Elder Ty Russell

Guatemala, Retalhuleu Mission

February 3 2014- Email #81

Family and Friends,

This week was awesome! Christmas finally came… Haha just kidding but I actually received my Christmas package from my family! It only took over two months so I guess that didn’t take too long, right? Haha but I must give a shout out to my Mom and Dad who got me the best package ever! I missed American candy soo much! Thanks Mom and Dad.  I also got an awesome package from my grandma and grandpa this week!  

For work this week we had kind of a crazy week. We were doing a whole lot of traveling as we went to almost all the areas in our zone to do interviews and support work. We wanted to get to know the most positive investigators of the zone and it seemed to work well. The zone is progressing well and it seems that this month of February we will have a good amount of success. 

In our own area we have a young man named Rene who went to church last week. He is super positive and will be baptized this coming Saturday! He is so very prepared and the ward already loves him. All the members have helped us a ton to be able to support him and become his friend. A recent convert here in the ward named Kevin made friends with him really fast and we are going to have Kevin baptize Rene so he has a stronger bond with the young men in the ward. It will also be good because Kevin is 18 and has about 3 months being member and is thinking about going on a mission. We hope this will help get him excited to go on a mission. 

Elder Zamudio and I are doing really well together. He is a great companion and we are already great friends. He is a recent convert to the church. He was baptized when he was 18 but he has a wonderful testimony. His parents still aren’t members but I am confident that due to the service he is giving the Lord his parents will be touched and they will one day be baptized as well. His three brothers and sisters are also baptized converts. 

It is interesting being at this point in my mission. I was chatting with my comp. the other day and we were talking about how at this point within the first three minutes of a conversation with someone we know exactly right if they will progress or not. The power to be able to analize the situation, ask the right questions and help resolve the right doubts at this point in the mission is really great. I love doing personal and companion study because I really can tell that throughout the day we use exactly what we had studied that day. Being on the mission has sure been a great spiritual experience day in and day out. I am going to miss that one day! The mission lifestyle is very pleasing. 

Right now our investigator pool is not too large. We have decided to leave the majority who have simply decided not to progress and maybe it just isn’t their time. We are confident that we will find more positive investigators like Rene this week. We had a guy in church this week named Noe who could be a similar case but we are still not sure. He is VERY humble. His lives on a dirt floor with a tin roof and has garbage all around his house…his brother is a member but really less-active. We will see where it goes I guess.
 
I totally forgot one of the coolest stories of the week! 
 

So Julio is a guy that some of the sisters in the zone found a few weeks back. They hadn’t taught him much but he already had attendance in church so Elder Zamudio and I went to get to know him a bit. When we went to visit him I decided to do a baptismal interview with him and he had a chance to learn about the Restoration. 

The lesson went really well and he understood really well. He said after all was explained that THIS is what he had been looking for…the true church. He had a testimony from the start and him and I became good buddies in the interview. 

He accepted the baptismal date for Saturday and he asked me to baptize him. The funny part is that he wants to go on a mission when he completes a year as a member but he wants to be “Elder Russell”! Haha he said he doesn’t want to wear his own last name….he wants my name!! I had to explain to him that it doesn’t quiet work like that haha. He is 18 and plans to leave on the mission at 19. 

The faith is takes to work in the mission field is incredible. Faith seems to be a focal point in many of my study sessions and I feel like daily there are experiences in lessons that help to build my faith. Teaching the Gospel is a privelege and I hope I am doing it in the manner the Lord expects. I give my testimony that Christ lives and that he loves us. This work is His and not ours as missionaries. What a blessing to be working for the winning side. 

Love you all! Have a wonderful week and never forget how much God loves you all. 

Love,

Elder Ty Russell

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