Where do I send letters?

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

Saturday, August 28, 2010

The email to Dad referenced in the 8-25-2010 blog post

I went back over the blog post for Wednesday and I feel something is missing.  So, here I am back to set the record straight.

Josh referred to a gun episode that occurred last week.  I have decided to go ahead and post the email he sent to his dad so you can read the story for yourself.  It scared me, the mom, to pieces.  Here it is for your reading pleasure.

Dear Dad,
Freaking time...1 year ago I was...in the MTC. And my biggest problem was what seemed like an inability to learn spanish. Now I have 11 months left, am going into my 4th transfer with a latin comp and my biggest problem is the eternal salvation of souls in Viedma...
How times change
So, I'm just going to email you a rather interesting story in place of telling you and Mom about investigators.
It goes without saying that Mom does not need to know this happened? Deal? Cool.
We're just walking along down the big road from the ghetto part of our area. A group of drunks is off to the side of the road by some apartment buildings. This is not strange at all...happy hour doesn't really mean anything. They started yelling some stuff at us, once again, not uncommon. Then one of them pulls out a revolver and runs over. First thought, ''Ah, Crap''
Sticks it up against the back of my comp's head at tells him to stop. E. Ramirez didn't even flinch, told the guy we didn't have time, another time we'll come buy. Pretty much told him to buzz off. Something about E. Ramirez being a truck sized Uruguashen made the guy move to the white kid next to him. Well, throws an arm around me puts the gun against my head, and then sticks it down my collar to conveniently rest against my collarbone. ''What you doin? You with God, where you goin?'' Well, I didn't even think about what would be the best thing to do, honestly my mind was kinda stopped. I threw my arm around HIM and just started chattin it up. ''Just walking here man. Walking with you buddy, what you need, bro?'' (I knew there was a good reason for learning all those slang words in spanish!) He liked that, let me go with the assurance that he wouldn't do anything, we were cool and he liked us. I told him I liked him too and he walked away saying he was a child of the devil and repeating himself in a very drunk manner.
Found out today from a member that he got taken away by the police that night after robbing a girl while the cops drove by. They let him go the next day... 
It wasn't scary at all, really. It was more of the ''I have a rock in my shoe'' annoyance.
But yeah, that's the exciting story of the week. The work is getting better (it couldn't really get much worse...) and you can read about it Mom's email.
Jeremiah was a bullfrog just came on in this internet joint...

Thanks for being of proud of me
Love you
Elder Wartena

Once again, that's all folks.  Enjoy life.  Smile often.  Eat dessert first

Signing off for now,
The Mama

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Day in and Day out

So, the email speaks for itself.  

Dear Mom, 
Alright, you wrote alot, but I have a whole half hour to respond, so yeah.
Alright, I will tell you about the new people first.
Jose, ok so he really isn't new. We knocked his door, well, his family's door, he is in his low 20s last tranfer, but were never able to get ahold of him for a lesson. Wow, that's a run on sentence.
But this week we were passing by old investigators and had a strange sese of de ja vu knocking lidia's door. Yup, it was Jose's mom. Cool family, we talked with him about religion, explained the church, and talked about life in general and how the gospel makes it better. Not too interested in being actively religious, but we'll see.
Nancy thinks God placed us in her path to help her find him. That's a good sign. We're going over tomorrow night to teach her the plan of salvation. She's totally getting baptised.
Lucas, the son of a member, the brother of the leader of the evangelical youth group is coming to church this sunday. Because we are going to the ''mutual'' of his brother's church that we were invited to tonight. Should be interesting...
Malivina, an ex investigator who couldn't get baptised even though she loved the book of mormon and was in 2 ne or something. Is trying to get out of her house to move in with family in Bahia Blanca and wants another book of mormon and us to teach her.
Yup, she'll get baptised too.
The weather is grogeous. I'm almost at one year in argentina and am looking forward to the nearly tropical spring.
I left my planner (yes, we have missionary planners) from last transfer, and so can only remember the stuff to write about for the past few days. Oh, yeah, still here with Elder Ramirez. He's kinda bugging me to be honest, but I'll get over it. He's a good guy.
Health is good, I am still taking vitamins daily and working out alot. Really, you want to know about my acne? Well, it doesn't really exist anymore, the tell the truth. Guess I finally got over that. Or maybe the shock of having to use bar soap because you can't buy face soap here just killed my whole face.
I'm excited to see the house! You're all in school, growing up, changing the house, geez, I'm coming back to a different family...
So, you would ask the whole getting robbed question THIS WEEK and make me feel guilty for not telling you. So, go read Dad's email about the drunk who stuck a gun down my shirt.
Hope you enjoy it!
Well, the elder from Tres Arroyos is now out. Tres Arroyos is a completely sister missionary area now.
Oh...family videos...
That's about it, a good week. Well, a whole lot better of a week. Thanks for the email as always, love hearing about you all. Enjoy the summer, or what's left of it. I'm going to go put more pictures up on flickr, enjoy.
Love you all
Your missionary son and brother
Elder Joshua Wartena

Yeah!  That's it.  Love being a missionary mom.
Signing off for now,
The Mama

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

It can get rough out there in the mission.

Josh has come to a point in his mission where he is having a bit of a struggle.  The members are not interested in the church.  The people who live there in Viedma are not interested in the gospel.  He and his companion and the other 4 elders in this part of the mission are very secluded from the rest of the mission and feel kind of "alone out there".  The area is in need of many prayers.

So, to all the family and friends reading this blog, I give a shout out.  If you could please drop Josh a line or two of your love and encouragement I know it would mean the world to him.  He doesn't always have time to email everyone back, but he tells us how much he appreciates all the kind emails that have come his way.  He reads back through them when the times are tough.  He is working hard, obeying the rules, and loving the work.  Do you realize he has been serving for 13 months now?  Wow how time flies when you are on the Lord's errand.

Enough of me for one week, just read his email from today.

Ok, so I already let you know that the computer is not letting me upload pictures, but I will steal my comp's in a minute to do it.
So, rundown of the week/things worth writnig about
1. Maria isn't getting baptised. Please don't ask why, it's still weird to me, and sucks. She thinks God is telling her to not be baptised at the moment, and is still reading all her crazy religious books from years ago, and is crazy. Doesn't help that she thinks we know, well nothing.
2. Jose doesn't want us over anymore. He was just using us to get a free bible.
3. We had the dist. activity! A huge plan of salvation activity. A whole...35 people were there, including the 10 missionaries.
4. Found a ton of new people (ok, like 5) who seem kind of interested. I will keep you updated.
5. Finally did it! we set up a table in the center of town with posters, books, etc, and started preaching as a district to everyone that walked by. Then a band started setting up to play in the plaza and we had to move to another plaza...in front of the giant catholic cathedral. Yeah...that was interesting. Alot of people who walked by crossed themselves after seeing us and would walk away muttering prayers whil looking at the church. A couple who declared themselves to be Athiestic Anti-Christs actually mad weird signs at us and our table, it was a good time! We're thinking about doing it weekly.
6. I made Cafe Rio smothered burritos for the district by hand, tortillas, everything. They were so good.....
7. Yeah...that's about it, a rather exciting/boring week.
What color is the house? Blue? Or did you stick with white?
Well, I am going to try and get those photos up. Keep swimming everyone, thanks for the emails, it's wonderful to hear how you are doing and what's going on. Chris, Nate, Matt, Ben, Jo, keep being good, listen to Mom and Dad, they know what they're talking about. 
I love you all!
Your missionary son and brother 

Signing off for now,
The Mama

Friday, August 13, 2010

August 11, 2010

Wow, it was a week, let me tell ya.
Most exciting thing, we went over to Ezequiel/Luciana (young couple, he is recently reactivated, she wants to be a member, just turned 18, so they can get married, and they have a little 1 yr old.) We are trying to get them to move their goal date from the end of the year to...well, sooner. They are amazing, and love the gospel. Well, went over to give give a lesson on faith, ETH 12, and what we can do to show our faith (the time before we talked about the blessings of the family, etc.) Well, I ask Eze what he thinks he can do to show his faith, and he kinda gets quiet. Says, Elder, we already did something! We went down to city hall and got a date for Oct 23, we want to do what you  said. We want to be able to go to the temple and get sealed as soon as we can and have Luciana baptised so she can have the holy ghost and everything. We're trying Elder.
I wanted the hug the guy, I was so happy.
Then JosĂ©, well, he read 2 Ne 31, then talked to us about the parts he liked most and how baptism really is a big deal, then asked about infant baptism, payed clergy, all the right questions, then asked us if we could tell him if a certain book was good to read or not. (I was expecting a Jehovah's witness book or something) He comes out with ''Jesus the Christ''. Yeah, we kinda sat shocked. Apparently the missioneries he lost contact with before gave it to him years ago and he recently found it again in a dresser.
Julio, we are still moving forward waiting for the wedding date/finalization of the papers, etc.
Really the exciting things to happen this week, those 2 things.
Oh, lie, almost died. I will let you know how the story turns out next week though, because part 2 takes place fri.
What else takes place friday? WEll, the group leader of a local evangelical church wants to discuss the existence of intelligence in spirits in the state between death and resurrection (psalms 6) and what exactly is a baptism for the dead as it says in 1 Cor 15. I'm thinking a nice time to teach the plan of salvation?
We have had more encounters with Jehovah's Witnesse/Evanglelists this week, it's been kinda ridiculous to be honest. And like, good ones, not the boring ones who just say, oh, may God bless you. No, people who actually know what they are talking about and want to attack the church. It's frustrating. Passes by about a hundred less actives and ex investigators and we're tired! The whole area is having trouble finding new people who are dispuesto a escuchar. It's ''one of those weeks'' where you work alot alot, then end just sad because no one wants the gospel. But, that is why they invented Gridos ice cream parlor/Pday. Hehehe.
No, it's good, just really trying to find new people. I feel great, just have to be patient. Yes, Mom, I am excersising. I have Elder Palmer's weights that I use daily, and am eating well and taking vitaminas encima.
We have someone in the ward with the last name of Salazar...uh huh.
Ugh, book buying, I had forgotten that horrible part of college. There is the place down by UVU that sells used textbooks, I usually got mine online, but I can't remember the site where I had an account. I remember it was a blue and white web page though...hmmmm. Pioneer books in Provov sometimes has them, and the bulletin boards in the admin. building on campus too. Ebay, amazon books, etc.
Good luck with English, bro. The man is crazy, really good, but crazy.
I would die being a missionary on temple square. I like space in an area. (I think that's why all of my areas have been GIGANTIC!)
But hey, that is about all I can think of to write. We're still doing well here, good and safe. Thanks for the email, nice to know how you all doing. I'm praying for you guys every day, keep smiling!
Love you all
Your missionary son and brother
Elder JosĂșe Warti