Elder Ty Russell

Guatemala, Retalhuleu Mission

January 7 2013- Email #25

Family and friends,

I really do not believe it has been six months. I feel like I left a week ago and am writing you for the first time right now. The mission goes by waaaay too fast. I know that for you it may not be going as fast but for me it is unfair! I wish it would slow down a bit so I can remember it better haha. Although, I will have you know that I am keeping my journal still. I still have not missed a day in more than 10 months now. Quite the accomplishment eh? 

So a bit about my week… First I will start with New Years Eve night. It was so much fun! The zone leaders from Reu (The zone right next to us) came and stayed the night. All night we played cards and ate junk food until about 1130 or so. After that we all climbed to the top of our two story house and set up our very large arsenal of fireworks for midnight. Some members we know gave us a TON for free. It was so so awesome. So here in Guatemala at midnight on New Years Eve the world explodes. There is literally a ring of fireworks everywhere you look. We had the perfect view from the top of our house and had a great time watching them all and enjoying the entrance into 2013. I will definitely miss the fireworks when I go back to Utah. It was a good New Years Eve. 

Also kind of a funny experience…so last Monday we were shopping for our food for the week and we ran into President Maravilla right? We started chatting with him a bit and he shared his concerns for the state of the mission for February. As he was talking this woman comes up and starts looking at the Tuna next to us. President then went on to say to us, Elders this month we need to baptize everyone everyone everyone. If it has respirations, baptize it. He then turns to the lady close by who was hearing our conversation and says, Right Sister? When can we start with you?? It was sooo funny! The lady, very confused, skittered away without saying anything. Presidente then went and chatted with her a bit and got her information for the missionaries in her area. I could learn a thing or two about the attitude of President Maravilla. He is an awesome guy. 

Oh, and by the way. Kind of random but all the Zone Leaders had changes this past Wednesday. Elder Flores went to the office as Assistant to President Maravilla and we have a new Elder living in the house. He is a cool guy, his name is Elder Pinera from Costa Rica. He has 20 months in the mission and was actually companions with Elder Solomon at one point. He is trying to convince me to dye my hair black…so if you get a picture next week and I have black hair… It is his fault! I think I might do it though… Haha it could be interesting. I would look just like Dad! 

A quick update on my few investigators who are progressing… Plassido is doing well. His baptism is set up for this next Saturday and he is excited for it. Now I just have to pray he doesn’t relapse and drink again! He is kinda crazy…but a good man! It is fun to teach him and listen to his crazy stories. 

Kelly…she has no desire. We found out that she doesn’t believe there is one true church and she is not too interested in being baptized…so that was really discouraging this week. But all I can do is continue on and find those that they Lord has prepared for us. 

We actually did find a lot of new investigators this week but none went to church so really they have made no progression…sad but true. We will see what we can do for this next Sunday! 

I want you all to know I am happy and doing well. I love the mission. It has changed my life completely. I have bettered myself in many ways since I left six months ago. I hope I can continue in the right direction and keep improving. I know I still have much farther to go. I have a testimony of the church I want you to know. I know it is the restored church directed and guided by Jesus Christ himself. I know that when we trust in God and give him our will he will form us into the person who he knows we can become. It sure isn’t easy, but it sure is possible. 

There was a quote I saw this week in a church magazine that really touched me. It is by President Uchdorf who said… Compared to God, man is nothing; yet we are everything to God. 

Ponder that and know that God has a plan for each and every one of us. We just have to do our part by keeping the commandments and truly becoming converts to the church. 

Stay strong family. I love you all so very much. I pray for you often and hope for each and every one of you to be successful children of your Father in Heaven. 

Love,

Elder Russell

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