“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, 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