Elder Ty Russell

Guatemala, Retalhuleu Mission

October 22 2012- Email #14

Dear Familia,

Well, wow that was wonderful to hear from you all! Lots to take in! Dad got a deer huh? I knew I was the bad luck in the family when it comes to hunting. Seeing those pictures Dad sent was awesome! I expect some jerky good and soon! And nope… I haven’t gotten any packages while here! Katie said she has sent two now! My goodness. Sketchy Guatemalan mail. 
So for me…this week literally felt like 2 minutes. I can not believe it is gone. It is so crazy how fast this time is going. Especially because this week we seemed to have a lot of success. 
First story for the week… so the mission is really down on baptisms this month… like crazy low. Especially our zone and the other zone in Retalhuleu. So President Maravilla had a training session with us on Wednesday night and pretty much chastised us… a lot. But with love! So it is all good. I learned a lot and recommitted myself to work even harder. One cool thing in the training was that President committed us all to performing miracles the next day right? IT HAPPENED!
So Ana Maria… my longest running investigator has been out of town for the last couple of weeks. And I never explained to you all why but it is because her Dad is really sick so she has been attending to him. It was not a vacation or anything haha. They do not really do that down here. Especially in my little area. So anyways.. I was on divisions with the District Leader, Elder Kekaouha and we went to visit Ana Maria for the first time since she has been back on Thursday. We taught all about baptism and such and we even had a member present. The member was the key by the way… So anyway we taught and taught and testified and testified but she still just would not commit to a date to be baptized. But after we had the member (Hermana Irma) bare her testimony and such Ana Maria started crying and really opened up to us… she has had a sister who died recently and her Dad is really sick and only getting worse. She just has a lot going on right now so she was just lost. The Spirit prompted us to promise her that if she gets baptized her Dad will recover and feel better.  It was an amazing spiritual experience for all of us. Also she told me after I explained how the Spirit answers our questions how she had a feeling and maybe even a voice in her head telling her she needs to be baptized. Miracle. We have the baptism set up for the 27th of October. It was an amazing experience and it was only possible through the Spirit. 
So…to update on other investigators I will start with Allan and Nancy. 
Allan and Nancy have both accepted to be baptized and interviewed. The wedding is set up for the 27th and the baptism after for Allan only. Nancy wants to wait a few more weeks… which is okay because she still has not been to church. But everything seems to be set for this and I am super excited! Allan is one that the Lord has truly prepared to receive the Gospel. Nancy just needs a little more faith. 
New investigator this week named Manuel… He was a reference from a member and his story makes my heart ache for him. He is addicted to alcohol and smoking. He used to be on drugs but says he is off right now. He asked us to help him and he is just the saddest man. He has the desire to change now we only need to see if he has faith that they Lord can help. We had our lesson with him last night and it was really spiritual. We taught about how he can be forgiven and the Lord, after repentance, will remember his sins no more. It touched him and I could see that he wants to change. We have another lesson with him next Wednesday. 
So one thing that is super annoying…this family has a sick Mom right? The treatment she needs in about 2500 quetzales and she wants the church to pay. She is not a member and just keeps asking us to give her money. She came to church yesterday with her daughter but the first thing she said was “Where can I find the bishop”? The bishop set up a meeting with her for 5 o’clock last night so I do not know how that went and such. But Elder Solomon and I taught her the first lesson yesterday after church and I just did not see a real desire to be converted. I believe she only sees the help the church can offer. We will see on Tuesday because we have an appointment and I know that the Bishop and Stake President told her no about the money she wanted. If she is still interested in listening Tuesday we will know if she has a real desire or not. 
I wanted to tell you about this really awesome family we found! So the Mom (Reina) is less active. She has not been to church for like 20 years. She has 4 kids and they are SO AWESOME. They are 15, 12, 10, and 9. None of them are baptized and they LOVE me. Every time they see me in the street they run and start attacking me! I love them. They came to church this past Sunday and if they come next week we can baptize them! They all want to be baptized super bad! I love teaching them. 
Not really much else to update you all on! Just the normal mission stuff! I am working hard and it is really nice to start seeing some success! We had 6 investigators in church on Sunday and 2 less actives. Next Saturday we have a wedding and 2 baptisms! The future is looking good! 
Thank you all for your support! I love you all so very much and am so blessed to have you. 
Elder Ty Russell

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