Where do I send letters?

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

Monday, December 27, 2010

The P-day after Christmas

Dear Mom

Haha, yeah, not much of anything left to say after calling! You even know my transfers. Santa Rosa 1, with Elder....starts witha G and is an odd Peruvian name. He has 1 transfer...yup, I'm with a newbie again, should be fun. We'll see if I start forgetting english again hardcore. It'll be bad if I end with a latin american companion...shiver. I'm excited to go up to santa rosa though, even though it's 110 degrees at the moment. Elder Torres and Elder Frias are gone! Back to Peru, along with Hermana Vazquez, well, she's in Cordoba actually. And Elder Van Wagenen is going next transfer. 
I'm being left all alone!
But hey, the bus ride in the middle of the night was fun, the best part was waiting for other elders to get there until 4 am, then starting to sleep on the mission office couch around that time. I'm looking forward to sleeping on the bus tonight. Yup, I'm still in Bahia Blanca. Most of the pday has been hanging out in the office with the office elders and elder Wilks (Elder Christianson's new comp, he's waiting to go down to Veidma)
I got like 7 ties as christmas presents! Woohoo, I was starting to look at buying some more, hehe. Elder C bought me a cool Beatles tshirt, he got a Thor shirt. 
I'm pretty content to go to a new area, should be fun, everyone says the ward is great and my comp is good as well.
Well, that's about all I can think of to write that we didn't talk about! Thanks for the updates on everyone and the emails every week Mom. I love you too!!!!
Your missionary son and brother
Elder Joshua Wartena

We are looking forward to hearing all about his new area, his new companion, and his new adventures in Santa Rosa.

Signing off for now,
The Mama

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Just want to wish a Merry Christmas to All.  Josh is doing well.  The Christmas call was just as wonderful as you can imagine.  It only took 4 or 5 times to finally connect with him and all was well.  In fact, the cell phone proved to be the best connection.  We got to talk with him for a while, and then the Papa and the Mama spoke with him again.  It was fun to joke around and hear his sweet laugh.  Pres. gave them permission to do a video conference call which would have been fun, but we didn't know and didn't have it set up to go.   No worries--just hearing his voice was wonderful.

He gave us vivid details of the pig brain dinner they were recently served.  UGH!!!  Says that has got to be the grossest thing he's been served yet.  In fact, the Native Americans may have used all the parts of the buffalo, but the Argentines seem to use all the parts of everything.  Josh informs us that when he gets home he will be teaching us how to make delicious homemade BBQ, homemade refried beans, and homemade tortillas.  What an accomplished cook he is becoming.

Josh's younger brother is sitting here reading over my shoulder as I type.  You should be here listening.  Let me share with you his comments as I type.  Teenagers have such active imaginations.

     "Just imagine driving up to Taco Bell and ordering a pig head.  Later at home you split it open on the                                                   kitchen table to dig in and gorge yourself on brains.  Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm."

The missionary has received a transfer to Santa Rosa, in the Pampas.  He moves Monday I believe.  This transfer is going to be hard on him.  He has loved working with Elder Christensen immensely.  They have just clicked together.  The way they both serve--obeying the mission rules, loving the people, working hard--has made a remarkable difference in the area where they've been serving.  It will all be well though.

Josh is loving serving the Lord.  He even wishes he could extend the mission, but we all know how that goes.  There is a time and a season for all things.  This is still the season for the mission.  We wouldn't have it any other way.  So, until next time . . .

Signing off for now,
The Mama

Monday, December 20, 2010

A letter to the Papa

Well, the Mama was delinquent this week, what with getting ready for Christmas, the Christmas program and church, and EVERYTHING ELSE.  I got my email off to Josh a bit later.  I hope he still sends one, but if not we do have the phone call on Saturday.  Yeah!!! So, we will share a letter to the father for week.  The papa letters have a different flare.  Enjoy!

The sun and tempurature are up!
But it's been a good week. I'm glad to end Viedma well, we've had 6 baptisms in the past 2 weeks, and it is so nice. After so much time teaching working and just kicking your own butt, it pays off.
I hate learning humility and patience, not gonna lie. Mostly the proccess that is uncomfortable actually.
I forgot my card reader, and am waiting to borrow another elder's camera to send you pictures.
Eduardo and Ruben were baptised, and it was amazing. Both wives/families were just ecstatic to see the miracle they didn't think was ever going to happen.
Eduardo is going to be a memeber of the 70 I think. ok, maybe not, but I love the guy so much. Just, lots of faith manifest by his works and willingness. Remind me to etell you more about him saturday.
Speaking off, 10 am is great.
I'm so glad to hear the ward is doing well! Mom has told me about hte young men and youth in general a few times, and it sounds like everything is just moving ahead.
Don't take the advantage of living in the US/Utah for granted. We have 2 branches of about  60 people (on a good week) combined in a city the size of Orem. It's wonderful to see the growth of it though.
But gosh dang it, transfers are this week, and I may be going to Santa Rosa, that's the word on the street. We'll know saturday.
I'm praying for the family, thanks for the update on the gpas stuff.
Your package is waiting in Bahia Blanca for me to pick up on wednesday. We're going up for another super pday (4 hours on a bus tomorrow at 10 pm...ugh) I'm actually really excited for it.
Thanks for the advice Dad, we're putting alot of effort into finding new people (we baptised all of our investigators, the Lord really gave us amazingly prepared people to work with)
It's hard, always has been and I don't think it is going to get easier anytime soon.
How did you guys find new people in your mission?
The book of mormon! I need to finish it by the end of the year, where am I? 3 Nephi 7. I got distracted reading Jesus the Christ again and got behind. Mom said you threw down a challeng with the ward to read the Book of Mormon? What was it exactly, I'm still a member of the sharon park 6th.
Anyways, I will talk to you saturday Dad, thanks for the update, I love you.
your son
Elder Joshua Wartena

Merry Christmas!

Signing off for now,
The Mama

Monday, December 13, 2010

4 Baptisms in One Week

Dear Mom,   :D

So, I'm not going to write everything these next 2 weeks, that way I can tell you the exciting stuff that has happened recently over the phone and not have it be, 'Oh, we already knew that...''

But, we had 4 baptisms this week.  Here are the pictures!

It was great, the kids were all excited to be baptised, especially since they were going out to Mar del the next day and will be confirmed this week.
The older couple (ok, they are...really old, and really small, we were afraid of breaking them...) was baptised with both of us in the font. Elder C lifted and I spotted, it was fun. Francisco was so short that he just sat down and went right under. Victoriana was nervous about going under and floated, so EC put his hand on top of her head and dunked her!
Yeah, it was cool.
Sunday was great as well. My class, Principles of the Gospel, was the largest class! Hahahaha, it was fun, all of us in a tiny room. Taught about the scriptures, then explained how we need to look at the scriptures more as one tool and as the word of God than as just The Bible and The Book of Mormon. Showed how both books support each other and teach us about Christ. No one knew that the Bible mentioned the Book of Mormon, and the wife of an investigator didn't take to well to the idea...nor to the video about the miracle of the Bom, how incredible the BoM is and all that.
Oh well.
But, good news!
Ok, remind me to tell you about Eduardo's quitting smoking story, it is quite remarkable and impressive. The man is studying like a fanatic and loving every bit of it. Stoked to get baptised sat, with a full week free of cigarettes. Reuben as well, he and Hna Requilme are getting married thsi fri and her will be baptised sat!
Carlos as well, but it is not sure yet. He was brought to church by a friend and loves it, wants to continue, and is studying. The odd part, he hasn't recieved a full lesson from us yet in his house. He leaves up to a small city in Buenos Aires on sunday, adn we want to baptise him before he leaves, aka, this week. Being gone for 7 months will be easier with the holy ghost, especially as he is very receptive to it. God prepares people,. our responsibility is to teach and baptise them.
Oh, a brother a a member will be baptised next tue as well, I forgot to mention that. He is a widower of 2 years and has been staying with his brother. Think...meek, that is a good explaination. Just like a sponge ready to soak up living water.
The daughter of hna REquilme is out of the hospital, which is definitely a good think. The baby was born with liquid in his lungs and was in ICU for 2 days. But, a beautiful baby bot is home now. And his mother is now starting to come back to church. Scared into humilty? Yes.
Oh, yes, next wednesday I will be in Bahía Blanca. WHy do you ask? Well, it's another one on those super Pdays. I literally am expecting someone to tell me that it's a joke and we're only in April, not December...
The hot water in the font wasn't warm enough, so we were boiling pots of water on the sink to help. We ended up having to leave, so we prayed that the cold water would miraculously be warm with the 1 hour of hot water going into it. (you see, the older couple couldn't handle a cold baptism)
It was toasty warm. Small miracles
Yoru Christmas package is off as well! I hope it gets there by Christmas. Sorry there are no letters this year, but we've been busy the last week. Enjoy!
The new elder from el Salvador is doing well, good kid. As is my companion, he's pretty happy at the moment, we're having a good time.

Thanks for all the info! I'm stoked to hear about Stuart. Good luck in the musical number.
I will try to accompany you in the BoM read.
Want to see if we can finish it before I get back? That gives you 7 months.
I'll race you!
Calling here? Would it work to call after you wake up and open stuff? Probably, how about 10:30 ish MT? That would be 2:30 here.
The Christiansens will be calling you this week
Well, that was the exciting week down here in Viedma, enjoy the library and say hi to everyone on my part. I love you all and will talk to you next week! Enjoy your semana, and IT'S ALMOST CHRISTMAS!!!

Love you all!
Your missionary son and brother
Elder Joshua Wartena

It's good to be a missionary mom.  I love P-days.  I love this son.  Happy days to you.

Signing off for now,
The Mama

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Christmas Call is almost here and he is well

Good day to You,

Just a few explanations.  Josh called yesterday, Sunday morning, at 8:45 a.m. to try and get us set up with the phone number we will need to call on Christmas day this year.  Back in May it took over 3 hours talking with 4 different international operators to figure out what was wrong with the number he had given us.  We ended up calling a cell phone a member let him use and spending quite a chunk of money, but it was wonderful.  For Christmas 2009 he called about a week early to make sure all the connections were going to work out okay.  

For this year we expected a call in about two weeks to work stuff out, but he surprised us, again.  He said they are so busy with baptisms and teaching for the rest of the month that they decided to just get this taken care of now when they had the opportunity.  So he called to give us a number to call back.  It didn't work.  He called Jeff's cell two more times, and we tried two more times.  After that we called and worked out the numbers with the operator yesterday, so now we know the connection will be good.  He, however, did not know, so he called again this morning.  Someone was at the church and offered to let him use his cell phone to contact me to make the test call back to the church phone.  After the shock of hearing his voice, taking down the number he has for the church, giving him the correct number for the church, calling him back, connecting with the church phone, hearing his voice, working hard not to cry, and taking down three phone numbers for contacting his current companion's parents to make sure they have the information all right, we were at 3 min. 42 sec. on my cell phone.  If my calculations are correct, that took about 100 minutes of my prepaid minutes.  UGH!  Alas, I won't complain one bit.  It was a fun little unexpected joy for the day.  

Enjoy the email.  His spelling is indeed getting worse and worse.  On the bright side, his Spanish is getting better and better.

Dear Mom,

40 min late! Haha, I'm sorry for causing such a tardy bishop thsi week, but am glad to know it is all figured out.  

(We were VERY late to sacrament meeting due to the call.)

Number 7? Whaaaaaaa?!?! When did they have number 6?
So, we was smart missionaries this week and made a list over lunch to email home about. The things that happened this week.
Eduardo moved out on his own so that he and Noemi could have more respect for each other and he started to quite smoking so that he could meet his goal of 1 week smoke free before his baptism. This was before we taught him anything abou the commmandments. He's pretty stoked.
As is Rueben, who went and got a date to be married in 2 weeks because ''the elder with glasses said I needed to do it soon to be baptised'' That's faith
I'm also expected to bless the third child of his daughter in law that we helped come backed to church. The baby is expected via C section this thursday.
Jorgelina is amazing. As I have siad before, the real change in a person after baptism and the holy ghost is amazing and visibly noticable.
Cruz and Fransisco are getting baptised this week, as are the kids Camila and Alexadre. The kids were going to getr baptised last saturday but a family friend was murdered and it wasn't able to happen....yeah. But they are still awesome. They were both able to complete assemble the plan of salvation and explain it after being taught said plan once.
I finished Alma!!!
And got new soles for my shoes. Big ol doc martin styles...they are pretty awesome.
Oh, how could I forget. Some memebers brought friends to church this sunday and the guy loved it. We went over to his house later and he wanted to know how he could get one of the books we kept talking about the whole meeting. We promptly handed him a copy. He says he has what he thinks is a testimony bvecause he feels so good aobu tit.
Remember Claudio? The guiy with the awesome dogs? He wanted to know more aobut what happens after this life. You see, when he was younger he had a heart attack or something and flatlined. They sent him to the morgue because, well, he was dead. He woke up a few hours later on a stainless steel bed with a sheet covering him and a tag on his toe.
They are now reading the book of mormon and want to know more about the mormon church.
Taught prophets in Principles of the gospel. WEnt well.
IT?S HOTTTTTTTTTT!!!!! Luckily it's usually windy as well..
Hit 500 days in the mission. It was written in my planner, I don't remember doing that.
Had a nail go through my foot, but instead of the blood filled shoe we expected, there was not evven a mark on my foot. Little miracles.
AND THAT! Is the week.
Thank you Mom, I will be sober. But really, thank you.
Question for you, scripture study. Why do you think Mormon included all that stuff about the judgement seat in Hel 1-2?
You have like...your own connections in the missionary world...by the time Jo is out here it's be like a missionary mom Mafia.
Ok, I have to go write Pres, and finish the christmas card to send to you (that is why the email is shorter this week)
I love you all!
Your missionary son and brother
Elder Joshua Wartena

Signing off for now,
The Mama