Monday, June 9, 2014

The Other Side of the Fence

Hey Family and Friends!

Another week has passed, it is hard to believe.  This week was yet another week full of difficulties, blessings, triumph and downfalls. The usual haha.  

There isn't a whole lot to report this week, we are lesson teaching machines however.  Elder Martin and I have posted up over 200 lessons these first 4 weeks.  It has been incredible.  However there is one number that is sitting at a zero....

The mission is moving to a new focus, of baptizing every single week.  Every companionship should baptize every week.  Yeah. intense.  I find myself struggling with this.  I am not here to baptize, I am here as a representative of Jesus Christ, and help build the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints...but, you gotta do what you gotta do.  So, we have started being direct with our investigators, navigating with the spirit to ask the inspired questions, then pop the big question....will you....follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized by someone who has the authority of God? (in Spanish of course).  After this recent push for baptisms, my companion and i have picked up 15 new investigators this week, stamped on 2 baptisms dates for the 14th, and 9 baptismal dates for the 28th of March.  Not too shabby. hopefully we can hang on to each person, and not only baptize them, but help them come closer to Christ and raise their quality of life through the teachings of Christ.  That is my goal, not to baptize, but to help those i come in contact with here in Mexico.  

This week we had a zone conference, it was a lot of fun to be back with all the missionaries here in Mexicali, I had an opportunity to share my testimony with the zone, mission president and his wife. That was slightly scary, but mostly fun, i love public speaking.  We discussed the importance of the sacrament and church. All i gotta say is...Go to Church.

This week, i made a new friend.  His name is Ezequiel. He is 11 years old, born and raised in Utah! He was a reference from a 10 year old investigator of ours.  I walked up to Ezequiel and started speaking Spanish, the usual conversation, then switched to his face just lit up! "How do you know English?!?!" he screamed haha i said I'm an American! he said I am too!!! i told him i was from Utah, he screamed "I am from Utah!".  we had a great talk.  This kid has an incredible spirit.  At the age of 10 he was homeless, his parents lost their house, and were sent from shelter to shelter for about 6 months, they lived in several churches too.  Then after awhile, his father was deported and the family went with him.  I met the family, his little sisters, his best friend from las vegas, age 12, family deported tambien.  Ezequiel's dad wasn't too interested in us, but i invited them to church and to play some futbol with the other kids in the ward on Friday nights.  We plan to visit this family soon, they are incredible.. My buddy Ezequiel says he has a plan to return to Utah in 2 years, i am not sure what this plan entails, but i want to help this kid in any way possible.

i said i would have more about a man named Luis Alberto, we have had some trouble contacting him this week, so hopefully next week i will have more to say about him... He is another deportee...he grew up in California. kindergarten, jr high, graduated high school, worked and loved the states, but, he didn't have his papers.... He is one incredible guy, incredible mechanic too.  I cant believe the heart ache these people have.  They have a home, lives, families...but because they don't have a paper, they lose it all. makes me sick.

That really is about all i can tell you this week.. We are safe and healthy.  more gun shots this week, real ones this time, but no sirens so we assume all was well.  We had quite the military show in the streets the other night.  In a colony we are in very often called Condor is a huge place for drug dealing, the military was everywhere the other night, quite intense.  Elder Martin and i are good at keeping each other safe tho, we switch up our routes by times, people and shadows, if we see someone sketchy, we say "suspect" in English and make them known haha, it started out just as something fun we did, but now it is just for when it is dark and for safety.  We most definitely feel the protection of the Holy spirit as we walk through these streets, obedience is key, and we have faith we will be kept safe.  

Random facts....pig skin is a real food.  it is delicious in red salsa, not so much green.  One of our investigators showed up to church high and got arrested right in front of us....ha that was unique.  

The church is true!!!! i love you all, thank you for all the emails, sorry i cant get back to you all! Mas Fe, Mas Exito.  

Elder Westbroek

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