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The Nike Area

Dear Mom and Dad,
 
Happy St. Patrick’s day to you too! This week has been a pretty good week! We have one baptismal date for a 9 year old for the 29th, and we are working hard to keep that because Satan is trying really hard to prevent that from happening! We also found some new investigators that seem pretty interested so it has been a good week.  The area is good! It is promising and all that. Everyone calls our area “Nike” which is awesome. We live near the Nike headquarters. Yeah I’ve been eating a lot of Spanish food. We always have dinner appointments. There is a sister missionary in my area from Kingsport TN!  It’s awesome having someone from home here.
 
I went on an exchange this week to Portland which was really fun. I was with the other Elder S.  and we had an awesome time. For language study and lunch we just went downtown Portland because it is right beside us! We had lunch at Little Big Burger which is an amazing place, and I bought two leather ties! One red and one black! They were on sale at Urban Outfitters for $5 each so I just had to get them.. 
 
Glad you had fun at the Billy Joel concert.  No I can’t name any Billy Joel songs, but I heard he can’t even remember the lyrics to his own! I hope you had fun, but it can’t have been as good as Weird Al’s concert! I guess that’s good that I’m getting quoted in church! I don’t know what all I write in these “private” emails will end up public and on the blog but it’s okay haha. 
 
So about the brackets… This is probably the HARDEST time to be away from home.. Forget Super Bowl Sunday, that’s just one day. This, is March Madness! I think it’s ridiculous that Tennessee has to play a play-in game.. They obviously know that UT has the best chance to make a run and win the tournament so they are trying to give them an extra game to make them tired.. It’s okay though.. I’m going to fill out a bracket and then send it home to see if I can beat Dad and anyone else who wants to see how well a missionary can fill out a bracket.
 
 My camera is good, my shoes are dirty (missionary life) and I don’t really know how to shine them, I’m just making up a way. I have two pairs with me out here! I could probably use more proactiv, contacts, and cologne.. I’m just about out of cologne..
 
I love y’all!
Elder Westin Laing
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Spanish Missionaries at Zone Conference!  (Can you spot Elder Laing?)
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Beaverton West

Today I had my 3 month interview with President Morby. It went well. He gave me a blessing and it was really awesome!  We went to the temple to take an investigator. It was great!

My throat hurts a little, but I’ll be fine.  I enjoy my new area and we are busy! We have investigators!!

The most important thing we can do in this life is to “love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength” while also showing that love to others!

La cosa más importante que podemos hacer en esta vida es “Amarás, pues, al Señor tu Dios con todo tu corazón, y con toda tu alma, y con toda tu mente y con todas tus fuerzas” mientras que también demuestra que el amor a los demás!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=db-lE_f2U5I&feature=player_embedded   (this is a link to a great video)

I don’t have much time today, but you have pictures!!  I love you so much….just keep on keepin’ on!

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First Transfer!

All missionaries are transferred to new areas in their mission on a regular basis.  The mission president determines where the Lord wants them to serve.  Elder Laing was transferred to the Beaverton West Area.  Today was busy getting settled, moving into a new apartment  etc…  Westin sent some information and LOTS of pictures!

From his e-mail:

     I’m awesome! I’m driving a Corolla again haha. Our apartment is small , but the complex is nice!! My companion is good, he is Elder M. and this is his last transfer in the mission! He loves to fight Satan. It’s cool. He was in the MTC with  my first companion, Elder V. I don’t know what my new ward is like, but apparently it is really big. There are 8 missionaries in the ward!  We have a lot more investigators than in my last area. I am excited to teach! My new companion is from Utah. I don’t have my new apartment address. I’ll let you know when I find out.  The one of me eating is Meme’s apple butter.  I’ve grown spiritually over the last 7 months. It is hard to leave my first area, but I am excited to meet new people.  
    Love you all!

 

 

Eating the apple butter that Meme sent him.

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Reading his scriptures on is iPad!

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We have iPads now! It’s really cool! So useful to carry around. We’re one of 20 missions that have it right now! The Brethren will decide in April if it goes worldwide. I’ve also watched a bunch of the “I’m a Mormon” videos. Those are really sweet! You would like those! (http://mormon.org/people)

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Well we got about 8 inches of snow. That’s my guess. “I may be wrong! But I doubt it.” (Charles Barkley reference… Dad should know it, if not, look it up on YouTube!) Church got cancelled Sunday. We got free drinks at Starbucks 2 days in a row. I think the Lord was watching out for us, because we never had to walk far.. Whenever we did, we started, but there was always some member who saw us and gave us a ride!

Yeah… one thing I have learned on my mission is by observing all the different leaders I have, and then seeing the type I want to be when I become one! Like our Branch President.. He is so amazing. He bought us pizza over the phone, on one of our snow days! He may be the most hardworking, awesome leader I’ve met on the mission, well he and President Morby.

We went to a home that served us lots of vegetables.  I ate some. I ate like 3 asparagus thingies. You would be proud!

There is a verse in the Bible I want to share, it’s in John 16:33, “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” It’s such an awesome fact to know that our Savior has overcome every trouble we have gone through!!!

I love you sooo much.  I gotta go!

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This Week Has Been Good!

This week has been pretty good! We have gotten some new investigators so we are ready to go and bring some people to church and the waters of baptism!! We’ve learned that one of the best ways for people to open to us is just to get to know them first! Talk to them about Mexico, what they like to do, their family, and so on. It reminds me of 1 Nephi 7:4, “And it came to pass that we went up unto the house of Ishmael, and we did gain favor in the sight of Ishmael, insomuch that we did speak unto him the words of the Lord.” First they gained favor in the sight of Ishmael, this could be by either doing service for them or just talking to them and getting to know them more!! After that, they were able to speak to them the words of the Lord. What a great example Nephi and his brethren set about how to begin teaching!

I bore my testimony at church on Sunday.  I shared with scripture at church:  He aquí, os digo que quien crea en Cristo, sin dudar nada,cuanto pida al Padre en el nombre de Cristo, le será concedido; y esta promesa es para todos, aun hasta los extremos de la tierra.  Translation:  “Behold, I say unto you that whoso believeth in Christ, doubting nothing, whatsoever he shall ask the Father in the name of Christ it shall be granted him; and this promise is unto all, even unto the ends of the earth.” 

Everyone is excited about the Seahawks out here.  I heard you had some snow.  Enjoy it! Keep praying for me…I need it!  I love y’all!

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The Work of Salvation was never meant to be easy. I am seeing that this week. We can not seem to get into any one’s house to teach! But the Lord will test us to see how hard you really work, how hard you want it! Because “The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It is mean and nasty place, and it will beat you to your knees and keep you there if you let it. But it ain’t about how hard you hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward!” (quote from Rocky) When we are on the Lord’s errand, we will always be entitled to the Lord’s help. And we just need prayers… we need to find some more investigators!!!!

I love the scripture: 

Go for Matthew 16: 24-25 “ 24 ¶aThen said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him bdeny himself, and take up his ccross, and dfollow eme.

 25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever willalose his life for my sake shall bfind it.

 

Have you seen “Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration” or “The Testaments”?  If not, watch them…if you have…watch them again!  Elder D. Todd Christofferson from the Quorum of the Twelve is going to speak to us this Saturday!!

I am doing great. love ya’ll. 

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We Had Another Baptism!

We had a baptism yesterday!!!  We have been working with E and she decided to be baptized!! I’m so excited and happy for her!! It was great!!

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I am concerned about the youth leaving the church when they get close to my age. Parents need to make the kids come to church and live the best they can.  Parents need to be good examples for their kids. Parents still have power over them. You all made me, even though Satan tried hard to do his work on me, but I persevered. Parental examples are so important. P and I had a nice discussion about this one time. It’s why everyone gets inactive when they get around my age. Look at the parental examples youth have. Look at what they make their children do. It’s so important.   

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 Here is good video I watched this week!  http://www.lds.org/bible-videos/videos/jesus-declares-i-am-the-light-of-the-world-the-truth-shall-make-you-free?lang=eng

For my study this week, I have been reading through the Book of Mormon again! I read some in the Old Testament in Leviticus, and some in the book of Acts! The Book of Mormon makes perfect sense!! The New Testament makes the church so true. Especially James, 1 Corinthians and pretty much all the Epistles of Paul.

Transfers are next week! So if I’m gone to another area, I might email on Tuesday instead of Monday next week.

I am still working on my thank you letters..I received lots of packages!!! I took some of my Christmas money and bought a new suit in Portland! Thanks!!

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I love you all!!

 

Christmas as a Missionary

Westin called on Christmas Day. It was a wonderful call and we summed up the call as this:

Things we learned from Westin’s phone call: he loves his mission, he loves the scriptures, he loves the people he’s serving, he loves Mexican rice, he has dinner appointments almost every night ( thank you sweet people in Oregon), he can read in Spanish beautifully (he read some scriptures to us), he got lots of cards and packages for Christmas (thank you to all that sent him something), he says time is flying by, he said Sister Morby (his mission president’s wife) said their voices would sound like angels to their mothers on Christmas morning (this is true).

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Westin has had a great Christmas in Oregon. He said he has enjoyed singing at the Portland Temple Visitor’s Center.  He had a great mission party with lots of food, fun and friendship.  He told us in his e-mail today that he had roast beef and crepes for Christmas dinner. 

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Westin is now a facebook missionary as well.  He has a facebook page devoted to missionary work. He is allowed to answer gospel questions on his page.  To find his page on facebook search for:  “Elder Westin Laing”  He said this about facebook:  “President Morby said at Zone Conference last week that we get “mobile devices” mid-January. These are designed to let us use Facebook from them, and download our Area Book and planners on them. They are to go with us from area to area, not just to stay in the area.”

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Today in his e-mail he told me about a sister missionary in Johnson City TN that lost her apartment to a fire. He was concerned for her and her companion.  They are ok, but just lost everything.  He was very much appreciative of all of the cards and packages he received at Christmas. He was so excited to hear from former teachers and students in Renaissance from Cleveland High School. 

Westin shared a video about this favorite miracle Jesus performed in the Bible.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHBo7ka3YZQ&feature=share

Our Spanish zone is singing at the Portland temple visitor’s center this Thursday night!  We are singing Christmas songs in Spanish! I am in a trio for singing Silent Night. I am bringing up the bass of course. 

Yeah I got a good number of letters and cards this week! All those letters from the high school were great!!

We had our branch Christmas party this week.  I hope you like the pictures.

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Have you read “Articles of Faith” by Talmage? I really love that book right now.

My faith is in the Son of God, Jesus Christ. I know through Him, all things are possible. I have seen that out here. Through the power of God, I have healed people… literally healed them by the laying on of hands just as has been done in Old Testament and New Testament times as in James 5:14-15. I know that this is not me and my strength, but the strength of the Lord. I have seen hearts changed, and lives touched. The power of God has been made manifest in my life. Prayers have been answered, and hearts have been changed. Could all of this be done if it were not by the power of God? It is amazing to see, what can be done when one loses himself in the work of the Lord. I KNOW that this is the true church and that this is the work of the Lord. I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt, that this Church is true. I know that this pure and perfect Gospel has been restored through Joseph Smith.  I don’t know what all my life has in store for me, but I know that the direction I will go is where the Lord takes it. That is my focus.  That is my faith, and that is my direction.”

I love you.

Mom and Dad,

  This week was exciting. M. got baptized. It was a neat experience. I gave a talk at the baptism and stood in the confirmation circle.  My former companion, Elder V. got to come back for the baptism. 

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Oh yeah, remember how I told you about how I gave a Sister Missionary a blessing and she was healed? Well after our baptism, one of their investigators was there and had a bad cough.  She told her how she had a cough for like a month and then I gave her a blessing and she was healed…so they got me to give another blessing! I am excited about the power of God and how it works in our lives.

How are things in TN? How are things in the Athens Ward?  The weather is cold here. We had a little snow one day, but not enough to stick or anything. Aunt Kelly sent me homemade candy. It was great! 

We still have lots of dinner appointments. I am doing good. I love you! Keep praying for me as I will for y’all! Have a great day!

Love,

Elder Laing

PS…We gwent bowling on P Day last week.  This is a picture of the elders in our ward. Like my Uncle Si shirt?

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