Where do I send letters?

Elder Joshua D. Wartena
Casilla de Correo 70
Bahia Blanca 8000
Buenos Aires

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

This week I shall update on the day it happens--WOW!

Dear Friends and Family,

For Christmas we got to talk with Josh for over 2 hours. It was fantabulous! He sent a package full of letters, coins, and a few presents. Jeff and Chris look totally awesome in their new Argentine soccer jerseys. He is doing quite well, and they had their first two baptisms the Friday before Christmas. Josh is hoping for a transfer in January and to be a trainer in March. He is also starting to dream in Spanish, but I'll let you read about that below.

You'll want to be sure to visit the Flickr account link and see the new pictures of our boy. Most of the new ones are of the missionaries during their 8 hour wait at the Mar del Plata bus station.


Ok, I'm not worrying to much about writing alot, because we talked so much! I also said most everything there.
I love the pictures!

All I have to say, very exciting. Go working out! We have started to do that in the Tres Arroyos house, and it is quite fun for some reason.

I started having dreams in Spanish this week! Definitely weirding me out though, even if it is a good sign.
Our investigators are doing well. Slower week with Christmas, parties, and new year, but good! We are teaching a Jehovah's Witness family, Veronica and Gaston. I actually enjoy it, they ask hard questions and pay attention. Not sure if it's because they are genuinely interested, but they are fun to talk to. Working alot with Blanca's family now, and her daughter Andrea even said the prayer after reading 3 Ne 11 and watchign the testaments!
Yeah, just plugging along. I might be training in march! We have over 20 missionaries dying, and alot of leadership that will need to be filled. Chances are I will be out this transfer, get a comp for one transfer, and then train one of the newbies. I really hope so, that seems like so much fun to me.

I love you Mom, I hope you like the pictures I added this week! Thanks for all the good wishes and the quote. I love quotes, you know...
haha, flyaway! Don't worry, I'm still doing very well.
Thanks again for talking to me so much. I'm praying for you all and love hearing about everything
I love you!
Your missionary son
Elder Joshua Wartena

Signing off for now,
The Mama

Saturday, December 5, 2009

December 2, 2009—a short update


Alright, I have a full 10 minutes to write you this week. Due to miscommunication, not knowing where people are, lots of walking, and bus schedules, Elder Torres and I have 10 minutes. Yeah...I'm kinda mad about it. I had alot to write to you guys.
Mom, thank you for the email, it was great! Even though I can't respond to everything.
Dad, thank you for the scripture study outline/ideas. They really correspond creppily well with what I'm studying in pers. study.
Chris, do you like Argentina Nation Team or River jerseys better?
I will be writing you all an actual letter about things here and sending it next Pday, so it should get to you by christmas. The big news of this week is that we have 3 baptisms scheduled for the 20 of december. Yay...kind of. I think only one of them is going to be ready. The other 2 are extended family of the screwed up Branch pres.' wife, and it is a bad situation that I do not feel good about. Missionaries have the keys of baptism in their area, and I do not think they should be baptized this soon and with this situation. More about that as it unfolds though.

I love you all!
Thanks again for everything, sorry about the email this week.

Elder Wartena

Josh was attending an area pday and things got cut short. He had to take a 8 hour round trip bus ride to Necochea for the event. I guess it's worth it for the missionaries to spend time together. He sounds much happier these days.

Signing off for now,

The Mama

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Mama has a comment to add

We posted a link to Josh's photobucket account. You can find it in the links on the right hand side of the blog. Be careful though. Photobucket doesn't have the best of advertisers. We always put up a smaller size book on the left side of the screen to hide the photos that come up. The pictures are fun.

Second, a mother posted on November 18th here that her son had just entered the MTC headed to Bahia Blanca for a mission. I wish I knew who she was. It is wonderful to feel the support of other mothers with sons on missions. When a sister at church who has "been there, done that" speaks to me or throws me one of those "I know what you are feeling" looks, I just feel bonded and loved. My best wishes go out to the new missionary mother of November 18th.

Signing off for now,
The Mama

The Day Before Thanksgiving 2009

Haha, choir huh? I'm glad it was fun, but 4 am? Blech. But I'm not a morning person, as you know. Elder Torres learned that one after trying to grab my feet a coule times to wake my up early. ''No toca mis pies...enserio.'' That sounds fun though!
We're doing well, apart from E. Torres being ridiculously sick to his stomach and our Branch Pres being an idiot, but I told that in Dad's email, so for sake of time, I won't repeat. But yeah, the branch is our biggest hinderance, sadly. The other Branch actually gives us more support than our's does.

I will try my card today, I promise, and let you know! There is actually only a Wal-Mart in Bahia, but apparently it is quite good. You can buy Peanut Butter there (one of the things in short supply and not allowed to be shipped due to some disease thing) and many of those good things.

Thanksgiving sounds fun! No worries, we shall have a good Thanksgiving here. I will cook a very large chunk of meat to eat and we will eat it. Logical, no?
But have fun, take pictures, etc! (<-------please, and not the etc.)

We saw UP this morning for our zone activity while in Necochea for pday! Our choich of movies is quite limited (church stuff and certain G movies) but UP was so good! I loved it, if I may say so. Also had quite the ridiculous game of ultimate going on. Hot day, so we all worked up a sweat.
Unfortunately, not much was done this week due to sickness and the conf, so this email is much shorter, I apologize. I did put several more pictures up on photobucket though, so enjoy those! Yeah...
We hopped a train! It was only going about 2 miles an hour, but we did it! I just feel cool saying that, even if it was only to get to the other side.
We sure cooked alot this week too. Learning dishes from Peru, yes Mam. Quite delicious too, if I may say so. Alot of rice, pasta, bread...carbs...yeah.

hmmmm, yeah. That's the week. Seems alot lamer now that I'm looking back and trying to tell you about it. Hopefully next week will be much more exciting! Your snow sounds fun...hehe.
Something I shared with Sadie about the scriptures this week, maybe you'll like it!

sScriptures are amazing. 2 Ne 6-8
Ch. 6 about being someone of the Lord by applying and learning from the scritures. Like...
Ch. 7 It is an individual process we have to go through
Ch. 8 Remembering covenants doesn't hurt either.
Just alot of how when we're going through rough times the Lord is there. He is ALWAYS by our side. The only reason he isn't is WE seperate ourselves (7:1) He always calls us, because we can't overcome without Him. If we are doing what we know we should, we know He is there with us. Which means whatever is going on can't overcome us. We just have to go a certain distance until He will take over. Very helpful and comforting, especially since I'm feeling like I am having so little success in the beginning of my mission. Turns a disheartening feeling into almost a ''fine, I'm going to keep going because I know it's right. But I need your help''

I love you all! Really, it's true! Especially you, Mom. Thanks for everything you all do for me.

Your misisonary
Elder Joshua Wartena

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A new day . . . a new companion

Yes, indeed, that makes 5 companions in 3 1/2 months. This companion speaks no English. Fun, huh?! Here is part of the email we got today. Yeah, today. P-day changed to Wednesday this week. He is busy.

MOM! I love you, Mom!

OK, life in Tres Arroyos this week? Fun, I guess. I got to try my skills at fixing our toilet this week and I am proud to say that after a good amount of fishing life, it is now fully funtional. I also got attacked by some bug (I think it was walking through some high grass) but the bites are gone now! Hopefully the little scars will leave...just kidding! It's a beautifully wonderful day (yes, it's a word!) and just a little humid.
haha, yeah, my fifth comp. But I'll keep this one awhile, I promise!

What do we do on Pday? Well, we got a haircut today! Yeah...we usually get grocery shopping done, clean the house, take a long nap! Study things we've been wanting to but don't have time. Mostly just unwind. There really isn't that much to see in the City that we don't see walking and teaching anyway, but we can go find think we'd like to buy and of course, write our family. Technically, we're only supposed to spend an hour writing emails, but we always go over uploading pictures, writing everyone, etc. So don't shorten your emails, I love them!

Ok, I had some great scripture studies this week I wanted to share with you. I'm reading the standard works in 2 languages and Jesus the Christ again (in English...) and it is so amazing! The scripture that says how everything testifies of Christ is so true! Every story is everything and all the prophets are of Christ! A great talk, finding Christ in the Old Testament that I printed in the MTC really has some cool stuff.

Also, Nephi was a STUD! Lehi in 2 Ne ch 1 says how it is pretty much because of him that they survived. He had such love for his butthead brothers (yeah, I'm still me, can ya tell?) that he desired there eteranl welfare constantly! So many times we read how he spoke to them in the energy of his soul. How can we do that? The different levels of ''sorrow'' they had leading up to repentance is an interesting this to apply to us too. 2:14, 4:4, 7:21, 15:20, 16:5, 16:39 in 1 Nephi. What was their attitude in each situation and what caused it? I just love the scriptures. Think when I get back I might just spend most of my time reading them, because we don't have enough here!

So, cats are fun...especially when they take a liking to your bag whenever you visit a house. Made me laugh. Ok, weird thing about Argentina. Women will just breast feed with no shame. It is absolutely incredible, not even a blanket or anything. Just pull the shirt up or down in the middle of a lesson and go for it. Can't think of many things that catch you more off guard than that...

I made alfredo sauce without a recipe this week! I was pretty proud of myself, I must admit. I was craving some and it ended up being a really good cheesy white sauce.
You think you like ice cream in the states? You need to come down and try Victorias Helados. Oh my gosh, so good. Sure, it's 20 pesos for a half-kilo, which is double Grido's, but if you want good ice cream...

Just a good week.

E. Torres and I get along pretty well. The language barrier isn't a problem. Yeah, the two cultures colliding and adapting to each other takes some work, but we have the Lord's help, so it isn't too bad.

Yeah, it's good. I am still getting used to it, but I like Argentina alot. Still haven't really realized I'm HERE yet. Just feels like living.

Your eldest son and missionary
Elder Joshua Duveua Wartena

I am so grateful this week for modern technology. To be able to actually hear from him weekly is such a comforting thing. He sounds well. Thanks to all of you for your support.

Signing off for now,

The Mama

Monday, October 26, 2009

Excerpts from this week's letter

Dear Madre,
I should probably say something about my week too. I put most of the info in the email to Dad, so I will not use time writing it here. I had fleas this week! Anti itch cream is SO NICE. They seem to have gone now (I think I got them from another elder…)
Argentina has orange trees! And lime, and lemon, pretty cool. Oh, I also saw a monkey climing a tree in someone´s backyard this week, that was pretty weird. We had a lunch with a nice member lady, and she had this ´´famous argentine food´´ that was almost exactly porcupine balls! The rice was in a sauce out of the meatballs, but thought you would all like to know you are already eating argentine food! Hmmmmm, the week has been pretty boring on this end, I don´t even have good pictures or anything!

Things I will never take for granted again:
Water pressure
Dryers (although using a line is nice for some reason)
Showering and using the bathroom barefoot
Peanut butter
Sliced bread (ridiculously expensive, those bagget thingies are real cheap though)
Cars and bikes
English, hahaha

These are also some of the things I love most about argentina though.

Doo de doo.
So, I´ve been studying how to gain the spirit in teaching and bearing testimony, Preach my Gospel has great stuff! Chapter 4 I definitely recommend, and ch 11. Also studying charity (yeah for charity…) and have started Jesus the Christ again. Reading the BOM in English and Spanish at the same time, the tree of life is such and amazing couple of chapters! Really enjoying it.
I´m so glad to know you´re ok physically, Mom. I´m praying for you all down here, and working hard. Hope the blessings come through! Oh, good luck with the Organ! :D

And yes, I can print out the emails, no worries.
Well, I am going to run! Not literally, we´ll probably call a taxi (yeah, it´s pretty cool to use taxis and all…) and go eat! You see, it´s 11:30 here, and way nice outside!
I love you all! Thank you so much for the letters, prayers, and just being great.

Your son, brother, and missionary
Elder Joshua Duveau Wartena

Gunnar Ekelof wrote that every human being is allowed 180 seconds of pure and unmitigated happiness--not 180 seconds at once, but total over a lifetime.  I don't believe it.  Chris informed me that Josh should write approximately 104 emails during his mission, and that that adds up to 104 moments of pure joy for the Mama.  And then, if you multiply 104 emails by 6 sons it equals 624 moments of pure joy.  Ah, he is a sweet son.  He just likes knowing what his mom will be like while he is off serving a mission in 2 1/2 years.

Signing off for now,
The Mama

Friday, October 16, 2009

Josh is doing well in Tres Arroyos, Argentina. Here are some excerpts from his last
email dated October 12, 2009.
PHEW! Ok, lots to type and all, so bear with me. Apparently it´s a holiday in ARG and we didn´t get an internet cafe place until tonight, so sorry if I forget to say or reply to some things.
This week was really good! We had no investigators (yeah...) But through knocking doors, we now have 7 new investigators!
Augustine--we only taught her once, but have a return appointment this Tuesday. She is a girl who is probably 15ish and was very interested and feeling the spirit.
Familia Moro--Odd, we ended up teaching only the Dad, even though the son was who we originally taught. He was all ready to start reading the entire Book of Mormon for us, but we explained that he didn´t have to do that (but if he wanted to...) We´re excited for this family.
Tayln(spelled wrong, I know it)--Older lady who let us in because we were wet (it rained ALOT this week) She is deaf in one ear, but once she got her hearing aid in, she was happy to listen. She is catholic, but then told us she doesn´t like her religion (most people are catholic, most don´t practice).
Ailyn--Ok, so we had one kind of investigator. We started over though, and haven´t been able to get hold of her. We´re slightly nervous, but we´ll keep trying.
Diana--She is one of three teenagers who yelled at us from the street when we were walking past this little clothes shop. Ended up teaching them and giving them all BOM and return apps at their houses. She was the only one who wanted to listen though, to the point where she was telling her friend Sol to be quite and sit down.
Yeah! We had a full quarter of our zone´s new investigators. We´re also working with several inactive or part-member families. Yeah! Fun stuff, real work starts this week, when we have to keep the investigators, get them to church, find more, etc. Ok, just saying that real quick. We walk alot in our area. Unfortunately, all our investigators are on the far side of town (literally the other side of the train tracks) but my legs feel great!
We had a zone conf. this week. All in Spanish, but I actually got alot of it. After the 4th hour though, my brain was mush. Spanish is good though, I´m learning so much every day and understanding a ton. The ward members are very impressed with how much I can speak, so maybe it´s not as bad as I thought it was.
The ward is great! Well, the Branch pres. is kinda odd, and his family, but apart from that they are all so loving and helpful. I have decided no one can ever say that getting up to bear your testimony is hard in an english ward. Ugh, but it was good though!
So, random comment (these are all random, I´m writing as they come.) I went to the dist. leader zone meeting last night with our dist. leader on divisions (they needed to work in his area, so we split). Ever wondered what urinal stalls would be like without the urinals? Probably not, but they had them in the Necochea bus terminal! Yup, just water dripping down the stall wall into a channel in the floor. Kinda odd...
Thank you so much for the pictures!!!! I´m uploading pictures now online for you to see, I´ll send the link too.
Mom, thank you so much for teaching me how to shop. I have found so many different ways to combine rice, bread, veggies like potatos and carrots, meat, and eating oatmeal and eggs! We´re eating very well, don´t worry. Food is so dirt cheap here. Fruit and veggies like you wouldn´t belieive. I bought 30 eggs the other night for 8 pesos. (About 2 dollars) We even made chimichangas! And the members feed us two lunches a week, so we´re very good.
Haha, today Elder Van Wagenen (who is an awesome guy) insisted (along with me) that we clean the house. 2 hours later...I´ll send pictures next week when I get them! I have a before video, so you´ll be able to see. Elder Wiltbank insisted on the bathroom, while we did the kitchen. Yeah, our house smells so good now.
Ok, we have this awesome chrucho (aka, ghetto) washing machine in our house, I´m going to have to take a picture or something. The weather has been quite horrible until today this week. Lots of rain, and even some hail last night. But today it is nice and warm. I´m already tired of people asking if I´m North American, but everyone seems to be intrigued by my name. "Si, es Hollandes!" Also, they are really into family down here, we get showed pictures of family all the time, and I´m glad I have that little picture of you guys I carry around laminated. You´re a big hit in ARG, btw.
Hmmmm, I´m going to end this one and finish the pictures, I will send more though!
Your Elder,
Elder Joshua Wartena
Here is a link to the pictures he uploaded. Have fun viewing his new area.
Signing off for now,
The Mama

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Meeting the Mission President

About 11:00 a.m. Thursday morning we received a call from a pay phone at the Salt Lake International Airport from Joshua. He was calling to say good bye and that he would call from Dallas Fort Worth a bit later, which he did about 3:00 p.m. His plane was delayed 2 hours in SLC, but I wasn't worried. You see I learned yet another reason to be totally in love with my internet service. Did you know you can "Live Track" a plane in the air?! I knew which gate he would be arriving at, when the plane actually left the ground, and when it landed. It was fun to startle him with these bits of information. You see, he didn't even know some of the stuff I had found out. All we had known was the departure and arrival predictions. We didn't even know the airline he was traveling on. We had a nice long chat with him with lots of laughing. He said he will never drive anywhere again. Flying is the life for him. The plane from Dallas had a two hour delay as well. Well, not to worry, we just left the "Live Track" up on the computer screen so we--dad & mom--could walk in at anytime in the night and see how far the plane had made it. It was fun. Josh landed safely at 9:44 a.m. Argentina time on Friday, October 2, 2009.

This morning we awoke to a surprise. Three emails from the mission-- one from Josh and two from the mission president. We expected to wait at least until the next scheduled p-day to hear anything. Thank you, Mission President. He is happy and well. His new companion is Elder Wiltbank. Tonight after conference they were going to move to their apartment which is 3.5 hours from the mission home. Elder Wartena promised to send additional information on p-day. Oh, what a pleasant surprise of a day in email world.

Signing off for now,
The Mama

Friday, October 2, 2009

He is in Argentina.

Yesterday was spent in a fun way tracking Josh's planes on www.flightview.com. He landed safely both times. But boy did they have a lot of delays. Our best calculations are that the storm which hit the Dallas area yesterday evening caused that delay of two hours. Joshua thinks he caused the morning one when he was helping a lady passenger load her carry-on luggage. I doubt that took 2 hours, but glad to hear he is being a gentleman.

Now all he has left is to get from Buenos Aires to Bahia Blanca, meet the Mission President and companion, and go to his apartment. We don't know how he will get there and look forward to hearing from him.

Thanks for all the prayers, letter, and packages you all sent his way while at the MTC. He feels very supported. Josh is just "so completely stoked I can hardly stand it. I'm finally going."

Signing off for now,
The Mama

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Thursday is flight day.

Josh is at last going to get on a plane and fly off to Bahia Blanca Argentina. He is very excited. He called earlier today to give us his flight plans. We loved talking to him. The luggage is all well under the weight limit. He needs some face wash and his SD card returned, along with a longer list of addresses. We will try to get those things to him tomorrow.

This is so fun. Please pray for his safe arrival in the mission. Josh has been on a plane ride before, but he was only 18 months old. This will be his first plane trip to be remembered. I think he will love it.

Flight plans for October 1, 2009
Depart SLC International Airport 8:00 a.m. October 1, 2009
Arrive Dallas Fort Worth Airport 3:35 p.m. October 1, 2009

Call family at home in Orem while on layover at the Dallas Fort Worth Airport.

Depart Dallas Fort Worth Airport 7:35 p.m. October 1, 2009
Arrive Buenos Aires Argentina Airport 8:30 a.m. October 2, 2009

Signing off for now,
The Mama

Friday, September 18, 2009

Exciting news folks. I'll just post the information straight from Josh's email today.

Ok, first off before anything I'm telling you the exciting thing that has happened. Guess who gets to stay in the MTC until October?!?! Yup, me. With Elder Jones. The rest of our district is going stateside. Tennesse, Illinois, and Salt Lake (yeah, E. Cox is going to SLC, he is SO mad about it. It's kinda fun to tease him about how he'll speak english...) But yeah, 27 missionaries are being reassigned.

Why did this happen? Well, we have to wait for the consul to come again and sign
our horadas (saying we're not criminals in ARG) and then we get our visas a few
days later. Why wasn't this done earlier? No idea. But Elder Jones and I were the lucky two who are staying here for some unfathomable reason. We're actually the only two who HAVE are horadas already, so it's for sure we're leaving a few days after
the 29 of sep. (when Mr. Consul comes again) So, we'll probably just attend class with the district under us and have alot of study time... This is my 3rd companion already, and I haven't left the MTC.
And please, please don't tell me there is a reason I'm staying here. That maybe
I'm supposed to touch someone's life in the RC or another missionary. I think it's because Jones and I are the last in the alphabet of Bahia Blancans. Anyways..."

He could sure use lots of letters to make the next couple of weeks less miserable. Josh is excited for the plane ride which will be his first ever. He sounds happy other than the delay. He is working hard.

Signing off for now,
The Mama

Friday, September 11, 2009

A little ditty for your ears from week #2 of the mission

Apparently I am not doing this quite right. I've spent the past 30 minutes trying to upload a video and it is just not going to work out. I need some lessons.

How about later today when I receive an email I post that instead? Thanks for your understanding.

As a note of interest, you only have one week left to send letters and packages to the MTC. After that he will be somewhere else in the world. Hoping to post later today where that will be. The UPS store by Albertson's on Center Street in Orem has same day package delivery to the MTC everyday for only $2.00. You have to drop them off by 1:30 p.m.

Signing off for now,
The Mama

Friday, August 28, 2009

Here’s a letter for you all to enjoy.

I thought you might all enjoy reading the email we received today from Elder Wartena. He sounds so happy. We got a few pictures on Monday. He was sporting a cute lava-lava skirt and a wrapped ankle. Guess he is having fun. He is looking just as cute as ever.


Thanks for all the letters family! Missionaries love getting mail!


Well, it's been a big week, so I'm just going to hit the bigger things and mail you all actual letters.


Guess who talked to an apostle this week? Yup, me.


I'll come back to that.


I've been called to be District Leader! Well, it's not official, but yeah, it's exciting. We're going to be the oldest district on Monday, and I'll be hosting new missionaries and wed. It seems too odd, I just met my host, and now I'm going to host.


Elder Scott came and spoke to us at the Tue night devotional, and E. Savage and I were Three-point range from him!!! 5th row, it's a good story how we got there. We both felt like we should go down before the meeting started (we had no idea who it was) so we made our way down about half way and then some seats that were reserved opened up and we ran to get them. Then the music director said "we don't stand for the hymns, we only stand when an Apostle walks in" Yeah, it was AWESOME. Singing called to serve and then we all stand up. His talk was on following the spirit too, so we felt cool. His testimony was the most incredible thing I've ever heard...Also, I'm going to be fine on my mission. He said 2 things specifically. "I would like to exercise a right of an apostle and confer upon you the gift of tongues" "I invoke a blessing of protection according to your obedience, judgement, and sensitivity. As an Apostle I invoke this blessing in the name of Jesus Christ." And since Tuesday it has been much easier to think/listen/speak Spanish. We feel really cool...Especially me! I got to talk into on of the microphones and answer one of his questions he was asking. (he had a few missionaries come to the microphones we have on the floor and talk)


Que mas...?

Teaching in Spanish is going well, we're all getting better. Elder Savage is

getting much better at being confident in the language, we're all very proud of him.


Bad news. The district above us that is leaving for ARG doesn't have their

visas. Nor have any missionaries that have left lately. They are sending them

all stateside until their visas come. So....that's probably what will happen to me. It could be good though! Maybe I'll go to Missouri, Independence, Spanish speaking?


There is an Elder Mcqueen here! That's for Ben and Joe, thought of them.


Ok, thank heaven for R&S grammar. (I know, who would have thought I would ever say that...) A good (or at least basic) background in parts of speech help so

much. We're learning subjunctive, which is an absolutely ridiculous tense, but it makes sense because I know what Independent and Dependent clauses are!!!


So, the Family: A Proclamation to the world is very cool.


Cool thing I learned



Jeru=Nuevo Salem=Cuidad de paz


Technoctitlan=Cuidad del Dios


The temple was great today! We did an endowment session, and I learned alot!

I've been studying about baptism and the millennium, and there is alot of cool

stuff to learn! Reading D&C 76, Moses 6 and 7 (I think it's 7 at least...) Jesus the Christ, Articles of Faith.


I also finished Our Heritage as well. I think I want to learn more about church history. One of our teachers, Hermano Oswald, knows a TON about Church history and stories, and it's amazing. Did you know the church was basically shut down in the late 1800s because of problems with polygamy and the government? All the brethren were in hiding under SLC, and the only real functioning branch of the church was the Primary! The primary kept the Church alive, essentially.


Hmmmm, not much else happened, guess it wasn't that big of a week...

I'll be writing to respond to the letters. Sorry, I don't have enough time to do it here.


Would you like another spiritual/scriptural thing? I feel like I should have one for you. The beginning of Helaman? What are your thought on the first 5 or so chapters?


Well, I'm going to go grab something to eat before laundry and letter time.

I love you all! Have a great week.


Your missionary, brother, son, and full-time servant and representative of the Lord Jesus Christ!


Elder Joshua Duveau Wartena


Hope you enjoyed that. We sure did. Thanks for all your support.

Signing off for now,

The Mama

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Email at last!

Email arrived this morning--finally. Apparently the computer freaked out, so he will hand write the rest of letter. We are just grateful to know he is well.
Blessing to all.

Signing off for now,
The Mama

Friday, August 14, 2009

No email today

I hoped to be able to update with news from Josh today; but, alas, there was no email received today. Also no hard copy mail. As a result I sit here in tears at 6 p.m. wondering if he is okay. My heart lives for the email each Friday. There is also usually 1 letter minimum each week. This is probably harder to take because Jeff and Chris and Nate are gone camping this week with no phone reception. Aren't I such a baby?

If anything arrives tomorrow I will be sure to post an update that is happier than this one. My current comment for anyone who asks, "How's it going?" is "This SUCKS!"

Signing off for now,
The Mama

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

We got pictures!

He is having a blast learning spanish and making new friends. Josh tells us that they can eat as much as they want at the MTC, so why is he trying to eat his name tag?
This is his companion, Elder Cox. If you would like to write him a letter or send a package we hear he would be grateful as none are currently coming to him.

Here we see Josh's district up at the Provo Temple taking pictures. I wish I could figure out how to upload the video of the boys singing. It is a riot. Well, I will update more later this week.
Signing off for now,
The Mama

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

And...He's off!

It has been quite the day. We spent the morning making sure we had all the stuff we needed--immunization papers, body soap, socks, camera, etc. Then we realized that the baptism pants still needed hemming. All was found and packed at last. Off to lunch at Cocolito's where we found another large gathering sending off a son on a mission to Eugene, Oregon.

The new send off at the MTC was just wonderful. You park across the street and are told to spend as much time as you need saying goodbye and taking pictures. When you are ready you get back in the car, you drive into the grounds, are sent down to the flag area, and are assigned to one of 12 spots around the door. A couple of serving missionaries come to open your doors and ask to collect your luggage for you. An older sister missionary come to say hello with her clipboard. After looking for your missionary on her list, she puts his MTC address on a card to give you. She then says you must get your camera out because the missionary helper would like to take pictures for you. You pose, and begin to cry. Then the hugging. Soon enough the luggage goes one way and the missionary goes in the doors, and you are left wiping tears. The lovely woman just thanks you over and over for bringing your missionary and letting him serve. You feel very appreciated and special. Into the car for a short drive around the back of the MTC to come out on the road by the stadium, then home. It's very short, sweet, and personal.

Chris made the comment of the day.
"We've made our missionary donation for the year." It felt just like we we're driving away from D.I. or savers. Haha.

The boys have wasted no time. The bedroom Josh, Chris, and Nate have shared has been revamped already. IT is very roomy and bright with the top bunkbed gone to the shed.

Here are a few pictures of the day. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Signing off for now,
The Mama

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Farewell Sunday

Just two more days, and then "Poof!" he will turn into a missionary. Yep, that's right. Just two more days. We will drive up to the MTC, unload him at the curb, hug, and drive home. Things are quick and easy in Provo now. Until then Josh is going to be busy packing up his stuff and packing the suitcases. Woo hoo what fun.

So many wonderful people came to share a special good-bye time with us today. We feel very loved. Thank you for coming today.

It was quite hot so little ones showed us how to cool off with the water fountain. Only one fatality occurred all day. Jojo slipped and bashed his forehead. All is good now.

Signing off for now,
The Mama

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Tick-tock, tick-tock...

The time is just not going fast enough for our missionary son these days. It just feels like July 22nd will never get here. Work is even slow.

Here are a few pictures to show how he is spending his days.

Josh and Sadie went to Summerfest and were the oldest two people in the "get your face painted" booth. They are official Borg now.

We call the new biking look "Gore!" How do you like it?

Sister Crookston bakes awesome chocolate cake. Joseph had the first corner before we new it.

Breakfast is sooooooooooooo much fun--well, at least Jo was enjoying it.

Only 31 days till he leaves.

Signing off for now,
The Mama

Friday, April 24, 2009

Argentina Bahia Blanca

He's off to South America to the Argentina Bahia Blanca Mission.  Josh is to report to the MTC in Provo, Utah, on July 22, 2009.  WOW!!!  Not anywhere we were expecting.

Got to get back to our company and son.  More later.

Signing off for now,
The Mama"

P.S.  Josh's dance partner and friend, Heather, wins the guessing contest.  She guessed Argentina.  Congrats, Heather.  You win a selection of candy bars.


We've been waiting on pins and needles every day since Sunday for the mail to arrive.  Thank goodness the mail is normally here between 11 a.m. and 12 noon.  Monday it didn't come till 4 p.m.  Yesterday I personally gave up hope when it didn't come, and had settled on the fact that it would come sometime next week.  

Lo and behold, today at 10:55 a.m. Joshua's  mission call arrived via U.S. Postal Service.  The postman knocked on the door and gave it to him personally.  Of course, we immediately called Jeff to ask him to come home for the opening.  You see, we asked him how he wanted to handle the opening of his call.  At first he was adamant that he could wait to open it once he had it in his hands. Since submitting the papers every couple of days he has changed his mind on the matter going from "everyone should be here," to, "I can't wait--only my immediate family."    Only yesterday Josh informed us that he was not going to wait for people to gather for the opening of the letter.  So today we were prepared for Jeff to leave work immediately to come home.  

I am happy to annouce that he changed his mind yet again, and has decided to wait for his friends and relatives to gather for this exciting moment.  Joshua will be opening his call at approximately 9 p.m. MST.  I don't think it will actually happen until closer to 9:30 p.m. since he is scheduled to work until then, but he thinks his boss will let him off early.

If you would like to be here for this joyous occassion we would love to have you here.   Anyone not able to attend please check back here around 10 p.m.  I will post the details of the call--a.k.a. the location and date of departure-- then.  Thanks for all your support of the years.

Signing off for now,
The Mama 

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

We just checked and YES, the papers are with the Church Headquarters.

YEAH!!!  It is really happening.

Have a Fantabulous day, and we'll be back later.

Signing off for now,
The Mama
Today is the big day--well, the first big day.  Today the papers can finally be submitted to church headquarters.  Woo Hoo!!!

We'll let you know when the call comes.

Signing off for now,
The Mama

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Hold Everything...that is until April 15th.

Alright, alright, alright...let me explain.  I got a call this morning at 8:30 a.m. from the Stake President.  After working with the computer for a while he found out that the paperwork can not be submitted until 3 months before the availabitility date.  Since Josh listed that date as July 15, 2009, the paperwork will have to wait until April 15th.  

Needless to say, Josh is a bit dissapointed at this news.  It feels just like hitting those really tall speed bumps in the Macey's parking lot.  They catch you unaware, give the car quite a jolt, but once you are on the other side of them you just slow down and proceed forward at a slower pace.  You still get where you want to be, it just takes a little bit longer.   

We were told that mission calls are coming back after the papers have been submitted within 10 to 14 days on average.  With the new submittal date it dawns on me that there is a good chance his call could arrive on my birthday, April 27th.  That would be only 12 days.  Let's wait and see.

Signing off for now,
The Mama

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Paperwork has been submitted!

Well, the time of waiting has come. Yesterday was the interview with the Stake President and all of Josh's mission paperwork was submitted. He passed--so far. Now we await "The Call." I think he is going to explode with excitement and anticipation. His mother and father are quite excited as well.

All these years of talking about and planning for a mission. It is hard to believe that the time is here. At the risk of being too sentimental, I will only say the time went by much quicker than I ever imagined.

I remember when Josh was a little tyke. One day I found him atop the back of our brown couch with a stick in his hand pointing it up high. I asked him what he was doing. He said he was Samuel on the wall with Jesus warning the Nephites that they were bad and needed to repent. He was such a cute, confident Samuel.

Please submit your guesses for where he will be called. There will probably not be a prize for a correct or close guess, but it is fun and helps to fill the waiting time.

Signing off for now,
The Mama

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Our new blog--the mission

Here is a special place for all our family and friends to come and find out how Joshua mission is going.  He has not actually started serving yet, but I thought we could start keeping you updated now.  We anticipate he will get to start serving sometime this summer.

Josh's has turned in all the paperwork he is required to submit to apply to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  Our Bishop has interviewed him and turned in all of the paperwork he is to take care of.  He is waiting for an interview with the Stake President, but don't know when he will be back in town for that.  

That's all for now.  Hope to see you back here soon.

Signing off for now,
The Mama