Tuesday, December 24, 2013

A Pretty Good Week!

December 14, 2013

Three Zones


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


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


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