Sunday, December 7, 2014

Oh Lord my God, I am yet strong, Give me this mountain

This week was a bit rough. We taught well, we worked well, but sometimes the puts don't sink, the baskets don't swoosh and the ball just doesn't hit the back of the net.  

I am happy to know that i used my agency to do what was required and it was the agency of the investigators to not comply. Our family of 5 with the drug problems left to Guadalajara...so that made me real upset and sad.  2 of our golden investigators have chosen some real rough roads this week and are in danger of not coming back, and the rest just straight up didn't go to church.  

But like i said, the puts don't always sink, the baskets don't always swoosh and the ball doesn't always hit the back of the net.  we hit the crossbar several times this week haha.  Man i miss soccer. 

Alrighty, cool uplifting experiences of the week!  first, giving priesthood blessings. I LOVE WHEN PEOPLE ASK FOR BLESSINGS! We had three investigators ask for blessings at the same time and wow did the spirit make itself known unto us.  As i gave the blessing for the first woman i was strongly guided to say some things and bless her.  Twice i tried to resist the prompting and not say what i was told due to the boldness and the changes in her life style that are required to be baptized. But, as i resisted, the spirit prompted again a little stronger, so i obeyed and promised this woman that in some future she would be baptized and come to know the fullness of the gospel through obedience and drastic life style changes....as i spoke her partner was present but the spirit of contention was not.  incredible. Also, as my comp blessed the sweet hermana Concepcion, she told us that she felt her head super super hot as we blessed her and that she had felt such an incredibly strong, sweet spirit come upon her.  As i gave the last blessing, once again i was guided to say some very specific phrases and words according to what the spirit told me. i talked about faith and action and that NOW IS THE TIME TO ACT. it was an experience that impacted me greatly, i cannot describe much of it in words. 

After that, a few days later we had a conference for the trainers and the greenies haha. it was a crack up hearing all the trainers talk about their problems and their comps, there are some crazies in the mission right now. As always the assistants and president lifted our spirits and helped us resolve our doubts.  then the next day we had our zone conference and yes i got my packages! thank you so much for all the ties and things! its awesome! and the Christmas tree will be sweet! i almost bought one the other day in the street to make things look a little brighter in our apartment, but this tree is so much better! the conference was long, 5 hours sitting and i just ended up kind of frustrated after. I just have a lot of work to do and need to change a few things up here in Delicias and life i think. Today is the start of a new transfer and i have been blessed with yet another transfer here in Delicias. 5 in total. about 7.5 months in the same area. ha. oh man. 

We eat with the members every day except Mondays, we eat at 2 and then eat dinner at 10 at night. but my body has gotten used to it so i usually just eat breakfast and then eat at 2 and then skip dinner. but the members area all great and help us so much down here! i really have a family down here its awesome! 

P days have changed, due to disobedience and accidents we aren't allowed to do activities with our zone or even our district. so now we wake up at 6 and 30, study at 8 to 10. then we have 8 hours to wash clothes, buy food, write the family and anything else we want, but we always have to ask for permission, and here in TJ there isn't much to do for fun as a missionary. also historical sites and tourist areas are off limits. so we really do nothing. sometimes we play soccer my comp and i. or we got to a shopping center and walk around, sometimes we go get a hamburger at Carl's Jr or we go to Peter Pipers Pizza. that is the most fun haha. the other week i ripped my suit black and bought a new one for real cheap! only 120 dollars.  hope that's ok haha. Mexico is hard on suits! 


as far as packages go, after January first, well you cant send any haha, only for my birthday...boooo. dont send medicine, food or candy. or my president will go to jail for contraband...lame! you can send stuff to Mexico, but it probably wont arrive haha. just not food or anything like that.  

hey i don't have much time, so i will send this and some photos and will write ya all next week again! HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE! I LOVE YOU ALL AND WILL GIVE EVEN MORE THANKS THIS THURSDAY. Make sure to give thanks for the Atonement of Christ...without that infinite sacrifice, what would we have? nothing.

Love,
Elder Westbroek

Sunday, October 26, 2014

¡Oh esta, todo bien!

Parungaricutitimicuaro cuchitimitio.  My favorite tongue twister in spanish. people flip out when i say this real fast haha. (i have no idea how you really spell those two words, its a little village thing in the south of Mexico.) Random.

Anyways, WHATS UP!??!!?

Everything is just find and dandy here in TJ. Its the last week of the transfer and i am just stoked about it.  Really a lot hoping i get to leave Delicias. Its a fantastic area to baptize, but you definetly have to suffer to receive the blessings haha.  My health is starting to drop a bit so im hoping i can get out soon! And if i stay, sweet! because i have a lot of baptisms i would like to finish up :)  So next week i will let ya know all the details! 

So about the ipod haha. i didnt say anything about it to the President...but he just emailed me and said he would give it back to me if i promised to not tell anyone else that i have it! WHAT!? What an incredible President.  With the president before, honestly, he was just cold.  We as missionaries didn't feel love for him, we just felt like his servants.  But, with President Garcia, man its awesome! The mission is having a lot of trials right now, all of TJ honestly.  As the work of God hastens, so does the work of the Adversary.  With the temple being constructed, we have seen a LOT of trials. Especially with the missionaries who work closest to the temple...its been something very interesting.  I will tell you something.  The stake president spoke in church 2 weeks ago and told us a very intense dream that he had.  He received a call from a bishop and was asked to come to a house and bring a large group of priesthood holders.  When they arrived, the president knocked on the door, then turned to the men and told them "this will be a very strong experience, if you are not worthy or ready to see what will happen, please leave now"  well, one third of the group left. as they entered, they were directed through various persons to a room in the back, where they found Satan. The president described him as a very attractive person.  As the president confronted Satan, he asked the president "are you ready to begin?" the president raised his hand to the square and rebuked satan in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Satan told the president that it would not end like this and that all must pay for what has been done!.  and then the president woke up very alarmed...

so...what do we learn? First.  Light will always over power darkness. two. All that is light is from God.  Three. Satan is working as never before here in Tijuana.  
Please please, say your prayers for me and ask to give me strength to hang on.  But please dont stop there. Other missionaries have had some horrible experiences lately and have done some very horrible things...so please pray for the Elders and sisters of this mission...
The words of the stake president were very blunt and direct.  and with a great emphasis in the importance of staying worthy of a temple recommend.  ok.

General Conference. HOW AMAZING RIGHT!?!??!?! i dont know how many of you brought questions to the conference or were listening for something in particular. I had 5 questions...subjects in general. Spanish, Humility, Confidence, Teaching according to needs, and my Future Family.  Within the first 2 hours of general conference, i had every single answer that i needed haha. And the rest of conference was just bonus :)  Saturday we watched conference in English which is great, the spanish translaters are ok...but they dumb everything down and the power phrases of each talk get changed.  Sunday we watched it all in spanish.  I understand it all, but its just not the same. You did hear some spanish tho haha when Elder Christofferson said "Muy buenos días!"haha that cracked me up! also when Elder Holland said 'Eduardo, bien hecho!" haha also a great moment!  However, the gospel of christ is the same in whatever language so its always a great experience to get revelation and hear the word of God in two languages :) I just love watching the people watch conference...as they take notes i would too, that way i knew what their concerns were and what my investigators might need in the future. Very useful. I don't have my notes with me but i loved the talk about staying in the boat!! stay in the church! trust me...life is better when we are active and are truly converted to the Gospel of Christ. trust me haha.  Also, i loved the talk about where we face, towards God or towards man. That helped me so much! If we are doing all we can to be good in the eyes of the Lord, then we have no need to worry about what the natural man things!  Also, i loved the guy who said "get really really good at repenting" he also emphasized the importance of a sound mind, body and spirit.  It all goes hand in hand.  

I have had some really cool experiences with that, so far in this area i have helped some members lose a lot of weight. one guy is down about 25 pounds since i wrote him a workout routine.  I am starting another one this week for a recent convert of my old comp Elder Espino.  From reading a lot of books here in the mission, one thing that stuck to me was "ignorance is criminal". in whatever aspect of life...physical well being as well as spiritual go hand in hand. and if we are ignorant and do not look to educate ourselves to better the well being of both spiritual and physical we will lose the state of balance that exists between the two.  we are celestial beings living in temporal housing, the body.  We are all subject to illness both spiritual and physical too. that is what is so great about the atonement, it covers the illnesses of all physically and spiritually.  random rant.  

Two weeks ago, had a sweet experience.  I realized that i am a little slow when it come to reading haha. i take my time and drag things out. i can spend an hour on reading 2 or 3 verses in the book of Mormon.  After about 9 months of reading the book of mormon...i finished it.  what started out as reading in english then in spanish...slowly translated into just spanish. about 200 pages or more into the book i started taking more notes and understanding a lot more in spanish which was so cool!  This was the first time i had really ever taken directly the invitation of the book of mormon serious.  To read the book, ponder it in my heart and then ask God for an answer.  After i read the last few words in the book of mormon i sat quietly thinking to myself about what i had just learned...then i got to my knees and prayed...and sincerly asked for an answer...and wow. what an incredible feeling of peace and silence...in Galacians chapter 5  in the bible it describes the fruits of the spirit...I can honestly say i felt every single one of them. and it was a huge confirmation to me that really truly this book is true.  If you doubt the origin of this book, take the invitation. and ask God for your own personal experience.  One thing that i have had struggles with lately are little doubts. i have noticed the adversary putting in little thoughts and doubts in my head about the book of Mormon, Joseph smith and even Jesus Christ. But now with a stronger testimony of this book, i have been able to teach and testify better than ever.  Great experience. 

Thanks for all the hellos and greetings from everyone! many of the people who have said hello this week, i was actually thinking about this week! tell them hi and that i hope they are doing well! I'm glad to hear the primary kids, my kids, are all growing up! i cant wait to see them all :)  

Good job on making salsa! i have become a salsa addict...many have told me that i seem more mexican than american haha. honestly for me right now that is a great thing.  I feel like getting accustomed to the culture and living the best parts of it is a great way to adjust and live happily. I am trying to get some good recipis to cook for when i get back :)   


Take heed to the words of the prophets tho...from what i could tell, there are going to be some very big trails ahead of us. Family is key to it all.  The role of the Father and Mother are ever more important now.  I loved the comment about the calling of a Father is one where you will never be released.  Speaking of families, Conceptcion is doing great! she will be baptized this weekend on Saturday!!!! i am so excited!  She is growing in spiritual strength each week! it has been a pleasure to teach her and occasionally a few of her 12 children haha.  

I'm out of time and would love to write more, but i gotta head out!  Just know that everything is going pretty good! 

Love,
Elder Benjamin Hyrum Westbroek

One of Those Kinds of Weeks

¡¿Que tal le fue el día de hoy?!

So the title of this email about says it all. It was a fantastic week to say the least, filled with meetings and conferences, interviews con the President. It was GREAT!!! We learned about working and studying more effectively as usual, in the interviews with the president we just chatted about how i was feeling in the mission and how my family history is coming along.  Its always just great to sit down and have a chat with the President! HE IS AWESOME. 

The main even of this week will either be written in a letter to Dad in a few months or told in about 14 months when i am home.  It was an experience that i now call incredible and a great lesson in my life. But at the time it was...uhh..."not so cool".  I was not robbed or anything, nothing of physical harm.  What i learned this week is that yes, the dream of the stake president here in TJ is absolutely 100 percent real. And, above all, the priesthood of God is NOT male.  It is the power of God to bless his children. Any child of God, male or female, that is worthy, has the power to use the name of Christ to overpower the adversary. end of story. 

Elder Ramirez is doin great! Gets a little lost sometimes in lessons but he is doing so good! He is a goofy kind of kid that always keeps me laughing haha.  He loves music that sounds like a music box, turns out this is more or less common among people here. who knew? ha.  I didn't have time to buy a soccer ball for us this week, but next Monday i think i will do it! It is something necessary haha.  I have found that a great way to contact is by doing a trick real quick with the soccer ball...a big hit here with the kids is when i toss the ball on to my back with my foot and i do some push-ups with the ball back there and then i flick it up again when i stand up haha. the kids just flip out! and then i chat with them and they usually take me introduce us to their parents. Soccer is just a huge part of life down here, so i kind of fit in :)

Good news tho on my living circumstances, i called the mission and told them we shouldn't live here anymore so they came and did another inspection. and called the owner and told him we were changing. This made the owner come all the way up from Veracruz to fix the house! its so sweet! i can actually breath now! and in about 2 or 3 weeks we will get an electric stove! then i will be able to cook for the first time in 5 months!! whooooo! 

Rick it was so good to hear from you Bro! Sounds like life is good and real busy over there in Baltimore! I don't know what your plans will be for the Christmas or December of 2015 but I will be home and really want to come see you, Kira and Wren!  Its crazy to think that not for this Christmas but the next i will be back home... :) Keep up the good work Doc, and the Lord will lead and guide you!  Its too bad that your appointment with the investigator fell through, I hate it when that happens!  And its so good to see Wren walking! she has grown so much! its just incredible!

the talk with Thelma and Claudia went amazingly.  We felt the spirit so so so strong! there was not any contention in between us as taught and answered questions.  Honestly, it was thee most adult talk i have ever had in my life. When the spirit takes over its hard to remember what i say. and well, i don't remember a whole ton.  But WOW, what a great lesson it was and Thelma still continues to read her book of Mormon and goes to church too, i think its all just a due time until she finds the faith to change her decisions.  

Its crazy how attached I've gotten to people here. Like my "parents" Gilberto and Rocio, and even Thelma honestly is like my sister and Concepcion is like my little grandma haha. But the culture here is huge for families as you know.  I really pray that when i return we can institute a little mexican culture into our family and stay united.

Mom please tell Grandma hello for me and Dad tell grandma and grandpa hello also!  I finally got my packages today! Thank you! i havent opened them yet, but thanks :)  i gotta run, i love you all! have a great week!

Elder Westbroek. 

Fourth of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years. 7.5 months.

HEY!!!! GUESS WHERE I AM? Delicias!!!! After some great experiences this week, my prayers were answered. I am training again here in Delicias! so there is where i will stay for the next 3 months and 1 week. haha. When i arrived here i had 5 months in the mission. When i leave, i will have over a year!!!! WHAT? So awesome!  I am now training an Elder named Elder Ramirez.  He is actually a US citizen, he was born in Texas and lived there for 2 months, then moved to Juarez down here in Mexico where he grew up.  He knows Tommy Stewart! He also lived in Arizona for about 7 months.  So his English is pretty good! He is very humble, which is a huge change from the other elder, Carranza.  We get along really well, and HE LOVES SOCCER! So i am going to go buy a soccer ball on Monday i think, because mine got stolen. So right now i bring 4.5 months here, and i will be here for 7.5 in total, i am so excited to pass through all the holidays here! I have found families here in the church who literally have become my Adoptive parents haha. they are taking good care of me.  They have helped me buy medicine, even food! It is awesome.  The people here have the largest hearts.   

This last week was just awesome.  Working with Elder Huie was fantastic. We did the baptism of Concepcion haha and wow it was a riot honestly.  She is one awesome lady! i will attach some fotos to the email or send them in other.  It was so great to see her family all come together to support her.  We are currently teaching one of her daughters too, but she is in a same sex relationship.....so...she did express to us that she wants to be baptized and she feels like God is preparing something in her future, she has a HUGE testimony of the Book of Mormon....so this week...If i feel prompted, we will be teaching and having "the talk" with Thelma and Claudia.  I hope all goes well. God has truly guided us throughout our time teaching Concepcion, Claudia and Thelma. So i know he will help us throughout the next step.  You wouldn't believe the problems there are here with this sort of thing, just as in Utah now, the adversary has distorted much of the truths of God.  So, as missionaries, we go around and try to repair the damage.  Many people here too don't believe in Marriage...so that is difficult.  

This week, one of my favorite experiences was giving a blessing to a guy named Gilberto, you could say he is my dad here in Mexico.  He and his wife have been passing through some major difficulties in their jobs and trying to form a family.  He took me and Elder Huie by the side and asked us to give him a blessing of peace and patience.  i love giving blessings because this is the only time that we get to talk in "tu" form.  That is the informal way to talk in Spanish.  And it just flows a lot easier, especially when the spirit guides you in the blessings.  Always a great spirit can be felt during a blessing, baptism or confirmation.  That is when all the missionary work and struggle is worth it! 

Weeks are flying by and sometimes i really just cant remember what went down.  Sometimes i find myself shaking my head at the mission life and i just don't understand...then something more will happen and it all falls in line.  that's the thing.....When you feel like life is falling apart, it is really just falling in line. That hit me so hard this week.  Elder Huie has asked about 15 missionaries lately if they are happy in the mission of Tijuana. None of them has said yes....except for me.  I had to explain to him what my definition of happy was, and how i view myself starting from about 2 years ago. WHAT A CHANGE. How can i not be happy with that? Sometimes missionaries focus on numbers or time or what they have lost in the mission. we all do in the life. LOOK AT WHAT YOU HAVE GAINED. Ya we lose a lot. but we gain so much more.  Through the spirit you will realize what you have.  I saw the healing power of the spirit this week as me and my companion walked into a room and immediately the pain of a woman stopped. she has kidney stones that are so large she has to get a tube placed and other surgeries...as she was in great pain and couldn't talk or breath, we walked in and....well....her pain left. she was in peace. i also saw this in Mexicali, with Armondo Robles, the man who was ran over and beaten...as we walked into the room, also his pain vanished.  Through the spirit of the Lord and exact obedience, we will gain health, freedom, confidence and more.  Trust in the lord and search for the guidance of the spirit in all things.  you will gain more than you lose.  

Hey i gotta run! its late!!! love you all! 

"Car Radio" -21 Pilots

To my dear family:

What is goin on!? :) It was so good to hear from you all this week.  Glad to see you are all working hard and growing personally!

This week was rather quick and awesome.  Its a pleasure working with Elder Huie.  This kid is solid and we are a lot alike!  We work hard and fast and WE DO WORK! haha.  Each week we are supposed to teach 40 lessons do about 50 contacts and baptize every single week. Its intense.  We are doing all we can to hit 40 lessons, but we started to work a lot better with the members this week.  we had 14 lessons with members present. That is a great number.  The lessons were so powerful and spiritual.

Right now we are teaching a 70 year old lady, Concepción Nieblas Piñas. She is a fire cracker haha. so funny!! she is witty and lively!  She was at the doctors a few weeks ago, getting her heart checked, and after a few tests she was given about 1 to 2 days to live.  A member of the church met them at the hospital and offered to do a prayer for her.  After this prayer, they did more exams to verify what was really going on....and they found nothing....she literaly received a miracle...and now we have the huge blessing to get to know and teach this great lady the truth.  She gets so excited when we come haha, she calls us her "Angelitos" and "Mis nietos" haha her little angels and her grandsons.  She also made sewed us some hankerchiffs?...how do ya spell that?... but it looks so beautiful that i will not use it to wipe my sweat haha.  She will be baptized this 9th of October!

Other investigators are coming along nice and slow...we are working with a few really hard situations...that i would love to tell you about, but i feel like i shouldnt.  I really hope and pray each day that these people will be able to trust in Christ enough to change their lives completely.

So, this email is titled from one of my favorite songs before the mission.  Now i can really relate haha.  This kid talks about how someone stole his car radio and now he just sits in silence...well i didnt get robbed...but i now no longer have my iPod...yayyyyy. So the president's wife and two senior missionaries came to see the door that got punched in and then they started to inspect our house.  They saw my ipod and started to tell me that i cant have it, i just told them that it had music of the church and classical music on it, but then i said "i understand, here its yours"...man ive just turned into an obedience machine...its good/bad haha.  they apologized and then they started going through my comps stuff and took away a bunch of CDs that he had of the church and ALL of his morman messages....so sad haha. we were so upset! he had his ipod hid so they didnt take it away haha.  I just didnt think anything of it, ive got nothing to hide so i just left it out. and NOPE! there has been some horrible problems in the mission lately...i mean horrible.  So they are cracking down on whatever form of temptation to cut down on it all.  The presidents wife looked like she was going to cry as she took away our things haha so edler Huie and i had to make her feel better before she left. Sad day.....so now...i just sit in silence.  The mission has really changed over the last 9 months. Sometimes at the end of the day, we sit down and just wonder what we got ourselved into....i was super down this week after a hard lesson and i just asked myself "what did i get myself into??" and the only answer i had was "I love the Lord." and with that, alll the worries left.  Sitting in silence is really horrible tho, thats when the mind just runs, thats why i dont get why they dont want us have reproductors of music.  Lame salsa.

Something cool happened this week. nothing huge, just cool.  for about 30 seconds TJ looked gorgeous!  We had just left a lesson...this woman has a load of troubles...about a month ago her brother was murdered and then about 5 days ago, her mom died. and we had a long rough horribly heavy lesson with her...lots of tears and bad feelings. i did our best to comfort her, gave her a blessing and left...as i walked out...the sun was starting to set and was hitting a hill with a row of houses on top, and i just looked up and saw the light and took a deep breath, stretched my arms for a bit and enjoyed the view...enjoyed life.  I deal with a lot of loss of life and agency every single day here. ruined lives, marriages and families.  So when i can see evidence that there still is a God...i enjoy it. i love it.  Each day, i am reminded that yes, there is a God. And yes, he knows us individually.  I know that he knows you specifically.  God put Elder Huie and I in some weird situations this week just so we could find someone on the street, cross paths with an old inactive member or give some service. It is incredible that god knows our whereabouts at all times.  And he has a plan for each and every single one of us.

Love ya all. Como ustedes ya saben esta es una obra maravillosa lo que tengo ahora para trabajar en la obra del Señor para traer mas almas a nuestro Padre Celestial.  Aveces no entendemos porque tenemos dificultades en esta vida, o porque perdimos un ser querido....aveces pensamos que perdimos mas que ganamos...eso no es cierto. Nuestro Salvador hizo la Expiación por nosotros para que podamos ganar mas...la vida eterna....nosotros podemos estar en nuestras familias por todo eternidad.  Dios es el jardinero...nosotros somos las plantas...aveces el nos corta para que crezcamos y llegamos a ser lo que quiere que seamos.  Confíe en el Señor...y vamos a ver lo que podemos lograr por medio de la Fe en Jesucristo, el arrepentimiento y guardando los mandamientos....yo he visto la mano de Dios en mi vida.  y se que El me ama. Siga el Espíritu y estaremos juntos en el ultimo día mano en mano....les amo. La Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Últimos días es la iglesia verdadera....les testifico....nos vemos...cuídense mucho!

Elder Westbroek, Benjamin Hyrum

Monday, September 8, 2014

Round 1 of 12. Almost K.O.



Hey!

Well, you will see the title is round 1 of 12. As in boxing or other fighting sports, its done in rounds.  Transfers are done in weeks. But sometimes there are relations between the two.  Lets just say I completed round 1 after almost getting knocked out haha. Man that was rough! To explain with few words...Elder Espino really wasn't that difficult. yeah.  Its great being able to train, but it is hard to train the son of a lawyer...who is Latino haha.  But I'm doing fine! We are getting along better today after another long talk. Communication is the key. 

I don't even know what to say. haha. wow, what a week. So every Thursday after weekly planning we do a companionship inventory, its like when you are in a relationship and you go have a talk to try and fix everything.  Well, with my companion, we have had 4 "companionship inventories" in 7 days.  We have had some very very grown up talks. it was pretty intense.  

ANYWAYS!  Yes I finally got my package! Little delayed, but still so great!!!! THANK YOU THANK YOU! The razor is super dope! It reminds me of our vacuum haha.  Dad thanks for the cookies and for my line of authority!  Tell Gma "muchísimas gracias" for the peanut brittle! We ate till we were sick, and still had some left over for the district :) they all loved it!  The package was so great! Sadly, we cant cook due to our living circumstances, but there is a needy family that I will give the food to :) so thanks Merm!!!  

Thank you for all the support I've been receiving! Sorry I don't say more about the investigators. sometimes I really just don't want to let ya in because I really don't want you to worry about me and all that's going on down here! But know I'm doing ok!  Please know I'm a whole different person than who I was 9 months ago. I have had some very sweet, hard, spiritual experiences here that I haven't really told anyone about...one day you will all know, and it will make sense. I know Christ lives and he is taking care of me. At times it really is hard to find time for those we love, and even find time to pray. But through Christ, we can find more time, more life and more love.  Because without Christ, we have nothing.  

Love you all.

Elder Westbroek

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Out with the really old. In with the really new.

Hello!!!!!!!!!

What a crazy week it has been! A rough week of work, and helping Elder Espino finish his mission! It got a little rough, but we lived ;)  Now i truly know that God answers prayers and we receive a ton of blessings from obedience!!! So as titled, out with the really old, Elder Espino, and in with the really new, Elder Carranza.  He has about 5 hours in the mission field haha! I am Training! whooo! I feel very blessed that the Lord has trusted in me this great responsibility at this time of my mission.  Elder Carranza is from Ecuador, way down south! He doesn't speak English! YES!!!! Finally! He is 23, and seems like a great kid! i just have to teach him how to really work. haha Already he is telling me how ugly TJ is haah....i just laughed. It may be horribly ugly, but it is home :) and i love it! I am so excited to be training!

I went to a conference today for all the trainers and to receive our new companions, it was great to see my own old trainer, he has lightened up a bit haha.  And talk with other great elders.  We had a lot of time with the President today to talk about all the needs of new missionaries, all that is happening right now in the mission and what he expects of us. But more importantly, what The Lord expects from us and needs from us.  Right now in the mission there have been some....problems. So they are adding many many new rules and ways to do things. So they are upping the work and rules to keep us safe physically and spiritually.  This training is going to be pretty rough as i have heard but i am very excited, after all this, i will be one who gets trained too.  I know i am going to learn so much during this time!  It is pretty great how they choose trainers and pick our trainees. it really is all through revelation. It is so awesome to see how it all works and plays out. As a missionary i have just learned to try and change my perspective from the perspective of a man, to that of God's, a much wider and eternal perspective. From every circumstance i learn something and i apply it or don't apply it.  David Bednar said that the measure of intelligence is the time in between the moment when we learn something and apply it.  I am trying to be more intelligent each and every day.  Wish me luck, and i will have more information on training next week.

3. We had 3 baptisms! i will send pics next week!  We baptized a couple who just got married on Friday and then we baptized them on Saturday! It was so amazing!  Miguel and Edith have a very incredible story.  Miguel is one incredible man, he has had many many trials. not even due to bad choices.  not too long ago, Miguel was at home sleeping while his wife was at work.  Two men entered into his home and started to beat him, he was almost killed because he was beaten with bats and clubs.  They left him unconscious and entered deeper into the house and murdered his 1 year old daughter.  They then took everything that he owned and left.  When we taught the plan of salvation...he just lit up! He changed as a man, changed in every aspect.  Knowing he can see his baby daughter again some day really has just given him so much hope! also, he has Epilepsy..spell check....so he has many difficulties with this and much body pain from the attack.  He and Edith are working on moving to Canada right now to get to safety. the UN has a system that is helping them right now to get them out of Mexico.  I really hope they can make it out soon!  I has blessed to baptize Miguel. What a great guy.  Also, we baptized little Carlos! i wish i could adopt this kid honestly haha.  he is the son of a less active lady, she had been inactive for 8 years,, that me and Elder Watts found one day in the street.

But it really was such a great week to work.  But, unfortunately, all of the baptismal dates have fallen so i have to work trouble hard this week to sweep them all up! Please pray for me and my new comp! I know great things are ahead of us here in Delicias! The Lord is always with us!  I hope all are well and healthy and happy! Blessed are those who keep the commandments of God!  Do your best, and trust in the grace of Christ. I love you all! gotta run!

Elder Westbroek III

ps. Tell Baxter and Pablo that i love them. Tell Pablo to complain to me in an Email sometime. i miss hearing that kid complain haha. 

pss. the temple is absolutely gorgeous!!! good job mom for keeping track of 5000 plus!  what as cool experience. 

psss. dad send me a pic of the back yard!


pssss. I really do miss you all! I have learned so much about the importance of families here!

Que Dios los bendiga ;)

One More Week

Que onda y como le va?

Well, we have finally reached the last week of this transfer! that means...this is my last week with Elder Espino! whooo!  Haha life is good!

Last week was great!  We had the conference with the president of Friday and we learned so much more on how to work with the ward. Uh my health.  I feel pretty good, I am definitely malnourished here. As are everyone.  But i am getting used to it. i will continue with good health after the mission haha. i haven't gotten sick in awhile so that has been good! We live off of cereal and hot dogs here because it is all we can afford and cook here in Tijuana. its kinda of a lot gross and bad, but we have to save our money to travel and work. so basically i live off of 1 meal a day haha. But i am very used to it now. 

Rocio is doing great, she is getting really involved into the relief society now! the president has taken special interest now too because she lives alone and is now inviting Rocio to go out and eat with her and even move in to her home, which is very large. so that would be good! I think she is ok with clothes too.  i think the relief society is going to do something.  

Sounds like The store is cranking things out! that is awesome! who all is still working there???? How are Pablo, turtle, brown and the other boys doing??? man i miss them! haha.  

I cant believe Quinn and Jaxson stopped by! haha that is the greatest news! I'm sure it was so great to just laugh with those guys for awhile! that's something we always did, laugh. haha sounds like they are doing well tho. Quinn sent me some pics of the farm and wow it was gorgeous! And I'm stoked for Jax and Jena, we all knew they would end up together, Quinn and i have known since Jr. High haha.  

Last Saturday, we went to an open house in another city called Tecate. They just opened a new chapped over there and it is gorgeous! it smells like the temple haha.  I was assigned to go contact people outside with my buddies Elder Garcia and Elder McCracken.  From Veracruz Mexico and Burley Idaho.  It was so fun! they had classes set up, food, each group of the church order did something! and there was a regional choir that came too! mostly, It was just great to be with Elder McCracken, i met him my my first week in the mission field haha, we had a lot to catch up on! he is a district leader too in the other part of my zone.  

in the next package, haha please send redvines...not for me. those are gross. but elder Vargas and Elder Penaloza want them. haha thanks!

really not much happened this week, just worked a lot! i am so stoked this week tho, we have 3 baptisms! time is flying right on by and I'm just working for the next transfer haha. love you all! please take care of yourselves, and make good choices ;)

con mucho amor,
Elder Westbroek



Wednesday, August 20, 2014

8 meses. Tan rápido.

Well, what can i say? another week down!

Things are looking up down here in Mexico. Things are getting a lot better with my companion.  We had another grown up talk this week haha.  We were walking to an appointment real far away and he said, 'Elder Westbroek, im grateful we are companions still, you have made me realize that i actually am 24 years old, not 18, and that i have to be more mature to get me ready for the real world.....'  He thanked me over and over haha, he has been with some real young companions lately. And we butted heads for awhile due to that. But life is pretty good now.

Well, best part of the week....WE BAPTIZED ROCÍO! WHOOOHOOO. It made me so happy :) After a long battle with the wonders of this world, Rocío finally made it! Last Saturday she was baptized and then confirmed!  The relief society also helped us out a ton! they did two special musical numbers and gave her a big welcome! it was so great! She chose me to do the baptism, i felt very honored. The best part was, right before we went down into the font, she says 'Elder Westbroek, i am so scared, but i know this is the right thing to do'. in her little Rocío voice haha :) the ordinance went so smooth and beautiful. and Sunday after her confirmation she just started crying and telling me thank you over and over again. Made me feel very happy! the church is so true!  It truly was a blessing we baptized her.

 3 days before the baptism, she decided to test the word of wisdom one last time. she was feeling very very sad and wanted some coffee to cheer her up.  in the baptismal interview she told our district leader this 'I wanted to see if what Elder Westbroek told me was true about my heart and coffee' (i had explained about the extra fatigue and stress coffee could put on the human heart, especially mixed with her current situation, she expressed that she has much strain on her heart with the separation of her daughters), and she told Elder Tall, DL, that indeed it was true and she had felt a difference in her heart. She said she received a spiritual prompting that yes in fact my words were the word of God pertaining to the matter of the world of wisdom, and she would receive a stronger heart due to this commandment.  (something like that, its hard to translate it to English haha).  

Sounds like everyone is very busy with school and work! I am honestly so jealous of all y'alls heading back to school! Megan! send me a pic of your class room! Kait! send me a pic of your new apartment!

i love ya all! hang in there! just remember, AFTER the test of our faith we will be blessed, more that we know!






Saturday, August 16, 2014

Message from Mexico

Que onda mi familia :)

Hope everyone is doing well! From what i heard life is picking up and you re all doing great!  Kira! I got your package this week! thank you so much for the sweet pics of my little Wren and your incredibly gorgeous house! whooo :) oh and the Tesla was nice too......haha that car is so sweet!

This week was pretty uneventful. lots of hard work.  Getting sick again, something is in the air and water here in Haciendas de las Delicias in Tijuana. everyone keeps getting sick. even the locals. But we are back on our feet and doing better.  Hey don't worry about sending a water filter, the MTC gave me one.

Rocio is hanging in there. she went through a really rough time this week, she did get to see her girls this week!!! but sadly, this might be the last time she sees them for a very, very long time.  We almost lost her this week, literally. But due to an inspired and very timely visit, Rocio is fine and stabilizing.  Please keep her in your prayers if you could.....she called us late last night and was very worried and was crying and asked us to do a special prayer for her. Please send some thoughts and prayers her way, she is in great need.

This week, i was thinking a lot about our investigators and their needs, instead of mine. This is a great way to get rid of homesickness haha.  So, one morning i woke up early to made a memory card game for a 9 year old boy who will be baptized soon. i will send some pics.  This poor boy is so bored during the long lessons so i did a little something special to make it more fun and interactive.  i took the boxes from my packages and cut them up into cards. i then drew on the back of 30 cards different pictures to review every lesson and commandment we have taught to review for his baptismal interview. HE LOVED IT! haha the family was so excited. it was a great success :)


This week too, i went on interchanges with another elder from Idaho. it was great! We worked real good and we had a good talk about my comp and how I'm feeling. he really helped me out!

Things with the companion are getting better. I'm getting more patient. i read something in the bible this week that just kinda made me feel better. and kinda slapped me in the face too. 1 John 4:16-21. As a missionary i have learned to love just about everyone. i should love my companion too. so I'm working on that daily. things are getting better.  This week too we had interviews with the president and instead of saying anything bad, i told the president two things i like about my companion. and, well we are progressing. i know that we are companions for a reason, so i will work hard to help this kid stay strong and endure to the end.

Hey i need another oil vile, mine broke. and food requests....yogurt covered pretzels and beef jerky. peppered :) nada mas. no more candy ahah. i cant handle any more, but its been great! my district says thanks to all who have sent candy! also, tootsie rolls are great tools to teach the law of tithing :) haha.

stay golden everyone. Love you all. The church is true!

Elder Westbroek

Monday, July 28, 2014

40 Such a Good Number

Family and Friends!

Man, good week. A ton better than the last 6!

So, i was talking to my new district leader and turns out i am a co senior companion...have been for 2 transfers ha.  So, i started taking the lead, just taking it. As Elder Watts told me to do. I managed time, lessons and commitments.  We finally hit, for the first time, 40 lessons in a week, the standard of excellence.  I am so stoked! Usually my companion would plan the majority, but this week i decided to take the lead and plan, schedule and all. haha well it worked! we had 14 lessons with members present also, which is huge here in Delicias.  also, we found 13 new people to teach! one family is a family of 7 and we can baptize 4 of them. they are incredible! so yeah, the numbers were great this week, lets just hope we can put it all together in the month of August and see some miracles and baptisms :) Everything is chill with Elder Espino, i had a good talk with him, ha i sat him down one night and just had a very grown up chat with this 24 year old dude. things are great now. thanks for your love and support.

We were given a reference from other missionaries and we will be baptising this investigator this week, his name is Alfonso, he is so smart! and he WANTS TO SERVE A MISSION! that is so dope! haha but for real, to know that someone we have taught has the desires to go out and serve and preach as we are now is just a huge reward and blessing. :)

Rocio will be baptized next week most likely, but she is doing great, after we took the last bit of coffee away, placed carefully in my backpack, she has been coffee free for about a week now! i will let you know how she is doing next week.  She still has limited contact with her children, but we will soon be passing a reference up north and get missionaries to visit her children too.But Rocio said she feels better and is finding more LIGHT in her life.  That's what i like to hear.

When the mission work gets better, that's usually when the living circumstances worsen and so they did.  We went without gas for 2 days...very cold showers. That's not the worst, haha that's nothing.  Here in TJ, things just break a lot.  So, a water line broke somewhere and we lost water, all water, for 3 days.  Yeah, you cant find clean water to drink, you cant flush your toilet, you cant wash hands, shave, and everything else.  It is awful. But, we did our best to make the best of what we had left for water.  It took some real patience and courage haha, i used to be a germaphobe as you all know, well i am officially cured of that disease.  there is a phrase in spanish that means just "whatever", lets just say i used it a lot this week with the living situations haha "nimodo", after i say that, i can do whatever, its magic.  but, after 3 long days, the water came back, and we were able to flush the toilets and clean up a little haha.  there is actually a cool way to flush toilets without levers but we didn't want to waste our drinking water.  Also, that morning the senior missionaries and the president's wife came to inspect the house, hahaha disaster!

Another rough thing this week, we were walking in a park and a man came up to us, yelling Elderes! Elderes!  Turns out this man's dad is a bishop down south.  This man's life has been literally falling apart...we started to talk to this man and he told us that he was just on his way to commit suicide right there in the street that we were in but then we stumbled into his path and he took it to be a sign from God.  We talked with him and he just cried and cried and cried with all that has been happening. He told us the first vision that Joseph Smith had with the father and the son, in such a way that was gorgeous...and then it got very sad, he told us of his life and began to shake and cry out...he started a prayer out loud....and just as Christ did on the cross, this broken and yes, bleeding, man started to cry out "Abba, Father, Abba, Father!!" and talked with his Father in Heaven, i was moved to almost tears....it shook us pretty hard, all that he has said, done and been through.  Then i saw as he pulled out his alcohol and poured it out all over the ground....the start of a change. I do now know if we will be able to teach this man, due to a few things, but I would sure like to try.

Family and friends, please know that there is always hope, you can always find strength to come back to the good path, which is Christ. through him we can all be safe, and happy.  I know that Christ in fact, lives.  I love you all.

Elder Westbroek

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

I am my companion's last companion

'Hey y'all, not much to report from TJ except a rough week in the work.  We ran into some major walls this week with baptisms, family situations, marriages torn apart, commandments, collective weddings, spiritual and ethical problems too. My heart and head literally hurt after this week.  Also i received the "great news" that i will be with Elder Espino for the next transfer also.  whoo. So, all i can say is life down here is a little tough. "Pesado" or "heavy" as we say here in TJ.  But life moves on somehow and so does the work.  

I basically just spent a lot of time on my knees this week praying for a miracle, and lets just say i am now waiting on the Lord. Its a great thing i have learned to be very patient. 

Rocio is doing great, she has noticed some major changes in her Life thanks to the gospel! whoo, we are not working with her to drop the coffee, you should have seen her face when we talked about it, haha so sad. but she will do it, she overcame smoking and alcoholism so she can do anything!  Her kids got released from the government program and now are living with a friend of Rocio, She talks with them a couple times a week if she is lucky. i expect she will be baptized the 7th of august.

Thank you for all the packages! i was blessed to receive 4 packages all filled with goodies haha, it made my day! thank you for the letters and love. the candy, toys and snacks! honestly, i saved so much money this week with groceries because i have food in the house now haha. so thank you :) also, thanks for the sick superman under armour shirt. a cool pic is coming your way the following week :)  

nothing to report this week, i am doing ok, having a rough go at things right now, but that's life right? :) love ya all!  here is the only beautiful part of TJ!


Elder Westbroek

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

"Just Enjoy It."

I survived another week here in Tijuana Mexico :)

So another week has passed in the blink of an eye! i find myself staring at 7 months this week haha. did i just turn 6 last week? Man, i love this place.  This week i had the chance to just talk to a few elders about what we really think of TJ and our mission. We all love the work.  But we all agree that we have a very rough and tough mission filled with difficulties and without a whole lot of beauty haha. TJ isn't the most exotic or beautiful place...but then, you sit in a very humble home and talk to a family or a broken hearted man and you begin to find the...well beauty of it all. The ugliest place in the world, filled with garbage, drugs, gangsters, problems and more suddenly becomes a place to mend families, change lives, and create happiness. As missionaries we literally bring a message of hope and happiness.
This week, by some miracle, my favorite investigator came to church again. Her name is Rocio, she was recently deported after she got in a fight with her 18 year old daughter, her daughter then called immigration to come and take her mom away.  Rocio has lost all contact with her 18, 13 and 5 year old daughters. She is recently divorced and lives alone. She does not know anyone. And yet, she has hope. She has battled alcoholism for a few years now and is on the mend. you can see the effects of her situation weighing down on her. I have kind of made her my special project, focusing a lot of attention on her.  I really think the spirit is doing a number on her to guide her in her life now.  She told me yesterday at church that she can see a glow or a light when i talk to her and others...i find this rather strange, because my convert Armando in Mexicali told me the same thing.  I think its just because my hair is so blond now so the sun hits it and i glow ;) haha. But honestly, the spirit works just as hard if not harder than we do to bring these people the truth. and i feel very honored to be a representative of Christ here in such a dark city.

This week, we found the man that contacted us the other week while i was outside in basketball shorts and T shirt. He told me he had be apprehensive to talk with us while we were dressed up.  This has got to be one of the coolest guys i have ever met.  This man was deported about 8 years ago after spending 25 years or so in the USA, in California, and Utah. He has visited the temple and seen the visitors center in San Diego also. And well, he wants to know more!  His story tho, wow.  He was charged with some rather large crimes just because he was defending his life after he had a gun to his face.  After his buddy had been shot he defended himself and beat one guy to pieces ha. man.  After being tried, he wasn't granted freedom because this all happened on private property, but he was only given 6.5 years in prison instead of 25 to life. He was tried as a minor and was put in a special prison.  After 6.5 years he headed over to Utah and lived in SLC! But, got into more trouble.. He really is a great guy, wish i could tell you the whole story. Right now he is just concerned of taking care of his daughter and finding work.  I think he has a bright future ahead...especially as member of the church!

I feel a lot healthier this week, no more throwing up almost back to "normal", as normal as you can get around here.  Not going to lie, i almost cried the other day when Holland lost, man that was rough. i knew Germany would win tho, puro poder.

The mission really is pretty amazing tho, i love talking with the people and hearing their unique stories. i have become very close with many investigators and members here. Also, i truly can feel the spirit directing the work in the lessons and the streets.  For example, the other night we were walking and we heard some shouting and talking saw a man walking, and we now assume he was very heavily drugged, we continued, but then elder Espino and i stopped walking at the exact same time. we both had a very strong prompting to take the long way around.  Just as we did that the situation in our route got a bit intense haha lets just say.  Its amazing what the lord does to help us just simply use our brains and avoid disaster, but also, help us out of situations when we are completely oblivious to the danger.

Mom i loved the missionary activity you did with the kids, and the pioneer day activity will be awesome!  haha i also loved the book of Mormon story of the sister missionaries, crazy stuff like that happens a lot here in the mission!!

Well, i will send some pics. Hope to hear from you all soon!  Callie Brown, i will write ya back i promise! Tyler and Brittany King!!!!!! i love you guys. And know i pray for you two a lot :)

What else do y'all wanna know??

The title of my email is exactly as it says. at times life and the mission get super hard. but we just have to enjoy what we have and trust in the Lord! Keep on keeping on!

Love ya all!
Elder Benji Hyrum Westbroek




Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Life.


Muy buenas tardes!

There is never a dull moment in Mexico. I will tell you that much!  Each week it is new experiences, adventures and so on!  

To answer some fan mail...On average we teach 30 to 40 lessons a week. a lesson is a prayer to open, at least two principles, an  invitation to action and a closing prayer.  So we do a lot of contacts and partial lessons, but we only "count" the full complete lessons. We try our hardest to get members to accompany us on visits but they are so hard to find where we live. plus, no one has cars around here.  We try and get at least 12 to 15 member present lessons a week.  
We have been asked to not contact in the streets by playing soccer...but, occasionally a loose ball goes flying by and i am always the first one to take off to go get it, do a couple tricks and send it back haha. honestly, it is a fantastic way to contact, i have found a few new investigators that way! 
Our P Days...well those took a drastic change about a month ago. We aren't sure what went down somewhere here in Mexico in another mission...but we have been given new direction on Zone and district activities from the Area Presidency (Mission President"s Boss) and so now we cannot go out in public with a group of more than 4 missionaries.  We cant even go to the church to play soccer.  So, we don't do activities anymore.  Occasionally we will take two other missionaries to go eat somewhere, but we have to avoid the other elders if they are there too with their group of 4. It is rather sad. We have 6 elders in our ward, so we received permission to do the dinner the other week with the members. 
The tie tradition is great huh!? you burn a tie at 6 months, a shirt at a year and a suit on your last day.  

This 4th of July was a bit different, I was in interchanges with Elder Watts again, that was great. Two Americans working together, trying our hardest not to think about home and our families haha.  We worked really hard all day, we were so happy too! We get a long very  well. to celebrate, we had bought tacos, and then later that day some pizza to celebrate.  It was so much fun.  But i cant lie, i missed my family and the US a ton that day haha.



I don't know what it is with Americans and getting sick here in TJ. It happens a lot.  A few Americans here have been getting super sick repeatedly, and this week, it was my turn.  I woke up one morning and was just super nauseated  went to the restroom and got sick. real sick.  I headed over to other missionaries house and ended up throwing up there.  Then the same thing on our way back home in a store, and then again in our home when we finally got home again.  We talked to the doctors of the mission and judging from what was happening i had to go get an IV or drink some suerros and get checked out.  After a long ride to the offices i was checked out by the doctors for about an hour and a half, and then they drove me back to the house, there i received two huge injectors for the vomiting.  i almost passed out during the second injection. that was intense.  So far i feel a lot better. in over 48 hours i have hardly eaten anything, some fruit and crackers and that's all i can hold down. but I'm not hungry in the slightest.  I'm up and working today and i worked yesterday too.  Not sure what it was man haha. But it was rough!  Just some viruses we pick up here, us Americans. in the food, in the air. There is a long history of Americans getting sick here in TJ, and in this zone.  
My companion took a pic of me praying for my dinner. the only food i have really had in 50 something hours...ha. 


Work wise, we are finding people who are so so ready to receive the gospel! and we are working really hard trying to activate less actives. our calling as missionaries is very important in not just baptizing, but retaining members and reactivation. A few of our great investigators still have to get married, here money is a huge struggle and no one has the means to get married.  So they say.  Its either put food on the table or get married.  Luckily, we are having collective weddings this months and we are trying to get several couples ready for the weddings and baptism!  Nothing too exciting down here, just killing sin on a daily, doing our best to help save all of these families!  Hopefully we can find a miracle and baptize a woman and her two children next week!



I love you all! please take care of yourselves! And....Go Holland!

Elder Westbroek

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Pictures from Tijuana

Trying on old jeans 

Harmin's Baptism 
6 months out & the burning of the tie ceremony 



Alexis's Baptism


Bob Marley!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Tijuana 3

Muy buenas tardes, estoy aquí en Tijuana todavía!

Hey everyone, can I just say that life is good!  I don't know what it is, but i am really starting to settle in to things here in Tijuana. I am finding the joy in the work, and starting to really love these people! The city is still a disaster, but these people are just so humble and ready to hear our messages! Recently, we have been really trying to find new people to teach, and we have prayed so hard for it! and lately, people have literally been chasing us down in the streets to talk to us and invite us to our homes to teach!  We even had a guy come up to us while we were eating tacos this morning on the side of the road and make a meeting with us.  It really is just so cool to put all the trust in the Lord and watch it all unfold.  

This week i got pretty sick! The city is super dirty so people get sick here a lot. Especially Americans.  I got a super bad infection in my throat from breathing in all this stuff here in the air.  I lost my voice for about 3 or 4 days and was super sick.  But, we went out to work anyways.  The Lord heard my prayers and allowed me to talk in a very raspy hushed voice during the lessons.  And after the lessons, it was gone again.  I got a blessing from my companion and really started to get better much faster.  It pays to be with the only true church that has the authority of God ;) But, now I'm back to full voice and almost back to full health! 

This week haha, we had another baptism...so we come in on Saturday to have the baptism, i step into the chapel and SPLASH SPLASH! uhh oh. yep. the elders that went and filled of the font for us over flowed it and flooded the church.  So it took us about 3 hours to get the church unflooded and somewhat dry....there is a lot of wood work and wooden doors so we are hoping for the best that it didn't get destroyed...it also got into the bishops office. But i think everything is ok now, some what.  We baptized a little girl named Harim.  She is so cute and so intelligent! Her mom is a member, and her step dad is not. we are actually teaching him right now. his name is Pablo and is very interested, he lost 2 of his daughters when they were just babies, so he is very interested in forever families and the plan of salvation. but we got to kick the coffee and the cigarettes.  But he knows its true, you should listen to this guy pray!  Also, last week with Alexis, both of his parents are members, we worked really hard to reactivate his dad so he could baptize his son, we still have a lot of work to do with his mom tho.  Little, by little it will all be great.  

Uh, investigators. we have a ton!  One lady had a super scary experience this week, i wont say when went down, just know Satan works very hard to stop the work, but God works harder and is stronger. always. we have visited her and blessed her home and we feel much better now.  We started teaching a lady who was recently deported, her 18 year old daughter turned her into the immigration services just to get her deported because they were fighting one day...that made me so mad! she is progressing so well, we gave her a blessing to find more strength to deal with all that is happening. i think she will find a great family here in the church.  Each day i really am amazed at all the problems here, and yet, the people put on a smile each day, head to work and make the most of it.  

last week, for p day, we worked in the morning and then headed out to play in the afternoon, we went to a members house, all payed 100 pesos and made some incredible food! Carne asada! and more! i will send some pictures.  Also, to celebrate 6 months of mission life, i burned a tie. it was a really great experience to tell ya the truth. 6 of the craziest, fastest and most memorable months. it was great just watching the tie burn and looking back at it all, and looking forward to all that is ahead of me! 



i love you all. i really do. Family is thee most important thing in this world. Thank you for your prayers and support. Keep praying that i can get a Mexican accent. that is something this Guerro needs. Gracias.

Love, Elder Westbroek

ps. i found Bob Marley in Mexico... :) Every little thing is gonna be alright! 

The Grass Really is Greener


Hello one and all!

Hey guys, it was so good to hear from everyone this week!  Life in TJ is pretty good. I am settling into the city, slowly I'm getting used to it. Sometimes I just sit here and look at how we live, how the people live, i look at the city, the problems, listen to the stories of the people...and just wonder why God sent me here. I know why I'm here in general. But I want a better explanation. Its rough man. Also, It has been dubbed as 'The Ugliest Mission on Earth' haha. But that's not really what matters truthfully. 

The comp and i are doing pretty good. We get a long just fine! All he wants to do is speak English so that is really killing me, and my Spanish. lucky the president chewed him out pretty good this week in an email i guess. so now we are just going to be speaking in Spanish. which is what i have wanted for the last 6 months. Going from a companionship where i did every single thing, taught every lesson and lead the lessons ad planning and all to this kind of a lot stinks. i loved having to do it all. I LOVED IT.  This dude will hardly let me teach, share my thoughts, scriptures and whatever else i feel like i should do. So that blows. The other day he just talked for 1 hour and 12 minutes straight. the lesson was a disaster, i cut in to say something and got cut right back out. so as you can imagine i am frustrated. very. But life moves on. Also, we baptized again! whoo! his name is Alexis, he is 9 years old! it was great!

Transportation is super nuts around here. you could actually make a roller coaster ride out of these buses.  its fun haha, On a trip to our district meeting we hit a hole so hard in the road it threw the bus up and everyone about switched seats on the bus.  

Luckily, I went on interchanges with our district leader this week! Elder Watts, he lives down in American Fork Utah. The kid is awesome! we taught 15 solid, quality lessons in less than 2 full days.  We work so well together! It was great to see how this kid works and teaches, its a lot how i teach. so we just meshed like it was nothing! the spirit was so strong and the investigators really started progressing again he said! When we were headed back to the church to switch companions again haha he grabbed me and said "Elder Westbroek, don't leave me!"haha.  It was great to work in the sector of Urbi, we were hardly ever on pavement and we ate thee best tacos i have ever tasted in my life!  i couldn't tell you what kind of meat it was, but that doesn't really matter too much haha. 



hey i think i will start writing ya big email about every 2 weeks, i just don't have much to say recently haha. any questions? just remember, i need American candy.....

love you all!
Elder Westbroek

PS. i saw America this week...the grass literally is greener on the other side....well that's partially because we don't have grass over here. ha. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Tijuana

Hey Family! How is life?

So yes, Tijuana. It is just as ugly as everyone says it is.  We live in, walk in, breath in, work in, run in, workout in, preach in, serve in....garbage. the city is filled with garbage. It is the nastiest city haha.  I think i would rather live in down town Ogden than Tijuana. Dad, you grew up in a sketchy area, i will give you that. But man, i think i would rather live there in Ogden haha. Just like Mexicali, the city is destroyed by graffiti, drugs, garbage and more.  There are literally piles of garbage 10 to 15 feet high.  it stinks so bad haha. but I'm adjusting fine.  Just like Ogden, there are very sketchy parts...just a bit more sketchy. ok, a lot more sketchy haha. Ogden is high class.  
The house, lets just say it ain't pretty.  its two floors but so so tiny.  in our bathroom upstairs you can shower, go to the bathroom and shave in the mirror all at the same time haha. its horrible. the other day we ran out of gas for a few days, and the water is so so so cold here! so what did I do? I did what any good Mexican would do! I cleaned out an old bucket, microwaved cups of water and slowly filled the bucket haha.  After about 20 minutes the bucket was about one third full and kind of warm haha so i lugged it up the stairs and showered using a cup. It was actually pretty legit. Do not take your bathrooms at home for granted!  It is just me and elder espino here in this apartment...you couldn't fit any more in there haha.  Elder Espino is awesome! he speaks basically perfect English because he lived in Texas and in Canada. He has about 3 months left in his mission so he is very experienced and a great teacher. But i fear the progression of my Spanish will be slowed down again with all these companions that speak English.....grrrr. The ward is HUGE! we have 6 missionaries in this ward! the usual attendance is 270ish. its so sick. total functioning. i love the ward.  
The new president will arrive this month on the 28th i think? that will be cool! i am very excited to meet him and see how he is going to help us out!  Also, the temple is looking amazing! still under construction outside, but is coming along fantastic! look it up on google! however it is not in my sector.  my sector by the way is HUGE also! we take so many buses, we get 400 pesos for transportation because we are always riding a bus or taking a taxi.  The work is good here tho! we are the highest baptizing zone in the mission right now, and we plan to keep it that way. its pretty legit. its hard tho being in a crazy busy city without any knowledge of the bus routes, colonies and all. but i will learn.  
well boys and girls. Wednesday marks 6 months. wow. you'd all be amazed if you were with me right now. i would say I'm a bit different than i was just 6 months ago. A better person. It has been an incredible road. full of thrills and spills. i have experienced more in these 6 months than many missionaries do in their two years haha. I look forward to many more. at times i get very overwhelmed by it all. but that is when we all must trust in the Lord. 
I love you all! i will have some better stories next week I'm sure! 

Elder Westbroek III

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


 " For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth." Romans 1:16