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, May 21, 2013

Feeling Good and Working Hard 5/20/2013

Dear Family,
As for us, again not a whole ton to report, the people that were progressing have stopped progressing so that's not too fun. It's just really hard to get someone really truly committed to continue learning about something they've never heard of, from 2 foreigners, and especially since the church isn't even in San Andres. But hey we climbed the mountain contacting and that's where I took the photo.  
However, we did find some people that it seems like the Lord has really been preparing them so we're stoked about that. First off is Diego and his family of 4 kids. He basically told us that he's been in his church for 22 years and he's really disappointed and doubtful about the way that things work there but he doesn't have anywhere to go so he hasn't moved. So we will give him somewhere to go ;-)  But really it seems like the Lord is preparing him.  
Also, is Juan Pablo who was really piqued by the idea of the Book of Mormon which is the first person here in San Andres that we've found that has actually understood the importance of another book of scripture. So we're pretty stoked about that. Just a matter of following up :)

We have a few other people that we're working with but they would be the most positive finds this week.  I know this is super to the basics and all of that but don't worry, I'm feeling good, working hard, being healthy, all of the above :)  Just not a whole lot to say, things are moving, slowly but they're moving.  
LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HAVE A GREAT WEEK!!!!!!
Elder Westenskow

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Investigators in Xecul 5/13/2013

Dear Family,
I think that all business was taken care of yesterday so that can be left to one side. So I'll try to tell y'all about a few of our investigators.

We have Bacilio, he came to church yesterday!!!!!!!!!!!!! We had an investigator in church and there's no chapel in the whole town, we have to go to the next town over! So we were pretty excited about that, he really liked church though, he was originally going to only stay 1 hour but ended up staying 2 so that was sick. He's super cool and reading and all of it, he didn't want to accept a fecha last week but after church we think he can accept one!  

Next we have Martin Sajche and his family. He's super interested in Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon but also a little hesitant. Normal. He's really interested in coming to know if Joseph Smith was actually a prophet  and so we're going to go watch the Joseph Smith movie on Saturday with him and his family. Excited for that.  

Pedro Hernandez, I don't know him my comp found him on divisions but apparently he accepted the invitation to be baptized in the first cita, and it was a contact, so that's a good sign.  

Last we have Israel and Josue, Israel is the president of the youth for the evangelical church but he accepted the invitation to be baptized if God answers his prayer so that's a good sign :) 

So yeah, I know that this isn't a whole lot of information but I talked to y'all yesterday so this is the basic breakdown of the area for those who weren't on the phone 
LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Elder Westenskow

Monday, May 6, 2013

Working Hard in Xecul 5/6/2013

Dear Family,
I think this email is going to be kinda short, it was a good week, we're just working with a LOT of new people so it's hard to give a lot of detail about so many people ha ha. But we're working VERY hard and echaring fuego as we say and stuff is going well. 
But about the people you do know about, Rudy. He's still kinda positive but it's just really hard because of his "calling" and he has the catholic teachings SUUUUUUUPER ingrained in his head.  But we're teaching his cousin as well, Israel.  He's the young mens president of the evangelical church but he's more positive than Rudy. But even more positive than Israel is his brother, Josue. He's actually super interested, we met him when we went to teach Israel and he just jumped in and started asking a bunch of questions, really cool. 
We also have another guy named Pedro who is interested, he accepted the invitation to be baptized but he didn't want to put a fecha, he really distrusts ALL the churches in all the world and he wants to make sure this is the truth, but he's cool, we'll see what happens there :)

Funny story, we were contacting and we told this dude that God had called a prophet in these days and he was like "no he hasn't". And we're like, "why do you say that?" and he's like "well, there's a bible verse where John says that he had the last gift so that means that there are no more prophets" so we showed him Amos 3:7 and Hebrews 13:5 and asked what he thought (he also didn't know where that specific bible verse was and I have yet to find it since he told us on Wednesday) and he just stuck to it so I was like "well, I know that God has called prophets because I've asked him and he's answered me that it's true" and the dude is like "Well, I don't believe you" and I kinda laughed on accident at that but we just arrived to the point that we had different beliefs and if he ever needed help chopping wood we could help ha ha. Funny story for the week. 

LOVE YOU ALL!!!! I'll talk to you on Sunday!!!!

Elder Westenskow

"If You Are Faithful You Will Be Together Forever" 4/29/2013

Dear Family,
This week was super good for a few reasons!  But on to y'all first, hope that you all had an excellent Soderskow weekend, I think I'll be at the next one? Who knows ha ha, hope so. Either way, hope that it was fun for ya! Also, training is cool, it's a lot of fun, my kid is pilas and wants to learn so that's a great thing. And my house was all figured out when I got there so that was easy, I won't say too much because I want to send pictures. It's a pretty crazy house though. Also, Elder Stephens is in my zone, had no idea that I knew him before the mission ha ha. But that was pretty crazy talking about Flower Mound and stuff.
Now my week, we had to go down to Xela a few times this week, once for a multizone conference, once for a trainers meeting, and once for the SEALING OF THE CASTILLO FAMILY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The best trip was definitely that one! But in the conferences president made a few jokes about how I'm super old in the mission ha ha. Felt weird realizing that me and my group have more time than ANY other missionary in this mission ha ha. But the sealing was so incredible, I really don't have words to describe it, but it left me very, very grateful for this gospel and the amazing blessing that we have to know it and be a part of it. After doing the sealing the temple president just stood the family in front of all of us that were there and said "You are now an eternal family, if you are faithful you will be together forever" everyone was crying. It was incredible. 

So yeah, as for the work, it's hard to give too many specifics because we're really still trying to get someone to progress. We have one named Rudy but we found out this week that in spite if his interest in the church and the gospel and all of it he is the "young mens president" so to speak of the Catholic Church. So that makes it super hard for him to go to church on Sundays with us even though he wants to.  So we're working there. We have a lot of people that we are working with and seeing what we can do. We're just going crazy and working all day every day. Love it! LOVE YOU ALL! Love this work! Love this area!  You all rock!

Elder Westenskow

Knocking Every Door And Teaching As Many As We Can 4/22/2013

Dear Family,

I am officially in San Andres Xecul and it is CRAZYYYYYYYY.  But on to that in a minute.  First, the best news of the week. The Family Castillo will be sealed on Thursday, April 25 at about 10am.  And I will be there! It's been a long road but the interviews are over, the clothes are bought, and the day is set. I can't even express how stoked I am to see this. I missed the sealing of my sister at the beginning of the mission, this will be the first sealing of living people that I see and I feel like it is a tender mercy from the Lord for having not seen Meagan's. Of course, nobody comes before my own family but if anyone is in second place it would be a tie between the Sodermans and the Castillos.  What an amazing experience, you'll all get photos!  

Now, on to the juicy news. San Andres is a municipio of Totonicapan. There are a LOT of Catholics and no Mormons ha ha. Lies, we have one INACTIVE member who avoids us ha ha. But it's super sick, it's a super calm place, the people are just kinda always doin' their own thing all the time. I'm really, really enjoying it. Our work this week has consisted of knocking every single door we could find and trying to teach as many people as we can. There has been a lot of rejection. But we have a few people who have been willing to listen to us and even have interest in attending church. The most positive would be a man named Rudy. He asks A LOT of questions about EVERYTHING and has expressed a desire to go to church with us. We found him contacting (of course) and just started talking. He couldn't go yesterday (because we met him like 4 days ago) but he really wants to go this Sunday. We attend church in San Cristobal which is about a 10 minute bus ride which I would classify as the biggest desafio for people to attend church. But holy cow its so legit. This week our plan is to get members from San Cris to show us every single person they know and to find news that way. But even just contacting we were able to find 12 news (ask Nicole if that's a big deal).  So that's super cool, I'll be sure to answer all other questions next week!
My comp, his name is Elder Muñoz from Honduras. He's a convert of about 4 years and what he lacks in knowledge he makes up for in ganas. He's super down to work super hard and echar fuego!  It's a challenge getting used to being with a new missionary again after being with oldies for the last 6ish months but its fun. I feel like he has the potential to become a great elder. My kid number 3. I have 3 children, the same as mom and dad.  Lame joke ;-) Anyway I'm running out of time,

LOVE YOU ALLL!!!!!!!!!!!! Have a great week!
Elder Westenskow