Where do I send letters?

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

Saturday, October 15, 2011

He's Home

It was a long week waiting for Josh to get home, but he made it at last.  Josh asked us to tell everyone he was arriving home on the 30th cause he wanted some quiet time alone with us.  He was scheduled to actually arrive home on July 27th, but when the missionaries arrived at the airport on July 25th the garbage in the air from the Chile volcano was still busy messing up air travel in Buenos Aires.  He and the other missionaries ended up spending two days waiting in Buenos Aires for the air to clear (but it didn't).  So they traveled by plane to Santiago, Chile; caught another plane to Atlanta, Georgia; caught another plane to Salt Lake City, Utah.  As a result we did not get him home until the 29th.  He was tired and well worn from all the changes in his travels.

For days ahead of arriving at the SLC airport I just kept telling myself I would not yell when I saw him -- HA!!!  What a joke.  The second I saw him peek around the corner at the top of the escalator I yelled, "It's Him!!!"  Everyone in the waiting area turned to see what crazed missionary mother was a yellin'.  Yep, me.  Oh, I just couldn't help it.  I was shaking and crying and just W A I T I N G.  No biggy, all his brothers and father were feeling exactly the same way.  He smiled at his crazed mother, realizing that anything else would just not have been possible from me.

But what did the silly boy do when he saw us?  He disappeared back around the corner out of view.  I wanted to run right up those stairs and grab him, but it was okay.  I knew he was at last back in Utah and it would only be a few more minutes till we could hug him.

I just can't express the joy at being able to once again hug your child, to see them in the flesh, to just be together.  We all missed him soooooooooooooooooo much.  We thank the Lord above for bringing him home safe and sound.

Please enjoy some of the pictures we took.  I've tried to think of more to share, but it's all just to personal and emotional.  Just know, it was all worth it.

What a cute guy I snagged.  Pretty cute kids.
Waiting, waiting ,waiting, cause we're early.

Blonde and blonder excited to show Josh
they are taller than him.

We couldn't be more excited.

Jo and Mom

Yep, we made a sign.  Any minute now.

There he is at the top on the righthand side
of the escalator in the suit and yellow tie.

Halfway down the stairs . . .

At the bottom on . . .

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, he's here!

Yes, right into the Momma's arms.  I love that boy. 
He was just a shaking and crying -- so was I.

"Hi, Dad."

Hugging Dad, but no one even thought to grab
the camera and take a picture of them.   
"Wait, you aren't Chris, you're Nate.  My gosh, you got tall."

You're Chris.  I missed ya, bro.

Ben -- you got tall, too.

Matt's a hugger and could hardly wait his turn.

Jo, jump on up. 
OOOOOOOO!  This is fun.

It took a minute, but Jo did remember his big brother.

That's it folks.  The gang's all here again.

Let's just sit together.  We like it that way.

Shoes off on and enjoying the carpet as he unpacks.  Lots of  fun
souvenirs but no many clothes came home from Argentina.   

Watching the unpacking.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Not ready for this.

Ok, so, hmmmmmmmmmm . . .
Totally not ready to do this.
I will try again later.
Emotions too near the surface.
I would never have guessed two years ago that I would not be ready to end this.
Go figure.

Signing off for now,
The Mama

Monday, July 25, 2011

No Email Today

No email today.  Josh warned us that he would not email anything the final week of his mission.  It has been a very surreal Monday.  I don't quite know what to do.  You see I keep finding myself at the computer checking "just in case" there is an email message.  I did send him one because I committed to an email every week for two years.  Did pretty good only missing one week.

He will be cleaning and traveling.  I can't imagine how he must be feeling.  One of the biggest goals of his entire life, so far, is about to come to a close.  How that must feel.  What will the future hold?  What changes are in store in the coming year for our now "man" son?  Change is in the air and it is full of possibilities.  We're looking forward to watching his journey in life continue to unfold.  Our Father in Heaven's Plan of Happiness is sure an exciting journey.

Best wishes to all.  I will post a final email next week and have Josh post some thoughts as well.  Here's looking forward to a big hug, soon.

Signing off for now,
The Mama

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Can't believe the end is here already.

Dear Mom

Haha, I don't have to change your title, you'll always be my Mom.
OOOOO, Sarah was in Argentina, methinks I'm going to visit her soon...

We spent most of pday putting in a roof for the part member family of the girl we hope to baptise this sunday. A pretty good way to end the mission if I may say so.
That's what I hope to do this week. :D

I would love to go to the SLC temple and walk around temple square very much!

So, I said the email would be one scripture, I repented, sorry.  

But, I'm not responding to everything you said, and keeping some good stories from the week to tell you! Next week I will be traveling, so you'll have to go without unfortunately. I'm not sure how many missionaries are traveling, I know that several sister missionaries leave as well, but am unaware if we meet more in the Buenos Aires.

And yeah, just, thanks for everything Mom. I love you so much. I always looked forward to pday because I got to hear how my parents and little brothers were doing. I don't think a p-day afternoon passed were I didn't proudly tell my companions about something my family did. Thanks for being such great writers and always encouraging me, even when it sucked!

And, for the final missionary, official line.

3 John 1:13-14

I love you all very much and will see you soon.

Your missionary son and brother,
Elder Joshua Duveau Wartena

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

He's almost done.


It sounds like a construction site there at the house. Leave something for me to do, alright? I've never installed hardwood floor, probably interesting.

The ash from the volcano returned yesterday, but will probably calm down in a few days.  Coincidence? I think not, Elder Decilia and I were talking about the records in the book of Mormon this morning. Can you imagine the massive job that Mormon and Moroni had? Think about England, what would the combined records of the country over a period of 1,000 years look like? Probably a lot of reading material the Nephites had.  Tthen you've got to include the ENTIRE gospel in that record, as well as making it an accurate historical record. We think Mormon had a good idea of what the gospel principles were, maybe just a little...
I'm finishing 2 Nephi again, and enjoying it as always.

Thanks for being proud of me, Mom. :D

Elder Decilia is good, no worries. Elder Guevara, too.  I talked to me Peruvian-Japanese friend this week.  He's training in Patagones (down near my beloved Viedma, Elder Ramires is a District Leader, as is Elder Walker, and Elder Christianson is a Zone Leader in Mar del Plata. Elder Paredes is still in Santa Rosa 1, and Elder Decilia is, well, with me obviously.  That's a nice thing about being with new missionaries for most of your mission.  You get to see them all later. Elder Decilia was with old misisonaries most of his mission who are nearly all home.  Different views.

The Hourcade girls came to church! (Lionela and Yaqualin) Finally. They are our progressing investigators, those with whom we will be focusing to get baptised. We taught a mini word of wisdom lesson over a lunch appointment. The member aunt with whom they live started smoking again, and she had to eat a little crow for that. They are progressing well, reading, etc. Prayers would be welcomed. They really need the support from the aunt more than anything, because les cuesta entender. Sorry, I can't think of how to express that thought in english. I've been with latin comps for the past 5 tranfers! That's over 7 months, with 9 tranfers in all, over a year.
Ugh, spanish :D:D:D:D

The week was good overall.  The entire zone is having difficulties, and one of the zone leaders is kinda getting frustrated. It's odd when the ENTIRE zone is down.  Happens sometimes...

The week pased by like a blur, I honestly don't remember much of what happened.  I sent you guys a ton of pictures! We carried around a camera the other afternoon to grab some pictures of our area. You see, we are never there P-day because our house is so far away. Speaking of p-day, we slept, yes, slept for several hours. After I made a big pot of lemon chicken purlo.

Pictures of the castle, chapa houses (yay for references) green and pink houses, we're not sure where the got the sign, but it now forms part of their house (the old branch pres lived next door, probably helped) looking at a few pictures with our ward mission leader after a meeting we had last night, with the Hourcade girls, the bottle house (yes, wine and soda bottles form the entire house) our church building, the trees by the horse track that make the lion king theme pop in my head every day, and that should be it.

What can you do to help me? Well, I'm good for the last 2 weeks. I would like to go to the temple when I get back if that's at all possible, or go to temple square in SLC, ya know, we'll be right there after the airport.

But yeah, I am going to write Dad now. I love you Mom, thank you for the wonderful emails every week, I will see you soon!

Besos and abrasos from Argentina,
Elder Joshua Dueveau Wartena


Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July!!!

Dear Mom,

Alright, here we go.

The week started off well with service, roofing the house of our ward mission leader. Who knew that longer sheets of steel could cut your hand right open? Luckily it was cold, so I didn't notice until I felt my hand getting warmer (it was full of blood, that was the reason for the sudden warmth) No stiches necessary, and my hand is nearly completely healed now. I like to think I'm a little bit wolverine and have healing powers.

Speaking of physical infermities (I don't even care about spelling), don't eat bacon if it smells funny. You may get food poisining with rather nasty side effects.

4TH OF JULY!!!!!!!
We ate hamburgers, french fries, and related everything to america in our house while speaking English loudly (to the annoyance of our Latin American companions)

Rejection still hurts just as much the 24th month as it did the 1st. Not just an I don't want to hear, but hard, don't ever come back to talk about the church, we've decided not to read, nor listen ever.
That hurts badly. 

But, that same day, we found a family of ex-investigators that want to be baptised and couldn't figure out why the missionaries had stopped coming. Well, Sergio and Rosa, we are here now. Unfortunately, there may be a small problem with a divorce and remarriage.

The Hurcade girls are finally on the boat with progression towards baptism. YAY! Yaqualin and Lionela will pull through! 

Joaquin still insists on going out to work with us whenever he can and telling everyone how we helped save him and how now he is back in the church getting ready to go out on a mission.
We don't mind.

Pres is driving all over the mission to interview the missionaries in their houses. It was alot of fun actually.  He said that he has never seen me as an ''older'' missionary. That I always just keep being a young, excited missionary. However, my Spanish and teaching have progressed significantly. He talked to Elder Decilia and I alot about leadership and the importance of what we've learned on the mission being applied at home.

2 more p-days anyone? Yeah, that's weird.

It snowed Sunday! Ok, not really snow, more of 5 minutes of weak flakes. But, it never snows in Tandil, you would have thought it was an arctic storm, everyone was so excited.

Missionary stories are just cool I've decided. So excited to be an RM.

There is alot to do here before we leave, we're trying to organize and get everything in so that the missionaries coming in have a good base off which they can continue what we started. Lots and lots of planning and fast walking this week.

The books of KINGS are finished, read, woohoo! Talk about long, tedious war chapters. A little harder than the Book of Mormon, but I will try to throw out a spiritual thoguth from them. King Josiah, why was he spoken of so highly? Not only did HE follow the Lord, he also placed the entire kingdom under covenant, and utterly destroyed the idols, groves, etc. We can't just be half into the gospel. Get all the way into the work, don't just sit on the sidelines or be content saving yourself. It won't work!  In the end, King Josiah and his kingdom were destroyed by the Babylonians and carried into captivity. But, it was written that no king before or after was like unto him in devotion and full zeal to the Lord.  Wouldn't that be nice to have written of us?  Food for thought.

D&C 121 is amazing. It has been written in the back of several of my planners, and I read it again this morning. Thank you Joseph Smith, for being in Liberty Jail so that we could have these sections.

Just leave lots of work that requires me to be outside. The level of ''not tan'' is actually quite impressive at the moment. 

Haha, I'm glad that Nate is planning my life, and who will be the favorite uncle of my future children...

I saw a movie poster the other day, and not to say I'm unfocused or anything, but captain america coming out the end of july?

Well, I am going to run, I get to help a young man with english, finish an activity for a ward FHE tue and we're off to teach some peoples. Oh, how grateful I am to be with Elder Decilia.

Thank you so much for everything you do, Mom. I love you, and everyone else too, but you're Mom, so you get it first. :D

Your missionary son and brother,
Elder Joshua Wartena

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Count Down Begins

Dear Friends and Family,

Some people probably start the countdown to the return of a missionary the day he leaves on his mission, but not us.  That would have been too hard mentally to handle.  A wise woman in our ward warned us against the countdown calendars, and I am soooooooooo glad we took her advice to heart.  The younger siblings did construct their own countdown chain back in February; but I, the Mama, refused to have it out in the main part of the house where I could see it.  It has been hidden away in the older boys room. Every few weeks I would notice it getting shorter, but I never paid attention to the dates on the chains or counted how many were left to go.  Now, here we are, a mere month till he returns.  I can hardly believe it.  The countdown can no longer be avoided when your missionary starts to mention it in every e-mail.  True enough, though, I'm not as excited as I expected to be at this point.  Receiving the weekly e-mails, learning about other people, hearing of the gospel changing other peoples' lives has all been quite enjoyable.  On the other hand . . . I miss him and will LOVE having him back in our lives in a more physical way, so to put it.  

Now, without further ado,  the e-mail.

Dear Mom

Yeah, and every missionary that we see, woah, it's the last transfer for you guys! One nice thing about ending together is that we aren't always bringing it up in conversation.

I'm doing well, it is true. Freezing cold. The temperature has dropped to, well, I think the plates have moved and we're in Antarctica now. And with 95% humidity, it is COLD.  Which is a good sign, the earth is still moving in its prescribed course bearing testimony of the Creator.

Well, the conferencia was awesome. Elder Arnold, the area president 70, just blew all of our minds and told us that we knew what to change, now change it. Then told us how. The best part was when he asked if we had any questions. Well, I've been wondering how I can improve my prayers for quite a while now, so I asked that. 
Ever had someone look into your soul? Yeah, that's about what it felt like. I'm going to give you 3 things, Elder, and I'll explain it afterward in English, so that the new elders can understand.  You all need to know how to pray.
1-Don't kneel in your bed
2-Don't make it the last thing you before you crash into sleep. Pray so that you can be awake. For example, wake up, brush your teeth,  wash your face, something, prepare, He's your father
3- Pray like you are praying to your father.  He loves you. Then a 15 talk on how God is our father in heaven and we need to learn how to address him in this manner and have a personal relationship with him.

It was really nice to get a specific answer, that covered what I needed to change.

Then we got back from the conference, and found 2 more families to teach the next night, great experience. We were looking for their neighbor (false address) and knocked on the door of a very well to do Catholic family's home (the kind that NEVER let you in with good results) and the mother cordially let us in. When Elder Decilia said that he was from Salta, she went off about their recent trip to Salta to see the Cathedral of the Virgen. Not a great start. Well, we got the daughter (Maria, suprise surprise) to come in and listen as well, and the father came for the last part. An amazing lesson actually, they had good, honest questions, and were very excited to read the Book of Mormon (which was a surprise).  The Dad tried to be all macho and say that he was ok; but his wife and daughter told him to stop it, and that they were going to read the book. The father talked to us outside afterward (walked us to the door) A great, humble guy, that thanked us for the visit and talked about his life and work. Some guys are like that.

Then, we found the lady who may have the most medical problems in the entire world --cancer, diabetes, a couple other medical terms that threw my vocabulary off, and it's all terminal, with a few years left of life.  Her husband has stuff too. That was a spiritually impactful visit.  Don't think we would have mentioned the word baptism more often in a lesson, and both families accepted the invitation to be baptised after they gain a testimony.  The kids weren't able to be baptised this weekend. They still have some problems understanding the word of wisdom, but love the Book of Mormon, and pray like champs. The mother also got alot more on our side this week, as she is trying to spend more time at home, and animating her sons to be in the church. If we can only get her. At least she accepted a visit with us finally.

Not sure if I've told you, but Joaquin, the young single adult who came back from the drugs and awful life.  He now has a mission date goal after an interview with the branch president. 2013 for the medical stuff, school, and funds. He is excited and offers to do visits with us all the time. It's a good time.

It sounds like you are all doing very well back on the home front. 3 more P-days after this one if I'm not mistaken, which will be weird. It's been awhile that communication has been once a week through email.  People are old now, once again. 

I finished the New Testament this morning! WOOHOO! Hoped to give my mind a small break from thinking purely in symbolism in Revelations by reading the Book of Mormon, but to no avail. I'm smack dab in the middle of Nephi's Isaiah chapters. But, reading the books of Kings helps me to see what Isaiah was trying to say, and D&C 77, definitely nessesary for Revelations.  The main theme, just do what you know you are supposed to be doing, and everything will turn out alright. That seems to be the message I'm getting over and over again wherever I read.

War chapters are some of the best in the Book of Mormon, enjoy them!

I'll be putting the blessing in my journal, thank you Mom. Thanks for the email, and always being faithful telling me about everyone back home. I love you all so much, thank you again, and have a great week! 

PS, thank you for the photos, Jo.You're still cute

Your missionary son and brother,
Elder Wartena

To every man there comes a time in his life when he is figuratively tapped on the shoulder and offered a chance to do a very special thing, unique to him and fitted to his talents. What a tragedy if that moment finds him uprepared or unqualified for what would have been his finest hour.
-Winston Churchill  

May your week be full of joy and the Spirit of the Holy Ghost leading you along life's path. 
Signing off for now,
The Mama

Monday, June 20, 2011

3 Baptisms End of This Week

Dear Mom,

As a matter of fact, I do feel older. I now have to shave at least twice daily to maintain the missionary appearance and found that I sing a beautiful bass line this sunday in church.  
Yeah, not really. Church was a grand total of 18 people. You see, the TORRENTIAL rain of Friday night and Father's Day  -- HAPPY FATHER'S DAY! --  combined to drive away most of the members to BBQ's, naps, and etc.  
But, I got to give a talk and it went quite well.  
Yeah, it was some pretty crazy rain, following and preceding the 

now current 93% humidity according to local readings.  
You get used to humidity, it's weird. Why am I all wet, it's freezing . . . Ahhh, condensation.

The kids are doing well, the young men, 3 should be baptised this weekend, which will double our young men-s quorum. Then in July we-ll do the same to the young women. Yes, the chicas Hurcades finally accepted a baptismal date.  
Joaquin is my hero here in Tandil, he's becaome the Heleman to the young men here in the ward.

You all sound so darn old. Matt is coining philisophies, Ben is going to join the Marines or something, Nathan is on Trek, Chris is 18, and Jo is fully mobilized on 2 wheels. Whaaa. . . 
Well, I'm excited to party, not to be trunky or anything, but I'm excited.  Are you ready to go biking?

We're going crazy, just trying to get every person in we can teaching wise before we head out. Goal, baptise the last week here.  
However, this week wasn't the most fruitful, with the holiday, weather, going out to Rauch to help them *(it wasn't pretty) and service several days, we didn't teach nearly as much as we would have liked. This week we travel up to Olivarria for the conference with Elder Arnold of the 70. Woohoo. I've heard more 70 in the mission than ever did at home.

To Kill A Mockingbird, ahhh, what a wonderful book. History in general, good subject.

Thank you all so much for the b-day cards!

Alma is a champ. I'm finishing the New Testament right now and Paul strikes me as the B
ible version of Alma. Same kind of conversion, etc. Just amazing people that show their love through their works and remain faithful forever. I think it's interesting, too, to think about how there were 3 generations there *commented on this before( Alma the elder, Alma the younger, and Coriantumr. 3 real, well, not living up to their callings, who repent and become powerhouses. Alma the younger probably felt a great love and appreciation for his father as well when he was put in a similar situation.

I feel like I've gained more love, of course. But I think as well I've learned alot more of how the Lord loves us, and because of that love does so much, mainly John 3:16. But the amount of sacrifice one will give for that thing called charity. Now, not that a mission is a huge sacrifice at all, but I've learned alot more about the value of a person and the absolute necessity of the gospel.

How great is email, it just saves your letters in case of a power outage.

If you haven't darsed cuenta, not much happened this week writing wise. The ping pong & pancake activity went well, and the American pancakes were a hit. Argy pancake is something that resembles a wet crepe with no flavor.  
Carmel covered pancakes, mmmm.

And, that's all folks. I will let you know how the baptisms and the huge conference went next week! Thanks again for the cards, the emails, the updates, and all that. Have a great week, I love you, family!

Your missionary son and brother,
Elder Joshua Duveau Wartena

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Adventures a Plenty

This is a particulary long post that I loved reading.  Unfortunately I don't have time to proof read it for you this week.  Josh only have 30 minutes each week for the typing so he does it quite fast.  Enjoy it in it's original form.  If I get the time Sunday I will try to add the photos that came with the email.  He's having a pleasant time serving with the missionaries in Tandil.

Dear Mom,

I'm tired too. But I think it has more to do with playing soccer for 2 hours with our soon to be baptisms and walking all over the hill calvario today.
Pictures attached. Included the traditional 13 catholic stages of the passion of the Christ, on the path to the cross. Also included are pictures of the whole of Tandil, a huge cliff (with me interpretating Lord of the Dance) Those hills are supposedly some of the oldest in the world.
Your weeks sounds like it was dominated by the summerfest. I showed my comp the pictrures and he immediately said ''BOCA, yeah'' OHS has the same colors as one of the largest Argentine futbol teams.
I didn' trecognize the brothers, and thought Nate was Chris, and was quite confused as to why he was wielding cymbals.
Thank you for the photos.
alright, I won't be responding much to what you sent, sorry. 
Finish Alma, we'll talk about it when I get home. But not the house, that way I have some way with which to occupy my time, physical labor.
Umm, food is pretty much the same at this point. Noodles, rice, Milanesas, Empanadas, lots of Oatmeal, the whole house is hooked on it.
We bought a vaccum cleaner this morning. What happens when you get a whole bunch of old elders in a house together. ''hey, Wartena, let's buy a vaccum''' alright, call the offfice. ''hey, e garcia, we need 450 pesos for a vaccum, thanks''
AHHHHHHHHH No more sweeping carpet, no more buckets for clothes. Not to complain, but laundromats are so expensive, and a washing machine is nice.
Like I said before, the young men are getting baptised in 2 weeks (we got another 2 of their friends too) and are pretty excited. Still trying to get the Mom invloved. Alfredo is having some problems with the sister, and yeah, kinda can't talk aboiut it, but he probably won't be baptised this week.
The branch is doing well. We had an area conference via sattalite yesterday with E Anderson and E Packer. 50 years as a gen authority. He said right there that he won't be coming back to Arg, but will have to pass over as he leaves this life. Amazing talk on the holy ghost, and all the speakers (including sis Wixon and E Civic) mentioned tithing and taking the gospel seriously. Excellent.
Then we went out to work, and were contacted by a small man who had met the missionaries before and wanted us to come by. Well, we grab Juaquin in the street, and head over. He informes us that it is a bar and a ''house of services'' as the door opens and they tell us that is a club. But, the guy appeared and invited us in. 
Sure enough, a prostitute invited us to dance right there, but we followed Miguel into his ''room'' and began to teach. Ummm, here is where we realize that we are IN a, well, brothel, for several clues inthe room and such. Then the girl (alma) walks in and begins to teach us about the evangelical church and her testimony (her being drunk didn't help) and we end up listening to her prayer and cutting her off because we had to go. It gets better, while we were praying, another girls came in (who had tried to come in earlier, holding her clothes on, and then walked out) and was putting on makeup. Informed us that she didn't believe in God, but we could come back that night. It was a transvestite. So, in fin, we taught a gay prostitute, a straight prostitue, and a transvestite prostitute in the brothel. Not exactly the situation you try to get into. It gets better, leaving the bar, we met a man who is apparently a murderer.
Yeah....the adventures of a missionary. Then we saw a drug addict, another homeosexual, and several drunks that same day.
It was quite the interesting day of rest.
We also walked acroos 40 minutes of ''private property'' to knock a door. Were intereseted by the 10 meter portcullis and towers that were in the middle of a field and decided to meet the owner. The groundkeeper (a very nice lady with a shotgun on her back, apparently they have frequent problems) came out of the servants quarters of what is literally the largest house I have ever seen. Not really a house, more of a mix between an english castle and a chalet. Like, the count of monte cristo's house with battlements. We gave her a book of mormon, but she asked us to leave. It belongs to an ''italian society'' Either the mafia, or vampires.
It was quite the exciting week, and we taught alot of lessons, found quite a few new people (but nothing really mind boggling) We start the last transfer today, we're still together. Actually, no missionaries in Tandil changed, which is kinda nice.
The Volcano in Chili affected the weather here, we had a few days of ash falling. It was cool.
D&C 88 in amazing.
And, yeah.
That's about it, and I ahve to go write pres and run. Thanks again for the email. Ï love you all too, have a great week, and say hi to everybody back home.
Your missionary son and brother
ELder Joshua Wartena

Monday, June 6, 2011


Dear Mom

Oh my, the week in which you receive sun is the coldest week here in Tandil. The official welcome to winter. Not sure what weather station is being used on that website, but I assure you that it is equivocado (wrong).  I asked Elder Decilia why and he explained that the current weather situation is due to the winds blowing up from Antarctica, crossing the Patagonia, and ending up destroying the province of Buenos Aires.  Makes sense.
Cruel, cruel, cold.

But, we found 13 new investigators this week, which is somewhat of a personal record. Probably due to the fact of many more people being home.  I'll tell you about Brian, Nahuel, Trumpy, and Edu.  The are youth about the ages 13 and 16.  We didn't have high hopes as we walked in after them. Turns out their mother went to the church when she was a little girl, and some of the boys had as well with the sister missionaries here before. They are studs, the only appropriate word. Well, not really appropriate, since they have nothing to do with, nvm.
They were answering questions with more honesty than any adult. 

''Can I say the prayer'' oh, I forgot something, I'll say another one.
Are we going to read some of the book now before you go?
Uhhh, of course
What is a servant? Oh, I know! It's an animal!
No trumpy, the other kind of servant (Siervo-servant Ciervo-type of deer)

Trumpy and Hanuel came to church. Unbathed, exhausted, and slightly confused, they came.
We have their baptismal date in 2 weeks.

Alfredo is still having problems with getting a marriage date soon. But, we have a member who is a justice of the peace, so it'll work out.

A transvestite and it's ''friend'' contacted us in the street. That was interesting, especially since I was on divisions with e Washburn, who just got here from the MTC.  Oh, and I just walked into a house and sat down, while asking permission and not getting an answer. Awkward first lesson to 4 young adults anyone? Yes, but hey, boldness?

Thank you so very much for sending me a scarf.

So dad, you know how they don't use drywall here, but once in a very great while you will find someone with a drywall roof in small rooms, and they ask for help painting.
Primer coat, nope, just go for it.  It looked so bad, I felt ashamed. But they seemed to be more interested in the large whole remaining in the wall then the paint.  Oh well.  I'm trying to respond to as little as possible about home stuff, because the constant reminders are slowly driving my insane. The last daily planner sitting in my pocket, the comments of other missionaries, etc.
But, thank you for asking, and caring, it means quite alot.
I was thining about blessings on this end as well, it was a long list too.
I don't have the card with me, I will make sure to bring it next week. 

Woah, Spencer got home. I'm glad to hear he is doing well, tell him hi from me.
I feel honored to have people praying for me, thank you.
Light/medium blue.
I like blue. If it could be a light blue stripe, white stripe, light blue stripe, with yellow somewhere in there, I wouldn't complain either...

Tandil is still doing really well. The whole district had an excellent week. We're trying to promote more enthusiastic work and charity it seems..I feel like a spy. Especially when we put on long dark coats, carry passports from other countries, and talk to people in another language.

No pictures this week. Just imagine kansas, at 0 degrees, and you'll pretty much have it.
Although I shouldn't talk, I imagine RUSSIA had some cold days, ya know, just here and there.

Well, I have to write Pres Detlefsen, so I am going to run.
Thanks for the constant updates on the brothers and home in general, I really appreciate it.
You were correct when you said you were the best missionary writer, Mom. It's quite impressive.
I love you all, have a great week. We're praying for you here in Argentina.
Thank you for the dog and car advice. Tell Chris not to lick cats.

Your missionary son and brother
Elder Joshua Wartena

Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Memorial Day

Dear Mom,

Weird, Memorial day. I always associate that with mine and Nathan's birthday. And heat...but it's not very hot at the moment.  In fact, it's about to start pouring rain. The morning fog was a sign we thinks.

Zone conference ROCKED. If Pres. doesn't get off topic on old testament imagery and how genesis applies to missionary work, he is explaining the meaning of the atonement and pratical applications towards eternal life.
It makes me wonder what I missed when I couldn't understand a word.  But, the mission reached 101 baptisms, which is the highest in nearly a decade. It's a good thing.

Oh, yeah, we had 12 people sleeping in our house for zone conference, and 1 of them was sick. You know what that means, we were all fluish for about 2 days. But, the house has been rebleached and everything but us in said house is dead and down the drain.  Apart from cleaning, Pday was spent eating, sleeping, laundry, and oh yeah, getting permission to come whenever we want and play basketball at the indoor court by our house.
Why email is cool. Power surge in the Ciber, but the email auto saved.

So, Alfredo is getting baptised this month, he's pretty stoked about it. He is the man marrying the member and yeah, its' a good time.
The Jehovah's Witness unfortunately had no interest and wouldn't read. So, dropped.
But, the Hurcades are having a large focus of prayers and work placed on them. The cousins of the member lady who lost their mother and now live with their aunt. We finally got them interested in something we said with the plan of salvation (not suprising) They actually smiled.  Yaqualina and Lionela
The daughter of sister Hurcade as well, came to the activity in the church and is recieving the lessons. Camila

Speaking of the activity, the branch president and I are the official ping pong champions.
''Hey, elder, do you want to paint?'' (service activity)
Yeah, sure, where is the paint?
''did you ever paint before elder?''
Yeah, once or twice.
We're finishing the ward mission leader's house this week, while he and his son are in Buenos Aires for the transplant tests.

Church went well here too. The brother Barrasa came, shich was a little miracle, considering that he was excommunicated while they lived in Spain. But, he's nearly done with the BoM he informes us and seems alot...well...not the normal excommunicated member.  And Barcelona won the champions league game against Manchester United. Since Messi plays for Barce, that was a HUGE deal.

I'm looking forward to working out again, I'm glad to hear that you're doing well there. Keep it up, Mom.
Palmer married, it still hasn't clicked. Someone with whom I lived 24/7 for more than 4 months.

Yeah, and that's about all the advetures here in Tandil. Doing well, working hard, and yeah.
You all sound busy. I realized that I'm coming back to little brothers who aren't so little anymore, and a house that I won't recognize. Oh, and from winter to summer.
Maybe I'll stop off in Buenos Aires and just ''get lost''.  Just kidding, Mom.  I got your letters! Thank you all so very much. It made my week to get something from ya'll.

And thank you for the faith principle. I was praying this week to learn how to gain more faith. Thanks for being an answer to my prayer.

Have a great week, don't get flooded, that would be a very bad thing. I love you all, thanks again for everything and will talk to you soon!

Your missionary son and brother
Elder Joshua Wartena

P.S. 1 and 2 Corinthians are some excellent reading, if you were looking for something.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Dear Mom,
This is big.  I want to climb it--oh, wait.  Look at my pants.  I already climbed it and it was awesome!

Ok, there were a couple Aaron's at the OFC, but I am 95% sure that I know to whom you are referring, thanks!

Your attempts at humor remind me of mine, and are quite funny, not gonna lie, I do enjoy them.

Haha, well, I am going to be suprised by the paint color, sure sounds exciting...  But really though, did you let them make the Mordor/Gondor mural that we were trying to do a couple of years ago? Please say yes.
Josh's latest investigator

I think I'll put the rock right here.

We had an exciting week here. A whole lot better than last week. Not hard, considering that we had about 3 full work days last week, and that tends to get you down.

The branch is great. Great new leadership that is taking the new plan to heart and doing their best. The members are actually very animated as well. It isn't a ''sleeping'' area like Santa Rosa was. Reminds me more of Viedma.

Big story: The 2nd counselor's younger brother is 22 years old and has been in ''the world'' for 2 years. o sea - partying. He was baptised at 8 and worked with missionaries, the whole 10 yards, but just fell away and nobody had any real hope for him honestly. Well, Jaoquin comes to us and says that he wants to repent and come back. He said that he is sick of the cruddy life and wants the Spirit back. He's a stud. Working with the branch president, and listening to the missionary discussions again. Showed up to church in a suit with his shirt ironed asking for help with a tie, scriptures in hand. Sure, he had 2 huge earrings in, but no one cared, everyone is just happy to see the prodigal son coming back. 
The city of Tandil

Josh and Elder Decilia

A solid foundation.  Does this make him the Wise Man?

We have an appointment with the Jehovah's that we found last week tonight, wish us luck. We think that he got frustrated last time because we wouldn't give him any answers that he wanted, just kept going back to the Book of Mormon.

Church went well, except for the the member of the dist presidency who had the Moses staff and Christ analogy symbol mixed up. The story was all fine, but he seemed to think that the US medical corps symbol, the caduceus, came from that story, and that he had discovered a secret of symbols taught to him by the Spirit. I didn't know how to tell him that it was actually the sybol of the pagan god, Hermes, and had nothing to do with the Bible. Whatever, sometimes stuff like that happens, just laugh it off. He called someone to a the elder's quorum and had only the men sustain, because it was a calling in the priesthood.......yeah.
Oh, how lovely was the morning . . .

I am not playing piano. We are trying to encourage a lady in the ward become proficient enough that she can play at least the melody line for the meetings.

Our ward mission leader is having the inspection on his house for the transplant this week. It has to be in optimal conditions for him and his son, the donor. Giving his Dad a kidney. So we've been over there several times to help finish a room that was half constructed.
another rock

Elder Decilia

Another surprise, Anai, the daughter of the Hermana Hourcaidi read the chapter we assigned her! She wasn't what you would call the most accepting investigador, so we were quite happy to hear the, "Yes I read."
Alfredo, the future husband to one of the ladies in the ward, is all ready to be baptised. Just has to sign a divorce paper and take out a turn to get married as soon as possible. Easiest commandments lesson of my life. ''Yeah, I'm all fine with those, don't intend to start drinking or anything either'' He is a truck driver of 22 years and ready to retire and just live happily.

That's really the most exciting news of the week. I believe that I already told you about Noelia and her father, the family for whom we are praying out our guts. Appointment tomorrow, please read! A young lady of 21 years with her father. WE need to teach the mother that wasn't there and the son who doesn't really want to listen. She is the friend of the 2nd counselor. We just can't take him along with us. He is about to get married, and it appears that Noelia wouldn't mind having him as her boyfriend, so he can't really help us.
Elder Decilia reading about the rocks

Elder Decilia okaying the rock placement

Divisions with Elder Hardman from Spanish Fork went well. An ex investigador gave us 8 litros of powdered milk...so we're good milk wise. She couldn't meet with us, but wanted to help us out. It was nice.

The pictures are from today. We took a little paseo out to the piedra movediza. I explaned what it is in the video.
It was nice to be outside, with big rocks. Stange how some things help you relax--climbing trees.
One of them is a tiny little obolisk thingy. We coulnd't figure out what it was for. My companion has a glass eye, he lost his left eye when he was 2 years old. Kinda cool, good for jokes.

Well, now I'm rambling, but thanks so much for the email and the thoughts. Tell everyone high for me.
I'm in Samuel, Acts, and 1 Nephi still. Just kind of reading and trying to soak it all in for once. It's nice to see how the gospel is just once big whole.

D&C 76 ROCKS. I highly recommend it.

Anyways, until next week my wonderful mother. I love you all back home. My comp. says hi. :D
Your missionary son and brother, who is is quite tired and actually took 2 hours of p-day to nap while his comp did laundry. Best news of the week, The zone leader Elder Gaughan asked the office and now, because we are 4 in 1 house, we have a brand new washing machine.
AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. Goodbye to nearly 2 years of buckets and sinks.

Elder Joshua Wartena

PS. I made guacamole today, Dad would be proud...

PSS.  The highest thing I've seen in just about FOREVER.  Don't worry, I was at least 10 feet from the edge.
The Mama here just saying if I can get the pictures to cooperate I will upload them a bit later.  They are just giving my fits, and you all know how skilled I am with the computer.  Anyhoo, he's happy and relaxed enjoying the new companion and the new area.  I can imagine the joy those missionaries must be feeling with a washing machine in their apartment.
Happy days to you.
Signing off for now,
The Mama