Monday, March 17, 2014

A Baptismal Date :)

Dear family and friends,
Jacqueline has a baptismal date! We are so excited for her. :) We still need to meet her children and she hasn't told them yet that she is getting baptized, but we are excited that she is planning on getting baptized the 19 of April. She is doing well, but we have a lot to teach her before then.  This sunday, Bishop Caussé was here along with other leaders of the church and the ward members were extremely excited about it. They talked a lot about missionary work and I remember that one of the leaders (who is, if I remember correctly, in charge of temporal affaires for most of Europe) told the members to start preparing to receive new converts, and baptisms will be increasing because the work here is hastening. What an amazing experience we have to be here. And now in Aix we have a teaching pool that is increasing bit by bit. It is also positively hot here. I'm working up a sweat sometimes. 
Oh, also this week, we were teaching Nihat, when he asked an awesome question about staying worthy and whether or not God punishes us. He was very concerned about repentance and mistakes that we make. So, Soeur Robison thinks for a second and says, I actually have a scripture that talks about that. So we open up to 2 Nephi 28:23 Please open up to that scripture. And please read that scriptrure. Feel free to laugh. I'm still laughing. I especially like how it repeats the first part twice and adds on the devil at the end. I also love that, not only is it extremely terrifying, but it even applied to the question he asked. At the end we were all laughing, but I think he was a little freaked out at first. But he did say he would stop drinking :) (don't worry, we explained what we meant to say) 
Quickly, I got a lovely package from the RS. Tell them thank you!!!!!
Je vous aime!!! Et Dieu vous aime!!
Soeur Russell

Chateau d'If, bowing men with turbans, and unneeded pizza charity

Dear family and friends,
Yesterday, I didn't write because we changed our pday to tuesday (just this week) to go to Marseille. :) We took a bus there this morning and we went with the senior couple there and some other missionaries to visit Chateau d'If ( Yes, the one from Counte de Monte Cristo, cool huh :)) and a couple other islands nearby and we got gelato. It was really cool. The gelato was delicous, the islands were gorgeous and covered with wildflowers, the sun was out and it was warm/tshirt weather ( sorry usa, I know you haven't had you fair share of weather lately) and the Chateau was definitely a once in a lifetime experience. I still can't beleive that I'm in france sometimes. All in all, today was great. :)
That is so cool that Zach will be working at the zoo, just like I did. I'll have to write Zachy a letter of what I learned from there, handy advice, fun facts. First piece of advice, take advantage of your breaks. You'll be working at a zoo ( which is super cool) during breaks you can mosey over to the polar bears or elephants and hang out there. I really miss being able to wander around the zoo.
So highlight of this week besides today. We learned that Bishop Caussé will be coming to Aix-en-Provence this Sunday, along with a few other church leaders. We are really excited about that. This week, also, I was making a phone call while my companion contacted someone, when an arabian guy suddenly appeared in front of me, with a turban and beard and everything ( he was just missing the cool shoes), smiled, turned to me and gave me a very formal bow, stayed in that position for 3 seconds, then turned and left, all while I was talking to someone in french on the phone at the side of the road. Still trying to decide what that means. ( Maybe he's a genie? Or Arabian prince who bows at all the redheaded people he sees? Or maybe we met before and I am not remembering this trunbaned man who bows to people?) Also, we passed one man, holding a piece of pizza and soeur Robison said bon apetit and next thing we know this man is trying to give us his pizza in this very determined act of service and is showing us his new shoes and asking us if we can work for his wifes cleaning service. That was interesting.
I gotta run for reals!
Soeur Russell

Monday, March 3, 2014


Dear family and friends,
This week, I 'm trying to remember what happened and literally almost nothing is coming up, besides doing an exchange in Carcassonne and a Baptism in the ward. At the begining of the week, we took a long train to Carcassonne ( I got to see Soeur Bounnanotte(I think I spelt that wrong) who is there) and we did a short exchange there. It was strange to be in my blue ville. On the cabinet door, there is a log thing of missionaries who have been in Carcassonne and I can remember clearly writing my name on it and now there are like 11 sisters names below it. Has it really been so long? Today actually is the 11 month mark of my mission. I don't feel like I have been out for that long.  Craziness. But while I was there, I was walking down streets that I walked down dozens of times, but now I can actually speak french. What a wierd feeling that is. 
So later this week, we had the baptism of the other sisters' ami who is named Michel. We got to teach him once and all of the missionaries here have kinda adopted him. He is an absurdly kind middleaged man who gives the missionaries the best chocolate cake I have ever had. The night before his baptism, he invited all the missionaries for a BBQ at his house. He is a scout, so he has the coolest house ever. He has literally 70 knives on the walls, and a whole lot of paintings and wood and coral and stones and antelers and scout type stuff( the elders were in love with his house). Michel is super cool and his baptism was extremely touching. he asked me to sing at his baptism, so I sang I know that my Reedemer lives for the second time on my mission. I really do like that song. Oh and we got transfer calls and I am staying in Aix another transfer with Soeur Robison. That is good because I love Aix and Soeur Robison. At the end of this transfer, I will have been here in aix for a third of my mission and as much time as all my other villes combined. I gotta run!!!!
I love you all! Vraiment!
et, comme toujours, Dieu vous aime!
Soeur Russell