Saturday, January 26, 2013

Perseverar Hasta el Fin (Enduring to the End)

Friday, January 25, 2013


Hey Mom!

Well, I have 10 days left here in America! Is that crazy, or what? I don't really know what to think... like I have no idea what to expect down there in Chile. The only thing I really know is that pretty much all of our teachers that went to South America said that at one point they lost control of their bowels and "messed" themselves. How gross is that! All of them without fail had this experience. I sure as heck hope that it never happens to me! Most of the teachers say it is because of the water down there. In most countries in South America, missionaries have to only drink bottled water or the have to purify the water. They gave all of the South American missionaries a water purification system. It is this nifty little bottle that purifies any water except for ocean water. They even say that it can purify a mud puddle! The good news about all of this is that in Chile it is a little more civilized and you are allowed to drink the tap water!

I saw Elder Kimball just minutes after he was dropped off! I didn't see his family, though. I saw him headed up toward the building to get checked in. That is one of the perks of being a host missionary, you pretty much get to see all of the new missionaries. I have seen a couple other people that I know. I saw Lindsey Bills here! I think that she is going to Florida. Being a host missionary is sweet! I was helping out with the international missionaries on Wednesday, which was cool. I was helping this Elder from the Philippines. He spoke pretty good English. He said that his plane ride here was like 24 hours or something. It is his first time being in America and he is going to San Diego on his mission. He said that my English was hard to understand because I talk fast. He asked me what language I was learning and I told him Spanish. So he started trying to talk to me in Spanish!! It was funny because he doesn't really know any Spanish at all. He kept saying "Hola, Elder! Bien Burritos!" I couldn't help but laugh! I let him think that he was speaking correct Spanish. I gave him a tour of the MTC and introduced him to his teacher and his companion.

This next week is going to fly by, I already know it. Monday is a normal day. Tuesday is the day that we have service in the morning and the MTC devotional at night with a general authority. Wednesday we are hosting again. Thursday we are having in-field orientation. Friday will be P-day, and Saturday we pack and such. I should be getting my travel plans in the mail sometime today. I will tell Makayla what they are in her letter, and I am sure she will tell you. Everybody is making predictions about how many flights it will take me to get down there to Antarctica! Haha. My guess is three, but I honestly have no idea. I know that there are at least 7 other missionaries going to Osorno the same day as me. Have I met any of them? No! I still haven't met any of them. I only know because they have a list of us in the travel office. All of them are in the beginner Spanish class. I will be the only one from an Intermediate class, which means I better study up on " I can't find my luggage!" and other phrases like that. Haha.

I titled my email "Perseverar Hasta el Fin" because we are kind of enduring mode here at the MTC. People are sure having a hard time focusing in my district. Everybody is excited and nervous about leaving, so it is hard to focus and study. Also, it doesn't help that we have zero consistency in class as far as the teachers go. Remember how I told you that we had had a ton of teachers? Well, it was supposed to be fixed when we got the sweet new teacher, Hermano Thompson. Well, we only had him three times and he has been in the hospital since. He got really sick with something, and he has taken off the whole next month of work... so we won't see him again. So we only have one real teacher, and then we have had a sub for all of our other classes. I told you that most districts only ever have two teachers and maybe a sub like once or twice while we are here. We have had 24 different teachers. That has turned into a challenge, because instead of having progressing investigators, we basically teach the first lesson over and over again to the new subs. I could pretty much recite the entire first lesson in my sleep. Speaking of sleep, my thoughts switch to Spanish when I am falling asleep. It is super weird. Sometimes when I am praying at night and I am kind of falling asleep (I know.. i shouldn't be falling asleep during my prayers, but it happens!) my thought subconsciously switch into Spanish. It is the same when I am lying in bed and falling asleep.

I got two packages from Makayla last Saturday, full of all kinds of candy! Everybody I live with jumped all over that and the candy was gone by Sunday night! haha. Her parents put a letter in the package, too, and that was really nice! They are really nice people! Makayla also sent me some pictures in the packages. I have a few pictures of me and her, and a sweet picture of the mullet!

I am sorry to hear that you are having all kinds of problems with your body. Mom, you aren't allowed to fall apart while I am gone! Okay? No falling apart physically. Mind over matter, right? If only it were that easy. Hopefully they can get you all fixed up. Just approach everything with a positive attitude, okay? You are a strong lady, even if you kind of are turning into an old lady ;). I will keep you in my prayers, alright?

I am glad you are keeping in touch with Nick’s mom and Nate’s mom! Keep that up! To answer your question: Nick is actually still here at the MTC. He leaves Monday! You will be in charge of getting the updates from his mom and sending them to me. Same with Nate!

I gotta run!


Elder Warren

Elder Warren, Hermana Clay, Elder Taylor


Friday, January 18, 2013

Elder Holland Fireside!!

Friday, January 18, 2013
Hey mom!
How is everything going? I hope that all is well. I hope that you had a good week! I look forward to reading your letter at somepoint. If it is a Dear Elder, those are delivered on the same day if they are written before noon. Also, they aren't delivered on Saturdays. So if you write it this afternoon, I won't see it until Monday. I think once I get to Chile, though, it is probably just going to be easier for you to write normal emails to me. I don't mind spending computer time reading the letters. It only takes me like three minutes to read it.

Well, I guess I will just tell you about how awesome this week has been. Reason number one? Elder Holland came and spoke to us on Tuesday night. The MTC tries to keep it a secret by not telling us who is coming, but we always know something is up when they have security checking our back packs and stuff. So we were all sitting in the missionary "conference center" (it is actually just the gym, but there are lots of bleachers in there), and we saw Elder Holland walk in and we all stood up out of respect. It was probably the coolest experience ever. He walked in the room and the spirit just flooded the place! It was awesome! It was such a powerful experience being there and hearing Elder Holland talk about missionary work! He pretty much told us what we need to do in order to be great missionaries. He is such a fantastic speaker and I have always enjoyed his talks, but this one hit me at a whole new level. I left that meeting feeling more pumped up and enthusiastic about being a missionary than I have ever been. I am so excited to start really teaching people! I am motivated to make sure that I become the missionary that Elder Holland described to us.

On Wednesday I got to be a host missionary! It was actually pretty cool how that works out. We didn't really see the whole effect of the missionary drop off because we were a little late. Basically, they just got a ton of missionaries to wait by the curb along side the hill and help the missionaries get all settled in. There were like... 25 different stations, so there were cars just lined up. They say on average that over 100 cars come through every 15 minutes! Guess who I saw very first drive up and be dropped off? Tyler Belliston! I didn't get to be his host, but I definitley got to be the first one to welcome him to the MTC! It was pretty sweet. Here is an interesting fact for you: The day I was dropped off at the MTC, there were only 230 that came in. Guess how many SISTER missionaries came in on Wednesday? Like 260!! The flood has begun. There were exactly 666 missionaries that came in on Wednesday. I pretty much just carried suitcases for the sisters all day, although I did get to host an Elder who is going to Hawaii. It is kind of weird that I was hosting someone who is going to be leaving the MTC before I do. Speaking of leaving... I believe I only have 17 more days here at the MTC. Is that crazy or what? I can't even believe how quickly time flies here! I feel like I was sitting here yesterday writing my email to you, but that was a whole week ago! I am a little nervous about leaving for Chile, though. I am excited, but I don't fully know what to expect.  I think it might hit me at that point that I am really doing missionary work. Here at the MTC, a lot of missionaries don't really feel like they are on their missions yet. I kind of feel the same way. I feel like I am just preparing for the real deal, which is true. I like it here, though. A lot of missionaries complain about how much they hate it here, but I think that it is a great place! I love what we do here, but it just doesn't quite feel like missionary work yet.

Here is some other news about this week: I finally saw Tatum here! I saw her on Wednesday. It is kind of weird that I have been here for like 7 weeks and I have only seen her once. It was kind of cool to see a friend from the outside world who is not a missionary. I also got a letter from Kathryn Maddix this week. Will you tell her that I got it? I wish I had time to write back today, but I just don't see it happening. P-days are more busy than regular days, in my opinion. We have a ton of stuff to do, including cleaning our room and our classroom. The other missionaries don't help us with cleaning, so Elder Taylor and I do it all. The only reason we do it is because it is a rule... and we just follow all of the rules (which is what elder holland said was part of the equation for being a good missionary). Nick's mom sent me a package this week! She sent me some cookies that Hunter made! I shared them with all of the other missionaries in my district. I need to send you her email address, because she said she would like to receive updates. Maybe I will remember next week to send that in the email. Her email address is on a piece of paper back in my room. I got a few other letters this week as well! Makayla always hooks me up with letters! :) I think I have received like... five from her this week, which is so awesome! She sends me index cards with inspirational quotes on them! How sweet is that!? I think she is going to send me a picture of my mullet so that I can prove to my fellow missionaries that I had the coolest mullet the world has ever seen! Speaking of pictures, will you send me a picture of Hazel? Someone told me that Cavelier King Charles Spaniels are ugly, and I was ready to fight them!! Haha. I need proof that they are adorable!

Well, I am out of time.. again. This is probably the fastest half hour of the week. I forgot to tell you that I wrote Jordan a letter last week. Hopefully he gets it! I also got a letter from Adrienne. Tell her that I am going to work on responding to that one either this week or next week. I hope these people understand that things are super busy here. :/ Well, I gotta go!

Love, Elder Warren.

Friday, January 11, 2013

We have broken the record!!

January 11, 2013

Hey mama!

I like getting your "emails." I always read it on the computer and then get a hard copy in the mail after lunch. If you write your letters on Wednesday nights, I will get them on Thursday and then I won't have to spend time during email time reading them. That way I can write more in my emails. Just a thought!

Things here have settled down after the plague. We finally have some consistent teachers. Typically, a district will have two teachers for the entire nine weeks. One will come in the morning, and the other will come at night. Our district? We had 17 different teachers in the first four weeks. We have broken the record! It has actually been a little bit stressful. There is no consistency in our class sessions at all. We pretty much would have a different teacher every day and none of them would follow the schedule. They finally got it figured out, though. We have a really cool teacher. His name is Hermano Thompson. I think I have learned more from him in the four days that we have had him than I have in the previous four weeks! He seriously doesn't not speak a word of English to us... ever. All of our other teachers would just speak English the whole time. Hermano Thompson is legit though. I can understand what is being said so much better than I could before. You can tell that he really cares about us. He took the time to meet one on one with all nine of us. So in my meeting with him, we prayed together. We prayed that he would be able to meet the needs that I have and help me reach my full potential as a missionary. He is so invested in what he does, and it is so cool. He is from Hawaii and he speaks like 5 different languages. It is funny, because he is this white guy who is technically an American that can't speak English very well.

I like hearing about what is going on with your grandma lifestyle. I feel like I don't have a ton to write about because we do pretty much the exact same thing every single day. I don't know, maybe you find what I do interesting. Hey, ask Brett if he has some nephews here in the MTC. I feel like I have seen one or two of his relatives wandering around here! Also inform Brett that my companion, Elder Taylor, is an avid cyclist and he has done a ton of 100 mile bike races. We are still going strong on being healthy. The weight keeps falling off! Would you have guessed that I would have already lost 17 pounds? Yeah, me neither. Although, we have designated P-day as candy day. We can get candy for super cheap in the book store.

We went to the temple again today, and I wore my boots for the first time! There is a lot of snow on the ground, and they got the job done. I feel like el Jefe when I wear the boots. (I feel like the boss). Haha. Actually, a lot of missionaries wear boots around here. It is kind of a weird thought that I will only be going to the temple three more times in the next two years! I will miss going, but who knows, maybe when I am done down in Osorno they will be ready for a temple. ;)

I am glad to hear that Makayla and Lacey stopped by! They are both super nice, huh? I am glad that you got the whole blog thing figured out. Nick's mom sent me a letter and asked if I had a blog or if you sent out my emails to people. They gave me the email address, but I don't have it with me. I will write them a letter and give them your email and cell phone number so that you both can stay updated about what is going on with me and with nick. Also, get in touch with Nate's mom at some point as well. You mothers gotta keep each other updated! I think Nate is coming right at the very end of my stay here. Nick leaves on the 31st of this month, and I leave on the 4th of February. I hope I get to see Nate, but I think he reports on the 6th. :/ He has been sending me dear elders and he told me that Carter is working on his papers! How great is that! I seriously have the coolest friends around. All of us are going to do great things.

I need to write Jordan a letter. I have such little time to write letters on P-day, though! So many Elders here don't really follow the letter writing rule and they write letters during the week. I easily could break this rule, but I refuse. Wanna know why? Obedience brings blessing, exact obedience brings miracles. That is kind of one of my motto's here on the mission. I read the white handbook everyday to refresh myself on the rules. I do this because if I am going to do the Lord's work, I need to do it His way. The rules are in place for a reason. Each of them are extremely important.

The thing that I have been working on this week is charity. I need to make a concentrated effort on this because we all know that I am one of the most judgmental people on the planet. It is super easy to judge people who are not doing what they are supposed to be doing. I pray each night to feel a Christlike love for everyone. I have gotten a lot better about it, actually. I really have started to see the good in all of the missionaries that I work with. I pray to see a portion of the potential that Heavenly Father sees in them. It is amazing how your perspective changes when you stop thinking about people as just ordinary and annoying people, and you start to think of them as sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father and as Celestial beings. I still haven't mastered it, but I am making progress.

Well, I am out of time. I have to go get my haircut and my head vacuumed!

Love, Elder Warren

P.S. As far as our Spanish goes? Our teacher says that all of us know more now than he did for his first two transfers in the field. I don't know if I believe him, but it is reassuring to hear that we know more than we think we know!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Time Warp!!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Hey Mom!

Things are going well here at the MTC. It is crazy that I have been here for a month now! This place is like a time warp. I feel like I have been here my whole life, but at the same time the weeks are flying by. It feels like I was writing an email to you just yesterday. I will be headed down to Chile on February 4th, so in exactly one month. How crazy is that! Hopefully I will be ready to speak Spanish to those people.
I will try and address some things that you wrote in your letter. The food here is pretty good. It is all you can eat, but I don't let that get me. I eat healthy and so does my companion. I think it is a blessing that I have Elder Taylor as a companion, because otherwise I would be gaining weight here! They serve cake for breakfast every day! I don't eat it. I don't eat any sweets or any unhealthy food. All that candy you sent me? I pretty much have been slowly giving it away to my teachers and my fellow missionaries. I eat cracked wheat for breakfast, along with some fruit. For lunch I usually eat a salad or a wrap. For dinner I usually eat a plate full of vegetables and like a chicken salad.

As far as working out goes: We work out every day. We have gym 5 times a week for about 50 minutes. Elder Taylor and I also go to the gym during free time on Pday. I don't really do P90x that often. I have started doing a lot of running up on the track. I run about 4 miles every single day. Sometimes I only run three, and then I go whoop on some punks playing basketball. Haha. Basketball at the MTC is fun, but they get really mad when I dunk the basketball. But the whole working out and eating healthy thing pays off. I entered the MTC at about 216 pounds, and I am down to 204. So.... Life is good when your pants are all too big. :)

I am glad that you are being a grandma! Those little boys are cute! I feel bad that I can't write very long handwritten letters here. P days are so busy that there isn't a lot of time to write letters, and we aren't allowed to write letters on any day but P days. I hope that they are doing well. I have their drawings hanging up above my desk! Tell Adrienne that we are almost half way through the Pistachios.
As far as the sending things home goes: I am not super concerned about it. I still have a month here, so we have time to figure something out. They have big hanging scales in the Residence Hall to weigh the suitcases. OH! I just thought of something... I believe that someone stole my alarm clock! How messed up is that! I keep it on my bed, and it is gone. I looked everywhere in the room! I think our roommates left the door open one day and someone took it. But why would they steal that? I mean... I have far more expensive things sitting in the room. Maybe someone is playing a joke on me and they think it is funny to watch me turn the room upside down looking for it. I don't need an alarm clock to wake up anymore, though. I wake up automatically at 6:20.

Also, big news, the MTC pretty much had an Epidemic going around. Overnight, over 300 missionaries became sick with something like the flu. And those 300 were just the ones that reported to the Health Center on the First day!!! How crazy is that. You would be in the bathroom and at least 4 elders in each one were throwing up. There were a bunch that went to the Emergency Room! Out of the 9 in our district, 6 of them got it. Elder Taylor and I didn't. It has been nuts! We can't touch anyone or shake hands or anything. They canceled the Devotional on Tuesday night because of it! Pretty crazy!!

Today was our first time at the Temple in three weeks because it has been closed for maintenance. We walk over there at 6:30 in the morning on P-days. It was good today, but it was FREEZING walking over there!! I had never been so cold in my entire life. It is kind of cool, in the Provo Temple there is a whole separate dressing rooms for missionaries. It is really neat to be there with all of the other Elders.
Yeah, hopefully you and Makayla can figure out the pictures. The picture of me and nick on Christmas might not work. I will get another picture with him though. I seem him every single day! I heard about her friend's mom. That is such a hard thing to go through! I am glad that Makayla is being a good friend to her. Makayla is a good girl.

Well, I have three minutes left on the computer. I want to share I guess a bit of a spiritual thought, because it is my duty to invite all people to come unto Christ, not just investigators. So that means you, Mom.
Here it is:
I finished the Book of Mormon this morning. I have never read it so consistently as I have been here in the MTC. I read the entire thing in four weeks. Guess what I did when I finished? I wrote about it in my study journal and then I went straight back to 1 Nephi and started over. I have read the Book of Mormon every single day on my mission. I will read it for the rest of my mission. I will also read it every day for the rest of my life. I hope you will do the same. The Book of Mormon is a lifetime pursuit, not something you read once. Read it. Power will flow into your life, I promise. The book of Mormon contains the fullness of the gospel, and you will come to know your Savior better as you read it. I know that I have.

Well, I gotta go!

Love Elder Warren

P.S. Our investigators are our teachers, but sometimes we teach real people. 

We ate dust sandwiches for Christmas!

Friday, December 28, 2013


First, I want to throw out a disclaimer: My grammer and spelling is awful, and I know that. Most of the time I am using the computer in the Spanish lab, so it doesn't pick up English mistakes very well. Also, I have a very limited amount of time to write. I just wanted to let you know that I realize that my spelling and stuff is really bad
I am glad to hear that you had a good Christmas! It sounds like you were able to spend time with lots of family, which is super awesome! I got to spend time with my family. I got to spend it with the brothers in my district! It was super cool to be here over Christmas. Our schedule on Christmas was pretty legit... Russell M Nelson came and spoke to us. His talk was good, but his wife's was better. She talked about how Christ paid the price for everything, even for our spiritual gifts. We just need to pray fervently to obtain those spiritual gifts. He pretty much just wanted to throw out there that missions are becoming increasingly more dangerous, and that we need to follow the rules. He also said that there are no secret missions to China, which is funny because Elders talk about that all the time. We had a fireside with the painter Greg Olsen. He pretty much painted ever picture that we have in our house. It was a good fireside. Also, we watched "it's a wonderful life." I had never ever seen it before. It has seriously changed my outlook on life. Christmas Eve was sweet to! There was a talent show, and we watched a Christmas Carol. There was quite a bit of free time, so most Elders chilled at the Residence Halls. Wanna take a guess what Elder Taylor and I did? Yep, we studied. We still studied for like four hours on Christmas day. My study was centered specifically around Christ that day. It was a little weird to not be at home for Christmas, but I still think this was the best Christmas I have ever had (don't be offended by that). It was just so cool to be with 2500 other missionaries on Christmas day.

Okay, so I guess I better tell you why I titled my email "We ate dust sandwiches for Christmas." It was actually super funny. We were teaching a lesson yesterday to our investigator, Leonardo. We were asking him about what he did for Christmas. He asked us what we did and what we ate and stuff. So Hermana Clay was going to answer. She whispered to me, "how do you say turkey?" I thought I knew and I said, " I think it is Povlo." So she says to Leonardo, "Comemos sandwiches de Polvo." And I said, "They were delicious!" She was trying to say, "We ate Turkey Sandwhiches." Well, it turns out that the word for turkey is PAVO, Not POLVO. Polvo means dust. So... We ate dust sandwiches for Christmas. Leonardo lauged so hard! That was kind of embarrassing, but still super funny. That lesson actually turned out to be the best one that we have ever had. We prepared for it differently than we have for other lessons. We didn't assign parts. We just went in there with a basic outline and had a natural conversation with him. Hermana Clay does a lot of the talking. She actually lived in Spain for three months, so she is a lot better at Spanish than we are. Anyway, Leonardo told us that he didn't think he would be able to see his son again. He had a son that passed away when he was 10 years old. My heart starting pounding. I shared my personal experience with him about Nicholas passing away. I told him that it is a really hard thing, but our loved ones go to a better place. I told him that his son was living with God again. I assured him that he would be able to see his son again some day. The spirit was so strong. I had never really felt the spirit in our lessons before, because they were just memorized lines of broken Spanish. But this time was different. It was powerful. We taught him about baptism, and I invited him to be baptized. He said he couldn't commit to it yet. We committed him to continue reading the book of Mormon. He said he would pray about it, and about being baptized. AND he is going to come to church with us on Sunday. He told us after the lesson that he could feel the spirit really strongly, so that was a huge success. Our goal is to invite others to come unto Jesus Christ. It was obvious this time that we were able to make that happen.

I forgot to mention that I am super grateful for all of the packages! Thank you so much. I am good on money! I haven't spent any money here. They give us $6 a week to spend, and I only spend $3 a week on laundry supplies and stuff like that. I want you to get in contact with Wendy Jones and see if before I leave if I can send stuff home with her! My suitcases are all too heavy... and there is a possibility that I will have to take three flights to get to Osorno. So, It would be best not to have suitcases that are overweight. So ask her about that and let me know. I have saved boxes, but I would prefer to not have to ship things home. I need to write some thank you notes, so if you could send me some addresses of people, that would be great. Maybe the Potts? The Keetches? Anyone that you can think of.

I wanted to say that I am taking some pictures. I am going to mail home my memory card today! I don't take a ton of pictures, because we are always really busy. There isn't enough time in the day to accomplish everything! Thats okay, because I am being more productive here than I have ever been in my whole life. Hey, will you send me my big yellow Spanish dictionary and my 501 Spanish verb book? That would be awesome! No rush, though. No rush with the music either, because we aren't allowed to listen to music in the MTC.

Well, I am out of time! I gotta go study and then Elder Taylor and I need to clean up after our roommates. :/

Elder Warren.

First Batch of Pictures!!

December 2012-January 2013

Here are the pictures from McKay's first few weeks in the MTC!!

Elder Warren and Elder Taylor (McKay's companion).

Elder Gregor and Elder Berrets beds...

Elder Gregor and Elder Berret.

Elder Warren and Elder Taylors bed! A little neater than the roommates.... :-))

Elder Warren and Elder Taylor on P-day!

Direct quote from McKay: "Iron... my nemesis."

The shower McKay waits for 25 minutes everyday.

Elder Warren's mission tag. 

Elder Warren holding Elder Penallon in his hands. 

Smiling on the temple walk. 

Elder Munoz, Hermana Scott and Elder Lopez. 

Elder Warren and Elder Going.

Some of the zone... the day before they left. 

This is where Elder Warren sits, eleven hours a day. 

Elder Warren's stockings!

The desk, cluttered with Christmas stuff.


Apparently Elder Warren has a lot of thank you notes to write. 

Christmas morning with Elder Taylor. 

Same Picture zoomed in. 

First night: holding plaques with Elder Taylor, Berret and Gregor.

Elder Taylor's family sent him over 100 bags of fruit snacks!

Christmas Day in the MTC!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Hola Familia
It is Christmas day! What a good day that it is. I am so happy to be here serving the Lord. I only have like... 18 minutes, so I am just going to get right to it.

Today we should definitely be focusing on the Savior, Jesus Christ. We should be focusing on Him every single day. I am so grateful for my Savior. I am so grateful for His Atonement. I could never repay Him for the sacrifice that He made for all of us. Christ loves us all so much! He is the son of God. He gave us the most precious gift ever, all we have to do is receive that gift of the Atonement. It is such a fantastic blessing in my life. The Atonement was necessary, otherwise we would not be able to return to our loving Heavenly Father. We are all sinners by nature. We will fall short every time. Luckily, we have a knowledge of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. We know that if we continually repent and come unto Him, our sins will be forgiven.

The atonement allows us to inch closer and closer to perfection. Through the Atonement, weak things can become strong  Repent daily. Strive to be more Christlike every single day! We can become refined and polished through he Atonement of Jesus Christ. We all need to utilize the Atonement. The only true happiness that we will ever experience in this life comes from drawing nearer to the Savior. As we utilize the Atonement in our lives, blessing will be poured out upon us.
I am so lucky that right now my full time job is to be a representative of Jesus Christ! How sweet is that? I teach of Jesus Christ. I testify of Him. I teach His doctrine. I teach His people. I help others recognize His love for us. Most importantly, I invite others to come unto Him so that they may know that He is their Savior and Redeemer. This is my full time assignment, but it can be yours as well! Let the light of Christ shine through you!

I want to share my testimony, and this computer doesn't have the Spanish keyboard programmed on it... so just pretend like the words have accents on them... actually, you wouldn't know the difference. ;)
Dios nos ama much. El mando su Hijo. La Expiacion de Jesucristo es central en la plan de dios. El mando a Su hijo a la tierra para expiar nuestros pecados. Jesucristo cumplio la voluntad de su padre llevando a cabo la Expiacion. A traves de la Expiacion, podemos ser liberados de pecado y podemos recibir la vida eterna. La Expiacion hace posible que regresemos con Dios y seamos limpios de pecado. Sin la Expiacion de Jesucristo, no podemos recibir la exatacion. Yo se que necessitamos fe en Jesucristo. Yo se que Jesucristo es nuestro Redentor y Salvador. Yo se que Cristo sufrio y murio para nostoros. El Expiacion es el don mejor por la navida. Yo se que Jesucristo vive, y nos ama!

Well, I hope you are having a wonderful Christmas! Nos Amo y Nos Vemos!

Elder Warren

Christmas Time en la CCM!

Friday, December 21, 2012


I got your letter and your package! I shared the peppermint bark with everyone. It was gone within five minutes. The hats are cool, although we don´t really have an opportunity to wear them. Just so you are aware, I can receive mail ever day of the week. I can also receive packages. I can only write letters and emails on P days, which means on Fridays. I don't know how you want to work writing letters. Most elders receive emails, but I only have 30 minutes to read and send emails.

The last week has been a full one. We pretty much work all of the time. Like... P-day is the only day that we have any free time at all. It is crazy. We study so much! I know that I have learned a lot of Spanish, but it feels like I am not retaining any of the information. I am trying though. It is still so bizarre to me that Spanish is not the priority here. A ton of what we do is in English. I thought it would be different. All I can say is that I would be ready to go out and teach if I had to do it in English. Teaching in Spanish is by far the most difficult thing that we do here. We are currently teaching three investigators, so sometimes we teach more than one lesson in a day. It is pretty intense preparing for all of the lessons. It is to the point that Elder Taylor and I are teaching the lessons completely in Spanish without using any notes at all. We are still teaching with Hermana Clay, which makes it interesting. She isn't really our companion, so she is never around when we have companionship study. During companionship study is when we plan our lessons and practice them. So... It is hard because she is never really on the same page as Elder Taylor and I.

Our lesson yesterday was a total failure. We went in to teach Leonardo and it just didn't go very well at all. The hard part about teaching Leonardo (hermano Miller) is that he has a costal Colombian accent, which is super hard to understand. So in the lesson we ask him questions, and we don't understand his response. That part is really frustrating because we are supposed to teach by the spirit and meet the needs of the investigator, but we don't understand his needs because we don't understand what in the world he is saying half the time. I guess that is just part of this though. We are doing much better with our other investigators. We are teaching Cesar and Patricio. They both are easy to understand and they are progressing, which is the goal. Elder Taylor and I taught Patricio without Hermana Clay, and the lesson was awesome. We weren't just in there preaching to him; we were able to actually have a natural flowing discussion. That is so awesome because we can more easily help the investigator come unto Christ when we are comfortable and we can have a natural conversation with him.

So here is some interesting news: My district is on the six week program, but we still have to be here for nine weeks. What is the plan for the last three weeks? There isn't one. We asked our teachers and our Zone Leaders about it, and they had no idea. It will be interesting to see what they do with us. It will probably just be a review or something. My goal by the end of the nine weeks is that I will atleast be able to understand most of what is said to me. Right now I probably understand 75% of what is said in Spanish, unless Hermano Miller is teaching us... then I understand less than half.

Christmas is coming right up. We don't have class on Christmas, but we have a bunch of devotionals and firesides. A General Authority is coming to speak to us, but I don't know which one. Also, we get to watch "it's a wonderful life" on Christmas night. Even though it doesn't really feel like Christmas here, we are still enjoying this time of year. All of the Elders in my Zone are pretty much in love with Makayla because she sent a lot of treats and I share with them. She sent a package with the 12 days of Christmas, which was super cool.

I see Nick all the time! I probably see him every other day at least. We are going to get a picture together sometime soon! He seems to be doing really well, which is awesome. I think they started learning Tahitian this week! How crazy is that!? I am having a hard time learning Spanish, and he has to learn two languages. It is pretty remarkable that young 19 year old boys are able to learn languages so quickly. None of us could do it without the help from the Lord. There is no way. It is super cool.

Another thing that is strange is that I am really one of the younger missionaries in the MTC. I thought that this place would be saturated with 19 year olds, but almost everyone I have met is older than me by at least a year. I have even met an Elder that is 26!! He was in my Zone, but he is in Peru now. Also, the flood has begun!! The day I came into the MTC, 250 total came in with me. Last Wednesday? Over 750 missionaries came in! How crazy is that? They are going to run out of room! We already have to wait 15 minutes in line for a shower! There are so many sisters coming in! Like... They are all over the place. They have projected that in the Month of March, over 4,000 sisters alone will enter the MTC. I am glad I will be gone by then! It is already super crowded! They have to stagger meal times, so our zone eats super early! We eat dinner at 4:30!

I am pretty much out of time writing this email. Things are good here. My companion and I get along well. We study all the time. Like today, all the other Elders are sleeping because the temple is closed. But guess what? Elder Taylor and I have been up since 6:30 working hard and studying! That is one good thing about us: We are always working hard and studying like crazy!

well... Bye!

Elder Warren. 

McKay's first e-mail!!

Sorry for the delay! Here is McKay's first letter! He sounds like he is doing great and seems to be adjusting well!!

Friday, December 14, 2012


Why haven't I heard from my family? I would have thought that I would have had an email to read today? Oh well. I wrote you a letter last Saturday, but I don't know if you got it or not. Just so you know, I can receive mail every day, but I can only write back on Fridays, which will be my P-days.

The first week has been an adventure here at the MTC. There has been a lot of things happening. The days are super long. They keep you so busy all of the time. This is the first day that we have had any free time at all. Pretty much we wake up and eat, then we go to class. The only breaks that we have are to eat our meals. I am not really used to staying on task for such long periods of time. Our class blocks are three hours long. It is really funny, because Elders fall asleep during class all the time. I am happy to report that I have never fallen asleep in class.

Class is much different than I thought it would be. I thought they would just get up there and start speaking in Spanish the entire time. It seems like we spend a lot of time learning about gospel principles in English, which is a good thing. The only struggle with that is that I don't feel like I am learning Spanish very quickly. I know it will come over time. My companion (Elder Taylor) and I speak to each other in Spanish probably 75% of the time, which is helping a lot. We spend a lot of time teaching ourselves Spanish because we don't always have a teacher in the class room. I know how to pray in Spanish, teach a few parts of the first three lessons, and bear my testimony in Spanish. My companion and I are probably the worst in the class at speaking Spanish. There is an Elder Scott-Banks that is in our class and he tested out and is headed to Rancagua on Tuesday! How crazy is that?? He just sits there bored all the time because he understands everything that is going on. Lucky him
We went to the temple at 6:30 today. It was really cool to be there with all of the guys from our district. At the temple we did an Endowment session and we ate in the cafeteria there. We have an AWESOME district. The funny thing is that only three of us are from Utah. Almost everyone in our district is going to Chile, so that is kind of cool. I still haven't met a single person going to Osorno. I know that there are 6 of them here, but I just don't know who or where there are. There aren't any in our zone. Everyone in our district is doing really well. We are growing together, which is awesome. We stay focused and we work together when we don't have a teacher. Elder Scott-Banks acts as the teacher most of the time when the teacher isn't there
The spirit here at the MTC is really cool, but it isn't automatic. You have to prepare yourself to feel the spirit, or else you won't feel it. I pray so many times a day to have the spirit, because I know that is the only way I can do this. I can't do anything without the spirit. It is such a huge part of everything we do here. We listen to the spirit. We learn by the spirit. And we teach by the spirit. We have taught our investigator four times now, and we are teaching him again tonight. We asked him to pray about being baptized, and he said he would. We are inviting him to be baptized again tonight. I have a good feeling that he will say yes. I teach with my companion and with a sister, named Hermana Clay. It is kind of weird teaching with a sister missionary. She acts like our mothers!! She is like... 26 I think. Anyway, each lesson that we have taught has gotten better and better. The first couple of times we took notes in there with everything written down that we were going to say. Last time, I just took my notes in English and translated them into Spanish as I taught the investigator (Freddy). It isn't beautiful, but he is showing interest in what we are saying and he seems to understand everything. He is reading the Book of Mormon and praying every day.

My companion is a stud. We are really different, but that is okay. He is from Texas, and I think he firmly believes that Texas should be its own state. It is really funny when he starts talking about that. For the most part he is a quiet guy, though. I have to try and carrry on the conversation most of the time. He doesn't show a lot of emotion. The only time I ever see him get excited is when we are at gym doing p90x or when he is talking about batman. Even though we don't have a lot to say to each other all of the time, we teach really good lessons. That is the most important thing. We also are probably the best in the district at following all of the rules. I mean, we follow ALL of them! It is really sweet. We keep our side of the room spotless. Elder Gregor and Berrret never make their beds, but we still passed the cleaning inspection. Following the rules brings blessings. They say that obedience brings blessings, and exact obedience brings miracles. I know that it is true.

I am so grateful to be here! It is so awesome. Sometimes it is weird to think that I am not coming home for two years, but that is okay. This is my life now. I have committed myself to constant improvement here and developing the character of Christ. I am not on a mission, I am SERVING a mission. I am not teaching people, I am INVITING them to come unto Christ. I am grateful for all that I have learned so far, and I am excited to know that I will continue to learn. I love this gospel. I love serving with my fellow missionaries. Sometimes I feel like just another guy in a suit, but I know that Heavenly Father knows me and cares about me. He loves me. He loves me so much that He sent His son to atone for my sins. I am so grateful for the atonement. That is how we refine ourselves and become perfected.

I love you and hope you are all doing well! Especially Hazel!

Love, Elder Warren (by the end of this mission I might forget that my first name isn't Elder!!!)

P.S. I have seen Nick a few times. He always seems to spot me at the firesides and devotionals. I also saw Sister Jones on the day we had to have an immunization check! I have seen a lot of people, but I can't remember right now. I gotta go! My time is up!