Monday, November 17, 2014

Back at it


HAHAH THE HNA MORA!! I cannot express my love for this family

me and Elder Dean being cool

 i love these girls!!!(Brenda is a member behind us, Hna Braun, Hna Martinez de Honduras y Hna Quiñonez)
Brrrrr my fingers are frozen I don't know if I will be able to type this email. Just kidding I will be able to write it.....but my fingers are definitely icicles. Who would have thought that Mexico could get so cold! I wear 2 coats every day and can see my breath at night. Definitely was not prepared for this. But it is better than using my sweat rag! I reminisce on my Papantla days because Hna Hidalgo served there too! So whenever we find a hill that is somewhat steep and large, we just look at each other and say Papantla.

SO MUCH THIS WEEK I DONT KNOW WHERE TO BEING! I write little notes in my agenda to remind me what I want to say, and I have gotten to the point where I use colors and A, B, C to help me organize my thoughts while I am writing. This is intense stuff.

So I am now in Museo! Still in Xalapa, more near the trees, and more big hills here. There is a freeway type thing that we always walk on called Ruiz is way better to walk on it at night because there are cars somewhat and some lights. It gets dark here around 6 so we are just super cautious in the 3 hours of darkness that we are out and about working. My companion has had some really bad experiences in the mission with creepy men and she is kind of paranoid and super cautious too. There are also some protests and stuff going on because people are not happy with the government, there are people disappearing (mostly the college students who are protesting), and there are these Veracruz games (which are like the Olympics but just for Latin American countries and the Caribbean). Sooooo things are just kind of all over the place right now!!!

After that rant:
I only cried a little a lot leaving Hermana Quiñonez. She is definitely one of my best friends and an incredible person. I am going to miss her so much!!! Luckily, my new companion is also so great! She is from Chile, and was born where my dad served his mission! All these little connections are so cool!! Hna Hidalgo is super humble, and when she teaches, her love and sincerity are undeniable. I am super excited for this change! I remember sitting with her when we first got to Mexico and we were saying the words of the things on the table because we did not know hardly and Spanish. AND LOOK AT US NOW. Conversing every day! So cool how we both have grown! My new house is less humid...which is good because I found mold in a bunch of my clothes when I was packing. Gross. Also no hot water but we have a water resistor? I don't know the name exactly but you put the rod in the bucket of water and it heats it right up! Not so bad. 

I am the compañera mayor! It feels weird to be mayor, but I like it. I feel more responsible and like I am guided more. I don't know how to describe it really, but Hna H and I work so well together! We are the same, except I have the keys and the phone. One of the first things I noticed when I got here are the neighbors. They loved Hna Chandler - Hna H´s pervious companion. They are investigators, and kind of see me as replacing the other missionary. I am trying to gain their love though and I think it is working! I charmed them over when I showed them the excellent fart sounds I can make with my hands and mouth. Poco a poco hahaha little by little.

So many interesting and new people I have met this week:

Carmen - an old lady we contacted in the street. SHe emerged from her house when she heard us banging on the door of someones house trying to get their attention. Her mom sold her blood because she couldn't find work and had 4 kids to feed. So sad :( We are going to talk with her tomorrow!! SHe is a feeble old lady, and we were talking with her and a bug landed on her door. All doors here are made out of metal. She looks at it for like 2 seconds, winds her hand back and SMASHES it with all her little old lady strength. Her house basically shook hahahaha it was so much strength for such a small thing. Hna H and I just lost it hahaha then she laughed with us. I love old people!!

Maria - lived in England for 30 years, her husband is currently in Thailand in their house there and is an Oxford graduate. They have a ranch in France, she met Princess Diana in the flesh, survived cancer by drinking these natural remedies with iodine, and knows the Book of Mormon is true. Wow.

Don Toño - man we contacted. Contacting will always be awkward hahah but you just gotta embrace it. We were talking with him, had a great lesson and I was just starting to explain about Joseph Smith and the First Vision when....HIS DAUGHTERS WALK IN. We thought they wanted to kill us for a little but we just kept on talking and smiling and being as charming as we could. We all ended up laughing and talking at the end, and we have another appointment to visit them this week!

Lorena - investigator of the elders, but they gave up because she was being floja and said we could teach her if we wanted. We went to talk with her and FOUND THE ROOT of her doubts. First she was saying that she didn't understand that babies don't need to be baptized. But after talking more and more, she tells us she wants to experiment things - like drugs and alcohol. THE ROOT. We left her with a chapter to read about faith, and bore tons and tons of testimony about the importance of not doing that stuff. And she went to church with us on Sunday!

Talked with a crazy, cranky Catholic cahoon. My attempt at alliteration, i am not quite sure what cahoon means. He is a man though. He cut us off every moment we tried to say ANYTHING and refused to listen to our words even though even the densest of people could not deny what we were saying. Not going back with the interrupting igloo. Igloo because his heart is so hard we cannot get through. Tal vez, no es su tiempo.

Saturday - Very interesting day. The Hna for the comida was LITERALLY piling food onto our plates. Literally. My plate was half full of rice and she piled on 2 scoops more and 3 more of beans. So. Full. I never really experienced that before. We totally saw the hand of the Lord guiding us too!!!! It is so cool to see that. We were just walking, and a woman walked out of her garage and into her house. We said Buenas Noches as we walked by. We kept on going and then we hear someone calling us. We go back, and she asked us if we teach about the Bible and says she wants to meet with us. WOW. We are meeting with Cindy on Thursday!

Sunday - One of the days where you do everything you can and work so hard, but nothing goes your way. We looked and looked for hours for people, nada. Starving, we went to the comida and what was it? PANSITA NOOOOOOO MY WORST ENEMY AND NIGHTMARE AAAAHHHHHHHH. Pansita with rice and tortillas. Luckily, we were eating with the elders and they saved us. They offered to wash the dishes and they stealthily dumped it in the drash while we sang with the hermana. They were able to eat theirs, with about 10 tortillas each, but we just couldn't. I tried...i got about 2.5 pieces down. We feasted on mandarinas for lunch instead. A little old lady with Alzhiemers also told me I was gigantisma, and gave me about 30 kisses. She was adorable.


Love, Hermana Westergard

last platanos capeados :( with Hna Angelica and Hno Lucio


Hna Hidalgo introduced me to CHURROS

my new view


yeah we cook

 (apparently eggs with pasta is a Chilean thing)

Monday, November 10, 2014

Goal making is the name of the game

This week was so great!!!  It was so inspiring, so motivating, I feel like a new missionary!

So today we found out transfers!!! ANDDDDDDDDD I am still going to be in Xalapa! I thought for sure I was gonna be sent to Martinez de la Torre, but I am still in Xalapa! Just going to a different Zone.  My new ward is Museo and my zone will be Estacion. I honestly cannot believe that I will still be here! My new companion is Hna H, from Chile! She is from my generation also! I always seem to be with people from my generation, I actually love it! I have also spent a day with her before, and she is super sweet. And, I am not going to be too far from Hna Q, so I am still a happy camper! 

This week I have thought a ton about goals and commitments and how we can achieve our goals. We had a really inspiring zone class, and they talked a lot about what we need to do to achieve those things. I am so grateful to have great leaders who care so much about us as missionaries and want to see our success in the mission. They want to see us happy! I know I need to testify with all my heart, that if I do that, people cannot deny what I am expressing to them. ALSO, I know if people do these things that we invite them to do, they will be blessed! I know if they do these things, things will work out! It just takes that little leap of faith on their part, and I need to be there helping them take that leap, leaping with them. And that is what I am here trying to do! Gain their confidence so they can make that leap of faith! They need to desire to do that for themselves though. It was also the last zone class for Elder de la Hoz and Elder Dean. They were both such great missionaries and everyone was getting a little emotional at the end. We sang God Be WIth You Till We Meet Again obviously and Elder de la Hoz could not even sing he was so choked up.I JUST LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!!

We had a great planning session this week! I LOVE PLANNING!! I always feel so good after and we always have tons of ideas and new motivation. Planning is so great! We made a game called la papa caliente, or hot potato. We picked a number between 1 and 10 and whoever chose the number got to pick a family. That family now needs pray and think about to whom they can give a Book of Mormon to someone this week. And then the next Sunday, they get to chose the next family! WE ARE SO CREATIVE!!!!

I FINALLY FINISHED THE 42 POINTS!!!! Now I can finally move on and study what I want to hahahaha

There was a missionary musical this Sunday and it was beautiful! The missionaries from another zone prepared this whole program and I cannot describe how loving it was. I can guarantee that every person there felt the Saviors love at some point or another. I also got to see my friend Elder Woodward! He didn't know I broke my foot hahaha he was in shock when he saw me.

Reymundo does not want anything, he canceled his lesson with us. :(

We have a new investigator named Monse! SHE IS SO PERFECT! She is the friend of a member. and her friend was able to be in the lesson with us. I finally got to go out and teach a little this week, and the lesson was beautiful. The Spirit was testifying, she was asking lots of questions, and had so much to say. Lessons like these are my favorites. It is what makes being a missionary worth it.

I wrote a letter to my former non-amigo the ward mission leader since we had changes. Something I was really working on my whole time here was loving him. Trying to put his schedule first so that he could help us. And I wrote him a little note, thanking him for everything he does. I know that a lot of people kind of forget about the work that he does. But I let him know that I do notice, and I am very grateful for it all. He called me today to thank me for the letter! I also wrote that we weren't friends in the beginning, but I am glad to say I would consider him my friend now, and he told me that we were friends now also. He asked when was the next time we were going to eat at his house and I told him I was being changed, and he was like DONT TELL ME THAT!!! I told him we would see each other again someday :) whether here in this life or after. I am so grateful we got to be friends, and I am SO grateful for his work in his calling.

Never would have thought that I would be cold and have goosebumps here in Mexico. But at night I sleep with 2 blankets, sweatpants and a sweatshirt....and I am still cold. I am gonna die this next change

called tortillas negras tortillas azules....BECAUSE THEY LOOK BLUE

trying to say the language mandarin en español pero dije mandarina...que es una fruta....sí los miembros empezaron riendose jajaja y yo tambien. WHY IS MY MISSION SO EMBARASSING

I unofficially have gastritis thanks to all the chile I have eaten and the antibiotics from my stomach infection. YAYYYYYY. I was kind of dying Saturday but I feel much better now. Hna Q has pills for it though so she has been sharing with me. Feeling a little better!

I love the mission! I know this church is true!

Love, Hermana Westergard

part of a shrine for the dead

 my zone!!!! i love them!!!!,

 hermanas in the zone

Elder Dean and Elder de la Hoz going home :(

familia Belo Solis, unas de mis favoritas!!!

their daughters Alison, Lani and Daira

a drawing Alison made of me hahaha

pan de muerto

 Kemish one of my favorite little chunkers

Wednesday, November 5, 2014


So.  Things are going a lot better physically! The antibiotics that the doctor prescribed for me worked magic, AND THE CAST IS GONE! I am like a whole new person!!! My leg is a little skinner, had A LOT more hair, has weird bruises whose origins I know not of, but it is without cast!!!!! It also looks like a shriveled raisin a little. Taking normal showers has never felt so good.

Random things:

The grandson of hermana Angelica whose house I stay at - Kemish - called me mama the other day.....yeah I have been at their house a lot. I told him he was mistaken and showed him where his real mom was hahaha. I have also been Helping hna Angelica prepare for her nighttime business. I have always been sitting in their house studying and working on other things, but I decided finally to help out and not just be a studying couch potato. For cacalas, you need to shred the chicken by hand into teeny tiny pieces, and she hates doing that. After doing it for her for 3 days, I hate it too. You sit at a table for probably 3 hours just shredding chicken, and more chicken, and more chicken. BUT I do it for her because I love her!!!

This week was Dia de los Muertos. People have decorated altars all over, dressed their kids up like the dead for school, and make lots and lots of pan de muerto. The altars have pictures of the person who died, foods that they like, pan del muerto and these orange flowers that are really popular at this time of year. Apparently, they think that the dead person eats the food, or at least feasts on the smells of the food. It is all very interesting. There are also some people that celebrate Halloween, but not a whole lot. And here, they get money! Not candy! Hna Q  was walking and saw some teenagers dressed up and she told them she liked their costumes. Hna Q also had a piece of cake, and the teenager did not say thank you or anything, only DAME TU PASTEL. Which means GIVE ME YOUR CAKE. Hahahahah obviously she did not give them her cake, and they told her they were gonna haunt her for the rest of her life. Dramatic teenagers who want cake are interesting.

I was studying the other day and dropped something under the table. I bent over to pick it up, looked at the underside of my table and found BOOGERS, smeared ALL OVER...with HAIR. Perfect way to start off my day. Some other hermana obviously was not focusing when she was studying. Bleh.

I could see my breath last night it was so cold. That was weird

I got to go to a Noche de Hogar with a missionary who got back from him mission on Wednesday!  And one of the first things he wanted to do was share a message with his friend. How great it he!!! The NdH kind of turned into a family council and the mom started crying and things were just all over, but all in all we set another date to visit them! The mom is really, super super Catholic, but she said we were angels sent to help them. If she has that opinion of us now, I know we can change her heart and help her see the peace and joy that the Gospel can bring! Miracles are possible with faith. If there is one thing I have a testimony of, it is that!

In church, another member said that me and Hna Q were a pair of angles. It is difficult for me to try to see us the way that the members see us, but if they have these huge expectations and opinions, I am not going to let them down! I bore my testimony in Relief Society on Sunday also. I was SO emotional. I have been here in Olivo for almost 6 months now, and I cannot describe the LOVE I feel for each of these members. THey are SO SO good to us. I cannot even begin to express my gratitude and how blessed I feel to be here. But I was a wreck and a lot of the members were crying right along with me. Transfers are next week, and I know I am gonna leave. THis place has become my home, the members here have become my family. I love them!!!! Getting so sad just thinking about leaving. Best to leave that to next week.

We are still working our butts off to find new people. It is rough, but every day we start out with the mentality that we will find the people who are waiting and READY to listen to us! We know they are out there!!!

We had a really powerful district class this week. Elder de la Hoz is going home next week, and it was more of a testimony meeting. Some of the elders in my district never seem to take things seriously, but I saw another side of the elders in the class. The majority of us had tears in our eyes. Elder de la Hoz also broke his foot in the mission, so he has sympathized a lot with me. I think I remind him a lot of himself hahaha. But the Spirit was amazing, and I am very grateful to be able to serve with missionaries who have such strong testimonies and who are out here for many of the same reasons I am.

The work is moving forward here in Mexico. Whether on crutches or in awkward lessons through gates, it is always moving forward. I am so grateful for this time to serve the Lord! He loves each one of us, way more than we can imagine.

Love, Hermana Westergard

Hna Q got creative with my toes

 Alondra ready for Dia de los Muertos


nervous for the saw

 Pumpkin someone brought to church

 an elder made me a caligraphy present 

 carne asado!!!