Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Week 6 - Last One in MTC!

Hey family!

So as you know this week has been a severely long one, but it is getting better and better.  Before I start I wanted to finally reveal a personal goal of mine while I am on my mission.  it is to stay positive no matter what the circumstances.  Overall that mindset has really changed my perspective on life.  Through all of these trials, I have been able to face them and by doing so, i end up stronger and happier.  
It is finally coming to that time where everyone is getting back into school!  I hope that Andrew is doing well in Humboldt as he has still been slacking on emailing me! Haha.  I think it is funny that Jake got stung by bees.  Maybe it will be a humbling experience for him ;)  Biro biro  Luckily for you mom, this won't be your last email from me in the MTC.  I will be able to email again on Wednesday so try and respond before then.  I can't believe that I am already about a month and a half there.  That leaves basically 22 months left since I am supposed to come back about 2 weeks early.  
The MTC has been an amazing experience.  I loved the opportunity of being a Zone Leader.  I got to know the Zone so well and these new Elders are soo awesome.  I am gonna miss all of them.  I am super excited to head out!  The official flight plan is from Salt lake city to Tokyo.  And then from Tokyo to the Philippines.  I am pretty sure that the visas all went through and we are ready to travel.  I believe that I finally sent that letter back home, but I will double check to make sure.  My goal for these next 4 days is to get my suit dry cleaned.  if it doesn't happen, I will be thoroughly stinky on the way home........  Anyways that is about it for now!  I will talk to you again soon and i will try and send pictures at some point!!  Love you all!


Elder Warren

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Week 5 - MTC

Hey Everyone!
First off, Hello Uncle Richard!!  It's good to hear that you still got that loud laugh!  Also thank you so much for the Krispy Kremes mom and the box of candy bars.  You have no idea how many snacks my district has gone through in the past 5ish weeks!  My goal is to actually put on a little bit of a stomach while I am in the MTC but so far I have made little progress.  The weeks are coming to a close, where I will still be in the United States.  I am super excited to go to the Philippines, but I am also realizing that I am not even close to being functional in Tagalog!!! It was hard to see this past group of missionaries leave us on Wednesday.  They were super funny and we had all gotten really close.  Thankfully, I was awarded an MTC water bottle by one of the Elders because of my Energy and Spirit.  I will have to send a picture of it in a little bit.  I forgot my camera this morning, so I need to take some pictures of the campus.  I know they will go on to do amazing things in the field.  As I am sure Dad will be glad to hear, I have taken an attraction to the game of volleyball.  For some odd reason I seem to have a natural gift for the sport.  Now that I have been playing it everyday, 5 days a week, for 5 weeks, my skills have really picked up.  Maybe when I come back, I will go pro.  
The MTC is starting to get a little too repetitive around here.  Although it is super fun, I am definitely ready for a change of scenery!  I did get my travel itinerary.  We will be leaving on Wednesday, August 20, 2015 Morning and flying from Salt Lake to Tokyo, Japan.  From there we will fly to Manila, Philippines and stay at the Manila MTC for 5 days.  After that our 15 hour bus voyage begins.  The plane ride from Salt Lake to Tokyo says it will start at 11:00 am Aug 20 and we will land at 4:00 pm Aug. 21, Salt Lake time.  I'm sure you can do the math for how long of a plane ride that will be.  Anyways it is only 11 days out!  Also I heard that at certain airports I will be able to call home so be looking out for my call!!  Anyways things are pretty good here.  I am now the Zone leader as of Sunday morning along with 3 other Elders since we now have 2 zones.  My Zone is pretty awesome.  The new Elders are all really cool and I can already tell we will get close in these next 2ish weeks.  The story of how I became Zone leader is as follows, I was prepping sacrament, and when I went to go to say the sacrament prayer, President Howard came up, shook my hand, and said Hey, you are the new Zone Leader.  Wow.  Alrighty then.  It's a huge responsibility, but I know it is the right one for me.  I am super jealous that you guys got to go to the beach this week.  But sand volleyball is kind of like going to the beach everyday so I will be fine.  Today, I got my first haircut at the MTC.  I just wanted a 5/8" buzz, but the woman said they don't do buzzes here.  The closest they could do was buzz the sides and back and then do finger tip length with my top.  I don't think it looks too bad, but I will let you be the judge of that.  I continue to do push ups and pull ups everyday so Jake has some catching up to do before he can be 2nd man of the house.  I guess you could say I have gotten more defined while I have been here at the MTC.  On my planner in the to do list, I always write down that I have to do at least 120 push ups and 30 pull ups.  The planners really help me to push myself to accomplish my goals.  I have even memorized three scriptures.  Here is my purpose: Imbitahin ang iba na lumapit kay Cristo so pagtulong sa kanila na matanggap ang ibinalik no ebanghelyo sa pamamagitan ng pananampalataya kay JesuCristo at sa Kanyang pagbabayad sala pagsisis binyag pagtanggap ng kaloob na Espiritu Santo at pagtitiis hanggang wakas.  I hope all is going well back in Cali!  Thank you for everything.  Salamat para sa lahat ng bagay.  Kita po Tayo sa dalawang years!
Mahal ko kayo,
Elder Warren

 These are pictures of me with the other 2 Elders that left on Thursday morning.  From Left to Right: Elder Lance (Supa Lance), me and Elder Davis

The sand volleyball courts where I spend most of my gym time at now. 
But I still don't have the mad skills that my dad has. 

Supa Lance was also so kind as to give me this MTC bottle for Excellence in Spirit

 2 of the Elders who left on Thursday. 
From left to right, Elder Hofeling, me, and Elder Howard.  
They were some awesome Zone leaders!!

My new Hair Cut! Don't I look handsome?

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Week 4 - MTC

So I will be heading to the Philippines in about 2 and a half weeks in three Wednesdays from now.  The weeks are definitely cruising along, which is really nice to say the least.  I am so ready to get out into the real world and invite the Spirit into the hearts of the Filipinos!!!  So all of our investigators are staged.  We start next week video chatting with members from the Philippines.  We also do a thing called TRC, which is where you teach lessons on Tuesdays to return missionaries from the Philippines.  In my district, or room, there are 4 of us going to the Cuauyan Mission and the other 4 are going to Urdaneta.  My investigators now are all of my teachers, so it's nice that they can see are progression and also be aware of what we need to work on!  This week I had a little bit of an accident.  I was playing volleyball when someone from the opposing side tried to spike the ball onto my side of the court.  Well my instincts were so good that I went to stop the ball, which I did.  But in the process of doing so, I jammed my left thumb pretty bad hahaha.  Half of my palm swelled up and it was pretty purple for a couple of days.  Luckily now the swelling is gone and the hand is just slightly purple.  It's quite beautiful actually.  
The MTC is going well, but I am just slightly tired of looking at the same buildings day after day...  Man I wish I was going back to school in a week... NOT!  Haha tell Jacob to have fun with homework.  This week we had one lesson where my small notebook with all of my important scriptures fell out.  I was a little disappointed because I wanted to share that scripture and it would've helped our commitments to have been more successful.  I was feeling a small loss when I talked to my zone leaders.  Their story is beyond compare.  They had to teach 3 lessons that day.  During their video chat lesson, the investigator couldn't understand one of the Elders accent.  He ended with a commitment for her to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it.  She said Opo, or yes, and then they proceeded to close with a prayer.  After the prayer she told them they forgot to give her a commitment!!  Hahaha then comes the best part.  In their last lesson with an investigator, they forgot their Bible and Triple Combo in Tagalog.  They couldn't share any scriptures they wanted to.  One of the Elders saw that the investigator had a BLUE and Aklat ni Mormon, so he proceeded to take it and try to find a scripture in Moses.  Needless to say they didn't find the scripture.  Then when it came time to give them something to read, instead of giving the investigator a commitment to read about the Gospel, they committed the investigator to read a part on the Creation of Adam and Eve.  I felt soo much better after that.  As a missionary ​you have good lessons and bad lessons; I'm just glad I haven't had one that bad yet.

Take care.


Elder Warren

Another Temple Day with the District

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Week 3 - MTC

So this week was pretty cool and surprisingly fast.  I am getting better and better with Tagalog.  A lot of things have changed about the MTC since you were here.  It makes teaching lessons more interesting, because there is no set plan and it can be difficult at times.  I am picking up the language really fast  We had one lesson that was an incredible experience for me.  We walked in and the investigator was washing clothes.   Right away I new our lesson plan wasn't going to fit her needs.  She started with asking us why we came to her house and we said that her kids cared about her and wanted her to come back to church.  I kept a conversation with her to get to know here until she finally came and sat down with us.  I was prompted to talk about how God loved her and because he loved her, he created families.  I as on that topic when the Spirit flooded over me.  I began to bear my testimony in Tagalog like never before.  I would not be able to tell you everything I said, but I knew without a doubt that she felt the spirit.  I knew that this was the first of many similar incidents to come.  Sadly during that lesson my companion was only able to ask one question, so this week his goal is to become more fluent and more independent.  That way we each get to teach about half the lesson.   Anyways, besides that the week went by really fast.   I've been tearing it up in volleyball and basketball.  Sadly, I am not allowed to dunk, touch the rim, or even touch the backboard.  I miss those days. This week was actually the first week I played basketball and man do I still have my touch.  Our group also always finds a way to get scolded by Brother "Redhead" as I refer to him.  He isn't our teacher, but everytime we do something  that we think is ok, but isn't , he comes and tells us it's not ok in Tagalog and then apologizes for the inconvenience.  If he was really sorry he would just be fine with it.  For example we got in trouble for listening to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, which are teacher said was ok but I guess it isn't.  Whatever. I have been continuing to work out and try to put as much food on my plates as I can.  On average I grab three plates of food, but I still seem to lose weight.  Most of it is fat though and I have the possibility of obtaining some abs while I am on my mission.  I hope everything is going well back in P-Town!  I can't believe I am already almost half way through the MTC!  Everyone here is great.  Have fun at Trek!  It's a lot of walking.


Elder Warren