Thursday, September 17, 2015

September 7, 2015

Dear Mommy, 
I was in an incredible mood on Monday. We went to Walmart and a lady came up to us. And she asked if we were corporate. We told her we were Mormon Missionaries. She asked all sorts of questions, we answered them all and then she mentioned she was looking for a church in Aurora so we gave her a card and then we went back to shopping. As we were leaving a returned missionary came up to us and it was just a very busy day at Walmart. We went To Chick-fila for lunch it was so good! We had a District P-day and went bowling. We were playing for an hour and on our second game pretty much everyone had a perfect game, needless to say it was a great day!

So Investigator Update, we had amazing lessons with all of them. The Hoyles are doing great. Last night we went over and  he had a date for  the 12th but we are gonna have to push it back so he can be a little more prepared but he is so ready! He has a strong desire and he it internally motivated!  Amber who was pregnant had her baby and they are both happy and healthy and moving so they will now be in the Denver North Mission. Robb is doing awesome he has been a more stagnant investigator but we have been asking really good questions and he has been thinking a lot it is pretty cool. We are really excited!! 

On Friday we went to Seminary at like 10 o'clock, and THEY WERE IN CLASS. It was the strangest thing to go to seminary during the day! They have enough LDS students that they have release time seminary. We sat in and they were talking about the Creation. The Seminary Teacher (Brother Carwin) made a point that I thought was interesting> God made Eve from a rib and why not the head or the foot? Eve was made from the rib because symbolically if it was the head she would rule over him if it were the foot, he over her, but it was the rib meaning equality. 

Plans For this week: Today we are either gonna go hiking or have a nerf Battle not sure yet! Then we will have a Labor day bash with one of the members in the ward. Then we will do service at the local food share. At some point this week and we will try and set Brother Hoyle with a new baptism date. If we stay after transfers we will be moving into the Waltons.  But we won't find out till Saturday! I am content with staying or leaving either way I am where God needs me and that is awesome!

Lastly you wanted a list of things I wanted for Christmas. For you it is not too soon but after Christmas I will have a little over 4 months left so as far as I am concerned Christmas could never come and I wouldn't mind one bit. But if you want to know what I want I would like a longer mission. I would like to serve in Riverton stake and I would Like to end my mission in Laramie. Last and as normal I would like Santa's  naughty list (The Gospel helps everyone get on the nice list). Since you cant really get any of that for me I'll just take socks.  

Love Elder Westrup

August 17, 2015

Dear Mommy,

   All is well. This week has been super eventful, we got put back in
a tripan. I am now with Elder Noh who is from Apple Valley,
California. He is the oldest male son and a family of four children.
Elder Noh is very intelligent it is very fun to talk with him,
although Elder Taylor feels left out because he is at a different
level than us. Elder Noh is really good at balancing out the
conversations so Elder Taylor can understand and participate and not
feel left out! I really look up to Elder Noh, he Is 6' 4" and a giant
teddy bear. I feel that this will be a good transfer. Our District
consists of three people so that is fun.

   Work wise, our numbers have not been very accurate concerning the
actual amount of work we have been doing. We have been trying to find
where we teach and teach where we find but as of now we have no super
good leads. We met this guy, his name we forgot, so we have been calling
him Nick. "Nick" seems super cool. We haven't been able to sit down
with him but I believe  there is a lot of potential to help  him come
unto Christ. We were trying to find  a less active and we got no
answer. So Elder Noh suggested we knock a couple doors and he was like the
second door we knocked. I have missed tracting. I know it isn't the
most effective but you feel good when you just get out and meet new
people and have them bear testimony of Jesus Christ, and then you bear
your testimony of Christ, and both of you leave edified and

   I have some repenting to do. I have been basically filibustering
the last couple letters, because I just haven't been focusing on the
real reason why I writing, I was just writing five paragraphs to
achieve my goal. In that sense I have been rather selfish, and I
apologize. My writing is not for me it is for my family and friends to
learn and grow to share my experiences not achieve some remedial goal
set in place as a way of self gratification. I am learning so much and
growing even more. When applied the gospel will automatically change
you and you will be so much more happy it is the best. I can promise
this because I am living it.

   So in secular experience, I have given up soda for the last month
and I feel great. I have a more energy and don't crash in the
afternoon. I feel like I am loosing weight, I have a plan to cut back
on my unnecessary sugar in the next 8 months. I want to loose 5 lbs
every month over the next 8 months. my goal when I get home is to
weigh 200 lbs even. I want to be self sustained (motivated) in my
weight loss by the time I get home. I feel like that is a very
achievable goal. We will see what happens.

   Well in closing all is well on our end. On your end how are things?
Lately I have been hearing quite a bit about fires and most of the
people have been say around Sacramento? How was your trip? Did ya'll get
home safely? Who are Roland's teachers? How is the rest of the family?
When does Rebekah get home? What is new at Mira Loma? We just had
TIWI's installed in our cars and they are annoying but they save lives
so that is cool I guess.

                                                           Elder Westrup!

August 10, 2015

Dear Mom,

All is well! This week was pretty good, I have been tracking a little bit more, I enjoy finding so much! I am glad I am in an area where Elders want to work. Saturday we had a Zone Dinner with the stake president. After the Zone Leaders shared what the Zone vision for the transfer would be, which is "All for one and one for Christ." The district leaders then broke down the vision and it was broken down well for the most part. It was a great vision but not a goal which I think was the point. Visions are meant to be general to point in a direction. A vision alone is near pointless, without goals we become demoralized because of a seemingly unachievable goal. One thing the District Leader and I agreed on was that we couldn't have follow up on the Vision, what is the point of anything if there is no follow up. On the other hand goals without a vision are scattered and often don't make a lot of sense. Well that is my rant part of the email.

Cool thing this week, we were able to get to talk to Wade, one of our investigators' husbands, he is a former marine and we get along so well. It is awesome the amount of former military in Broomfield. But back to Wade. He works all the time and so it is hard to get a hold of him. Elder Taylor and I had just tried some Prospective Elders and none answered and so we were just walking around. Elder Taylor walked down Wade's street and he and his wife were front porch sitting. We walk up and start talking to him, him and I were swapping funny military stories. 

He told me one time when he was overseas. One of his convoys broke down and he volunteered to stay at a F.O.B. (which was being shutdown that night) and wait for repair crew to come so they got orders to stay put until they came. An Army Convoy came by pulling the last American soldiers (besides Wade's group) out. The leader of the Convoy came up and asked if they wanted to join the convoy and leave with the army guys and Wade said " Sir we have orders to stay and I am not disobeying orders from Srgt." The other soldier said "this Base is gonna get run down before your convoy gets here. If you don't leave with us you are gonna die " Wade replied "I have a 180 rounds and a pocket full of motivation that says we aren't gonna die." The Convoy leader had no reply and left them with some ice water. I loved that!

Last night I was thinking and I thought of the importance of names. A land's name defines its purpose, depending on who named the land determines the strength of the name to the land, without authority a name wont stick and the third and last the relationship between the namer and the name.  Similarly with the name of a child, for example my name Richard Hugh Westrup, I was named by my Father having authority from God not only because of stewardship over me but of the Melchizedek Priesthood. My Name Richard means powerful ruler or leader, Hugh means of the Heart, Mind and Spirit. I am named after My Father's Father, there is great emotional connection for my name to my Father and to me and that adds to the power behind my name. I don't remember where I was going with that but my name is what it is supposed to be!

Alma 38:12 "Use boldness, but not overbearance; Also see that ye bridle all your passions that ye maybe filled with love; see that ye refrain from idleness." Bridle all your passions that ye may be filled with love. First time I read this I didn't quite understand how bridling could cause filling of love, as I realized that when we give things up for a time, restraining ourselves we grow fonder of those things. Not only growing our fondness but refining it, perfecting it, causing it to become a pure love. That is cool. 

Love Elder Westrup 

July 27, 2015

Dear Mom,

I am well. I don't know what else to say. We did quite a bit this week but i just don`t know what to talk about. I guess the only thing I feel I can talk about is my favorite scripture which is John 15:13 through the end. I will just focus on verses 13, 16, 19, 21, 26 and 27.
"13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." I have always loved this verse because it is always quoted by soldiers but its original meaning is the most important. The Savior is talking of himself preforming the Atonement, but we can in similitude lay OUR life down and focus on his work and glory. That is what I get to do right now, I am laying down my life putting my wants my desires away bridling my passions, for the last 15 months and hopefully for the rest my life I will come second. I have a friend, who is my Savior, Redeemer and King, I am laying my life down for him. It is not an easy task by any means. I am human and natural, fallen and fallible, but through His grace I can change, I am changing. I am growing and so can everyone. I am glad I have this opportunity to act in his stead and I am glad He called me here so I can grow and change that it might be a permanent change.  
"16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you." I love Christ and He called me as His hands to do His deeds and help work His works that i might  find joy! He loves and trusts me enough to give me authority by another servant of His who holds the Keys to ordain me with power! The Lord gave me this power of knowledge and truth that I might establish a lasting conversion not only in others but in myself! I know that is true and it is amazes me regularly! 
"19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you." I like this verse because it is preparing me for opposition and if we are prepared than we won't fear. It is saying if you were playing on their team then they would love ya but guess what I drafted you long before they could claim ya and because you are not following their rules they hate you they`ll call you names, yell at you and try to frustrate your progress in My work. Every time I read that I think "great today is gonna be hard: people will be mean, I am going to be made fun of, and my cherished beliefs will be trodden upon like pearls before swine." Then I realize if I were part of the world this would probably be pretty discouraging, but I am not. The Lord(who called me out of the world)'s ways are not the worlds. Opposition is important for my growth and development and I have a lot of growing to do!
"21 But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me." One more reason there is persecution is because the nature of God is so deeply misunderstood. When we know God and His relationship with us and with those that are arguing with us or fighting us we treat them different and they start to understand us and their hearts change. Love breeds Love. God is love, people who contend don`t know God. Straight up.

       "26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:27 And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning." The Comforter has come and He testifies of the Reality, Divinity and Life of our Savior, Redeemer, and Lord Jesus Christ. That is truth. And because I was with Christ from the beginning, I to am called to bare my witness of Him. That He lives and loves us. That we are Sons and Daughters of a living and loving Father in Heaven. Understanding and practicing this relationship will cease all animosity and anger and cause world peace ;) 

  Love y'all
        Elder Richard Hugh Westrup

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

July 20, 2015

Dear Mommy,

All is well! This week has been super crazy. We have been trying to balance two wards. I think the tripanionship was perfect for Elder Brazell because we were able to find him some potentials. They seemed pretty promising! We met with some cool guys from their ward and our ward was kinda slow. Elder Taylor had a couple of families from his first area come down and take us out to eat and it was pretty fun and it really helps him feel comfortable (he grew up in a small town and never really moved so change is kinda hard for him). 

Preparation day last week was interesting. We had three missionaries worth of laundry and all sorts of stuff to figure out and "The District" (namely Elder Taylor and Elder Brazell ) decided to play Basket Ball. I decided to email and thanks to iPads we were both happy! We didn't get much done that night but we were able to go to John and Melissa's and they had cancelled bible study for various reasons. They were very happy we stopped by because they didn't have our cell number. Most of the bible study group didn't want to meet with us and that wasn't a surprise. But John and Melissa still want to meet with us and so now we have a regular appointment with them this Wednesday.

So Thursday night we got a call from the Assistants to President. The APs wanted to know if Elder Brazell would like a new companion for two weeks or if he wanted to wait till transfers. Elder Brazell saw how hard it is to cover two wards with one companionship (let alone all the small stuff like showering and laundry) so he said he would like the new companion now. His new companion is Elder Kennedy who I happened to serve around in Laramie. He is a great young man but he struggles and so I think Elder Brazell will be really good for him because Elder Brazell is really loving and is very observant of his surroundings.

Some of the people that Elder Brazell is teaching are James Bond! (he isn't Scottish :(  but he is still cool) and Ralph G. (a semi-successful Rock Star). They are both super cool people. I am sad I only got to see them once :/ but they are in great hands. Elder Kennedy and Elder Brazell are both great missionaries it is so awesome to see revelation at work. Elder Taylor and Elder Brazell and myself were able to find a couple of potential investigators : Liz is a single girl who we were able to bear powerful testimony to on the Plan of Salvation. Wendy and Austin were a newly wed couple who we helped to unload their car after their wedding and they seemed to be really appreciative of our help! We will see what happens with them.

So Friday we moved back in with the Cooks and it feels a lot more organized. We are able to focus on our ward now. Sundays are a lot shorter because there are a lot less meetings we have to go to being two companionships covering our own wards again. Yesterday we were able to help a less active member do some family history and it is so amazing to see his face light up every time we find a new name for him and add names his uncle gave him! This is a really awesome area to be in! There are so many great people with amazing stories out there and I am glad I have the opportunity to hear them! and even better share mine!! 

Elder Westrup

Sent from Elder Westrup's iPad

Monday, July 20, 2015

July 13, 2015

Dear Mom,

All is well! This week has been pretty intense. I am now 20 years of age. I am so thankful for the many birthday wishes and presents. It has been an excellent week, lots has happened. I am so grateful for all the gifts and presents I recieved even more so am I grateful for the wishes of happiness on my birthday. I feel so loved, even though I am afar off. I feel as though each wish is a warm embrace. I love you all so much. 
This week on Monday night we met with John and Melissa and it was a interesting. We met with them during a bible study and it was very good everyone was pretty open minded. We are going back tonight so we will see how it goes again! Tuesday was pretty uneventful we found out one our district members went home early which kinda made us sad and have a sucky day.
Wednesday I woke up and opened my package and as I said before I am so grateful for all I recieved. One crazy thing I got for my birthday was a new companion and his area. Needless to say my birthday was pretty hectic! My "new" companion is Elder Brazell (my MTC comp). We are now in a trio and it is making things interesting. We are covering two wards worth of appointments, which makes coordinating interesting. I am having an awesome time with Elder Brazell and Elder Taylor! They are both awesome missionaries who want to serve God to the best of their abilities. 
We met with Amber again and she is so prepared it is crazy. She has a such strong desire to be ready for baptism. She was baptized when she was super young and she doesn't feel like it was her choice or that she has a personal relationship with God. But sometimes I feel she has a better relationship then I do! She is crazy cool to see how much she is growing from the Gospel! She still has yet to come to church so we will hopefully see her there next Sunday

We also had Zone meeting and it was announced that the mission has a goal of 35 baptism in the month of July, our zone set the goal of 6 baptisms, and so it was mainly focused on achieving the goals. We already had one on the fourth so we will see how close we get to the goal I think it is very achievable. I love being able to help motivate and push my friends to the best of their abilities, it makes me happy helping them achieve their goals!
So going back to covering two wards. We were able to meet Nick who is easily the coolest guy I have met in Colorado. He has a long complicated story but the short of it is he is on the right path and he is super cool! While we were talking he said something that really struck me. "If we are great husbands than we won't have to worry about being good fathers, it will naturally fall into place to love our children and treat them right when we love their mother more than anything else (excluding God of course)." I just thought that was something I hope to live by!
Another thing I learned this week was to keep small things small and important things important. This principle is eternal and universal. If we make mountains out of mole hills it will be one long journey. We need to emphasize what is important. Anyways I don't think I have anything else to write about love you all so much! 
Elder Richard Hugh Westrup!

Sent from Elder Westrup's iPad

July 7, 2015

Dear Mommy,

I am very well. It has been a great two weeks in Broomfield,CO. This week has  gone by super quick. We went tracting last Monday and Elder Taylor has no confidence in it (I love tracting). So it was kinda funny when we went tracting the second door we knocked a man named Jonathan came out with a nice bible and I thought it was gonna be a bible bash. But he said hey we are in the middle of bible study is there something we can help you with and I said well we are just going around talking about Jesus Christ with people but you obviously know about Christ and I don't want to invite myself but may we join your Bible study. He said "hold on let me get my wife" and she came out and was very pleasant, a little hesitant. She was super awesome and they both ended up talking for 30 minutes and we are going back tonight. I am really excited!!
On Tuesday last week we visited one of the Ward family history consultants and she worked on helping me understand Family History even more. It was really nice. I think I added a little bit of information; but not much. It is really cool to learn so I can help others learn and grow in their family history understanding. I am excited to get better at it we will probably be going back every other week to increase our ability. It is petty hard for Elder Taylor because he has most of his work actually done. But I am learning quite a bit!
 On Wednesday we had decided to visit all the members from A to Z in the directory and the second name on the list lives in the very farthest corner of our area so we rode out there and we weren't sure were he lived. So we went into this really nice condo complex and met a very nice lady named Asante who directed us to his address. Well he lived in a locked apartment building and we couldn't get in. I was about to give up and bike all the way home! All of a sudden two different people walked out, and Elder Taylor just grabbed the door and said blessings of the Lord. We got up there and knocked no one answered and we were about to leave but we had a stupor of thought when it came to what we should do we sat there for 30 seconds then we heard something from the inside and he opened the door and invited us in he said he had been thinking about going back to church a lot the last couple of weeks and he was really grateful for us stopping by. It really was the Lord working through us to help this young man out and the Lord accomplishes his works!

Thursday we met with our new top progressing Amber, she was baptized very young and she was very upset that she wasn't old enough to make the decision herself. After she was baptized her parents didn't go to church so in her words she grew up without getting to know Jesus Christ. We mainly are focusing on who He is and what he did for us! She doesn't read old English, for example the bible, and we were reading out of Luke chapter 1 and she was struggling understanding what was going on, but as we went on you could see the spirit work with her and her understanding and knowledge of Christ deepened so much! It was super awesome to see! And after we finished the lesson we were talking and invited her to Brittany's baptism and she said that is cool she would like to be baptized again! Elder Taylor and I are so excited to hear that!

Saturday was amazing. You already know how much I love the Fourth of July. Well we got a call to fill the font for a child of record baptism and we would have to watch it for 2 hours. While we were there the other ward was having their Fourth of July breakfast and we got free breakfast. Then we got to hear amazing baptism talks by the little girl's grandma and aunt. Then we visited a less active member and he was pretty cool. After that we went to Brittany Miller's baptism and she is just amazing and she has the stronger support from her future in-laws. One of which is going to the Roseville California mission! His name is Elder Shane Cobabe. He is a super cool kid! His older brother (who is espoused to Brittany) served in Argentina and is also really cool! So if in two weeks or so you see him take him out to lunch or something.

Well I can't think of much else to say. Thanks to all for my birthday wishes and gifts or letters sent. I greatly appreciate them all! Thanks for the pictures of fireworks and what not. You are all a great blessing in my life! I love you especially Mom and Dad without whom I wouldn't exist or have made it to the completion of my 20th year nor the commencement of my 21st year here on the earth. (Yes I am twenty but this is the twenty first year of my life) 
With much love and gratitude 
Elder Richard Hugh Westup 

Sent from Elder Westrup's iPad