Tuesday, December 30, 2014

¡Feliz Navidad!


Well I had the WONDERFUL opportunity to talk with my family!!!! AAAHHHH I LOVE YOU GUYS SO MUCH!!!!! So that was the highlight of the week.

I love Christmas. Everything about it! The lights, the trees, the extra service, the cooler weather, families being more united, todo! I love it all! This Christmas was way different for me because...well.....1) I am in Mexico and 2) I felt like I experienced Christmas more in the way that it is meant to be experienced. Obviously, we did not have a whole bunch of presents or stocking stuffers or any of that stuff, but we got to enjoy the company of the members and of the other missionaries. It was so nice of the members to invite us to their homes to use their computers and give us a little of feeling like we were a part of their families :) I am so grateful for amazing members here in my mission!

BUT starting with Christmas Eve! We did not end up making tamales, we ended up making sandwiches hahaha but like 150 of them! We were a well oiled machine slabbing on mayo and then the cheese and then the jam and then the chiles. We also made atole and ponche. IT WAS FREEZING!!!!! We could see our breath, and my fingers turned into icicles, but it was so great! We ran out of food in like 20 minutes, there are SO many people there! The mission leader told us to sing in English so people would come to us hahahah and it worked! The people were obviously very grateful, I am so blessed that I got to help make their Christmas Eve a little warmer! I love the mission! It was a Christmas Eve I will never forget.

My companion and I also made chocolate chip cookies, the kind I always make in my house. We made a ton and put them in little baggies and gave them to members and investigators. They now think we are master chefs! Too bad my skills stop there.

Christmas, Hna Z and I opened out presents! I basically bought her a ton of American sweets in the supermarket and made her look the other way when I was putting stuff in the cart and then wrapped it all and put it under the tree. hahahahahahaha BUT she loved it all, so she was happy :) I feel kind of like her mom because I have 11 months in the mission and she only has 6! I also turn 21 in May - which is crazy to think about - and she just turned 20 in December. So I feel like a grandma compared to her in multiple ways. I made her hot chocolate and told her that Santa told me that he put 3 presents in the tree for her hahahaha I TRY :) We made a zone dinner with jam and mashed potatoes from the bag....it is the thought that counts!

This week was really rough to teach basically anyone because everyone left for their pueblos for the vacation. Pero vamos poco a poco. In the times where we did get to teach, I felt like a man with water in the desert hahaha sharing all my favorite scriptures and looking a little crazy I think. BUT IT FEELS SO GOOD TO TEACH!!! I love it!!!! I want to help these people enjoy all these blessings I have!!

We taught the non-English speaking missionaries to say ´This food is gross´ and ´not´ jokes in district class. For example, I want more food....not. We teach them well.

Coca-Cola is truly an addiction for the people here in Mexico. An hermano in the ward found a finger in one of the bottles, and he continues to drink it. I will never understand.

Hit my head really hard on a low roof that I always walk under. I kind of yelped Ouch and then almost fell off the curb and a large group of men started laughing at me. My companion also. Hahahahahahah I did too.

Carmen - her mom is still very Catholic, and still very much in her house. ug. We stopped by this week, and chatted with her a little bit and gave her a Bible we bought for her and the cookies we made. She was very happy :) and her daughters were ecstatic to see us too. She has still been reading the Book of Mormon and praying!!!!!!!! Now, it is just a waiting game it seems like to wait till her mom leaves her house.

Emmanuel - a chosen contact from like 4 weeks ago that we finally got to sit down and talk to!!!! His aunt is a member and his cousin was just married in the temple! What a small world! He is a great guy, and committed to read and pray about the church. We taught him in his mom´s house so it is a little tricky because he does not live there. But he is a genuine guy, and we are working out a time to meet with him this week!

Camilo - FINALLYYY!!!!! YAYYYYYY!!!!!! So Camilo is still all over the place attention wise. I am 100% positive that he has ADD and or ADHD. BUT his crazy aunt is finally leaving and I made a little connecting chart thing so he could choose who to give talks and prayers at his baptism. And he linked the names with the assignments and then asked the people if they could participate. SO NOW IT IS LEGIT!!! I love this little kid so much, I know it is going to change his life! We also made a prayer and scripture reading chart for Camilo!!! We went by his house on Sunday, and I found his notecard!!! AND IT IS WORKING! He is dutifully and diligently doing it. So proud of him!!! I really feel like his mom. But I love him!!!

Happy Holidays everyone!!!! Enjoy this time with your families!!

Hermana Westergard

Nativity set from the Christmas box that we painted

yummy pigs.....NAHT, 

service on Christmas Eve in the CEM


prayer notecard for Camilo

11 months

11 months in the mission today....wow...I am an oldy!!! Ug, no sure how I feel about that

My new companion is Hermana Zuñiga from Costa Rica! She is celebrating 6 months in the mission tomorrow....so I really feel old!! Lets see, Hna Z is really quiet. Almost to the point of shy. She is SUPER neat and clean, I feel messy next to her! She does not say a whole lot...but when she does it is always very sweet and heartfelt. This will be different for me, because all of my other companions have pretty much opened up to me with no problem but I feel like I need to work a little harder with her! Willing to do it though! I also am doing the majority of the talking, and I have seen how far my Spanish has come! WHICH IS SUCH A GREAT FEELING!!!!!!! Realizing I have had the potential this whole time, but I was just letting my companions do the talking. WHAT A MISTAKE! Well now I am basically doing all the contacting so I am making up for lost time!

We worked so hard this week. Sosossoso hard and NADA. Ug. Weeks like this are not my favorite. When we feel like we are doing everything in our power and then the only thing that comes from trying to talk to everyone and contact referrals is getting chased by crazy men in a car. BUT missionaries have super blessings and are very protected so we are VERY grateful for that! We know something will come of all this walking and talking with people....we just need to wait for the moment when the fruits will show.

Some good things I was reminded of in the zone class this week.....we need to work on being more efficient and more effective with our time. We are only here once! WE CANNOT WASTE IT!!! We need to seek revelation specifically for our investigators, with specific studies and specific prayers. This little things seem so obvious, but are SO IMPORTANT!!! And it is easy to get caught up in the mission cycle...but NO! We need to remember the little things.

Since it is Christmas time, it is a really special time in the mission. Everyone feels a little more love, a little nicer, and a little more open to talk about Christ. I am so grateful for the opportunity that I have to be here, to serve at this time, and to get to know some of God`s children in Mexico. I have felt God`s love for the people here, and it is something I cannot describe. I love it, it fills me with happiness and gratitude to be here during this time. I want - with my whole hear - to help people find peace and happiness. I know they can find it! I know I have the message that can help them find it. It hurts when we are rejected, because I know I have something that can bless their lives. But regardless, I cannot describe how grateful I am to be able to serve as a missionary here in Xalapa. I know this church is true, and I know that if we remain faithful to the teachings of Jesus Christ, we can have eternal happiness. I know it!!

The 24th is going to be AWESOME!!!!!!!! We are going to make 600 tamales and atole and pan with the mission leader and then we are going to go to a hospital and hand them out Christmas Eve!!!! Totally feeling the Christmas Spirit! Our mission leader is the BEST!!!!

Started a little yoga in the mornings, thanks Ruth!

We had a great Christmas Conference with Presidente Greer and all the zones in Xalapa. We sang, had a Yankee swap type thing, and sang some more. It was so great! I love Christmas!!!

I am the only American hermana in the zone again. YAY!!!!!

Maria - going to England because her husband is sick. He stepped on a poisonous fish bone or something in Thailand and now cannot walk. Poor Maria. She has suffered so much in her life, more than anyone should ever need to suffer. She saw children dying from hunger when she was growing up. I cannot imagine living through that. She has recognized the hand of the Lord in her life and knows the church is true. When she gets back, she is determined to get baptized. I doubt I will be here to see it though :(

Valeria - so sweet and so smart! We taught her the Plan of Salvation and she had so many questions! I love when people have questions because it shows that they are really listening! She wants her dad to baptize her...which is problematic because her parents are separated, her dad does not go to church and possibly living with another woman...we are working on that.

Sixto - new investigator and dead investigator all in one week. We contacted him from a reference, and were super excited to teach him. Went back for another lesson, and after almost 2 hours of talking and lots of scriptures later, he told us with his own words that he knows he is lost and wants to remain lost and sin. OK. Why didn`t you tell us 2 hours earlier!!!!!

Carmen - We finished The Restoration with Carmen and her daughters and they have been reading and praying!! That kind of news is the best news a missionary can hear!!! BUT after an AMAZING lesson, her mom showed up for a surprise visit. Her mom is wicked Catholic, and during the closing prayer she walked out of the house......AH. Opposition in all things! AND they did not go to church this week because her daughter is sick and having some kind of allergic reaction. But from what we can tell, her mom did not deter her interests or desire to be baptized. They love us though! We asked them when we could visit again and Melani started jumping around screaming TOMORROWTOMORROWTOMORROW. So happy she feels the same way I do!!

Merry Christmas everyone!!!!!!!!! Enjoy this time with your families, appreciate them for who they are!

Love, Hermana Westergard

                         my crazy zone - Elders in front this time and us being macho in back haha


                                                        this dog sleeps in the weirdest ways

                                              Maria from England 

                                            part of my district at the Christmas Conference!

the district!!!!

 Hna Zuñiga and me

11 MONTHS!!!!!


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Cambios temprano

We found out cambios last night! Hna H and I were both expecting for us to not have any changes...but wrong we were!! She is going to Martinez de la Torre and my new companion is Hermana Zuñiga....not quite sure how to spell her name and no one else here is either...it will be more accurate next week. I think she is from the Republica Dominicana?  She was supposed to be my companion for the cambio where I broke my foot but stayed in Olivo. SO obviously in one way or another, God wants us to be companions!

This week seemed like a break after everything we went though last week. It was like harvesting the seeds that we had planted. We found 9 new investigators, and people WANT to talk to us. The blessings always come, but in the Lords time.

Random thoughts:
Another person called me gigante.....gracias
I GOT MY CHRISTMAS PACKAGE!!!!! SO HAPPY!!!!! THANK YOU MOMMA!!!!!! :) Our tree now has lights and decorations - thanks to the members who feel bad for us and give us their extra ornaments. It is a beautiful tree though!!! Definitely feeling the spirit of Christmas!!!!
Maria took us to a restaurant on Tuesday.  The food was AMAZING. The steak was so soft your could cut it with a fork. Like wow. I forgot what it was like to eat meat like that..usually I am chewing for like 2 mins for each bite...I had just gotten used to that. But wow. My mind was blown by this place. Cheese fondue, Creme Brulee, the whole 9 yards. She loves us a lot! She still has not gone to church with us though because she is so old and sick and her bones cannot really handle the cold. But she wants to! I am so torn about what to do with her. She says that this year was really bad, but she knows that 2015 will be better and that is when she will start. I hope so! We also went to visit her another day and she went on a rant of showing us videos of moonwalking birds on youtube.....the poor woman it is what she does in her spare time. We tried telling her we are not supposed to watch videos, but she was very determined to show us these videos. If you wanna check out the videos....they are actually pretty cool hahaha Bird Dancing like Michael Jackson and Worlds smartest birdy with the Rechie Regodon.

We had our last district class this week and did a self evaluation of Christlike attributes. Then after we had a testimony meeting. I LOVE MY DISTRICT SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!! I learned a lot from each of the missionaries, and each one of them were a crucial part. I am gonna miss them. Something Elder Trimble said in the comida one time with us was ´Este es el mejor destrito que jamas he tenido en la mision´. I AGREE.

Ate a torta bigger than my hand. I surprised myself that I could finish it.

We did divisions this week. I went with Hna Duran in my area. I always dread divisions going into it because everyone is used to their companions, but I always end up learning so much and having a great time!!!!! With Hna Duran, I talked a TON more and initiated basically everything. Sometimes I fall into a cycle with my companions, they always kind of start things because Spanish is their first language. But something I realized....I CAN DO IT TOO!!! It is always a little nerve wracking, but I can do it!! I have lots of spiritual powerful stuff to say too!! YES. ADELANTE! Will initiate more!
A member told me that when I was giving my talk in church like 2 weeks ago, that the only thing I was missing was a pair of angel wings behind me. AAAWWWWWW :):):):):)
This week was the birthday of the Virgen Guadalupe. Me cae MAL. TONS of cuetes....which is like the explosion of the firework without the pretiness. And parades and cars all decorated with the Virgen and balloons and streamers and all sorts of stuff. The circles under our eyes are much deeper now. Thankfully, I will not be here for her next birthday

Carmen - SHE IS THE CHOSEN WOMAN!!!! We have a goal to have a bautimision in the week 4 - 11 of January. And she is IT. She is a single mom, with 2 girls - Melani and Erica. She has a lot on her plate, and I have already seen how the gospel has helped her be a little more calm, a little more patient, a little more.... a lot of good things. And she does not work Sundays!!!!! We are so blessed! We contacted her at a Christmas activity in the church, and we hit it off right away!

Ivanna - Got confirmed on Sunday and was in the Primary Presentation. :) so happy

Camilo and Lorena - Camilo was also in the primary program and he knew his part and all the songs and actions and everything!!! My heart was glowing. BUT Lorena is.......she has a lot of problems. And she is putting things in his mind....and neither of them want to be baptized now :(. We tried talking with Lorena, I have literally poured everything I have in my heart into teaching her...and she is still being stubborn. I started bawling, I have never really felt that before in the mission. But I was just so sad. I did everything I could...but it still was not enough. I love those 2 kids so much. More than I can describe.

Valeria - a miracle child! Through blessed and inspired planning, we found her in her house finally! And her mom! Who is never there and works 6 to 12 AM. It was amazing how guided we were by the Spirit. She can be baptized next Sunday!

Love you!
Hermana Westergard
Norma went to the temple!!!!
CAMILO my gordito
 restaurant with Maria!!

the most enormous torta I have eaten
we made an enormous breakfast of french toast for the district!!( Elder Trimble, Teos, McGlinchy and Camacho)
Moroni and Hna Hidalgo

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Name of the Game - Él es la Dádiva

So this week we have literally talked to EVERYONE. I have never experienced so much rejection in the mission. You would think that people would be happier and more willing to talk during the Christmas season, nope it seems like it is more reason to be a grinch. Oh well. SOOOO the church is doing a promocion right now called He is the Gift, or Él es la Dádiva in Spanish. We have tons of these little pass along card things and are giving them to everyone! Taxis, weird people in the street, TODOS. You would think that with the more people you talk to, the more people you would get to teach. But we seem to talk to the grumps. Who knows, maybe we helped brighten their day. We continue being excited and happy and talk to everyone! No importa a quien! If we get 1 million rejects and 1 person wants to learn, totally worth it. But the video is at christmas.mormon.org. WATCH IT! CHECK IT OUT! SHARE IT! If you are feeling adventerous and want to watch it in Spanish, navidad.mormon.org is where you gotta go. The Church is so smart to do all of this! They took over Youtube yesterday for the whole day!!!!!!! With just the add for the video. SO SHARE IT!!!! :)

We had a conference this week for just the sister missionaries. SO AMAZING!!!! I love President and Hna Greer and they love us! We got to eat delicious American food, we helped wrap the Elder´s Christmas presents, made goodie bags with chocolate covered salted carmel and Giradelli chocolate and all other sorts of good things. Christmas is gonna be great here! I also got to see Hna Quiñonez!!!!!!! She is definitely my best friend here. I love her so much!!!!!! We have such a great time together. In the conference, they talked about norms, the importance of time and how we should use it diligently, all that good stuff. As I was sitting there, I realized I am one of the older missionaries in the mission. I have gotten accustomed to the mission life, but I love it all. Maybe not getting up at 6:30, but the studying, talking with everyone, teaching people what I know to be true, I love it!!!!

I have been trying really hard this week to be exactly obedient. It is really hard, and Hna H seems to be struggling a little more than me to meet our goals. But we help and remind each other, because we want to see miracles!

WE MADE A CHRISTMAS TREE!!!! They sell trees on basically every corner, and on one we asked them if we could have some of the extra parts that they had cut off the trees, they told us to go right ahead. AND SO WE MADE A BEAUTIFUL TREE :) The house smells amazing and it feels a little more like home :)

Made fudge for Camile for his birthday! Thanks momma for the recepie! We melted 15 chocolate bars, added a can of Lechera and TADAAAA. Deliciousness.

I DO NOT KNOW WHY. BUT. I had the lovely chance to enjoy pansita AGAIN. But this time it was mondongo. Which is basically a soup of all the internal organs and veins and who knows what else of the sheep. Heart, stomach, intestines, lungs, liver, all that jazz. This hermana is that same hermana who gave us the salad of tuna fish and hot dogs. She seems to try to out-do herself each time in the amount she can make me gag. And she is succeeding.

I am tired of when people are more interested of where I am from than in my message that I have to share. heheheheh we were talking with a security guard, and he was like You are not from here are you. I told him Yes I am, Jalapeña. AND HE BELIEVED ME!!!!! HA. He was like Oh, I thought you were from the United States. LISTEN TO MY MESSAGE, DO NOT LOOK AT THE COLOR OF MY HAIR OR THE FACT THAT I AM TALLER THAN YOU.

Ivanna - Got baptized on Saturday!!!! Her baptism was beautiful :) her mom got emotional. Baptisms never get old, my stomach flips around like a fish in my stomach every time :). She was waiting for us the whole week when we went to teach her, we may be her new best friends. Fine by me!!!! :) She needs to help be an example for her family, her mom and older sister are less active. SHE CAN BE THE STRENGTH!!

all of my companions who are still in the mission
Camilo and Lorena - Did not get baptized this week, Camilo is kind of failing school and had a lot going on and now goes to extra tutoring class things. SATAN. GO AWAY. We finally got his mom to sign his cédula though!! She asked him like 6 times if HE WAS SURE that he wanted to be baptized. He was always kind of flojo with us, but he said YES every single time! GO CAMILOOOOOO!!!!! This little fat kid definitely has my heart. Lorena´s mind is all over the place again, she is a confused teenager. We put a goal for both of them for the 14th. I love them both so much!!!!! We have been working with them for so long, I feel like they are my kids. Lots of hope. Camilo told us he prayed to know if the church was true and told us he dreamed that night that he was a Mormon!!! And that he felt warm and peaceful. I don't remember if I already said that or not....but IT STILL MELTS MY HEART!!!!!

Maria - the wicked interesting lady who lived in England. Turns out she cannot leave for the Yucatan because the peso is losing its value, and there everything is in dollars. YAY!!!!!! We re-put a baptism date with her and are gonna visit her more, because it looks like she is staying around!!!! Hopefully her life can be non-Mexican novela for a little bit.

That is about it for this week. I love being a missionary, and I love this Christmas season! Be happy!!! Look up He is the Gift! You will love the video, I promise!!

Love, Hermana Westergard


 kisses for santa

mondongo aka pansita aka WORST FOOD IN MEXICO

Ivanna´s baptism!!

being a part of the holiday spirit

Add caption


conpletos - comida de Chile

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

still cold

Still cold. Really cold. But the work moves forward!!! SO THIS WEEK...

NORMA WENT TO THE TEMPLE!!!!! AAAHHHHHHH. One of my converts in Olivo went on the ward temple trip on Friday!!!!!!! MY HEART IS SO FULL!!!!! I AM SO HAPPY!!!!! I cannot describe the joy I feel knowing that. Hna Q said she was gonna send me a picture buttttt still waiting on it. SO HAPPY :):):):):):)

Random things:

My water bottle got a hole in it and ruined EVERYTHING in my bag. Including my himnario. Ug. Life goes on though. Also very grateful for my camera case.

I ate some of the most delicious food and some of the not best food this week.....among the best were chiles rellenos and platanos machos rellenos and birthday dulce mole and tamales. Seriously I love Mexican food. I would consider living in Mexico after the mission just for the food. Among the worst....an hermana made a ´salad´ with hot dogs and tuna........still not quite sure what to think of it.

2 families were so great to us this week. We had talked a little about Thanksgiving - me and the American elders - and the ward mission leader made us a little Thanksgiving dinner! And another family invited us all to their house the day after for more ´Thanksgiving´. None of the dinners had turkey....but one did have a cheese ball and the other had mashed potatoes. All in all, basically Thanksgiving! THE MEMBERS ARE SO GREAT EVERYWHERE!!!! They love us like we were their own kids.

I found worms in my grapefruit after I had eaten half of the half.....it is like that joke of what is worse than finding a worm in your apple? Half a worm. I DO NOT KNOW HOW THEY GOT IT. THERE WERE NO HOLES OR ANYTHING. Have not eaten grapefruit since.

I got to ride in the back of a truck! Finally!!! SO INVIGORATING!!! hahaha we must have looked crazy. A Chileno and an American in skirts laughing our heads off as we careened down the hills and around the bends. LOVE ITTTTT - Wheezy voice from Dragon Tales

Hermana H randomly says things in English and I love it hahah and it always cracks me up. Her favorite things to say are 1. Suspicious men 2. Ow, my eye 3. YOU SHUT UP 4. I want to eat 5. She/He is fat. hahahah from small things are great things come to pass.

Lorena and Camilo - THEY ARE GETTING BAPTIZED ON THURSDAY!!!!! YAYYYY!!!! Camilo´s 11th birthday!!!!!! YAYYYYYYY!!!!!!! This week was literally so up and down. All over the place. Sometimes it is hard to get them to focus, the 10 year old distracts the 14 year old and they both distract my companion so I feel like I am the mom. BUT all of that aside....we finally got down to what was holding Lorena back. We talked with her, had a great spiritual lesson about repentance and the Holy Ghost with some amazing movies and the Spirit andddddd they decided for this week!!!! Lorena loves us! She told us she does not want us to be changed. The poor girl has gone through a lot and it going through a lot. She told her mom about her baptism and everything! The only things missing are the signatures of their parents on their cedulas and their interviews! Prayers are answered and miracles happen! We have been working with them SO much. Cosas difíciles valen la pena.

Matilde - an older woman who was taught by other missionaries. She knows the church is true, and believes in the Book of Mormon, she just is not married. But her boyfriend is up for marriage! Now we just need to help them follow through with it!

Ivanna - a 10 year old whose mom is less active. She was also taught by other hermanas but she backed out last minute from her baptism. We went with the Elders, and the lesson went AMAZING!!!! Elder McGlinchy is my district leader and he is so powerful! An amazing missionary! He is so good at making commitments and clarifying and recommitting. Long story short, we set her date for this Saturday too! EEEKKKK!!!!!! Her problem was she did not want a lot of people in her baptism. We can solve that! Just do it when it is not Sunday! Miracles on miracles on miracles!

The neighbors - still trying so hard with them. David and Angel went to church with us on Sunday - along with their friend Williams. Hna H and I were like moms hahah we had 4 little boys with us, the oldest being 11. I cannot tell what they are thinking, or what they want, or if they even believe what we are teaching. But they love us a lot. How to distinguish what to do? I do not know.

Cindy and Blanca - everything under the sun is happening to them this week it seems like and we did not get to see either of them :( Hopefully this week will be better for them both!

Laura and Soña - They hide from us literally. We went to their house, and Laura's boyfriend answered the door and told us he had been waiting for them for like 30 minutes. We talked to him a little and then left. As we were going down the steps, I was looking in their window and I see Laura pop out from under the desk. Why do they feel the need to hide? We don´t bite hahaha but if they don´t want to listen I would rather they just tell us. Funny they hide though

I cannot believe it is December!!! TIME IS FLYING!!!!! The church is true! Make good decisions while you can!

Love, Hermana Westergard

found worms in my grapefruit...... 


still lots of hills in Xalapa

Thanksgiving Mexico style.....

there is always Coca-Cola

FINALLY GOT TO RIDE IN THE BACK OF A TRUCK!!!! I love the no road rules in Mexico hahaha

Lorena loves us! We love her!!

Cathedral in Centro

Monday, December 1, 2014

Cold weather doesn´t mean cold people

I never know how to start these emails so I am just gonna jump right into it.

This week was honestly a roller coaster, but SO AMAZING. I saw so many miracles this week, felt so much love, and just feel SO extremely blessed to be here and to have this opportunity to get to know the people of Xalapa. I am so excited to go out and see people every day! It is like I got an energy drink for missionary work, it is fantastic.

Some random things:
So cold and so rainy this week. And when I say cold, I mean cold. Like when we get up in the morning I can see my breath and I can continue to see it the whole 3 hours I am studying until we leave at 11. And then I can see it outside too! Also, when I get out of the shower, I have steam radiating from my body and the water I am using is not all that warm either. The weather here is definitely crazy, and our house is definitely WICKED cold.

Turns out the ´pansita´ from last week actually was not pansita. It was salsa de chicharrón. Chicharron is the skin of the pig. If you are gagging, those were my thoughts too. IT IS ALL JUST AS BAD. But here in Mexico, they literally eat ALL the parts of ALL the animals. Every, single, last, organ, and foot and eyeball.

I made Hna Hidalgo french toast for her 9 months in the mission! She had never eaten it before, and totally loved it. She had also never eaten syrup or whipped cream, so it was definitely a treat for the both of us hahahaha.  

The Hna for the comida on Sunday was driving us to her hosue after church. Her baby was crying soooooo what does she do? She just starts nursing her baby while driving. Just in Mexico.

There is a hymn here Nunca Debemos Dudar - We Should Never Doubt or something like that. I hate the song because I think people sound like robots but it applies so much to the mission. We need to work on having a perfect faith, we cannot doubt at all!!! If we have a perfect faith, we can see miracles. So as much as I hate the tune, the lyrics are very accurate.

EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON!!!!!! More on this in a little bit.

Monday basically seemed like a turning point for me in the mission. We had 3 set appointments and ALL 3 of them fell through. It was pouring, dark, scary, cold...all those great things. It would have been easy to be discouraged - and Hna H was a little down - but nope I told her we were gonna go look for Lorena. SSSOOOOOO

Lorena and Camilo - We go to look for these 2 kids and they are there! Great because then we do not need to stand in the rain. We start talking with them both. They were investigators of the elders, but they said they did not want to be baptized so they let us talk with them. In that lesson, it was honestly the most gutsy I have been my entire mission. Sometimes, I am somewhat afraid to talk with people about baptism, because I get afraid that we will scare people away. But in this lesson, there was none of that! I brought it right up...I do not know how...but my courage definitely was not my own. Hna H just kind of sat there in silence because she was nervous to bring it up, and I went on a roll! It was amazing, scary, my heart was going 1000000 miles per hour, but I promised them that if they continued to listen to us and if they prayed and read the things we left with them, they WOULD feel ready to be baptized. I know this doesnt sound that dramatic, but when it is in another language and if you could feel my heart pounding, you would understand! AND THEY SAID YES!!!!! We have gone to teach them almost every day this week, and they have learned a lot! They still do not feel completely ready, but they both go to church and the activities. And they have been reading the Book of Mormon! That is like music to the ears of a missionary. Lorena is 14, and she loves coffee and we also think she has problems with the law of chastity....so we are working on that. Camilo is an extremely gordito 10 year old who is wicked shy....but likes to listen to us. We will see with them both.

Maria Alejandra, Soña and Laura - A contact that Hna Hidalgo had from the cambio pasado. We went to look for them another night when more appointments fell through, and miraculously they were there. And what else? They asked us when they could go to church with us, and what they had to do to be baptized. GOLDEN FAMILY!!! Maria is the mom....and she is still stubborn in her Catholic ways but she likes to listen to us. She agrees with our points about the 3 important characteristics of Christs baptism, but then tells us that she was baptized as a baby....a point we just explained to her that baptizing children is not correct and they do not need to be baptized. It is always hit or miss I feel like with older Catholics. But her daughters are amazing, and invited their friend and boyfriend to listen to us the next time we went to visit them!!! We went to take them with us to church though on Sunday, and I think they were lying to us because their dad told us they went to centro. I dont know. A little confused by all of that, but we went last night to visit them and they were super excited again. LOTS OF FAITH!!!! They also tell me I look like Rose from Titanic. I wore my hair down when the friend was there too and she was staring at me the whole time....so uncomfortable. They keep telling my companion to watch out for me because I stand out and look like a doll and lots of people are being kidnapped. They tell my poor companion this every time we go to their house hahah I think she is getting frusterated by it all. But them saying that makes me more nervous. The fact they say it EVERY SINGLE TIME, doesnt help matters either. Ug

Maria - The extremely interesting woman who lived in England for 30 years and her life is like a Mexican Novela. She doesnt like the weather of Xalapa, so she is selling her house and moving to Yucatan. Honestly, her life is like a movie. SHE ALSO KNOWS SO MUCH STUFF!!! She had problems about how African American couldnt have the priesthood and she is up to date with the churchs stance on abortion and everything. Wow. No one here ever has questions or even knows about that stuff.  Apparently, she knows that Princess Diana was still alive after her car crashed and the man who blinded the driver with his mirror to cause the crash, shot her because she was still alive after. She said it is the secret of England. And many more stories like that. Honestly still in shock with this woman. She also told us about a train that goes from Guatemala to the USA called the Bestia - meaning beast. It is called this because people climb onto this train with hopes of getting to the US but like half of them never make it because they fall off or go through tunnels or get tired and well....die. I did not know any of this stuff. BUT she is still reading the Book of Mormon, and loves it all. We are gonna try to send missionaries to her in the Yucatan, but where she is living is in the middle of nowhere because she doesnt want neighboors. Literally, she showed us pictures. Her life = Mexican novela. Oh, and her husband is in Thailand right now.

Don Toño and his daughters - we went back to teach them, they read the chapter we left with them and said that they prayed. But we know they didnt. Because they told us they only believe in the Bible and the word of God, implying that the Book of Mormon is not the word of God. Hna H almost lost it, but very calmly told them that she did not know if it would be in this life or on the next, but one day they would know that our words are the truth and they would regret giving us back the Book or Mormon. We told them it was a gift and that they did not need to return it, but they insisted that they did not want it in their house. Hence, why Hna H planched them. Something I have noticed....Hna H is very passionate about the Gospel and is 75% of the time trying to control herself when someone is insulting us.

Cindy - the woman who called us back last week! Well we went to a lesson with her this week and she is so humble, so willing and so ready to listen to us! She has been through a lot. She was an alcoholic, drug addict, and told us she found God in rehab. We invited her to be baptazed and she said she would do whatever it takes!! She had read the whole pamphlet that we gave her and even answered the questions at the back for additional study. Can you say perfect?

Blanca - lived in the elders area but moved her house to escape from her husband. The elders gave us her number because they knew she was in our area but they do not know exactly where. We called her, and finally got to meet with her. Her house literally has nothing. She has a bunch of tomatoes on the counter, some flowers - to sell I think - a grocery bag with clothes and a sleeping pad for her bed. She has nothing. Her daughers are living with her mom right now in a ranch, and her daughter fell and hurt herself on Sunday so she couldnt go to church with us. Satan us definitely doing his best to impede these people from following on the right path. BUT WE WILL WIN! WE HAVE MORE FAITH. An hermana gave us some pan, and when we left, I left it on the seat with a little note saying we loved her. I offered it to her when we first got there, but she said she had already eaten. Doubt it.

Cheko - ward mission leader. SO GREAT. Loves the missionaries like they are his children. He bought us all tacos al pastor. Me cae bien.

I saw a beautiful baptism on Saturday. A pregnant woman, who is having her baby on Wednesday, got baptized with her 2 sons. The Spirit there was so touching. Seeing this step of faith that the hna was making for her family, and seeing the joy in her eyes....are what make the mission worth it. She had to squat in the font because she couldnt lean back like people normally do when theyare baptized. I cannot do the baptism justice, but it was beautiful. So grateful to witness moments like that.

Have a fantastic week! I know I will!

Love, Hermana Westergard