Elder Ty Russell

Guatemala, Retalhuleu Mission

March 17 2014- Email #87

Family and Friends,

This week was great. Lots of traveling and such but that is the life of a zone leader. This week I had the chance to go to the farthest part of our zone which is literally just a hick town full of dust. Haha the cool part is that when I went I got to ride a bike the whole day. It is the only area in the entire mission that has permission to use bikes. We found this family that is really cool out there in the middle of nowhere. They speak Spanish but their main language is an Indian tongue…It is an indian dialect named “MAM”. It was super cool to hear them speak their dialect…I wanted to record it but the lady got super timid and said no! haha they loved me and Elder Smith. They went to church yesterday and really loved it. Divisions are a really cool way to train newer missionaries and give a boost to an area that needs help. 

The zone this month is doing really well. We only have one area that it seems won’t be able to baptize. The problem is that in their area they had emergency changes due to some problems in the area of the other missionaries. To have changes in the middle of a change is kind of hard and it has affected the area. The rest of the zone is doing really well. Everyone is baptizing and we have lots of unity within the zone. Today for P-Day we all got together and we played basketball and soccer all morning. I always get super sunburnt on P-Days! But I am really content here in the zone. My comp. is great. We are good buddies and we have some good baptisms coming up here in the area. 

Oh, and also I am a bit worried because it has started raining this week! 3 days this week it rained so I guess I will have to buy an umbrealla again…the funny thing is that the members have told us that the street where we live floods a ton because we have no drainage system! Fun times… I will take some good pictures to send home. The last few months of my mission I will be very very wet. Especially because my shoes have holes!! But that is the work of the Lord right? :) 

The Lord continues to bless us here in our area. Estanilao has accepted the invitation to be baptized on the 21st. He will be baptized on Friday night. We have been visiting them the last few days and the relationship we have with them is hilarious! They call me “Whitey” and they call my companion “Fatty”. Haha they are hilarious. They love us. We went on Sunday morning to get them for church and right as we were about to leave the Adventist pastor came from the church they went to before. He goes on to tell them “Ah… I get it. You are traitors…going with the Mormons”. Then Maria said, “No, in the Mormon church I follow Jesus and no one else.” It was cute. 

They received a miracle this week…they are 2 weeks backed up on their rent and out of nowhere they received a call telling them that a private organization was going to pay them for the 2 months they owed and another month of rent. Free! They were soo blessed. We explained that as they are obedient to Gods commandments the blessings were sure to come and they receieved the confirmation of that real fast eh? We were thrilled for them. 

We have another baptismal date set with a girl we have been teaching for a few weeks now. Her name is Claudia and she works for a member in our ward. The member, Nery, owns a pizza restaurant and Claudia has worked there 2 years and Nery has never really been able to invite her to church because he used to open his business Sundays. This year he decided to close on Sundays so Claudia was receptive to come to church with us. She is really cool and loves learning about the Gospel. She is married and has 2 kids under the age of 8. Her husband is kind of a loser though…she wants him to change with her but we told her she had to put the example before he could have the desire to change. She wants to be baptized the 25th for her birthday. She is super prepared:) 

It has been a bit sketchy with Ester… she didn’t go to church again this week but says she wants to be baptized on Friday night with Estanilao. We will see what happens! We pray for her a lot because we know she wants to change and be baptized but we are not seeing it as her highest priority. She is ready for the Gospel though. We hope that Friday is her day! 

That is about it for me! The missionary work here in Monterrey ward is going well. The members like us and they are doing their part in helping us with the people we have. I am content and I feel the blessings of the Lord as my companion and I work hard out here under the sun and rain of Retalhuleu, Guatemala. I love my mission. I would not trade these experiences for anything in the world:) 

Love you all! 

Elder Russell


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