Monday, February 29, 2016


Family! Friends! Nicol got baptized!!!!!! And her family came from Puerto Montt!

But I’ll talk about that later. Today, we leave for Osorno for 2 days to start the process for companion’s second visa. We will be in a bus all day today, and all day tomorrow. But I’m pumped to see more of Chile.

This week we were tracting and it was overcast, then within 30 minutes it just dumped rain on us. Soaked every part of our bodies. All of the pass along cards and baptismal invitations I had with me were destroyed. But by the end of the day my pants had dried off so it works out in the end.

Wild blackberries are all over the place. On the sides of the roads too. We have been eating them like crazy.

Some humorous stories: 

There is a funny menos active who is a little confused. He smokes, so we read 1Corinthians 3:16-17 about how our body is a temple.
Us: “Based on what we have read, how can we keep care of our bodies?”
Him: “We can wear clothes so we don’t get cold. Eat.”
Us: “Good, what other ways are there?”
Him: “Don’t wear makeup. God doesn’t want us to do that.”
Us (trying not to laugh): “Are there any OTHER ways??”
Him: ..... Us: “How about not smoking??”
Him: “Ooohhhhh thipo (ohhhhhh, yeah that’s right)”. 

A confused older lady we met-
Lady: “How are you two doing?”
Us: “Great, thank you.” 
Lady: “I like you guys. I like your religion. You do great things. I also like Jehova’s Witnesses, Catholics, and Evangelicals.”
Us: “Thank you very much! That’s great that you like religion so much and see the good it does.”
Lady: “But do you know who I HATE?”
Us: “Who?”
Lady: “I hate the Mormons.”
Us: “But mam we are Mormons.”
Lady: “No no, you guys are great. But I hate the Mormons.”
Us, after several attempts: “Have a great day!”

Hope you enjoyed that. This week has gone well. This week we had a broadcast in Castro for the missionaries by Elder Bednar. He was in Argentina. It went super well. I received a lot of help from the Spirit. I received comfort for members of my family who are less active or non-members. I felt God is very happy with what I am doing, and I felt an overwhelming calm about the work. The Lord will hasten His work in His own time. I just have to do my part. My absence is helping my family more than my presence. 

During district council we did a practice. We knocked a door, got in, and started to begin teaching. The Spirit hit me with an overwhelming prompting to testify of Christ. But this is just a practice in district council! I thought promptings like this only come in real lessons! But I bore my testimony, and the Spirit was strong. Later that day, we did a street contact. Instead of using the pass along cards and other contacting methods, I just bore my testimony of Jesus Christ to these people right off the bat. I felt the Spirit. The couple didn’t accept our invitation, but I’m doing my part as a representative of Jesus Christ.

Two investigators came to the mission activity on Friday! There were 3 investigators and 3 members, but it went great. Nicol bore her testimony to them, said they should keep investigating, and that they should come to her baptism on Saturday. They came! It has been a little tricky with them. They are 16 and 17 years old. They are off and on. Right when we are about to drop, them they progress rapidly. And the cycle repeats. But they are progressing. 

With a couple we are teaching, their baptismal date is for the 26th of March. They are still working for an answer. They have such great faith. They are a MARRIED couple (that’s rare) with 2 daughters ages 7 and 5 that remind me a lot of my little sister Rebecca. We had dinner with them last night. They are from Temuco. The husband works here in the pesquera (fish factory). His wife is going back to Temuco but is praying for guidance if she should stay or should she should go. They are looking to rent their own house here. Right now they are living with members. That is how we got their reference. The husband has a powerful testimony of prayer, and is praying for guidance in this decision. He told us that he doesn’t believe moving here, living with a Mormon family, and then coming into contact with us as missionaries is a coincidence. Such a great family.

Nicol was baptized on Saturday by Elder Torres. On Sunday, I confirmed her a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and conferred to her the gift of the Holy Ghost. People always look different after their baptism and when they receive the Holy Ghost. There is a light in them. It is noticeable. As missionaries we notice it even more because we interact with every kind of person. Nicol, after her baptism bore here testimony. She said it has been hard. Really hard. And that God has let her struggle through the whole process. But that has made her stronger. She had prayed every night asking God if this is the decision that he wants her to take. She even prayed the night before, seeking a confirmation to her answer. She testified that because of her decision 1,000 problems came. But for every problem, there were 10,000 answers and help. Powerful testimony. She wants to serve a mission but hasn’t taken the decision yet. The poor girl was so scared at the baptism, she was rigid. It took her 3 attempts before she was baptized properly. Elder Torres told her to say a prayer in her heart and then let her feet leave the floor. That was the time that it worked. She has such great faith.

In the broadcast with Elder Bednar, he talked a lot about praying with faith. We do that by telling God our plans, what we want to accomplish, and then asking for His help and blessings as we act. I put that to the test this week. One morning I woke up, still dead tired, and I didn’t want to do exercises. But I wanted to be obedient. I said a prayer and told God I would begin the process of getting ready, and I would do the exercises because I wanted to be obedient. But I asked Him to bless me with the energy to do them as I acted. The energy came! The motivation came! I know God answers our prayers. Yesterday, Elder Torres and I offered the same prayer. We were exhausted and didn’t want to work. But we told God we were going to work anyways, and that we wanted Him to bless us with the strength to walk the rest of the day, and energy to do the work. And it came. Test this out. I know God answers our prayers.

While we taught the gospel principles class about the fall of Adam and Eve, I thought about how this story applies to us. The Spirit testified that just like with Adam and Eve. We make mistakes. We will sin. But God has a plan for us. And even when we fall, He can still make the best out of things, even bring us great blessings as we repent. Just like Brother Wagner used to say in seminary, "God has our goofs worked into His plan for us." 

I love you guys.

Elder West