Elder Ty Russell

Guatemala, Retalhuleu Mission

July 1 2013- Email #50

Family and Friends…
Feliz cumpleaños a mi!! Haha well here I am on my birthday writing to all of you. Today has been awesome. One of the coolest P-Days on the mission by far. I told Elder Banegas I wanted to do something cool for P-Day because it was my birthday so we decided we would go paintballing!We took the whole zone to a huge jungle and rented paintball guns and a bunch of paintballs to run around the jungle shooting each other all afternoon. We each had 50 paintballs and I had a blast!! It was a free for all…companionship against companionship until all the paintballs were gone. I got shot three time…once in the face, once in the thumb (ouch!!), and once in the shoulder. The little paintballs hurt!! I have big welts…haha but it was cool. Even all the sister missionaries played! We have the coolest zone in the mission:)

This past week fleeeeeew by. Last Tuesday we had our last meeting with President Maravilla as zone leaders and it was soo awesome! President Maravilla was baggy…it was pretty much just a big conversation with all the zone leaders and President. He was telling jokes and really cool spiritual experiences. We had a gourmet meal to finish up and we all said our goodbyes to President Maravilla.
President Ruiz, from Panama, came this past Saturday. He seems a bit serious from the photos I have seen of him; I suppose I will find out whats up tomorrow. We have another meeting with all the zone leaders in Retalhuleu tomorrow to pretty much get to know him and see what his attack plan is. I am kind of nervous to get to know him. He has a lot to live up to if he wants to be as good of a leader as President Maravilla. I suppose he will be happy with Elder Banegas and I though; we finished with 30 baptisms and 3 familys in our zone. We took first place in the mission!
I opened up my birthday packages this morning from Grandma and Debbie and also the package from Dad and Mom!! I was very content! Thank you all for the spoils. I appreciate the sight of american junk food!! Haha I am going to be a fat 20 year old man so thank you all:)
Last night we had a really special dinner for my birthday! A family in the ward heard that it was my birthday today so they invited me for dinner and cake last night to celebrate! They made lasagna… it was AMAZING! Lasagna is like a gourmet food here in Guatemala because it is very expensive to make. Afterward we made the cake together and ate dessert to finish up the night! I really apprciated the love the people over here show me:) The people of Guatemala are my favorites.
Ohh, also tonight we have the BBQ! The bishop and a few friends from the ward invited us four missionaries over to celebrate my birthday. Right after I finish up writing we are going to the house of one of the members to eat steaks and hang out for the night:) This ward is the best ever!
For work this past week we had a lot of success. We had a baptism!! Freddy got baptized. He is a 12 year old young man and already has the goal to serve a full time mission. He is super cute and we are super attached to the cute little guy. He has family in the church but they are not super strong in the church so he never was baptized. His baptism was Friday afternoon and it was a very special service. The spirit is ever present during baptismal services. It was especially cool because his older cousin was the one who got to baptize him! We were super happy to be part of his jouney to the gospel.
We also have many many possibilities for these coming weeks…we had 8 investigators in church this week with a family. We are working super hard and the Lord is definitely paying it off with blessings. I have never had 8 in church before so I was a content man!
We are teaching one guy, Cesar, who really wants to be baptized but we found out some bad news last night about him…haha apparently he is a robber. He has come to church with us twice now and this last week a sister saw him and told us that a few years back he assaulted her business with a gun…haha does that make me a bit nervous.. Yes.
We have always had kind of a weird feeling about him because he never lets us into his house and we have never gotten to know his family. He lies a lot and he “borrowed” 100 Quetzales from the Bishop. We are a bit confused with what to do about him because he wants to get baptized this Saturday…we will see what we do. It is kind of sketchy.
On a brighter note we found a super super positive family this week. The best part is that they are a family of 6 with 5 being of eligable age to be baptized! They are not married but have a sincere desire to be married and baptized. They went to church yesterday and really liked it. The only little problem is that the husband, Marcotulio, likes to drink a bit! Haha but he is the coolest of the whole family. He jokes around with us a ton and liked the church a lot. We will see where this goes but they are a huge focus for us in these coming weeks.
Well I think that is about it!! Thank you all for your birthday wishes and I want you all to know that I love you all! I am very happy and doing well in the mission. I am happy, healthy, and working hard. I hope and expect that you are all doing what the Lord expects of you. We know his will and what we should be doing. I hope you are all keeping close to the Lord and if not know that he is waiting for each and every one of you.
Love,
Elder Ty Russell
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