Where do I send letters?

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

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A week in the life of a missionary

Dear Family and Friends,

All is well, all is good.  Josh survived turning the big "20".  Now he is off tracting some more in Argentina.  

Well, we will be leaving the internet place soon, I can only hope your email gets here in time!
I love email, so easy to write you guys.
Anyways, this was a FUN week...kinda.
The World cup, ugh. I love it, and hate it. You can look up all the stats online, but really the only thing that matters is that Argentina is doing extremely well, which translates into not alot of people out, but most everyone is pretty satisfied with everything and not complaining.
Liliana dropped us, just ignored us at her door, locked the door, and won't talk to us. We don't know what happened, but suspect it has something to do with her week in Buenos Aires or something with family and someone ''talked to her' about the church. But, we have someone new to teach (finally, oh my goodness) Luciana! 22 yrs old, 2 kids, and was contacted byu the sister missionaries in their area, but lives in our's. We taught her the first lesson, and it went very well, we know get to see if she will read/pray. The family that was ''so ready to be baptised'' according to the members who gave us the reference, turns out not to want anything. I don't understand the ''when God gives me the sign, I will listen.'' You have two guys from the united states who traveled here to tell you this stuff, what more of a sign do you want!
But hey, that's life sometimes.
Still waiting on the info for the guy who wants to be baptised and has been attending another ward for a year but lives in our ward. And Brisa, just waiting to get the signature from the Mom. All fun stuff.
Contacting alot of people in the street...you sure meet the weird ones whiel working. Or the drunk ones...but that generally happened after the soccer games. Needless to say, we were advised to get home a little earlier on those days.
But yeah, Elder Walker is great, good comp, good guy. We're working really hard, it just seems like we aren't finding many people to teach.
In month 12! Definitely an odd feeling.
Well, I can't really think of anything else exciting that happened this week, or good stories. Well, we did almost get attacked by dogs, but decided to turn around and not deal with it. And were nearly drowned with all the rain this week. Got VERY cold and humid, and windy. All bundled up and thankful for coats like we never have been before.
When did I say I knew how to cut hair? Not sure, but our dist leader and then my comp asked me to. Turned out quite well if I do say so myself. But, we learned cutting your own hair is a different story. It looks fine now, hard to mess up a missionary cut, but it was close for a minute or two...
Until next week
Your missionary son and brother
Elder Joshua Wartena

Can you believe he tried cutting his own hair?  It only took him 20 years to try that one.  Most kids do it at about 3 or 4 years old.  My son . . . kinda slow, yeah.  We love him just the way he is.  He is a "special spirit".

Signing off for now,
The Mama

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The adventures of a missionary

Dear Mom
Wow, no offense to your other emails, but this weeks may be my favorite I have recieved in the mission. Just made me feel all good inside more than usual. Thanks for the talks, we don't get the magazines much down here. We have 2 from this year...I'm just hoping I can find a conference edition in English.
My birthday! So, it was spent in a zone conference, an amazing zone conference, but sitting all day long nonetheless. I got candy from Hna Detlefesen and the hnas del puerto (in our district) several members wished my happy birthday today and we have a cake/dinner thing tomorrow! I actually did not recieve your package in time, but I did get Sadie's. I'm hoping for next week, will let you know.
HA! You tell the missionaries in the Provo Utah mission to shut up and go contact some people...because your son covers a 25 mile area with one ward of about 100 actives. They cover 9 active stakes with 10+ wards in every one. Sorry, a family here has a son in the Provo Utah mission and we are slightly bitter about it.
That's cool that they came over though, who are they?
Sigh, I guess almost a year was a good run to keep my jeans...thanks for saving the coat!
Kidding, they can have the pants.
WOAH! Alex is in 5th grade...who have no idea how much that just blew my mind. Actually, you probably do, but WOAH!
Almost as weird as Jo reading...Mom...what happened?
Ok, Elder Palmer. On the 26, the US may be playing in the World Cup, ask him how that went, he will tell you. If you want to feed him something...Tater Tot Casserole. It was a running debate for 4 months who's mother made the better TTC. Please win if you can! :D
I am going to print off that talk this week if I am able to. I want to read it. Thanks.
I finally got an email from that punk, so happy.
MY headaches are gone! No worries.
Sorry about the money, I should have been able to take care of that.
I decided not to do a video right now for his court of honor. I will do one for him personally and write him as well. He's such a great kid.
Sam, home, wow.
So many big things this week back home.
Here is was a really boring week, not gonna lie. Gorgeous weather for the most part, but we were't able to work at all beacuse of meetings, divisions, and the mundial. Ah, yes, the world cup. When argentina played, we knew people were home becuase we heard the streets practiaclly explode when Argentina made their first goal.But hey, such is life sometimes. I am just glad everything is happening at once instead of slowing the work over a long period of time. Zone conference was awesome. Pres really helped us out in our area with questions we had about contacting people as well as emailing me and answering stuff. Great man...He reads the scriptures and then applies them to us like nothing I have ever seen. I will ahve to bring my notes one day to give you some of the amazing stuff he reads.
Oh, Argentina won their game. That day, every single store in the area was sold out of alchohol. Our Dist. Leader informed us it might be a good idea to head home a little early before it got dark. 
US and Englad scored 1-1
Uruguay was killing S Africa today 2-0
Thsi games matter, because they decide whether or not Argentina and the US have a possibility of playing each other. It would not be good if they did.
So, after the zone conference, we were informed that the Ward Mission Leader from Centro had a reference for us. It is a 28 year old man who has been attending in Centro with his friend for about a year now, recently recieved his answer, and wants to be baptised, and has no problems to do so. He just needs to lessons. Where does he live? In our ward...oh, yeah.
So, if all goes well, we could have 3 baptismal dates this week. I'll let you know what happens.
Rained a TON this week. We were skipping rocks in the street they were so flooded. Kinda fun actually. 
Yeah, we got our district jerseys all made and they are cool. We each have a nickname, from Top Gun. Yeah, the genius of E Wartena and E Walker. Who am I? Maverick, of course.
Sorry this email isn't filled with spiritual insights or cool stories, it's been a really slow week and I am kidna just writing whatever. 
Thanks for everything you do.  I'll keep working hard, no worries. I love doing this, so much fun. Be sure to tell Sam hi for me when he gets back, and give everyone a birthday hug from the big brother.
I love you so much.
Your missionary son and brother
Elder Wartena  

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Oh, me, oh, my another week has flown by

Hello All,

Josh has been a busy bee the past two weeks.  He has a new companion these days.  He is now senior companion, so busy learning to lead the companionship.  His new comp is Elder Walker from Salt Lake City.

Next week Josh turns 20.  It seems to be bothering him a lot that he is getting so "old".  Maybe a few of you could take a minute to email him before the 15th and send him a Happy Birthday wish.  I think it would ease his worries of being forgotten and all.  Below is the latest email.

Dear Mom
Well, another week, another Pday here in Punta Magotes. Can't say much has happened this week. Well, that´s a lie I suppose, but I´m still adjusting to a new comp, being older, all that stuff, so it all seems like a blur in my head. Last pday I actually set up a fake robbery with our neighbor teenagers. It was awesome, all 4 elders in the district got robbed with a fake rifle, me getting kicked, etc. My comp got 400 pesos, his 2 debit cards, and out cameras taken. Bless his heart, he tried to get his scriptures out and sneak the cameras too, but it didn't work. Great to just have them all be in shock and them get their stuff back right before calling pres.
Had another lesson with Liliana, with Javier and Paola, and some other members, but not really anything new or exciting to report. We were unable to get an appointment with Brisa on saturday, so we don't have the baptismal date yet. As well as Liliana being sick on sun, so that one fell through for this week as well. But the lessons are going well, we have another member to visit with us/take her to church, and it is just...well, cookie cutter I guess is the phrase. Nice, easy, accepting.
Not like Richard, who we went back to visit because apparently he ''has interest'' again. If going to the Jehovah´s Witness friend to ask questions about drinking is interest. I don't know, I have tried everything with this guy, but I feel like someone else will have to be the one to really help him when he is ready. 
Contacted ALOT of people in the street, and have some that said they may be interested, we'll see how it goes when we visit their houses.
Oh, so remember that guy who came to church with the enormous dreadlocks, yeah, he gave us some cool quartz crystal formation thingies. Not sure what they are supposed to do, but they sure look good on the desks.
Church was...good. E Walker speaks very well, so he didn't have a problem giving his first testimonny. For the first time, nothing extremely weird happened in any of the meetings.
Yeah, just working hard trying to find new people and baptise the ones we have (finally!)
Get along strangly well with my new comp. He is a really great guy who loves the area and is excited to be here.
So yeah, that's about it for the work.
IT IS COLD!!! You don't think it is, but as soon as the wind picks up you just die. That's really the most exciting thing.
Miramar is sleeping over at our house again, the dist. leader and his comp (we seem to see an awfully lot of them) and we pranked them this morning. Set all clocks in the house 2 hours early and got up at 4:30 instead of 6:30. It seemed like a good idea at the time...namely the night before.
But had a good Pday anyway, went to the water tower again as a dist. (only Hermana Vazquez and I were there the last time) then the Museo del Mar (it sucked, waste of 16 pesos. They did have a cool shark though, and a touching pool to touch these fish that would come to the sides. It was odd) The aquarium was closed, or would be writing about that. We even made some dist. shirts in Centro, hopefully will be done tomorrow, and the Hermanas will pick them up. We each have a nickname, from Top Gun (E Walker and I had that idea, we even bought aviators today...for 5 dollars) Mine, Mavrick, yeah.
Wow, when the most exciting thing to happen to you...
But really, we're doing spectacular here, just great. Sounds like you guys are doing well, and Chris' Eagle Court of Honor! I am looking forward to pictures. Speaking of pictures, did E Palmer come by yet?
How is school going? Any exciting changes, boring changes, anything?
I don't have much more to write, but next week we have zone conference, on my birthday, so perhaps they will be something about that that will stick out more. 
Mom, I'm turning 20, this is so weird. The mission goes by so fast. I wish I had enjoyed more before, being with all the brothers, not arguing as much, and all that good stuff.
Thanks for being the best family anyone could ask for.
I love you!
Your missionary son and brother
Elder Joshua Wartena  

Anyway, it was great to hear from him again.  I can hardly believe he has been out just shy of 11 months.  Here's wishing you all a wonderful week.

Signing off for now,
The Mama

P.S.  Be sure to check out the flickr photos if you haven't lately.