Elder Ty Russell

Guatemala, Retalhuleu Mission

September 23 2013- Email #62

Family and Friends,

First of all I would like to give a solid shout out to my two favorite people in the entire world…without them my very existence would not be a reality. Mom and Dad thank you for getting married over 25 years ago on Tuesday! Because you two are… I am. Deep, I know. Haha but seriously happy anniversary and I hope to be there for the next one to congratulate you in person. I thought about you two Tuesday and I love you both very much. Thanks for everything you two do for me.
This week was more or less to be honest. It was great and all but it was tough. We are seeing various challenges in our area and sometimes I do not really understand why after all the entire week of work and work and work that we have no results. Satan is so annoying…I think I stressed out Saturday night because my neck freaked out and I tweaked it really bad. I had to go back to the house at like 8 and my comp. gave me a massage until I fell asleep. Sunday morning I was still with bad pain but what could I do? We got out to find the investigators who had all commited to going to church but no one was home…so we had 0 investigators in church…the worst news possible for a missionary. It pretty much means all the work we did the entire week went to waste:( But I am not gettig down on myself. My neck is already better and we are going to work extra hard this week to bring back the miracles. I also had a test last Tuesday and it turns out I have parasites. Two different types…I have got to stop eating tacos in the street.
The biggest happiest/saddest story of the week is about Walfred. Walfred we have been teaching for a few weeks now and he really likes the church. He has been reading the Book of Mormon diligently and he prays like a beast (that means he prays really well). We teach him a few times a week and this past Friday we had an awesome lesson with him. We taught him all about why the church is true, about the authority of God, and why he needs to be baptized. He asked us when he can be baptized and we told him it would be better to ask God. We all got down on our knees and he asked God if he should have been baptized Saturday or next Saturday… the Spirit in the room was incredible. It was so great to be there and to literally see his face change as he stood up and told us that Saturday was the day.
We prepared everything, advised the members, and filled up the baptismal font. Saturday morning I had to run up to a part of our zone kind of far away to drop off baptismal clothing to some sisters and my companion went with the district leader to do the interview with Walfred. I dropped off the clothes and all and when I got back to the church to meet back up with my comp I saw him emptying the baptismal font… I was obviously confused. Apparently the parents of Walfred had told him they support him and all but that it was too fast. They wanted him to wait a bit longer. I was super upset because Walfred put his own baptismal date… We didn’t even pressure him that much. Walfred was super sad and told us that he talked to his parents almost 2 hours trying to get them to go along with it. He is 20 years old so I don’t understand why he has to still do what they say when it comes to decisions like baptism but I suppose that is just how it is.
Iris is our other more positive investigator. We had a super powerful lesson with her this past Thursday. She was crying the entire time telling us why she can’t get baptized. Apparently her husband liked to drink a lot before he got thrown into prison and she had tried to go to a church before but he had never let her go. She is afraid that when he comes back and she is going to a church he will be mad and not let her continue. We are working with her and she is really a great person. We have a family night with her tonight and I am sure it will be a good experience. We invited the Stake President so it should go well. Pray for her please:)
It is said an Eastern Monarch once charged his wise men to invent a sentence to be ever in view, and which should be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him with the words, “And this, too, shall pass away.” How much it expresses: how chastening in the hour of pride: how consoling in the depths of affliction:
-Abraham Lincoln
Epic right? Abraham was the man. I read this quote in a book an Elder here in my zone has and it really touched me. I feel like right now I am passing a bit of a trial in my mission with not having the success I want. I just know that this time will pass, as it always does. I am not worried. I am happy to be here and I know that through my trials I get stronger and I know that the Lord will bless me this week. Satan has power too but I just have to be smarter than him to be able to help these people I love so much. I know this is the true church and because of that Satan works so dang hard to discredit it and hinder the work of the Lord in all parts.
Be strong. Love as you should and all will be okay. I hope you all have a great week and know that I think of you all and miss you very much. Be good:)
Love,
Elder Ty Russell
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