Monday, June 25, 2012

Que dice? Como estan? It has been a few crazy weeks. My companion Elder Wyman and I still have to speak spanish, and now more than ever due to some problems with cartels not like america at the moment in other places. We are currently not allowed to go to any tourist locations or american like places (mcdonalds, walmart, mexico city tourist areas, etc.) Which means we got there just in time. It was cool to go into the city. We got to see the templo mayor, not sure the best way to translate that, but a mayan pyramid, and other cool tourist places like zocalo. This week we worked a ton with the members and we're really hoping that will pay off. Two of our investigators that were about to get baptized this sunday moved on saturday to nezahuacoyatl. That was a bummer... That seems to happen a lot. There wasn't work here and they got to the point where the only thing they had, the ward had given them and they finally had to leave. But we're working a lot more in a pueblo that hasn't had missionaries working there in a long time. A large part is because the polygamist colony is in this town (we have to be careful with that). But we found an awesome new family. The kids say they want to be baptized already and are so excited when they see us. The parents will take some more time, but really love the things we've taught them. There are a decent number of people who are really looking for the truth and are disenchanted with the catholic church right now. Diana, one of our recent converts, has an awesome conversion story. Her parents  are paying for her schooling, she's nineteen, and they told her that if she got baptized they would stop paying, they kept trying to stop her going, until one day she came home and said, mom, I got baptized, I'm going to get confirmed this sunday. Her parents got really mad and brought her to the catholic priest. He asked her to tell him why the parents had brought her and she shared her testimony and said she had gotten baptized. Rather than getting mad at her, the priest told her parents that what she had done was good, she has a testimony, and that she was doing what is right. He then asked her parents to share their testimonies and they just sat their silent. He then chastised them for not having a testimony of their church and told them to stop criticizing their daughter and to support her. It was cool. She has been regularly coming to church, and her parents are finally starting to support her in it. My comp is from san francisco, studied in BYU for two years (he started young, he is 20 right now) has 20 months in the mission. It is definitely very different to work with a gringo here. We understand the culture the other person is coming from a lot better. We still have to learn to work together, but it is cool experience to work with a guy with a more similar background. Oh, and today we cooked mexican food with a member. We're actually trying to learn how to do a bunch of things so that we can make them on our own here, and after the mission. There is some really great food here. Vaya con Dios, les amo! Elder West

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Don't have a lot of time to write, we went in to mexico city today and we've got about five minutes to write quickly. It was definitely an experience. We got there a little lake due to special circumstances, but it was still cool to see. My new companion is from california (though his family has been living in idaho for a little). Elder Wyman. It definitely is a huge change to have a gringo companion, but we still are speaking almost all the time in spanish. It'll definitely take more effort to improve, but we're having a lot of fun. I'll try to send picks next week. We're still waiting on word from president to see if we will probably get permission from the first presidency or not to baptize Liz. She is from the polygamist colony (they live across the street from us, and her dad is a seventy with them. They believe almost the same as us, even using church manuals and temple clothes etc when they can get it... It also means we have a temple in our area, even if it's from the polygamists.) We had some problems this week with two husbands getting mad that there spouses were listening to us, and one of our investigators got really sick. A bit interesting this week, but we'll make things better in the end. ¡Les amo, que les vaya bien! 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Que transa? We have had quite an interesting couple weeks. We were going to go into mexico city last week, but we didn't receive permission until this week, which was good because we ended up having to change houses because the owner of our old house doesn't like the missionaries and we found a place near a lot of members that is nice and cheaper, so now we have an awesome house and a lot of members that like to feed us. Both are very good situations. The rains are starting now. Apparently it`ll rain three in four days for the next few months, so that'll be new. On the plus side the hottest time of the year is over here. The volcano has calmed down a lot, though it still spews smoke occasionally. This week we had an activity with our zone in which, after soccer, we made some tacos with habanero salsa. We were all dying, it was great. Even the natives were sweating/crying. Yep that's how we have fun. We were going to go into Mexico City today until we got a call last night right before bed that Elder QuiƱones is being transferred. We definitely didn't see that coming, normally he would be with me at least three months, usually four and a half. So tomorrow i will get a new companion. More updates on that to come. We discovered this week that someone in our ward is actually not a member, but has been assisting for a year, just hasn't been baptized yet because she is from the colony (there is a polygamist colony in our area with their own temple, chapel, book of mormon, and prophet that broke of from the church a long time ago) and there are sometimes problems with people from the colony, but she wants to be baptized, so we're going to try to work that out. I don't think i ever shared the conversion story of Jose. The Elders had been teaching him for a month and he wasn't really progressing because he didn't feel like he had an answer yet, but we were teaching him and had a really cool experience. We were about to review the restoration with him, but we felt like we needed to change. It was cool, the spirit was really strong, and finally I really felt like I should tell him to do something, and I promised him that if he did this he would have his answer and would feel ready for baptism. That saturday he was baptized. It was really cool to feel like I was really speaking by the spirit. It's cool to see how the spirit really works in peoples lives, that if they really seek an answer with real intent, God will answer them. Well thats all for this week, love you all! Que les vaya bien! Love Elder West 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Monday, May 28, 2012
Que dice? Como estan? THis week we had a couple really cool experiences. The first was a really awesome lesson we had with an investigator in a family home evening. The whole family and the investigator were crying. It was cool to be able to see someone realize and feel for the first time that this really is true, to really feel the difference from teh culture they were raised in. Catholic is the culture more than the religion. And when they want a party, they pick a saint, put a painting or statue of said saint in some place, and then say they have to celebrate the saint or somehting bad will happen to that place (for example the one by the water pump would stop the water flowing if they don`t celebrate it). We get a ton of fruit here, which kind of rocks, there are fruit trees everywhere, and everyone has fruit at every meal. Apples, oranges, bananas, guava, papaya, mango, lemon, lime, whatever, they have it, and it`s really good, because it's fresh. We also managed to get Veatriz to come to church. That on it's own is a miracle, the testigos (JW's) taught her so many things that are a little wacked, but she's starting to trust more in the Book of Mormon than them, which is great. Gustavo didn't get baptized this saturday because he wants his dad to be there and he is only in town a couple days a month. But he does want to get baptized, so that is great. I'm finally used to spicy food, we ate with members yesterday and I didn't have any problems with the jalapeƱos in everything, though the habanero is still a bit much. Definitely still learning a ton. Mainly I'm learning every day how much we really need God. He really performs so many miracles for us every day. That is definitely one of my favorite things about being here. I'm really learning about and developing a better relationship with God. Love you all, que les vaya bien! Love Elder West

ps I might be able to get permission to go into Mexico city next monday, which would mean several things. One I wouldn't be able to write anyone next week, and also, I would need fifty or sixty dollars (or thats what my comp says). He has gone once and wants to take me.

we got to help our ward mission leader make shirts for a little. its cool how they do it.