Elder Ty Russell

Guatemala, Retalhuleu Mission

December 3 2012- Email #20

Familia Russell,

Well here I am once again on this Monday afternoon writing to my favorite people in the world! It seems that all is well (except Mom… she seems to be having a rough time between her foot and teeth!). I am doing well and yes, I do have changes coming up this week! I still do not exactly know if we will have any changes or not though. We find out later today. You will all find out next week! 

So to give you all a little update on the events of the week I suppose I will explain why the subject line says that it is snowing in Guatemala. Because yes, it did snow here. But not snow! Ash was falling from the sky Tuesday because some Volcano close by exploded and my area was literally covered in ash! It was crazy. Super hard to breath. I was not happy but we had to work right? That was a cool experience. 

This past week was full of a lot of hard work as always! It is getting hotter and hotter here in Guatemala as it gets closer to Christmas. The main focus for us right now is to find new investigators. We have been asking and asking for references and we hope this upcoming week we find some success. 

A quick update on some investigators… 

Jose Alvarez went to church Sunday. He is having tons of problems right now. He is getting kicked out of his house this week because he has NO money. Super sad. He is only moving down the street though so we will still continue to teach him and such. We will hopefully have him baptized this Saturday. But he does still have to get married… we will see! 

We have a promising new family we are teaching. But… They are both 16. She is pregnant and he is a less active. We taught her the first lesson and it was well received. She has already attended church a few weeks back and we did not even know! We hope to have her baptized in a few weeks but they will have to get married… Weird huh? I may be marrying and baptizing two 16 year olds! 

My other investigators just same old! Teaching and teaching. The dependability here is a little bit discouraging. We always have like 10 people who tell us they will be going to church Sunday and only 1 shows up! Even with us going to each and every house early Sunday morning to remind them! Super discouraging. But hey, that is the life of a missionary. We offer what we have (ETERNAL FREAKING LIFE) and they choose whether or not to accept. 

I was sick Saturday. Lets just say that I did not sleep well the night before… I was up about 7 times in the night. It was a gamble to leave and work that day but I suppose sacrifice is necessary if I want to have success. And do not worry, it all ended up fine! I still have all clean garments! 

Along with that I wanted to tell you about this awesome lady in our ward. Her name is Hermana Rosy and she is one of our cooks. She cooks for us Wed, Fri, and Sat. She found out I was sick Saturday right? So she made me a special lunch of the things that I could safely eat (deemed safe by the nurse). Also she invited me over later that night for dinner so she could cook something that would be good for my stomach. We showed up at her house at like 8:30 or so and she had made me homemade chicken noodle soup. She is officially my mission mother. She loves me so much! But wait! It gets better. This sweet lady made this drink for me and brought it to church the next day. I was already feeling better but she insisted. It was so so sweet. I felt loved haha! 

So this week I have a cool little challenge for you all. I hope that you can accept it. I have been reading the Book of Mormon (in Spanish still of course) and also reading with a study journal next to me. At first I really did not want to do it (it was a suggestion of President Maravilla) because I thought it would be super difficult to receive revelation in Spanish but I decided to take his counsel anyway and do it. It has completely changed my study. There is always something that I learn as I truly study and search for revelation through the Book of Mormon. My challenge is to do what I am doing. Read the Book of Mormon with a journal to write down what you feel, think, and learn. I promise and bare testimony that you will receive more revelation and enjoy it. 

I hope also that you all had a chance to watch the Christmas devotional last night. Those men are inspired of God and had such great advice to give. If you missed it, find it on the internet and watch it! It was amazing. What a powerful Spirit those men bring. 

That is about it for this week! Next week when I write you I will be with a different companion possibly in a very different place! 

Love you all and I just want you all to know that I have a testimony of the Gospel. I love what I am doing and I love the people I am serving. Never worry about me. The Lord is blessing me. 

Love always,

Elder Ty Russell

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