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, December 27, 2011

Taught Donkey Family 12-27-2011

HOla Family!

It was soo good talking too you guys on sunday. Emailing everyweek is alright but, hearing real voices is way better. It sounds to me that the west family has advanced a ton in technology usage. It also sounds to me that kevin´s voice has lowered a bit... atta boy!

Well, in the 2 days since I have talked to you guys I guess some pretty cool stuff has happened. Do you remember the Donkey man family. Well we tought them in the night and we had a really good lesson with them. WE tought them about the first vision and the book of mormon and everything. Afterwards we were bombarding them with a whole bunch of really good "inspired quesions" (kristen should know what that means) and the wife of the donkey man told us something pretty neat. She said that she had a dream, and she wanted us to give our opinion about it. At first I was kind of worried, because alot of people believe alot in revelation through dream form and they arent always very good at determining if it is from god our not (people have told me some really weird dreams and then talked about them as true doctrine). So anyways, she told us that in her dream she saw a giant mansion of trees and that there was wind blowing through it. I told her that I had know clue what it meant and I asked her what she thought and felt about it. She told us that me and my companion were the tree mansion and that we were full of the spirit (the wind). I honestly dont know how she got that out of that dream, but that is perfectly ok because she is taking that as somekind of sign from god. It was a very spiritual lesson.

Me and my companion have figured out that if we sing before each lesson it is a great way to invite the spirit. During comp. study on christmas morning we practiced singing christmas songs in harmony, plus a bunch of other pretty ones. It worked soo well! The donkey family really really loves the hymns. We always sing 2 with them.

So I am doing great! next week I will have more to write about. I sent pictures of me cutting a cake with my machete, a picture of my sunburnt face, a picture of my yellowish shirt(experience) next to my new white one, and a picture of myself in el baƱo with my new tie on(the poster behind is of helaman)

Elder West

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

"Man with a Donkey" 12-21-2011

Merry Navidad!

I cant believe its navidad already!

This week was pretty good I guess. It seemed like everysingle one of our appointments fell through this week, it was kind of amazing how that kind of worked out but we managed it alright. There were somedays when we would only have 1 lesson, and we would just walk around contacting and trying to find other people the rest of the day. It is easy to get discouraged sometimes, but whenever hard weeks like this one go by, I just think about the savior and how much he suffered while he was preaching the gospel. As well as many of the pioneers. And it helps me to know that I am not the only one, and that my suffering is nothing in comparison to others. So I cant complain.

On the bright side we managed to find some very good new investigadors this week. About 2 weeks ago me and my companion were walking along (in a bit of a hurry) because we were late for an appointment. And a man with a donkey stopped us. The first thought that popped into my head was "sweet, one of the 3 nephites". but it turned out that he wasnt one of the 3 nephites he was just a normal guy with problems who wanted to listen to the gospel. He told us that he had always seen gringos with ties walking around and he has always thought that we must have something very special to share because we have traveled so far just to share it with people. He said he finally got the guts to talk to us. It made me feel bad because, we should have been the ones to find him, but we were in such a hurry we werent listening to the spirit. I am just grateful that the spirit prompted this man to talk to us. He told us to pass by his house. We couldnt find him! we passed by his house everyday until we found him 2 weeks later. He is very prepared to recieve this gospel. He is very humble and listens and applies everything that we teach. His name is Giraldo Geronimo. hopefully we will baptize him.

I also found some awesome shoes for 40 quetz (5 dollars) that are the shoes of my dreams. It was such a good find I cannot even contain myself. I know that it is only just a worldy item but it was too good to be true. They are a pair of kenneth cole reaction dress shoes that are brown. and they are brand new! Sweet.

Anyways I gotta go. I will talk to you guys sunday! I am going to call at around 2 or 3 in the afternoon guatemala time. Hopefully you will not be in church. My number is 4040-6378 just incase.

Love Elder West

"Thats Almost a Girl Mission" 12-6-2011


I forgot to tell you that they switched our p-days to mondays and internet day to tuesday, so that is why I have been writing you a day late.

This past week was a bit rough. It has been getting cold down here as well, it probably gets down in the low 40s, haha, but I bet that is nothing compared to chicago cold. This past week we only found 9 new investigadors, but they were pretty good ones. We found one family who recently moved from El Salvador, and we were really suprised when they took our their Hymn books and asked what hymn we should start off with, haha. Apparently the missionaries were teaching them in El Salvador and they were super close to getting baptized but they couldnt because they arent married. They couldnt get married because the husband (who is also a baker which is really cool) is from guatemala, but his wife/partner is from El Salvador. With all of the experience that I have marrying people I already know that it will be literally impossible to get them married. Because they probably his wife/partner is probably living here illegaly. (in my last area I tought a family where the mom was from peru and wanted to get married but couldnt because she had 75,000 quetzales worth of legal fines). And judging by the very small, house made our of cinder blocks and tin sheets we can very well assume that this family that we found could not afford to become legal citezens, let alone get married. It is really sad because this family is great! They already know that this is the true church of Jesus christ but it will be very very difficult for them to be able to repent in order to be baptized. The three most commonly commandments broken here in guatemala is first, killing people, second the law of chastity, and third the word of wisdom. And I think that more the 50 % if not100% of the poverty in this country is related to at least one of these 3 very big commandments.

Yesterday and today we had a Super p-day activity for our christmas treat! It was great. It started off yesterday with a bunch of service projects helping to fix members houses and stuff. Then we played games and ate free food. Then we watched a new church movie called the 17 miracles which was incredibly amazing. I nearly cried 17 times during this movies I think, haha. It is about the martin and willie handcart companies. you guys have got to watch it. It made me realize that the sacrifice that I have made to serve a mission is not a big sacrifice at all. In fact it is the least I can do to. Plus it strenghtened my faith about how god continues to be a god of miracle. In the movie in focuses on all of the miracles that happened along the journey. It is a must see, it would be a good sabbath day movie to watch with the family. Then we stayed the night at the mission bunk house (thats where all of the newbies stay the day before they enter into the field) and then woke up at 3 oclock to go to the temple. Oh and I forgot to mention that we started a fast after dinner to baptize 204 people in the month of january. And so I am still fasting and I am absolutely wiped. But it was a very spiritually edifying experience. The area authority presidency was also in the same temple session as us which was kind of cool.

Well I gotta go, but I love you guys one million. (i got grandmas letter that she sent, Thanks Grandma J)


Elder West

P.S I complete 17 months on thursday! thats almost a girl mission!

Ramen=Thanksgiving Dinner 11-29-2011


So I completly forgot that it was thanksgiving last thursday. While we were eating breakfast my companion mentioned it to me so, I made an extra top ramen to celebrate. We also bought a popsicle after lunch. It was great.

So this week the work of the lord went very very well. We were able to find 21 investigadors! and 12 of our investigadors came to church. In the past 6 weeks we have found 58 new investigadors! It is incredible. Right before we got to this area the other elders that were here told us that this was a really really hard area to find new investigadors and this area has only had 4 baptism for the whole year. HA. I guess they didnt know that I was in one of the roughest area in the mission for 7 1/2 months. This area is heaven on earth to me. There are no large hills or endless stairs, it is safe (1 or 2 murders a month), and the people are really humble. As a mission we have really raised the bar a ton. We usually find about 1000 new investigadors each week and last month we had 180 baptism! For january we have a goal to baptize 204 people. When President Brough was here, he said the most succesfull month that they had was 203 baptisms so we are going to try and beat that.

Yesterday we found a new young couple who told us that they want to change their lifes, and have been living in unhappiness eversince they got married. I was sad for them, but at the same time my soul was rejoicing because I know exactly how the gospel of Jesus christ can help them.

That really poor family I told you about a few weeks ago is progressing really well. The branch president authorized a huge food donation for us without even telling us. Which is great! but they told all of their family members (who are many other very poor families) and for some reason all of them want to come to our church now hmmmm.... I wonder why? But its okay, we were able to talk with alot of them and many of them have good intentions in coming to church. We challenged all of them to be baptized and they all said yes (thats like 15 people) but we could tell that some of them just want more stuff. We had a good lesson with one of them who has a family of 6, and their kids have aspirations to be doctors and teachers, and I felt like I should promise them that if they remained faithfull in the church, kept all of the commandments, and served missions they would all be given the opportunity to accomplish their goals. This family has been stuck in this huge rut if poverty for generations and generations, in fact they are known in this town for being a very poor family with a lot of problems. If this family can become converted to the gospel they would be huge testimonies and examples for the entire town.

Today our zone went to Antigua, and I showed my companion all of the best parts. I sent a package of stuff about a month ago has it arrived yet? It contains a memory card of the first half of my mission and it would be very tragic if it got lost. I half been really good at buying suveniers and I would like to send you guys another package, but if my other package got lost then I just will carry around all of this stuff until the end of my mission. I got a hold of a really sweet machette for like 100 quetzales (12 dollars) that kevin would absolutely adore, haha.

Next week, President brough is going to let us go to the temple as a christmas treat! I am sooooo excited. I look forward to being able to go to the temple with all of you when I get home.

I also had a revelation yesterday as I walked past a window. I totally invisioned my self as an airplane pilot. And that Is what I really want to do, but if that is not possible I will just be a dentist or something. I will have to research that after I get back. Dont worry megan, I failed the driving test my first time as well, I did a very illegal manuver that wasnt my falt.

Have fun eating thanksgiving leftovers.