Elder Ty Russell

Guatemala, Retalhuleu Mission

October 15 2012- Email #13

Hey family!

So Mom first of all I definitely did not receive that email two weeks ago! I don´t know what happened but I did not get it. Weird… But anyway I know you wrote it and sent it now right? ´
From all of your e-mails it sounds like you are all doing just fantastic! I love to hear about all of your weeks and how you are doing! And I am especially happy to be getting my package probably next week! Thank you so much for that. I know it can be expensive.
So for Elder Russell life is good right now! This week seems to have flown by just like all the others. I have a few funny short stories to share.
So Elder Solomon and I were walking down the street in one of our little towns and all of a sudden we hear someone calling us over. We expected them to be members because generally only members yell out to us to come over… So we ended up meeting this man and he told us pretty much his life story (which really was pretty sad). He ended up telling us this story inside of his story about how he had his own gun and when he tried to commit suicide the gun wouldn`t fire. It was really a strange situation… we were trying to help him because he is super depressed but he literally wouldn`t let us get a word in.
Also something kind of funny that happens here a few times a week is the drunk bums that always come up to us and seem to have the gift of tongues… they are always spewing off English swear words whenever they see us. The only English words people know here are swear words… And they ALWAYS have to say something in English when we pass. It is so weird. (And sometimes pretty funny)
Also every once in awhile we get the drunk men who try to tell us our church is wrong and Joseph Smith was crazy and such. Always interesting to hear their opinions!
Another thing here is that everyone is Evangelical right? So whenever we have a lesson with an Evangelical we always know how the prayers are going to go… It is weird. They start screaming and yelling all kinds of strange things and everyone prays at the same time so it is pretty much chaos. I can barely keep myself from laughing at some of them because they get SO into it. The first couple of times it happened I was terrified but now I am just used to it and expect it.
So I had a really good experience Saturday night that I wanted to share. We had a lesson with a couple families that were sitting outside their house. We just walked up and contacted them and they were willing to listen to our message so we shared the first lesson with them. The cool part is that I have never had a lesson go so well for me. I felt the Spirit guiding my words and speaking through me. I taught more than 75 percent of the lesson and Spanish wasn`t a problem at all. I didn`t even have to think about it. I was so grateful for the help of the Spirit and the gift of tongues. I was walking on air that night! The only thing that upset me about it was the people we taught were the typical Evangelicals who have had the term “We are the church, it doesn`t matter what church you go to” pounded into their heads by their pastors for the last 20 years. We hope they felt the same Spirit we taught with. We are going to go back later this week to see how their prayers went and such.
Another really spiritual experience was yesterday during fast and testimony meeting. It was my first one in my ward and it was great. Hearing the testimonies of each one who shared was such a privilege for me. These people here have such beautiful testimonies. They are true disciples of Christ and have such humility. They are the perfect example of storing treasures in heaven where moth and dust does not corrupt. They sure do not have treasures on earth but they are doing all they can to follow the example of Christ. It was humbling for me to hear of their testimonies and feel the Spirit they have. I am so grateful to be serving here.
So my investigators update for the week:
Allan and Nancy did not attend church this Sunday so they can`t get baptized this Saturday because they need two attendances before baptism. So Allan and Nancy aren`t married so we talked to them and we are going to have them married and baptized together on the 27th of October. We are so excited for them and I really hope they hold strong to their decision.
Jose Alvarez also did not attend sacrament but he is a really good guy and I have high hopes we can get him baptized soon. The only problem is he needs his two church attendances and he has a smoking problem. We are going to start teaching about that this week and see what we can do.
Ana Maria is still out of town… She gets home Tuesday and we hope that we can get her baptized this upcoming Saturday. Pray for her!
Also we found a family that is less active who have 3 sons who have never been to church. We have taught them twice and the three boys (12, 10, and 9) all want to go to church and be baptized super bad. We taught them some of the stories in the Book of Mormon and they were all super excited and interested. The problem is they were going out of town so we have to wait for the next two weeks for them to go to church twice. But we are working on it and I really hope it will work out!
Well family that is about it for this week! I love you all so much and am so happy to have your support and love. I know this church is true and I couldn`t be happier doing anything else with these two years. Keep me in your prayers as I do for you. ´
Love always,
Elder Ty Michael Russell
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