To the Friends and Family of President and Sister Russell

To the Friends and Family of President and Sister Russell

Thursday, September 29, 2016

After a good nights' sleep we take our wonderful new missionaries to the Church where about fifty missionaries, twelve being the trainers, sing a beautiful song. Each of the trainers take a moment to do one of the following: open with prayer, recite Our Purpose, D&C section 4, The Standard of Truth, and The First Vision. An Elder and a Sister then share their testimonies. President and Sister Russell say a few words and we watch a video. Then comes what they have all been waiting for: meeting their trainers and finding out where they will be serving!!

Introducing our newest missionaries and their trainers:

Sister Udall will be training Sister Schroeder in Waldport (Corvallis).  They are both a little chilly and are wearing their coats. They will need them in Waldport. It's by the coast and is beautiful! 

Elder Thompson will be training Elder Broadbent in Corvallis. They will be speaking Spanish!

Elder Pierce will be training Elder Gneiting in Santa Clara, just a hop, skip, and a jump from Eugene.

Sister Gregory will be training Sister Stimpson in Springfield. That's a few more hops, skips, and jumps from Eugene.

Sister Aguilar will be training Sister Herbst in Cottage Grove. One of the Sisters that served there calls it the sacred grove because it's a wonderful place.

Sister Brown will be trained by Sister Lunt in Eagle Point (which is in Central Point, Oregon). The Medford temple is right there.

Elder Merkley will be trained by Elder Lewis in Roseburg. It's a great area where we have had quite a bit of success.

Elder Baker will be training Elder Johnson in Grants Pass. This zone is fantastic! These Elder will make it even better!

Elder Henley will be trained by Elder Opper in White City (also in Central Point). Awesome things will happen in White City with these two Elders!

Elder Mazyck will be trained by Elder Anderson in Klamath Falls. Also called Miracle Falls, lots of people ready to hear the gospel.

Elder Willits will be trained by Elder Carter in Alturas, this city is in northern California. It's part of the Klamath Falls zone.

And Sister Peck will be trained
by Sister Peterson in Coos Bay. This is the celestial part of the mission. Right on the coast! It doesn't get better than that!!
Our newest Stripling Warriors--they doubt not and fear not!

New missionaries with their trainers, an unbeatable team!

The wonderful office senior missionaries do an outstanding job of training them in all areas; vehicles, finance, health, referrals, apartments, and our office secretary, Sister Mabey goes over everything else.

After pictures and training,  President Russell gives some last minute counsel before they take off to their areas.

This is what the Cultural Hall looks like on every side. Each missionary has a sign with their name above his/her luggage along with bedding and bikes for the Elders.
The office couples also pack the missionaries a snack for the road. Then they get their luggage and everything else and load up!

Elder Broadbent and Elder Thompson begin loading their belongings into the truck.

Sister Lunt helps Sister Brown by carrying her bedding.

I have to run to catch Sister Peterson and Sister Peck as they dash to their car.

Sister Herbst and Sister Aguilar are determined to fit everything into the trunk! And they did!!

Many of the missionaries will be taken to their areas in the transfer vans, so they load their luggage into the trailer.

Often I wonder how all of this luggage and their bike boxes fit into the trailers. These Elders were probably really good at the video game Tetras because every square inch is taken. 

Elder Lewis and Elder Merkley pause just long enough for one last shot before they begin their one hour drive to Roseburg.

In the middle of fitting that last suitcase into the trunk Elder Anderson and Elder Mazyck take advantage of this photo op.

I watched Elder Baker (with some effort) somehow fit Elder Johnson's bike box into the back seat, hopefully they are able to get it out when they get to their apartment in Grants Pass!

Sister Schroeder and Sister Udall could do a Colgate commercial, check out those smiles and pearly white teeth!

Elder Opper has his companion; Elder Henley and his water bottle. What else would they need??

"How many more pictures, Sister Russell!?! Our cheeks are hurting from all the smiles!"

When Elder Carter met his trainee, Elder Willits, there was jumping and incredible excitement! They have so much in common, well, for one, they are the same height!

I get the 'parade wave' from Sister Aguilar and Sister Herbst as they pull out.

Elder Finlinson, one of the president's Assistants watches with a sly smile as they load the trailer. He has loaded it many times.

Elder Lambson, a zone leader that stopped by the Church is helping Elder Gneiting; "Ya know, Elder Gneiting, I think this snack will fit in the truck as well!"  "But wait, Elder Lambson, if it's in the trunk how will I eat it on the way to Santa Clara?" "Good point, Elder. Let me take that out for you!"

"It's all packed in the back, don't open it, things could get ugly!"

Things are wrapping up here, only a few missionaries left in the parking lot.

Elder Gneiting and Elder Pierce, snacks in hand, are ready to hit the road!

Everything and everyone is packed in and the last vehicle to leave is the mission van with the trailer. 
What an amazing day!!

"Be ye Fishers of Men!!"
Yesterday we welcomed twelve new missionaries to the OEM!
Sometimes when these new missionaries first enter the airport terminal they come with a little fear and trepidation, not so this time!
They walked into the terminal like Helaman's 2000 Stripling Warriors! 

They are waiting for their luggage. I wait to the side with all of their carry-on bags. 

 Sister Herbst and Sister Brown spotted me taking pictures. Check out those gorgeous smiles!

Almost ready to go!

 And...we are off!!!

Oh, wait, we should get our carry-on luggage from Sister Russell (as she snaps more pictures).

 Now, we are headed out to the van which has a trailer attached to it for the luggage.

It's a beautiful day in Eugene, Oregon, temperature about 75 degrees.

The first group photo of the newest Stripling Warriors to the OEM!

Front row left: Sisters Schroeder, Stimpson, Brown, Herbst, and Peck. Sister Russell and President Russell. Back row left: Elders Gneiting, Broadbent, Merkley,  Johnson, Henley, Willits, 
and Elder Mazyck.

Only the best for the OEM!
We said good-bye to six Elders on Tuesday. We really don't like our missionaries going home. Having said that, we also realize they are ready for the rest of their lives.

Left front: Elder Kimber, President and Sister Russell, Elder Jarrard, back left: Elder Best, Elder Billmire, and Elder Scott.
Good Luck Elders, you will be missed!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Yesterday we welcomed Sister Santiago to the OEM. She comes to us from Mexico. She is a delight. She will companions with Sister Hart.

It's time for zone conference again! President Russell and I traveled the mission last week to see all of the missionaries. Elders and Sisters ask us all the time what our favorite part of being mission president and wife is. It is being with the missionaries!!

The Springfield Zone
The Corvallis zone

 For some reason, Elder Black always wants a selfie with me, this time we talked President Lowary into joining us.
 We did an object lesson with each zone. The Elder with the poncho on is an investigator. The Sisters are 'teaching' him. With each new concept they teach they pour a little water in the cup on his head. President Russell kind of coaxed them about what they wanted to teach next. The cup was soon overflowing. The lesson here is there is only so much that an investigator can take in with each lesson and we have to be careful to not overload them to where they forget some of what is being taught.

They are really prepared teachers!

They wanted to give this 'investigator' everything they had.

 The Coos Bay Zone

The Medford Zone

The Central Point Zone

 The Santa Clara Zone

 The Grants Pass Zone

The Klamath Falls Zone

The Roseburg Zone

The Eugene Zone