Elder Ty Russell

Guatemala, Retalhuleu Mission

March 24 2014- Email #88

Family and Friends,

This week was cool…it was full of weird things but I suppose weird things are pretty cool. Elder Zamudio and I have been working really well together and this is the month of baptisms for us! We have been working hard and I am happy the Lord is blessing us in our area. I know that the Lord is always preparing His children to receive the Gospel but it is tough sometimes to find the right people at the right time. The good thing is that the rain seems to be holding off for the moment. This week we didn’t see much rain but I feel like it is starting to want to fall hard! Not the most comforting thought but I suppose that is the mission right? Heart, Might, Mind and Strength! (Even under the rain!)

I suppose I should give the bad news first… Karla… the family we were going to baptize this coming Saturday has seperated. Mariano got cold feet and said NO…rough times. Karla was crushed. They fought about it and she ended up leaving him. Karla wanted to get baptized so badly the 29th and she felt that Mariano was not letting her progress. They have only known each other about 3 months…so anyway. We haven’t even been able to find Karla after their fight. We heard that she might even be in jail for writing fake checks…who knows. We hope to find them this week and straighten everything out! Please pray for these two…they need the prayers.

The good news?? Estanislao got baptized!! The young man who is 81 years old finally got baptized. He and Maria were absolutely thrilled!! It only took 3 attempts to get him fully under the water… Estanislao was a reference of a member so we had him baptize him but they had to have another guy their to help him hold him…after the first two attemps Elder Zamudio as well had to get in the water to hold down his legs! It looked like the three were trying to drown the poor old man!! Haha but you should have seen the smile on his face when he got out of the water. He was just beaming. Seriously he was soo grateful for the opportunity and the entire ward is just in LOVE with these two…it is not everyday that you baptize a family with BOTH in wheelchairs! They are champs…what an amazing experience.

The baptismal service was cool because we did it as a Stake. There were 4 others baptized besides Estanislao from different wards in the Stake. The service was packed and to see so many people in white was really cool. I won’t forget that experience anytime soon! It was especially cool because the other four who got baptized were all interviewed by my companion and I and we helped them with the decision they made in the end to be baptized. It is sooooo much fun to be able to go with the other missionaries and help their investigators in their progress.

This week will be great as well. I explained to you guys last week about Claudia right? She is 25 and she works for a member in our ward. She is really special and she is ready for the Gospel. She is ready to get baptized this Tuesday. It is her birthday on Tuesday and she chose the day because it is the day she was born in this world and she would love to take that opportunity to be reborn in Christ and receive the blessings she has been wanting. She has lots of challenges with her family…her husband after about a year of not drinking started back up again on Tuesday. She feels a little alone in this world and she needs the blessings the Lord has prepared for her. She accepted our invitation to be baptized and she is really excited about tomorrow.

Also we had kind of lost communication with Ester until this past week. She is doing well and she is still up for her baptism the same day as Claudia. So tomorrow we will have 2 baptisms. Ester has been traveling a lot lately and she also had a tough time because she is in rifle shooting competitions that she attends in Guatemala City sometimes. She is good to go for tomorrow though. She has been anxious to continue with her progression and she will be a great convert.

The work is going well out here in Monterrey. It is a tough area but the Lord blesses those who need the Gospel. The Stake is really supportive actually…we had a Stake activity this past Saturday and we had a bunch of different cultural dances to celebrate the anniversary of the Relief Society. Our stake is really excited about missionary work and it always helps when we have baptisms.

I love this work. I have learned so much and I know that I am growing into a better disciple of Christ every day out here sweating in this Guatemalan heat! I love it. The work is the fun. I am having fun:) I love my Savior and I love the opportunity I have to serve Him.

Love you all! Have a great week and never stop fortifying your own testimonies through service to others.

Elder Russell

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