“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

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Well, the time is finally here. 2 years have come and gone, and now everything is coming to the most wonderful and fulfilling close. I honestly am just kind of speechless. In a lot of ways, the end isn't even real still. It hasn't hit me. But in other ways it has. There have been so many great friends that I have made out here. My Brothers, my companions. It's been great to be able to serve with them. Each one has inspired me and taught me in their own way. They've all made me a better person.

Well, I don't have much to say other than my testimony. The most important thing I have.

I know that Jesus Christ lives. I know that there is a God in Heaven who is our literal Father. He loves us. If there are any that are reading this that still wonder about the reality of these things, then put your wondering to rest. Go to Him. Ask Him. Be sincere. He will answer.
I know these truths independent of any man, because it wasn't man that revealed them to me. I know these truths because God made them known to me. Through every experience of my life He has shown me what is really true. He has taught me that Family is of the utmost importance. He has taught me that His Son really did do everything that He set out to do and that because of His sacrifice, we can be saved and healed.
This gospel is not about a church. It is about the Son of God. He is real. He lives. He loves YOU.

I'm grateful that I know these things. I am grateful that my life has been altered forever because of the things that I have experienced on my mission. I'm grateful to my family for all of their support and love. It has carried me many times.

I love you all, and I can't wait to see you!

See you Friday!

-Elder Nathan Warenski

Monday, August 15, 2016

I'm glad that you were able to make it to Kristian's homecoming. I can't wait to see him again. Heck, I can't wait to MEET him again. I feel like with all of these missionaries returning, it isn't going to be so much like a reunion as it will be like being introduced to someone all over again. We're all going to be so different but so much the same simultaneously. Crazy stuff!
Funny that you mention the nightly hug I would give you before my mission. That has actually transferred to my companions while I've been out. I don't go to bed without telling them that I love them - in a totally manly way, of course ;D. It's guy love, that's all it is.... well you know the rest ;).
The schedule for next week goes like this! Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday are all regular proselyting days, but on Thursday morning I have to be at the mission home at 8:45 a.m. From there we begin the 3 hour drive down to Cardston. We pick up some missionaries in For McLeod, and then we meet up with Sister Connors and Sister Kendrick in Cardston as they are serving in BC. We'll do a session at the Temple, and then we get a special talk from the Temple President in the Sealing room. I'm excited for that! What an awesome opportunity to be there with your Mission President, a Temple President, and all of your friends to just talk about everything that is holy. It's going to be incredible. After that, we will drive back from the Temple to the mission home. We'll probably get back around 6:00 p.m. and then have dinner after President does interviews with the BC Sisters. Then we'll have the departing fireside with President and Sister Miles. President shows us a few videos by the Prophet and Apostles about going home and then we have a testimony meeting. That night the Elders will be staying at a hotel on McLeod Trail in Calgary, and the Sisters will be staying at an office couple's house. We'll get up in the morning, and then there are several different groups that will be leaving because they have different times. Because of the tight time limit in between our group and the group before us, we will at the airport at 9:00 a.m. even though our flight leaves at around 2:00 p.m. but that should be alright. We all have plenty of stories to tell and plenty of things we all need to catch up on. The flight will leave at 2, we'll land at around 4:20, and then bam. The moment we've all been waiting for ;) So that's the plans!
We can for sure go to the temple on the Monday when I get back! That sounds great. Especially if Grandpa is going to be Sealing. That will be awesome. 
It's amazing how everything is coming together so beautifully! Let me re-cap what happened last week.
So this last week was full of twists and turns, but they were all good. Elder Shah and I got a call on Monday morning from President. He told us that we would be getting another companion. So the next day after our district meetings, we went and picked up Elder De Young. He is actually from Spanish Fork! He's a funny guy. We all get a long really well and it has been a blast. Elder De Young was sent to us because the actual transfer day doesn't happen until September 1st. So President sent us Elder De Young so that when I leave Elder Shah won't be flying solo. We've all been having a great time together. On Friday we went on exchanges with the Assistants. I was able to go with Elder Cervantes to Woodbine and have dinner with the McLachlan's. That was a pretty awesome reunion. They are doing so well. It was one of those "full-circle" moments as Elder Cervantes calls them. Elder Cervantes is from Costa Rica and goes home with my group. We talked a lot about how everything in the mission is beginning to just fulfill. Seeing the McLachlan's and how happy they are and how much the gospel is a part of their lives has really inspired me. The Lord really is working with everyone we love. After exchanges with Elder Cervantes we had a lesson just last night that was incredible. We were teaching Meyna and her son Caleb. It was an amazing lesson. Caleb seriously was giving some of the best answers to our questions that I have heard on my mission, and he is only 10. Like seriously, when we showed him a picture of the First Vision and asked him what he saw, he said "I see God the Father and God the Son." I almost died. He's one of the brightest kids I've ever met. We taught them all about the Book of Mormon and the Restoration, and Caleb is now reading the Book of Mormon. They're still on track to be baptized soon after I return home.
We're seeing miracles up here, no doubt! The Lord is in this work, and I'm so grateful how close to Him I have grown because of my missionary service. A week from today I will write my final email as a missionary, so I'll save all of the "touchy feely" stuff for next week, but I'm just very grateful for all that has happened in my time here.

Love you all!

-Elder Warenski

Monday, August 8, 2016


 That is so crazy that Kristian is home! What a guy. It's so good to hear that everyone is getting home alright and that we're all finishing up so well! I'll bet Tara is just beside herself with joy! That's sad to hear about Aunt Kellie. I hope she will feel better quickly and I'll for sure pray for her. That's awesome that Uncle John has been doing all that family history. It will be good to find more and more people from our own family. I would have loved to have been there, but soon enough we'll all be together in the Temple :) I can't wait to take Cierra to do baptisms. Really looking forward to it. 

Thanks for buying a memory foam pad for my bed. Honestly, I was a total wuss before I came out here, Mom. I have slept on the floor, couches, couch cushions on the floor, and so many other weird places that now I think I could sleep anywhere! But thank you for the memory foam ;) That was the best. I actually had a memory foam pad on my bed in Cranbrook (over a rock hard mattress) and that is the best that I have slept on my mission thus far.

I'm seriously exhausted, Mom. Like, seriously. I have never worked so hard in my life. Elder Shah and I sit down together every Sunday night and review everything that we've done in the last week, and it legitimately makes us so tired, lol. I can't wait to take a few days to rest up and then get back in the game. It's going to be so good to be home. Last night while I was brushing my teeth, it finally sunk in how long it had been since I had seen all of you. Like.... 2 years finally made sense in my head, and me and my head agreed that that was way too long! It's worth it only for the Lord!
This week in Chestermere was groundbreaking! We have been teaching Jeff and Meyna Freele and I'm happy to report that they are now on date for baptism! They will be getting baptized with their son Caleb on the 27th of August! Yes, it will be after I am home, but that is totally alright! I'll get in contact with them after the mission for sure.
It truly is a miracle that these things have been happening. When we got to this area, there was nothing here. We had no investigators, 1 or 2 leads where we could find any investigators, and we knew nothing about the ward. But it's been 8 weeks since then, we have found an investigator every single week since we got here, and now 2 of them are on date for baptism. That is a miracle. Christ has really been watching over us and helping in all of the work that we are doing. I can honestly say that none of this work has come because of anything that Elder Shah and I have done. Every single person we have found has come to us straight from the Lord. We're just really thankful to Him more and more every day.
Elder Shah and I were able to go to the Calgary Temple this week. It was really great to be back in the Temple. That is one of the things that I look forward to the most for when I get home. Being in the Temple whenever I want will be a great thing to enjoy again.
Thanks for all of the support, prayers and love from back home!
Love you!

-Elder Warenski

Monday, August 1, 2016

That's sweet that you got a letter from President Miles! I didn't even know that they did that. Yes, it really truly is getting very real now. I only have 25 days left and it's crazy to think about!

Now I'll update you on all of the incredible things that have happened in this past week!

1. The Director of Proselyting for the Church came to our Mission Leadership Council on Thursday. His name is Mike Hemingway. He and another chap named Brother Beesom(?) came. Interestingly enough, Brother Beesom lived in Springville for quite a while and was great friends with Ethan Edwards. But wait! The plot thickens! Brother Beesom came to see Ethan in Joseph during my junior year! He saw our performance and raved about it! Just an awesome fun fact.

Brother Hemingway taught us a lot about developing more faith to find people to teach. He told us some statistics. In our mission, we have to find 10 investigators in order to baptize 1 of them. The world average is finding 20 and baptizing 1, so we're actually doing incredibly well. But we could always step it up, which is what we're going to do! Brother Hemingway also spoke quite a bit on relying on the Lord more in EVERY activity, not just in teaching. I can't even tell you how true that principle has been to my mission experience. The second that you will just get out of the way and let the Lord do His work and use you is the moment that you gain a lot of power to do exactly what He would have you do. And that has been happening over and over and over again. It was an incredible meeting and at the end I had the opportunity of bearing my testimony to the group as it would be my last MLC. It was a hard one, not going to lie. I felt the spirit so strong and knew that the Lord was the with us. Good times!

2. So here is a crazy miracle that happened. Elder Shah and I have been teaching these two guys named Jodi and Earl. Earl is Jodi's father, and they live in a trailer park north of our stake center. Jodi has had a real problem with alcohol and is a kick-boxer, and Earl is a nice older man who is a retired rancher that has had both a stroke and a heart attack. We found them through miraculous means that I won't describe in this story, but the real miracle is what has happened in the past week.
So last week, we went to go teach them with a member, and we ended up teaching them out on their front lawn around a little fire pit they had. We taught them about a bunch of things, and then we left. Well they called us a day or so later and told us about how a bunch of guys drove up after we left and started hanging out with them. Jodi got into a disagreement with one of the guys there, but they were able to just agree to disagree. Until they left. Jodi went to shake hands with the guy, and while they were shaking hands, the guy punched Jodi in the jaw and took him to the ground. Then he just kept beating the crap out of him on the ground. After that, he and all of his buddies left. Jodi's jaw was broken in 3 different places. The cops showed up and took him to the hospital where they re-constructed his jaw and wired it shut. They also had to put iron plates in his mouth. When Earl was telling us all this, he asked Elder Shah and I to specifically pray for Jodi that night, that he would get better. So we did. A day or two passed, and we called them to check in with them and see how they were doing. Earl answered the phone and he was elated.
Jodi's jaw was healed. The night that he got home, he still had all of the plates and wires in his mouth. That night, the wires fell off during the night and so they went back to the surgeon. When the surgeon was checking things out, he couldn't find a single breakage or irregularity in his jaw, and his bite line was perfect. It was a miracle. They even understood that it was a miracle and that it had been done by the Lord because of our prayers.

3. The third and last miracle is awesome. We have also been teaching a middle-aged couple named Jeff and Meyna Freele. They live on the west side of Chestermere Lake and they have been having Elders over for years to help them with service. They have a 10 year old son named Caleb. Jeff works as a caterer for the diamond mines in the Northwest Territories, and Meyna stays home with Caleb. He works 2 weeks on 2 weeks off. We had a lesson with them last night in our Bishop's home. They came over, and we started teaching them the Plan of Salvation. As we taught them, Bishop Sullivan and his wife did fabulous in testifying of the principles that we were talking about. Toward the end, we taught them about the Celestial Kingdom. As we talked about it, suddenly Jeff began asking questions:

"So in the Celestial Kingdom, that is where God and Jesus are. Is that where our families are as well?"

We explained to him that yes, that is where our families are together forever.

"Wait... then what about till death do us part?"

Elder Shah and I turned it over to Bishop Sullivan. Bishop then beautifully described how he and Sister Sullivan had been sealed in the Seattle temple, and because that sealing was done with the authority of God they would be sealed for Time and All Eternity, NOT until death do they part. They were looking reflective. Then I started talking about Uncle Dave. I told them about how my Grandmother and Grandfather had lost their son in a battle with cancer. I told them that Uncle Dave had never smoked a day in his life and that he was a righteous man, but for a reason unknown to us, God's plan was for him to go. But I told them that Grandma and Grandpa only feel a sadness every once in awhile because they MISS him, NOT because they have LOST him. Jeff and Meyna were wide-eyed and their very next questions were what the requirements were to enter the temple.

I am seriously blown away by experiences like that. Seriously, that is what being on a mission is all about. Seeing someone's eyes light up when you tell them that their family can be together for eternity, bound by priesthood power, never to be separated by death or any other barrier known or unknown.

That's why I'm on a mission, and I know that what I teach people is true. I also know that God will make these things known to anyone that will ask Him with real intent.

I love you all! Watch for the miracles! They're happening up here in Canada, and I know they're happening for all of you!

-Elder Warenski