“Yet it is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succor of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till. What weather they shall have is not ours to rule.” Lord Of The Rings, J.R.R. Tolkein

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Sorry this is a bit late but this week was a crazy one.

We were able to talk to Nate on Christmas Day for a long time and it was so joyous. Nate is the same old Nate. He filled us in on so many things and he expressed his love for all of you and your support means so much to him. He loves the work he is doing as well as the people he works with. He did mention that many of the Canadian stereotypes are true. He is getting pretty good at imitating them. 
 Everything is "sic" meaning awesome, "Gongshow" meaning crazy, or he was calling us dude. We did a lot of laughing during our FaceTime! This letter was sent before our Christmas conversation. 
Christmas Eve at the Abe Wolvers family home.

Loads of fun!

Wolvers Christmas tradition of fondue.

The newest and most exciting news is that Elder Keith and I might have the opportunity of working in Montana. As of now, we cover the "Del Bonita" branch which is part of the Magrath Stake. Elder Keith was using his LDS account to inspect our proselyting boundaries, and he discovered that our boundary actually stretches quite a ways into Montana. We asked President Nicholas if it would be possible to get our passports and go into Montana. He said that he would look into it, and if it was a possibility, we would be allowed to go into Montana once a month. I really want to go to Montana. Not only because it would be refreshing to be back on American Soil, but because Uncle Dave served there. I would love to go and explore the places that may have once been his areas. But that's just some awesome news.

The only other thing is a lesson that I had that was one of the most amazing experiences that I have had on my mission so far. I literally cannot describe to you how much this lesson meant to me. So here's the story. We have been teaching a group of youth from one of our wards. They are sort of rough around the edges in the sense that they haven't been making the best decisions, but we have been teaching them in an effort to help them find Christ. I love these kids. I seriously cannot articulate how much I love them. I love them as if they were my own children. Three of them are members of 6th ward in Magrath and the other two are a couple of Native kids from 3rd ward (we're poaching them from the Sisters, but they're okay with it). Tyson, Emalee, and Connor are from the 6th ward and Ina and Wyatt are from 3rd. We've known them for a while and I've been having so many experiences with them that have changed the way I look at the gospel. But in this particular lesson, miracles happened. We were talking with them about receiving their patriarchal blessings. We described the blessings that come from receiving that kind of a blessing and about how it can give them direction in life. They were all super psyched to get their blessings! But then Elder Keith and I started talking about the worthiness requirements to get it. That's when things started to get a bit more interesting. Ina in particular started to get extremely fidgety and looked more and more nervous. Elder Keith and I looked at one another and both knew. We both discerned her need. But she didn't say it. So we flushed it out. We both began going over the several requirements for the blessing. We explained that the temple recommend questions, when answered correctly and honestly, would permit receiving a patriarchal blessing. As we were describing this, Ina burst into tears. I went over next to her chair and knelt next to her. She looked at me, and I told her that everything was going to be alright. I talked to her about the concerns she had. She was afraid to go to her bishop - a place that I think we all have been before. Elder Keith and I were able to calm her down. We taught her about Bishops. We taught her about the love and the peace that they can invoke in our lives. The whole time I talked about this with her, my mind was drawn to Bishop Graves and Bishop Hall. I can't tell those men how appreciative I am of their patience and love on my behalf. And because of their loving examples, I was able to describe to Ina what kind of peace she could expect from talking with a servant of the Lord. And then one of the most touching events of my entire mission occurred. Ina, with tears in her eyes, looked at me and said "I can do it. I know it's the right thing to do. I'm going to talk with him and get all of this out of the way." I felt the love of Jesus Christ for Ina Old Shoes. She is such a valiant soul. She is one of the most amazing people I have ever met, and she's only 17 years old. She is brave. She trusts Jesus Christ. That night, it was reconfirmed to me why I am here. I am here because of people like Ina. I am here to help them, and the best part is that it has nothing to do with me, or Elder Keith. We are only the conduits for the power of the Lord to pass through. The spirit touched Ina that night, and it was the privilege of my life to participate in helping Christ help her. I love those kids as if they were my own, and I'm so proud of them.

I hope everyone has a very merry Christmas, and that everyone remembers Jesus Christ. He is the Lord and Savior over our souls. He is the literal Messiah of our world. He is the Son of God, and He is the greatest gift that God has ever given us.

I Love You all, and Merry Christmas!

-Elder Warenski

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

6th Ward Christmas party.

Relief Society sisters dropped off some goodies.

Sister Hernandez's fabulous hat.

Prices in Canada are really extreme!

The Spackman's in some pretty serious toques.
Elder Keith is fantastic! He and I are like brothers now! He's really brought out my mischievous side, and I'm still trying to work out if that is a good or a bad thing;D We have been pranking the sisters quite frequently and they have been pranking us back. It's a fabulous past-time;D Our investigator has actually kind of ran off for Christmas... which is kind of a bummer for us, but good for him. He went to Toronto to visit his family for a few weeks. He won't be back until January, so we'll start teaching him then, I suppose. It's good to hear about the bishopric again! They're fantastic! I miss Brother Snapp... And I freaking miss Kalin.. Gosh... That kid must be a TITAN in the mission field. And when does Scott Smith get back? I can't remember. I think it should be soon.

As for my bit of emailing, I've got to admit that this week was pretty uneventful as far as the work goes. We taught a load of less-active lessons. But one of those less-active lessons was with Brother Gimblett! He is a man that Cameron (Skinner) taught while he was here! Brother Gimblett is a really good man and we are going to try to help him quit smoking. He says he wants to save some money;)

One other thing is that I am having the time of my life studying the material that Grandpa emailed me. I am so grateful for Grandpa Jackson. He is seriously one of the greatest examples of my life. Through him, I have experienced the love of God, and I'm so grateful that he has been there for me. And the stuff that he sent me in his letter has really been helping me understand more about God and more about what he expects of me! So special shout out to Grandpa this week!

I'll have more to say next week! Christmas is coming and I'm so excited! Thanks for all of Your love and support! I pray for You every night!

-Elder Warenski

Monday, December 8, 2014

Elder "Superman" and his new companion, Elder Keith
I'm glad that the radio show went well! I knew it would! I'm glad that it has been touching people's lives and I'm proud of you for running it with Robinne and Duffin! Duffin is such a stud! That guy can do ANYTHING! I'm glad that you got more support from the ward as well! Good on Michael and Nancy, the Torres' and the Dugovics for coming! I'm glad that they were touched by it! Theater and Music are powerful platforms to teach people about incredible lessons!

I'm glad you got Abe's texts! He's a way nice guy and a really chill member. PLEASE send me the film of the show! That would be fantastic to watch! My new glasses aren't very thick at all actually! But Brother Leishman is an ophthalmologist and he told me that my prescription got a bit worse, but that it should start to chill out. The glasses are great, and EVERYONE calls me either "Superman" or "Clark" around here. I'm glad that you're getting all set up for Christmas! It's been pretty good up here getting into homes to see how everyone celebrates. To be completely honest, Christmas up here is exactly identical to Christmas in the states. Magrath is home away from home. I'm going to be really busted up when I have to leave... The people here are like family now. I've made some friendships that I will definitely have the rest of my life, and into the next life.

It's actually weird that you mention Kristian and Tara. I had a dream about Kristian last night. We were both off of our missions and we were back at the theater again. We were so happy and we were talking about all of our adventures on our missions. I don't think it's a coincidence that I had that dream. It might do Tara some good to know that I had a dream like that. I've learned on my mission that nothing is accidental. There is a reason for everything.

Alright, now to fill you in on everything that is happening in Magrath.

So recently I've been trying to get in contact with a boy in the ward who is struggling. He is Emalee's older Brother. Emalee is the girl that I wrote about in last week's email. He has been really struggling, but I saw him a few days ago. I have been trying to befriend him as much as possible and we are getting closer. I've also met his girlfriend and her brother a time or two. They are the natives that I have been talking about. Ina and Wyatt Old Shoes. (Yes, their last name is Old Shoes.) Ina actually told me her full native name and I have memorized it to show her that I care THAT MUCH, haha;D Her name is Agh-go-mien-nist-egho-ski-aski. Pretty cool, huh? I love the Natives. Their culture is incredible.

Another thing! I'd like to give a special thanks to Greg and Joni this week! Elder Gibbs and I were at a dinner appointment (this happened before Elder Gibbs was transferred) and I spotted a papyri sitting on a shelf in this couple's home. I looked at it, and it was the weighing of the heart. Because Greg and Joni taught me all the amazing material in the Ancient World class, I was able to give a dinner message to them about the final judgement using the scene of the Weighing of the Heart! It was probably the coolest dinner message I've ever given on my mission! So special thanks to them! The people who owned it didn't even know what it meant! Now I'm sure they'll never forget it because of the crazy missionary who taught the gospel from an Egyptian Papyri.

I've had a lot of opportunities lately to work with the youth of the wards that I cover. This is my favorite thing to do. I love helping the youth out. They have so many questions and curiosities about the scriptures and the gospel, but they won't ask them because they are so used to getting shut down (apparently). We are giving them a great opportunity to ask questions about the gospel and we are having a ball helping them out. They are so smart and I love it when I get a question that I have to study! It's been a huge growing experience, and I love every second of it!

As I've already told you, transfers were on Thursday. I have decided that I loathe transfers with my entire being. I hate them. They are the most stressing, anxiety-filled event of the whole mission. Figuring out who my new companion was ate at me. I love Elder Gibbs like a Brother, and to see him go made me die a little inside... It was that bad. They called Elder Keith's name at transfers and I hadn't the foggiest who he was. We drove back to Magrath from Lethbridge, and I am going to be honest and say that things were rocky. We didn't quite click immediately like I did with Elder Gibbs. He didn't talk much, and that was weird for me... Maybe it's because I talk so much... lol. He started off real quiet and solitary. The first day was weird. I was getting really nervous that this was going to be the way the whole transfer would go. I was starting to get anxiety about it and I couldn't believe how stressed I was. I remember that we were sitting in the living room on Thursday evening, right after transfers, and I felt like crap. I just got up and walked into our room and fell on my knees and prayed. I prayed that I would be able to do what it took to get along with Elder Keith. I prayed that we would both be able to find things in common and that we could have more of a light atmosphere. The next morning we were doing studies. You could cut the tension with a knife. It was horrible. Then I started talking to him about something I read in the scriptures. We got talking about it, and then we got into a ton of deeper doctrine (which you know I love) and things started to get lighter. Our relationship was getting substantially better. I was so grateful!

But nothing brought us together more than the prank we pulled on the sisters this week>:) Ever since that single event, we have been as thick as thieves.

We were about to meet up with the sisters to go to a party that was at a nonmember's house for the holidays. We printed off a fake legal document. It stated that they were being sued by "Joanne and Bill Hanks" (totally made those two up) and we stuck it in an envelope that we addressed to them from the "Queen's Bench" (the Canadian Criminal court) in Lethbridge. They FREAKED OUT. The lawsuit was based on a "parking violation." They then started to review every parking job they had done in the past week. Sister Hernandez was so flustered! She kept on saying "I'm not going to court!" and Elder Keith and I were laughing so hard! We finally told them it was us, and they took it really well;) After that, Elder Keith and I have been great friends;D

One last thing that I have realized this week is just how much I love the people here. Now that Elder Gibbs has been transferred, I feel such a responsibility to the people here. They are my family. I love them so much and I want them to have all of the happiness that they possibly can have. I just sat thinking about all the people that I have come to know and love in this town, and I can't help but feel the most profound love for them. Jesus Christ is helping me to experience a love deeper than I can comprehend. He is allowing me to feel a tiny fraction of HIS love on behalf of the people of Magrath. I'm extremely proud of my service in this town and I always will be. Not because of anything I have done, but because of what Jesus Christ has done and continues to do for all of my family here in Magrath. If God had left it just to me, this town would be in ashes.

That about covers this week - and a little bit of last week! Thank you for all of the support that you give me and thank you for the kind words, the photos of home, and the stories about the family! It means so much to me! Keep on being amazing and continue to do the things that Jesus Christ would want you to do! Be the friend to another that you would want for yourself! This life is not about us! It is about Jesus Christ!

-Elder Warenski

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Catching up with Post from December 2, 2014

So the biggest news this week is that Elder Gibbs is getting transferred! We will be going to transfers on Thursday in Lethbridge, and that is where I will get my new companion and Elder Gibbs will head up to his new area in Calgary.

No worries about Thanksgiving. We actually had it with the Harker's (Our 6th ward mission leader) and his wife is American, so we got all the good stuff like turkey and stuffing and the works! It was yummy and we had a really fantastic time with them. It felt ALMOST like a thanksgiving with Family:) But not quite;D Also! As far as Christmas goes, I will for sure be able to figure something out with Facetime. I think I will go over to the Evan's house for Christmas. They have two sons out on missions also, but we should be able to work something out with them to be able to facetime.

The Missionary work is going good! We are still trying to work with Justin. He's not quite making enough room in his life for the Savior right now, so we are trying to help him remember that Jesus Christ is the most important thing he could possibly be focusing on. He is extremely logical and very black and white when it comes to time investment, so we are trying to help him understand how vital the Savior and his help are to his life. Other than Justin, we have one other potential investigator. His name is Jeremy Loose. He is EXTREMELY difficult to contact. I've only ever talked to him once. He works insane shifts at work and so it makes it difficult for us to meet with him. I also think he's ignored us a few times because he sees our car pull up. So this week I'm going to go over to his house but park next door at the Evans;D He'll never know what hit him haha.

I'm so excited for the radio show!  Regardless of whether or not you can send it to me, make sure that you film it so that I can come home and watch it! Do that with all the shows while I'm gone. I want to see them all! Especially any shows that you do with the Springville Playhouse. I hope someone filmed and saved Steel Magnolias for me... But knowing Greg, he totally filmed it.

So the only other news I really have it that we did a huge youth activity with the Stake and it was AMAZING. The youth were supposed to be missionaries for a day! They woke up at 6:30 and they studied and then came to the Church, which was turned into an MTC for the day. They got companions and mission calls and they even got name tags. It was absolutely awesome! As full time missionaries, we were able to help them learn about missionary work and we got to role-play as investigators so that they could learn how to teach some of the lessons. At the end of the day they had a testimony meeting and the things that the youth had to say were beautiful. I really wouldn't mind working with youth when I get home. I would find that really fun. That is all neat, but here is the thing that I want to share with you;
There is a girl in the ward that I was able to help pretty specifically. She is in Grade 10 and we immediately hit it off as the best of friends. One day I was talking to her and she just seemed so sad and depressed. When I asked her about it, she told me that she felt like Heavenly Father had abandoned her. She said that she felt completely and utterly alone and that she couldn't feel Heavenly Father with her. This made me really sad... I felt so sympathetic for her because I've felt that way as well sometimes. I prayed in my head that I could know what I could do to help and that I could possibly help her to be happy. I felt a serious genuine love for her. I now know that what I felt was Christ's concern for her. I'm getting choked up even typing this! This single event made my entire mission worth it. So here is what I did. During Fiddler on the Roof, Amber gave me a card that had a picture of Christ on it, and on the back it had the "Footprints in the Sand" poem on the back. I had it tucked away in my wallet. As I prayed to know what to do for her, Heavenly Father prompted me to give the card to Emalee. I was kind of torn because the card had helped me so many times that I didn't necessarily want to give it up, but I knew it was right. I went up to Emalee one day after sacrament meeting. She still looked really downcast. I told her that I had something that would help her but that if I gave it to her, she needed to keep it safe and use it often because it had become so sacred to me. She agreed. I didn't have the card with me at that moment, so later that day I wrote her a letter and told her that whenever she was sad or felt that God was absent, she needed to pull out the card, look at the Savior, and read the poem. Elder Gibbs and I signed the bottom of the page and then went over to her house to give it to her. She wasn't home because she was at volleyball practice, but we left it with her mother.
Later, on the next Sunday of that week, she came up to me in tears and said thank you. She said that having that card really helped her feel Jesus Christ's love for her. She now keeps it in the back of her iphone case. Because of that tiny thing that Jesus Christ gave her, she was able to feel His love and know he was there. This is one of the dearest points of my entire mission thus far. I have felt the love of Christ on behalf of one of his children, and I was able to help Jesus Christ reach out to one of His daughters. It was an amazing moment in my life. I love Jesus Christ and I'm so grateful that he reached out to Emalee. Now, she is happy and she is even reaching out to others who feel hopeless. She gave me a little note after the missionary activity telling me how grateful she was for the card and how much it meant to her. That note is one of the most important possessions I have out here. It reminded me why I was out here and how much Jesus Christ cares about us all individually. I'll never forget that.

I hope all of you are doing well and I love you all! Make sure you take care of yourselves! Enjoy the cold! Be happy it isn't -31 Celsius where you are at! haha Love you!

-Elder Warenski

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

POST FROM LAST WEEK- There was a technical problem with my email so Nate re-sent the letter from last week.

I'm so glad that the 1940's show is coming together! It looks so stinkin' cool! I wish I could have been a part of it. What an awesome idea! PLEASE send a video! That would be so cool! Haha I'm sure Zibetti and Tasi will do fantastic! I saw them dance once, and I'll never forget it. They're phenomenal. And Joy! Joy's always been one of the best dancers that we have. She'll do fantastic. And tell her that she's lucky that I'm not there to step on her toes the whole time this time around;D

I'm so excited for you, about the house! And I'm glad you did it through "David";D I love Jason so much! He is amazing! And he'll help you out. I trust him. I'm glad to hear from him! I miss him, and I miss the Foreigner! It's a shame about Brother Snapp... I love him so much and I wish that he could have an easier go about his back. I'll pray for him and I know that Heavenly Father will look out for him. He will. I know it. And Kirk Jacobson. That is so so so sad... I loved him. He is such a good man, but now he is back with Sister Jacobson. I'm sure they're very happy.

So I have a few things to tell you/ask you about! First, I wanted to ask you what the heck is going on with America! We hear so much from the canucks up here, but I never know what is true or not. There is ONE SOUL up here who gets Fox news, and he told me a few things last night at dinner that I wanted to hear your opinion on. I heard about Obama's executive action with all the illegal immigrants and that Putin is moving more troops into Russia, but past that, I don't really know what's up. And as Perchik says "I must know what's going on in the outside world!" haha.

Another thing that I wanted to tell you about is the rampant problem we are having with investigators right now. I share it with you so that you can help people in Springville to do better, and do some member missionary work. The biggest problem with our investigators these days is the attitude they have that they are "too busy" for our message. It is starting to tick Elder Gibbs and me right off. People are too busy to get the best news of their lives. People are too busy to learn about Christ. People are too busy to find peace in their lives. Elder Gibbs and I have been trying to help them understand how important the message we are sharing with them is, but somehow we aren't having a lot of luck. So pray for our investigators. Justin Meekes and Jeremy Loose. Jeremy Loose isn't even an investigator yet, but he is optimistic about learning the gospel. He is just too "busy" *rolls eyes*. It made me reflect on the things in my life. It made me think of the things that I am "busy" with. Am I too busy for Christ?

Last but not least, I want to tell you about the dinner appointment that we had last night! We had dinner in Spring Coulee which is a little town west of Magrath. We were with the Edwards family. They have two kids, Jack (6) and Brittney (almost 2). We couldn't get the kids to settle down and listen, and so the spirit brought something to my head to teach them. I taught them the story of when I went branding with Grandpa and I was bucked off the horse! It was amazing to see how interested Jack became when I shared with him that my Grandpa jumped about 6 fences to get to me to save me from the horse! He agreed that I should have listened to Grandpa and stayed in the ranch house with Aunt Gale;) He also agreed that he should probably listen to Mom and Dad more often:) THAT is another reason I am on a mission! If I can even help a little guy like Jack learn a lesson like that, it is so valuable! And thank you to Grandpa for hopping all of those fences to come and save me! That would be one of the first times that I would learn about the Atonement. That memory is really dear to me and I'm grateful that Heavenly Father brought it back to my mind so that Jack could learn from it as well.

I Love You and I pray for you every night! I hope that the everyone is doing well and remaining faithful to Christ! Take care of yourselves! I miss you and I am doing my best!

-Elder Warenski

Monday, November 17, 2014

This week we had Zone Training. We meet in a little town called Glenwood with Elders and Sisters from Magrath, Raymond, Cardston, Fort Macleod, and Pincher Creek. The Sister Training Leaders, Sister Armstrong and Sister Strader, were teaching a lesson about some various principles, and one of them was "Gathering Israel". For each topic they taught, they had a challenge associated with it. The challenge for this topic was almost too easy because of Robinne;D We were separated into three groups, and our group had to be the first to successfully write down all 12 of the tribes of Israel by combining the little slips of paper that the STL's had given us. Because I had been in Joseph, I literally wrote everything down from Memory by singing the song in my head! I turned in my paper for my group, and Elder Gibbs stood up at his table and said "He cheated! He's been in Joseph!" haha It was so funny, but the STL's still said we won;D Thanks Robinne! Couldn't have done it without you!

Also, I've been noticing that I am beginning to find some natives to work with. There is a reserve next to Cardston, and even though we don't cover that part of the Zone, some Natives named the "Old Shoes" (Yes, that is literally their name) are living in Magrath. I am trying to help them, and I was wondering if I could get some tips from Grandpa about how to help them out. I know Grandpa has done a lot of work with the Natives, and he and Grandma would probably be able to offer me some wisdom about how to help.

And finally, I learned something very precious to me this week. Others may not think it was quite so significant, but it was a very dear moment to me. Elder Gibbs and I work with an excommunicated man named David Fletcher on Thursday nights. We have been teaching him with Brother Scott, who is the Elder's Quorum President in 1st Ward. In our lesson with them, Brother Scott mentioned something that really touched my heart. He said that he had worked with people before who couldn't apply the Atonement to their problems. They couldn't have the faith to say that Christ would help their situations/family members/personal problems. As I thought about this I couldn't help but realize that I was as guilty as anyone of this. I don't apply the Atonement nearly as much as I should. I learned that I must apply the Atonement. I am too weak to handle some things. I need to hand that pain and weight to the Savior. As a full time representative of Jesus Christ, I can truly testify that Jesus Christ lives, and that his sacrifice was given so that he could help us carry the burdens in our lives, and sometimes even carry them for us. If we could see how Jesus Christ assists us on a daily basis, we would be amazed at how involved He is in our lives. Jesus Christ is the Brother of my Soul. He is the Son of My Father in Heaven, and He has attended my every step as I have been on this mission. He has seen me fall. He has seen me worry, stress, and bend under the load that I have to carry. But He is not idle. Jesus Christ is directing my path. Jesus Christ is picking me up when I fall. Jesus Christ calms my nerves, relieves my stress, and carries the weight of the world. This is the Atonement. This is the Glory of the Living Christ. He Lives. He Loves You. He is helping You. If you can't see it, look harder. He IS. And I will testify of that to my dying breath. I stand for Christ and I will continue to stand for Him until all things are fulfilled.

He is watching over us, and He Loves Us. He is trying to show us the Glory of God, and if we would simply live the way He asks, we could experience a joy that we have never known before. I know that to be true. Now, more than ever.

I Love You all, and I am grateful for the help and support that is given to me by everyone, but especially by Jesus Christ. Come Unto Christ.

-Elder Warenski

Monday, November 10, 2014

I had such an awesome time learning how to make bread from Gordon and the Spackman's. Gordon Petrunik is less-active, but he is also the guy who baptized Elder Gibbs' mother! So we are working really hard on getting him to come back to church. Haha you want to know the funny part? The text you got that said "Hey this is the Spackman's.." or something like that, I actually typed that up and sent it! Sister Spackman said she was too slow so she just passed me the phone. I really miss talking to you too!

I'm so glad the show went well. I can understand you getting teary-eyed. I looked at the pictures and it made me super nostalgic! I can't believe how much I miss it, Mom! I really enjoyed the pictures though:) It is good to see everyone doing well and keeping the theater alive:) I hope that more kids come to theater and become really passionate about it. It is so important. I'm so glad that Kate is going to be in the Christmas concert! I miss her so much and I wish I were there to see her perform.

Yes. The snow and cold have arrived. And honestly, it really isn't much different than Utah. The snow is powder. Imagine snow that is the consistency of sand. It blows around everywhere. Constantly. But that's alright. I DID get your package on Friday. THANK YOU SO MUCH! The music is awesome (Thanks to Joni as well;D) and the cookies were just.... I can't even articulate... Also, thank you for the peppermint beads! I gave Elder Gibbs one and he is amazed by their power;D

And yes. Slowly but surely I am perfecting my bread skills. It gets better every time! The two loaves that you have pictures of turned out okay, but I still want to try harder to make them better. They weren't the best. We took one of the loaves to our investigator last night and included a poem about Christ being the Captain of our Souls in the bag. I hope it helps him. I'll make you bread when I get home;) With how fast time is passing already, it will basically only be a few hours until I am home;D

This week we didn't have a load of notable experiences, however we did have SOME things happen that are kind of funny and entertaining. This week we were trying to get a better grasp on our area, so we started calling less-actives from our less active list. As we were making calls on the list, I came across three names on the list that were listed as "Anti". They were Anti-mormon, and because I was feeling particularly brave that day, I looked at Elder Gibbs and said "I'm doing it". So I called the Anti's. The first picked up and it was the lady of the house. She simply said "I'd rather you didn't come over. I'm catholic and have no interest whatsoever in the church." The next didn't pick up, and then finally I called the last one. This last family was actually members and they usually went to church. All except for their Father. He is one of the most anti-mormon people in the town. I called and his wife picked up. She said that it would be alright for us to come over if we snuck in and taught the lesson while her husband was gone for awhile. So that's what we did! We snuck into their house after the father left and we taught this lady and her 5 kids the story of Abinadi! We even did it in a theater format;D I had the littlest brother play Abinadi, I had one of the Sisters play Alma, and all the other siblings were wicked priests. Then Elder Gibbs was King Noah! And The eldest brother and I were guards that dragged Abinadi into King Noah's court (aka the front room;D)! It was awesome! And we successfully got out before the Dad returned:) Which was good for us:) that way we didn't get stoned or yelled at, so that's pretty good too;D But don't worry, we're being very safe!

Also, we sang in the 5th ward choir. That experience wasn't very good. They didn't even sing in parts... They were singing Battle Hymn of the Republic. So to make things worthwhile, I sang Uncle David's lyrics;D Only the men could hear me, but they heard me singing "Glory, Glory, Hallelujah! Glory, Glory, What's it to ya?!" and "Mine eyes have seen the glory of the burning of the school!" which made everyone laugh, except for the director who seemed to be oblivious to the fact that I was singing "alternate" lyrics;D I Love Uncle Dave! haha

Anyway! That's pretty much all of the exciting things that happened this week, and I hope that everyone is doing well! I Love you and I'm grateful for all of Your help and support!

-Elder Warenski

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Nate learns to make bread from a member named Gord.

Making bread for his host family, the Spackmans.

He is very excited about each step...

He was never this happy baking at home.

Hope he remembers how to bake bread when he comes home. Yum!
Thank you to Brother and Sister Spackman and
Gord for sending the pics! It was a wonderful surprise.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Brandon, center. His mother and her fiancé to his right. Elder Gibbs and me on his left.


More Waterton

Jack Stone. The member who took us to Waterton.

Hotel Waterton. Awesome place!
Halloween is SO uneventful as a missionary! We are required to be indoors at 6:00 p.m. and remain in our apartments until the following day! It is so crazy! But hanging out with Elder Gibbs is always a party. I flipping love my companion. He is so awesome! I'm excited for YCTIWY to start, and I'm glad that everyone is apparently starting to buckle down and get the show performance ready (from what Blythe tells me). Thanks to you and Joni for sending me music! That is going to be awesome.  And SWIG COOKIES?!?! Mother, I Love You. You know me too well. Also, there is an ophthalmologist in the ward that we are in, and he offered to give me a free eye exam and check my eyes. He says that the reason my previous glasses have not been working is because I have what is called "Spectacle Blur". The contacts are shaping my cornea as I wear them. So before my exam I have to have my contacts out for 3-4 hours! Good thing I have Elder Gibbs! So I'll probably end up taking that prescription to Costco in Lethbridge and getting a pair of glasses. That way I don't have to continue buying contacts. There is a fair chance that the mission will cover the expense. They have done that for several of Elder Gibbs companions. However, if they don't, then I'll go as cheap as I can.

Things have been going pretty well. This last week was one of the hardest points of my mission thus far. Satan was really bearing down on Elder Gibbs and me this last week because he knew that Brandon was going to be baptized on Saturday. He was doing everything he could to make us look at everything negatively and make us tired and grumpy, etc. He's such a jerk. HOWEVER, we came through. Everything turned out SO spectacularly! Elder Gibbs baptized Brandon on Saturday. The service was beautiful and Elder Gibbs and I had the opportunity to sing "How Great Thou Art" for those who attended. I played guitar and sang, and Elder Gibbs sang. Elder Gibbs has the most beautiful Tenor range. Like seriously, we need to cast him in something when we're home. His voice is crystal clear. Which reminds me! Elder Gibbs and I, as well as four other Elders from our zone (Elders Tesamale and Poulter [Pincher Creek District] Pauli' and Wiser [Cardston District]), sang "Brightly Beams Our Father's Mercy" at Zone Conference for our Zone. We sang it in parts and sang it while Elder Tesamale played the Ukulele! I'm so excited that I could sing again! It felt so good. I mean... Elder Gibbs and I sing around the apartment all the time! But performing was awesome!

I was able to confirm Brandon yesterday. It was one of the most incredible moments of my life. Being able to participate in helping another one of God's children come closer to His Son is one of the most defining parts about this work. I am so happy for Brandon! When I gave the blessing, I could feel the love that Heavenly Father has for Brandon, and I could feel how Proud He was of him. It is an experience like no other. I'm so glad that Brandon took that step.

My "spiritual thought" for this week comes from a poem that was shared at Zone Conference by Sister Egbert (Raymond West District). It is called "The Fellowship of the Unashamed". It is one of the most inspiring things I have ever read. The author is currently under debate, but some say President Eyring wrote it. But I can't find an official author. However, that doesn't change how awesome it is!

"I'm part of the fellowship of the unashamed. I have the Holy Spirit's power. The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made -- I'm a disciple of his. I won't look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still. My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, my future is secure. I'm finished and done with low living, sight walking, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, worldly talking, cheap giving, and dwarfed goals."

"I no longer need preeminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I don't have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised, regarded, or rewarded. I now live by faith, lean in his presence, walk by patience, am uplifted by prayer, and I labor with power."

"My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is heaven, my road is narrow, my way rough, my companions few, my Guide reliable, my mission clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded, or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifices, hesitate in the presence of the enemy, pander at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity."

"I won't give up, shut up, let up, until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, preached up for the cause of Christ. I am a disciple of Jesus. I must go till he comes, give till I drop, preach till all know, and work till he stops me. And, when he comes for his own, he will have no problem recognizing me ... my banner will be clear."

This has become kind of a theme for my personal mission goals. I have been trying to make this poem my motto. It is absolutely incredible. I am trying to become more of a disciple of Jesus Christ and I am trying harder and harder every day to Honor the calling that has been given to me.

I Love Jesus Christ, I love my Heavenly Father, and I am doing everything I can to make them proud. "I won't look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still... give up, shut up, [or] let up, until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, preached up for the cause of Christ. I am a disciple of Jesus."

I Love You all and hope You have a good week. Remember Jesus Christ.

-Elder Warenski

Monday, October 27, 2014

Hey Everyone,

For some reason we're having a weird year this time around. It snowed last night and that was the first snow-fall of the year. Which is incredibly strange, apparently. But it was melted by morning. There's nothing left! But I expect that the Winter is about to come on fast. Make sure that you let the Hartley's know that I have gone to Cardston so many times. I even went to the Temple last Wednesday. It was absolutely amazing! It isn't like any other temple I've ever been in. The inside is completely renovated with loads of different kinds of wood. The Celestial Room is modeled with a dark kind of wood and has some really amazing interior work. And all the different rooms have a different type of wood associated with it. It was an awesome experience. I wouldn't mind coming back up with you (Mom) to visit the Cardston Temple!

I thought of Hocus Pocus this week. That's so funny that you just watched it with the Nelsons and Robinne. One of the less-actives that we work with talked about it and he loves that movie! We chatted for awhile about it. It was great! I miss watching movies with everyone. That was something that I took for granted.

I'm glad Mik and Justin are with you. They could learn a lot from you! Not that I'm saying that they need a ton of learning or anything, but I learned a lot of awesome stuff, so they will as well. And I am so stoked that Cierra is getting awesome grades! What a girl! That makes me so happy. She's awesome, and I always knew she could do it! She had it in her all along. And she's only going to get better!

And now for my update-

I am excited to announce that my first baptism is scheduled for this Saturday, November 1st! Brandon Clayton has decided to get baptized and has chosen Elder Gibbs to baptize him, and me to confirm him. I am so excited for Brandon! And I'm also excited for Elder Gibbs. He has been out 11 months, and this will be his FIRST baptism! That is nuts! He almost burst into tears when Brandon told him that he would be baptizing him. I'm so grateful for all of your prayers on behalf of Brandon. They have really paid off. I feel so inadequate to confirm him, but Heavenly Father will help me. It really is an honor to me that he wanted me to give that blessing. The Lord is really blessing everyone involved. Today is my 2 month mission birthday, and I can't believe how much success we have already been blessed with. I'm so grateful that the Savior is allowing me to do His work. It is amazing.

I'm grateful for all of the support that you are giving me and I love you so much. I think of you all the time and it's good to know that I have such awesome family and friends supporting me.

-Elder Warenski

Monday, October 20, 2014

Magrath landscape

Trying matte

Matte bowl

Elder Spencer made this scripture case

Living with a new family. Lucy is the resident demon cat

Studying with Lucy
I am so psyched for your Merit shows! Blythe Gifford is sending me weekly updates with info about theater. I love reading them! She says that Gavin is doing a pretty good job as Grandpa. I miss that show so much. I'm glad you are working with Jon Haws. He will make everything work, because he is Jon Haws. He's superman.
I'm so excited for Josh!(Nate's cousin that was just accepted to BYU for winter semester.) That is so fantastic! It's so weird that all of us are growing up and going to college and such. That is crazy! How is Ben doing? I miss him! He needs to email me.
Say congratulations to Bianca for me! (Nate's cousin that just had her first baby.) That's awesome! Gosh.. right when I leave everyone starts having babies... But that's okay! We're good:)

That is so awesome that you went to Thriller! I wish I could have gone! I looked at your picture and saw the Grand behind you and I got a HUGE wave of withdrawals. I really cannot express to you how much I miss Theater. Or performance of any kind! It is nuts!
There are hard things on a mission, but I'm not crying myself to sleep every night or anything like that. Honest! I'm doing great! Like I said in the emails, Theater is helping me out a lot (I honestly don't know what I would do if I didn't have it) and I always have the Lord. He'll look out for me!

I'm so excited to hear what Grandpa has to say. Let alone to hear from Grandpa at all! I haven't got a letter or email from him or Grandma yet, so I am excited to hear from them. I look up to them so much! Sometimes I will be in a situation and I'll just say to myself "What would Grandpa do?" because I know that Grandpa would do it right. I'm having such an awesome time trying to figure out how to help the people of Magrath. I've got to admit, we don't get a lot of investigators here because the population is mostly LDS. But we are doing everything we can to help less active members and I absolutely LOVE the Bishops that we are working with. They are awesome!

I also spoke in church yesterday. It was awesome! I based my talk off of some events that had transpired in ward council a few weeks ago. I'll tell the story.
So as you know, we are working with Brandon Clayton. He is 18 years old and he is on date to be baptized on the 1st of November! His name was brought up in a ward council in which Elder Gibbs and I were not present. The question was brought up about whether or not to let Brandon go to Priest's Quorum, or if he should go to Elder's Quorum. Our Ward Mission Leader, Brother Gilson, suggested that he go to Priest Quorum because he was still 18. Then the young men President chimed in and disagreed because he didn't want Brandon to influence the boys in the wrong way.
I cannot believe that.
Brother Gilson immediately rose to Brandon's defense and told them that he will be going to Priest Quorum because he was Priest age and the Bishop confirmed it. When I heard about it, I was so angry I can't even describe it. How are we supposed to fellowship the non-members of the ward when we cannot look past faults or their past? Do we bring up these people's past every time we make an activity?! So when the bishop asked us to speak in sacrament meeting, I decided that I was going to speak boldly and directly.
So I spoke about being accepting and about preaching the Gospel to ALL MEN. Not just those who we feel are deserving. Not just those that we see fit. Not just those who look like us, speak like us, and behave like us. EVERYONE needs this gospel. I used the story of Christ and the Publican Levi from the Book of Matthew. I talked about how the Pharisees said to the disciples "Why drink ye with publicans and sinners?" and how Christ turned to them and said that the whole need not a physician. We are to preach the gospel to all men. We are to love all men just as Christ would. We must NEVER exclude another person because of the way they look or the way they speak. Especially when, like Levi (or Brandon!), they show such a desire to learn the truth! The scriptures say that Christ told Levi to follow him and that Levi left all and followed him. He left all! And the Pharisees scoffed at him for that. Sometimes I feel like there are a few Sadducees and Pharisees in our wards. Sometimes I can feel them in myself! So I have to do my best to get rid of them and see people as Jesus Christ would see them.

I'm grateful for the chance that I have to serve Jesus Christ. I am grateful for the chance that I have to serve the people in Magrath. I'm grateful for all of the support that I receive. I Love You all! Until Next week!

-Elder Warenski

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

I am so excited for Melissa, Will, and Ethan! I CANNOT BELIEVE ETHAN IS GOING TO FINLAND! That is crazy! I'm so happy for him.

Sorry that I couldn't email yesterday as usual. This week is transfer week, so they move our p-day to Tuesday. This transfer was only a 5-week transfer, but our next transfer will be in 7 weeks. I don't really have to worry about being transferred though. Typically for new missionaries, they keep them in their 1st area for a few transfers. I will be praying for You to get the job. I hope you do! I'm glad that Michael and Kimie are helping you out. That's awesome! I love them, and I think of Kalin all the time. I miss him so much!

I don't really think that there is much that I need right now. I am pretty much taken care of. I have barely had to pay for meals believe it or not. We have a dinner appointment every night, and members will run us down in the street to give us money! We have had so many people lately that have been so kind to us. I don't think that I have had to spend a dime of my own money in a full week. I can't wait to see you all at Christmas, either! That will be awesome to be able to see all of the cousins!

Mom, I cannot describe to you how much I miss theater. I cannot even articulate how much I want to be back on stage! I MISS ROBINNE SO MUCH! I think of her all the time. Sometimes I even ask myself in certain situations "what would Robinne do?" She may have been my director on stage, but I carried the lessons that she taught me into every aspect of my life. I didn't so much realize it until I left, but she was always giving me a constant stream of amazing advice and golden lessons that made my life so much better! It's so weird to be away from all of that now. She offered me so much opportunity and I am so grateful that she had the faith in me to let me be a part of Les Miserables that first year. It has changed my life!

I can't explain how much theater STILL effects me! It is effecting my entire mission in such an amazing way. It sounds weird, but sometimes I feel like the characters of the shows I have done are standing right next to me helping me to know what to do. That may sound weird, but those who have done theater will understand. Sometimes when I feel down and I can't see the light, Joseph will be kneeling next to me helping me to know that light can be found in the darkest of places. Sometimes I will feel really alone and pushed away. Then suddenly, the Baker from Into the Woods will be right there beside me letting me know that No One is Alone. Other times I will be walking down the street and see someone in need, and suddenly Jean Valjean will be behind me, place his hand on my shoulder, and let me know that Christ would help them if He were there, so I should too. Sometimes when I am teaching someone and I feel really inadequate to be able to teach them, Ellard shows up and lets me know that I may not know everything, but that I know enough to make a difference. Sometimes I wonder if there really are people that need me out here, and then I remember Javert and how he needed truth his entire life, and because he never received it until it was too late, it destroyed him. I hope to be able to be a light to people that need it. The light that Javert needed, but didn't get until it was too late. Sometimes I wonder why I even came out here, and then Jo March is singing in my mind:

"I thought home was all I'd ever want,
my attic all I'd ever need,
but nothing feels the way it was before,
and I don't know how to proceed.

I only know I'm meant for something more,
I've got to know if I can be, Astonishing."

This mission is helping me understand that I can be Astonishing through Jesus Christ! I am so grateful for the things that I have learned in theater and I am thankful for all of the experience I have gained because of it. I can't tell Robinne enough how much I love her for showing me that I had some ability in that field.

I Love You, and I pray for you all the time. Stay safe and make sure you take care of yourselves!

-Elder Warenski

Monday, October 6, 2014

Things are going SO FAST! Seriously. I've blinked and I've already been out a month! I can't believe that!

My Birthday was awesome, even though I wasn't quite sure how awesome it was going to be. I'll tell You the story-
So the morning of my birthday came, and I woke up to Elder Gibbs playing "I See Fire" by Ed Sheeran from the Hobbit. He was playing it off his flash drive where he keeps his music and stuff. It was awesome! He knows me so well, Haha. Then the mission office called and Elder and Sister Trim (The Mission Office and Vehicle Supervisor) and Elder and Sister Bryant (The Mission Office Financial Clerks) sang happy birthday to me! It was really nice of them and it made me feel great. As the day went on, it was pretty normal. We had our usual appointments and it was all pretty mundane. I didn't buy myself a cake or a gift because I didn't know how much money I would have or what card it would be loaded into, so I didn't buy myself anything. But here's the awesome part. We went to the Chipman's for dinner that night. They are the people that take care of Barry, the down syndrome man that I sent a picture of last week. Brother Chipman reminds me SO MUCH of Howard Fullmer, it is insane! But as it turns out, it was their daughter's birthday as well. So we went to their dinner and all of their extended family were there to celebrate! So we had dinner with them. The Lord surrounded me with family on my birthday, and that is such an amazing blessing. It made me feel more at home. And though it was not necessarily my own family, they made me feel so included. And here's the best part- Brother and Sister Chipman had apparently caught wind that it was going to be my birthday as well, so they not only made a cake for their daughter, but they bought a cake for me and had me blow out candles and everything! It made me want to cry because it was such a huge witness to me that Heavenly Father loves me. He blessed me with a surrogate family to be with on my birthday and because of the love of Brother and Sister Chipman, I even had a birthday cake and candles! God bless those wonderful, loving people.

Conference was also FANTASTIC! I can't tell You enough how much I enjoyed it. I was so impressed by Elder Jorg Klebingat's address. He spoke so boldly and with the spirit. It cut me to the core! And, of course, I was BLOWN AWAY by Elder Holland! His address was absolutely touching beyond all belief. Elder Holland's talk is especially important for us to take into account. He spoke of being charitable and living the law of consecration. His talk got me thinking about what things I could do to be better about helping those around me. I thought of the Savior and how he would heal the infirmities of all those that were sick or afflicted. This is what the Savior wants us to do. The Savior is not as physically present among mankind on this earth as He was during his mortal ministry, but He still works those miracles and drives His work along. He does this through us. He doesn't NEED to do it through us, but He does. That is what the Savior wants from us. After pondering on Elder Hollands words, I realized what the Spirit wanted me to understand.

Jesus Christ wants us to be the feet of the lame, the eyes of the blind, the ears of the deaf, and the voice of those not heard. Jesus Christ wants us to be the friend to the forgotten, the light to the hopeless, the support to the weak, and the aid to the desperate. Jesus Christ would like us to be a reflection of Him to those that are in need. Christ is allowing us to be a candle that carries His light to all those who are lost.

I need to get better at giving my all to God's children. I need to be more in tune with the Spirit to find the need of those that are afflicted, and to fill those needs. We all do!

I also remember hearing President Eyring talk about conferring the Sealing Power upon someone. All I could think about was Grandma and Grandpa Jackson. I want them to know that every time I see Senior Missionaries ( and I did this in the MTC as well ) I thanked them for their service. I told them that they were brave to serve when so many others would not. I would always tell them that my Grandmother and Grandfather served missions in Salt Lake City, The Pacific Islands, and the Philippines, and that they had always set an example to me of being a Missionary. I want Grandma and Grandpa to know how grateful I am for their example. They left so much behind to serve the Lord, and I am grateful. I made sure to tell the Senior missionaries that their sacrifice would not go un-noticed by their posterity. Because my Grandparent's sacrifice did not go un-noticed by me. I'm thankful for my Missionary Grandparents. When I thought of Grandpa receiving the Sealing Power, tears filled my eyes while I was watching Conference and I gained a personal witness that the Sealing Power of the Priesthood is a real power, and that it is in effect. Thank You Grams and Gramps. I Love You!

I miss You so much, but I am grateful that I have the opportunity to serve the Lord. I can't even explain the amount of blessings and miracles that have been happening. Heavenly Father has blessed us with another investigator. His name is Justin Mekes. He lives out on the rural end of Magrath and lives all alone. He is around 30 years old and works in a gravel grinding business in the middle of the farmland near Magrath. Please pray that he will be susceptible to the Spirit and that he will be able to gain a witness that the Book of Mormon is true. He has explained to us that he desires a definitive answer about the truth of the Book of Mormon, but has never received it. Elder Gibbs and I are praying that we will be able to help him feel the Spirit and lead him to Jesus Christ.

Brandon Clayton, our other investigator, is doing incredible. Your prayers have been phenomenal! He is on date to be baptized for November 1st! We are currently helping him with the Word of Wisdom. He had some problems with smoking, but he is moving forward so quickly! He used to smoke 13-14 cigarettes a day, but now - within only a few short days - he has reduced that number to 2-3 cigarettes a day! And yesterday he only took one! We're so proud of him and I am so grateful to be able to witness him coming closer to Christ!

Thank you all so much for Your prayers on behalf of my companion and me! We feel them and they are helping us! My testimony is growing and I love serving the people of Canada!

-Elder Warenski

Monday, September 29, 2014

Cleo is the family cat where Elder Warenski lives.
She's very nice except right after this pic was taken she scratched Elder Gibbs and made him bleed.

New winter coat. Hope it is warm enough.

I'm so glad that Tyler Brummett is on his way! I really wish I could have been there... But he is joining the ranks of the army of God, so he'll be in good hands just like I am right now. Everyone gets that huge push from Lucifer right before they go... He's such a stinking jerk... But he can't stand the Spirit, and out here the Holy Spirit is ever present. He'll do great! lol Air Bender... I didn't think he'd use Air Bender, but all of us had SOMETHING quirky about our farewell talks:)

Marcela mentioned that Kate had come home. I am so glad that she's back and that she's getting used to being a civilian again;D That's awesome that Melissa is leaving soon. And Ethan! That's sweet. I don't even know where Ethan has been called. You should let me know. And Will! I am so excited for him! For all of them!

That is awesome that you saw Kadan Pehrson. I miss him so much. He always had a way to make people laugh and slap a smile on their face whether they wanted it or not! What a great guy!

I love Harold! I hope I hear from him soon. I can't wait to hear about all the awesome things he's doing. 

I can't believe that I've been gone a month from Saturday! That is absolutely nuts to me! There are only 23 more months until I come home and only 22 more fast sundays! That is nuts! I think a lot about home. Not in a distracting way, but there are loads of things I miss. I miss theater SO MUCH! I was really really ill last week and was almost confined to my bed at one point, and so I wasn't able to sing. But I am fine now and I am singing more than ever. And Elder Gibbs was in choir and is a high tenor so we are a great vocal match! He is awesome!

I also can't believe that I'll be 19 in a few days! It's weird. But only because I think it will pass right by. It will just be a usual day out here pretty much. But that's alright.

I also want to tell you about an experience that Elder Gibbs and I had yesterday in church while we were teaching the beehives in the Magrath 6th ward! We were supposed to teach them some things about the commandments, particularly honesty, keeping the law of the Sabbath, the law of tithing, and about fasting! I had a pretty incredible thing happen to me! Elder Gibbs and I had walked into the classroom at the very beginning of the class and knew that we were in for it... Teaching beehives is like trying to teach a cat tricks.... But before we got up to teach them, I said a prayer that we would be able to teach them well and that they would get something out of what we said. So we got up to teach them. As Elder Gibbs and I were teaching them about tithing, a thought popped into my head about teaching them the story of the Widow of Zarapeth and relating it to tithing. I haven't even thought about that story in literally years and had no idea where it was in the scriptures. I remember You teaching me the story of Elijah and the Widow ever since I was a little kid because for a long time it had been similar to our situation. Sure, we never starved, but you had it rough for a long time to be able to raise us. So I prayed that I would be able to know where the scripture was so that I could share it with them! Then miracles happened! All of a sudden a thought popped into my head that said "1 Kings". I was so stoked! I pulled out my scriptures - which made the beehives go crazy because they became so distracted over my duct tape scripture case - and I turned to 1 Kings. I turned through the chapters and read the chapter headings until I finally found it. 1 Kings chapter 17! I started to teach them about the story! They absolutely loved it! I held their attention and I was able to teach them some of the principles from that story that I have held so dear since I was a boy! The Lord answers prayers! I am still trying to figure out if that experience helped the beehives or myself more! It was one of those miracle moments where all you can do is sit there afterward and think "DID THAT FREAKING JUST HAPPEN?!" just like Olan Rogers! It was an incredible moment in my mission and I'll never forget it!

The only other news I have as far as the work goes is that one of our investigators is moving closer toward baptism. His name is Brandon and he is getting so close. We are getting more and more results from him and he is getting closer and closer to the Savior. He is praying about baptism and we are hoping to get him to church more and more. Make sure you pray for him. He is getting so close!

I am grateful to have family and the more I am on my mission the more I discover how blessed I am to have you. I am discovering that family is the most important thing that we can pursue in this life, because it is the only thing that matters in the next!

-Elder Warenski

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Received a letter from Elder Warenski's Mission President today. Important info included that if you send a package (send to mission home address) try to keep it small and label it "Gift/Missionary Supplies" or "Used Items" or Nate may have to pay taxes on it.  Not good! Thanks to everyone emailing or writing letters. He really appreciates them.
So I have a whole list of things to tell you about! I have started writing them down in my planner so that I don't forget! Here it goes:

1. I have learned that I must never under ANY circumstance discuss politics with the Older sect of the Canadian people. This is an absolute no-no. We were at a dinner appointment with some members of one of the wards that we covered. We were having a nice chat that suddenly turned political. Anyone who knows ANYTHING about me knows that I am... "passionate" ... when it comes to such things. A heated debate began. The funny part about Canadians is that when it comes to politics there are really only three differences in their views, and they all correspond to age. The youngest generation doesn't give a darn, so they'll agree with whatever you say. Canadians from age 2- to about age 45 will argue with you about politics, but only because they are die-hard Canadians. Then there are the old guys.... These are the most stubborn people I have ever met. Canada could enact laws on whatever they wanted and these people would still have just as much patriotism. It doesn't matter what you say. They will REBUKE you. Elder Gibbs had to smack me under the table to get me to shut up, and we made it out of the dinner appointment with friendships still intact. But it was interesting. Crazy crazy old guys. My patriotism, however, is still intact! Elder Gibbs and I are known to coast down the roads of Magrath in our Chevy Malibu blasting The American National Anthem with the windows rolled down;D Also "God Bless the USA" by Lee Glenwood. Classic! I Love America! It is such an amazing place to live!

2. Elder Gibbs and I had the most hilarious experience of our missions this week! As you know, we live with some members with the Taylor's. They live alone - aside from us - so brother Taylor decided to not come home last night. We couldn't stay at our pad alone with sister Taylor, so we decided to go stay at the Stewarts. Maybel and Ian Stewart are the mission "Mom and Dad" that I was talking about! They were going on vacation to Texas, so they let us stay at their place anyway! So Gibbs and I get there that night. Brother Stewart had left us some super huge sleeping bags that were prepped for like... -50 degree weather. So it got really hot upstairs in their living room. So we decided to go downstairs. Mistake. We went into a room that was not furnished and closed the door behind us. We slept fine. I woke up and said "Gibbs. I'm going to go shower." So I went over to the door. I found that it was jammed shut! Seriously! Elder Gibbs and I pulled and tugged at it for 20 minutes and couldn't get it to budge! So we decided that Elder Gibbs would climb through the window of our room so that he could get outside and get into the house from another window! The only problem was that we were both only wearing our garments! It had been so hot upstairs that we had just stripped down to our "g's"! So Gibbs decided to do it! He ran around the house in his underwear with the whole world to see him! Magrath is a small town and I don't know if there was a single soul that didn't see my poor companion running around the house in his undies! Even more hilarious is the fact that the Sister Missionaries from our area saw him as well! They called us afterward and asked us why they saw Gibbs running around like a lunatic outside the Stewart's home in his garments! I've never laughed so hard before!!!

I'm glad that I'm a missionary and that I have the opportunity to serve God! I am gaining more and more of a testimony of the Savior and his atonement. It covers EVERYTHING! I am grateful that we have Him! He has walked the paths of life and experienced our trials and woes! He knows all things!

I'm grateful for all your support! I'm praying for You!

-Elder Warenski
Barry has down syndrome. He is one of my favorite people and I love visiting him.

This is Ma and Pa Stewart. They are the mission Ma and Pa. Love them!

This is what happens when you don't get your shirt all the way over your  head! I thought the theater kids would appreciate me reprising my role as Joseph.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Posted at the bottom of the page is the mission home address. This is the best place to send a letter or package to Elder Warenski.  Canada's post is not spoken of in high regard so this is probably the best place to send things so as not to get lost in a transfer.
We have deer outside our house!
Magrath is pretty much 90% LDS! Most of the work that Elder Gibbs and I do here is reactivation and family lessons! I've been having a load of spiritual experiences while studying and working! I have had the opportunity to study the scriptures like no other time in my life! We are living with some members right now. The Taylor's. They're great, but they never really talk to us. But that's okay! We're barely ever there anyway! They have a copy of one of President Ridges "Made Easier" books! I have been reading the book of Revelation lately alongside the Ridges study guide, and I have learned SO STINKING MUCH! For instance, I never knew that the Savior actually made covenant with God the Father that he would be the Redeemer! I mean, I totally understood that Christ was chosen to do that work, but I never knew that it was an actual covenant in the premortal existence as described by John in Revelations! It blew my mind! Also, Elder Gibbs has a copy of "The Infinite Atonement" by Tad R. Callister! I've been learning from this book so much about how the Savior loves me and about how loving He is! Sometimes our church gets so caught up in all of the other aspects of Jesus Christ that we sometimes forget that very first and foremost, Jesus Christ LOVES us! He really does! My testimony of this grows HOURLY. He loves us with all of his being, and the Atonement is our proof and evidence of that! Revelations 3:8 says: "I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and has kept my word, and hast not denied my name." To all of my family: Jesus Christ KNOWS that you cannot do this on your own! He KNOWS that you have inadequacies! But He is not worried about that! He knows that those things are covered through His sacrifice! What He IS concerned about is whether or not you will take His name upon you, or deny it like so many in our day and age decide to do! Choose Jesus Christ! It is by him and through him that we can achieve Exaltation!

Elder Gibbs has basically become an older brother to me! He is helping me understand missionary work so well! He's a companion that knows when to study, and when to have fun!

Just so that you know, you don't have to worry about anything while I am here! The members are extremely supportive of us! I have to tell you about Brother and Sister Stuart! They are like a second family to me now! Brother Stuart is Canadian but, like us, embraces his Scottish heritage! He wants to move to Edinburgh just like me! I'm taking that as a sign from God that I am destined to move there;) Sister Stuart is from Zimbabwe! She is the most endearing person in the mission! She loves us so much that she has even given us keys to her house! She tells us all the time that she regards us as family and that we are loved! It really helps me survive out here!

We ate dinner with the Holthe (Hol-thee) family a few nights ago! Their son Broiden (Age 6) was saying the prayer over the food! He had just showed us a bunch of tricks on his trampoline out in the back yard, so he folded his little arms and prayed "Please bless the elders that they'll be able to learn how to do a double back flip and a somersault..." It was the most ADORABLE prayer I have ever heard!

Elder Gibbs and I often go do a rest home in Magrath called the Diamond Willow. This is literally one of the most worthwhile things I do here! Serving these people is an amazing and rewarding experience! We "bowl" with them once a week! Bowling in the Diamond Willow is basically setting up something similar to a pinewood durby ramp, and sending balls down the ramp to try and smash all the pins! I'll take pictures next time, but it is so awesome! Seeing these people's faces light up when they get a strike is one of the most awesome experiences ever.

On kind of a different note, I've also been flipped off for the first time! We were standing by the side of the highway between Magrath and Raymond (another city near Magrath) and a truck driver was driving by and saw we were missionaries and flipped us the bird! It was epic!

Thank you for all that you are doing for me and for your testimonies! I Love You and I'll email again next Monday!

-Elder Warenski
Elder Mann, Elder Warenski's British companion in the MTC

Elder Warenski's MTC District
MTC Companion Elder Brower