Tuesday, October 28, 2014

La mitad

Well that is it, half of my mission gone!!!!!! AAAAHHHH.

But first things first. I have been with the members a lot recently and they love seeing pictures,so sometimes I take my photo albums to their houses to share. And EVERY SINGLE PERSON goes on and on about how young my parents are. All of them!!! It is their first comment. I though Mom and Dad would appreciate that!

We had interviews with Presidente this week in our houses! That has never happened before....but I can see his reasoning for wanting to have interviews in the houses. To see if people are actually cleaning, if they have food and all that jazz. Hermana Greer made us these AMAZING oatmeal chocolate chip cookie bars with M&Ms. Totally a Mormon thing, but I was brought back to the US in the savory moments that I was enjoying my treat. And we now have a CO2 and gas detector! Yay!! We also have a bathroom on the middle floor of the house that we NEVER open the door too. In my almost 6 months in Xalapa, I have never, once, opened the door to this bathroom. Why? Because I was told through various sources that it is just full of spiders and cockroaches and bad smells. But that did not impede Hna Greer from throwing open the door to see what lurked behind the wood plank. GOOD NEWS!!! No Aragog spider from Harry Potter emerged....just a bunch of little ones that Hna Greer immediately squished. Yay for brave mission presidents!

The Spanish speaking missionaries have an English learning book they are supposed to be doing. I want to help Hna Q finish her book! I need to motivate her! Sooooo what do I do? I told her I would but her Chiles if she finished by the end of this transfer. And she has been cranking through it now and practicing her vocabs and everything!

So for 9 months in the mission...I took the typical pregnant picture hahha but the ball had little spikey things on it so my baby looked like it was supernatural or something. And I cut my hair! Myself! Just a little...like 3 inches off the end. I have anxiety just thinking about that.

An hermano from my ward wants me to marry his son.......it is difficult to escape those kinds of situations especially when you have crutches and cannot hobble away in a smooth manner. At our baptism also, the nephew of the investigator of the elders asked me my name about 15 times. And every time the answer is the same - Hermana Westergard. Ug. Then he asked me my number. I kindly told him that we have our cell phone for missionaries, and I gave him a Book of Mormon with the Elder´s number if he had questions hehehehe. He actually seemed interested though!

THEY ARE TAKING MY CAST OFF THURSDAY!!!!! YAYYYYY!!!! They told me I could start walking a little with my foot with the crutches. So that is the good news. Bad news is I might have Salmonella. Hahahaha not the best time in the mission. My fever was 39.1 Celsius which is like 102.3 Fahrenheit - forgive my spelling.

Hermana Quiñonez is the funniest person to watch kill cockroaches hahahaha every time she is screaming and screaming and screaming and I am dying from laughter. But this week she killed another one and with one swipe of the broom she chopped off its head! AND....it was still moving the next morning. I dont know how....but I can believe that cockroaches have been alive since the time of the dinosaurs. Hna Q asked me if I thought the body could reunite with the head...I told her I doubted it but if the head was still moving more than 15 hours later, I do not doubt anything.

Elsy got baptized this week!!! She was so excited, so sweet, so perfect! We borrowed a white dress from a member and we even made sure the water was warm for her! The next day, another girl was getting baptized and Elsy was encouraging her! Telling her that when she entered the water she would be able to feel the Spirit and she would be so happy. MY HEART MELTED!!! Her family went too, and they are all less active. But her grandma and mom were both crying and it was just very emotional and spiritual and amazing!! Our whole entire district baptized this week!!!!

These past couple of weeks have been really hard for Hna Q and me because all of our investigators are dying. We are trying SO hard to contact all the references we have, but people either are not there or do not want anything. But after MUCH prayer and LOTS of hope, Hna Q found a family!!! And all 3 accepted baptismal dates!!! Prayers are answered always! Sometimes we just need to wait a little.

I know this church is true. I know it with all my heart. There is no doubt in my mind that Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon through the power of the Spirit and I KNOW that our families can be together forever. That is why I am here! To share the little knowledge I have with the hope that I can bless the lives of others. Sending lots of love!!!!

Hermana Westergard

red pear


the pregnant photo

with all my babies

Elsy´s baptism!!
 These photos are from last week.
the pastel!!

 we made french toast for the zone

Monday, October 20, 2014

Mexican food is actully the best


Literally have eaten SO much this week. All the members feel bad for me because of my leg and want to show their love with the food! Carne asado, pastel decked out with flowers of chocolate and raspberries and blackberries and strawberries and it is like half a foot thick, churros, half of a huge platter of choco-flan, a whole chicken, tamales, elotes, cacalas...EVERYTHING. It is so delicious but so awful hahahaha because I want to eat it ALL and I am sitting doing NOTHING all day. I do not think I will every find a happy medium with this food. Still working on adding to my recipe book, and it is coming along quite nicely.

The members here - honestly - are SO amazing. I cannot even begin to describe how grateful I am for all they are doing to help us. We have had people to go out and work with us every day, and I go to the house of the Relief Society President or Hermana Fradaliz. So our area is not dying! But Hna Q is having some trouble right now because she is trying to contact people and they just are not interested. Sometimes I feel like the areas have ups and downs of progress and slumps, and we might be in a little bit of one right now. BUT we are not losing hope! We know there are people ready and waiting to listen to us! We just need to find them! Motivation to contact ALL of our references. Because people are waiting and ready!!!! There always are! I have also been getting along a lot better with our ward mission leader! I would even go as far to say that he is my..........FRIEND :). Another prayer that has been answered!!! He is super enthusiastic, and is willing to help and wants to help our converts. I would even go as far as to say that he is......GREAT!

The daughter of Hna Fridaliz is named Lani Alisa. And I have always felt a connection with her, but I found out her 2nd name is Alisa! Basically like my name, Eliza! She found out too, and was super pumped. We are gonna be lifelong friends, yes, me with this 7 year old.

Something that I have experienced - being with the members all day - is seeing their way of family life and how great they actually are. Seeing how ready they are to fulfill their callings, to serve others and to go out of their way to help random people. These members really are examples for me! I have been talking a little with the son - his name is Limi or something like that - of the RS president. He told me he is not sure if he wants to serve a mission... he has not told anyone else though. Not his parents, not his friends...I am pretty sure just me. I AM IN THAT HOUSE TO HELP HIM!!!! I have talked with him - when I can - about all the blessings I have seen from being on a mission. He is really struggling with his testimony in general, I asked him who gave us all our blessings, and he told me he didn't know. Poor kid. I am gonna help him though!

Jesus the Christ is amazing!!!! I recommend that all people should read it if they have not!

Norma: She was confirmed this week! Seeing her face beaming when the congregation confirmed her after she received the Holy Ghost was spectacular and beautiful, and I am so grateful that I have gotten to see this change in her. I love Norma!!

Elsi - a 9 year old who we found who´s mom is less active and who wants to be baptized! I met her on Sunday and she is cute and adorable and innocent and has such a sweet spirit. Hopefully we are going to baptize her on Sunday!

Random things from the week:

Wiped out walking up the stairs of the church on Sunday in front of everyone...the worst!!!!! I hate having attention on me and then I fall in front of everyone and ALL the attention is on me. Ug. Needy American sister missionary.

I was hobbling up the stairs in our house and I felt something fly into my head and bounce off of it. I turn to look what it was and it was.......A COCKROACH. GROSSBARFVOMIT. I almost fell back down the stairs when I realized what it was. Then there was the whole experience of screaming and dying of laughter as Hna Q killed it with the broom hahaha and I almost fell down the stairs again because of the laughter. Overall....a very humorous experience hahahaha

Miss you all and love you lots!!! I celebrate 9 months in the mission on Wednesday....half of my mission gone just like that! AHH!!!!

Love, Hermana Westergard

 my enormous platano macho

Hermana Greer loves me!!!
Tamales and cookies I made/one given to me as a gift hahha

Monday, October 13, 2014

Week 2 as cripple


How has another week already gone by so fast?!?!?! I honestly feel like my life is flashing before my eyes.

Something I forgot from last week, hahah always forgetting things. There was a recent convert watching conference with us, he is from Canada. After the session ended, he just blurts out "Will the Holy Ghost ever get a body?!?!?! It just does not seem fair!!!!!" Actually a very legit question, and we all kind of sat there in silence for about 10 seconds hahah because no one knew what to say. I was not even sure if he actually spoke English, or was just someone who talked with the missionaries because he wants to practice. But yes, he has a point!

 This week, lots and lots and lots....add in about a million more lots...of studying!! I am currently in page 200ish of Jesus the Christ, and I have bipolar phases of thinking it is interesting or not, but I am making my way through it! I have actually learned lots of great stuff from it. How Jesus` name was Jehovah before he came to Earth, and all the reasons and background and ties interlinking that name with other names for Christ. Very cool! I have always been working my way through my Spanish grammar book, but honestly the best way to practice Spanish is to be out in Mexico talking with everyone! When Hna Q comes to get me at the end of the day and we go back to the house, I feel a little like a deranged BYU student leaving the library after hours of studying on the first floor - where there are no windows or light or service or anything - and escaping into the brisk night where I realize there is a world beyond where I am. I haven`t quite lost it yet though!!

Presidente Greer changed our teaching model, now it is not so much of a model but we need to know all that we can and then fill in the blanks of our companion when we are teaching if we feel like something is missing. I am super excited for this new way, because we are going to know the doctrine and scriptures and EVERYTHING like the back of our hand! So ready to be a spiritual giant!!

I have been staying with the Relief Society President - Hna Angelica - every day this week. She is so amazing, truly a saint!!!! Her daughter just left for her mission in the north of Mexico, and she misses her a lot...she always seems to be crying with me hahaha but I do my best to help her focus on happy things of the mission! It could be possible that I was meant to stay here a little longer to help her out, who knows.

We had a meeting with one of the APs and it was so inspirational!!! He told us to treat every Sunday like it was out last Sunday in the mission. AMEN. We will never get this time back!!! Every single minute is SO precious!

Had my appointment with the doctor this week and they told me they should be able to take off the cast in the 1st or 2nd week of November. So close...yet so far away.

GUESS WHATTTTT!!!! Norma got baptized on Sunday!!!!!!!!! We met with her during the week and she told us that she wanted to be baptized, but was afraid to because her sister gives her money for her daughters - and her sister is very Catholic. But we told her she should pray about it and put her trust in the Lord, because he always helps us find a way to do the right things. After praying, she knew she needed to be baptized and we had her amazing baptism on Sunday! One of my favorite things to do is ask how they feel after, and the answer is ALWAYS that they feel so good, and they have a smile of peace and love and happiness. I LOVE IT SO MUCH. Norma looked like a new woman, her spiritual light was shining and I feel so blessed and lucky to be a part of her life and to see this amazing change she has experienced.

I love you all!! Thank you for your support!! The work is moving forward here in Mexico, and I have definitely seen miracles this week! I love this Gospel with all of my heart!!!

Love, Hermana Westergard

beautiful foot 

Norma´s baptism!!

partially decorated cast 
da zoneeee

Monday, October 6, 2014

Week 1 as a cripple

Buenas tardes todos!!

Turns out that criple is not the word for cripple in spanish....but I have made it a word with Hermana Q and it is now a part of our spanglish dictionary...YAY!!

Some random things that I forgot from last week...
When it rains here - as I have said before - the streets turn to rivers. And the huge busses and taxis seem to make it a game to spray the innocent sister missionaries in skirts. Well we were walking to the comida one day and I was doing my best to avoid the massive puddles that sink down to who knows where. All of a sudden, I hear Hna Q start screaming random things that I cannot really understand, and I look up and see this massive bus careening towards us, with every intention to spray us with disgusting water. I was currently drinking water, but I let out this gurgled scream - somehow managing not to drop all the water in my mouth - and we start speed-walking/slipping/sliding to get around a corner for protection as fast as we can. AND WE MADE IT! Definitely was not the best day to wear a white skirt. Blessings are blessings, no matter how small. And that little corner was an enormous blessing.

I told someone that I was a black belt in karate. I do not remember who...but now it seems like EVERYONE knows.  And the elders are always asking me if I fought before the mission. NO I did not fight people and I quit karate when I was 14 hahaha so I hardly remember anything. But apparently it is still a really cool thing.

So life as a cripple:
I got to use an electric wheelchair when we went to Walmart to get groceries!!!! Initially it was really fun and I thought it was cool until I realized that it made this BEEPBEEPBEEP sound when I backed up. Nope, not cool anymore.

Showering is a workout. It is like intense yoga, balancing on a slippery floor while trying to keep water from running into the cast at the same time.

The members here are so amazing. I really am convinced that I am in the best ward in the whole mission. O. definitely has my heart! The hermanas have been able to bring the comida to our house every day, and we have been able to find people to do divisions with me and Hermana Q every day!!! So our area is not suffering!!! It is kind of hard for me though, because Hermana Q tells me about all the stories from when she is teaching and I MISS IT!!! Cannot wait to get back out there in the streets!!! I go with Hermana F every day, and she has 3 daughters - 12, 7 and 4. I have made about 100 fortune tellers and have had my fortune told about 6 million times....but they love them and I figure I might as well put my limited origami skills to good use.

Norma - SHE WENT TO GENERAL CONFERENCE AND LOVED IT!!!! Hna Q was teaching her this week, and she told her that she had prayed and knew the Book of Mormon was true! She told us that she would go with us to conference, even if her sister did not. And she did! It is amazing this change I have seen in Norma. I remember the first time I saw her, I was companions with Hna M, and she told me that Norma did not want anything. And now, she is reading the Book of Mormon every day and is getting ready to get baptized on Sunday! Proof that it may not be someone´s time in the moment, but it does not mean that it will never be their time! I love Norma!

I have realized something that I have needed to learn here in the mission is patience. Now, more than ever, I need to take things SUPER slow. I never would have thought that I needed more patience with myself! But amen, it is true. I am noticing the little things again, the small blessings and remembering the small yet CRUCIAL reasons that I decided to serve a mission. This foot broke for something, now I just need to find what that something is.

I FINISHED DOCTRINE AND COVENANTS!!!!! FINALLY!!! I was kind of losing focus after reading for 3 hours, so I started reading out loud and it was SO POWERFUL! Yes, I cried sitting alone at my desk. It is beautifully written, and there is so much for us in the words! Especially sections 122 and 123. Absolutely golden. Another thing that was really powerful was a part that says that Hyrum Smith was recognized by the Lord for the integrity of his heart. How powerful is that? I want to be like Hyrum Smith. Now I am on to Jesus the Christ.

General Conference was spectacular also!!!!!!! My favorite talks were from Elder Holland in the Saturday afternoon session and Elder Bednar in the Sunday Afternoon session. I always love Holland because I feel like he is talking directly to ME from his heart. I know we have a responsibility to help others. We need to act NOW to help them! And Elder Bednar was point on when he said we want to share the gospel because - like his son - we want to share what has helped us when we were hurting. The gospel of Jesus Christ can ALWAYS bring that relief, no matter the circumstance!

I learned so much this week, and am wicked excited to learn even more and be spiritually fed - haha also fed physically because the hermanas give us pity food, voy a engordar. (I'm going to get fat) I love this church, and I know our leaders are inspired to lead us. I am so grateful for them! I love being a missionary in this work, I love my companion and I love the scriptures!

Love, Hermana Westergard

We are an interesting sight hahahah

  new agenda!

 me and my new minion friend....we have had lots of time to talk these past couple of days

not quite sure how but this bruise is growing up my toes

Thursday, October 2, 2014

A little bit late


Sorry this is a little late! Presidente said we could email a little more today since our p-day was all messed up thanks to me! The day was literally a fiasco. I was supposed to be transferred to Martinez de la Torre, but then we were speed-walking back to our house and I do not know HOW but my foot twisted and I heard a POP. Hna Q heard it too and looked at me and asked me - with a hopeful tone in her voice - if it was my shoe. Nope, definitely not my shoe hahaha I looked down and saw this growing bulge in the side of my foot. I thought to myself - well that is not normal - but I did not want to make a big deal about it so I tried to continue walking. That did not go too well, and we ended up taking a taxi back to the house and then went and met Hna Greer at the hospital. I can barely understand hospitals in English, and in Spanish hahaha LESS. All in all, I fractured my foot and I need to go back every 2 weeks for x-rays and to see how it is healing. SO I do not know how much longer I will be in Xalapa, but here till further notice. Side note....my armpits are totally bruised. Our bathroom is upstairs in the house, I re-think 5 times if I REALLY need to use it or can wait, because climbing those stairs is like fear factor every time. BUT STILL ALIVE AND IN ONE PIECE! :)

This week:

I made tortillas by hand! They ended up being really ugly and all folded over....I guess I need more practice.

I started my recipe quest!!! I am slowly accumulating the delicious recipes of Mexico. hehehe

We had divisions on Friday with the sister training leader. I never want divisions, because I am used to my companion...but I always end up learning so much!!!! I was with Hna M from Honduras and she is SO great. She had some type of virus and is decently sick, but we still went out to work. She is super bold and confident, and not afraid to talk in any situation! They do not have a lot of progressing investigators, so we tried a lot of contacting and finding new people. It was not super successful, but I tried to keep a good attitude! She asked my how I was always so happy all the time....I told her I just try to look for the little things in life that I love! Like the stars. She said she was going to try to do that too.

I am finally starting to get along a little bit better with the ward mission leader! But, Sunday he was trying to get my attention, and sometimes in Mexico when people want your attention they splurt out whatever phrase they know in English. His phrase was "Come on Baby" with a wiggle of his finger. I turned so red and my mouth dropped. I WAS NEVER EVER EXPECTING TO HEAR THAT COME FROM HIS MOUTH EVER. But I am trying not to let that affect our progress.

General Women´s Conference was SO GREAT!!! I love temples. I love seeing them, thinking about them, hearing about them. I love it all!! I loved President Uchdorft´s quote "He loves you today and always." I know that is true! Our Heavenly Father loves us no matter the circumstance. We must never forget that!!


Abi and Norma: They are reading and praying about the Book of Mormon! They have felt it is true!!! BEST FEELINGS EVER when people do the things we invite them to do, because it really works!

Ituriel: He and his little sister went to church with us on Sunday! He also has been reading and praying about the Book of Mormon and HE ALSO KNOWS THESE THINGS ARE TRUE!!!! When he told us - same as Abi and Norma - I basically did a little jig in my seat. SO HAPPY when people feel for themselves that they have gotten an answer!!

Guadalupe: We recommitted her to baptism and she is going to come to church with us next week! She was never baptized, and wants to know for certain that these things are true. We need to animate her a lot, but she has a real desire to know the truth!

I love you all! Happy to be here in Mexico and I am so blessed to be here in this ward, because the members are GREAT. They help us so much and love us a ton.

Love, Hermana Westergard

what we thought would be the last district class picture

 bistec Mexicana - yes i do have the recepie hehehe  

a bear that somehow shows up in all places in our apartment

with Raquel and her sister Liz

 da foot 

the elders brought us tacos because we can´t leave...very nice of them!!

more bear hahaha