26 October 2015

I left the Brazil MTC on the 20th and when I left i got to my new area i learned that my email day was Mondays so i had to wait a little longer. But i finished up things at the MTC and finished up my classes and training. I said my goodbyes to some wonderful people that I’ve met these past 6 weeks, like my companion, Elder J.

Yorks MTC comp

 

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And of course India too.

York and India last shot

I left the MTC tuesday morning the 20th at 7:00 and we went to the misson home where we met our new misson president. The misson pres and his wife are our new parents for the next 2 years so its nice to have someone watching over you and someone that can help you; Their names are Pres Broadbent and Sis Broadbent! Theyre awesome people! When we arrived at the misson home they came up to us and hugged us righ away and said they were so happy to see us. We then spent a couple hours with them socializing and getting to know one another. After that we went to the church building near by to get our new companion/trainer. My companion for the next 12 weeks is Elder D.! He is from Fortaleza Brazil and has been on his misson for a year and 3 months. He has a lot of experience and has already taught me a lot! He knows zero english but we can communicate what we need to say with one another portuguese.

 

York and his companion

After we received our new companions we had orientation where we learned all the rules and expectations in the sao paulo sul misson. There are 11 million people in our mission. After orientation, Elder D. and I took our bags (one of which broke I might add. hashtag dont buy magellan) and got on a crammed autobus to head to our new home. Here’s our kitchen:

Yorks first apt

Our area is in the city of São Bernardo. The area is almost entirely favelas (slums) and there are a ton of hills.

Yorks first area

Our schelude is as follows…we wake up at 630..workout and eat breakfast and get dressed by 8..at 8 we study for an hour..9 is companion study..and 10-11 is language study. We then eat lunch at a members house around 12 and then the rest of the day is appointments and proslyting. I’d like to pause for a momoent and once again talk about the food here. Every day we are fed lunch by a member. Sometimes thats a blessing and sometimes thats a curse. Of course, naturally, everyone here is an amazing cook. The curse lies with the fact that its rude here to eat only one or two servings. Ive been told that I must eat at least 3. Which can be difficult when the hostess is the one deciding your serving size each time. One of the wealthier couples who ive had the great oportunity to eat dinner and lunch with here took us to a buffet and the buffet had sushi!! I ate probably 150 dollars worth of sushi and chicken hearts. Turns out chicken hearts are pretty good. The buffet was like one of those Brazilian places where the people walk around with giant skewers and trays of different meats and stuff and give it to you whenever you want. Also here every meal they serve beans, rice and often eggplant (which has the texture of uncooked octopus).

The people here in Brazil are awesome! They are so friendly and willing to listen to our messgae we have to share. But I also get a lot of weird looks..called a lot of interesting names..people like to yell at the white kid..especially if your a giant compared to them..and I’ve even had people run up to me and take pics of me so thats always an intersting expereince…weird people lol.

My second day here, this guy brought me and my companion into a house to pray with him and his friends because their friend had been killed by her drunk husband during an argument the previous night. I walked inside the little stone-walled apartment and realized that we were in the house where she had gotten killed.There was a pool of blood and over-turned furniture in the room where she had gotten her head smashed by her boyfriend with a bicicle handlebar the night before. I just sat there and waited for my companion to teach the plan of salvation and say the prayer for that one.

I think were gonna have a baptism for this upoming week and maybe two; the people in question need to learn some more lessons this week but maria and juliano seem really interested in the church. Its hard here but I feel like I am doing well! Thanks to you all and love ya.

Sincerely Elder West

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20 October 2015

We received this letter from York’s Mission President:

Dear Family of Elder Westenhaver,

Elder Westenhaver has arrived safely in the São Paulo South Mission. I have had an opportunity to visit with him in a personal interview, and I am inspired by his missionary efforts thus far and know that he will make a great contribution to the work of the Lord here. We are so pleased to have him! Sister Broadbent and I love him already, and we appreciate his desire and preparation to serve the Lord. It will be a wonderful experience for us to work with him in this great missionary effort as the Lord hastens His work here in Brazil and throughout the world. We know that our Heavenly Father will bless him, as he is obedient and diligent.

Thank you for your willingness to share him with the people he is serving here in Brazil. May you feel peace and joy in his service.

I have attached two pictures: One of Elder Westenhaver with my wife and me and another with his new companion.

With our love,

President and Sister Broadbent

York and Broadbents

York and first comp

14 October 2015

York Slouchy Brazil
This is my last week in the MTC; and likely my last time to speak English for the better part of two years. Dispite all of the grammar I´ve drilled and the vocab I´ve memorized, I cant help but feel largely unprepared to enter the field. Earlier this week my district received a new elder named Elder F. On the night of his arrival our district hosted a 16 person double elimination arm wrestling tournament. I was about to start the semi finals when the senior missionaries shut us down. We’re just trying to exercise and stay healthy! Haha.

Although I´m apprehensive to leave the MTC, I believe that I´ve learned all I can here.

I´m doing great. Wish me luck!! Love you guys!

Elder Westenhaver

PS: Facci made up a cool quote and I though I should tell you guys it: Goals are not limits.

Here’s a picture from the American-stye cookie shop across from the MTC where York has been staying. I don’t know who this girl is but there’s York in the background. So far these are the only pics I’ve gotten from him.

York Mr. Cheneys

7 October, 2015

Hi everyone,

A lot of interesting things occured this past week so I´ve decided that a chronological account of these events is the best option to cover all of the goings on here in Brazil. First I´d like to point out that the “days-of-the-week” system in brazil is extraordinarily cunfusing; attempting to recall the events of a specific day is virtually impossible. Now I know what you´re thinking, “Why can´t Elder Westenhaver just use his daily journal entries to spark his momories?” well… forgive me for answering a question with a question: but, have you ever tried to read my laughably inscrutable hand writing? For those of you who havent, imagine an Aztec codex writed by a blinnd 4 year old riding a gallaping horse. Now turn what your imagining upside down and look at it cross-eyed. Thats probably what my hand writing would look like to you.

The point of me saying this is to help you understand how terrible my attampt at remembering this week will be… but nevertheless here we go:
Last wednesday. After I´d writen last weeks letters, my companion, roomates and I travelled out into Sao Paulo once again in search of snack food. While my roommates found knock-off Brazilian gummy worms from the candy shop and pão de quejo (cheese bread) from the bakery sufficient to satisfy their sweet tooths, I was unwilling to settle for such generic american foods. After mmuch deliberation and searching I finally chose a munition of much higher caliber than that of my friends: the Dog Egg Master. The Dog Egg Master does in fact live up to its name. As the food cart chef created the confectionary wonder in front of my eyes; as the freshly broiled bacon, eggs, mashed potatoes, hotdogs and french fries sliid into the bun; and as the man drizzled the lot in catsup, mayanaise, relish, cheese and mustard, I knew that I had discovered love at first sight.
2 hours, a stomach ache, and an hour of self justification later (in that order) I ate nutella bannana pizza for dinner. #best day ever.
On Thusday and Friday all of my laundry disapeared at the hands of some laundry-schedual illiterate guys on my floor. Luckily I got all of my clothes back eventually. But unfortunately the washing machine ate one of my socks. On sauturday and Sunday I ate, slept and dreamt conference. Bieng enriched by 10 hours of talks and hymns made this weekend vastly more enjoyable that my typical weekends here. It was great!
On monday one of the Brazilians learned that you cant flush a volleyball sized piece of toilett paper down the toilet. Sadly, I was at the wrong place at the wrong time when this crime went down so I was forced to walk through the brown liquid aftermath.
On tuesday (ie. Yesterday), my companion and my current roommates and I recieved some new Brazilian roomates. In addition to this alteration our room number was changed to the floor above. Now instead of the beautiful star-lit city scape that used to meet my eyes each night, I am blessed with an attractive view of matte black steel  bars.
Nonetheless, this week, through its ups and downs has been great!!
Love to you all,
York