Elder Ty Russell

Guatemala, Retalhuleu Mission

June 24 2013- Email #49

Family and Friends,

Another wonderful week has passed in the glorious ancient land of Guatemala. I am super content and loving everything right now! I love my new area and I never want to leave here haha. This week was full of great experiences as always. I shall start!
My cook is super awesome! Her name is Sister Candy and is a returned missionary. She cooks us breakfast, lunch, and dinner and it is really good food! She LOVES to make fun of me and Elder Banegas. She has two cute little girls who love to hit us every once in awhile! Haha they remind me of Abby with Grandpa Mosher.
The apartment is literally one of the best in the mission. We have air conditioning…we have hot water…haha we are soo spoiled. We live on a fifth floor apartment and every night we have the coolest view of the surrounding volcanoes in this area.
Speaking of the apartment…the landlord is one of the richest men in Mazate and LOVES us!  He was chatting with us the other night and invited us into one of his rooms that he is just using as storage for his stache of ancient mayan ruins! He gave us a private tour of 5 rooms stuffed with olmec, aztec, and mayan ruins. It was one of the coolest experiences ever! I asked him if I could video it all and he let me take a video! So look forward to getting my video in a few months of my private tour with the ancient ruins. The funny part is that it is all illegal. If the government knew he had all this stuff stached away they would confiscate it all.
So this week we had a baptism!! I think I told you all about Marco Antonio right? He is a young man in our area and we have been teaching him since I got here. We are good good buddies and he was super happy to take the step of baptism in his life this past Saturday. It was an awesome baptismal service! This ward is the best…seriously to go from Magnolia to here is like going from Coach to First Class!
The sisters who share the ward with us also had 3 baptisms this week. The funny thing is that the father of the young ladies who were baptized decided they wanted to celebrate after the baptism with a piñata! Haha so after the sacred ordinance we  passed out back and hit the candy out of a piñata! Super spiritual right?? Haha but it was funny…definitely my fist baptism with a piñata:) Will it be the last…we shall see!
We have a baptismal date for another young man for this Friday. You all remember Freddy maybe…he is a stud. He is super excited about his baptism but I have a sad story to tell you all about his family…he has (had) a Great Grandpa of 104  years. We went to visit them last Monday night when they asked me to give their Grandpa a blessing. I gave him a blessing of comfort and peace for his poor little body. He was already more in the spirit world than in this world the poor thing!
Elder Banegas and I were plugging along in a tuc tuc Tuesday when we saw a procession with Freddy and his whole family walking behind a pickup with a coffin in it!! I killed the poor old man! Haha all the missionaries have been making fun of me and the members of the ward are all like, “Hey, Elder Russell you should visit my mother-in-law!”. Haha how messed up is that?? I didn’t mean to kill the poor man.
This week was awesome. We worked really hard and found a few really positive new investigators. You know you are a decent teacher when the investigator asks you, “How does one become a member of your church?”  Haha we are doing well! I am happy and healthy and living the life of a missionary!
The only rough part was the death of Elder Taufa…rough story. He was a good friend and will be dearly missed.
Keep being good people please! Pay tithing, go to church, do family night and all that other jazz!
Elder Ty Russell

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