Monday, October 26, 2015

Road Hazards and Liquid Golden Investigators

Hello everyone!  

So this week has been a very VERY long one haha.  To start off on a good note, mom I got your first package this Tuesday!  Sweet.  I have to say the Reeses were a great idea.  They tasted like liquid gold as well as the bottle caps, skittles, and the chocolate caramel things I don't remember the name of.  My companion also really enjoys his Christmas tie.  So much in fact, that it is the only tie he wears now...  Hahaha! 

So that is about it for the good.  Now for the interesting...  I got hit 2 times this week and almost a third time, but I barely avoided that one.  On Tuesday we were doing are weekly walk to MacDo for lunch after District meeting when a trike started coming down the street.  Now I was walking away from it towards the sidewalk, but it continued to come at me.  It ended up scraping up against my leg which left a little bruise.  I was not very happy and my anger boiled over a little bit so I yelled and told him he needed to go back to the DMV.  I think I scared a lot of drivers because now when I am in that area all of the drivers give me a wide distance.  Then the next day I had a near miss with another trike which was the same situation, but I jumped away at the last second.  A couple days later, I was walking back home from a day of work when an SUV traveling about 10 miles per hour just hit my right side.  I was so shocked I didn't even know how to react.  It just kept driving too and I took out its mirror.  I will never complain about Jacobs driving again.  Another great thing that happened to me this week was I sliced my finger pretty good on our fan.  I was just trying to adjust it when it came back to bite me.  Elder Howard, the Elder I was about to go on splits with, thought I lost my finger because of how much blood squirted out.  I feel like I am a walking target, but I am still alive!  

Me and my companion killed the KIs this week!  We got over 80 contacts, 7 new investigators, and many lessons.  My Tagalog is getting better and better, but now my companion is starting to correct me more and more haha.  Sometimes I just say I give up and start taking him down with my biggest English words.  Haha he is fun to mess with.  I am so happy that our work is progressing, but I really wish we could get more help from our members.  Right now it looks like I will not be able to get a baptism in my first area.  It is a little depressing, but I know I will get baptisms eventually.  All I do is continue to invite everyone I know to come unto Christ.  That is all I can do, and in the end I have faith that Heavenly Father will take care of the rest.  

This week while contacting I found one woman who knew about the Plan of Salvation.  Not only that she wanted to know about where more about where she was going after this life do to the fact that she had a stroke.  Talk about a golden investigator!!!  We proceeded to teach the first couple of principles and are planning to go back to see her.  I have some high hopes for her.  You know life throws trials.  That is just life.  Those who are successful are the ones who continue to move on.  I know that at some point, I will find success, but I can't be deterred by some minor set backs.  I will not lie, I am not just cruising in the easy life.  The missionary life is a struggle, especially in an economy like this, but I see this as an opportunity to realize all of what we have in America and to grow stronger mentally, physically, and spiritually.  I may not be the best missionary, but I will never quit, because I am no quitter.  

Alright now on to answering the questions.  My house is small, probably not the cleanest or most sanitary as it is in the Pines.  It used to be pretty infested with spiders and cockroaches, but I killed them all.  Also it has a ton of mosquitos.  I have kept a tally of how many I have killed and it is well into the 3,000s.  If you would like to try and find my house, it is called Rizal Village and is in Santiago.  We don't really have addresses.  From the Rizal Village sign (Dad-like I would know where that is), it is on the left then third street on the right.  It is the last house on the right.  We don't have a lot of clean up projects.  We had one which was interesting to say the least.  We meet in a church building for Sundays.  They are the nicest buildings in the Philippines.  My ward fluctuates between 80 -110 people.  There are two wards in our building, but I think it is about to collapse into one.  It is small but that is why us missionaries are here!  Well I love you guys and I will talk to you again soon.


Elder Warren
(email sent on 10/26/15)


Surviving the Typhoon

Hello everyone!

So I survived the typhoon!  But just barely hahaha.  We stayed at another group of missionaries apartment because they had electricity.  Our apartment ended up not having electricity at our apartment for 3 days!  For one night we had to use candles.  It was not very fun but I survived!  This week I tried intestines and they were super good!  I also really like the outside skin of pigs.  It is kind of crunchy and they deep it in this like sweet and sour sauce.  Masirap!!!  

So work was just a little hard this week due to the fact that everyone stayed inside because of the storms.  For the first time I led my area because we were on splits in Rizal, our area.  I guess I am a lot better than I thought.  We got a ton of lessons in though because I can't hold a conversation as well as Elder Canencia but they were very powerful messages.  I can definitely see that the Lord has given me a lot of blessings.  

So as for the typhoon itself, it was not too bad.  We did have to stay inside for almost the entire time because it was very windy and the rain was super strong.  Lots of branches fell everywhere, but there wasn't a ton of destruction because everyone was prepared.  There is more trash on the ground now though...  And I know it will never get picked up.  

One lesson we had this week that was very powerful for me was with Brother Mak and Sister Vik.  When we arrived at there house, it was raining and they weren't there.  Now I know you don't know this, but their house is out in the middle of the rice fields.  WE literally had to walk on the very narrow grassways to get to the house.  The powerful part for me was Sister Vik saw us from across the fields and just started running over.  She was yelling "Hello Elders!!!" while plowing through the mud in flip flops only.  Now, maybe she just enjoys being muddy, but to see that a Less Active enjoys having us over that much where she will stop in the middle of the harvest, sprint through mud to come have a lesson is very touching to me.  It was just another experience that showed me how important this work is.  

Its good to hear that Jake is doing well.  That is insane that we only have 2 wards now!  Just make sure dad that you don't overload yourself.  I have definitely learned here that if you feel even a hint that your body is overwhelmed, it is better to take a quick nap.  If you don't, you end up becoming sick and lose a lot of time that you could've saved with only a 30 minute nap.  Anyways I am doing good here, I will continue the work and I love you all!


Elder Warren
(email sent on 10/19/15)







Sunday, October 18, 2015

New Greenies, Tang! and OYM

Hello Everyone!

Well this week flew by again haha.  I stayed away from being sick which is always a bonus.  So lets see what I did this week.  As of Wednesday I am no longer the newest missionary in my zone!  In fact there are 4 new American missionaries.  I didn't even know what to do at the Zone meeting because I saw so many Americans haha.  I am so used to a lot of foreigners now.  Elder Canencia and I had to go to the Ramon Elders to give them a key because they were both new to the area.  One of the Elders is about as tall as me, but super thin.  Man I am a little worried for him.  When I was talking to him, he saw a lot of what a third world country was like and he was basically in shock.  He saw a dog and thought it looked bad.  I had to explain to him that that dog was actually one of the most healthiest dogs because it had all of it's hair.  It is definitely a different world here.  I adjusted pretty well and really quickly, but I came to realize we have soo many advantages in America with this new Elder.  I hope he is able to adjust to the differences of a third world country.  

I got to listen to conference this week.  For the first time ever I had to be dressed up for all of the sessions and I didn't get my usual breakfast of cinnamon rolls, eggs, and bacon...  Sayang (too bad).  In fact I didn't eat breakfast at all for those haha.  I loved the talk from Elder Bednar about the advantages of having elderly lead the church. It is so true that they are spiritually mature, plus when you think about it, if you are still raising a family and become the President of the Church,  I feel like you might just go insane.  There is a purpose for everything in our church.  I learned a ton from Conference.  I also liked the talk on pondering a scripture every week,  but first I have decided to focus my efforts on finishing my reading of the entire quad.  After I finish it, I will go back and with my newly highlighted scriptures I can then ponderize every week.  

So this week I found the most amazing invention ever.  Tang.  You know that orange drink mix I used to have as a kid.  Well they got liter packets here for 9 pesos each.  Man I buy like 1 for each day, and it makes drinking a liter of water sooooo much easier.  My favorite flavors are Orange, Grape, and Mango.  Dang that stuff is good.  I also learned that cooking with only oil can be a pain sometimes.  For instance I burned three fingers last night making myself a grilled cheese.  

On a spiritual note, this past week when we went to the promised land, a crowd of kids came up to me like usual.  This time I was determined to OYM (Open Your Mouth) all of them.  SO I did.  I talked to each one individually, asked there name, shared a message, and gave them a pamphlet.  That day we had 25 contacts.  Now it is pretty easy to talk to kids when you know they want to know how to be tall and if you play basketball, but it also shows how easy it can be to share a quick message about the gospel.  All you have to do is share a quick 3 minute testimony and give them a card with our beliefs and you have the potential to save them for an eternity along with their family.  Being a missionary is super hard, but it is also super simple.  You just have to try, show each and everyone you talk to love.  If we do our all to show others that God is our Heavenly Father and his arms are always stretched out towards us, how great will our joy be in the end?  I know that no other church has what we have.  They can't.  We can not change our standards to meet what the world desires.  We must be like Christ, unchanging, and constant.  Only then will we find our true happiness.  As it was stated in a talk, the barrier isn't to limit our abilities, it is to prevent the evil that lurks just on the outside.  I love you all and I know it won't be long before I see all of you again.


Elder Warren

Email sent by Elder Warren on 10/12/2015

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Chicken Feet and Wild Monkeys?

Hello family!!!
Well this week was a little long for me, not gonna lie.  It could be due to the fact that I was sick for about 4 of the 7 days last week.  It wasn't too much fun but I am still alive now so it was good.  The other day some Sisters told me they felt bad for me because I look so thin.  On the bright side, they gave me free food so I can't complain too much. 
So as for this week.  I have not watched conference yet, and really I don't know when that will happen.  It wasn't even brought up this Sunday.  I feel like we are watching it this Sunday.  (So sorry mom, we actually weren't doing the same thing at the same time haha.)  As I was sick this week, I was able to read a ton of Liahonas and New Eras.  I also got through the entire nook of Genesis in one day.  It was super fun.  I think by the end of that day, I was a pro with the Bible.  I got pretty close to Elder Canencia though.  We talked a lot since it was just us two.  I really like him and I am super glad that he is my Trainer or Tatay.  I got weighed at the beginning of this week and was around 230 pounds, but I think I dropped a couple more since I kept getting sicker as the days progressed. 
In turns of investigators, we are super close with one.  If he keeps up obeying the Word of Wisdom, I could have my baptism in this next cycle!  I also had an interesting experience at a dinner this week.  We were served rice, beef stew, and chicken feet.  Now I was totally content just having rice and a little bit of beef stew, but my companion on the other hand...  He kept telling me that I need to at least try chicken feet, so of course he put one on my plate.  I have never had an urge to hit him before that moment.  He may have a black eye now though.  Anyways, there it was.  I knew I had to do it now, but I really didn't want to.  When I went to go take my first bite, the stupid fingers petted my face.  How ironic.  Being petted by my food.  I was more than happy to be done with that thing when I finished it.  Honestly it just tasted like the outside of a chicken.  It didn't have a lot of actual good meat on it because of course, its just a chicken foot.  I also saw my first wild monkey this week!  It was just sitting there outside our apartment.  Of course I got a picture of it!!!  It was super cool.  I also got another haircut this week.    
The work is going great along with the language.  I see more and more improvements everyday.  I just want to say I know that we are blessed as missionaries.  I have had many trials, but in the end, I have always received help right when I needed it.  With those blessings though, we need to do our part for the Lord.  Even though I was sick, I still made sure I tried to go do at least 2 lessons a day.  Now granted, some of those days, that probably wasn't the best thing for me to do, but I was glad I did it.  Now to answer your questions mom.  I do like my mission president.  He is super nice and pretty dang funny, but I have to say I love his wife too.  She has helped me through my long list of sicknesses.  I felt bad sometimes to text her because she probably has a lot of missionaries to deal with.  Although if it weren't for her, I wouldn't be taking the medications I need to be taking right now. 
I am glad to hear you guys are all doing well.  I love you guys and I just keep working hard so the time will fly by.  I can't wait for the day I get Taco Bell again.  I tell you what, its gonna be a long two years without any burritos...
Love you all,
Elder Warren

 Zach's Wild Monkey Pic... 
(sitting on a perch with a leash around his leg - hmmm)

Sunday, October 4, 2015

First Talk in Church

Hello family!

So this week was a pretty great week!  We had tons of meetings this week though which was not very fun.  On Wednesday I had my 4 week reunion!  It was nice to see the Elders from the provo MTC again.  They all seem to be doing really well for the most part.  On the down side, the meeting lasted around 9 hours.  On the bus ride back to our apartment both me and my companion totally passed out.  Then the next day, we had to go to a Zone Conference!!!  Talk about exhausting.  We kind of have to get up early for these things due to the fact that my companion is the District Leader.  The meeting again lasted around 9 hours.  After the meeting we went on splits with the Ramon Elders and we went with them to a baptism the next morning.  It is always fun to be in a group of 4 Elders.  But somehow everyone keeps finding ways to get baptisms.  But I found out that Rizal is not a high baptism rate.  Although this won't deter me from finding a way to get a baptism before I leave, I guess our APs, Zone Leaders, and so on have been there and were also unsuccessful in getting any baptisms.  

On Saturday we had family week!  This is a highly church endorsed week in the Philippines.  We started off the day going on a 30 minute walk to the church with our stake.  Then we had basketball games.  Now at first I didn't expect to play, but sure enough in the second game it was the Elders versus the adults.  Of course we won.  The crowd was very entertaining as well.  Whenever there was a pack, the whole crowd started yeling "OHHH".  Afterwards we played volleyball and had lunch.  It was really nice to fellowship our recent converts with the other members.  In my opinion, that was definitely a successful event.  

On Sunday I had to give my first talk....  Being a missionary I really didn't have time to prepare anything until that morning during priesthood.  Luckily I found a good article in the memorial for Elder L. Tom Perry.  When it came time for me to give my talk, I guess I did really well.  At the end of sacrament, President Tumaliaun kept telling me that I was magaling at Tagalog haha.  That means like great by the way.  

This week we were able to get a woman who has been inactive for a long time to return to church.  We went her house expecting to teach someone else, but it happened that she was available.  The lesson ended up being an hour and a half long.  She had so many questions, but we were able to answer all of them.  By the end I was really exhausted, and even said if she doesn't come to church now, I don't know what will.  I know that God prepares people for us in his own due time.  If we continue to constantly try and don't give up, Heavenly Father will give us his children to bring back into the fold.  As it said in Elder L. Tom Perry's article, we must strengthen every area we go to.  Sometimes it may seem pointless, but I know that if you continue to give the people love, they will eventually come back.  

That is it for this week.  I will continue to work hard.  And I will send some pictures!!

Lots of love,

Elder Warren

Elder Warren with MTC Buddies

Group Pic at Mission President's Home

Elder Warren and Trainer, Elder Canencia 

Mosquito Net and Hot Dogs!

Hello Family!

Well it has already been almost a month and now the time is really starting to fly by!  I remember last Pday feeling like it was yesterday! This week had been great!  I actually have to give a talk this coming Sunday, but it only has to be 5 minutes long so I am set!  We also have 2 investigators we are working with.  One has a big problem with word of wisdom, but he attends church and he told us that he has a strong desire to stop doing drugs and stuff.  I am hoping he can stop, because I really want a baptism.  It is mainly because I have had to attend about 5 different baptismal interviews for the Sisters that work in the other ward in Rizal.  I don't know how they do it, but I am really starting to get jealous of them.  The second investigator is a teenage guy who is pretty cool.  He has a little dog named Chihuahua that loves me.  I kid you not it does so many circles around me that sometimes I accidentally step on it.  It is as fast as lightning for real.  I love it to death though.  The investigator has been making excuses for coming to church, but he thinks I am pretty cool.  I told him that this Sunday we would be at his house early to come to church with him this Sunday.  I guess you could say I can be stubborn when I want action...  

I have gotten into a habit of writing in my journal everyday.  I am proud to say that I have not missed a single day on my mission.  I think I am up to about day 73.  I have also become more proficient  in my personal study  Although it has taken me a little longer than I would have liked.  I am to Moroni in the Book of Mormon.  I will probably have the Book of Mormon finished by next P day and then I can start on either the Bible or finish Our Search for Happiness.  

So to finish off this email I want to say that work is going great.  I honestly love this member in my ward Nanay Febrero "Nanay Mabeauti".  She is soo funny and likes to tell me to fight my companion hahaha.  She even got me a mosquito net!!!  WOOHOO!  Let me tell you, I could not have been more excited to put that on my bed last night.  No more mosquito bites for me.  Also last night I witnessed a pig get killed and cleaned.  Also.... I got to experience my first dog barbecue.  The family just had the dog roasting on the fire like it was a hot dog.  At first my brain didn't comprehend what was going on, but I picked up on it real fast.  Well that is it for me!  

Lots of love,

Elder Warren

Recent Converts Birthday Party