Where do I send letters?

joshua.wartena@gmail.com
or
Elder Joshua D. Wartena
Casilla de Correo 70
Bahia Blanca 8000
Buenos Aires
Argentina

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Look at my Grandpa helping out.

""

This is Josh's mom here.  Just wanted to share a little clip that Grandpa Quarter is in on the Mormon Channel.  He is the gentleman in the clip in the red plaid shirt and jeans helping on the ground, shoveling, talking, and hugging Peter.  Dad has been doing this work on the roofs for many years.  The years that he hasn't been able to do much physical labor, he always tries to help out by showing up with bottled water and offering moral support.  The men do a great job serving in their neighborhood.  I know Josh will see the blog and get to see Grandpa serving.  Enjoy.

Signing off for now,
The Mama

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Another week on Earth. We made it to "hump day."

HI HI HI!!! Dear Mom

Wow, you have a pocketknife, I'm very proud. You'll have to use it when you go camping. (camping, something that we need to do when I get back before Chris leaves)
That's awesome, the whole scout thing, really. It's cool to hear that it's really grown in the ward.
GO MATT!!! Yeah, you just keep up the good work with everything.
Hehe, he actually needs a 33 if he wants a point higher than me. But 27 is really good for your first time.
So, having problems studying the scriptures Mom? NOOOOO!!! That is not good! You, you, go read them, right now, yup, well, after you finish reading the email from your favorite son at least. Read D&C 100! Why, well because that's what I read the other day and it made me think about alot of things, and I want to hear what you think about it.
Exciting things to happen in the week.

Foof, lots.
Thursday-We had a great lesson (ha, insert sarcasm here) with a fully loaded Evangelical lady. Nice thing about being senior comp, you have more liberty to cut lessons short and leave when you know you should. Poor Elder Ramirez, I think that was his first time teaching someone who just wanted to argue.
Then dist meeting and contacting people, nothing too interesting

Fri-Contacting about a gajillion people in downtown, lots of them said we could come buy, which was exciting. Not so exciting? Finding out the address doesn't actually exsist. Oh well, such is life. I made brownies from scratch with no recipe and no idea what I was doing! For an investigator we want to take the lessons (she has been coming to church for along time, but is kind of...not wanting the lessons) It worked though, my awesome brownies and now we are goingto teach her! hehe, take that.

Sat-Great lesson with a young couple, he is a recent reactivated member, and she is waiting for them to get married so she can get baptised. She just turned 18, so we trying to help them move their wedding goal from the end of the year to, well, withing the next month or so, because that would be better.
Found Sandra, a nice nurse who we contacted in the street (and exists!) She really liked the Restoration, and the spirit was present, but I don't think she really understood what it all meant, it's a big message after all. But she said she would read, so we have faith.

Sun-Wow, P Mogotes spoiled me. We have 500 members here, 20 of which are active, including us and the investigators. The Branch Pres. directed and led music, the missionaries gave talks with one member who also gave the closing prayer, then I tought Gospel Principles and Priesthood. Lots of work withing the word, so that's good. I might be playing piano on sundays actually......yeah......thankfully I found a hymns made easy in spanish in one of my areas.

We have a recent convert, Silvia, who had us teach her sister, then brought her to church. We visited with her again and she told me in no uncertain terms that she read the book and everything I said was true, and that she liked it. She really wants us to keep teaching her, and reading. Yeah, Graciela is the name, and it's a nice thing to find someone like that.

Monday-Contacting and getting shut down or not having people and home again. Then had to go to the other area for divisions within the district. Out district is 3 companionships, us, the DL, and the ZL. The rest of the zone are 2 other companionships (apart from the ZL who is going home in 5 weeks, I am the oldest missionary. Well, actually, there is someone in the other dist sho might be older than me, but I'm not sure.)

Tue-Divisions went well, made me realize that I really lucked out on getting another comp who is really clean, and a great missionary. We actually ended up in my area contacting people! Then went to do service cutting wood with an investigator (who lives in such a poor area of Viedma that his house is one concrete room that doesn't even have water. A large part of the Branch America is pretty low on the poverty line to be honest, but the people are nicer than they were in Mar Del...
I also met the largest Dogo in the world, I am going to try and go back this week to get a picture or something and then will send a fuller explanation and pictures!

Phew, then today we all played bball/soccer and had a bbq with hamburgers. It was a good, tranquilo Pday. The weather is getting nicer, not so bitterly cold as it was in ''the coldest week of the year'' according to news stations.

Yeah, that was the exciting week here in America (hehehehehe, ahhh, that was fun, sorry, but telling you I was in America was too good to pass up)

And no worries, my comp is was obedient, which is great. He is from Uruguay, an only child, 22 years old, and was baptised 4 years ago. (apart from thinking he knows all there is to know about being a missionary, he's great! haha)
I agree, after lots of failier, we finally learn.

Half way! WOOOOOOOOTTTTT!!! No, I'm not trunky, but it's quite the exciting thing to think I've been a missionary for a whole year.
BWAHAHAHAHA: Get ready, I'm almost back.

Anyways, I love you all. Thanks again for all the emails, yes, Mom, I am loved! It feels good! :D Still doing great here in Viedma, everything good. Oh, the address of my house if you want to look it up exactly, Las Heras, 1903.

Have a great week! I'll talk to you soon!

Your missionary son and brother
Elder Joshua Wartena



He sounds happy.  He writes happy.  And he only does that when he is happy.  So, congrats to our missionary at the midpoint of his mission.  Thank you all for your prayers and support.

Signing off for now,
The Mama

Friday, July 16, 2010

My son the joker! Ug!!

Hi Mom!
 
OK, the address where I live has changed! I have been transfered. Now, don't freak out. The mission was changed.
Yeah, the whole mission. I am assuming they didn't tell you so I could just email you on my pday and let you now. My transfer happened to be...well....bigger than anyone thought. The mission in Argentina got shrunk by about 50 missionaries, and I am one of them that had to be moved to another mission.
Now, you're thinking Buenos Aires or something, like I was. But because of my time, something like that, it's actually a bit bigger.
I am in America.
This is not I joke, I am 100% serious. A little town called Viedma just east of San Antonio. I am still spanish speaking, but...yeah. 
No, once again, I'm not joking. I was told friday, and headed out sunday night. Said goodbye to the ward, Fernanda cried and gave me and you a present, and then I went traveling for 2 days, 14 hours. About as long as it took to get down here. I am with Elder Ramirez, from Uruguay, who has been here for 6 whole weeks. (I have more years than he has transfers, how weird is that?!) He is, as we say, fully charged. It's great, I have all the advantages of a latin comp, and he is all ready to work, very obedient, it's good. We get along well so far. IT has been raining since I got here, which is alright, because I have waterproof shoes, haha! Dirt roads everywhere sure are fun.
The accent and spanish is WAY different here. I got so used to the nice Buenos Aires/Mar del accent that this is throwing me off.
3 people from Mar Del are actually here with me, which made traveling alot less...traumatic. All the going away pictures from P Mogotes are on Elder Walker's camera, so he will send them to me one day...hopefully. I will get some pictures up from the trip next week, I don't think I will have time right now, sorry.
Still don't know much about the investigators here, but that will come. Liliana came to church though, and they should have a baptismal date with her by friday. I'm so happy about that.
Holy crap, I guess the scout program got...bigger. That is so great to hear.
ABRAHAM!!!! YES!!!! I am going to write him a letter, yes I Am. Holy cow, when he gets into the field, I will have 7 months left...
I am so proud of Chris.
And Nate looks like a stud (the hair no...haha) The ladies are going to be crowding after him.
 
Hmmmmm, I do believe that is all that has happened of any excitement.
Oh, wait, I kinda lied. It is all true about the transfer, but...I'm not in TExas. I'm actually in the province of Rio Negro, in the botton of the mission, about 4 hours away from everything else. In a little town called Viedma, right next to another one called San Antonio, and my area...America. Yeah, did I scare you?
:D Love you!
Everything else is true though. The weather is alot better down here. Actually alot like Utah in November, just replace the snow with rain. I really really like it. Sure, it is ALOT poorer than Mar Del, but the people seem absolutely great, and being in a smaller Branch means I Will get to learn again a new way of working. I'm excited to be here for awhile.
Thanks again for the email, it's great to hear about everybody. I'm praying for you all, keep enjoying the warmth.
 
Love you so much
Your son and brother
Elder Joshua Wartena

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

It's a lovely day!

Hi Mom!!!
 
Wow, sounds like a busy week. Which is good, busy is better right? It's great to hear about all the stuff going on. I won't be commenting on all of it, but thank you so much for telling me! I was going to try and make the red white and blue breakfast...but couldn't get blueberries. Oh, well, another day. Maybe next year. Speaking of years, almost half way, WOAH! When did that happen, not sure,
This week was really boring though. Apart from being in bed for 2 days sleeping of a flu some other missionaries brought (my voice is still completely gone from the cold too) it was relatively uneventful. Lots and lots of rain, not much teaching or finding new people. We actually had to drop Liliana, she just wanted to flirt with me and talk about the U.S.
We tried.
Then walking back from her house, we were going down a street and decided that we needed to go a different way. Felt a very...empy feeling. Like that was something evil down the street. Imagine...ok, if Lord of the Rings was real, it was like Sauron was down the road or something.
Thankfully, the Lord likes his missionaries and protects them.
Transfers are friday! I am so excited! We're all pretty sure I am leaving P Mogotes after 6 MONTHS of being here. Not going to lie, I am looking forward to it. I'm hoping to go to Santa Rosa on the other side of the mission out in the Pampa. I would like a little town way out there to just work. The only downside? A 14 bus ride...hmmmm
There will be 2 baptisms almost as soon as I leave. I already told Dad, but the basic story is they are Liliana, and Matias, the guy who has been attending another ward with his friend for a year, has his testimony and wants to be baptised as soon as possible. Thanksfully, he belongs to our ward, and is golden. HAHAHA! Well, who cares who counts the baptism, as long as they make the decision, I'm happy.
 
Ok, Jo looks ridiculously big. Like...creepily so. But you all look great! Nice to know you are all still you...alright, moving on shall we?
 
We have what is called a Locro and talent show night this friday. Locro=Gigantic whatever you want to put in it Argentine stew. The are starting to cook it thrusday night to get it all done.
We do things serioudly down here, yup.
Now, talent show, we have...no idea what we are doing, it's a problem. I'll let you know how it was resolved next week.
 
Things I've learned in P Mogotes (or relearned)
-The ward can help you ALOT, or not...
-The Lord prepares people, and leads them to us
-The sprit will teach you
-Obedience, the key to happiness
-The best missionaries aren't alwasy who you think they are
-Neither are the worst
-It can rain for a continually week, and the streets can be completely flooded away
-LOTS AND LOTS of spanish
-If you forget your own Independence Day, the members will remind and laugh at you
-Time goes by WAY too fast
-God loves his children
 
All the marshmallows are gone that you sent me. We had a roasting party on the stove with our neighbors and they all thought they were the weirdest things.
Fernanda says muchas gracias for the hot pads. She is so like you, why? Well, she refuses to use them because ''¡No quiero que estén sucios!´´
 
But yeah, that's about my exciting week here. Thanks again for the spectacular email. I'm glad you're all doing well and taking pictures to send your poor missionary son living in S America. :D Tell everyone hi for me!
 
Your missionary son and brother
Elder Joshua Wartena



I ask you, do missionaries really know how happy they make their parents?  I dare say no.  We sure miss him, but are very pleased with his decision to serve the Lord with all he has.  He is a good . . . hmmm?  What should I put here?  Son?  Man?  Boy?  All fit, but I still think of him as my son, so we're going with that one.

May you all have a blessed week full of good food, challenging opportunities, and joy from the Lord.

Signing off for now,
The Mama

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Presents, a past mission companion, and love from Argentina

Dear Mom
 
Woah! He stayed a long time. I sure hope so though, we were together 24 hours a day for over 4 months...
He really is alot like Abe isn't he? Great guy, great guy.
I'm glad you like the scripture cover. :D
OK, the money was actually given to me for free. A guy in the ward collects money (Fernando Fazzolari, someone who has helped us so much) And he has tons of old bills and he grabbed a few one day and gave them to E Palmer and I. So your gifts were actually alot cheaper than you thought!
Chantry, that is so WEIRD to read his first name. Glad he's playing soccer though, that is what he was looking forward to.
HAHAHAHA, Ben, you silly goose. I can't believe he got a quad....crap.....So, here's the deal, I may be getting transfered next week, which means it will take me quite a bit longer to get the scriture cover, especially if I am on the other side of the mission. Not difficult, but it will just take a while.
They cost about 25 bucks each for the quad covers. Pretty cheap. I got mine when they were cheaper several months ago, and have used them every day. At least the BoM one, I carry a little bible that is lighter instead of my big study one.
I realized the other day that my english quad hasn't been read in almost 7 months. I read it the other day and the scriptures seemed so odd in english.
You are plenty spiritual Mom. I attribute anything I learned about the scriptures to the devotionals and scripture reading we did as a family.
Gosh, my brothers are all geniuses. That is all I have to say. Are Chris and Nate taller that me yet? I imagine that they are and the thought is kind of making me wonder.
WOAH! 93 degrees? Wow, and it's dry there too! Enjoy that heat, run in the sprinklers, all that jazz.
 
But, if you want I now know where to get a 2 acre beachside piece of land for 60,000 dollars. 
Thank you for the advice/thoughts. IT couldn't have come at a better time. We had what seemed like a horrible week. Contacted hundreds of people, went through old investigators and passed by them, less actives, and everything just seemed to not want to work out no matter what we did. Frankly it's been feeling like this for the past month.
 
Then yesterday happened. Liliana calls me. She never got mad or anything! She had bronchitis, couldn't have anyone over, talk, and was in bed for 2 weeks! She wanted to tell us and see if we could pray for her and come give her a blessing! She has still been reading and praying. Well, we are just as happy as can be to go over, and she tells us this. Elders, I've been praying how you taught me to, just say what you want/feel, and I promised God that if/when I get better, I am going to get baptised in the church. This woman has been away from contact with us for almost 3 weeks, had never attended sac. meeting, is going through a legal process because of the death of her father, and has been dead sick. If she is not ''one of the prepared'' I don't think I will ever meet someone like that. Promptly gave her a blessing, promised her health, and that she would help many other people find the blessings of the gospel.
I so want to stay another transfer.
Add to the day, we finally find Luciana in her house to teach her. She hasn't read, but her husband did! And liked it! He comes in and sits down while we were talking about baptism and the church and begins talking to us like there was nothing unusual about 2 N. americans sitting in his house in the middle of fields talking about the church. We have a family home evening with them and the fazzolari family tomorrow. (Fazzolari, 23 and 20 years old, 2 daughters, 5 and 1, almost exactly the same age as this investigator family, it couldn't be more perfect.)
Then we found this guy in the middle of nowhere fixing a fence and he wants us to come over,! Is the brother of Fernando Fazzolari, randomly.
We got chased by dogs onto another road where the only house was a less active family that moved awhile back and no one knew and they need to talk to us.
And some other great stuff happened, we watched to Restoration with Javier and Paola and they are still doing great, I ate horse, it was good. 
   
Yeah, that's about the highlights of the week, apart from it easing up a bit on the cold, it's actually been quite nice.
 
And wouldn't you know it, all this good starts happening and transfers are next week.
Grrrr.
 
But yeah, thank you for the thoughts, I think you were inspired.
 
I got your package! It was awesome, I'm writing a letter, I will include more thanks and hopefully pictures (we entertained ourselves keeping 4 balloons up in the air for quite awhile...for example.)
Thank you so much!
 
Well, that's the week for ya, pretty good one, ups and downs, all that good stuff. Thanks again for the email, prayers, and being the best family a missionary could have. I love you, Mom, and everyone else of course, but  Mom, you're something special.
Have a great week, can't wait to hear from you.
 
Your missionary son and brother
Elder Joshua Wartena