Monday, January 2, 2017

Short but Sweet!

Hello Family and Friends!

This week my email has to be a little shorter due to the fact that I was just able to get on.  We got called into the office and had some things to do before Transfer Day this Wednesday so we just endured!!! 

Anyways, to be honest, this week we were swamped in the office.  I had a lot of things that I had to get done like ordering checks and depositing checks so that I could stay on the good side of our Landlords!  Due to this, I don't have to much to talk about, but I will say that I am very grateful for my companion.  He has been a tremendous help to me these past couple of cycles.  It is honestly awesome how similar we are to each other.  I will say this, its a blessing to have him in the car every time I drive because he helps me stay calm haha.  I kid you not, when you drive in the Philippines, one trip risks about 5 different close calls with other drivers.  That is why I have learned to be a careful driver and literally I think I may have eyes in the back of my head now!  Hahaha! 

This week for work we were able to visit Brother Jack.  He looks and is doing very well now.  He has expressed a sincere desire to be baptized, the only thing that he needs help with is getting his divorce papers in order but I am sure we will find a way!  We may not be the Elders to baptize him, but we can at least provide him with the way!  

The other day, I was reading in the bible in Proverbs and it said, "A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favor rather than silver and gold."  I think that is a very important thing for us to remember as missionaries and members.  Everywhere we go, we leave our name there with those people, what kind of association do we want to have with our name, a good or bad one?  We make a good name for ourselves through our actions, our service to others, are attitude towards others, and our general love for everyone we come into contact with.  I was quite busy this week, but in whatever I did, I made sure to leave a good name with those people I came in contact with.  

I love you all and I will have lots and lots of pictures next week ok?  Sorry for this week,

Much love,

Elder Zach Warren

Fruit Pies, Insta Meals and Dinner Appointments

Hello Family and Friends!

The Christmas season has been here for me since 2 months ago haha.  Although last week, I got the surprise of my life.  I was in the middle of closing out for the month, an extremely long and tedious process that involves me usually recounting the money 4 times so I don't have to say I'm missing 20,000 pesos (don't ask why I say 20,000, basta I fixed it! :) 

Elder Estuaria and I were invited to have a Thanksgiving feast with the Senior Couple Missionaries!  I gladly accepted and to be honest, I think that was the best meal I have had since I went on my mission.  Also, you know how I never ate the fruit pies back in America?  Well now I love all of them, as I ate about 4 different ones that night.  Its amazing how unpicky I am now that I have been here for over a year.  

I love it here in the Philippines honestly.  Despite having little food, walking for days, and dealing with interesting landlords, I could never have chosen a better place to be.  The people are so happy and humble, they do make the best out of every situation.  Every time Elder Estuaria and I run into a troubling situation that has no possible way of coming out well, we just laugh.  We have found a way to not get too stressed out about anything because there are times where you just can't do anything about it.  It is the way it is.  As long as we give our best, there really is nothing else we can do.  

Here are some fun facts about my companion.  One he is addicted to the little hoop I have.  I can't tell you how many times before we go to bed or right when we wake up he is jamming on that thing.  Most of the time he will sit on the couch and shoot all the way across the room.  He is a food lover like me, but he has a little obsession with rice restaurants.  We like to joke with each other about this one restaurant called Chicken Deli.  Its a restaurant where you can get like a chicken wing or breast and then unlimited rice.  Now I was in love with that place with him too, until they messed up one of my orders and i had a similar experience like Jacob had with Taco Bell and the beefy 5.  It made me gag from the mistake, basically they didn't cook the food enough.  And because of that I can not eat their anymore honestly.  Just the smell of being in there makes me gag.  

My companion is super grateful for the gifts that he has received but hasn't opened yet.  When I went upstairs to go do some things, he single handedly set up all of the Christmas tree and hung all the ornaments on the tree so he could take a picture next to it!  

So right now, I am working with a couple of ladys in our branch.  They seem to be pretty progressing investigators and both of them have good friends in the church, which is awesome for us Elders.  Brother Jack has expressed his desire to be baptized and married to the Sister he is living with right now which is super great!  Right now we are in the process of trying to help him with getting married so he can be baptized.  

Being in the office I get to be with the APs and I have to say that Elder Saez is a great guy to be with.  He is super funny and we love to mess with each other occasionally.  He always tries to give me fuel receipts and ask for reimbursements and I like to give him a hard time about it.  He still loves me though :)  Elder Pulley is the other AP and he is relatively new to his position.  He is a very kind and caring Elder.  He truly does love all of the missionaries here. Elder Storrer and Elder Branzuela are our kabahays or they stay in the same apartment with us.  

Elder Storrers parents are the King and Queen of insta meals.  I swear, I didn't even know half of those things were possible to be ready like that.  We enjoy swapping snacks with each other.  Elder Branzuela is hilarious.  He just turned 23 and on his birthday we had 2 dinner appointments together.  We all kind of were stuffed after the first meal and seeing every bodies faces at the next appointment was hilarious... Including mine :/  Me and my companion were probably the most full.  After about 2 bowls of soup into my second meal, I knew things weren't going to go over well. Needless to say, I have never seen 8 Elders and Sisters been able to hide that much food from a family in my life. 

PS dont try that at home.  But before you worry, most of the food we just packed in our bags and ended up eating the next day!  

Well over all it has been a good and crazy week.  Being with all of these crazy and fun missionaries makes the work even easier and funner!  

I love you all and until next week this has been yours truly,

Elder Warren

Short Post on Following our Savior

Hello Family And Everyone!!

Wow, it seems like you have had quite the week but with Thanksgiving break now here, I am sure you all will find some much needed rest and food!  Haha.  Anyways, this week was pretty busy busy busy!  I had to clear a lot of problems with landlords because holidays are around the corner!  But I tried to remain cheerful through it and just took it one day at a time!  

Sadly, my companion and I were pretty busy this week, so we didn't make too much progress with our investigators, but everyone has an off week every once in a while!  At least our American investigator is starting to get back on the right path.  He wasn't doing too well earlier but he looks soo much better now! We try to keep helping him because we know he is struggling.  

We focused on short lessons with him, that leave a positive message about the blessings of enduring and following the commandments of God.  As we do so, he will deliver us from our problems, difficult situations, and most of all our temptations to do bad!  As we know the atonement of Jesus Christ means that Our Savior suffered every pain, affliction, and temptation that we did.  

So when times are hard, we know that our Savior has experienced those difficult situations as well and all he requires us to do is to rely on him with our Faith, Hope, Long Suffering, and Obedience.  If we do so, ultimately we will be even happier than we could have imagined before.  After you beat one temptation, you can beat another and another until the joy and happiness you feel from the Gospel is incomparable to any kind of temptation.  Many people face temptations, but only few have the faith to overcome those temptations!  Let us not fall victim to the darts of the adversary and endure them for the even better joy and happiness that is found in Christ!  

I love you all and hope you have a great week! 

Elder Warren

The Attributes of Christ

Hello Family and Everyone!

This week I would like to call myself the king of problem solving!  being the financial secretary gives me the opportunity to solve problems on a daily basis, and this week I have never seen so many new unfamiliar ones since I got here!  I quite enjoy it though, it reminds me of computer programming, always trying different solutions until something works!  Its also helped me to improve on my patience and to think outside the box!  Anything can be fun if you see it that way!  

This week in terms of work, we are trying to get Brother Randy's family to come to church!  We are making progress but aren't quite there yet but we won't give up!  Brother Jack has recently been having some problems but we were finally able to see him and I expressed our love and concern for him and how much we would love to see him at church again!  I hope that he is able to straighten things out and find the true happiness that only our Heavenly Father can give!  

This week I began to go through the attributes of Christ from the beginning again and something I noticed with Faith, Hope, Charity and Love is that it all begins with Trust and Belief!  There is really no other way to start those attributes unless we have Trust in our Lord and Savior and believe in his teachings.  I noticed that within the first couple of sentence with each section that both of those words were written.  It all leads up to love.  Love requires trust.  Without it, we can not have love.  Any relationship that is not founded on trust will fail, because Love feeds of trust.  In order to have trust we must believe in the individual or object.  We must have the Faith that he, she, or it will help further our lives in the right direction and have a positive influence on us.  That was just a little something I learned in my personal study that I thought was really interesting.  It also really helps me to see where I have to start in order to build myself as a successful missionary and member to our Church.  It all starts with belief and trust.  If we are lacking in either of those two, we must immediately find a way to fix that.  Those two attributes are vital to remaining faithful to Heavenly Father and reminding us daily of why we do the things we do.  Why we follow Christ, why we are here on Earth, why we have commandments that advise us from not following the rest of the world.  Trust and belief is where it starts with everything, so let us start having trust in our Savior through the good and the bad, and when it gets bad, let us have the Belief to know that things will improve!  

So as for those hamburgers, I have no idea whether or not it is actually beef, but I do know this, anything that gets me 4 burgers for $1.50 is the greatest hamburger joint ever!  At least when I am a missionary!  Haha.  So basically the only holiday left now is Christmas, we had all souls day on November 1st and after that it is a straight shot to Christmas.  The Christmas decorations were being set up a month ago, almost everywhere has lights now haha.  They are nice to see at night time when we are going home but I always like to tease my companion and tell him how there is still over a month until Christmas!  But I don't think I can contain his excitement.  

Well, I don't know how much more I have to say about this week.  I am doing well, I love my companion, couldn't ask for anyone better, I love my kabahays, and I love the work.  May we all have trust and believe in our Savior and Redeemer!  

I love you all and until next week,

Elder Warren