Family and Friends,
This week was absolutely fantastic! I now have a week and a half in my new area and assignment and it has been going just great. We have been traveling quite a bit with President and I have had the opportunity to get to know the parts of the mission I had never been before. We are in and out of zone conferences frequently and we do a lot of divisions. We also have the big responsibility of working in our own area and having success even with our limited time to work with our own investigators. It was definitely a full week…lots of stress and such but I suppose that is the name of the game right?
This week I had the opportunity to go with President to visit a lot of the areas of the mission that I had not prior had the chance to visit. It has been a really nice privilege to get to know the beautiful and rich country of Guatemala even more in our travels. Tomorrow I will be going to the mountainous regions of Guatemala…San Marcos and San Pedro…we will be having some emergency changes due to some small problems that unfortunately have been occurring in parts of the mission. So after tomorrow I will have made it to every part of the mission!
So this week was really cool because I got to go back to Monterrey Saturday night to see the baptism of Karla. After all the problems and struggles that Elder Zamudio and I passed together while teaching her she finally made the proper adjustments and we are very happy that she made the decision to be baptized. The baptismal service was really special and she really was a new person as she stepped out of the waters. Seeing the smile on the face of a successful person who has made the correct decisions towards salvation is always a fulfilling experience. Karla had a tough decision to make but she ended up separating from Mariano so she could be baptized. It was a large sacrifice but she understood the principal that sacrifice brings blessings.
In our own area we had the baptisms of Sabino and Regina this Saturday! It was such a spiritual experience for us…I will never forget the story of this family. Sabino and Regina truly had a conversion. They had to decide between truth and the money the Evangelical Pastor offered them…not a hard decision for someone who already has money but they literally live in a tin hut and live on a dirt floor…he is out of work and Regina can’t work either. To teach them the truth and see them become converted was a truly inspiring experience.
As we were changing after the baptism Sabino was having a hard time hiding the tears…he said a prayer in the bathroom thanking God for the wonderful second chance he had received from Him. True repentance is taking advantage of the atonement of Christ. That is my purpose…I felt in that moment that I was completing with my purpose and objective as a missionary…helping others repent and come to Christ through repentance and baptism.
We are breaking old traditions…the AP’s of old have never baptized while I have been in my mission…never before Elder Angulo had been here as of 6 weeks ago. Elder Angulo and I are not taking being in the office as a break. We are working hard to have fruits and it has been amazing to see how the Lord has blessed us. We have been fasting every Sunday this month and we will continue to do so every Sunday this month so the Lord can see our desire to work and baptize. We are trying to show an example for the other missionaries and it feels really good. These last few months I have to be out here are not to slack off… I am enjoying the extra responsibilities and I know that God is watching over us in our labor. I am so grateful for that.
The work is moving on. I love being an instrument in the hands of God and I know that He loves me a lot. We must all do our part if we are to be considered worthy in the last day to receive ALL the blessings God has for us. We must work. There is no time to rest, nor to be unmotivated. Work, work, work, it is the only thing that can make a missionary truly happy.
I love you all! Thanks for all the support and love you show me. Have a great week.
Elder Ty Russell