Elder Colton West

Elder Colton West


Monday, July 27, 2015

Week 39: Let It Go!

Hello everyone!

Another awesome week here in Ilopango.  We have a baptism scheduled for this Saturday!  Our investigator is called Ivon.  She's 10 years old, and has been attending church with her grandma for a couple of months now.  She absolutely loves everything about the church, and wants to get baptized.  The only hurdle has been getting the okay from her dad.  We had a super awesome visit with her and her mom, accompanied by two sisters from the primary presidency yesterday, and the mom is going to talk to the dad about the baptism, and she thinks that he'll say yes!

We are going to have a baptism next week too!  But i'll fill you in on that next p-day, because my time here is up...  Sorry folks.

The email title... Well, one of our zone leaders was an assistant for a while, so he was able to get permission from President for us to watch Frozen today!  It's was awesome!  But it would have been better in English.

Photos: Stuff from the ward Pioneer day activity.  I'll send more photos next week, because I need to get them from another elder.

Elder Colton West
El Salvador, San Salvador East Mission

Editor's Note: I've been promised we will receive a longer group email next week. One of Elder West's closest friends is coming home from her mission tomorrow so most of his email time went to her for the end of her mission.

Elder West is to the right of the young lady.
His companion, Elder Juarez, is to her left.
I don't know the names of the other 2 elders.

Ward Pioneer Day Celebration
Elder West is on the left end of the group
of missionaries in the top right corner.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Week 38: Save the Date!

Hello everyone!

This week has been really, really good.  "Why is that?" you ask.  Well, it would be because we now have 3 baptism dates!  Yeah, 3 baptism dates!  They're all progressing rapidly towards their baptism.  They're keeping their commitments to read the scriptures and attend sacrament meeting.  They are incredibly positive about everything gospel-related.  They are the kind of investigators we pray for, investigators with a genuine desire to learn and to make the necessary changes in their life.  They have all accepted a baptism date of August 1st!

And my email time is already up.   Have an amazing week!

1. We went hiking today.  It was really fun
2. Preachin' it to all of that urban area off to the right of me.
3. Preach it!
4. Fun picture!

P.S. Yes, we went there 3 months ago.  But we went again because we have a bunch of missionaries in the zone who weren't here last time we did that.  According to some of the other missionaries, we get the second best view of all of San Salvador from that mirador.  The only place that is better is from the top of the San Salvador volcano.  But that's not in my zone.

Elder Colton West

El Salvador, San Salvador East Mission

Editors note: Apparently it is quite normal for emails home to get shorter and shorter the longer a missionary is out. Hopefully next week we will get one of his long ones!  But the pictures this week are some of my absolute favorites of his entire mission so that helps!!!

Went hiking today. It was really fun!

Preachin' it to all of that urban area off to the right of me!

Preach it!

Fun Picture!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Week 37: El Nino

Hi again!  

Another week has flown by.  We had changes this week.  And I stayed in my same area.  6 more weeks in Chivopango!  (note: it's actually called Ilopango, but we call it Chivopango because it's super chivo (cool) to get to be in this zone).

Reason for the title: I've mentioned that it's wintertime here, and it's raining a lot.  Or what I thought was a lot.  Turns out that we are experiencing the meteorological phenomenon known as El Niño right now.  For the meteorologically challenged, El Niño means that it doesn't rain much.  But my poor desert-dweller brain thinks that one torrential downpour a week is a ton of rain.  Turns out that we should be getting a torrential downpour every day.  Next year is gonna be really fun.

So my new companion is Elder Juarez.  You're probably thinking that with a name like Juarez that he's Mexican.  And you're dead wrong.  He's actually from Nicaragua.  But don't feel bad, everyone here thinks the same thing.

We've been working like crazy this week, and we are reaping the blessings.  

Top three missionary moments this week:
3. A guy who was super negative when we contacted him a couple of weeks ago asked us about the difference between gifts of the Holy Ghost and the gift of the Holy Ghost, and accepted our offer to teach him.
2. We contacted one of the neighbors, who actually are inactive members, and had a powerful lesson with them.  And we have a Family Home Evening planned with them tonight.
1. One of our investigators accepted a baptism date!  He really liked what he saw in church on Sunday, and wants to get baptized!

Elder Juarez and I at changes.
Elder Juarez and I at zone meeting.

That's all I have time for today.  Keep on being awesome!

Elder Colton West
El Salvador, San Salvador East Mission

Elder West & Elder Juarez (Nicaragua)
New companions

At Zone meeting

Monday, July 6, 2015

Week 36: 4th of July? So?

Another week gone, another change gone.  It goes by so fast.  But that's what happens when you work hard.  Time just flies!

Yes, work.  The W-word.  Big scary word, I know.  However, it is the secret to our success.  As Ezra Taft Benson so wisely put it, "I have often said that one of the greatest secrets of missionary work is work! If a missionary works, he will get the Spirit; if he gets the Spirit, he will teach by the Spirit; and if he teaches by the Spirit, he will touch the hearts of the people and he will be happy. Work, work, work -- there is no satisfactory substitute, especially in missionary work."

So with that in mind, we went to work this week, with a prayer in our hearts that we would find people to teach.  The previous 5 weeks of the change we had an average of 5 lesson taught per week.  Completely unacceptable.  We needed to change it.  So we went to work.  We have walked just about every street in the area searching for people to teach: references, former investigators, contacts, everyone.  The hard work has paid off.  This week we had 15 lessons.  We have plans to set baptism dates with two of our new investigators this week.  They're already ready.  We found them ready.  The Lord prepared them, and we get to teach them.  He just needed us to show Him that He can trust us with them.

Elder Colton West
El Salvador, San Salvador East Mission

Editor's Note: so I got an explanation on the burning of the clothes from last week. He said "They were the old, pit-stained beyond belief, torn clothes!"

Also, those of you that know Elder West well, know two things for sure: 1.) he is VERY patriotic and LOVES his country, and 2.) he is very sarcastic.   Thus the title of his email this week.  No disrespect intended.  He is just fully immersed in El Salvador and that country and culture for his time there. Plus my letter to him was titled "Happy belated 4th of July".  His typical sarcasm is to title his "so?" since he's in another country.

Bowling last P-day!
(Elder West is front and center and looks GREAT!)

District in Ilopango

Tortilla with Nutella. Actually quite delicious!

My agenda for this change.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Week 35: Winter in July

Hey everyone!

So we're writing a bit early today.  We've got a couple of activities going on today, so this is really our only option: write super early.  The whole zone is going to the stake center to make pizza with some members for a zone activity.  After that, Presidente Vasquez invited a bunch of the missionaries to go bowling!  I think it's just the zones in the San Salvador metropolitan area, but we'll see when we get there.

The Work has been going well here.  My companion and I have been looking for different ways to find new investigators.  This week we've focused on searching for former investigators who we find in the Area Book.  Turns out that that is a really good way to find good people to teach.  Sometimes people aren't ready to accept the gospel the first time that missionaries come by.  There are more reasons for why that happens than I care to count.  However, the Lord is always at work, preparing His children to receive His Gospel in their lives.  And even if they weren't quite ready to make the committment before, sometimes the second time around they're ready.  

So winter has officially started here.  The torrential downpours  are proof of that.

Photo: Elder Gallegos (who went home last change) left a bunch of clothes in the house.  So we burned them.

Elder Colton West

El Salvador, San Salvador East Mission

Editor's Note: usually when the missionaries leave to go home they give away most of their clothing to ward members or investigators in need. I'm not sure why in this case they chose to burn them!  Maybe they were not in very good shape. I've asked and hope to hear next week!  I know even hard-working missionaries still need to have "boys will be boys" moments.  So maybe it was one of those!  The fire was the ONLY pic he shared this week :(  so I am sharing one of my faves of him this week as well :)

We can tell Elder West was anxious to get off to that pizza making and bowling! We hope to hear more about his investigators, companion and the rain next week!

One of mom's faves

Oh my! boys will be boys!