To the Friends and Family of President and Sister Russell

To the Friends and Family of President and Sister Russell

Monday, May 25, 2015

I forgot to include the picture of all zone leaders and STLs at our last MLC.
These are are all the best!!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Today our own little Sister Chang became a citizen of the United States!
We love you!!

Last week we had MLC (mission leadership council). We got excited about:

Role plays! Elder Shaw, Elder Hsiung, Elder Myers, and Sister Burrell were role playing how to invite members to give the missionaries names of possible investigators

 Watching the role plays (and wondering who the president was going to call to do it next)
Elder Hinton (front) Elder Workman, Sister Vance, and Sister Newell

Listening and learning so they can take it back to their zones.
The APs; Elder Nash and Elder Boyd are taking great notes!

And Sister Christensen is everybody's best friend because she has lunch!!!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

An incredibly happy day! Our daughter  Shelley  has given birth to our newest grandson; Michael! A beautiful gift from God. 

Proud dad; Justin, Shelley, Baby Michael, and  big brother; Kyle
It's tough not being there, but knowing that the Lord is watching over them much better than we can is comforting.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Friday, May 8th was President Russell's birthday. He received dozens and dozens of calls, texts and gifts  from the missionaries. There was singing and wishes for a happy birthday. 
Today is Mothers' Day and I received dozens and dozens of phone calls, texts, and gifts left as well from these amazing missionaries! The Grants Pass Zone made me a 'bouquet' of flowers with sweet messages of love. The Grants Pass Zone had prepared this way in advance because the APs  (Elder Boyd and Elder Nash) brought it up with them on transfer day (last Monday).

Then, when I was sure my heart would burst with love and  gratitude for these incredible missionaries, the APs came to the mission home and showed a video they had made of each companionship wishing us a happy birthday and Mothers' Day. At the end of the video were two of our daughters with wishes as well. It was then that my tears turned into an all out cry.


Friday, May 8, 2015

The following day (after a good nights' sleep) we went to the stake center for a little program. President Russell spoke to them, as did the office couples.
Then, came the moment when President Russell introduces the new missionaries to their trainers!

Elder Child welcomes Elder Mata with a hug and probably the 'Priesthood pat'.

Sister Stucki is delighted to meet Sister Asregadoo. No 'Priesthood pat', but they  could have hugged the stuffing out of each other!

Sister Call embraces Sister Sowter. they both have long beautiful hair...surprisingly they did not get tangled up in it. 

Introducing our newest additions to the OEM:

Sister Jamie Woolf with her trainer: Sister Bingham

 Sister Catherine Sowter with her trainer: Sister Call

Sister Paige Asregadoo with her trainer: Sister Stucki 

 Elder Jordan Barclay with his trainer:     Elder Terrell

 Elder Austyn McKee with his trainer: 
Elder Child

 Elder Michael Mata with his trainer: 
Elder Rigoli
Just before they leave with their trainer/companions, one more picture of the newest missionaries!

Here we are all together!
 At the airport ready to receive our newest missionaries to the greatest mission in the world, the OEM!

The first glimpse of our missionaries, and just as I took the picture this lady walked in front of them. 

Outside the airport, in front of the mission trailer.
Front left: Sister Asregadoo, Sister and President Russell, Sister Woolf, and Sister Sowter.
Left back: Elder Mata, Elder Barclay,
and Elder McKee.

We went to the mission home for some training by President Russell. 
Elder Mata, Elder Barclay, 
Elder McKee, and Sister Asregadoo.

Sister Woolf and Sister Sowter 
listening intently (while trying to stay awake!)
Elder Nash and Elder Boyd, lower right. They are the president's APs. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

And, finally, we were able to get the picture of the entire zone, which was taken back in February. (We struggled to get it just right so we could have a copy for each missionary.)

Elder Brent Neilson, who is now the head of the missionary department is to the left of 
president Russell.

President Russell's birthday is on Friday,
May 8th. Some of our cute Sisters, that were being transferred to another area away from Eugene, decided to decorate his office at the mission office while we were out of town. 

These two Sisters even had the zone leaders call me and ask what president Russell's favorite cake was, and they made it from scratch!
(It's German Chocolate Cake)

And who are these two mystery Sisters????
Sister Poulson on the left and Sister Cathro third from the left!
We love you right back!
A blast from the past! 
One of our missionaries (Elder Harper) found this picture that I guess was in the Church News last year. It's the president and I role playing with President and Sister Burt from the Canada Vancouver Mission in the MTC.

The last at the mission home, the last night as full time missionaries.

  The next morning in the foyer of the mission home, the Sisters that had not left yet (Sister Fletcher and Sister Duenas were on their way home)

                                             For the first time since we've been here, we had time on our hands! The missionaries watched a movie; 
what would you expect: Meet the Mormons!

 At the airport. Some are filling out the name tags for their suitcases. Every suitcase came in under 50 pounds...but very close to 50 pounds!

Everyone is so serious. 
 Sister Mackley is ready to go!
 And they are all on their way home. We miss them already!!!!

It's transfer time again (has it really been six weeks????)
One of the meeting places is the 18th Street building, so called because, 
you guessed it, 
it's on 18th Street. They are waiting for the transfer van.

There are those being transferred and also those that want to come and say good bye.

 One has to wonder; is it because it's transfer day, or P-Day that everyone is SO happy and excited. Well, almost everybody, Elder Despain is thinking (I'm sure) about being happy.

 I have never seen these Sisters anything but HAPPY!
Photo Op!!
Everybody poses. Elder Despain is still thinking about being happy, and getting closer!!

 Elder Jarrard is giving the partial parade wave, while Elder Richens gives us a shy thumbs up!
 Elder Harmon gives a real thumbs up. Elder Hyde, who has been the president's assistant for the past nine months is holding up his journal and smiling bright as he gets ready to go to 'paradise': Coos Bay to be a zone leader.

 Elder Fakahua has nothin' but love for everyone and Elder Chia is another 'thumbs up' kinda guy. Ya gotta wonder what's going on in Elder Greer's mind!
Okay, here's the story, as I remember it. Elder Ayre is holding a box of Waffle Crisp cereal. Elder Ayre and Elder Fakahua were companions with a missionary who was serving a mini mission and they happen to have three boxes of this cereal in their apartment. The missionary on the mini mission ate two of the boxes! So, Waffle Crisp is now the cereal of choice.