Elder Ty Russell

Guatemala, Retalhuleu Mission

November 4 2013- Email #68

Family and Friends who still care about me,

Pamela Russell will be having a birthday tomorrow! Congratulations Mom and I wanted to give you a nice shout out so you can know that I will be thinking of you tomorrow and that I love you very very much. Happy Birthday!! 

I had a solid week…It was interesting and many things happened. I am kind of trying ot think of where to start… Ah… Yes, I am now back to being companions with my real companion! Elder Herrera and Elder Russell the dynamic duo! We are content because I was struggling pretty much working by myself this week and Elder Herrera was going nuts in the house. 

One of the mini missionaries was sent to the mountains of Guatemala to work with another missionary on Tuesday so I had to find a member to help me out this week. I was thinking who could do it when I had this feeling to call Melvin…my recent convert of about 3 or 4 months. I called him up and he was all for it. He packed up his bags and came to live in our apartment and everything for like 4 days so he could help me out and go out to preach with me! It was such a cool experience to be able to work with him. He was a great companion and I had fun being out and answering questions to him about the mission. He is super excited about the day he can turn in his own mission papers and head out to serve the Lord. I will never forget this week for the few days I had to work with Melvin. We had a great time.

Friday was “The day of the Dead” here in Guatemala and they have the tradition that everyone goes to the cemetaries and spends the ENTIRE day there. They bring food and everything so they can stay in the cemetary and cry and scream about the death of their loved ones. Friday morning Melvin and I had pretty much nothing to do so we decided we would go to the cemetary and put a table in the entry way so we could hand out pamphlets about the Plan of Salvation. It was super epic because we were surrounded by literally crowds of people taking pamphlets and some other little things we offered. It was way fun! 

Also, on Friday morning I became famous for the second time here in Guatemala. The first time was in Coatepeque when I gave the tour of the new church and I was the tour guide for the news. I was on TV and everything haha. This time on Friday I saw the mayor of Mazatenango and I decided he needed to be contacted. I ran up to him and started opening up the pamphlet to tell him about the Plan of Salvation. It was kind of nerve-wracking though because all of his body guards holding assault rifles around him were a bit intimidating haha. Apparently in that moment the news cameras were placed on him and for the second time I ended up on Guatemalan Televison! I had a bunch of members tell me they saw me on TV! Epic right? 

On Thursday we had a really good zone meeting and I feel like the month of November is going to be a great month for the zone. All the Elders and Sisters are working hard and we are going to finish baptizing a lot. President Ruiz even came once again and just like last week shows up right as I am about to give my message to the zone! haha I was kind of nervous but it is cool to share in front of President and his wife. They are super cool. They bought us Pizza from Dominos pizza after the meeting and we all ate lunch together. 

Jimmy… he was a really positive investigator but he does NOT want to be baptized until he is 1000000% sure this is the true church…he always comes to church and has read like 1/3 of the Book of Mormon but he is just not ready yet to accept. I am going to have to stop teaching him because I feel like he is just looking for knowledge and not for a real spiritual progression. I was kind of sad about that this week. Especially because we even fasted together for his answer but he said that he still felt like it was a “no” for right now. 

On a brighter note we found a really sweet and humble lady named Grasiela who came to church yesterday. She loved it and she is the nicest little lady I have ever met. She can’t read or anything but is super humble and so she seems to accept simple truths and she is willing to spiritually progress. I am going to go with her tonight to see if she will accept the challenge to be baptized! Pray for me and for her please! 

There is a big difference between Jimmy and Grasiela… Jimmy is really smart but he is not humble enough still to accept the will of God instead of his own will. Grasiela is not as “Smart” to worldly standards but she is humble enough to feel the spirit and ACT instead of reject it. I have seen many cases similar. 

I am happy though:) Back to working normal and I have had a really good week! I am excited to get to work tonight and start off this week with a bang. We are looking forward to seeing some baptisms coming up shortly! Thank you all for the support you show me! I love you all and hope you are all doing well. 


Elder Ty Russell


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