November 11 2013- Email #69
Well well well, I can now say that I survived 16 months in the mission Guatemala Retalhuleu. I have survived volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and small hurricanes. It has been a heck of a time I must say. Haha and the good part is that each day is a new adventure and I can definitely say that I learn something new EVERY day. I am so grateful for the time I have been able to be out here serving the Lord. I am sad though that the time seems to be going by all too fast. I already consider myself as more of a Guatemalan than a North American. I really love the Guatemalan people. It is a beautiful and very humble country.
My week went just stupendous. Elder Herrera and I have been working hard and the Lord has been blessing us with many trials and difficulties. But I suppose through the hard times, as I have said before, we are growing stronger and we are seeing miracles as well. The area we are in is really a tough area due to being in a very centric area. It is tough to find people who are willing to listen in like half of my area. We mostly work out in small villages around the city. We seem to have more success there than anywhere but it is tough sometimes for the people to go to church because they have no money and they have to take a bus. Others are just plain unreliable. Sometimes we make an appointment to go bring them to church and they assure us they will be there but they end up having left to go to the market or some lame excuse like that.
I was really happy on Thursday because I had permission to go to the temple in Quetzaltenango with my ward. We had a really good time. The best part was that Melvin got to go with us and he got to go and do baptisms for the dead. It was a really great experience. He loved doing baptisms and he said that he is going to go each month when our ward organizes the trips. I especially loved my visit to the temple because the new video came out in Spanish on Tuesday and so for Thursday we had the chance to really enjoy the temple and be instructed by the Holy Spirit. It was a great experience to be in the Lords house and to be able to pray to him and receive revelation. I sure hope you losers in Utah who have temple recommends but don’t go at least once a week wake up and GO:)! It is such a blessing in the life of the Latter Day Saints.
We had a breakthrough with Melvins Mom, Iris. She has not been progressing for the last few weeks because of all the drama with her husband being in prison and everything…we had a really special lesson with her on Friday and we talked about the plan of salvation. She loved it and she said that for the 16th she may be ready for baptism. We are going to go tomorrow with the Bishop to see if she is still willing to keep moving ahead with the goal for the 16th. We sure hope so!
Grasiela…She didn’t go to church this week. But she is really sweet. We are going to continue trying with her and maybe for the 23rd she will be ready for baptism. Pray for her that she continues progressing!
Sunday morning as we left the house to go to church I asked the Lord in prayer if he would give us a miracle for all the hard work we have been putting in to have a baptism. My prayer was answered as an older couple maybe in their 50’s walked into sacrament meeting yesterday. I went up and introduced myself and they explained that the wife, Patricia, is a member but has been inactive for 30 years. The spouse is named Juan and yesterday was his first time. They really loved the church and they are very likely to be our family baptized in November. It is a partial family but they are wonderful canidates to go to the temple to be sealed a year after their baptism. Juan told us he loved the church and that wherever his wife went he would go. It was such a blessing and literally the Lord supplied us with the miracle we were waiting for.
This week was great and I feel edified each and every time I have the opportunity to open my mouth and proclaim this Gospel. I feel so blessed to be part of this great work. I invite each and every one of you to try and open your mouth with someone about the church this week. Sometimes we are scared to do so but the Lord has promised us many blessings in helping the work of salvation to progress. Do it! I want a report in my emails this following week. Thanks!
Love you all so much! Have a wonderful week. Blessings!
Elder Ty Russell