Monday, November 25, 2013

Miracles Happen.

November 23, 2013

Elder Warren and Elder Borup


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!!


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


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!!


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


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


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


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