Thursday, March 22, 2012

Hola Todos! Finalmente sabemos donde vamos, y cuando. Estamos tan mas feliz que antes. Y voy a quedarme a aqui cuando mi distrito y companeros no estan. Pero esta bien. Voy a salir muy pronto. No puedo esperar. It's official. I'm finally heading out! The field is white and apparently Fort Worth Texas is the place for me right now. I have been temporarily reassigned to Texas (probably spanish) until I recieve my visa to Mexico, which they think will be 3 to 6 weeks. I can't wait to head there, I've heard so many great things about Texas and Texans since I've been here. Before we recieved the reassignments two people told me they felt like I was going to Texas, which was cool. My district has been reassigned to Las Vegas, Independance Missouri, Salt Lake South, and Ogden. I can't wait to head out and be able to teach the gospel. I had a really cool experience this week. Elder Oaks dropped by out of the blue and talked about the significance of the sacrament (he wouldn't even quote the whole prayer because it was so sacred), and about always having the spirit with us. I also realized earlier this week that when I came out I felt like I had a pretty good testimony, but know I feel like I knew the church could be true before, but now I know that it is true, that Christ really does live and that he really wants us to be happy. That was cool for me. I can't wait to head out to Fort Worth, to learn a lot more about being a missionary and hopefully some spanish as well. The Church is true, don't ever try to convince yourself otherwise, it really will bless your life so much. I also really loved how the scriptures make more sense the longer we study them and they relate more to us the more they make sense. They really help so much. I heard a cool quote that says, "This is the only time in all of eternity that you will have to go out and serve a proselyting mission. Don't waste a minute of it." I can't wait to get out and share the gospel. Keep me updated on your lives, Vayan con Dios!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

March 15, 2012
Hola Todos! This week has been quite the week. First off, as far as visas go, we have no idea when we will get them. They tell us that we will be leaving anywhere from next wednesday to three weeks from now, though the latest word is that they have just decided to reassign at least some of us starting this next monday, so I may still be getting reassigned, but we are definitely delayed at least a little. Hopefully the visas will come through and we'll be able to get there relatively soon. So this week we had a girl in our zone who had a kidney stone, and it was really not going well for her, so we decided to have a zone fast, and again, fasting really does work. She is doing much better now, even thought it's not over yet. But fasting really does work. We had a really cool devotional on tuesday by Elder Cardon of the seventy. He really had some really motivating/inspirational/spiritual things to say, and really helped me focus completely on the mission, and completely on submitting to God's will. This was great timing because a lot of Elders have been a little unhappy because of waiting for visas, but we need to learn to trust God's timing. "Faith in God means faith in His timing." I also love how much happier we are after the temple. You can't be in the temple and not be happy. It really is great. Go to the temple as much as you can. Also, the MTC choir is going to be singing in conference, which is kinda cool. I will probably be gone before then, but for the other Elders here that could be a cool experience. This week I found a cool scripture in Jacob 4:6. Jacob, a great prophet who saw Christ, says that over many times searching the scriptures and many little revelations we build our testimony. His testimony was built by little revelations, time after time, to the point where it was so unshakeable that he could command the elements in the name of Christ. I thought that was a really good example of the way we build our testimonies. Even for the great prophets, it's rarely a one time miraculous experience, but many little witnesses from God that this is his church. We also had a cool experience with someone we were teaching this week. We were teaching him about the word of wisdom and his son (who had followed the word of wisdom) had passed away because of cancer. It was a really cool lesson, he was crying a lot by the end and the spirit was really strong. It was cool to see how it really doesn't matter what language it's in, the spirit is universal. I hope you all are doing well, I'll be praying for you. Vaya con Dios! Love Elder West

Monday, March 12, 2012

Hola todos! So this week has been filled with a ton of interesting things, which I still don't understand becuase our schedules are exactly the same. First, I accidentally forgot to make casar reflexive, so instead of telling the "investigator" that he needed to marry or not live with his girlfriend, I told him he had to hunt her... That added some confusion. In general spanish is going pretty well. After reading the Book of Mormon in spanish I can read it really well and pretty fast, but I'm still not very good at speaking it. Such is life I guess. Though apparently I had a dream in spanish. My companions told me I was sleep talking in spanish the other night. I thought that was way cool.

Also, this week we fasted a couple times and I really have gained a stronger testimony of fasting. It really does help. Also, if we take one principle of the gospel, and really focus on it, we can really develop our testimony of that specific aspect, and it really helps. I'm also enjoying studying preach my gospel, there's some really good stuff in there (which I didn't really believe a whole lot before I got here and took the time for it). Also, Alex Boye, a musician/singer from England who was converted and now makes church/gospel songs came and spoke to us. He was really funny for the first half (it was almost like stand up comedy), and really spiritual for the second half, telling us about his conversion story, and all because of a persistent member and two sister missionaries.

So as far as visas and travel plans go, half of my district recieved their travel plans today (all of the state-side missionaries), and the other half of us are still waiting. Mexico doesn't like the U.S. too much right now, so we're waiting and will probably get reassigned at some point within the next week and a half. The ones who recieved their travel plans are definitely enjoying knowing, but I guess it just means we have something else to look forward to getting, and if we get reassigned, I guess we get to experience a mission in two different places. I hope it's spanish if I do, preferably with a latino companion who doesn't speak english very well. I could use the help...

Buit life is still good in the MTC. Lot's of nuevos, and we got to host a bunch of them on wednesday. I got to help a Korean Elder who didn't really speak english (lot's of hand motions and confused looks), and another Elder going to Chile. It was fun to see how completely lost they were and how enthusiastic they were and to remember that was us not to long ago. I'd better go, Dios les ama, la iglesia es verdadero, y estoy orando para ustedes siempre! Love, Elder West

Sunday, March 4, 2012

March 1, 2012
Que honda? This has been quite the week. We're finally in the final third of our stay here, and we're definitely feeling excited to actually go out and teach. As for the Visas, no missionaries going to Mexico have recieved theirs in a while. Four districts just got reassigned to various places. One Elder brought 8 short sleeve shirts and is heading to Lansing, Michigan. He might freeze to death. There are a couple who are going to Salt Lake South and Provo, so they'll be teaching my family and friends. The funny thing is that that could very easily be me in three weeks. Apparently when the visas do come, they come in big groups, so I hope that mine will be here relatively soon. But it would be a cool experience to get to teach in two places if it doesn't. Recently we've really realized how amazing our teachers are and how much of a difference that can make. We're finally to the point where the language isn't a problem when teaching (at least to non-native speakers), and I feel like we're finally getting the hang of teaching. One really cool thing that happened this week was that Elder Holland showed up and gave one of the best talks I've ever heard. After telling us how much he loved us he was very blunt and was getting up in our faces about being the best missionaries we can be now, and not trying to not act like a missionary when we get back. It was like his talk he gave in conference a while ago about the Book of Mormon. He was practically yelling at some parts and crying at others. He really is an incredible man and an Apostle of Christ. We are really lucky to have had him visit us again. He really got us going again after we were starting to get a littel tired of doing the same stuff every day. I had another interesting experience with BIble Bashing this week. One of our "investigators" managed to draw us in and get us really arguing bible scriptures, and that never works. We really just had to step back and say, "Look, we can't prove it to you, we can't force you to believe, but we know this is true, and we know that you need to ask God if it is true." I also really am liking keeping a journal, it's a great place to organize your thoughts, and sometimes to just vent. I like how Nephi said in 2 nephi 4:15 (I think), "Upon these plates I write the things of my soul". It's almost like Nephi's journal. I really like in 2 Nephi 4 where Nephi really is having a bad day, (his dad just died, his brothers are murmuring, etc.) and he tells us he is having a bad day, but then tells us the steps he goes through to really be happy again,putting his trust in the Lord. THe Book of Mormon really does help with everything. I've also been reading Jesus the Christ by Talmage. It's got some really cool things in there about Christ, I recommend it if you ever get some free time. Also, the Temple is great. We just came back from the temple again and it really is such a blessing to go and feel the spirit so strong every week and it really lifts your day. Love you all, the Church is true! Hasta luego!

Love Elder West