Elder Ty Russell

Guatemala, Retalhuleu Mission

March 10 2014- Email #86


Family and Friends,

Sooo the first news is that tomorrow I will have 20 months in the mission…I reckon I am getting old… Does that make me happy? Not really…I feel like I started the mission yesterday. Seriously I feel like these last 20 months have been the best of my life in regards to my relationship to God and the good I have done in the world. I am starting to feel bad for not extending but at the same time I know that I need to go home in June. 

So this week was kind of interesting…a lot of ups and a lot of downs…the worst down was that Ester did not get baptized. She had to go to Guatemala City with regards to her scholarship and was not able to be here for her baptismal service. We are a bit upset and all but we recognize that the Lord has his plan and that for the near future it will happen. We are going tomorrow to her house to see how she is doing and if she is okay to do it this Saturday. She is just soo very busy with all the things she has to do with school, work, and family problems that this week was really hard. We will keep helping her to progress and I am sure for this Saturday everything will be okay. 

Another down was that of the 9 families we were teaching we only are continuing to teach about 3 out of the 9. The other six were just not quite ready to progress and make the commitments and keep them. The families we are teaching are very positive and I am pretty sure that by the end of the month we will have baptized at least 2 of them. Karla is still good. She has been having a tough time lately just with her arm that she broke when she fell off her motorcycle but she is doing okay and she will recuperate. 

We had a really cool miracle this week. On Saturday my comp and I had been tracting ALL day with pretty much no success when we got a phone call from a member giving us a reference. He was walking down the street when a lady in a wheelchair called him over to help her cross the street. When he helped her to pass into her house he got to meet her husband who was also confined to a wheelchair. He explained that he was a member of the church and such and the lady, Maria, asked that we go over that very night to visit them.

When my companion and I arrived we were shocked with the state of living…they live in a tiny cement room with a tin roof…she is actually a member of the church but her husband no…she goes to the market every day and begs for money so they can eat and he stays in the house because he is 81.  His wife is only 45 but they are SO cute. They love each other so much. They accepted our invitation to go to church and the whole ward just fell in love with them! It was testimony meeting due to Stake Conference last week and some of the members recognized them and their bravery to continue on despite their situation. The husband, Emildo, wants to be baptized soon. We hope it can be for the 22nd of this month. He just needs to go to church next week and we are good! What a miracle. 

Another really cool miracle was Saturday when a family that the Elders from another ward have been teaching got baptized. I have known this family about 3 months and I have even had the pleasure to interview Noe once before to find out why he didn’t want to be baptized. After going to church 4 times and getting more familiar with everything Noe agreed to at least get married and let his wife get baptized but he still said he didn’t want to. Elder Zamudio and I went to the wedding Saturday night and I pulled Noe into another interview. I chatted with him a few minutes and I explained to him the importance of taking the step of baptism with his wife together and he accepted. We ran out to find white clothes for him and he and his wife were married and baptized the same night! It was a wonderful spiritual experience and I know this is a future eternal family. The Elders were so excited. 

Today we had a fun P-Day. We found a bowling alley in an amusement park here close to Retalhuleu. They close on Mondays but I called them up and we worked out a deal so they opened it up today just for us 18 missionaries! It was really fun. We got to bowl a few hours in a private bowling alley! We had a good time and I felt like we deserved it after having a good month last month. This month it seems that we are going to do even better. The Lord is blessing us. We just have to be grateful and willing to do our part! 

I love the mission. It is helping me every day to grow into the person I want to be. I love the opportunity I have to give my all in these last 4 months I have to serve the Lord with love. I hope He is happy with me and I know that as I work with diligence he offers me His love through the blessings I receive. 

Thanks for all the support and love I receive from you guys. I feel the prayers in my behalf. 

Have a great week! Love you!! 

Elder Russell


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