Monday, April 28, 2014

Week 74 ~ A Week Of Tender Mercies: VWU

I had a nice email session with Elder Vester today. I love my time with him on Monday's. He is doing so well, makes me happy.


Well, this week has gone by sooooo fast. let me tell you.
I've had an amazing week. We've kept very busy, and I've got some great things I would like to share with all of you.
This has really been a week of tender mercies for me. I've felt my Savior's love so much, and I'm seeing his hand in many things. I'd like to share a few with you.
On last Monday, I had been emailing my mom. I was telling her about how I had failed to get Lynn's address, so I could send her a little box. Lynn has forgotten to send it to me for a few weeks now, and I was hoping that mom could do some recon for me throughout the week.
Well, as we were emailing, my mom, who works in the Ruth St. church, across the street from Prescott High school, had felt a prompting to go to the other side of the building, and look for a program. After a few minutes, she got up, went, and looked.
Low and behold, there was a single program, on the floor, by the coat rack. I was speechless. And that does not happen too often. This set the mood for the entire week.
My next one I would like to share, came in the form of a division we did with our Zone Leaders. On Wednesday, Elder White went over to Colville, and Elder Cordel came here. The entire day was a little frustrating. I do not know the area well, and we might have driven about 80+ miles trying to find people to teach. It turned out to be a good day though. At the very end, our only set appointment was the Riecker family. And you'll never guess what. They have a brasilian exchange student living with them. Her name is Joyce, and she's from Rio de Janeiro. And so, God blessed me with an opportunity to teach in the language I learned and loved for 16 months. I remember Stake President Montierth telling me to be prepared to teach in Portuguese, and I am so very grateful that I have had that chance to do so once again. God is good.
And the last one I want to tell you about, happened Saturday night.
I won't go into detail too much, But, I had the chance to feel the guiding, comforting, protecting love of my Savior. And how wonderful that was. He came to me in the time I needed him most, and he helped me in ways that no one else could. I was reminded about how important temple work is, and how protecting the covanents are, that we take upon upon ourselves in the temple. The Lord loves me, and knows me. And he has kept his protecting hand over me from the unseen evils that try to take this work down from the inside.
The Lord is in many, many things. I finally took the chance to stop, and to look, and see just how much the Lord has done. I can't help but feel overwhelmed when I see how much God cares for me, and see all that he puts into place for me. Even though I am so imperfect, Christ loves me perfectly.
Just as he does us all.
I love my Jesus.
I love my Heavenly Father,
And they both love me.
And you.
I can't complain. I love this work. I really do. I am so grateful for the wonderful tender mercy being sent here to the Spokane mission has been. This mission, and these missionaries have really helped me out. I've grown so much, and many wounds are healing now.
I now understand the purpose of mission work, and being a missionary.
I remember, about 10 months ago, I received an email, from a dear friend named Austin.  He had counseled me that "The measure of a missionary is not in the number of lessons he has, or how many people he baptizes. It's measured in the capacity he has to love and touch other people."
I now, can finally understand where this great missionary was coming from.
Only having been removed from the numbers race, and seeing people for who they really are, have I become fully converted to this work.
It's the best work in the world.
And I'll make these last 3 transfers count.
I love you all so much. Thank you for all the support and love each and every single one of you give me.
I can feel your prayers, and love.
I wish you well, and to look for the tender mercies God has given you this week.
I promise you, that as you do so, that you will find a greater increase of love, blessings, and awareness of the hand of God in your life. I promise you that you will feel the Savior close to you as you seek to find His little gifts he gives you.
Take care.
~Elder jacob Vester
I got harry potter stamps~! The next 20 letters I send out will be rocking the best stamps ever. (So, maybe you guys should write me more?)

I got my English name tags!

This morning, I went on a hike with the Sowards. This here is Sheep Creek Falls.

The Sowards.

We went and explored an old catholic church this week. #selfies

I think says it all!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Week 73 ~ My Companion Can Speak To Animals: VWU

Elder Vester is doing great and is really enjoying himself serving the Lord. He sure seems happy! 
Enjoy his email and pictures.

So, Easter night, we were having a lot of trouble finding people. No one would let us into their home, and we went to the back end of the town.
We found some old railroad tracks, and there was some thick brush and woods that separated us from the river.
There was a black stray Labrador kinda walking around.
My companion, Elder White, turns to it and says "Show us the way to the river, Dog."
And this dog shows him the only path through the brush that does not have ny poison oak or sumac, right down to the river.
I replied "I refuse to believe that this just happened. Darn you Indians and your super powers!"
We both laughed. :D
So, that was pretty cool.
We watched the sunset on the river, and it was super pretty. The sun goes down about 8:30 here. I love it!
I also got to meet up with elder Barbakov again. He's pretty cool. :D
And the ester bunny came to see me!
I made these slippers this week. <3 I'm sending them to my wonderful Ellis Shimai, who is serving her mission in japan. She wanted some slippers to ear inside people's houses.
And I being the best person ever, made them for her. :D #crochetingmadness
Not too much has gone on this week. We are still trying to get us some new investigators to teach. They are far and few in between. We are teaching more though. We're getting to know each other's teaching style more and more, and we're a super duo if I do say so myself. We seem to mesh so well, and teach with the spirit. More so than I have ever done on my mission.
I am loving this work so much.
This week, we also had this super training thing down in Spokane, and there were 3 zones that got together. (that's how I got the picture with Koytsa).
It. was. amazing.
After Brasil, I always hated going to training's, and doing meetings, because it always seemed like we were getting reamed into for not doing a good enough job, and then be forced to do some role plays of things we would never put into practice.
That was not true this time.
We had some very spiritual, and powerful training's from President, and Sister. So much love was felt, and so much inspiration. <3 I love it!
And when we did the role plays, it felt so natural, and I actually learned a lot.
Then, we all played a bunch of games. Oh goodness. It was sick. :D
And finished it up with a testimony meeting.
I cannot tell you just how much I love this mission. It's been the balm of Gilead I have been praying for.
Wounds that have cut deep, are finally being able to heal, and I know that it is because of the savior, and his love and tender mercies.
I know that this church is true, and that this is the work of God.
I know the savior loves us, and he died to save us from the price of sin. If we repent, and give it to him, we can be made free.
I know the savior took up is life again on the 3rd day, as a resurrected, glorified being.
I know this to be true.
And I know, that one day, I will be resurrected.
I love you all. <3
And, with this new mission, I am allowed to listen to music!
Love you all, and see you next week!
Elder Vester

Tthis is elder Barbakov! We had a training this week, and I got to hang out with him for a bit. He's a lot of fun.

The Easter bunny visited me. :D

 I made the slippers to send to Lynn Ellis.

c: The river. It was really pretty, and the water was sooooo cold!

Elder White & Elder Vester

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Week 72 ~ On This Day of Joy and Gladness~ VWU

Here is Elder Vester's email this week. Is is doing really well.


So, this week has gone by SUPER fast, and really slow at the same time.
When we got to the house,  Elder White explained that he and Elder Herris, the elder here before me, had already Baptized all the people they were teaching, and that he and I would have to start from scratch,
Fine by me. It's what I do. :D
So, the entirety of this week has been getting to know members/less actives, and tracking.
We normally park our car somewhere, and we walk down a road, up the super long driveways, and knock on doors.
Knocking on doors is weird to me. I miss clapping at people and yelling OI DE CASAAAAAA~
but, it's all good.
We've met some interesting people. A woman who goes around buying old homes, fixing them up, and putting shrubbery everywhere to beautify the town.
An older gentleman that restores houses, and worked for Hollywood as a electrical Grip, whatever that is. haha. (He also claims to have bigfoot pictures)
And the list goes on and on.
It's very different from what I am used to in Brasil, but I can love the work just as much, if not more. Only because I have a better attitude now. haha.
And so, the work carries on.
I would however, like to share something I have learned this week.
Never Give Up.
And, Never give up on the good times; Living it up is a state of mind, #spicegirls
But really. This week, the importance of enduring to the end has really touched me. And not just because we were tracking this week.
This week, I met a young man named Jerred Lloyd. He is a returned missionary from Brasil, and had to come home early because he had cancer in his leg. He spoke in sacrament, and shared a little of his story, along with siting examples of endurance from the bible, such as Joseph who was sold into Egypt, and Moses.
He, without knowing it, had answered several prayers that I have been praying since I left Brasil. the Lord has many tender mercies for all of us, and this week, I had the pleasure of feeling and seeing many of them. This young man had such an amazing spirit about him, and I made a goal right then and there.
I wanted to be like this returned missionary.
He had taken his trial, now going on to his 3rd surgery, and used it as a spring board for his testimony. When he spoke, he shared the love of the savior in every word.
That's what I want to be like.
This young man impressed me, and I have a lot of work to do. c:
It was also neato to speak to him in Portuguese. I'm getting a little rusty, I can tell. haha.
Ah! One last little thing.
This girl, about 16, came up to me, and asked if I had an older sister named Sarah, who lives in Mesa. Behold and lo, This girl was Riannha. She used to live in the apartment complex my sister managed, and it was super neat to see her again! She goes to the branch here, and I'm going to try to reactivate her mother.
No one can resist the vester~
Anywho. I love you all, and wish you a wonderful week.
God be with you,
And remember the true reason for Easter. <3
He has risen!
Elder Vester

a super old car on a recent convert's front lawn

The charizard I made for Elder Christensen

The Spokane Temple

My desk!

some shots around my area

Elder White and I

My house

red velvet and Dr Pepper. <3

Friday, April 11, 2014

Week 71 ~ Just when I start getting comfortable... :VWU

Here is Elder Vester's email for this week. I am so happy he is happy. I am so proud of him for beating the odds and going back out to finish his mission.

So, no fun pictures this week.
The only thing is that we went to a thrift store, and I totally found the old Jessie figure from 1998, that came with a pokeball and Ekans figure... So, I bought it, and she is now on our car's dash. :D
So, the only news is that I was Transferred. So, I'm going to be packing today....
I'm going to North Port Washington, and my compnaion is Elder White. I'll be meeting up with him by the temple in Spokane. I wont get to do a session, but I'll at least be able to see it. :D
The last week has been very very slow. Most of us have been sick, and we've had to stay in most of the week. But, it's been interesting. haha.
I love love LOVED conference. <3 I actually got to watch all of it without any problem. I understood everything. ;D
But really. I personally had a spiritual feast on all the personal revelation that was given. I especially loved Elder Oaks talk in priesthood. I learned so much just from that.
So, I'm kinda running out of things for this week.
But, I love you all. And I wish you luck in the week to come.
Be praying for me, and my new companion. I am excited to get down to work, even if that means I really do have to become senior companion again so soon.
See you all next week!
Elder Vester

Old Jessie figure from 1998, that came with a pokeball and Ekans figure

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Week 68 ~ Satan rebelled against God because he thought he was prettier?: VWU

Here is Elder Vester's weekly update (VWU). He is very happy serving in Washington Spokane Mission. I am so happy that all is well! 

SO. This week was great! Lots of new things to learn, and many new people to meet.
I'll share some of the highlights with you.
That little Mennonite bakery? We bought these SUPER delicious Maple glazed cinnamon rolls. We had about half of them, and we were full. It took about 2 or 3 minuets afterword that we started to notice the after taste of coffee... We looked at the packaging, and low and behold, the maple syrup had coffee as one of the ingredients. 
We then took the rest of them, and threw them away.
So, thats the 2nd time I've broken the word of wisdom as a missionary without knowing it. First that wonderful Vodka Water in Rio, and now coffee cinnamon rolls in Washington.
So, we've started looking more closely at the labels at that place. lol
Another fun thing, is the fact that I am re-learning how to drive. c:
I'm loving it! I've driven about 500 miles in the last week or so. I missed it so much. I was driving a Jeep, and We have to trade that for a stupid Subaru today. D:<
We had lunch with the Lawrence family this week, too. They are about as mountain man/hick/redneck as you can get. We were there for a good few hours, and from that dinner, I learned that, and I quote "Lucifer rebelled against God because he was a flaming homosexual. He thought he was more prettier than God, and got mad when God said he was not! That's when he started crossing his legs when we sat down and waving his arms around when he spoke. THAT'S why he was cast out."
It was an interesting dinner.
I still feel like I am serving a foreign mission. Holy cow.
Elder Snyder and I had the pleasure to go on splits this week. :D He is going to Brasil in 2 weeks, and  so he and I just spent the entire day speaking in Portuguese, and having fun. I loved it so much. :D He's fantastic!
And lastly, the best part of the week.
This week, I listened to Bill Carpenter's conversion story.
He's pretty well known around here, but I'll sum it up.
Her was catholic, and was going to school to become a priest. He was in his 3rd year, and took a 30 day ecclesiastical leave as they call it, to prepare for a year long vow of silence.
That was when he found some LDS friends, and started to take the discussions.
After many, many, many trials, he was baptized, and fully disowned from his family.
He then starts to talk about his mission. At that point in time, elders only served for 18 months. He was told that his father was having some kind of health problems, and was dying in a hospital. His mission president told him that the Lord wanted him to extend his mission for another 6 months.
After some back and forth, and input from his family, he stayed in the field.
That was when he met this little old black lady.
She took the challenge to read the book of Mormon, and read the entire book within a week.
She was converted, and baptized.
Within a few weeks, she found out about patriarchal blessings.
She had received  it, and called her missionaries over to read it.
After some back and forth, she finally told them that she was blind, and could not read. And that God had given her the power to read the Book of Mormon, and after she finished the last page, and closed it, she lost that power. And she knew it was true, if only because of that.
So, Elder Carpenter opened the blessing.
The blessing had said that she would have joined the church 25 years earlier, if the elder who had received his call, had accepted it. And so God had to prepare 2 new elders for her to bring her the gospel.
Now, with that in mind. I have considered my new return date.
My mission president has told me that he has the final verdict on my return date, and I'll be calling him later today to find out what my fate is.
But, what ever it is, I know the Lord is in it.
I love this church. I love this work, and I know that I am helping to further the work of God.
I love you all, and I shall talk to you next week.
Stay Beautiful.
Elder Vester

This first photo is Diamond Lake. It's beautiful, and we normally go there every week to teach. <3

This here is one of the best sandwiches ever. There is a Mennonite Bakery up here, and we eat there every week. :D Sometimes more than once. hahah 

, then, just look at how beautiful these photos are. I'm so attractive~! #eyebrowwiggle