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

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