Where do I send letters?

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

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wednesday is my favorite day!

Dear Family and Friends,

It's funny how a day of the week becomes your favorite. For 8 weeks I loved Fridays. Then the favorite changed to Monday. What do ya know? Now I love Wednesdays. I'm just so fickle. Oh, well. You never know how much you're gonna miss them until they're gone. Even if you've been imagining this separation since they were two weeks old, and crying about it on a regular basis, you don't know how bad the hurt is going to be or how large the whole in your life will feel when they are gone. Every Wednesday we write, read, chat, and laugh. Then the email is turned off and the momma cries for a little bit. Some weeks are more tear stained, some are less.

Now don't worry. I'm fine. We're all fine. We just miss each other's daily company. It is truly the very best feeling in the world to know your kid is Choosing The Right. It makes a lot of the hurt better. Those times when I get to feeling real lonely and sad, I take a few minutes to read conversion stories of people. To read about a person who didn't have the gospel in their life who one day chose to listen to LDS missionaries can change your whole perspective. I feel a connection to the people Josh is teaching. We pray for them. We see their faces in the pictures, hear their stories, and have joy in their changed lives. A mission is a good thing after all--and for a while there I really didn't think I was ever going to be able to say that.

So here is another weekly partial letter from our missionary to share with you. Please enjoy this journey with us.


It's MY MOM!!!

Well, I am glad you had an exciting valentine's day, yup yup. Sooooo, yeah. We are tired! We are working very hard, it's nice, and odd at the same time. The ward is all working together with their mission plan and telling us to come over because they will have someone to teach, etc. Very awesome.
Let's tell you about our peoples here.
Juan and Celia will be baptised as soon as his divorce papers go through and they can be married. In the meantime we hope to baptise their kids!
Paula and her family. Her two daughters just come to church and will be baptised as well. We just need to teach the lessons and get the Mom in on it.
Richard wants to start coming to church, but he is a security guard who gets home at about 4 or 5 am, and is very tired but comes to church. He is going to get married to the member who he is living with and will be baptised.
Laura and her daughter Deborah are bomb investigators who just need to pray and come to church.
Martin is the 18 friend of a member who goes to church, youth conference, and will be baptised as soon as he prays
Then we have the Beloqui family who has some friends they have been teaching about the temple and are all amazing apparently.

It's a good time

And those aren't counting the less actives we are working with and the members, bishop, ward mission leaders and missionaries, etc. etc.
It pretty much rocks.
We had 6 people in church, that we didn't know were coming or brought.
We had a good cold night and rain this week, so the bugs have gone down quite a bit, which is nice. I was becoming a mosquito farm I swear...
We have a zone conference tomorrow, I will let you know how that goes.
Sorry this is like bullet points, the week just flew by and I don't have my ''email notes'' to write the stuff I wanted to remember.
Elder Palmer and I are still doing well, we are teaching well together, studying, yeah.
Anything specific you would like to know?
Yesterday was really cool, we went to a recent converts house to teach paula's kids the restoration, and one of her kids (the member) brought a couple friends! So we ended up watching the movie and teaching a ton of people the lesson. Felt like primary!

Yeah, if you haven't gathered, I am doing very well. Spanish, teaching, everything. Helps as well that the bishop told us that we shouldn't waste alot of time knocking doors. So we haven't, and have had alot more success finding and teaching worthwhile people (they are all worthwhile, but some won't listen, ya know)
Maybe it sounds like I am counting my chickens before they hatch, but I'm just happy!
What else, dang it..
I am officially playing futbol with Argentines, and being pitied...My poor comp, he played soccer in college, and loves it, but I never have, so I just get put in the goal half the time! I'm alright with it though, I learn alot watching.

Hmmm, studying the JSH this week, really good! Every time I read it I am just so impressed with how crazy his story is. I mean, the church is true. All these people don't join a church because a 14 said he saw God and was given gold scriptures buried in a hill 1400 years unless it's true!

Jon Bytheway is way good! I listened to a whole bunch of his talks in Tres Arroyos, I love how he talks about the scriptures. He teachs them like they are as familiar to him as his journals, and that personal.

Yeah! I think that is about how I am doing this week, just great.
Thanks for all the prayers, support, and just everything.

I love you so much, Mom!

Your missionary son
Elder Joshua Wartena

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Little Piglet writes again

Dear Mom

I love the song!

Insert here a portion of the email and the song he is referring too:

(Now, you must put yourself into a singing mood for the time being and sing the following to the tune High On the Mountain Top. Just do a syllable per beat and all will be well. : ) )

High on the mountain top
A banner was unfurled
The mother sat and typed a letter to her son.

She typed and typed and typed
Quite early in the morn
Just so he'd have some mail
Not be forlorn.

My favorite teaching moment? I was doing divisions in Santa Monica, and a recent convert asked a question about something he read in Revelation. This guy just has shelves of great philosophers and their books, tons of notebooks full of notes, and is probably one of the smartest people I have ever met. (Very humble conditions though, you would not expct it) He is very very smart, and is just soaking up the gospel. His wife (they just got married) is a member and I think he because converted a few weeks ago from athiesm because of her. He said how he knows it is way important to learn the basics, but he is just learning so fast! He asked a question about something in Revelation though and wanted to know the answer. I never thought all my random knowledge about that stuff would come in handy. The guy is just so cool! He is absorbing the gospel and just devouering (spelling, yeah) the scriptures and gospel principles. But he also wants to know about the other stuff he finds! Just an incredibly smart person who is using his brains to gain this knowledge. We connected well, and he told Elder Pranter to bring me back soon.

Most difficult? Probably the Jehovah's Witnesses who lie to you and switchstuff up about their church. Doesn't help that most of them aren't allowed to talk to you. You have to be at a certain level to talk to a mormon. But last night we were with a less active lady and her boyfriend who is living with her and her two friends (one of whom spoke english so well she just sounded like she was from louisiana. She ended up giving us a ride home from dinner, and we just got to speak English the whole time. It was cool to explain what we do and the church in English!)

gmail shut down and my computer froze for about 10 minutes, so it is even shorter than at first.

Don't worry! All good answers to your list this week.
We had a BBQ with our neighbors this weekend, it was awesome. Even though we ended up spending alot more on meat than we would have liked.
We also went fishing this morning, it was fun.

And now it must needs be that we go to a meeting with the ward, and I have to stop. I have not really responded to everything you have written, but thank you. You are the one link I have to everything that is going on i the family, Mom! (well, Dad of course, but it is different) Thank you so much. I love your emails, they make my week, you have no idea!

I love you so much, Mom!
Your little piglet with a plaque on his pocket.

Elder Joshua Wartena