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 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 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 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 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! 

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 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 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 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 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 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? 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" 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 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 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 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 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