Monday, December 4, 2017


I love Micronesia. My whole heart is here. Serving the Lord here has made for the most difficult and yet rewarding and amazing 18 months of my life. I'm grateful for the lessons I learned here that I simply could not have learned anywhere else. 
- We have a Savior who knows and loves us individually with a perfect love. He atoned for each one of us and because of Him we can become new. We can start fresh. & through Him we can become all the Father desires for us become. 
- This is a day of miracles. Through our unshaken faith in Jesus Christ we can be witnesses that the heavens have not been closed!
- The Book of Mormon is true and there is a power within that book that cannot be adequately described. I watched that book work miracles and change the lives of many, myself included, during my many months as a missionary on Pohnpei. Through studying it daily we come to know our Savior & His doctrine. Our testimonies of the Prophet Joseph are strengthened and rekindled. & we become more capable to meet the challenges of today.
- I learned that I CAN do hard things. I learned how to endure through difficulties.
- I watched this pure love for the Pohnpeian people form as I prayed for and served them. Service is the gateway to happiness and fulfillment in this life and in the life to come. It softens and it changes hard hearts. it's humbling. & it brings a light and a peace into our lives the moment we decide to lose ourselves in the service of others.
- I learned how to LOVE. From the moment I stepped into Sapwalap I was treated like their own. They took me in and loved me as family. It didn't matter that we had come from different backgrounds and cultures, we were family. It took a while for me to love them in a similar way (just being honest!) but I'll tell you, I LOVE my Pohnpeian family with a love that I can't put into words. I miss them. & that's something I'll miss about being a missionary, being able to feel just the tiniest bit of love that our Father has for His children.
- I learned how to give. The Pohnpeian people KNOW how to give and through their examples to me I learned what it means to truly be a giver. & by doing so I learned who the true giver is. In a similar way, I learned what I disciple of Christ looks like. Through countless experiences I watched others give their ALL to him. I learned that discipleship is a journey. & though it's not always easy, we are always rewarded as we strive to follow His perfect example.
- I learned WHY people say it's the best 18 months. Because as I am reaching the close of my mission I look back and all I can remember are the lessons learned from those difficult days & the moments of PURE happiness. They were the most difficult & trying months & yet were filled with the greatest, most life changing, & joyous experiences of my life!

I love my Savior. I know Him. You come to know Him in a new light as a missionary. I'll miss wearing His name daily. I LOVE this gospel & I'm so grateful that I was given the opportunity to share it with my brothers & sisters here in Micronesia.
Udahn I poakepoake kumwail!
Love, Sister Russell

Sunday, November 26, 2017

The Miracle of Mack

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Police Station Again......

LUCKY ME! I made my way to the police station AGAIN this week but luckily this time I was the "victim" bless up. So here's the story. 
Sister Memmott and I thought it would be fun to go on a hike to see some cliffs right next to the ocean here on Guam! So we parked our car and walked up to the cliffs! We were there for about an hour and when we made our way back to the car we were a little rushed (I cut out a big part of the story but that's a story for another time) and so we just got out of there as quickly as possible! So we then were driving back when Sister Memmott thought she heard the back window open! So she looks back and sees glass EVERYWHERE and my bag (so my wallet and all those important things) and my cute pohnpeian skirt were not there! YIKES. but it's all good! everything is okayyyyy!
but the Lord sure did bless us that night with the cutest new investigator, Chanoreen! Who even accepted a baptismal invitation in the first lesson! She's reading her Book of Mormon everyday and came to church yesterday! So that was a big time tender mercy that we saw after a little bit of a rough and tiring day!
Also we have this investigator, Abby, who we met my first week here and is also getting ready for baptism in December. We asked her to read the first chapter in the Book of Mormon and she read the first 10 chapters instead! & could summarize in detail each chapter. like what? I can't even do that.
it was a gooood week and it's crazy how quickly everything is ending! I sure do LOVE serving the Lord!
LOVE. Sister Russell

Sunday, November 12, 2017


This week was unlike any other week as I tried to transition to life off the island of Pohnpei and onto the island of Guam! & dang was it rough. but lemme tell ya! Heavenly Father is DANG aware of His children. Tuesday was a hard day. a really really hard day! & we had to make our way to the mission office to meet with my mission President and his wife! President Poston was just a little late & while sitting outside his office in walks NOHNO REDES! I shot out of that chair so dang quick! & then we just hugged & cried& hugged & cried some more! Nohno Redes is a member of the Sapwalap Ward & was in Guam for the translation of the Pwuken Mormon & just happened to need something from the mission office at the exact moment that I was there! I was even able to write a few letters and send them with her back to Pohnpei! What a HUGE tender mercy! 
What else went down this week:
- Said my last pohnpeian goodbye last night to Sister James! I'm dang over goodbyes.
- Found the CUTEST Pohnpeian family this week & started teaching them in their own language. 
- Found the most prepared investigator of all time, Abby Abalosa. Stay tuned on that one.
- Helped a man clean out his house with the elders this week & a from 1-10 of how bad the house was... we found a dead cat. YIKES.
- Was asked to pray in sacrament meeting yesterday and tottttallly forgot that I was supposed to pray in English so I wrecked that pohnpeian prayer and made the 3 pohnpeians in our ward SUPER happy. whoops. 
LOVE. Sister Russell

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Goodbye Pohnpei, Hello Guam....

Sunday morning around 8:30 a.m. I received a heart wrenching phone call from my Zone Leaders informing me that I would need to pack everything, say my goodbyes to my sweet Pohnpeian family, and be to the airport at 11:00 p.m. for my flight that would be departing at 2:00 a.m. for Guam.  
I'm not sure I've lived a day as difficult as the one I lived yesterday. My heart clenched and a whole lot of tears were shed. However, as the plane took flight and I said one last goodbye to the island that changed me my feelings of frustration and anger turned to feelings of overwhelming gratitude to an all-knowing and all-loving Father in Heaven who gave me those 16 incredible months with strangers who became  family in the Sapwalap ward. They taught me how to love unconditionally and how to walk by faith. They taught me where true joy comes from and how to wash my clothes in a river with just a wooden paddle and a rock! I love them. They are humble. they give unselfishly. they are patient and kind and I LOVE them. I know how to give my will and heart to the Lord because I've watched it be done. These sweet Saints mean everything to me. But how blessed I am with this change! a new opportunity to learn and love and serve the people of Guam. 
How incredibly BLESSED am I to have something that was so hard to say goodbye to?
love, Sister Russell

Sunday, October 29, 2017

A funeral and a baptism......

okayyyyy here's a good story from this week. So on Thursday we went to our very first Pohnpeian Funeral. I was straight up dying. We had heard that a member had died and they told us where he lived so we just tagged along! I've been in this ward for almost 17 months and had NO idea who this guy was. So we low key find out that this was a man who was a member foreverrrr ago who fell away from the Church and built his own church that uses everything that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints uses. I'm not kidding. The Book of Mormon, Sacrament prayers, everything! he just for some reason believed that he was a prophet annnnnd he was not the biggest fan of us missionaries! Soooo what did we do? we decided to go and support him! Funerals are so different here! They last like 10 days (no idea why) & they leave the body in the house for the first day and if you go into the room with the body you HAVE to cry. So Sister Bowers and I see Suleen and she asks if we wanna go see the body and DUH we did. sooooow e're walking into the house and I see this huge pig chopped open, guts flying and I straight up thought I was going to pass out. We get into the room and they told us to kneel and put our heads down and when I saw the body ohhhh geez it was a good thing I was't standing or I would have gone down! So I started pinching Su's leg so she would get that I was done. hahahah took her a second but she got it and we were out. hahahaha I love Pohnpei. 

Saturday KATHRENE got baptized! best day of my mission for sure. Before her baptism me and her were sitting on the steps and I asked her why she wanted to be baptized and she looked at me and said "Because this Gospel brought back my happiness and my hope." As I walked with her from the chapel to the font she was squeezing my hand so tight I thought it was going to fall off! Seeing her enter the waters of baptism was one of the sweetest experiences I have had here on the island of Pohnpei. I'm sure I told her in the pre-earth life that I would come find her and I'm sure grateful that we did! love her soooooo much.
it was a GOOD week. 
love. Sister Russell

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Ripped Pants...

hey hey heyyyyy! holy crap time could slow down. I have ZERO idea where the time is going. 
-Wednesday we were able to teach Kathrene about the Tree of life and it was super cool! It was weird teaching it. It was actually my first time teaching it because it isn't translated into the Pohnpiean Book of Mormon so it was a neat experience to be able to teach it! We kinda got stuck at some parts but heyyyy the spirit made up for it!
-Saturday Suleen came with us and she was straight up doing our job! We pulled into our house and our land lord was there and she just walked up to them and started teaching the gospel and then as they were leaving she gave them a Book of Mormon and a Restoration pamphlet HAHAHAHAH gosh I love her...I felt really bad...need to step up my game!
-Soooooo we were eating dinner with our ward mission leader his wife asked him to get us a bowl so that we could wash our hands and he stand up and faces away from us and as soon as he does the elders start laughing and I couldn't figure out why! So then we look up at Brother Albert (ward mission leader) and his pants were ripped, not just a little rip but from the belt down to the seam! Hahah oh man it was so funny! We all just died laughing! I haven't laughed that hard in my entire life. bless up that he's endowed and had garments on. YIKES that would have been awful. hahhahahah I'm still laughing. 
-We were able to teach Kathrene about the Sabbath day and symbolism of the Sacrament! As we taught her about the sacrament and she already had such a deep understanding of the importance and the sacredness of it. She didn't take it the week before but she took it this week and she explained to us that she knew she wasn't clean because she still was having word of wisdom problems so she didn't want to take it, but she took it this week because this was the week she was clean totally from chewing beetlenut! Bless her heart. She then explained how much sweeter church was when she was able to partake of the Sacrament. I love her so much.

I love my Pohnpeians so much. These big dorks have my whole heart! I'm the luckiest missionary ever.
LOVE. Sister Russell

Sunday, October 15, 2017


So here's a few of our little miracles from this week!
A few days ago Sister Bowers and I decided that we needed a little bit more of heaven's help! So wee chose to fast for those things which we needed & along with that we decided to fast for a miracle and boy did we get one! We closed our fast and went to the church to pick up our member present & when we pulled up Pohlo came running to us telling us that her nephew was staying with her and how last week he came to church & explained to her that he had felt something different at this church than he had felt at other churches. Soooo we taught him & in the first lesson he explained to us his desires to join the church! He's now on baptismal date for the 28th. God is good. 
Next miracle. Kathrene! Gosh I love her.
I'm pretty sure at least half of the Sapwalap Ward was fasting & praying for that cute girl & we saw another miracle because EVERYTHING is now fine! The Lord is not going to let anyone stop His work not even Kat's mom! We're praying that everything will work out with her baptism on the 28th.

Soooo what else happened this week?
- Me and Sister Bowers had a total freak out this week when we ran into Suleen in town. Sister Bowers was yelling and I was honking but the windows were down and we both just looked like total idiots and everyone was just staring at these two white girls having freak outs in the car. It's the little things on a mission. We probably laughed for 3 hours after that. yikes. 
- We walked around in the rain ALL DAY on Friday and President Zarbock said there were blessings that come from walking around in the rain but we didn't real see those because no would let us in their house because we were too wet. Thanks President. We tried.
- OHHHH so these men from the Church are making a "Light the World" video on Pohnpei and they came and filmed our English class last night so HECK YA. Go look on FB (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Micronesia) to see a little bit of that! 
love. Sister Russell

Sunday, September 24, 2017


I don't talk about this girl enough. Kathrene Usar. Our 18 year old investigator who I love with my whole heart.  
It was like Heavenly Father was saying "Hey you two, thanks for working hard! Here's a perfectly prepared person. Please help her!" 
In our very first lesson with her she just broke down in tears. & though we had only known her for about 15 minutes she explained to us many of the trials and tribulations that she had been experiencing over the past year. Nothing about this girls life has been easy. & because of this her heart has been humbled and prepared to have the joys of the Gospel in her life! Every time we meet her she just cries and tells us how grateful she is for the peace that comes into her life when we see her. and EVERY time she prays, she prays that she will be able to receive the Holy Ghost so that she can have this peace in her life all the time. I LOVE HER. oh my goodness. and not only that but she has the cutest little daughter and last night we taught her about how she would be able to be with her for Eternity. HOW sweet is that? Kathrene has strengthened my testimony so much that this truly is the Gospel of HAPPINESS and this is the only way that we can have peace in this life and in the next. Bless up.
So here's a good story. So the other night Nohno Elies gave me and Sister Bowers this chicken that was AWFUL. I mean I love Pohnpeian food but this was something else. & on top of that is was HOT. and neither of us could get this chicken down so both of us just held it in our hand behind our backs for like 10 minutes hahahah. my hand was about to burn off and also was COVERED in this nasty sauce. ahhhh it was so awful but so funny because then we had to leave and hug everyone so then we covered each others backs while the other one hugged everyone AHHAHAHA only on a mission. 
I LOVE Pohnpei and I love this Gospel with my whole heart. I PROMISE this is the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the only way to have JOY in this life and in the next. 
LOVE. Sister Russell

Monday, September 18, 2017

& A Scabies Treatment...

- We were in a trio the whole week with Sister Taunauta because her companion had some weird disease and got sent to Guam!
- soooo along with that all the sisters on the island had to do a scabies treatment hahah.
- We had a fireside last night on service and the new elder in the ward, Elder Laughter, gave his talk in English and then at the end decided to say "In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen" in Pohnpeian BUT he totally forgot to say Jesus Christ so he sits down and realized what he had done so he runs back up there and just says "Jesus Christ" in the mic and then runs and sits back down HAHAHAHAH I died. 
- My girl Kathrene (favorite investigator of all time) chose a baptismal date.
- Remember my stolen shoes? yaaa saw that Pohlo wasn't home and totally got those back. BDE.
- Had the funnest family home evening everrrr with my family, the Ludricks!
- Nohno Paulis left for America and OH GEEZ was that sad. 
- TEAM WEITAHTA is still going STRONG. We play in the finals on FRIDAY SO HECK YA. 
this week was just a normal pohnpeian week. dang I love these dorks.
LOVE. Sister Russell

Sunday, September 10, 2017

My Week...

1. Big news. As of today I've been in Mesihsou for ONE year. been in the Sapwalap ward for even longer. bless up.
2. Volleyball update: Team Weitahta (red) came out on top. BUT there were a few ladies who left that chapel in tears and some harsh words said hahahhah. dang Pohnpeians.
3. President Poston asked Sister Bowers and I to go see the Kitti branch yesterday. Long story short. Sisters haven't been there in a LONG time and those members LOVED us. down side: had to give a talk on the spot. nailed it.
4. So there's this Pohnpeian legend that if you see a sting ray in the ocean and you talk to it that it will come and listen. SO TRUE. I saw a sting ray the other day & Suleen told me if I talked to it that it swim right to me. & it TOTALLY worked. then Sister Taunaunta threw a rock at it and it swam away hahhah.
5. Watched how Pohnpeians kill pigs. never wanna see that again.
6. Did "service" with Nohno Rohro washing her clothes in the river. Funnest service hours of my life.
7. My member presents thought it would be a cute idea to match their outfits, BRIGHT red skirts and blue shirts with a BIG butterfly on it. They are both in their 50's hahahah.
8. Was DANG sick (I don't know why sicknesses are 10x worse on Pohnpei) for about 10 day. Drank some "local medicine" and got a Priesthood blessing, the next day I was dancing around. BLESS.
9. Got this local drink at a store in town that looked like a coconut something. Oh gosh no. It ended up having like corn and beans and whatever in it. BLEH. not the best thing I've had on Pohnpei.
10. Spent the WHOLE day with my favorite person ever, SULEEN, yesterday. It was the best day ever. I'm not quite sure how but somehow I'm gonna have to figure out how to get her in my suitcase :)))
good week. LOVE. Sister Russell

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Stolen Shoes and a Slammed Door

Here's my week in a few sentences:
- So there's this game called "budget" on Pohnpei and it is SO funny. The point of the game is you can't say the word "yes" and if you do then the other person budgets you and then takes something of yours! I know it sounds awful but it's SO fun. & long story short I played that with a member during Family Home Evening and walked away with a new necklace and no shoes :)))
- Went to Guam this week for Mission Leadership Counsel! We don't have normal food in PNI so duh me and Sister Bowers ate at Panda Express 4 times hahaha yikes.
- Also in Guam I got my first door SLAMMED right in my face. Bless up that Pohnpei doesn't have doors. I'm not quite sure how other missionaries handle that crap. I was so upset. hahahahah.
- Sister Bowers complained the WHOLE week in Guam that she wanted to eat Pohnpeian food. literally ALL week. So we go to church yesterday and Nohno Elies tells us that she'd be feeding us Sunday night and so we go there and it's literally the only food that Sister Bowers doesn't like, eggs and rice with sugar and coconut milk hahahahah. I was dying. good thing the elders were there and could help her out. That's what she gets for complaining. 
- To be cool my volleyball team (ward volleyball team) decided to make t shirts. The shirts were bad luck and we lost big time. & to add to it on the final serve I totally slipped and went DOWN face to the ground. better luck next week.
- OH and I got to drive in President Postons car this week with him and his wife :))) that man is a great guy.

Not quite sure what else happened this week! Just a whole lot of meetings and running around the jungle. love love love being a missionary in Micronesia. blessed.
LOVE. Sister Russell

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Ju Gets Baptized

A little over a year ago I opened a letter from my mission president informing me that I would be serving on the little island of Pohnpei. Never in a million years would I have thought that I would have a love for these people, the culture, and the island of Pohnpei like I do now. I love my Pohnpeian family with my whole heart. 
So a few weeks ago my cute Relief Society President told me and Sister Bowers that she had someone for us, her DAUGHTER! I knew Suleen had two daughters but from what I knew they were both staying with their dads and had no chance of us teaching them. I remember going into that first lesson with Judyleen. She looked a little rough to say the least. She's lived with a family who HATES the LDS church and has never seen the joys of having the light of the Gospel in her life. In the 2nd lesson with her we asked her to give us the closing prayer and she informed us that she's NEVER prayed and really had no idea how to! So of course we taught her and she ended up praying for help to be baptized! and before even starting our 3rd lesson with her she asked us when she would be able to be baptized and if she would be able to go teaching with us after her baptism. Watching this sweet girl (who I swear was my sister in the pre-earth life) enter the waters of baptism on Saturday was the BEST experience I've had on my mission. She left the font just bawling. Ju, her mom, and me just sat there and cried and hugged and cried some more! It was a moment on my mission that I will NEVER forget. Sometimes I forget that these people aren't just being baptized but are totally changing their lives. Watching her bear her testimony Saturday night was just another testimony to me of how truly great this work is. 
Sorry I don't have a TON of time today but good heck am I grateful to be here on Pohnpei. I'm not quite sure how I got so lucky. As a missionary you are given this gift where you just have this ability to love people in a different way than you have before. That's SO true. I love love love being here as a missionary on Pohnpei.
thanks a ton! LOVE. Sister Russell

Sunday, July 23, 2017


HAHA I'm pretty sure I laughed my way through 90% of this week.  
So first. On Monday and Tuesday we were on exchanges and I was with Sister Milne (new sister. 1st transfer. poor girl)  in Mesihsou! & because she doesn't know the language quite yet, I was flying solo. So we go into this lesson. We start & sing & just when we start to pray these missionaries from the Every Home church (a church that started in Fiji by some members of the church. AWESOME.) walk in and ask if they can join! hahaha what? So they just take over the WHOLE lesson and start preaching about temptations & Satan & who knows what (they were using honorific Pohnpeian so I was only getting about 60% hahahah). So they just keep going and going and going and randomly the missionary who wasn't teaching would shout "Hallelujah" or "Praise the Lord!" hahahah. So I'm trying my best to keep it together and Sister Milne has NO idea what's going on. So I'm just sitting there and praying and praying to know what to do! So these two missionaries finish and then ask me if I have anything to say and in my head I was like "ARE YOU KIDDING? HECK YES". So at this point I'm still just praying & praying for the spirit & to know what to say when all of sudden it comes to me! Eternal families. I shared that our message was a little different but something that I felt impressed to share. & holy crap the spirit had my back BIG time on that one. The whole room went calm and spirit was SO strong. The Church is true my friends. hahaha still can't believe that happened. Then one of the missionaries went off about how people can lie but the Bible doesn't lie and I just sat there and smiled at her. The spirit roasted her so I didn't need to say any more.
So here's another but this one's just dang cute. So we've had this investigator for a few weeks. Judyleen! she's a straight miracle. In our 2nd lesson with her she prayed for help to be baptized & in our 3rd lesson she asked us when she could be baptized. Like huh? She gets baptized THIS week and good heck I'm soooo excited. She's got the strongest testimony of the Book of Mormon and a family in the church to support her! She's SET!
Only in Pohnnnpei!
- I asked a member if she wanted some Taki's. BAD idea. Spicy food is not her jam. I rarely hear English and she goes "Sister Russel it's like you're killing myself." hahahah and then she had a panic attack in the back of our car for a good 10 minutes hahahah.
- The members fed us SO much on Saturday & we were down ALL day on Sunday ahahah. There's something about Pohnpeian food that just isn't too good for white girls.
- Chugged a whole coconut. Bad idea. Got wacked in the back of the head by my Pohnpeian mom for it. Whoops!
LOVE. Sister Russell

Sunday, July 9, 2017

HHHHEEEYYYYY President Poston

Okayyy this week was bomb. How could it not be? I live on Pohnpei and I'm just running around sharing the good news! I'm living the liiiiife. But really all I wanna talk about is how dang CUTE my new mission president and his wife are! So on Saturday all of the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders from the outer islands flew out for MLC in Guam so I had the opportunity to meet the Postons a little earlier! These 2 are SO faithful. My (old) new mission president god sick and was unable to come and so the Postons were called just 3 weeks ago! crazy. They were serving as missionaries in Virginia when the call came for them to pack up and head to Micronesia (big difference)! Oh and great story. First time I met them I had a donut in my mouth and looked like a total idiot but ya know, classic Sister Russell and we all just laughed it off. Handled that first impression real good.  
Before Mission Leadership Council started President Poston and Sister Poston pulled all of the sisters together to speak with just us for a moment. They both shared stories of trials, faith growing experiences, and their love for the Savior. At the close of the meeting President shared his love for us as sister and gosh I wish I could explain the love that I felt in that moment. Sitting in that office and feeling that love was a testimony strengthening moment for me and a moment I will never forget! Thennnnn MLC started and geez my heart just hurt for the Postons hahah they got to Guam on Wednesday night and had 30 missionaries at their house 4 days later! They handled it like champs. They both spoke of the difference between sacrificing for the Lord and consecrating ourselves to Him. Something I loved that President Zarbock said once was that "the Lord doesn't need your sacrifice, He needs your heart." & loved the training that President Poston gave because they are perfect examples of that! 1 month ago they had non idea they would be coming to the MGM but when the call came, they were ready! He also talked about being "good enough" members and missionaries and how "good enough" people are the ones that Satan works the hardest on. Which was such a great lesson!
I LOVE Micronesia! I've grown to have a love for these people that I didn't know was possible outside of my own family. This mission is a gift and I sure am grateful to serve my Savior. I love Him and I'm grateful for my relationship with Him and how it has grown as I have served my family here on Pohnpei!
Sister Russell

Monday, July 3, 2017

Happy 4th!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

We Made It.......

So I gotta start off and share my crazy news. My new companion is freakin SISTER BOWERS!!! ahhhh I'm not kidding. Who the heck gets to be companions with their best friend? YAY. best transfer call of my life.  
I really wasn't supposed to get a new companion this transfer but here's what went down last week! So remember how I said that all the missionaries were sick? Well I kinda left out that Sister Alanzo was BY FAR the sickest. Last Monday we got a call asking if she was getting better and because she wasn't on Tuesday she got shipped off to Guam! I really was the luckiest missionary ever to spend a few weeks with the funniest human alive. Right before leaving she told me she would be going to Utah when I got home so YAY! So I spent the whole week with Sister Bowers and Sister James covering mine and their area! Which made for a week full of FUN stories.
But one of those sweet experiences was being able to go to a branch for the first time! Growing up in the church I have always gone to a ward and when coming to Pohnpei I was put into a ward which has been such a HUGE blessing. However, going to the Uh branch yesterday was seriously the cutest thing ever. The members there were so humble and so willing to do anything to help. & what made it even better was that we were called on the spot to give talks, we taught primary, OH and we were asked to teach Relief Society! So really bless up for the Sapwalap ward.
So before coming on a mission I KNEW the Book of Mormon was true. But gosh not like I do now! The other night we were having a lesson and one of the investigators in the Uh area shared her testimony of the Book of Mormon with us. She explained to us that if her husband is late coming home from work and she is alone with the kids at night that she opens up the Book of Mormon and puts it at her door way to protect her and her kids. Or if there is a storm or she is scared she will open a few Book of Mormons and put them around the house. I'm not sure I've ever met someone with such a sweet testimony of the Book of Mormon. Being with her strengthened my testimony of the Book of Mormon and I sure am grateful for that experience! Like good heck. The Book has gotta be true. If not, then what the HECK am I doing?
 I'm really the dang luckiest missionary to serve here on Pohnpei! and even luckier because now I get to do it with my best friend!! wahoooo! 
LOVE. Sister Russell

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Grateful for Running Water.....hahahaha!!!!

So this past week I had a humbling experience that was just another testimony to me that 

Heavenly Father truly is in the smallest details of our lives! So for this whole week Sister Alanzo and I have had NO water (good thing it rained a whole lot this week!) & no one could figure out what was wrong! We first thought that our neighbors were just turning off our pipe. But after a few visits up there, we came to find that there must be something wrong with the pipe! So Sister Alanzo, me, and the Welter family (Nedleen and her family!) decided we would follow the pipe from the big tank at the top of the hill to our house! Within about 20 minutes Adas found the broken pipe! We were able to put it back together and I almost started to cry hahaha. I was so sick of hoping it would rain so that we could fill up some buckets to shower and do our dishes. I let my pride get the best of me and a little bit of self pity was settling in. But things were going to get better because we fixed the pipe! So we go to the small tank by our house and NO water was going into it. At this moment I was about 33 seconds from calling United Airlines and getting myself shipped off Pohnpei. But before doing that (luckily) we ran home to check again. Still nothing. So we went back up to our tank and I sat in the car while Sister Alanzo went to go check! STILL no water. I put my head to the steering wheel and humbly asked my Heavenly Father for His help. Before I was able to say amen I heard the water begin to flow and Sister Alanzo yell "It's working!" and sure enough, it was! I'm not quite sure HOW but He is so so aware of each one of us. & if you don't think so, look a little closer! Geez. I'll never take running water for granted again. Situations like this just don't happen in America.  
These past  2 weeks have been so so good! Last week the Zarbocks had their last Zone Conference on Pohnpei and the last weekend it was their last MLC in Guam! It was cute because the Christensens (senior couple) put together a tribute to the Zarbocks kinda thing and each of the Zone Leaders and STL's were about to share a simple way that the Zarbocks have touched their lives. Dang it was cute! Saying goodbye to them was HARD! I'm a better person because I knew the Zarbocks, that's for sure!
Life's good over here in Mesihsou. Me and Sister Alanzo laugh ALL the time. She literally is the funniest person I've ever met & I just love her.
Also, our investigators? going places.
Pohnpei? The bomb. (except when 6 cockroaches come flying out of the air con during district meeting. hahah not so bomb)
I'm a happy happy missionary and life is gooooood!
Thanks for the support!
LOVE. Sister Russell

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Some weeks are the bomb!

Ya know some weeks as a missionary are BOMB and some are just tough! And this week was on the tougher side! You'd think this week would have been the BEST because Jack was being baptized buuuuut that's actually the reason why it was so tough! So we went to Jack's baptismal interview and geez the interview went on for almost 2 hours! I had no idea what was going on and boy was I frustrated! After what felt like 4 years, Elder Yardley came in and told us that Jack would need to be interviewed by President Zarbock over the phone on Saturday before the baptism! So me and Sister Fehoko fasted, prayed, and prayed some more but it turns out that Heavenly Father has another plan for Jack Hadley! and it might be a little while till we see him enter the waters of baptism! 
Saturday night I was realllll upset. I felt like things were starting to get real good and that I really was making a difference here on Pohnpei! I couldn't understand WHY this had happened with Jack after we had worked SO hard. I then turned on a talk by Elder Christensen and he spoke of how the Lord chastises those He loves and how we must accept and even ask for His correction. Missions are hard, but it's the hard that makes it so great! If it wasn't tough then Heavenly wouldn't be able to shape us into who HE needs us to become. Missions are a GIFT.
But let's get real! the WHOLE week wasn't bad! So first off I learned a BOMB trick from my girl Sister Bowers that changed everything. She taught me to boil a pot of water and then put that in the bucket so then it's like taking a HOT bucket shower! holy crap it's like I'm living in the states! BEST thing everrrr! ALSO. I found Snickers ice cream at the store and I almost started to cry! That was pretty close to the hot water. EVERY week is a blessing here on Pohnpei. Even if it's tough, it's a blessing! Missions go by wayyyy to quick so I got no time to be upset! I LOVE this Gospel, my Savior, and being His missionary!
Kalanghan kumailllllll! love you all!
xoxoxox Sister Russell

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Happy Mom Day!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Yo Yoooo...


another week in the coolest mission EVER cheeeeccckk!
So here's my bad news for the week. Jack went to Kitti (the other side of the island) for a funeral and we haven't see him this whole week! Worst. His baptism will be pushed back a little but that's ALL GOOD. There must be a reason! We'll just keep on praying that he'll make his way back over to Mesihsou SOON.
But other than that this week has been BOMB. On Saturday we had a baptism for Hillary and Depo! Their parents are recent converts of the elders who served here before we did and for some reason the kids weren't baptized yet! It was cute though because they got baptized in the ocean and the night was perfect! Right up until the closing prayer when a typhoonish storm decided to roll in. ahhaha good timing. Ohhhhh and right after the baptism we went to see one of our investigators, Olter! hahahah we walked up and realized that they were having a party so we thought we'd peace out and come back tomorrow but NO we got thrown right in! I've never realized how awkward missionaries are until you get them thrown into a Pohnpeian party! We just about died. hahah. gotta love being a missionary.
ALSO. We've been working real hard with the cutest 16 year old ever, Cynthia! We've be teaching her for some time but had big time problems with permission to be baptized! Howeverrrr with a whole lot of prayers my girl Cyn got permission! & not only that but she's helping us teach her family & now her brother & sister are on date tooooo! I'm sure on day her family is going to be REAL grateful for her sweet example. it's crazy how often you see little miracles like that as a missionary! Heavenly Father is in the details for sure!
OH and Tuesday was goooood! Birthdays are dang weird in the mission field. But I was on exchanges with Sister Bowers (not planned ;)) so you know it was the BDE. 20 is old. Like geez that's half way to 40!
it was a DANG good week! Like everyyyy week in the mission field! 
LOVE. Sister Russell