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, January 31, 2012

Bumped up to Zone Leader 1-31-2012

Hola family!

Well I got transfered. President Brough decided to bumb me up to a Zone Leader, I wasnt really expecting that. I know that the lord wants me to learn something with this new responsibility that he gave me. My companion is Elder Turcios he is from Honduras (he is my 3rd honduranion companion). My area is called El Frutal 1, and I am in my last area. I tell ya, that after training for 6 months it is really really nice having a companion who knows what he is doing. Its not that I dont love training but its alot of work. This is the first time in my mission that I am in a ward that is actually big, and good. (one of the benefits of being a zone leader). I also have a cellphone! (other benefit of being a Z.L). However, because of all of the calls we have to do in the night we usually go to sleep after 11 oclock at night (which is not a benefit), and as a result we are always really tired. My area is also really really small, but thats ok because I was in a small area before so I already know how to work with it. I am also officially in my last area! I feel sad and happy at the same time!

In our mission we had a goal to baptize 204 people in the month of January, and we actually got 221 confirmations and 227 baptisms. That is an all time record for this month, and I also think that it was the first time that we were the most succesfull mission in guatemala. our mission is the smallest one in guatemala, it is probably the same size as Kristens Zone in chicago.

This week Elder Turcios and I have been trying to work really hard with the members (having a cell phone makes it 1,000 times easier). Elder Martino from the area presidency tought us that we should literally drag members out of their houses and have them present us to their neighboors. It actually works really well. That is something that I have had a hard time doing because it makes me feel really bad. But Elder Turcios is one of those people who isnt afraid of anything. On thursday we contacted a 7th day adventist, who was having a small worship service in his house, and he invited us in to participate with them. (that is an invitation that I probably would have turned down) but Elder Turcios accepted without thinking twice and told them that he was going to teach them exactly why the sabbath is no longer saturday. on the inside I was crying, because we were outnumbered, by about 4 people who know the bible better than both of us. It didnt turn out as bad as I thought, we talked about the book of mormon and how by knowing that it is true they could come to know that this chruch is also true and that the sabbath day is not saturday. I am going to be able to learn alot from elder turcios, because he is really bold. President Brough wants us to be bolder.

anyways, I am doing great. I am sorry to hear about Grandma´s sickness I will be praying for her alot so that her operation will go smoothly. I remember the Klondike derby, it was a good experience, I also learned that sock trick as well. That picture you guys sent me blew my mind! You all look really different! This week I am going to have 19 months in the mission.


Elder West

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Transfer - Last Area? 1-24-2012

Hola Familia!

So this week we had 4 more baptisms! We baptized hermana Irma (aunt of the lady we baptized 2 weeks ago), hermana Madgalena (sister of the lady we baptized 2 weeks ago), Hermana Magdalena Mother of the lady we baptized 2 weeks ago) and Hermana Bella (the cousin of the lady we baptized 2 weeks ago). Woohoo! When we first got to this area there was only one investigador family that the elders before us were teaching. It turned out that all of our baptisms this month are all related in some way to that one family. It is a very efficient way to work. All 7 of them live in poverty. There houses are made up of tin, and corn stalks roped togather. I kind of got a suprise when I walked into Magdalenas house for the first time because despite the fact that they live in a house made our of cornstalks and tin, they still have a pretty nice t.v with cable, haha.

Yesterday I found out that I have changes again tommorow. I will most likely be going to my last area. I hope I get a good one. My companion Elder Corrigan is going to have to lead this area, he is kind of nervous because he is still learning spanish and he will most likely be getting a latino companion. But he is ready, his spanish has improved a ton! Last night we had a family home evening with our branch president, and he said that he wanted to call our mission president to tell him to keep me here longer. He is really sad that I am leaving because we are the first missionaries in about a year who have come here and actually worked. He is worried that another Chambon (that means lazy bum) will come to the area. This branch is really small and I totally understand what Kristen said about how branches can be really hard to work with. They are still learning, Yesterday I told the teacher in our branch that it isnt necesarry to burn the left over sacrament cups and bread after the meeting.

Well, I am really excited for this week to go to my last area and to meet one of my last companion.


Elder West

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Familia Arana Guzman Baptized 1-10-2011

Hola Family!

We had Baptisms! yay! The Familia Arana Guzman (the really poor family thathas a small daughter with sun allergies) finally got baptized. I let mycompanion Elder Corrigan do the honors in baptizing Margarita (the wife)and another kid (a priest called efrain) from our branch baptized HermanoCesar (the husband). We told Hermano Cesar he could pick any worthypreisthood holder over the age of 16 years to baptize him including us. Hewas quiet for a little bit and the decided that this priest should do it.It was kind of random, haha, but It was a good experience for the priest.He was really nervous, He didnt dunk him all the way the first time, andthen after that he messed up on the prayer about 10 more times at least,haha but in the end he was able to baptize Brother Cesar just fine.We didnt cast out any demons this week, but this morning one of ourbaptismal candidates got really sick and had to go to the hospital. Rightas me and my companion were on our way to district meeting some of herfamily members (margarita our recent baptism, who is her daughter) found usand they wanted us to go and convince her to go to the hospital because forsome reason she didnt want to go to the hospital. It was pretty dramatic ,everyone was crying and begging her to go to the hospital but everytime shejust said "Just let me die here, I dont want to die in the hospital". Theyasked us to give her a blessing, and so we did. But she got out fo her bedand knealed down on the floor, and me and my companion were like "umm itsokay hermana you can stay lying down if you want" but her family was like"just let her be". And during the blessing she fainted (I wonder why?) andthen I told them "you should probably lie her down" (because they were justsupporting her in their arms), and they were like "no! if she lies down shewont ever get back up (as if she was going to die if they layed her down).It was pretty dramatic, and as a result we were late for district meeting.But I hope she is okay because, she really wants to get baptized.Anyways, Those were the highlights of this week I guess. I attachedpictures. One of them is of the baptism. And the other one is a picture ofmy on my 18 month mark. I love you guys and I hope you have a good week.


Elder West

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

30 minute talks 1-3-2011

I accidentaly sent it before I was done writing it.

but anyways I have alot of really interesting stories to tell.

First of all we have 7 baptismal dates! and we are going to have more I think!

Second cool thing. Me and ELder Corrigan finally found one of our investigadors called Giovani. WE couldnt find him for like 3 weeks. We verysoon realized that he had relapsed into his alcohol addiction and was very drunk when we got there. So we decided that we werent going to stay long because there is not mubh you can teach with drunk guy. At first he was tranquil enough but then he started getting really anxious and had a bunch of anger flashes, and we would cry and then he would be fine again, then he would get mad at us then he would start joking around. We were honestly starting to get really scared and we were trying to leave but everytime we would try and leave he would bear hug us and keep us there. He asked us to put some oil on his head (because a couple weeks ago we gave him a blessing to help him stop drinking). IT took us about a minute or two to get him to lie down and calm down a bit so that we could actually put our hands on his head. I started the blessings and the first thing that popped into my head to say was to command any evil spirit in the room to leave. After I said that Giovani started to spaz out as if he were having a seizure or something he was convulging really violently. (so at this point I was about to pee my pants I did not know what was going on) So I assumed that he was possesed or something so I commanded the evil spirit to leave in the name of jesus christ, just in case it actually was an evil spirit. After I said that he stopped to thrash. He was still drunk but at least he wasnt convulging. HE then left and did some normal drunk stuff out in the street. He helped his neighboor move a huge pile of corn stalks. So I guess I might have cast out a demon of some sort. That really freaked me out.

NExt cool story. We have an investigador called Brenda. We found her about a week ago. we decided to go by and set up another appointment with here. When we got there she invited us in (but we couldnt because he uncle wasnt home) so we just had a little front porch chat. She told us that she was praying and pondering and she told us that she wants to get baptized. (On the inside my spirit was doind an Irish jig with joy) ON the outside I tried to contain my smile the best I could. I love it when that happens. It goes to show that The holy ghost really does all the work. We are just the messenger. She has some kind of diseas and is going to have an operation in 2 weeks.

We also tought another guy we found in the street a few weeks ago, his name is carlos. He was also drunk when we found him. apparently he has a wife and a kid in texas but he got deported because his visa ran out. he also told us that he wants to get baptized. Wohoooooo! He said he was reading 3 nefi 11 and he said that the whole time he was reading he just felt like this was true. THis chapter really called his attention, he said he didnt want to stop reading when he got to the end of the chapter. This is another example of how the spirit is really what does all the work. there are alot of prepared people here. We just have to find them.

The tradition for new years eve here in Zaragoza is that they have alot of little mascot dances in the street. IT is excellent. I took a picture of one from our apartment. They also light off a ton of fireworks at midnight, and at noon the next day.

In church 11 investigadors showed up! ME and my companion were also assigned 30 minute talks 5 minutes before sacrament meeting started. I blessed the sacrament, directed the hymns and gave a talk. My companion was only able to squeek out a 10 minute talk (he is still learning spanish) So I basically just stood up there and winged it for the rest of the hour.

O yah and we also found another golden family who makes homade pork rinds and sells them. They have gone to alot of churches and have never been able to find the right church. And they really want to investigate this one. Yes!

Elder Corrigan and I feel really blessed!


Elder West