Where do I send letters?

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

Monday, March 28, 2011

New Companion Elder Paredes

Dear Mother
Hello, this fine monday afternoon. 
Sorry if the eamil is a little bit odd this week, I'm still fighting off a slight flu. I had a bug last week, which I then passed to Elder Christianson, and it would appear that he has passed it back to me.
But I don't have any high fever, bad symptoms, nothing, just a little bug.
It was a good week! We found 9 new investigators, which is somewhat of a miracle here in Santa Rosa. I will give you the highlights.
Divisions with the zone leaders, I was with elder Lloyd, we've been in the same zone/district for the past year or so.
Bruno and Valerio, with their little daughter (a family of young people, yes!) We kinda just caught them outside and got into their house. They really enjoyed the first lesson and gladly accepted a baptismal date for April if they receive and answer to their prayers in that time. Her father is a less active member in another ward, a she has heard asomething about the church before. What was great was going back and catching Bruno before he went to work. He really understands that it is important and alot depends on his use of agency to obtain an answer and find out what he needs to do. The Argentine culture really plays down the impotance of personal responsibility and the importance of religion, so for him to say that was great.
Jessica, who lives in the same neighborhood, has alot of questions about the plan of salvation (something else that is uncommon, I never thougth I would get a know to the questions ''have you ever wondered where you are going or where you came from?'' or ''Would you like to be with your family for eternity?'') she is a young single mom who's husband is in prison...it kinda sucks. But we havew an appointment with her tomorrow.
Then, an ex investigator family we found, with 2 kids. (more young people!) they just opened the door and told us to come in. They new the sister missionaries about 2 years ago when they were here in the area. Very evangelical, and we still ahev to have the first lesson with them (we just talked about Christ and our purpose as missionaries, it was what we felt like we should teach) we will see how it goes.
Elvira, she lives with a member (less active) and can't read. Not the best lesson I've had, but we will see what happens. 
Sergio is still gone, but we have faith! Aka, a little bit of hope, maybe desperation to hold on.
The weather is finally cooling down. It's good hoody weather in the morning, but you could still wear shorts in the afternoon. I've pulled out the old sleeping bag as bedding.
Elder Paredes is my new companion.  We get along really well. He is the cleanest missionary I have ever seen (and I thought I was clean...) and is just an easy going guy who is glad to be out of his last area! He is from Formasa argetina, up in the north, is 22 years old, and was baptised almost 4 years ago. This is now my 5th comp with 3 transfers or less, and the 3rd convert latin. I guess pres thinks I do a good job with newbies.
Woah, the missionaries where over for dinner. I can remember 1, maybe 2 times that we had them over. I feel bad for the elder from arizona! That's just a few hours away!
We are stoked for conference as well. Not only is it like a huge zone activity, hehe, but conferences are really amazing for some reason on the mission. :D Last general conf in Argentina, better enjoy it.
It's elder steele's birthday! we baked him a cake and everything, it was fun. 
We were walking back to church after going out to look for investigators, and we saw a man in sweats inside the church. Got all excited because we thought someone came. Turns out it was just the bishop...he was dead in bed and couldn't come, but wanted to come and do something in between meetings. It was kinda funny to walk in and give him a hard time. (he speaks english, and always makes joke to me)
I bought a mango, it sucked. MY comp informed me that you have to go up noth for good mangos. Oh well.
2 timothy 4:13. I find this scripture very entertaining for some odd reason. Paul forgot his coat, and had to let timpthy know to bring it to him for transfers. That happens all the time...some things just don't change about missionaries.
We did a morning of concrete work for service, so there was some soreness for the days following. I feel bad for my comp, I don't think he's ever done construction, and he was pretty dead...
Tortillas are so much better if you put butter in the dough. Who would have known?
And that's about all I can think of to write this week!
Thanks for the email, sorry I didn't respond much. But you see, sometmes you don't see how you can respond to things!
Yup yup yup. I had some great study time this week, but left my notes at home, presents a problem. But, one day I'll get everything in I want to. Until then (and afterward) I love you all, thanks again for everything, and have a great week. Hugs to everybody and a argentine beso as well.

Your missionary son and brother
Elder Joshua Wartena 

Monday, March 21, 2011

Pictures this week--and a new companion

Dear Mom,
 We think perhaps this is the new missionary badge. Not only is it impossible to miss, but the missionary can build some muscle strength at the same time.  And now that I take a good long look at it, it would be a great tool for self defense.

 Last photo together before the transfer.  Elder Guevara is off to Viedma.
He will be missed.

 P-day in the zone playing Delta Force.  He is, of course, the one hanging off the side of the building.

 Yeah, El Misionaro. that's a pretty cool sign, and those are gypsy kids. Yup, gypsys. 

 The big yellow building is for government offices. Josh loves to be up high, always has.  I remember all the trees.

 Josh and Elder Guevara with the Maldonado family (probably our favorite family).  The girl, Estella, has her mission call to Cordoba, and Pablo is waiting for his call. 

 Massive old Catholic Bible.  MASSIVE.

WOW! All of a sudden I realize once again how busy ya'll are. I just walk around and teach people, hahaha.
However, it's coming to an end, as you pointed out. 

Yes, I am a district leader. I take the missionaries numbers every night, make sure they are all alright, give the lessons every week and coordinate dist meeting. Basically I just make sure everything is working in the district. Not too hard at all. It's the first time I've had the zone leaders in my district though, which is fun. I'm so glad I'm not a zone leader, it doesn't look one bit enjoyable. You just handle numbers and make sure the dist leaders aren't dying. Not much interaction with any district or other companionships, more impersonal, blech.  

Elder Guevara was transfered down to Patagones, the area next to Viedma. He is going down to the coldness of winter in the south, BRRRR. I will miss him, but will be with an elder from his group (same time as him) Elder Paredes. Yuo, Elder Walls, he was born in Cordoba, but raised in  Buenos Aires. We will see how it is, he gets here from Mar Del Plata tonight at 10. 

That's the ward, after ward conference. The older gentleman next to me is Marcelino.

I am sending some other pictures, just a second. I am encouraging you to put some up on the blog for the rest of the family

Kid in the red shirt, member, with Guevara.

The week was pretty tranquilo. We have no hot water, our water heater decided to not work for longer than 2  minutes. So, until it gets fixed, we heat up water on the stove and use that in the shower. It's not that bad, you get clean, it's faster, and alot less water........silver lining?

Sergio has fallen off the map. After the law of chastity he was really torn. You see, he knows it is true, and really loves the gospel, honestly. However, his girlfriend will have nothing to do with it, and told him not to invlove her. Now, the law of chastity does involve her, and he is between a rock and a hard place, you could say. He doesn't know if he wants to marry her either. It's pretty sad. Then he called and said that he would be able to meet with us for the appointment, but would call when he could. He hasn't called, and we haven't been able to find him in his house. It's looking pretty grim.

But I played battleship! And lost miserably, to one of the young women...We were there to say goodbye to the family (for EG) and she challenged me while the other members of the family were writing in his journal. And then slaughtered me... 

Ward conference was good. They went over the stake mission plan once again, so we'll hopefully be getting some more support here soon. Divisions with Elder Christianson. As usual, all of the appointments fell through and we were stuck going by less actives and old investigators. It was fun though, he speaks much better now, it's good
to see that. Does a heart good!

Speaking of heart, we ate that again today. It was the cheapest meat, and we wanted meat in the burritos. Which were delicious. Found a new tortilla recipe, who would have thought that so much butter would be used?

The birthday parties sound fun. Pictures were taking? This is a very hopeful plea. Ben, you still need to let me know what you'd like for your birthday! Thank you to the little boys for their emails. You guys always make me smile, thanks for lightening up the day.

My debit card has not arrived yet, I'm starting to be slightly worried...

Thank you very much for the scriptures, D&C is amazing. I am reading it now and loving it. Read section 6 the  other day, which may be favorite section. It just feels like another pat. blessing.

Oh, and EG's family was fine in Japan, they live in Sapporo, on the other side, facing China. Well, I am running out of time, but a great big hello to the hole family. I love you all and hope your week goes well. Good luck in everything, I'm praying for you always. Thanks again for everything (literally) Hugs and kisses

Your misionary son and brother
Elder Joshua Wartena

Monday, March 14, 2011

Obedience =good things happen to you

Dear Missionary Mom

It finally got cold this week! Yes, we are back to sleeping in a jacket and sleeping bag. Such a nice change from 2 fans with all the windows open. The days are still quite nice though, with an occasional sweater. MMMMM.
Unfortunately, I probably won't be here much longer. I'm afraid that I will be going to Bahia to end the mission  either this Sunday or in 6 weeks. But, it is nearly certain that Elder Guevara will be leaving this Sunday. He
will be sorely missed.

But, we had an excellent week (depending on how you look at it. We spoke on the radio for about 30 minutes. Just about in what the church believes, the priesthood, and eternal families. Then we gifted a book of Mormon to the newscaster. It was fun, yeah. No one has called us yet...so we're not sure of the actual effectivity. Another member works for a local television channel, and is going to see about getting us on TV to talk about the church.

What else...
We didn't find many new people to teach this week unfortunately, even though we dedicated the majority of the time to that. But as the D&C points out, somtimes you just have 1 great person. Our's is Sergio. He is in 2 Ne 25 in his BoM reading. And is very excited to be baptised on Saturday, making great progress with the Word of Wisdon, etc. We were doubtful about him coming to church (not doubtful, just, apprehensive) because he spent Sat night at his girlfriend's house on the other side of town, and took the bus. Then canceled our appointment on Sat with the assurance that we would see him at 10 for sacrament. Several unanswered phone calls and a text message Sunday morning ended with the the 2 word message, I'm coming. And he did, walked in with jeans and a sweater, and enjoyed sacrament meeting alot. Asked to see the baptismal font afterward, which was promptly swept as he walked down the church hall (a huge spider had taken up residence since Marcelino's baptism.)

We and Acha are the only areas baptising in the zone, and have been since we got here. Which may be the reason that they split us into different districts. Lots of visiting less actives (non actives) and digging through lists
of old investigators. We will prevail!....maybe. 

E Guevara's extended family in Japan is doing well. They are on the other side of the country, and were not hurt in the disaster. The largest earthquake in 140 years...wow.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BEN!!!!!!! I ent you an ecard that made me laugh, I hope you like it. What do you want me to bring home for you, bud?

Chris has an email with his present in it.

Yeah, Dad told me. Well, at least he can be a test subject in his
classes for rehabilitation.

I'm quite proud of all my younger brothers.

I didn't even think about Laban! Ok, you beat me. Good Job Family! I don't have any other challenges prepared for this week. I've been reading the old testament, finished Genesis last night, oh so good! I just kept relating it to myself, which sometimes isn't the most productive this to do as a missionary, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.
Pride anyone? I apply Abraham Issac and Jacob to myself? 

I love that part of the book of Mormon, Mom (Alma 1-8ish). I have given talks several times in sacrament meeting on those chapters in the attempt to help move the ward in missionary work. I think the best part is the invitations he makes to those in the church, specific commitments to change lives. And then he extends commitments to those outside of the church, to repent and be baptized. What I'm getting more and more as I read the scriptures, is a pretty basic concept, to say the least.

Obedience=good things happen to you

Profound, yeah.

Not sure what to say about the week, yeah, just keeping on keeping on. Another Elder has my card reader card (his has broken) so I will email photos as soon as possible. But, yeah, good week. I'm happy, we're doing well, I had my haircut this week, and yeah. I love you all so much, thanks again for the great emails every week.

Your missionary son and brother,
Elder Joshua Wartena

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Elder can Walk

Dear Mom

I love you too!

Alright, here is the quick run down of the week.
Tuesday, I traveled out to Bahia Blanca for a great leadership capacitation...yeah. No, it was actually really good, quick enjoyable. I like the attitude of pres detlefsen. Too many times we make the mistake of just putting on a face to do a great thing, but leave out the actually planning part and arte left high and dry when we actually have to do something important. 
I have a quote by winston churchill about that, but I forgot it at home, and I don't want to mess it up, next week.
Got back to Santa Rosa, then had the whole zone in my area for interviews with president. Excellent once again, I always enjoy my interviews with pres. he doesn't seem to worry that much about me, knows that I am usually just fine and don't have alot of problems. Just lets me know that I'm doing a good job, talks about the work, and yeah. It's nice to know that there is confidence there. Makes you want to live up to it more and be a missionary taht doesn't cause stress. 
That night I headed out to Cha for another baptismal interview. Ended up not doing the interview, that will be this week, but reinterviewed (kinda) the ├▒lady from last week and attended her baptism. It was definitely a positivie trip. Came back saturday, worked in Santa Rosa, church, and now it's Pday. The governemt made like 1000 houses in our neghborhood and gave them away, so quite a few families from other wards moved in to our's. Our bishop was pleased as punch, to say the least. We went out o visit them, they are all amazing members, quite a nice thing to have in an area where it is needed. Have lunch every day this week, hehe, thanks to them.
Yeah, it feels like I haven't been here is Santa Rosa at all fro the past 2 weeks. Ugh, but it's good. I'd rather be busy then scratching my head trying to figure out what to do.
I can play hymns now.
There were emergency transfers in the mission, the area of Toay (in my dist) was closed, and Elder Jones was sent out to Olivarria, on the aother side of the mission. His trainee of one month was reassigned to another ward here in the capital and Elder Christianson is coming up from Viedma to be his companion. Yes, my last comp, Elder Christianson, should be a fun transfer for those 2...I really hope EC speaks better than 3 months ago...of course he does. We'll be picking him up at 9:30 tonight.
Acha came out for Pday and we spent most of the day taking pictures at monuments, at government buildings, etc. It was a holiday, combine that with the siesta and we are the only ones outside.
GEN CONFERENCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I'm quite excited, to say the least. Elder Guevara is up and walkiong now. He has to wear a super soft shoe, basically a slipper, but his toe is much much better. 
Sergio is giving up smoking to be baptised next weekend. YAYAYAYAY: Really a miracle honestly, considering our lack of work for 3 weeks.
I finished the BoM this morning! Started to Bible and D&C. I'm reading a section a day along with elder blackhorse to therefore finish the week we go home. AGGH.
Jesus the Christ is an awesome book. I've read it 4...5 times? I think 5 on the mission. Learned alot, a whole lot.
Great to hear how you all doing. We had an elder in the mission in Mar del Plata have his appendix removed last week...that was an interesting little emergency, I just heard about it.
Haha, I am so glad the school stuff got worked out, and tat you liked my essay. I think I'm going to just be a spy for the CIA or something...Jason Bourne
The Wartena supremacy, not quite the same ring.
Moroni, favorite book, hands down. It's just amazing. I love moroni 10. As well as chapter 7, where it is Mormon teaching in the synagoge...spelled wrong, oh well.
Limhi is an amazing example of personal virtue.
My brothers=awesome.
Ok, here are some of the pictures, our PDAY adventures
Never mind, it doesn't want to work...maybe I should buy a new card reader, this one looks kinda broken....it was 5 dollars...over a year ago...hmmmm
Oh well, you'll have to go a time without pictures. Again.
It's almost your birthday!!! Happy birthday Mom and Dad, a month early.
Now I'm jsut trying to fill space. Not sure what to write now.
It's still ridiculously hot here in the pampa. Summer is holding on.
I love you all so much. Thanks again for the constant updates on everything. Enjoy the crocusus for me. I still remember all of us being excited to go out and see your flowers come up after the cold.
I'll see you in 139 days. That was for Chris, hahahaha.
I'm praying for you, don't stay up too late! Eat an iceberg milkshake and ahve Chris make a sandwhich for me. (I'm very proud of you little bro, thanks for the good example to me)
Hugs and Kisses
Your missionary son and brother
Elder Joshua Wartena 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Adventures with a wheel chair


We did have the ‘’surgery.’’ It was what they called an infiltration. Last Tuesday they stuck a needle (huge sewing needle sized) into my companions foot to fill to affected area with a fluid to promote healing. The best part, while the doctor was putting it in, the syringe broke off at the base of the needle and he was all flustered trying to screw it back on while fluid leaked out. Ok, maybe not the best part, but it was kinda funny. That was Tue., and they commanded him to have complete rest for 1 week. So……I rented a wheelchair to be able to go to zone conference. It was an excellent conference. We volunteered to make the lunch, a peruvian dsh, Arroz Chaufa. Basically just 10 pounds of delicious rice with a ton of stuff thrown in, eggs, ham, bacon, onions, mushroom oyster sauce, and other things. It was…interesting to cook it all in our little kitchen. Definitely an

Then, I went out to Acha for another baptismal interveiw. The mother of a baptism they had several weeks ago. It was an excellent interview, the spirit made it clear that she was ready and happy to be baptized.  Oh, speaking of, the mission hit broke the record for baptisms in a month. We had 100, which hasn’t happened in years. Good

But, we had ANOTHER week of down time…it sucked. We were able to visit a couple of people and new converst/menos activos in the wheelchair, as well as attend church, but it wasn’t anything too exciting. But, I
started Ether this morning, so will be done with the Book of Mormon this week. Lots of study and cleaning. What are you going to do…most boring month ever… Just, don’t complain, the Lord will get back at you ;D.

Dad said that I got a promotion…that’s good. That’s very nice to know,
one less thing to worry about. 

Sorry I can’t respond to everyone’s emails (ok, anyone but you) the typing of the essays took longer than
anticipated. Good luck with school Dad, I’m praying for you. Tell Paris hi for me…that guy.

Oh I love my brothers. So much. Chris, Nate, Matt, Ben, Jo. I love you all. And it must needs be that I must go. Tomorrow I travel to Bahia again for a leadership conference…oh, joy of joys. Thank you again for the
wonderful emails, support, and just everything, I love you and will talk to you next week.

Your missionary son and brother
Elder Joshua Wartena

To clarify things here, Josh's companion had surgery on his toe.  The essays were for his college admissions and scholarship applications due, ah, today.  All is well.

Signing off for now,
The Mama