Elder Ty Russell

Guatemala, Retalhuleu Mission

December 31 2012- Email #24

Family and Friends,

Well here I am writing once again! It is New Years Eve, the last day of 2012. I am about to enter the only year, 2013, that I will spend completely in the mission! How cool is that? I can’t wait to continue on and keep growing out here in the mission field! I hope you all have a really good New Years Eve! Knowing Mom and Dad…they will be in bed at 9:30 haha but that is okay! I am not really sure what to expect here in Guatemala…maybe just a bunch of fireworks again like on Christmas!
I was super excited to see that you guys got the package! I was really nervous. But seriously I was super super excited for you all to get it. I wanted you to video it so I could see you all open it up! The family that took it for me is really special aren’t they? They treated me really well while they were down here! The plate was hand made by a little Guatemalan man I know. He has no use of his legs and he just carves wood all day! He is such an artist! I was super happy with it and I hope you all enjoyed the small Christmas Present I could send for you all:)
It sure was great to see you all on Skype! Man, I felt like I was back home for those couple hours. It made me kind of home sick to be honest! Haha I miss you guys so much. I will always cherish each and every one of you as my best friends and most precious posessions. Also it was kinda funny… Elder Smith, after we were done talking, was saying how freaking cool my family was and everything! Haha you guys really are the coolest. Thanks for being awesome!
So this week was really stressful for me. There was a loooot to get done for the wedding and baptism on Saturday! And yes, they did come to pass! Thank goodness:) Really, to be honest, Saturday was the absolute highlight of my mission. I wish I could express in words the joy I felt as I saw Isau and Marta take that step in their lives. To see them married and then baptised together is a memory I will never forget. They have made changes in their lives that have made them both so much happier. What a validating moment for me when they each came up to me and hugged me and told me how grateful they were to me for bringing the Gospel into their lives. They are a very special family; I am just grateful to have been the tool used by our loving Father in Heaven. Miracles took place to get them to this place in their lives and all is due to the Lord. I am so grateful to be where I am right now in my life.
We do have a few possibilities coming up here soon. Within the next two weeks we will have Plassido baptised (If he doesnt drink again!) and also Kelly (The emotional pregnant 16 year old). So keep them both in your prayers! It will take miracles to get them baptized but if it is the Lords will, and I put in my 100%, it shall be done!
On a personal note I am doing really well. I am feeling healthy and enjoying my time here in Guatemala. The culture is beautiful and all the Elders and Sisters in my zone are super cool. I have a lot of really close friends here. I am kind of sad to leave in a few weeks when I have changes (and yes, I know I have changes! How do I know? You can never know! He he he…).
I felt sort of coaxed by the Spirit to leave a challenge with you all.. I want you all to take a look and do a self evaluation with your prayers. I feel like before the mission I did not exactly know how to pray correctly…or in other words effectively. Maybe as a family night tonight you could all do a little bit of studying in the scriptures about what prayer is and the literal effect it can have on you in your life. I have seen many prayers answered in my mission but only when I pray with real intent, a sincere heart, and faith in Christ. I have a testimony that prayer can change the direction of your lives if you may be discontent with where you are at. Trust in the Father.
I love you all so much and am so grateful for each and every one of you!
Elder Ty Russell

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