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, May 28, 2012

I Ate Ants!!! 5/28/2012

FIRST off, HOOOOOOOLY BIRTHDAY PACKAGE!!!!  I LOVED IT!! Plus, I only cheated a bit and opened the glasses early. There was a TON of stuff and all of it good!  One question, if I open the one year gift early am I going to regret it because it is STARING at me ha ha.  If so, lemmie know but if not, Holy cow I wanna open it ha ha.  

Now, to answer questions.  How do I feel? GREAT!  I have passed all sickness and am working hard and being healthy and loving life!  Hows the heat? I'm getting used to it but holy crap it is HOT!!!  It is cooling down a little bit because winter is getting here so we'll see how it continues :) How often do we see the other Elders?  How far away are they? We see them every week for Pday and for district meeting, they're about 15 or 20 minutes away.  How's the house? We do have an indoor kitchen (just without a sink LONG LIVE PILAS!!!) and we do have an indoor bathroom.  It's a way nice house actually.  Laundry? A member washes it.  Shopping? We go to tiendas, the more Mexican contraband, the better ;)  How's everything holding up?  Well, the suitcases are great, they just kinda sit there most of the time but when it comes time to use them they hold stuff really well.  The boots, I don't really use, they're not super comfortable to walk a ton in (go figure) and I'm thinking about just leaving them somewhere but I know that if I do I'll for sure regret it.  So they're great, almost like new!  The clothes are good, the shirts aren't quite as white as they used to be but its all holding up really well.  Good or bad freak out about the area? Definitely a good freak out!  Everybody wants to come here ha ha.  Because Ronfeldt and his last comp before me came up as assistants and baptized a crud ton of people, but that was all in Santa Ana ha ha, I'm in San Antonio so yeah, but its legit!

Now, as for my news.  My comp had changes ha ha.  On Tuesday they called us and changed my comp, now I'm killing a guy named Elder Caceres from Honduras, its his last change so we're trying really hard to baptize and we have a couple that could.  Our most positive is Pablo Vasquez, hes a reference.  His wife and all his kids are members and he told them that he wanted to go with them to church (the catch is they attend in Huehue because they go there every weekend) but he seemed really positive, we tried to put a fecha but he wouldn't say yes or no but we'll see what happens this week, we really hope he went on Sunday :)  We also found a cool guy named Fidel Lopez, he's just a contact but he asked us some questions about what happens after dying and all that stuff so we're going to go this week.  We were going to go yesterday pero por el agua, se nos hizo imposible.  A little Spanish there.  

Now, we actually couldn't work a whole ton this week because of changes and CONFERENCE/PARTY!!!  For having done the 40 contacts we watched Tangled.  I'm so inicuo.  Ha ha jokes, but it was REALLY REALLY GOOD!  I honestly forgot how good movies are ha ha.  But we just came back from that and kept working so it was cool to see it but I wouldn't have died without it ha ha.  But that was way fun, I got to hang out with some Elders that I've been missing and it was a blast :)

Also, in other news.  For the smoking deal with Edvin, I had to eat 11 ELEVEN JOCOSH!!!!  It was AWFUL! I do have video proof so y'all can see that in 13 months ha ha.  And we had the first ever branch council meeting in San Antonio yesterday to help get things really rolling, to get callings extended, visits done and start to work on the mountain of problems that this branch has.  But the meeting went REALLY well and I think it was an excellent idea to have it.  I think that's about it on my part, hope everyone is great, I'm old tomorrow ha ha.  But we're going to celebrate!

OH RIGHT:  This morning we went fishing with some members. We're going to cook the fish tomorrow with the other elders to celebrate.  Welp, wish me a good week and I'll talk to y'all next week, LOVES!!!
-Elder Westenskow

HUISTAS!!! 5/21/2012

First off, I must address a few issues. Chase and Lauren are going to Disneyland?? To clarify, I am not upset about this, just that this officially certifies that we NEED to go to Disneyland Christmas of 2013, we NEED to go ha ha.  Moving on.

That’s way legit that Mothers day was so good for ya mom, that’s how it should be and I’m stoked that you enjoyed it so much :)  Extra love one week later :)  And dad, how did all your crazy New York meetings go?  Hope not too bad ha ha.  

Now, about me.  I realized that last week I forgot to mention my comp.  His name is Elder Gonzalez and he’s from Mexico City, Mexico.  He’s pretty cool and we get along pretty well.  Everything is going pretty smooth :)  As for us, I know you’re also worrying about investigators.  Well, the problem is that we don’t really have anybody positive ha ha.  But we have people that could become positive.  I’ll give you a little rundown on them.  First off, there’s a lady named Johanna.  Her daughter got baptized in March and she’s investigating too.  She’s got her and another daughter that are baptism age.  She’s afraid to go to a church because she knows that she’ll have to change and give up a lot of things.  The thing she really lacks is just to pray and ask if it’s true.  She’s cool though.  Next is Edvin. He has pretty much the same problem as Johanna.  He just needs to pray, he already knows what the answer will be but yeah.  He also studies in the weekends in Xela so he’d have to attend there so that’s a problem.  He smokes too, but we did a deal this week that for every cigarette he doesn’t smoke between last Thursday and tomorrow I have to eat a Jocosh.  (also known as a fried ant) GROSSSS! So far I’m having to eat 11 tomorrow so.... yeah.  Not excited about that (except for the fact that he’s hardly smoked!)  There’s also a guy named Ovidio. He was living in Utah before and attending there ("Because there was no other church") he told us ha ha. But he also needs to pray, that’s really what everybody needs to do ha ha.  Apart from them, there’s a couple others but I’ll keep it for another week ;)  We’ll see what happens with them :)

But, there were a few interesting happenings this week.  First off, we decided that the branch needs some fire, so we’re starting to have branch council next week with all the leaders of the branch to get ourselves more organized and the members more involved in the work.  So we’ll see how that goes.  Also, I had my first door slammed in my face this week, 2 of them in fact!!  Also, I tried 1 jocosh, so every ones favorite Elder Westenskow has officially eaten a fried ant.  Hooray for me!  It wasn’t gross, it tasted fine just the thought of eating an ant was gross ha ha.  Also, this week on Friday we go to Huehue to have a conference and they’re going to bring pouch so I should get the birthday package there!  We really just need new investigators but we had another week of 40 contacts and wer’e waiting for the blessings from that ha ha.  
LOVE YOU ALL!! Wishing you the best!
-Elder Westenskow

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Hello All!!! 5/14/2012

First off, happy Monday to everyone out there!

Just like December 26th, this email is for everyone who I didn't talk to last night because I TALKED TO MY FAMILY AND IT WAS LEGIT!!!!!  So this email is to go over things that I forgot to talk about with my parents (Which I will address first) and then to catch everyone else up.
First off, I cannot believe that I forgot, but DAD, CONGRATS ON THE PROMOTION!!!  That's so awesome and even more awesomer that we won't be moving, I'd like to come home to the same house I left ;)  Ha ha.  But for realsies, good job, you 100 percent deserve it. I'm proud to have you as my dad, Love you man!  Just a  question, how does this affect your travel, will it be more, less, the same?  Lemmie know!  

Now, to answer the questions y'all had about the Walter call, I was NOT in the room for that so I really have no idea what it was like but ya know, cool beans, I'm glad that y'all enjoyed it and that you could get to know him a little bit, he's super stoked to meet you guys so yeah, we're all keeping in contact though.  He told me that he admires y'all (my parents) for raising a pretty alright kid and he has some questions he wants to ask you when y'all meet face to face ha ha.  So keep that in mind ;)  

Now about changes.  I am officially OUT of Esperanza, lastima.  I love that place but it was definitely time for a change.  I'm in an area called San Antonio Huista and it is officially the furthest area in the entire mission.  I belong to the department of Huehuetenango, my zone is Zaculeu and I'm in the district Huistas.  It consists of two areas and 4 elders ha ha.  But it's chill, we're just kinda up here in our own little bubble and they just trust us to work hard and to be good people.  So that's what we do!  For those who are on the edge of their seat for news on Elder Garcia, he's in an area called Las Victorias, also in Huehue, also in the zone Zaculeu. So yeah!  Good stuff there!

Now, about the area!  I found out my changes Monday afternoon.  Ronfeldt came to say goodbye to Walter and me on Monday afternoon.  As we were walking to Walters house he's like "Hey, I know your changes, but I'm not telling you" which means "pester me a bit and I'll tell you your changes"  So I was like "No way man, you have to tell me" So he's like, well I'll tell you this, you'll be able to visit some of my converts" (now at this point I was SURE they were sending me to Momos, because of rumors and all that) so I'm like "AM I GOING TO KANKI (spelling is definitely incorrect) and he's like "yeah man, you're going!" so I got super stoked.  Then we get to Walters house and he's like "I know were Elder Westenskow is going" and I'm like "Yeah, me too" and he goes "No I lied to you" and he's like "He's going to San Antonio Huista"  Now I had heard a TON about this area from Ronfeldt so I started freaking out!  So that's that story.  It took us 7 hours to get here in a bus and it is HOTTTTT.  But like, HOT!!!!!  I can't describe it, it's just so flippin' hot!  We live in a house that also happens to be the church building ha ha.  The branch is super small, we had an attendance of 19 yesterday and we don't have too many positive investigators.  BUT, this week is another week of 40 contacts so we're going to be doing that this week and hope to find some people to baptize in the coming weeks. This area is famous for baptizing so we'll see what we can do!  This branch also relies on us a TON.  I've been here less than a week and I have already had to do the activity for the Noche de Hermanamiento AND I spoke yesterday ha ha.  So this will be a good growing experience and I'm stoked to learn all I can and teach all the people I can here.  I'm just super stoked about this change.  

I did have a cool experience I wanted to share with y'all though.  It's really hard to explain but I hope I can do it justice.  I was reading in the Book of Mormon, and I got to 3 Nephi 11 when Christ comes to the Americas.  And I don't know what it was about this time, I've read that chapter I don't know how many times.  But this time it just hit me.  Christ REALLY DID come to the Americas, he visited his people here. The story that's contained in the Book of Mormon is TRUE.  It actually happened, it's historical fact.  I don't know, I could like see it in my mind when it described a man dressed in white descending out of heaven.  It was really excellent.  For anyone that doubts it, the Book of Mormon is TRUE! There is no doubt about it.  Just read it and you'll realize that it really really is true :)  I love you all, I tried to send photos this week but this computer won't let me so I'll try and get you some next week.  LOVES FOR ALL!!!!
-Elder Westenskow

Friday, May 11, 2012

Hello Changes!! 5/7/2012

First off, sorry about the call mix up, we were literally walking out of the door when Shirley was like, "Elder Westenskow, Elder Westenskow, its Hermana K (One of the hermanas in our area).  People know that we teach a lot of lessons in their house and that we eat lunch there so if they call our house and we're not there, usually people will call and ask Walter if he knows where we are ha ha.  So Shirley only knows one gringa so when she heard Nicole talking she assumed it was Hermana Kiddle (I suppose she didn't look at the caller id ha ha)  but yeah, as soon as I realized what was going on, I ran ran ran from that place ha ha.  I'll be talking to you in less than a week, no worries.  I'm not sure what we have to do to let y'all know what time and number and all that stuff but all will be well.  :)  

Second off, and before I forget, skimming a little bit of emails, Wendi informed me that MCA (one of the members of the dynamic rap trio The Beastie Boys (now we're only left with Ad Roc and Mike D)) passed away :( This is sad news.  Let us all mourn MCA by listening to a classic Beastie Boys song (Recommendations include "No Sleep Til Brooklyn" "(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party)" "Paul Revere" "Brass Monkey" "The New Style" and a few others I cannot remember at this time.  I am not responsible for if they use bad language, I honestly cannot remember ha ha.  Listen at your own risk.  

Now, HOLY MOLY YSA SURVIVAL PACKAGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GOODNESS!!  Oh good package ha ha.  Full of DELICIOUS FOOD!!  PLEASE pass on my thanks to them, the package was incredible!  It contained a TON of really delicious stuff!  I'm including a photo of one happy Elder with full cabinets!  Ha ha.  Seriously everything they sent was like, incredible stuff that I never would have thought to ask for (Teddy Grams, nice touch!)  Please pass on my thanks to them and my appreciation, my ward has the best YSA ever and one day I too will send super duper survival packages to missionaries!

Now, speaking of packages, 20 pounds?!?!?  Why on earth would you tell me that? ha ha that's pure torture!  As you can probably guess, it has not come yet, but I will let you know so fast it's not even funny when it does come.  Also, to answer the question, the mail all goes to one place, the assistants go pick it up, take it to the office and sort it according to zone.  The zone leaders then go to the office and pick it up and bring it to district or zone meetings, and thus functions the system!  

Now, we did indeed make eclair pie.  We made it on Saturday during lunch and we're eating it tonight with dinner (We're making tortas!)  So I'll have to let you know how it goes.  Not enough crackers were sent so we had to improvise... I hope it turns out alright.  At least we know one of the pies will leave well!  

About weather, its been normal, not too cold, not too hot.  Although last night it rained like CRAZY!  Hence the tardiness at Walter's, we literally couldn't leave ha ha.  And about the jacket, I honestly haven't used it yet because we haven't had a big rainstorm apart from yesterday and that was NOT expected, but rainy season should start any day so I'll be letting you know!  And the Frisbee is legit!  

Reading about your stuff with the mission and the ward council I just gotta say HELP THOSE MISSIONARIES!!!  Less than 5 lessons a week!  That's absolutely crazy!!!  Those guys need some help!  That's good that you guys are combining your forces to help them though, proud of y'all!  :)  Also, how was St. George? Good I hope, I'm sure you'll tell me:)  

Now about my week.  A ton of crazy awesome sweet things happened!  Oh.... wait.... that's not true.  The fair was in my area and we taught a total of 2 lessons ha ha.  Seriously EVERYTHING fell because of the fair.  The Gomez family, the Calderon Family, AND Doña Tina all fell on us 2 TIMES EACH ha ha.  SO we didn't teach any of them ha ha.  Also, nobody came to church, so that was cool.  Literally everything fell.  BUT we did have a couple cool experiences.  We taught Walter's friend Chepe (José) and he's really super positive. We taught him the plan of salvation because of some questions that he had and he really really liked it!  He started asking questions about if there was one true church and how we could find it and Walter bore his testimony of that we just need to ask God and he'll tell us what to do, it was super legit!  He also asked a couple questions about baptism so the next time he's taught, they'll talk about that!    

Like I said, I'll let you know what happens with the Mothers Day call.  Oh and you're probably wondering about changes, we both have changes... They're taking us both out.  I don't really know what to think.  I just need to talk to a bunch of members and investigators and the new elders... we'll see what happens.  I know that everything will be okay but I'm worried for the area right now ha ha.  We'll see what happens and we'll see where they send me.  Also, I wanted to share a scripture that President shared with the mission in our brand spankin' new mission newsletter.  (I don't want you guys to think I actually read the Old Testament ;)  Joking.  Anyway, it's found in 2 Samuel 24:22-25.  The message is that the Lord requires sacrifices, He requires our effort and He requires that things be hard for us.  I just really liked the thought, obedience requires effort, good stuff there!  
-Elder Westenskow

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Baptism!!! 4/30/2012

Hows everyone doing out there in Utah land? Hopefully great!!!

We too here in Guatemala land are doing just fantastic!  The fair is in my area this week so we're preparing for a week of NOBODY in their houses ha ha but we've got some citas already and some good plans to make everything go the way that we want :)  Again, just wanted to apologize for worrying everyone, just to put an end to it all, the rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated, I am not dead, I am well and alive and the nanobots have long ceased to attack my body and soul, I am back to 100% health and we're working hard as always :)  To answer questions, we're making Eclair Pie on Sunday because changes are Tuesday so Monday we're having a dinner party at Walters to say goodbye and early celebrate my birthday (I'M GETTING OOOOOLLLLLLDDDDDD!!!!!!!) ha ha.  And mom, you had explained a little before your five by five plan but I understand it a little better now and I really like it, its a great idea!  And talking about missionaries, 6 lessons a week, that sucks!  I would die... those elders need some HELP! Ha ha.  Not that they're bad Elders just that it's true, thinking about it, contacting wouldn't work there.... man, that's rough.  But your plan should help.   

Also, if you leave the weeds, I'll pull them in 14 months, then we'll go to some concerts ;) ha ha.  But I'm glad to hear that everything is going well on the home front. 

Now, more questions, more work related.  Contacts.  About them, the ones you asked about.  The less active, she's the mom of a member (we didn't know where this member lived ha ha) but we found her.  She doesn't really want anything to do with the church (she's been evangelical for like 20 some odd years ha ha)  but she did come to our baptism, so that's something!  We'll keep following up and let y'all know!  The guy that visited sites of church history.  We went to see him and knocked at the talkbox and he's like "WHO?!" and were like "We're the Elders, here to visit you!" and he's like "Ghaalmahadfasrrrrrrrrrr" and then we waited for like 5 minutes and he never opened the door ha ha.  And the old investigator.  He himself didn't want anything but the guy standing with him was also an old investigator, I just didn't recognize him at the time.  But I guess seeing us woke up his desires again (we had been trying to have a cita with this very guy for like 4 weeks) but he just showed up to church 2 weeks ago and then after we had a cita and he told us he wanted to be baptized!  His name is Mynor and all he has to do is get married and he can be baptized!  Only problem is his "wife" lives in San Marcos and he has to have the money to bring her here and support her before he can get married. 

Gomez family and the Calderon family are both doing well, they're both still there, struggling a bit (not for desires but for other circumstances) but they're still there, they didn't come to church (for said circumstances) so they're not TECHNICALLY progressing, but they're both progressing.  No really super cool stories, they're just there and reading and praying and all the good stuff :)  However, we did have the super good day of Lala getting baptized on Saturday!  It was an excellent service, great spirit, good messages, almost her whole family came (big surprise to everyone!)  and it was excellent!  I don't really know how else to say it but it was excellent!  She was super nervous but overcame it, Elder Garcia baptized her and it was all just excellent!  We really had a great week :) 

Now, the last thing, the mothers day call, I have no idea about anything, it's the Sunday after changes so I don't know how I'm gonna let y'all know... but I'll figure it out ha ha. 

LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!!!!
-Elder Westenskow