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)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

"Lost Papers" 3/28/2011


I am just going to say that this past week was one of those weeks that did not go well, and was probably gods idea to help us to be more humble and to test us. It seemed like every single appointment that we had this week fell through, not to mention our baptism and wedding did not work out either. It turned out that the papers for brother Ismael have been lost. Apparently the book that contained his records was damaged during the tropical storm that happened last year, and so me and my companion will not be able to get them married and baptized until after months have passed. Me and Elder carrasco were really sad and bummed, we are hoping that there still might be a way to find his papers sooner. However, in place of this catostrophy we were blessed with another family that we found that is really really positive. Me and Elder Otuafi found them about 2 months ago and we could never find them after that. 2 months later I had the idea to give them another shot with Elder Carrasco. So we knocked on the door and to my suprise they were all there. They wanted to know why we didnt come back to teach them sooner and I felt really bad. We tought one of the best lessons about the restoration that I have tought on my mission so far and felt the spirit sooooo strong. At the end of the lesson the husband told us that the past few months he has been feeling really empty inside, but when me and tought them he felt that his emptiness was gone and that he found the peace that he was looking for, and his wife told us that the book of mormon is their new guide. After that lesson me and my companion felt like we were walking on clouds. We feel that Our father in heaven knows that we are working and that he has prepared this family for us to teach. We really think that they have the potential to be baptized. THe whole time that I was teaching I was imagining them dressed in white walking into the temple togather.

Nothing too exciting out and out of the ordinary happened today, except as my district was walking to the internet place just know we saw something really funny. THere was this guy driving down the street on his little motorcycle as happy as could be, and he honked his horn at his buddy who happened to be at the intersection ahead crossing the street with his cow. But the cow didnt like that one bit, so the cow backed up right into the path of the motorcycle guy and the motorcycle dude t-boned the poor fat cow. It was so funny, the best part was that the motorcycle dude was laughing as well, and the owner of the cow that it was hilarious too. Thats what you call having a good attitude, the motorcycle guy is a great example to us all, I hope to be like him someday, hahahaha.

Another detail is that in the month of April the catholics down here have a ton of huge activities in preperation for holy week or something. And From what I heard from the older missionaries is that this week is really hard because everyone decides to become active in the catholic church all at once. But thats ok I have general conferance to look forward to, woooooohooooooo. General conferance is better than christmas. I ahve been on the mish for almost months now and so far I am doing good on shirts and stuff so there is no need to worry mom, but I will let you guys know if I need anything. I better stop writing now so that I will have time to send you guys pictures.


elder west

Thursday, March 24, 2011

"very hard to find legal documents" 3/21/2011

Hola Familia!

I really learned alot this week. WE had the opportunity to listen to Elder
Falabela, the first counselor in the area presidency. I love these
opportunities because it always restores a bit of that fire that every new
missionary has in the MTC. He tought us that we need to stop taking the easy
road. He told us that as Elders we need to always be looking for ways to
conquer our fear. THis requires choosing the more difiicult road, and he
says that dificult things have better results. Me and my comp really tried
to put into practice what he said and we had results this past week. The sad
thing is that the family that we wanted to baptzize couldnt get baptized
because we were unable to find the papers for brother ismael. Ismael and
Ofelia are an elderly couple that have been togather as a couple for a
really long time but never got married. This is one of the biggest
challenges here in guatemala is that there is alot of people who dont get
married. The worst part is that alot of the people have no idea who they
are, literally! THey dont know there age, there full name, the name or age
of there parents, or where they were born. This makes it very very hard to
find legal documents for people (which are very necessary in order to be
married). We finally managed to locate the birth certificate for brother
ismael but it is in another city that is 2 hours away. So we communicated
with the elders in that area so that they can mail them to us. Wheeeew! The
papers for ofelia were a little bit easier to find, fortunately. But after
all of the trials and hard work we know that the results are amazing. Two
awesome people are going to be able to enter into the kingdom of our father
in heaven be saved! Man if feels so good to help people like this I cannot
even explain it. In october I will be able to go to the Temple with the
family fernandez alonzo who I baptized last october and they will be able to
be sealed for all eternity as a family. Thats what its all about!

The weather down here in Guatemala is still absolutely perfect, I am healthy
aside from the fact that I threw up last week but thats ok. Vomiting and
severe diarhea really isnt that big of a deal for me anymore...its like part
of my life now, and I have grown to accept it. Last week I went to the mega
paca (big giant thrift store here in guatemala) to look for shoes. THe
rockports that I have right now really are not doing to good, and I bought a
brand new pare of rockports and another pare of really nice dress shoes for
a grand total of 10 dollars. yup 10 dollars. THey are slightly used but they
should help me last until christmas. The nice thing about having big feet is
that in the thrift stores big shoes are cheaper because no one in guatemala
has feet big enough to use them, haha. All in all I am doing just dandy and
I am looking forward to this weekend for our baptism! yay! Oh yah and thanks
grandma for the big envelope with the calender and the tie I loved It! and
thanks to wyatt aswell for his letter, I will try and write him back soon!


Elder West

"trunk load of spiritual experiences" 3/15/2011

Hola Famila!

Boy oh boy what a week. Thanks for sending that letter from nelson, everyone has been talking about a tsunami that happened in japan so its good to here that he is ok. NOthing exciting like a tsunami happened here or anything but, we did have a trunk load of spiritual experiences. On wednesday we were walking to an appointment and I felt like I should point out a house were members used to live, as if my comp we be interested, which he wasnt but thats not part of the story. The next day we past by that house again and we both took notice of it and talked about how wierd it looks. The next day we passed by it again, and me and my comp just stopped and stared at it for like 2 minutes. He asked me if I wanted to knock on it and was like ¨sure¨. So we did, but before we could say a word a middle aged guy with a sweet mustache invited us to come in. Me and my comp. had no clue what to do we werent so we just stood there and smiled with these dumb looks on our faces until he invited us in again. It turns out that this guy had just recently moved in and that he was baptized into the church 15 years ago but he went inactive. We happened to pass by his house on the one day during the week were he had a day off. The cool thing is that his wife is not a member so that makes her baptizable. Me and my comp thought that it was really cool how we both recieved that spiritual prompting at the same time.

WE also tought this kind named sergio samora who is 17 years old. WE had tought him 2 times before but he is really hard to find because he works and studies alot. During our lesson we learned that his mom had died and his dad abandoned him and his siblings. So Sergio has been taking care of him family almost completly by himself. HE says that his uncles come over alot to help him. We seriously believe that he has been prepared by god to recieve this gospel. He is the most humble 17 year old kid I have ever met in my life, and he has really good questions. He hasnt progressed much but it is mainly because he is so busy. I like him alot and I want to help him more.

To start this next story off I first need to explain that there is a guy in our town who people pay to drive around announcing stuff on his loud speakers, usually about the deaths of people.This week we also got asked to give a blessing to a old lady who was on the verge of death. They asked us to bless her because 3 days earlier some other members gave a blessing to one of their friends and she got better the next day. So they pretty much expected us to heal her. The moment we walked into the the room I just new that this lady had no hope whatsoever she was literally dying and could hardly breath. So me and my comp. hesitenlty gave the blessing and left. The very next morning the announcer guy drove by with his loudspeaker saying that the same lady who we blessed had just died. oops. We were the last people to give her a blessing. now its really awkward when we walk by there.

Other than these stories we set to baptismal dates for this upcoming weekend. Ofelia and her soon to be husband Ismael. 3 investigating families came to church, and we have a baptismal goal for the 26th as well.

Love Elder West

" He Escaped" 3/7/2011

Hola Familia!

This week was a rough week, I am not going to lie. Just about every appointment we had fell through and we walked alot. But its ok I also learned alot this week as well. Sometimes I feel like I am just going on a hike with the scout troop, the only thing is that I have a white shirt and tie on. Sometimes its really nice to just walk through the forest on little dirt trails, because it gives me a little time to think and relax. This week I definetly developed some more patience. We had alot more problems with our recent convert rolando xicay xicon who has been drinking alot lately. He has been drunk everyday this week and me and my companion are really worried about him. We found him lying in the street on wednesday night, completly drunk and out of it. Me and my comp. found a tuk tuk (a tuk tuk is a 3 wheeled taxi that people use to get around town) and we dragged him in there and we carried him back to his house. We put him in bed, tucked him in and sat there until we were sure that he wasnt going to escape. We pretty much had to hold him down on his bed because he was really trying to escape. never in my life could I have imagined doing this. Alcohol is the worlds worst invention I swear. The next day we went and sat with rolando, who was still alittle bit drunk, and talked with him. We turned our backs for one second and he escaped.

We had to families come to church on sunday! the family Gomez Alcantara, and Ofelia and Ismael. Today Ismael is going in to have open heart surgery. IT is a miracle that this familiy was able to find the necessary fund to pay for this. OFelia and Ismael live in a house made of Adobe, which is basically a a type of cement that the people here make our of dirt and water. They have no doors, no windows, and live by candle light. WE are hoping that Ismael will survive his operation so that we will be able to baptize him and his wife (well almost wife, we still have to get them married).
WE have another investigador called mary and we can baptize her as well its jsut that last sunday she spilled boiling water all over her tummy and got really burned bad. The problem is, is that she is also pregnant so we are all kind of worried about that. We are hoping to baptize her this month as well. So far in my mission I have been able to have baptisms everymonth so far which is really cool.

The weather here is really nice still, right now i reckon that its about 75 degrees, sunny with some nice white fluffy clouds. I am doing fine, I havent thrown up or anything for a while so I am pretty stoked about that. My spanish is doin good, this is my second latino companion and I think that I can understand everythin now. I CAN SPEAK SPANISH! I remember sitting in the MTC wondering if it was possible. anyways It sounds like you guys are doin good, and it sounds like kevin is getting super good at swimming. He is probably better at swimming than I was when I was 12. I will let him be better at in swimming...but I will always be taller than him .

Con Amor,

Elder West

"new comp. Elder Carrasco" 2/28/2011

Hola Familia!

I have much to report this week. First of all I would like to wish Dad a happy Birthday! 46! That chocolate cake sounds good. They have chocolatecake here but it sucks.. I would also like to thank grandma J for the letters that I have recieved. I just got one that had some paintings from chloe and kelly. I also received a new companion. His name is Elder Carrasco from Costa Rica and he has 13 months in the mission and he does not speak a lick of english. So far I like my comp. he likes to walk really fast and work really hard and have the best stats in the district. I think that I will learn alot during my time with him. I suspect that I will be in this area until June wich will be about 7 months in total. My old comp Elder Otuafi went to an area called Amatitlan. Right now the whole mission is having a crisis because it is the end of the month, and the church still has not given us or allowance for the next month and we will not recieve it for another week. I guess the church system broke or something. Last month I started an emergency fund by setting aside 150 quetzales each month which was a really good Idea on my part so right now I am using that. THe only bummer is that my comp has zero money so I am also paying for him. So It will be interesting to see how we get through this week. Also in one week I will have 8 months in my mission.

So this week we have been working with 4 families that we think that we can baptize. They all have a bunch of things to overcome but we are confident that they really can progress enough to be baptized. Yesterday we had a lesson with a part member family. THe husband,louis, is catholic and is 20 years old and the wife is 18 and they have a little baby. With my old comp we tried to teach him but he was just to hardnosed ot exept any of our message. However my new comp. Elder Carrasco gave it another shot. My comp is so straight forward and bold that He actually got the kid to cry. He sinceraly told us that he would pray and investigate further. It just goes to show that our mission president assigns us to our areas through revelation. I think that louis really needed to listen to someone like my companion. WE are really hoping that we can help him to find and answer.

Well other then this everything is all good down here in guatemala. It is still sunny and perfect. The rainy season will start in like may or june or something and will last until like november. So if you guys are thinking about coming down here to pick me up, it would be right during the middle of the rainy season. I am happy, I think I will lose weight with my new companion because we walk so fast. I am also really excited for this change because general conferance is in april. YAY!!! Just a side note, you guys may want to make sure that there is a little somethin something inmy personal card just in case I cannot last this week.

Love Elder West

February Pictures 2011

"just felt like knocking" 2/21/2011

Hola Familia!

So I had yet another very interesting and fast week. On wednesday me and my companion had an activity in the park were we were giving out free morcaff. MOrcaff is like coffee except its made out of grains just like that barley cup stuff that dad drank in england. From this activity we recieved 37 references and me and my comp have been busy trying to find all of them since. It is really hard when there are no directions. Usually a good direction included the color of the house, and a good geographical location to reference off of like in front of the school, or next to the tienda or something like that. I think that I will do that activity again in the future. I am actually really starting to like this fake cofee stuff to because the members give it to us all of the time. I will bring some back when I come home so that you guys can try, dad will probably like but im guessing no one else will. This week I had alot of good spiritual experiences as well.

My comp wanted to go find a guy who lived down by some river or something. SO we walked for a while until we found a river, I dont know if it was the right one or not. But supposedly he lived right down by the river so we walked down this litte trail but we didnt find a house so we were walking back on our way to another appointment. As we were walking back we didnt plan on knocking any of the doors because we were kind of in a hurry. But I remember walking past this one house that just cought my attention, I dont know why but I really just felt like knocking on it. So we knocked on it and we found the family garcia alcantara. It turned out that they had received the missionaries several times before and they knew everything about joseph smith, they had their own hym books and book of mormons and everything. The only reason that they had not been baptised is because they didnt want to pay tithing. Was it a coincidence that we walked all the way down to this obscure side of town looking for someone who didnt even exist but then end up finding a golden family at the first random door we knocked on? I think not. I definetly think that we were guided by the spirit and that this family may be ready to listen to us again.

But anyways I dont have much time because I spent to much time putting up pictures. I also just found out that my new mission president will be some people from utah called the family bough or something like that.In the picture he looked 1000 times less intimidating then my current mission president so I am really looking forward to meeting him. anyways all is well down here in the land of zarahemla.


Elder West