Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Xalapa is in my blood

This last week honestly feels like a huge blur. We went to Xalapa twice for some AMAZING conferences but the whole week feels kind of scrambled hahaha. It is weird how doing something different from the ordinary routine can throw someone off so much.

Look up the Teziutlan disaster of 1999....it is awful. What happened behind the Panteon is in our area.

Hna P broke down a little one day, realizing that just knowing the doctrine isn't the same as being able to teach it. She has really high expectations for herself, which is great!!!! But she also needs to realize that she isn't perfect and that a lot of stuff will come with time. I always tell her 'No pasa nada'. If we are doing our very best, Heavenly Father can't ask for more. But we know when we are giving 100% and when we are not. If we are giving it our all, He will make up in the areas that we are lacking. That is what is so beautiful about His plan and missionary work! We are imperfect young adults called to teach something completely perfect. Heavenly Father trusts in us enough to put His children in our hands in this learning period. Lots of responsibility.

A man who drives one of the little bus things here sees us EVERYWHERE, and always buys us pan or gives us platanos. hahhaha we aren't complaining.

I have heard from a very reliable source that Hna M - from Xalapa en barrio Olivo - is working on getting divorced from her first husband so then she can get married to her husband right now!!! IT IS SOME OF THE BEST NEWS I HAVE HEARD IN MY WHOLE MISSION!!! I will literally sacrifice my arm and leg to be at her baptism.

Conference with Elder Pino - He and his wife talked a lot about humility. I think that is something that every one of us can improve on. It is amazing to be sitting there and to feel the Spirit testifying to me that they are servants of our Heavenly Father. He also explained to us the process of assigning mission calls - to emphasize that WE are HERE for a REASON. You could have heard  a pin drop in that room...is was AMAZING!!!

Conference with Elder Christiensen and Elder Pieper - Elder C talked for about an hour, and then the rest of the time was Q and A. IT WAS SO COOL!!! I got to ask a question to a member of the presidency of the seventy. Once again, the Spirit filled up the room like a tsunami wave. Wow wow wow. I got to ask him something that I feel like I have been struggling with for a little while....How do I find the balance between having perfect faith while at the same time recognizing that everyone has agency and that my faith is not going to fix everything. He said a whole lot of great things, but something that really stood out was I need to maintain my vista en el Señor y amar a las personas. If we love these people, we are always going to care about them, but we are also going to be able to trust in God's timing and His plan. How lucky am I? I cannot believe I got to listen to 3 members of the Setenta this week. Things like that don't happen every day! I really feel very blessed.

S - she has been praying earnestly, reading is another story though. AAAHHHHH. She tells us how she knows how important it is to read but then she does not do it. However, we did how some great lessons with her this week and after a lesson that was pretty much Q and A, she told us that she feels that Joseph Smith was a prophet called of God and that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet!!! The spirit was incredible in the lesson and basically it was just fantastic :)

D - We had a good talk with D  and she ended up breaking down :( poor girl has no support from her mom. Her mom doesn't even care if she eats or other important things for the well being of her child. I can't imagine having a life like that :( but we have to have a good relationship with her mom because she is the one who needs to sign the form saying that D can be baptized. We are working on that

M - still hasn't had any coffee!!! YAYYYY!!!!!! We taught him the Law of Chastity....no problems there! Relief. He still doesn't have a testimony of Joseph Smith though. These past couple of weeks his family has had a lot of trials and he has been running around everywhere, but things are calming down and he will be able to focus more in the questions that he has. Prayer and scripture study are just SO IMPORTANT!!!!

F y P - we taught them the Word of Wisdom oficially and TURNS OUT that since that day when we showed up and F was completely drunk, he hasn't had a drop of alcohol. YAYYYYY :) They are now super excited to continue a life of drinking soda and water and juice :)

Love, Hermana Westergard

the most delicious pozole i have ever eaten - obviously because it was made with lots of love

My companions from my generation - I LOVE THEM ALL!!!!

helping with the laundry

some of the hermanas in the conference with Elder Christiensen


Hermana B!!! I cannot believe she is going home after this change

Hna Q and I with some of our Dominican Republic friends

foto from the conference with Elder Pino!!!!

Blessings from fasting

This week has been an AMAZING testimony builder to fast and fast offerings. We realized that we had been slacking a little with this commandment. So Sunday, we decided to fast and pay very generous fast offerings. We have been seeing the outpour of blessings from keeping this commandment!! We have been a little tight for money...like counting the little pesos that we have left, and this week EVERYONE has been offering us food. We are definitely not going hungry. ALSO, we have met some AMAZING people this week and have some great appointments lined up for this upcoming week. WE ARE SO EXCITED!!!! My testimony has grown exponentially. Never again am I missing fasting on fast Sunday or fast offerings.

I have heard so much apostacia this week. If I had a peso for every false doctrine thing I have heard, I would be a very rich missionary right now. A man told us that he read recently in the Bible that it says you need to pray to God in the name of Christ asking to the Virgen Guadalupe.....Hna P and I almost started dying laughing when we looked at each other from the corners of our eyes. But we maintained the calm. The Virgen is SUCH a big thing here, but is SO false. It is completely against the commandments, but people choose to see what they want to see.

We got caught in a torrential downpour this week. At first we waited under a tree to see if it would lighten up a bit....but it is almost like the weather could read our thoughts and thought HAHA NO. It then started to rain like I have never seen before. We break out in a sprint to P's house - which was the nearest one but still not that close - and finally get there, looking like we had just gotten out of the ocean. It is funny how we resist it at first but then when we realize there is nothing we can do about it, we embrace it and think how funny the whole situation is.

I LOVE HERMANA P!!!!!! We get along SO well and I love this time with her. We are some very happy missionaries.

Still working on my Spanish hahahah I told Hna P one day to look at the pole thing that has the meat for the tacos al pastor, because it was a wicked small one and we are used to seeing ENORMOUS ones. It is called a Trompo. Trompo de tacos al pastor. I said trompa. Trompa is the mouth of a large animal......hahahahha we lost it laughing then too

P and F - We met this brother and sister in one of the oddest experiences of my mission. All our plans fell through last Monday...we ran into this really humble woman walking and started talking to her. We ended up at her house, asked if we could share a message with her, and she accepted. We entered, their house is basically made of trash, and met her brother also. They live a very humble life, and have minds more like children. I think they are in their 50s. Anyway, we put a cita to go back with them in a couple of days and we get there and we realize AFTER we are in their house that F is drunk. That is why his handshake was lingering and uncomfortable and he kept toughing our arms. I grabbed his hand and told him NO, DO NOT TOUCH MY COMPANION. We got out of there quick, but told them we were going to pass by for them Sunday at 9. Leaving, neither of us really had any expectations that they were going to go on Sunday. BUT, Sunday we go to pass by for them and F took a shower, brushed his hair and was wearing clothing not WICKED dirty. Wow. He was like another person. They ended up getting to church by themselves because we had to go look for other people, but they showed up!!! They are impressing us a lot. Miracles are possible!

D - Excited for her baptism!!! The only problem is her mom....I do not think she is our biggest fan

B and family - B had some problems with her baby and he was in danger. His umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck and everyone was super stressed and crying at the Mother's Day activity we had. The bishop is great and was able to give her a blessing and the next day we saw B in the street - coming back from her appointment - and she said that everything is fine now!! YAY for priesthood blessings!!!!

G and E - references from their neighboor who is a member. The member told us Sunday that they wanted to meet with us and that we could drop by around 4. So we did, 3 hours and a lot of questions later, we have 2 new investigadores! WOW is all I can say. They literally were asking the perfect questions. How can the Gospel change me? How can the Gospel change my family? What is the Gospel? How does your church have the authority? WOW WOW WOW :) We are very excited for them.

This week we are having conferences with Elder Pino on Wednesday and Elder Christensen on Friday. We are very excited!!!! Back to Xalapa again!

Love, Hermana Westergard

making atole

after being soaked 


making pancakes floor-style

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Happy Mother's Day!!!

AAHHH!!! It was so great talking to my family!!!!! I miss you all so much, and I cannot wait to see you all!!! It was one of the more interesting skype sessions...Ruth in Utah, Mom, Dad and Riley in MA and Jess in England. Thank goodness for modern day technology and free skype calls!! I know that families can be forever, and that mine will! THAT is why I am here! Because I want to see eternal families too.

We have done a lot of good contacting this week. It is so great to not feel scared to talk to these strangers! If that makes sense? Basically we just open up our mouths with everyone. Planting little seeds everywhere we go :)

This week they called me to ask me which airport I want to go home too....that was really WEIRD.

We made carlota for a Mother's Day treat and went around giving it to the different moms who live in our apartment complex. Some were a little weirded out but others looked so grateful and it looked like we made their day. SO, it was definitely worth it :) 

We had consejo this week, so back to Xalapa again! I love being a part of it. I learn so much and can see how much Presidente loves us and how EVERYTHING he does is to help us have more success in this great work!

Hna P is participating more in the lessons which is great!!!! She is still timid, but we practice the baptism invitation walking around, and she builds a little more confidence each time! We have HILARIOUS practices in companionship study hahahaha it is weird to see what amuses us as missionaries. But I love working with her, she is so sweet and humble and we are doing some great work :) We are a very happy companionship.

Y - we finished teaching him everything this week and his baptism was Sunday!!! I really saw a huge change in Y. Right before the serivce started, he went up to a teenager - who is a member - and asked his forgiveness. I guess they go to the same school and they have not had the best relationship. Wow. I do not think I have ever heard of a 15 year old doing that. He also gave a beautiful prayer ending the baptismal service. I love this kid a lot. I am so excited for him and B and S. I know they are going to be able to help each other and be examples to the other members of their family.

Don M - needs a testimony of Joseph Smith. We taught him the Word of Wisdom, but I know that in order to have a desire to actually follow this commandment, he needs to be really sure of Joseph Smith first. He has a desire to do what is right and to be a better person, and I know that the Gospel can help him with that.

Happy Mother's Day to the best mom in the world! I am so grateful for mine, and I know that without her I would be a very different person. Everyone make sure to tell your moms how much you love them, because you don't realize how much you will miss her until you can't hug her for 18 months.

Love, Hermana Westergard

gringas locas, Hermana Hidalgo :), El Calvario, this scripture does not exist...

gringas locas

Hermana H :)

El Calvario

this scripture does not exist...

poor missionaries with one outlet in the kitchen and no table

Happy Mother's Day picture!!!

Y excited for his baptism

Y's baptism!!

enormous ice cream

Monday, May 11, 2015

Hermana P

So Hermana P is still amazing! I love this girl so much! She is like a sponge ready to learn and ready to soak up everything I say and do. She has a sweet spirit and she has a contagious love for the gospel. How blessed I am so have such an amazing comapnion!!!! She doesn't really say a whole lot right now but I remember how I was when I first got here and how I did not want to talk to ANYONE!!! She is much further advanced when I was hahha but she really is great!!! It is a great experience training from the very beginning. Hna P asks me lots of questions and looks up to me a lot and follows my example in TODO. I feel like she helps keep me on track too :) I love doing the 12 Semanas, I love remembering all the little things, I love training! I feel like each time I testify of something or teach a little thing to Hna P, my testimony grown that much more and I am reminded that all of this is 100% true!!!!!! AHHH JUST SO HAPPY :)

I have also realized how much I have come along in my Spanish! Right now, I am basically teaching the whole lesson every day and saying everything...AND PEOPLE UNDERSTAND ME :) It is such a satisfying feeling. I have been very blessed to have Latinas as compañeras my whole mission.

If there is something I have learned here, it is that we need to fight for EACH investigator. Each soul is SO importand and Satan isn't gonna give it to us without a fight. Salvation is not an easy experience.

P, Y, A, J, J, S, B - They have been reading and praying. Committed to live the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chastity. There is so many problems with this family though. Lots of little things that bug them and prevent them from keeping the peace. S and B are not gonna be able to get married until June, they have to pay some debts and save up the money. They love us a lot and the kids are always playing on the roof of the house when we show up, and when they see us they shout HERMANAS HERMANAS and everyone turns to see us.

S y B - S was confirmed and B is still going strong :) Spiritually and physically! I JUST LOVE THIS FAMILY :)

Y - not reading, BUT FINALLY started praying. We made a prayer rock with him to put on his pillow to he remembers to pray. And so far so good! He has some problems with the Word of Wisdom, but we put goals and ya esta mejor. We taught him the Law of Chastity and no problems with that either THANK GOODNESS. Everything looks good for his baptism on Sunday! He is a really good kid. He brought 3 amigitos to church on Sunday :)

D - J's step-sister. She has been partially listening the the missionaries for a while too. But no one has taken the initiative to really TALK TALK with her! Well we did, and she wants to be baptized! She ended up running from centro to make it to the last hour of church, but she made it! I was suprised when she accepted una fecha, I thought I heard her wrong hahaha but no! 

Don M - he has kind of semi been listening to the missionaries for a while because his daughter was baptized a couple of months ago. We had a great lesson with him last night, and he has been to church the last couple of weeks. We put a goal for his baptism May 24th. He told us one of the reasons he has not been baptized is because he feels like he can't forgive his ex-wife. And he feels like he would be a hypocrite to be baptized knowing that he isn't completing with one of the 10 commandments. He has a point. But he has been reading the Book of Mormon, and has a real desire to do what is right.

Love, Hermana Westergard

OH. Please do not send me anything. I probably won't get it before I go home

our new

veryyyyyy small zone

disgusting finger paleta

new agenda!