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

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