Someone called my Ivan Drago today… that makes 1,000,000

I want to start the letter off today by thanking a couple of people. First thank you to the Oak Creak ward primary (specifically Miles Silva, Luke Bollard and Collyn Hughes … I think) for writing me some letters for Christmas. It was super awesome (Primary leaders I’ll speak with the Bishop see if I can´t get you guys a raise of some sort). Second to the Northwood ward family for the Christmas cards (to Sister Harker, La Reina y La República aren´t in my mission but Quinta Normal is. I haven´t been in a sector there yet). And lastly, thank you to the Rusick Family in Arizona for the Christmas card, and the letter attached, it was super awesome!!

So, to shed some light on the title of the letter. Everyone (yes every single person) that we see on the street asks us where we are from. You would too if you were a five foot chilean and you saw to white people walking down the street and one of them was six and a half feet tall. And with that I got tired of saying that I was from the U.S. so I started telling people that I´m from Russia. So when they hear that they always call me Ivan Drago, which isn´t the worst thing ever. 

Anyways, all things are going pretty good here in Chile Santiago Norte Zona Renca Barrio Renca 2 Sector Renca 2.a. Its just a lot of fun under the sun, a lot of sun. A lot of hot, hot sun. But it’s awesome! I´m getting my tan on and serving the Lord at the same time, what could be better. 

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An apron thing that I bought at the street fair for about a dollar. It has since been made into a tie. There is no picture of the tie because I need to fix it up before it is documented. 

But still searching for those people that are going to progress, I feel like with a few of the people that we have been teaching we might have a couple, we´ll see in the next couple of days or week. Like for instance, we have an investigator named Juan, he´s like 80 years old. He has a hard tim understanding a lot of what we are teaching. (Same with everyone in Renca, the was it was explained to me was that of 10 people here 5 graduated high school. and of those 5 about 2 graduated on time), so thats what were working with. But we taught him the plan of happiness and he seemed to start to understand. But the next time we met with him we we´re going to teach the next lesson (Gospel of Jesus Christ) but i felt that we need to just read with him. So we just read the whole Into to the Book of Mormon and analyzed it.

I could see in his eyes that something was going on. It was something that I had never seen in him before. Like the geras in a super old machine finally started to turn again. The spirit started to testify to him just a little bit. But it was enough for him to finally commit to read that night and to pray. The next time we passed by he was working so we couldnt get in the house but he told us that he fished the book we gave hime (Chilean for he read a little bit of the BoM) which is awesome. Because I know with a single doubt in my heart that if he reads hes going to know its all true. 

Spiritual thought:

Sorry its going to be a short one today. I started the Isaiah chapters os second nefi this week and I read something I had never seen before. It says in the footnotes that you should study the chapters in Isaiah while studying those in second nephi. It also says that there are differences, some of them are minor, but the differences, large and small is what the ready should focus on. 

That’s what my spiritual thought it is. Study of the Book of Mormon can clarify small or large differences that are found in the Bible because it contains the fullness of the everlasting gospel and is meant for our day. It really does change lives. 

Elder Rusick 

“LA LLEVA”

The way that time works here in the mission is freaky weird.

So this week… I swear the way that time works here in the mission is freaky weird. I seriously feel like I was just here writing you guys like yesterday. But during the week it felt like it was years long. I think time moves slower during the week right now because I’m still really getting to know my sector and all the people that live in it. Also because the missionaries that were here before didn’t have a huge number of people to pass on to us  (they had like 2). Which isn’t a crazy huge number, its the opposite. So we have been straight up searching this week for just about anyone that will let us into there house for for five minutes so we can share at least a prayer with them. (and so they can share something cold with us because its like 105 everyday). 

Its not all bad though, I’ve always said one of my favorite things about the mission is meeting new people. And when you knock like 50 houses a day you meet a ton of people. For instance, this week I taught my first lesson … in english. Which was about the weirdest thing that I had ever done. He was a Chilean but he works in Canada for most of the year driving trucks, an spends the summers in Chile, winters in Canada. He likes speaking english so we taught him in english. 

But things will pick up, the always do. and if not just got to keep suffering with joy. because you always have to pass through the desert in afflictions before you arrive in the land of bountiful. Just like Nefi and his family who were in the desert for 8 years or something like that. And they were eating raw mat because they weren’t allowed to start a fire. But they finally found the Land of Bountiful because they were obedient to the commandments that were given to them by the Lord. 

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Spiritual thought:

So I finished first Nephi today. It’s really amazing all the things you learn just from this first book in the Book of Mormon. It’s like it was known that people would stop reading around this point, so mormon put a lot of the important stuff up front. 

But I got to repass one of my favorite chapters, chapter 13 and 14. Which talks about the coming forth of the Book of Mormon and the restoration of Christ´s church here on the earth. It talks a lot about the large opposition to the church and how the numbers of those that are a part of the restored church would be few. But it leads me to one of my favorite scriptures that is found in 1 Nefi 14:14 (rough translation from Spanish) “and they had for arms their righteousness and the power of God in grand glory”. Of course it is talking about those that are a part of Christ´s church. And of course the meaning that I took from this is that as members of the Church or followers of Christ in general our righteous actions and our obedience to God´s laws give us the power of God in grand glory to bring about his work. 

Elder Rusick 

LA LLEVA

#PutMurmurinessInTheDictionary

It was a fun week in Renca. I got to meet a lot of new people (members, converts, less actives, and just random people that you meet while doing the whole mission thing.)

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But one thing that I learned this week was that it is hard to be a missionary on new year´s eve and new year’s day. Its really weird why people don’t want to talk to you those two days. On the eve its like they’re all super busy or something (like theres gonna be a big party… who knows). And on new years day its like they don’t want to talk because they’re too tired(as if they didn’t sleep the night before). Its really weird and makes for some slow days as a missionary. 

But we got to watch the fireworks that the shot off over the hill the has ¨Renca La LLeva¨on it, which was pretty awesome. We had a pretty good time. 

So there are two other missionaries here in Renca, Elder Loayza (low eye sa) and Elder Molina. The first is from Peru and the other is from Chile. We see them pretty much everyday because we have lunch together everyday. They’re pretty cool guys, Elder Loayza is on is 4th change here in Renca and Elder Molina got here with me. So we always have a good time with them (we watched the fireworks with them)

Spiritual thought:

So for the new year the mission has started to read the Book of Mormon again, two chapters everyday so we can start and end as a mission. Its really awesome to read it all together as a mission but sometimes 2 chapters a day is really slow. But its gives more time to study and analyze each chapter and really learn what you need to from every verse. 

So I am going to share something that I learned from a story that just about everyone knows from the beginning of the book of mormon. From chapters 3 and 4 is where Nephi and his brothers are commanded to go back and get the plates. Lehi tells his son Nephi that he will be favored in the eyes of the lord because of his willingness to do that which he is commanded (see verse 7 of chpter 3). While laman and lemuel wouldn´t have too great of a time because of the murmuriness. Skip ahead a little bit and laman goes in first to get the plates from Laban inside the city gates, and what happens… Laban almost kills Laman. 

So Laman runs away, Then all the brothers try to trade all of the stuff in their old house for the plates. And Laban steals their stuff and almost kills them.. again. Then we have the part where Laman and Lemuel want to go back and then the beat Nephi with a rod. But then Nephi goes in to the city to get the plates. 

And what happens with Nephi is a little different than what happened with Laman. Nephi finds Laban drunk on the street and delivered in to his hands. So he kills Laban and gets the plates, and a new buddy names Zoram. 

So we see the Nephi was successful in getting the plates and that Laman wasn’t. But they were both obedient in following the commandment that they had recieved, so how does that work?. If we go back to the begining we see that Nephi was willing to obey without murmuriness.

So what I am getting at with this lesson that I was able to learn is that it is good to obey, we should all obey every single commandment that we recieve. But it is better to obey without murmuriness, or to have a positive attitude about obeying. Because it is then when we are favored in the eyes of the lord and it is then when we recieve his help in our efforts. 

Also murmuriness isn’t a word right now but with your help it can be. #PutMurmurinessInTheDictionary #NoMurmuriness

Elder Rusick

LA LLEVA