Where do I send letters?

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

Monday, January 31, 2011

Hello, hello, hello, hello, we welcome you today!


BRACES!!! WOOT! Go Nate, that's great that you finally have them. 
And Chris looks...old...in his ''uniform.'' I'll be expecting a 6 inch Subway Club bro. ;D

A good week. It seems to be the year of rain this year of 2011. Lots of 100+ degree days followed by bucketloads of rain. It's good for the fields out here that support the rest of the country...and the economy of the province.
I traveled alot this week. 2 day divisions in Toay, went out and worked with Elder Jones, it was good. We found 2 more people that can be baptised and accepted a date for this coming month of february. But yeah, normal more or less. Found them a new house, nice little apartment.  They'll be moving tomorrow. And transfers this weekend, so lots of packing and unpacking for one of them (Jones has been together with his kid for 3 transfers)
Then out to Acha for a baptismal interview, one of the best things about being a DL. However, the only buses out there leave in the morning and come back in the night, so we just had 2 companionships out there working. 
This was great for the district.  We had a baptism (in Acha...obviosuly) and found alot more people. But, Santa Rosa 1 suffered. Marcelino was confirmed, but we haven't able to get by to teach Patricia this week, and couldn't get her to church. Nor did Leda come. We were feeling pretty pathetic, until a member brought a friend that apparently wants to get baptised.

We did teach Franco again. He had read (at 16 years old, it is impressive) but didn't understand anything! Explanation, with another appointment to come teach the plan of salvation.

Stu is going on a mission, Stu is going on a mission. HAHA!!! Got him out, finally.
That's true about the mission and obedience. It's also really noticeable in the way you feel. 

I have some other scriptures for you, sorry the last week was kinda odd in that regard.

Lamanites, sometimes I think we give them a bad rap. Ok, so they were a horrible group of people much of the time, but I was trying to look for good things about them. They loved within their society, friendly, smart, built large cities and all that. They weren't just savages living in the wilderness all the time.
Jacob 3:7, Mosiah 9:1 Alma 18, Hel 5:50, 6:1, 5, 20, 37, Mosiah 24:5 Mosiah 8:21 

Marcelino was telling us this week that he believes the Lord gives us trials to discipline us sometimes. He was in the army and says how it is kind of like that. Why do they beat you down? Well, so that you will respond immediately to orders. If they say DOWN, they can't have some guy sitting there asking ''huh?'' He will die. The Lord does the same things, helps us to be humble so we can be more obedient. I liked the thought.

We should study the language, and pronounciation-Judges 12:6 haha

I finished Mosiah today. How I think of Mosiah-The  importance of following the Lord, how he can help you in trial, and the overall manifestation of a loving Father in Heaven helping his children. The last of the King chapters and great adventures leading up to Alma.  Alma is like Judges in the Bible. Lots of kinda random stories that end up working out.  I love Alma, and am quite excited.
Mona Lisa-Spanish, smooth female monkey...hmmmm

I bought new temple/baptism pants and shoes, did I mention that? They are the cowboy pants that they wear ''bombachas'' and the alpargatas. Yeah...
I did get the second package! And I have a question...how do I use these spices to make something delicious?
And yeah, we have a dinner tonight with the family Cueva. The husband Marcelo and the daughter are not baptised, pray for us! I'm making burritos and we're trying to get them to come to church again.
Sergio is also coming to church. The peruvian investigator who asks questions that I have never even thought about.
E Guevara is good, tired but he is a good missionary. Just solid.
We went and ate out this pday, then played basketball. Our team won, yeah.
Anyway, it must needs be that I cease writing. Thank you so much for the email Mom, I love hearing about all of you back at home. Keep doing well, smile, all that good stuff. Say hi to everybody for me, I love you all.
Til next week!

Your missionary son and brother
Elder Joshua Wartena

Not much to add.  The spice were for Minestrone Soup.
Signing off for now,
The Mama

Monday, January 17, 2011

So, here is my awful week.

Oh my gosh, roast....mmmmmmmm
But, I have argentine meat, it will have to do.
Hey, I've actually whipped egg whites before, in a plate, with a fork. It takes FOREVER. E Torres taught me how to make whipped cream that way over a year ago. Crazy little peruvian.

So, here is my awful week. Ok, it wasn't awful, I was just in the middle of my first real nervous breakdown I've had in the mission.

Tuesday, we had dist meeting and I went out to do divisions in Acha with Elder Eaton. Also had to go interview someone for baptism. Acha is good, little 16x16 block town, full of sand. The baptismal interview went...well, we jsut had to resolve her problem with tithing. Then we went around Acha giving a blessing to an older woman who had a stroke leaving her half paralyzed. She is moving to Santa Rosa today andwill be baptised in the 3rd ward.
Yeah, the wards are numbered here, it's cool. 
The remainder of divisions were spent teaching with great power and authority to the confounding of false doctrines. Literally though, people who had ''problems'' initially were forced to realize that they needed to pray to God and read the BoM. It was awesome.

Then, wednesday, back in SR. Well, 1 story for ya'll. Patricia, a lady we met and ended up teaching her sister when we went back for the appointment. She greets us by saying that she picked up the book we left her sister and really liked it if we could tell her more.
She said that if one wants to know truth from God they should ask with real intent, and she would really like to know.
Conveniently, we shared moroni 10 at that point. She would have desires to unite herself with this church if she knew. 
Baptismal date for the 29.
And Marcelino is still excited for his baptism this weekend. :D

But, then it was back out to Acha on thursday. The lady to whom I gave the baptismal interview had a husband who needed to be interviewed as well. They had to travel unexpectedly to SR for a doctor or something (well, they had to stay later unexpectedly) and so I stayed the night in Acha. 
The interview, we just won't talk about that. Sufficient to say that I have never left an interview before feeling sick to my stomach. Pretty sure that's a NO feeling. Anyway.....
So, fri night and saturday I was back in Santa Rosa, yeah.

Sat night, holy cow. Never in my life have I seen that quantity of rain. I don't think you can have that kind of rain unless it's in South America actually. The sidewalks were flooded in a manner of minutes. It was great, very nice after a 100+ degree day.

And now it's pday. We went to eat pizza with the district, and Acha is staying the night for dist meeting tomorrow. We've seen alot of each other this week.
And, I'm feeling alot better, don't worry. The rain helped alot for some odd reason. 

And yeah, that was about the week, lots of travleing, and lots of prayer. I finished 2 nephi today, which is good progress considering last week I started the book of mormon again to finish all the books by July. 

I'm taking martial arts, or maybe kick boxing. Glad to hear you are a kicking punching master now Mom, beat up all your sons. 

The package didn't get there did it?

No dog bites, but here's a good story.

We go to check up on a kid we have that is interested. The woman we think is his mother answers the door. Literally the craziest woman I have ever met, and ARG is not lacking in that category. Or maybe it's the simple fact of being a missionary, you find some weird people.  She thinks that she is the witch from Hansel and Gretel, and wanted us to come in to eat her empanadas. Juan is hers, we cant's talk to him. And it kinda kept going like this, we ended up just walking away as she yelled for us to come into her house. Yeah.

They put alarms into our apartment complex! So, we're going to stay here, one of the nicest houses in the mission. We have a sports activity with the ward on saturday before Marcelino's baptism, should be fun. We'll see what these kids got, they keep talking trash.

And yeah, that's the week. Thanks for your email, really, I love hearing how everyone is doing, it is defintely a high point of the week. I am praying for you all and hope you continue to do well. 

What else happens this week? 18 months as an elder my friend? Yessiree, when did that happen?  But, it's all good here is Santa Rosa. Thank you again for everything Mom, I love you all, and all the family. Say hi to the peoples and keep enjoying January.

Your missionary son and brother,
Elder Joshua Wartena

This week we thought it would be fun to send him an email taunting him about all the yummy food we've been learning to make.  I had a roast in the oven cooking and scenting the house as I was typing to him, so it was easy to taunt.  Now I just wish he were here so we could take off to Iceberg and get shakes and fries and talk.  Missing him a bit extra this past week.  BUT . . . all is good.  Can not believe only 6 more months and he won't be a fulltime missionary any longer.  Where does the time go?  Seems like he should still be 6 years old.

Signing off for now,
The Mama

Monday, January 10, 2011

GEEZ! Why does everyone choose to write me the same freaking week! Not that I'm complaining, but the responses will be shorter. Another future elder emailed me for info...
Ok, another thought on the whole Lehi dwelt in a tent thing that E Blackhorse shared with me about a year ago. Kinda the exact same thing. But really think about how Lehi huimbled himself. He's living, in a TENT! Ever LIVED in a tent? That whould suck, really. Although it makes me laugh how the first thing Nefi says when they get to the promised land is that they pitched their tents. 
10 pages a day and you will finish the standard works in 6 months, part in spanish, part in english. That's my new challenge, wish me luck. 
I taught E Guevara the whole tribe thing for comp study yesterday? Thank you so much for the rest of the thoughts. I starteed cross referencing my pat blessing with scriptures and found one a really liked, let me find it.
Ok, couldn't find it, I'll get it to you nexct week, because it's perfect. Here are some others though
1 ne 22:8
1 ne 14:7

It's interesting as weel to look for all the gentiles shall be nursing fathers and mothers in isaiah/ne I recommend it.
Another one of these, what do you think about the tree of life story? Anything really. 
And what did the other pointer in the Liahona point to? Not that it matters. 1 ne 16:10
Btw, the new search on lds.org is awesome. Did they hire google or something?

In the meantime, here's a cool story for you. We are looking for an old investigator, and his brother answered the door. Well, the spirit said that we should teach him, so I just said ''would YOU have time now?'' While walking in. Literally just starting walking in the house with faith. Well, he pretty much throws the plates off the table and sits down. Franco has no religious background (not even sure that he was baptised catholic) and was enthused about the idea of asking for things in prayer. His buddy Hugo (who we...persuaded to join the lesson) wasn't that excited. Pray for him! He has a bpatismal date for february.
Jesica and Walter don't want to get married. They are really like 12 year olds mentally and it's kind of a struggle, ok, really a struggle. But Marcelino is still doing well! He teaches us alot when we go over to his house, great guy. We knocked a door and the lady wondered if we took donations for the poor becaue her daughter had an extra matress, odd? Yeah, but Marcelino told us to get in his truck later that day and we went and got the mattress. It's now in our house.
Which still hasn't been changed. We found a couple new apartments, but we have to go check them out, make sure the prices are ok and all that stuff. Then we have to verify barrio safety, location, etc etc. Not to worried about safety honestly, the worst barrio in my area is about where I was living for 6 months in Viedma. As long as there are bars in the windows I'm good.
Until then, I'll continue booby trapping the house nightly with my weight set and several knives. :D

What else? It's been raining quite a bit, which is nice. Reminds me of tres arroyos, super hot, then torrential rain.
The district is still doing well, I sure am glad I have good elders. Well, Elder Bateman kinda threw down with one of our baptismal dates, but it's fixed now, no lasting harm done. That is an elder who knows how to call people to repentance. A good thing, I wish I could do it like him.
I'm learning japanese, just to be cool like that.

Isn't the alma story so cool?
Alma 1-Priest to wicked king Noah, repents
Alma the Younger-''The most vile of sinners'' I think he Dad understood more than anyone what he was going though
Coriantum-Bad missionary, but repented.
Really shows how merciful the Lord really is, man he loves us.
There is a great talk I have by Pres Kimball, I think Dad was the first one to show it to me years ago actually that talks about that. I will get the title to send it to you.
Great article in an ensign I read, April 2005, a balanced life. I really enjoyed it and your email made me remember.
A member here has a peso from 1885, it's awesome.
SO much has happened! But at the same time, not much has happened. The mission continues igual, challenges desafios, and new stuff every day. I'm still learning so much and am very happy. I'm glad to hear that you are all doing well (and that new windows are ine, that's exciting) Thanks for everything you guys do. I love you, Mom! And all the family too.
Oh, and I think the package was regected in US customs because I included the shoes. My ZL had the same thing happen to him for sending the same articles and he has to wash them and re send it. SO SORRY! 
Know what's weird? E Jones and I are the oldest elders in THE ZONE! For hundreds of miles, we are the most experienced elders, woah! More pictures on flickr!
NEGRO DIED! Good job translating! That old dog died, wow.
Anyways, have a great week!

Elder Joshua Wartena

I just love to see how much his English deteriorates each week and his Spanish improves.  Nefi--doesn't it look cool spelled with an "f"?  I think so.  Please pray for them as they are apartment hunting.  It will bless them and the missionaries that come after them for a long time.

Signing off for now, 
The Mama

Monday, January 3, 2011

New Area and New Companion and 4 Baptisms


Wow! Santa Rosa is...well, the area I'm living in is like the nicest rich area in Viedma, and the ghetto here is where I was living there.
So it's really, really pretty. Luckily I'm in the actual city, because the outlying towns aren't this nice. however, it's HOTTTT! Get's up to 115 degrees on bad days. They say sweating is good for you, I sure hope so. At least we stay hydrated. 
First off, the weird spots on my back, turns out they AREN'T skin cancer. It's just a virus that the mission doctor says will go away. Sorry I forgot to tell you about that....
MY comp, Elder Guevara, is a peruvian/japanese (from his mom) and is in his 2nd transfer and just an all around happy guy. Really chill, funny, solid kid. I like him. I tend to get along well with the peruvians in the mission, it's a good culture.
(Elder Guevara)

Speaking of peruvians, E Torres is HOME!!! Kinda weird.
I'm responding to Dad's email here too because we have to look for a new apartment and we have a few appointments tonight to meet with people. The elders before were robber 3 times. Even though we're on the second level...
The ward is cool. Yes, it's a ward, with a good amount of people. Most of them are pretty old in the church and so are just kinda content in their membership, aka, lazy. But, they are really good people and can be whipped into shape. Our bishop is a young RM very interested in helping out the miossionaries and we have some great young adult males in
the ward missionary effort, I'm excited. We already have 4 baptismal dates for january. A father and his daughter that are the family of a recent convert (the mom) The girl wants to be baptised but the father is still a little bit hesitant. He said that if gets an answer though he will be baptised on the 22nd. Marcelo and Natalia.
Then we have Marcelino. He has been coming to church for years, including paying tithing and reading. For some odd reason he has resisted baptism. 
Fixed that right away, and now he has a date for the 22nd as well. VERY intelligent man, we went over for a lesson and he wanted to talk about how the gospel helps purify our lives to eternal progressiong and one living as God does...yeah. Then he went on and pretty much quoted the family proclamation for the world and how satan wants to destroy the family unit more than anything else right now. Very cool guy.
Jessica, just needs to get married to her member boyfriend and she can get basptised.
And that is the news of the week. An old guy wanted to gice us the book of mormon back, but apart from that not much more interesting invest. info. What do you when a young woman answers the door wearing only underwear? Just rol with it and ask when the family will be home. What do you do when that happens 2 times in one afternoon? Realize that these people have discovered how to deal with the heat...
I'm traveling back to Bahia tonight! AGGHHH! STupid leadership conference, nah, it should be fun, really. Elder Eaton is in my district again! As well as Elder Jones. It's pretty cool, we are the oldest people in the zone. 18 months coming up...weird. 
New Year's was great! We went out to have an asado with some other missionaries and saw the fireworks. Then the day was pretty dead, but we handed out christmas/new year's cards to a rest home. The hospital was way far away, so we couldn't go there (that is what elder Christianson and I did for christmas, go to the hospital and visit the people there)
Elder Guevara-There is the menos activo family, it looks like they are drinking''
EW (spiritual impression) ''We shouldn't go over there''
EG ''Nope, we should not''
Turn in unision.

I like elder Guevara, and he's teaching me to write in Japanese. 
Growing pains, you're right. They hurt. The ones in the mission seem to be the really fast ones as well. I learned to stop asking for patience...
Thanks for letting me know how everyone is at home, btw, I really love hearing how you are all doing.
I recieved another email from someone who recieved their call to the mission, they found the blog.  You are quite impressive with that blog Mom.
Well, I need to finish this up and go find a new apartment, wish us luck. Until next week, this is Elder Wartena signing off.
I love you all
Your missionary son and brother
Elder Joshua Wartena 

I just can't believe how fast the second half of this mission is flying by.  Shocking as it may seem, I actually want it to slow down just a bit for him.  When something wonderful is happening I often wish time would go slower so we could savor the moment a little longer.  

Another missionary in our ward arrived home this past week.  Oh, he looks so happy and so grown up.  His mom just comments how different he is, so manlike.  I half to agree that he certainly has turned into a man.  He is off to college tomorrow and the rest of his life.  To hear these returned missionaries talk about looking for a wife just gets me giggling.  What a difference two years can make in a life.

We shall end this entry with just one thought . . .

All is well, all is well.

Signing off for now,
The Mama