Monday, March 31, 2014


March 10, 2014


Hey, I want you not to worry about me getting attacked by a dog!! I am fine. I thought it was hilarious. What we do here is, bend down to pretend to pick up a rock and they usually get scared and run away. Sometimes we do actually have to throw the rock, though. It is just fun.

This was a pretty good week, I guess. We haven’t seen much progress in the sector, actually. We teach a lot of people that don’t really have a lot of interest in what we do, but they like talking to us because we are funny gringos that are really friendly. Haha. Can you imagine me doing that mom? Sometimes it still boggles my mind that I go and knock somebodies door and just start talking with them and we become friends really quickly and they invite us over to watch soccer. (But we don’t go to do that, because it is against the rules.) But my personality has definitely changed from being a very shy person... to being quite social and good at talking to people. I guess it was like you always said, practice makes perfect... and I practice all day every single day. At first I really hated talking to other people, actually. I hated knocking doors. But now I think it is fun.

The weather here has been absolutely crazy the last few days. The wind is unreal!!!! Holy cow, it could easily blow a person over!!  And mix that with rain! It is definitely an adventure here in Porvenir with the weather. It actually is a little challenging to do street contacts when there is such strong wind. But it is fun. Amazing the nature here.

I have been thinking a lot about "storms" lately. Not just the strong wind here, but also the storms of life that we have to face. There are a lot of difficulties in life. Here in Porvenir, too. But we have to learn to roll with it. Keep going. Keep walking, keep smiling, even though we are soaked and the wind is throwing the rain so hard in our face. We can’t give up, because we will lose blessings as missionaries. In life we can’t give up during the storms either, because we also will lose blessings. We just need to keep moving forward and look for the positive. Look for the beauty in the things that are happening. "Count your many blessings, name them one by one." I am reminded many times of the quote that you wanted engraved on the back of your iPod that said, "No Rain, No Rainbows". The hard times in life are all part of Gods plan. They are there for a number of reasons. Number one, so that we can learn to rely on Him. Two, so we can progress... there must be an opposition in all things in order to see strengthening and progression. And Three: so that we can learn to appreciate the good times and really be grateful for all that we have been blessed with.

Well, that is what I felt like writing today. I hope it makes sense. I will write more about investigators another day. But I hope you are okay. I hope you can find a new house to live in and that you will be happy. I wish I could be there to help you out with the hard things that are happening. Just know you are in my prayers.

Much love,

Elder Warren

Making History

 March 3, 2014


I want you to know that I am doing just as well as ever.  I am happy. I am healthy I think (or getting there at least), and we are working hard here. That is the good news.

I wanted to tell you a little story about how we made history this week. I think it is a Sunday that I will never forget in my entire lifetime. Ever.  So we show up to church.... and there weren’t very many people there. The meeting started and there were just 10 people there, including my companion and me. It was the fast and testimony meeting. All 10 people bore their testimonies. All of them. I don’t know how frequently that happens, but 100 percent of the congregation bore their testimony yesterday.  It was Porvenir History. Also, it may have been the shortest sacrament meeting I have ever been to. After everyone had shared their testimony, they ended the meeting. It only lasted 30 minutes!!! How nuts. I have kind of mixed feelings about this experience. On the one hand it is super depressing that none of the members come to church and that we didn’t have an investigator there. That was a downer. But I also think that it was one of the most spiritual meetings I have ever been in.  I stood up there from the pulpit and I looked out at those other nine people and thought to myself, “Wow. I admire each and every one of you SO much. You are here. You are ALWAYS here. You are faithful. You come. You make the sacrifice. You are all diligent. You keep going forward, even when times are tough. And times seem to ALWAYS be tough here in Porvenir. But you all keep moving along. And why do you all do it? Why would you keep coming when you could so easily stay home? There is no support. There are no other primary kids. You are the Branch President that has been in the position for almost 20 years. You are the ONLY member of the Relief Society here in the building today. But you all still do it. Because you know this is true. You know this is where God wants you to be. You have experienced the conversion, and you are honoring your baptismal covenants. I admire each and every one of you."  For me, it was a life-changing and an eye-opening experience.

Well, in other news... I almost got eaten by a Saint Bernard!!! I was petting it... and then it went crazy!! It started trying to bite me and I ran away from it and fell into a hole!!! It was super funny. I think that was the hardest that I have laughed in a long time. I wish it could have been filmed.

Aren’t you having surgery this week?? I thought that was supposed to be today. Good luck!!!

I really don’t need anything. I was thinking compression shorts, but I can just buy those here.

Elder Warren

Got the Package!!

Elder Powell and Elder Warren

February 24, 2014


We had another good week here! Nothing over significant happened. We worked in our sector. We invited many people to get baptized. Most of them said, "no" but hey... at least we are trying.  We have some hippy friends that are really big into smoking marijuana and such. They are nice to us. They sing Reggae freestyle rap.  They are really hard to teach though. They don’t like to commit to anything. We really don’t visit them often; like once every other week or so. We went there yesterday and they rapped for us. It was actually pretty sweet. Haha.

In other news there were only 13 members at church and... We didn't have any investigators at church... again. Ljubica didn't come. We even went to her house to get her before church but she was sleeping in. It is super hard, because she wants to get baptized but she has such bad influences in her life. Her family doesn't support her at all. She is trying to stop smoking, but all of her family member’s smoke 24/7. She tries to go to church, but her family throws parties late at night and stuff. But we will keep working with her.

I want you to know that I did get the package!!! I finally got it. I am going to get a thank you note written to the Gurr’s as soon as possible. Tell them that I've had a PB&J every day since I got the package!! They are really too kind. Wanna hear something else crazy about the mail system??  I just got a letter from Nick in Tahiti. It was POSTMARKED for the 13 of AUGUST.  Can you believe that? It took over six months for his letter to get to me!!! That just blows my mind. I am thinking about writing him a letter, but if it is anything like last time... I won’t see a response before I finish my Mission!!!

I am just trying to think of anything noteworthy to tell you.... I don’t know. I am working on getting my second visa? That is not exciting though. I don’t like that kind of paperwork. We are still jogging every day?  I got an email from Cole Pendleton? Is any of that exciting for you to know? Haha. I don’t really know. We basically do the same things every single day.

Well, have a good week. Be good. Read your scriptures, the Book of Mormon (2 chapters every day is what we are reading here. Everyone reads individually and then we have activities to see our progress in the branch.)

Elder Warren

Elder Warren and Elder Powell

P.S.  I might need some stuff, but I can’t remember what.

Elder Ballard...kind of!

February 17, 2014


Well, I will start off by telling you that we have been doing a lot of traveling. So we left Porvenir on Tuesday to come to Punta Arenas and drop off Elder Keetch at the airport. Elder Powell got here on Wednesday. We left Thursday for Porvenir again. But we had to come back yesterday for a special Mission Conference!  Wanna hear who came?? Walter F. Gonzalez of the Seventy, Ronald A. Rasband of the Presidency of the Seventy and Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Twelve! Legit! They were all in the chapel in Puerto Varas up North. All of the missionaries from Pucon to Puerto Montt were actually present in the conference. We had to be there through satellite, Zona Punta Arenas and Zona Cohyaique (too far to pay for all of the plane rides).  It was sweet, actually. Let me tell you about the miracle.

We were in the capilla, and it was like a conference call kind of thing. We could see them in the capilla in Puerto Varas y in Cohyaique. But there was some kind of a problem that we couldn't hear the people speaking from the pulpit in Puerto Varas. They were scrambling trying to fix it for like a half hour. Cohyaique also couldn’t hear anything. So then we all just knelt down. All 30 of us in Punta Arenas and all 24 in Cohyaique, saying a personal prayer that the transmission would work so that we could hear the words of the apostles and authorities. I looked up from my prayer for a second on the big screen to see all of us on the web cam and all of Cohyaique kneeling in prayer. It was POWERFUL; 54 missionaries praying as fervently as they could to be able to hear the instrucciones of the apostles. The spirit came into that room almost like I have never before felt in my life. We all finished praying. We are sitting there for like a minute and then.... boom. There is sound and we get to hear the conference!  It was a miracle. It was seriously the coolest thing ever; definitely a highlight.

So, the talks were great. We will just say my whole perspective of the mission has changed. I am just so pumped up to keep working; To better my efforts; To increase my knowledge; To work hard; To keep going strong. It was definitely great to be "present" at this special mission conference.

Okay, so I will tell you a little bit about my companion. He is the coolest guy. He is from Heber. He is a soccer player, and I think that he is going to play in the university after the misión.  He is super nice. 19 years old. He has 6 months on the mission. I think that he is an absolute missionary machine. He speaks the language really well; really well for the time that he has. He knows what he is doing. He talks to people. He works hard, which is awesome. He has a good, positive attitude. He is just a really good missionary.  We get along really well. Really well.

The food here in Chile just isn’t very healthy. It is just all carbs; potatoes, rice, bread, sometimes I gain a little weight, but I lose it quickly. With Elder Powell, we get up a half hour early to leave to go jogging. So I am already losing a little bit of weight. I was totally going to send you a picture today, but I left my cable in Porvenir. So next week will be when I send pictures. Deal?

Wait... Lindsey Bills and Ethan Clark are getting married.... to each other? That is crazy!! Super crazy!  I didn’t know that.

Hey, I sometimes worry about you having a back surgery like that while I am not there. Who is going to take care of you during your rehab?

Speaking of Elder Borup, we are sleeping in his house again tonight and tomorrow night, I think. It is always super nice to talk to him and remember all of the good times in Ovejería.  He was a super good companion for me.

Hey, send Jordan a B-day shout out for me. I don’t have his email address and I haven’t sent a letter yet. Deal?

Well, have a good week. Be safe. Be good. Read your scriptures. Okay?

Elder Warren

Door Slams!!

February 10, 2014


Hey, I want you to know first of all that it has been about six week since I have been here with Elder Keetch. He is leaving tomorrow. He is headed to Puerto Montt.  My new companion will be Elder Powell, also from Utah. I think he has like 6 months on the mission or so. Something like that. It will be good. We are going to travel to Punta Arenas tomorrow on the barcaza (ferryboat). We will probably return back to Porvenir on Thursday or so. So... there is that news.

This week... was interesting. Haha. It is really funny sometimes how things happen. We seriously had EVERY single appointment fall this week. All of them. Every single one of them. Like... not kidding. But it is okay, because we took advantage of that to get to know people. We talked to as many people as possible in the streets (the streets are usually fairly deserted here).  We knocked a bunch of doors. Oh my goodness. This week, I got a ton of doors slammed in my face. Usually people are polite enough to end the conversation nicely. But here?? Nope. I will be talking and people scream "go away!!" and then they slam the door in our faces. Haha. I usually don’t really get upset by that. I just kind of laugh about it and say. "Otro dia será" (maybe another day) and then we just keep going. That is what you gotta do. You just got to keep going. Laugh. Keep a good attitude. I feel like that is the secret to life; Attitude and Effort.

Wanna hear one miracle that happened this week though? Okay, so we had a bunch of appointments set up for the day. Like four. ALL OF THEM fell. So we said, “pucha, what are we going to do now?"  So then we decided to go out and to look for a reference that we had received. We didn’t really know how to get there. We were just told that the person lived a kilo metro outside of the city by some hotel thing and they had a white car. So we start walking. We didn’t know for sure how to get there. But we kept going and found a house by the little hotel and they had a white car. So we go and we knock the door. A lady holding a baby opened the door. We commented how cute her baby was. I said, “Hey, you are friends with Carolina!"  She just looked at us and then told us to come in!  That never happens! Usually the references here are a little chanta, but this one was good. We go in and we talk to her and her husband for a little while. We get to know them. And then we taught them the restoration. They paid attention and actually PARTICIPATED in the lesson. They made comments and asked questions and everything. That NEVER happens here in Chile; at least not in my mission. I have always had to work so hard just for the people to sit still in the lessons. Most people don’t pay much attention or participate at all. They just sit there while we talk and they usually don’t answer questions. But these people were different. They asked some awesome questions. They asked intelligent questions. I have a good feeling about them. We set up an appointment and we will visit them again this week.   Okay, so what was the point of that story?  This is the Lords work. Not ours. We had plans to do something, but that all fell through because God had something better for us to do. He had a family that we needed to go find and to teach. He is in charge. We are just working hard so we can be the instruments in His hands.

You asked what I meant when I said the members are disseminated.  I think the big problem is that we are so far away from other church members. The branch is weak here because of it. We are a branch in the stake of Punta Arenas, and the stake leaders only travel out here when there is Branch Conference. So, the members feel abandoned out here. There is never any training from stake leaders for the members of the church here really. The Branch President here has been the Branch President for 17 years!! That is way too long! You usually are only in for like 5 years. But there simply isn’t anyone else here that can fill his spot. Also, materials never arrive. The new handbooks for Joseph Fielding Smith haven’t arrived still. So nobody prepares lessons or anything. It is just kind of sad. Church starts at 10:00 here. Yesterday, at 10:00 we were the only ones in the building with one old guy. The meeting started almost 20 minutes late. And that happens every single week. People just don’t come. And those that do don’t come on time. The people just seem worn down and not very happy. They actually don’t really like the missionaries either. They are just disseminated. But it is okay. It is teaching us a lot. We are working really hard to help the members. We are doing a program to read the Book of Mormon in 4 months!  There are a couple of people that are sort of excited about that. I think it should help.

Well, that is all for me. I am happy. I am staying positive. This is good for me. I really have to put all of my effort into this place. I am doing what the Lord would have me do. I am gaining really good experience. This is good.

Be happy. Be safe. I love you and miss you.

Elder Warren

No Nos Pescan

February 3, 2014

Hey Mama,

This week was a little bit tough. We are working really hard; harder than I have probably ever worked on my mission. We are working to find new investigators to teach. And...We haven’t found a single one since I arrived here, which is a bummer. We are talking to as many people as possible. We are doing contacts. We ask for references. But people here just don’t want anything to do with us at all. But hey, I am not letting that really get me down. I am working hard and I feel good about that. I know that if we keep working and looking for the revelation from God, things will turn around here. I know that we just need to be patient and faithful always.

Hey, there were 17 at church here yesterday. We still haven’t broken twenty in church yet. It is a super weird thing. The members just... stopped coming to church like two months ago. And we don’t really know why. They are all super disseminated. We are working really hard to try and strengthen the members.  We have started a Book of Mormon reading program where everyone in the branch is going to read the Book of Mormon in 4 months. They all had to sign contracts and everything. We will see how that goes. I have faith that if all the members start reading the Book of Mormon here.... this place will change. There will be excitement once again. We will start seeing real growth in the church. And actually, President Rappleye told me that if they start reading the Book of Mormon as a branch, the number of baptisms will go up. There is truth to that. There is a power that begins to flow into the life of an individual once they start a serious study of the Book of Mormon. I testify of that. It has happened in my own personal life here on the mission.

Hey, I heard about the Super bowl Sunday today!  I had completely forgotten that it was going to happen yesterday. I actually didn’t even know which teams were in there. But Cool!  It just made me think of your homemade wings for some reason. You are going to have to make those for me again sometime when I get home...  in less than 10 months now! Crazy (with the cambios the way they are I will probably be home the 27th of November).  I have been in Chile for like a whole year now! Time is passing too quickly.

I love you and hope everything is well. You are in my prayers and your letter is in the mail.

Elder Warren

Se Bautizo!!!

January 27, 2014

Elder Keetch, Cristian, Elder Warren

Hey! I have good news! And you already know because I sent you the pictures first! But Cristian got baptized!!!! And Confirmed!! It was legit. Elder Keetch baptized him on Saturday and I confirmed him on Sunday in sacrament meeting. It was a really cool experience. I was really happy to see all of it. Haha. The only thing that is a little sad for me is that none of the members really came to support Cristian in his baptism. Elder Keetch and I worked super hard to plan everything. We even had programs made and printed. And guess what...? Nobody showed up; just the Branch President and a few other people. Oh boy... the Branch President was TICKED!!! He stood up on Sunday in sacrament meeting and threw some serious palos at the members. Holy cow! I have never seen anything like that in my life. The dude stands up after the sacrament and just starts ripping all of the members a new one for their lack of enthusiasm and commitment. It was awesome!!!! I don’t know if Branch Presidents are really allowed to stand up for 45 minutes in sacrament meeting and do that, but it was sweet.

In other news this week...I got a haircut. I buzzed my head again. The wind here is out of control. (Usually like 80 mph) super fuerte. So I got sick of my hair always getting messed up due to the wind.  So it is nice and short. Haha. Nice and short. But I like it; although, I have the fear that I might go bald in a few years. Haha.

Mom, I want you to know that I am doing well. I don’t need anything. I am doing fine. We are getting up to play basketball every single morning. We eat a lot of cookies. We sometimes beat box and write funny rap songs at night, just to keep ourselves entertained. We make funny videos on my camera. I will show them to you someday.

I am glad that you had fun with the Borup’s. Cool son must equal cool parents. That is a fact. Hey, I got Adrienne’s Christmas card. Tell her thank you. Her kids are cute. We make pasta a lot with hot dogs in it. Also, we eat beans almost every single day here. I don’t like them at all because they make me sick to my stomach. But, it does serve me to lower my weight a little bit.

Sorry it is a little short this week. I had a lot to read and a couple emails to write. I had to write a long one to the Mission President this week. But hey, be good. Read your scriptures. Pray. Don’t miss me too much. I love you.

Much Love,

Elder Warren

Elder Keetch, Cristian, Isabel, Antonela, Elder Warren


January 20, 2014


Hey, this week was a pretty good week. We spent like half of the week in Punta Arenas. We stayed in the Zone Leader’s house along with the Elders from Puerto Natales. Six Elders in a house that is built for 2!!!  Haha. We were there for three nights. The interviews were fine. President just gave me advice about how to work with the branch here to be able to strengthen it. There is definitely some strengthening to be done here. There were like 15 Members at church, us, and one investigator. The asistencia is super low here. But, it is alright. We are working on that. But anyway, I didn't actually get to leave to work with Elder Borup. I left with his companion one day, and with Elder Monson another day. He is from Pleasant Grove.  Oh, and to answer your question...President travels the whole mission once every six weeks. So he comes to Punta Arenas once every six weeks, but he never comes to Porvenir. I think he came here only once when he first got to the mission, so almost three years ago. He goes home in June, I think. They already called the new Mission President. UN Mexicano. I can’t remember his name.

We made it back in time for the wedding!!! That was sweet. I sent you a picture so that you could see. They are cool people and I was super happy to see them make the decision to get married. She is a member, and he is going to get baptized on Saturday. They already have the date to go to the temple in like a year!  Super exciting!  But during the wedding I couldn't really help but think to myself that I want to go about getting married in a different way. In the temple the first time before I have kids. Haha. But it was sweet. After the wedding we had an activity in the capilla to help them celebrate! It was sweet. We made brownies from scratch, and they actually turned out really well. They were really good.

Porvenireños.... are interesting people. Most people here are extremely unfriendly. In other sectores it is easy to talk to 30 or more new people in a day. Here.... we are lucky if we talk to 5 new people. If we knock 20 doors, 19 of them won’t even be opened. So... it is difficult. Almost every single person here has already heard all about the missionaries and wants nothing to do with us. Haha. But we still try and talk to them anyway. There ARE people here that need the gospel. There ARE people here that are ready to hear it, but we just have to be patient and keep looking for them. So that is what we will do.

Hey, that is fantastic news that you are reading the Book of Mormon again. Read it. Every single day. I do it. That is what keeps me going. I love the Book of Mormon. I read it... a lot. Haha. Whenever I have time I try to read it. So keep on that, and I guarantee that you will see the blessings.

Hey, have a good week! Hope you are doing well. Enjoy dinner with the Borup’s. Tell them I say hi. And... I haven’t really received my package yet. We don’t see mail too often down here. It is probably in the office in Osorno, though. No worries.

Elder Warren