Tuesday, February 24, 2015

You´re hot then you´re cold

This week went from seeing our breath in the house to me now being sunburnt and sweating tons when walking. LOVE THAT XALAPA WEATHER!!!

There is an hermana in the ward - T - who is always so good to us. She offers us everything she has, and it was the birthday of her daughter this week. Well they do not have a ton of money, so we got together with the elders and bought a cake and balloons and went to surprise them!!!! She was pumped. F - her daughter - does not like the mordida. The mordida is tradition, the person whose birthday it is needs to bite the cake a little. But everyone always ends up shoving their head in the cake hahahahah and well that is what the elders did with F. She freaked out, wiped the frosting off her face and then slapped the elder nearest to her with her frosting hands. Poor girl, but we died laughing hahahahaha, she was ok though.

We got to go to a Brazilian restaurant one day this week for the comida. WOW. I forgot what going to restaurants was like.

Who made the way to hold the fork or pencil or any of those things? Everyone has been calling me out on it lately, saying that I eat weird and write weird. Well if it works, then what more could I ask for hahaha.

We were doing companionship prayer one morning, I was saying it. We pray in English to try to help Hna J with her English. I realized....that I wasn´t talking and I couldn´t really breathe because my face was smooshed into my pillow. I was so confused, but realized I had fallen asleep during the prayer. I finished the prayer quickly to try to avoid embarassment and Hna J noticing what had happened hahaha but she noticed. She told me I finished the prayer in Spanish. Just one of those days.

I only have 2 chapters left in Jesus the Christ, and it has been an amazing book!!!! I am currently reading about the restoration and about Joseph Smith. I am so grateful for my testimony of him and all that he did for us. He sacrificed everything!!! We wouldn't not be here if it was not for him. It is hard to explain the feelings that I have, but I know if people ask with the same kind of faith that Joseph Smith had - to know if things are true - they will know what they need to do! Just like Joseph Smith. Heavenly Father does not love him more than He loves us, and He will answer us just as willingly and freely if we ask with a sincere heart and true intention. The only problem is though, how do I help people understand that for themselves? That they just need a little faith, and God will answer them and guide them to the things that they need to do. I know this with my whole heart. My job is to help others realize it also.

M - she is so pregnant she is about to pop. We went to see her this week and told her that if she did not go to church we could not keep visiting her, because there are other people who want to go, and we need to visit them too. She was totally ready to go, and wants to go, but is just SO SO SO pregnant. And she can barely walk still because of all the surgery she had. Turns out with the accident, she actually got shot in both legs, but one bullet only went through the muscle in one leg, and in the other, it went through her bone. She still has the bullet in her leg too, and has a pole IN her bone. I thought it was just attached to the outside, but nope, it is pounded in through the middle of it. POOR GIRL. I JUST LOVE HER SO MUCH! She has suffered more than anyone needs to suffer, ever!!! We really apply the Atonement to her, letting her know that Christ understands everything that she is going through and that He loves her too. She is so bright, is reading the Book of Mormon, and all the pamphlets we give her. We taught her the Word of Wisdom, and told us she would stop drinking coffee little by little. In the beginning of the week ,she was drinking it morning, afternoon and night, and now she is down to one cup in the morning!!!! YAY!!!!! She is so amazing. I cannot describe how great she is. We are just gonna have to wait until after she has her baby to go to church with her. We helped her mom make tortillas too. That is her mom´s job. She makes tortillas by hand all day, and only gets 100 pesos for working from 7AM to 7PM. That is less that $10 for the whole day. Their situation is so desperate, but they have so much faith. Meeting people like them in the mission is basically what makes it all worth it.

D and M - Well D officially does not want our help anymore. We always ask people if we can help, and they always say no, but we know they want it. So we always find something to help them in. She really actually didn´t want help though, and began to attack me by tickling me to get me to lower the broom that I was holding out of her reach hahahah and she also hid all the dishes in the sink so my companion could not wash them. She hid the brooms, I found them, started sweeping again, tickle attacked me, and finally threw the brooms over the balcony so I couldn´t sweep. It was a little dramatic hahahah but we were just trying to help!!!! Bad news though....they found some anti-Mormon stuff in the internet and are a little thrown off by it all....so we are working through that. We also taught the Word of Wisdom to M, he has problems with smoking and drinking. But, we set goals with him, and he told us he is just going to drink a glass of water if he is tempted to smoke or drink......well if it works that is great!!!! He is reading the Book of Mormon also, and says it is always good to learn more.....I kind of hate that phrase. It is like saying all the churches lead back to God. Eh. But we are working a lot with them both!!!! 

Love, Hermana Westergard

making tortillas by hand

F´s birthday

so many colors of beans!!

sunrise on Sunday

The week of answered prayers

What a week. It has been a roller coaster health, emotional, success and every other way possible-wise.

Health wise....we were fasting Saturday and then ate on Sunday at the comida. It was all super fried though and about 3 hours later I was gagging a whole lot and Hna J said I was whiter than normal....if that is possible hahaha. Moral of the story, do not eat fried things - even if its the only thing to eat - after you have been fasting. I don't remember the last time I barfed....well now I do. But Hna J knows the power of the foods and cut me up melon and BOOM I felt a million times better.

We decided to count stairs after going up a bunch for the millionth time this week. One set has 218 and the other has 130. There are more too, we just forget to count them hahaha.

I had divisiones this week with Hna L. She is from Argentina and goes home in April, and it was such a privilege to work with her! I really learned to much. She is amazing at committing people according to their needs. She has a gift to recognize what people are missing, and to ask questions and help them realize how completing with the commandments will help them. I LOVED WORKING WITH HER!!! I hope I get the chance to be her companion before she goes home.

We had zone class this week and President decided to accompany us. AND GUESS WHO HAD TO DO PRACTICES WITH HIM?? We did. I almost died, but it actually went really well and he was a great fake-investigator!!!

I was reading in Jesus the Christ - I AM ALMOST DONE - and I was really impacted by a chapter about the apostolic ministry. It was so inspiring!!!! After Christ was crucified. his Apostles were thrown in prison time and time again. They were released eventually, but they were threatened if they continued to preach of Christ, well something bad would happen to them. But what did they do? The moment they get out, they go back to the temple and keep preaching. They 'valiantly taught and preached Jesus the Christ'. What a great example!!!! I am not being thrown in prison, but I should be teaching with the same enthusiasm and passion! WILL DO.

I also really liked Doctrine and Covenants 138:56 which says 'even before they were born, they...were prepared to come forth in the due time of the Lord to labor in His vineyard for the salvation of the souls of men'. THANK YOU CHRISTIE :) As missionaries, we were prepared!!! There is no greater work to be a part of.

I have been trying REALLYYYYYY hard to love my companion and see her as a daughter of God. And guess what?? IT IS WORKING :). I love my companion!! She is a little rough around the edges, but she is a great missionary, loves the people here, and is teaching me a lot.

G - We were waiting for her on Wednesday at the church and 6:30 came and went, then 7 came and went also. We figured we just got stood up and were kind of disappointed. THEN a woman bursts into the church asking for us - we were in another room. IT WAS HER!!! She got out of work late. And we then proceeded to have a beautiful lesson. In the beginning, I was being a little robotish, just kind of going through the points that we need to teach. Then I mentally slapped myself and thought 'WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! What are her needs? How are you helping her?' I closed my scriptures and just looked at her and started talking about Christ, that He suffered everything for us, that He understands and that God loves us more than we can imagine. We just need to look around at the flowers and the stars...all of this was made for us. 2 minutes later she was bawling and pouring out her life to us. She accepted to be baptized and is SO excited!! She did not go to church on Sunday because she went to tell her mom that she is going to be baptized. HOW BRAVE IS SHE?! I LOVE HER!!! What a blessing to be able to meet her. ALSO shows the importance of members, because one of her coworkers - M the ward secretary - was always inviting her to church and she finally took him up on the offer. :)

M - We finished the Plan of Salvation with her, and she is so interested by the degrees of glory. She wants to go to church...BUT her dad still shows up drunk every Saturday night. She talked to him about it and he stormed out of the house. She wants to wait till her dad stops coming to go with us. Her dad ends his work here in about a month...so she wants to wait till then. She is also supposed to have her baby in a month, not really quite sure what to do at this point with her :( I love her a lot but she is not really progressing

D and M- Examples of serving!!!!! How did we start talking to them? We climbed a million stairs to see J who was not there, saw an old lady cleaning above, and went to help her out. Hna J helped her outside and I washed all her dishes - it was a mountain - and about an hour later after cleaning, we sat down and got to talk about who we are, why we are here. AND THEY ARE SO RECEPTIVE!!!! They had heard that to be a member, the men had to pay and the women had to be with the bishop.....we cleared that doubt right up assuring them that that was COMPLETELY false. They were waiting for us Sunday morning when we went by for them and went to all 3 hours of church! D even brought her Book of Mormon. Side note, they have a million pets. Chickens, rabbits, turkeys, cats, dogs, birds, you name it. We met their pet rabbit that they later ate for lunch the next day. Poor little guy.

A - HA. I love this man! His daughter was a reference from a member, we went to their house and she was not there. Just her dad - A. He assures us he is very Catholic. And basically backed into his house and closed the door the first time we talked to him. 2nd time, we talked with him for about 7 minutes, letting him know we were gonna pass by on Tuesday - his day off - because we can see it from the sticker on his taxi. The 3rd time, he actually invited us in and we got to explain a little about the Book of Mormon. WOW!!! SO EXCITED!!!! Little by little, literally. It is good to have a companion who is a convert also. Sometimes people discredit me for being raised in the church and think I am a brainwashed child. But Hna J got baptized when she was 16, and people seem to give us more credit knowing that. So yay!!! I know he can be baptized!!!! Maybe the next visit we can even get him to read a scripture. Totally up for the challenge.

I love being a missionary!!! Honestly, this is the experience of a lifetime. I love love love love it!!! I KNOW PRAYERS ARE ANSWERED!!!!!! I love talking with Heavenly Father every day. I know when we pray sincerely, we will see a difference in our lives, as I have this week. What a great week!!!!

Love, Hermana Westergard

my beautiful area atop 218 stairs...I spilt some water on myself

sunsets :)

beautiful bird pets

D has a million pets 

Selfies in the taxi

Meet the Mormons in Spanish and in theaters here too!!!

The little things

I have been thinking a lot and reflecting a lot this past week. The stars have really been shining beautifully and the weather has been perfect. A little cold but perfect. I have been noticing the little things. I cannot help but think how EXTREMELY lucky I am to be here. To have the knowledge of this gospel in my life. To see the flowers and stars each day and night, and to know it was all made for us because Heavenly Father wants us to be happy and to have joy in this life. How blessed are we?! I also realized the immense LOVE that I feel for the people here. I know I am not going to want to leave. I feel like I am watching an hourglass and the sand is falling too fast!!!!! I want to stop it!!!


Atole is great, you all should try it.

M y A - Very humble and very receptive. Mario works at the fruit store owned by our neighboors and his sister walked in on one of our lessons and sat down and just told us that she wanted to listen to us and go to church next week! SO THAT WAS AMAZING!!!! They are both great people. A little old lady who lives with them though is not our biggest fan. Usually, basically with everyone, they always tell us that their house is our home too and that we are always welcome there. This crank told us that we are not welcome and we do not have our home there. When we got there she screeched a little "You are back to give your lessons again?!"....well.....yes hahahaha. Then she said a phrase and i am not sure if it is a groseria or no so I am not going to say it. But M told us not to pay attention to her....so we won´t

A - Dad of an old investigator of other missionaries. He has a lot of needs, and a lot of questions. But those kinds of people are my favorite! If we can gain their trust and answer their questions, well, they believe us and trust in the things we have to say. Also, when they have questions it shows that they are really listening so I LOVE THAT TOO :)

D - A perfect example of the importance of opening your mouth and talking with everyone! I talked to her kid one day in the street and asked if his mom was home, she was but was busy, so we left a pamphlet, which she read ALL of, went back 3  days later, had an AMAZING lesson, left her a Book of Mormon and she asked us what she needs to do to be a member of the church. AH!!!! She survived cancer and has an outlook that God has given her a 2nd chance at life. What a great woman

V - Finally got to see her and talked with her mom! She is going to be baptized on February 22nd! When I celebrate 13 months in the mission! Could not ask for a better celebration than that :)

Hna T- An hna who loves the missionaries so much. She helps me look at my problems in a different way and helps me be more optimistic. Also, when talking to her, I realize that I really do not have a whole lot of trials. On the other hand, she has no money, has 2 kids, her husband is working in the US and is working on getting visas for all of them so they can go up there too. She is an angel for us. I realize that I am being selfish and I need to stop focusing on myself and my comforts, and that I need to focus on the people HERE. Because I am only here for 18 months, ya solamente tengo 6 mas. No es mi tiempo.


Love, Hermana Westergard

la nueva zona

aprendiendo como hacer pan con la familia Torres!

Conferencia navideña

Thursday, February 5, 2015


This week was all over the place. Hna Z left, heck I miss her a lot. My new companion is Hermana J from Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua. She is definitely from the North. Strong accent, strong personality, strong character. Strong is the word to describe her. I know I am going to learn a lot this transfer. Staying here in Museo.

Hna J is not super approachable, so once again I am doing a lot of the contacting and talking. She is a convert which is cool! She has been a member for 4 years now?

I found a white hair in my head this week. Oh joy.

We had a surprise party for an hermana who always helps us with everything. We got her to go around with us in the morning so her suegra could make mole and chiles rellenos. AND SHE HAD NO IDEA!!!!! It was great. We were happy to be able to do a little something for her since she always does so much for us.

I have been learning SO much reading Jesus the Christ!!! AND I have been able to share the scriptures I have been studying and the parts of Christ´s life that I am now familiar with. It is amazing and I love using the things I learn to help the people in in Xalapa!

I have had the chance to work a lot with jovenes and members of the ward and it has been so great! Feeling like I can help them while they are helping me is a great feeling :)

We have been working with a lot of less-actives. One of the hardest parts of missionary work is definitely retention. It is so sad! They need friends in the church, but if they don't go....well they cannot exactly develop those relationships. We have been focusing a lot on the importance of the Sacrament, hoping to remind them the importance and how healing going to church can be!

M - we finally ran into her and had a BEAUTIFUL lesson. I feel like I can really start expressing what I want now that my Spanish is semi-decent. I feel like I can connect with her and can focus more on her needs, it is a great feeling!!! She is smart and pays attention and has tons of good questions. Her dad is a drunk and still doesn't want her to go to church so that is still a problem.

E - She works as one of those people who goes through garbage to find the things that are recyclable. We helped her go through the bags of trash she had collected and sorted all the cans and recyclable things we found. Thank goodness we are also capable of breathing through our mouths. I am pretty sure one of the bags was a bag from a party and there was barf all over the stuff in it, but I tried not to think about it too much. It probably would have taken them the whole day to do it, but we were able to get it done in a couple of hours! They still are not going to church though :( so I think we might need to drop them. It is one of the hardest decisions to make....it breaks my heart every time.

K - OH MY GOSH I AM SO HAPPY FOR HER!!!!! She was baptized in October, but about a month a go she went to live with her boyfriend. My heart broke. BUT, this past week she dumped him and went back home! She asked if she could starting going to visit people with us, and we have had great talks about repentance. SHE IS BACK ON THE RIGHT PATH :) :) :)

Love, Hermana Westergard

Jacob´s ladders

my area is BEAUTIFUL!!!

Hna T