Elder Ty Russell

Guatemala, Retalhuleu Mission

May 27 2013- Email #45

Family and Friends alike,

Hey Hey Hey!! Hello to all of you and I am so happy that I have another chance to write you all a brief report on what I did this week! To be honest this week was super super super normal!! How boring right? I guess for you guys…for us, as missionaries, it is never boring but it may seem monotonous to you normal worldy folk;)

I wanted to update you all of the status of Henry! We asked and asked and asked for permission to go to the prison to visit him but President Maravilla said no because it is actually very dangerous. Henry as of this moment is still in prison but I believe that he gets released tomorrow! So that is good news right? We are going to take him to an interview with the branch President on Wednesday and we are going to confirm him right on the spot! Haha I wanted to go confirm him in prison but we didn’t get permission. The permission was actually not denied by President Maravilla…it was actually denied by the area 70 here in Guatemala.
My converts are all doing super well here in Magnolia. They are all still active and are participating actively in the church. The only issue I see is that no one has callings yet! That is definitely a key factor in the retention of new converts…if they do not have callings fast it is likely they will not stay active too long! Sad… but true.
We had a super sad experience on Friday morning. We were visiting one of the places of our area that we had never visited before when a little boy starts yelling at us “Elders, Elders come here!!”. We went over to the house and the family ushered us in and led us to a garage type hut out back where we found a super old man laying in bed. The man apparently was a member of the church. He was baptized a year ago but now is getting too old. He is super weak and literally it made me cry to see him. He is skinnier than the holocaust victims. We asked his family why he hadn’t been eating and they said there is no money to buy food. It broke my heart.
Being in this country has humbled my heart so very much. I have seen the poorest of the poor and it is so difficult at times. I am so grateful for the abundance the Lord has blessed me with and I am also grateful for the opportunity I have to bless the lives of others who do not have what the Lord has blessed me with.
I went straight to the Branch President yesterday and pretty much balled him out. He told me right there that he would be cutting  a check for him this week and that he would personally go and buy him food. Also, I organized in Preisthood the young men to go and get this Brother the sacrament every week. I know the situation of this man will get better with the support of the members of the church.
I am a little stressed at the moment…Elder Lopez and I are facing challenges in our area right now. Pretty much no one came to church on Sunday because there was a soccer game at the big stadium in Magnolia during church and we had 0 investigators in church…with 0 investigators in church that means that we have 0 investigators progressing right now. I am passing a trial but I know the Lord will bless us as we continue to work hard and as we continue to be obedient to the Lord.
I wanted to leave you all with my testimony this day. I know the church that I am representing right now as a missionary is true. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the kingdom of God that has been restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith. I know it is true. I cannot deny it and I will proclaim it until I lose my voice if I have to. I know the Book of Mormon is the word or God. We can become closer to God every day by reading that book. I know that Thomas S. Monson is the prophet of God that has been called and ordained with all the keys of the priesthood here on earth.
I wouldn’t be anywhere else in the world right now. I am loving my time and the service I am giving right now. If it weren’t for this Gospel I do not know where I would be. It has blessed me more than I can express. Let it bless each and every one of you as well.
Mosiah 4:9
Have a wonderful week! Love you each so very much.
Elder Russell
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