“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

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Families Are Forever!

Glad you liked the slurpee pictures. It was a fun night, and we were absolutely sugar wasted afterward.  (It was "any container" Slurpee night. Nice container, right?)
 I'm super glad that Dolly got off the ground with relatively small bumps and bruises. I'm PSYCHED you had a $1,000 night. That makes me happy. I remember when we finished Joseph and ran the numbers to find that it was the highest paid show performed out of Merit's theater. I hope you guys break the record;D
As for investigators, things got a little bad this week. I know, it's only the second day of the week. We had an appointment set up with Aganita last night. She called us and cancelled, which really upset us. What most likely happened is this: She probably went to church on Sunday with her regular church and told someone that we met with her. Then her minister or someone out of her congregation probably told her not to meet with us anymore. I can only imagine the pressure that she's facing. But that is probably the reason why she dodged us, and I'd bet that it's going to be difficult to ever meet with her again. It's a really sad thing, but all we can do is do our best. 

Transfers are in two weeks, and I don't think that I will be getting transferred. Elder Reid will most likely be getting moved, though. He'll probably be transferred up to Calgary, as has been the pattern with all of the Elders that serve in Taber. Everyone in my district keeps on teasing me that I am going to get a training call. I don't even know what to think about that. I don't know how much I would enjoy training in Taber, but I'm not worried about it. Heavenly Father will see me through whatever needs to happen.

I totally understand what you are saying about the world being in turmoil. It reminds me of D&C 97:23 :

23 The Lord’s scourge shall pass over by night and by day, and the report thereof shall vex all people; yea, it shall not be stayed until the Lord come;

"The report (or the news) thereof shall vex all people..." That couldn't be more true. Everyone is getting so downhearted and depressed over the happenings in the world. And honestly, who can blame them? There is some pretty shady stuff going down. But you know, there is so much to be happy for. I've been trying to think of things that make me happy this week, and one thing that really came up has been my family. I think of You, of Dad, of Mikaila and Cierra, of Grandpa and Grandma, I think of Jake, Ben, and Josh, I think of Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, and all I can do is feel happy. Family has been a growing thought in my mind this week. Not in the sense of home-sickness or anything, but just about how profoundly grateful I am for the blessings of the gospel on behalf of families. Because we have the temple and the blessings of the gospel, I have the opportunity to live with my family FOREVER. Eternally. By no power of any being can that be taken away as long as I am righteous. I think of Grandpa a lot. I look up to him so much. I think back to Mikaila and Justin's Sealing and watching my Grandfather officiate in something so sacred. Watching Justin and Mikaila begin an earthly life together that will have Eternal Meaning because of their love of God. If no one else in that Sealing room was changed by what they saw and heard, I was. Heavenly Father loves us enough to allow us to have our own family to enjoy through the eternities. He loves us enough to give us the same blessings that he gave to Abraham: Seed and Posterity, Land and Inheritance, and Priesthood and Dominion. We have all of these things to secure ONE THING. The only thing in this world that really matters:


That is the truth that keeps me hopeful and happy:) How can I be sad when I know that I will be with my family forever in Eternal Happiness? I bear testimony that this gospel holds the keys and power to administer an Eternal Family to all that desire it. Since I was a little kid I have loved my family. All of the efforts that went into allowing us to spend time with one another and enjoy each other were never wasted. The gospel of Jesus Christ and the ordinances of the Temple can make those feelings permanent. Eternal.

Doctrine and Covenants 130:2
2 And that same sociality which exists among us here will exist among us there, only it will be coupled with eternal glory, which glory we do not now enjoy.

I can't imagine my time spent with my family being any greater than that which I've already experienced, but it will be. The good memories will be better if we only follow the gospel teachings.

Most of all, I am so grateful for the opportunity that the Lord is granting me to be able to offer this message to others. I am so grateful for the opportunity to show others that happiness and to be able to promise them the perpetuation of family ties beyond this life. It is a privilege.

Thanks to all of the family for their support. It really means to much to me and I love you all. Thank you for all you do for me.

Keep your chins up!!! Nothing is ever that bad;D

-Elder Warenski

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Thanks for the St. Paddy's day wishes, and the same to you! I told Elder Reid that we had to wear green ties, so I am sporting my Emerson House tie that Joni gave me, and he is wearing a tie that he dug out of the bottom of his suitcase. It's enormous! Probably the fattest tie I've ever seen. I'll for sure sing Danny Boy for you Mom! It always makes me think of President Hinckley. He was (is) such a stud. Tell Sister Evans thank you for the invitation! I will put a little message at the end of this email that you can copy and paste into the ward newsletter for them.
Sorry that Dolly has been stressful. Blythe has been telling me some of the stories.... She sympathizes with you and Robinne. She has been wondering if you two would make it through. AND I CAN'T BELIEVE THE FETCHING LIGHTS GAVE OUT! Holy heck! I leave you guys alone for 7 months and everything is already falling apart!;) But hey! With help like Jon Haws, you can't go wrong. He'll get things in order. The props are going missing??? Hmmm..... I think I read something in Ether about that. Check this out:

1 And now there began to be a great curse upon all the land because of the iniquity of the people, in which, if a man should lay his tool or his sword upon his shelf, or upon the place whither he would keep it, behold, upon the morrow, he could not find it, so great was the curse upon the land.

That's Ether 14:1. Is there much iniquity happening in the theater??? You should check that out;D
You say that if you make it through this one, you can deal with pretty much anything, but we said the same thing about Sweeney and we made it through that one, so I think you'll be alright;D Just so long as you two don't go crazy and storm out and quit;D Mikaila sent me her maternity pics and I saw them on Facebook the other day during online proselyting! Her belly is SO huge! I'm actually super blown away by the one that she took where she was in the white dress and Justin was in his fatigues. Her face looks so much like yours in that picture!!! It's so awesome!

I'm super glad that you miss me, and I'm also happy that you enjoy hearing about what I'm doing up here because oh BOY do I have a story for you from this week!!! A miracle happened last night. SO AWESOME! Alright here it goes:

So yesterday was really hard. It was p-day ( I KNOW! You'd think p-day would have been a breeze, but it was not...) and Elder Reid and I were really tired. We weren't quite getting along, either. We were just bickering. But we drove out of Lethbridge and to Barnwell where our dinner appointment was. We ate with the family, gave our message, and went back to our flat so that we could use the restroom, re-apply make-up, you know.... Just that kinda stuff. Well Reid came out of the bathroom, and he really didn't want to do any work. I asked him if there was anything he could think of that we could do as far as missionary work goes, and he said no. I tried to come up with ideas of what to do but I wasn't getting anything. The more I pushed it, the more ticked Reid got at me, and I was starting to get angry because I wanted to do Missionary Work. So I said a prayer. I was BEGGING Heavenly Father to help me get us out of the apartment and doing something productive. So I grabbed the Area Book and started rooting through it. I saw the "Potential Investigators" section and I felt like that was our best option at that point. So I grabbed the area book and told Reid that we were going to go visit potential investigators... He was so ticked... Doors were slammed, glares were given, and there was just a general bad attitude. Like I've said before, I am not the perfect missionary. I have made plenty of mistakes on my mission. But dang it, I try hard to be a good missionary.
Eventually, I got him in the car and we started visiting houses. I was praying SO HARD that Heavenly Father would bless us with some success so that we could feel better about the situation. We visited the first house, but there was no answer. So we went to the next house. It first needs to be said that Elder Reid and I have been trying to find a new investigator for quite awhile, but with no luck. But a miracle happened! We knocked on the door of the second house, and a little boy came to the door. I asked him if his parents were home, and he called up the stairs of the small apartment to his mother. A minute or two later, Aganita Burgen walked down the stairs and began talking with us. We asked her if we could share a message with her about Jesus Christ, and she was SO eager to sit down with us. Her son as well. We sat down and got their names (the son's name is Amos) and just kind of talked with them for a little while. Apparently Aganita had received surgery about 3 months ago on her back. She had 3 vertebrae fused together and a chipped bone taken care of. And just before that, her husband had left her with 2 kids. She was so stressed and out of sorts. She needed us, and I could feel it. I was so sure. We asked if it would be alright to pray before our message, and Elder Reid offered a BEAUTIFUL prayer that really welcomed the Spirit. My prayers were being answered. We began the lesson. She wept through 80% of it. The spirit was INTOXICATING. Elder Reid and I taught with incredible unity (if we do say so ourselves) and the things we taught were well received. She already had such a burning testimony of Jesus Christ and how the Lord had been helping her through her trials. We introduced her to the Book of Mormon and I promised her that if she accepted it's teachings she would know God vividly and that she would receive even more help and support than she had ever experienced before.
She and her 12 year old son Amos both took a Book of Mormon and committed to read and pray about it. We also invited them to come to church, and she said maybe. They are attending the New Life church here in Taber, and so we will have to address that concern. But it was EVERYTHING I had prayed for. When we shared the First Vision with them, Elder Reid shared it powerfully. It was incredible. Aganita wept through it, and Amos was blown away that Heavenly Father would speak to someone just a few years older than he was! It really was a beautiful experience. At the end of the lesson we left the apartment and Reid and I were jumping for joy. We were so happy. We had picked up two investigators and had experienced one of the most spiritual lessons ever! It was incredible. This grew my testimony so much. Heavenly Father answers prayers. I knew it before, but I know it even better now. Anyway, that is my missionary experience of the week;D

I hope that everyone is doing well and that everyone is remembering to keep close to God. Thanks, like always, for all of the support from my family and friends. I love you all so much!

-Elder Warenski

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Many of you saw Nate's Facebook go through some changes this week and asked me what was going on so I asked Nate to let you all know:

So here is the low-down on Facebook. Basically, we've been instructed to edit our Facebook accounts and convert them so that their sole purpose is Missionary Work. Over the past week I've been in the process of cleaning up my account of anything that would detract from the missionary work that I'll now be doing on it. I am restricted from using my Facebook for any type of personal communication. However, I am going to be posting uplifting messages, spiritual thoughts and lessons, and I will be teaching investigators and less actives over Facebook chat and video conferencing. All in all, this really has a load of potential to get the work BOOMING. I'm looking forward to the prospects. We will be using Facebook about an hour each day. President Nicholas has been training us for a few months on how to use it effectively, and it's going to be an exciting thing to actually put it into action! We received full authorization today at Zone Training Meeting. I will soon be posting a message on the Facebook news-feed that will let everyone know what I will be doing on Facebook. I just couldn't until now because I didn't have authorization to post anything until today. I hope that summed up all of the questions!

There is nothing in this world that I enjoy more than my mission at this point! I actually had my first experience of missing my mission! I thought about going home the other day, and it was the first time I have ever felt sad about leaving! I will miss the places and the people that I am serving, and I am glad that I don't have to leave for another 18 months! At the same time I can't wait to see the family again.... I dunno! It's really bittersweet, but I'm not even close, so I'm not going to worry about it! I'm loving the mission and I'm focusing;) (But I'm also super psyched about all the research you did on where we are going to visit, and I can't wait!!!)

The work is going well in Taber, Vauxhall, and Barnwell! We have picked up an investigator! Little Kiera. She's 12 years old and she is in the Barnwell 1st ward. She has had discussions from the missionaries before us, but the discussions were always at a friend's house. Her parents don't really want the missionaries in their home. They aren't necessarily opposed to her being baptized, but they themselves aren't active - or maybe even baptized... we'll be checking into that - so they asked that she not be baptized until she was 12. But as of this week, she's 12 and we're getting things in gear! We need to give her a few of the discussions, and then have her parents sign a form that states that she has permission to be baptized and confirmed. It's going to be awesome! What a brave little girl. I admire her a lot. Other than Kiera, we are just trying to find more people to teach. The Barnwell ward that we just received this last transfer looks really promising. I've never had members run up to me after sacrament meeting and say that they have someone for us to teach and that they'd love to have us over for dinner. That scenario is what we call a MIRTH in the mission field. "Member Initiated Referral Taught in the Home". 50% percent of every MIRTH taught ends in a baptism. That's the statistic. Suffice to say, we are very excited to have picked up this ward.

Now a couple of notes that I wrote down in my planner to tell you:

1. In the Taber stake, they have an event that they do yearly called the Stake Dinner Dance. They basically go all out and invite all of the non-members they can to this enormous dinner and they offer entertainment and a dance at the end. One of the numbers was "God Help The Outcasts", sung by a little girl. I was so excited! I told Elder Reid how my mom used to sing that song all the time to my siblings and I. I teared up on the line "I ask for nothing, I can get by. But I know so many less lucky than I." THAT is my mother. Thanks for your example Mom!

2. I need to say thanks to Aunt Jen in specific this week! For two particular things! A laugh, and a treat! I'll start with the laugh. So, in the last package, Aunt Jen sent me some Jerky. It is so choice.... Elder Reid and I had to be at a meeting at 7:30 AM this last Sunday in Barnwell, and we didn't have anything for breakfast, so I just grabbed a couple of packs of jerky for Elder Reid and I. We got out of our meeting and went back to Taber for church. The Taber church building has a balcony in their chapel, so we sat up there to avoid disturbing the meeting. We got up to the balcony and we sat down kind of in the middle of the small group of people that were already seated. After a minute or two, Elder Reid felt hungry, so he reached down in his backpack and pulled out his little bag of jerky... Well.... He opened it. I think we all know what jerky smells like when you first opened the package. Everyone around us started turning around and wondering what that awful smell was. They were asking their children "was that you?" and doing all sorts of hilarious things. Elder Reid and I sat there laughing. He shoved the package of jerky into his backpack and we just sat there looking at the families and asking if they smelled anything, haha. And as a bonus, the talks were fantastic;D So thanks for the laugh, Aunt Jen! The jerky TASTES fantastic!

Secondly, Aunt Jen, thanks for the treat! The people we live underneath have ramekins! The little ceramic bowls that are oven safe! I taught my companion how to make pizookies and we pigged out! It brought back some of the memories from when we all met up at your house for a holiday - probably Christmas or something like that - and you made us pizookies! Delicious! Elder Reid and I are very grateful. If not for you, we wouldn't have had an awesome pick-me-up during daily planning!

Anyways, thank you for all you do for me! I'm having a blast out here, and I think I'm becoming a better missionary every day! I'm really striving to do better and better, and I'm so grateful for all that Christ does for me out here. He really is real and He really does care about us. I love you all!

-Elder Warenski

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Glad that Dolly is moving forward. Blythe has been filling me in on all of the news, and it sounds like you guys are cutting it pretty close! But everything will come together. It always does! 
I'm so excited for the Temple Celebration! That is going to be so cool for you guys to participate! Performing for the Prophet would be so exciting. Glad Cierra took Ginja to sweethearts! That would be one heck of a date. Oh how I miss Parks and Recreation.... That show.... I miss Ron Swanson with all of my heart... I can't even tell you.... 
I was able to find Josh's call video on the family website! It was so sweet! It is so cool to see that finally happen.  All of us have been talking about missions since we were kids, and now it is finally happening! I am so excited for Josh! I talked with a Sister yesterday who said that her cousin served in Argentina (or something like that) and that they were so sweaty all the time that they had to shower pretty much 2-3 times a day! Tell him to prepare himself! Glad that Jenni Theobald is willing to help out our family so much. God bless their family. My missionary stuff from Missionary Mall is holding up fine;) 
The work is alright! We just picked up a ward in Barnwell, and based on what we saw at church on Sunday, we are extremely excited to be working with them. These are members who are extremely excited to do missionary work (which is a rare thing in Canada). 
I got the package from You, as well as Aunt Jen and the McIver clan! Thanks to everyone! It made my day! It felt like Christmas again;D Elder Reid and I play with the bounce thingy that Aunt Jen sent us all the time, and I'll soon figure out how to use the USB recorder gadget. Also, thanks to Mama McIver! That package was awesome and the cards were freaking sweet! I love how on Ginja's it said "Dinner's ready". I laughed my butt off and enjoyed telling that story to Elder Reid;) If you don't know the story, ask Alec. It's hilarious. Also, thanks to Evelyn Jensen!!! She's so awesome! She signs all of the boxes and packages that come through the post office! It's so awesome to read her little notes! Mom, you should go visit her and tell her thank you for me! I pray for the house every night still! I hope that it will sell soon, but Heavenly Father will take care of us. No worries. That would be awesome if Michael's brother would buy it! He's such a good guy! Everyone in the neighborhood would love him! So happy for Jordan! What a girl! Can't wait for her to find all of the happiness she's ever wanted! So awesome!

Nothing really new is happening here. There is a big hooplah up here about Isis, though. Apparently they threatened to attack Edmonton mall, so Canadians are freaking out about that. As you can imagine, sales at the Edmonton mall are plummeting... lol. Other than that, the only thing I really want to share this week is a little blurb for member missionary work. PLEASE, especially my family, make sure that you are doing missionary work. It is NOT the responsibility of the full-time missionaries to find people to teach. The missionaries are called in as "specialists" (that's how Bruce R. McConkie tries to explain) to assist the members in their missionary work. One of the biggest stumbling blocks to the entire missionary venture of Christ's church is that the members are comfortable just watching the missionaries do all of the missionary work. That's ridiculous! Look for opportunities to give missionaries referrals! Look for opportunities to represent Christ and talk to people that you have never met before! About the gospel! Don't be afraid to share! I promise that God will bless you if you step out of your comfort zones and love those around you.
I love you all!
-Elder Warenski