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, January 31, 2011

tons of big trucks with huge speakers 1/31/2011

Hola Familia!

This week was full of itsups and downs. I will start off with the ups.

This week we found 3 new families to teach wich is really awesome. We also had zone conference, which is always really nice. I GOT the package you guys sent me, THANKS! We talked about making priorities and being the importance of being efficient. That was really helpful.We also had a really cool parade this week in our little pueblo called convite which is like a celbration of the virgen mary. I posted some pictures from it, it was massive there was thousands of people in the streets...and I was taller than everysingle one of them haha, So I got to see the parade really good. They didnt have floats but they just had tons of big trucks with huge speakers on them with peopla in costumes dancing and stuff, it was really loud. It was supposed to be the second best convite in guatemala and people from all over the country come to watch it. I also got to hang on the outside of a bus again this week. THis time I had on foot in the door and the other food inside the place were they put gas in haning onto the open window sill. I could have sworn we were going like 80 mph at one point, my companion took a video so in two years you can all see it on facebook. when you are on the side of the bus it is kind of similar to riding on top of the bus, the only difference is you have to dodge bike riders on the side of the road instead of overhanging branches. (Disclaimer: Mom if I could avoid doing dangerous stunts I would, but every single bus was full because of the parade, and we were sitting at one of the last areas in the bus route). My comp managed to snap some pictures of us with one hand while we were riding.So these are all really good ups... it was an interesting week.

The downs for this week:

I was really tired this week, and why? I dont know, but it might because the catholic church decided to have really loud parades with trumpets and drums and fireworks and yelling people at 4 oclock in the morning, two nights in a row! That is the only down side of living on mainstreet in one the most active catholic communities in the universe. Its ok I will laugh about it later on in life. The other bummer was that we couldnt find anyone because of the huge fiesta that was going on for like a whole week. This includes the girl we were supposed to baptize on saturday. We should have known that planning a baptism on one of the biggest events of the year would be difficult. So we were really sad that we couldnt baptize her on saturday but we are going to baptize her this sunday so its all good. After all of the trials I can still always find more ups than downs.

Monday, January 17, 2011

"10 tortillas a meal" 1-17-2011

Hola Familia!

Well this week was incredible average. We found 7 new investigadors, tought 20 lessons, walked a ton, and placed another baptismal date. OUr new deistrict leader is Elder Reyes from nicaragua, he is a really cool guy, he was a zone leader before he came to our district. This past week me and my comp made a goal that we each wanted to lose weight this change...that lasted for about 3 hours...we ate a special order hamburger for dinner that night. WE found a little hamburger place in our little pueblo that is really awesome!. At first I thought it was grose but it has really grown on me, I think my hamburger standards have gone way down. The special hamburger that we like ot get has to patties with every thing on it with a hot dog in between the patties. IT IS SO GOOOOOD! You guys should try it some time. But yah I am definetly gaining some wait. Every told me that in the mountain areas this tends to happen. I think its because I am eating so much tortillas because they are all made out of corn and corn is a very high energy food, and when a person is eating about 10 tortillas a meal gaining weght is normal.

This thursday we are goin to go listen to edler Ballard and Elder Clark of the seventy, which we are all really excited about. Plus they are going to feed us lunch so... But tomorow me and my comp are going to go get haircuts and get all spiffed up during our p-day.

This past sunday none of our investigadors came to church which was really depressing, because there are only 2 omre sundays left in this month and they need to come to 3 sundays in order to be baptized. But next month we will try and baptize them. We even went to go cook pancakes for a family so that they would have enough time get ready for church but they still were unable to come because her doughter had a another baby like the night before that we didnt know about so they had to take care of her instead of coming to church.

THanks for the letters gradma I got all of them, I liked the candy canes alot to. Sorry I didnt write much I had to spend most of my time unfreezing my computer because it froze twice. But everything is all good down here in San Andres Itzapa.

I will talk to you guys next week!

Love Elder West

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Boy time just flies by! 1/10/2011

Hola Familia!

Well, I had more baptisms this week! On saturday we baptized edwin quinac who is 9 years old, and Estela Xicon and they both got confirmed on sunday. On sunday we baptized jose can. Jose Can has been coming to church for the past 9 months but didnt want to get baptized because his parents are pastors and he thought they would get really mad....well they did get really mad but everything is all good. Me and my comp prayed alot that his parents would soften their hearts. While my comp was baptized him he accidentally hit Jose's head on the wall, haha, I had a feeling that was going to happen. The water font was really low because little bugs and and really bad smell started to come out of the faucet so we turned it off early. We also are going to move into a new apartment next month that is really nice, it kind of reminds me of america inside. It was a total score!

Right now in Guatemala I think it is starting to get warmer, it was like 80 degrees the other day. I still have not gotten into the habit of putting on sunscreen so I still have like a permanent red face. I do floss everynight however which is improvement. So our president is really mad at our zone right now. Last p-day we went to antigua to go eat togather with some other districts. AT the restaurant they had pool tables, so we started playing pool with permision from our zone leaders. Apparently a member saw us and didnt like it and called the mission president. So now no one in the mission can play pool and we can no longer leave our areas on p-day. Bummer, haha, and president found out that me and my comp were cooking ourselves lunch and he got mad and told us to find a cook to cook for us. well....I guess its all for the best.

Last week we found 11 new investigadors, we set aside one hour everyday to knock doors and stuff which seemed to work our really well. Tonight we find out if we have changes, I am pretty sure that I will get a new companion again. I have had a new companion everychange so far which is kind of difficult but its fun to have change. I will probably be in San Andres ITzapa for a minimum of 5 months. There was another elder that was in this area for 8 months which is insane. I might get bumped up to senior comp this next change.

Well I am healthy and happy, I have officially past the 6 month mark and I now have 13 baptisms under my belt. I will continue to work my hardest. NExt week we get to go listen to Elder Ballard and Bishop Burton speak to all of the missionaries and I am really excited for that. anyways I love you guys I will write ya next week. Boy time just flies by!

Love Elder West

Monday, January 3, 2011

Christmas in Guatemala - December 2010

I hit my 6 month mark HOLY MOLY! 1-3-2011

Hola Familia!
Happy new year. I cannot believe that it is 2011, this is the only complete year that I am going to be here in guatemala. It sounds like you guys had a good holiday break, I bet megan and kevin are excited to go back to school and stuff. These past two weeks have been really interesting, it has been cool to see all of the traditions that people have here. ON new years eve me and my companion went to sleep at 10pm beacause we were tired and we had to because its basically like a rule, and then naturally at midnight we were awoken by the most fireworks I have ever heard in my life. It was so loud and we could hear stuff landing on our little tin roof. I could have sworn I was like ina war zone our something. My first new years moments went like this: My comp:´'hey elder west are you awake´' , Me: ¨yep'' , my comp: ''its pretty loud huh?'', Me ''yah, happy new year'', and then we went back to sleep. I love being a missionary. HOwever my new years day did not end like this, at 4:30 in the morning they decided to have a huge parade right in front of my house with firework and trumpets and drums and everything. NOw that really annoyed me ALOT! The parade lasted for 30 minutes, I think it mght have stopped in front of my house or something. whatever. And then at noon they did it again.
When we woke up in the morning we went and we helped our recent convert build a house for his son in law, we were about half way done with it in about 3 hours, we are going to finish it up on monday. It was a 16 by 16 foot house made out of tin. When I get back if anyone want s me to build them a a little house I can do it now. But now I am really sore. THe next day we helped some people move a huge pile of dirt which was really tiring as well but it was good.
This saturday we are going to have 3 more baptisms! I am really excited for that I hope all goes according to plan. This next week I may ahve a new companion...again. NExt week is changes so well have to see what happens there as well. THere is also a rumor that elder ballard is coming to town with elder christiansen, I am super excited for that as well.
OH and thanks for preparing that box to send me mom, and its ok if you send me dear elders in hard copy it makes me feel good when I get them even when I know that I have already read them. This week I hit my 6 month mark HOLY MOLY! I will see you guys in 18 months.
Love Elder West

Saturday, January 1, 2011

She made us turkey and everything! 12-17-2010

Hola Familia!
I know I already talked to you but I guess I can update you on what happened over the weekend. I posted alot of pictures from my baptism and what not. So on christmas we got to go eat with this women who is from colorado. She made us turkey and everything! I had all pictured in my head that we would go sit at a nice table and be served just like in america. but instaed we went into this corn field and ate outside on the ground there. This womens name is ¨pepper¨ she is like 60 years old and I have know idea what she is doing in guatemala. She is really funny and has lots of questions about the church. While we were eating we realized that there werent anymore buses that were going back to my area. So we were stranded there for a long time before we could find a ride.

The next day we had our 4 baptisms... Or so we thought. When we woke up the first the we did was call our investigodors to make sure that they were ready for the baptism. The first guy said that he decided that he wasnt going to get bapitized today because he still thinks he has a problem with cofee or something like thatand he wanted to di it a different dat. So we were bummed about that but we were just glad that he still wants to get baptized. NExt we calle the family that we were going to baptize, I talked to the wife (Hna. Estela) and she told us that she couldnt get baptized this day as well but here husband still wants to get baptized. So we were really bummed about that but we were glad that at least she still wanted to get baptized. We decided that with our other investigador (who has 16 years) we would walk to her house and bring her to church because we didnt have much luck over the phone previously. When we got there her mom was all mad and told us that she didnt want her duaghter to get baptized either. At this point me and my comp were really starting to get frustrated. We talked with her mom for like an hour until she would give us permision, luckily she did. At this point we were 30 minutes late for church, and we still havent had the baptismal interview for Hno. Rolando the husmbad of the wife who bailed out. I thought that I was going to have an ulcer or something because my district leader also showed up i hour and a half late. OUr baptism was shceduled right after the meetings ended. I dont have time to tell you about all of the other stuff that went wrong, but in the end we did have 2 baptism and we for sure have 2 more in the month of january.

ANyways I love you guys and I was really grateful to be able to talk to you guys on saturday. I hope megan megan is having a great time dating lots of boys and stuff. I still dont know if she is tall enough to get her license yet but...maybe she can practice driving on a go-kart first. Oh yah you guys asked me if I didnt need anything and I said no, but that was a lie, I was just to cought up in the moment and I forgot to look at the list that I had written down. I was wondering if you guys could send me a familiy photo or something that has all of us in it because alot of people have asked to see a photo but I dont really have one. I also had to turn my ipod into my mission president because I guess my screen was to fancy or something, so I was wondering if you guys could send me like a discman or something to play C.Ds. My comp has a lot of efy music that I can make copies of. Also I didnt know if you guys realized but everyime you send me an email through dear elder I get the same letter in paper form like 2 weeks later. So I wanst sure if you guys were doing it on purpose or what. When we get mail I usually get a stack of like 10 dear elders and all of the other elders are really jealous but I know that I have already read them. ITs not true for all of them because I dont get bens or nelsons emails in email first but thats ok. And if you feel like sending me candy just feel free.

anyways I love you guys and I will write next week.


Elder West

"I look forward to all of the tomales" 12-20-2010

Hola Familia!

Feliz navidad! This week was very cool. Me and my companion did a ton of contacting. In our first three days of this week pretty much all of our appointments fell through so we did alot of walking. However because we were diligent in the last 3 days of this week we found 14 new investigadors, put another baptismal date and had several breakthroughs with our investigadors. My favorite experience this week was with Hermana Estela Xicay Xicon. They have had the missionaries teaching them for over 3 months. Her husband was a drunk and would sometimes be out on the street for weeks or even months at a time. She has been to several different churches and pretty much jsut gave up the the effort because none of the churches helped her or her husband at all to improve their lives. After 3 months, and several slip ups, her husband rolando has completely left drinking and is now a very sprirual and intelligent man. He told us that he never had anyone support him like the missionaries supported him, the missionaries never stopped coming`he said. We comitted him to be baptized the 26th of this month. However hermana Estela still did not want anything to do with this church. For the past 2 weeks me and my companion have been praying for her so that she would open her heart to this gospel. Last Wednesday she broke down to tears and apologized for not accepting us. She told us she had a dream that helped her to realize how much God loves her, and that she needs to listen to us. We comited her to be baptized the 26th of december with her husband and she accepted. This family is a miracle. When the other missionaries first found them neither of them had jobs, he was drunk, and they were just barely scraping by on life. Right now they are happy, they have both found work, there children have work, he has stopped drinking, and they are going to get baptized. This was my favorite spiritual experience this week.

I attached some action shots that I took jsut before coming to the computer lab, so that you can see what I look like when Im working really hard. I also put togather a list of some the songs that I hear everyday in teh street and on the bus and what not. I thought you guys would like to hear what I hear everyday.

  • Cielo de estrellas - el trono de mexico
  • Quein do los dos era - Diego Verdaguer
  • panamericano- don omar
  • Alejate de mi - camila
  • estoy enamorado-
  • cuando me enamoro- enrique iglesias
  • stand by me - prince royce
Part of the culture here is that they like to have really big speakers and they like to turn them up really loud so that everycan here how big there speakers are. Right now the computer lab manager guy is listening to Cielo de esrellas, and it is really loud. Megan and kevin should put these songs on their ipods to give them alittle bit of culture experience.

I look forward to all of the tomales that I am going to eat this week for christmas. So you guys can call me this saturday, at 11 o clock guatemala time. So that is probably after you guys opened all of your presents and stuff. You just have to use this number exactly 011-502-4058-2698 this is with all of the special country codes and area codes and stuff so you just have to dial that. I can only talk for 30-40 minutes but not more than 40 minutes. I hope you guys have a really nice Christmas.

Love Elder West

Happy Christmas!