Elder Ty Russell

Guatemala, Retalhuleu Mission

January 28 2013- Email #28

Family,

Yes, I am a bit stressed. But hey, that is the life of a missionary right? I believe stress is a good thing. It helps me grow and work harder. I, to be honest, can hardly remember the week that passed! We worked super hard in our area and found a bunch of new investigators but to be honest only a few are positive. To baptize one person you have to find 100! Haha but it is a challenge and I am liking the challenge. In this zone, Coatepeque, there is a lot more pressure from the leaders and I am starting to feel it.
My area is still really awesome. I am liking it more and more as I work here. The members are all so awesome and willing to help that it makes working here easier. Elder Suchite and I are becoming better friends each day. It is cool to have the experiences that I am having learning to deal with all types of different people. I really enjoy working with Elder Suchite and he has helped me grow a lot.
Speaking of Elder Suchite..he almost died this week. We had training with President Maravilla this past Wednesday and Thursday in Retalhuleu (about 2 hours away from Pajapita) for all the Elders who came in my group (those who now have a little over 6 months). The training was awesome and President Maravilla is an inspired man. I have learned SO much from him in the short time I have had to get to know him. Anyway, back to the story of Elder Suchite almost dying… on Thursday we had to wake up at about 5:30 to be in Reu for the training and Elder Suchite told me he had terrible stomach pain all night and could hardly sleep because of the vomiting and Diarrhea (rough times eh?). So we went to Reu and started in on the training when the stomach pain came back to him… but worse. He was literally doubled over in pain. So the assistant took him over to the hospital and I stayed to finish the training session with President.. Elder Suchite spent the whole day in the hospital and they finally found that he has a intestinal infection, parasites, bacteria, and eggs growing in his stomach… Haha gross eh? Welcome to Guatemala! The doctor said it was from eating in the street (Which he did not do by the way….). The funny part is that Tuesday I did divisions with Elder Chacon, the district leader, and we ate fried chicken and french fries in the street but I am perfectly healthy! Haha how horrible is that! (And a tiny bit funny right?) Haha but he is feeling better now and working hard again. The doctor gave him a ton of pills he has been taking but he is still in a bit of pain.
Now for a story a bit more spiritual…so this week I had one of the most spiritual experiences of my mission. Monday night we had family night with a family in our area who are not members and the Stake President and his family. After the family night the Mom told us that her Daughter (the only member in the family) had been having a lot of pain in her chest and it turned out that she had 3 tumors in her chest. They asked us Elders for a blessing which we gladly gave and left. We came back to visit this family Friday and the Mom greeted us and asked us to come in. She then sat us down and started crying trying to tell us a story. When she finally calmed down a bit she told us that during the blessing her daughter (17 years old) felt a very warm feeling burn down her chest. They went and had another test done on Wednesday and found out that all 3 of the little tumors had disappeared completely. It was a complete miracle and I am convinced and I know that through the power of the Priesthood she was healed. The daughter, Gabby, expressed her thanks to us too and could not tell us enough how happy and good she felt. It was one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life. To help others with the Priesthood is such a blessing of God. I will never forget the sweet Spirit I felt as they told us what had happened according to their faith.
The Mom of that family is one of our investigators and we actually have another family night with them tonight. We hope to put a baptismal date for next Saturday with her (Yes, of course she is not married). This is a really special family and I sure hope everything goes well tonight.
Mariana is still doing really well… she would be baptized this Saturday if she could. But she cannot. She is from Nicaragua and has no papers here. She is not married to Celso and we have to find out this week what papers she needs and get them so she can get married and baptized. She is one of my favorite investigators. She is super smart and understands everything we teach. Really awesome lady.
Also there are a few other positive investigators but not really too much to report! We will see what happens next week I suppose!
Thank you all for all the support you show me. I am happy right now and healthy too. I am working hard and doing the best I can to be a tool in the Lords hands. I have a testimony of this Gospel and of the words I preach. I know that I am nothing without the Spirit and that God is with me each step I take here. Hold firm to the iron rod family. The choices we make now effect our eternity. Think the Gospel, speak the Gospel, live the Gospel. Jesus is the Christ. God loves us and is directing this church through our Prophet, seer, and Revelator. The little things built big testimonies. Pray, Read, and go the church!
Love you all!
Love,
Elder Ty Russell
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