“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, 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