June 2 2014- Email #98
Family and Friends,
This week was another exceptionally awesome week! It just keeps getting better and better and better and better. I feel like the goals I set at the beginning of this, my last, change were inspired due to the fact that the Lord is helping my companion and I complete what we have sought to complete. We have been having a lot of success and I know that the Lord has prepared all these people to know the Gospel of Christ and come unto Him.
This week marked the beginning of interviews with President Ruiz.. That means that this week we have been traveling like crazy. We got to go and help with interviews of two zones: San Marcos and San Pedro. They are the two zones known in our mission as “Tierra Fria” or “Cold Earth”… The mountains. It was a really interesting experience to be out helping President get everything organized and such. Our job was to visit ALL the houses of the missionaries with Sister Ruiz, President´s wife, to make sure it was clean and to verify obedience.
As we got to check houses we had the opportunity to visit the areas most remote of the Retalhuleu mission. I had to drive because no one else knows how to drive stick-shift and we were in President’s car. The drive was literally beautiful. Wednesday and Thursday all day we had the chance to visit various little villages in the middle of nowhere to see where the missionaries work and inspect their houses. I was blown away by the culture of these mountainous villages and the humility of the people. I was actaully kind of sad that I was never put in a mountainous region during my mission. My subject line is because I literally felt as if I was back in the Utah mountains with Dad spotting out some deer…the forests are full of Utah-like trees and I was on these bumpy-as-heck dirt roads. It made me kind of “Trunky”…. Haha but not really.
It was fun to be out in San Marcos and San Pedro… President got us a hotel to stay a few nights and we got to eat in the best restaurants there. Friday morning a local high school had invited the San Marcos zone to host an event based on the family for the entire morning. The high school had invited all the parents of the students and because Elder Holmstead and I were already up there they asked us to participate. I get to teach room after room after room of parents about the Church and all of the activites we offered to strengthen the family and help to have all the blessings God wants us to have. It was really a great activity and the zone got many references.
In our own area we had a fantastic week! I have felt a bit worried because of only having Saturday and Tuesday to work in our own area this week but no, the Lord definitely helped us. We had 8 investigators in church this week…what a miracle! 6 of these people I found on Tuesday when I was on divisions with my old companion Elder Zamudio! We got to work together again and we had a really successful day. We found some really positive people in San Carlos and they all were just so willing to listen and attend church on Sunday.
This one family we found is really special. Their names are Brenda and Marvin. They are a young couple and are unmarried but have a large desire to do it. We have been teaching them about the church and about marriage and baptism and they are really positive. We hope that in these next few weeks we can help them make the decision to do it. They live in very humble circumstances but have great faith and Marvin even had to sacrifice not going to work so he could go to church. Brenda is only 17 though so we need the permission of her parents to be able to have them get married.
We also had a miracle family walk into church yesterday…I was sitting down when I saw an unknown family sitting down without hymn books. I quickly found a spare hymn book and went and let them use it. After the meeting I chatted with them and I found out that she is a member and he is not. It was his first time but he said he really enjoyed it. They stayed all three hours and we set up an appointment to visit them in the afternoon.
Yesterday we spent a long time in their house! First we chatted a bit and we got to teaching him about the restoration. He had questions about Joseph Smtih and all but as we explained it he understood well and committed to reading the Book of Mormon and praying. The only problem is that they are still not married… she is in the process of a divorce…the good thing is that she is a lawyer and is working out her own divorce. By December they will be married and he will be baptized. I may not still be here but I know that they will always be a special family for me. We stayed after the lesson and ate dinner and all. They are a great family. The cool thing is that they have an 11 year old son who is not baptized…Nathan. We are teaching him and we think we will baptize him coming up here on the 14th of June.
We also have more but I am just about out of time! This week was full of miracles. I know the Lord is watching over us as we complete our duties for President and the mission but also as we work in our area. I am still in the process of conversion and I know that every day is a chance to become more and more converted to this Gospel. It is such a blessing to serve God. I wouldn´t trade it for the world.
Love you all. Have a wonderful week and know that I love you all. May God bless you!
Elder Ty Russell