Elder Ty Russell

Guatemala, Retalhuleu Mission

April 28 2014- Email #93

Family and Friends,

Another week down! I feel bad for Elder Angulo because he literally has like 2 weeks left…he already extended his mission 6 weeks and even wanted to extend another six weeks! He is crazy haha….they sent a request to Salt Lake asking for another extension but they didn’t let him! It has been fun though going about working with him…he is the first missionary that I will “kill” as they say here when a missionary is finishing his mission. He is in no way “trunky” though…I think he is even more motivated than he has been his whole mission due to having to go home soon. He and Elder Holmstead are great companions. We sure cause a scene everywhere we go!

Jesus did not get baptized!! I was SOO sad…everything was going so well with him and we had everything ready and at the last second BAM it was all lost. Monday night we had a really cool family night with him and the Stake President and he was all ready to go. Tuesday through Friday we were out of our area in different parts of the mission doing divisions so we had no time to visit him. Apparently Thursday night his old Evangelical Pastor happened to stop by and told him that if he gets baptized in the Mormon church he would go straight to hell because he was already baptized in his church…we were soooo ticked. We tried everything to help him understand and make the right decision but he locked his heart..it was tough because we really loved that old fart. Maybe one day when his Pastor forgets about him again we will go back and snag him! Darn Satan!

I no longer will complain about the heat…this week I went to San Marcos 2 days and I literally froze!! On Tuesday I was in Tecun Uman…the hottest part of the mission. I worked there all day and met back up with Elder Angulo and Elder Holmstead Wednesday morning to head to the mountains. When we arrived it was fine…like a Utah spring day; at night is when it got really cold. I brought out my sweater that I have NEVER used my entire mission and it helped a bit but it was so different to work in that climate! The people are different up there…I suppose more closed off and they don’t exactly like to joke around like they do here in the hotter climates of Guatemala. The scenery in the mountains was really interesting…to be honest it reminded me of Utah mountains… It doesn’t snow or anything but yes, it does get cold. There was a bunch of pine trees and other trees that reminded me exactly of Utah and hunting season! It was cool but now that I have almost 2 years without feeling cold I was a big baby! I am afraid to see my first Utah winter in 3 years next winter!

I had a really sweet spiritual experience this week as I baptized a super nice lady named Mirta…she was the investigator of the Sisters here who share our ward. I had gotten to know her in the Gospel Principles class at church and she was so funny! When she decided to get baptized she told the sisters…I want Elder Russell, the tall funny guy to baptize me. Haha it was fun to baptize her and be part of her experience. The feeling of baptizing someone is so rewarding and I am always grateful for the opportunity the Lord gives me to continue serving Him.

There is still much to do. I have 2 months left and I am going to live it up while I can. The mission is wonderful…I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I feel the Saviors love daily and I know that He blesses me and you as I continue on serving Him with love.

Love you all!

Elder Ty Russell

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