“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, June 27, 2016


I'm glad that you got to go to Blythe's farewell! She's an amazing Gal. She'll do great. She's been one of those people who has emailed all of the guys from Merit pretty steadily over our entire missions. She sends us "Grace-notes" which are funny things that her little sister Grace did that week. They were hilarious and adorable. And Hunter and Gavin are both studs, so I'm not surprised they did incredible. It is pretty insane that all of the homecomings are starting up. Jameson is home and Jonah and Kristian on the way. That's pretty nuts to hear. I felt the exact same way about getting the itinerary for my flight home as you did. The thing that I have prepared my whole life for is coming slowly to a close. It is an intense feeling. I am super optimistic about the remaining months of my mission as well as my future after it is concluded, but I'm going to miss it when it is over :) In a pleasant way. Not the "I've been home for two months and still can't remember my mission without crying" sort of way. That way is bad, lol. And yes, I'm just glad that I had a Mom who always showed me the right way and raised me to be the independent person that I am always striving to become. I can hardly wait to get back to learning things. I think I want to be Indiana Jones. Travel, adventure, romance.... It's all there. Yeah, I think I'll be Indiana Jones. But I'm going to have to get better with a bull whip. Holy crap. An Elder brought a bull whip to p-day last week and I was trying to do the Indiana Jones style whip, and I totally lashed myself on the back. I had a huge red bleeding lash on my back... Super not okay... lol But hey! Occupational hazard, right? ;)
I'm so glad that you got to talk to Elder Shah's mom! Elder Shah has told some awesome stories about her. She's quite a fire-cracker, that one. Pretty amazing stories. Elder Shah once got jumped. His mom found out and she told him that he needed to go back and fight them to get even.  So she went with him to fight them again. Shah had to save her life pretty much. I'm telling you, they have the best stories ever, lol. I'm glad that Grams and Gramps liked the Balut story and videos. It was really pretty awesome. I loved having the experience. I'm glad that Abe Jr. is finally home! That's pretty epic. I still remember going to their house as the first appointment on my mission. That was pretty awesome. What a family to be the first family to meet!
I'm glad that you got to do some work with the refugees. That sounds like quite an interesting ride. I'm glad Cierra got to be a photographer! That sounds legit. The world events are just getting more and more interesting. I'm glad we believe what we believe.

Well I don't really have a great deal to fill everyone in on this week. We had a pretty normal week. We're working as hard as we can to try and get the area going better. We're really on to something though. Last week we dug up 7 potential investigators. We're working hard with our ward council to be able to get things going for them. Our goal this week is to get them all investigating and progressing. We've got some good prospects, so hopefully things will turn out. Just keep praying for us!
I'm so grateful for my mission! I'm loving every day and every experience! I love my companion! Shout out to Elder Shah. One of the greatest I've served with. Love that guy.

-Elder Warenski

Monday, June 20, 2016

Brother Acido and Nate eating balut.

Elder Shah and Nate...Eat up!

Don't look too closely.

A couple of quotes that I came by this week are awesome. Check these out:

"Service is the rent we pay for the privilege of living on this earth." -President N. Eldon Tanner
"He who wants to keep his garden tidy does not reserve a place for weeds." -Dag Hammarskjold (Secretary General of the UN)

Pretty awesome, eh? (Eh intended ;D)

Also! I wanted to give a Happy Father's Day to all of the amazing Fathers in my life!

First to Dad. What a guy! I'm grateful for my Father. I have thought a lot about him this week and I know that my Dad and I were sent here together for a reason. There is a reason why he was meant to me my Father, and I was meant to be his son! I'm grateful for every good thing he's done for me, for the encouragement he has given, for the belief in me and my potential that he has reminded me of. I'm grateful for his support of my mission. It means the world to me that my Dad would support me, and he does. I love him for it!

Second to Justin, my brother in law! I love that guy! He's an example to me of being a good man! I will always remember the words that he said to Mikaila when he proposed to her! He said "I want to take care of you the rest of my life". I gained a bit more of a glimpse into what marriage was when he said that. I understood what he said to mean that he was now dedicating his life to loving another person before himself. I've reflected a lot on that sentence since I heard him say it, and I admire him for his love of my sister and their daughter. And for being a Patriot! Justin believes in his country and labors for a cause larger than himself! A great man in my life!

Third, Grandfather Jackson. Words cannot even begin to describe the impact that has been made on me by one of the wisest souls I have been privileged to know. Grandpa taught me values of hard work, understanding, empathy, and love. Many of the things that he has taught me have provided daily help on my mission. I love him so much.

There are so many other fathers in my life that have set an amazing example, and I'm grateful for them all!

Alright, now for a funny story from the week. Yesterday, we had Sunday dinner with the Acido family. The are from the Luzon island in the Philippines - I think. That's near Manila where Grandma and Grandpa served in the temple. A few days before, they had offered to feed us, and joked about feeding us Balut. Grandma and Grandpa always talked about eating it, so I told them that if they bought it and cooked it, I would eat it. We showed up to Sunday dinner and they had a plate of eggs on the table. Elder Shah started freaking out! He looked at me with wide eyes. He seriously even started to sweat:) He got sweaty palms and the whole nine yards. It was hilarious. I am always down to try something at least once, so I had been used to eating weird things already, but Elder Shah was nervous as heck! And then the moment came. We had Brother Acido walk us through how to eat the little thing, and it was crazy. You crack the top of the egg open and peel back the shell a wee bit, then poke the thing with a spoon and drink the "soup" inside. Then, you start spooning out and eating the egg. Eventually you find the baby duck, and you just stick the little beggar in your mouth and chew away. It was really weird. It was like eating a balloon filled with really soft toothpicks that tasted like a boiled egg. It was nuts. Elder Shah couldn't even look at his, he just threw it in his mouth and chewed and swallowed as fast as he could. I sent a video, so enjoy! Anyway, it was pretty good food other than that. Awesome Philippino noodles and some awesome pork rolls. It was awesome. The Acidos are really good people and are super faithful saints! Their son is serving in one of the other Philippines missions.

Anyway, I love you all so much! Thank you thank you!

-Elder Warenski

Friday, June 17, 2016

The Sandberg family in Cranbrook

Well this week's updates are actually pretty substantial. A transfer has happened and we got a visit from President Russell M. Nelson. That was seriously an incredible experience. I'll try and cover everything that happened, but I've been so scatter-brained that you'll have to forgive me if I forget some things or if I seem all over the place.

We'll start with the transfer!

I've been transferred to a place called Chestermere. It is about 15 minutes outside the eastern border of Calgary. There's quite a bit of money here, so it looks like we're going to need a lot of prayers and we'll need to work super closely with the members. Lucky for me, Elder Roberts (he was my companion 4 companions back) was in the area before Elder Shah and I, and he keeps impeccable records. Seriously. The guy records EVERYTHING. The other news, is that I got purged into this area, meaning Elder Shah and I are both new. Neither of us know anyone or anything about the area. Another reason why we could use all the prayers we can get. It's pretty tough to purge into an area, but things are going well so far, we just need to figure out more of the ward and get some investigators. We got left with one investigator that Elder Roberts had contacted just a few days before transfers. They picked her up as an investigator and haven't met with her since. We went to her house yesterday for an appointment that Roberts had scheduled with her, but she was apparently too busy according to the man that opened the door. Hopefully she wasn't just playing Roberts about being interested. But we'll see!
It was really hard to leave BC. There were so many awesome things happening, and so many good people that I am going to miss more than they know. Elder Bryner was an amazing friend, and so were Elders Owens and Manarii. They had a pretty lasting impact on me. That was a straight up Brotherhood in Cranbrook. But the good news is that it is carrying over into my new companionship! Elder Shah is 19 years old and he's from San Bernadino California. We're getting on super well. We have the same dry kind of humor and he has a ton of awesome stories from growing up in California. I was also pumped because he is a runner! Booyah! I still get to work out this transfer! Elder Shah ran track for his high school in San Bernadino (Yucaipa High), so we are going to keep up the exercise! I want to be as fit as I can before I get back, so this is an answer to prayers :) But honestly now that I'm back up north it shouldn't be too hard. There is a curse in the south half of the mission that everyone just gains weight. It'll be easier to lose it up here.

President Nelson's visit was absolutely incredible. Hands down a life-changer, but not necessarily in the way that I would have thought. President Nelson talked about quite a few things, but honestly I found all of the power in the way I felt around him. Like.... The most powerful part of the meeting for me wasn't when he spoke. It was when he was just sitting on the stand before the meeting even began. I was sitting in the 4th pew back from the pulpit pretty much dead center, and I was just thinking about him and who he was. I got this super distinct impression from the spirit of his calling and who he was. It was completely out of no where. I don't think I'll ever lose faith in a Prophet, Seer, and Revelator again. That was extremely powerful. I know for a fact that he was called of God. It wasn't by his own appointment that he was chosen as an apostle. It was divine. I wasn't there when he got his call, I didn't see an angel come down and tell me that he was an Apostle of God. I actually got a better answer than all of those things put together.

God told me. And He told me 1 on 1 through the Holy Ghost. I don't need anything else because I know what I felt.

Thomas S. Monson is a Prophet, Seer, and Revelator, and so are all of the other 14 men serving with him in the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. I know it from God and no one else.

Even though all the power came to me at the beginning of the meeting, I really loved some of the things that President Nelson said. One missionary stood and commented on how we need to be smiling. President Nelson replied "Men are that they might have joy! And if you have joy, please notify your face!" That got an uproar of laughter from the missionaries. It was awesome. He - like pretty much all of the other Brethren I've met - had a golden sense of humor. It was awesome.

Other than that, things are going well! Good stuff is happening and Elder Shah and I are getting right into the fray! We're doing all we can but we'll need all the prayers that everyone has to offer!

I love you so much! Never lose faith in the Prophet, and always wear a smile! Love you!

-Elder Warenski

Monday, June 6, 2016


This week was pretty awesome! Not many crazy things happened, but it was definitely a good time. We have been doing a bit of service work on our house because our landlord is not a member and we're gaining some good relationships with him by helping him so much. I still know how to do dry-wall work for walls and such because of all the good stuff Westin Drown taught me. That's really coming in handy. Some bad news is that I lost my camera this week.... Seriously one of the saddest things that I have ever experienced. I searched all day and couldn't find it. I already let Dad know. Hopefully one day he'll be able to forgive me... That was an amazing gift. But I have prayed and fasted that it would turn up! So we'll see what the Lord has in store. 

Since there wasn't really anything incredibly notable this week, I'll fill you in on some of my ponderings. I've been thinking a lot lately about Self Mastery, and Optimism. Over the past 7 weeks, I have been making it a point to run in the morning. Almost every morning for seven weeks I have run 2 miles. It has been one of the hardest things I've ever done! Consistency is a hard principle to learn. It takes discipline. But I've for the most part been reaching my goal. It's been awesome to take that self mastery and apply the discipline I have gained to the other areas of my life. Not just physical fitness. There is more order and more stability in life when we do that.
The other thing was optimism. I talked with Mikaila a bit about this one, and touched on it a bit in my email with Dad. Optimism is a life saver. We were walking in the street the other day trying to see who would talk to us. As I walked, I was pondering this principle of choosing what things to think about. Mikaila, Cierra, and I have been taught this principle since we were really young. We've always been taught that to a large extent we get to choose the way we think and even to some degree how we feel. As I thought about this, I thought of some of the negative thoughts that I have from time to time, and I realized very vividly that I don't have to be subject to those things. Why? Because I have an entire host of good memories and happy thoughts to call in as reinforcements. From all the memories with my family and friends to all of the spiritual experiences that I have had with the Lord, these thoughts can come to my aid whenever I need them. But only if I choose it. It's been really empowering. I think I've always known those principles, but this time they were confirmed to me through the spirit, and now they're being strengthened by the power of the Lord. It's incredible to see.

Anyway, I know the Lord lives! The church is true, the book is blue, and Moroni is always on the ball!

Love you all!

-Elder Warenski

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

A "Titanic" ferry ride.

R2D2, Is that you?

That's a lot of stairs!

First, I want to share some amazing news with you! President Miles has announced to the mission that President Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve will be visiting us on June 11th! Needless to say, I'm PUMPED. I don't know how our mission keeps on getting so lucky with having General Authorities come. It's amazing. But yeah! So that's big news. Another thing is that I have some potential to get transferred on June 9th. We shall see though. I would give myself an 85% chance of leaving. It would be my last area. Which brings up the next thing!

This week Elder Owens and I were preparing for our Zone Training Meeting, and I was reading through a talk by Elder Bednar called "Becoming a Preach My Gospel Missionary". It is an incredible talk. Great advice and counsel for missionaries that want to become better. But this is the kicker. I experienced my first big wave of bittersweet-ness about leaving the mission. Realization is finally hitting me. As I was reading the talk, I realized that the talk wouldn't be addressed to me forever. In the talk, Elder Bednar is talking specifically to missionaries. And I realized that one day, that wouldn't be me anymore. The day will one day come when I won't be a full time missionary any longer, and suddenly when I read that talk, Elder Bednar won't specifically be talking to me... How depressing is that?!?! Haha, I think those are the things that I will miss the most. But you know what, things end, and it's okay. When the time comes, I will be ready to look forward with hope and a whole lot of enthusiasm. The mission has made me a pretty happy guy ;)

I trust the Lord with all that I am and I know He looks after each of us.

Love you!