“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 28, 2015

Yes Mom, I am indeed still alive. There are quite a few missionaries that are freaking out about all of the blood moon stuff. Honestly, I find it pretty strange as well. It really doesn't matter in the end, because the Lord is going to take care of us no matter what. I think the Church did well to warn people about just jumping on board with every Tom, Dick and Harry that claim they know a prophecy. It is pretty irritating on the mission because a bunch of missionaries think that they are pretty expert in their knowledge of that stuff. Obnoxious! Anyway.

My first full week was a whirlwind. Because I was re-assigned on a transfer week, I had to do a bunch of stuff for transfers and didn't even have a clue what I was doing most of the time. Luckily I got some pretty good training, so things went decently well. I'm also reaping the benefits of never getting nervous in front of a crowd. That really helps. Thank Robinne! Taking the departing missionaries to the airport was really cool. As I was driving them there, one of them asked me how it made me feel to do something like that. I told them that it just made me more ticked that 13 months of my mission were already gone!!! I am going to love coming home and seeing all of you, but holy cow. I am going to miss this mission. I'm glad that you also mentioned the arriving missionaries. Mom, picking up those missionaries from the airport was one of the coolest things I have ever done. The new missionaries arrive with such a zeal and optimism that re-kindled my own. It was awesome. I'm really loving the experiences that I am having. It is definitely hard. Holy cow.... There were a couple nights there where I went to bed feeling like I was drowning. But everything always gets better! That's a miracle of the Atonement! God makes us stronger to conquer the challenges ahead of us. I will definitely not be spending the remainder of my mission as an assistant. I had an interview with President and he says that he wants to keep leadership cycling through fairly often. So no:) I'll be back to proselyting eventually! And yes, I'd definitely rather go back to proselyting in the end. I enjoy serving the mission, but I also love having a little part of the vineyard to tend;)
Congrats to Seth Manesee on being such a stud! He's going to tear it up on his mission, I just know it!

Thank you so much for the birthday box! I'm going to love it. President and Sister Miles actually had me over to the mission home last night for a birthday dinner! Sister Miles made ribs, funeral potatoes, and some awesome garlic rolls! It was so good. It was really touching because I didn't even tell Sister Miles about my birthday. She even made me a pie, haha. I can't wait for General Conference either. I can't wait to just soak it in. The motto of my mission has been "just make it to Conference." I always leave Conference feeling refreshed and ready to work again! Especially since we get 3 new apostles!!! We were talking about it, and I've got it all lined up with a sports metaphor. President Monson is Head Coach. President Eyring and President Uchtdorf are Offensive and Defensive coaches. The quorum of the Twelve are your first stringers. President Nelson is the new Starting Quarterback. The Seventies are the college teams that they will draft out of;D And then the Presiding Bishopric and the other Auxiliaries are Special Teams;) Ask Grandpa what he thinks about that, hahaha.


So here is what I've learned this week. This morning we were in the car listening to the talk "Beware of Pride" by President Benson. It was read over the pulpit by President Hinckley when the address was given. We play talks in the truck when we're driving - which is a lot. As we were listening to it, one of the lines that really hit me hard was this:

"'What will men think of me?' weighs heavier than 'What will God think of me?'"

As you know, I've been trying to refine my leadership skills to be able to communicate love and genuine interest in people. But I've also had a rough time trying to discover how to deal with contentious situations. Honestly, I think that line right there is the key to thinking quickly in tough situations. We need to ask ourselves what God will think of us and our actions, and be less concerned about what others think or say. I'm so grateful that Heavenly Father was able to teach me that, and I am looking for ways to have the Savior help me to apply it. He is seriously helping me every day. I've never felt closer to him than I have on my mission.

Well, this week we begin the chaos. This transfer is a 5 week transfer, so we have to get all of our exchanges with the Zone Leaders done pronto. We'll be driving down to Lethbridge tonight, and then we'll drive back up to Calgary again on Wednesday night. Then on October 11th we'll be heading to the South for the week to do an exchange a day in the south zones. We'll be going all the way from Medicine Hat to B.C. and then back up to Calgary through Banff. It's going to be super busy.

I'm loving life, loving my mission, and Loving the Lord. He is everything to me!

Love you so much!!!

-Elder Warenski

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Elder Warenski does not have a post for this week. He emailed to let me know that he was made Assistant to the President on Sunday and has been in intensive training since. He is a bit overwhelmed as you might expect. He was excited that he will be traveling the whole mission and serving in splits with Zone Leaders. He is excited to pick up new missionaries at the airport today.

Monday, September 14, 2015

First off, thank you, and Kellie, and Grandma and Grandpa for the counsel on confrontational situations! Seriously, I can't tell you enough how much that helped. Gaining all that wisdom from the people that I respect more than anyone was really amazing. I'm super grateful. I'll be prayerfully studying what you have outlined and I can't wait to implement it. It's really helping me already! Mom, I couldn't agree with you more when you say I am growing so quickly. I don't even know what to do with myself! The Lord is really accelerating my learning and teaching me the things that will help me in the future. Sometimes I get "growing pains", but that's the name of the game! Growth is always uncomfortable and disjointed, but through the Lord we can all make it through. Learning from President Miles has been an honor! He really is an inspired man. While Elder Martino was here (I'll get to the details in my update) he talked about how, yes, there are definitely people within the bounds of this mission that individual missionaries are meant to personally help, but he mentioned that he believes a lot of the reason we are called to the missions that we are in is so that we can associate with our assigned Mission President and Wife. Mom, President Miles is teaching me so much, and I'm so grateful for him. Out in the Mission Field, the Mission President and his wife become a surrogate Mother and Father to the missionaries. There's no need to worry about me in that regard, because I'm well taken care of! Elder Martino told the missionaries that they didn't need to worry about how to treat their spouse as long as we followed the example of President and Sister Miles. Mom, it's so true. He treats her like an ANGEL, and she is always a constant support and strength, both for herself and for her husband.
And as far as learning from Grandfather Jackson, the counsel and wisdom to be gained has been unrivaled by nearly every other mentor in my entire life. I can't speak well enough of him and the impact he's had on my life. He's always been right there to help guide and direct.
I'm glad that Curious Savage is going so well! Glad to hear Enoch came to see it and visit. Enoch is just a straight up stud. I miss him so much! It's kind of insane. The last time I saw him was right before a performance of Joseph. My voice was giving out and I didn't feel good about performing that night, so I asked him if he'd give me a blessing. So he took me into Xanthe's room and gave me a blessing that assured me that the show would go well and that I would perform to the best of my ability. I don't think we had a better show that entire run. Thank Heaven for the priesthood, and thank Heaven for a worthy guy like Enoch to be ready and willing to use it. What a guy. I would love to do some shows with him when I get home;)

I haven't actually taken many pictures in the last few weeks, but I repented a little this week and took some good ones. There is one of David Peterson, who is one of the members in the shirt burning video. David served his mission in the Scotland/Ireland mission, and so he wears his kilt to church all the time and always sneaks us Irn Bru;) You'll see on the drive.

Luke McIver is awesome! I'm so glad he and Sarah are in some theater classes. Theater will really help them flourish. They are going to be amazing! The McIver Clan is always so kind to send me packages. Beth always sends the most thoughtful, hand-made cards. She seriously has a talent! I miss Ginger too..... That kid is a brother!

Alright, now for my update!

This week has been pretty awesome. I'll start with Elder Martino!
He pretty much gave the juiciest talk that I've heard on the mission thus far. He talked a LOT about working with members, but honestly, it was his talk on obedience that really hit me. It was incredible. He spoke of how much we expect of our investigators. He outlined what we ask them to do as we teach them the discussions. We expect them to change the way they eat, drink, dress, speak, live, and think. And then we expect them to change the fabric of their nature and change things about their character that are just overwhelming. And then I think the Texan in Him came out because he said "We expect our investigators to do all of this, and you can't even get out of bed at 6:30?" HOLY CRUD! After that comment was made, an Elder raised his hand and explained how many missionaries struggle with just that. Waking up on time. Then the elder asked how we could access the Savior's grace to help us wake up on time. Again, Elder Martino's inner Texan came out and his answer to that question was "You get over it." SO AMAZING. I think a lot of Elders make small problems into big ones by imagining them into these huge issues. Waking up on time is simple. GET. UP. I just loved how he said what everyone was thinking, haha.
Anyway, I also got to very briefly speak with him about Robinne! I asked if he remembered her and he said "Of course I do!" and then I told him that she was proud of him and he said that he was really grateful. He didn't have a lot of time, but it was good:)
Other than that, things have been going pretty well! I'm doing well and I'm loving every second out here! My love of the Savior is growing and all of my happiness is in Him!

I love you!

-Elder Warenski

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

My companion, Elder Williams is just fantastic! I swear, I feel like my life is being Narrated by a professional. It's amazing. Everything he says is like it's coming straight out of a movie! He's been teaching me all the British ways;D I'm so ready for Scotland! 

Stephanie Melchor's boss was visiting Calgary. He arranged to meet Nate and Elder Williams.

Stephanie's boss is amazing. He's such a good man. He is one of the leading Scientists worldwide and he's one of the most humble and kind men! We were just sitting in a Tim Hortons having drinks and a doughnut and he was so kind. He didn't even know us (just through Stephanie) and he bought our food. I really enjoyed it. Stephanie is awesome! So glad she's my friend.
So I don't have much time, but I'll give you the update on my week.

This week was another toughy, to be completely honest. But I like to think that I conquered it! I had to come to grips with some things about myself, which was actually really helpful.
I went on an exchange with one of the Assistants this week. He's a really dear friend. Elder Hudson Smith. We had been having a LOAD of problems in our Zone with one missionary in particular that just can't seem to be obedient.... Even after a couple of personal interviews with President. Anyone who knows me knows that I really don't like contention.... I freeze up.... I can't think, I can't speak, I just stand there like a chump. I've had to deal with some of that lately, and I hadn't really done very well. So on this exchange, I spoke with Elder Smith about it, and he told me some things that really picked me up. I explained to him how I felt that there were so many things about myself that I felt impaired my leadership. One being my inability to deal with contentious situations. So I talked to him about it. Elder Smith told me that in the end, I really just needed to believe more in myself. I needed to stand my ground and be firm. And then he said something really amazing that will ALWAYS stick with me. He always draws things back to the Savior - like a good leader - so he said this:

"The world loves us BECAUSE of things.... Jesus Christ loves us IN SPITE of things. You need to love yourself not BECAUSE of things, but IN SPITE of your short-comings. Just as Jesus Christ would."

That hit me like a brick wall. Elder Smith taught me about the Atonement right there. Suddenly I felt way more able to deal with the struggles that come my way! And also, my awesome mother sent me a meme that really helped me out:) It came at exactly the right 
time, by the way.

I just want everyone to know that I love Jesus Christ! I love how He supports me and I love that He has confidence in me, and can change me! He is going to make my weaknesses strengths, and I love Him for it!

Thanks for all the support! I love you so much!

-Elder Warenski