Saturday, March 16, 2013

Letters from 3/10/13 and 3/11/13

Yeah P-day ends at 6. Blah. Goes too quick! We had a dope “snow-storm!” It ‘twas beautiful! It wasn’t cold at all but it had a ton of soft flaky snow, about 10”, which I took a few pictures of! You’re welcome! :) Yeah, it was short-lived YOLO (you only live once) moment. Nothing interesting. I did a bit of driving, not supposed to unless it’s an emergency, senior comp can’t, or I’m leading our area on exchanges (which means my comp is in a different area.) But the roads are tiny and retarded. It’s not bad! The mission pres had me drive a brand new Chevy Cruze from the mission home to the meeting house, about an hour’s drive. So sick! Yeah, so I gave a lady your facebook-ish. She loves art and she is freakin’ awesome! She might contact you. {She did!!} She’s in our ward and had us over for dinner. So we shared a little lesson, or the other elders shared a lesson, we joined in! IT was about what we should base our testimonies on. But teaching by the Spirit was/is huge. Elder Walker (my comp) answered a question about Joseph Smith she’s had for 6 years without even meaning to. The Spirit is a necessity in our lives! That is why it is so important to renew our convenants on Sunday and repenting daily, you know? I have a funny picture I’ll put up tomorrow... We’ll play on p-day, tomorrow, and just exercise/work out however we can in our apartment every other day. I mean every day as in not on p-day! But yeah, pray for us to find people to teach! We’ve been struggling.... Love you bunches! 3/11/13 Email: So to explain my beautiful picture - we were driving to a library in another area because our ZL's called my companion (the DL) needing him to print some stuff. so as we were driving along this AWESOME TANK! was along the side of the road, we slammed to a stop and jumped out for a quick picture! it didn't take very long but when we continued we came along a man who's car had slid part way into a ditch. he couldn't get out so we stopped to help! we pushed his car out with the help of a passing biker and the car had gone over a piece of concrete in the ditch which bent the rim thing that the tire goes on so it pinched it to the axle, we couldn't get the tire off so we couldn't put the donut on! we waited for him to call for help but nobody picked up. i guess everybody gets in trouble on the first beautiful saturday in pennsylvania! but we went to a gas station to have them call him a tow truck and as we left we gave him a card with our number on it and haven't seen or heard from him! but i know that our service opened his heart just a tiny bit and with the card he now has a door waiting for him to open. Love you all! do a random/kind act of service everyday no matter how small! you will see the blessings if you look closely enough ;) - elder west PS totally would have missed the guy if we hadn't stopped for a picture too! crasy crasy

Letter from 3/4/13

(I'll try to do as little editing as possible here.) Girls take wayyy too long to get ready! (In response to me saying I take too long!)I've always know that but experienced it first hand in the MTC! The girls were always last to class, to meals, and to the temple when we got to go! Ridiculous. Our area is pretty sweet but really big! It covers a part of Greensburg, Youngwood, Latrobe, Derry, Ligonier, Donegal, Mt. Pleasant, and Calumet. We only get 1000 miles a month for our car. That's about 32 miles a day. It's so freaking hard not to go over! But yeah, Latrobe is famous for Mr. Rogers and Arnold Palmer. All I know about the beer is that it's called Rolling Rock.(Luke was wondering why they put the # 33 on all of their bottles? Another thing Latrobe is famous for.) I like to avoid those talks. Haha. It is really beautiful here and most of the time the snow is awesome! I always wear gloves or I just put my hands in my pockets. We get a gas card and we keep a list of our miles. We get a different card called a Mac-card for groceries but if we're lucky the members feed us and buy us food so we can save up for toys. I wanna save up to get a Penguins flag to put in our apartment! Cause I WILL NOT convert to the Steelers! So I like the Penguins (hockey) now. Sorry, Luke! I still kind of like the Black hawks! Planning is easy. It's just hard to stick to that plan~ Totally sucks when we have the whole day planned around lessons and everyone bails. That's pretty much this entire week. We taught 6 lessons all this week. We did a lot of tracting but still haven't found a single person interested. It's so hard not teaching. I hate it. Especially all the teaching in the MTC we did. Totally did not prepare me for the teaching we WOULDN'T be doing! We actually had our only one for tonight bail so we might go tracting. They're both pretty bad downers. But we went on exchanges earlier for 24 hours. I went to Freeport with Elder Perkins and his companion Elder Smith went with Elder Walker. Elder Perkins and I went to 3 or 4 houses (the 4th was in the morning) but the last one at night. We went to this super cool guy's house that was a small loft apartment but looked over the town. The missionaries called him the Emperor of, whatever the area was called, and he loved it! He was so legit. He made us fresh fruit smoothies and had Enya playing in the backyard. I totally recognized one of the songs from some of the music you showed us when we were little. Brings back memories of the old house... But anyways! He told us about a friend from work got drunk and drove down a one way street and had a head-on collision and killed the other driver. We don't know what happened to his friend because the police wouldn't let out which hospital he was in. But the guy was distraught and said he would take as much pain from his friend and put it on his own shoulders and we were like BOOM! Atonement right there. So we read a scripture or two and bore our testimonies about how Jesus already did all of that and how he just needed to pray for his friend and do all he could to let his friend know he loved him. I also put out the point that after all this is said and done, maybe that was the Lord's way of humbling the guy to listen to the Gospel. Bad things happen as a trial to our faith. I know that because it's happening right now with our search for investigators. We have a couple potentials but I'm not so sure they're really interested. This is so stressful! Oh and yeah! Just thought the new missionary in your ward! I met a kid in the MTC going to Chicago and said to look for you and you would have them over for dinner! Dunno if they'll ever find you. But take 'em out! Same thing, Oma & Opa! Met a cutie going to Berlin! You totally get mission goggles out here! It's almost exactly like beer goggles where every girl is super cut and it just doesn't make any sense! Elder Walker says that it will get better as time goes on but it's ridiculous how bad I want to talk to a girl! Blahhh! I'll just work on my face-off skills because I now have a lacrosse stick to play with! :) So pumped, you don't even know! Sorry to get off-track! Haha. It happens like every 5 minutes. Selena, I told you about. But we're meeting tomorrow and I'm so excited because of hose awesome she is! It was funny. When we went to visit her last week she had got suspended from school for some stuff and police came to her house, so when we knocked they wouldn't answer the door because they thought we were police again! Ah, gosh, she's so cool! Total trouble maker like I was. It's awesome! I rally hope she wants to be baptized on the 23rd! She's been my biggest blessing out here. She pretty much fell into our hands the first week we were here and she is already so close to baptism and is progressing like crazy! But like I said before be grateful for little things. Pray often and ALWAYS! Study the scriptures as much as you can. I started from the beginning and Nephi is literally the biggest stud ever. I take about 2 chapters everyday and mark every little thing I find interesting. So that means A LOT! I just finished 2 Nephi 2. Probably the best chapter ever. Read it!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Feb 24, 2013 Letter

(Note: minor editing here... you probably don’t really care to read that he wants me to fix his debit card issues. Yes, my response was “this is the reason why Scouts are required to get the family/life merit badges. Budgeting is necessary!!!” Mean, nagging mother.) The trip out here was great. There was 20 elders and 2 sisters coming to PA! Out of the 22 this other elder and I place a Book of Mormon to the woman on the plane after I called you. (Mom). We talked the whole flight and I gave her my email but I got nothin when I checked. Oh well. we had a good time, on the 19th we got our companions/areas. I’m with Elder Walker, he’s from Bountiful, UT and played college lacrosse with Taylor Dockstader. (One of the guys on J’s lax team.) We have a ton in common and he’s been out almost a hear. He’s the DL (district leader) of our District. Pretty cool although I have responsibility. Our area (Latrobe) just got re-opened after 7 years so we’re literally starting from nothing. All we have is the list of less active members (about 400) which we will try to “reactivate”. We met a less active part-member family and the 14 year old, Selena was never baptized. We met them saturday and I actually committed her to baptism April 9th and she said Yes! So we’ll work with her a ton, maybe she’ll get baptized before! We got to have a lesson(s) with 2 less actives who are basically living in a hospital right now. They were the coolest guys ever! They’re really excited to have us come back. Elder Walker says I’m really spoiled to have is as my first area because we have a pretty nice apartment (brand new), nice car (Chevy-Cruz), and the ward is really involved with the missionaries! We’ve had a few dinner appointments and are getting more! I’ve gained almost 20 pounds between here and the MTC! I haven’t received any mail aside from your package because nobody has my new address! It is: Elder Jarrod West 216 N Shenandoah #302 Latrobe, PA 15650 Mom. I was thinking you could make a little photo album from before my mission! Family, friends, farewell! That’d be cool. :) I like food, stamps, legal pad paper, razors (Schick Hydro blades), and $! :D Fo sho! Tell everyone I love them and to write me soon! -Elder West (the