Monday, March 27, 2017

Honey, where's the gun?

This week was very, very... interesting to say the least. Elder VanSweden and I had a weird start to this week. We had a dinner appointment with a family who is notorious for getting elders sick with their food. And.... guess what we got for dinner?... Sushi. The moment I heard Sushi, I prepared myself physically and mentally for the destruction of my insides. Haha jk.  Unfortunately the food was bad, but I was alright. 

Later that night while we were teaching the same family, we heard something move or make a loud noise outside. All of us went silent and we heard footsteps by the window. All of a sudden the boys in the house sprang into action!  All I could hear them yelling was "where's the machete?! " and "where's the shotgun?! " All of the boys got a gun or some sharp object, ran outside and started looking in the dark for this random individual who chose the wrong house to mess with. We looked around but didn't find anyone, it sure did get me fired up though! haha. 

There were a lot of miracles I experienced this week. I got an answer to a prayer I was wanting for awhile now; the Lord truly has his own timeline. But all the wait was worth it!.....  Speaking of waiting, I also had the opportunity to phone some of our less active members and try to set up appointments to meet with them. This one older sister I spoke with, bless her heart, had me on the phone for 42 minutes! She was talking about this and that, caffeine and anything else that crossed her mind. I said maybe three words during the entire phone call until we had to leave for our dinner appointment that night haha. 

Our visits to Mimbres, NM have been amazing! One miracle is that the family that we are teaching have two kids who are baptism age, but we just found out last week that another one of their kids will be turning 8 only a few days before the family's baptism date! He wants to be baptized too, so now we have three baptisms for one family!

I wish I could tell y'all everything that's been happening out here. All you need to know is that God is truly preparing people for me to teach, and I am so grateful for New Mexico and the people here. Keep on keeping on. 

Love, Elder West 

Monday, March 20, 2017

YE Haw! from New Mexico

YE Haw! This week has been a hoot to say the least! New Mexico is treating me well and the people are hilarious; they never cease to amaze me. Elder VanSweden and I had a tough go last week, not many people to teach or see.  But this week is pretty full, and speaking of full... we had a double dinner the other night. Our first scheduled dinner was good and filling.  After the dinner we went and did service for a non-member and as a thank you for helping her, she took us out to eat!  Fortunately I don't think I'll be gaining any weight, because I either sweat it off from the heat, or work it off from all the service we get to do. 

The horses at the horse rescue are still doing good, we didn't get to scoop up their crap last week, dang-it!  Instead they asked E. VanSweden and I to dig a ditch for a new water line on Tuesday and Thursday. I feel like a cowboy working on everyone's ranch. And I have truly been converted to country music... well... maybe not fully. 

For the first time being in my assigned area, I visited the town of Mimbres, NM.  We met with a new family for the first time. Mimbres is about 30 minutes away so we don't visit or track there too often. But we will be going there every week now because we are teaching two kids, Jose 10 and Trenton 8, who are going to be baptized soon!  We invited them to be baptized and they said they wanted to be apart of our Church! Yey!  

Mimbres is awesome. At first I thought Silver City was backwards and "Old Time", but Mimbres is even crazier.  It is where everyone from New Mexico goes to escape the cops, hide out, or get away from civilization. So I can say it's pretty much a trailer-park of a city. On Sunday we met a less active couple after church. The husband is as red neck as you can get. Not a "Steer Redneck" like in Texas, but a full-on "Gold Panning man", who owns dozens of machines to shift through dirt and look for gold. And the crazy thing is, that he actually finds quite a bit of it. He's real smart, but by the looks of his house and his long burly beard, you'd never know. Next P-Day he said he would "take us up to da' hills, and go panning," so maybe I can make a little bit of money our here, haha. I love him, he's a great guy. Hopefully we can get him back to church if we befriend him, but in the mean time we are going to enjoy each others' company. And I do enjoy it, there's never a dull moment with Brother Bailey!

I'll make sure to send pics of this week so y'all aren't bored to death of my emails. Well, wish me luck on my next adventure out in the old New Mexico!

Love, Elder West

Monday, March 13, 2017

First Week - Silver City, NM

Hey all! 
Sorry for my tardiness in sending my weekly email, the past two weeks have been cray-cray! The MTC was good, my district was awesome, testimonies were born, tears shed, but I digress. Me, Elders Lawrence and Wallis left early on Monday morning to get a bus to get on a train to get onto TRAX then to get to the airport! We got to call our families for a little bit at the airport. Talking to Macall was amazing, I needed to hear her voice. I miss you Mac and Mo, and I love you two so much.

Anyways, when we got to Tucson, President Passey and his wife were at the bottom of the escalator waiting for us. Our first night, and into the next morning, we spent time with the AP's and other sisters and elders going into Tucson. Then we finally got called to our first area, and guess what?! I am serving in Silver City, New Mexico! I love it here! Most people our here are country folk. The members love us, and we have dinners lined up every night. Because we are in the ranching part of the mission, we have a lot of service opportunities. My favorite is every Tuesday and Thursday, we do service at the Horse Rescue. That's where abused or mistreated horses are taken to be nurtured back to health and loved, and I get to help. We scoop a lot of crap, but helping with the horses is fun too. My trainer Elder VanSweden is awesome, we get along just fine. The other missionaries Elders Hill and Anderson are cool also. 

We had the chance to be ranch hands and burn a ton of weeds in a members crop the other day. We used a propane tank and flame thrower! The flame thrower wasn't big, but it was fun being out there in the sun for four hours burning things, haha! Other than moving dirt and digging holes, that's the highlight of our service this past week. I won't even get started on this crazy drugged out guy we saw at McDonald's, moving on... 

Elder VanSweden and I haven't been able to get in a lot of lessons because either no one answers their door or aren't at the address listed. On Sunday we had 7 hours of church because we cover two wards, and their blocks are back to back. During our second sacrament meeting, a non-active member came in and brought a non member friend. She wanted a blessing and wants to start coming back to church! She was uncomfortable going alone, so she brought her friend with her. He is a strange dude, but we gave him a quick lesson nonetheless. We invited him to be baptized, if he came to know what we said was true, and he said yes! Still a ways to go with him, but we are meeting with the both of them later this week. 

The Lord truly works miracles out here in Silver City. Thursday night we visited a recent convert, Brother Darnell. He's old, and has a lot of questions about the scriptures, so we go over there to help him out. He's in D&C, so you can imagine the questions he had. Luckily he didn't ask a lot about the Apocrypha haha. But after helping him out, he showed us his original Model T! I'll attach some photos, and the one with the three elders in the burning field, it goes Elder VanSweden then Elder Anderson and me. All of y'all better email me, I love hearing from you! Hopefully I'll have a more interesting week to update y'all on!

Love, Elder West

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Arrival to Tucson Mission Home

March 7, 2017

Dear West Family.  We were pleased to personally greet your son, Elder West, at the airport upon his arrival in Tucson yesterday.  We were impressed by his great spirit and desire to serve.  We are grateful to have him serving here with us.

I had the pleasure of interviewing your son, who has been assigned to the New Mexico Zone with Elder Van Sweden and his companion.  

We encourage you to write your son weekly, sharing love, confidence in his abilities, and support.  We know that he will be in your prayers.  We also know that your family will be blessed by your son’s faithful service and your sacrifices that allow him to dedicate himself to the Lord and his fellow men. 

May the Lord bless you.  We send our love and appreciation.

President David G. Passey                                                                               
Sister Beth Passey
Arizona Tucson Mission