Elder Ty Russell

Guatemala, Retalhuleu Mission

September 16 2013- Email #61

Family and Friends,

I would like to warn you all beforehand that this week was pretty dang normal to be honest. Haha we preached the Gospel and had fun doing it but that is about it… so have a great week. I will write you next week okay? Bye! Just kidding… I know that if I only wrote that my Mom would kill me. So I shall continue to tell you all about my normal week. Listen up please;)
This Sunday was independance day here in Guatemala so we had some cool experiences. Mostly just drunk men in the streets and scantily clad women marching around in parades…we had to be in our house at 7:00 p.m. because it was really dangerous. The sad part was also that we were missing like 80 members from church and we only had 1 investigator in church because everyone went to the parades and skipped church. What dedication right?? But it was cool to see how the crazy Guatemalan people celebrate…cultural stuff and such I suppose.
Our zone is doing pretty well right now. We are in first place in the mission and we have some good possibilities coming up as well. I am content with the work but I just hate to see cases of disobedience. This past Friday I went in the morning with my comp. to every house in our zone and I was not happy with some of the things the Elders had. More movies and worldy music and other things that are not appropraite for the mission. I feel like when missionaries break little rules like that it says a lot about their conversion…but I have just been trying to minister the missionaries and help them realize how to have a really successful mission not just baptisms that end up being less actives two weeks later.
We had our monthly leader counsel last Tuesday with President Ruiz. It was pretty cool…haha President Ruiz is soo excited about missionary work it rubs off on all of us. I always come back from those meetings super excited to work hard and guide the zone better than I have been doing. I am definitely not a perfect leader…but I am learning from my mistakes and I feel like I am doing my best.
Today we had a really cool P-Day! We went to a huge waterfall in our zone. We went with our zone and we also planned it with the other zone here in Mazate. We had an awesome time taking pictures and getting wet from the mist of the gargantuous falls. I felt a lot of stress being lifted off my shoulders as we had fun with the zone and got to get out of the city for awhile to enjoy some of the beauty of Guatemala. I will send some pictures so you can see too but it is always cooler in person… :)
Remember Walfred? He is the 20 year old guy who went to church last week. We have been teaching him this past week and he is progressing steadily. If he doesn’t get baptized this Saturday it will be the next Saturday. We have faith that this guy will go far. He is really humble but loves to learn. He even said in his prayer on Friday night “Father, bless me so that I can be a member of this church, I know it is the truth”. It was really special for us to hear that. The Spirit does wonders. I know that we don’t really even do much as missionaries…we are just the instrument that God uses to touch the hearts of the people with his Spirit.
Melvin, our recent convert of about a month and a half has been a ton of help this week. He has been visiting with us and has given us a few great references of friends. His Mom went to church Sunday and really liked it. Her only challenge is that her husband is still in prison and her little four year old is a bit of a handful haha. But she is really great and we are working with her.
In my study this week I had the opportunity to run across a scripture that really touched me in Alma 26:12. I encourage you all to look it up and study it. It helped me a lot to see how I can have success in this life. Humility is highly important in this work. After each miracle or spiritual experience I have had on the mission I try and go home after the day and kneel down before God to give him thanks. Without him we are nothing…literally nothing. I love to serve him and to glorify his name. I will do it not only these 2 years but my entire life.
Have a great week okay? I love you all so very much and I desire your well being. I keep you all in my thoughts and prayers and I hope you can all do the same for me.
Love,
Elder Ty Russell
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