If you serve a mission faithfully and well, you will be a better husband, you will be a better father, you will be a better student, a better worker in your chosen vocation. Love is of the essence of this missionary work. Selflessness is of its very nature. Self-discipline is its requirement. Prayer opens its reservoir of power. ~ Gordon B. Hinckley

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Its with a lot of mixed emotions as I post Jesse's last letter, after 6 years of writing letters to my three boys and having so many blessings come to my family because of it, its kind of hard to see it come to an end, not the Jesse coming come, but not having a missionary.
For those of you who are interested, Jesse will be speaking in church August 15 at 11:00 a.m.

I cant believe its been 2 years and my time has come to an end, today it hit me super hard that I'm done and am going to return to the world....i don't think I'm ready for that. I'm sure i will be fine when mom and dad are here, but i keep thinking about when the plane leaves i will just lose it. I will need all your help when i get home to make me feel better...is that a plan....wow i still remember yesterday that i said goodbye to you guys. Today we ate at chilies that just opened and we had like 20 missionary's there with all my friends and that's when it hit me....i wont be able to do this anymore, well that's life and dad Jared and Josh you know how it is, any tips for me........

Today we went golfing at the same course as last time and i shot the same score haha 74. I drove like 3 greens that were like 315 yards and the only reason is because in the rental clubs we had the titleist driver i had, so it was like super easy and i was confident in my swings!
I was like 4 feet from a hole in one, and i missed like 12 birdie putts, i was so mad, but they were like don't worry, you have played 3 times in 2 years haha. so hopefully i get it back when i get home. This week we have continued to find people and we found a GOLDEN family who in the first lesson told us they felt the message was so true!! wow i love that feeling, but to bad i wont be here if they get baptized.

Well Friday we had our zone conference and wow!! can you say long! 9 till 6 at night, but it was super good. Well me and my group gave our final testimony's and wow, i was shocked and didn't know what to say. It was really weird and stuff, the new thing that's happening throughout the whole world is that they sent new material taken from preach my gospel to teach and a new style, now there are 8 lessons and we are focusing on the PURE doctrine of Christ and trust me, i know its from our Father in Heaven because were setting so many dates, and the whole mission has quadrupled the dates every week. We set 4 this week and will soon put 4 more and for Josh and Jared you know about the district on preach my gospel, there are 2 more cds and a district 2 and wow!!!! its so amazing and i honestly don't want to end the mission i want to keep teaching in this new style!

Well i took lots of pictures and i will put them up on flickr! I love you guys and will see you mom and dad in 7 days and all you others in 2 weeks! be safe and i hope you enjoy this last email! I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior and i was his servant for these last 2 years with an apostolic calling. I know through him i can receive forgiveness from my sins and return in the presence of my Father in Heaven and be with you guys forever. I know the Book of Mormon is true and the only correct and perfect book on the face of this earth. I'm thankful for my service these last 2 years and will miss it so much! I love you guys so much and thank you for your support. see you soon! in the name of Jesus Christ amen!

Elder Jesse Westergard

Today at Chilies, it says welcome to the gardens.

I love this American House!

Best Friends

Smile for the camera!

I love American food!!!

Sweet view from the club house!

The Golf Crew

Beautiful View

A Sweet Golf Course

Jesse and Elder Walker

We all go home the 5th, my group but some are missing!

Jesse and Elder Tams

Another beautiful view

This was the hard hole, green is on top.

Jesse and Elder Walker again!

Look at the City behind me!

Jesse and Elder Nelson, he looks like Payne Stewart!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Wow today is 2 weeks till mom and dad come, i cant believe it! next week will be my last email...........wow. Well this week was really good! we worked super hard and we found a new family! they are super cool and super evangelic!! ha ha but the truth can change anyone!
The funny experience of the week was that yesterday we left with the mission leader and hes been back from his mission for 6 years and he showed up with his PLACK on!! ha i was like WOW what do i tell him, that's not allowed.....but he asked if it was allowed and i said probably not ha then he took it off, but it was very funny.

Yesterday we were teaching some kind of deaf guy about the Book of Mormon and he was a professor in history and we talked about the history of the Book of Mormon and he said he never knew about the Jaredites and who the people were that Christopher Columbus found here so he said it was not true. We tried to explain it to him very calmly without losing the spirit and he was saying weird stuff and how we think that Jesus was born in the Americas and not Jerusalem. ha wow it was very interesting!

Well something not very good happened in our ward, the 1st counselor like decided to leave his family and wants to divorce his wife, they are sealed, and its been a hard time for them, i hope he comes to his senses. The sister in my ward with cancer is slowly getting worse and it makes me feel sick inside whenever i go over to see her because she is amazing to me and like my mom. From what the doctors said awhile back was 6 weeks to live, if that's true shes only got 2 weeks left, i hope you guys have the chance to talk to her before that time arrives.

On Friday we have my last zone conference and 8 of the missionaries of the 10 that are leaving give our final testimony's together....we all feel weird and don't want to do it haha cause that means its over. I hope the conference is a good one, its about the power of the scriptures, yesterday i did my first baptismal interview, it was really good i was excited, hes getting baptized today at 7 a Haitian from the sisters area, hes super cool.

Sounds like you all are good and stuff, but back in the heat! don't get your hopes up, its hot and sticky here to, well i hardly notice it anymore, but after meetings in the Bishops office where there is AC i can tell a huge difference when i leave. oh about that, i think i will be using tons of lotion when i get home, if I'm using lotion here in the humidity when it gets a little cold and my face drys......think about December and dry heat...ya not good, ill have to get used to the dry heat again. (what?)
I'm so excited to see you guys again! i cant wait to spend time with you and go to the temple together to, oh dad, my recommend expires on July 30th, so i will need to get another when we get home.

Well i love you guys so much, oh mom, I'm fine and my health is good, it wasn't anything bad. have a great week and i will send you more pics today and my last email next week. i love you!
Elder Jesse Westergard

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Me and Evelyn

Me, Evelyn and Elder Jimenez

Sunday picture before the confirmation.

This last week has been by far the most challenging week of my mission! i was talking with my President and he told me because I'm ending my mission, in 21 days, Satan wants me to fall and never be able to get up again. I have prayed hard and studied the scriptures soooo much and i know my Savior Jesus Christ loves me and is always by my side. We can never be tempted above that which we are able, and with every temptation there is an exit. I know its true and i love this gospel, pray for me to receive the strength to finish strong!! thank you!

This week was good! we had a baptism and my last baptism of the mission, her name is Evelyn and was a reference from a member, she went to church allot, and she took the lessons for 2.5 months, it was a very good baptism and she asked me to do the baptism. I was honored, it rained that day so we had to take the pics on Saturday inside, but Sunday we took pics in Sunday dress. I'm going to miss bringing the people here from the DR to the truth, nothing brings me more joy than seeing someone i found enter the waters of baptism.

We have been teaching our investigators with lots of love and they are progressing good! i hope that they all get baptized next transfer and my comp sends me pics!
Well i talked to my mission president about you coming to get me, he said i can get a member in my ward, the first counselor, and go to the airport with him to pick you up, then he will leave and i will go with you guys in the car to show you where the hotel is at, then you will take me to the mission home so i can eat and spend the night with my mission friends, then in the morning Thursday come pick me up!! sound like a good plan...... that way you don't get lost haha.
Sounds like the reunion was really good and stuff! i wish i could have been there. to bad there was no basketball, that's a sign, the Westergard team cant play unless they are together like 2 years ago but next time we are in charge so we will have a tournament to prove the Westergard power!

Today we played basketball against the Santiago north zone and wow! I was draining threes like it was hot! i was making it rain as they call it! we ended up winning by 4 and it was very fun! lots of people were there, and they were all saying....your going home! ha it made me sad, i love the missionaries here.

Well i love you guys so much! you are an amazing family and i cant wait to be reunited again! see you soon, only 2 more emails from me, and its over............

Elder Jesse Westergard

Man i cant believe you guys are vacationing without me haha I'm just kidding its all good but i wish the reunion was after i got home, those are always fun! sounds like the weather is awesome up there at the cabin and stuff, but i got a question....how is the winner of golf, aka dad, getting the lowest score at 82!! come on i want a challenge when i get home, sorry to say but 82 is not going to cut it, you will be playing for 2nd place! so pick it up. I'm sorry Jakelle that you wont have anyone to hang out with there, just do what i did last time....listen to your ipod haha when there is nothing going on, like we the kings! great band.

I cant believe that you guys got your shots and stuff already...you will be here in 4 weeks! that's weird..question...how will you find your way around and to the hotel, you don't know Spanish. just want to know....

Well the main event of this week was me getting real sick! on Friday i felt bad the whole day and our last appointment i was like about to pass out with a fever, i barely slept that night and the next day i felt worse, i had a headache, i was nauseous, stomach aches, and all the works. I called Sister Lee and she told me to go to the hospital. So we went and they put an IV in my hand for like 7 hours. then i had to go back on Monday and get tested for stuff and i have to call the doctor today for my results, but as of now i feel really good, back out working we didn't leave Saturday and after church Sunday.

This week we had some really good lessons! we found another family and are excited to teach them. oh and don't worry about me, I'm not dead or trunky, I'm finishing strong and working, no se preocupen por mi!

Today we got to leave and visit the city and stuff. so my comp went to pick up pants he made, we went to the office for awhile, then to Pricesmart...the place like Costco. to eat, take out pics, and shop. there was allot of missionaries there so i got to talk to allot of my friends. 2 of my old comps were there, Elder Tarver and Elder Doncel, so it was a good reunion!

Monday we had district meeting and i gave my capacitation on the Book of Mormon and how important it is for us as missionaries to know its true and be able to answer the questions of the soul with it! then after i had my LAST interview before the one in his house the 4th of August and it felt so weird, he was like soooooo......you have 4 weeks left. I was like i know right....and he was like any questions....i said no....he said...ok keep doing what your doing...i said ok! haha so ya it was good. My last zone conference is in 2 weeks, and 8 of the 10 missionaries leaving are here in Santiago so we will all give our testimonies together, its going to be so awesome! i cant wait! I'm glad you guys liked my suit...sweet huh!!

Well i better end! i love you guys so much! and again. don't worry about me, I'm working hard and will keep working. Thanks so much for all your support these last 2 years. I love you so much! be safe and say hi to all the family for me! and send pics of the reunion!

love Elder Westergard

Thursday, July 1, 2010

I woke up with the weirdest feeling today! i thought about the time...looked at my calender and realized i have 1 month left...i was like freaking out! and we had an activity to play softball and there were 2 others from my group there and we were all freaking out haha, but what can you do, it has to end eventually.

This week was so awesome! my comp and i contacted like the whole world to try to get this area alive again. Yesterday we met 14 people, new stat we have to keep, and had 8 new investigators, it was way awesome but some weird lessons! we contacted some lady and taught her and we asked if we could come back another day...and she was like..if your still Mormon no!! i was like what....whats so bad about them..she was like they are bad people, when they come to talk about God they don't talk about him, its some other guy, and all this other stuff. I was like the first thing we talked about in the lesson was that God is our loving heavenly father and she got all defensive but lost the argument when she went into the whole worship marry stuff....lets just say a few choice scriptures by me made her silent haha.

Then some other lady who thinks the true church is the one where you go....WHAT!! haha i wont even tell you where that went but we found allot of people amazing too! this one kid, like 18, understood perfectly the apostasy and a need for a restoration, his name is Odalis Jimenez!
other than that...district leader is awesome because there are 4 people in my distrit and 2 of them are Sisters, so i don't have to do intercambios! sweet haha! but with the ZLs i do.

Well sounds like all is going good there! monsoon season and what not....but sounds pretty hot! ill be home at the peak of the heat..great haha.
Oh ya my comp is alright, really weird and stuff, not a person with allot of words, so its awkward but i can deal with it for 5 more weeks. Oh dad..i was thinking it would be better to stay in Playa Dorada, because i know everything around there, so i think that would be best.

Well i better go, i love you guys so much! have a great week! i will put pics up!

Good Friends at TGI Fridays

Me and my new Comp

Me and my old Comp Delafrance

Coach Burcar's favorite quote!!

For there FEET, ye shall know them!

My new sweet suit I had made.

Love the Gold Interior

Sweet Crucial Vest

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Jesse's email was very short today, I'm feeling bad cause he didn't get my email today and his Dad didn't write him so he was feeling blue with no letters from home (yes I felt terrible). Bad news is he lost his back up of all his pictures he put on from his memory card, (yes I'm SICK) so I have been getting no pictures, we have been praying he will find them, and maybe by some miracle it will show up. I told him he better get busy and take lots and lots of pictures, its so SAD :( . He didn't get transferred for his last transfer being there, but he did get a new companion which he was excited about, he wanted to go back to his first area to finish up his mission, but we will be going back there when we go pick him up.

Hey family!! wow what a week, well as you can tell by the title of the email, we had transfers this week and my companion left me, and Elder Jimenez came to be my companion! he is my 4th step kid, and only has 3 transfers here in the mission. I am District Leader and this last transfer will be a good one!

Well this week was good, lots of teaching and all that stuff, and up until yesterday it was a perfect week. We received some really bad news....a member in my area, like a mom to me here, has lung cancer and only has 6 weeks to live. I was petrified when i found out, my comp and i couldn't hold back the tears.....i found out you never really know how much you love someone or the people your teaching with until something bad happens to them. I'm seriously so sad right now....I'm learning alot about the Atonement and plan of salvation though through this trial, i hope all is good with her, we will see.

Well i really don't know what to say to you guys today, i didn't get a letter from any of you...I'm wondering whats up...but any ways today we went to TGI Friday's with some American missionaries that go home tomorrow and it was really sad to say good bye to them! but all in all it was good and i got to eat some American food and fountain drinks.

I cant really think what to write because i usually comment on what you guys say. soooo....i think i will end this letter with my testimony and wait to see if anyone writes me.
I honestly have seen a change this last week on the way i look at life. I have grown so much in my testimony and have this very strong desire to work hard and finish the mission strong! I know Jesus is the Christ, i know he lives and is coming again. I know the Book of Mormon changes lives and has the power to feed the starving people looking for the truth, it has changed my life! I love you guys so much and cant wait to see you . In the name of Jesus Christ amen!
love elder westergard

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

June 16, 2010

Wow! i cant believe that its the last week of third transfer and on Monday starts my last 6 weeks here in the DR. this transfer honestly has gone by so fast i honestly cant remember what has happened. Well this week we had priesthood conference as a stake and it was a great spiritual uplift! the Stake President talked and the2nd counselor of the mission talked also, along with some other members, overall it was really good and very good attendance.

On Monday we had intercambios aka splits and Elder Terrero from my group came over to my area and we taught lots of good lessons, including we put a baptismal date with a 14 year old named Starlin for the middle of July, 4 weeks, so it was a good day. oh ya..we were walking that day and some kids like 10 years old started throwing rocks at us, how sad!! haha but whatever right...
Well this morning i was getting ready to go to Internet and stuff and found out that my memory pen drive is missing and it has alllll of my mission on it (GREAT). please family and anyone pray for me, i need to find it. i cant lose my pictures and videos, i already lost the first 6 months of my mission, so pray that ill find it ok!!

This morning we played basketball again for Elder Smiths last pday..next week he goes back home to MESA!! hes in Fairfield ward i think. We were in the same seminary class at Mesa, so it was fun hanging out with him. We played tons of games, and like the first game i jammed my toenail, the one that go ripped out, and it hurt its purple right now. but its all good i kept playing on it.

I went to pick up my suit i made today also, and wow! its soooo nice, you guys will love it. i cant wait for you to see it, all the Elders in my group made one, but not the same, we went together today to get them. so it was fun to see them.

Sounds like everything there is going good! i know dad, GO BOSTON but it will be hard to win game seven in LA. but we will see. Sounds like the trip to Wyoming was super fun, except the cold spell. I liked the game you played with the beeney, i don't think you want to play that game with me haha.

Wow makenzee is 18....that's weird. is she a senior this year or what... and Jakelle, how do you feel about going into high school and being on the Mesa High cheer team...thats so awesome. I'm excited to go see you cheer that's double bonus..see mesa play and you cheer so its going to be fun.

OK dad...i think it would be good to leave Santiago on the 6th and come back on the 10th. i think its good to get a rental car...but will you be able to find your way to the hotel....let me know please.

Well i love you guys so very much. i hope you are all safe and have a great week! i know the church is true and that Jesus lives, he is our Redeemer and Savior. I love the scripture in Nephi..we are en graven on the palms of his hands! have a great week.

love Elder Westergard

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