Hey Mom! If you haven't already sent my birthday package, you should put a bunch of candies in it, like little ones like jolly ranchers. Elder Cox and I are going to teach English and we need rewards for the students when they answer correctly! I love you! Russell


Hey Mom and Dad,
This area is really strong. Many members have been born within the covenant. The work is really progressing her really well. Our ward, called Brisas, is strong. It pretty much has all of the calling filled that are needed. It has been an adjustment. Like you said dad, changing places and people and things is not the easiest thing to do! It has been challenging, but a wonderful learning experience. We are doing really well. Elder Cox and I get along really well. We were both a little worried about each other at the beginning. He thought I was really strict and I thought he was really cocky. But we talked about that, and we actually really get along well. It is so interesting how much an understanding point of view can do. I have learned a lot in this past week.
Man, they made me the district leader. With Elder Anderson, we were both the district leaders, so it is not all completely new. The elders in my district are me, Elders Cox, Dominguez and another Elder I just met and don't remember his name. Elder Cox is going to finish his mission in June. He is a great guy!
We're planning on having two baptisms this Saturday. One is named Fidel, he is an older person that had an accident in his hip. He doesn't have nay family and feels lonely. He was actually a referral from a recent convert named Carlos. The other baptism is Lydia. I have actually met her only one time, so I don't know her that well.
We found a really cool lady that has read all of the homework that we left in the Book of Mormon and is really interested. But, her husband doesn't want her to go to church. He told her that she is a Catholic and she can't be going her and there to other churches. I read her the scripture in Matthew 7 that says seek and ye shall find. She is seeking!!! There is nothing wrong with that! The men that are really controlling and usually drunk, are called machistas.
We are going to keep teaching English, and I am going to teach piano/music. Last night I had the opportunity to attend a stake priesthood meeting. WOW. There are some powerful men here that have really strong testimonies and are so strong. A scripture came to mind in the Doctrine and Covenants 49:24 that says that the Lamanites will "blossom as the rose". Also in 2 Nephi 30:5-6, it says that not many generations will pass away before they become a pure and delightful people. It was encouraging to see the fruits of the gospel in men that probably three generations back had ancestors that went' so pure and delightful. The effect that the gospel has on the human soul is amazing!
I love you all. Thank you for all that you have done for me! You are wonderful examples and teachers! Russell


Hey Mom and Dad!!!!
I'm not in Tepalcingo anymore. I have been transferred. I'm now in a place called Brisas, in Cuautla, which is actually pretty close to Tepalcingo. I thought I was gonna stay in Tepalcingo for a long time, but President Spannaus, and God, have different plans for me. My new companion is Elder Cox. I just met him today. He looks like a good guy. I'm taking the place of Elder Ence, my old companion in the MTC. He was here before I was.
So yesterday, Mariana was confirmed and Rafael was baptized. Rafael was a miracle. He felt so nervous before his baptism, but he was fine. I sang a solo at his baptism of "Our Savior's Love" and then I baptized him. He has read the majority of the Gospel's principles book and a lot of the Book of Mormon. He invited his family to his baptism, but they didn't want to go. So he was there all by himself, but he was really happy!
Laura, the mom from Axochiapan, is so awesome. She really wants to know God. Her husband is inactive, but is a really good person, and is willing to return to the church. He is not bitter or anything, so they are doing well. They're just gonna have to have other missionaries teach them. There actually aren't going to be missionaries for 6 weeks in Tepalcingo. They closed the area. There is every year a huge Catholic fair that takes up all the space in Tepalcingo. So President decided that the missionaries shouldn't even be there. Laura wants to learn so much and is such a good person. I have high hopes for them. I just need to keep in contact with them so that they get baptized!
Sofia didn't go to church yesterday. We didn't see her all week long because she was in Guerrero, so I am going to tell the missionaries in the neighboring area to look for her. Tepalcingo was doing so well when we left. Yesterday, we had an activity, another movie night and we projected the Prince of Egypt on the wall. It was cool. A lot of investigators came and felt good. After that we had some refreshments. I love Tepalcingo. The people there are so good and always willing to help.
Here in Cuautla it is a little more like a city, a little bit faster moving. But the church is strong here. I ate breakfast today with a couple that is a little older that was sealed in the Mesa temple. The church is going to grow so fast in Tepalcingo and here. I feel like God has lots of things in store for the faithful Lamanites.
I have no idea where Elder Anderson's gonna go. He went to Cuernavaca this morning. Yesterday was crazy. We had Rafael's baptism, and then we had to get the projector and set up for the movie. After we ate we had the activity and after that, we went and moved all of the stuff out of our house in Tepalcingo to another house in a different area. We started moving the stuff at about 10 pm and finished at about 1 am. Then we woke up at about 6 am and went to Cuautla for transfers. It was crazy!
I felt a little frustrated with President Spannaus yesterday. I know we are just supposed to obey the President and all that stuff but it's natural to fell frustrated. I fell like we are little chess pieces and he can move us when and where and how he want to. I felt like "How can he take me out of this area where I love so many people?!?!?! How can he be so insensitive?!?! But then I thought, this really isn't about me. Really, I am the Lord's chess piece and I should just obey and do what ever He wants, because when God plays chess He wins! So I am content. I need to be more humble.
I got to see Elder Ence. It was good to see him. Right now I am with Elder Barnes, who was in the MTC with me. He's a great Guy.
I have a bunch of pictures that I want to send. Which reminds me...the camera that I have, it's screen is broke. So I need a new camera. And, I think that 34 waist would be fine for baptismal pants, and a white tie too. Things get so lost in the mission with all of the madness that there is sometimes!
Here are some more names for you to pray for:
Rafael Quintero Zuniga, Laura Zamudio de la Torre, Evelia Medina Soriano, Mariana Bravo Perez.

I love you all. I hope that you have a wonderful week and day. Give all the little ones a hug for me!!


Hey Mom and Dad!
It sounds like the 60th anniversary party was a real success! You'll have to send me pictures of the party and the kitchen! I want to see how it turned out!
This week has been a little difficult for me emotionally. It's kind of weird because some days I'll be studying the Scriptures and I'll feel really good, but then when I leave the house and go to the street, my energy and excitement go away. I have improved so much! Meanwhile, the roller coaster keeps coastin".
We have been really blessed here. Heavenly father has answered the prayers of many people here. One of our investigators, Sofia, is doing so well. She's gone to church two times and feels so good there. She's the lady that told us that God doesn't exist for her. On Saturday night we went to her house and met her husband and spent some time getting to know him and the family. I felt so good in their house. It is such a good family! She likes to sew a lot and she's volunteered to teach the other sisters in the branch to sew really well. Her mom has cancer and is probably going to pass away soon, so she's having a hard time with that, and goes to Guerrero every once in a while to help her mom.
Mariana was baptized yesterday! She's been doing so well! She's had an interesting life from what I've seen. She has a few tattoos and she's single mom of a little girl named Amairani. But she wants to change and she's wanted to baptized for a long time. So now she's done it and she'd got a long trail ahead of her. We need to get her some more friends in the church. Her grandma has gone to church about 3 times and watched her baptism. She's hard of hearing and is a little old, but we're gonna try and teach her and get her to pray. Once they understand prayer and they start to experiment, they know it's true!
Evelia didn't go to church yesterday. She's an interesting person. She's had a really Catholic background and has really high morals and standards. I think she'd just got a little hippy in her. She likes to express herself kind of openly and kind of "HALLELJU-ish". But we've been teaching her and she feels like she has received an answer to her prayers. She told me she believes that Joseph Smith was a prophet. She still hasn't accepted baptism, and doesn't really understand yet. For her it takes a while to really understand mentally.
There are two members of the church here that are so awesome. They were baptized about 3 months ago, and they're already missionaries! We have been having the lessons with Evelia in their house, and they've had the opportunity to bear their testimonies, and they're actually really good at it! They are progressing really, really fast!
Yesterday we had two miracles happen. I left the gospel principles class to get some air (sometimes it gets a little crazy at church) and I found a young man wandering around the chapel. I think God sent me out to find him. His names is Rafael. He told me he wanted to know what the church is and he heard around town that we have the services at 10 am. So he decided to go alone. He arrived and I found him, so I gave him a tour of the chapel and taught him some of our basic beliefs. I then took him into the Gospel Principles class. All of the members were so awesome to him yesterday. He felt so good. He then got to see Mariana's baptism. That was an extra plus! During the baptism I talked to him to find out what he believes about God. He told me know knows God is everything and that He is loving, but he never has know that love. He's never known God. I bore my testimony to him that we are here for a purpose, that God lives and that if we want to, we can get to know Him really well. He left the church really impressed and content. We're gonna go to his house on Tuesday to see him and teach him the Restoration.
Also, in the evening, my companion and I were having a meeting with the branch president. A tall lady walked in with two little boys and all of us were confused because we didn't know who she was. She told us that her husband is a member that doesn't go, and told us she's been looking for a church. We gave her a tour of the chapel and she likes it a lot. Once again, the members were really polite and welcomed her. My companion showed her the baptismal font, and explained baptism to her. She asked him "So, how long does it take to get baptized?" I think Elder Anderson almost fainted! We were so happy last night!
Well, here are some more names that you an pray for!
Rafael Quintero Zu iga, Mariana Bravo Perez, Marilu Reyes and Evelia.
Someone stole my white baptismal pants. I need some of those, and also my debit card already expired. Sometimes it's necessary to take out money out of my own account, so I probably need one!
Elder Anderson is probably gonna get transferred this change. He's been here in Telpalcingo for 9 months! A long time! I'm probably gonna be here for a while too. But it's all good. President Spannaus is doing well. He's such a good president!
I am gonna try to sent some fotos to you guys if the computer accepts the card! I love you all so much! Russell


Hey Sterl!
How is life? So you got sick? That stinks. Man, getting sick on the mission is so horrible! One time in La Mira I got so sick. I was shivering and sweating bullets, and I started to barf my guts out. It was pretty gross. I didn't eat for about two days, and I lost a lot of weight. Yesterday, we had a baptism of Mariana Bravo Perez. She's a single mom of a little tiny girl called Amairani. That little girl is SO CUTE! We've been looking like crazys for people to teach. Yesterday we had two miracles in the church. I went out the principios del Evangelio class and I found this guy wandering about the church. I asked him if he needed help and he told me he just wanted to know what the church is. He said he's been looking for God. His name is Rafael. It was the perfect Sunday to have him there. All of the members greeted him and were so nice and polite. He also got to see a baptism. We gave him a gospel principles book and he left really impressed. I was able to teach him about the gospel in the baptism. He said he's never known the love of God and I bore testimony to him that God loves him and has a plan for him. He knows it's true! He felt so good there. The members here are improving so fast!
Another miracle: Last night we were having a meeting with the branch president (what a miracle!!) and a really tall lady came into the chapel looking around with her two little boys. She told us her husband is a member that was baptized about 6 years ago in Cuernavaca, but now lives here close to Tepalcindo. He's not active, but his wife, Laura, (the tall lady with the little kids) has gotten really interested. She's left her number with the church multiple times but the missionaries never went to her house. So pretty much my companion showed her the baptismal font and she asked him, "So how long does it talk to be baptized?" I think he almost fainted! This is the first time that this has happened to me in my mission, two strangers walk in and ask to be baptized! HOW CRAZY! God is blessing us a lot here in Tepalcingo.
Well, how are you doing? How was Nana and Papa's party thing? My companion and I are doing well. He's probably going to be changed this transfer. He's been in Tepalcingo for 9 months! There's another missionary that's from my generation that's been in Acapulco for over a year, and in Acapulco it is stinkin' HOT. Poor guy;s probably like a stick!
Have a good week Sterl! Thanks for the email and the support! Love, Russell


Hey Mom and Dad! I don't have any time to write! We we t to a pueblo called Chalcatzingo and hiked up a huge hill and looked at old ruins. It was so cool! Mom I am going to get that note out, I promise! Russell


Hey Mom and Dad! This week has gone by well. It was kind of difficult because we had zone conference, and we had to go clean a house in a different area. The missionaries aren't there anymore. There haven't been baptisms for a really long time, and the branch is sort of dysfunctional. President Spannaus decided it was better to close the area. So we went and cleaned and took out all of the stuff. Two brothers came to help us. They are so awesome. One is named Pablo and his son Ruben. Pablo has had a rough life. He was abusive to his family before and is still a little controlling. But I had a good talk with him today. He opened up a lot to me and talk me some of his problems. His wife, the other day, also came to me and started bawling because she has had so many problems in her family. So I have heard the story from both the wife and husband. I'm gonna try to help them and get them to go to the temple.
Mariana is still not baptized. We've been visiting her trying to help her get excited. She has problems with coffee, and she hasn't been very consistent in going to church. She didn't go yesterday. I am a little worried about her. She's also had a dysfunctional life. Her mom left her when she was eight years old with her grandma. She's never had a real family.
Sofia is doing well. She doesn't really have faith right now. She's told us openly that for her, she feels that God doesn't exist. But she was so receptive to our message, and Elder Anderson and I felt really good teaching her. Her daughter Norma is more receptive and is reading.
We've also been teaching a couple named Alejandro and Julia. They want to be closer to God. We've taught them the restoration and baptism. They were very receptive! They just work on Sundays. But after our lesson they started getting excited and were talking about changing their work. They're in the process of doing that.
There is a little boy named Fidel in our branch that is not baptized. His mom is inactive, but his grandma brings him to church. He really likes it! His mom finally went to church on Sunday and I had the opportunity to give a talk. I talked about the restoration and the reality of the apostasy. Many people, and members included, say that every religion is the same and that it really doesn't matter where we go as long as we love God. What they don't realize is that they are really not happy. They don't understand that there is something better than what they already have.
Josefina is doing really well. She got baptized about a month ago. She is excited to work. She's looking for a way to contribute to the work. We are gonna take her to visit investigators.
I am doing well. President Spannaus is so great. I've been able to see Elder Workman a lot. If you don't remember who he is, he was my trainer. He's now the assistant to the president, so he comes to every zone conference. It was really good to see him and talk. I've also been able to see Elder Barnes and Elder Matthews from my district. They are so awesome! I'm in a great zone.
Sister Spannaus just had surgery done on her. She had something wrong with her intestines. She's an awesome person. President Spannaus came alone to the zone conference.
I have some new names for you to pray for:
Pablo Amaro, Yolanda Amaro, Ruben Amaro, Magdalena Amaro, Jaquelin Amaro, Josefina, Laura Cadenas Soto, Mariana Perez Bravo, Pedro Cedillo, Abel Tenango Tlizlalapa, Petra Tenango, Elia, Benito, Anestacia, and Andrea Spannaus.
I am doing well! I am happy! I have learned a lot about myself in these last few months! I hope that everyone is well, Love, Russell
P.S. If you see Adam Clarkson again tell the guy to write to me! I'd like to hear from his family!