Where do I send letters?

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

Monday, May 16, 2011

Alright, alright.

Dear Mom,

Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh.
My flight plans arrived in my inbox today.
Slightly nervous, yes, but it's kind of a good feeling.
Kind of like when the call got there, except this time it's not just 2 years.

Elder Decilia and I are still getting along great. Really, it's probably the best companionship I've been in. Not that I don't love Elder Christianson, but training was a little bit different than being with an Argentine when you both have time.

Haha, it's funny to hear about the hot weather there when here it is starting to get really cold. Nothing near what mar del or rio negro was. I think the hills help to block the wind, and the lack of an ocean right next to you at all times is relieving.

Well, it finally happened, a Jehovah's Witness was prepared with an entire magazine about anti-Mormon literature. Not a very common accurance here. Most people when they want to prove a point about their church don't pull out actual firepower AGAINST our church, and so it's normally a calm change of ideas and answering questions, bible bashing isn't a common at all. Well, this guy sure wanted to. So, we did what Hermano Oswald and Preach My Gospel said to do, put all the weight on the Book of Mormon. I didn't know that you could answer questions about the Church's political position in the 3rd Reich during WW2 with the Book of Mormon. But it's true, everyone's questions, doubts, etc, all boil down to whether or not Joseph Smith was a prophet, or, if the Book of Mormon is what it claims to be. I ended up standing up, taking a copy of the Book, and putting it in his hand telling him to read it, because our answer was going to keep being the same. A good guy though, very polite.

A recent convert, Elizabeth Vasquez, has a daughter, about the age of 17 (more or less) excpecting next month, and VERY evangelist. We taught her this week, and got a baptismal date fore the beginning of June. She was actually quite receptive to the idea of the restoration and very willing to answer questions and accept commitments. Her name is Sophia.:D  The daughters and friend of the other recent ronvert sister continue the same, we can't really catch them in the house.

Traveling back to Tandil was uneventful, except that my cold went away, which was quite good. My guitar has been sold, yes, it's true. Sold it back to a music store for a good price, which means that now I have some extra cash to buy leather scripture covers for English scriptures (English and Spanish copies of the scriptures are different sizes)

Thanks for the scripture thoughts! There are 3 basic commitments we have as missionaries, read, pray, and go to church. Whether you be less active, inactive, investigator, they are the same. Why? Because, keep it simple, silly. The small and simple things, the primary answers are, I have learned, the foundation of a person's testimony. You build on those, and form that foundation that heleman gives to his sons in Hel 5:12.
Speaking of scriptures, studies are going well. Finished Joshua and John in the bible, and am once again well into 1 nephi (spanish again) still busting out a section a day in the D&C. Learning alot. I recommend reading Joshua, very cool book. If you can weed out all of the names in the dividing of lands (unless that just intruiges you of course) and you learn alot about how the Lord will bless you based on obedience. I really enjoyed finishing John as well, started Acts this morning. What was the purpose of the apostles missions? To be special witnesses of the RESURRECTED Christ. That really hit me this morning, the resurrection is a reality. As we were in the catholic cathedral (easily the most elaborate I have seen in Argentina) with dozens of crucifixion scenes and saints, with the 80 ft crucifix up the street, I became alot more grateful for the restored gospel and the knowledge of who christ is and why it's important. Clarity is comforting.

Ummm, I have no idea what I'd want, I'm coming back the end of July, so I can't really think of anything, sorry!
Lie, I just asked Elder Gaughen, and he is a genius. Reese's peanut butter cups and beef jerky. And a little flash drive. Elder Guevara had his camera stolen, and I think I am going to sell him my old one with the card, and would like something on which to put pictures. Yeah.

Your literature adventures sound thrilling. Skip right to to Kill a Mockingbird, it's literally a book that changed my life. Why? Not sure, but it sure did....

Well, we are off, off to the kill arctic thrill of missionary work, searching out those broken in heart and the contrite spirits. Or at least the close ones, we'll do the rest of the work to make up the difference. Thanks again for everything, I love you all so much, have a great week.

Your missionary son and brother
Elder Joshua Wartena

P.S.  Oh, I forgot, I will forward the flight plans to Dad, but the arrival day is Saturday, 30 of July.

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