Monday, November 25, 2013

PanaderĂ­as... they rock. Sweet bread. We stopped by a nice one, so my comp took a picture. 

This week was a bit crazy, but at last, Elder twede is recovering. I am now back to the weight i was when i left on my mission! Eating healty feels so great. i just wish my body didn't react negatively when i splurge on something unhealthy. The cool part is when you eat healthy you just don't like the unhealthy stuff anymore. Like 100% healthy. ANd lots of piano, even if on a keyboard. But now i'll finally be getting back out more. I'm excited. This week Elder Valenzuela, from the MExico area presidency visited our mission, and after talking with our zone talked to the trainers, which was cool. Definitely called a lot of people to repentance, but we learned a lot, adn the missionaries are going to be working better on finding new investigators. A lot of missionaries lost the urgency to find when we changed things to 5 sundays. But now on the upswing. Excited to be out and work. This week we baptized Esther and Brenda, and helped the sisters with their baptism of Elena, which is always fun, even though we were scrambling to fill the font becasue the boiler was locked and so we finally just started with cold water, but turns out the drain is broken, so as we filled it the font would empty. party. With about two feet of water we managed to get into it we managed to baptize. The bishopric didn't come again, but the bishop came to church this week! We're making progress... The ward is now at about 65 people who consistently attend, which is almost double what it was when we got here, so we're excited. Still so much work to do though. Love you all, Elder West

Hola todos. THis week was really weird for me. I was going a bit crazy not being able to be outside so much. Elder twede is probably going to have to be inside another week or two. He really has impressed me. I'm going antsy (sp?) just being inside an extra 3-5 hours a day. I can't imagine how he feels being inside for basically everything except church or a few meetings in a wheelchair... The nice thing is after talking A LOT to president, we got a keyboard for Elder Twede (the mission has a few for a piano program they are going to do to teach members through a senior couple that just got here), and even though the rest are on lockdown until they figure out a program, President finally decided to give him one until he is better, and today, Elder Twede's birthday I went with another missionary to pick it up. He was really really excited. Which was good, he can't eat a cake or really anything that tastes similar, can't go anywhere fun, so we weren't sure what we were going to do for him, but i made him a nice fruit and seed breakfast, and with the piano and a package with a magic bullet blender for the fruits and veggies i think he is pretty happy. He plays piano extremely well... Our less obedient fourth companion has been getting better. Elder TWede and Elder Huefner have set great examples for him, and  I've been really impressed with how Elder Huefner has gone out and worked with him. Due to a few mistakes or ignoring very specific directions about a divorce, it looks like one couple will now be getting baptized the week after i go home instead of teh week before, which is a bummer, but the important thing is they are going to get baptized. Victor, the future husband, is in particular so awesome. He asks all the right questions and jsut really wants to do the right thing. We also have a less active family that has become active that we've been working with that has a daughter who we are going to baptize this week. They're a good family. But there are some trials in the ward. The bishop in his typical nature has tried to help the ward in... different ways... and one of the less actives we'd been working with stood up in elders quorum, apologized for having said anything before, and anounced that after the visit he recieved from the bishop that he will never come back to church again seeing as he is not allowed to even speak (not for disfellowship, the bishop just didn't like one of his opinions)... So there's work to do, but at least the ward in general is on the upswing again. Love you all! Elder West

Hola todos. This week was crazy. Elder Twede has vascular problem that really went out of control this week. Basically he can't walk, and we really have to be careful or it would cause some serious problems, so he is not allowed to eat anything with sugar, fat, meat, or grains... 60% vegetables, 20% certain fruits, 20% protein from certain seeds. Which means not eating everything they give us here, and eating everything they don't. And it meant we were locked inside this week except for the hours we could get members to go with one of us or stay with my companion. It was rough, and really affected the investigators in church factor... But president says Elder Twede is such a great missionary we are going to fight to keep him here, so he sent us a fourth companion. Yep, we aren't a trio anymore, or even two companinships, now we are a foursome. I think i've had 17 companions in the field now, and 28 including the mtc... I guess i should be used to it by now. I was really hoping to finish with my companions like normal, but now we have Elder Olivos, from Tampico, Mexico, though he lived in McCallen, Texas. I can tell it is going to be a very different experience... His first day here he was very quiet around me, and while i was gone was asking my companions if "the assistant is really strict" (in those exact words, he speaks english). And he also admitted to watching worldy movies and offering to get tv shows for my comps. so yea, a very different dynamic in the companionship now. The other three of us are being super obedient, and hopefully it will help him out. Elder Huefner went out with him for a while and walked him to every corner of the area (his attack on the disobedience, walking isn't Elder Olivos's strength, he's a big guy, and in his own words just wants to enjoy it and stay big). During the next  5 weeks elder twede and i will be eating in the house alone on this special diet, and elder huefner will go with elder olivos to eat with the members. I'm excited, i love eating healthily. And we are making lots of salads... suggestions welcome. we can only use natural honey as a sweetener. mom, you're salads are amazing, all recipes welcome. Elder Twede has been great about it, trying t do as much as he can, but he really just wants to get out and work. He and Elder Huefner are phenominal guys. The house that was full for two people makes for a lot of fun for four. President actually asked "can you fit four in that fish bowl?" I kind of like it to be honest, the christmas lights make the whole thing cozy... I guess God is just going to keep me on my toes to the end. It really shows me how much I love this work though, how much i just want to get out and teach. THis is the true church. I have no doubt about it. Love you all, Elder West

Oct. 28, 2013
This week has been fun. I was gone for a day with a missionary while he did his registration and i chose my classes (my brother registered for me, thnaks WIlliam!). And after he registered we spent the day in his area working, and that was cool for us. We had some things that were definitely the answers to some people's prayers. Still fighting the bed bug battle, but at least right  now they aren't in the beds. just in the holes in the walls etc... we also did splits this week with an elder who is going home and had a tough companion, to help him keep it up and to give him a good enjoyable day his last week. we actually just ate with him and some members. it's been fun... This week are transfers! we don't have any changes with us, but i did tell president it would help one of the missionaries in my district to finish well if he was the district leader. i have had plenty of leadership experiences, and the other missionary hasn't had the chance, he's a good guy, and this might relaly help him to finish well. President liked the idea, but said he is going to pray first. we'll see. I've definitely lost weight though. now 145. used to be 163. go team... eating lots of seeds and fruits. i feel like adam in the garden of eden. and it's super cheap. this week we have been teaching Mirna. She rocks! When we went by on saturdy she said, "can you come back in an hour? I'm washing so i can go to church tomorrow. and i'm going to bring my sister in law." She and her sister in law came, and they love the book of mormon. they rock. Love you all! Elder West

Ice Cream Truck

 This is a girl the sisters were teaching that asked me to baptize her after her interview. She's Jocelyn, 12. And Benjamin is the little boy there, two converts little baby. He likes to follow me around.

 Soccer tournament... "We are the Champions. du du du..." 

 Bed bug infestation leaves elders sleeping on ironing board.

Hola, esta semana nos va bien. un poco loco como siempre, pero la buena vida sigue. This monday i took my companions to a mall that has a lot of american shops, we also met up with some other missionaries who are training there, it was sweet. President thought it would be good for the new missionaries too, and they loved it. We were a bit fried and sore from soccer, my companions now call me dad a lot, and calculated my age in missionary age to be 88 (like dog years, but by month out of 2). Now they're threatening to get me a cane. Bit of a tough week, but we're going strong. President spoke in stake conference, and told a story about his first day and talked about me there, that was cool. He is such an incredible man. He really knows how to really help all of his missionaries. Such an awesome man. Love you all! Elder West

Pictures from the MTC in Mexico City

hola todos. This has also been quite the week. I've just decided they're all ust going to be that way... For starters we had the mission soccer tournament today. that was awesome, our zone won the championship game, which was a lot of fun. Elder Janda and i were coaches and players to organize it, but it was cool to see how much fun a bunch of missionaries out on a field can have. and cool to see a ton of missionaries all in full soccer uniforms, and all the teams there. i definitely got fried. the sun was strong. My last companion told me he can see i've lost weight, we've been eating a bunch of grains and seeds, and fruit, and i've lost 10 pounds! party. The cooles thing this week was the testimony meeting on sunday. We had 23 less actives there of the which 21 were there for the first time in a long time. It was sweet, and the testimonies were so strong. a lot of members (active and less actives) just shared their testimonies about the missionaries getting their in the exact moment they needed, one of which was a family that all shared their testimonies about doing God's will, and about us, and they rock. the spirit was so strong. but the coolest was a 9 year old girl. she definitley made me cry... and everyone else. Two weeks ago her dad passed away of cancer. Their whole family shared theeir testimonies, but she said she knew where he is, and that we all would, but when we came to this life we had a veil put over us so we wouldn't remember where we lived or what we did before this life. She said we don't remember for that, but that "I do because i've studied the scriptures". It was sweet. Strongest testimony i've seen in a long time, and most people in church we've had too. Also this week i left my companions alone together to go to a meeting and they did great! Didn't understand anything someone said to them in the street, but they managed to teach, serve, and commit a less active to church. i was so excited, it made me want to leave them alone as much as possible. there are still time when people just say i can't understand you, but they are now forming sentances and understanding more when the people talk slow, it's sweet. Love you all, Elder West