“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, March 28, 2016

So this week was pretty awesome. Easter was fantastic, and because of all of our prayers as a family and as a zone, the work picked up in Cranbrook! We put an investigator on date for baptism and he came to church yesterday! But PLEASE continue to pray that we'll be able to find more people that are prepared to hear the gospel! Yesterday was Easter! We had a little bit of an Easter dinner with the Hall family in our ward, and Sister Hall made us little Easter baskets. It was great.
I don't have a lot of time today, so I'm just going to share a little bit of a talk that I gave yesterday in sacrament meeting.

I was asked to give a talk on the Resurrection that I delivered yesterday in church. Resurrection is a pretty straight forward doctrine, so I used the time that I had to explain why that doctrine meant so much to me personally. I talked to them about an Elder that I met in the mission whose mother passed away while he was out on the mission. He overcame the struggle from that simply by looking to the Savior and relying upon the promised Resurrection. He knows he'll hug his mother again. I then talked a little bit about Seth. I really miss him. I talked about how because of the Resurrection, I will one day give him a hug again. Then I closed off with the hardest one to talk about.

I talked about Uncle Dave. I told the congregation that I had no real memory of him, but that I felt as though I knew him in my own way. I explained to them that he was a lot of the reason that I was on my mission at all. I told them about a memory I have of Grandma saying a prayer on the anniversary of Uncle Dave's death. We were all at their house for Sunday dinner with Aunt Kellie, Uncle Kels and the kids. I remember Grandpa asking Grandma to say the prayer. As I knelt on the carpet, I peeked during the prayer because I heard Grandma start to get emotional the very second she started to talk about Uncle Dave. I saw her sitting on the couch, arms folded, head bowed, and tears flowing. She told Heavenly Father how much she missed Uncle Dave, but she also thanked Him for sending His own Son. She thanked Him for living a life like He did so that she could hold her own son in her arms again. As a kid, this really touched me deeply to hear my Grandmother being filled with hope even in the midst of remembering what must have been one of the hardest experiences she has ever lived through.

To all my family, I know that one day, we will be with Uncle David again and that he will have a glorified body of flesh and bone that will be ready to receive all of the hugs and kisses that we all have been saving for him. I know that everyone that we have lost will be waiting to receive us. Grandma Warenski. Aunt Doreen. Grandma and Grandpa Brague. Everyone.

And most of all, I know that this will happen because I know Jesus Christ. He really has become my greatest friend. I am closer to Him now more than any other person. I know He watches over me.

I know Him. And I know that He wants us to try to know Him better than we do now. Our relationship with Him grows according to our will.

Easter was powerful for me because I grew closer to the Savior.

I love Him, and I love my Family. I guess I could even say that I now love my family even more than ever because I have come to know my Savior better than ever before.

Do everything you can to grow closer to Him. It will be worth every sacrifice you could ever make.

-Elder Warenski

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Elder Manarii, Nate, Elder Hopoi and Elder Todd

Nate said that he and the three other missionaries in his apartment are trying very hard to catch the interest of the people in his area. They are planning a luau type gathering where they will perform the Ka Mate haka and another Tahitian haka from Elder Manarii with the youth. They are also putting together a musical fireside for next month. He had just a short time to write:

So everything is pretty good up here. We're trying to get work going up here, and while it is a little slow, we're hoping that the things that we've got cooking will start to yield some fruit. Not really a whole lot to update on this week, unfortunately.... But! I have some things to report. I spoke at the Fairmont Branch about an hour and half from Cranbrook yesterday. It was pretty cool. There were only like... 20 people there, lol. However! It was really cool. Elder Todd, one of the other Elders in the house, was my companion to speak, and he gave a really touching talk. He had some extremely rough life experiences, like his Dad getting a super lethal cancer, losing his job, a friend of his committing suicide, and getting moved all within about a month of each other. But then he spoke about keeping faith in the Lord through all things. He told everyone that his Grandfather drove up from Texas to give his dad a father's blessing. In the blessing he said that he would be healed completely from his illness. After the blessing and a few rounds of chemo, his dad's cancer was gone. Every scan he's had since then has tested negative for cancer. 

I know that miracles like that still happen today. I love the Lord and that he is still willing to do things like this for us all. To show us that He loves us.

I love you all!


Monday, March 14, 2016

Nate and Sister Spackman. Daughter of N. Eldon Tanner

Nate with Elder Hopoi

New area, new companion

Sorry that you never got an email for the blog last week.... I tried to send one but it didn't work... Stupid myldsmail..... so dumb. And snail mail will be even worse because I am serving in BC, we seldom get mail. The next time we will get mail is when we have zone conference in 2 weeks. And then I don't know how long it will be until the next time.

So now for my update:

So I'm a little bummed out this week.... We just got an announcement from President Miles that Elder Christofferson will be visiting our mission on April 16th... I should be happy, right? Well, the catch is that no one in the south zones actually gets to meet him.... We only get to have the event in Calgary live-streamed to us in Lethbridge.... I suppose I should just be grateful that I get to hear from an apostle, but it does kind of stink that no one down here gets to meet him.... Really sad...

Other than that, I wanted to relate to you something about what happened at our Mission Leadership Council that took place this last Wednesday. This will help you understand a little bit more about Elder Hopoi.

We were nearing the end of our meeting and President Miles asked a few people to bear their testimonies. Elder Hopoi was one of them. As he was about to stand and bear his testimony, he whispered to me "stand up!" and so I did. There we were standing next to one another. Elder Hopoi started talking about family, and then he told everyone that family is the reason why he had me stand next to him. He said that I was his brother, and that when I fell, he fell. When I was happy, he was happy. It was really emotional. Most of the people in the room were having a hard time keeping it together. And then Elder Hopoi asked if everyone would stand up with us. After everyone, including President and Sister Miles, had stood, Elder Hopoi said, choking back his own emotion, "There. That is how it should be. One big family. It's like my Dad used to tell me, 'Ofa Lahi Atu.'" Ofa Lahi Atu in Tongan means I love you. Everyone in the room was stunned at what we had been taught. Elder Hopoi has taught me even more than I already knew before that family is the most important thing in - or out - of the world. I'm so grateful that I have all of you back home, and I want you to know that I think of you every night and day. And every minute in between. You're my motivation and my happiness. The greatest fear that I have ever thought of has been not living with you all and Heavenly Father again. That is truly my greatest fear, and that is why I work so hard to be certain that that will never happen.

Thanks for all of the support from back home. I can feel your prayers and your support and it really does help. Please keep praying for Elder Hopoi and I, as well as our area. Pray that Hearts can be softened to accept the Gospel. To accept the Savior.

The only other thing that I want to mention this week is the new Easter Initiative that has been presented by the church. I can't tell you how important it is! Scream it in the streets!!!! So many people can be touched by the spirit as a result of seeing the video/visiting the website, etc. Please don't be shy to invite your friends to the website or the video. It encourages all mankind to accept the Savior and follow His teachings. And I encourage everyone who is reading this to visit FollowHim.mormon.org! Investigate what this is all about. Find the Savior. He will heal you and help you. I know this because He has done it for me so many times.

I love you all!

-Elder Warenski

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Thanks for sending my pictures to missionary mall! That will be great to have my grey pants back! They were my favorites. Easter goodies sound delightful ;) But try and send them as soon as you can because I am only going to get mail every once in awhile in BC.... I am about 4 hours from Calgary, so we only are going to get mail about twice or three times a month. That's awesome that Missionary Mall asked if I was alright! That's sweet. Customer care! I like it.

That's sweet that you have been working so hard on the set! I really do miss that.... Despite the fact that I was pretty chunky back home, I'm pretty sure working in the theater was one of the only things that was keeping me even remotely fit.
I'm looking forward to the summertime as well! It's going to be so gorgeous in Cranbrook! Very mountainous and woods-y. Look up "Cranbrook B.C." in google images and you'll know what I mean.

Well, for the update portion of my week, I don't really have a ton to report. I was told on Sunday night that I would be getting transferred and we picked up the new assistant - Elder Hernan Cervantes - yesterday. He's about the best darn guy there is. And he's hilarious. We are going to be picking up the new missionaries today at the airport. It will be my last time doing it, so that should be a blast. Tomorrow we'll be doing some training for them, and then on Thursday I will be on my way to Cranbrook :) I have honestly learned so much from having this assignment. It's changed my life. I have so much more confidence and trust in the Lord because of it. I can see the ways that I've grown, and it makes me so grateful that the Lord would orchestrate all of this so perfectly so that I would have such an amazing chance to grow. I've also gained a huge desire to see the Mission succeed, not just my own area. I care so much more about whether we succeed as a mission. But I think the greatest thing I've gained from all this is that I am even closer to Christ. I can honestly say that I know Him. He walks with me every day. He hears every word that I pray. He lights up my life and helps me along when I am struggling. He is here for me just as He is here for you, and I am so grateful for all of the care that He gives me. As I've depended on Him, I've never been disappointed or let down. Prayers are not always answered in the way we think they will, but they are always answered, and they are answered in the right way.

Thanks for all of the support from all of my family and friends. Thanks to my friends back home who write me, thanks to people like Beth McIver who sends me the best seasonal packages, and Grandma Jackson for writing me letters faithfully almost every week. And thanks for all of the prayers. I feel them, and I am trying as hard as I can to honor them.

I love you all!

-Elder Warenski