Elder Ty Russell

Guatemala, Retalhuleu Mission

December 10 2012- Email #21


Well this week was quite a change… not really actually. Kinda…. I am still in Pedregal 2 but with a new companion! His name is Elder Rivera. Super cool guy. I will explain him later. Also Elder Valladares had changes so we now have 2 new Elders living in our apartment.

Speaking of the apartment…so we completely rearranged everything! We cleaned the place up and down. It is super nice now. There was this old junk room that had a ton of crap in it…it also was the biggest bedroom in the house. We ended up moving everything that was in that room into my old tiny room and we moved. The Zone Leaders are living in the giant room and we are living in the other room that they used to live in… sorry if that was confusing. But we now have another bathroom and a sofa in the house! And our house is clean! So much easier to live in cleanliness. The house has also been totally Christmased out! We bought a Christmas tree and a ton of green and red paper to do a Christmas chain all around the house. It looks great! I will send pictures.

So I suppose to explain my new comp…he is a big man. He is like 240 pounds and like 5 feet tall haha. He is from Nicaragua and LOVES to cook. We get along really well together and are already good buddies. We are working super hard and are starting to find success. At first I was a little worried though…his old comp at the changes meeting told me “Hey, Elder Russell you are going to have to make this guy work. He likes to take long naps and sleep in. It is really hard to get him to work.” I don’t know what this guy was smoking because Elder Rivera is a hard worker. He has gotten up on time every day and we have worked harder than Elder Solomon and I worked. As you can imagine at first I was super super worried… “Crap, this guy is going to want to sleep all day and we are going to have problems” I thought. But this guy is awesome. He does like to pressure kinda a lot…which is good. But there is a difference between pressure and divine pressure. We are learning how to work and teach together and things get smoother every day. But all in all I am super happy with my comp. We will make a good companionship and we are going to baptize.

This past Friday we had training with President Maravilla and that is always good. He is such a good leader. Super inspiring. I learned a lot about how to be a more effective missionary. Up to this point we really haven’t been utilizing the members in our area as much as we should. Missionary work can absolutely not be done alone. Elder Rivera and I have come up with a few ideas about how to get the members excited and ready to work with us.

So to give you an update on where we are at… Jose Alvarez…the guy I was supposed to baptize Saturday did not really work out. Sadly I think we are going to stop teaching him. We have given him plenty of chances and he just is not coming to church regularly. President has said that we need to be careful with our time. I don’t want to waste time if he just really doesn’t have the desire to be baptized. I know the Lord is preparing others who are ready.

Kelly and Douglas. These two sixteen year olds…so kinda funny story…I kinda gave up on this Kelly girl because she got in a fight with Douglas and she left him to go live with her Mom. On Saturday we found Douglas (remember…he is only 16) in the street drunk with his cousin (also…these two are both members…). We talked to him and helped him and his cousin and Douglas called Kelly the next morning and had her go to church with him. We taught Kelly again after church and she wants to be baptized. We are going to marry them and baptize her on Saturday if the parents all agree and sign the papers. (Pray for this girl please!)

My other investigators… Meh. They did not go to church this week so I suppose I won’t give an update on them. Really if they don’t go to church it means they aren’t progressing. Our focus right now is to find new investigators so we can find the people the Lord has prepared and are ready to make this covenant with the Lord.

One thing I learned this week in regards to those who aren’t “ready” I found in second Nephi 33:2. It is a hard reality but even teaching with the Spirit a powerful and true message there are going to be those who harden their hearts against the Spirit. My heart aches to see these good people reject the truth but we can only do what we have been called to do. We can’t force them to accept it.

I have a challenge for the family this week. I want you all to have your family night tonight and utilize Preach my Gospel. In my interview with President Maravilla a few weeks back he left me some homework before my next interview. I have to study chapter 4 in P.M.G on how to recognize the Spirit. Studying this chapter has blessed my life. I want you all as a family to read this and ponder. I expect in my emails from you next week how we, as Gods children, recognize his Spirit. I know if you take my challenge and do it you will grow spiritually.

Love you all so very much. I am happy and… not very healthy actually…. But I am happy! Keep me in your prayers as I keep you in mine.


Elder Russell


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