Elder West's Favorite Scripture

And now, my son, I have told you this that ye may learn wisdom, that ye may learn of me that there is no other way or means whereby man can be saved, only in and through Christ. Behold, he is the life and the light of the world. Behold, he is the work of truth and righteousness (Alma 38:9)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

5th CCM e-mail 8/25/2010

Greetings familia! I still havent figured out how to indent so please for give me. So this last week was my first week speaking only spanish! well at least I tried my best, I think I got about 85%. My spanish is getting better, there are alot of missionaries who are still really struggling, I feel blessed that I am one of the lucky ones that is picking it up so fast. Today we are going to the temple to do a session only in spanish, hahaha, I hope that goes well. Hopefully we will be able to understand most of it. Me and four other missionaries are going to sing on sunday to Come Come Ye Saints. Since I have been on my mission I think my singing has improved, or it could just be that or everyone else in my district sucks at singing. Time is flying by really fast, I cant believe that I will be in my first area in two weeks. It really is starting to rain more and more here, apparently september is like the rainiest time of the year. So I am going to be entering into my first area and get really wet. Today i am going to buy a wateproof scripture case, my scriptures got really wet yesterday, fortunately there not real leather so there still in pretty good shape. Boy you cannot believe the view I have right now of the Temple it is amazing. Today the haircut guy came and gave everyone haircuts, and it was really funny how everyones hair turned out. they all hate it, hahaha. I just told him to buzz it and was satisfied. my companions face was priceless while he was getting his haircut, it looked like he was going to cry, haha. Oh yah, so I have a question about that tea tree oil you sent me with for feet fungus and stuff, my companion has got it bad but I dont know how to use it. Haha, poor Elder Tebbs. On sunday we got to watch a movie called a Journey of Faith that was about actual proof people have foudn about the Book of Mormon. It traced the journey of Lehi and his family and showed video of where they might have walked and stuff. It is really interesting I recomend it. Plus it mentions Guatemala at the end so that was my favorite part. Man I cant believe I have been out for 2 months already. When Kristen goes to chicago she will probably have at least one or two companions who are latino and dont speak english so even though she is still stateside she will learn spanish really good. Then we could totally talk in spanish like all the time. This week I am going to try to speak only in spanish again. My goal is also to be more mature and christlike as well. This last week I was in a really grumpy mood because no one else in my zone was doing a good at only speaking spanish, but then on sunday I had the greatest revelation. All of us missionaries have lessons in store for us in our missions, it is not my job to worry about it. The lessons we learn on our missions are definetly going to refine us into the men that our Lord would want us to be. All of our lessons and tests in this mission will be different. Anyways I only have two minutes left so i better say good by! Love You guys, Elder Barry Michael West. P.S i sent a letter to megan and Kevin that should get there in like a week or two.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

4th CCM e-mail


Hi guys, I got the email from kristen about her mission call! that is super exciting, I totally made an announcment to the whole computer lab about it. Me and Kristen can talk spanish togather when we get back and it will be buenisimo. I am officially starting the downhill stretch of the MTC, only three more weeks left. A bus load of 50 new norte americanos comes in today, thats the biggest group of norte americanos ever to be in the CCM, there is also going to be 30 more latinos that are coming. Presidente Steimle, our CCM president committed us to only speak spanish for the next three weeks 24/7. right now we are only using half of the CCM fore missionaries, the other half is a hotel for people visting the temple, as soon as the other temples around here are finished they will convert this whole place into the CCM for all of central america. We are pretty much the last small group of norte americanos to be here. Presidente steimle wants to reform the way the CCM works by making all of the 3 weekers speak only spanish. They tried it in the past with no success because no one actually took it seriously. But it is really important that we only speak spanish because if we only speak spanish all of the missionaries that will follow us will do the same from our example. Yesterday was the first day that I had gone all day speaking only spanish and it was nuts! i was suprised at how well I was able to survive however. Today we went on a field trip of sorts into the city to see a few sites. The first thing we saw was this Giant relief map of the entire country of guatemala, It was amazing! you have got to look it up on google or something. After that we went to the central mercado (central market and looked around. I bought a cool handwoven bag for 50 quetzales which is about 6 dollars. Its a tradition that all the missionaries get a cool bag. However I probably cant buy anything else for a long time now. The cool thing about this market was that the majority was underground, it was really cool. While we were there someone came up and started talking to us about our church and I had no clue what he was saying. I did find out that other missionaries had tought him before and we were able to get his information and give the reference to missionaries who are in the field. There was also this preacher guy with a microphone that was like yelling at us to, haha, that was kind of interesting. There were also some people from Utah who came and talked to us for a while. After that we went and ate at Wendys which was fricken amazing because I hadnt had french fries in like a month. We then went to go see this mound which is supposed to have like a mayan ruin underneath it. The cool thing was that is was right in the middle of the busiest part of the city, not what I expected at all. There was a really cool museam that had a ton of real artifacts in it, as well as two skelatons. It was really cool. part of the museum was underneath the Ruin itself. That was a really cool experience I took some pictures that i can show you guys some time if I can figure out a way to send you some. OH and another thing, there was like a terrential rain storm like half of the time and me and my companion got soaked. The holy ghost did tell us to bring our raincoats though so it was alright. Right now there is 4 minutes left and the big red timer on my screen is blinking big time. Tonight the new guys come and I think my freind Jace Norton will be with them. Oh yah can you guys send me peters address he sent me an email but Im only allowed to write him back. Thanks! In 3 weeks the real test begins! HOly moly I am excited! Love, Elder West

Friday, August 13, 2010

3rd CCM e-mail 8/11/10


Hello, everybody! it was really cool to hear from everybody who was at gradma crawfords house. That sounds like a lot of fun! To bad I cant see all my little cousins but thats ok. Its awesome to hear that Amy is a ward missionary! Ward missionaries are our livesavers, by far the best way to bring others unto christ is through other members. Thats awesome. On monday they sent all of us gringos into the center of Guatemala city to do some real live conctacts. Holy crap that was scary! fortunatley they gave us a latino companion that we could rely on most of the time. It was a great experience, me and my companion were able to get 8 referals for missionaries who are already out in the field. I am really suprised out how open the people here are to our message. of the 14 people that we talked to 8 of them said that they would like for us to come over. That is amazing, in the united states that would never happen, in such a short amount of time. There is a special spirit here linked to the book of mormon. The book of mormon was written by Moroni to the Lamanites, it is touching to see how ready all of these people are to recieve it. My spanish is getting better, I was able to testify to several people about prophets, Jesus Christ, and the Restoration. Yesterday we got to listen to some missionaries speak quechi, which is a local myan dialect I think. THey told us that some of us will have to learn it. I dont think I will have to but if I do it will be a real challenge. Because the only way you can learn quechi is if you know spanish, because there arent any english books that teach it really good. Forunately I am mostly going to be in the city so I can mostly just use spanish. I will try to figure out a way to send home some pictures if I can. On Tuesday, we are going to go on a small tour of what is supposedly the land of nephi, that is going to be amazing. I also apologize for not indenting my paragraphs it is really hard to do on this spanish keyboard. I guess Kristen gets her mission call today, so i guess I wont find out until like next wednesday, Im super excited for that. I wish I can put into words all of the things that I have experienced here. It is a miracle out how fast we are all able to learn spanish, and it is amazing how much power we have to teach by the spirit. The spirit is the single most important element in this work, without it we cannot teach. I could not speak spanish well when they sent us out into the city to do contacts, but i could tell that they could feel the power of my testimony. I have got to go now because Im late for lunch but I look forward to hearing from all of you some more. Thanks for the support. La iglesia de jusecristo de los santos de los ultimos dias es verdadero, yo se que jesucristo establicio su iglesia en la tierra hoy!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

2nd CCM E-mail - July 3rd, 2010

Hey guys thanks for the emails! Its really difficult to type on this spanish keyboard so forgive me for my errors. This week I have noticed some big improvements in my spanish, I still suck but I can communicate for the most part. We study in testimony meeting I was able to understand all of the speakers just fine. We study mainly gospel related spanish words so I can talk about the gospel really good but I cant talk about very much else either. I think I am one of the more advanced speakers in my district. I am really suprised at how well I have been able to memorize words. i definelty think my prayers are being answered everyday. The food here is awesome, aside form the fact that everysingle north american Elder in my district is experiencing the some digestion problems, if you know what I mean. This morning for breakfast we had black beans, eggs, fried plantane, and some kind of pourage stuff. Suprisingly we have only had beans twice this whole time, im kinda of disappointed. Next monday we are going to venture out into the city and contact real People! I am so nervous. they are going to assign us a Latino elder and fling us out into central park to contact people. I here that this is a really humbling experience. After 3 weeks they make it a rule that we cant speak english at all. My latino roomates are really nice, some of them are really small to. They are probably about as tall as kevin if not shorter. They help my out with my spanish alot. I make it a goal to learn atleast 40 new words a day. I dont think that I have ever acheived that but haveing that goal really helps me to work harder. I have learned the importance of planning, I am pretty sure I have something planned like every minute of the day. My room is right next to the street, and my window doesnt close all the way so my room is really loud from the sound that the cars make. There were several times when I thought I heard gunshots but it was probably just like a car backfiring or something. This area is really safe it seems. it is probably one of the wealthiest areas in the country. I saw an audi and a BMW dealership on my way here from the airport. It has bee raining alot as was accpected. i t rains almost everyday, and when it rains it rains hard. Tommorow i get to go to the temple with my district and I am super excited, they are going to let us do a session in english. The scenery here is amazing, the ccm is sourounded by densly tree covered hills with houses on them. It really does look like like a jungle. My teachers here are all pretty good, they all speak some english fot the most part so thats really nice. They tell us that we are in the biggest group to ever enter the ccm. there are 130 of us and the normal capacity is like 99. These next few months is going to be like the biggest surge of spanish missionaries ever. I bet thats where kristens going. I do have one favor to ask, I dont have any ones address so I cant write anyone except for you guys, there was a girl named Amy Perez who wanted mw to write her and I fell bad because i left her address at home, she wrote me a card that saiys Elder west on the fornt and she wrote he address on the back. Thanks. Anyways it was good to her from you guys, hope you have a good time at high adventure and what not. I only have one minute left on my email so i got to finish or else it will kick me off. Adios. Yo se que el evangelio de Jesucristo es verdadero. Elder West