“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, July 27, 2015

I'm SO psyched today - and this is the reason I'm writing so early - because we are going to Banff today! It's going to be awesome! It's supposed to be a GORGEOUS national park west (I think) of Calgary, so that's awesome.
I'll be taking loads of pictures so I'm sure you'll all be waiting with baited breath (lol).
No, I really can't believe that it has already been 11 months. In 1 more month I will be halfway done.... It's so weird. I will have been away from you guys for a YEAR. Now THAT is something I never thought I could have ever done. How crazy is it to think about that.

I love Scott Smith! He's such a good guy. What a boss. That commitment to the Lord is important. Scott is a smart guy and I'm so happy for him. Tanner Hale also got home from his mission, and I am so psyched about that. He was one of my greatest friends when he lived next-door and I can't wait to see him again. And say hello to Torres for me! I love that guy. He had a lot to do with my testimony and with my desire to go on a mission. He's such a good guy and I look up to him a lot.
Tell Sadie congratulations! I'm proud of her and best wishes from Canada;)
That's awesome that Nitsua, Ginger, and Natalie took Cierra to that concert. Good to know they're still taking care of my Sister! I love Nate Elliot so much. He's a good guy.

So glad to hear that Sunny is getting better! That's such a relief! She's such a good dog and I look forward to seeing her when I get home. Even Paycee, haha. 

Grandpa is a trooper. He's strong as an Ox. He's been more fit than me my whole life. He always has his funny things - like dropping knives in his feet, and driving himself to the hospital for things - but those things just show how tough he really is;) I brag about my Grandfather on a daily basis. He is one of the greatest men I have ever known. 

Alright! Now for my update!

So let's first of all go over the exciting things that happened this week:

The Tornado:

Truth be told, it sort of passed us before we could see the funnel cloud form. But the clouds that formed the funnel did indeed pass over the top of us. The wind was howling and it was awesome. Don't worry, I have pictures and even some videos. We were riding our bikes when the hail hit, though. And we weren't in a housing area. We were in Fish Creek park. It's a patch of nature right in the middle of the city. We were with some other missionaries and we all had to take shelter under the bathroom pavilion thingy. Except for Elder Anderson. He's so freaking funny. He just decides to walk right into it and lay down. And he got hit. So yeah! That was the big Tornado craziness!
Also, I got in an AWESOME bike wreck this week. I got some pretty big cuts on my hand and knee. I also ripped a huge hole in my pant leg. I'll shoot you the picture so that you can send it to Jenni Theobald. I was riding alongside a sidewalk, and we needed to get back on the sidewalk to get to the crosswalk at the next intersection. I tried to jump the curb, but my tire caught the curb and I wrecked sideways. Then my head hit a fence and I ended up grinding my face against this chain link. I know, what a clutz, lol. 

Other than that, we have been experiencing some MAJOR success with Facebook. We have got some tips from this member who is SUPER adept at it, and now our work is BOOMING. We've picked up 3 new investigators within 2 days. It is insane. 1 hour each day. It feels so good to be effective. Hopefully this will catch fire in the mission and we'll be able to get some awesome work done. 

Another awesome thing we did was at a mall called Chinook Center Mall that we went to. We brought a Ukulele and some hymns and we sat down with 2 homeless men and played next to them. We gave them each a Book of Mormon and by the end of the hour and a half we were there, we had earned them $50. They were so grateful and it almost put them to tears. It was an amazing experience. I'm happy to be putting my voice to use:)

Just another week up in the Great White North! Loving it up here, and I love biking. We get to bike through Fish Creek Park all the time and it is some pretty gorgeous scenery. I'll bring you to it one day and we'll walk the trails. Thank you for all of the love and support! I love you all!

-Elder Warenski

Monday, July 20, 2015

Yes, I received the box. And it was AWESOME! I think I almost literally wept like a child. I love dream bars. Gosh I'm going to be fat..... Who am I kidding? I already am!
Isn't Laura and her fiancee awesome?!
(Just a side note: Laura Stringham and her fiancĂ© came to visit a relative in Orem. They are in Nate's ward in Calgary. They brought me a box of books from Nate and I sent a goody box back with them.) They're both such good people. He gave me the hug that you requested. He told me it was a mom hug, and so he hugged me. His whiskers brushed against my cheek, which made it kinda hard to think of my mother, but it was still very tender;D
I absolutely LOVE Robinne for making those rolls. I LOVE her rolls.... Everyone up here calls them buns.... I don't really understand that, but whatever....
Thank you to Kathy! I miss that lady so much! I'll always be her Ellard and she'll always be my Betty! She and Arlene;D Miss that good lady as well!
Yeah the fireworks wouldn't have made it..... Mama McIver (Beth McIver, Ginger's Mom) sent me a "Patriotic Box" this last week (picture to come) and the box had been torn open. The only guess we or the mission office had was that they were looking for fireworks because the customs statement said "Patriotic Trinkets". So yeah. Don't send fireworks;D We'll just have a member drive to Saskatchewan if we need them, haha.
Elder Clarke was absolutely Ecstatic to get the stuff you sent. He kept on telling me how much he loved you all. So there's a lot of love going on;D
That is so cool that 3 women from China came to Gospel Essentials! That is seriously the coolest thing for missionaries. We love it when that happens. We actually were tracting last week and we ran into a Mandarin family that I was able to chat with in Mandarin. They said I have an excellent accent! So thank you to Hong Lao Shi (James Hoopes) and Gong Lao Shi (Jo Kung) for all the tutelage;D We'll be following up with the Mandarin Elders this week to see what they did with the referral.
That's cool that sister in our ward is in Halifax. Nova Scotians are odd, but cool;D I saw on Facebook that Megan Hanks from middle school just got called to Edmonton, just north of Calgary. That is great.
Alright, now for my update:
Well the time has come. We are officially a biking area! It's going to be super fun. We have already been biking a few days this week, and we are super blessed to be biking in our Zone. We regularly get to bike through Fish Creek Park, which is a super gorgeous area. We have to go through it to get to the other areas. So choice. Not to mention, I'm hopefully going to lose a few pounds doing it;D
I've been taking lots of pictures with Dad's new camera, so that has been really fun.
This week in YSA, we've been pretty busy. Lessons with Delano, Bernard, and the like. It's been going really well. We had an amazing lesson with Delano. We watched the Prophet of the Restoration movie with him, and it really touched him. He thought it was incredible that Joseph Smith built a temple just as Solomon was commanded to. He thought it was also cool that he was doing it in the way that Solomon had done it. With the finest materials, and the like. I've never had lessons on my mission where I felt so much that Christ was fighting SO HARD for someone. He really wants Delano to be a part of His church. We feel it every time we visit.
President Miles is really something, Mom. He is the greatest. We woke up this morning, and he just sent us a random text telling us what a good job we were doing. That kind of stuff means the world to us. It shows us that he cares about us and that he is thinking of us even when we wouldn't think he would be. He's an inspired man.
Well we lost Sister Joseph today.... She is the Kiwi Sister that served with me in Magrath. She was in our Zone when I came up. She has been emergency transferred to help another area.... Really really sad.... Elder Clarke and I were really beat up to see her leave. But all will be well. There's not a lot of chance now that I will see her before she goes home. She's so awesome. We'll just have to take a trip to Auckland sometime;D
Other than that, things are really going well. I'm loving the mission and I'm having the time of my life. Clarke is a fantastic, Golden companion, and it's so great to have someone who wants to push to greater heights. Thanks again to everyone for all of the things in the package. It was VERY much appreciated.

Love you all!


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

I was so excited when I saw Mark Slik's picture come up on facebook page for Merit and I was so happy. He is an incredible man that will do incredible things for our school as Assistant Director. So grateful for him.

I miss Cierra so much..... Geez I can't even articulate. I'm going to send her a letter soon, so be watching the mailbox. I'll try and mail it within the next couple days, but I'll also send an email. In just over 13 months she and I are going to be in the basement having a Office/Parks and Rec MARATHON. So tell her not to O.D. so that she's not sick of it by the time I get back, hahaha.

You have been asking for more pictures. Well, it's a great time to take photos up here. I'm meeting so many people and just LOVING the area.
As for President Miles: I am seriously one of his biggest fans. The man is just inspiring beyond all measure. He's always happy to see us and he loves us all so much. You can feel it so strong. He is definitely here for a reason. He is exactly what this mission needs to get it cracking. Speaking of which, here is my update!

The zone is doing FANTASTIC. We seriously have not seen this good of numbers in an EXTREMELY long time. We went from having almost no numbers at all to having like...... 20 lessons reported from the Zone. If we can keep this up, we'll be doing fantastic. It means so much for the zone. It's been dead for a long time.
Now I need to tell you about Elder Clarke and I! We are as thick as thieves and that is really helping us be unified to help the Zone get working and to get our own area running. The fruits of this effort have been a miracle that has happened to us!
So a couple weeks ago, a man just wandered into the church building right before sacrament meeting. His name is Delano Evans. He is from Jamaica. He wandered in and the Bishop's wife caught him. She immediately began asking him where he was from, what his beliefs were, etc. She introduced him to the whole ward and made him feel so at home. It was great member missionary work. So she invited him to meet with us. He came to FHE in the YSA and was able to hang out with a bunch of people close to his age (he's 29) and he had a ball. We taught him a lesson last night that was STELLAR. He loved it. He is very Christian and loves the message of our church. He said that the day he came to the church, he was just looking for somewhere where Christ's name was on it. He saw the sign on the church and walked in. He says that in Jamaica the church is regarded as a cult, and so it makes it pretty difficult to warm up to the idea of going to church. But apparently they're tight with the missionaries there. But at one point in the lesson, the spirit was just BOOMING and he just said to us that he had a lot of respect for us. He said that we should treat his home like a second home, and that we were always welcome at his house. It was amazing. Just the bond that we experienced. Pray for him, please:) OH! And what's REALLY exciting is that President Miles wants to come to a lesson with us to go teach Delano! It's going to be so sweet! That lesson will be on Tuesday, so I hope all goes well. It will be so cool to teach with President.
Bernard is doing well. We haven't been able to meet with him in awhile because he went camping but we should be able to meet with him tomorrow. Which is exciting:)
Anyway, things are going really well. I love it. I love serving God. I love serving Jesus Christ and working with Him to help so many people. The mission is going fast!

I love you all! Thank you for everything!


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The sister Nate baptized just before his transfer sent him this email. He wanted to share it. The gospel is true and it changes lives. It also brings wonderful people to the Lord.

Hey Warenski. It's Sara.
The boys and I just wanted to check in and see how things were going for you up in Calgary. Hopefully you haven't been shot at or shanked! In all seriousness, we do hope it's going well and that you're adjusting to your new area and ward.
How was the trip up there? Everything go smoothly?

I volunteered another answer in Sunday school today! The boys sat so well during sacrament. Sister Zuagg was coloring with Lincoln so that helped a lot. Her and Ferris have been so wonderful this last week. She brought me treats on Friday and had the boys and I for dinner again tonight. I'm starting to feel more and more comfortable at church and feeling at peace, that this was the right choice and move to do.

Lincoln has asked for you and elder smith a few times already, haha. He hasn't heard you guys come in and haven't seen you.
You should have seen them at church today. I cut their hair yesterday and when they were all dressed up, they looked like little gentlemen. It was adorable. They wouldn't stand still long enough for a picture though.

I'm not sure if I said it before, but when you had told me that your mom was praying for me prior to my baptism, that meant a great deal and if you could pass on my thanks to her that would wonderful.

I should wrap this up before I ramble further.
Just wanted you to know that we've been thinking about you and are sending our best wishes and thoughts to you.
Hope to hear from you soon,

Sara, Lincoln and Viktor.

Monday, July 6, 2015

You didn't have nearly as quiet a 4th as I did.... lol. I didn't even have the obnoxious sounds;D It was dead silent in Calgary. But I did celebrate! Elder Clarke and I went to a great view in Calgary and watched the sun set while we drank Shirley Temple's:) There is a firework ban in the whole province, so we couldn't get any fireworks:( But it was all good! We sang the Star Spangled Banner and it was still great:) The sunset was gorgeous as well.

 Elder Clarke and I have really hit it off and we are a dynamic duo now;D

NOW for my "report":

President Miles. He is just THE MAN. He is from Layton (or Sandy or something...) Utah. He is an inspiring and incredible man. He is a fantastic leader, and he has already changed my life in the short time that I have known him. He is everything that I loved in President Nicholas, and more. In his welcome fireside, all Elder Clarke and I could do was just turn back and forth to each other and tell each other how much we already loved him. We are in good hands, and some extremely powerful and positive changes are going to happen in this mission. I am so excited for the future of the mission and the missionaries. He is extremely involved in the lives of the missionaries.
We had MLC's this week (Mission Leadership Conference) where all the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders came to Calgary and we talk about goals and concerns for the mission. President Miles was asking all those gathered what changes they would like to see in the culture of the mission. An Elder named Elder Gonzalez stood up and said something to the effect of: "President, we really need YOU. It may sound corny, but we need to feel like we have 'parents' out here. People that we can talk to and that will be here for us no matter what. We need you to be a big part of our lives, President."
Now don't misunderstand. No missionary in this mission means to say that President Nicholas wasn't there for us. He most definitely was. But with 200 missionaries, it never sounded possible to really be a huge part of our lives. So it just never happened. We only ever saw President Nicholas at transfers, zone conference, and interviews. That's not a lot. But what President Miles said next almost made me start crying in the meeting. He said something like this:
"Elders and Sisters, we're going to talk a lot about baptisms and reactivations on this mission. But the most important thing to my wife and I is YOU. Period. You are the most important aspect of our calling as Mission President and Wife, and we don't just intend to be a part of your life for a season. We intend to be a part of your lives FOREVER. Our success will come with every wedding invitation, every baby shower notice, and with every letter that maintains communication with you while you are on this mission, as well as when you leave."
I seriously almost burst into tears. Mom, he is absolutely incredible. He has already gone on splits with Elders for appointments a bunch of times. He has really magnified the individual. I'm so grateful for him. I believe in him and I believe that he is EXACTLY what this mission needs.

Alright. Give me a second to wipe my tears off the keyboard....

Alright we're good;)

In other news, the work is going well. We are teaching a Phillippino named Bernard! He is such a good kind soul. He's the personification of all of Grandma and Grandpa's stories about how kind and loving and humble the Phillippino people are. He is nearly on date for baptism, so that is awesome. Elder Clarke and I have been working hard to help him along the path. He is praying every night and reading the scriptures every night when we remind him through text;D He's a great guy. I remember in a lesson just feeling this HUGE wash of love for him. I really do genuinely love the guy, and I've only known him for a little while.
He's our most solid investigator, but we are trying to also get in with his family. They are Catholic, but they all love the Savior so much - says Bernard - that I'm almost certain that we could help the entire family.
Anyway, I am working hard and doing my best:)

My mission has really changed in the past little while. I have found a new desire to do better and to try harder. I'm changing and I am getting an even more deepened conversion. Which is another thing that President Miles talked about in relation to his success as a mission president. That is his goal for each of us. By the end of our missions, he wants us to be able to step off the airplane with an unwavering testimony of Jesus Christ. A testimony that will never falter. And I think that I am achieving that. Trials and the hard things of life are all a matter of perspective. You can look at them as a woe that has come upon you, or you can see them as a divine opportunity. An opportunity to grow. An opportunity to prove your commitment to the Lord. An opportunity to step outside of your own understanding. The hard things in life change when you can see them through a positive light.

I can feel myself stretching and changing and I'm grateful for the Savior for supporting me through it all.

Thank you to everyone and their support! I love you all! Sorry if I couldn't get an email out to some of you this week.... We had to email at the library and they only give us like.... an hour....

Love you!

-Elder Warenski

P.S. Thanks to Grandma for the letter:) I love you!