Grace shall be as your day

This week was pretty usual. I sent a lot of pictures so I´m thinking that it means that I don’t have to write as much. 

Pretty much just did a lot of contacts this week. Oh yea, and we had a baptismal interview for Noemi. 

She has the raddest testimony ever and she is super excited to get baptized. 

But thats pretty much the semana. 

Spiritual thought:

So this week I had the opportunity to read ether 12 (which is just one of the heaviest sources or knowledge in the book of mormon) but one of the things that caught my attention was that in Ether 12:26 (the one right before weakness into strengths) when there Lord in counseling Moroni for his weakness in writing . The lord says a very common phrase in the book of mormon. “my grace is sufficient”. 

The grace of God is the love that he has for us that he gave his son to die for us so that we could one day become perfect like him. Those that have read about the atonement know that it serves more than one purpose: redeeming, healing and fortifying. In Ether 12:27 we learn about the Fortifying power (that weakness can become strong), also in Alma 7:11-13 we learn about the healing power of the atonement (that the lord jesus christ suffered for all of our sufferings that aren´t sins), and in many passages of scripture we learn that Christ suffered for the sins of all mankind so that we wouldn´t have to if we follow him and accept his gospel; or the redeeming power of the atonement. 

So all of this has to do with grace. Ou savior Jesus Christ suffered for all of us already, so that we dont have to. All we have to do is follow him and we have access to all of his grace. 

Also I would like to add this closing remark (for those of you who wonder I got some of this information from a talk by Brad Wilcox at BYU (its also where I got the analogy that grace is like piano lessons for those that remember)). 

But in “come come yea saints” there is a line that goes:

“Grace shall be as your day”

And I always thought it said “great shall be as your day”. But just think about it grace shall be like a day. If we can just keep trying to follow Jesus Christ his grace will be there with us every step of the way. After all the gospel is about trying and trying every day to be better and eventually like GOd. But with the help of His grace even the darkest nights of trial and tribulation will be like the brightest of days in the grace of Jesus Christ. 

Elder Rusick 

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No water and way too much water at the same time

Wow … what a week its been to be a missionary here in Chile!

Winter finally hit and we had a nice bit of rain starting out on Thursday and Friday. But what we didn’t expect to happen was that the mud from the mountains flooded the rivers where we get the water. So the water that goes to Santiago, or our house at least was cut off. So Saturday morning we got a call from the district leader to get al the bottles and water carrying devices that we had to fill them all up because Saturday at 12:00 they were going to cut the water. So we did. And what happened is that our house had the water cut. but every other house in our zone had water. Pretty lame right. So from Saturday until Monday morning we didn’t have any water, and actually most of our sector didn’t have any water either. 

Gathering water 

But the thing with the lack of running water is that a lot of places aren’t allowed to be open for too long without it, like the chapel. We could only have the sacrament meeting because of the lack of running water, which was super weird. Another weird thing is showering without running water (but its the first warm shower that I have had in like 6 weeks, because our water heater is broken. So I used the water boiler to shower when we didn’t have running water.)

One of the weird things about not having water though was that there was water everywhere. We had the first real rain of the year. A lot of the streets got flooded because chile isn’t really built to drain water off the streets. But it was still pretty fun. Our zone leaders told us that if I we felt the conditions were too bad to work that we should just go into the house. But Elder Rassmusen and I put our rain jackets on and put our immune systems to the test and went to work because after all rain is just water so what the worst it could do. And we didn’t have water in the house so being outside with the water just made sense. 

Language study with toast and peanut butter

So some people have told me that I should start talking about some of the people that I am teaching. MIS AMIGOS (my friends) (there are no investigators, converts, or less active members they’re all just my friends). So the person I am going to talk about today is Noemi. She is about 50 years old. She is from Valdivia (southern Chile) she had shared with the missionaries there when she was like 10 and also a little bit here in Renca but she told us that she had never received the missionary lessons. She is progressing pretty well. She has accepted all the lessons that we have taught (we only have lesson 5 left… so yes she accepted all the commandments!!!!) and she has repeatedly told us that she is going to get baptized (I feel like I spelled that wrong). She has a date for the first of May and it looks like she will make it to that date. She is married and has three children and two grandchildren (her family hasn’t accepted us to teach them.. yet… but they are still very nice to us and open to Noemi receiving us.) But this week she had really bad back problems so she couldn’t go to church, and she also had to go to the hospital. But I’m sure everything will work out. 

Spiritual thought: 

In the book of Ether the brother of Jared is command to build a boat. But what they end up building eight of seems more to me to be a submarine typ thing than a boat. But it says that they were built following the instructions of the Lord. And late it says the the Lord who controlled the wind and the waved would guide their boats to the promised land. And they did make it there after resolving a few minor details with the submarine boats. 

So what do we learn, (this is going to be really simple) when we act accordingly to the instructions of the Lord (and his inspired leaders) we receive the diving help and guidance to the promised land (insert your idea of promised land here)

Elder Rusick

LA LLEVA

Smile, it looks good on you!

Well hello there family and friends. How are you all doing? I hope you´re all doing well. 

I´m not going to lie to you guys right now. Theres not a whole lot in me that wants to write right now. But it says in the missionary handbook that I have to … so here we go. 

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Mate + Study

So pretty much all that happened this week was that we were able to go to a zone conference on Wednesday. It was pretty sweet because we got to learn from our leaders. We got to see a video of the area presidency releasing the plan de area for the South America Southern area for the year. That was pretty awesome. The only part the wasn’t too awesome was that we were there until 7pm in the evening, and we didn’t get home until 8pm. So it kinda sucked that we lost a couple of appointments but what can be done?

The work week went on the same as always. 

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How to make a prayer sandwich

Today for PDay we played ping pong because there weren’t enough people to play soccer. 

Spiritual ThoughtS:

So in the beginning of the week I read two of my scriptures in the book of mormon. They are found in 3 Nefi 19:25,30. The are in reference to when Jesus smiles upon the Nephites in his ministry to them. 

I thought to myself as I read “why is it that I can read here about Jesus smiling and I can´t really find this kind of expression in the Bible?”. Then I thought of the situation. Jesus commanded the Nephites to pray, then he left to pray himself and when he came back they were still praying then he smiles upon them. He commands them to keep praying, he goes, prays, comes back they are still praying, he smiles upon them for the second time. I also would like to add that I imagine that this is more than any ordinary smile, because he also says in some part of all of this that “my joy is complete”. Also he says “never in all of Jerusalem have I seen such great faith”.

So I thought of the Nefite situation, then I thought of one other that was similar in the Bible. When Jesus Christ was in the Garden of Gethsemane he commanded three of his apostles (which soon became the first presidency of the church) to stay and pray while he went to go pray amongst other thing. He came back and they were asleep, and it says that Jesus became sad for this. Then he wakes them up and commands them to pray again while he goes to pray and complete his atoning sacrifice. He comes back and they are asleep again. 

Now I am not saying anything bad about Peter James or John, there were a lot of other things going on. But Jesus did become sad at the sight of them not completing with a commandment that he had given them. 

SO the thought, That great faith that brings about obedience is what causes Jesus to be happy, to receive a joy that is complete. Like it says in John “if ye love me keep my commandments”.  And as an added bonus Im sure that when the nefites received the smile of Jesus it felt pretty good, because it says that they became white even as Jesus was. 

I just want to bear my testimony of the divine plan of happiness that God has made for us. I want to say to everyone that reads this the same as i say to everyone that lets me talk to them. I know without any doubt that families can be forever. That through the restoration of the Priesthood of God I am sealed to my parents, my brother and all other members of my family. That the divine plan of God is that we can have joy eternal. I know that Jesus Christ is the savior and redeemer of the world and that his atoning sacrifice makes the plan go. And I share with you these things in His name, Jesus Christ. Amen. 

Elder Rusick 

TOMMY MONSON LA LLEVA

From the cyber in Renca, this is the 44th weekly letter from Elder Zachary Jason Rusick in the Mission of Chile Santiago Norte. This letter is a public broadcast by myldsmail.net. Elder Rusick would like to thank all those that participate to make this letter possible. 

(Soy tan chistoso ¿cierto?)  

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Well it was conference this week which is better than Christmas if your a missionary. You get to stop walking for five sessions of two hours each to listen to the living prophets are receive their inspired words. A lot of missionaries get the chance to hear the conference in their own language, and share time with other missionaries from their stake. However the english transmission wasn’t set up here in Renca, so we had to watch in Spanish. Which is not that bad, because its the same stuff, only the voices that you’ve grown up with are different (in a really weird Spain kind of Spanish too). But because the Lord works miracles for his missionaries we got it all set up in english for Sunday. Which means we got to hear Elder Jeffery R Holland speak (and close the conference magnificently) in english. Which really to me is all that matters. To here him in his actual voice is just different. But the conference was really great. 

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All is well with the work too (same old same old). But today for Pday we got to play the ball (Its how the say play soccer in latin america “Jugar la perlota”). Which was really fun. But other than that not too much happened that was out of the ordinary. 

Spiritual Thought:

So this one is really just a thought. 

We did a contact. Before we could say anything he asked for our bible. I gave it to him for some reason. He read us a few scriptures that he told us meant that our church was true (which happened to be about who is Jehova). I had the scriptures ready to prove him wrong (Exodus 3:14 and then john 8:58, or just Isaiah 12:1,2… but thats not important). Instead I gave the bible to Elder Rasmussen and he put it my backpack. And I gave a testimony. If you ask Elder Rasmussen he´ll tell you a yelled it (which is true but the guy wasn’t letting me talk) and then we left. 

But the thought is what I was thinbking of on our way to the next house. How simple a doctrine of who is God the Father and who is the Son Jesus Christ or the trinity is so out of whack. But part of the testimony that I yelled was that we have a restored gospel directly from God. We have clarity in points of doctrine that may seem very unclear. And also we have a profet today, and we continue to recieve clarity from the chosen leaders of God. 

Reread or re listen to the conference talks. They are as inspired as every word of holy scripture. The contain words that are speciffically for us in these days. 

Elder Rusick 

It was the best of times, It was the .. Uh better.. of times

DON’T WORRY EVERYBODY… Elder Rassmusen and I are staying together in Renca 2.a. 

Thank goodness to because we did so much of the dirty hard part of missionary work (which is finding people) that I thought they would take me out of the sector. But nope.. we get to stay together for at least six more weeks (which means at the end of this change I will have had 11 months straight with a gringo comp from Utah). But were super excited to get to have this next change together to be able to cash in on the work we put in this last change. 

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“A little afternoon Mate”

But theres more amazing news (if your a missionary this the most exciting thing you can hear besides “usted se va a la isla”); Elder Rassmusen and I looked at the map of the ward on lds.org and theres more to our ward that is on the map that the mission gave us. Which means that theres part of our sector which we hadn´t seen before. Thats awesome because I get bored of seeing the same houses everyday. BUt we went to the new part of the sector yesterday to check it out and we immediatly found like 5 new people that we can start working with, and all of the said that they hadnt seen missionaries in the neighborhood for like 7 years (its a gold mine of souls or a white field that is ready for the harvest)

But other than that nothing out of the ordinary happened this last week.

Oh wait… something did happen (the saddest moment of my mission), My scriptures died!!! Heres a picture… 

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Oh yea and also something else happened. A couple in the street with their baby stopped us as we were walking. They said that their baby (like 1.5 or 2 year old) needed a blessing of health. The mom was a less active member and the dad was a non member. But Elder Rassmusen did pt.1 and then a had the opportunity to do the second. As I was doing it I opened my eyes for some reason And the baby literally touched my heart.

Matchbook covers I find in the street

Theres more to the story but thats for me and my journal to know. But wow it was incredible the spirit that was felt. And the fact that they had just happened to find us in the street (because they live in puente alto; which is like 2 hours from Renca) is just incredible. Wow, just wow. 

Spiritual thought. (Its a short one again today)

So towards that end of some of the Gospels Jesus says to his apostles that they would be brought before kings and governors for his namesake. And this would be an opportunity for them to bear testimony of his name and witness to the things that they had seen him do. He also gives them the comfort to know that they need not worry of what they need to say; that they words would be given to them in that moment. 

In everyday situations we are not brought before kings or governors, but friends neighbors work associates and family members. But as members of the church it is your responsibility to use these opportunities to bear testimony of Jesus Christ and even of the restoracion of his gospel. And the promise is the same (I cant remember the exact verse in DyC) but it goes that as you open your mouth (part of opening your mouth is that you have to start talking) it will be filled with the words that you need to testify. 

I am always comforted that if I don’t have any clue what to say (which happens a lot because Im just a 21 year old kid in chile speaking a different language) I can start testifying to Jesus Christ as my savior and redeemer and of Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon and the restoracion of the gospel and that after that words will enter in to my mind to help the people. 

Shout out to Catherine Manning for getting called close to the greatest mission on earth 

Elder Rusick 

If you can stay awake during your prayers at night. You´re not working hard enough

It is a weird thing to start a prayer at 11 o´clock at night and then to finish it at 2:30 in the morning. And no I´m not Enos (for those of you that don´t get it go to Enos chapter 1 in the Book of Mormon…. or just read the whole thing)… (then talk to the missionaries)… anyways now that we´re all familiarized with the story of Enos, no I´m not praying for that long. I fall asleep mid prayer and wake up in the middle of the night say “amen” and fall right back asleep. Its great, I love it and it happens in the mornings most of the time too. But thats my life. 

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But anyways this week was pretty cool, we had stake conference here in Renca and Elder Batalla (battle for the gringos) came to speak. And right now I´m going to be completely honest with you guys, I cannot remember a word of what he talked about. I didn’t take notes and I don´t remember a thing. 

But other than that, that I can´t stay awake for my prayers and that my memory is failing me completely now that I´m an old man and thibnk that is about all that happened (I think). 

Oh wait, this was a weird week because it is a change of 7 weeks instead of the normal 6. And we didn’t get new planners for this week so I haven’t been writing everything down; and thats why I cant remember and thing… It all makes sense now. But yea its a 7 week change because they are changing how everything works in the MTC (here in Chile for the least) so the new missionaries haven’t arrived. SO here we are. 

Spiritual Thought:

“Why seek ye the living among the dead? 

He is not here but He is risen”

Luke 24:6 

Matthew 28:6

Easter is not about palm trees, chocolate bunnies and baskets full of painted eggs. 

It is that Jesus Christ rose from the dead. And that now ever person that ever lived can too. 

Sé que Cristo vive. 

Elder Rusick 

¡¡¡¡¡¡BLACKJACK!!!!!!!

“17”, “hit me”, “I suggest you stay sir” “I like to live dangerously”… “21, congratulations”…

“4” “actually I´ll stay” “I suggest you hit sir” “I also like to live dangerously”

Alright officially allowed to do whatever I want… as long as it says that I can do it in the white bible. And just to let you all know the whole joke about legally being allowed to drink or whatever doesn’t really work here because the age to do everything here is 18, and the kids start doing it all anyways when they´re 12 so it really doesn’t matter. 

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My “cake” (its a piece if delicious bread that I bought and a match)

But one year older and I´’e been waiting for the wisdom for about 21 years now, but it still hasn’t came. I´ll keep praying that it comes the next year though. 

But anyways this week of work was pretty nice. Probably one of the best weeks I´ve had on the mission. I can tell because my legs really hurt (that could also be because I´m soo old now…). But seriously we are finding so many new people right now and they´re awesome too. They all want to give us food and bread and just talk to us about stuff and then because we are gentle like doves and crafty like snakes we sneak the gospel and the restauracion into the conversación. And they´re just like cool, yea I´ll read that and pray. And now all we have to do is check up on them and keep watering the seeds until theres a flower or a tree or a stalk of wheat (whatever type of thing that grows out of the ground)

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My District

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BDay Pizza

*SIDENOTE* Elder Turner that “small branch” of 125 people has more people in it than I´ve ever seen here in the biggest ward in the stake of Renca. 

But not too much is happening besides that.

Spiritual thought:

SO this week Elder Rasmussen and I decided to wage a total war against Satan. O hacer la guerra contra Satanás desde hoy y adelante as it is writter on the wall now. But its cool because I started reading the war chapters of the Book of Mormon, so it all relates. Like how it talks about in efesios 6 about putting on the whole armour of God. It also talks baout that in alma 48 or 49 (somewhere around there), but talks about how the lamanites were super scared of the nephites because of the preperations that they had made for the battle. That they had helmets and breastplates for proteccion. ANd it said the the nephites dies more for loss of blood (the few that did die) that anything else because of their proteccion. 

Satan is scared of proteccion, because when we are protected he cant hurt us. When we do good things (read, pray, and go to church to take the sacrement) we put on our armour. 

Like the nephites we must constantly reenforce our cities and put on amour to protect ourselves for Satan. 

Love all you guys, 

Eldewr Rusick

LA LLEVA