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)

Monday, November 29, 2010

November 2010 Pics

Marlen Garcia Lopez and Juan Manuel

Christmas Tomale's 11/29/2010

Hola Familia!

Ok I attached all of the photos I took this week as well as the photos I took last week. Sorry I didnt send a letter last week, the computer turned off while I was still writing and I didnt have enough money to pay for more time. Thank you so much for the packages! Merry Christmas! I got the packages from grandma as well. I also got a bunch halloween themed letters from grandma, thanks for the chololate bar! Im not sure which arrives faster pouch or normal mail. Sometimes it takes forevor tt get here and sometimes it gets here really fast. Me and my companion loved the food that was in those packages! especially the beef jerkey. My companion has never tried beef jerkey in his life and he likes it alot. I also really liked the salmon. Iam going to try and not open up the gifts until christmas but I cant make any promises.

This week was awesome, we found 14 new investigadors, three families, and we had 2 baptisms. We baptized a 19 year old kid named Juan Manuel, he is really cool. But he always laughs at me because of my spanish, hahah, he especially thinks its funny when I say prayers. hahah, but hes a good guy and he really wanted to get baptized. WE also baptized the sister of his girlfriend, her name is Marlen Garcia Lopez she has 3 kids and has tons of problems with her husband. After her baptism she gave a really emotional testimony about how the gospel has and will continue to help her through her problems.

WE also had interviews with our mission president on friday. We have interviews with our president every 3 months. The interview I had lasted about 5 minutes, I was expecting something alittle bit more but thats ok. I also had to turn in my Ipod because I just learned that President clark of the area authrority seventy made it a rule that no missinoary in central america can have an I pod. SO I turned it it. The wife also did cleaning inspections on all of the misionaries houses, except for mine because my house is the farthest away in the zone. I cleaned for like 3 hours on p-day, bummer. but thats ok. I completely forgot about thanksgiving this week, the only reason I remembered was because Sister Baldwin made us pumpkin pie at our interviews.

I tried my first tomale this week! during the christmas time people start breakin out the tomales. and I love it! THe food here is stuff that I love, maybe I ate alot of guatemalan food in the pre-earth life. Saber (who knows), that is a special guatemalan form of the verb saber (to know) but here it can also mean Who -knows. My spanish is getting better, iam starting to get better at small talk, I can actually have fun in spanish now. I can talk to just about everyone now, I just need to increase my vocabulary more.

Thanks for the thanksgiving pictures. I love seeing whats going on down there in visual form. I got really hungry when I saw those pĂ­ctures. I am really hungry right now actually, for lunch we are going to eat churrasco which is another word for barbaque. This will be our last lunch as a district because tonight we find out who is going to have changes. I have a feeling that I am going to stay in the same area but , Saber (who knows). Thanks so much for the support and I encourage you to continue to send me stuff I like it alot.


Elder West

Monday, November 15, 2010

Committed 6 people to baptism! 11/15/10

Hola Familia!

This week was interesting as usual. I had some really high points and some really low points. To start off with all of the good points, we comitted 6 people to baptism! I am really excited for that, that will mean that I will have 12 baptisms in my first 3 months in the field. These converts are going to be really good to. ONe of them is a 11 year old girl who has been coming to church with her uncle for the past month. We just recently realized that she wasnt a member so of course we had to baptize her. She is really intelligent, she understands better than the majority of the adults that we teach. WE are also going to baptize a nineteen year old kid and his friend who has two kids. We also have a family of three, and they polish and reapair shoes for a living. they have an eleven year old son who had to leave school so that he could help his dad polish shoes. It is really sad here because there are alot of people who just arent educated and cant progress at all in life. I realized that the reason why people werent understanding my spanish very much is because my spanish is grammatically correct and straight from the book. My companion told me that its not that my spanish is wrong, its that they never learned how to speak it properly. So I need to speak very simply.

THe low point I had this week was when a recently converted sister, of my old companion, told us that she wanted to leave the church because another member offended her. It was really sad for me. I think that I bore one of the strongest testimonies to her that I have ever bore. I cried during my testimony which really suprised me. I told her that whenever problems like this arise you jsut have to return back to your roots and rember the reason why you got baptized in the first place. Which is that the book of mormon is true. If the book of mormon is true that means that joseph smith was a prophet and that jesus christ is leading and guiding his saints on the earth as we speak. She could not deny the spirit. She came to church this sunday, but I am still worried about her. I learned an important lesson this week, never baptize anyone unless they have already obtained a testimony of the book of mormon and of this church. This is Sooo key.

On another note, I think that I am starting to get tired of beans a little bit. Which is really starting to worry me, because I Iove beans. I only bought one can of beans this week. Another interesting thing this week is that I got fed Chow Mein 3 times this week, hahaha, which I definetly did not expect. And what did I eat my chow mein with? tortillas. at everysingle meal here you have to have a tortilla in your hand. Its kind of like how dad told us that in england people always eat wit a knife in there hand so that they can scoop stuff onto their fork better. Its the same principle here except with tortillas. I think tortillas are better than knives because you cant eat knives when you are finished eating them.

It was really cool to hear about Kristens first day in Illinois, thats cool that she is in a spanish branch. She will learn fast there. I am so proud that my little bro is a deacon as well, I can just imagine him with his really cute deacon tie passing the sacrament. I attached a few pictures that I took this week. I only took three but I will try and take more this week.

Love Elder West

Monday, November 8, 2010

Missed the 5:30 bus 11/8/10

Hola Familia!
What a great week I have had, I dont even know where to start. This past sunday was awesome, we had testimony meeting and 2 of my recent converts shared their testimony. It was amazing. I also had one of my recent converts receive the melchezedic preisthood! on top of that 5 investigadors came to church. I just feel so good inside. On thursdy we got to listen to Elder Martino speak to my zone wich was really inspiring, I learned that the story about alma and amulek applies perfectly to reactivating inactive members and teaching lessons with a member present. Amulek was an inactive member who turned out to be a really good tag along missionary with a killer testimony.
This week it turned cold, and I mean Cold! I did not expect this at all. My area is seriously up there in the mountains. Dont worry mom my I am warm at night, and my jackets are perfectly satisfactory. But I am sick however. But its ok its just a little cold I can still work. I am trying out blowing my nose in my hankerchief which is something I have never done before. I feels weird putting my hankercheif back in my pocket after I have blown snot all over it. These next few months will be really really cold, unless I get moved to the coast next change, if thats the case I will be really hot.
On thursday me and my comp went on an excursion to our areas that really far away. It took us like 40 minutes to get there by bus and then 20 minutes of walking by foot to get to where we needed to go. I I think I must have like one of the largest areas in the mission because that is just insane. These areas are out in the country, we actually drive over the mountain that I live on and go down into the other valley part. It was really good because we ended up putting another baptismal date for the end of this month. However in the process of doing so we missed the last bus of the day that goes back to our house! hahaha. Apparently the last bus is at 5:30 pm. So me and my comp were stuck one hour away from our house it was completely dark, except for a few scattered street lights, no flashlight, no phone, and it was really cold. So what did we do? we started to walk, with fe. after walking for about 30 minutes we hitched a ride in the back of some guys truck, but he was only going half the distance that we needed. SO we walked some more. After about 15 minutes we hitchiked ourselves another ride in the back of some guys truck back to our home base. That was my really fun experience for the week. And now we know that the bus leaves at 5:30.
I think I am fully acustomed to the food here now, which is awesome. I ordered some peanut butter and jelly from the mission office as a little treat for my self. I didnt have any cool food stories this week, but I sohould have more because we are approaching the holiday season.
Anyways, It is good to here that kevin recieved my letter. Happy b-day brother! and its good to here that he is also developing some guns like his big bro. It really cool that Kristen is leaving tommorow for chicago, I cant wait to hear what her experience is. Oh and HI Grandma, I recieved a pile of letters from you today. Thanks for sending those I like them alot! It is amazing how time flies, in december I will have been on my mission for 6 months! there are a whole lot of people I need to baptize still. Thanks for writing to me. I love hearing about whats going on at home.
Elder Barry Michael West