Tuesday, December 24, 2013

A Pretty Good Week!

December 14, 2013

Three Zones


Hey,

I hope you are doing well!  Haha. It is kind of funny that we are like chatting live here on the computer. Haha. Pero Mientras... Le Voy a Escribir.

So this week was a pretty good week. We worked... almost like normal. We actually have not been in our sector a bunch. This week we had a zone conference! That was pretty sweet. We all wore Santa hats and sang songs from Christmas as a zone. Well... we were actually with three zones. La Union, Rahue, y Osorno. It was a good day. That lasted from 9 am to 5 pm. Then we walked like four miles back to our sector, and then walked another mile to Centro for choir practice. We are working on a choir performance for a Christmas devotional. And yesterday... we got the whole zone together and we went to sing carols to the investigators in each sector that have a baptismal date. That was way sweet. So now I know all of Osorno. It was pretty legit, actually.


So... I want you to know that we played American football today. It was sweet. Another Elder came and played with us today...Elder Medel. He is actually a professional football player. He played for the Mexican National team. How sweet is that? He plays full back... and he is a beast. It was a lot of fun... but I definitely pulled a muscle and I can tell I will be very sore for the next few days, actually. But it happens I guess. I am getting old and a little out of shape, actually.


So...We are getting coordinated with Elder Borup about when we are going to call home. He is going to call at 10 your time, because that way he can three-way with his parents and his sister who is in Argentina on her mission. So we can talk at like 11 your time? Does that work?

So... I want you to know that Elder Borup and I made Christmas cards... like 60 each. And those will be headed up in a box soon. You will have to deliver them for me, deal? Obviously they won’t get there before Christmas, but I think the people back home will still enjoy the cards when they get them.

Homemade Christmas Cards
Also, we are teaching this lady named Silvina. She is a really cool lady. She is reading in the Book of Mormon and she wants to get baptized. She has a baptismal date for the 18th of January. It is just hard to get her at church because she has a young son who is blind and has other mental handicaps... so someone has to watch him.

I don´t really know what else to say this time. There isn´t much to tell, I guess. It was just a fairly normal week.

Well..... I just got your email. I don´t really know what to say. I have no idea what to think. I am filled with sadness, anger, and frustration all at the same time.  I will try to stay focused.

Elder Warren

Saturday, December 7, 2013

La Matid Ya Se Fue

December 7, 2013

Elder Warren  Provo MTC   December 5, 2012


Mom,

It is pretty crazy to think about the fact that I have now been a missionary for over a year. Like... I think back to one year ago and I was still a missionary. That is a really weird feeling. It is also weird to think that in less than a year from now I will be at home. It blows my mind how fast things have passed. I was going to send you a picture of what I looked like this year on December 5th, but this cyber isn´t a very good one... and I don´t want to get my new camera infected. Yep, that is right. I got the package with the camera and stuff! Thank you so much. This camera takes FAR better pictures than the last one. All of the pictures look really good.

Hey, guess what? Elder Borup made me a cake for my one year anniversary. He is a stud. We used the Twizzlers to write "1 Año" on the cake. We went over to an investigators house and ate cake with her and her dad. It was a pretty good day.

Thinking back on the last year is weird. Like...half of my mission is gone. But the weirdest thing is that... the mission has been absolutely nothing like I expected. Not at all. I think before the mission I had this unrealistic, idealized thought about what missionaries are and what they do. I thought it would be this great spiritual high all the time. Like...constantly having one of those awesome spiritual moments. I thought that it would just... become natural. And maybe it has a little, but it isn´t easy. I sometimes say to people that it isn´t all sunshine and rainbows, mostly because the sun doesn´t shine and it doesn’t stop raining long enough to see rainbows. Haha. But really, it has been a hard year of my life. It is hard being away from home. It is hard learning another language. It is hard living in another country where the traditions and customs are different. It is hard to have wet feet all of the time. It is hard to get up each day and get excited to knock doors for 8 hours in the pouring rain. It is hard to live with companions who come from different backgrounds and have a different way of logic and reasoning. It is hard. It is hard to not see the results of our labors. It is hard to get rejected thousands of times. It is more disappointment than triumph.   But it is important. It is worth it. I have come so far. I have learned a lot of things. I am learning to face adversity. I am learning to work with other people. I am learning to have charity and serve and love the people here. I am trying to improve and get better each day. Trust me, I have a long ways to go before I will reach my goals and become the person that I want to be... but I am on the right track. And I am doing the Lords work. That fact alone keeps me going. This isn´t my time, this is the Lords time. I am expected to keep moving forward and to bring the world His truth.

I have a year left. One half. Everyone says that I am on the descent now. That now the time will go by twice as fast. We will see. But all I know is that I am going to do all that I can to fulfill my purpose here. I was called here for a reason. I am going to give it all I have. I feel like I spent the first year learning the ropes and really getting comfortable. The first year gaining the experience I need to really be an effective instrument in the hands of God. Now, I have some knowledge and some experience. I am going to apply what I have learned and really go for it here. Obviously there is a lot left to learn, so I will keep trying to improve. But now is the time to shine. I have nothing to lose here.

In other news... We will be talking on Skype here pretty quickly. I want you to pick. I can call the 23, 24 or 25th. Pick a day. We need to start coordinating it as soon as we can. I want you to respond to this part of the email immediately because I will actually be logged on to my email account on Monday morning. So let me know and tell me a time. And… try and figure out the time difference. I think it is like 4 hours or something like that.

Hey... could you send me the recipe for you chocolate chip cookies! I have been going Betty Crocker style recently, but that gets really expensive.

Also... be looking for a package in the mail. Haha. There is a surprise coming and I think you will enjoy it, actually. We have been.... very festive this year.

The work is going really well here, actually. We are trying to get the investigators to church. We have 8 investigators committed to the church activity tonight, so hopefully they come. Yesterday was easily one of the greatest days ever. We taught 7 lessons in one day... which is awesome for us. We went from lesson to lesson and we were teaching all day. It was cool.

Today we went and played American football with all of the missionaries in the zone. It has been so long since I have played football. It was a ton of fun. After that we went to some restaurant to do an ice cream challenge.  It was way easier than the ColdStone challenge. But it was still a ton of ice cream.

Well... I think that is it for me. Keep the faith. Keep busy. Keep happy.

Elder Warren

p.s.   I sent that letter so long ago that I don´t even remember what it said. Haha. No, don´t send me pens. I have a million. I am in a big enough city that I can buy anything here that they sell up there... almost. They even have an Apple store here.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Life is Good!

November 30, 2013


Mamita

What´s up, my sweet lady mother?  I hope that everything is going well for you! I am sorry to hear that story about your friend... that is really sad. But, everything happens for a reason, and sometimes we just don´t understand.
NOT a Cinnamon Roll!!

Mom... I really hope you are enjoying all of the pictures that I am sending you. This week I took quite a few. Do you see that nice one of me with the cinnamon roll looking thing??  Yeah... Elder Borup and I eat that every single day for dinner. It isn´t a cinnamon roll.  It is called pan con chicharron (bread with chunks of pig fat) and it is heaven!!! It isn´t healthy... at all, but who cares! Just heat those babies up in la microwave for like... 30 seconds. Awesome!! Haha. Don´t worry though, we keep ourselves in shape. We have huge hills in our sector that we constantly have to climb... and we go running in the mornings. Also, Elder Borup has a pedometer and we are clocking in at like 6 miles a day walking, which is decent. Haha.

Mom.... I FORGOT TO TELL YOU THE MOST EXCITING NEWS EVER OF MY LIFE!!!!  You know how I would write and tell you about Alexandra when I was in Villarrica? How she was waiting to get married and then she was going to get baptized? She and Juan got MARRIED and she got BAPTIZED!!!!  Hermana McNeil told me that when I saw her in the bus terminal last week. She said that she mentioned me in her testimony durante el servicio bautismal. I was so happy to hear that.   And also that family that we were teaching in Llanquihue, with Elder Amone? I think I already told you, but the whole family got baptized and now.... Marta, the lady, is the Mamita!!!!! Life is sweet. I may never see a baptism, but I don´t really care. Because I know for sure that my efforts are not being wasted!!!

In other news.... our house flooded yesterday! Haha. It was a mess! We spent most of the day cleaning up and drying everything. A pipe burst under the sink... and we got it fixed. Oh... and we decided we were going to clean our disgusting house. The problem here in the mission is that all of the houses are absolutely disgusting and full of mold and filth... because missionaries never clean them. So we decided to give the house a deep cleaning. The picture I sent is what elder Borup wiped off the floor in one wipe!!! Disgusting! But it is starting to look better and smell better.

Hey... I sent you a picture of me with the tree!!! The Christmas tree is so legit. We are making all of the ornaments of all of the things other missionaries have left behind in the house. It has so many ornaments. And those reindeer?? Those we made out of socks that somebody left in the house. We basically decorate all the time when we aren´t busy doing something else.


In other news...Elder Borup has a portable ping pong net. We set it up on our desk and ponged it up for a while. Haha. He is so cool. He is making me a hat right now, crochet style. I am pumped.


Mom... I actually have good news to report about how the work is going here!! Finally! We are working hard and talking to every single person. Not only that... but every time we teach a lesson to somebody, we invite them to be baptized. I have never really done that in my mission.... mostly because of fear. But we made the decision to do that as a companionship. So.... the other day we were out knocking doors. After one got slammed in our face... we moved on to the next one. And guess what happened there? The man invited us in right away. That NEVER happens. We met his family and they gave us some toast. Then we just kind of chatted with them for a while about cualquier cosa; just things about life. And guess what we did next. We taught them the restoration. Then... I invited them both to be baptized. They ACCEPTED! Legit! They’ve got a fecha for the 28th of December. So we are going to keep working on them.

We also have some new investigators. Marcelo y Ingrid. They are super sweet. We found them with Elder Pereyra and taught them a short little lesson. We went back with Elder Borup, and guess what we did? We taught the entire restoration to them and invited them to be baptized. And guess what? They ACCEPTED! They got their fecha for January 5th. So we will keep working with them. They are so cool. We asked them a few questions and Marcelo said, "I don´t really understand it... but I just feel compelled to talk to you guys. We have a very busy schedule, but I feel like listening to you when you come is far more important than whatever else we have going on."  The dude is sweet. He is a truck driver, so he is gone a lot on Sundays. That is going to be the challenge with them, I think.

So...The work is going well. We are teaching quite a few lessons. We have five investigators that have baptismal dates and we have a few more that are coming to church. Life... is good.

My first district meeting went really well. I made cookies for everyone. I have a pretty big district (four companionships) but the meeting went well. In the district we have six Elderes and two Hermana’s. We have people from the United States, Argentina, Mexico, Colombia, and Guatemala in the district. Haha. Pretty diverse. I still don´t like how often I am on the phone, though. Every single night I am on the phone for like an hour and a half straight, verifying numbers and things like that. But... I guess I will get used to it.

Mom... I think that is all for me this week. I am doing well. We are going to take like six hour nap today... because we are exhausted. Hahaha. Check out the pics, they don´t all go on in order. Have you seen the videos? It is of me eating fruit cake. It is gross, but everyone loves it here. Haha.

Have a good week!

Elder Warren

Monday, November 25, 2013

Miracles Happen.

November 23, 2013

Elder Warren and Elder Borup

Mom,

I have a new companion. Miracles happen. Thank goodness. The new guy just finished his training. He is still learning Spanish, so I am helping him out. We get along really well and we have a lot of things in common. We have the same goofy personality. Let me tell ya... after so long of living with someone from another country, it is nice to be living with a gringo now. I am not trying to sound racist... but it is easier to be myself with more... familiar kinds of people. His name is Elder Borup. He is from Orem, Utah. He is 18...a young ‘un. We are having a lot of fun and we are already seeing some good progress in the sector.

As far as my birthday went... it was pretty good, actually. We didn´t go to the zone activity, but we did still manage to have a good time. We went and ate a pichanga with some members. Also, we went to eat pizza, cake, kuchen, and some other stuff. I sent you a video in Dropbox of them singing Happy Birthday to me. It was a decent birthday. I also sent you a picture with all of the gifts that I got.... except for the banana bread that I got from the Mission President and his wife. It was a good day.

Gifts from the Members!!
Happy Birthday Boy!!

Did I mention that I am staying in Ovejería? My companion is the one that left. Also.... I have sort of been given a new calling. President Rappleye called me last Saturday to be the new district leader here. I don´t really know what to think. It is a little overwhelming. I am used to just focusing on my own sector and our investigators and numbers. But now I have to worry about the other sectors and their numbers and investigators. I have to do a lot more paper work and teach in the district meetings. And... I am constantly on the phone. That is my least favorite part, but I guess I will get used to that.

Hey... by the way... I forgot to tell you last time when I received the package, but you can´t send jerky here! If it gets caught then it is a 300 dollar fine. I don´t know if we lucked out because it was turkey jerky... but we should play it on the safe side and not send jerky.

Mom... you don´t need to send anything to me for Christmas. I don´t really know what they are going to be doing here or if we will exchange gifts or not. But it is so expensive to send packages. And I am in a big enough city that if I really need to buy something, I can probably find it. I will obviously get something for my companion, but I will just buy it here. Besides that… Elder Borup and I already set up our Christmas tree! Haha. We found one!!! And it has lights on it. It is basically a Charlie Brown Christmas tree, but hey... it works.

Today we played a three on three basketball tournament. I was with Elder Gonsalvez and Elder Medel. We went undefeated. Haha. I really enjoy playing basketball, you know. And there are always Elders here that are down to play.

Well... I hope you have an excellent week!!!  Te Quiero Mucho.

Elder Warren

P.S. Haha... I like your little Spanish touch on the email.  Mucho Gusto means... like pleased to meet you; or...a pleasure. You’re a cute little mama, haha.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

20 Years...Very Old!!!

November 16, 2013

Happy Birthday Pie!!


Mom,

Well... today is the big day. 20 years old. I have been dreading it all week. I actually have been feeling a little depressed this week. I don’t know why. 20 just seems so old to me. I feel like my juventud is gone; my childhood, my youth. It is starting to sink in that I am not a kid anymore. I am an adult. The next milestone is 25... And that freaks me right out. The future sometimes is scary to me. In five years... I will be five years older, five years balder, five years fatter, and full of more responsibilities. But I guess I just have to roll with it and see what happens.

20... I feel like as a 20 year old person I need to be stepping it up. I need to start... pushing myself a little bit more. I am in charge of my personal progress; if I am not actively becoming the person that I want to be... I am automatically engaged in becoming someone I don’t want to be. I have been thinking all week about some good goals to set for myself. I am going to make it happen.


Wanna hear something great? The zone is going to do an activity today for my birthday. They have planned to go play basketball-- (Excellent!).  Eat Chinese food-- (I haven’t eaten Chinese since I left the United States).  And then to go bowling-- (I haven´t done that in so long!!) I am so excited!! Or.... I was so excited. They planned to do all of that for my birthday... but then my companion.... decided he didn´t want to participate, and that he would rather take a nap today. That is what he wants to do. He threw a fit and called the district leader and said that we wouldn´t be participating in my birthday activity with the zone. And really... there is nothing that I can do about it. I tried to talk to him about it, but he just said he refused and that I couldn´t make him go to the activity. And he is right...and I can´t go anywhere without him.  Frustrating!  It is like he is jealous that today isn´t his birthday. He continues with his very childish behavior.

But don´t worry, Mom. We have been invited by some members tonight to have a party, two different parties, actually. So it will still be all good. Haha. I am just... learning patience.

To answer your question about transfers... We find out today about the transfers. I have no idea what is going to happen. My companion finishes his mission in four weeks... he finishes two weeks before the end of the next transfer. I am not really sure why. I guess it is possible that I will stay with him for the next four weeks... but it will be complicated because they are shipping him out early. Maybe they will put us in a trio for the next four weeks or something.

Hey... I think that you will really appreciate the pictures that I put on today. They are pictures of me in action, contacting real people in the street. How sweet is that??? I also drew a moustache on the woman on the back of my cereal box and ordered a pizza. Oh, and a picture with a big bull in the city center.





I am doing well. I am fairly happy, considering the circumstances. I try and stay positive. I try to keep my companion working. He has totally 100 percent checked out mentally. He leaves the 18th of December. He is always talking about that. Always talking about what he is going to do when he gets home. How his dad bought him a mansion, a Chevy Camaro, how his girlfriend is a lawyer, and a bunch of other nonsense. Apparently he is getting married as soon as he gets home. He has notified the whole world. Ahh… frustrating! He also has a filthy mouth when talking about women. Absolutely filthy! I have talked to him about it, but he doesn´t care. The other day he yelled something very, very dirty at a teenage girl that was walking past us. He is just.... out of control.




Well... that is all for today. I hope you have a fantastic week. I hope Thanksgiving will be awesome. They don´t celebrate it here.

Elder Warren


Another Week Down.

November 9, 2013




Mom,

This week was a little slow. My companion... was sick for two days and we had to stay in the house. I read quite a bit. I tried to keep myself busy, because it is not good for me to be bored. But I read like 150 pages in the Book of Mormon.

Mom... we do have some investigators here, but we need to keep working with them before we are going to be able to have a baptism. They are all really nice, but they might just be after my cookies. En serio, the cookies are a good method, but I am winning the hearts of many... women, sort of. Haha. The women here in Chile are very receptive to my gringo cookies.

Can you believe that in one week I will be 20??? Nuts, right? I feel kind of old. The past year has absolutely flown by. Flown. It is unreal. Completely unreal. I look back and can’t believe it. One more year and I am basically done. It is a.... very weird thought.

The sister missionaries are going to make me a cake!!! They are the best, una Uruguaya and a Mexicana. They are my friends. They are going to make me a cake with manjar.

The members here are really nice. They are very nice to me. They are all excited for my birthday. Haha. It is kind of funny. They are going to throw me a party next Saturday night.

As far as the package goes-- just one pack of razor heads. The one pack has lasted me the whole year! Haha.

We played basketball today. We have played every p-day since I got to Osorno. I like that. It helps me to unwind a little bit. It is good... therapy.

Hey... I want you to know that I like it when you go all preacher on me. It makes me pumped up. Thank you.

I hope everything is going well for you. I hope you are happy. I hope it snows for Christmas. Hey... I want you to know that my rain jacket keeps me 100 percent dry!!! It’s like magic!! I am very pleased.

Have I ever told you how grateful I am that you are my mother? And that I don’t have some crazy person for a mother? I have a wise momma. A good momma that takes good care of me.

Can you believe that Nick completes one year as a missionary this week? Haha. Old!!

Have a good week!

Elder Warren

Monday, November 18, 2013

Day of the Dead

November 2, 2013

This is what it's all about!!


Mom...

Hey, I want you to know something very good.... we had a pretty good week here. We are getting things turned around number wise in the sector. My companion is still really difficult. He is counting the minutes that are left until he finishes his mission. He doesn´t focus well because he is so focused on what he is going to do when he goes home. He is always talking about his girlfriend (apparently he is engaged). And he is talking about home a lot. It makes it hard to focus sometimes.

Hey, they celebrate Halloween here. It was sweet. The kids filled the streets to pedir dulces. It made me think right back to one year ago. It made me a little homesick, actually. This time last year I was having a grand old time with a very nice girl. But, it’s alright. I made some chocolate chip cookies and everything was fine.

Here is the story of the week. The other day, yesterday, was the Day of the Dead here. It is sort of like Memorial Day. Everyone goes to the cemetery. But it is something different. The cemetery here is different. It is like a Catholic da Vinci Code kind of cemetery. But they close all of the streets and people set up shops to sell stuff, flowers, food, clothing, and all kind of stuff. Now imagine the most crowed place you have ever been in your life... and then imagine somewhere more filled with people, and that is what we are talking about here. So as a zone... we decided to get in on the mix. We decided to set up a stand with fotos of Christ and a ton of other things. And then we went nuts handing out pictures and cards and folletos and all kinds of stuff. It was freaking sweet. The whole zone there going wild. I personally talked with over 1000 people yesterday. It was one of the best days of my mission.

Well, in other news, my companion pushed the son of a member (4 years old) and screamed at him to shut up. That was a little bit embarrassing.

Mom, I want you to know I am bringing the McKay Warren flare to missionary work here. I am baking cookies like a mad man. The members are getting cookies. The investigators are getting cookies. Everyone has cookies. It is fantastic, actually. People are feeling the love.


Hey...You could talk about how Nick was so excited when we got a ping pong table that he couldn´t wait and he set it all up himself.

Mom... I don´t know if you want to put one in the box... but I am in the market for a new camera. The mamita dropped my camera in Villarrica, and now it doesn´t zoom and each day the pictures turn out more and more blurry. If not. It’s alright. Mine still works. And hey!!! I am still waiting for the picture of us in front of the temple!!!!

Hope you have a good week. I love you!

Elder Warren





I Almost Punched an Atheist!!

October 26, 2013



Mom!

How are you doing! I want to let you know that I am still alive here... barely. Hahaha. I am doing very well. Well... about as good as I can, considering the circumstances. I am learning to be patient.

I want to tell you something.... I almost punched an atheist in the face. Wow. Ready to hear the story?We were out knocking doors and this atheist guy came out of his house. He said, "Like an educated person, I am going to greet you."  And then he started in. He started in with the most irreverent and disrespectful language about God that I have ever heard in my entire life. Holy cow! I said to him, "Hermano, it is fine that you don´t believe in God, but would you please try and be respectful?"  Then he started ripping on me. He said,” you stupid Mormons and your stupid religion (I am editing out all of the swear words that he said). “You people come down here like rich snots from the United States and you obligate people to get baptized.” “Go back to where you came from and quit trying to force people to join your church.” “You are wasting your time, you idiots."  At this point I was ticked. But I calmly said to him,"Hermano, we don´t force people to do anything.” “We only invite people to listen because we know that our message can bless their lives." He interrupted and said, "Bless people´s lives? “You can’t bless anybody’s life, you son of Satan.” “You have absolutely no right to preach the word."  I said, "Hermano, I am a missionary.”  “I have the priesthood authority of God." Then he just swore at me. Then he said, "Do you talk to God?"  I replied, "Yes, every single day."  He said, "If you have such good communication with him, bring him right here right now." Then I said with probably as much feeling and authority as has ever come out of my mouth,"Hermano, God is here. Know why? Because He has sent us here as His servants to your house to share a message with you and tell you that He LOVES you." He stared at me for a long time and didn´t say anything. He just stared at me. Then he quietly said, "I must go now." And he went back in his house. It was a crazy experience. I went from ticked off to the point of wanting to punch that guy in the face, to being led by the Spirit in what I was saying to him. He didn´t accept the invitation to listen to our message, but I know that man felt something that day.

In other news... when I wear the blue slacks I feel like a police officer.

My companion... is a man-child. Haha. In every sense of the word. I got really mad at him the other day. Don´t ask me why, but he spits his food on the floor. Like a farm animal. I asked him to please not spit food on our living room floor. He asked, "Does it bother you?"  I told him that it did and that is why I was asking him not to do it. Want to know what he did? Spit food out on the floor again. Ooooo... I went beast mode on the dude and ripped him a new one.

Again, in other news...or as a comic relief... I found a nice scripture I want to share with you. Proverbs 23: 13-14 "withhold not correction from the child:  for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.  Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.” Is that awesome or what? It makes me laugh every single time that I read it.

To answer your question... they do celebrate Halloween here. In Centro they sell masks and costumes and candy and such. But not everyone celebrates it. It is a holiday that is gaining momentum.

The work is slow here. We are looking for investigators. People here aren´t very friendly. They actually are very rude in Osorno, even worse than in Llanquihue or Villarrica. It is crazy. We get yelled at everyday by someone. It is difficult to keep going all of the time. It is definitely a trial of my faith to keep looking when the people are so opposed to us. But…hey I am still here and still going.

Hey... be happy. Have a good week!


Elder Warren

Friday, November 1, 2013

Well...I am one of THOSE people!!

October 19, 2013


Mom!

I want you to know that I am fine. Don’t worry too much about me. I am a big boy and can handle my... companion.

Hey, I got your package!!!! I was so happy that I cried. I felt loved, very loved. I love it. I am so happy I have such a good mama who takes care of me! Thank you. It came at a very good time, a very good time. A little pick me up, you know?? Thank you. And I loved Adrienne´s letter in there, too.

I have been listening to music when we are in the house. And I want you to know that I am definitely listening to David Archuleta´s Christmas music and the Forgotten Carols. I want you to know that I have transformed into one of THOSE people who start listening to Christmas music in October. :)

So I want you to know that I sat my companion down and told him to knock it off with his attempts talking to evil spirits. I told him that if he didn´t stop, I would have President on the phone within seconds to have his chubby butt sent back to Argentina. I think he got the picture that I am not here to mess around with him. He has stopped, I blessed the house, and we haven´t had any problems since... in our own house. I think the whole neighborhood is haunted, because on a daily basis we have to bless people’s houses because they have been experiencing paranormal activity. It is so weird to walk into a house when there is an evil, dark presence. But it is pretty dang cool to be able to feel the difference after we bless the people’s houses. It is like a peace comes flooding into the house.

Things are fine with the companion. Well, as fine as they can be. I have basically accepted the fact that I am babysitting a 27 year old man-child. It is fine. President has pretty frequent communication with me. He knows what I am dealing with here. His instructions are to just do what I can and to try to help him as much as I can, and to not tolerate disobedience on the part of my companion. But it isn´t easy to be patient with this dude. Just this week he punched another Elder in a Zone capacitation, hit me with a stick and started throwing things at me, ran away, slammed a door in my face and tried to lock me out of the house, and started yelling swearwords in the street. And that is just to name a few things. Haha. I don´t really know what to think. I almost feel like laughing because I feel like I am in a dream because this can´t possibly be real.

The good news about all of this is that I can see my own personal progress. I am realizing that I am a very capable missionary that can handle himself in any situation. I pretty much am doing everything alone here, though. I do all the planning by myself because my companion refuses to help. I do all the street contacts (and I do a ton of them. I am always talking with new people.) He doesn´t help at all in the street contacting. I teach all of the lessons by myself, because he doesn’t really participate. When I pause to let him say something, he either isn´t paying attention so he doesn’t say anything and just sits there, or he repeats exactly what I just said, or he says something that has absolutely nothing to do with the lesson.

I do feel a little bit of stress with all of this, though; actually, a lot of stress. I am basically responsible for everything that goes on here. Usually in a companionship, the two are responsible for what happens. Here it is all a reflection of what I personally am doing. I feel the pressure.  The District Leader, the Zone Leaders, and the AP’s all know how my companion is and that he doesn´t contribute. So basically all of our numbers are a direct reflection of what I am doing here. Every lesson, every contact, every baptismal invitation. It’s all a reflection of what I’m doing.  I feel like this is all just a big evaluation of my capability as a missionary. I get stressed to the point of having headaches sometimes. My mind is constantly racing. I am exhausted in every single way possible. I know that my mind is tired because I will be teaching someone and randomly English words start coming out of my mouth. But, I am learning to deal with it. I know that the President put me here for a reason. He received revelation to put me here. I know I am in this situation because the Lord Knows that I can handle it.

Hey, I am glad that you liked the video! Haha... my English has changed a little bit, hasn´t it? I can only imagine what it will sound like by the end of my mission. When I speak in English, I don´t notice the accent. But when I hear a recording of my English, I definitely hear the accent. It makes me laugh.

Hey, Osorno is cool for a few reasons. The biggest reason is that there are a bunch of missionaries all in a big city, so we all get together on P-day. We have basketball tournaments. Today I played on a team with Elder Monson from Pleasant Grove. We kicked some serious butt. Haha.

The weather here is good. It rains in the morning, and then the sun comes out in the afternoon. When the sun comes out it is about 80 degrees and humid. Haha.

Hey, have a good week. Remember that I am doing just fine. Don’t worry about me. I am working super hard!

Elder Warren

10 Hours in Heaven!!!

October 7, 2013


Mom!

Wow! What a week!

I want to start off by wishing you a very happy birthday. You are still so young! Being young is a state of mind, don´t forget that, okay? Just stay positive with everything. I hope you have a piece of cake for me!!

Hey, This last week was a great week. Elder Aburto and I had a very good week work wise. It was the best week we have had together here. I don´t know why, but after last Monday and the emails that I read… something clicked for me and I went into missionary beast mode. Literally. The very next day I had an intercambio with my district leader, Elder Renshaw.  He came to my sector and I put his butt to work!! We taught seven lessons in one day. This week we have had some great things happen.  We taught 25 lessons this week. It was great!!  Things are really starting to look good here in the sector. We have 4 people that will be baptized in the next three weeks. They have all been coming to church and reading their scriptures. Ah... it is awesome that things are going so well here…. Except... I am leaving on Wednesday.

That is right, I am being transferred this Wednesday. I am going to Osorno.  I don´t really know how I feel about that. I am a little bummed, actually. We just started seeing some really good progress here. Really good progress, and I have to leave. Elder Aburto is staying here in a trio with two Peruanos. (two Elderes from Peru).  And I am going to Osorno. To a sector that is dead.  I have heard a lot of things about where I am going. Like that they haven't had any success or investigators there for a really long time.

In Osorno… things will be a little different. The biggest difference will be that now I have P-day on Saturday. So I have two P-days this week. So make sure you write me before then so that I have something to read. Okay?  Another thing that is going to be weird is that it is a really big city compared to where I have been. I started in Llanquihue where we were the only two missionaries. And then Villarrica with 8 missionaries. And now..  Osorno. With 40 missionaries. That is right, 40 missionaries!! I will be much closer to the misión home and to the misión office and everything else.

I have had to say goodbye to some people. I hate saying goodbye to people, especially when it is more than likely that I will never see them again. Claudia was a hard one to say goodbye to. She is so sad that I am leaving. She called me last night (after I had already said goodbye) and said that I had been like a son to her. That I had helped her in many ways. (By the way…. She came to general conference with us yesterday!!!) We accomplished something with her that no other missionary had ever accomplished: We got her to come to church!!  Also, Carlos!!! That one was hard too! The dude is legit. He is a Mormón seco, which means a dry Mormon… meaning that he isn't baptized yet, but he is active in the church. He is super cool. He comes to church every week and knows more than most of the members about the scriptures. The only reason he hasn't baptized yet is because he is waiting for his divorce to be finalized. (he is co-habitating right now with a member).  But it looks like that will be finalized this month, and they will get married and he will get baptized this month. Also, Alexandra and Juan have a date for their wedding for next week. And she will also get baptized the following day.

In other news… today we climbed Volcan Villarrica!!!  How sweet is that. We went sledding on Volcan Villarrica!! Not every missionary can say that! Haha. It was sweet. We went with the whole Zone today. We also had  a snowball fight!  How sweet is that? It was a good last p-day in Villarrica.


Hey!  I just received a little package from the Clark Family! I haven´t opened it yet… but they sure are the coolest!

Mom… I am very pleased that you and Brett watched conference! That makes me so happy. Wasn't it great? ¡Tiraron algunos palos!  I don´t really know how to translate that to English… because it means that "they threw planks of wood." Literally. It makes sense in Spanish. I guess you could say that the Apostles gave some… stern counsels? Or they scolded? I don't know how to make that make sense to you in English, pero tiene mucho sentido en español. Haha. I learned so much! I think I took like 15 pages of notes. I watched the whole thing in English with the other Gringos. How nice is that, right? It was like 10 hours of heaven!!  I was so pleased!

I just want you to know that Adrienne´s baby is the cutest dang thing ever!! We are in the cyber right now with the whole Zone, and they all say she is beautiful! I just wanna hold that little lady! What a cutie! Hey… tell Adrienne to keep an eye on the mail. Okay?



Well… That is about all that I have for you today. I will write you again on Saturday. Deal? Keep it real. Have a good birthday. Be happy. Positive thoughts.  Nos Vemos.

Elder Warren



Thursday, October 24, 2013

Happy Birthday to Adrienne!

September 30, 2013




Mom,

I want to start out by saying that I didn’t forget Adrienne´s birthday. I remembered, and she should be expecting a letter sometime soon.  Also, I am a little ticked off at the Post Office. They used to only charge me a dollar to send letters to the US. Now, it is more expensive every time I go! I have no idea why. I sent two letters today, and they charged me 10 dollars! Lame!

Anyway, it was a pretty good week down here. The best part was that it hasn´t rained in 10 days here!!! How sweet is that? I am happy about that. Working here is so much easier when it isn´t raining. We can just focus on working, and not on staying dry. So... that was good this week.

The investigator scene is looking pretty good. We have quite a few people that are reading the Book of Mormon, which is excellent. We are still teaching Claudia (English Professor). She informed us that when she was reading the Book of Mormon the other day, she felt like it was written specifically for her. She is progressing. We invited her to come with us to the baptism of the Hermanas and she came, which is fantastic! The Hermana’s had an investigator get baptized on Saturday. He is an old guy. Don´t ask me how I feel about it, because the guy has only come to church once in the last three months. He is already inactive. But apparently the Hermana’s got authorization from President Rappleye to have the baptism. It is a little frustrating to me. We have a list of all the people who have been baptized in the last 2 years here in the branch. There are like 15 people on the list. Guess how many of them come to church? Only two. It just doesn´t really make sense to me to baptize people who don´t have testimonies.

Sorry... Venting a little bit. Anyway, back to the investigators. Marcelo is doing well. He came to church yesterday. The struggle with him is being able to teach him frequently during the week. We have only been able to find him once a week recently. We need more frequent contact with him to help him progress more. Alexandra wants to get baptized and the strike in the Registro civil ended!!! Now we are going to plan a wedding and see if we can make this baptism happen. She is awesome. She reads the Book of Mormon every day and marks all kinds of stuff in the book. She is really progressing nicely.

To answer your question, I will know Friday or Saturday the cambios. We have cambios on the 9th. One of us is leaving for sure, but we have no idea who because I have only been in Villarrica one semana longer than Elder Aburto. So we will see what happens.

And General Conference is going to be legit!!! I am so pumped. So pumped! It isn´t televised here like in Utah. We have to go to the chapel in Ancahual to watch it through satellite. But we gringos here in Villarrica are going to watch it on the internet to be able to see it in English. It is going to be great. Hey, I am going to challenge you to do something. This week, you need to pray. You need to fast, and you need to think of questions, questions that you have in your life. Maybe you need help with something. Maybe you need to hear something in particular, or you are looking for an answer or a sign from Heavenly Father in your life. Write down your questions. And I PROMISE you that you will receive the answers and the counsel that you are looking for during the sessions of general conference. I have my questions ready, and I am inviting all of Volcan 2 to do the same. Powerful stuff.

I have been keeping in touch with some friends and receiving emails from some people, too. Mom... I don´t think I remember sometimes that other people read my blog. haha. Today I received an email from a person that I didn´t know. She is from the Philippines!  Here is what she said to me today:


"Hi! My name is Jen from Philippines. I was reading your blog that I think your mom made? And I like all the sharings and stories that you made there, I'm preparing to serve a mission and I kinda feel really nervous to put my papers in, so I was looking for any mission blogs to read just you know, to have that inspiration and motivation, and I found yours. 

It's really great to read missionary experiences not just to get an idea on what will happen during a mission but to get inspired by what missionaries are really doing, their purpose and the focus they are giving in their work.

So I do lots of work with missionaries in our area and attending ward missionary training as part of my preparation, and thru lots of missionary work I learned to be humble, to listen than to speak, to be flexible and all so it was a great part of experience. And reading your blog it's like a novel that I really like to read and read knowing that you enjoy your missionary work and you got the love for your investigators.

Well Elder that's it, I know you're doing great in your mission and always remember no matter what NO EFFORT IS EVER WASTED! Never give up on all the investigators you have, trust God's time! Take care! :)" 


----- Who knew!!? People actually read my blog! Haha. I am glad that people find it interesting and hopefully it helps people. That made my day today to receive that nice email. :)

I am keeping in touch with my people who are on missions. Carter is training! Nate trained someone! Dave is training! And Nick is kicking some butt out there in the ocean. Bora Bora? How great is that!  And Sister Flinders as well! She is alive and doing well in the MTC! Haha. She is such a nice girl, you know. She sounds so excited and enthusiastic about serving, which is fantastic. She is going to do great things up there.

Momma, you need to go and try empanadas! Baked and fried! They are great! The most popular kinds are Pino (meat and onions) or queso (cheese). Get yourself on over to Pantrucas and try them. That is as typical Chilean as you can get! They are really good!  They also have fruit empanadas, which is basically like a turnover.

Are you really going to send ties? Haha. You are funny. If you are really going to send them, also send another shirt I can wear on P-day. I think almost all of the pictures of me are me wearing the red plaid shirt. Haha.

Hey, I love you. Be good. Read your scriptures. Pray, and ENJOY general conference. You better watch every minute of it!

Elder Warren

I went swimming... sort of.

September 23, 2013



Hey Mom!

How are you doing? How was your week? I am glad to hear that you made a turkey in the crockpot. I miss being able to eat your good food. The food here... is unhealthy. Haha! Even the salad, because they dump half a bottle of oil on the salad.

This week was a different one, than like I was describing last week. The 18th, 19th, and 20th we didn´t have permission to go out and work like normal. So on the 18th; we went to the branch activity in Ancahual in the morning. We ate empanadas and played traditional Chilean games. Later, we went to the activity in Volcan. We ate more empanadas there and we played basketball. You better believe that I brought the American flare to the Traditional Chilean Festivals. Haha. I like playing basketball with Chileans... mostly because I am significantly taller than they are. After the party, we went to an investigators house to eat empanadas.

On the 19th... we went to Molco. It basically is in the middle of nowhere, but Mamita maintains a few cabins there. So we went there and spent the day with the mamita, papito, papi, Juan, Julio, Macarena, y Alexandra. They are all members except for Macarena y Alexandra. They are the girlfriends of Juan y Julio. So we were able to still do some good teaching. We also did service out there in the forest.

Are you ready to hear about how I sort of went swimming? Okay... so first of all, swimming is definitely against the mission rules. The only time we are allowed to be in the water is when, "it’s a baptism, you are showering, or it is pouring rain." -- President Rappleye.   So we were out in the forest and it was pouring rain, like usual. We were cutting down trees with a chainsaw. We also had to haul the tree trunks back to the cabin. So I had this giant tree trunk on my shoulders and we started walking. We had to cross a little bridge that crossed the river to get back to the cabin. I started walking with the giant tree trunk across the bridge.... and the bridge broke!!! And I fell in the river! Can you believe that? I have never laughed so hard in my entire life, I don’t think. Holy cow! Good times.

We also did some good hitch hiking this week to get around. I am not really sure if that is allowed, but we have met some interesting people hitch hiking back and forth from the cabin of the mamita to the highway, where we have to wave down a bus to get back to Villarrica. So...I thought of another story that I can tell you. We left the cabin of the mamita at 8:30 at night... and it was pitch black outside. We tried to hitch hike... but nobody picked us up that time. It was pouring rain and we had to walk four miles to get to the highway. Guess how fast we made it? 30 minutes. Now... ask me how that is even possible to walk 4 miles that fast, and I will tell you that I don´t have an explanation for that. It was really a miracle. Something... miraculous. We had walked the route before and it usually takes much longer. It was awesome. We were able to make it home on time! The Lord provides a way for his missionaries who are trying to be obedient!

Yesterday we had some investigators in church. Alexandra. She has a baptismal date for October 5th, but she needs to get married first. Her and Juan plan on getting married, but the freaking Registro Civil is on strike. How does that even happen that a branch of the national government goes on strike? The Registro Civil needs to be open for them to be able to get married. Good gracious, Satan works against us sometimes. Actually, he is ALWAYS working against us. So... we just gotta be patient, but the fact is that she will get baptized after the transfers on the 9th. She is cool. She has come to church three weeks in a row. Also... we had another investigator come to church! We had been inviting him for like... 12 weeks now and he finally came to church. How legit!

Some... other interesting things happened this week that were definitely journal worthy and will make excellent stories someday, but I should probably wait to tell you about them until after the mission so that you don´t freak out. Haha.

As far as my birthday goes... I don´t need anything. The only thing I could possibly think of wanting would be some ties. But it isn´t worth sending a package with just ties. So, just save your money. Or put it in my account. I will put it to good use someday.

That is about all for this week. Time is flying by. I am enjoying it quite a bit here.

Have a good week!


Elder Warren

Monday, September 16, 2013

I love it here!

September 16, 2013


"Legit" Waterfall Villarrica, Chile September 16, 2013 10:30 A.M.


Mom,


I want to start off by telling you that I love it here. I would easily live in Villarrica or Pucòn my entire life. It’s a dream come true here; the most beautiful place in the entire world. It is an Outdoorsman's paradise here. There are volcanoes. There are mountains to climb. There is a lot to see. There is rafting…and hiking. We are up in the woods here. There are caves. There is a lake. There is the beach. It is all just wonderful here. Today we went hiking to see some freaking legit waterfalls. Oh man. I sent you a video in Drop box so that you could experience it. Ahh... I really like it here.


I wish I had four hours to write and tell you about everything that we have done in the last week. It was pretty busy. Not your typical week. First off, the 10th and 11th we could only visit members. We couldn't go out and work like normal because September 11th marked the 40 year anniversary of when the military took over the government in Chile. So every year there are a lot of terrorist acts and riots and stuff. So we stayed in the house most of the day and went to visit the members at night. That was different. I felt really uneasy sitting in the house. We just watched church movies and stuff.


We also went to do a ton of service this week! A ton. It was great. We went and did some tornado clean up in Villarrica. That was fun. Also, we went out to the campo with the Mamita to help her. She takes care of some cabins out there, and we went to mow the lawn!!!!!!!!!! Oh goodness. I had never been so happy in such a long time! Being able to mow the lawn made my whole life. I felt.... at home for the first time in almost ten months. It was a very beautiful experience. I just mowed and mowed for like four hours, and I sang and.... It was just wonderful. I loved it. Also, while I was mowing I did a lot of good thinking. I always liked mowing the lawn for that reason. All of my good ideas come to me while I am showering and mowing the lawn.


On Saturday, we went to Curarrehue with the District Villarrica (the equivalent of a stake service project).  It was great. 6 missionaries and 6 members. We got on a bus and went out into the middle of nowhere.  We helped a member of the church plow the earth?  Picar Tierra.  It was great. He raises wild boars!!!! Can you imagine that? I made a video talking to the wild boars as well. We ate disco, which is a way of cooking meat on a giant flying saucer looking thing.


Later on Saturday, we went to an investigators house and made empanadas. They were really good! I ate way too many that day. She is the one who speaks English. We taught her a lesson as well. She is progressing, which is very good. She is such a nice lady (don’t worry mom, we watch out for snakes here in the mission. By snakes, I mean women who are looking for... something more with the missionaries. She isn’t a snake.)


On Sunday... they always keep us nice and busy. Basically we have to do everything here. We have another calling. We are still in charge of the Young Men. We teach them every week. We are also the Sunday school teachers. And...My companion is the 1st counselor in the Branch Presidency and I am the second counselor. So we have to do all of the tithing.  We also conduct all of the meetings and stuff. So... we are busy. Always a lot to do.


We are having some success with the investigators that we have. The girl I was telling you about last week that wants to get baptized? She is progressing a ton! So much! It is really awesome.  She reads everything that we assign her to read. So that is sweet. We have 8 investigators that are reading the Book of Mormon. That is legit; because people who read the Book of Mormon AND gain a testimony AND then get baptized STAY in the church. They don’t go inactive right away like the rest.


I hope you are doing well. I am glad that you went to Megan's farewell. She is really awesome, isn’t she? Her dad is probably the most friendly and nice person that I have ever met. He is super cool.


Hey.... this week we won’t be working like normal again because of the 18th of Septiembre. That is like the Independence Day here in Chile. It is a party that lasts the whole week pretty much. Everyone gets drunk, so we can’t be out at night and we can’t contact people. But we can visit members!


Hey... Have a good week. The package... I can’t think of anything else that you could send. Whatever you would like to send, I will be happy to receive it. I am doing fine on money. I am tempted to buy things sometimes... but I remind myself that I don’t need it.


Have a good week!  You are the best Mother ever, I hope you know. Be happy. Stay healthy. Tell Adrienne that I wrote her a letter for her birthday, but I haven’t sent it yet.


Did I mention that we went to a waterfall? Tell me if the video worked or not. Deal?


Elder Warren

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Good Week!

Hot Dog Dinner With The Hermana's




September 2, 2013



Mother!

Hey, I want to start off by telling you that I am sorry that the email last week got deleted. It was really a work of literature. I wrote for 45 minutes and then... It got deleted. I am so bummed about that.


I will start by explaining the new rules to you. I used to have 45 minutes on the internet to email you and my mission president. I still have that 45 minutes to email you and the mission president, but I also have an additional 15 minutes to email friends. What a blessing. I can now really keep in touch with my boys who are out there serving the Lord. I sent them a group email last week with a picture and they all responded, except for Nate. So sweet!! I really have some great friends. I owe a lot to them and their example to me.


Next I will clear up your doubt about where I am. Haha. I am still in Villarrica, Chile. The branch I am in is Volcan Branch. There are two branches in Villarrica, Volcan and Ancahual. Within the two branches, there are 4 sectores or four sets of missionaries. 4 Elderes y 4 Hermana’s. I am in Volcan 2.  I am still with Elder Aburto for another cambio. The water heater has been fixed! So…no worries. I am no longer showering with cold water.


To tell you about our little trip to Argentina last week:  It was awesome! We went with the Elderes de Pucon, Villarrica, y Panguipulli. We went with a group of 15 people in total? Something like that. We crossed over to the line that separates Argentina y Chile! There was a ton of snow. We split up between the line (we were up in the mountains) and we had the most awesome snowball fight across the border of the two countries! It was easily one of the sweetest days ever!


This last week was really good. We actually have people to teach, which is really awesome. That makes me very happy. We are teaching several really good families. We have one family that is progressing a ton. They have come to church 4 times now!! How sweet is that? They have made friends with people in the branch. They are awesome. They always feed us when we go over there. His name is Marcelo, the lumber jack. The dude is sweet. He is already planning for me and Elder Aburto to come and stay with him and his family after the mission, and he is going to take us to all of the tourist attractions that are around here. He is great. They aren´t quite to the point of baptism yet. Marcelo wants to be really sure about what he is doing. But he told us when he gets to that point; he wants to be baptized in Lago Villarrica. We are definitely going ask permission to baptize him in the lake. Wouldn´t that be sweet!?


We also have been working a lot with a woman. She is really cool. Her husband was the Branch President, but she is not a member. In fact, she used to be anti-Mormon. She wouldn´t even let missionaries in her house. Well, that is all changing. She lives in the sector of the Hermana’s, but we went over there to plan an English class. She is a professor of English here in the university. I teach the English class every Saturday to help her students. But she and I get along well. She always invites us over. We went over there the first time with the Hermana’s, and we ended up helping in the lesson. For the last 3 weeks we have been going over there and I have been helping her prepare to take an international certification test for English. If she passes, she will get a scholarship to study in England. So I read all of her essays and help her correct them. Slowly we have been gaining her confidence. So the other day she asked if we would come over and help her with that, and then share something afterwards. So we did. We got a copy of the Book of Mormon in ingles and we gave it to her. She committed to read it. What a miracle! The sister missionaries have invited her to read the Book of Mormon like 10 times, and she always says no. But she said yes! And then Saturday she called me in the morning and she had been reading it! She actually read the chapter! The entire thing and she wants us to come back and talk to her about it. Her husband is so happy with us and for what we are doing for her. It is incredible to see the changes that she is making.


The other really cool thing here in the sector is that we are like... the cool kids. We seriously are friends with everyone. People are always greeting us and giving us hugs. (That is what the men do here: handshake, hug, and handshake.)  We have friends that hook us up with things. There are a lot of men who make things out of wood that we are friends with. Juanito is going to make us baseball bats on his lathe. We have a cake lady. We have an empanada lady. We just have a lot of good friends here. It is kind of funny. It is like the people think that it is cool to be friends with the missionaries in this sector.


I am happy, just to let you know. I am learning a lot. I am under 200 pounds :) and things are going well. Some days are still tough; Haha. Tough to be away from my mama. But I will say this:  The more time I spend away from home the more I realize that you taught me VERY well; manners, hygiene, kindness, cleanliness, responsibility. You taught me well. Job well done. I didn´t always do what you taught me when I was living at home, but I learned something. So thank you!


Sometimes I feel a little stressed about what will happen after the mission. I try not to think about it, but the people we talk with every single day always ask:  What are you going to do after the mission? What are you going to study? How are you going to pay for it?  Haha... those are all really good questions. I know I will study after the mission, but I don´t really know what I will study. Or how I will pay for it. Haha. But it will all work out... I hope.


In other news, I have decided that one day I am going to buy a guitar, learn to play it, go to the nursing home, and sing hymns in Spanish and sing to the old people. That is what I plan on doing in my life.


Hey, have an excellent week. Be happy. Read your scriptures. Ask Brett about when he plans on doing his home teaching this month. Make him do it. Home teaching practically doesn´t exist here, and that is why 90 % of all members of the church in Chile are not active. (I am not even making that statistic up!!)


I hope your back starts feeling better. You are in my prayers

.
Elder Warren


P.s. Thank you for the email address of Megan. I will send her something!

FYI:  I don't think that the Post Office is on strike anymore.

Argentina!

August 26, 2013




Mother.


I am sending emails like this because.... I can now. The rules have changed.  Also…I wrote you a beautiful email, but accidently erased it. But I am alive and well.


This week was a very good week. I will be staying here in Volcan. Which is good news. We have some good investigators that are progressing a lot. A family has now come to church 3 times, so that is really good news.


This is us...at Villarrica national park.



Sorry that I am sending emails like this. It is much faster. Much faster for now. I am so mad that my super long and really good email got erased. But here is another photo with my bald head.


Don’t send the package yet! The postal service is still on strike here so... hold off. And you can put the photos of Christ in the package.


Hey... this week on the blog you can just post something that says I am doing well and that we went to Argentina. How legit is that?  So just upload the photos and tell the world I am doing well.

 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Congrats to Tatum!!

August 19, 2013


Mother!

It is always a pleasure to hear from you! Always. I like hearing about how things are going back at home. It sounds like things are going well, other than the fact that you are in pain. I will pray for you. We pray a lot, so you will be getting extra prayers. Have faith that the prayers will work and that the pain will go away!

Hey, this week was pretty good! I BUZZED my hair! Can you believe it? I am a baldy right now! But I like it. Maybe next week I will send you a photo of my hair. It is short. Some people have told me that they like it, and other people have said that they don’t really like it. But it is more convenient. Perhaps I will keep it this way for a while here on my mission.

Hey... The other thing that I need you to tell Megan Flinders is that she will not be getting a letter from me before she leaves. I wrote her a letter, but Correos de Chile is on strike! I have no idea how long they will not be working for, but they are still closed today. So…I think she will leave before the letter gets up there. Tell her that I will send it to her family and they can send it on to her.

With Correos de Chile on strike, you should hold off on sending the package. Yeah? Hey, I thought of something else you can put in there; threader floss, to floss my bottom teeth. That’s right, I still floss my teeth! You should be very proud!

Hey, the birthday (Elder Aburto) went really well. I bought him a cake and we ate it with the other missionaries.  There were 14 of us, and we all sang and ate cake. It is crazy how quickly time passes. I will be 20 years old in like 3 months! Isn´t that nuts?

The water heater still isn´t fixed. Elder Aburto does the boiled water sponge bath, and I just use ice cold water to shower. It wakes me up in the morning that is for sure. We need to find a technician to come and fix it. We have the mamita... but she just gives us rice or beans every day. So… she isn´t my favorite person in the whole world. But hey, still losing weight.

LL Bean? LL Bean reminds me of you and all of your catalogs in the house. I do, in fact, have the alarm clock. One of the Elders in my district in the MTC hid it from me as a joke. But I have it. And it works.

Nick has a car? Are you serious! What a guy! That is so cool. We will never have a car here, or bikes. We are walkers, bus riders, and taxi takers. Haha. It’s all good though. I like walking. That gives me a chance to think.

I am glad the dog remembers who I am! That makes me happy! She is a good little dog. The dogs here are awful and diseased and they try and bite, but it is okay. There is a big dog that lives in front of our house. I think it is like a bull mastiff or something like that, a big boy. Haha.

I miss buying school supplies with you, too, mama. I always liked my school supplies. Here I get super excited every time I buy a new pen or a notebook.

This Saturday we will know the cambios. I will know if I am going or staying. I have a feeling that I will be staying here with the same companion. But we will see what happens. I like Villarica. But it would also be cool to go to another place, although, we probably live in the nicest house in the whole mission right now. Our house is really nice. Maybe I will send you a picture sometime.

I am good. I am healthy. I have short hair. I am happy. Time is flying by. Haha. Elder Aburto says the only way that I will be able to maintain my Spanish after the mission is if I marry a Latina girl. Haha. What do you think about that, Mama? They are very pretty. Haha... don´t worry though, I am not looking to get married. I am on a mission down here!

Elder Warren


Tatum! Hey, I wanted to say congrats on your mission call to Tennessee! You are going to become a real hick now. And you will love country music! Haha. I wrote you a letter, but like I said earlier... Chile mail system in on strike. So you won’t get it before you leave to Paris. Have fun studying over there! Ahh....you are doing such great things. You will do fantastic things as a misionera. Good luck. Keep in touch. I am proud of you. Thank you for always being a good friend.

I've Still Got It!

August 12, 2013


Mom!!

I want to start off by telling you not to put any kind of cream or vitamins in the package. It will get opened and inspected if you do that. Don´t worry, they sell that kind of stuff here. I am living in a pretty big city and there are like 10 farmacías. So I can get that kind of stuff. I would, though, like Twizzler Pull-n-Peel licorice! Licorice does not exist here.

Mom... You didn´t tell me that Jordan was working at the Guy Fierri Restaurant!! Isn´t that dude like famous? I have seen that restaurant on TV!  That is so sweet! Nick would be dying if he knew that! Tell his mother to tell him. And ask if he got my second letter? It sounds like Jordan is doing well! Good for him! That is awesome.

I love the sleeping bag. It is great. I sleep so much warmer now! That is awesome. I gave a jar of peanut butter to Elder Aburto and I took mine to Correlación.  We made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with sopaipillas! They were good!  The sister missionary from Orem was so excited that I had peanut butter! Haha.

I still got it, Mama. I spoke in Sacrament Meeting yesterday. I spoke for about 15 minutes, and I had them all laughing. Haha. It was my first time speaking in Spanish in church, but it turned out really well. To answer your question: I am in a branch, not a ward. There are 523 members on the records, but only 20 come to church. Crazy, right?  We have a lot of work to do here; A lot of work.

Hey, I also have been doing some singing lately. The Hermana’s de Ancahaul had a baptism, and my companion and I sang in a special musical number. We also sang a special musical number in Sacrament Meeting yesterday. We sang "Fe en Cada Paso" con las Hermana’s. It is the mission "theme song".  It was fun!

I went on an intercambio con Elder Leatham this week. He has one cambio less on the mission than me. It was a lot of fun. Haha. We didn´t even speak in English the entire time!  The only time that I speak English anymore is if I am teaching English Class. I teach those every Saturday.

We are busy here. There is a lot of work to do. It seems like we are always running from one place to another trying to get everything done. We have had to sprint back to the house almost every night to get back on time. We are working overtime here pretty much to get everything done.  We get back to the house exhausted every single day.

Last week you were wondering about what I do every single day... I will dedicate an email in the future to tell you what my daily routine is.

I think that is all for this week. I have to go get my hair cut again because they did a really bad job last week. I think I am just going to have them buzz it.

Tell Brett I say hello. Mike Maddix sent me an email that said "we ate beans for dinner”. I laughed.

Elder Warren

Friday, August 9, 2013

One Third

August 5, 2013

saludos desade Chile, Villarrica
su hijo esta en nuestro sector y es muy bueno, aca lo queremos mucho, tenemos fotos de el.
email and picture from member July 28, 2013


Mother!!!

I got your package on Saturday! How great is that?? Wow, it was like Christmas. I got your package and a bunch of letters all at the same time. I really like getting letters here. It is really exciting!! I got two from Tatum. I got another one from Megan, another one from Kinzie, and another one from Marissa. Ahhh... I just love feeling all of the support from my friends. They are all great!! Getting a letter is like getting a little boost of energy here in the mission. It is great. :)

In Megan´s letter she sent two pictures of her with her MISSION CALL!! Mom, she is going to Canada! How exciting is that?  It makes me happy when girls who have the desire to serve make the decision to do so.  It is so awesome!  I bet you are thrilled to hear about that, because she was always your favorite. Haha. She leaves in September I think. I gotta write her a letter of congratulations today so she gets it before she leaves.  Tatum also has been working on her mission papers! How neat! A mission is not for everyone, and not every girl should go, but I am pleased that some of my friends have made the decision to serve. :)

Today marks exactly 8 months as a missionary. 8 months ago you dropped me off at the MTC. 8 Months and 1 day ago I said goodbye to Makayla. It feels like that was only like a month ago. Time passes so freaking fast here in the mission. It is unreal! 1/3 of my mission is in the books. I have been living in Chile for 6 months. Each week passes faster than the last. Yesterday I was thinking about what I have done with my mission thus far. I was thinking about my progress, my Spanish, my teaching and all of that. Let’s just say that I speak Spanish fluently. I could survive here on my own. I understand what people are saying, and I can respond. Obviously there will always be more words and stuff that I can learn, but I speak with ease. My teaching has improved greatly. An investigator yesterday paid me a great compliment and said that he can tell that what I say comes from the heart and that I am telling the truth. It made me feel really good. That is the overall goal that people feel the spirit and believe what I am talking about.

I still have 2/3 of my mission left. I am going to do everything that I can to make the time count. I am going to keep working hard. I am not fully aware of the progress I have made because I live with myself every day. But I read back through my journals and have noticed that I have made some changes. It is kind of exciting to see that in myself.

I enjoyed your story about family history. That is really cool that you are taking more of an interest in it. It is important. Get a head start on that genealogy work because that is what your job will be in the millennium. Family History and Temple work. When I return, you will have to teach me how to do family history work so that I can help out.

Things here are going pretty well. The people I told you about last week are doing great. The man has changed so much from the first time we met him. We visited them yesterday and the lesson went really well. They are progressing. We are going back later in this week to celebrate Elder Aburto’s birthday with them. How neat is that? Also, we had THREE investigators in church yesterday. That was definitely great news. A man and his wife and their two kids (I know that is four, but the youngest isn`t technically an investigator because she is only two).  He is like the Chilean version of Uncle Butch, but younger. Maybe I think that because he is a manly man and he works as a lumberjack. They had a good experience at church.

Tomorrow we are going to Valdivia for a capacitation with the President. That will be good... 6 hours of bus travel tomorrow. And we have to wake up at four in the morning. Great... Haha. It will be good.

In other news:  I caught my shirt on fire the other day. Haha. It was actually really funny. I have no idea how it happened, but I wish I had it on video. I was making eggs and I lit the match to light the stove, and my shirt just ignited! Haha. That was definitely a journal entry I will enjoy reading in about 10 years. Haha.

The North Face? Mom… Expensive, don’t spend a lot of money on me. Haha. And it was a nice touch to put things in zip lock bags in the packages because things tend to get wet here. But the sleeping bag and everything arrived just fine. I liked the religious stickers you put on the box. Haha. In the package... my only other request would be little photos of Christ that they sell at Deseret Book? I don’t know. Haha.

Have an excellent week. I am doing well. The mamita doesn´t feed us well. I have lost 5 kilos... blessing in disguise. I love you and hope all is well. That baby is easily the cutest thing I have ever seen!!!! Ahhh…

Elder Warren
Kashayla Jane July 2013 (Elder Warren's Niece) 

The Package Exists!

 
"The District"  May 2013

 

July 29, 2013



Mom,


To answer your question about my companion, yes; Elder Aburto de Concepción, Chile. Haha. He is as close to his house as he can be and still be in another mission. It would be the equivalent of me serving in Saint George. Haha.


I am always very pleased to read your emails. They make me smile. I am so very happy that you made the choice to speak in Sacrament Meeting. That is so awesome. I knew you would do it. :)


I have excellent news!! The package that you sent me EXISTS!!!! It exists. I was starting to think that you were pulling my leg!! Haha. I still don´t have it yet, but I know that it exists. What happened was that they made a mistake in the office and sent my package to Rio Bueno. Who knows how long it has been there, but the Senior couple said they would bring it to me on Wednesday or Thursday. That is good news, right?? I am excited. But it makes me wonder how often my mail gets sent to the wrong sector. And there will be another package coming soon! How exciting. But I am telling you right now that this should be the last package, because I am becoming kind of spoiled. The reality is that I have everything that I need (except for a good rain jacket).  Haha. How about every time you feel tempted to send me something, you can just deposit money in my account? ;)  I will save it for a rainy day or something.


Ahhh… today is a good day. :) The sun is shining today. We went to the capilla and played basketball and ping pong with the other missionaries here. It reminded me of the old days with my friends. Haha. I also enjoyed reading the email that Carter sent home to his family. His dad forwards them to me. It sounds like he is doing well over there in Madagascar.  I wonder if Nate or Dave have received the letters that I sent them yet.  That is one thing that I don’t really like about the whole handwritten mail thing…. I never know if people get them because it takes so long to get there and then I have to wait for a handwritten response. Oh well. Hopefully everyone gets the letters that I send them.


I have a cool story about something that happened yesterday.  We went and we knocked on this door. This really big and angry looking guy answered it and said, “What do you want?” He was very short with us and very rude to us actually.  He started to shut the door in our face and then he paused… and then he said, “Come in.”  I was thinking to myself, “Oh great, here we go again. This is probably some man of another religión that is going to try and bash on everything that we believe.” We went in and sat down on his couch and we started talking to him. He was still not very nice and pretty rude. Then his wife came in from the other room and she was so excited to see us. Like… super excited. She said, “I am shocked that he let you in! He usually is very unpleasant with the missionaries and tells them to go away.”  Then he said, “I don´t really know why I let you in.”  We started teaching them and telling them about how the Gospel of Jesus Christ blesses the familias and that familias can be eternal. They were listening to us. Then they both opened up and started talking to us. They said just before we had knocked on their door, they had been talking about getting divorced. The woman started to cry and she said, “And I know that you can help us.”  We then watched a Mormon Message about the importance of the familias. By the end of the lesson, this man had completely changed from rude and unwelcoming, to interested and actively participating. At the end of the lesson he asked us if we would come back. It was incredible. That was definitely the Miracle of the week this past week.


In other news this past week:  Our water heater doesn’t work. So... we have two options. We can either shower with freezing cold water, or we can boil water and do a sponge bath kind of thing. I switch off between the two. Flea bites leave scars… so I will always have souvenirs from my time here in Chile. I saw a drug deal happen right in front of me. I saw a dog get destroyed by a car and die. We are looking into getting a washing machine here in the house because there aren’t enough members here to do our laundry.  There were only 17 people at church yesterday. I make my bed every day, even though I sleep on the top bunk. I sort of cut my own hair today, just so that I could say that I cut my own hair on the mission. Haha. It turned out quite nicely (I really only just cut a hair that the barber missed... Haha.)


About the Sister missionary that went home? I don´t know her. You said she was in my mission? I may have shaken her hand in a conference or something. Hmm... The food here is good. But if someone has a gluten problem, they wouldn´t survive here. All we eat is bread, pasta, rice, and potatoes.


I hope you have an excellent week. I love you to death, mom. The lady who sent you the photo wants to meet you. I talk to her about you. She used to be the mamita here, and she always takes good care of us.


Love,
Elder Warren