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

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Hoping For A White Christmas!! 12/10/2012

Hi Family,

This week I sent pics of our tree and lunch last week with the wonderful Family Castillo :)

I'll also let y'all know, I forgot my notebook with my notes so I'm running on memory but I think I remember stuff :) The questions mom asked I'm not sure on but I do remember you guys went to like Seattle or Portland or something and that you toured under the streets, legit! Great week :=)

We also had a great week here in the city. Still in trio but we're having a good time.

As for investigators, most people are progressing quite nicely :) Henry, after 2 absences came to church yesterday and he's super stoked for his newly put fecha for the 22 of December :) He has a couple doubts but nothing huge, mostly about sabbath day, but he's chill, he'll be baptized :)

Also, we put fechas with Bryan, Yisenia, and their cousin Osmar! All for the 22nd but Osmar will have to be pushed back because he got sick and couldn't come to church but they're all pretty stoked. We ended up just taking a couple steps back and just read the Book of Mormon with them for like 2 weeks and now they WANT to be baptized and that's the important part :) So were pretty stoked there!

Also, Pablo. He's new, he's not a member but he's at church almost every week, he just never wants to meet with us but we have all the support of the members and we have a cita with him tonight so we're hoping  to be baptizing him this month as well.  Christmas is getting close and we're looking to give the best gift we can to our Savior, a white Christmas of baptisms, and it seems like we'll make it!

We also found a new family, the family Garcia. The dad is a less active but really wants to come back to church and his wife, Heidi is suuuuuuuper interested in the church's focus on the family :) So we're pretty stoked about that, it would be for January but we're pretty stoked.  

Also, we had a super opportunity to have a conference with Elder Martino, president of the area Central America and there were 20 elders there and President Bautista. Just the Zone Leaders, the assistants, the secretaries and president. To receive council and instruction from our area president, it was super exciting, really good meeting, tons of ideas of how to baptize more as a mission. We're really, really focused on baptizing and excited to see the results of our newly placed focus and drive. 

As I said, this was a super duper good week, we had a ton of success and we're excited for what this week can bring, thanks so much mom for the recipe, I'll try to remember to take pictures :) LOOOOVES!!!!
Elder Westensanta

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Good Week in Xela!! 12/3/2012

Hey familiares,

First I'll explain the pictures, we have Thanksgiving dinner and we have a legit Jenga game that we played that got suuuuuuuuper high!  
Now, to answer questions, is my area similar to Esperanza? not really. It's the difference between Salt Lake and Riverton, Esperanza would kind be like a suburb of Xela ha ha That's weird, never thought of it that way :)  Central Park is just that, a park in the middle of the city. Kinda like a town center ha ha.  Are we close to the mission home/offices? It's about a 15 minute walk from my house so yeah :)

And it's funny that you ask about the shoes because this week my second pair died. There's no heel on them anymore ha ha. But we're going to MegaPaca today to look for shoes so you should be getting a little debit card alert :) Just so ya know.  And as for how big the area is, I have no idea, but we have a mountain so with that it's pretty big, other than that, it's pretty small ha ha.  

Glad y'all had a great week, I'd like to go to the zoo when I get back :)

Now, as for me, I'm shortish on time so yeah, but this week was another week of  40 contacts so that was a lot of fun ha ha.  We did a LOT of knocking doors and I'm pretty sure that we talked to every single person in our area ha ha. But anyway, we did find some people that could be positive but if anything comes of it I'll let you know.
As for investigators, we have to push back Henry's baptism because he didn't come to church. He got his wisdom teeth out so that didn't really help him. But he is super excited about baptism, stuff just keeps happening so that's a bummer but he's good :)

We are also still going with Bryan and Yisenia but were also teaching their cousin, Osmar now who came to church yesterday! He seemed to like it and he really enjoys the things we teach, we want to challenge him to be baptized this week so we'll see what happens there :)  

However, the crowning event of the week was that on Friday, I WENT TO THE TEMPLE!!!!! With Wimmer ha ha. He's not even close to my zone but it was all the people with more than a year that hadn't gone yet so we went! That's why you got a charge from the distribution center, I needed garments ha ha. But yeah, it was like being really really really really thirsty and then drinking water, so RELIEVING!!! Such a good spirit, learned so much. REALLY enjoyed it :)

Apart from that, we also hit 17 months this past week, gettin' there :)

Now, I do need a favor, we're going to be having Christmas fun so I'm going to need the recipe for Maranda salad if you could send that to me :) Thanks a lot!

Now, today is a special day, Walter's daughter turned 10 on Wednesday and invited me and my comps to lunch so we're going to Esperanza today, how exciting! We're pretty stoked :) Welp, I think that's it for me, a good week here in Xela.

Elder Westenskow

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Thanksgiving...Guatemalan Style!! 11/26/2012

First, to answer questions, about my area and zone and stuff.  My zone is called Zona Xela Centro.  Exciting, I know. The area has an even more exciting name. El Centro. Because, you guessed it, el Centro is part of the area ha ha. I have the official central park of Xela in my area which is actually kinda cool, it's a super pretty park, especially this time of year ha ha. It's a ward with an attendance of about 140 so that's pretty cool.  Our house is actually SUUUUUPER nice. And we have a bunch of crap because they like to spoil us. We have a huge fridge and microwave and all that good stuff.  I really actually like the area. The only thing I'm slightly disappointed about is that I'll be spending ANOTHER Christmas in Xela about 7 minutes from where I was last year ha ha.  But it's gonna be chill. Me and DeLora are gonna have a great Christmas, we already have a lot of plans ha ha. 

Now about my comp. His name is Elder DeLora from Fresno California. He's a little shorter than me and a built guy. He plays football ha ha.  But he's legit, we were friends before being comps so that helped a lot. We're excited to be working hard and we're really, really stoked.  To answer, the temple is maybe 10 minutes away, but it's not in my zone. It's in Xela Oeste where Esperanza is.

Dude, tree raising, nice pics! I can imagine how fun it was, we should be having our own tree raising here pretty quick.  We're probably going to buy it on Saturday.  So yeah, as for Thanksgiving, THANK YOU GRANDMA HEALEY for a great package that included turkey dinners.  We also managed to find a pumpkin pie which we cut and served with a machete, just to make it a little Guatemalan ha ha.  But yeah.

As far as investigators go. Some people that seemed super positive turned out to be not so positive this week but we did have a good lesson with Henry. He accepted a fecha! He was supposed to be baptized on the 8th of December but he didn't come to church yesterday because it was his graduation from school so we have to bump it back but he's still set to be baptized :) He just accepts everything, super prepared :)

Mariela, also had some difficulties there. Her mom won't let her be baptized until next year. She says "Yeah, I know her decision is made and I know that it's a good thing but she can't go til next year" so we'll see if we'll have a new years baptism :)

We also have some news. People that have come to church now 2 weeks in a row, we thought they were members but it turns out that they're not sooooo we're going to be baptizing them. Just the kids in the family for now, but still, it's legit :) We're pretty excited about the month of December, it'll be great. We had a great week, life is good and I'm a happy dude.
Elder Westenskow

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Greetings From Xela Zone 1!! 11/19/2012

Wow, that felt odd to write ha ha. Four weeks ago I was in the single furthest area from Xela and now Central Park is my area ha ha.  But change is good.  First off, about the Chichi investigators, I have no update because I'm not there ha ha. I enjoyed your emails last week but unfortunately there's not much to respond to, just a good week :)  Also, congrats to Alyssa Stromness who was baptized this last week :)

Now, about the new area.  Well, first off you'll all be surprised to know that I'm in a trio... with Elder Cruz ha ha.  My comp comp is Elder DeLora from California from my group. We should only be a trio until the end of the change at the longest ha ha. The new area is cool, I get lost really easily because everything looks the same but little by little I'm getting used to it.  The ward is GREAT. The members are really cool and willing to help us out. Looking forward to being here a good time. 

We do have some really positive investigators though so that's always a plus :) The reason that I got changes is that DeLoras comp had to go home for a surgery on his knee so yeah.  So not much was getting done before so we're kinda bringing the area to life again.  But, they really did have some good investigators.

Bryan and Yisenia. Two kids whose mom is a member. The mom has been less active for a long time but she's coming back now. They actually had a fecha for this Saturday but didn't come to church so that fell. But, we're working with them. They should get baptized in December for sure :)

Sonia.  The only real beef she has with anything is that the church is guided by men.  She says that women are better than men and that women should be able to preside in meetings and stuff.  But she also says that if she gets an answer from the Holy Ghost that she's willing to change her ideas and all that stuff so we really are focusing in on helping her get an answer about the Book of Mormon. So she's legit, we're also starting to teach her 2 daughters.

Henry, all of his family are members.  ALL OF THEM!  His mom was just baptized like 2 weeks ago and he came to church for the first time yesterday.  He just accepts everything and likes it. He keeps his commitments to read and pray and all of it. Yesterday we went with him and taught a good lesson about the gospel of Jesus Christ and he accepted the fecha to be baptized the 8th of December so we have that for sure :)

Now, Mariela.  Shes a girl who is 19 years old.  She WANTS WANTS WANTS to be baptized.  But her mom won't let her. If her moms heart can be softened she will be baptized.  She has the attendances and everything. But were helping her and trying to keep her faith and hope up while praying very very hard for her.  We really want to see her baptized this week. 

So that's a little about the area, it's a good area, I like it a lot.  It's a little stressful but being with DeLora rocks, we've been friends since the CCM and we work and teach well together.  It's really great being with someone who knows what they're doing and how to work and all of it :) We're going on divisions with the assistants tomorrow so we'll see how that goes.  But we're going to be together for Christmas it looks like so were pretty stoked for that :)

So overall, life is good, the church is true, and I'm happy albeit a little stressed ha ha.  But yeah, hope all is well over there, I love the pics, Davie really has quite the beard ha ha. 
Elder Westenskow

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

All is Well!! 11/12/2012

Okay, first off, I'm sure Walter already told y'all but I'm fine from the earthquake. I did feel it, it was actually pretty crazy. I was on divisions with Elder Parry from my group and we actually had to take cover it was so strong, I've never felt anything like that, pretty crazy. But here in Quiche, nothing really happened.  Everything was fine, in the aldeas some houses fell but here in Chichi the buildings are pretty strong so that's chill. But it was crazy, I'm sure you know but it was a 7.2 earthquake, pretty nuts but everything is fine :) Now, the news. I have changes! Yeah, after only 3 weeks, I have changes and am leaving Chichicastenango.  I was pretty surprised but President Bautista called me at 6:31 this morning to tell me.  I'm going back to Xela but right in the center of Xela, its gonna be pretty fun I think because I'm going with someone from my group, Elder DeLora.  It's gonna be great :) So that's my big news for the day, I'm going to have to go down tomorrow morning so that'll be fun :) 

I'm glad that y'all enjoyed so much your trip to Hawaii. I'm still pretty set on Disneyland but we'll see if y'all convince  me ;).  Either way, it'll be a fun trip :) As for me this week actually went really, really well. We had an excellent lesson with the family Ventura (Oscars family) and the entire family came to church yesterday, the entire family! Well, not the entire, two little kids stayed home to watch the house but either way, 6 investigators in sacrament meeting yesterday and ask Nicole how great that is :)  We have to pass them off to the hermanas here in Chichi but we're really hoping they get baptized and it seems they will :)  Apart from that, we had an excellent lesson with Carmen.  She is just the nicest lady you've ever met in your entire life.  The spirit is always so strong when we meet with her, I have the strongest feeling that Heavenly Father really, really wants her to receive the gospel at THIS time in her life, she needs it for some reason and if she prays I know she'll have her answer.  One thing I've seen in this area is how the Lord truly puts prepared people in our way.  He truly wants us to find his children and if we but look, we will find them. 

I feel like this letter is super short but really it's all that happened. We spent a lot of the week with members looking for less actives but with very little success ha ha.  Also I was in divisions for a lot of the time so that made it hard as well.  But it was a good week.  I'm glad for the time I could be here in Chichi and I hope that I can keep working hard in my new area.  My comp is LEGIT and I'm stoked to work with him.  It'll be a good companionship. 

LOVE YOU ALLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!! Elder Westenstorm.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Week of Forty Contacts!! 11/5/2012

Hello all! 

First off I'll answer some questions :)  My area is pretty urban, it's kinda like an oasis in the fact that it's just in the middle of nowhere this little city that is visited by a TON of gringos haha.  But it's cool, it's the closest to being in the city without being in the city and I didn't want to be in the city so all is well :) You can definitely expect debit card alerts because there is SO MUCH cool stuff here haha.  I don't know how to fit more stuff in my suitcases but I'll make it work haha.  The branch is good, we have about 50 members and for the most part they're legit, I'm excited to really get working with them :) 

Now, about the trio, it's done haha.  Elder B had changes on Tuesday which has left me with Elder Cruz. 

We did have a great week though, we have some really positive investigators :) This week was a 40 contacts week and we found some super cool dudes :) One dude, has a family of 8. Oscar is his name and his family is cool!  They had some problems in their other church so they are looking.  We went back a  few days later and they were super duper positive.  And he and his son came to church yesterday! Found him on Tuesday and he was in church in a white shirt on Sunday, cool experience :)

Next, Toribio. We contacted him and taught him the restoration and it went really well.  At the end he was like "your message really really impacted me, I had never thought about it before that way, we're totally going to pray about it and please come back another day" so that's cool, we're going back this week and I'll let y'all know :)

Last, a guy named Moises, we contacted him and taught him on a street corner, he was pretty cool, let us teach him and accepted a return cita.  Seems like he could be positive.

Unfortunately Ernesto couldn't come to church yesterday so his fecha is gone but we'll keep going on that for sure :) We did have an extreme adventure today, we woke up and our wall was seeping water haha so our branch president came over and helped us bust open the wall and fix the pipe, pretty fun morning :)

Alright, well, I know this isn't much but it's really all there is haha. I hope all are well and I LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!!!
Elder Westenskow

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Great Week in Chichi!! 10/29/2012

Greetings to all from wonderful, beautiful CHICHICASTENANGO!!!! I do hope that all are as happy as I am as we prepare to celebrate this wonderful holiday of Halloween also known as MOMS BIRTHDAY!!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!!!!!!! LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE YOU!

Now, I'll try to answer the pressing questions.  My area is LEGIT!!! It's a little more cityish than San Antonio but not super city.  There are a TON of gringos because the market here is super famous because its CRAZY!!! I'm going to be spending money here for things for y'all (hence the withdrawal this morning :)) But its GREAT!!! I encourage y'all to look it up online and you'll find all the information that you want.  Now, about the comps. Being in a trio is not as bad as I thought it would be. We're trying to work hard and help them to get up to working HARD!  They're both cool. 

Also, just so ya know, I hit 16 months today.... 8 months haha.  I'm not baggy but it's starting to look close :)

And bad news, I still have no package.  Lame. I think it's lost haha.

Anyway, about my week.  It was a GREAT week.  It was an odd week because I've never worked this not hard before but we saw some good stuff.  First and best, Ernesto Mejia.  He's a dude. A guy you would never think to teach by his appearance. He's covered from head to toe in tattoos.  But he's a LEGIT guy.  He wants to follow Christ and learn how to avoid temptations and leave old things behind.  We taught him twice and were able to put a fecha for the 24th of November with him. He's a cake decorator by profession haha. But that's legit.  So we're stoked about that :)

Next, Carmen. She's a señora and she's super great.  We got into her house offering to do service, washed some laundry and then chatted.  We went back and taught the restoration and she loved it!  She's SUUUUUPER Catholic but she accepted a Book of Mormon and to read and pray.  The spirit was so crazy strong in the lesson and at the end we were like "so do you have any questions" and she was like "well, its clear in the Bible that Jesus was always healing people, so why doesn't he do it today, what made him stop" so we testified of the priesthood and that we can be healed. It was great :)

Next, and last, Jorge Mario.  He showed up to church yesterday.  Just showed up. Nobody invited him haha. So there's not a whole lot to tell but he just came because he was interested and after sacrament meeting he was like "listen, can y'all come to my house and teach me?" and we're like "ummm yeah!" so we set a cita and we're going on Wednesday haha.  So that was exciting haha.  But that was pretty much my week.  I love my area, comps are good, investigators are good and life is great! LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!
Elder Westenskow

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Chichicastenango!! 10/22/2012

Well! First off, I'm going to answer the burning questions about changes.  I did indeed have changes. I had them today haha.  Weird was that they called us last night and were like "well, you have changes, and they're tomorrow, so be here in Huehue at 6am" Which means I left on a bus at 3am and was packing all night so I'm literally running on ZERO sleep haha.  BUT, life is all good because I'm pretty excited about my changes.  I'M BACK IN QUICHE!!!!!!!! I'm in Chichicastenango! Also known as like one of the best tourist markets EVER! Also, its known as a really good area in the mission.  Now, downside, I am in a trio haha. One is Elder Bench from my group from Las Vegas and the other is Elder Cruz from Honduras. SO! It'll be tough, but we're going to work hard and do all the stuff that we should do. :) I'll keep you updated. 

Leaving San Antonio was super sad especially because I was expecting to have today to say goodbye to everyone but that couldn't be done.  So here I am again in Quiche, later I'll go to my area and I'll always keep y'all super updated on all of it :) But I do feel good about my time in San Antonio, it's been super tough area, and there have been trials but all is well on the home front :)

Poor little Ginger, I do hope she's feeling better now, that she's less obsessed with food and water and all that stuff haha. Give her an extra hug from me :)  And silly Meagan, why'd you go to the ER? That was a strange move, but hey, glad that it all went well and you were able to get cured and all of that stuff.  And dad, you mentioned Elder Franco like... the dude that went home in August from my mission? Random haha, but glad you could learn something from the lesson that was prepared. 

As for us, we had a great week, we worked hard and found several news and received a bunch of references and just did good stuff basically.  Kinda a weird week but all good.  We got called randomly on Tuesday night that we had interviews with president on Wednesday at 9 that they had forgotten to tell us about haha.  But we got down and I was confirmed there that I did indeed have changes.  So that's all good :)

Pablo is still progressing, we hope for a baptismal date of the 10th of November so that he can take that step to be able to be with his family forever.  I hope to keep getting updates from SAH :) I will always remember with a great fondness that place :) We also had a great activity with one of our less actives, we had a dinner at her house in which we had her and some other members invite nonmember friends to be able to get to know each other in a low pressure environment.  And it worked! Most of the inviteds didn't show up but we were able to contact a reference from FOREVER ago and put a cita to teach the family. I don't know what'll happen but at least we did a good job with the activity. 

The truth is, I'm like dying of tiredness and can't really remember super well the stuff that's happened in this week but I'm excited for my changes and excited to be able to put in practice all I've learned in San Antonio in Chichi.  It'll be great! LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!!!!!
Elder Westenskow

Great Week!! 10/15/2012

Yo hey howdy doooooooooo!

Wassup family, this is Elder Westenstorm coming to you from internet in San Antonio Huista (I have not had changes yet, but it could come any day haha).  Letting you all know that a grand crisis has been averted.  On my memory card all of my photos were erased... BUT, due to my luck, I have been able to recover them, so I'm happy for that :) First thing I'm happy about, I'll continue on later about happiness, but first I'll answer questions.

First off, do we have to bring someone on Pday adventures? No. But, we don't know any of the cool places here so we need a guide, that's why we always bring someone haha. If we don't, we get lost and that's just a super bummer haha. But if we bring someone we see cool stuff and they know all the secrets and stories and everything so that always adds to the fun :) What am I gonna do with all my mayan pot pieces? Sift through them and keep the best ones and bring them home to give to people :) Because the cool part is that they're actual legit real pieces of pot, found from me digging in the ground.  I kinda felt like I was at some childrens exhibit in a museum or something but it was all real :) I love this area.  

The pool.  We do have a pool in the church.  Well, it's in the yard, it's really just a hole in the earth with tile in it, there's no cleaning or filter system, you fill it with a hose haha.  And we go to the river because its way cooler to baptize in a river than in the pool haha. To answer, I think I told but whatever, we watched conference in Huehue, I was able to see Elder Wimmer but only on Pday haha Because he's in the other Huehue zone so yeah.  And why are people already excited for me to come back? I have 9 months still :)

Now, why am I so happy? Because we had a GREAT week topped off by a GREAT day yesterday :) First off, CLEMENTINO WAS BAPTIZED YESTERDAY :))))))))) It was such a great service, as you can tell from the picture it was an absolutely beautiful place that we went to to do the baptism.  He was super nervous but afterwords just said he felt great!  His testimony was great that he gave as well.  He gets up (mind you I kinda forgot to tell him that he was going to give his testimony haha)  But he gets up and he's like "my testimony is that this church is true, that it's the true restored church of Jesus Christ" It was so great and he wants to go on a mission, imagine it, two future missionaries in the same area.  I think passing 3 changes without baptisms was worth that :) 
ALSO, after I baptized Clementino I had the great opportunity to give the priesthood to Ogler, he's now officially a priest :) He'll be blessing the sacrament next week :) So we're super stoked on that, he's super great!

We also have a new family that we found. We were contacting their neighbors and the wife comes out and she's like "no hay gente alli"(there's no one there) and I'm like "y alli con usted?"(and there with you?) she responds "tampoco"(not here either) to which I said "podemos pasar?"(can we come in?) "pasen si quieren"(if you want) and we passed, and we taught them.  And they liked it :) We're going to see them tonight as well so we'll see what happens but in an area where it's so hard to find news we feel good :)  

Also, since I was written by that guy who was here in San Antonio like a million years ago and he told me that they had a lot of success in Tablon, we've gone to look for the members down there and we've been finding some less actives and are teaching some of their family members.  I now feel good about how I'm going to leave this area, baptizing and with success in the future :)  Pablo, unfortunately, fell on his fecha BUT he said that he has committed himself to be baptized THIS year, so that's good enough :) He'll do it too :) Like I said, a GREAT week!  Changes, I'll be sure to let you know next week! 

LOVE YOU ALL!!!! This is one happy Elder writing you from SAH with love!
Elder Westenskow

Saturday, October 13, 2012

General Conference 10/8/2012

WELP FAMILY!!! How's everyone doing? I hope super duper well.  I do have some silly news.  So we came down to Huehue for conference and we thought we would be going back up Sunday night and so we didn't bring any Pday stuff but then we found out that today was a sweet multi-zone activity with the zone in which Wimmer is a ZL, so we stayed.  Problem, I didn't have any Pday stuff. So I wasn't able to do my outlines or anything so I'm writing y'all just off the memory of what ya wrote last week, and I'll be honest, I don't remember a ton ha ha. But, I do remember that y'all had a good week and that it was super fun and everyone got to spend some time together :) So that makes me happy!  .  So today was super good, we're in Huehue and got to hang out with Wimmer which is super duper refreshing and all that good stuff :)

But yes, about the area.  I'll be honest first, we're having a hard time lol.  It is SO hard for us to find news right now.  I don't know what it is but we have NO investigators.  We have a few people that could come around to be positive that we're sticking with but yeah, all is well.  We do have Clementino who seems pretty sure to be baptized the 20th.  Problem.  I told president that we had a fecha for the 20th but we wanted to change it to the 13th.  He wrote back and told me to do all I could to change it because I would have a change.  So I think that even though changes aren't until the 23rd I think I'll be out this week, so.... sadish news but nothing is for sure.  So that's the good news, Clementino is super stoked and all that, we had a great lesson with him and he just needs to pray about his fecha and it's done.

Now, the bad news.  Pablo.  After 5 months of teaching he finally accepts a fecha and then he tells us that he doesn't think so. Soooo there's that, we don't really know what to do haha.  But were keepin' on keepin' on and life is good and hugely rewarding.  We do have some less actives that we're getting positive and seem like they could come back which is excellent because they're like INactives haha. But good stuff.  


First off, the age changes, holy crap, that's so legit.  Apart from the fact that we're now going to have 19 year old young ladies in the mission which could hugely increase the flirting problems that always have and always will exist between Elders and Sisters but hey, the missionary force is going to get HUGE! I'll be here to see the beginning of it and I'm excited :)  Now, my thoughts after seeing my third and penultimate conference in the Mission!!!! HOLY CRAP! I tried to pick my favorite talks but they were all soooooo good.  I just liked the themes.  Faith. Trusting in the Lord.  Families.  How to be a disciple of Christ.  Above all I really feel like I received a new testimony of the Prophets and apostles.  As it says in 2 Kings 5:8, there is a prophet in Israel.  We are so lucky to live in these days where we can listen to a prophets voice, hear and put into practice his council.  I have a love for the prophets and apostles and I get so excited to hear their words.  I'm psyched already for next April. Life is super great and I love the mission and I LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!!!
Elder Westenskow

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Blessings!! 10/1/2012

First off, pictures are of us inside of a cave, but like, inside.  It was TOTALLY dark and there was a ton of bats and stuff and it was totally muddy and stuff but it was legit.  As well there's one of where we were and of how dirty I got ha ha.  But today was a super fun day! We left early to go to find some caves and hike a hill where you can find Mayan artifacts. Well, we found some caves (and they were super deep!) and we hiked the hill and I gathered probably 7 or 8 pounds of pot pieces, but you can clearly tell they're pot pieces, those Mayans sure didn't take too good of care of their pots! ha ha.  But nah, it was super duper fun!

Now, as far as the urgent questions you had, I believe they were all answered last week so yeah.  The temple dedication sounds EXCELLENT!!!!!!  I really wish I could have seen it but with the way that they're going, there will be another temple dedicated in Utah for when I get back ha ha. Did y'all have an exciting week as you had planned? Seemed like ya had some pretty good plans for the week, hope it went well, I'll see when I read later :)  And mom is now employed!.... sorta ha ha.  35 days a year, legit, just enough to give you something to do, like you said :)  

As for me, I am feeling good, life is always hard, and this area has been extremely hard, but there's no sense in dwelling on the things that are hard when we can just face them and do our best, and that's what I try to do.  I'm not perfect, of course, and I make  A LOT of mistakes, but I do try my best :)  Am I eating well? It depends how you define well, for Guatetemala, yah.  For the states, probably not, but hey, that's life :) ha ha.  All is well :)

Now as for our week, we did see a LOT of blessings this week.  The first being that Pablo (remember that guy) put his own fecha! After saying no I don't know how many times, after saying no and no and no.  He accepted, and he put his own fecha for the 20th of October.  We want to bring it a little closer but at the very least on that day he will be baptized, best part, he says that he doesn't want to be baptized in Huehue, he wants to be baptized in Huistas!!! LEGIT! Blessings.

Also, Clementino came to church yesterday! He loved it just like the last time that he went.  He also called me last night and told me he was 60 percent sure he would be baptized, that he just had to work out one thing and he'd be good.  He didn't want to tell me over the phone what it was.  I tried to put the fecha but couldn't ha ha.  Either way, BLESSING!

Ogler, is progressing GREAT! We taught him about the priesthood this week and this next week he's going to receive it!  So excited!  He comes to church with his white shirt and tie and helps control all the crazy kids and youth that always are running around ha ha.  He's great, and he'll be a great blessing for the branch until he goes on his mission!  Which he is excited to do, just need to maintain that excitement for the next year but he'll do it, he's great. BLESSING!

Apart from that the week could actually be seen as kinda a bummer because we had a LOT of rejection.  The good thing is that Pablo and Clementino are super positive.  The bad thing is they are our ONLY investigators.  So that's kinda bummer.  Everyone that we had apart was dropped this week but we're still looking and life is super great and all that stuff!  We did have a sweet youth activity planned and executed by the youth.  They did a little talent show, made lunch and had a pool party in the pool that's in the church ha ha.  It was sweet! So, maybe a little short the letter this week, but lots of love and hope y'all can get a shower of blessings as well! LOVE YOU!!!!! Have a great week, and enjoy conference this weekend, I sure will!
Elder Westenskow

Thursday, September 27, 2012

New Suit, Baptism & BUGS!! 9/24/2012

First up!  I got the suit done! AND I've included pictures ha ha. I sure do hope y'all like it because it's totally calidad as the say here ha ha. It's not really something for everyday use but it is something LEGIT to have ha ha. It's the traditional dress from a place called Todos Santos Cuchamatan here in Huehue and they ONLY wear it there but EVERYONE wears it ha ha. The ladies have their own separate corte but hey, I'm not gonna buy that ha ha. But I included pictures of me jamming out, scriptures, and missionary! With a tie and everything ha ha. Pretty crazy but seriously it's so legit!

How was the dedication of the temple? I've set a goal to go to every temple in Utah so now I've got one more on the list ha ha. But I'm assuming it was just great, temple dedications always are :) Who did it?

Now, I'll tell you right upfront, apart from a few events, we had a fairly uneventful week ha ha. We did go to Huehue and have an EXCELLENT conference on Thursday morning. We learned a new way to get baptisms. It's a plan that president has and it seems LEGIT! It's kinda in depth so I won't explain it here but just know I have a lot of confidence in this plan ha ha. Now, on top of everything would be the baptism of Ogler! Saturday, September 22, 2012 Ogler was baptized by Elder Vega and he was so happy! He was excited and ready and all of it. His mom even came! There's not a lot of details to say but the service was great, right there on the shore of the river. The spirit was strong as a few members shared their testimonies and even stronger as Ogler shared his. Great day all in all. On top of that, Edvin, from forever and a half ago, came to the baptism.  He came and said that seeing Ogler there he had desires to follow him, that he had reached a sort of crossroads in his life and that he needed to think about who he wanted to be and where he wanted to go with his life. So hopefully something good can come from that too.
Also, we had a good cita with Pablo in which he told us that he was almost ready to get baptized. Then on Saturday, we talked to his son and he told us that Pablo had said that he wanted to get baptized! So we might be doing that on Saturday, but I'll let y'all know.  It seems that after much time of nothing, things are looking up in las Huistas.  

Other than that, I just have a fun story.  So! I have a pair of speakers. This last week they started acting a little funny so I decided to open them up and see if I could figure out the problem. The problem turned out to be 9 problems. And the problems were about 3 or 4 inches long each. Cockroaches! 5 in one speaker and 4 in the other. They had entered in through where the air enters and made a nice little home there ha ha. Problem: Both my comp and I have  a HORRIBLE fear of cockroaches. And we couldn't get them to leave. SO, we soaked a few paper towels in bug spray, threw them in the speakers and shook them around a little bit so the cockroaches would get super mad. Then, as we took the back of the speakers back off, the bugs came RUNNING out. We had to chase them around and stamp on them and it was just super duper horrible ha ha. But I'm happy to report that my speakers now work very well ;)

Now, just a thought from the scriptures. I encourage y'all to go read the story in 1 Kings chapter 18 verses 17 - 39. The story of Elijah where he calls down fire from heaven. But put emphasis in verse 21. Hardcore. Read it and you'll see.  

LOVE YOU ALL!!! The church is true, y'all are great!
Elder Westenskow

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Good News!! 9/17/2012

I have good news, our good friend Walter (y'all should really remember him haha) was officially ordained an Elder in the church last Sunday.  SUUUUUPER excited about that and we should all congratulate him. Entonces, Walter, se que ud recibe esta carta, por parte de todos, le felicitamos bastante por haber sido ordenado Elder en la Iglesia de Jesucristo.  Ahora tiene la responsabilidad y privilegio de bendecir a su familia, a sus hijos, y a todos los que lo necesiten.  :) Felicitaciones.  

Now, reading a little about your idea for the Guate trip, I had an idea. If we did it from like a Friday or Saturday until a Monday or Tuesday.  That way we could attend church twice as a family in Guatemala, once in the area of Nicole's choice and the other, my choice.  Just an idea that I had :) Also, y'all had an AWESOME!!!!!!!!! week haha.  But for reals, super duper adventures from last week, glad y'all could get out and de-stress a little bit and just have a good time (even though the plane had super duper issues haha).  But ya made it!  (PS, as I write this I'm trying to send photos of our pday adventure today which was to go to a cave and it was actually pretty cool but internet again is slow, sorry we're in San Antonio).  
Elders Vega, Garcia, Westenskow and Dautel
Now, my week.  I fear this email may be a little short but it's just packed full of great info and good news so I hope that'll make up for it :)  First off, Pablo.  FINALLY, we're getting down to it.  We just busted out a bunch of doubts that he has and finally just challenged him to ASK God during the sacrament at church on Sunday so hopefully he did it and we'll find out tomorrow :)  But we're feeling pretty good about it :)  

We also had a really cool Noche de Hermanamiento.  We had an open air cinema with 'The Testaments'.  People came to paint the church without much notice so last minute we threw it together and it turned out great.  We made popcorn and did it in the patio of one of our members, it was super great :)  Everyone seemed to like it.

Now, Ogler.  This kid is LEGIT!  I've met quite a few young men who come to meet the church through a girl and they all the sudden become very "interested" in the church.  And initially, I'll admit, that's what I thought here.  But no, this kid is LEGIT!  I don't have a lot of details because there's not a lot of details to tell.  But after the first lesson he came back and was like "I read what you said, I prayed, and I got my answer" he then proceeded to describe to us the feeling of the spirit that came to him.  It was GREAT!  Now, we met with him on Saturday and tried to put for sure the fecha for the 22nd.  He told us, "I'm not sure, I feel like I should wait, and my mom says it's fast" stuff like that so we're like "okay, we know that you can be ready and prepared for that date, if you put your part.  If you strive and do the best you can, you will get to that day and know that its the right thing to do.  But ask God, ask him if you should be baptized that day and he'll tell you" so he left with that.  Came to church on Sunday and told us that he had gotten his answer and told us that he knew he needs to be baptized on Saturday.  SO WE'RE GOING TO HAVE A BAPTISM!!!!! After more than 3 changes of working hard and having sooooo many people sooooo close, something is finally going to go through.  It's an incredible feeling :) We're very excited if you can't tell :)  

Apart from that were still looking for positive people and having kinda a hard time finding them but I'll always keep y'all updated, sorry for the lack of pics LOVE YOU ALLL!!!!!!!!
Elder Westenstorm

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Gracias A Dios!! 9/10/2012

We went to HOYO CIMARRON (I think that's how it's written) we went and it was AWESOME!!! I took some videos which can't be sent via email so wait 10 months and I'll show them to you but holy cow.  It was probably the most spectacular thing that I've ever seen in my life.  I think I want to bring y'all when we come back because really words can't describe it.  It's a hole.  In the earth.  Supposedly it's like 150 meters deep, not sure what that is in feet but goodness, its HUGE!  We spent like an hour throwing stuff in to it haha.  You would throw a rock, wait about 7 seconds and then hear the most spectacular noise you've ever heard in your life with the craziest echo you can imagine.  We went from San Antonio to a place called Cuatro Caminos, from there to Nenton, from there to Gracias A Dios and from there to the Hoyo.  Apparently we were like 6 seconds from Mexico haha.  I'll let y'all google earth all of that but I've included some pics of all the cool stuff we saw on the way.  Seriously, it was one of the greatest things Ive ever seen in my life.  The craziest part of all of it was the silence.  It was complete silence.  Not a person, not a car, not an animal (minus the silent birds that flew around in the hole) and it was just completely silent.  Just an amazing experience.


But as for missionary work, Elder V and I are staying together.  haha.  Three changes is a long time to be together with anyone, the longest I've been was 2 and a half with Ronfeldt (ps, Ronfeldt is getting married on the 9th of November haha), but well make it all work, life is good and my mission president is inspired, so if he felt inspired to leave us together, it was the right move.  However, one of the Elders from Santa Ana does have changes which means that Dautel is going to bring me my package from Huehue yay!  

Now, as for my week, it was super super busy but it's hard to give details because we spent the whole time contacting, turns out dropping all your investigators gives you a lot lot of time to look for new ones haha.  So we're looking and I'll let you know if anyone comes out of the woodwork.  We did have a super great branch activity in which we showed the members small and simple things (ask Nicole or Brad about that) and then had them all write their testimony right there in the activity and address it to someone specific in the same.  Then we had them do role plays to how they were going to give them away and we gave them one week to do it, so we'll see what happens there :)  

The most positive person we have are two people.  Two jovenes that are 18.  Clementino, who is well known already, and Ogler. They both are just super great, friends of members and ganas.  We put a fecha with both of them in an excellent lesson we had yesterday for the 21st of this month. They both accepted to prepare themselves for that day and to pray and ask if they needed to be baptized THAT day.  Really really excellent.  :)  We really just had a great feeling week, we finished it feeling super great and all that stuff :)  I hope y'all enjoy the photos.  I love you all a TON!!!!!!  LOVE YOU!!!
-Elder WEstenskow

Good Week!! 9/3/2012

How is everyone doing today? Great I hope. First off, to answer questions, I haven't gotten the package yet because I haven't gone to Huehue, but next Tuesday I am going to Huehue because it's changes so I'll get it there :)  You asked who went to the hole. Me, Vega, Elder Dautel, Elder Salgado, Edvin, Carlos, and Lacho. Just the Elders from my district and some jovenes from San Antonio. I know everyone was super stoked to see photos of an even bigger hole but we have to go next week instead haha.  So, patience ;)  Now to explain a bit the geography of the area. Huistas is the region. The two main cities are San Antonio Huista and Santa Ana Huista so that's the difference :)  Where we use internet depends on Pday activity.  If we're doing something in San Antonio we use it there, if we're in Santa Ana we use it here, luckily we're here today :)   
Also, how are we going to do the Guatemala trip, quick after I get back or what? Y'all aren't planning on coming to pick me up, right?  

Now, on to our week.  We had a good week, after dropping pretty much everyone we had a really hard time finding but we did get some news :)  But first, Pablo, we had a great cita with him in which we found out that he actually has a really good friend that had to give up a lot of things to be a member of the church, drinking, drugs, sabbath day, a bunch of stuff way more difficult than what Pablo has to do.  We also found out that this friend doesn't know that Pablo is going to church or anything, we encouraged him to talk to this friend this weekend in Huehue and to let us know more about him, his experience (hoping that the friend will animate Pablo a bit) I feel like it's a good plan :)

Johana, she's still kinda doin' the same thing, she'll get excited but then she gets bummed out.  She finally expressed some of her doubts this week to us about how she doesn't like how people from a lot of churches don't live their religion and we explained a TON of stuff to her about that and how it shouldn't matter what other people do and all that stuff, so hopefully we can see some progress there.  We are still feeling alright about it, waiting to see what she does.  But yeah.  She didn't come to church because some huge catholic bishop or something like that came to San Antonio and she went to sell... odd combo haha.

Now, we do have a surprise, last night we got a call from Marvin Marroquin, he asked us to come over.  We went and he apologized for the way he acted and the things he said and asked us to keep visiting them.... so that was unexpected but welcomed haha.  

We did have some news this week, a family of 4, the family Lopez that seem pretty positive. And a young couple, Diego and Juana.  Family Lopez don't go to any church but are looking and Diego and Juana have been going to the evangelical for like 5 months so they're not too deep in there :) So we're excited about that :)  There's not a whole ton to tell except for that they exist but I'll keep you all updated there :)

Finally, we had a GREAT Noche de Hermanamiento on Friday.  We played the game mom sent me "the best" and it went very very very very well :) Everyone loved it and had a great time and we applied it to the talents that we all have, that sometimes we have hidden talents that can help the whole move forward.  The best part was that the teams tied in the end and so we got to show that if we all work together, everyone wins.  It was great :)  

I guess, on paper, it seems like we didn't have the most exciting week but I promise it was great :) We're feeling good and looking forward to the last week of the change, we're going to find find find :) I love you all and hope you have  a great week :) LOVE YOU!!!!
-Elder Westenskow

Pictures are of me, creepy crawlies and all that good stuff :)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

I Have News!! 8/27/2012

First off, before I forget, I must tell you. I expressed to President Bautista in my letter to him last week a few of the setbacks that we've been having as well as the potential for success that appears to be in the near future, and asked to stay another change. Well, today he got back to me and told me that I'll be staying another change!!!!! So changes aren't for two weeks but I know already what's going to happen with me, I'm staying for another 6 weeks in San Antonio!!  I think that Elder Vega will have changes but nothing is for sure, we'll have to see what happens but at the very least I know I'll be here.  LOVE IT!!!! SO STOKED!!!

Now, that's awesome that y'all got to meet Zimmerman, that really excited me :) Although I was hoping for a little more detail on the visit, what kind of stories did he tell? What of my secrets do you know? Lemmie know the details :)  And you called him Conner.... Ew.  

Now, to answer mom, of the missionaries that you mentioned, I only don't know Elder Oborn, but I am up here in the jungle wilderness and I haven't been to Huehue for a long time so I don't know hardly any new Elders haha.  But from the ones you mentioned, they are legit.  Hna Broadbent is from my group so she's going home soon...... WEEEEEEIIIIIRRRRRRDDDDDDDDD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And to calm your doubts, sunglasses are indeed okay. There is nothing in the mission rules against them, of course I don't wear them contacting or anything but on a bus when the sun is CRAZY it's fine :)  And to answer dad, everyone in the mission got microwaves, not just us, it was just that time. There have been rumors for the last year (weird I can say that haha) and the rumors finally came true.

Now, we have news about investigators as well. We dropped a TON of people. Fam Marroquin (we're pretty sad about that one, but they decided the didn't want anything. Marvin had a hard time because it doesn't say in the Bible that Sunday is the Sabbath day... he told us if we couldn't show him in the Bible where it says SUNDAY that he can't continue with us).  Anyone who's studied the Sabbath Day knows that it doesn't say SUNDAY but that we know it through modern revelations.  But he didn't want to accept that. A few other people as well we dropped, so we're looking forward to finding news and all that good stuff :)

Now, we do have good news. There ARE people who want to be baptized... but of course they have desafios.  More than anything Sabbath day, meaning attendance.  First,two brothers. Their parents are chill if they get baptized but they don't want anything, but one of them works for his dad Sunday mornings and he can't get it off, so we're working with that. But we sat down and we're like "so the other Elders talked to you about baptism" "yeah" "and what do you think about that" "I want to be baptized" ..... so we just need to get them attending haha.  

Johana, she gets super excited for a few days then no, then yeah, then no.  So, we'll see what happens there.  Pablo  FINALLY told us his doubt, he didn't know why he needed to be rebaptized if he was baptized in the Catholic church as a baby. So we explained that and left him to pray haha.  We also had a great cita with Clemantino, he pretty much wants to get baptized, he just needs to attend, the most difficult compromise to get people to keep haha. But things are going good here and I'm going to be another change :)  Our members went to the temple on Saturday and it was super cool to see them so excited to go, I'm way happy for them.  

Also, just a thought that I LOVED!!!  A lady gave her talk yesterday and it was on obedience.  She talked a little about how a lot of people go to whatever church they go to and then in the afternoon they're drunk or fighting or working or something.  And she said something I loved!!  "Si no vivimos nuestra religion, no estamos haciendo nada mas que calentar un poco las sillas y no nos sirve por nada" roughly translated.  "If we don't live our religion, we just come to church to warm the chair a little and it does us no good"  Just a thought I loved :)  I hope y'all like this email, I'm kinda running but I hope I'm understood, sorry no pics this week we're on slow Internet again but hey, that's life :) I'm happy, content, alive, and well, and absolutely in love with the mission :) 
-Elder Westenskow

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

I Went To A Hole In The Earth!!! 8/20/2012

First off, the pictures are from our activity today.  We went to a hole in the earth. That's basically it. It was a hole. In the earth. And a river disappears into the hole. It was WAY WAY WAY COOL! 

Also, y'all sent me some pictures. Zimmerman in my kitchen holy crap haha. That was a weird sight. I'm excited to read your emails about the whole thing. Zimmerman was in my kitchen, and y'all called him Connor, weird hahaha. But I'm glad he could go see y'all and that you made him great dinner. Lasagna haha.  

First, to respond, I hope y'all enjoyed the pictures from last week and from this week, we've been using Internet in Santa Ana for the last couple weeks and it's a little faster so photos can successfully be sent haha. And you asked about the fabric, I think you mean the expensive one right? I'm still working out if I can buy it on day that's not Sunday but the lady is proving difficult to work with. I'll let you know, or when I take a bunch of money out of the bank you'll know haha. Also, the 15 years party, I'm not really sure about it to be honest with you, the whole thing seems strange to me. Nicole probably knows more lol.  

I LOVE your idea of reading the Book of Mormon again together. You talked about how the Stake President talked about that that was how we could have REAL growth and it's absolutely true. Reading and applying the principles in that book are the method to real growth, real personal growth. I wont go into to much detail but I have a few goals as to who I want to be when I get home and I know that the Book of Mormon is the way to achieve them. I just hope I'm strong enough to continue in those goals.  

Now, we actually had a really good week! First off, the family Marroquin, we still are working on their marriage problems but we had a great FHE with them on Monday in which we taught about enduring to the end. And how even though they hadn't completed the steps of baptism and the Holy Ghost that they could still endure, and do the things that God wanted them to do. That this time is a time of testing for them to see if they'll remain faithful even in times of trouble. Excellent lesson and it had results, they came to church for the first time in a month yesterday! YAY!!!! So that's great!

Next, Johanna came out of NOWHERE! Y'all remember her? Look back on the old emails if you like but she's an old investigator that we dropped. But she called us one day to see if we could do her a favor, chop some wood. So we went and got a cita. In the cita we challenged her to be baptized and she accepted and accepted the fecha!  We put it for the 1st of September but we have to bump it back because she didn't come to church yesterday. We went after church to see why and she's like "Well, I went up to go with my mom, but she said that they always say that the Sacrament is the most important thing and she figured if we weren't going to make the sacrament that we just shouldn't go". We explained to them the principle of better late than never and set a cita for a FHE on Wednesday. So she had plans to go yesterday just her silly mother haha.  

Last as far as good news goes, we finally had a cita cita with the family Lucas. And it was kinda a throw down. We knew it was last night or never. So we just went for it. Nicole advised me to use the machete in appropriate situations and it was used well last night. We talked about baptism, authority, the need of a baptism that counts, the importance of the Book of Mormon.  The husband and kids are down, they even wanted to come to church yesterday but she said no.  But she was letting doubts fly and we just answered all of it with scripture. She asked us "what's the difference between your baptism and the baptism of any other church" we talked about authority. "Why does it really matter which church you go to?" we talked about how Christ is not divided. "Why doesn't the bible mention Joseph Smith?" we explained dispensations a little bit. There were just so many questions she had and it was all great. Really really spirit guided lesson. Like Nicole said, the machete can be correctly used and to good effect.  

Now, I know this email is short but its packed with good news and I hope to have more good news for you next week. I love you all a flippin ton and I hope y'all have a great week LOVE YOU!!!

-Elder Westenskow

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Progress! 8/13/2012

Well hello family!  

So, this week. We have some developments that will interest those out there who read. The family Armas. We finally got out of them why they are pretty hesitant. A few years ago the elders went to their house and taught them about 3 times. In the fourth visit the elders got to their house and said "hey, so this Saturday, we have everything ready and we're going to baptize you in the river. Just be there at such and such an hour" and of course they didn't like that because God has given us all our free agency and so they said no and that the elders couldn't just take the decision for them. So, when we went on Sunday we just sat down with all of them and we're like, "okay, we want to wash our hands of this mess so here we go. It was not right what the elders did. That's not how things are. Clearly we have the same objective as them.  But, we want you guys to arrive at the desire to be baptized through your own personal experiences and all that good stuff" and they seemed to like it and opened up to us. So, PROGRESS!!!!!

Now, I don't know if I've already told you about Garillo, but he's a reference from a member, an old investigator. So we went and taught him last week and challenged him to be baptized and he says he wants to! Just a matter of getting him to church. Because he's told a bunch of people that he wants to be Mormon ha ha. We received this reference from like 4 people in different times ha ha. So we're going to keep going with that. He seems cool it's just a matter of getting him to church.  

Now, we also have 3 jovenes. Marlin, Areli, and Darlin. They almost got baptized almost a year ago and nobody knows why they didn't. And they still want to apparently. We only were able to meet with the smallest, Darlin of 14 years but he REALLY wants to be baptized ha ha. So we put a fecha for the 19th but I think we'll have to change it so he can go with his siblings. But hey, its a FECHA!!! FINALLY!!!!!!! Two and a half changes and finally I put a fecha ha ha.  

We also had several really, really good less active visits which led to an excellent Sunday. We reactivated 2 more people officially which brings the number of people reactivated since I've been here to 5 and they say a reactivation is as good as a baptism so.... Go me? ha ha. Nah, I feel great about it and it really was a great block of meetings yesterday.  Other good news, president called me on Friday night to tell me that Saturday morning he wanted us to be in Santa Ana so he could give us something.  That something? MICROWAVE!!!!!!!!! WE HAVE A MICROWAVE!!!! Oh so happy about that, how I missed them ha ha. So yeah.  Just so you know, Nicole's package is here... well not HERE. In Huehue my zonie just told me "hey, Westenskow, you have a HUGE package here ha ha" so we'll see when I get it lol.  

Now, a request, if y'all could sent me, just digitally is fine, I can print it cheap, a picture of my baptism, I'd like it to be able to show to people, so if I could get that that'd be super ha ha. And I think that's it.  A short email but a good week and looking forward to another :) LOVE YOU ALL!!!! Stay safe and congratulations to Meagan and Brad on their apartment, it looks great :) LOVES!!!  PS. pictures are of the house, the landscape and me on a bus ha ha

-Elder Westenskow

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

I'm Happy! That's What This Work Does, It Makes You Happy! 8/6/2012

First off, to convince y'all that in spite of that everyone seems to think that I'm dying of sadness or something, I've located another fastish internet in which I can send photos and y'all can see that I still smile :)  I'll try to remember which ones I attatched :)

1. A fun one with a lizard friend that we found in the house and then captured and then he got scared and ran up on my shoulder, we named him Johnson.  Good stuff :)

2. WE FOUND A FLOATING LEAF!!!  I'm not sure if it was tied by a spider string or what but it was FLOATING!!  It was so cool.  We took fun pictures and even a video :)

3. A fun one with a recent convert family, I know that my face looks poopy but it was cause we were joking around :)

4. A tarantula that we found while playing soccer a few weeks ago... ya that was fun ha ha.

5. A GIANT spider that we found in the house while cleaning, not a fan of the spiders!

And I think thats them 

Now, to answer questions (thanks for asking questions btw, it helps me a lot!)

Q: How are the crickets and how do we deal with them? A: They are gross and black and range in size from almost unnoticable to holy crap big ha ha.  We deal with them by stepping on them, it seems the most effective method.  :)
Q: What is my kitchen like? A: To be honest y'all probably wouldn't recognize it as a kitchen ha ha. It's just a room with kinda a counter thing in it and a stove.  There's no sink ha ha but we have a pila on the other side of the house. (makes for really inconvenient when you're cooking and have to wash your hands in the middle ha ha)
Q: How is travel to Huehue? A: It's not horrible but it's not great ha ha. I actually, coming back from Huehue this week (yes, we had to go AGAIN ha ha) getting on the bus and looking around the terminal and hearing people just shouting, selling all kinds of whatever and whenever for whatever price you want to give them. Sitting on an old school bus painted a mix of fire red and lightning green and containing an odor of old meat. Crazy music just blasting so loud the ayudante has to yell so he can hear where you're going. I just sat there for a minute, and thought "Is this what my life has become, that none of this seems strange to me?" Heck, I even bought some tamalitos, 2 for Q5, who can pass that up? ha ha. So for y'all it would probably be like, HORRIBLE. But for me it's not too bad ha ha. Hope that helps clear up the doubts a little bit. :)

NOW, to comment on your week :) MOM, you helped in the yard!  Nicely done. I'm sure it looks GREAT!  I also did some yard work this week (but I doubt you used a machete in yours ha ha) That's legit that Meagan and Brad had a great celebration and all of it :) 

And now what you're all waiting for, did Elder Westenskow have a good week? The answer is: AL FIN, SI!

After a few weeks of discouragement (as you might have been able to tell) we had a great week! (In spite of the Olympics being on EVERYWHERE and me loving the Olympics and all, so that was tough but whatever, we had a great week!). I'll start with the least good news and then move up. Family Lucas, we couldn't teach them. But they invited us to a dinner that turned out to be a celebration for their daughters 15 years. Now, don't worry, it wasn't one of those HUGE parties that this country is famous for for 15 years but it was a dinner (that one of the Elders from Santa Ana made, TACOS!!!) with just a few close families and us. WHICH MEANS; that they really consider us good friends and we've grabbed confidence with them as they say here. SO, this week we're going to change things up a bit. Instead of trying to go to their house where there are a ton of distractions and everything, we're going to invite them to come to the church (now that it's all clean and stuff :)) And we'll see what happens.

NOW, Fam Marroquin, not much there, we're going to Xela this week for a meeting so we're going to stop in Huehue on the way back and talk to the lawyer there and see what we can do.  They didn't come to church but they did come to the EXCELLENT activity that we had.  

Fam Armas, still there. Didn't come to church either, but the dad got a tooth taken out so that was probably an excuse ha ha.  When we went to their house the Book of Mormon was on their couch and we asked who had been reading and they said that he had been reading so that means that he put our book before that of the testigos o sea, that our idea to go read with them to motivate them animated them a bit to read! EXCELLENT!! One step forward. We watched the movie "Together Forever" with them and they loved it :) We took a member, their aunt, and it just went swimmingly :) They're becoming more and more excited each time I think :)

Pablo Vasquez, FINALLY PROGRESS!!!  We shared with him in John 21 the story where Peter, after the death of Christ goes back to fishing because it's whats familiar for him. The apostles are scared and don't know exactly what to do, so they turn back to the things of before. Now, the first point being that they don't catch anything, that's significant and we'll come back to it later. Second, Christ comes and asks Peter "lovest me thou more than these?" (meaning the fish, or the things of before) and Peter follows Christ. But at the last moment he turns back and sees John and says "what of him?" and Christ basically says "What does it matter to you, follow me"  NOW, the application. When we begin to progress in the gospel, sometimes we get scared or things hold us back because we don't know exactly what to do or exactly what will happen.  These things, for investigators, can be sports on Sundays, smoking, coffee, work, etc. But Christ asks all of us "lovest me thou more than these?" and we have to decide if our love for Christ will conquer our fear. What do we love more, sports or Christ? What do we love more, coffee or Christ? We all have to answer that question. However, in those moments of decision we oftentimes look back and say "what about him? what about my coworker? what about my brother?" and Christ just says "what does it matter, follow thou me" o sea, worry about yourself, this is YOUR salvation. Really made him think, he still didn't accept a firm fecha but we really think he will this week.  :)

NOW, new guy, Garillo. SUPER POSITIVE. Found him this week, he's a reference from a member and we walked in (and maybe a little frustrated from not having progress or success) just threw it down. We asked if he was baptized. He said no.  So we said "well, to get to heaven you need to be baptized, we all need it. Our goal as missionaries is to help you find and recieve the only one and true baptism talked of in the scriptures. Everything we teach will have that objective, to prepare you to be baptized. We will be asking you to do certain things, and all of them will have that goal. We want you to know for yourself that these things are true and that this baptism and this church will help you get to heaven" or soemthing like that.  And he accepted the invitation to be baptized! No fecha but still :) Happy.  

Now, the activity. WAS EXCELLENT!! Forgot to take pictures, silly me ha ha.  But I'll try and get some for next week, the church really looks great and we even cleaned the land in the back up to be able to use it for activities. It had plants up to 7 feet tall back there ha ha. But we cleaned it SO good and there was a ton of people there and it was just excellent, I'm not sure about details because that's pretty much the activity but it was a great end to a great week!  

I hope this email is good and that y'all enjoy it, remember that I love you and in spite of anything I say or don't say I AM HAPPY :) Becuase that's what this work does, it makes you happy.  

LOVE YOU ALL!!!! Have a great week!
-Elder Westenskow