Elder Ty Russell

Guatemala, Retalhuleu Mission

November 5 2012- Email #16

Familia,

Wow… So that was soooooooooo cool to see that video of Mom opening my package! I was super super nervous that it either would not get there or that it would arrive broken! I looked for a present for her forever and the painting just felt right. I hope you like it Mom! It seemed like you did. To answer the questions about the man in the painting… I do not really know. He is just a typical Guatemalan dude with a faggot on his back. It is a really famous painting here in Guatemala. I love it. Oh and with all that said HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM! I am so bummed I am not there to give you a big hug but I did my best with the package right? It is almost like me being there! To answer a few more questions… no I do not have microwave. They are super expensive and suck up a ton of power so we are not really missing it too much. Also I can get most of the foods that you mentioned. For the paisley ties probably just a mix of big and little ones. More than all I like my ties to be a bit skinnier. I trust Mom with that!
So my week went super super well! I just finished the Book of Mormon for the second time on my mission this morning! But I read it this time in Spanish and all out loud to develop my Spanish. Looking back from the first chapters that I read and the last there is a huge difference in what I could understand and my pronunciation. My Spanish is really coming along and I am going to start over reading the Book of Mormon in Spanish out loud again tomorrow! It took me a month and a half to get it done the first time. Tons of missionaries have told me how that is probably the best way to learn and perfect your Spanish.
Also this week was SUPER cool because we discovered that around this time of year (Dia de Muertes, Halloween, Christmas) they sell bombs at every little store in Guatemala (which is like every other house). There are no laws like in the states so literally you can buy a bomb (gunpowder wrapped up in newspaper) for like 12 cents in American money. We have bought a ton and every time the other Elders in the house fall asleep we throw a bomb in their room and scare the crap out of them! It is so much fun. It sounds like a war in our apartment at night.
Really not a whole lot of things different this week! Halloween we had to be in the house at 7 for safety and such. Lots of work… lots and lots of work! One story that was kind of depressing for me was this past Tuesday night. We were contacting and we ended up talking to this older lady maybe in her late sixties or so… we found out that literally she has no religion. She believes in Christ but she wants nothing to do with him. We taught her a very spiritual lesson and she was just a rock. She had no feelings. We asked her if Jesus Christ was standing here right now and asked you to do what he wants would you do it and she responded, in a very obstinate attitude, NO. Haha awkward… The lesson left me a little bit disturbed the rest of the day. Elder Solomon and I talked after and he just kind of explained that we can only do what we can do and ultimately it is her decision. I was just upset because really the Spirit was very strong during the lesson and at times I felt that she was being touched but I guess not. Some people just have been deceived and deceived by Satan until there is almost nothing we can do.
So to update you all on some investigators I have…
 1. Nancy (Wife of Allan) she is sooo frustrating. She will not go to church because she says that her three year old is too mischievous. But really her little girl is an angel! She is super cute and she plays with me every time we go visit them! I told her that Elder Solomon and I can take care of the babies and that the church really is for families. But they have their minds made up that they want her to get out of this stage first. How frustrating. Ugh.
2. Ana Maria is STILL out of town taking care of her Dad. And now apparently we found out that her Mom fell and broke her wrist. I hope she comes home soon…
3. Jose Alvarez… so this story is rough! This guy we have known for pretty much the whole time in our area but he was never receptive or anything until about a month ago when he lost his job. Ever since then he has been super humble and such and really receptive to our message. So for the last month we have been telling him that he needs to visit the church blah blah blah and he would always say he will but he never shows up! So finally yesterday he came right? We promised him and promised him that he would receive blessing from coming to church and guess what happens? His bike got stolen at he church. My gosh! That is not a blessing! Haha he was not happy… we gave him 5 quetzales for a tuc tuc and that was that. We decided, Elder Solomon and I, to buy him a new bike and fix it up. We found one super super cheap and we are fixing the brakes on it and such so we can give it to him. Goodness that was a crappy moment after church when we found that out though! This week we need to visit him and give him the bike and see how he is.
That is pretty much it for this week family! I am doing well and I am loving life right now! Thank you for all of your support and the love you give me!
Love,
Elder Ty Michael Russell
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