Elder Ty Russell

Guatemala, Retalhuleu Mission

June 3 2013- Email #46

Sup dawgs…
Well here I am! Lately I have been getting very very wet haha! The rainy season is here in full force and it is raining like cats and dogs every day. I suppose you could say I am content with it though, the rainy season feels cool because the sun is not destroying us ALL day like in the summer. Also, most of the mosquitos have now been killed so I may not get some random disease at least for the next few months! 
Henry… is still in prison. And if his wife doesn’t have 5000 quetzales by tomorrow he gets moved to the prison in Quatzaltenango…if they come up with the money he gets released tomorrow! I am not sure if at this point we will have to re-baptize him or not…we will see what happens tomorrow I guess…I am super nervous for it!  
My first son born in the mission is gone…Elder Suchite has now gone on to Mexico (his original mission). He was here in Retalhuleu for visa issues. I was super super sad. I know that while we were comps we were not exactly BEST friends or anything but we did get close. We are good buddies and I know I am going to miss him a lot. He is a great missionary and I know that I will remember him as a good companion. We just finished up eating lunch with him and the Stake President to say bye to him. He told me some very special things that meant a lot to me. 
This week went super super well. We have progressing investigators again! I was super discouraged last Sunday when no one came to the sacrament meeting but I am over it! We worked super super hard and we worked with the members a lot this week to have people in church yesterday and it worked! 
We found a super super awesome family last week that live in Chuatuj, the part of my area that is in the middle of NOWHERE. We definitely found them by the Spirit because literally we never would have randomly contacted this house if it wasn’t for the spirit. This family is super young but super humble. The guy is a policeman that works in Quetzaltenango during the week. We have been teaching them when we can and they understand the restoration of the Gospel so well! It was amazing to see them react to the message. The Spirit is amazing and literally the only important factor in the work of missionaries. I love teaching a lesson and seeing the faces of investigators like “MY GOSH, THIS IS TRUE!!”. It is super gratifying.
They came to church on Sunday but… there was a problem. We have an old man in our ward who is like 80 and pretty much crazy. He is like the first member in all of Guatemala and thinks he knows everything about the church. Yesterday was fast and testimony meeting and with my investigators there in the church he had a crazy attack. He got up with his oxygen tank to go to the stand and I thought, “Cool, He is a cool guy and has a strong testimony. This should be good for my investigators.”  Boy, was I wrong!! He got up and started yelling at the branch members!! Literally! He starts naming like half the branch saying how no one ever visits him and how they are all horrible members of the church. I have never before in my life had the desire to punch an 80 year old man before…but sad to say Sunday I wanted to punch that old crazy man! I was SOOO embarrassed in front of my investigators. They were cool about it though… I just told them afterwards that he is old and kind of crazy and how sorry I was! They were fine but I was super ashamed that they had to be there for that experience. 
Oh, and also we had a cool mission activity this last week! Friday we invited the whole branch to a movie night at the church. A bunch of members came and some brought investigators for us to meet. It was a good night and I feel like it helped get some of the members excited for missionary work! We watched the Joseph Smith movie and I know that it was a spiritual experience for the members here. 
So wanna know why I am famous?? I was on the Guatemalan news!! Seriously! We had a new ward house built in Colomba and we had the open house this last Saturday. The new building is amazing! Seriously it is super super beautiful. The view from the bishops office is like a lush Guatemalan jungle with a smoking volcano in the distance. It is amazing. For the open house we had all the missionaries in the zone there to help us out introducing the church to the little town of Colomba. More than 320 people came to see the chapel and take a tour of it. The tour guides?? My comp and I! Haha it was super cool! We got to go around and show all the people what is inside the Mormon church and we explained some church doctrine as well during the tour of the chapel. So to explain why I was on the news…my companion and I got to give an exclusive tour of the chapel to the news and we were filmed the entire time haha! It was a bit nerve racking but I believe the Spirit helped me out for sure! We were able to give a wonderful presentation and more than 180 people came to church in Colomba yesterday. The general attendance is 60… Haha so yeah, the open house helped out a bit! I bet more than 30 or 40 of the people we gave tours to get baptized! Super cool experience. 
My invitation this week…study a bit in the book of Ether. What an amazing story that is. The brother of Jared was a stud. See what you can take from the story and let me know what you find out next week in your emails okay?? 
Thanks for everything family! I sure love you all. You are the best. 
Elder Ty Russell

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