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 7, 2012

Last E-mail 7-10-2012

Hola Family,

I just got to say your letters really made me laugh. I think after I read
your letters is when it actually really started to click in my brain that I
am going home. I have been in denial this whole past week. I worked my butt
off, and for me I really didnt feel like I was going home. This past week
me and my companion had 780 contacts, and we still managed to find new
investigadors and have lots of good lessons. We also experienced a miracle.
The Garcia Family decided to get married! and as a matter of fact they got
married Yesterday! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOO! We did everything humanly
possible to try and help them to keep this commandment, and I honestly felt
peace inside knowing that I had done everything. I also never lost hope
that they were going to get married someday. God just did his part, he
changed their hearts, which is the one thing that we as missionaries cannot
do. My testimony of this gospel has increased soo much! Above all that I
have learned in my mission I think that I have learned to trust in the
Lord, always having hope that I will accomplish what the Lord wants me to
accomplish. I still dont know what my major will be in college, or what job
i will have, I dont know who my wife is going to be, and I dont even know
what life after the mission is going to be like. But I do know that if Im
obedient to all of the commandments that God has given me, everything will
work out. Of all of the lives that I have seen change in these past 2 years
I think that the biggest change happened in my life. I will never ever ever
forget what I have learned in my mission. I found a scripture in 1
corinthians 13:11 that sums up what I just said really good. You guys
should look  it up.

Kristen you scared the crap out of me when you said that all of my friends
are going to take me to a dance on friday. My mind cannot comprehend what
hugging a member of the opposite sex is like, even less dancing with one.
Hopefully I wont look to awkward or do anything embarrasing.

I cannot wait to see you all! Its just like Kristen said, I feel really
really weird right now. I dont know if I am sad or happy. Think I am
somewhere in between. I think that maybe I can say that I am in a state of

Well I love you guys and I will see you on thursday.

Elder West

P.S Teryaki sounds good right now

"anything is possible if we have faith and hope" 7-3-2012

Hola familia!

This past week went by really fast for me, first of all because i was
working really really hard, and second of all alot of cool stuff happened.
One thing that happened this week is  that it rained ALOT. On saturday,
there was soo much water in the street me and Elder Folland just decided to
pretend that we were waiding in the ocean. The water seriously got half way
up my shins. My companion had a pretty close call because as we were
walking along in the brown street water he almost stepped into a big man
whole. I was noticing that my black backpack that I used at BYU and through
out my whole mission is no longer black, its brown.

We also had the opportunity to go out and work with president brough on
wednesday. We had our weelky planning session with him and then he went out
and worked with us for about hour. In our weekly planning session I
realized that alot of times we recieve revelation without even realizing
it. President Brough helped us recognize that. He also tought us about the
importance of being very efficient and organized in everything and that we
cant let our level of attention down one bit for the rest of our lives.
Before he was mission president he was president of a big company and he
said that the key to getting the trust of any future boss that I have will
depend alot on my organization skills, and being relyable in the
information that I give him and the ability to carry out his orders
efficiently and quickly as possible. He said that there is bastante
competition out there and that we need to be the best of the best.  When he
went out and worked with us, all of our plans fell through, even our plan D
fell through, but it gave us a good chance to contact alot of people.

Also we some really good new investigadors. We found a single mother and
her daughter, their names are Evelyn and Elida. They dont go to any church
and they are new in town. Evelyn is about 20 and we told  her that she
could find alot of really good friends her age in the church. She came to
church all by herself on sunday, and she really liked it. We tought them
the restoration and she understood really super good. I am positive that we
will baptize them. We also found a new family, the husband is actually a
less active member who was baptized when he was like 8 years old. He is
currently living with his "Wife" Blanca (they are not actually married).
Blanca is really interested, and also her 3 kids are really interested. The
only thing is that Carlos got married so someone in the united states, but
never got divorced to her. SO that makes getting him married to Blanca
really really hard. But anything is possible if we have faith and hope.

This week has started off really well. First of all becuase it hasnt rained
and me and my companion are working our butts off. Yesterday was p-day but
we still had 4 lessons, and 142 contacts. Today we had a zone leader
counsel, and we got some pretty good contacts in the buses.  However, when
we were about half way there we realized that we had left all of the
baptismal records at home. (The are office needs all of the records in the
first week of everymonth). So after I picked my heart off of the ground, we
jumped off the bus and grabbed a taxi to take us back to our area. When we
got to our area we realized that not all of the registros were in the
house. So we had to go all the way to one of our district leaders areas to
pick those up. Wheeew! but we still got to our meeting intime and president
didnt give us chicote (punishment/chastisement)

But yah, all is well in zion. I am   going to work really really hard this week.

Elder West

Contacting a Ton 6-26-2012

Hola Familia!

Well, we had another baptism this weekend! We baptized Dayana. She is the daughter of the family that we baptized about a month ago. Shes pretty pilas she has 100% attendance in seminary...but i guess that its pretty easy to get 100% when seminary is only once a week at 6 oclock in the afternoon. Also Dayana and her parents are going to go the temple this weekend to do baptisms for the dead. Emilio (dayana´s step dad) got his first calling! he is going to be one of the counselers in the Elders Quorem. So he is also going to get the melchezidec preisthood pretty soon as well.

Another cool thing that I did this week is I learned how to make home made flour tortillas. They actually dont eat flour tortillas here in guatemala they only eat corn tortillas. But there is a sister missionary in my zone who is from Honduras and she tought us how to make them (In honduras they eat flour tortillas)

Also Sister Neighbor (who is also in my zone) said that she has a friend serving in the Everett washington mission. Her name is Hermana Hone and she has blond hair and she is from snt. george utah. Maybe Kristen knows her because I heard that she has been working with the sister missionaries alot. Also my companion has 2 friends in the everett washington mission Elder Day and Elder Marston maybe you guys have run into them as well.

One nice thing is that it didnt rain this week, but I did get really really sun burnt. But Im all better now my comp let me borrow some of his sunblock.

Me and my companion are contacting a ton! Weve started contacting bigger groups of people we find int he street and we alway contact everysingle bus we get on. My last week I have the goal to get more than 1000 contacts, which is about 143 everyday. It will be hard but I know that I can do it and still get lots of lessons and everything.

Well, thanks for your support!

Elder West

P.S and yes kevin our battle will be epic

Time Flying Away 6-19-2012

Hola Family!

First off to respond to Kristens question I do know Elder Hopper, I went contacting with him on his first day in the field. Hes pretty pilas.

In this week I also learned a ton. We had 3 days worth of meetings. We had a special meeting with Elder Maynes of the presidency of the seventy. He tought us about how we need to develop celestial habits, or in other words we need to start getting used to living in the celelestial kingdom starting right now, so basically he was calling us to unto repentance. I also learned that God will always always fulfill his promises if we do what he is asked. So I thought to myself I better read my patriarchal blessing...but I couldnt find it, cough cough, thats embarassing. But its a good thing that I left a copy in the house...right.

This week we also had some progress with the family that we are going to baptize. They now want to get married! yay! but we figured out that they have a rather large legal issue that complicates things. Apparently he has a huge debt, thats like 24,000 quetzales (3,000 dollars). They company has come to reposess stuff from him because he is currently out of work and hasnt been making his payments. However, he doesnt have any possesions of great value. His wife has a little van that they use to go out and sell yogurt and stuff. He told us that if they get married the company will come and confiscate the car. Darn! marrying people is never easy down here in guatemala. However I still know that God will provide a way for them to find a solucion to this problem, even if it means getting their car confiscated.

On sunday two of my converts got conferred that aaronic priesthood! That was awesome. Next week we are hoping that Emilio will be able to baptize his step daughter who we are working with right now. Her name is Dayana. We have been helping her be active in seminary, and she really likes it. She has been going to seminary all by herself. She is 14.

Well, I am not going to lie I think that I have really started to feel time flying a way. before my mission I was really nervous to leave, but I think that I am even more nervous now that I am coming home. Can you guys ask Brother Fricke if he is looking for some more window washers that would be great.

Elder West

The Power of Hope 6-12-2012

Hola Familia!

This week was great! Elder Folland and I our working our butts off, we really work good togather as a team because we both want to be really obedient and we both want to work really hard. I promise I will send you guys some more pictures so that you can see what my companion looks like, but today I forgot my camera cables. Today we are going to go listen to a general authority, its a surprise because they havnt told us who it is going to be. They also let us know like 2 days ago, which was kind of "mala onda" because we have to go to a chapel in a different mission and nobody knows how to get their. The APs just told us to figure it out. But me and my companion are awesome so we looked around and hired a bus that would take us and another zone to the chapel for super cheap. booya. That is part of the reason why I forgot my camera cables because we were really busy organizing this last minute trip. 

We have been also working really really hard to baptize a family called the Garcia family. There are 9 people in this family and 5 of them are old enough to get baptized.We are doing everything possible so that they can get baptized, we are having lessons in the house of a member, we took them to a baptismal service in our zone, we have daily contact, and etc... The only think we have to do is get them married. But thats not to hard, we only have 2 weeks to do it but we have hope. We have a goal to get them baptized on the 23 of june because we are organizing another "white night" with the stake president on that day. 

This week I have learned alot about the power of hope. Hope can turn a hard and stressfull situation into a very nice one. On sunday we went to go pick up the familia Garcia to go to church but as we arrived we saw that they were getting ready to go to work, and we were like "noooooooo!" you have to come to church. But they assured us and said that they only had to go out and earn a little bit more to pay the rent. So we went back to church because we had to go to PEC meeting. But before we went into PEC me and my companion found an empty room and we kneeled down to pray and asked our heavenly father to help them come to church. After we ended the pray we just knew that they were going to come, and we stopped  worrying about it. And in the end they came! I like having hope.

Well I love you guys and I look forward to hearing from you next week! And congratulations mom on your Graduation that is awesome!

5 Weeks Left, Working With Urgency 6-5-2012

Hola Familia,

Well this week was pretty good. I got my new companion his name is Elder Folland and he is from Bountiful Utah. He is really cool, its kind of weird being able to speak in english so much again. I guess its a good practice. He only has 10 months in the mission so I dont have to worry about him being baggy, which is really nice.

On sunday it rained really really hard. I cant even explain with words how hard it rained. Within 10 minutes their was a river in the street that rose about half way up my shin. It was actually kind of fun, especially when  buses would drive by (just use your imagination). And also for the first time in my 23 months here in guatemala it hailed.

On sunday we were really sad because we only had one investigador at church, in contrast to the 10 investigadors that showed up last week. The worst part is that in the morning we called all of them, and they all said that they were going to come. When we went to go pick them up, none of them were able to go. Sometimes I wish I had the power of an angel to be able to call people unto repantance and actually have them pay attention and do what i say. But all we can do is invite people to use their agency.

We also had a great lesson with a less active kid and his mom and sister, who arent members. He is working with the bishop to get back on the right track and his goal is to baptize his mom. He told us that his mom has listened to the missionaries a lot, but everytime the missionaries challenge her to get baptized she stops listening. So i was trying to think how we could invite her to come unto christ without asking her to get baptized and came to the conclusion that you cant. So we told him that if we couldnt challenge her to get baptized he would have to do it. So before we had the lesson we planned it out with him. and during the lesson he challenged him mom to be baptized and is was really powerfull. She didnt say yes but she said that she is willing to do it as soon as she can stop some bad habits that she has.

Now that I am in my last change I feel just like Kristen said, with too much to do with so much little time. I am going to be working with alot more urgency in these last 6 weeks. We are currently working with 2 families that we can baptize this month, the only thing is that neither of them are married and they have to develop their testimonies alot. But I know that it is possible.

Well, I hope you guys have a great week. I know I only have 5 weeks left but its still okay to write me, haha.

"killing" the change right before you are going to get "killed" 5-22-2012

Hola Family,

This week was pretty good. Me and my companion had 5 baptisms this week! I attatched the fotos. We had a combined baptism with Elder Lontine who also baptized a family. Elder Lontine is going to be living in King Henry as well. The stake president helped us to organize the baptismal servicem, Wich ran really smoothly. Elder Bench, was supposed to baptize another family as well but his family got pulled over on the way to the service and he had to go back home because he didnt have his papers on him. That was really unlucky. We baptized Emilio and Viviana, a family that I found contacting in the street. I first found emilio, and I almost didnt contact him because he is a bigger more intimidating guy but, I am really glad that I opened my mouth. Gabriela, Jorge, and Angel were a door contact that we did. Their mom also wants to get baptized but she cant right now because she doesnt want to get married to her husband. But she probably should of thought about that before she had 6 kids with him, haha. God is really just, and we get what we deserve. We are trying to work with both of them so that they can have more love in home, so that they can get married.

I didnt eat beans like this whole week. And guess what happened...I got boo. I think that my stomach has officially changed into a guatamalan stomach. I recovered really fast, but it was still a pain in the butt...literally. haha

Right now in my zone we are fighting to be the most succesfull zone this month. because President Brough, always invites the most succesful zone out to lunch.

My companion is kind of getting nervous because he goes home next week. It kind of sucks "killing" the change right before you are going to get "killed" pero ni modo, el tiempo sigue pasando.

We also had the opportunity to have a meeting with Elder Amado, of the area presidency. It was Great. Next october he is going to be the Seventy with the most time as a seventy. He has alot of experience in the mission work. He talked alot about how us as 20 year kids, complicate this message way to much. He tought us that there are 3 absolute truths, the first one is that everyone needs to know that Jesus is the Christ, second is that Joseph Smith was the prophet of the restoration, and third that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day saints is the kingdom of God on the face of the earth. He also tought all of the missionaries who are ending their missions that they need to get married as fast as possible, and to not wait to have as many children as possible. He said that we shouldnt wait until we are done studying. I will do my best to do what he said, but I am not going to lie, thinking about it makes me really stressed out. haha

Well, I love you guys and I hope yall have a good week.

Elder West

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"Your Joy Will Be Great" 5-8-2012

Hola Family!

First of all i just wanted to correct something that i wrote in my last email. I reread what I wrote last week, haha, and i notest a sentance of apostacy. I accidentally said that the "will of god is exactly what i what" but i meant to say that I learned that the will of god is not exactly what i want. haha, I just wanted to correct that. 

But this week was pretty good as well. Right now me and my companion have 5 baptismal dates for the 19 of may. We are going to baptize the family that didnt get baptized last week, and we are also going to baptize 3 patojos (kids), that are really pilas (awesome). Their mom also has a testimony of the book of mormon but she cant get baptized because her husband isnt married to her, and it just so happens that her "husband" is married to someone else. So the process of divorce and marriage will take a little bit longer with her. It is kind of sad, but i know that someday she will get baptized. She told us that the book of mormon was the most "complete" and perfect book about the gospel of jesus christ she has ever read. She is really smart, she is studying to be a judge right now. 

Me and my companion this week showed up to an appointment, and the guy wasnt there. our back up plan had also fallen through. So we were just standing there thinking about what we could do, when this guys neighboor came out. So we contacted him and he let us in. He told us that he has a addiction to alcohol, and because of his addiction his wife and son left him. He told us alot of other really sad stuff as well, he basically has been humbled down to the dust of the earth. He really wants to change, and he has never really gone to any church before. On sunday he showed up all by himself. That showed us that he is very serious about his commitment to change. We are going to try and baptize him this month as well. Yesterday I passed the 22 month mark on my mission, and up to this point I have helped 40 souls be baptized (not counting the investigadors that I tought that got baptized after I left the area) But that number really isnt that important to me. But its like what it says in Doctrine and Covenants 18 that your joy will be great even if you bring just one soul unto repentance. I have worked my butt off in my mission, but I wish that I could start the 2 years over with the knowledge and experience that I have obtained, to help even more people to be saved.

In district meeting I gave my testimony in english and it was really hard, haha, i kept saying words in spanish without realizing it. I dont know what I am going to do when i get home. 

We cleaned the apartment for like 4 hours yesterday because tommorow we have house inspections, and Sister Brough promised the zone with the cleanest apartments a barbaque rib dinner! So i got down on my knees and scrubbed my heart out.

Tommorow we also have interviews with President Brough. 

I was talking with my companion and we decided that it would be better to call in the afternoon, maybe at like 8pm my time. Because in the morning we have to bring our investigadors to church and go to PEC meeting. Hopefully that will work out ok with you guys. 

Well, I hope you guys have a good week. I cant believe how different you guys look. Well actually everyone looks about the same except for dad (who is a little bit skinnier) and (kevbot who is a little bit taller.)

Big Papaya and a bag of Bread 5-1-2012

hola familia,

this week was pretty good as well. we had alot of really good experiences.
the first one was a good experience but also kind of sad. the family that
we were going to baptize on sunday couldnt get baptized. right now hermano
emilio hasnt had work and at 6am on the day of his baptism some dude called
him and was like, hey i have work for ya, im going to come by and pick you
up in 20 minutes. i felt really confused because i was doing everything
possible to get this family baptized and i knew that god wanted me to
baptize them so i asked my self why would god let that happen. very soon
afterward i realized that the will of god is always going to be exactly
what i want. emilio has been praying for work for the past month and a half
and for him it was a huge blessing. and in the end i was able to realize
why god let that happen. but they are going to get baptized in 2 weeks. and
if you are wondering why i am typing in all undercase letters it is because
the shift key on this keyboard doesnt work.

on sunday, in 2 lessons people gave us free food. a big papaya and a bag of
bread. in the street we found viviana, the wife of emilio, and she was
carrying a pot. we asked her what are you going to do with that pot? and so
she told us that she was going to her moms house to see if she could heat
up some atol (corn based drink that you heat up, the government gives it
out for free to everybody) because they dont have money to heat it up her
self. i then realized that i had a bag full of bread in my back pack, and
elder flores had a big papaya in his backpack, so we gave it to her. she
started to cry, and told us thatshe had no idea what she was going to give
her children to eat, but she knew that god would provide.

i tried to attach fotos right now but i cant. i think that computers are
from the devil.

my companion just got his plane ticket emailed to him and that made him a
little bit baggy.

my church starts at 10am and ends at 1pm. so i could call at 8am my time,
or satuday at at night at 8pm my time. sunday is hard because i could call
at 6pm but that is the best hour to work and so that wouldnt be ideal.  let
me know if you guys are willing to wake up at 6 am on sunday or if it would
be better saturday at night.


elder west

Zone Meeting T-shirts 4-17-2012

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