Sunday, October 30, 2016

Happy Halloweeeeen and Two Baptisms....

Happy Halloweeeeeen kumail!
Here on Pohnpei Halloween isn't NEARLY as big as it is in the United States which is LAME. But heyyyyy it's all good! We had a ward party for Halloween and those always just turn into everyone hulaing hahahah which is the BEST. 
Goal: Learn how to hula before I got home (not gonna happen)
This week was a good one! On Saturday sass and sassier were baptized! (Mia and Belinda) Baptisms just give you a boost like nothing else can! Oh I sure do loooove them! And they are even better when you LOVE you investigators and oh my I LOVE these two dorks! And also this baptism went smoothly which was a first so BOO YAH! Beeeeesides yesterday we went to go see Belinda and her uncle yelled at us and told us to never come back "or else" hahahhah okay sir. it's safe to say he wasn't too happy when he found out Belinda was baptized! Oh well! I'm not quite sure why though! Mormons are the bomb.
And other than that I can't think of anything too special that happened this week. No one licked my foot, my eyeballs are still clean, and no one fed us dog! So I'd say it was a pretty successful week! 
ALSO. My little Pohnpeian best friend hung out with MY MOM this week! Ohhhh I was so jealous of the both of them! Pohnpeians are the sweetest, most humble, loving, and selfless people I know! And knowing that my mom got a little piece of that makes me so so happy! In the scriptures it mentions over and over the people on the isles of the sea and now I GET IT! They are the BEST kind of people (besides their stupid language) and I'm so so grateful to be on this tiny island with them!
Peeeeaaace out!
Xo. Sister Russell

Sunday, October 23, 2016


October 23, 2016


Hellllloooo Ienge!!
Soooooooo last night I get a call from the assistants. "Sister Russell you're training and we need you at the airport at 11:00 p.m. to catch your midnight flight to Guam! Go pack!!" ARE YOU KIDDING. So I freak out because I DO NOT know Pohnpeian or my area or anything about training. So it's 11:15. I'm sitting in line waiting to check in and the zone leaders get a call from President Zarbock annnnd President had just gotten off the phone with the MTC and my companion had just gone home for confession problems! And thennnnn President calls Sister George and asks her to extend so BLESS UP! I'm NOT training and staying in Mesihsou with my girl Sista G!
I'm so happy. HAHAH. 
So for all of you who are as confused as I am about where I am serving then type in "I'm a Mormon Kalio" on Google! Then watch the Youtube video! It's a video of my stake president and it shows Pohnpei and it even shows my chapel! Check it ouuuuut!
OKAY so for those who know me know that I am DANG clumsy. And on Tuesday while taking out the trash I managed to trip over the trash bag, face plant it (in front of a group of members), AND chop my foot open. YIKES. So I'm just bleeding evvvvverywhere but we needed to go see an investigator so I just wrapped it up and headed for the jungle! As you can probably imagine it was looking pretty gnarly by the time we got to their house! And the mom was not about to let me in her house with my foot like that. HA. So she picks me up (she's TINY) sets me down and starts using this weird "local medicine"on my foot! My comp starts the lesson and this lady is just playing doctor on my foot and guess what she was using to clean it? HER TONGUE. I'm not kidding. Buuuuuut by the end of the lesson we had an investigator on baptismal date and a huge piece of glass out of my foot! Wahooooo!
So in my mission Sisters are allowed to wear pants because of bugs and stuff! And when me and my mom were shopping for pants I told her that there was NO WAY those things would ever go on my body! Sooooo on Thursday morning me and Sister Leslie and Sister Fehoko thought it'd be funny to wear them to district meeting. HA.You should have seen the elders faces! But as stupid as we looked I am definitely #TeamPants HAHAHAH and the rest of the day it was me and Sister Leslie (two white, tall girls in dress pants) and Sister George (a short, Pohnpeian in a skirt) HAHAH We looked like a modern-day family in the U.S. HA.
Soooo on the spiritual side of things we FINALLY got to watch conference! And HOLY crap! It was like seeing a bunch of familiar faces! It was fun to see a couple of General Authorities that I have met while being here on my mission too! Buuuut "Fourth Floor, Last Door" OKAY UCHTDORF FOR REALS?? 
Annnnnd also along with the spiritual stuff... our investigators are really really moving along right now and the work is SO fun (as fun as walking around talking about church can be) and we even have two baptisms this week!! Wahoooo those are the best. 
What a weird week. But a dang good one!
Xo. Sister Russell

Monday, October 10, 2016

Put your big girl skirt on.....

Lelhie mincooooo!!!
Now let me tell ya. It was a DANG good week. So first off!! President and Sister Zarbock flew in for Stake Conference (there's only one stake on Pohnpei so it's a BIG deal) and that is like seeing my mom and dad!! A squeeze from Sister Zarbock is the BEST. And stake conference was ALMOST as good as that! Aj and JMax (the two little boys baptized last week) brought their entire family and it was the dang cutest thing ever! And also it was just so so fun to be with all of the Saints on the island of Pohnpei!! Wahoooo I LOVE Pohnpei!
Annnnnd yesterday we had Zone Conference which was AWESOME (and long and borrrrinnnnggg) But really it's such a blessing to hear from President and his sweet wife! I learned so much!!! But one of the sweetest things happened after the meeting! So me and my companions had interviews with President and while I was waiting I sat and talked to Sister Zarbock and began telling her about my decision to quit soccer and serve a mission. And with tears in her eyes she reassured me that this is exactly where the Lord needed me because the people of Pohnpei need me and I need them! I've heard that 1,000 times and yet at that moment I knew without a doubt that my Heavenly Father knew me and knew exactly what I needed to hear!
Soooooo then. I met with President Zarbock. Now I wouldn't say he scares me but he just has this look that he gives you. Eh. Not a fan! But I will say, he's a dang good mission president! He's so real. I was explaining to him how nervous I was to lead an area and he said "Sister Russell, you can't lead this area. However, you and the Lord can. And not only that but you are going to be a successful, baptizing missionary in this area." So at this point we are both crying and he goes "So put on your big girl skirt and lead this dang area" HAHAH Okay President. Thanks. 
Lessons learned this weeeeeeek.
1. Prayer is EVERYTHING. 
2. I learned how to Hula (unsuccessfully)
3. The Gospel is simple. SO simple.
4. The gift of tongues is crazy real.
5. Missionary work is impossible on your own!
6. Bucket showers are quicker and more effective.
Missions shape and refine people in a way nothing else can! I LOVE my mission. My testimony of the Book of Mormon and Atonement are tried and strengthened every day! Days are hot and long and tiring and yet FULL of lotsssss of laughing and a whole lot of happy moments! I'm so so grateful to serve here on Pohnpei! Sending lots and lots of limpoak!!!
XO. Sister Russell

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Baptisms, Frogs and Clean Eyeballs....

What a GOOD week in the mission field! 
Soooooo first off! Another Baptism CHECK.And I swear Satan was doing all he could to stop this one! Okayyy so on Friday we went with the Elders to do a baptismal interview with AJ and Jay Max! We get there and the mom tells us that Jay Max went off island for the weekend with his friends like WHAT. Who the heck forgets about his own baptism right?? So AJ comes out and is bawling! He was SO nervous to do an interview! Sooooooo we calmed him down, he did the interview, PASSED. And things were looking good for Saturday! So Saturday comes. NO power. Which means no water in the font which is like a really big problem. Annnnnnd then we can't find the baptismal clothes! And when we do find them we find out that the members had put them in the closet WET. Soooo they're all moldy! SO  we hauuuuul down to town to get clothes for AJ and the other sisters were there at the same time returning baptismal clothes to the senior couple and they had two outfits for two little boys!!! So with lots of faith. We take both!! Just praying that somehow the water would turn on and Jay Max would return! Soooo we then HAUL back to our area and BLESS UP the power is on! And the font is working!!! And then we went to see AJ, had a little lesson with him and were rushing to the chapel to get everything set up when who do we see running on the road. JAY MAX. He was rushing home because he remembered his baptism! How stinking cute is that? So the elders hurry on over to do a baptismal interview and things were looking bright!!! (It's 6:30 and the baptism was supposed to start at 6 HHAHAHA) AND THEN our car gets stuck in the mud! (I have no idea how this baptism happened) And we are trying for about 30 minutes to get it out with NO luck and Elder Yardley (he's been here for like 3 weeks) goes "let's say a prayer" Sooooo we pray and just like thatttttt the car comes out! It was a miracle!!! The baptism went smoothly and wahooooo Aj and Jay Max were baptized!
Ohhhhhhh and here's a funny story. A little family of frogs made their way through the pipes and into our toilet last night. You should have heard the scream that came from the bathroom when Sister Leslie walked in HAHAHHA. OH gosh I love Pohnpei.
ALSO. I got my eyeballs cleaned by a member with "local leaves" HAHHA I don't know what happened to me but boy are my eyeballs clean! HAHHAH
Weirdest week. hahahah but boy am I HAPPY. Being a missionary is the besssttttt! 
XO. Sister Russell
P.S. I've gotten a lot of letters asking me how Guam is. I'm totalllllyyyy not on Guam. Definitely on Pohnpei HAHAH