Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.
The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Psalms 46:10-11

Monday, November 28, 2011

Word of the Day - Legit! 11/28/11

Hey there everyone!
So first, about my comp.  Hes legit, we get along really well!  That's pretty much it, we get along really well were working really hard and having a good time.  Also, you asked how I'm feeling.  I was sick for about 3 weeks but I'm all better now.  Things are good.  About letters, they're tougher in this area because there's no Correo in our area but I'm just going to be sending them in bulk now, 2 or 3 at a time.  Christmas letter is in the mail though :)  About calls, I think you guys will have to call me, I can maybe call you and then just have y'all call me back. Maybe we can get set at the same time and just conference in Nicole so it'll cost a ton but maybe we can have all the family together.  Just a thought. 

About the package, I got both of them from y'all and grandma and everything was perfect.  The soap survived and the PB and everything!  Very much welcomed.  Keep em coming ;)  Am I still printing reading and outlining? Yes.  Dad asked about the house, its pretty big not HUGE but a good size, I  don't really know if the pictures were deceiving lol.  About the temple, we've been through a few times and were going to watch a broadcast for the dedication. About W, LEGIT!  English speaking I'm guessing.  NICE.  I'll throw a letter for him one of these days.  About Christmas package, is it all Christmas or is there other stuff? Meaning, do I need to wait til Christmas to open the box or is stuff wrapped?  About the ipod and the book dad LEGIT!  That actually made me even more stoked to read the book!  And the wedding video... I got really excited when I saw it and read the letter after we had already watched it (on mute, thanks for the music haha). 

Now, investigators.  We have a few legit ones.  G and Y were temple references and they're pretty legit.  They are pretty big in their church but they are willing to see if ours is true :)  So yay.  A guy named M, he turned out to be really legit, he went to the temple 3 times. We're going to put a fecha with him this week.  W is another temple reference, his wife is menos activo and he's super interested, just wants to make sure its true.  And we have a baptism this Saturday!  So good stuff happening.  We went to the temple twice this week with the ward.  On Friday, over 100 people came from our ward...about 10 members.  LEGIT:  So there's work to be done!  We found out that 126,000 people went to the temple and on top of all of this our attendance yesterday was 334!  Things are going well!.  Also, at the temple we met an anti Mormon that was taking people to the temple.... good luck buddy.  Also, a lady gave us pumpkin pie one day!  It was so gooooood! 

We also had a Guatemalan Thanksgiving yesterday with chicken, rice etc.  All darn good stuff!  So they did something for the American missionaries, I'm running really low on time this week, sorry..... But the pictures are a sunset, the temple, and our Christmas tree (we have a pine tree in our back yard and we chopped off a branch).
I think that's all, LOVE YOU ALL HAVE A GREAT WEEK!
-Elder Westenskow

This Area is Insane!! 11/21/11

This area is INSANE!!! In such a good way it's not even funny.  We found 22 news this week and have 9 possible fechas... we've been here a week.  This place  is insane and the temple doesn't hurt either!  Speaking of the temple, we went!  On Tuesday our ward got a bus and we all went with our friends and investigators and holy goodness this place is ridiculous!  So flipping nice, so beautiful.  I'm not going to lie to you when I say that on the inside its the most beautiful temple I've ever seen, maybe not on the outside but inside YES.  We've been spending a lot of our time contacting references from the temple (when people fill out those little cards at the end) and we don't get as many as some other areas but ours have been pretty positive.  I also saw my first every baptismal service, it wasn't ours but one of the sisters, we went for support.  Funny story, we were walking down the road one day and this lady literally flagged us down and asked us to move some furniture for her.  So we did and she gave us Pepsi and then we tried to teach her and she wouldn't let us, she just wanted the two big white boys help!  haha  Oh right, we also went to the temple on Friday in a ward bus and we just invited like crazy, there were over 25 investigators in this bus, it was amazing!  We're all coming to this temple as a family, I've already decided it! 

The thing with this area is that stuff just happens.  We work really really hard and things still fall and people are still sketchy and unreliable but then things just fall out of the sky for us and they ROCK.  Also, we had a stake conference yesterday with Elders Uchtdorf and Holland it was pretty rad!  They talked a lot about home and family so not a whole lot to apply right now but yeah, cool to hear Elder Holland try to speak Spanish lol. 

Questions.  My comp is great, he was in the office for 7 months so he's just stoked to be out in the field again and were just killing each other.  We're working our butts off every day and every day we come in dead and satisfied with the work we've done.  His name is Elder R and hes from Rosemond California.  Also mom, no worries on the microbus, it was totally safe, there were guard rails and stuff :)  I'm also sitting next to a very nice box that I happen to have already opened and YEAHHHHHHHHHHHHH GOOD STUFF IN THAT BOX! 

As for the tree thing, new family tradition.  Every year, no matter what, kids spouses notwithstanding, we three kids will come to mom and dads house and set up the tree like we've always done.  That's how it will be, end of story.  Mom played Rock Band!  What songs did y'all do?  Also, there's a modifier to make the track speeds better so no worries there ;)  Also, who sings now? Dad?  And mom, hows the health going?  Still improving? 

Oh well, I think that's all, love you all!
-Elder Westenskow

New Area - Esperanza!! 11/14/11

Hey Fam!
So, in the letter, the time that I was sick was indeed from the oranges haha.  I would answer the questions about my investigators, but well.... yeah haha.  We never did get to go sing at A's church, if we did go we were going to do Nearer My God to Thee in Spanish and Joseph Smith's first prayer in English lol  But he never came  to church again so we never went to his again lol.  Also, Vegas sounds awesome!  Looking at pictures of things going on at home and hearing stuff like that makes me realize I'm gong to have major culture shock when I get back to the states haha.  The shows sound legit though!  I've always wanted to go to the Beatles one.  Also, dad, I addressed the letters fun because it was fun, not because of delirium, I'll probably keep doing it, something different every week just to keep it interesting ;) 
Okay, so on to my new area.  My area is HUGE!!!  There were 7 sisters sharing it but now we're just sharing it with 2 sisters so a lot of work to do.  The ward is HUGE  and church yesterday felt just like being back in the states haha.  It was crazy!  People here have callings, we have a bishop (he's an ex-mission president) a ward mission leader an attendance of about 300.... it's amazing.  And the people love us.  They haven't seen Elders in over a year so they're pretty stoked to have us back!  We've been here like 4 days and we've received a TON of references.  People are just throwing their friends at us haha.  Plus, having the temple 10 minutes away doesn't hurt.  We weren't able to go this last week but we should be going twice this week so yay!  We're really just trying hard to work with the members and they're working hard with us!  They are just so stoked about everything!  I love it, it's refreshing after fighting to get anything out of the Cunén members for 10 weeks we come here and they just love us!  It's a change but a good one.  I still miss Cunén a lot and the people, I really fell in love with that place but I'll just have to take you all back to visit one day! 
About my comp, Elder R is from Rosemond, California.  He JUST got done being AP and he's really stoked to be out of the office. He's a really hard worker which is GOOD!  We're really killing ourselves just getting as much done as possible!  This area is on fire.  Our goal is 18 baptisms in 3 months and with the temple, the other sisters leaving, and the members it's definitely possible here.  We're still not focusing on numbers more than people but it's just a thing we're doing :) 
A really cool experience I had this week, we went to visit a less active with a member and the member asked the less active to offer the prayer, it was really amazing.  He was just talking to his Father in Heaven.  He said something like "Father, we've lost the path, we've lost the way.  But we haven't lost the hope that we can come back.  Please bless us with a way to come back to the church that we know is true"  That was the gist of it and it was really really cool!  I LOVE THIS PLACE!!  I'm still adjusting to living in a city but it's all good, we still walk a ton, maybe more than in Cunén, just because our area is so big haha.  But yeah, I love it here and I'm stoked!  GOING TO SEE THE TEMPLE THIS WEEK!!!! AHHHHHHH!!!!!!
Love you all, have a great week!
-Elder Westenskow

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Big Changes! - 11/8/11

So no email yesterday because elections were Sunday and we didn't know if travel would be safe Monday morning so that's the reason for that :)  Also, I got changes haha.  Yep, they closed Cunén in the middle of the change and they're splitting up Elder B and I.  One of our APs got changed and so I'm going with the old AP in Xela and we're still not exactly sure where Elder B is going but that's the exciting things that happened this week haha.  We got called yesterday morning and they were like, "you both have changes, pack everything be in Quiche tomorrow for Pday and then come to Xela on Wednesday"  So I'm out of Cunén, kinda sucked, I really didn't want to go, I wasn't expecting it at all either.  But saying goodbye to everyone was pretty hard, I didn't enjoy that part.  But that's the way that life is, you don't always get what you want.  Plus, I'm going to be in Xela super close to the temple and I can't think of a better time to be where I'm going :)
A request first if I may, Dad, while you're loading up the iPod, if you still have all the hymns on your itunes, please throw them on there for good measure :)  Mom, I'm glad you liked your gift, let me know when it all comes together and happens and what not, I want to hear how it works :)  The primary program sounds AWESOME!  I can't promise I'll be there next year like Nicole but if you're still doing it in fall of 2013 I'll sit front row!  Meagan, well done on the decorations, they look great!  (Now write me! haha)  Also, about your birthday party, the last time everyone slid on their socks I got busted because it was too loud, what gives!  In response to your question, the microbus was moving super duper fast and the wind was blowing so that's the face haha.   Also, I echo dad's words, mom is AWESOME!  And my head is fine, I don't have pictures because they wouldn't have shown up, I didn't even know it was cracked til a couple kids were like "hay sangre en su cabello" ahah
But as for my week, it was pretty good haha.  A little slow but good.  We had a birthday celebration for mom and  Elder B's mom at the only restaurant in Cunén, it was really good!  We had an... interesting meeting with Alvaro.  I explained more fully in the letter but suffice to say he told us that he was already converted, that the Book of Mormon wasn't true and we should get rid of it and that he didn't want to meet with us again so.... yeah lol... he's dropped.  Also, Anna was dropped because she too told us she didn't want to meet with us.  We actually had a really good cita with Rodriguez family though, we read 3 Nephi 11 with them and talked about it and when we asked if they were baptized they said they had all been baptized as babies but Andres was like "That whole thing doesn't really make sense to me, why do they baptize babies, it seems pointless if baptism is so important and a decision" so we asked them to pray if they should be baptized in our church.  We had another cita with them that fell which sucks especially now since we're gone... just when they were starting to turn positive.  We also met a really cool guy contacting, he wasn't interested in the church but we ended up walking with him for about an hour and just chatting, we went down this road looking for houses and there weren't a ton... hardly any and we didn't really realize how far we'd gone with him but it was a good talk :)  We also spent some time in Uspantan with less actives but yeah.  Sunday was election day and we had to stay in the house all day which was really really boring haha.  But we made due watching church movies haha.  I already explained about yesterday so yeah that's the week :) 
Hope everyone has a good week and I love you all!
-Elder Westenskow

Happy Birthday Mom! - 10/31/11

The garden!  I will admit I got a little excited looking at that pile of veggies, I'm stoked to eat some one day! (probably from a different harvest but you get the idea!)  And I'm also stoked to mow the lawn, I actually kinda liked doing it haha.  And that party with all the people sounded legit!  How's Chase doing in his assignment as Andrew 2.0? haha  I realize it's a tall order to fill but I believe in him!  ALSO, THAT COSTUME WAS FREAKING LEGIT!!!  Some Guatemalans standing behind me started cracking up when I popped it open.  But yeah, funny stuff there! 
As for the question about the oranges and why they're bad, they're out of season apparently and when that happens they're bad.  I don't really know, all I know is I'm staying away from oranges for awhile haha.  Everyone in the branch knows what happened so they've been offering us oranges for the past week haha. 
As for my week, it was pretty good!  Our investigators are all... well, our investigators.  We didn't get to meet with Alvaro this week and we were on divisions with the zonies for part of the week so I haven't visited with Andrés but apparently they had a pretty good visit with him.  As for Anna, she came to church yesterday so that's something!   We'll see what happens there though, I don't really know how to read her.  We had a super legit zone meeting this week, our zonie did this thing about Ether 12:27 and helping us recognize our weaknesses so that we could make them strengths but not in a "you have bad things about you!" kinda way, it was way freaking cool.  But yeah, on divisions we met twice with this super legit member/menos activo/investigator family and they were just awesome!  Also, I got a legit package from Grandma Healey!  Full of American food! YEAH!  We had a super cool branch activity on Friday and a ton of people came! We played volleyball (Elder B and I made a net out of rope) basketball and soccer and all the women made food to sell, it was super legit.  We just need to work on getting as many people to church as we do to these activities haha.  And on Sunday I talked in church, well actually we both did.  Our branch president forgot to assign talks so he called us Saturday at 9pm lol.  It went pretty well.  So overall, a normal week, nothing too exciting.  EXCEPT FOR THAT IT'S MOM'S BIRTHDAY!!! YEAH HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE BEST MOM IN THE WORLD!!! I was actually really excited that it fell on a Monday so I could write you ON your birthday, have fun celebrating, the decorations look SICK!  LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!
-Elder Westenskow

October 24, 2011

This week, not much happened, I'm not sure why.  We taught some good lessons, had a really good one with Familia Rodriguez, they're really cool, they just need to get married.  We went in knowing what we were going to teach and really followed the spirit which was cool.   We were just going to try to commit them to come to church but by the end of the lesson they committed to read 3 Nephi 11 and have family prayer!  So we'll see if they do it, they didn't show up to church but neither did the members that were supposed to bring them so it's all good.  We got some new people in the zone which is always fun, really legit guys.  One guy is from The Colony in Texas and he knows exactly where Flower Mound is so random.  But yeah, also exciting, there was a guy who was robbing graves so they whipped him in the town square, that's how the law works. 
Mom, you'll be so proud of me, I sewed this week, I had to repair a button on a pair of pants so the sewing kit came in handy!  We also went to Xela this week for a meeting with our group, it was way good to see everyone again, I love my group, they're really good guys.  I hope to be comps with some of them at some point. Also, dad, I did LOVE Hollands talk, he's always a boss though, before he got up the elders were putting bets on what he would talk on, it was pretty funny.  About the temple, we have to bring 10 investigators to the open house to be able to go through, which didn't seem that hard until we found out that the mission isn't actually paying for transportation which majorly screws us over because it's a hundred quetz trip to Xela and it'll be nearly impossible for the members to pull that kind of money together, let alone investigators.  But we'll see, I hope we can go but.... yeah, I hope we can go.  And we'll be able to watch the dedication in Quiche but we can't go. 
Also, Mom, I would love for y'all to have the experience of riding in a microbus but we'll have to see haha, they're pretty crazy.  Also, I realized that my letters are starting to get shorter, sorry about that, I don't know if I'm writing less or if just less is happening but I'll try to work on it haha.  Love you all!!!  Hope you have a great week!
-Elder Westenskow