Elder Ty Russell

Guatemala, Retalhuleu Mission

January 14 2013- Email #26

Familia y amigos (That consists of all the Spanish I know),

Well here I am again in my crappy little internet cafe in the middle of Guatemala writing my beloved family! It sounds like you are all doing just splendid from the emails I received. I am sorry at times I do not have time to respond with very lengthy emails but an hour is too short sometimes. So you all know I am still in Pedregal 2 in Retalhuleu. We find out changes tonight about 10 or 11 so I am super excited to see if I have changes or not. I already have four and a half months here and I am almost positive I am leaving… it actually kind of saddens me.. Pedregal 2 was so so awesome. The members of our ward are super awesome and I have really loved working in this area. It will be hard to say goodbye to the humble and loving people here but at the same time it will be awesome to begin a new adventure in a new area starting Wednesday. 

So I suppose I will start off by telling you all the bad news…the baptism we had set up for this past Saturday fell. Everything was perfect, the whole family was ready and we had the baptism ready for 4 on Saturday afternoon. But…every person who gets baptized has to have an interview with the District Leader before being baptized right? So Plassido had his interview Wednesday and there was a bit of a problem….we found out that more than 50 years ago he had killed a man. I do not exactly know the situation or anything but I know that he killed someone back in the day for whatever reason. It was really hard to accept because he was so READY to be baptized. We called President Maravilla and he informed us that it could take up to more than a year to get him baptized. Sad news but those who have committed grave sins have to have wait to go through true deep repentance before baptism. We still will continue to visit Plassido and help him along his repentance path but he was really bummed he could not be baptized. 

Funny story about this guy Plassido. So he is 86 years old and is super super funny. I found out he has about 28 kids with like 9 different women and the youngest daughter is 17…if you do the math that is a little bit shocking eh? Haha so anyways I was chatting with him about his kids when he asked me, “And how many kids do you have?”, I responded “Not a one!”, He then sits and ponders for a second before exclaiming, “Well, that isn’t good!” Haha he makes me laugh so hard. He sure has lived an interesting life…but it is amazing to know that with baptism he will literally be reborn and forgiven for his sins. The atonement of Christ is astounding. 

So Friday afternoon we had another earthquake! Not very big but the table that was leaned up against the wall fell over again! It is so crazy to feel the earth literally moving beneath your feet! An experience I never really had in Utah. 

Also some funny news! I have now reached the fattest ever in my life! I now weigh 158 pounds! I am HUGE haha. Just a fun fact:) Also… Sad fact. My comp has gained 30 pounds recently. He now weighs 280 pounds… He needs to lose weight haha. The Stake Presidents wife kind of chastised his last night and hurt his feelings. But it really is for his own good! He needs to lose weight and he has started to go the gym with Elder Pinera. 

This past week Elder Rivera and I worked really hard. I wanted to leave Pedregal 2 better than I found it; that was my goal. We found a lot of new investigators but none are progressing. Discouraging at times but I know the Lord is aware of our area and the trials we face here. When missionaries are obedient and work hard the Lord takes care of the rest. I have gained such a strong testimony of that on my mission. We do all we can but really, it is never truly enough. We need the Lord as missionaries to support us. I have witnessed his hands in the work here and I am so grateful to be the tool the Lord uses to bring to pass the edification of his kingdom here on earth. 

Thank you for the support, each and every one of you. You all mean the world to me and I love you all. 

I have a testimony of this Gospel and the work I am doing. Do the basics to bring happiness in your lives. Read, Pray, Go to Church! Have a great week all!

Elder Russell


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