Elder Ty Russell

Guatemala, Retalhuleu Mission

October 1 2012- Email #11

FAMILY!!!!!

Freak it was so cool to hear all of your voices! Thank you for that. I love you all so much.
So this week.. what did I do… what did I do?? Oh yeah… I BAPTIZED MY FIRST CONVERT!!! It was so special. Her name is Gladys and she is 13 years old. I want to tell you a bit about this story. So this last Tuesday we taught her the first lesson and the Spirit was really strong and she just was really into it. We challenged her to be baptized for the baptism this upcoming Saturday and she said YES!! It was so awesome it is hard to explain. So the next visit I went on splits with the Zone Leader, Elder Daniels so we could do the baptismal interview and when Elder Daniels asked who she wanted to baptize her she picked me! I was sooo happy. I was hoping she would pick me. I will attach pictures so you can all see! The baptism was actually Sunday morning because she couldn’t on Saturday so she was baptized and confirmed yesterday. I now have my first baptism under my belt! And by the way this mission is not exactly an easy mission to baptize in according to President Maravilla…
One really cool thing that came from the baptism is her family attended the baptism and actually ended up staying for sacrament to see her confirmation. Elder Solomon and I set up an appointment to talk with them and teach them the first lesson and they hesitantly agreed. They are both Evangelicals. Later that night I was on divisions with the district leader (I will explain later) and we found the family and had a wonderful first lesson with them. They are both really smart and understood everything right away (which doesn’t happen here super often). The only bummer is the Dad is leaving town for 15 days but we have another appointment with the mother on Tuesday. So I will update you on that as the time goes! I really hope that we can baptize the whole family and eventually see them go to the temple to be sealed for time and all eternity.
So next I will update you on Ana Maria… She has attended church again which means that she is okay to baptize if she decides to be… But she says she needs to talk to her family and so I don’t really know how that will go. She left town this morning for a week to visit her Dad so I can only pray that things go well.Pedro and Bilma… Things aren’t going super well. They haven’t come to church and we haven’t been able to teach them again. Every time we stop by (like 8 times now) Pedro isn’t there… So annoying!

Although on the bright side we have found some good new investigators that I hope will begin progressing. I will update you on them in later weeks if they start progressing.
So as a random side fact… I have developed some sort of heat rash on my mid to upper thigh… It is rough times down here in the heat but I suppose I can only be gaining more blessings for the little bit of suffering right?
Budgeting money kinda stinks. I should probably work on that skill while I am here…
Oh and sooo our District Leader and his companion are staying at our house until Thursday… So we have been partying the last few nights. We play card games and we got Pizza Saturday night and had a pizza party. But the sad part is this… The reason they have to stay with us is because they witnessed a rape in their area and helped the girl get to the hospital… But the guys who raped her were watching the missionaries and were waiting outside of the house they were teaching in for about an hour because they went to the police. Rough situation. My heart aches for the girl.
On a slightly brighter note I have found this awesome little street stand that sells french fries. It is super good.  I just hope I don’t die… The exclamation mark stopped working on my computer… what a pain.
So P Day was really fun today. We played water balloon volleyball with towels and then real volleyball for a few hours too. Next up in some McDonald’s!
Spanish is going really great! At times… Haha I do get discouraged at times but really for the most part it is getting better and better every day.
One cool thing I wanted to share with you all… So I have gained such a strong testimony here of the power of the Joseph Smith story. While telling it (especially in Spanish) there is such a power. The Spirit speaks through missionaries every time that story is shared. Quoting the experience that he had gives me chills every time I share it.
I love this Gospel family. I am so happy with what I am out here doing and the days are going too fast! I love the opportunity to grow my testimony each day. I love you all and have a great week okay??
Oh, by the way.. for Dad. Your question about finding investigators. Really we just walk up to someones little hut type dwelling and yell Good afternoon or good night or good morning and they always come out and we chat. There is no really knocking oat the door here. Just yelling because everyone has their doors open or don’t have a door or are chilling in their hammock outside.
Love always,
Elder Ty Michael Russell
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