Where do I send letters?

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

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Surprise call. . .shh.

Oh, how I love Josh's Mama in Argentina.  She is great, and a sneak.  She and I share the same birthday.  She dialed up my cell phone on my birthday.  Then when it worked she handed it to Josh and surprised us both with a call.  The 2 minute 6 second call cost 35 minutes on my cell phone--Eeek, but was well worth it.  Enjoy the new email and have a great day.

Signing off for now,
The Mama  (in the USA)

Haha, I will tell you the story.
We were waiting for her (Mama in Argentina's) b-day dinner and she asked, ''You got to call your Mom today, right?'' 

"No, I will in 2 weeks though!"

''That is just horrible, what is her number Elder, I am at least going to send her a message, she deserves that, the wonderful woman. This is me, not you, don't worry.'' 

I gave her your number not thinking there was a chance of a cell phone in a concrete house in Argentina getting to your's in UT. 

''I don't know if that went through, I will try and call her, does she understand spanish?'' 

"Yeah, sure, she understands, go for it."   

I did NOT think this was going to work, actually, no one did. Her son, and 2 of his friends (one male, one female) were there, too, and we were just talking when you answered!!! 

She said, ''Hello,'' and then looked at me and gave me the phone.  ''Talk to your mother elder!''
I thought I heard Dad saying I shouldn't talk to you and realized that it was probably an expensive call, that is why I cut it short!  It was so nice to talk to you. Both girls in the room kept talking about your screaming and how much I was smiling. Elder Palmer thought it was just great too (he called his Mom on her b-day as well to say hi)
Yeah, happy birthday, Mom. Your present is coming home with Elder Palmer, along with Ben's, and Sadie's.
So, I am going to buy about 30, 40 pesos of phone cards here and use that to call, it should be alot cheaper. Don't be suprised if you get another call a few days before to make sure they work and don't eat up the minutes. (the 2 minute call used 7 pesos here!)
Elder Pranter was one of the best missionaries I ever met. Great district leader, he LOVED his mission. To a point that is inspiring. He was NOT going to go before (we kinda knew each other before the mish) He was the lead guitarist in a heavy metal band, was making a TON of money at his job,(hence the NICE car) and several other things. Gave it all up and COMPLETELY changed. He even had hair before...
Story time!
Ok, not much of a story this week. But Nancy came to church! We kinda taught her again in the street (she wasn't there when we went over, but we called and got an appt. for later.) It went well! She likes the church, and her husband and father in law read the BoM too!

Javier and Paola and still good! Javier read and prayed and really liked it! I told you about them right? If I didn't, remind me, I will tell you next week. He then started asking questions about death and stuff. Cue, plan of salvation this week. HAHAHA. If only they were married...
So, I was kinda feeling bad for not having alot of ''success'' awhile ago. (we had divisions with our new dist. leader this week, did not help...ugh. I will tell you about that in a letter, as I am not supposed to share negative stuff over email. Sufficent to say, well Elder Palmer said it. ''We work so much smarter, oh, the whole time I was thinking ''where is Wart? We wouldn't doing this right now!'' I was doing the same thing.)
Because of what the Lord has allowed us to do in this area, we have:
Introduced the gospel to 14 people who have come to church, read, kept commitments, and would be baptised if they were married or older and able to be.
Reactivated one of the best families in the ward nad baptised their son
Helped a new ward missionary program get on it's feet and actually work
And lots of other stuff
I stopped feeling bad for not knocking doors all day long. 
Holy cow, look how the times flies, I should have learned to type faster, you were so right.
I love your spiritual thoughts btw.
I found a new great missionary scripture! D&C 24:8
''and if God be for us, who can be against us?'' (that is in Romans I think...yeah)
Remember the Lord is always with you, Mom, ask to feel his spirit when you are down.
Hugs and kisses from Argentina, I will talk to you soon.
Love you all.
Your missionary son
Elder Joshua Wartena

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Read the Book of Mormon in two weeks

Here is a fun letter.  It also has a very nice spiritual moment.  Enjoy!

Signing off for now,
The Mama

Haha, we tried to make a cake this week! Well, cinnamon rolls, it failed miserably!!! Probably something to do with substituting ingredients and possibly bad yeast.
So, I love the photos! I used to ride that bus to school every day. Now I ride buses in Argentina almost every day! The difference, a bus here costs about 50 cents...
Well, mirĂ¡ vos. I was just telling E Palmer about how you guys are doing the house. That's cool! I am excited to come back to a different house.
Jealous of your weather btw, it is very cold here. Or at least getting there. If there is sun and the wind stops blowing, not that bad, but brrrrrr! I am thankful for bringing good clothes.
This week I finished the book of mormon! The mission wanted us to read it in 30 days...I got stuck studying 2 nephi, as usual. So I essentially read it in 2 weeks, half english, half spanish. Now I am going to finish it all in spanish. Really interesting reading it FAST fast. You see how it all works together, how the problem is nearly all the same, and the solution too. It's the same today! While I was reading, I saw Jehovah's Witnesses with the Zoramites, the wards here in the Nephites (not at the Nephites' good times) heard General Conference all over again with Jacob, King Benjamin, and Alma. Was reminded of Pres Deflefsen in Mormon and Moroni, and wanted to write in my journal after Nephi.

It's just so good!

I will tell you a spiritual experience. We were street contacting, not exactly the funnest part of the work, but we needed to find people. After going through the normal I'm too busy, I'm catholic, and the random crazy religious person you always seem to find, we were walking down a street, when we saw a lady a block or so down a cross street and both kept walking. Well, about 5 ft later we both turned around in unison and said, ''Alright!  We'll go talk to her.''  We just knew that we should. I don't know how the spirit always talks to us, or how we respond, or how it sounds. But as a missionary you just KNOW you have to do something. Sometimes it doesn't matter how loud it is outside, you KNOW without any shadow of a doubt that you HAVE to do something.
This happens on probably a daily basis, whether it be studying something, seeing someone, or going somewhere. Something doesn't always happen, but as a missionary I feel like that is the strongest impressions of the Spirit we have on a regular basis.
Oh, this lady is awesome! She said we could walk with her and her 1 yr old to the park (she was pushing a stroller) and talk with her. Then she started asking us questions about the church, what we believed, and we pretty much taught the 1st lesson, gave her a book of mormon, talked about the family, and walked with her to her house too. (it was getting dark, and there were alot of...not good looking people out, we would have walked her home anyway. But, she wants us to come back saturday (she is married too! AGH!!!!) and teach more. She likes how we talked about the family being together forever. Her name is Nancy! WOOHOO!
I think the resting part is the hardest too.
So yeah, that's about all the exciting things that happened this week. I mean, a little dog bit my ankle then ran before we could kick it (no broken skin, no worries) the eye doctor told me my eyes are perfect, but should go to a regular doctor, I walked in the atlantic ocean again today, and we had the Gigli family's friends at church, along with Martin's gma! I will keep you updated as we teach them!. :D
We're still doing well, still happy.
(oh, I am staying here with Palmer until he goes home in 5 weeks. I will be his first and last comp to be with this long. But he says I am his best comp too, so it's ok!)
Thanks for everything Mom, I love you too. Hope this week is great. Enjoy the weather, keep smiling, and give everyone a big hug and kiss for me.
Love you all
Your son and brother
Elder Wartena

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

New photos on the flickr site. Go see!

Dear Mom,

AGH!!! What is happenening to Orem!!?? The park is all different, you can no longer have the cool bike thing with the slides, the make out hills are gone, and you can't get scared jumping off the stage for the first time!!! Harmons is all different, next thing you know State Street will get new crosswalk things that actually work properly!!!
I'll just stay here in Argentina, so there.
Kidding! Speaking of Orem, we had dinner last night with the family who has a son in the Provo mission close to the mission HQ. There where showing us pictures of him at the Provo Temple, of a church on 8th east, it was pretty trunkyish. Then they had to bring up the photos of when he was in St. George, and E Palmer just about died. Anyways, it was a good dinner. They have a son on a mission, one a year away, and a 1 year old. Whoops...
Good family.
Well, I am much more good looking than when I left, no worries, but not as strong I am sad to report, juggling...yeah. I took out my beanbags to practice the other day and very nearly cried. Lack of practice hurts. And when E Pranter goes home the end of this week, I will feel less humble about my guitar playing skills. (he is REALLY good) Oh, I will be sending Dad's present home with him and some letters, I will let you know his address next week if you woulnd't mind driving a few minutes. (he was in our stake before, so it isn't as though he lives in Idaho, no worries.) Your's and Ben's gift will come home with E Palmer, they haven't be finished yet.
The food, hahahaha...so, methinks I ate something that gave me a weird reaction, and our neighbor says that is what happened. I at first thought it was a bug attack, but they weren't bug bites, and there were more thank 25 on my bicep area alone. Well, they are pretty much gone now, but it was a good experience. (thank heaven for anti itch cream and already having chicken bites and vaccinations, we knew it was none of that)
Yeah, food is pretty much the same of Tres Arroyos, lots of Rice and Pasta. Empenadas, Milenesas, Pizza (kind of...Argy style) Meat meat and more meat! Sorry I haven't sent as many photos, I don't carry my camera around with me all the time anymore. Tres Arroyos was safe, but in Mar Del stuff can get stolen.

Ben is baptized, that is weird. Very very weird.

So, I have nearly finished the BoM, it will be done by sat. (this would be reading it in under a month, phew mission goal was in a month, but I got stuck studying Nephi!) And I have been paying more attention to the whole family unit in the BoM. Maybe something to do with EVERY TALK in gen conf being about the family, I don't know. But the scriptures are really just stories of families. Bible starts with Adam and Eve and their family. BoM, I Nephi, having been born...etc. I think the Lord is trying to tell us something. We are all family!!! He loves us! Yeah, it's kind of obvious, but struck me this week.
So, I think there is a problem with the mail, with my address, something, because I have not recieved anything since December. Thank heaven for email...

Well, I will let you know what is happening with all our investigators here.
Yeah, our ward mission leader is frustrated. ''When the missionaries work, we have no help from the ward, and vice versa, why can't we coordinate!'' The bishop is kinda falling apart, and just exhausted. He is a young guy, and really hasn't learned how to delegate everything, and no one is helping him, and it is just sad.
So what do we do? Well, we go through the area book again, knock doors, and just do what we should. Stuff happens, but it doesn't seem as though we are teaching many new people. Still haven't had contact with the girlfriend guy since the first good initial lesson. Same with Brisa and Rocio, just can't get catch them. School requires time or something ridiculous like that. :) We are having some fun contacts though, this old lady last night who gave us 2 of her church's magazines. Essentially the New Era and Ensign. The have 12 apostles, a head apostle, laying on of hands, baptism, holy sealings, and started in 1850. We were trying to teach her, but she was convinced we were basically the same church. Really really weird... We had a good time looking through their magazine though. Let's just say they do NOT have ''for the strength of youth'' or the young women are required to wear much less clothing to confirmations. Speaking of other religions, we contacted 2 Jehovah's Witnesses the other day, we were so bored. They turned out to by 13 and 15, so we let them go, bwahaha. They could get in trouble for talking to us, you have to be like a level 5 to talk to a Mormon. I got a book though! What the Bible really teaches. Fascinating stuff, I had no idea that God prefers us to die than get a blood transfusion...man am I glad to be in the true church.
However, we are still working with the brother in law of the ward mission leader and his inactive wife. Following the example of Ammon and helping him build his house (Ammon, service, yeah) He is alot more willing to have us in his house, so we are moving along.
Oh, English class is fun. I don't think I will ever not laugh when someone asks me what the F word means, or one of it's variations...especially in church.

I really like that Mom, the whole big paragraph. I have been reading old conference talks we have in the house, and have once again decided that I love James E Faust. I have several things, lists in my journal. Including, life goals, movies to see, quotes, books, just things like that. And I really like this poem I found in one of his talks (I added it to my quotes, that is why I brought that up. Oh, your email signature thingy is in there too, btw)

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
Yeah, that is just cool stuff.

The mission is getting better, now that all of the old people with the old bad habits are gone. I guess the last mission pres was a lot more lenient. But yeah, we are doing well.
Really decided to redo my obedience goals again. To make them more a part of everything, and not something I have to decide. Just to make the rules more part of life and less of a thing to worry about. If that makes sense...reading in Alma about all that amazing missionary stuff, I will let you know more about it next week. The Zoramites were esentially Jehovah's witnesses, without the missionary work!

haha, thanks for that Mom, I miss grocery stores too...

Well, thanks for everything and I will talk to you next week!

I love you all
Your missionary son and brother
Elder Joshua Wartena

Favorite part? Just knowing that you can have the spirit with you all the time and have a greater awareness of it because of the time you spend working with the gospel