Elder Ty Russell

Guatemala, Retalhuleu Mission

February 11 2013- Email #30

Family,

 
This week went really well. I ate a cockroach for money, I saw a robber get beaten up, and taught a man in English. 
 
Haha so anyways to start off I suppose I will comment on just how fast this week has gone by. The weeks are still just speeding up and speeding up! It is crazy. But I suppose that is a good thing right. It is always better to be one of the Elders who can’t count the days because they go so fast than be one who counts the days until they go home right? I suppose I will start telling you a bit about my week. 
 
I suppose I will start with the story of why I ate a cockroach… Haha yes, I really ate it… and swallowed it. It was rough… real rough. One of the young men in my branch, Pablo, was leaving on his mission Wednesday so a couple of the young men stayed in the house Monday night. We were harmlessly playing Uno when all of a sudden a cockroach was spotted and quickly hit with a shoe. It was still alive… but on the table the dare was placed… “Elder Russell, eat it.” I had no choice but to accept the bet and eat the cockroach for 100 Quetzales (do not look up how much that is in dollars… it is not much haha). The taste was horrible; I know no other word to describe it. What is worse is that it still was not exactly dead… it was super crunchy and I could feel it wriggling around in my mouth a bit. What is even worse is that I could not drink water for a minute after as part of the bet. Would I do it again? Probably not. We will see I suppose. Elder Suchite payed me the money after the experience but he claimed that he then had rights to the video footage and has now showed the whole Zone and a bunch of members! They all got a good laugh out of it and now all the members offer me cockroach soup for lunch as a joke! Haha so yeah.. I ate a cockroach.
 
Another interesting story that happened this week…we were walking down the street when we saw a robber stealing fruit off of a fruit stand in the park. The robber was seen stealing and the fruit guy grabbed him and started yelling for the police. All of a sudden all of the normal citizens and a few police officers near by start running over to the robber and started to beat him. Literally in Guatemala if you get caught stealing the people just start to beat the snot out of you and the police just sort of join in on the beating. My comp told me that there have been numerous occasions where the robbers will be set on fire here and the police do nothing! It is so sickening… I was pretty disturbed as I watched this dude get the crap kicked out of him! But we just kept walking… Missionaries should not exactly be in the middle of a situation like that. It is kind of interesting the things you learn being in a new country. There are very very different rules here. One thing that drives me nuts is all of the prostitutes! That is another thing here that is legal… Haha..ohhh Guatemala… 
 
I was going to update you about Mariela…we were going to have her wedding and baptism this past Saturday but it did not exactly happen…we went to her house last Monday night and found out that a whole group of Evangelical Pastors went to her house Sunday night and told her the Mormons are crazy and how she should never get involved with us… Haha they told her all kinds of stuff about how we all have micro chips in our skin and how they track up and brain wash us and they told her that our baptisms are of the devil because they are not in a river like Jesus was baptized and all sorts of crazy stuff. Thanks to common sense she knew they were crazy but just felt like waiting and learning a bit more about the church was the right decision. I am sort of in agreement with her! We taught her a bunch this past week and we have the wedding and baptism scheduled for Saturday! She is super excited and her son, Daniel is also getting baptized with her. They are such a great family. 
 
In that college that we are teaching at we have now developed a class of about 15 students that attend every other day to learn about the Book of Mormon. They are great students and really love to learn about it. Teaching them has grown my testimony about the power of the Book of Mormon. The only challenge with this class is that they all live very far from the church and it is really really hard for them to get to the church Sundays…but all is possible with the Lord and it has been a really awesome experience teaching at this college. 
 
Yes, this week was a little bit tough with Elder Suchite. We do not exactly always see eye to eye and we both have strong personalities. We had our moments this week but really we have worked everything out and there is no problems! It is just sometimes difficult to be with someone so completely different for 24 hours a day 7 days a week! But we both have the same purpose and we are doing the Lords work. We know that if we do not get along we will not baptize. The spirit of contention is of the devil and I am learning to lose the pride of my heart and be more humble and teachable with Elder Suchite. I really am grateful for him and so happy I have the opportunity to learn from him and grow into a better missionary from his example. 
 
Oh, also I got to speak in church yesterday! It was really cool. I spoke on the Work of the Lord and really inspired the members of the Branch to help us out more. My agenda is full with appointments to go out and visit with members this week! Haha so that was pretty cool. 
 
Love you all so so much. Keep doing what you are doing and I know the Lord will bless you. Until next week.
 
Love,
 
Elder Ty Russell
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