Where do I send letters?

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

Monday, May 2, 2011

A Transfer to Tandil

Dear Mom

Haha, after nearly haf and hour of walking looking for an internet place here in Tandil we are here! Yes, you heard me correctly, I am in Tandil, what is generally admitted to be the prettiest area of the mission. Not that that matters, but it sure makes life more enjoyable. I looked at the horizon and saw a mountain, nearly cried. (ok, mountain, it's a hill smaller than one of the foothills, but hey, it's something, and the city is quite hilled)
Santa Rosa got pelted, then drowned. Hail the size of marbles, followed by 3 days of rain. Luckily we got transfers on day 2 so I got to spend most of a day washing the rest of my laundry and packing. Thanks for the prayers, they help. Eler Guevara needs the prayers too, he's down in the south of the mission (by Viedma) and is probably freezing! 

Tandil, is gorgeous, you can tell you're back in the province of Buenos Aires, a different look.
My companion (and this may be the best news of all) is Elder Decilia, from Salta, Argentina. He has my time, we will probably be ending the mission together here. Now, at first this may seem like a downside, being with someone who has your time. But, since Elder Palmer went home, I have been with elders who were new in the mission (and training once) so I was hoping to have a companion this transfer who could ''share the yoke'' as you could say it. Decilia is known as a stud missionary who works hard and has a great attitude. Needless to say, I'm quite relived. Other good news, I'm no longer dist leader, or zone leader. It seems as though unless you are assistant, Pres lets you finish the mission just enjoying being a missionary.
Really been blessed, I'm grateful. 

The bus ride was...fun. Long, but good. Another all night bus ride. Thank Heaven for pday being the transfer day.  Nap time anyone? We also took a good chunk of time cleaning the house. We're 4 missionaries living here (we live with the ZLs, who are great, 4 old missionaries in a house) and the previous tenents weren't what you would call the cleanest people. We have carpet, which is interesting, the house reminds me kind of like the house in Tres Arroyos, just a whole lot newer with good water pressure. 

Sergio is back on track. (Flashback to Santa Rosa) He told us that right now he still doesn't think that he is able to just dump his girlfriend (even though she doesn't like him taking th lessons) but realizes that that is what he must do to be baptized (came to that conclusion himself) and decided to read more and pray so taht he can do it. Told us that what made him call us again was that he picked up the book and realized that this was his life and he wants to do what God wants of him. Great guy.

Jessica, the young girl who has 3 children and her husband in prison, reacted amazingly well to the 1st lesson. We went by the next and she responded that she had read and prayed the night before (rare, that) and yeah. Just a quick visit, but she will get baptised. Put a baptsimal date for the 20.

The ward was very sad to see me go. They had one of their best families move from the ward this week, and the daughter gave her testimony as she is going to Cordoba on a mission this thursday. Great familiy, they even came to say goodbye to me at the terminal! Apparently I helped the family alot, sometimes stuff like that happens and you don't even realize it. The oldest daughter just had her baby and she and her boyfriend (peruvian, he's cool) are getting married so he can get baptised, and the Dad has come to church several times after a decade of inactivity.
The bishop said thanks for the work I did and when I responded that I only had 1 baptism, he said ''are you kidding? You helped the ward so much, and the baptism was a huge miracle, thank you elder.''  Not to be prideful at all, all we really did was what a missionary should do and loved people, but it's so wonderful to see the Lord work a miracle with you as the tool. Sometimes we don't realize in the moment.
Thanks for the patience. :D

Alma, wow., I think he understoof that scripture of the word changing your heart more than most people. And his father must have been so happy to see him unconcious. remember that Alma sr. didn't have the most inoccent past either, and Alma jr had the same thing with his son coriantum later on. Lots of love in taht family.
I'm reading duet. and D&C still, nearly finished with Mark. I am realizing once again how important Jesus actually is in EVERYTHING. I've said it a thousand times, but it really in the center of EVERYTHING. Marking and looking for statements that Christ makes about himself in D&C, it's humbling. Read the section 42 and tell me your thoughts on it! One of my favorites.

Ok, I am going to explain pictures that are attached.  Holy cow!  That's a lot of pictures.
Last dist meeting (Elder Christianson, Elder Peterson, Elder Paredes, and Elder Wartena

An inactive memeber that asked for a little help with english and ended up letting us play his guitar and sing, it was fun

The same man also had cool stuff from all over the world and we took the time to wear a sombrero (this was divisions with Elder Peterson, the half mexican canadian)

The Bishop (in the tan boots)

The Maldonado Family

Awesome streets.  Yes, John Schmidt Street.

Sister Formia, who made us HUGE amounts of food every week.

Elder Wartena and Elder Paredes at the terminal.

Elder Wartena and Elder Peterson at the terminal.

Elder Christianson and Elder Wartena at the terminal.

Guess who the new dist leader is? Elder Christianson! We were all suprised, but I'm so proud of him.
Well, I have exceeded the file limit, I will send you the videos of the new house, other elders here, and pictures that we will undoubtably take next week. Along with the info on Tandil, the beautiful.
Oh, and 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!! 

Speaking of Mothers, I will be calling you this sunday around 7:00 7:30ish pm here. That would make it between 4 and 4:30 there if I am not mistaken. A call will be made before to make sure that the card works. Not sure of Tandil's codes or the church's number or anything really, so I will just call you guys this time alright? Any problems, we'll figure them out when I call you before.

I love you all so much, thank you for the constant help, prayers, and emails. Have a great week, talk to you soon!

Your missionary son and brother
Elder Joshua Wartena
PS: some of the pictures refuse to load, oh well

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