Where do I send letters?

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

Monday, April 25, 2011

Let us all press on in the work of the Lord


You and Dad both...jeez. Yeah, it's not been the easist couple weeks ,
we'll leave it at that.

The family Luna, why are we mentioning them? Well, last year I learned
Spanish sign language in Mar Del Plata on acocunt of Damian Gigli.
Didn't think that would ever serve me again, until we get ahold of the
young couple that recently moved into out ward, and she is deaf. Great
family, he is an RM who served in Cordoba, understands his part in the
missionary work as a member and wants to do it. The ward is actually
responding finally, had consejo de barrio (sorry, no idea waht it is
in english, it's been awhile) [This means neighborhood counsel] and to our surprise they informed us
that something had actually been done during the week and the ward
mission plan was going to be used. Something to do as well with the
redone ward list we gave yesterday in church to the secretaries
(Marcelino was called to be a ward clerk, yeah!) 

Getting colder here in Santa Rosa, we'll see to where it is that I
will be transfered this weekend. Confession, my stuff is mostly
packed. Trying (and it appears like I will succeed) to fit everything
into 2 suitcases with the third inside russian doll style.
New shoes, and pants. Oh, how we love missionaries who leave things or
give them away. Steel toed work shoes with an inch and a half heel?
Yes, thank you very much. A pair of dockers that will fit nicely
accompanied by a belt? That too.
Fyi, the tommy hilfiger belt from wal mart is still going strong, 20
months later. The pants, not so much...but they put up a brave fight.
Shoes, pretty much gone. I'm giving the pair that didn't fall apart
but just needs a new sole to a young man leaving or a missionary who
new shoes. The other pair will probably be burned this weekend. Held
together with super glue, tape, and walking carefully? Yup, thems
missionary shoes.

What was pday today? Well, a self done haircut was first on the
docket. Turned out much better than the last time, it actually seems
even. Then we headed over to the church during the siesta (world shuts
down) to practice piano and read a book. For some reason piano is
really relaxing, it's nice.

Package has still not arrived, I am afraid that it never will either.

Chris is OLD!!! I remember my homeschool graduation, if I remember
correctly it was when Dad was called to be bishop. I still have that
photo and enjoy pointing out everyone in out family to anyone that
asks.  He can think I'm perfect, it's pretty much true. ;D

Thanks mom, for all the encouragement and advice. It is nice to know
that I haven't been lazy. I haven't always worked the smartest, but I
haven't been lazy!
I stared at the sun the other day, 8. I got 8 in the sun stare.
Easter passed uneventfully. REALLY uneventfully. Here in the Pampa it
is another excuse for a 4 day weekend and sleeping. Ugh.
We are coloring eggs sunday, Elder Steele and I, with what you sent me
christmas. :D:D:D:D
Thanks again for everything Mom, enjoy the library. I love you, the
rest of the family too of course.

Romans 15:1

Your missionary son and brother,
Elder Joshua Wartena

Monday, April 18, 2011

He Writes Again

Dear Mom,

(Found this picture at the end of today's email.  
Made me start crying.  
Oh, he is so cute.)

Well, it has been a few weeks of boring emails.  As I stated in emails to others, my companion has been ''sick'' for
the past couple of days. No, I have not killed him, nor dragged him out to work more than is necessary.

But, apart from that, it was a good week. Pretty much all of our investigators are...well, just there. Not really anything spectacular is happening, but that is the story of the whole district at the moment. It's like we're sitting in molassess trying to move forward. Slightly frustrating, but it isn't the first time I've seen this, so it'll be alright.

Transfers are the first of May, and we are all pretty sure that I am being transferred out. Pres rarely leaves elders to end in areas with 5 transfers. I am going to ask him to send me to Bahia, the capital of the mission. That cuts down on travel quite a bit, and I'd like to be a big stake and ward to just work my tail off and not have to worry
too much about holding up a ward as well. 

Tell Aunt Kari hi for me.

I've discovered that I like learning piano songs, strangely calming to just sit and play something.

I finished Leviticus and Matthew this week. The books of Moses were all fine and dandy until numbers, now it's kinda driving me insane. But, the new testament is always a joy to read. I'm starting up the Book of Mormon again and doing well on my section a day in Doctrine & Covenants. Reading more and noting how Christ is our advocate with the Father and how that all works out. If I'm calling people to repentance it might be nice to know more about that subject.

Ummm, could I take some CLEP tests when I get back? For Spanish possibly? Because if I can test out of some credits that would be nice. I know that I've never taken a class, but I've lived with Spanish companions for nearly a year now, and study the language constantly, and have completely an advanced textbook. Just an idea, I think it could be productive.

Hint, don't eat octopus(or any seafood) in a chinese all you can eat, especially if it's in South America.

Package, still a no go. Not sure what has happened, if it has been lost, or what. Sorry.

IT IS BEAUTIFUL HERE! OH MY GOSH: I love autumn, and it is great in the pampa. Only thing that could make it better would be to mountains. Can't really think of anything else to write, quite the uneventful day. I recieved a letter from Gpa, and I'm writing a response.

Thanks for all your support, prayers, emails, and just being my great family. I love you all and will talk to you soon. Have a great week! I love you!

Your missionary son and brother,
Elder Joshua Wartena

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Short but Sweet is Good

Dear Mother,

Such exciting stuff.  Not too much happened this week, it was a hot week, summer is having a
hard time letting go.

We found 2 families this week (ok, more like 1 and a half) that seem
promising. We haven't been able to get ahold of them a second time,
and have an appt with them tonight, wish us luck.

LOTS AND LOTS of walking.

The other 2 companionships have baptisms this week, and the interviews
were a wonderfully spiritual experience. Every time, I love being a
District leader. The man in ward 4 just expressed his love for the Lord
and appreciation at finally finding what he was looking for. He was
prepared, that is the impression I got. The lady in ward 2 doesn't
understand as much the purpose of baptism, but knows that she wants to
be baptised, and has been coming to church for quite a while.

I love you all, and have to go now!
Until next week, thanks for everything, and the emails always

Your missionary son and brother
Elder Joshua Wartena

Monday, April 4, 2011

I love Conference!

Dear Mom

Conference was great, as always. Such a surreal thought realizing that it was the last one I will enjoy as a missionary. Weird.

Came to the Cyber early so as to download/listen to the talks of Pres Eyring and Uchtdorf. I was unable to hear or watch those ones yesterday. I am quite excited for a discussion about priesthood session now. I will be honest, Pres Monson's talk kinda blew everyone away.

Elder Petersen and I were waiting the whole weekend for Elder Robert D. Hales. We decided as we heard everyeone say that they loved Elder Holland or Bednar, that Elder Hales is really the overlooked apostle. We were actually getting honest to goodness excited about his talk. Who is the one apostle that did not speak in conference (probably one of the few rare times) Elder Hales. Sigh, we'll just have to see if something comes out in conference.

Pres Packer gave one of my favorite talks, once again. It was just so simple and really penetrating. LIVE THE GOSPEL! GOSH.

Elder Holland seemed to desire that we were all deeply impressed by conference and took the messages to heart.

Elder Scott, always a good moment for me, since I talked to him in front of the MTC. No one remembers it but me, but I always listen just a little closer. Charity, the pure love of Christ, apply that when you are preparing and are married. 

A 70 gave a great talk, but I can't remember his name (not suprisingly) and once again left my giant notebook at home. 

We have been out walking around and hanging out with other elders all day. We kinda just started out to downtown with the intention of buying things, then ran across a museum (you think impressionstic art is boring, you should see an Argentine art museum. Oh, my goodness, it was great. I have attached some pictures) Then we realized we were on the other side of Santa Rosa at the lagoon. Very pretty. A nice overcast afternoon with a breeze.  Reminds you of some nature walk we would do.  And then we bought pastries and sat with other missionaries in their house because we ended up righ tnext to it! Just a chill day.

Not much to report work wise. I was correct it saying that I recaught the bug I had last week. This week I was wise though and decided to rest and drink lots of fluids. Pleased to report that I am now fine, but we didn't have much working time due to the sickness and general conference.

However I will tell you about a cool finding experience. 
We were just in the new barrio looking for a family there, (aka, logistic door knocking and contacting) and we saw a young mother with a stroller just sitting in her doorway. Now, normally, we don't go talk to young attractive women with no men around, but this time we didn't even think about it for some reason and went to talk to her. Her husband is, well, gone, and her 4 year old son was born with massive medical defects. He has a breathing tube, a growth problem, and other things. She is in the house all day, taking care of him, her family is all on the other side of the city, and her only realy transportation is the ambulance. Well, she was remarkably casual about all this, and we felt that the Lord had led us there to allow the gospel to bless her life, which we said. She agreed to a return appointment, and we're very grateful that we can be used by the Lord.
So, there is one miracle.

So, I just want to thank you real quickly. Thanks for raising me/us (I'm speaking for the brothers) as well. Without excess garbage of the world. I don't know if it was on purpose, but thank you for making my idea of a snack a handful of peanuts or an apple; the pleasure of reading and studying a good book one of the most looked-forward to activities of the day; walks instead of video games; teaching us the importance of prayer by example. Thanks for taking us to church and supporting our priesthood activities. Thank you for making us work and learn the importance of a work ethic. Thanks for just being good parents, even when we were little pills. (to use parental vernacular.)
I just thought that after conference. Thanks Mom and Dad.
Anyways, I am going to go now and pump out some other emails. 
HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD! I hope that suffices, because you are not getting anything sent to you, except a son in 15 weeks, haha!

I love you all, thanks again a million for the emails, I love hearing how everyone is doing.

Your missionary son and brother
Elder Joshua Wartena

How awesome is email? I forget to load the attachments and this pops up ''you have written ''I have attached'' but haven't attached any files, would you like to?'' Yes, thank you...creepy machine. These are some of the things we did while waiting for conference (paper games anyone?) afterward, some random stuff on the roof, the museum (so, ok, it was just dumb art) and a video I believe, of the lagoon. Oh, and the last set of pictures I sent to you, you asked about the big yellow building. I think I told you it was governemnt offices, that was a mistake, that is another big yellow building. The one of which I sent you a photo is the apartment building in which the zone leaders and barrio 2 live. Sorry about that... And I totally saw Sam in the choir Saturday afternoon!