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, June 28, 2012

Blessings Are Coming From Hard Work!! 6/25/2012

Hey Family!!!

How's everything going on that end. I hope the Haycock Camp was enjoyed by all and that y'all just had a super great time :)  Welp, let's answer the most pressing question on everyones mind right now.  Who is my new comp?  Welp, I forgot to take pics with him but I'll try to get those as soon as possible.  My comp is an Elder Vega from Ecuador.  (I don't think they speak spanish in Ecuador becuase it is hard as heck to understand this guy but it'll be good) He's 26 and a convert of 1 year.  He's pretty cool, a little tough with him but we'll make it work.  Y'all know how bad I am at describing people so let me know the questions that you've got and I'll answer them next week.  

Branch Activity

Now, to answer questions from the pictures of the other week.  The owl had no signifigance, it's just a members pet ha ha.

And the thing on my tongue is indeed an ant ha ha.

And good news, I found my baptismal tie in a suitcase I hadn't checked ha ha.  So no worries there!

Now, as for us for this week, not a whole ton to report.  We had a conference with Elder Amado on Wednesday so we went from the area on Sunday afternoon and didn't come back til Thursday afternoon. But we do have some excellent news.  First off, we weren't able to meet with Pablo this week because of the crappy not getting back til Thursday but we did talk to him and he does want to get baptized, he just is having a hard time committing to a date. But, this week we're going to commit him and we want to get him the 7th of July.  EXCELLENT!  He has 4 attendances already and he's just doing great.  Also, this week, we managed to get an appointment with a less active that we've been trying really hard to get a cita with.  His name is Elioni and it's taken us a change to get him to give us a cita but his whole family are not members but they're interested so that's great news as well!

Next, the family Marroquin, they are LEGIT!!  They came to church yesterday, the whole family!  And after priesthood the dad asked to talk to us privately and he just sat down and told us "I really like what I see here and I still need to make sure with my wife but she likes it here a lot as well and I just want to know what I have to do to become a member of this church" LEGITTTTTTTTTT BLESSINGS ARE COMING FROM HARD WORK!!!!!!  So that's pretty darn exciting.  

Sorry this is so short, like I said, not a lot of news this week but we only had 3 days in the area this week But I LOVE YOU ALL!! And I'll try to write more next week.  

-Elder Westenskow

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Hello Family!! 6/18/2012

Heyo familiares mios.  Y'all are great :)

Now, lets begin. I will start by telling you that this week was SUUUUPER normal in that not a whole ton of exciting stuff happened. Also, we were out of our area more than we were in it haha. So, first off, I'll tell ya about the lessons we taught because that's pretty much all that happened ha ha. I'll give you a quick rundown.  We taught Clemantino this week and it was an EXCELLENT lesson, he is VERY positive, he just isn't in San Antonio a whole ton so that's difficult. He doesn't actually live here right now.  His school got out so he's just here when he has work ha ha. But, we taught him the Restoration and he really really liked it.  As always he had completed his compromises (Including to pray) But he says he's having a hard time getting an answer but that he'll continue praying until he gets one, whether it be positive or negative.  So he's great, we have a meta fecha with him for the 30th of June but we'll see if that happens. I really thing he'll get baptized :)  Also, Pablo.  Still super duper positive.  He's still going to church and enjoying it a lot.  We pretty much put a fecha with him for the 7th of July because he wants time to learn more and undo 26 years of saying no ha ha.  But he's great, he's a great guy :) He told us this week he definitely wants to get baptized so we'll do that for him ;)  

Continuing on, nothing really happened with Johanna this week because she had some problems in the home and didn't want to meet with us and she also didn't come to church but we'll for sure get the fecha this week :) We also met two new people this week.  The son of our Relief Society president, he didn't believe that we could chop wood, so he challenged us.  If we could chop this HUUUUUUGGGEEEEE trunk of Mango wood (Super hard wood) he would accept us in his home.  And we did it.  it took us a while but we did it, me and Caceres.  We were crazy sweaty and tired after and I have a great blister to show for it but we did it ha ha.  So we're going to see him this week ha ha.  Last we found a new family that seems pretty positive.  The family Marroquin.  Only problem is that the husband is only home on Saturday and Sunday because he works in the Capital so we can only go those days. But, they don't go to any church because they don't like how the preachers don't live what they preach. So we explained to them the importance of finding the true DOCTRINE and how to find out, so we'll see what happens :) But they seem pretty positive.  

Now change gossip and the reason for why we were out of the area so much. I am training. Again. Ha ha. They told me on Wednesday night that I would be so, that's cool I guess. They gave me one change to rest and now I'm doing it again ha ha.  So I'll be sure to let y'all know next week about my new kid ha ha.  I'm kinda excited but I also really enjoyed working with someone who had time and knew how to work.  But, we'll be teaching him all the skills and good stuff that he needs to be a super great missionary and he'll always have the stories to tell about being born in Huistas.  (Not a lot of missionaries have the opportunity to come here).  So I'll be training and the district leader of 4 missionaries, we'll see if I'm up to the task ha ha.  Because of that I had to be in Xela on Friday and I got permission to eat lunch with Walter so Caceres and I went there and they brought over Lala and their other neighbor who we were pretty tight with so it was kinda a reunion party with all the favorite people in Esperanza :)  Had a great time ;)  

To finish up, I have a favor.  So I found out last week that an elder in my zone, an Elder Dotson, is Alyssa Calls cousin, the world is super small ha ha. Anyway, having a great time, LOVING my area, LOVING the work and really just enjoying it all :) 

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

Awesome Investigators!! 6/11/2012

Well hellloooo you happy Disneylanding people!  I do have a surprise for you, and that surprise is PICTURES!!  I am in Huehue for an awesome p-day that will include hanging out with Elder Zimmerman and Elder Pigott and going to a super awesome restaurant and all that good stuff.  The best part is, I do it all again next week!  Since my comp is dying I've got to come down so I'm going to chill in Huehue for p-day next week :) So all is well in Zion.

Now, let's answer some questions. First off, how's Disneyland? Great I suppose, it's always great :) I look forward to going with EVERYONE not this Christmas but the next ha ha.  You asked if my shoes are waterproof and I am pleased to report that they are indeed waterproof, the soles sometimes come off but I sew 'em right back on and everything is great again!  

Now, to clear up about changes.  We don't really know all the reasons, but don't worry, I'm not scaring off my comps ha ha.  They just sent Caceres here to die, not really sure why but the excitement is starting to build who will be my next comp.  This is the last week of the change so Caceres will officially go back to Honduras and we'll see who my next victim is ha ha.  

As for me, I too am short of words this week but big on good news!  First off, Pablo! He did not get baptized this week. He decided that after 26 years of out rightly refusing to go to church, he wanted a little more than 2 weeks to take the dive, but he did tell us that he wanted to be baptized!  So not an if as much as a when.  So he's starting to get excited and we're starting to get excited and everything is just falling into place and blessings come from hard work!  Next, Johanna decided to put herself pilas and come to church yesterday!  She was SUUUUUUPER UNpositive when I got here but we taught her a few times and now she's stoked, should be putting the fecha on Thursday!  Carlos, he's a guy that's friends with us and we decided to teach him and it was an EXCELLENT lesson and he seems kinda excited too I'll keep y'all updated on it!  Last, Oscar has brought bad news.  His mom DEFINITELY doesn't want him to be baptized to the point that he asked us to not go back, so we'll see what we do but as for now it seems like a lost cause.  But we do have investigators that are positive and life is great!  My comp isn't baggy so killing him is no problem ha ha.  Also about Edvin, he's told us very frankly that he doesn't want to be baptized, but he will continue being our friend, so he'll keep coming to English class but as for smoking, he's STOPPING!!!  So excited about that, little steps :)

Yesterday was an EXCELLENT Sunday.  The program was done entirely by members!  We assigned speakers, helped them prepare their talks and they gave them! And we have talks assigned until August!  Another thing that we did in branch council.  So we're super stoked about the things happening in the branch and as my first change in San Antonio comes to an end I'm feeling good about the work I've done, the people we've helped and the things that are changing.  It was all EXCELLENT!  

Like I said, not too much exciting stuff happened this week aside from investigators being awesome and members being awesome and really everything just being overall great!  LOVE YOU ALL!! Have fun in Disneyland and buy me something cool!  
-Elder Westenskow

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

More Bug Adventures!!! 6/4/2012

Hey Family, les cuento!
First off, THANK YOU EVERYONE FOR THE BIRTHDAY WISHES!!  They are very much appreciated.  I also enjoyed very, very much the one year gift! The notes and testimonies are and were VERY appreciated.  Thank you all for your love and support, it's much appreciated.  I think that people who have not served a mission cannot understand how much a simple note means to a missionary so thank you all so much.  (Obviously, Andrew did not wait until his actual year mark to open the gift! Ha ha) 

Now, adding to bug adventures.  Last week, remember how we went fishing?  WELL!  I forgot to tell y'all but part of the hike took me through a colony of straight JUNGLE ANTS!!  In case you were wondering, they do indeed attack!  If you mess up their stuff they'll mess you up.  So, I now have the privilege to say that I have been attacked by jungle ants ha ha.  It hurts like crap when they bite, especially when they get down your shirt and bite your back.  Don't worry mom, they're not poisonous or anything like that, it just hurts for a couple hours where they bite.  AND, with more buggy adventures.  I have to tell y'all what happened to me this morning because it's going to creeeeeep mom out!  Just like it creeped me out!  So, last week I bought a big bag of elotitos (They're kinda like corn nuts) and I was eating them little by little.  WELL, last night I guess I left the bag open and so this morning when I went to eat some (which is done by grabbing the bag and shaking some into my mouth) and I guess a little friend had decided to enjoy my elotitos as well because a FREAKING INCH AND A HALF LONG COCKROACH FELL ON TO MY FACE!!!!!!!!!!!! Luckily he didn't manage to get into my mouth but holy crap did I lose myself in that moment.  However, I am happy to report that I am alive and he is not.  So there's some fun bug stories from the jungle for y'all!  

Alright, moving on to more missionary things ha ha.  (however, first, as always, responding to questions) Branch council is actually going really, really well.  People are doing their assignments and their visits and everything so that's super legit.  We're also doing quite a few little things to get the members more involved in every facet of the branch (Talking on Sundays, magnifying their new callings, etc.) so everything there is going well.  Also, mom seemed worried that I had doors slammed, its a good thing ha ha.  Its an experience every missionary wants to have at least once.  That's one benefit to being a missionary is that rejection stops mattering to you ha ha.  Dad also asked how I'm liking being district leader, it's pretty... normal ha ha.  Its not a huge change, I give a message once a week in district meeting which is fun (even though our district is only 4 people so it's not so much a message as it is just talking about the work and a gospel subject ha ha) also, our phone broke and due to the fact that we're so far away, they have not gotten us a new phone and will not til next Monday (We will be in Huehue next Monday so I'll be sure to be sending pictures from there ha ha) so I haven't really been able to do too many district leadery things but as soon as I do, I'll let you know how it is ha ha.  

Now, my week (Y'all get a long email this week ha ha) First, a couple things that I enjoyed and made me laugh.  First, we got to chop wood this week!!!  I was super stoked about that because I love to chop wood but in Xela there wasn't a whole ton to chop but it seems we may have a regular chopping job here in San Antonio ha ha.  Also, there's a 5 year old kid in the branch, funny as all get out ha ha, and he said something this week that just made me lose it.  Y'all can have Nicole explain it to ya but I think the funny is lost in English.  He was playing with some kids and he tripped on a rock and kinda spun around and almost fell and it took him a minute to find his balance and as he's spinning around he just yells "Puro borracho parezco yo!" and Elder Caceres and I just lost it, this kid is 5 years old ha ha.  

Now, investigators, we have a new kid.  His name is Oscar.  He's 16 years old and he has some problems that he asked us (through his friend who is a member) to help him with and now he wants to be baptized.  Problem is, his mom doesn't want to give permission.  So we're going to talk to her this week and see what she says but he wants to be baptized (or so he tells us ha ha) but he seems pretty cool, a little shy, but cool.  Next, Pablo Vasquez.  I am pleased to tell y'all that he DID go to church last week and we hope he went yesterday too, we're visiting him tomorrow to we'll know then.  But he's SUPER positive, if he accepts the fecha were proposing, he'd be baptized on Saturday of this week, so we could be baptizing this week!  It would be completing a family and priesthood so were stoked about that!  He really doesn't have any challenges that impede him from being baptized so we're really stoked for this :)  Apart from that, everything else was nothing ha ha.  EVERYBODY here are Jehovah's Witnesses and holy cow are they hard to teach.  I've never had so many people tell me to my face that what I teach is false and that I am a liar.  It got to the point that when we visited Fidel yesterday (I think I told y'all about him last week) we knew it wasn't going anywhere so we were like, "alright, we can see this is going nowhere so please just let us leave you with our testimony that WE know that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that the Book of Mormon is true" and he cuts us off in the middle of the sentence to tell us "that's great but I don't accept it" Holy cow, weird stuff ha ha.  But a couple Testigos did visit us at the church this week (on a Thursday) and we had a very civilized discussion about our beliefs and theirs and it was cool and all of it.  They believe some weird stuff ha ha.  But, I am not in a position to judge, I just have to respect that they are just as firm in their beliefs as I am in mine and look for other people to teach ha ha.  But overall it was a very good week, I enjoyed it quite a bit, we're trying to work hard and keep the fire up.  LOVE YOU ALL!!!! Have a great week!
-Elder Westenskow