“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

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
Elder Gibbs is Elder Warenski's trainer/first companion in Canada.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

I arrived in Canada safe and sound yesterday morning! I'm sorry I wasn't able to contact you:( President Nicholas let me as soon as he possibly could! Mom, he's awesome! Canada is a lot like home, but so much different at the same time. When we got to the airport the customs police were BEASTLY to us, but we made it through all together! Not even the Canadian border police can hold back God's army! I'm glad you sent the thank you letters! I love everyone and I am grateful for how much they have contributed to my mission! I'm so glad Finae talked to you! Tell him this:

I met an Elder in the MTC name Iosefa Utu (Ee-oh-sef-uh Oo-too)! He met Finae while Finae was on his mission!

Also, I am already loving the people! They make all this worth it! And my new companion's name is Elder Gibbs! He is from Centerville Utah! He's an incredible "Dad"(that's what they call your trainer!). I've been assigned to my first area and that is actually where I am emailing You from right now! Magrath, Alberta! It's RIGHT NEXT TO CARDSTON! Cardston is where Kate Hartley used to live! Make sure you let Denine Hartley know! She'll tell you all about it! It's amazing!

Tonight we had a lesson with a member! He was an adorable old duffer named Brother Keeler! I felt the love of the Savior for him and it helped me to feel more comfortable about being in a completely new place! It's about 1 degree (celcius) here, which means it's pretty chilly, but it is supposed to warm back up!

Elder Warenski

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Elder Warenski left for Canada today at 8:30am.  He should be arriving in Calgary around 12:30 (after a two hour layover in Minneapolis). He was very excited although he hates the airport routine.  He was with a group of 15 other elders all heading to Calgary. He said he was just so glad to be about the work! And he is going to need a coat...It has been snowing in Calgary for about 2 days now and is supposed to continue into tomorrow! Glad he is finally at it and can't wait for the emails!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Hey Mom!

Everything is going fantastic! I am having so many amazing experiences and I have grown more spiritually in the past 6 days than I have in my entire life!!!

Teaching investigators is so much harder than everyone puts on.... It's difficult and it can even be pretty tedious sometimes, but it is rewarding when you are able to see the light of Christ burning in someone's eyes! I am grateful that I have the opportunity to help lead Heavenly Father's sons and daughters back to him!

I miss everyone so much! I had the chance to crack open Your (Mom's) and Mikaila's letters the other day! Both were a spectacular strength exactly when I needed it! And I must admit... I got teary-eyed as I read the quote by Gandalf in Mikaila's. She knows me too well!

I am serving with the Best Companions in the world! Since Elder Brower (my first companion) departed home, I have been in a trio companionship with two other Elders. Elder Oliver Mann is from Lester, England. That's about 20 miles south of Nottingham. He is an inspiration! He's hilarious! I remember that the MTC was serving "Fish and Chips" for lunch one day! He was rejoicing until he tried them! He threw the biggest hissy of his life because they apparently were not authentic and they didn't have the correct vinegar! He threw all his food in the bin and was completely distraught! He also calls Queen Elizabeth "Old Lizzie", which made me laugh for about 15 minutes when he first said it. Our other companion is Elder Godfrey! He is awesome! He is a natural athlete and an incredible missionary! He's from Rexburg Idaho and he is amazing! I began to be sick while here (just a minor cold, no need to panic) and I asked him for a blessing. It was his first one, and it was one of the most powerful blessings of my entire life! I can already see the hand of Jesus Christ in our work! He is with us and none of us could operate without his strength!

Our flat is nice and cosy and we have LOADS of food, so don't worry. I was made Zone leader of district 64C, and I am loving it! I Love having the opportunity to serve the other Elder's on a Zone level! They are amazing and I'm glad that we have so many dedicated missionaries! We struck gold in this aspect!

On Sunday I watched a devotional by Elder Bednar that changed my life! It was a recording of the devotional given by Elder Bednar at the MTC years ago! You can only view it within the MTC! Elder Bednar teaches about the Character of the Savior! He explains how the Savior was constantly turning outward! Even when other people would have shrunk and turned inward and fed their selfishness, the Savior turned outward and served! Study the moments when Christ had endured the temptation (there is after all only one temptation, but three instances) and fasted for 40 days but still sent the administering angels to John! Study the moments after Gethsemane when even after Christ had suffered, bled, and been betrayed by his apostle, he healed the guard's ear! And study the moment when even as He, our Savior, was hanging on the cross and dying for our sins, he thought of the welfare of his angel mother and made arrangements for her to be taken care of! These incredible instances help me realize that this is not MY mission, it is his! As Elder Bednar says: "Get over yourself! This is not your mission! Who cares what you want!"

Whenever I am with investigators, I pray that the Savior will be with us and that they may be instructed by the power of the spirit. Whenever we are in our flat, I pray that the Savior will be with us. Wherever we are and whenever we are there, my companions and I seek the companionship of the Holy Spirit and the will of our loving Savior Jesus Christ! We are about the Lord's work and we are being instructed in the ways of being the Savior's instruments to bring his sons and daughters back to the fold! I am deeply grateful for this opportunity! How blessed I am to be able to participate in "bringing to pass the immortality and eternal life of man!"

I Love You all and I pray for Your health, safety, and happiness! If there are any of you that struggle or need to know where to find happiness, it is through the Savior Jesus Christ!

-Elder Warenski