Thursday, May 29, 2014

Cake!!!Salad bar!!!Random meetings!!!

Dear Family and friends,
The reason I didn't write monday is because, monday afternoon, we got a call from the office asking us if we were aware of and had tickets for a random meeting a lyon. No we were not, so we packed really quickly, ran to the gare and caught a train 30 minutes later (I was really impressed with how quickly we did that. So, we went to Lyon ( which was filled with missionaires because it was transfer day ( Soeur Röse and I are staying)) had our random meeting to prepare for Nice in a couple weeks. Went and got pizza with 30 other missionaries ( salad bar included, fancy huh? don't get that everyday) Slept over in Lyon and had another meeting in the morning and came back to Valence after. And when we tried to do emails at the church, there was already a member on the computer yesterday. So I'm writing you on wednesday!
This week, we had a really cool experience with one of our members. Her neighbor came over one day, said that she was drawn toward her and her family for some reason and was looking for a church to go to. So, our awesome member calls us up to have a lunch and a lesson with her neighbor, during which the spirit just filled the room. She started off as a little closed off and as the lesson progressed and all of us, including the member did some testifying and we applied what we learned from district meeting about using the Book of Mormon, at the end she was just bawling from the spirit. She wants so badly to come to church. As we were leaving, we mentioned that we were going to do contacting and she seemed so suprized and said that she would probably never talk to us on the street. I've been thinking about that all week. This woman was so prepared, what with her situation now and her experiences in the past, but even as prepared as she was, she herself said that she wouldn't listen to us if we stopped her in street. And during that lesson, I saw first hand the support that comes from friend who is already a member. It is amazing how many more hearts are touched by a good member example, who is not afraid to give a simple invitation at the right time. I have never seen such an ideal lesson/ ami situation on my mission. If only all of our amis were like that. I have a huge testimony of member missionary work now. Even now, as I'm writing this I can hear President Hinckley's member missionary work quote going through my head. Thinking about myself, (if I was not a member) if two missionaries tried to talk to me on the street, under any circumstances, I would politely not give them the time of day. The only way I could think of me discovering the church would be through a friend. 
Anywho, that was one of the coolest experiences on my mission. 
Another cool thing, this monday, a master pastissier/ recent convert, hand made my birthday cake, with a totally original recipe, with fresh fruit on top from the garden, and flambéd marzipan on top and chocolate writing, after having a picnic at a villa in the country , in the south of France. Our mission is so cool.
And I loved all the pictures and Letters!!!! Thank you so much everyone!!! It's great to see that people still love me after being hidden away in france for so long. 
I gotta run!!! I'll write more about my bday next week!!!
Dieu vous aime!!!
Soeur Russell

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


Dear family and friends,
First off, I got distracted by many many things, so my email will be short(sorry) but I will make it high quality! Second, I did get my package and now I'm just waiting impatiently and trying to not look at it as it sits on the table until tomorrow. Third, HUGE kisses ( or fat kisses/ grosse bisous as the french say) to grammy and poppa and aunt leslie and eli! ( Eli is huge!!!!!! how did he grow so tall?) I loved the video :).
This week, we found out that Elder Andersen is coming to the mission and everyone is sooooooo excited, we are doing all these really cool things in order to prepare ( but we are not allowed to say what, President Roney doesn't want Elder Andersen to hear about it before it actually happens :)
I don't much more time, but I want to bear my testimony that GOD LOVES YOU!!!! It is true and if you don't know it yet, go ask him because he wants you to know. Even if you know it already, go ask him anyways, he will let you know again how much he loves you. He would never desert is and he will always be are support. He is someone we can ALWAYS trust in.
Je vous aime!!!!
Soeur Russell

May 12, 2014

Dear family and friends,
Wednesday this last week, we taught a few of our amis. Sylia and alexandre are progressing beautifully, we just have to help sylvia to stop smoking. She knows Soeur Röse and I so well, after we comeinto the apartment she always askes Soeur Röse if she needs to use the bathroom (which she always she does :) and she asks me if I want to drink juice ( Which I almost always do) and asks me if I want some of those sweet biscuit things. The last time, we had just eaten, so I said no to the biscuits, but she said she would bring them out anyways and sure enough, I ending up eating a couple. (they were covered in belgian chocolate!) She is so funny how she just knows our habits so well, and she has that little confident smile that mothers always have when they do stuff like that. Her little boy is about 2 and he is one of the most active kids I have ever met, but he is just so cute about it. Whenever he wants his moms attention, he shouts out 'maman d'amour!'  (Mother of love or loving mommy) She just about dies everytime. On thursday we took just about the most beautiful bus ride in the history of the world. Up into green mountains and valleys and rivers and villages and flowers and some snow. The ride was extremely long but I enjoyed it a lot.  that night, we played a game at a less-actives house and I won just about everytime! I was very proud of myself. ( I still feel like I didn't really understand the game) Saturday, we handed out flyers for the groundbreaking ceremony next week and ate lunch with a member in this beautiful garden filled with mousqitoes ( I only got bit once :) And taught a less-active with a shiny painting with a unicorn and a tiger and dolphins and rainbows and a wierd bubbly castle and a elf looking lady. it was just missing wolves and fairies. And it was a man's house. I've always wondered who bought that kind of stuff when I've seen it in stores. And sunday, we ate at a recent converts house and skyped our families. :)So, now for the highlight of the week (besides talking with my family). Friday night, at 2 in the morning, I was having a wierd dream, that I was trying to put this big bubbly sticker thing on a door frame and for somereason I was having problems and my hand would totally miss the frame and shoot past the doorway and there was this loud beeping sound each time and I was really frustrated with myself because it should be easy, but tried it at least 8 times and I still wasnt able to get the bubbly sticker on the doorframe. Finally I wake up and realize the beeps are coming from inside the apartment. I wake up Soeur Röse who starts talking in germain for 30 seconds before I understood anything she said. We then searched the apartment for 5 minutes looking for the beeping. I was hoping it wasn't a murderer ( I don't know or why a murderer would make those beeps, but who knows) We then attacked the smoke alarm and ripped out the batteries, only to find it was actually the carbon monoxide detector. So we called three sleepy people until we got the office elders who drove to the office to find another number to call and ordered us to wait outside. So we pulled on sweatshirts and scarves and we sat on our apartment doorstep, behind the gate, playing uno ( I won!) until and ambulanec with all its lights going off drives us and asks us if we need to go to the hospital and men of all shapes and sizes and in all sorts of emergency clothes start bouncing around and asking us if we need to go to hospital. Then a firetruck came and a police car with all their light going off, even their blinkers. And they did all sorts of fancy tests until they found out that the alarm was just faulty. So they truned of their crazy lights and drove away slowly and we went back to bed. fun adventure huh?
Gotta run
Dieu vous aime!!!!
Avec amour,
Soeur Russell

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Cheese, Chocolate, and lots of languages

Dear Family and friends
The reason I'm writing on tuesday and not monday is because we had Zone conference yesterday. So no emergency transfers or anything. On Monday we went to a chocolate factory called Valrhonda, which is apparentlty one of the best chocolate places in the world. We basically walked around a big room going through the process of making chocolate and ate absurd amounts of expensive chocolate with people on videos talking in cool french accents. My favorite chocolate was a Dulci kind. On tuesday, we did a spiritual thought a a recent converts house and played old west american style game in french. I was the first person to "die". That night we started an exchange with two sisters from grenoble. I was with Soeur Camus, who is from Spain. I am always impressed witht these people I meet on the mission who are constantly talking in french and english when it is not their native language ( like Soeur Röse). It must be weird to have three languages constantly running through your head. On Wednesday, we taught Sylvia, one of our amis, who is doing so great. She is definitely someone who is feasting on the scriptures. That night we ate suisse fondue with german bread. So good....... I could kinda feel the cheese running through my veins afterwards. A kinda scary feeling. On jeudi, we had lasanga with an italien family. On Sunday, we passed a few less actives and they were all there, that never happens. :) it was so cool. This sunday is Mother's day right? What would be the best way to skype? Is there a general time that would be best for you?I'm allowed to check my emails again this week, so let me know within a couple days. 
Je vous aime tous!!!!!!
La semaine prochain, je vais écrire de la conférence de Zone que j'ai eu. 
Dieu vous aime, aidez les autres a ressentir ça!!!!!
Soeur Russell

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Tessie 4/28/14

Dear Family and friends,
I won't share with you what I ate last week, it sufficeth to say that it was an absurd amount of food. Its an off day if we don't eat at a member's apartment. So, monday, we went for a super cool awesome hike up in the mountains(by someplace called Le Vacherie). It was gorgeous and green and covered in wildflowers and mist. A fun thing here in France is they like putting Crosses at the tops of mountains. But the cross that was originally, a really thick iron one, at the top of the mountain, was apparently blown off its base by really strong gusts of wind, so, somehow, they brought a new cross to the top of the mountain, a not pretty concrete one, but they let the iron one just sitting on the top of the summit, so there are two crosses at the summit. That, not the crosses, but the mountain, was definitley one of the highlights on my mission. Monday night, we did an FHE at a member family's house and I brought the easter egg kit that you sent me Mom. They have four little girls, so they were very excited to  paint some eggs. On Tuesday, we had a lesson with a guy that compared life to a game of pacman. He was interesting, we will probably be seeing him again next week. And tuesday night, we went to Lyon. Wednesday, I had an exchange with the sister training leaders. It was probably one of the wierder exchanges I had. The sister I was with got her blood drawn in the morning and almost fainted, we ate lunch with two old ladies, who fed us meat gelatin and yummy chicken ( a wierd combinantion) and we ate american style brownies for dessert, we made them ( they are so good!!!). Then we got a last minute assignment to make food for Zone training so we ran to the store to get ingredients to make enough tacos for 25 people and cooked it all and had one more lesson with an african guy. It was a different exchange. The next day was Zone Training and I saw Soeur Luthi for the first time for about 11 months!!!!!!!!!! I was so excited to see her, we got all caught up. I also got to see a few other missionaries that I knew in other places, so that was just exciting. That night , back in Valence, an old french guy played a never ending accordian song for us ( I like the accordian but 15 minutes is a little long). Friday, I ate bacon and Chevre ( two of my least favorite things) on top of extremely browned bread. And later I had a fish soufflée. On saturday, We planted a garden at a members house, which was really fun and ate BBQ  and ate chicken soaked in butter for dinner. Yesterday, We had a great church meeting ( we had a bunch of people at church)  and later in the day it was raining, but still sunny out. It was really cool, I saw like three rainbows. All in All it was a good week.
Je vous aime!!!! Merci Daddy pour l'email!!! je vais l'imprimer et le garder :)
Soeur Russell