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, July 5, 2012

One Year!! 7/2/2012

First off, a very big happy birthday to Brad today (That calendar sure does come in handy!) I wish you the best day ever and a very fantastic next year!  ONE YEAR OLDER AND WISER TOO as they say :)  Now, I have a request for all, we have a weekly activity in the branch and the Elders are expected to supply a game every week and my well of games is running dry, so any kind of game that you can play spending little or preferably nothing with a group of 15 to 35 people, please send them to me :) Thanks, y'all are great!

I was going to keep it a surprise but now it'll just be a thing y'all have to wait a year to see. When Elder Caceres left, we burned some of his clothes (More symbolic than practical) (and yes that's a dumb elder thing ha ha) BUT!  Inspired by the makeshift campfire (Which for some reason smelled heavily of bug spray ;)) and the time of year, I made a video version of what I could remember of Pioneer (Not sure what the song is exactly called but y'all know what I'm talking about ha ha) so there's that :)  

NOW, we had actually a great week!  We did some finding, teaching, helping, miracles, and all the stuff that's great about being an Elder.  First off, Edvin Rosenberg.  He's a SUPER DUPER hard investigator, says he doesn't believe in Christ, heaven, a life after this one.  Basically all the things that make the gospel great ha ha.  BUT, we managed to get a cita with him (the first elders to do so in quite some time) and just chatted with him, found out more about his beliefs and the promise of Jeffrey R Holland in PMG was proven, the things that he said highlighted gospel principles and we were able to share with him, it was great!  At the end he was like "hmm, who knows, you guys might actually convince me" and we were like, "We don't want to convince you, we want to help you have a spiritual experience to be able to be converted" and he liked that ha ha.  

Next, we had a super duper Noche de Hogar (Family Home Evening) with Hermana Cony, she's a super legit member.  It was going to start out with something small, just a few people to watch the Joseph Smith movie to help grow testimony of a less active lady.  However, word got out and we eventually just invited EVERYBODY pretty much.  We had investigators, less actives, recent converts 19 people in all.  The family Marroquin didn't come which bummed me out and worse, just as we were about to start, what happens? The power goes out!  I was kinda ticked just a little, but we ended up doing a group study of Alma 34 led by a less active lady named Vicky.  It turned out excellent!  

Next, the family Lucas.  I told the story last week how it was so hard to get a cita with them and it was just as hard to get a second cita, HOWEVER. We did it, and it was a dinner cita so all the better ha ha.  But they gave us dinner and then we read the Book of Mormon together (2 Nephi 31) and kinda did a group study with everyone opinioning and sharing their thoughts.  At the end, the mom, Norma, finally opened up and raised her doubt about the Book of Mormon, why we have it, why is it different, why we need it, its not the Bible.  Typical doubt, but we were so excited when she raised it.  Now, raising that doubt may not seem like a good thing to outsiders, but in the mission this shows a few things.  1. She understands what the Book of Mormon means. 2. She understands that whether or not its true makes a difference.  and 3. She is willing to find out.  All excellent steps.  Really a great cita that excited me very much. :)

Also, the family Marroquin.  The cita we had on Saturday was kinda weird because the wife was sick and the kids were doing stuff so it was just with Marvin.  But we offered the wife a blessing and she accepted so we anointed her and blessed her and it was good.  Next day they show up to church lookin good and all that good stuff and we ask the husband how is wife is doing and he says "Well, you probably won't believe me but when we woke up she was super stoked to come to church and I asked how she was feeling and she said ´well you won't believe this but the Elders healed me´" so that was pretty legit, I've never healed anyone before but now yes, really cool feeling and really large testimony of the power of the priesthood, ITS TRUE!!

We also got to visit this week a nice little place called Jacaltenango.  Its close to San Antonio and we're not allowed to go unless we have a very specific person to visit.  Well, the office called and told us they had an investigator from Jacal that studies in Xela and he was on vacations for a week and they wanted us to go visit him.  So we did and it was good and all that.  Now you may ask, why are we not allowed to go preach there? Well, the Catholic church kicked out the local government of the town and took over the municipalidad.  They don't permit missionaries of other churches to go to go door to door, only if we have someone specific.  And holy cow, I never realized this but you feel DIFFERENT in a place where the church doesn't exist and all of it, government and all is the catholic church.  Cool to visit but holy cow the spirit does not like that town ha ha.  

TO top it all off of such a great week, we had an attendance of 29 on Sunday.  Keep in mind, when I came the attendance was hovering between 17 and 19 and 29 is the highest its been since January of this year, its been slowly rising since I came and we almost broke 30 yesterday.  The best part is, it's an attendance that can be maintained.  When we leave, it's not going to drop like crazy.  HOORAY FOR SEEING BLESSINGS FROM HARD WORK!!!

Also I hit a year this last week.  Holy crap.

-Elder Westenstorm (mission nicknames rock)

I've included some pics from when we went to the ruins here in Huehue with  Elder Caceres.

Zaculeu Ruins

Andrew and Elder C

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