of each other. 
Thanks for the letters and keep them coming. If you have even the smallest thought of mailing me or going on Dear Elder, please do it. I love hearing from everybody.
Sorry I couldn't send pictures, my camera is currently dead but I plan on borrowing someone else's cord, so expect some later.
Ok I dont know what happened this time but I´m going to send this email to multiple people and write a letter too.
I am alive and well. Even though you didn´t happen to hear from me the last couple of weeks, you are getting an extra long email today. So I got my nap the other week, which was heavenly. I truly woke up with a smile on my face. Yesterday was Frere Nelson´s last day teaching, which was a little sad, he was awesome, but we are getting a new teacher soon. So, since our teachers play our investigators, we figured out that Soeur Sandaval is playing herself. She is a convert and we are just basically going through her own conversion story with her. She never actually told us this, but we kinda figured it out. Cool, huh?
I keep finding out the collest things about the people in our district. S. Recevuer has been on billboards and commercials, S. Kupfer has been on a game show, Elder Taylor's dad is this famous basketball coach, and S. BN opened for a concert for this big Italian group. We have a very musical district. S. BN sings power ballads all the time, all the Elders can do parts, Elder Erikson plays the piano, and S Fortuna apparently plays the violin beautifully. (I have yet to hear it though)
Elder Scott came for Devotional on Sunday, and some missionaries were just hyperventilating ( I don't think thats how its spelt). Usually they have the speaker's name and face posted up on the screens when you walk in, but they didn't show Elder Scott's name until after all the announcements. There was a huge wave of smiles, high fives and excited whispers as soon as his name appeared. It was really exciting.
Zach, I have not found any beavers. Not even stuffed beavers. Do you think they have beavers in France? (I've never thought about that.) If they do, I'll get to meet one there, but for now, I'm sadly beaverless. Thank you for all the letters even though you haven't heard anything from me yet. Please write me whenever you think about me. :)
I think I'm getting sick. Elder Erikson sits next to me in class and I think he gave me a cold. 
Elder Dover and Elder E, who are both in our district, were just made zone leaders, so our district leader just changed from Elder D to Elder Andersen. Its nice because we have so many people in our district who know what's going on zone wise. Not too many things have happened this week, at least compared to the other weeks. Today we ate at the temple cafeteria, which was lovely. And we played sand-volleyball yesterday, for gym. Lets just say there wasn't much of actually hitting the ball, but a lot more running after it. But I think we burned tons of calories just from laughing. I was mostly just flailing my arms around, doing everything that my school gym teachers told me not to do in volleyball. But all the Sisters were really good about it. There are flowers all over the MTC, which I love. Whenever we are outside, I stop every 30 seconds to say, there's a flower, and there's a flower and there are going to be flowers in France! My Soeurs humor me though and look at the flowers with me. The other day we were walking and saw some Sisters smelling a tree. Not sniffing, full on smelling. We were really confused, so naturally we went to go smell the tree ourselves. It smells like cream soda. Really, we found a cream soda tree. I feel like this should broadcasted out to the world, that the MTC has a tree that smells like cream soda. But maybe more trees smell like cream soda, I just haven't been smelling enough trees.
Soeur Luthi got this huge package the yesterday and she was just bouncing off the walls. She thought it was Cafe Rio, she asked in her letters for it, but it wasn't. It was hangers, goldfish, and, this is awesome, a pen carved, by her grandpa, out of wood from Jerusalem. I think that's way cooler than food, no offense to Cafe Rio.
Now, two out of three floors in our building are filled with Sisters. We got a new batch for our building yesterday. I saw Anna-Jane/ Sister Jenkins the other day, she is doing awesome and seems so excited to be here. It feels weird that, even though she got here after me, she will still leave here a lot sooner than I will. It's hard to imagine being here for such a short time, but its also hard to imagine being here for longer than 6 weeks. We have missionaries going to Tahaiti in our Zone and they have been here 10 weeks. They have to learn French and Tahaitian (?) so they are here for longer. A couple of them were leaving this week and this sunday they were just bawling, because they knew the people here so well.
I have a notebook that I save for just spirirtual notes I have and I have already filled up two of them. There are constantly people saying things that turn the world upside down and I find myself writing all time things I hear prophets saying, teachers saying,  other missionaries saying, janitors saying. ( True story, wrote something down a janitor mentioned). Everyone on this campus are constantly saying inspired things and its hard to keep up sometimes. Looking at the amount of people in devotional, I keep wondering why the world hasn't been going around saying " the Mormons are coming!" I look at my district sometimes and just think France will be turned upside down once we arrive. And I'm sure that the field is already filled with a lot of these kinds of missionaries, and many more are still to come. So exciting!!!
love you lots,
The gospel is true,
Love Seour Russell