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

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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.

A tough week – Sept 11, 2017

So everyone, here I am again. This week was really hard for me, but I am pressing forward. We are working really hard especially since our area is a lot bigger now than it was the first transfer, but we are doing our best. We just need to take more motos than usual; and are having a hard time visiting and finding all the people we need to. Our goal is at least seven new people, but along with these we need to teach all the people we found before; we need to teach all the recent converts, people who were baptized less than a year ago; we need to plan and enact an activity every Friday at the ward building; and since we do not have lots of money we walk almost everywhere.

We were supposed to have two baptisms on Saturday, one of our investigators and another whom we inherited from the other area. Sadly, neither took place, our investigator is not helping around the house and doing what her parents tell her to do. Thus her punishment is no baptism. But I think the problem is that the TV is always on in her house and she gets sucked in and never does anything all day. So it is frustrating trying to talk to her about it. The other investigator we inherited, moved from Sullana, where we are to Piura the week before his baptism.

This week was probably the hardest week I have had so far. We tried so hard to work with the parents of the one investigator; we tried really hard to find new people; we are really trying to adapt in our new, big area, but it is hard. Thursday, I feel was the hardest day I have had on my mission thus far. I just woke up feeling like crap. I felt I had no strength whatsoever. I was praying all day for enough strength to make it through the next appointment. The sun just beat down upon us and I was miserable for most of the day. We tried to visit our investigator whose parents will not let her be baptized yet. They spoke really fast and my head was not in it; I could not understand but really simple words and grammar structures. It was not the most pleasant day.

I also taught my first English class on Friday. We taught some basic words and just a few phrases to introduce yourself. It was pretty fun. We also taught colors and numbers by playing Uno. That was fun.

So along with this blog post I am putting lots of scriptures that is because to help me find scriptures for my investigators I categorized all my markings and you can look through them if you would like. But I would ask all of you to read the Book of Mormon and read it with a curiosity and look for Christ within its pages. Because I testify that book is of God and will bless your life if you would simply read it. This is my invitation to all of you this week and every week.

This Sunday was also pretty fun. I gave a ten minute talk during Sacrament meeting, in Spanish. I also taught the gospel principles class. I was informed of this assignment Saturday evening as well and church starts at 8am, so I had very little time to prepare everything I wanted to. So it was a little stressful and add on that we are fasting because we did not the week before. So it was stressful and exhausting P-day is such a blessing, being able to rest for a little bit.

I also went on intercambios this week with one of the zone leader. It was supposed to start at 10pm, but it did not start until about 9:30 the next morning. Latinos in general are a tardy people. But it was pretty fun I helped Elder Urbeque learn If You Could Hie to Kolob in English. We talked with several new people and we visited a few recent converts. It was pretty cool. Urbeque told me I just need to work on my Spanish and I could be a really good missionary and I am working on it, it is just hard.

Oh, last P-day was awesome. We woke up did our exercises and then we went shopping, bought all the ingredients needed for cookie dough and then returned to the apartment. We made cookie dough and watched Cars 2. It was pretty great.

So that was my week, until next Monday.

Elder Westergard

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Our Plate Just Got A Whole Lot Bigger

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Well this week is the final week of the transfer, a transfer is a six week period that the mission is divided into. During transfers people will change companionships, leadership positions, and areas. So this week the other elders in our ward got assigned to different areas and their area gets added onto ours. Our area takes about forty minutes to walk from one side to the other completely before this transfer, so now we get a whole lot more space to cover. But we will be fine, 1 Nephi 3:7.

So we have been doing really good this week. We found a few more people to teach and actually will have our first babtism this Saturday and I am so excited. I am so happy for her. But it has also been a little dissapointing because one family that we have been working with since before I arrived and they just stopped proggressing recently and we are probably going to visit them a few more times this week and try and get them to church and if they do not, they get put in the old investigators section of the area book. And speaking of area books we were digging through our apartment and found an old area book with a ton of names and addresses and phone numbers. So we will be visiting them in the next few weeks to see if they are interested in the church again.

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I feel so sorry for all you elders that served in the states where you had trouble getting people to talk. Here the problem is getting them to stop talking so you can share some of the lesson. For example we met this one guy on the street and proceeded to give us a twenty minute lecture about how God loves all of us and some other stuff, but did not let us talk at all.

So a little bit about last week since I know that post was not that long. We went to the mountains and hiked around which was a ton of fun. So the pictures are of everyone who went on the hike, our ward mission leader, the other elders that were in our ward, and three members of the ward, one who was just baptized the week before. It was super fun. The skull is of a goat and we named him Charlie, or Carlos and we carried him around for a while. Then there are some pictures of us with Pinas not coconuts. But they were pretty good. And the dog is the really ugly Peruvian dogs that I think look like the marine core in dog form honestly. They all have a crew cut.

I finally got to try ceviche, even though it is on the no no list for missionaries to eat. The zone leaders supposedly got permission but seeing as they were both latino I doubt it. But it was so good. I loved it.
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And there are a few pictures of me riding on the back of a moto with Elder Mendez and Elder Meza.

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Far from normal

So this week was weird. I went to Lima on Wednesday because I needed to get some papers signed for my visa or something like that. But it was super cool because I got to see all of my friends from the CCM again. We arrived at the office in Piura Tuesday night and we stayed up talking until three just about everything. One elder has a really difficult companion and we just talked about that, home, dreams, and just helped each other out. It was incredibly thereputic.

Then we had our multi zone conference that was a huge talk about the Book of Mormon. Presidente had an amazing talk all about the evidence for the Book of Mormon and it was awesome. But he also said something else. That is evidence is only astounding if you already know the Book of Mormon is true. And I do, I know it with my whole soul.

That was all we really had this week. But it is super exciting because we have a ton of people with a babtismal date right now. We should have nine babtisms this next month. That will be awesome. I cannot wait until I have my first babtism.

I am sorry but I did not charge my camera and it is dead so no pictures this week. I will make sure to put them up next week though. Keep cool you guys.

Elder Westergard

Yo quiero a ser un chaski

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The title means I want to be a chaski. A chaski is an Incan messenger that would run messages from town to town in the mountains. That is what one of the members told me I should be when I told her that I love to run. Sadly I have not run since I got here though. But push ups there have been plenty of those. I am almost able to do a one armed push up, I need another few weeks.

So I found my new favorite dessert here it is called arroz con leche. It means rice with milk, yes rice in their desserts. But this one is divine. I really enjoy it. And they serve it warm it is strange but so good.

For pday today we went to conchake. This is a mountain place in our area and most of the pictures this week are from this trip. We left last night took an hour long bus ride to the mission office in Piura from our area in Sullana. Then we slept there for three hours got up and got on another bus to conchake. Then we hiked up the mountian and through this little town. The views were incredible. I love mountains in the states but they do not have anything like this. Green all the way to the top and clouds just below you. That was awesome. They also had some weird plants that are somehow able to grow on powerlines. Go figure.
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Oh and yesterday I gave my first talk in sacrament meeting. I don’t think that I messed up too bad. That was pretty fun and while we were out proselyting I basically bribed a bunch of little kids with pass along cards. I told them that I would give them cards if they told their parents to come and talk with us the next time we were in their neighborhood. So I thought of this and essentially used tithing funds to bribe children for a visit.

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There was one family that we visited a few days ago that had the sweetest little baby sleeping on the couch and I wanted so badly to pick her up and snuggle. Ooh that is hard. I also kind of broke that rule yesterday too when I lifted two kids over the river of poop running through the middle of the road during one of our invasions. This thing is two feet wide and the color of spinach. Probably about four or five inches deep too. It was gross.

So in summary I love it but I also want to snuggle babies, watch movies, and date girls.