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, April 16, 2013

Opening a New Area 4/15/2013

This is my zone, the best zone in the world! Love them!!


A little boy who has less time in this life than I have in the mission!

And he walks and talks ha ha!

A farewell party some of the members threw me. Good people!

They even brought investigators! Gotta love 'em!

So mom, to address your concerns, I am feeling much better. The whole 'at the point of death' thing was an exaggeration ha ha. A bit of sarcasm that I threw in, sorry if it worried you :) About the Guate trip, sounds good for me, when does school start would be the only concern.  As for Cunén and Huistas, I can explain the details later but Quiche would be more like a day trip, leave early from Xela maybe, hit Chichi in the morning, Cunén in the afternoon, cross over to Huehue and go up to Huistas, up there there are a bunch of super nice hotels so that's the idea I had.

About UVU and housing, it probably wouldn't be a bad idea for Meagan to look into some stuff.  And Dad has officially converted to Apple, I knew the day would come ha ha. Good job dad, but what are you going to do with all your old stuff now? ;) ha ha Just kidding.  

Now about us, to be completely honest, we had a slow week but an excellent week, and towards the end it all came together! Still the best thing was Bernabe! He's super stoked for baptism and all of it! In the cita this week he was like "I know the step that I'm taking and I'm 100 percent sure of what I'm doing and I'm not going to doubt in any moment" So that was intense.  He went to church yesterday so he's all set on requirements and all of it, so the dude that takes my place will be coming into a baptism ha ha.  

And y'all read that correctly, Elder Westenskow has changes! I'm ready for changes too, I love my area its just... really small :-)  But I received the double notice that in addition to changes I'm going to be TRAINING again! That's right a third time training (seeing as I only have 2 changes left it's my last opportunity so I'm super stoked, I really wanted to train again) but that's not all.  I'm going to be opening a completely new area to missionary work. You heard that right, where I'm going there have NEVER BEEN MISSIONARIES! As far as I understand it there's not a single member. I have to attend church in a nearby town until the work gets up and going a bit. But holy cow I don't think I've ever been so stoked for changes. I'm going to a place called San Andres Xecul in Totonicapan (a quick search on Google maps will give you an indication of how it is) and I AM SUPER STOKED!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I don't even know where to start there but I'm excited to have the guidance of the Holy Spirit in this new assignment.  As far as I know this is only like the 3rd time that President Bautista has opened an area completely to missionary work and the first time that he is opening an area that has NEVER had missionaries. I'M SUPER STOKED! I'm excited for the confidence that President and the Lord have put in me to be able to to this, and all while training.  It'll be an exciting finish to my mission for sure!  

Also, I just got an email from Walter, seems like the date for their sealing is going to be the 24th of this month, super stoked for that!  LOVE YOU ALL!!! Can't wait to write next week with how things go! LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!

Pray for me.

Elder Westenskow

Looks like the shoes ALMOST made it to the end!

I Know He Lives 4/8/2013

Hey Family!
Hey there, how was your week? Spectacular I'm sure!  Sounds like you guys had a fun visit from Guatemala! That was super random to see Hna Parker, it took me a second to recognize her since she's not, like, a missionary anymore ha ha. Kinda random but cool beans that y'all were able to meet her. And about the Rosetta Stone, sounds like a great idea!  

As for us, we had a great week!  It started out slow but as always, I think it's a rule of the mission that something has to happen towards the end of the week! We had a couple miracles! Adrianna reappeared! We randomly saw her where she was working before, I guess her and the member she was dating got back together! So our most positive investigator is back! And we're really stoked about it! We didn't have a chance to teach her this week but the point is, she's back! So we're stoked about that!  Also, Bernabe, more commonly known as Alexis' Dad, we were able to find him! And he asked us if he could be baptized! So that's AWESOME! He has his fecha for the 20th. Sadly, I won't be here seeing as its almost guaranteed that I'll have changes after next week but either way its super exciting!  

As for the bad news, A..., one of our investigators is no longer progressing at all, it's so sad to see her reject this message like that, but that's the sucky part of the mission, people don't always say yes, even when they progress so much. So we're bummed out about that, a few prayers for her would be good!  

Now the most important event, CONFERENCE!!  I'll start out saying that next conference I'll see it with y'all! Not baggy, excited :) But conference was super great! Overarching themes. I learned what kind of a wife I have to look for.... scary that that counsel actually will apply in a few months ha ha. The severe importance of the law of chastity, and the absolute need that we all have to have a personal testimony of Christ. I do. I know He lives. He truly did die for us. He suffered not only sins but all pains, sadnesses, everything. All because of his infinite love. He lives, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. What wonderful knowledge that the Spirit has confirmed to all of us. This gospel sure is great!  
I LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!!!!
Elder Westenskow
Yeah, I have no words! ~Mom

Andrew's desk. Sad thing is, it's pretty organized...for him!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

If We Continue In Faith The Lord Will Bless Us 4/1/2013

Hi There Family!

How is everyone up North? Hope you had a super exciting week! To our much surprise, we did!  As anyone who has served a mission in Latin America can testify, Semana Santa is probably the worst week of the whole year (maybe only beat by when the fair comes to town!) We, this week, had the double advantage of having it be Semana Santa AND with Central Park in our area, the fair was in town!  So there was a TON of people who went to the coast, the people that didn't go to the coast had people from the coast visiting them and everyone else was in central park at the fair! Now, I'll let you know that I don't have any photos of Semana Santa seeing as we were running all over all week trying to find out what to do and trying to avoid the park (which at times was difficult seeing as our entire area is based around the park but hey, you do what you gotta do!). And our week went really, really well. They best week that we have had in a long time to be honest.

I won't say that all day of every day this week we had a ton to do because such was not the case, but the Lord works in mysterious ways and I definitely received a testimony of that this week. Blessings came from places that they were never expected and we were just blown away :)  Most of the week was super hard. We were looking and looking and looking and even resorted to contacting for hours at a time (because even the members were on vacation so we couldn't try to go get references there). But we just went and went and went and went and looked and looked and looked and looked and Sunday night we were very blessed. We got a member to go out and work with us, and he randomly pulled out of nowhere 2 families that we were able to visit and teach and set up return visits. They seem like people that could progress. We just testified of Christ, of his atonement and resurrection and all that he has done for us. We hope to keep teaching them in the future. We have been in major need of a miracle and this I feel is the answer to all the prayers and work that we have been doing.  If we continue in faith the Lord will bless us.  Remember that always.  

As for our progressing investigators, they're not really progressing anymore. Some of them we can't find, others moved away, a lot of crazy stuff that has happened recently but with what's happened this week we're just super duper excited about what's to come! Also, I'm in trio again haha. The area next door to ours, one Elder had changes and his comp didn't have a comp so we're working both areas and we have a third comp so that's pretty cool :)=  Its a lot of fun, we're working both areas and we hope to baptize in both areas :)  Life is super good, hope all is well on the home front! 
Elder Westenskow

We're Working Hard, Having Patience and Trying to Learn 3/25/2013

Hey there!

I'll let y'all know up front, I'm feeling much better! I was at the point of death last week but I'm doing a LOT better.  So yeah, quell your fears, I'm better :)   
How bout them Bahamas! Hope y'all had a great time!
About us, our week was a little bit better. I'll start with the negative. It seems like we might not be teaching Adriana anymore because it seems like her and Herbert may have broken up, we're still waiting for the final word but that seems like it could be the situation, so she would no longer attend with us which would be super lame and therefore we would not baptize her. So that's kinda lame but stuff happens, we're going to see what we can do to save the situation still but in this kind of a matter we cant do much.  Pray for her :)

About Bernabe, who is Alexis Dad, he's still progressing really well. Apparently he's been telling people that he's going to keep going to church with us so we're pretty excited about that. He didn't come to church yesterday because he was sick (I guess that's what happens when you're 84 :-)) but the horizon looks good there.  

We also found a couple new people this week that seem like they could maybe progress, we still need to see how the situation is a little bit better before we can say for sure but a couple people that seem a little bit positive.  

And Amelia is kinda back on the scene as well. She isn't liking at all the church that she chose over ours and so we're trying to get her to come to General Conference in TWO WEEKS!!!!!!!! and hoping that that can help her. We're working super hard and seeing very little results right now but we're trying to have patience and figure out what it is that the Lord wants us to do. This week is Semana Santa, Nicole can tell you what that means but we have some plans and some citas that we're pretty sure will bring results.  
So yeah, LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!!!! Have a great week!
Elder Westenskow

Happy Birthday Dad! 3/18/2013

ONE YEAR OLDER AND WISER TOO!!!!  Happy birthday dude, hope it's like, super duper great and stuff :)

Now, I'll just let y'all know, this is gonna be super short, I got sick yesterday and I still feel pretty poopy ha ha. I apologize to everyone out there who I normally write, but I think I'm just going to do one email today.... sorry.  

First off mom, you don't have to worry, I'm most definitely NOT baggy ha ha. I'm actually still coming to grasp the fact that I don't have very much time left but I most definitely am not wishing for the time to pass faster.  And as for the family Castillo, they don't have a date yet, they are still finishing their prep classes, they only have a couple left so yeah.  

About us, we had kind of a slow week, again.  We walked  A LOT and looked for A LOT of people but without much success, kinda lame but its cool.  As for the investigators, Adriana is still progressing, she didn't come to church yesterday and we're not sure why but she's progressing, reading and praying and all that good stuff.  Alexis' dad is also progressing, he came to church yesterday and stayed all 3 hours again, we'll probably baptize him in April.  

The ultimate highlight of the week was a random phone call that I got that told me I could go to the temple!!! So on Friday morning I went to the temple, it was SOOOOOOOO good as it always is.  I'm sorry this is so devoid of detail and all that stuff, I promise a better email next week. 
I LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Elder Westenskow