Elder Ty Russell

Guatemala, Retalhuleu Mission

July 18 2012- Email #1

Mi familia,

Okay so wow… Crazy crazy how it has only been a week since we were saying goodbye at the curb. Life couldn’t be better:) I absolutely love being a missionary and learning Espaol! First off thank you all soo much for the letters and the package. It is so nice to come back to the residence after a LONG day of missionary work and have letters waiting for me. I still haven’t heard from Grandpa Russell so get on him to send me a letter. Grandma Mosher sent me a letter the other day so that was nice to hear from her. Mi companero es Elder Henderson; like I said in the hand-written letter I sent after I got here. He is super awesome! He is a little bit shy and quiet but I suppose I compensate for that… I get to e-mail you all every Wednesday around this time because I use the e-mail while my laundry is washing. I need to send back my two watches that I brought with me. My Branch President said that both of those watches will end up “street donations” very promptly after arriving in Guatemala. I will need you to buy me a lower-end watch and send it to me in the next package. Thank you so much for my package! There is nothing like getting a package here. It is like Christmas. Everyone gets jealous. My district is composed of 12 missionaries and in my room there is the 4 going to Guatemala, Retalhuleu. I am going to be sad to leave the other missionaries in my district. We have grown close already in the week that I have been here. For a carry-on bag for the airplane I want a bag… not a suitcase but like a small travel size bag that can count as a carry on that I can put my shoes and other heavier stuff in. I don’t want you all to have to pay the extra weight fees. I guess I could use my laundry bag if all else fails. Send me a copy of my patriarchal blessing please! I want it sized down and laminated so it will last for my mission. You can do that at Kinkos or the UPS store or wherever you want. Please:) Also I want Dad to send more of those packets for my drink. They are actually really good. Also Dad, thanks for the consecrated oil. That was really nice of you. So a typical day here in the MTC is sort of like this… (Elder Boyd just said hi) k so I wake up and shower at 6:20 and our district is in the classroom by 7:00 for an hour of personal study time (scriptures and things similar), then we go to breakfast and then back to the classroom for language study. My Spanish instructor is Hermano Woodhouse. He is soo cool! He served his mission in Mexico and is just 21 years old. He is really a great teacher and relates to us as a district really well. We ususally then have lunch next or gym depending on the day. In gym I usually play volleyball but yesterday I played soccer with an Elder in my District. I stink. The Guatemalans will have fun beating me up at soccer. Then we usually have more language study or TALL (Technology Assisted Language Learning). And after that dinner and next we teach a mock investigadore. Elder Henderson y yo teach a woman by the name of Cristina Salgado. (It is all fake though, she is a returned missionary). It is all in Spanish! Our first lesson was sooo funny! She spoke super fast and Elder Henderson and I were so nervous that we did horrible! It was a very humbling experience. We have taught 3 lessons now and each lesson has gotten better and better. We have taught her about God and how he loves her, The great apostosy and the restauration, and about the Book of Mormon. Each lesson is about 20-25 minutes. It is tought. A lot of preparation is required to teach an entire lesson in Spanish. But it is awesome. I am really loving my time here and I have learned so much! Just last night Elder Featherstone of the Emiritus 70 came and spoke to the MTC. He was probably 85 or so and he was a stud! He didn’t look at his notes once and he would have given me a run for my money in speed of talking. I hope I am half as sharp as him when I am his age. The spirit here is so strong. I can feel it in everything that I do. Being 100% obedient brings blessings and the spirit. I know that this church is true! I want you all to read your scriptures every day! There is no truer book on this earth than the Book of Mormon! Read it and love it. Also pray always. I have seen how important prayer is here. I love you all so much and I miss you. You know how much I love home but I love here even more! I would not rather be anywhere else in the world right now. Oh, yeah. And apparently I leave for Guatemala on  the 31st of July so be expecting a call from me then I suppose. Tell Jake good luck at debate camp and I know he will kill it. Tell Brit to keep her head up and trust in the Lord. He will guide her into the position she needs to be in for life. She is a good person and I know the Lord has a plan for her. Tell little baby Abby how very much I love her and miss her sweet smiling face. I wish more than anything I could hug you guys one more time! Don’t worry too much about me I am doing great! Life is good when you serve. Pray for me to learn Spanish okay? I love you all so so much. :)
Love always,
Elder Ty Michael Russell
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