Elder Ty Russell

Guatemala, Retalhuleu Mission

August 19 2013- Email #57

Family and Friends,

I am fearful to finish this day…you will find out why by reading this e-mail:) This week was great. To be honest we did a whole lot of things that made it so we lost some time and we did not have a whole lot of time to focus on finding new investigators but I suppose we had to focus on what we had to in order to get these people baptized right? This week it has been raining a bit but when it rains it RAINS. Haha I have gotten soaked like 3 times this week. I actually kind of like it though…when it is raining super hard we go contacting and the people take pity on us and let us in their house to take refuge and we take advantage to teach a quick lesson. 

Wednesday night I got a text from Guadelupe!! Remember her? She is one of my favorite converts. Super smart and very dedicated in the church. My whole time in Magnolia we spent teaching her and her sister who is SUPER catholic. Her sister was really cool but never could come to church with us because she had a tortilla stand that she had to attend every morning including Sunday. Well I received the text Wednesday saying that she was baptized last Saturday along with her 9 year old daughter:) I was so very happy. I grew so close to this family during my time in Magnolia and to hear that they were baptized makes me happy that Elder Lopez and I may have not baptized her but we did plant the seed that eventually gave fruit! The mission is so awesome… Yeah. 

So we had baptisms this week!! We had two for us and two for the sisters in our ward. We baptized Carmen!! She is my favorite convert so far here in Lincoln 2. She is the most humble sweet cute little Guatemalan lady I know. She is an indigenous of Guatemala and wears the cool crazy skirts made of hand woven fabric. She is so great. We had a great time helping her to know the Gospel of Christ and helping her in her journey to Christ. People like her give me faith in the human race! She gives me the testimony that the rich and prideful are not those who will enter the kingdom of God but the poor and humble. I want to be like little Carmen:) 

Melvin also got baptized! He is kind of the opposite of Carmen. He is not exactly rich but he does have a bit of money (his dad is a drug-trafficker for crying out loud). He understands the Gospel so very well and the thing that helps him to be such an awesome guy is that he is very sensitive to the Spirit. He understands that he is a child of God and he prays so powerfully. He is one who has been converted to this Gospel before being baptized. I am very confident that in one year from right now he will be a missionary like us and he will be preaching the Gospel and bringing many to Christ. He already has the priesthood. 

Due to the priesthood he received he will be baptizing his sister Lucia this coming Saturday!! We were excited about his desire to use the priesthood and help his sister also take the path he took. We almost baptized Lucia this past Saturday but her parents said that they wanted her to learn a bit more before taking this step in her life. So this coming Saturday Melvin will be baptizing his little sister Lucia:) 

Here comes the bad news… I am fearful to finish this day because today comes the answer if we are going to baptize Edwin or not…HE wants to but we found out a tiny problem this past Friday. Edwin was in an elite special forces unit in the Salvodoranian army when he was a young man and he saw a lot of combat…he was pretty much a green baret fighter and he killed many people in his service. The stance of the church is very strict about people who have killed…we called President right away and President Ruiz has been in contact with the Presidency of the 70 to see what we can do about it. It is possible that because it was under direct orders from the army that he will be able to be baptized but also there is a possiblity that no… I am afraid! We will see… 

This week was really cool too because Saturday we had the chance to go to the temple in Quetzaltenango with our ward! President Ruiz has put the rule that we have permission to go on temple trips with our ward if we have more than 8 recent converts with us. We had like 15 committed to going so we got to go. It was an amazing trip. Our ward is SO crazy haha. They love to joke around with Elder Banegas and I. 

I spent almost the whole day in the temple. We entered about 8:30 and we helped in the baptistry until 11:00 when we had a session. Apparently the new temple video is not in Spanish still because it was the old video…but it was cool. I loved the time to be in the temple and especially in the celestial room. It always gives me renewed energy to be in the house of the Lord loving him and remembering my covenants I have made with him. 

This week was great. Many spiritual experiences and I thank God in every moment for this precious time I have in the mission field not only to serve the humble people of Guatemala but also to love them. I give my testimony to each and every one of you that missionary work is not easy but it is worth every drop of sweat and every door slammed in the face. I love it. I love life as a representative of Christ. 

Have a wonderful week each and every one of you. I love you all and I keep you in my prayers as I hope you keep me in yours. 

Love,

Elder Ty Russell

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