April 7 2014- Email #90
Family and Friends,
I have received my last area…I had changes this past Wednesday…rough times too because we had just met back up with Karla and we had all decided on the 12th of April for her baptism. She was super excited but maybe I will get permission to go to her baptism. I am close by still!
So Tuesday morning I was doing my companion study with Elder Zamudio when I got a call from President Ruiz. We chatted a few minutes about some things that were going on in the zone and such when he stopped a few moments later and told me, “Elder Russell, I would like you to know that I have prayed and I have looked and I have felt the impression that the Lord has called you as the new assistant. AP… Haha I was just like… “Well, so be it.” I told him that I gladly accept and that I was excited about the new opportunity I would have to serve. Soooo…there you have it. My last 2 changes here in the mission will be as the AP to President Ruiz.
My responsibilities are various. I have an area where I have to work 3 days a week. I will explain more about that later…we have meetings with President frequently to decide about the administrative aspects of the mission. We help to make changes within companionships and we counsel with President about how we can have success as a mission. We are also responsible 3 days of the week to be out doing divisions in diverse parts of the mission training the zone leaders about how to be a good zone leader and also training troubled missionaries. We travel a lot. I am excited to get to know the parts of the mission I have never been to before.
It is an interesting but very stressful assignment. I am still adapting to the new assignment President has given me but I am really liking it too. My companion is from Peru. His name is Elder Angulo and he is finishing his mission right now…this is the first companion I have ever been with that is finishing his mission. He is great though…he is never “Trunky” as they say in the states. We work hard and we have fun too. I am sure learning a lot as I have the opportunity to work with President Ruiz and Elder Angulo. We have lots of work but I love to be part of helping other missionaries as well as our own investigators.
Since we are out of our area 3-4 days of the week we have to work super hard the days we are in our area. This Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday we worked like crazy finding new investigators and inviting people to the General Conference. We have a large desire to baptize even though we have limited time. We had 4 investigators in the Conference and we have already gone with the Bishop to put baptismal dates with 2 of them.
The two who have baptismal dates are investigators that Elder Angulo had with his old companion but they had never gone to church. We taught Sabino and Regina and we committed them to go to the conference and they came! It wasn’t easy though… Sabino has a drinking problem and Regina was going to an Evangelical church for a long time…they have difficulties but they have both been super receptive to the teachings. They are an older couple…she is 65 and he is 76. They received a visit from Reginas old Pastor this week right after we taught them Friday night. We went to pick up Sabino Saturday night for the Priesthood session and he told us straight up “NO, I am going to my wives church…the Pastor gives me money.” We were super ticked…we told him that if he did it and went with them he would have no hope of ever making it to heaven because he would be choosing money over the truth. He changed as we explained to him the need for the truth. He and his wife both went to the conference Sunday morning and they loved it. We went last night and firmed up the baptismal date for this Saturday! We are super excited for their progress.
We are also teaching a young man named Julio we found Friday morning while we were out tracting. He is super humble and accepted right away to go to the conference with us. He went with us to the Saturday morning session and loved it! He is probably getting baptized as well with Sabino and Regina…he is 16 but his family is CRAZY evangelicals….they like to cast out devils and demons and stuff…who knows if they will give him permission. We are going to see him tonight to see what he says but I have faith he will accept. He is really special!
I love this work. This time as a missionary is precious and I am trying to take advantage of every minute. I know this is the true church and I love the blessing I have to represent Christ during this time. It is going by all too fast.
Elder Ty Russell