Sunday, April 5, 2009

Some Pictures from the Weekend

Conference Weekend

So I was lucky enough to be invited home by my roommates this weekend for Conference. (Good thing too because I would have been home alone if they didn't invite me) I went home with my roommate, Nate, on Friday night to stay with his family. Mark, another one of my roommates came too. I have loved being in a family environment with younger kids running around. They say the funniest things. Plus, getting some home-style cooking is great too! Better than that Pasta Roni junk. (I actually kind of like it though)

I watched Conference at the house for both Saturday sessions (which were AMAZING) and then went to Priesthood with Nate's dad and brothers and all the rest of the boys. Afterward, we went out to dinner at a hamburger place (gotta keep the tradition alive right?). Nate's dad, being the nice man that he is took us out for gelado (is that how it is spelled?) afterward. It was extremely tasty.

In the morning, I woke up to watch the first session and then three of the guys (Carson, Terrance, and I) went up to Salt Lake to see the last session in the Conference Center. I know, lucky me! Being in Utah has its benefits...

Following the session, I saw the stereotypical Mormon network come alive. I saw David McClure, Kyle Bluth, Elicia Blue and two of her cousins, and we ran into an entire apartment of girls we know back at BYU. It never ceases to amaze me how I can run into people so far away from home. The church does really bring us together ;)

All in all, it was really a great weekend and I feel so relaxed and ready to finish up school. Now I am going to have to catch up on all the work i DIDN'T do this weekend. Oh well.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Up in the Canyon

So Friday night, a group of friends and I went up to the Canyon and made man's greatest creation, fire that is! We sang camp songs and made smores and hot dogs and snuggled...yeah haha. It was a fun night. Here are a few pictures of the night.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Draper Temple Dedication

I just wanted to say a brief word about the dedication that took place this last Sunday. As I have said before, being a BYU student has its perks and one of them was a chance to see the Draper Temple in person. Another was to see it dedicated via broadcast.

We watched in the Marriott Center as President Monson dedicated the magnificent edifice and I felt the spirit so strongly as we raised to join in the "Hosanna Shout." As we shouted what literally translates to "Save us," I had a very strong confirmation that what we do in the temple is exactly what we must do to be saved. I felt so blessed to know this and I feel an even greater love for my Savior who made it all possible. I know he has saved me!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

"Up to my neck..."

So I was drowning in self-pity thinking about how much work I need to do in the next few weeks before school finishes that I decided to look for a picture that captured my daily activities (studying and homework). I was looking for a picture of a sleepy student with his head in his book, but I couldn't really find one that I liked. Then I saw this guy and I reconsidered my workload. I think he has a right to say he is up to his neck in work at the moment haha!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

One Busy Week!

Monday-Spent the day doing homework and a started and finished a paper. Oh and I went to class. Started another paper.
Tuesday-Studied for American Heritage test most of the day. From Cumorah's Hill Choral Fireside (I was in it).
Wednesday-Finished my other paper. Studied for American Heritage test. Missionary Fireside.
Thursday-Took American Heritage Midterm. Owned it! Yes!
Friday- Homework. Another Midterm. Went out for dinner (to relax)

So those are just the highlights from the craziness of this week. I am just thankful it is over. I have a one day break (ish) and then it starts over again. I can't believe it is already mid-March!?

While I had a busy week, it wasn't anything compared to my sister's. Congrats Joy! Thanks for making me an Uncle again. It is one of my favorite titles!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

A Note on Life Missions

I was reading the scriptures today and I just was filled with the spirit. I couldn't help but share some of the things running through my mind...

I was reading of Mormon and how he saw the degradation of his people. He looked on and lamented, "O ye fair ones, how could ye have departed from the ways of the Lord! O ye fair ones, how could ye have rejected that Jesus who stood with open arms to receive you!" (Mormon 6:17). When I think of the world in which we live and I as reminded of how Jesus wept when beholding the "workmanship of His own hands" in Moses 7. How often does God weep over us when he sees our actions? How often do we weep over our brethren? They are of as much worth to God as we are, should we not then extend our hands and hearts in their direction and act as God would have us act? This is true charity. This is Godly love.

As I have been pondering on my own life mission, I realize that so much is yet to be discovered. However, I have learned of some of the things which I must do. Those things I will share so that hopefully my words will be of worth to future generations to help cultivate faith in their hearts and give them courage to pursue their own missions.

Missionary work has been on my mind lately for obvious reasons. I have gained the knowledge and personal witness that my specific call is of God and that I was ordained to it from before the world was. As I was reading Moroni's address to the Lamanite descendants in Mormon 7 wherein he invites them to believe in Christ, accept His gospel, and gain testimonies of the Book of Mormon, I was particularly impressed by a prompting of the spirit that whispered to me that I would be an instrument to fulfill this prophesy in this day. I will be serving amongst the very Lamanite posterity in Nicaragua! How exciting that is!

For whoever reads this, I witness the reality of the truthfulness of the gospel and that Jesus is the Christ. I know he lives and that he will in one future day return to rule as King. I know that as we liken the scriptures unto ourselves God will show unto us all things we should do, including how we can fulfill our life missions! He has done that for me and He can do that for you! In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Draper Temple Open House

One of the perks of going to BYU is that you get to be close to so much that is church related. My stake had an activity on Saturday and guess where we went...the Draper Temple! What a beautiful temple it is too! It is very intricate and the baptismal font is probably the coolest I have ever seen. The endowment rooms are very elegant and the Sealing Room...HOLY COW! It is so awesome! I definately suggest it. I think someone said the ceiling in the Celestial Room is 57 feet (it is really tall). I included some photographs of the temple from the internet since I didn't take any on the trip.

The Celestial Room. That ceiling goes up for probably another 30 feet! Way cool!

As I walked through the Temple, I felt great whisperings of the Spirit. It is such a blessing to have temples in our day. The Spirit said to me just after I had walked through the doors, "This is God's House." Then I thought of the quote, "God is not an absenty Master" and I realized the sacredness of the building in which I stood. You can't help but turn your thoughts heavenward in such a heavenly edifice!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Opening the Call!

Called to Serve Him!

Dear Elder Russell:

You are hereby called to serve as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You are assigned to labor in the Nicaragua Managua Mission. It is anticipated that you will serve for a period of 24 months.

You should report to the Missionary Training Center at Provo, Utah on Wednesday, 13 May 2009. You will prepare to preach the gospel in the Spanish language...

I want to testify of the truthfulness of the gospel and of the power of revelation. I know through the power of the Holy Ghost that this is the mission that God would have me serve. I know that Joseph Smith saw God and Jesus Christ in a grove of trees and that we can know through the power of the Book of Mormon, that he was a Prophet of God. I look forward to serving my Master with great anticipation!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Mailbox Check!

I checked the mailbox 4 times today...I think I am becoming like an ornery old person who has nothing better do to than chew out the mailman for coming so late. If only I could find him to tell him I am inpatient...

Friday, February 20, 2009

Getting Anxious...And the Law of Opposites

So this week has been an emotional roller coaster for me. I haven't really had much to be sad about, but I think that the law of opposites holds true as always. I have had some really great days mostly relating to hearing my friends get their mission calls and yet I have felt quite down at other times. I realize that this just goes to prove that we are tested before or after our greatest spiritual experiences. As I watched two of my roommates open their calls and found out they were going to Cambodia and Thailand, I was filled with gratitude to be called to serve as well and I couldn't wait to join the ranks of missionaries around the world. It has been so exciting to hear of their calls and experience it with them. It makes me even more curious to hear where I will be going. But then right after I feel on top of the world, I feel the slight twangs of depression begin and I find myself having to make great efforts not fall into the trap of self despair. Now don't get worried. I am doing great. I just realize that Satan is trying to do anything he can to get me not to serve. But know this, I am going to serve a mission and I am going to serve with all of my heart, might, mind, and strength!

I am extremely excited to hear next week where I will be going. I think back on my childhood and all of the times in primary when I with vigor sang "I hope they call me on a mission." I smile and humbly thank my Heavenly Father for leading on a path to accomplish this goal. I still hope He will call me on a mission! I have never really thought of going to one place in particular because I know that the Lord will call me where I need to go. Yet, I know that I am meant for one mission and it is the one I will read in a few days. Thank you all for your support, examples, and prayers.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

They're In!

Where in the world is Grant going? My mission papers were officially submitted today and now it is just a matter of time (hopefully a week and a half) before I find out!!! I am super excited!

Invitational Dance for Single Awareness Day!

Awkward Moments: The Story of My Life

So I was asked by Karissa (a girl in my ward) to the Invitational Valentine Dance last night and we had a lot of fun! We ate baked potatoes and chicken salad (mmmm...probably the best meal I have had in a while) and then we danced the night away and got a cartoon picture drawn of us. Oh, and we posed for this picture too. Yes, that is about as good as I get with the women folk. It was a fun night! Then we ended the night with tart things that were nothing but goodness :) Perfect ending!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Elder Russell <-Yeah!

Okay, so it is not official. But I am really close. I met with my Bishop today and he submitted my paperwork to the stake for review. I have an appointment this Sunday with the Stake President and then my papers will be in!!! So only a FEW MORE WEEKS!!! I have waited all my life for this to come and I am just getting so excited. I will keep everyone updated.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Watch Out World...Here I Come!

I am in the process of getting my mission papers ready to submit. I have four friends that recieved their calls this week and with each one, I just get more and more EXCITED to serve the Lord. I am prepared to serve Him wherever He calls me. I can't wait to share my testimony of the gospel with the world. I know it is true, and I know that others can receive the same knowledge through the spirit. I will keep you updated as my status nears completion!!!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

You had a Birthday, Shout Hooray!

So Tyler's Birthday was on Tuesday and a lot of his friends were planning a Suprise Party for him, but he seemed to take things into his own hands. Without knowing about his party, he planned a dinner and invited about half of the people who were going to go to his party anyway. Long story short, we had dinner first at Macaroni Grill (very delicious) and then conned him into coming to his old apartment to be surprised and have cake and ice cream. It all turned out perfect in the end. We played Rock Band and just talked. I love my brother and I was so happy that he was able to have a good birthday. Happy Birthday Bro!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

College in Review!

So I have been pretty busy since school started and I kept forgeting my camera when I had time to update my blog (I know, excuses excuses...), but I finally did it. Since I have been having quite the adventure since September, I figured I would give you a little overview of some of the activites I have been doing while I have been away at school.

Here is just a list of some of them:

Football Games!
Volleyball (woot)
Dances Parties (every holiday and weekend between)
Social Gatherings (aka Hanging out)
Church Functions
Dinners (mmm)
Road Trips...oh and Classes too :) ...You get the idea!

Here are just a few pictures of some of the things I have been up too!

Turkey Bowl with the Elders Quorum
Dressing Up for Halloween (I dont even know who I am?!)

Trip up to Conference with Danny and Mark

Temple Square at Christmas=Very Pretty

Picture Scavenger Hunt: A Human Pyramid

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Let it snow...NOT!

So day two of semester two is complete and all I have to say is that I think I am already sick of the snow! It has been going non-stop since Sunday. Global Warming would be really nice about right now...
As for my classes, I am really excited. There is going to be a lot of reading, as I thought there would be, but I am still eager to learn the information. I am especially thrilled about my Spanish conversation class because it is so small and the teacher seems really funny. Until next time, I am out.
And if you don't hear from me, I probably got attacked by the Abominable Snowman. I swear he lives in the giant snow mounds on campus...
At least the snow is pretty though right?

Sunday, January 4, 2009

So the Blogging Begins...

So I broke down and did it: I got a blog. I will now attempt to make the mundane day to day seem so awesome and exciting you'll have to shout hooray! Okay, so not really. But I will keep you updated on the "college experience" as it unfolds this semester at BYU, hopefully with frequent pictures and recaps of both funny and spiritual experiences.

One of my New Year Resolutions was to keep a journal, and I think it will be much easier for me to do so online than by any other means. This year will be quite the year to remember as I finish up my first year of college and I prepare for my mission. Let's hope that all goes well as I begin one of the most important years of my life.