Elder Ty Russell

Guatemala, Retalhuleu Mission

May 19 2014- Email #96

Family and Friends,

Another week down! A week that was probably the most stressful in the office. Changes week…haha it was sure interesting. This week we traveled a lot. We were in tons of different parts of the mission making sure everything went smoothly and supporting President with various commitments. There were a whole lot of changes this week in the mission. More than half of the companionships were changed up and we have our mission ready to take on these next six weeks with force. I am super motivated to work as hard as possible to complete my goals and do my very best to support the mission as well.

The saddest part of changes was that Elder Angulo went home! That was sad…he was an EXCELLENT companion. We became the best of friends in our short time together. The three Nephites no longer exist for the time being…Elder Holmstead is my only companion for now. He is from Lehi, Utah and it a wonderful companion as well. He is super humble and he keeps me in line ;) For the next few weeks it will just be us two but seeing as we both finish our missions the 25th of June President will be calling a new assistant shortly so we can train him before we go home! We will see what happens I suppose…

For my last 6 weeks here in the mission I have established many goals that I hope to complete. I call it my “Miracle Project” and I will fulfill all the goals that I have made. Elder Holmstead has also made his own goals and we are going to work together to complete them and finish our missions with honor. It will take a large effort but I know that I can do it. I attached my plan to finish my mission to the document so you guys can see a bit of what I want to accomplish. Setting goals is important and I know with these goals I will be able to push myself and do all that the Lord wants me to do.

Friday we had a cool experience. Elder Holmstead and I went to a little branch on the beach named Ocos. It is branch that has about 25 people that attend church regularly. The Elders had decided to do a ward activity to motivate the branch so Elder Holmstead and I went out to put on a movie night at the “church”.. (The church in Ocos is just a rented out concrete house). The activity was really special. The attendance reached just about 60 people and there were about 10 investigators that showed up. The Elders were really excited and we had a good time helping them out.

We only had one day to work in our area this week…Saturday was our only day available to invite investigators to church but we got out and worked hard. We found many new investigators and we ended up with 5 investigators in church yesterday. A few of them are more positive than others but to attend church is a progress because in church everyone can have a spiritual experience.

We found 2 really cool investigators that we really hope can start progressing even more. Magda is a 40 year old woman who lived in New York 10 years and came back here to Guatemala about a year ago. She speaks good English and we made really good friends right from the start. We had invited her to church and she gave us the same answer as almost everyone… “I will be there! You can wait for me outside…” 99.9% of the time that means NO! Haha so we just told her okay that is fine and we continued on. To my surprise Sunday morning she showed up with her two kids on her motorcycle right at 9! I was shocked.. Haha but I guess I need to have more faith!! She is reallly cool. We are going to visit her tonight and see if she wants to be baptized. I baptized her cousin about 2 weeks ago! She has friends in church and everything. We are excited to work with her!

The other investigator who we really hope progresses is named Romulo…he ALSO lived in New York like 20 years! He speaks really great English and likes to talk about the United States…he is about 55 or so and has been a drunk the majority of his life. He got sick a while ago and now literally CAN’T drink or he will die.. So yeah, I would say the Lord has prepared him! He really enjoyed church yesterday and said he would be coming back not this week but the next. This week he will be in Guatemala City for tests and such…he is pretty sick. We gave him a blessing though and we have faith that he will be okay and will accept baptism.

That is about it for this week! It was good:) I love every day of the mission. There is nothing more important in my life right now than to get out and open my mouth to proclaim the Gospel. The church is true.. Joseph Smith is the Prophet of the restoration and I know that we enjoy the fulness of the Gospel as we remain faithful to our covenants.

Have a good week everyone! I love you all and I pray for you frequently.


Elder Ty Russell


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