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, September 26, 2011

7 1/2 Months in Peronia 9-26-2011


Highlights for this week:

  1. We have 4 baptismal Dates
  • Juan Martinez (11 de Octubre)
  • Familia Tay Ramos (15 de octubre)
  • Eswin (15 de octubre)
  1. (second, i cant figure out how to change that to a 2, its sad)
  2. third, 8 investigadors came to church which included 2 families
  3. I got invited to eat dinner (the first time in 4 months)
  4. We are going to have 3 more fechas at the end of this next week
  5. This week I lost my planner and a bag full of pamphlets in the street, and I magically found both them, haha, que suerte (how lucky).
  6. I am officially in my 5th change here in Peronia so I will have 7 1/2 months in one of the most physically demanding areas in the mission ( I promise to send pictures of the never ending stairs)
  7. I have more faith

The biggest lesson i learned this week is that I have to learn to Trust more in the Lord. I learned that if we stop finding ways to increase our faith, we cant progress and we will have the same results in life that we have always had. So this week i challeenged everysingle one of my investigadors to be baptized on a specific date. I have always challenged my investigadors to be baptized, in fact sometimes during personal contacts I challenge them to be baptize. But I realized that I was avoiding challenging them to a specific date. This week i tried it and we now have 4 baptismal dates. This month we have a goal to baptize 6 people and I know that we can do it.

Thats cool that everyone is going good in school and stuff. It must be really cool for Keving because he has alot of the same friends form Elementry school. I dont think that I had any of those teachers that megan has. Is megan going to get her Liscence soon. That cake looks really good as well. The cake here in Guatemala is really diefferent, they like to have their cake really wet. All of the cake that I have eaten here has been extremely most as if they had dumped water on it or somthing. Instead of frosting the cover it it whipped cream with a ton of fruit on top. Its actually pretty good and its probably heathier than the cake from the states.

Right now the climate in Guatemala is getting a little bit colder, but at 2 oclock in the afternoon it is really really hot! at night it is pretty chilly. It has been raining alot as well but not as much as last year. I heard that there is a new Joseph Smith movie that is out in theatres is that true?

Well I gotta go but I love you guys and I will write next week.

Love Elder West

Monday, September 19, 2011

Earthquake & Two Miracles 9-19-2011

HI guys!

There was just an earthquake right now! That was so cool, my companion got so scared, hahaha that was hilarious. It was actually a pretty decent sized earthquake.

Boy when I saw the pictures of Grant at home I got a little bit Baggy I’m not going to lie, but that’s ok, its really good motivation to see friends how have finished honorable full time missions.

This week was pretty interesting we had two miracles that were amazing.

The first one is with one of our investigadors whose name is Giovani Leonor. Some other missionaries found him almost one year ago and he is awesome, he is really smart and he speaks English to. He has read the book of Mormon from cover to cover and he knows that it is true and he has been converted. The only thing is that he doesn’t believe in the Sabbath day and hasn’t been baptized because works on Sundays. This past week my companion and me had a great lesson with him. All we did was read one verse with him (Jacob 4:10) and we did not even say a word. He talked the whole time, and it was interesting how he was able to convince himself, haha. But I am positive that this verse that we shared with him was exactly what he needed to hear, and the Holy Ghost was able to testify to him of what he needed to do. He told us that he was going to start looking for a new Job right away, so we fasted and prayed really hard so that he will be able to find one. And yesterday during PEC meeting our high council member Robert Harrison (yes, he is from the states) told us that he is hiring people, and the cool part is that it is the same kind of work that Giovani was doing! What a blessing, I have a strong testimony of fasting and prayer.

The second one is with Amanda Gomez, I found her like 5 months ago, and she was ready to be baptized 5 months ago! But she couldn’t get baptized because her husband doesn’t want to get married with her. Like 3 weeks ago we brought the bishop with us and convinced her husband to get married to her, and last week he changed his mind! We were a bit discouraged, but my companion and me knew that we were going to be able to baptize her. So we went and called repentance unto this man a second time and we fasted (we fasted for Amanda and Giovanni at the same time) and yesterday he decided that he actually was going to get married! wohoooo. We are hoping that we can baptize her this week!

It is amazing how the lord provides the way so that his children can keep his commandments and follow him. That is, if we are willing to work and use our faith.

I love being a missionary!

Love Elder West

Monday, September 12, 2011

"Protected" 9-12-2011

Hola Guys!

hahaha, we are teaching a guy who speaks english and he said that to us one time. Spanglish is sooooo funnn, I think Kristen understands. I have been with a spanish speaking companion for the past 8 months, and I think that I am forgetting how to speak and write in enlgish a little bit. I cannot believe that chelsea got married that is nuts. Thats also really cool that Grant gets home this week, the thought of coming home makes me both really excited and really sad at the same time.

This week was really cool, we found 3 new investigadors this week and we challenged 3 families to be bapitized and they accepted! None of them agreed on a specific time or day but they basically said that they all want to get baptized they just want to wait more time. ME and my companion can baptize all of them. During the start of my mission I had a ton of baptism but I probably baptized alot of people who didnt have testimonies, and now that I think about it I could have done alot better on that. I personally will not baptize anyone unless they meet with the requirements that Doctrine and Covenants 20:37 says. For a while I was more excited about getting baptisms, baptisms, baptisms, and I wasnt exactly thinking about the needs of my investigadors and helping the gain strong testimonies. One of the challenges that the church has is retaining converts (keeping them active) after baptisms. It involves a ton of work like working with the members to establish friendships, helping them go to the temple, and etc....In this area we have baptized alot of really good converts and for this reason we have almost 100% retention of our converts. retention is just as important as baptism. I think that this is the lesson I have learned in the past few months. My goal is still to baptize every living soul in this area, but we need to have a much larger eternal perspective that is bigger than the baptismal font.

On sunday, all of the guatemalans voted for a new president, and this was part of the problem why alot of our investigadors didnt come to church this week. last week we had 10 people come to church, and yesterday we had only 4. But these 4 people are going to get baptized for sure. We are planning to baptize Amanda gomez this saturday if she can get married with her husband before than! we found her like 4 months ago and she is one of the most spiritual prepared investigaodrs I have ever seen. WE baptized her children in July.

Me and my companion had a close call experience with the spirit yesterday as well. At about 5 oclock me and my companion were going to go pick up a member to come with us to an appointment, when we entered into his street we noticed a trail of blood on the ground and me and my companio stopped and we noticed a drunk with and injured arm walking in our direction, so we decided to take the long route and avoid this potentially messy situation. We entered into the same street on the opposite end and walked toward the members house. We saw the drunk man and he was a few house down the road. Me and my companion suddenly felt this urgent feeling to get inside of the house of this member, we knocked on the door and got in as fast as we could. about 3 minutes later we hear 3 gun shots. That drunk guy was killed two house down from where we were. Me and my companion were kind of freaked out and we decided to wait a while before we left the house. I dont know what would have happened if we had stayed outside and I dont want to know. I am so glad that we had the spirit with us, and I know that god has protecting us. i feel safe in this area, because I know that If I am obedient God will protect us, and I am obedient so there is no problem. I just thought that I would share that experience with you guys because its a testiment of the power of the gift of the holy ghost that we have.

anyways I have to go, I love you guys and I am doing fantastic, and ELder Pineda and I are going going to baptize this week! and tommorow I will try and send a package out to you guys.


Elder West

Monday, September 5, 2011

"Best Lifestyle Anyone Can Ever Live" 9-5-2011

HI Guys!

I would like to start off my letter by saying thanks for sending pictures! I loved looking at the pictures that you guys took in virginia. I apoligize for not sending pictures but its not my fault. My memory card has a virus and my area is too dangerous to have a camera in public. Violence has been increasing because Guatemala has presidential elections this sunday, and we have been hearing roomers of civil war and stuff if this one guy wins, But I dont really believe that people always everexagerate things like this.I have been in this are for 5 months now and I will be here for 2 more months because I have to finish training my son ( Elder Pineda). Time seems like it is just going by faster and faster! I cannot believe it. My next area could veryeasily be my last area. Feeling my time come to a close has given me even more motivation to work even harder. 2 years really is not that long at all.

WE had a miracle this week! 10 people came to chruch, 2 families, and half of another family. I dont think the bishop knew what to do it was kind of funny. 7 of the 10 investigators showed up late right before the sacrament was going to start. hahahaha, and the bishop stood up and starting giving instruction over the pulpit to the members. "brother omar go and sit next to the new family and show them how to read the hymnbook, Sister Leslie can you bring find the other new family a seat in front please!" It was kind of embarrasing. In PEC meeting we talked to all of the priesthood leaders and told them that we were expecting to have alot of people to come to church to day and we gave them assignments of which member family was going to sit by this investigator family and etc...but they were not excpecting them to come in late and it was kind of crazy because. The 2 families showed up about 15 minutes late at the exact same time and the people who had been given asignments didnt know what to do. But it worked out alright, this ward is the best ward that I have had so far in my mission.

That is really interesting to hear about the media campaign that the church is doing in washington, I would love to participate in that. I seriously think that it will work as well. I learned in psychology one time that are minds can pick up messages subconsciously. And that is what media experts try to do in their advertisements. People will hear and read the name of the church everywhere and there perspective towards the church will change. I think that alot of seed will be planted in the hearts of poeple this way, I love this idea.

I am guessing that megan and kevin are getting really excited to go back to school. When do they start? These next 10 months will go by so fast! I love being a missionary soooooo muuuuucccchhhhhhh it is the best lifestyle that anyone can everlive. The skills that I am learning, and have learned, will help me in everysingle aspect of my life after my mission. I am better at studying, I am better at organizing my time and planning, I have bette people skills, and I have gained the eternal perspective that I need to return to live with my father in heaven someday. Well I have to go but I love you guys, and thanks for the little package with medicine and stuff!

Elder West