Elder Ty Russell

Guatemala, Retalhuleu Mission

August 26 2013- Email #58

Family and Friends,

This e-mail is dedicated to Joseph Smith:) My subject line would be nothing without his words. This week was a blur.. many things happened…many. We will see if I can effectively express the many magnificent moments with you all. On a steady basis this week I have been getting pure out soaked because I am too lazy to carry my umbrella with me. On many occasions I have returned to the apartment looking like a dryed up grape. Haha I love Guatemala. 

A quick shoutout to my extra fresh Mommy and Daddy. They sent me an awesome package this week with my Stake President and I literally almost cried as I opened the package to find fresh elk and deer jerky accompanied by Mothers freshly baked oatmeal raisen cookies. I had the opportunity to go pick it up Tuesday with Elder Banegas and President Giron told me all about his trip to Utah…which he hated!! Haha he does not like the people of Utah. He said when he went to church he did not think it was The Church of Jesus Christ because the people were so cold!! I felt kind of bad… but he told me that Mom and Dad were two of the coolest people he has ever met. He loved you guys and the whole family. It was fun to hear about the little meeting you guys got to have with my Stake President. Thanks for everything!! The letters were especially uplifting. I definitley felt your love and support. THANKS!! 

My companion has been a bit sick this week… Wednesday he got really sick and passed out. We worked really hard that morning and it was so dang hot. After lunch he got super pale and couldn’t even walk. We called our Bishop and he drove us to our apartment where we stayed the rest of the day. My comp. slept as I studied the Book of Mormon and Jesus the Christ. It stinks being stuck up in the house but my comp was super weak and dizzy. Friday we went to Retualhuleu to take some blood and urine tests to see what he has. We found out that he has a urine infection and a few other small things but nothing too serious. He is taking the necessary medication and we are back to working 100 percent to be honest. 

This week was one that I will never forget… Wednesday night as I was calling the Elders and Sisters to see how their day went I got a call from President Ruiz announcing that he wants to come to our area to work with us the whole day Thursday. I was a bit shocked but at the same time super excited. He had to do the interview for Edwin so he decided to come and work with us to see how our area is going and how we work. He has done it already a few times with 2 other pairs of zone leaders. 

Thursday morning he showed up to weekly planning session right around 10:00 and revised our planning session and the planning of the other missionaries in the zone until lunch. At lunch he came with us to a members house and ate and chatted. After lunch we got straight to work. We started contacting and we instantly found a house to contact. President Ruiz is an excellent teacher and his testimony was powerful. He is so very excited to work and wanted to contact every house in Mazate! We went to our various appointments already scheduled and he participated and taught, testified and challenged, walked and got wet, and everything else that makes up being a good missionary. It was truly a blessing to be able to learn from him the entire day. We finished up the day with the interview with Edwin…we were super nervous to hear the results but we also confided in the Lord and we were willing to accept any decision President Ruiz and the area 70 decided. We finished up the interview and President told us he would have to results by the next day at 9:00. President worked with us from 10:00 in the morning until 9:30 at night. Exceptional day. 

Friday morning as we were eating breakfast we got the call… Edwin, although he had killed, was able to be baptized due to the circumstances of the situation. He had killed only in combat under direct orders from higher officials and the members of the 70 along with President Ruiz gave us the green flag to go on ahead with the matrimony and baptism on Saturday! I can hardly express the happiness that filled my heart as I heard President give us the good news. After so much hard work and dedication in teaching and helping this wonderful family change and grow we had permission to have him baptized. The Lord hears prayers…that is all I have to say. We prayed HARD and we know that the Lord blessed us. 

Saturday morning we spent the entire morning setting up the wedding. The hour finally came and Edwin and Angela were married. The marriage was really special and you could tell these two people were truly happy to progress and be living in accordance with the commandments of God. 

The baptism was the best part of the entire week. Edwin was a bit nervous but he was definitely ready. Him and I entered into the waters of baptism and he took the step necessary to one day see the kingdom of God if he remains faithful. The spirit in a baptismal service is always so powerful. Moments like these make all the hard work and sweat worth it! Edwin and Angela are very content with what they have done. We have a BBQ with them tonight to celebrate:) 

Other than that we are working as usual. We have various possibilites for the coming weeks. We are focused and trying to always find more and more investigators. Elder Banegas will be leaving here on the 4th of September. I am sad to see the little guy go. We have been such good friends. I love serving the mission and I know that I have been humbled into a better servant of God. I love you all very much! Have a great week and I hope you all remember why we are here and our purpose in this life. “Shall we not go on in so great a cause?” This restored Gospel is true. Serve God with love and I promise you will all be happy and all will receive the blessings needed. 


Elder Ty Russell


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