Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Investigator Brad & the Holy Ghost

Hi everyone!  

B B B Radical for the win! Our investigator Brad is really moving along. He's been around missionaries for years now. His kids are baptized and a part of the church. His wife is an active member. He LOVES the church and has for a while now. So why hasn't he gotten baptized yet?  Elder VanSweden and I have been helping him out with those challenges and stresses holding him back. He's completely aware that baptism is important, and he wants to get sealed to his wife in the temple. But sometimes our lives hold us back from becoming what we want to be. And we hold ourselves back from becoming what God knows we can become. 

I'll get back to Brad, but let me tell you what's been going on lately with me. 

My district in Silver City, NM went to a Zone Conference in Arizona.  We were able to go to the Temple while we were out there... it never ceases to amaze me how peaceful and serene temples are. Unfortunately, I was limping the entire because because I hurt (rolled over) BOTH of my ankles the day before the trip (it's long story, but safe to day that I didn't feel good). 

Our days have been filled service, and I love it. Horses from the rescue ranch are doing good as always. We was able to eat more Rocky Mountain Oysters while flanking and branding calf's at Brother McDonald's ranch (its a ranch not a farm) haha. Also, something new to eat on the ranch...I got to eat cow tongue. It was, well interesting ... but nothing beats the taste of a fresh hamburger!  Yummmmmmmm.

Getting serious now. Prayer is real, and combined with daily scripture study of the Book of Mormon, it WILL help you. I've seen it in our investigator Brad and Ruth Seawolf. Both of them have had stumbling blocks in their way toward baptism. But, being obedient and following the admonition of our prophet Pres. Monson, as he promised this last conference, daily prayer and study of our good book, will give us the companionship of the spirit.  The Holy Ghost is what testifies of truth. His holy calling is to lead us towards truth, and keep us on the straight and narrow path towards the tree of life. 

I've realized a lot more about the Holy Spirit, and how he helps me in my missionary work. As I'm in a lesson, I can distinctly feel the Spirit there. Either strong or quiet. As long as it's there, the lesson is being directed where it needs to go. And I can feel the same spirit our investigators feel; and more importantly what the spirit wants OF them. Sometimes it's a quiet presence, encouraging them to gain further knowledge of our gospel. And sometimes it's strong and there is no doubt that the burning in the bosom is the Holy Spirit testifying of truth. But in each instance, I know what the spirit is doing, and it helps me distinguish what others need. 

As long as we are in-tune with our Holy companion, we will NEVER be lead astray. Keep him in our lives, so we can live and become the people we were meant to be. Stay near and you'll never stray afar.

Love, Elder West 

Taken from our mission car (truck):

Investigator Text Message Home

We received another text message and pictures from a member in New Mexico.  Garret and his companions were doing a service project.  This is what she said:

"I really love these young missionaries for their dedication to our Heavenly Father and their mission.  Thank you for doing such a great job raising them!" Sister Kathy Ladner

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Doin Work

These past few weeks have been AMAZING!  We've had so much going on that it's hard to keep up with it all. I've had the chance to help out with the "Tour de Gila" bike race. I guess it's a big deal; Lance Armstrong used to come to it. A lot of bikers from around the world participate and it draws a good crowd.

We were given a responsibility at the race, and MY job was to be a "neutral feed zone" where any cyclists could grab our bottles of water. We had to hold it a certain way, and try to keep up with individual cyclists as they sped by, and even try and reach big groups or "packs" of riders; like 50 cyclists at a time.  It was a lot of fun! 

Also, we had our baptisms for our kiddos out in Mimbres. They were so funny during the baptism. While we were baptizing one of the brothers, the other two were in the water sitting on the stairs next to the font.  (haha) They were awesome!. Hopefully it'll be an experience they never forget, because I know I'll never forget it! 

Something else that happened, I got a phone call from this old rancher brother (member) by the name McDonald (yes he is old and a McDonald, haha), and he asked us to help him out on his ranch. My responsibility was to hold down the calves (baby cows) while old McDonald rancher cowboy man, branded the calf, castrated the poor critter, and then cut some of their ears. At the end of it all, I was covered in blood, sweaty, and very tired. But it was so much fun. Quick side note, the smell of cow hair and skin being burned is not pleasant. That's also something that I won't ever forget. And I'm convinced that branding cows must be the manliest thing you can do. And boy do those little critters have some muscle! 

For the month of May, our Zone is having a friendly competition. We are trying to reach a goal of 70 new investigators this month. The district in the zone who contributes the most new investigators will get a pizza party. So far the Silver Surfers (my district) are kicking butt!! But of course we do. Even though we have the smallest district in total area ratio to the other district's in the Zone; the Lord is truly putting people in our way to hear the gospel. It's so awesome.

I've had a strange time lately out here. I'm not home sick. I feel Iike there's no one or nothing for me out-side of the mission. Of course I have my family and friends that have been there for me, through the thick and thin. Other than that, I really don't have "things" to miss. It's kinda bittersweet. I want to look forward to something coming home, but for now I'm just caught up in my service and loving missionary life. So I'll just keep focusing on my work.  

I know I'm not the best at emailing, or writing letters, so everyone please give me some slack. And if anyone emails me, I'll do my best to respond. And I really do love getting your emails, they motivate me and help me through the tough times. So thanks for all of your letters! Anyways, I'll keep ya'll updated.

Love, Elder West

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Member Message

Hi everyone.  Its been a few weeks since we received a letter from Garret, but I received this wonderful text message and pictures from a member in Silver Spring, NM.  It was good to know he is still alive, and all of his hair has grown in. Haha 😏  The missionaries and members love Garret as much as we do.  We are so proud of him! 

This is what was sent to us:

Hi Elder West's family! This is Carol Konopnicki from Silver City where your son is serving. I just wanted to send you some pictures of him and our family and tell you how much we LOVE him!! 

He has been over several times now, and offers to help! He washed our dishes by hand, gathered our eggs, took out the trash, and has inspired us with his testimony of being a missionary. He also whipped up some whipped cream for our German pancakes last night. He was so careful not to let any cream spray him!! 😊

He is working hard and seems so happy. He is a joy to have around! Thank you for letting him serve and blessing our lives!