Querido familia y amigos, this week i had an epiphany. I realilzed that i was starting to get frustrated really easily, starting to feel like i wasn't learning as much, etc. And i couldn't figure out why. I honestly wasn't feeling as much love for the people as i had, and even less for my companion, and having passed for that before, realized that it isn't a change in teh people. so i decided to try to figure out what the problem was with ME and not with them. I found a few. 1. Pride. it always gets in there before anything else and causes all problems. Pride is the root of all sin. I feel like i have seen that so much in the BoM and in life, but even then it creeps in sometimes if we aren't careful. Not even just pride in the sense of thinking we are fine, but i think i started to judge others and look down on them, even as i was looking down on myself. a pretty Bad way to go about things. I came to a conclusion. I was wanting mercy for myself and justice for everyone else. Things as simple as a comp losing some of my stuff, Jw's deciding not to get baptized at the last second because of one scripture they took out of context, people condeming us, lying to us, and even somthing as simple as someone eating really loud all made me just say, "whatever, God will be just". But i realized. I was constantly just begging for mercy for myself, definitely full of imperfections, but at the same time pointing the finger (in my head) and crying for justice for the rest. The moment i realized that i did something that Christ did so willingly, but that was honestly really hard for me. I started praying to God that he would forgive them, for they know not what they do. Forgive them for condeming us, they don't know the truth. Forgive them for not letting go of old beliefs, they have been taught all their lives, how can i judge them? Forgive them for eating loudly, they probably don't even realize. Forgive them for even taking my stuff, they were taught that way too unfortuantely. Forgive them for so many other things. It really completely changed my week, my perspective, and even made me feel different about myself. I feel better, happier, and with so much more love for the people and companion. It can be so hard to honestly ask and desire forgiveness for someone who just offended you in "x" manera, but it is so worth it in the end. At least i am no longer bearing the pain, even if they are. And if Christ can say, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do" even for people who were in the same act of killing him, i can at least say, "Father, forgive him" for he know not he eats loud. Love you all, Elder West
P.s. Ximena got baptized this week! She is so awesome. Has been so excited! And we had an awesome contact. We had passed the person by five streets, but we finally decided we couldn't ignore it and went back. We taught her and her family on sunday and they are so awesome! WE are hoping to help them be baptized march third. Love you all!
Peter with mission president.
otra vez no hay tiempo, pero no me sorprende. así es la vida acá. Lo amo. So we don't have much time, I had a nice long appointment in immigration today because someone who had my visa forgot to turn in some papers and it expired, but the good news is they aren't going to deport me! This week we did a ton of open house tour things in the church with a lot of investigators and that has definitely been helping us a ton. We also had two baptisms... Sort of. They live in our area, but are going to move in two weeks to another ward close by, and we didn't feel good about baptizing in this ward if they are going there, so we just finished teaching them, they had their baptismal interviews, and the missionaries, who hadn't talked to them at all when they were going to church, met them finally in their baptism, two baptisms. I doubt anyone has worked less for a baptism... But they are incredible people. They weren't sure if they were ready yet, but after an awesome lesson with the plan of salvation we knelt down and prayed, and stayed kneeling after in silence with our eyes closed for a while, and when the husband stood up he was shaking and said he knew it was true. Dropped coffee, etc just because we said God told us to, and then we explained teh word of wisdom, but it was such an awesome experience. They are so excited to go to the temple in a year. The sad part with that was i just realized i won't be here, which makes me really sad. One of my best friends in the mission, Elder Stiborek, who works really hard, helps me out, and we just get along really well will be going home in a week, and it feels like he's just leaving us. It makes me want to take advantage of the little time i have even more. Also, i am no longer gaining weight! i think i actually lost some, there just isn't time to eat when we get back ever, so we just eat breakfast, at 2 with members, and that is it. preobably not too healthy... but such is life in Mexico. con amor Elder West
Ni sé que decir... This week was quite a week. First off, the benemerito, a church high school here that is the high school equivalent of BYU is now going to be closed to open another MTC!!! The members are all pretty sad to be honest. It was an awesome school, good education, good friends, etc. I know a lot of members and converts that went there, are going there, or were hoping to go there, but at the same time. We are all very excited. Go Missionaries!!! My companion keeps saying it means Christ is coming soon. We had an all day meeting with president this week and learned so much! A lot about where we are failing, how we can improve, what we are doing well, and more doctrine. He was a seventy and really knows Doctrine and Covenants by memory. He tells us that more than anything that was what converted him first. The Lord definitely tried our faith in January, but we are going to do a lot better this month. WE have more baptismal dates for this week than we had the past month. Unfortunately not a lot planned for future weeks. The best part is that the missionaries are more excited, happy, etc. We are working a ton to try to help them all out. THis week we are going to go on splits for 48 hours with two district leaders to help them apply the new stuff, learn from them, and get them excited so that they can help out their districts. A lot going on. We found a less active family that the ward didn´t know existed, brought them to church, and their daughter and grandpa is going to get baptized! The work is going well. A ton of work, but it is worth every bit. Love you all! Elder WEst
p.s. i forgot about the superbowl until someone asked me yesterday in the night who one. Being the american i am supposed to know... Didn't even know it had happened. Never has in the world (and in the mexico city), but not of the world applied so well.
Forgot to mention. A family was having some serious marital problems this week and called us. Two unmarried 20 year olds to come and help. The dad was about to just rent another place to sleep. I thought it was so weird that they thought the two kids could help, but the cool part was seeing that it actually worked. Today we visited them and things are going a lot better. Thanks mostly to my dad´s talk on humility from ward conference. Maybe we don't know a lot, but we know plenty of people and profets who do. ANd the spirit helps a lot too. Love you all!
Esta fue la primera vez en mi misión que me han planchado por trabajar demasiado duro... Que raro... This week was a very interesting one. First of the assistents called us to go on splits with them. Also, our area changed a bit so that the members in the ward would be more evenly spread between the two companionships. Our housing contract also expired, so we took the opportunity to change houses to the center of our new area. We are now finding a ton of new investigators from the members, which rocks. WE have one who is the unmarried husband of a member that we found this week. He has come to church a lot, but couldn't get married until he gets into the military school because apparently it gets a lot harder. We taught them the restoration and after the prayer we stayed on our knees for almost ten minutes in silence. He just started crying and said he knows the gospel is true, that the book of mormon is true, and he wants to get baptized. He is going to sign the military contract and enter the school on friday, and saturday we are going to try to get them married for his baptism on sunday. We also had a cool experience with someone who got baptized a year ago and hasn't been confirmed. After his baptism his wife went to oaxaca to look for her kids, but while there her ex husband murdered her in a really gruesome way, and he hasn't come back to church or wanted to here from us since, but this week we taught him the plan of salvation, and he started crying and told us he wants to come back. We taught the plan in two parts, and after he started crying. They were two really powerful lessons. Afterword he gave me a huge hug, and asked us to come back as soon as we can. Overall it was a good week. There has been a lot of pressure because the zone hasn't come close to its goal, and because we haven't either, but overall teh work is going well. Love you all. Missions rock. and are hard. But they rock. Love Elder West
Otro año ha pasado. himno numero 142. One year in the mission! It's official. Didn't do much to celebrate it other than call the other missionaries in the zone to congratulate them. Not much time, we are using every second we can. I feel like time goes faster every month, and now i just need to work a lot harder and faster. We haven't had the best month as a zone or companionship, so we'll see what happens, but i guess we have to learn how to work as hard as we can in the good and the bad. I'm very excited for February. We taught an awesome guy this week who had cancer several times, surgeries, and chemotherapy, and after sharing a story about one of my previous companions (who is currently in the hospital, pray for him), the guy said, yes, this is what i want, when we asked him to be baptized. It was a really powerful lesson. We'll see if his super catholic wife who won't listen to us is willing to get married. Love you all. Elder West