Patience and Candy

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So this week was a little hard for me. We went to one of our investigators Monday night and this is a family that we found the first day of the transfer; they are also Tinta’s favorite family. He tends to focus in on this family and really try to drive it home on visiting them when we have a bunch of other people to visit. It was super frustrating most of the week because Tinta planned, without really asking me during the appointment, a visit to this person at nine thirty in the morning today, p day. I was less than pleased with this and had to talk a lot to him this week. We did not end up going to this cita because I took him to play soccer with the other elders today. It is kind of like dealing with a twenty one year old who was never parented. He was not really taught how to cook or to deal with people. The constant whining and rolling his eyes really gets to me, mainly because this is something that my little siblings would do except in a twenty one year old man. I really do find more in common between my younger sister and him than any other twenty one year old adult I know, but patience is a virtue.

We have a bunch of progressing investigators which is super fun. I think that we should have a baptism this Saturday again. We really tried to work hard and get in all of the people and visits that we needed to. We finally reached our goal of five investigators attend church. It was awesome because that was the first time I had reached the standard in over a transfer.

Here is an experience that I would like to share directly from my journal Saturday night,” When Hermana Blanca opened the door we heard some moaning in the back of the house. We asked where her son was to which she replied that he was working. But then she said that she could not visit us because she was taking care of her dad. Hermana Blanca is about fifty, I think. Se we asked if she wanted us to give a blessing. She replied in the affirmative. So we went into the back of her house and entered into a small room with a small desk and two beds. On one bed sat Hermana Blanca’s son and his wife and their son. On the other bed lay her father. Frail, thin as a twig, covered in blankets, coughing up phlegm, and sounding like death. We gave him the blessing, as soon as it was over he started to breath regularly and with only a little bit of a rasp as he fell asleep. That was my miracle”.

This week we also went to a fried rice place with the other elders and for eight soles Elder Uribe and I ate and were filled. We will be returning this Thursday for more.
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For p day today we went to the other elders apartment and used the kitchen of the member below to make hamburgers and we played uno. It was pretty fun. Then afterwards we watched Madagascar three. That was dope.
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That was about it for my week and not much else. I will talk to y’all later.

Here is the google drive link if anyone wants to look at my pictures that I upload.
https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B9G4jvH5lPNmQk56eGhnbTJhWWc?usp=sharing

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I Almost Burned Down the Church

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So we had our noche misional this week. We did a little noche de postres or cookie night, or something like that. But we had a few plans for the stuff that we were going to make. Some no bake cookies, that I got from my sister and I would strongly suggest you ask her for the recipe, and some gelato thing that never really froze but it was alright. The cookies saved the day though. But when I made them at the church I brought our small electric stove and a pot to cook at the church. And the thing got too hot so when I put the butter in it started to smoke and set off the fire alarm in the church. That was fun.

I am having some trouble with my companion lately. He is very set in his ways and does not really like the way that I do anything so he just makes sure he rubs his eyes in frustration, says, “Elder…” and proceeds to tell me how much I need to improve. I really struggle with him right now. It is mainly because he is inconsisent. He puts on this senior companion mode that he is super serious so he can critique me. Then whenever we are walking around he changes to an inmature little kid that does not know where anything or anyone is after almost four weeks in the area. And he still complains about not being in Piura that is frustrating.

This Friday we did some service by cleaning up some trash alongside the road. I found several dead dogs and a bunch of other stuff you could not imagine. We filled dozens of giant trash bags and we made a pile about nine feet long, three and a half feet wide and about three and a half feet tall. This country is just gross. That is all I have to say.
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P-day this week was super fun. We woke up early and we went to the mission home in Piura. We then made hamburgers, hot dogs, and peruvian hot dogs are gross by the way. But we put eggs and everything on the hamburgers and they were sooo good. I loved it. And it was also super fun to talk to presidente and Hermana Rassmussen. I really enjoy it.
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So that is about it this week. Just a lot of contacting, knocking doors, and then working on trying to deal with the companion. That is what the struggle is for me right now.

That was about my week guys. I miss you all.

Elder Westergard

PS In the pictures is when I shared mac and cheese with the pensonista downstairs. It was super fun. And the other is when they castrated the cat on the kitchen table before lunch. So you can just guess what one of the pictures is.
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And the picture with me on the wall… That verb means to pee. Just to let you know. NO…I am not really….
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Awesome Week other than a few things

So this week was pretty cool, other than last pday. That was a bit of a mess.

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Elder Tinta, before Elder Westergard gets him up in the morning…

The last p day we were told that we would be meeting at the stake center to play soccer and then watch a movie. We ended up playing soccer for several hours; I personally am not a huge fan of soccer. My problem is that my companion is. I enjoy my workouts in the room and my runs in the morning. Tinta however hates this. I have to drag him out of bed every morning to make sure that we have enough time to run. Because he is super slow getting ready. But I am improving and dropping in weight which is super nice, because I had started to develop a rice gut.

That day we also managed to lose the cellphone. I think it fell out of my pocket when we were in the taxi. So we have been without a cellphone and this is incredibly difficult. But we are working through it and are going to pay for a new one this week and then we should get it in about a month.

So we had a baptism this Saturday. A little boy of nine years old. I performed the ordinance as well. It was super neat. One of the coolest spiritual experiences of my life. To think that I had participated in a saving ordinance for another human being, that was just astounding.

We also found a mute, gay guy near our apartment and we wrote a small conversation in the back of my planner trying to talk to him. It went something like this:
“What is your name?” him in English
“My name is Elder Westergard” me in Spanish
“I am Jackson” him in Spanish
“nice to meet you. he is my companion Elder Tinta” me in Spanish
“where do you live?” him in Spanish
“we have an apartment nearby” me in Spanish
“your house?” him in Spanish
we then had a small “conversation” him making hand signals and small noises as he could not talk very well.
“where is your house” him in Spanish
I told him the wrong direction because I did not feel like having this mute gay guy show up at my apartment one night. But that was a weird experience.

But this week was good because I managed to find kraft mac and cheese at totus last week. That was so good. I cannot tell you how absolutely amazing that was. I mean it was the best thing I have had in my mission. It was so good. And it is only four soles a box. I can have it three times a week. I also bought some yoghurt that is amazing with the super awesome granola that I have. I am eating like a king it feels like. Tinta likes his chips ahoy and they are super expensive, so he runs out of money pretty fast. I have mine budgeted out really well so I should not have problems.

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That was my week, fairly normal really, but really awesome because of the baptism and the mac and cheese.

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A Census Taker Once Tried to Test Me

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So to explain the title you need to go watch Silence of the Lambs, great movie. But yesterday was the annual census for Peru, so everyone is in their houses all day, and the census people come and count. So we were in our apartment all day and they never came and talked to us. We watched a few church movies and that was about it. I think it is because there is only a small staircase leading up to our apartment and they just did not come up and talk to us. So, when we left, our zone leaders called and told us that we needed to talk to the census people. We left an appointment and then went to the census office where they asked us lots of questions, from there we ran to the church building for a meeting with the Bishop; that was Sunday.

The rest of the week I was just a little frustrated with my companion, him being latino I knew it was going to be difficult. The problem also is that he and I think about missionary work a little differently. He wants to go contacting, or door knocking all the time; I think this is a huge waste of time. The people do not want to just open their doors and talk to us. He just wants to change everything to way you would work in the city, because that is where he was for his last area. His whole area was only a few blocks and ours now is several miles. So it is just frustrating. Also, him being Latino, he is not the cleanest of people, candy wrappers just dropped on the apartment floor are not really my style.

I also started running to start losing the weight that I have gained. Elder Tinta is not super excited, but he wants to take me contacting? I am taking him for four mile runs every morning and then coming inside to do my calisthenics. I am really enjoying my workout time.

Today we cooked with a member, the dish is called ahi de gallina. It is a chicken sauce thing with rice; it is super good and easy to make as well.

There was also one evening that we could hardly do anything because they had a festival for Senor Cautivo. Everyone was out partying and celebrating the works of their own hands. That was fun.

But all in all, an ok week. I will see y’all later.
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Last Week of My Training

So this week was good. We had another multizona on Thursday about Preach my Gospel. That was awesome. I really enjoyed it and the talks were good as well. It was not really focused on a specific theme though. The last was about the Book of Mormon and the one before that was when we had Elder Zivic of the Seventy come and talk to us about how we can improve as missionaries.

This week was also trying to find a lot of new people for the new areas. But we did not succeed very well. Originally this ward had two areas my first cambio, then it got condensed into one with just Gilliland and I. But now cambios were today so I am now with Elder Tinta in the same area. It is pretty cool. This morning we spent most of it cleaning up the apartment, I had tried over the past twelve weeks but it was hard when Gilliland did not really want to clean. But I bought more toilet cleaner, bathroom cleaner, and a new mop. The room looks completely different.

So one thing we found out this week is that soccer games are the only time Peruvians are punctual. When we plan activities for our missionary nights every Friday we tell them to show up at five, to an activity that actually starts at six, so they will show up at around seven. But when there was a soccer game at a young single adult activity everyone showed up early. It was a miracle.

Some of the pictures that are coming this week are our noche misional where we usually just play volleyball. And then others are from the Multizona, and another is my brand new agenda for this transfer. We put the pictures on the front by the way. I can be a little bit artsy.

Other than this not much happened this week. But keep it up. I miss you guys.

Elder Westergard

In Sickness and in Health

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This week was just fine really, sadly, no baptisms this week, but we found a few more people who have a baptismal date ready and coming up in the next few weeks.

So what stunk this week was I got pretty sick Wednesday and just felt awful, chills, small fever, felt really weak, just not a fun experience. Then that night I hardly slept, as I got up six or seven times to use the bathroom. My stomach felt horrible; it was just not a fun day. I had Elder Gilliland give me a blessing and I felt pretty good the following day.

We are teaching several families who are progressing at this point which is super exciting, but it is also kind of sad because next week I could be in a different area. I honestly do not know, I could still be here in Sanchez Cerra or I could be transferred several hours away to a different zone, but either way it will be fun.

So for pictures this week I have a rainbow after it rained here. And for here it was a downpour, but it was only a few drops for twenty minutes or so. We also got to see a dead dog lying in the street. They do not exactly have many public services here.

So for last week, Sorry about not really having very much of a post. We went to Maripon for p-day which was awesome, a really nice hike. Other than the one really grumpy elder in our zone just kind of complained about everything. Overall, other than getting to bed super late, it was good. That is why there was not much said, I did not have much time to write during the day.

This is my last p-day with Elder Gilliland. Transfers are next week. Hopefully I stay in this area and then get a new companion. For me I think that would work well, but I am almost positive that I will be training a new Elder. There is supposed to be a giant group of new guys coming in this cambio.

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We went to the zoo today.

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A Poem –

It clings to my soul
Affecting my whole.
Its tendrils within me dart,
Sharp thorns piercing my heart.
My heart still beating
A life wasted so fleeting.

From me blood begins to seep
just as my soul begins to weep.
The damage done was not of my design
But upon myself I brought this with time.

My soul ne er wanting
yet still I kept hunting.
Thus finding this pleasure,
A torture I would treasure.

This thick black oil
Has me within its coil
It trapped me with promise of sweet,
Now I am left to be sifted as wheat.

I scream and shout of my pain
but my cries only echo within my brain.
Of this prison knows not one.
And by this I am undone.

I look at this coil that holds me fast
beggining to boil. I attempt to look past
my captivity so strong
seeing jaws of fire to punish for all my wrong.

For aid I cry and cry.
For after all I can try
my clothes run red, scorching my skin,
cleansing them white, like that of my kin.

The coils from me depart
scars still within my heart.
I then hear him call
thus to my knees I fall

He calls once more
thus I look up from the floor
seeing feet scarred
far worse than my heart was marred.

His hands I grasp,
Feeling the scar I gasp.
From me did flee my fears
as we both united in tears.

From his warm embrace
never again another will I chase.

Book of Mormon and Goats

So this week was not super strange it felt pretty normal for being here. So this week on Monday we had a fairly strange experience. We were doing our workouts and then we heard downstairs, where our pensonista is, a scream. So Gilliland and I stop what we are doing and look at one another very confused. So I go and open the door and look downstairs and I see a goat, alive, hog tied laying downstairs. Just a normal day in Peru. So we leave it there and it screams a few more times. Then during our study we heard this scream. It seemed like something was eating our pensonista. So I open the door and it is just a goat hog tied downstairs not a big deal. Then during our study the goat was taken, thrown on the back of a moto and left with our pensonista. Then it came back in pieces and we had him for lunch. It was pretty good.

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Yesterday was exhausting we woke up at around seven quickly left the apartment and tried to pass by some of our investigators to get them to come to church. So then after they were not home or either thought they did not have the right clothes for church we went to church. And since church is just hard to understand I read my Book of Mormon for three hours, in spanish of course. But I really enjoyed that.

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The other big part of this week was a big book of mormon activity. We had a bible costume and a book of mormon costume and we went to a few different parks and we just contacted and set up visits for several hours. It was fun but exhausting. Contacting is so tireing and difficult. Refferals are so much easier to work with.

Then we had some ceviche for lunch today and that was fun.

I am loving what we are doing here and am having a blast as I am slowly being roasted. But that is about it for this week. Hasta luego.

Elder Westergard

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September 18, 2017

The computer I am at is not recognizing my camera so here is my blog post

So this week was pretty similar to last week. I am just working on my language and my teaching skills a bunch. I made several vocabulary lists and that is helping a ton and reading the scriptures in Spanish is also a big help. I can understand almost all of it but it helps that I have read the Book of Mormon so many times before as well. But I love my personal study time especially in Preach My Gospel. If you have not looked through that manuel I would invite you to do so and grow your testimony about Jesus Christ, mainly becuase it asks you to spend a bunch of time in the scriptures.

We are trying our best to get our invitations down for our investigators. Mainly becuase hardly any of our investigators are coming to church which is super annoying and not very good for our numbers. It is just super hard becuase many have stubborn parents, have to work on Sunday, or simply do not want to come.

We did have an awesome conference with Elder Zivick of the seventy this week though in Piura. He gave an excellent talk on our purpose as missionaries. To sum it up it was basically, use the tools you have to be successful. And with the Spirit we cannot fail. And the whole thing was in spanish and I understood it. It was great.

My language study is getting better as I am finding more of my common errors and working on them. My vocab lists are helping a ton. I just have to be patient and work my butt off with it.

I am also getting better at my directional skills. Mainly because I have located all of the bakeries and relate everyone┬┤s houses to the bakeries. But whatever works. I have also been praying a ton for this and it has helped a bunch.

For my spiritual part of this here is my testimony.
I know that God is real and my Father. I know that he loves me and everyone else on the Earth. I know that Jesus Christ is our Brother and Savior. I know that he atoned for all of our sins. I know that our Father is so merciful and loving we cannot comprehend it. So we just need to use the atonement of Jesus Christ to take part of that mercy he is kindly offering at any moment of any day. I know that the Book of Mormon is the work of God. I know that we need to read it and apply it in our lives. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and was essential to the Restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ. We simply need to act upon our faith and then knowledge as that comes. I write these things in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.