Prison Life Almost Done

Hey everyone! I am back for the last time at the CCM. I am doing just fine so far. My Spanish has grown in leaps and bounds and I feel at least a little bit more comfortable with my Spanish skills.
We had our first proselyting experience this week on Friday in Lima. We went out with a few of the full time missionaries serving in that area and we went contacting. Contacting is where we go door to door trying to find people in their homes or on the street that would be interested in hearing the message of the restored gospel. What a humbling experience that was. I was riding in a bus and I saw a woman cooking food for her children with a propane tank whilst living in a cardboard shack on top of another building in Lima. We say we have poverty in the United States, we do not. You have no idea what poverty looks like. These people live off of a handful of Soles per day. Go look up the exchange rate for Peruvian soles and US dollars.

My scripture study has been astounding lately. We had a class with the MTC president about studying the scriptures and it was amazing. Presidente Moore knows so much. That class has honestly changed my scripture study and changed my life. It is incredible. There is so much in the scriptures if you would just look at the footnotes and study with the spirit. What I enjoy doing is opening a prayer at the beginning of my study and continually talking with our Heavenly Father during my study and allowing him to guide me to what I need to find. I would like to invite anyone who is reading this to read the Book of Mormon. It is an incredible volume of scripture that can change your life for the better knowing what our Father in Heaven has done for others on this Earth and what he is willing to do for you.

We moved the ceiling tiles in our rooms and found that elders have written their names on the concrete walls for at least a few years so that is some of the pictures that are with this. It is kind of neat.

The other picture is me and my companion for the time at the CCM, Elder Thompson. He is from Colorado and pretty cool. He is super outdoorsy. And then the other picture is one of our district. Which is our class for our time at the CCM.

This is my last week at the CCM and then it will be in Piura. I finish the CCM next Monday and will hopefully be able to email just a quick one when I arrive but I do not know if I can actually do a blog post. It has been amazing you guys. I miss you but I am also super excited to get out of the CCM. Attached is a poem that I wrote about our time here.

I will talk to you all in probably another two weeks and by then I will have a week in the field behind me. I will see you all then.

Elder Westergard

The MTC

Tired and nervous our bus pulled up.
Unloading our excitement only to have it culled
arising only a few hours later
to work and learn so others may we cater

With small breakfast shackles were served, clack, clack
on our writs. We grabbed a tray for our first am snack
our time had started;
free will from hence, had departed.

We unpacked our bags:
Uniforms hung up and we were assigned our tags.
Classes began and our
struggles continued hour after hour

Our tenure had benefits, this was known.
Studying time was treasured, not from hence thrown.
Physical activity was a joyful time
If the teachers did not come out and stop us on a dime.

A week gone by,
the yard alone was where we did not cry in misery.
We enjoyed our game
until we for a lack of effort was our blame.

Christmas came a day too late
as it always does with it’s changing date
We were given on hour to talk if one came,
but not always were our loves in our frame.

We all scratch
yet move no muscles to match.
Watching our every breath
Our maestros threaten death.

Onto a bus our chain gang strode
yet we rejoiced we no longer abode
within the gray walls.
Finally we had answered our calls.

Our sentence nearly o’er
the last Christmas knocking on the door
excited we are; yet
even with uncertainty, doubt has us yet to get.

Our wrists raw from chains
we throw off these pains
for a longer leash
far away from cafeteria quiche.

And so we actually begin.
Is such eagerness a sin?
No, for we go to serve our God,
hour after hour.

Shaking up prison life…

Well this week has not been much different than the last. We are still working on our spanish and teaching the fake investigators in our cassitas that we have out back. I am doing well and surviving off the huge quantities of chicken and rice that they give us for lunch and dinner everyday. Saturday we had a little shake up to our schedule and we had a 4.8 earthquake that shook the little cassitas that we teach in and then we had the MTC itself, which is built to withstand earthquakes, shake. We all ran outside of our classrooms to the giant yellow circles in the parking lot that are the safe zones. That was a little fun. And then this week we were able to convince our teachers to go outside the MTC walls that we are not allowed to leave and buy us peanut butter. That was absolutely amazing. I still have half a jar left and I stole a spoon from the cafeteria so I could eat it back in my room. The teachers were not actually supposed to buy this for us but we did such a good job.

We are only allowed to get outside the walls on P day to go to the temple but other than that we are confined to the cafeteria, the dorms, the classroom, and the volleyball court. I am going a little crazy with so little to actually do here. But I have been able to go through the Book of Mormon with astonishing speed because of all our study time. I started it about a week and a half ago and now I am in Helaman 5. I think I am doing pretty well. The latinos are pretty funny this time around because the old ones left earlier this week. They keep asking me to speak french which is pretty funny.

It has been a ton of fun lately. Hope you guys are doing well. Later guys.

Pictures so far…

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I cannot get enough of this soda, it is Inca Cola, bubble gum soda, but it is basically a drug for some of the elders. As soon as the vending machine is filled he buys four or five bottles. I got the liter and a half bottle when we went to interpol last week for our residency, that was fun because we had to get up at four and leave at five to make sure we were first in line.

Yes, I am the shortest Elder.

We get to go to the temple in Lima on P Day (preparation day) while here in the MTC.

Here is a tie that I got from one of the native elders. I traded one of my old red ones for it. It is super cool.
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I will get the captions figured out on the pictures eventually!

Week Three

Sometimes I think I might try the food and then I think, eh, better not.

So this week has been super similar to the past two. My Spanish has improved significantly and I am doing much better in our mock lessons that we have everyday. We don´t actually do that much in a day but the waking up at six thirty, the measly breakfast that usually consists of a hardboiled egg and as much toast as you want. Also for your information cocoa puffs in Peru do not go soft no matter how long they have been in the milk. They retain the ability to break teeth even after fifteen minutes soaking in the milk. We had some really good rice yesterday which consisted of a block of rice maybe five inches by three inches and about an inch and a half deep. It was the best rice we have had, we have had rice everyday at least twice by the way. Then we usually have some ice cream bars that are unlimited and use to our full advantage. We also have a soft serve ice cream machine guarded by a short Peruvian lady. But getting seconds is fairly easy, all us white guys look the same and napkins in the bowl fix the problem about having a dirty bowl. I still have another three weeks in the MTC. All the Avansados left today, the older missionaries that arrived three weeks earlier than us. So the new ones come in tonight to wake us up at three am when they come in the room to set up shop.

We have played a lot of volleyball as I have said before and we are getting really good. We might have the next USA volleyball team here.

I will talk next week with you guys. See ya.

Elder Westergard

My first week

Hello everyone.

I am going to apologize right now about not having any pictures. I have been super busy with learning and studying lately. I would like everyone to know that I am doing just fine and am having a blast here in Peru. I do want to testify that the gift of tongues is real and that my Spanish is light years ahead of what I had before and it has only been a week. We have investigators that we teach everyday that are actually just our teachers acting as people they met on their missions. It has been super cool. I would also like to let everyone know that I am now the toast record holder at the MTC in Lima with twenty pieces of toast with butter eaten in one sitting. I miss you guys but it has been a ton of fun.

Leaving

Well I leave for the wonderful country of Peru today. My family is taking me to the airport today and seeing me off. I turned my phone in last night before I got set apart, meaning I officially become a missionary and have to follow all mission rules, and so I have not responded to a lot of texts or snapchats and whatnot. Anyway here I go; the next post will be next Monday so I will have a full week to report. Thanks to everyone who has helped me get this far. Adios.

Farewell Information

With only thirty seven days left things are getting a little crazy. For those who would like to I am having a farewell at church on June 11 the last Sunday before I leave. That night I am also having a farewell “party” at my house. It might only be some food and then a few games or whatnot. If you would like the information text me or DM me if you found this on my instagram. Things are starting to wind down and it is a little weird. Stay cool people.