Monday, September 29, 2014

8 months come and gone

Time is flying. I seriously cannot believe it is almost October and today I have been a missionary for 8 months. It is a really strange mixture of feelings. This whole week has been a little strange too. We have really on days, and really off days. Either everyone is in their houses and all our plans work or NO ONE is around and everyone stands us up. We are either teaching a TON or nothing. I can see why moderation is good in all things, because these mission mood swings are throwing me off. BUT I know that I need to experience the rough days to REALLY ENJOY the days where everything goes smoothly!

This week, I have also been able to see and feel the blessings of teaching with the Spirit. Being able to feel a little bit of the love that our Heavenly Father has for his children - while I am teaching - is amazing. Sometimes it is difficult to talk because my heart is so full and I just want to hug everyone!!!! Because I can feel this IMMENSE love for Gods children. I cannot really describe it that well, but I love it. I have been REALLY focusing on teaching with my heart, and not just reciting sentences while we are teaching. And I have seen and felt the difference of teaching with my heart! It is a great time to be a missionary

I was reflecting a bit today, since I have now been in the mission for 8 months. Hahahah I remember when I first got to Mexico, and when people talked about Chile Seco, everyone said it was one of the way spicier chiles and that I should be wary of it. This morning we were eating empanadas, and there was some salsa de chile Seco and it basically was not spicy at all hahahah SOOOO my heat tolerance has raised quite a bit. I still stay away from habaneros, I am never gonna be able to eat those comfortably.

Hermano Mora fixed our boiler!!!! TODAY I TOOK MY FIRST SHOWER WITH HOT WATER IN ALMOST 2 MONTHS!!!! IT WAS SO AMAZING!!!!!!! I love hot water. So content!!! Their whole family loves us so much. Hermana Mora told us that they were going to fast and pray so that my companion and I would not be changed in the next transfer...WHICH IS NEXT MONDAY! AH!

My old companion, Hna D, went home because she was sick :(. It reminded me that things in the mission can change so fast, and that I should be more grateful for my health and ability to work all the time!!

I got stranded on a step one night this week when there was an enormous rainstorm. We were walking to an appointment, and I looked 10 feet in front of me and saw this HUGE wave of water tumbling down the stairs....that were actually more like waterfalls. I had 2 seconds to decide what to do, and I hopped onto a step and Hna Q hopped into a store. I should have done the same, because eventually the water swept over my step and my feet were soaked...AGAIN. I should just carry a canoe instead of my water bottle. That might be more efficient.

Yolanda and Rosalba - Yolanda changed houses and now no longer lives in our area, and Rosalba is continuing to avoid us. Ouch. We just want to talk to her! But we feel like she is hiding!

Saul - He went to church by himself, and showed up 5 minutes early!!! SO PROUD OF HIM!!!! When we went to visit him this week, we found him in a state that was less than desirable....we were really disappointed and felt like our hearts broke a bit. But people do not change overnight, and the plan of salvation is all about repentance! We are working really closely with him this week, because he needs a strong foundation to lean on right now.

Norma and Abby - Norma has a new enthusiasm and respect for the Book of Mormon! She is going with us to activities and is always trying to arrange her schedule so we can visit her! Abby is working all day, every day, but does her best to get to her house as fast as she can once we are there! They are sisters BTW. But I have seen a huge change in Norma, and it is so exciting!!!! She is also super small hahah every time I go to hug her, I crouch over like the Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Diana - a new investigator! We talked with her on Friday, and then again on Sunday with her husband. The parents of her husband are members, and Diana listened to missionaries when she was in the US! Her son was actually born in Michigan, so that was kind of cool. ALSO, her and her husband are actually legitimately married!!!!! YAYYYYYY!! For once!!!!!!! When we visited them on Sunday, we invited them both to be baptized, and they both accepted! It feels so good to teach when people are actually paying attention and are asking questions! The lesson with them was so great!!!! Yay for good lessons!!!

Mexico is great! The sights, sounds, smells, I love it all. I love being a missionary and being able to feel an enormous love for the people here!!! I KNOW with my whole heart that Joseph Smith restored the gospel to the earth in final days, and I KNOW that if we do our best to live the principles of the gospel, we can be eternally happy. What more could we want?

Love, Hermana Westergard

learned how to make pastes!!!!

interesting sweetish tortilla maza chip thing...not that great hahaha 

the Mora Beltran familia who are SOSOSO good to us!!! 

Our district with Hna Maria Elena (Elder Wallace from Utah, Elder de la Hoz from Columbia, Elder Ureta from Chile and Elder Pech from Mexico) 

Happy 8 Months from Hna Q!

We went with an hermana to help us with our clothes this morning and she made us this huge banquet of empanadas with fresh orange juice and salsa de chile verde y seco. And it would not be complete without crema!

Raisin Toes

Happy Independence Day!!!!!!! from Mexico

Today is Mexico´s 4th of July! We have to be in our houses early today and cannot leave until 12 tomorrow because things are probably gonna get a little rowdy! But there are flags everywhere, pinwheels, and tons of red, white and green!

Raisin toes because this week there was SO much rain and my shoes were like little reservoirs of water for my feet. So gross to walk with the squishsquishsquish and the water is running down the streets from who knows where washing everything that was in the street into my shoes. Yum. No wonder they smell bad.

This week was a little rough. Hermana Q has been stressing a lot and has been really indecisive about things, so I feel like I have been leading us and am basically always making the ultimate decision. But there are 2 of us for a reason! Because we need to consult on things to decide what to do! Lots of appointments have been falling though and our plans always seem to go up in flames. We are companions though and need to figure out what to do together! It isn´t the group of Hermana Westergard!

This week was also interesting, everything just seemed like a little bit of a fiasco. Meeting interesting people, being told interesting things, stuff like that.

We were walking down the street and there was a strange old man was hobbling to a bus stop. I felt kind of bad for him, so I tell him Buenas Tardes (Good Afternoon) as we walk by. Then - slowly as a snail - his face all contorted, he turnnnnnssssss sssllloooowwwwwllllyyyyyy as he uses a pillar to help himself turn all the way around and yells GUERRAAAAAAAA (WAR). I did not quite know what to we just keep on walking but Hna Q could not contain herself and lost it laughing. hahahah it was really funny in the moment, more difficult to explain.

We were walking to another appointment and met an old lady struggling up a hill. We walked and talked with her a little, and she asked us to go with her to her house because she was scared to go by herself. Her husband drinks a lot. I do not know why exactly, but for some reason we went with her....and she lives down this little dark alley. Following behind Hna Q, I just start praying and praying in English in my head. I think it is the first time I have prayed in English on my mission.....but my heart was going a million miles per hour. Her husband was passed out and she starts running away and we run with her too! Never returning to that alley again! We want to help and comfort her...but I do not think that going to her house to protect her from her husband is the best idea.

I love being able to see that we are being guided by the Spirit!!! Sometimes when plans fail, other opportunities open up that we would not have had otherwise, if our original plans had followed through. Everything happens for a reason! I know I cannot always see right away what the reason is, but there is always a reason!

There was a Noche Mexicana (Mexican Night) in the stake center and there were HUNDREDS of people there. We all got tickets for food, and got to go around and fill our plates with all types of Mexican things! Empanadas, gorditas, enchiladas, tacos, tamales, the whole shebang. I also met the wife of my uncle´s mission companion who lives in Xalapa! Such a small world!

Some goals: be more efficient! We only have these hours in the day once! We need to make the best of them! Also, find friends for our converts so they will be more willing to go to church things and can stay active!


We had an interesting lesson with a Jehovah´s Witness, but Hna Q was totally prepared and the lesson was cordial and friendly! So grateful for Hna Q´s knowledge!

Some old investigators, Abi and Norma, went to church with us this week and loved it! We are going to continue working with them more!!! Super excited!!

I LOVE YOU ALL!!!! So grateful to be here!!!

Love, Hermana Westergard

ENORMOUS spider outside the church

 Familia Bello Soliz whom I LOVE 

walking into the distance lol 

fatfatfat baby and Raquel(an investigator)

Friday, September 12, 2014

September already???

Wow. The mission really is flying by. I have officially been in Mexico for 6 months! And it is September. I feel like the year is winding down and next thing I know it will be Christmas! Trying not to think about it too much though.

We had a conference with presidente this week, and it was amazing!!!! I love Presidente and Hermana Greer, we can feel their love for each one of us and we know that they have their whole hearts in this work with us! We had little workshops and Hermana Greer basically does not know any Spanish so she kind of unofficially dubbed me as translator for my district....I did my best! Something that we have always done in teaching is explaining the Trinidad (Trinity) as the first thing - Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost. BUT, Presidente explained that we should teach as it is in PMG, and the Trinidad is not a part of the no more of that! He also explained that the work of salvation has 3 parts: missionary work, retaining converts and reactivating less-actives. AND we ALL have a responsibility in the work of salvation!! They really want us to animate the members, get them excited to work with us! The more of us involved, the better it will be!


The weather here has been absolutely nuts. Literally from sun shining that I got sunburnt to torrential downpour and the streets are rivers in 3 minutes. When that happens, we just need to accept the fact that we are not going to be able to keep the shoes dry and onward we plunge into the COLD street rivers. I am getting better at jumping though to try to avoid the deepest parts. One morning when we went running, I saw this lightening storm move from our area across the valley, it was so cool!!!! Every morning running, I get to watch the sunrise. Perks of getting up at 6:30 every morning!

I ate haba beans. They are realy good hahah not sure what they are called in English.

I wiped out 5 times in one was not the best day of my mission and I think i lost a year of my life from each heart attack I had after I tripped and fell.

We are trying to teach more efficiently and more effectively AND we had 5 lessons in one day! A record! It feels so good to know that we are using time wisely and that we are making the most of the short time we have here!

My spanish has been feeling on and off lately. Hna Q told me that only about 5 out of 100 words that I say are a little off with the accent or are the wrong I guess that is not so bad! It honestly depends how tired I am. If I am tired....I basically feel like I don't understand anything. Trying not to let the physical part of my body have control over my ability to teach and testify!

I met my MTC companion's - Hna M - missionary mom!!! She lives here in Xalapa and Hna M told her to look out for me after her mission! This is such a small world!


Saul, Saul Jr and Irvin: we re-taught them the commandments because we feel like they are not sticking very well. Saul kind of confessed his love a little bit for Hna we are trying to figure out the best course of action to take from there. We also talked about the importance of reading the scriptures, because IT REALLY IS SOSOSSO IMPORTANT!!! And we know they are not reading them! We challenged them to 5 verses a day

Yolanda, Rosalba and Eduardo: Their family has basically given me the entire DL on crossing the border and the whole system of what happens after that. Their brother, Carlos, has gone like 4 times apparently...I am not sure how I should feel about that. Before crossing, you walk for 3 days and 2 nights in the desert and basically always people run out of water and almost die. But almost everyone I met knows someone who has or they have tried crossing the border. Yolanda is very pregnant and hormonal and kind of paranoid. She is convinced that a demon has taken over her son since he got baptized because apparently now he never listens to her....he seems the same to me hahaha. She also asked us if she absorbed the sins of the people who got baptized before her because the sins were washed away with the water. We re-assured her that she did not absorb their sins...but her questions was pretty legit I thought.. Rosalba still does not feel ready to be baptized. I think she is afraid because she has all these examples of people who were baptized and then fell away, and she told us that this is not a game for her. I am really glad she is taking it seriously, but I want her to be confident and have faith in herself!!! She is ready! She can be the example and strength for her family members who do not go anymore!

Pati, Rafa and Ana: We taught them all The Restoration, and Pati is very pensive still. She has depression, so that is really hard for her :(. She loves her kids so much, and they love the church! We are trying to help her see that this is a gospel of happiness and peace, and we know that it can bring her so much comfort!

Rubi: We have only taught her a little bit, but she is the neighboor of Yussy - who moved by the way :(. We are always teaching her in the street and there is tons of noise, so that is difficult but we make the most of the situation! She is 17, has a 1.5 year old baby and lives with her sister. She is super loving, and obviously wants the best for her baby. She is really sweet and so young! We invited her to an activity this week, so hopefully she can go to that!

Ituriel: went to stake conference with us! He is in a crazy program training to be in the proteccion civil, and his teacher is having them do injections in each other with NO experience. Things are very different here in Mexico. But he committed to pray about the things we are teaching, and thinks the Restoration makes a lot of sense! We met his sister too, she is 13, and she accepted a baptismal date too! It is always better to teach families!

Sorry if my email is so scrambled, never enough time for everything!

I love being a missionary and I know this church is true! I am so blessed to be able to serve here, meet these people, and share my testimony of the things I know to be true.

Love, Hermana Westergard


some of the hermanas at stake conference

the clouds in Xalapa are some the prettiest I have seen!

a floating lantern and the moon!!!! a picture perfect night

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


Buenas tardes! (Good Afternoon)

I honestly do not even know where to begin with this week. But I have seen the hand of the Lord in SO many different occasions!!! I feel SO loved, SO blessed, SO lucky to be here!!!!

Random things:

A kid asked me if I was a viejita.....or an OLD WOMAN....because my eyebrows are white. My eyebrows are not white! They are just really blonde and NO I am not an old woman. haahahah I did not know if he was talking to me at first because we were with an old lady, but then I realized it was directed at me. Ouch.

Ate mole enchiladas this week. I secretly love mole but I will never admit it to anyone here.

I think we almost got struck by lightning this week. We were walking, the sky was SUPER dark and the whole world was quiet. Really eerie. But we were walking and heard this snap, like an electrical socket or a whip or something and then everything was SO bright and then BOOOOOOOOMMMMMMM came the thunder. Hna Q and I looked at each other, kind of puzzled and then basically ran until we had something over our heads. Our hairs were standing on end and our hearts were going about a million miles per hour. Yep, the weather here is a little loco.

This week we are working on Diligence and Obedience. We also fasted this week for our investigators, because SO many of them are ready to be baptized!!!  They just need a little extra push! Being diligent while also being EXTREMELY hungry was really difficult....but we both maintained positive attitudes and we both have seen the blessings of being diligent and fasting! It is amazing to me when I can see the direct blessings of the things I am doing!!


Saul, Saul Jr and Irvin: Finally got confirmed! Little Saul still melts my heart with all his fat rolls and his excitement to go to Primary!! Saul is making huge strides too, and is trying every day to be a better dad and to take things more seriously! The Gospel makes miracles!!

Roosevelt - interesting man we met. He collects everything under the sun - skins, teeth, weird pictures. However, we can only visit him if we have someone else with us too!

Mara - member of the ward, left for the MTC this week! She went around with us one day to get used to the missionary life a little and we went to her farewell in the church. I cried saying my part to her, embarrassing because a girl called me out on turning wicked red. I cannot help it!

Lizbeth - really sweet 17 year old who works in a tienda (store). She does not know a lot about the Bible or anything, but thinks what we are teaching makes a lot of sense! She is really great! We are trying really hard to get her to church next week

Rafa (14), Pati and Ana(10) - family, their best friends are members and have gone to a ton of church things with them! The kids want to be baptized but their mom is a little less sure. She only rests on Wednesdays, so we are making plans to have an awesome lesson this week!!


Sunday was the biggest scramble ever! More scrambled than scrambled eggs. Our investigators, Rosalba, Yolanda and her son Eduardo, were planning to get baptized yesterday. The Elders went with us to their house on Saturday to do the interviews and kind of make them more excited, because they were having a lot of doubts. Y and R were both afraid of being baptized because they said if they were just going to sin again, then they were going to be more condemned if they were baptized. Both of the women were also feeling A LOT of guilt from things they had done in their past...they opened up to us and shared their burden. One of the major things we tried to emphasize is that with repentance and baptism, they can feel FREE from ALL of that weight! But I think to them, it sounded a little too good to be true. After their interviews though, Y and E were planning to get baptized yesterday and R this coming Sunday. They get to church and tell us that they still are not ready and it is better if they waited a little longer. Hna Q and I had just scrambled basically dragging Saul Jr and Irvin - tortillas and beans in their hands - to church so they could be confirmed. And then Y, R and E tell us this and its like a smack. We were SOSOSO excited for them and then they tell us no.

After this roller coaster of emotions in church, we tried doing some contacting and it went TERRIBLY. People were super rude and one man was just a huge grump and a closed door. He told us not to call him Hermano because we are not a part of his family and he only has 2 brothers. He also told us even if his wife was home (the person who we were trying to contact), that he would not let us into his house. He ALSO told us thank you very much for never coming to visit him again. OUCH OUCH OUCH.

THEN we get a call from our District Leader, and he tells us that we need to tell Y, R and E that they can be baptized that night. We felt like if we went and tried to tell them this, they would just feel super pressured and would close off even more. But the Elder told us this was not what he wanted, it was what the Lord wanted. Well, how can we deny that? I start praying in my head as we are speed walking to try to find a member who can go with us. It is always really good to have members because they can share their testimonies and add a new perspective in things. One thing leads to another and we end up at the house of the familia Bello Solís. They go with us and at first the lesson was SUPER awkward because none of us had planned for this! BUT THEN, it was all ok. It was one of the most spiritual lessons I have had my whole mission. I was crying, Hna Q was crying, the wife was crying and Yolanda was tearing up too. The Spirit was SO powerful and SO amazing. I believe I only felt a portion of the love that our Heavenly Father has for Y, R and E, and I could hardly speak because my heart was so full I thought it was going to explode. ULTIMATELY......Y and E were baptized last night at 8 and R is going to be baptized next week. This was truly a miracle. I KNOW that prayers are answered and that if we have REAL faith, ANYTHING is possible!!!!

I love you all!!!! I love being here! This church is SO true and it holds the keys to eternal happiness!!!

Love, Hermana Westergard

hahah the first step in the emergency sign in the church 

Yolanda and Eduardo got baptized!!! 

ran into some elders when we went grocery shopping