Elder Ty Russell

Guatemala, Retalhuleu Mission

February 4 2013- Email #29

Family,

This week was pretty crazy! It flew by and I hope I can remember all the stuff that happened so I can share it all with you! I need to start writing down what goes down and such so I can remember better!

I suppose I will start with why we had a beach party…Thursday at weekly planning the zone leaders informed us that because of our performance in the month of January we could all have lunch free one P Day. And even better they announced that the Assistants to President Maravilla gave the zone permission to go to the beach! I was so excited. I heard that the beaches here were so awesome. We went to the beach in Tilapa for the day today and played football, soccer, frisbee, and ate seafood! It was a whole lot of fun. I have a ton of pictures and I will be sending home the SD cards this week. I sure hope you actually get them…the mail here is sketchy as you know. We could not exactly swim.. but we did get in the ocean up to our knees and splashed around a bit. The water was super warm and it was a HUGE temptation to swim. When we visit Guatemala after my mission we are definitely going to this beach.

Saturday was pretty nuts in the morning…we had contacted this lady here in Pajapita on Firday afternoon who was very friendly right? We asked her if we could visit her house the following day and she agreed happily. We were with a member, Pablo, and asked him if he could go with us because he knew more or less where the lady lived. We left Saturday morning about 10 or so and did not arrive until 11! An hour by bus…Haha I have no idea if that was even still my area. When we arrived the lady was not even home. She had gone to Pajapita to buy food but the mother-in-law told us she was expecting us and to wait for her. About 11:45 or so she finally got home with a bunch of food… to cook for us. I don’t even think she knew we were missionaries! We had no idea what to do…we could not exactly tell her we had to go after buying all that food for us. She started cooking lunch for us and we started to wait. Finally her husband got home and she was still in the process of cooking so he decided to invite us to go and see the river behind their house (but it was down the side of a mountainous hill!)… we decided… what the heck… why not! So we went to the river in the middle of the jungle (Yes, these people lived out in the middle of nowhere!) and got to take a bunch of pictures! It was pretty cool. After we finished seeing the river we went back up to the house and ate a HUGE lunch. After lunch we finally identified ourselves as missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ…or Mormons right? They had no idea what that was or who missionaries were! Missionaries had never been to the area that they live… it was really cool to teach them about our religion and such. Although they did not accept our invitation to go to church (they lived forever away…) they are now really great friends. They are one of the most friendly, humble, and gracious people I have ever met! I felt bad they live far from the church… but it was a great experience! We finally hitch hiked back to Pajapita by way of a watermelon truck and made it back about 4 in the afternoon.

Something kind of cool that we have been doing this week is teaching at a college. There is a college in our area that is run by members of the church and they let us come in and give us reference after reference and we just teach in the office of the principal. It is such a sweet hookup… I may be getting lazy with being able to do this! We still have not found anyone exactly positive yet but we are working on it and I am confident that we will see fruits from the school. The teachers are all members and they support us a lot. One girl we taught in the school told us some of the problems she was facing within her family. It was really sad and I was glad to give her advice and help her feel more peace about the problems she faces every day. She told us how her Dad had a whole other family in another town and how he had seperated from her Mom. Can you imagine? To be honest I had no idea what to say at first. I am a 19 year old kid! But really I have learned more to trust in the Spirit and let it guide my words. Through that medium we were able to help her and offer her comfort.

A miracle happened this week to us! We have been teaching a family… I don’t remember if I have told you about Mariela. She has been taught by the missionaries for 9 years and we started teaching her a few weeks back. She is a wonderful lady and has one challenge to overcome to be baptized. She needs to get married! Her husband is a big tool and never wanted to get married to her and has always refused. But… Saturday night we got a call and she told us that her husband finally accepted and they are going to get married Saturday and she is going to get baptized! We are so so excited to see her finally able to be baptized and change her life. The husband wants nothing to do with the Gospel because he is kind of a drunk… but at least we convinced him to get married so she can be baptized! It was truly a miracle. And really the thanks is due to the Lord and the Spirit touching this family. Wonderful blessing.

One more cool story…Thursday night we took Mariela and her family to the church to play soccer at about 8 or so. When we arrived there all of the Young Women were sitting about chatting. They unlocked the gate and let us in and told us that a store just down the street had been robbed just 15 minutes before. One of the young women was there and saw the event and said that the robbers saw her and had threatened to kill her. She went straight to the church and told the yound women leader who called the police and such. The young woman is 14 and could not stop crying and such (you know how girls are). They asked us if we could give her a blessing of comfort which we gladly gave. After the blessing she looked up at us with a big smile and had stopped crying. She thanked us and went home with her Mom. Kind of a dramatic story but it is always cool to help someone feel better right?

Not much else this week! Just hard work and well… more hard work! Love you guys a ton and I hope you are all doing your best to live the Gospel. Faith is not just believing but acting. Act on your faith and you will recieve the blessings the Lord has prepared for you. Love you all!

Love,

Elder Ty Russell

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