Construction Week

I apologize once again I cannot get my camera to function on this computer. It just says that it does not recognize my camera and is not very fun. So this week was just crazy.

For several days we did this service project at one of our investigators houses. And this service we started at ten in the morning and went until one in the afternoon for three days. The original plan was that we would move up the roof on this one part of her house and then that was it. However this turned into a need to raise the roof, put on a new roof, rip an old roof off another part of the house, and then put on a new wall. It was a little annoying. But she gave us lunch for these three days. That was alright.

Today we went to Piura for the cupa de la Piura Vida. A huge soccer tournament that Presidente does. I enjoyed it alright, even if I am terrible at soccer. But I am not a terrible goalie I just cannot be in the concha, whatever the word is in english, I also find this happens more and more often words in english are harder to find. And I could not spell babtism or barley this week. I do not even know if I spelled them right here.

Everything else is going alright we did not have a babtism this week but that is alright we have several lined up for the end of the month. We had an alright week it was just that we had the service project and it ate too much of our time.

Other than this not much happened. I will just have to keep trying with the camera and see what happens.

James

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It is a Miracle

Well this week we had a few miracles in our area. One was fairly obvious. We were working and working trying to find new people in our area that we could teach all week. Until Thursday we had only one. That was incredibly frustrating as we have never had a problem with new people in my almost six months of being here. But then on Thursday it all flipped around. We found seven new people to teach on Thursday. We managed to hit up a few references that we had been chasing down and found three different families. We ended up with seven new investigators and we put three of them with a babtismal date. That was awesome. It was difficult but you could really see the hand of the lord in the work.

Then we had another babtism this week. But that was an adventure. So we go Friday night to the Noche Misional and after the english class we start to fill up the babtismal font. Then the water stops working. So we are really confused as to what to do. Our ward mission leader then gives us the number of someone with a gaint water truck that could help us out. So we give him a call and then he says that he will come in the morning. This however did not work to plan. We arrived at the church early to clean up. Which by the way is disgusting and terrible, mopping black water out of the building as well as mountains of trash from the members activities. Then the water guy never shows up. So we borrow a trashcan full of water from one of the members nearby and use a moto, that took three soles for a trip of a block, to bring the trashcan to the capilla. We then carry the trashcan into the capilla and then dump it into the babtismal font. Hardly anything. So we go across the street to another member and borrow his hose to fill up the trashcan again. I would imagine it would be a little strange to see a few missionaries standing in the sun, in the street, filling up a garbage can with water. But things like that are actually normal in Peru so it was ok. We then do this a few more times to get the Pila just full enough. Then we leave.

The Primary President then called a few hours later just before our first appointment for the day. So we took a car back to the capilla and gave a very grumpy primary president the keys to the building so that they could have the primary program practice. Then we went to one of our appointments and had the babtism. The babtism went fine I performed the ordinance, twice. As we did not have the pila very full her leg kind of sprung up the first time so we had to do it again.

Well I would love to send some photos but my camera is not showing up on the computer so I do not know what is going to happen there. If I can get it to work there will be pictures but if not I am sorry.

Well P day was a good one today. We went over to the other elders apartment and we played risk on the roof. That was an incredibly long game. After we compromised on risk we went over to Tottus and bought our food for the week. I managed to get food for the next two weeks in just over a weeks budget. Hamburgers are going to be really good.

Ok so for my random notes that I have in my agenda for my email today are as follows:
I would really like a bible with the JST in it. Flipping back to the index is a little annoying at times.
Toni Martinez you would really like the book The five people you meet in Heaven. I got your letter by the way
I heard Dire Straits Money for Nothing when we were in a house and almost cried.

And that is about it for this week guys. I will try to have some more incredibly amazing experiences while I am here to send next week. Read the Book of Mormon it will change life. I promise you. And talk to the Mormon missionaries, they would love to talk to you about Christ and help you with your questions. Siguen preserverando.

Elder Westergard

Cambios

Well this week was our cambios, or our transfers. I was sweating all week about what would happen, but long story short I am still in the same area with Elder Tinta. I am actually pretty happy about it because getting transfered to a new area just before Christmas would really not be fun.

Other than that we had another baptism this week, her name is Janeth, pronounced (Yanet). We have been working with her for about two months and her fecha finally rolled around and she was ready. Man it was awesome.

We have also been playing a lot of futball, I have not used the word soccer in months. This is mostly for practice for the Cupa de la Piura vida.

For P-day today I made crepes with my pensonista and that was super fun. I had to redeem myself from when I made this box mix mom sent me and it did not turn out wonderful, but I think I have regained their confidence. And most of the pictures this week were with them. Sheyla is the little girl and she is super fun we like to play uno after we read the Book of Mormon with them when we get back to the apartment. It is pretty fun. As you can see she drew on the tile floor herself, my companion and I. I really enjoy being with them. Then we went and watched Shrek at the other elders apartment and then we are writing our families and that is about it.

I will catch you later guys.

Elder Westergard

Out of the fire and into the blowtorch

It has just gotten hotter here in Sullana and making it uncomfortable, but it is what it is, sand and sun. That is my life.

Well this week we did a lot more trying to contact some people and have some new people to teach which was good. But it was also difficult. Contacting in the heat and sun and sand is not exactly a walk in the park, but painting was fun this week.

We went with the other elders to their pensonista and painted her house for her. That was pretty fun. Mixing the paint was a little bit of a mess but overall a fun activity for us.

Peru also made it into the world cup for all of you that did not know. During the game our pensonista was watching below us and when Peru made a goal there was a lot of screaming and yelling. That was pretty funny and then all night long you hear fireworks and horns honking and whatnot; it was fun.

Other than this nothing much happened. I am just continuing to walk around and trying to help people. Cambios are this week, so I could be emailing from somewhere else next week. I will see you guys.

Elder Westergard

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

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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