Monday, May 27, 2013

Hoping For A Cambio

May 27, 2013


This past week.... has been a little rough.

I am hoping not to stay in Llanquihue for the next cambio.  I think I would probably cry or something if I was assigned to stay here. The odds are in my favor, but it isn´t unheard of to spend four cambios in one sector. It would be nice to go south for the winter. I wouldn´t get as wet. It is a lot colder in Punta Arenas, but it doesn´t rain.

Today I spent the day in Osorno. I went with Elder Wise to a foot lady. I thought I was out of the woods with the ingrown toenail. Well... turns out… not. It is kind of inconvenient.  The lady that worked on my foot is not a doctor. I don´t know what she is. All I know is that she shoved something that looked like a metal chopstick underneath my toenail... without numbing it or anything. That didn´t feel pretty. She wrapped it all up and put some kind of zinc cement in it. What a great way to spend P-day. Don´t worry too much, mom. I am taking care of it and I can still just work like normal. I just think it would be easier if they cut my whole foot off. Then I would be able to avoid ingrown toenails and foot fungus. I have seen several other missionaries’ feet... and it is disgusting. But I guess that is what happens when the feet are wet all the time. I was thinking that maybe they could cut my foot off and replace it with a wheel. But then I realized that my wheel would rust in the rain. ;)

Sorry that my email is a little bit negative today. I am a little ticked off about a few things. Remember how I spent 100 dollars on antibiotics? Well, that whole thing is a mess. Number one because the guy in the pharmacy ripped me off. The pills should have only cost 10 dollars. He took advantage of me and the fact that at that point I was a fresh gringo who didn´t know any better. I am also mad that I gave my receipt to my zone leader to be reimbursed, because he lost my receipt. It is all just a big hassle and inconvenient. I decided that I am not going to buy anything else here in Chile, because people try to rip me off.

Well, I am going to wrap this up quickly on a positive note.  A cool thing happened to us. We got out of a teaching appointment late and we were 45 minutes away from the house. It was 9:30, which is when we are supposed to be in the house. We didn´t have any money to take a taxi home.  We said a prayer and started walking home. There is a part of Llanquihue that is really dangerous at night. Right before we got to that part, a bus pulled up behind us. The bus driver opened the door and told us to get in. We told him that we didn´t have any money, and he said he didn´t care. We were the only ones on the bus. He drove us straight to our house. We only got to the house 5 minutes late. How legit. The Lord looks out for his missionaries.

Elder Warren

Monday, May 20, 2013


May 20, 2013

Elder Warren Holding Casper, Mamita's Dog

What’s up!?

Mama, I always love your emails. They always make me laugh.  Thank you for keeping me well informed. I like hearing about the grill and the dogs and the family and everything.

I may have been a little homesick after we spoke on the phone. It is hard to not think about home after that, but I have snapped myself back into missionary mode.  Don’t worry, Mom. I am working my hardest to be a good missionary. It is amazing to see the improvement that I have made here. I read back through my journal the other day. I read my entry the first day at the MTC... and I have come a freaking long way. It is incredible. The mission really changes people. I have grown tremendously as a person.  And the good news? I still have 75% of my mission left to grow and to get better. Although sometimes I miss home a little bit, I wouldn’t trade places even for a second. Not at all. I am having too much fun here. Haha. And I am growing to really love talking to people here. Just imagine... me, the quiet one, chatting away with some random guy on the street.  The other day we walked into the store to buy yogurt, and I ended up teaching the employee working there the Restoration.  It all started with me chatting with her about fishing. Fishing! Haha. And somehow I ended up teaching her the Restoration.  I was talking to her for like 45 minutes. I wouldn’t have ever dreamed that I would be able to do that.

A lot happened in the last week. I had an intercambio in Puerto Varas with Elder Hanks. He is a good elder. I learned a lot. We also had Zone Conference.  Those are always super legit! President is sweet.  We talked about obedience and about inviting people to be baptized.  Last week, Elder ... and I invited 5 people to be baptized. I saw Elder Brindley at the Zone Conference, which was nice!  I also got some nice letters from some really nice people. Michelle Ngo! And Marissa Stevens wrote me a letter. Getting mail is always nice.

We had evaluations this week.  Those are sort of like... tests.  The leaders do the evaluations to gauge the progress of the missionaries. The check for mastery of the lesson and recommend you for leadership positions if they think you are ready.  I did really well on my evaluation! I did super well, actually.  I have been recommended to be a trainer of a new missionary.  I don’t know if that will happen in the next cambio or not, but I was pretty pleased to hear that. It is evidence of the progress that I have been making.

I am about to preach to you, mother. About going to the temple. GO! Ah... you don’t even realize the great blessing that you have to have a temple just minutes away.  It costs you nothing to go to the temple.  I know I definitely took it for granted. The people in Rama Llanquihue have to make huge sacrifices to be able to go to the temple.  They have to save up all year to be able to pay for the trip to Santiago. Imagine that. They have to work overtime and really scrape and save up to be able to go to the temple. Not only that, but then they have to take time off of work to be able to go! It is incredible the testimony that these people have of the temple. I wish I would have made the effort to have gone to the temple more. Dice en Doctrina y Convenios 109:1-5 "El velo fue retirado de nuestras mentes, y los ojos de nuestro entendimiento fueron abiertos. Vimos al Señor sobre el brandal del púlpito, delante de nosotros; y debajo de sus pies había un pavimento de oro puro del color del ámbar. Sus ojos eran como llama de fuego; el cabello de su cabeza era blanco como la nieve pura; su semblante brillaba más que el resplandor del sol; y su voz era como el estruendo de muchas aguas, sí, la voz de Jehová, que decía: Soy el primero y el último; soy el que vive, so el que fue muerto; so vuestro abogado ante el Padre."  The temple is the house of the lord, and he dwells there.

Hey... I gotta run.  I have to plan a noche de hogar por una familia Ahora.


Elder Warren
Mamita Teaching McKay to Make Sopapilla's

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Forever A Momma's Boy!

May 13, 2013

Mother's Day 2013


It was pretty much a dream come true to talk to you yesterday!  You all looked so good and so happy! All of you are beautiful, even the dog!  It was the fastest 45 minutes of my entire lifetime! Wow. I could have talked to you for hours.  I was reminded that I am a momma´s boy.  I can’t believe that I didn´t start to cry or something. I always cry when it comes to talking about you. I realized after I hung up that I didn´t even say happy Mother´s Day. So... Felíz Día, Mamá.

After I got done talking to you, we walked a few miles in the pouring rain to visit a guy named Antonio. We talked for him for a while and taught him the restoration.  We asked him to kneel and pray with us after the lesson, and he did. We said a beautiful prayer, and all of us felt the spirit.  After he finished, Elder .... said-- "Now, I know God is listening to you. Ask Him if Joseph Smith was a prophet." So he started to pray again. He asked, and he could not even finish his prayer. We looked at him and he was breathing really heavily and smiling.  We asked him what he felt. And he said, "Pure emotion. Pure joy. I feel at peace with the world."  How legit is that?  If you have ever doubted that God answers prayers, doubt no more. He answers and He is completely aware of every single one of His children. Moments like that make up for every door slammed in my face. It makes up for all the times I have been attacked by a dog, or had a drunken guy harass me. It was a powerful moment and I was reassured that I am, in fact, doing the right thing down here.

Mom, I am looking forward to having my sleeping bag. It will be nice. Hmm... In the package... just the sleeping bag and the two bags that goes with it. If you want to send candy or a jar of peanut butter, that would be cool as well.

I wrote you a handwritten letter today! It is already in the mail, so you should see it the first week of June or so.  I liked writing you a handwritten letter. I think I will send you one once a month or once a cambio or so.

Today we are going to make cookies in the microwave. Why? Because we don´t have an oven.  But at least Elder .... is speaking to me again. When we talked yesterday, he hadn´t spoken to me in like three days. Wanna know why? I will tell you why in the nicest way possible.  Our ward mission leader passed away and they had a viewing at the chapel.  My intention of going was to support the family and to show them that we cared. Elder .... saw it as an opportunity to boost our numbers.  He was trying to talk to everyone there that wasn´t a member and telling them that the hermano was in the spirit world. He was doing that to count them as lessons. Afterward I told him that we shouldn´t do things like that just for numbers. He got really mad and has pretty much been giving the silent treatment ever since.

Well, I gotta run. I will send pictures next week. This computer is really slow.

Elder Warren

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Another Good Week!!

May 7, 2013

Elder Villena and Elder Warren
"The District"


Hey... I want to start off by saying that I laughed out loud when I saw the picture of your shoes. I can’t believe you wore two different pairs of shoes!! I thought to myself, ¨that is my momma! ¨

 Just a really bad shoe day!!
I want to start off with some administrative stuff first. As far as the sleeping bag goes-- I am not going to buy one here. I looked at them in Puerto Varas and since it is a really touristy town, they are expensive.  And they are not nearly as nice as the one I have at home.  So, I was wondering if you could send me the one I have at home.  You can use the money in my account to ship it.  It shouldn´t be too expensive, because it is really light.  The one I am thinking of is orange. It is a Kelty brand sleeping bag.  It should be in the closet under the stairs in a big orange stuff sack.  I was wondering if you could have it dry-cleaned and then send it.  I feel needy asking you to do all that, but it would be a lot cheaper.  The sleeping bag is the way to go here in the mission.  It is much lighter and more convenient than sheets, and I spend lots of nights in other missionaries’ houses.  Also, if I got to Punta Arenas, I will have weight issues with suitcases full of sheets. Plus, the pulgas (fleas) tend to not dwell in sleeping bags. There is a black and green stuff sack that goes with it... but a different brand. When you send it, don’t send it in the green stuff sack. Send it in the orange sack and just cram it into a box. We can talk more about this on Sunday.

Speaking of Sunday, Here is the deal. I talked to the familia Retemal and they said I could go to their house and use Skype. I am going to be calling around 5:00 p.m. Chile time, which is 3:00 p.m., your time. But just in case, be ready around 2:30. I can talk to you for 45 minutes! How legit. So if you have questions, have them ready! Also, you can definitely invite Adrienne and her kids. Invite Makayla.  I don´t know if she will want to come, but she is invited.  Now... here is the other deal. Have your phone close by to you all this week, because I am going to call you on the phone. I don´t know which day or at what time, but I am going to call you for 5 minutes to make sure that we are good to go with the time for our Skype conversation and to verify that you folks really are two hours behind. :)

We had another good week here in Llanquihue! We taught a lot of lessons again, 17 or so. It is super good to be teaching people! I feel happy! I feel like I am actually doing missionary work now! Elder .... and I have been working overtime.  Usually we are supposed to be back in the house at 9:30, but if we are teaching a lesson we have until 10:00. We have been returning to the house at 10:00 every single day! Haha.  And what happens is that we sprint back to the house, because we can´t be out past 10. I bet the people thing we are so weird. The Mormons, sprinting like madmen at 9:59 at night.  But hey, we are being obedient.

Raul isn´t progressing much, but we have found a lot of other people.  There are some really cool familias that we are teaching. We are going to have family home evening with a familia tonight.  Elder .... and I are going to bring the ingredients to make pizza! The only problem is that the only kind of cheese they sell here is Gouda! Gouda cheese pizza!

Today we are going to mamitas house and she is going to teach me to make sopaipillas. I love them, and so I am will be happy to learn how to make them.  Mamita knit a sweater for her Dog, and it is the funniest thing I have seen.  It is a boy dog, but it is a dang girly looking sweater. Mamita is funny. We go over and chop wood for her pretty often. She always tries to give us more food.

Speaking of food, I decided and I am just going to go with it and get fat like every other missionary here... haha. Just kidding. But Elder .... has gained 20 kilos in the mission! That is more than 40 pounds! The way it happens is that when we are teaching people, they insist on feeding us! And it is always bread.  And we are teaching a lot of people. I refuse to get fat. There are ways to maintain weight. I always exercise. So... there is hope that I will maintain weight.

In other news, I received a very nice letter from Megan Flinders! It was definitely a mid-week pick-me-up.  She is very nice.

I am glad to hear that all is going well with you and that you had fun at the zoo! The dog looks like the kind we try to avoid down here! Hazel is pretty good looking still.
I can´t wait to see/talk to you! 6 days.

Love, Elder Warren

p.s. the photos are of Elder .... and I. The other is of my district before Elder .... left. And....  I don´t remember what the other one is.  Maybe it is me at Lago Todos los Santos.

Monday, May 6, 2013


April 29, 2013


Hey, before I forget, I need you to send me your Skype username so that we can talk on Mother´s Day.  Don’t forget to send that in your next email! Mother´s day is the 12th, right?

Elder .... is super cool.  I still live in the Cabin with him. It is very different working with him than it was working with Elder ....  Elder .... is really good at what he does.  Last week in 5 days we taught 16 lessons. 16! Imagine that! That is a ton more than I am used to having. We are busy all the time.  We are always talking to people and teaching people.  We are working hard to revive the sector.  We are looking for a lot of new people here.  It is such a change of pace working with him.  We are trabajadores (hard workers). We are always doing something.  He is an expert with the scriptures.  He is good at talking to people.  Together we work really well.

One thing that I miss about the training though is that there is less time to study! During the training we studied for like five hours a day. Now we just do one hour of companionship study and one hour of personal study.  It isn’t enough! Haha.  There is so much that I want to study, and there just isn´t enough time.  I am learning to really focus during the study time, because it is really short; time management. That is what I am learning.  I have learned that there really is never a free moment in the mission.  The mission has officially ruined my sense of free time.  From the time that I wake up until I am asleep, there is always something productive to be doing: Scriptures to read and memorize, Spanish to study, dishes to do, bathrooms to clean, things to organize.  I am always organizing things.  I think I have developed a little bit of OCD, because I am always organizing things. Haha.

To answer your question about Raul:  He is interested in becoming a member.  But he is like every other Chilean... He is ALWAYS working.  We have rescheduled the citas with him a few times.  But we pinned him down for today.  I told him that if he can´t today, that we were going to take a bus and teach him in the potato field. So we will see how it goes.  We put two other people with a baptismal date for the 1st of June.  People usually accept the baptismal challenge, but it is getting them to stay committed that is the problem.  We invite lots of people to be baptized, several a week.  But getting follow up citas is the problem.  But that is what Elder .... is good at, so we should have some really good and really promising people here soon.

There are about 60 people that regularly attend church here in Llanquihue.  How many members are there in the city? Over 300. The inactivity rate is really high. That happens when people convert to the church because they like the missionaries instead of gaining a testimony.  We are also working to reactivate a few people.

Once again this computer will not let me attach photos. Why? I don’t know... because this computer is old.  It is like the size of a small refrigerator.  Usually there are newer ones to use, but today they were all taken.  I have good photos to send! Elder Brindley broke his glasses and I taped them up like Harry Potter and drew a lightning bolt scar on his forehead the night before he left.  I also have pictures of me and my new companion.

I really enjoy hearing about things at home.  I don’t dwell on them for long, because there are a lot of other things to worry about here.  Like... fleas.  Haha.  I bought some anti-allergy pills and some anti-itch cream.. So I will survive!  Anyway... Elder .... taught me what to do with dogs here.  He says to not be afraid of them, and when they try and bite me that I should punch them right in the snout.  It works! I had a wicked mean German Shepherd try and tear my head off, but I punched him in the snout and he ran away! How legit!

I can’t believe you opened your mother’s day letter! Haha. Oh well. It is okay. We will talk on mother’s day and I will give you grief for opening it then.

Good luck with a new dog... I don’t really like dogs. Why? Obvio, pero también porque ellos tienen pulgas.  Yep, they all have fleas.

I may buy a sleeping bag with the plata you put in my account.  That is what all the cool missionaries do here. Actually, I am going to buy one for the intercambios.  It is just more convenient and a good way to avoid the pulgas.

Love, Elder Warren