Elder Ty Russell

Guatemala, Retalhuleu Mission

April 8 2013- Email #38

Hey guys,

What a wonderful week huh? Spring is right in front of you all and the rainy season is right around the corner here in Guatemala! That means that you all will not freeze to death; and I will not burn to death from 4 in the afternoon until 9 at night. We are all content! In fact, it rained yesterday for the first time in like 4 or 5 months! It was glorious. 
I am doing marvelous! Another great week has flown by in the blessed land of Magnolia, Guatemala. My companion and I are doing our very best to edify the kingdom of God in this area that needs much edification. Our tiny branch humbles me and makes me so very grateful for the strength of the church in my home ward. It is interesting to see the church in its first generation form. Truly everyone who are members here in Magnolia learned from the missionaries and were baptized more or less recently. In Utah on the other hand, everyone is more or less in a three generation church circumstance. We are still trying to teach the members how to be members here… Haha but it is a challenge that I accept with a light heart and a smile on my face! Elder Lopez and I have much desire to help these sweet saints and to make this tiny branch a large and thriving ward one day. 
I know I am not the only one who was literally spiritually fed during General Conference. I was so amazed and spiritually nourished to hear the words of our modern day Prophet and his Apostoles and the chosen servents of God. One talk in particular really had a wonderful affect on me. Elder Uchdorf gave a fabulous talk on Saturday night on 4 titles that we, the men of the Preisthood, bare. It showed me who I am and what I am meant to do as a preisthood holder and Son of God. I encourage all to watch and listen to that talk so as to understand the funcion and titles that we, as men in the preisthood, bare. 
I am not sure if you all made the connection or not but President Maravilla was called as an area 70! How cool is that?? Haha my Mission President is a stud! He finishes his mission here in June. My next mission president is from Panama I think… I forgot his name! 
So I have a scary story to tell you! We found this man on Friday night that was digging a well at his house. We offered our help and at 7 AM on Saturday morning we went to help him dig this well. My companion decided to go down and start digging first. The well was about 4 yards deep already and was full of garbage because he had not dug in the well for about a week. When my companion was taking the garbage and putting it in the garbage bucket he noticed that there was a pretty decently large snake in the well with him! In fact, it was slithering between his legs! I have never seen Elder Lopez move so fast in my life! Haha he scurried up the side of the well yelling, “SNAKE!!!!”. We killed the snake and found out it was a coral snake… the people told us that if that snake would have bit Elder Lopez he would have been dead within 20 minutes. It was a pure miracle that he was not bitten and I know and give my testimony that the Lord protects his missionaries. It was pretty scary once we realized the gravity of the situation and how precious life is. 
Interesting story as to how we found the man who owned the well. We were walking down the street on Thursday when this man yelled at us, “Elders I need to talk to you!”. We were a bit surprised but happy to find someone so excited about seeing us. His name is Carlos and told us the first thing “Elders I want to be a Mormon, how can I get baptized??”. Haha interesting eh? Of course there is a catch… he had previously been taught by missionaries but is not married and his wife does not have any papers that she needs to get married. Rough times..but we visited him on Friday night and we found his brother, Benigno. He is about 40 or so and single but had never met the missionaries. We taught him and he was very receptive and decided that he wanted to get baptized on the 13th. We filled out the paperwork and he went to conference yesterday and enjoyed it so it is a baptisimal date now! Pretty exciting to be having more success in Magnolia. 
Also this week we met a man who is the cousin of one of the coolest members in Magnolia. His name is Enrique and also is about 41 or so. He is a bit special…he fell on his head when he was 8 and has never exactly been the same. He is still smart and lives on his own in a house on the side of his parents house so I was wondering weather or not he needed baptism. I asked the Zone Leaders and apparently he has necessity to be baptized if he can understand the Doctrice of Christ. So we had a lesson with him yesterday and we found out he has a challenge…he likes to go to the bars and hang out with the ladies… Haha so we taught him the law of chastity and he promised us he will stop going to the bars for the ladies! Quite an interesting chat… Haha so he is also going to be baptized on Saturday. 
All in all it was a good week! Elder Lopez and I really get along well and I enjoy working in my area. The district is doing really well and we have a really fun group of Elders and Sisters. 
I just want to share my testimony with all of you of the importance of the fact that we have a living Prophet upon the earth. I know that when we obey the prophets, we obey God. I encourage each and every one of you to study the talks that were given this past Saturday and Sunday and really take the words and put them in your hearts. It will shape your lives. 
I love you all! Have a wonderful week and may God bless you all. 
Elder Ty Russell

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