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, August 30, 2011

"Golden Lopez Family" 8-29-11


Let Me just start off by saying that this weeks was Calidad! The first cool thing that happened was that we found 4 families this week! The second thing that happened that was very cool is that I officially finished my first little box of dental floss. This is the first time that I have started and finished an entire roll of dental floss. PAT-ON-THE-BACK! But yesterday I found another little box of floss in my suitcase, I think that it is a blessing from god sent to humble me and to tell me to keep flossing for the rest of my life. The second cool thing that happened was that I discovered that at the beggining of the month I made my budget thinking that I had less money than I actually did. Therefore I learned that I can live an entire month very very cheaply. And so tommorow maybe I will by 2 cans of beans instead of just one.

My companion and I are doing great, Elder Pineda is a good missionary and he is learning alot. That is interesting to hear that there was a hurricane in Virginia I am sure that that was very exciting. It rains here alot to. One of my biggest pet-peaves in the world is when we are teaching someone who has a tin roof and during the lesson it starts raining super hard, it is deafening. When that happens all you can do is put a smile on your face and Yell WOW IT SURE IS RAINING HARD HUH! and then awkwardly wait until the rain calms downa bit.

MY best Experience of the week: On monday we found a golden family and me and my companion were super pumped because we were positive that we could baptize them the 17 of September. They are called the Lopez Family. Everysingle day we were praying and praying and praying so that they could come to church. Because if they didnt come to church we couldnt baptize them on the 17th. (the 17th of september is so important because all of the Elders in our Zone want to have a gigantic baptism togather on this day). So Sunday morning we went to go pick them up at their house and when we knocked on their door their neighboor came out and told us that the night before they found a cheaper house somewhere and just left! I gotta tell ya that me and my companion were bummed. So on they way back to church we passed by 3 other houses to bring people to church, and none of them were there. However, One of our investigators; Hermano Juan, came to church with his wife (this is the family that we married like 2 months ago). After the sacrament meeting our bishop went up to Hermano Juan and told him next sunday I am going to baptize you, and he took hermano juan into his office and talked with him for like 20 minutes. This tuesday we have an appointment with him to see what happened because Hermano Juan had to leave early and we didnt have a chance to talk to him about it. But I think that this could be a changing point for Hermano Juan, and it is very possible that we are going to baptize him this sunday. Another cool thing is that right before church started the bishop asked me and my companion to each give a 15 minute talk about missionary work. Elder Pineda almost peed his pants because he has never given a talk in church in his life! hahaha, but he did fine. I was really excited to give a talk because I knew that someday this was going to happen to me in my mission and I had a talk already prepared.

Thanks grandma for the funny jokes you sent me it was really funny. I am doing great down here in guatemala, I only got sick once last week, but my immune system is like super awesome now so I got over it in like one day. I think that every month I have to get sick or something. Right now I have to go but I love you guys!

Love ,

Elder West

3 Families 8-22-11


I started to process of cleaning off my memory card for my camera but it
said that it would take 30 minutes and I dont have 30 minutes so I had to
stop it. But next week I will try harder to clean it off so that I can take
some pictures and send them to you. I havent taken any pictures in like a
month and I feel like my future grandchildren are going to hate me because I
left the past month of my mission with out a visual record. But its ok.

This week was pretty good. WE were able to find 3 families this week! 2 of them
are part member families that we found by complete accident on the same day.
Last monday was a holiday for Guatemala city, it is a celebration of some
kind of virgen or something in the catholic church. we were talking with all
of the people and the only thing they cared about was staying in there house
and sleeping. Which for us was amazing. Elder Pineda and I decided to pick
one street and contact everysingle house on that street, and we found both
of these families right next to each other it was awesome. One of the
families has a really sad story. The member dorita is currently married to
her second husband and living with her only living child. She was once
sealed happily everafter in the temple with her husband who was called as a
bishop. Needless to say her husband started drinking, got killed and she
went in active because she got offended. 2 of her 3 sons got involved in a
gang, and were sent to prison and were killed right after they got out. Her
living son now is 20 years old and has now clue that he was born in the
covenent and is also making some very wrong life choices. It is very sad to
see people who once were one the right path to become so lost. But believe
it our not our savior Jesus Christ can help people who have fallen off the
path like hermana dorita and.

This week We invited the bishop to two appointments that we thougt he could
really help. One of them was with the Husband of hermana Amanda. Hermana
Amanda wanted to get baptized like 3 months ago but her husband didnt want
to get married to her. Yesterday we were finally able to sit him down (with
the bishop present) and commit him to get married. THe Bishop Rodas
tesitified with so much power and authority to this brother, I could hardly
breath because the spirit was so strong, I thnk that he might actually get
married. The bishop also came with us to one of the families that is part
member that we found on monday which was also amazing. I have a new found
testimony about working with the members.

I am doing awesome my comp is learning alot as well and is also awesome. It
is really funny to be able to see some of his experiences as a newbie. I
reminds me uf my first transfer with my trainer. OH man, right now it jsut
started to dump down rain outside. You guys cannot believe how hard it rains
here, washington rain is nothing.

Love you guys

Elder West

Monday, August 15, 2011

Training Elder Pineda 8-15-2011


Boy oh boy I got some sweet thigs to share this week. So I got another companion! that really suprised me and Elder Cruz we wanted to stay togather more time. But I got another good companion so thats ok. His name is Elder Pineda and I am his trainer because he is fresh out of the CCM. He is about to complete his first month in the mission. I guess I forgot to mention that I got moved up to senior companion about 3 months ago. It is really cool being a trainer for several reasons. First of all, the church has completely changed the training program in the MTC, and My companions group was the first group to start this program. Now the newbie and their trainer have to be togather 12 weeks, so that means that I will be in this area for 7 and a half months. We have a very specific study program that includes an extra hour of companion study everyday. AnD! all of the trainers are given portable DVD players wohoooooooo! We are also given all of the preach my gospel discs (the District1 and 2) to suplement our study. This is an amazing tool to help us learn and improve better. This new program was implemented first into the mission field before it was used in the MTC so that the New missionaries would enter into the field and be able to practice the same things. It is really amazing it is called simplified or basic studying.

I love training! having a new missionary with me is awesome because they are so enthusiastic about everything. This week we conctacted the whole world it think. We were able to find 12 new investigadors this week and 2 families. Elder Pineda is from San Pedro Sula Honduras, but he looks like a gringo because he is whiter than me, hahaha. When I first met him it kind of threw me off a bit. He also has braces still, so that means that we have to go to the dentist every month. He is great, he has alot to learn, but he is great. All of the missionaries that are going in to the MTC right now are going to be way better than my group of missionaries that entered into the MTC more than a year ago. We got super wet yesterday it rained super hard and the streets were like converted into rivers or something. THe water was like rushing up to my shins and times. We had to go back to the house and change, it looked like we had jumped into a pool.

My best experience this week. Me and my companion were teaching Giovani and he told us that he was having a horrible day and he wanted us to help him have more peace in his life and help him understand why God was letting a whole bunch of horrible stuff happen to him. My companion felt impressed to have him kneel down and ask god right then and there. After that the lesson went great. And by the end of the lesson he told us that God had answered his prayer.

Where is Parker going that is new new to me? I got the facial cleanser about a month ago, I just forgot to tell you, thanks mom! I am healthy, happy and working hard.

Love Elder West

Monday, August 8, 2011

"Power Week" 8-8-2011

Hola! everybody!

I seriously cannot believe that another month has gone by, i have officially
started the down hilldrive. I hit my 13 month mark yesterday, I try not to
think to much about the time I have left on the mission but sometimes its
hard not to. This week was pretty good. I call this week my power week.
Lately I have been really thinking about the power and authority that I have
as a missionary and representative of Jesus Christ. For along time in my
mission I have been somewhat of a pushover as far as correcting peoples
beliefs in false doctrine. I have learned that there really is a difference
between contention and correcting on doctrinal points. For example,
yesterday, this guy were were teaching started making fun of baptisms for
the dead and trying to convince our recent convert that she made the wrong
decision in choosing this church. I felt like the Profet Jacob in the book
of mormon when Sherem (a very crafty and eloquent man who fought against the
prophesies of the mesiah). During the lesson he turned to me and said
baptisms for the dead is really really really bad, what do you think? I
honestly could have shown him exactly where in the bible it talks about it
and i could have proved him wrong right then and there. But in preach my
gospel it doesnt tell us to answer objections like that. As a representative
of Jesus Christ I had to tell him that it was true doctrine. Preach my
gospel teaches us to teach to the real source of the problem, understanding
exactly why they think that way and then applying it to their needs. Ammon
is also the perfect example of this as well when he was talking with king
lamoni. In order to understand the work for the dead people need to first
understand that that God has called living prophets in our days. We cant put
the icing on the cake without first baking the cake. ME and my companion
felt the spririt strongly and we really tought with authority. It was good.
This is what I learned this week, My mission will be different from now on.
The world is jsut so full of ignorance and false teachings, it is really
sad, but thats were my job comes in as a misisonary.

Well I gotta go, I ran out of time really really fast.


Elder West

"I Used to Love Pizza" 8-1-2011


This week was a rollercoaster! I dont really know where to start. Um I guess I will start on Wednesday when I got super sick. Basically my entire system just shut down, I puked my guts out, and I could hardly move becuase my whole body hurt. I thought I hate Denge (bone break fever) or something. I almost threw up during a lesson but we finished just in time. I also got 11 cold sores on my lower lip, and I ran out of that cold sore medicine you gave me like last month. Needless to say I spent that day, and that night, lying in my bed thinking "why me? why me?" The next day we had zone conferance, which is really important to go to. I felt better until they gave us my best dream, and worst nightmare, for lunch. They gave each and every one of us an entire pizza from pizza hut! AHHHHHHH! Why me! My whole mission I have always thought, " for zone confereance, the mission should just give all of us a pizza and keep it simple" And ofcourse the day they actually do it, I am sick. Its ok. Life is full of obstacles.....but this is not all. Why we were at zone conferance, there was some kind of land slide in my area because it rained alot. And that land slide blocked the only entrance into the city were I work. So Me and my companion had to get off the bus anf walk about 2 miles in our suits to get back to our house because the line of cars was huge. I got mud all over my suit pants. But thats ok we talked to a really nice old lady like half of the way and helped her carry her grocerie bags. When we got back to the house, we noticed that our kitchen was flooded, and we really didnt care. By this time it was getting dark and we were late for our appointments. So we rushed up the ginormous hill and we noticed that there was no power in the whole city. That comlicated things a bit, My companion had his flash light with him.We managed to to have one lesson which was good. By the end of the day I had completely forgotten that I was sick. On friday we got to do a cool service project as well. We got to help remove a tree that fell on a members house, and we did it using machetes which was even cooler. I love weeks like this as I look back on it I am able to learn a ton.

We also whad one of the most unforgetable lessons I have ever had in my mission this week. Elder Cruz and I are currently teaching a part member family were the husband is a faithful member of the church but the wife is strongly against the church (how they got married, i have know idea) She is very hard. Needless to say we had an appointment with them, but they werent there, we waited out side for a little bit wondering what we should do when their neighboor (the bishop and father of ricardo) saw us on his way to mutual. He told us that they were inside his house with his family. Me and Elder Cruz really did not want to teach her with her entire mormon family there because she has expressed to us the strong pressure she has felt from her inlaws to get baptized. Neverthe less, the bishop, was watching so we knocked on the door and went in and before we knew it the whole family and our investigator were sitting there waiting for us to start. This is the first time in my mission were I had absolutely no idea whatsoever what I should say! It was the worst feeling in the world. I decided that the best thing to do would be to follow the spirit and say what ever came to my mind. It was probably the most choppy lesson I have ever had, I had know Idea where I was going. Then I had the idea to tell all of the family members to bare there testimonies and thats when things started to get good. During this small testimony meeting I was noticing that the investigator was not paying attention at all. Then the bishop came home, and me and my companion decided to wrap up the lesson because we saw that it was going no where. We testified to her and challenged her to read and pray to know if the book of mormon is true and she told us no! Me and elder Cruz were about ready to cry! and to make things worse the lights went out. But then the bishop had the prompting to share a really personal story with us about his father and he bore his testimony. The spirit was so strong, I knew that the investigator was paying attention even though it was dark and couldnt see very well. I really dont know what to think about this lesson, but we felt the spirit strongly.

Well, I love you guys, I love the church, I love Jesus, and I used to love Pizza.


Elder West