Elder Ty Russell

Guatemala, Retalhuleu Mission

May 13 2013- Email #43

Family,

I can hardly believe that 10 months have passed since we said goodbye on the curb of the MTC! It feels like literally yesterday…sometimes it feels like it has gone by fast and at other times I look back and see all the experiences I have had and I realize that SO much has happened. I am definitely not the same person who left that day. I am so grateful for the mission and the affect it has had on my life and the lives of my converts.
First off I suppose I should comment on how amazing Skype was eh?? That sure was fun for me! You all seem like you are doing so so well! It makes me so happy to know that you are all doing so well without me there buggin! I can hardly believe how dang tall Jake it! He is HUGE! Haha but I know that I will still always be able to beat him up. I have gained weight and I ain’t afraid to use it!! All the Latinos had a riot seeing you all! They all thought Britney and Katie were soooo good looking haha. Sorry if you couldn’t see me very well due to the connection but my connection was really good! I saw you all super clearly. Only 7 and half months until the next time!!
Sorry if this email is kind of short…not a whole lot of news. I do have one good story to share. I went to Coatepeque this week to do divisions with some Elders to help some of their investigators make the decision to get baptized. The family that we focused on specifically are super sweet and humble people. They are also super evangelical…they can’t really understand the message of the restoration very well but he went to church a few weeks ago and felt the Spirit so strongly he started crying.  We ended up putting the baptismal dates with them and I did the interviews with them at the same time. The funny thing is…the brother lives a little bit far away so he asked me in the interview if he could go to our church on Sundays but the evangelical church during the week!!! I was like… Uh… NO! Haha he actually almost decided not to get baptized and he told me he had already been baptized before. I told him “No, the question is not if you are going to get baptized or not, it is who you want to do the baptism.” He sat and pondered for a minute and I was SUPER nervous he was going to say no. He ended up shrugging his shoulders and told me that he wanted me to do the baptism because he saw something very special in my eyes. It kind of caught me off guard and I was so grateful for the Spirit in that moment. I know that the Spirit helps us as missionaries at all times.
The funny thing is that Saturday we got to the church at 3:00 to do the baptism but typical Guatemala..there was no water in the church. We spent a solid hour and a half filling up the baptismal font with water from the well out back! It was decently clean water and the font was almost halfway full! I practically had to get on my knees to do the baptism!! Haha it was really special though. The brother is a very special man and very sensitive to the Spirit. He started crying after his baptism and gave me a huge hug that made my day! It was really great!
I will update you on Henry right now! He went to church yesterday and we also taught him the importance of the Word of Wisdom. We have had some really nice spiritual lessons with him recently and I am really excited for his baptism Saturday. He will be a great leader in the church coming up here very very soon. I just hope he continues to progress and Satan doesn’t put some obstacle in his way!
Guadelupe is also doing super super well! She also went to church yesterday and loved it. She has been 4 times now and is really prepared for her baptism. She is soo dang smart. I am super grateful for the opportunity I have to know her and help her on her path to God. She is also progressing wonderfully. She has a ton of family problems but seems to always have a huge smile on her face. She is also getting baptized this coming Saturday.
I ask that everyone can pray so very hard that these two wonderful investigators get baptized Saturday! We need help!! I have definitely seen miracles in my mission due to prayer and I know that each prayer you offer for me and my investigators helps. Keep me and them in your thoughts and prayers and I know the Lord will permit everything to go off really well.
Thank you all for your support and love. Sorry this week was not super long! I want everyone to think of the tender mercies that the Lord gives us each day. I have a challenge for you that this week I want each of you to write down once a day a blessing the Lord has given you that day and next Monday for family night I want you all to share how the Lord has helped you throughout this week. I know you will all see miracles! Just keep your eyes open:)
Love,
Elder Ty Russell
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