Wednesday, August 27, 2014

7 months?!?!

Hola otra vez! (Hi again!)

This past week I completed 7 months in the mission!! I cannot believe time is going by so fast! I feel like I left SLC airport yesterday, but here I am in Xalapa, joking with the people in the market and bartering for fruit and enjoying every sight, smell and sound of Mexico! Life is so great!!!!!! For those who know me, they know I never burp. BUT, I burped that day!!! Just something random to celebrate 7 months I guess!

Our last P-Day we made french toast with the zone and played games like children. It was such a good day! And then today the Columbians made arepas - kind of like a non-sweet pancake with cheese and ham in the middle - and we played basketball. I kind of dominated, but I love my zone and I love that we have so many cultures here!!

Something that Hermana Q and I are struggling with is we feel like people are not actually listening to us. We feel like they are focused in us too much, and not in the message we are sharing. That is really frustrating because when I am sharing my testimony, and then the person tells me they really like my skirt or they wonder what I would look like with my hair down, it is like a shot in the heart. PAY ATTENTION TO MY TESTIMONY BECAUSE IT MEANS SO MUCH TO ME and I am sharing it with YOU because I care about YOU.

I cannot describe how excited I am to still be with Hermana Q!! We are moving ahead full throttle and we love being companions and missionaries here in Xalapa!!! We are setting goals, talking about creative ways that we can find people to teach, share embarrassing experiences with each other and all that good stuff! We have been doing a lot of reflecting. What goals am I setting and achieving? What kind of person am I and who do I want to become? I have a whole bunch of thoughts jumbled in my mind, and I am trying to sort them all out! Something that Hna Q and I am doing together is we are trying to work on developing our Christlike attributes together! That way, we can remind and encourage and monitor the progress of each other all along the way! This week is virtue and knowledge, and I am already learning so much in my studies! We felt that virtue was the base, because if we are not clean emotionally and mentally, we cannot have the Spirit! And we know the Spirit is the most important thing in this work! It is hard to describe. We are also trying to be more efficient and effective. For example, no dilly dallying in the morning when we go outside to run. Wicked easy to waste 15 minutes tying your shoes verrrryyyyyyy slowlllllyyyyy because we are so tired hahaha but we already feel so much better and feel like we start off the day so much better if we just get out there and do it!! SO EXCITED FOR THIS TRANSFER!!! I am also feeling like I am starting to be more creative missionary, and not robotish missionary. We have cool lesson plans and are trying new things with the investigators! The mission is an adventure! I love every minute of it!

Robin: he works for an hermana in the ward in her cheese store. He is 18, and is super animated and wants to read and learn more! We left a pamphlet with him and he was reading it before we left. I LOVE FINDING PEOPLE WITH A TRUE DESIRE TO LEARN AND FEEL WHAT IS RIGHT!

Monse and Perla: they are both SO great!!! BUT their moms are impeding them from doing anything :( it breaks my heart when people have this true desire to do the right thing, and someone else stops them

Saul, Saul Jr and Irvin: Saul - the dad - got confirmed on Sunday!!!! MY HEART WAS SO FULL!!! There really are feelings here that I cannot describe. He was so happy, everyone was just so happy! They also all love us a lot. They never want us to leave when we have to go, but we gotta go hahaha. They always ask us how we are doing with our goals so we ask them how they are keeping up with theirs! Reverse psychology.

Yolanda, Rosalba and Eduardo: Yolanda opened up to us a little more. We found out one of the reasons she is so bitter to her dad is because he tried to kill her mom, and she has told us very firmly that she will never forgive him. However, that is what the Gospel of Jesus Christ is for! To do the things you did not think were possible, to change for the better, to share your burden with Him...because He felt it all. When we left, after discussing all of this, she was very pensive. 

Had pozole this week...look it up!! SO GOOD
Also ate EXTREMELY spicy chiles rellenos...Hna Q and I were basically dying with a fire in our stomachs the whole day.
Our old investigator Karla and Irvin are basically dating

Thank you for your prayers and support! I love this Gospel and I know that miracles are possible and we can see them every day if we look hard enough! I love my family and I know I can be with them forever!!!!

Love, Hermana Westergard

pomegranate yumyum

other fruit....i do not remember what it is called

 grew a beard one night

coconut with chile y limon mi favoritooooo

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Transfer 5 already?!?!


Well, it is the 5th transfer!!! ALREADY. My mind is in shock, I cannot believe time is going by so fast!! For this transfer I will be in......drum roll.......OLIVO, XALAPA!!! I am staying in my ward!! SOOOO EXCITED!!!!! Hermana Q and I get along so well!!!! This will also be the longest I have been with a companion! I am super pumped because I do not need to waste time trying to find a groove with my companion, we have our groove and we work so well together!!! This will be an amazing transfer!!! I know it!!!!! Ah, just so excited I cannot express it enough! Also, I am SOOOO lucky because I will be here in Xalapa for the whole summer!!! Xalapa seriously has BEAUTIFUL weather ALL the time. So, so, so, SO blessed!!!!!!

This week was a great missionary week. I cannot really describe it other than that. SUCH A GOOD WEEK TO BE A MISSIONARY!!! I can feel the Spirit guiding our steps and I feel so much love for the people here!!!!!

I have been studying and reading Our Search for Happiness. This book is TRULY amazing and I HIGHLY recommend that everyone should read it!!!! So inspirational, so motivating, I love studying in the morning!!!!!!! 

The hermanas in my ward are the sweetest little old ladies. They love us so much, and show it through the amazing food they are always giving us. They melt my heart!!!! They literally spend the whole morning preparing for us, and they never want us to leave! I am always so torn, because they love our company but we have appointments too! Working on finding a balance with all the love here.

There is a fruit here called tuna. No, it is not the fish. It is from a cactus, a lot of people here eat another part of the cactus called nopal. I do not know if its a vegetable or not...but the tuna is sweet and looks kinda like a pear. But there are SO many seeds in it! Basically all seeds. And right now is the time of the tuna, so people can buy 5 kg....more than 10 POUNDS....of tuna for 10 pesos...less that a dollar. I do not know how many more tuna seeds my stomach can hold. Quite possibly I have a little forrest of tuna cactuses growing in it.

I was humming and singing in my sleep the other night, told by Hermana Q, so that is something that does not happen every day!

We got a little lost walking to the comida (dinner appointment) one day. We ended up semi-climbing the side of a smallish mountain, and emerged behind a complex called the Casas de Homex. That was great, because we knew where we were..but there was a longgggg fence, without a break, that was between us a civilization. We found a break in the fence and somehow squeezed through with all our stuff. We must have looked SO strange, 2 missionaries in skirts with bags and scriptures emerging from the woods looking slightly derranged and frantic. Yes, a woman saw us pop out of the fence and she gave us very strange looks. But ni modo!!!!

Investigators and people:

Saul: He has a new light about him!!! He seriously looks like he is glowing. And he told us he feels different too!!!! THE POWER OF BAPTISM!!!! He also told us that he is still keeping up with the harder part of the Law of Chastity, and that is GREAT to know also! A little confused with him though. On Saturday night, he called and told us that he was not going to work on Sunday because he told his boss that he had a commitment with his Heavenly Father. YES HE SAID THAT!!!! We were super pumped!!! AND THEN......he did not even go to church!!! We went to take his sons to church too, because they were supposed to be confirmed...and not one of them went! We showed up to church 40 minutes late, and guess who was visiting? Presidente Greer, our mission president!!!!!!! AHHHH. Not our proudest moment walking and bumping into people to find seats in the crowded chapel. We also went to talk with Saul last Monday night and we were talking about his baptism and then his VERYYYY drunk brother showed up. Well, the Spirit left the room, his brother kept falling off the couch, asking what our names were and where we were from ( at least 15 times), and then slightly began professing his love for me and asking me when we were going to come back to visit. Ug. Interesting week to say the least

Abi and Norma: We had an AMAZING lesson with them on Tuesday, we talked about all of the Restoration. But then we went on Friday to visit them, were told they were not there, went to visit their other cousin in another part of the houseish thing they live in, and when I walked in I saw Norma trying to hide. Being oblivious, I shout out HOLA and coax her out of her hiding place. Hermana Q said she saw Abi hiding too...but she never emerged. Once again confused as to whether or not they want to listen to us.

Yolanda and Rosalba:YOLANDA LEFT HER FRÉJOL!!!! AAAHHHHH. Meaning she left her boyfriend!!!! YAYYYYYYY. MIRACLES HAPPEN!!!! We showed up one day and she just told us straight out that she left her bean. We thought she was joking with us, but no!!! Such a strong, independent woman!!!! 

Perla and Monse: These two girls are SO great! They take notes during the lessons, write down their questions, go to activities in the church, have prayed and they know that this church is true!!!! The only their moms. Very Catholic. But little by little. These girls are so sweet, have such strong spirits and their desire to learn and do the right thing is contagious. I love them like they were my own sisters!!!

I love you all! Thank you for your words of encouragement and love! I appreciate every little thing. This church is true!!! Joseph Smith restored these amazing doctrines to help us in these days. I am so grateful for my family and the example they have been for me!

Love, Hermana Westergard

age of the catepillars

also, not quite sure what these are from but we came back one day and they were ALL OVER THE HOUSE. if you could look up somewhere what kind of bug its from, i woiuld have a little more peace of mind. if it is really bad though....just tell me i would rather not know hahaha

( Looked it up and I think it's a type of moth-so no too scary)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Best Week date!


WELL GUESS WHAT!!!!! I had my first baptism on Sunday! Well my first 3 to be exact! Saul and his sons Irvin and Saul Jr. Things were all over the place with them this week, it was like a 180 degree change. We went from teaching the Word of Wisdom to Irvin on Tuesday to making goals with him and his dad to stop drinking and how they could avoid bad situations to their baptism on  Sunday! IT WAS SO SPECIAL AND SO AMAZING. I felt a joy that I have never felt before, I cannot describe it. My heart was basically exploding out of my chest the whole day!! The poor guys, the water was freezing! The dad was baptized no problem, Irvin had to be baptized three times because his legs flew up the first 2 times! And then little Irvin! He was so nervous! We all heard him talking to the Elder while he was walking into the water, rambling on and on because that is was 10 year olds do! BUT his hair did not go all the way under the first time! When he realized that he needed top be baptized again, he kind of squealed out "otra vez?!?!!?", meaning "another time?!?!?!" He was so cold! My heart was melting though!!!! Afterward, he was talking to my companion and said "Sentí bonito", meaning "I felt good", with his little gordito face all scrunched up in happiness. MY HEART IS STILL MELTING!!!! I am still so happy, and I am so happy I had the chance to meet this family and help them make covenants that can help them be together forever!! Life is bliss and joy right now!!!! I really cannot describe it

Oh, last week we went to the waterfalls in Xico.
The street we live on was finally finished! No more construction!
Ate french fries with piña and queso de hebra, DELICIOUS
Another kid asked me if I was pregnant this week....I guess that means no more delicious french fries with yummy toppings.
Apparently it is pretty common here for people to have visions and think they have seen Jesus Christ and God. I do not know what to think when they are telling me all this stuff...but if it works for them that is great!
We had practives in zone class this week, and since we had 6 investigators in church, we had to practice inviting someone to church in front of everyone!!!! I HATE BEING IN FRONT OF PEOPLE!!! But everyone said we did really good, and they loved our scriptures and were asking us what our secrets were after! I guess we did OK!


Yolanda and Rosalba: Yolanda cracks me up. She refers to her husband as criatura, meaning creature hahaha they do not have the best relationship. She also referred to him as a fréjol,  or a bean, that she is bored of. Meaning she does not want to get married to him. This is a problem. But they love listening to us and know the things we are teaching are true!

Monse: she is 14, she has family members who are LDS and she is kind of timid. But she went to church with us, LOVED it, and we taught her all the commandments! She wants to go to the activities and is reading everything we give her to read in the Book of Mormon!!

Yussy: we have now taught her everything, but she is still lying to us! The solution is so simple! If she would just tell us she is not married, we could change that in a jiffy! The ball is still in her court. Still love her though!!!!

This week, Hermana Q and I are working on having LOTS of Faith. ANYTHING is possible with faith! I know that! Anything and everything!!!!! We are trying to NOT doubt, only believe and think the best of everything. It is hard, but I can already see miracles happening in my life!

I love this church! I love being a missionary! I love my Savior and I know we have a loving Heavenly Father!
Love you all SOOO much!!
Hermana Westergard

the elders who baptized them!

 we ate at was a very memorable P-Day


Irvin and Saul and Saul Jr.

 happy family!!!! my heart melts with this picture

Charlie's Angels (my idea)

Monday, August 4, 2014

possibly the end of the world


So, I have concluded that the end of the world is coming for a couple of reasons. 1) there was an earthquake this week, it was like a 6.3ish I think. 2) I received more than 120 bug bites in 2 days. SOOO yes, I think and feel like the world is coming to an end. The earthquake or temblor was in the morning, around 5:30, I thought my companion was shaking my bed to wake me up, but I was SO tired so I did not say anything to her saying HERMANA, HERMANA. I was thinking I still had an hour left to sleep and I was NOT going to miss out on it hahaha but finally I responded, and she told me there was a temblor. Half out of it, she told me I responded, wowwwwwww, and that was the end of it. SO I DO NOT KNOW IF I ACTUALLY FELT IT OR NOT. Regardless, I have now lived through an earthquake! Now for the bug bites, I do not know if I will survive through these. We went to have a lesson with one of our male investigators, we cannot teach him in his house, so we went to this SEEMINGLY pretty little park. WRONG. I was wearing a long skirt, so I did not think I needed to put on bug spray in the morning, trying to conserve it. Bad bad bad bad idea. Within a minute, we were being attacked and we somehow survived in the forest of the devil for an hour teaching the lesson, and then I BOOKED it out of the woods, running like a maniac to escape the little, black, evil twin of the mosquito bugs. AAHHHHH. My legs are itching as I am writing this. I am learning the hard way the lesson of self control.

Random things from this week:
I LOVE LOVE LOVE Rachel's and Molly's emails!!!!

Hermana Q and I ate 15 tacos al pastor..each.....I need not say more.

Found a large green caterpillar in my vegetables at lunch one day...I did my best to subtly slide it into my napkin without the member seeing....and then proceeded to eat the rest of the now bug-free food.

Our boiler is not working, so we had the guy who came to replace the tank of gas see what was wrong with it. When we ignite the gas, you only turn it on a LITTLE bit, and then once it has caught, you turn it up the rest of the way to catch everything else on fire. The poor man did not listen to me and turned the gas thing up ALL the way to try to ignite it. I told him at least 5 times!! Not listening to me though, I took about 5 cautious steps back and a couple of seconds later....BOOM. He goes flying back....very startled but still alive and not on fire thankfully. He looks at us and then at his arm and starts touching where his arm hair HAD been before. Then his hands moved to his face and touched where his eyelashes/part of his eyebrow had been before. POOR GUY! He should have listened to me! He told Hermana Q that his hair was all singed, but not wanting him to feel bad, Hermana Q said no! Your hair is all still there! Definitely was not all still there. But end of the story, the boiler still does not work so we are being accustomed to showering with the cold water. And we are all still alive! So Yay!!

I have concluded from my personal studies that we will have food in heaven because after Christ was resurrected, he ate fish and honeycomb with the disciples. VERY RELIEVED. I remember asking my dad when I was younger if we would have food in heaven.



Saul, Saul and Irving - Saul is difficult. We taught him the Word of Wisdom, set goals with him, and then called him later this week because he was not at his house for our appointment. He answered his phone, drunk. Not the best sign. BUT he walked to church by himself!!! We did not even call him or anything, we thought if he really wants this, he will take the initiative because up to that point, he was not really doing anything to change. But he showed up! I was in shock. So was my companion. We are going to see him this week so we will see!

Yolanda and Rosalba - Went to church also!!!! Taught them the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chastity. Rosabla likes her coffee, and Yolandas husband is married to another woman, but they have been separated for 12 years and they obviously are not married. I know people do not change over night, and they are willing to make changes in their lives! We really have amazing investigators!!!

Samuel - we now know why he is so odd all the time. Turns out he was kidnapped a couple of years ago, for a year. It explains a lot. Still trying to figure him out and see if he really wants to listen to us or just wants to talk and hear more opinions about religion.

Raquel - her mother-in-law is coming this week, so we are trying to get her married ASAP!!!! We helped them move houses. Literally, we moved all their stuff from their apartment on the 3rd floor down the street to their new house. Many hands make light work!

Yussy and Aaron - so perfect. so perfect. has SUCH a strong testimony...BUT THEY ARE NOT MARRIED. We know, but they have not told us and they are currently weaving a large web to cover up the fact that they are not married. Hermana Q and I are waiting to see how they undig themselves from the hole they have made.

I SERIOUSLY LOVE MY INVESTIGATORS SO MUCH. I am SO grateful for my time to be here in Mexico, to get to know these people and help them try to change their lives for the better.

Thank you everyone for all your support and emails! I am sorry I cannot respond to everyone, but I try my best to get back to everyone eventually!! Remember to enjoy the small things in life! Like the stars. I really love the stars here in Mexico.

Love, Hermana Westergard

a few of my MANY bug bites

flags in the street on our way to Xico


artsy with timer 

Elder D!!!  

District picture 

I am a tree hugger

Foto de la zona Xalapa con Presidente