Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Week 67 ~ Newport Washington, Say hello!: VWU

You might question why Week 67?? Well it turns out, that his mission time stopped when he came home, so we are picking up where he left off. I guess I will need to really figure out just what week he is on if we were sure when he was coming home. I am very proud of Elder Vester making the decision to finish he mission.

Been a while, am I right? Time for Vester's weekly updates. :D
I'm serving in the Newport Ward, in Washington. Half of the ward is in Idaho, and we have to cross the border into idaho to go to church, and that's currently where I am at. :D
I'm in a tripaniuonship. Elder Christensen is from West Jordan, Utah, and Elder Zeman is from Acton California. Both are amazing, and I am LOVING this tripanionship so far. Lots of jokes, lots of work, and lots of fun. I love both of them so much, and I am in the best companionship I've ever had, and I love all the things.
The area reminds me a lot of Prescott. Its a retirement area, and there are a lot of very old people in my ward. I wore my scarf I made from Brasil on Sunday, and I caught all the ladies' attention. Haha.
I'm going to fit in well here.
My apartment is fantastic! 10 times better than anything I had in Brasil. CARPET. <333
But, I am already starting to see just how different, and amazing this mission is.
When I got off the plane, I collected my baggage, and President Mullen got a little confused on the time I was flying in. So I had to wait there for about an hour or so. But, when he arrived, the first thing he did was say "Elder, I'm so sorry. I'm grateful to have you here, and I love you." And then he hugged me.
I was a little surprised to say the least. And then, he takes my heavier bag, and starts to walk and talk to me. When, all of a sudden, he started to do contacts, right there in the airport.
I was impressed. And I could already feel President Mullen's love. Never had I seen anything like this before, and I was a little overwhelmed.
We got to the mission home in Spokane, and we started doing some paperwork for me. I was made the designated driver for the trio. On the way out, the President took me into his office, and showed me the transfer board. There was me, next to my new companions.
After a closer look, the paper said I would be going home in..... December.
Gut punch.
I had no idea what to think. Other then how frustrating this whole thing had been. How much miss communication can happen in 2 months?
And I know President Mullen could sense that.
So, as the assistants took my luggage to the "Transfer Van" President Mullen took me to another room, and knelt with me in prayer.
I felt an overwhelming feeling of love come at that moment. I knew just how much President Mullen loved me, despite having only known him for all of 3 hours. He blessed me, and calmed the fear and hurt that had come over me. Needless to say, I am so very grateful that I am here in a mission where I am loved and wanted.
That was when the assistants took me to my new area. We got me a bike, just because we're all supposed to have bikes,  and It's sitting downstairs in our garage.
Our apartment in on the 2nd floor of a mortuary/ funeral home. It's owned by some members who live next to us, and they take good care of us.
It's always toasty in there, but that might have to do with the furnace they use to creamate people. lol
But, all is well. I love it here, and I am so grateful to be here. <3
I love you all, and miss you dearly. <3
~Elder Vester

Elder Zeman, Christensen, and I. <3

Monday, March 24, 2014

Week 66 ~ Back to work I go. c: (it's a long one.)

His letter will explain everything.


Well, after a 2 month hiatus, it's time to get back into the swing on things.
Well. where to start. A LOT has happened in the last 2 months...
So, I got transferred from Nova Venecia, and that was a very emotional goodbye. Many good church members are there, and I loved that area so much. I miss them all. ;3;
But, I got transferred to Laranjeiras 2. I was paired with this super black elder, named Elder Dila. By far my best companionship.
I was so out of commission, that I could hardly leave the house, and going to lunch was a hard thing to do. I would wake up in the morning just fine, and by the end of personal study, there would be so much blood pooled in my groin, that I had to go lay down.
Why on earth I was made District Leader in this kind of shape, I will never know. Judge that for yourself. I mean, I was like, a rectangle! So very shape I was.
It was also raining the entity of my stay there, so not that big of a deal. No one wanted to let us in anywho. haha.
I also met some very loving, and supportive members in Laranjeiras. I cried, leaving there, too.
On Christmas eve, I received a call from president. For some reason beyond me, he decided to do so in English... He needs to practice. Anywho.
He told me that Salt Lake had managed to get a flight for me, leaving Christmas day.
He also asked me "Elder Vester, do you want to return to this mission?"
I replied "Yes, of course! It's where I was called, and it's where I want to finish."
He says "Then you're going to have to fight to get back here."
And left it at that. He told me that I would not be released as an elder, and that I would be back in about 2 weeks.
So, we spent that night at the Ward Mission Leader's place. He bought around 10 pizzas, and we all sat around, talking, looking at photos, and listening to music. <3 Yes.
Christmas day, we were surprised with some wonderful members bringing us this MASSIVE pile of sweets. Cakes, cookies, candies, crackers, chocolates, gummis.
It was the best.
We then had Churrasco at a member's house for lunch, and at about 2, I said goodbye to my wonderful little district, and went to the mission office.
I won't even go into detail on that. But, the Assistant to the president told me I was released, and to remove my tag. He's insane, so I thought nothing of it.
I got my flight at 6:30, and went from Vitoria, to Sao Paulo, to JFK, to Phoenix. 
My mom, dad, oldest brother, and oldest sister met me at the airport. <3 
I failed to realize how badly I smelled. Haha. I love my family.
My parents decided to wait a few days, so I could do Christmas with my family, and I loved that. <3 So much. 
I talked with my stake president, and he told me that because Iw as still an elder, that I needed to obey rules and such, blah blah blah.
I promised to do so, and we began to do the tests and prep work to get me better.
About the day 15 mark, I got a call from my stake president, saying that he had received direction from salt lake to have me released, And wanted to see me right away. I was told that I would be given 30 days, and if we could get the surgery and recovery done in 30 days, I could go back to Brasil. Well, looks like someone had decided to just pull the plug.
So, I was released according to salt lake, but my stake president kept me as a missionary somehow? I'm not sure.
I went to the doctor, did some tests, and found out I had an infection on  top of the veracious seal I had, so we had to clear that up. After about 3 weeks, we had me cleaned up, and ready to do surgery.
That was fun. I had to take 3 times the normal amount of tranquilizer to get me to relax. I'm pretty much a gorilla. I remember tripping pretty hard, and thinking the walls and ceiling were moving. lol. And my nurse, Greg, was a hoot. He kept messing with me all through the surgery, and cracking jokes. Or, at least I think? 
But, the surgery went well. No complications.
Until it came to the recuperation. For some reason, I was still having a lot of pain. It started to go away by the day 25 mark.  I started getting ready to go back to brasil, when the doctors from salt lake called, and said I had to pass a physical test to go back. It was to walk 6 miles, for 3 days, without any pain.
I failed miserably.
I had to set up a exercise program with my doctor, and to begin the recuperation.
The day 30 mark came, and passed. I was released, and started to enjoy a little bit more of the freedom that comes with being a regular person. Sleeping in, staying out late, hanging with friends, movies, sewing, anime!
It was a nice break to say the least. lol
I continued the walking, and building up strength, and finally was able to go the 3 days, walking 6 miles. 
I got my paperwork turned in, and finally received the re-call to Spokane Washington.
So. That's the secular history of whats gone on.
I can't even begin to tell you guys how hard this has been, and hoe much of a struggle it is. There were many days where satan would make me feel like I was unfit to be a missionary, and that I was sent home because God did not want me out. I had many days that It was just hard to get out of bed. Never have I been attacked on every side, and felt the powers of the adversary combining against me like that. Every day was a uphill battle. There were many times I could just sit in a bubble bath, and cry. Upset and hurt at what was going on. At first I was heartbroken at the fact that I would never go back to Brasil at a missionary. But, I've come to a greater understanding of what the Lord has had in store for me, and a little bit more about how much I need him. How much I rely on the Savior, and how much I need his redeeming love.
I know Jesus loves me, and supports me. Especially in my times of weakness. 

However, having been freed from the restraints of mission rules, I began to see things in a new light.
I started to go out with the elders every single week, several times if I could. And that has been what has gotten me through it.
Let me tell you about Ashlynn.
Upon coming home, I found out that my dear friend Kaitlynn had been remarried, and so I had to meet her new husband, who's name is also Jacob.
This kid, is fantastic.
He started a Dungeons and Dragons group. I got involved, and loved it.
But, this was how I was introduced to Ashlynn.
Jacob invited her to meet with the elders, and I soon came into play.
I was there for most of her lessons, and I had the please of not only seeing her conversion, but of being the one to perform her baptism.
She's an amazing woman, and has been through so much, and has shown strength and love beyond her years.
Between her, and the 4 elders I have been teaching with, I have managed to keep what little fire I had burning. Graziano, Ford, Linquist, and Burbank, thank you. I owe you guys.
I also had the wonderful pleasure to meet up with Elder Austin Bardleson. The tender mercies of the Lord seem to have no end in my life, and I am so grateful for that.
And well, that about sums it up.
There is a lot here that is missing. But, I hope this is enough to bring you all up to speed. <3
I love you all, and I am grateful for the church. I know it is true with all my heart, and I am so excited to share the gospel with the people in the Spokane area. I know that is where I am needed, and wanted. <3
So, lets see where this adventure is going.
So, I'll see you all my next p day.
With love
Elder Jacob Allen Vester.

My new address is:
Washington Spokane Mission
Elder Jacob Allen Vester
820 South Pines Road Suit 101
Spokane Valley, WA 99206

Elders Graziano, Ford, Lunquist, and the wonderful Ashlynn.
My District. 
Elders Kauan, MONTEIROOOOOO, and Dila. I was the district leader for about 3 weeks. lol

My district was the most thug/nerdy thing ever.

got the wonderful chance to see my adopted black family. <3 Nildemar, I miss you!

The last week I was in Brasil, it rained soooo hard. Like, really.
So much so that the ceiling caved in. D: I got all kinds of yuck in my bags...