Favorite Scripture

Alma 36:21-22
21 Yea, I say unto you, my son, that there could be nothing so exquisite and so bitter as were my pains. Yea, and again I say unto you, my son, that on the other hand, there can be nothing so exquisite and sweet as was my joy.

22 Yea, methought I saw, even as our father Lehi saw, God sitting upon His throne, surrounded with numberless concourses of angels, in the attitude of singing and praising their God; yea, and my soul did long to be there.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Gall! Come on! Toffee! You have no idea how much my mouth is watering now.

Chris taking a ride.  LOVE the tie.
Anyway, let me tell y'all about Munhava.
A. Dang that it's not in the Lion King.
B. Holy freaken cow humid. I swear I am soaking wet every day here due to sweat. I have never had to deal with this before and it's hard. My body is yelling to stop and go somewhere dry. Also, the waterpack backpack idea was great, fantastic-all the other Elders want one as small as mine, but I am on the lookout for a shoulder strap bag. Backpacks just soak your back with sweat.
C. Elder Brandao(with a tilde over the "a" to make it nasalized) is my new companeiro. He speaks less than no English and is from Cape Verde. A bit about him: to describe him in one word I'd use "Direct" or maybe "bold." Holy cow.
Elder Brandao from Cape Verde
So first off, most the people here who are married are not married officially (or "in the register" is the proper name here) and just live together so we must get them married before they can be baptized. Well...Elder Brandao will just walk into a lesson (I need to get you some pictures of some of the houses-poor poor poor. literally living in mud) and tell the little couple with five kids that "You are breaking a commandment by living together." or "You are sinning and must get married."
Otherwise, he is very much so in charge of our companionship. He just takes control and goes. My problem is that he does all the talking and if I let him he'll just teach everything.
C. Munhava is actually part of Beira, so officially I am in the city of Beira and the um...area of Munhava.
D. Poor. Africa is a poor part of the world. The oddest thing though is that you can walk into a mud brick hut thingy and find a tv sitting on the table. They can have water flooding their road and a chickens in the living room and there's the TV playing away. The mix of poverty and electonics throws you off.

Yup, the package is here. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! I got it Thursday and opened it that night. I couldn't wait. Ties-Awesome. Lasagna-mmmmm, Christmas dinner will be heaven. candy and decorations-yeah! Stocking-Christmas day opener. Bowl will really come in handy too, I like the snowman thing mom.
President Kretly with children
So, hopefully, this paltry peek helps you see somewhat into what Munhava, and further Mozambique is like.

Oh, but on the subject of Elder Brandao and the BOLDNESS. Apparently it has worked REALLY well because he and Elder Hall baptized 4 families last transfer. Sorry, Married and baptised 4. Pres is all abuzz telling everyone of what my comp did last transfer. Truly, I have a great opportunity to learn here. With Port. and with teaching Elder Brandao is sure to teach me alot this transfer.

Well, I have to email pres, Dad, and Josh now so I need to get a move on.

I love you all, know I am fine, know I HATE mosquitoes, know I LOVE mangas(mangos), enjoy dry, cold utah,
Pray that I will be bolder and know what to say in lessons so Elder Brandao doesn't hog the time,(he's great really-he just talkes fast and knows his material WELL),
Happy missionary in a new area with Pres., Sis. Kretly, and his new companion.
Love you all, if I don't respond to all Q's sorry,
Tell Grandpa and Isaac that I got their letters and love them and also that we don't eat bugs here, (the people eat sun dried fish called peixe seco, but that's gross and would probably kill me, so we aren't allowed),

Love you all, thanks for the package and the PICTS and handwritten letters I LOVE THEM!!!

Elder Christopher Wartena

PS. Funny fact, over here "negro" is not rascist. The people think it means "friend." It is actually more polite than "black." I? I just say senhor and senhora, much more polite. The people call me Mazungo, which in Sena means "white guy." Whatevs.

Friday, December 7, 2012

And Now It Came to Pass . . .



So, you know the first lion king, the First song, well, after the sun rises in the animated sky an African woman starts singing and do you know what she says? HAH! She says the name of my next area "Munhava!" Listen for it.

Well, it's north, in Beira, so that means an airplane ride for me. AND, I have no time at all before it.
We (I and Elder Francisco-he's off to Marrumeio) found out that we'd be leaving last night (around 9 pm) and that we'd better pack. They didn't say where last night, but we found out recently today. We were told last night that we'd be leaving because we are actually leaving in 2 hours...so...this will be an extremely short, pitiful email. We have walked all over T-3 and Influene D (area of Francisco) today getting things set in order, and I still need to go and get the capalana scripture case I ordered from a lady here after I finish up.

A. sorry this was a crap email.
B. Tell everyone else that I'm sorry, but I seriously have no time to write them. I love you ALL!!!
C. I am going to miss Claudio-our one truly progressing investigator. Yeah, a little sad, but he's the only one who has continued coming to church and doing all we asked him. Maybe it's our fault. I feel that perhaps I could have worked harder, maybe. Ah, I am still beating on myself to work harder. Honestly I kind of expect a Paul or Peter like experience (minus of course death) of myself. Anyway, Claudio has his Baptism date set for the 22nd. I hope he makes it.

Love you all more than Fanta Uva, ananas, or laranja. aka Fanta grape, pineapple, and orange(they have great soda choices here),
Elder Christopher Wartena

Steve Rogers aka Captain America signing out.

Monday, November 19, 2012


Why'd you have to go getting yourself sick! What is up with this?
My goodness, I leave for only a short four months and you already are throwing up. STOP IT!

Ok. So, I need to do this quick but I will try to do it well too.

A. 1 Nephi 4:5 in English says "Crept into the city..." but translated from Portuguese version says "penetrated stealthily..." OH YEAH. Nephi was an ancient ninja in Portuguese. The word Penetrated is so cool. It makes Nephi that much more awesome.

B. Dad's Red tie he sent me was killed by the rain. Sorry.

C. Tee shirt I was and wanted a picture of because it reminded me of Matt "Wake up. Brush teeth. BE AWESOME!"

Thanksgiving is actually Elder Awbrey's birthday(28th. I think that's...oh wait. never mind) Say hi to everyone for me! I love them all!

MATT!! Making the money. Don't let him be a millionaire just yet. On second thought...hmm... millionaire brother....

14.5 miles! Wow. I'm working on building some muscle. Apparently though I am putting on weight as Elder Preneveou happily told me.

Tanner! BYE!!!!! GOOD LUCK!!! LOVE YA MAN!!!

Shopping, yes, sight seeing, nothing new, just Africa, and laundry. Actually, we have a washing machine and just do our laundry throughout the week (all in one day DOES NOT work for all four of us).
Holes for toilet drainage? Yeah, I guess so. I haven't dug any of those(thank goodness) but instead I have dug the holes to dump garbage. Instead of a garbage truck, most people here use big holes.

As you wish, there are picts of your little boy on dropbox. hehe

Jesse in Rome. That is a sick statement. Jesse is in ROME! Wow. Rome...that's sick. Tell him good luck and I love him.

Package...no...boohoo... I hope it comes within this week or the next(slightly unlikely) for if it comes the week after I may have moved by then. Transfers are the 1st.

Inexpensive. Gosh, actually most things here are inexpensive, it's just that Meticais are worth so much less than a dollar that when I see that I spent 1000 on groceries it seems like a ton. Really that's only $35.71.

I feel bad sending short emails. I hope you all feel my love.

Reading for ya'll: Matt. 11:29-30, Alma 37:42-47, and ya'll go find the story about Moses and the flying serpents.

The thing I want to stress: often people don't follow the gospel because it is too easy. Take Christ's burden upon you. It is light, and he will always be there to lift you up.

Love you all, Your missionary son, brother, relative, friend,
Elder Christopher Wartena

PS. love ya extended family too!

Monday, November 12, 2012

So Josh is on right now, and I have to say that it is hard to multitask some days.

Last week I had a huge list to send you. This week I forgot to write down the list. SO HERE GOES MY RAMBLIN!

A. Elder Awbrey has Prince of Egypt Music and it is awesome. The emotion put into the Pharoah's voice at the end of "the plagues" is sweet.

B. I have a family to talk about.
We met the Mom while "knocking" houses. At first she told us her name was Oma, then later at church she said her name was Benidita. Anyway, her husband doesn't have two names and his is Antonio.
We have been teaching them for a few weeks now.

Random thought: I love that crazy picture you sent just now. I love your hair! That's the Mommy I know.

Anyway, she came to church once and we got really excited. SHE BORE HER TESTIMONY! I have to say, one of the most um, what's the word? scary things...ok that works. One of the scariest things is to have your investigator go up her first sunday to bear testimony. You really hope you helped her understand the gospel and not preach false doctrine. Also, when you CAN't HEAR HER! AAAUUGGH! well, all is well anyway. Bad news, they didn't come last week. hm. She is having doubts about baptism (I don't fully understand what they are due to Portugese and the WAY different frame of mind of these people), but we are working with them. Antonio said he'd be baptized though. So, if all our baptisms go through all great, the 22nd of December will be a grand day!

Allright, now to respond to things my angel of a mom sent.

Yes! Enjoy life. I watched last night the talk by Pres Utchdorf and I remember a quote "Your happiness, ultimately, depends on you." So, don't regret not allowing yourself to be happy. Choose to love life! Love all the little things! Love the crap! Besides, the crap is the stuff that makes the best stories later.

Nephi and the Tent. I have to say, I would have a hard time if we were crazy rich and Dad up and moved us to the desert to hunt and live in tents. Heck, I had a hard time adjusting to Mozambique where I still have running water, electricity, and AC(still blown that I have AC).

Ok, I exaggerated the rain. Yes, it rained THAT HARD, but actually the bulk of our days are crazy hot and sunny. I'm told that december has a lot of rainy days though, so we'll see. Also, the humidity and heat SUCKS!

Poo, the pictures you sent won't open. This is a little sad missionary. Oh well, I have that awesome Josh And Mom pict you sent and I LOVE IT!

NOOOOO! They stole him! "My precious [brother Wilkey], they takes'd it from us!" -golem/smeagol.  But, yes, I agree, the Lord is behind it. I cannot wait to come home and see the world changed by Brother Wilkey's awesome leadership.

Tanner...Nice...Tell him I am excited for him too. He'll love the MTC.

I can't even comment on the Jensens...What?! That must've been one heck of a job offer. I'll miss though crazy guys.

So, today we got here late actually. We got a ride, but unlike the other weeks, when she said she was going to the city she meant the other side than we wanted. SO...Walking.

Crap, I only have 11 mins left on my bought time.

I love you and am looking forward to the package and hope it get's here in time.

I love you,
Elder Christopher Wartena

Monday, October 29, 2012

Hehe, Yup. Transfers. I told Dad, but here ya go. TRANFERS! Thems was dis past weeeek yep. Yo smert sun furgut ta tel ya bout wat did done go un wid dem. So, it was a crazy big change! (insert sarcastic voice throughout this part) Everyone got switched up! I mean, I'm staying in T3 training with Elder Awbrey. I will no longer be training next transfer. Elder Francicso's Companion, Elder Thacker, went home to be replaced by Elder De Oliveira (translated to Elder Of the Olive Tree-awesome Brazilian guy!). Wow! Such a change. Yup, this was a pretty boring transfer. Elder De Oliveira is an awesome guy, but that's all that changed with our house.
So, to tell ya'll a bit about what I'm doing (and sorry I don't do this more but my stupid brain likes to forget important things) I am going to tell you about some of the people here. Freitas-Ok, this is a big, tall, BUILT black buy. I am not kidding when I say his could palm my head and crush it like a grape. Every handshake his hand just eats mine. And to top it off, he played for the Mozambique basketball team. Pretty much, he's your average "boss of a black guy". We met him contacting. We sat down in his house and he started showing us all the Bible and religion books he has and telling us how he just loves to read, then we spy a surprising addition to his library: Gospel Principles! What?! Sure enough, it's LDS. We gave him a Book of Mormon but he hasn't read it yet; BUT he said he'll read a chapter a day this week!, (He said that before we even committed him) due to being too busy with his work as a protein, muscle builder shake mix(you know, the protein powder stuff) company boss. I think one thing he needs to understand is how there is only one gospel and only one way to return to God's presence.

Everyone here has the same response to "do you want to hear more about the gospel?" and that is "Nao tenho problema. Para ouvir a palavra de Deus e bom." or in English "I don't have any problem with that. Yeah, to hear God's word is good." UG. The problem "God is the same everywhere! And in every church too!" is so frustrating. YES! God loves ALL his children and yes some of the other churches teach good things and are good organizations and do good for the community, BUT! There is only one way whereby salvation cometh! Through Christ and his one true gospel! One little baptism people! Oh, we have no problem with doors slamming in our faces or dogs sent to kill us, but getting someone to change their lives, to truly understand the importance of the gospel(such as authority and why you need that to baptize[or plain old what Baptism actually is]) is so hard. People will let you teach them, but sometimes they just nod their heads and say "exactament" the whole time without actually hearing what you are saying.

OOH!!! Ah, another thing. Tell Isaac Weaver I got his letter from a couple weeks back(The Lego football and basketball fields sound cool!) and LOVE it! 

Turns out that DearElder works here. They just send it over with the pouch mail every Tuesday and Thursday(that's the days mail from the US comes in). That's great here in Maputo, but if I get sent up North then they won't reach me for a long time. It goes to the mission office and sits there (exactly the same as packages) until they can get it to me.

Also, thanks Grandpa for your letter too!
So, you won't get too many letters telling about eating with the members or investigators. As a very big "suggestion"(almost a rule), we are not to eat at anyone's house due to the danger of unsanitariness(a word, dunno). Well, needless to explain, one reason is that some people do not have toilet paper. Therefore, "What else is your left hand for anyway?" So...we have to be VERY careful with the food prepared by others(not to mention which hand we shake). BUT, we are probably going to eat with a member family some time this transfer. We have planned to sit with them tomorrow(cake is promised-the mom says she loves cooking for the missionaries), and later this month we may get a lesson with dinner. They are a well off enough family that we can be assured that the food will be fine, so no worries. I am so excited though! I get to finally try some African food! I mean, I've had some, but not really a meal. Elder Thacker was telling me of two dishes to try before I leave(who's names escape me).

Also, we are working with the branch. They need to grow closer and develop a more welcome atmosphere at church. So, to develop a "Branch family" is something right on our minds.
I had really better finish up. I love you all, know that I am getting better, I am still having some trouble missing all you guys(it is really hard having two big desires at the same time: wanting to be here serving my mission, and being with you guys helping you.) I am getting a lot better. I just need to forget the time, and myself, get to work and love the people. My brain just loves counting the months before I get to see you, but then turning round and knowing I'd miss this place too. Bah!

 Gotta go teach some people!
Elder Christopher Wartena

Monday, October 22, 2012

This week on "The Email Chronicles of Christopher."
O....K....WHAT! Awe! Yah just had to go mention doughnuts didn't you? Psh, yes my mouth is watering and I am going crazy! Well, I guess I'll just have to eat a Bon a Bon and try to forget. Bon a Bons are these wonderful little chocolate thingies that come in either bar or ball form. They are yummy gooshy stuff in the middle and have a layer of chocolate on the outside. The crunch they made reminds me of a Crunch bar and the only downside is the price. Bon a Bons! Buy one today!hehe...unfortunately, they are too much for little ol Elder Wartena this month. Yup, this month has five P-days instead of the normal four, so I have got to budget. This week's dinners will consist of Josh's "specialty rice" (wonderful by the way, and cheap to make) mixed with chicken and other little things that don't cost me a ton. Yup, frugality is good for you, you may not eat like a king, but it teaches you how to pricewatch.
No, really Elder Thacker should have left next month when I had some more money. Why? Because he wanted to go souvenir shopping and so I was trapped. What could I do? Here was a perfect opportunity: already in the shop with an Elder headed to my home town in a few days and willing to take something to my family. Psh, I bought something for you guys. Hope you like it. Actually, three things. Two are the same type-I bought them that day Elder Thacker bought stuff. The other thing I got off an investigator's drunk brother. Story, not horribly exciting, but a story. You'll read that in my letter with the stuff. The point being, I spent money and now I must be frugal with the rest.
Funny thing happened this week: I missed Subway! Don't you dare tell Justin, but I heard a song in the street that used to play all the time at closing and I could literally taste my sandwich of choice. Oh, this is bad...no...actually I take it as a sign that I am improving. If the adversary is using Subway to tempt me then maybe I am getting even closer to finally settling down.
So, this week I got to do something really cool. The picts with me and the hoe are of me digging in a machamba. We did two hours of service there Thursday! A Machamba is, quite simply, a Mozambique style farm. The women who work on Machambas lean over so much that their backs, after a number of years, seem to stay that way: they are called Machamba mommas. There is a picture of one who's back isn't quite all that bad yet, but I have seen some who really need some help. What we did there was clear ground. We walked out into the grass and hoed until we had a descent sized square of soil in the place of grass and weeds. The dirt there is really quite fertile looking, loose and rich. Unlike Utah, where it's dry and cracked in places(love it anyway) here it was quite easy to pull up and hoe. Nonetheless, the work gave me blisters on my hands. AH!
Well, investigators...we had three at church yesterday! AAAHH!!! YES! I was so happy when I saw Gito and Lizia(and their baby girl) come in the door. Also, totally unexpected was Flora's daughter. So happy.
Conference it was(finally got them here). In Portuguese, conference is really hard to understand. I got some stuff out of it, but I will still be watching it over again in English(the missionaries keep the discs after the church uses them).
So, I need help. I am trying to think up good goals for my mission as a whole. Ask the bros, dad, etc... perhaps even a devotional idea (Hey! I can help homeschool out her:. "Goals for my 2 short years") and let me know what ideas you come up with. My first goal is "at the end, when the plane ride home is near, be in the mindset where I will beg to stay. I want to have leaving M. be a hard thing. I want to miss this place, the people, and the work."
Well, I'd better email Dad and pres. so I'll wrap this up. Temple thing? I AM SOOOO DOWN FOR THAT!!! YES!!! Write that down somewhere because we are definately doing that. (I suggested we go on a "serve in a different temple a week" thing when he gets home.) Love you, Elder Christopher Wartena

Monday, October 15, 2012

So, bad news, I only have four picts this weeks and that makes me a bad son.
So, Mom, I love you so much. Thanks so much for emailing me last week. Elder Thacker, I talked to him about the apparently obvious hardship I am having adjusting to mission life, and he told me kind of exactly what you told me- Stop thinking about home, quit counting the months, and make Mozambique your home. This is my home now. As far as everything is concerned, T-3 is my Branch, my home, and my people, so gosh darn it I had better help my home improve as much as I can. So, I would absolutely love your emailing luxury and be able to respond to all the absolutely wonderful things you emailed me, but, you know what I am going to say, why do I bother? So, I will tell you about my week. (I love hearing about your week and experiences, thank you so much!) Wet...wetty wet wet. Chuva for three straight days and it could continue. My Luisiana comp says that is not all that impressive, but to me, well let us just say that the roads turned into mini lakes this week. That was fun. We chose our routes not on what road is closest to our appointement but by how much water we would have to cross. That really was fun. Special or out of ordinary today? hm, well it is Elder Thacker's last p-day in country, so we will probably end up in some shops for him. I have bought some things to send you guys via Elder Thacker(home town is Orem-coincidence?). Laundry is done seperately and dried on racks we have in our enclosed porch. My socks take for-freaken-ever to dry, but, whatcha gonna do? It's fun. Reminds me, I might need to buy detergent this week. Conference...yeah...we get the DVDs sent to us and I personally have no idea. Ope, Elder Ruis says we get it next week. YES!!!!!! I will enjoy watching that. I love listening to the prophets. Hehe, currently our days run quite interestingly. We do a ton of just straight contacting or in other words "knocking" doors. Really we yell doors with a big "Com asensa!" (not spelled right) translated to "with liscence!" All of our investigators need help keeping commitments-especially going to church. We have begun really stressing our purpose to the people so they know that we are not just there to talk about God but to help them change their lives and come unto Christ. Portuguese is coming, it isn't in station but it is on the way. Still, the biggest difficulty is understanding what the people are saying. Usually I can get what i want to say out pretty well, but the accent of Mozambique is killing me. Dad's stir fry this past week was amazing! Loved it. By the way-for Calls home we get to use Skype if we want. So.........get that ready for Christmas so we can see, not only hear, each other. I had a thought. If you want anyone to do anything in the gospel they must understand why it is important for them and why it will bless their life. No one will do anything if they don't for some reason want to. So, when preaching the gospel(or raising children unto the Lord) the people you teach must be taught how it is VITAL for them and if they truly understand they will change. "True doctrine understood changes behavior"-PMG quote. Thanks for the compliments, they helped a lot. I need to do better at this. I tend to only talk about the bad things and how to fix them rather than the good things and how to praise them. Well, I must end this. I love you, I am sending an RM bearing a small gift in a couple of weeks. OH! Package. So, pictures are a BIG MUST! Snacks, candy, non-parishable(maybe a dictionary so I can spell, gosh) items for snacking on(american candy is very nice when one is not in America). Deoderant here I am told is only in the roller kind, so maybe three things of Aqua Reef Old spice stuff(or any other scent you think I'd like-I think you guys have great taste). Also, I think I really would like something to remind me of EACH of you. One of Mom and Dad and Josh and Nate and Matt and Ben and Jo. Something small but that will help me remember you guys I would really LOVE. .....Pens......maybe..... Lastly, and this is most important...NOTHING OF VALUE!!! NOTHING IRREPLACABLE! Keep in mind that this may(probably will if you keep it within reasonable bounds but still might) not get to me and be lost in the mail. So, keep that in mind. Gosh, I am excited. Thank you soooooooo much. You are awesome for sending me a package. I love you more than hot water in the shower, Elder Christopher Wartena

Monday, October 1, 2012

I am now, at this very time, writing to the best family on the planet. AH! Ya'll sent me so much! I love you guys.

So, the recipes, I hope Maputo's stores have all this great stuff. My problem is that I can't A.buy too much with my limited budget (the lesser problem) B.Get it all home. We live out in a beirro (suburb of Maputo) called T-3 and we have to go into the city to get all our food. Hopefully we can get a ride home. I haven't had to ride in a chappa home yet. Oops, vocab, a Chappa is a van looking vehicle that drives around a certain route like a bus. Man, they are FUN! Yah, it's like a bus system (except they have a bus system-we don't use it and I don't know why). The reason coming home on a chappa would suck is that when we return we have all our groceries with us, and my backpack only fits so much). Taxi, though more expensive, is much better and if you get a ride with the AP, Pres, or an elderly couple (the first choice) your day is made. Stick your stuff in the back, climb in, drive home. Easy. Chappa...yep, literally taking home all your groceries in a van packed full of people. Not fun.

So, before I forget, Elder Wilkey. I love that guy. Tell him that his BOM reading was fantastic. I know the Book of Mormon so much better and actually have come to love personal study time as my favorite time of the day. My advice, read the stinking scriptures. Know them, devoure them, if you know have Preach my Gospel, read it! I am out here wishing that I had spent more time finding scriptures and getting to know the great gift that is the scriptures. Don't just know one scripture on a subject(for example, the Law of Chastity or Plan of Salvation), because someone out here will need a different one. I know the scripture where Alma (Port. for Soul...The book of Soul...Kinda funny) is talking to his son........Corianton I think......about the harlot Isabel and how he needs to shape up his life. Yeah, that might offend someone, also, it can be confusing and not really explain the concept of Chastity in a way that will help THAT person. It could help someone, but you must have all the scriptures and knowledge and spirit you can to help ANYBODY. This work is very specific to the individual, so read and know the scriptures. If you know the scriptures you will be able to help others do the same.

Another thing to tell the young men, go with the missionaries, talk to your friends about the church, just don't be afraid to share the gospel. For pities sake, I didn't want to talk to anyone about the gospel before my mission. They'd look at me funny, they'd call me weird, they wouldn't want to be my friend anymore. Just share the gospel! Make sure they understand that you believe that this gospel is the one thing in the ENTIRE world that can bless your life more than any other thing. Love this work.

Also, let them know that this is DANG hard. This is, no exceptions, the hardest thing I have ever done in my life (and I'm only a week from my month mark). Tell them to prepare now for two years of working hard EVERY day. This is not to convince you not to come, but to let you know just how important it is to prepare in EVERY way possible. This work is so worth it. I get ALOT of rejection and at times no one wants to do anything or even try to listen, but when someone decides to listen and do ALL they need to do, then you realize what you are doing. You are out here bringing the spirit to others so they have the choice to gain exaltation. You use your mouth to form the (funky Port. words) words, but honestly, Elder Wartena ain't doing squat, the spirit is what is doing EVERYTHING. Be worthy of it and work your hardest or, yes, this two years will suck. If you do all you can to give them all the opportunities to come to Christ, they will feel it through your crappy Portuguese and they will have the chance to accept it.

A net, it's fine, my bed is actually pretty normal for the bottom bunk. Yup, cooking is fun. I have little time to do it, but I try. I have put chicken with rice, yes, and I tried some very simple spaghetti (eh, no), but I hope to be able to cook at least one better recipe (like the ones you guy sent me) a week (make a ton and eat it for a couple days at a time).

Hm, home, no, I feel very far from home right now. I am having a tough time out here, but I am slowly getting better. My current thing I am working on is accepting the long time I have here. It isn't just a quick thing, two years is a while. Pouco e pouco (little by little). I am getting there, my brain just isn't ready to accept Mozambique as home and always betrays me with thoughts of Utah. Bah. I am improving though. My first month was a rough one, and I hope my second will let up a bit so I can finally concentrate completely on the work. Maybe therein lies the answer. "Forget yourself and GET TO WORK."

Mozambique is, in pretty much every way, on the other side of the world. My house is in the best in our area, but that's not saying much. People here live in houses ranging from brick with paint and a fence with gate(not bad, but in Utah it is rather poor) to grass hut thingy hard to describe in anyway but dang poor with a live stick hedge. All these are mushed into lines and blocks with no addresses, divided by sandy roads. Our house is a step up. Cement with a iron fence and door with large bars and lock. Living room has rather nice tile, a table, chairs, and a bamboo looking couch. The kitchen is really small with one sink, one table, limited cupboard space (spelling ah! I will study that when I return so I don't type like a doof), and a stove. Oops, a fridge. It's nice. Two bedrooms with two beds a dresser and desks (and airconditioner-what?! That was weird to see).

Honestly, I should stop, but I have so much to tell you. I also need to email Dad and Josh something.

I love this time every week to type you guys. I love hearing all about home. Sorry I can't respond to all. If there is something really important for me to respond to in any emails you send, please underline them so I know.

Sorry I cannot answer all. I want to sit here and tell you guys so much, but I don't have time. I have found that, as Josh has, I need to plan time more effectively to get anything done.

I feel this email is a little lacking, Please know I pray for you in every prayer.

I love you guys,
Elder Christopher Andre Wartena

PS. Good luck with school, I hope it's going well.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Dear loved ones,
Chris is doing well.  If you have a simple recipe or two that you'd be willing to share with him, that would be great.  Recipes that only call for the most basic of ingredients, don't take a lot of time, and cheap would be best.  They do not eat in the homes of the members in his mission.  I don't know why, but as a result the missionaries are cooking all of their meals for themselves.  What great husbands they are going to be someday.  

Enjoy the letter.
So I have discovered that this computer thinks that everything I write is WRONG! Biased against English it is.

So, to start. I will try and answer all your questions and a few more. I am trying to figure out dropbox to send you all my pictures every week because flickr isn't working. I don't have a yahoo account and I can't set one up because everything is in Portuguese! AH!

This computer won't open the SD card to get the pictures from here to you guys. I'll figure something out. The frustration is that I only have a few hours a week to email and send pictures and all that Jazz, so it is ten times as frustrating when I can't do what I want to do. I don't know why this computer doesn't open the card.

How have I been? I have been having a hard time. Not gonna lie. Don't worry, Mom, I will be fine(just need to work through it and trust that the Lord knows what he's doing). I couldn't have imagined this either even a month ago.   I have been walking around Africa talking to people just begging that they listen to something that will save their soul. It's really hard when no one wants to listen to this vital message, or say they do and blow off the meeting you set up with them. Ah! It's hard to see so many people who JUST DON'T KNOW how important this is and how I cannot get the message across with my limited Portuguese.

Elder Awbrey is great. He is only six months into his mission (transfer number 5), but he is really good with Portuguese. I being his first greeny is a little hard for him. He doesn't say anything, but I know that teaching almost by himself(I try, but it's hard then you don't know what was said for the past thirty minutes) is a hard thing.

Az vezes, or sometime we eat together. Mostly we have our food and just eat what we have. Which reminds me. I would like the recipe for tater tot casserole. Also, any other recipes that are easy, take a short time to make, and not too many ingredients would be great. I am eating rice alot-it's cheap to buy. So, you were right. I am not ashamed to say that I should have listened to all you said, especially cooking. I am fine...but I would like to have known more about how to cook. Simply eating is what you could call it.

I live with three other Elders-Elder Awbrey, and Elders Thacker(from Orem! Finishing his last transfer in four weeks) and his comp Elder Fransisco(Native to Mozambique and doesn't speak English well...at all...on his fourth transfer). (ps. a transfer is every six weeks. I'll be with Elder Awbrey for at least two transfers for my training then one of us will ship off elsewhere).

The members...all right...Nice people. Can't say much else because I don't understand Portuguese well.

Aha! Pictures are showing up at last! I hope dropbox works. If not I'll figure out something else like Flickr or who knows. Maybe I'll limit my picture intake and send them via email. I wanted to send you some videos but they aren't working at all.

Man, this is going to take forever to download to dropbox. I need to take fewer pictures. I have a ton of MTC pictures still and only a few Mozambique. I might end up deleting all my MTC pictures but a few and try to take only a few here so I can get you guys something. AH! I don't want to do that though, I want a ton of pictures!
Ok, what might happen here is I will send a few pictures a week, you take them off dropbox every week, and the rest will stay on my SD cards for forever. Elder Stuart, a Mozambique RM we met in the London airport, did that. He had a ton of SD cards. My only worry with that is that they could be stolen. I will figure it all out. We'll see how this picture thing goes. As for videos, I might someday figure out Flickr. As for now, my time is ticking.

I miss the temple already. I am jealous. Another temple dedication. We are so blessed. I hope it was as great as the Draper dedication was for me.

Tear up that dance floor Nate! Yay! I am so excited you get that opportunity. It is such a fun sport. I love to hear about it.

Enjoy that Wacky Wednesday. I miss things like that, all cheesy and fun. You are great and made my schooling so good. Yep, that's Ben, he is on top of knowing and remembering all things for you. Jo, snacks, hah! Love it!

Sorry I don't respond for very long. AH! This one day for two hours email thing is hard.

Go Matt! I am all for you getting that job! I know you'll do great. Love it and work hard.

Soda machine. Ah! That thing was cool. Nate told me he has fun with that and that Wendy's is now his favorite restaurant in Orem. I would probably concure.

I'm praying for you Dad. I know you will do great. I know the Lord is with you and will help you find a good job to support the family. Thank you for being the example you are to me. I look up to you in all things. I love you.

Mom, you are doing great, I know it, you always are. Make sure to do your best, but trust in the Lord and make sure you get your rest. Hehe, I love unintentional rhyming.

Yup, I have my watch where I can hit a button and say, like I am now, "It's ten minutes to one in the morning for them." Weird. Like I said, Jet lag is pretty much gone, but while it lasted it was harsh.

Tell Pres. Jensen thanks. Tell him I will do my best to live up to my title of missionary and to the help I receive because of their prayers.

Charles Berger! AH! I wanted to know where he was going. Malaysia, wow. That'll be something for him. I am excited for him. He and Tanner Mueire(sorry about the spelling, I suck at it) are best friends.

Hopefully you can figure out which picts are Africa and which are Mozambique and hopefully this idea works and that SD cards are horribly expensive. Hopefully you guys know I am fine and won't worry(but still pray-expecially for the people).

Oh, two things.

Concerning packages, yup, they take roughlyish kinda a month to get in country (to the mission office) and then a while more to figure out how to get them to me. In Maputo I can get packages quicker because of how close I am to the mission office(roughly a month). Elder Awbrey had his family send one at the start of his mission six months ago and has not got it yet and may not get it. So, I will be here for at least twelve weeks. They don't have M&Ms here (thank you Josh, brilliant, though I am almost out. poo). American candy, apparently, is a luxury. I am not sure what I want though. So, it is pretty expensive for you. I don't need too many, plus I think it is only two packages a year for us due to cost and other stuff(like time and effort to get it to us-the Elderly missionaries drive them around).

I miss you sooooo much and wish I could hug you all and tell you that right to your faces.

I will love you for all eternity(top that! kidding.),
Elder Christopher praying his head off for the Lord's help Wartena

PS. Hey booger! Bigger booger loves you.

PPS. Matt, How bout we call you Mortermashnerd instead of bigger booger? Hehe. Love you man.

PPPS. Have fun, give everyone a hug for me (that is for everyone, not just Mom), and trust the Lord. We are soooooo blessed.

Again we are thankful for modern communication technology.
Signing off for now,
The Mama

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Email from September 17

We began Monday morning by reading email from Christopher.  What a fun way to start the work week.  And since his email is already in the inbox by the time we gather for scripture reading in the morning, we started our time together with a feeling of him there with us.  On to the email.  Enjoy!

My Mother is a silly goose. You need your sleep. Trust me, I am tired enough for the both of us by way of jet lag. In fact, I have found out two things about airplanes: A. They are crazy fast and the best way to get from Utah to Africa. B. Going north to south is fine, but going west to east screws up your internal clock. In other words, jet lag sucks, and I swear it wasn't my fault when my body decided it needed to sleep during church.

So, to get it out of the way, you are going to hate me. Psh, I am not too proud of it myself, but I left my camera back home. Yup, your wonderful little boy cannot send you pictures this week because he's a scatter brain. So, I am so sorry.

Well, ya'll probably want to hear about how I'm doing over here in this completely insane place, so I might as well tell you a bit about my last few days.

Well, after two days of flying and sitting for 12 hours in London, I arrived in this little airport in a little place called Maputo Mozambique. Wow! I can definately say culture shock is getting to me. I came off the plane, went through customs and security, found out my big suitcase was on the next flight(don't worry, I have it now), and left to find Pres. Kretly and his Wife along with the APs waiting so patiently outside. Pres is great, his Engilsh is good.  I had absolutely no problem understanding him(in English).

Pause. My watch just sang for me. HAPPY BIRTHDAY MATT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I hope it's great! I sent a card from the MTC(one for you and one for Jo[by the way, Happy birthday Jojo!]) I hope you got it. You are a great guy. You deserve a great birthday.

Well, I spent my first day here completely wasted from jet lag(so forgive me if I don't remember right). We went to the mission office, in the picture of us with pres, then to the mission home. Pres has a NICE house, and we got to stay there the first night.

Hm. My first meal. Ah! That's right. We went out to eat at this little chinese place. It was good. They had shrimp in the rice(not so impressive. I don't get why people go crazy about shrimp). They also served noodles and chicken in some yummy sauce. Twas good.

Anyway. Most of the first day is lost to my tired mind(once again, I hope jet lag wears off quickly.). The second day we went to the store.  Wow, like a small Walmart like thing. Just a normal store. A lot of the products are in English-they get a lot of stuff from South Africa.

Speaking of which, you probably want to know what we have over here by way of food. Well, we have yet to go to ShopRite today, but I have been told they have mostly the same stuff as the US does with a few exceptions(like sour cream). THEY HAVE PEANUT BUTTER! Didn't you say, Josh, that Argentina didn't have peanut butter? Oh, but they don't have root beer(so thank you, I will enjoy that bottle of concentrate later on in my mission when I am missing home). They have 7 up and Fanta. In fact, they have more than just orange fanta. They have grape fanta and pineapple fanta and coca cola. It's all in different packaging(tall, not wide bottles), but it's the same stuff.

Speaking of food and stores, the Medico is weird. That's our money. Nosso dinheiro. The medico or plural medicais. Weird. I walked into the store(called game) with pres and saw sign advertising stuff for only Fifty medicais! Wow! ONLY! Hah! I saw a sign for baby bum powder and I think it said 150 medicais. It's worth a lot less than the dollar.

Ah, probably would like to know about my home. Well, we have running water and electricity. The water is cold. So if I want a hot shower, boil some and mix with the cold.  And, yes, we have a washing machine. It's nothing fancy, but it cleans clothes.

Come to find out, it rains a lot in my area. Or at least it has the whole time I have been here. My umbrella has become very precious to me. My comp...oh...I haven't even talked about him yet. Yup, me comp is named Elder Awbrey. He is from Luisiana! He told me that I am his first companion that speaks English, so he was happy about that. He's a great guy. He is a little taller than me, white, and has an american accent. Normal. Except for the fact that he won't let me share my unbrella with him. Psh, he's getting one today.

The area I am in is called T-3 B. The little town, or bairro, is called T-3 and me and my comp are in charge of half (the B half). The only paved roads are the main roads, everything else is sand. The people live very poorly. I do not know how they do it. They live in these little huts usually made out of gray brick and would be considered run down and unlivable in utah. I feel bad. My house isn't stellar, but it is enough. These people are crazy poor. There are so many funky things I see here that I would never see in Utah just because people are SO poor here. We live amongst them, but our house is alot nicer.

Psh, everyone has commented on my orange bags. "You might want to tie something to that so you can find them!" or "OH, you'll lose those in two seconds flat" or "I'll buy you a satellite so you can see them from space." Which reminds me. I have to consolidate down to my one big suitcase for my whole mission. We fly for transfers and the planes only let fifty pounds and a carry on. I will be fine.

Yes, recipes would be great. I could probably find all the stuff to make them here. My only problem, make them simple and quick: we don't have lots of time just to cook and our kitchen is rather small.

I love you and hope I don't sound too weird(I am still suffering from jet lag-nine hours is a lot).

Give each other hugs for me.
Yo bro and crazy boy on the other side of the globe.
Elder Christopher Andre Wartena

P.S. My name is hard to pronounce for the people. They usually say Watena. They delete the R. Even then, they slurr it. The accent is so weird. I can't differentiate one word from another. I'll get the language though. It's coming slowly but surely.

Signing off for now,
The Mama

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Almost to Maputo

Well, as of this writing our dear son/missionary (and his three traveling missionary companions) is almost to his landing in South Africa.  Yeah!!!  It has been a long two days.  Traveling from SLC to Texas to London to South Africa.  After a layover of a few or so hours he will board another plane which will deliver him to Maputo, Mozambique.  Four different planes in two days.
    The country hosted the 2010 FIFA World Cup, and now they have a cool decoration in the front lobby.

Once Chris arrives in Mozambique, we have no idea what travel plans President Kretly has lined up for him.  He could have at least one more complete day of travel.  I just hope they give the four new missionaries a good meal, a shower, and night's rest before sending them off for more travel.  One can hope.  We must always hope; but . . . he will most likely be sent right to work, which is good for 19 year old young men.

I would like to tell you about two wonderful websites:  www.flightstats.com  and flightaware.com.  Both sites made it possible for us to follow Chris's fights all the way to South America.  We will watch what we can of the next flight, but that may not be very much.  We are exhausted from staying up watching last night followed by a 6 a.m. phone call from the Heathrow Airport.  Sleep is calling, and I want to respond in the affirmative.

UPDATE:  The missionaries have landed!
 Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Sleep well, All.

Signing off for now,
The Mama

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Dear Friends and Family (for that is how I think of you),

Chris is at last off on Monday headed to Africa.  Please enjoy his last MTC email.  You know we have.

Minha familia!

To start, WOOHOO! A package!

The Mp3 is great, speakers too(side note-I should have read the letter first. I turned it on to make sure it worked and had batteries. Thanks a ton!

Second: The space bags will be my salvation. I have found that space is an issue as well as weight(weight-I'll figure out what to send home) so they were a welcome gift!

Proximo: Gum. Thank you. I love gum. Thanks for the plane advice.

Whatever number you wish: PHOTOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! BLAH!!!!!!!!!!! Hehe. I love em. Oh, and Josh, I loved those Avengers picts. Sweet! I am sending home the package(so you can do whatever with the tops[that were genious by the way]). But, I love all the photos. I will enjoy every one of them.

Water flavorers: Hm. good thinking. Might need some the first bit. Plus I love them anyway!

THANK YOU SO MUCH! (Caps lock-fantastic-like a megaphone to the ear).

Letters: NATE! AH!!! I love you! I love your letter. I'll have to respond in a longer email when I'm in Africa (my time is very limited, sorry). But, A. Sorry about band. B. Good luck with Ballroom (I loved it) and WOW with the shoes. C. Dr. Who is definitely interesting. Good luck and enjoy!

The tie fish-hook: I love it. I have always looked at Uncle Travis's hook and thought how much I would like one. No lie. Everytime I saw it I wished I had one. And the Fishers of Men symbolism, Mark 1:17, Ah! Thank you so much! Thanks for sharing the same thing your mission pres did for you.I will wear it everywhere.

Backpack: Yay! I can go to Africa now because I now can fit all my stuff nicely. Like I said, I am sending home one of my suitcases (you should get a call about it Monday or Tuesday). As the Baggage Situation stands (take into account that I have not yet packed all my clothes and a few other coisas[things, sorry]) I think I will be able to fit all I need and only send home...ok, yes, it is a lot, but I think I can fit all I think I NEED and am just sending home extras and a few other things that I forgot what they are and aren't run-on sentences wonderful, want to hear a story?!

So, I was teaching this investigator (teacher playing investigator) and I wanted to tell them that it was great that you are "excersising your faith." Now, I don't remember the exact words, but I did not say that. I said something along the line of "it is good that you perform exercism on your faith." Needless to say, I was corrected. Moral of the story: if you don't know that verb it is better to use other verbs than to try and "make it up on the spot." The risk is high. Ok, I don't exactly mean, never try to use new verbs, but be VERY careful.

Sorry Uncle David. I would absolutely LOVE to visit with you in London. I would LOVE it!!! But the handbook specifically states not to set up meetings with family so as not to distract from the work. Twelve hours is a long time, and I would welcome with open arms a familiar face, but I can't. It is really hard to say this, I wanted it to be the other way SOOOO bad, but it is a world-wide rule. Sorry. I MISS YOU UNCLE DAVID. I havn't seen you for...dang, I can't remember. PS. I love your Kilt. I kinda envy the fact that tonga, samoa, scottland, and those other places have such cool alternate pants (kilts and lavalavas) for missionaries.

I am unsure what else to write. Oh, thanks so much for the phone card info. I look forward with insane quantities of excitement for that moment (like my discriptions?).

The MTC has been a fantastic experience. I'm sending you a few things with my extra luggage that might be interesting for you: my daily schedule, for example. I have loved the spirit here. The devotionals and firesides are fantastic. The temple is within an easy stroll. I am fed, for free, a good meal every single meal time. Teachers that are there for the specific purpose of helping you learn the language and become spiritually ready. I don't have to worry about so many little things every day here, I can concentrate on the gospel and teaching completely. I have loved the MTC, it has been hard (I mean REALLY hard) at times, but it has been so worth it.

2 Nephi 22:2 explained as Elder Staples explained it: "Jesus is my best bud"

I love you all. Trust in the Lord in EVERYTHING you do. Don't any of you dare fall away or I might just have to come home and kick your butt.

Loving you always and praying ever more for your happiness,
Elder Christopher Andre Wartena

P.S. I am so excited for Africa. I can't believe I'm done at the MTC. The days have dragged on but the weeks flew by. AHHHHH!!! AFRICA!!!

Love you all, too much to express in words. XOXOXOXOXO

Happy day to all.
Signing off for now,
The Mama

Friday, September 7, 2012

Chris is leaving for Africa!  Oh, it the time passed soooooooooooo fast.  I am nervous, excited, nervous, thrilled for him. He flies out of Salt Lake City International Airport Monday, September 10, 2012.  He will then travel for a couple days, arriving in Maputo, Mozambique, on September 12, 2012.

Let's hope and pray he likes airplane travel.  Having never been on an airplane before, the Mama is just a bit nervous about him being on one.  He will be fine.

Of course, he would love a ride on this plane.  

Perhaps this one.    

Yes!!!  The ultimate ride. Space, the Final Frontier.   

Africa feels like the final frontier to the Mama today.

Prayers for the pilots and their staff would be appreciated.You know, prayers for good sleep, alert minds, and cooperation aboard would all be wonderful.

Today we are off to deliver one final package of necessities and pictures to the Elder.  He has to downsize to one suitcase, a carry on, and a backpack.  Apparently in Mozambique they are only allowed to travel with one large suitcase.  It will be quite a challenge to consolidate stuff and to decide what to leave.  Here is a shout out to Post Mart in our town. They not only deliver packages daily to the MTC for a mere $2.00, they also provide a local return service from the MTC for free.  The extra piece of luggage and it's contents will be coming back to us via Post Mart.  We just have to go to their store and pick it up.  What a blessing.

Happy day to you.
Signing off for now,
The Mama

Sunday, September 2, 2012

I just want to tell everyone I'm sorry for the lack of updating this blog lately.  I have been reluctant to share all of Chris's emails.  No reason other than I'm feeling a bit stingy.  Just wanting to sit and savor his emails all to ourselves and enjoy the part of him we get each week.  We have been feeling a bit vulnerable and pulling in tighter to one another as a family.  

Without further ado, I happily share this week's email with you.  He is happy and doing well.  Only about 2 weeks and he heads off to Africa.

Dear Family,

FLIGHT PLANS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHH!!! Whoop!

So, I am sending you a copy in the mail, but I'll give you something here.
Salt lake to Fort worth Texas. Texas to London Heathrow. London to Johannesburg. And, finally, Johannesburg to Maputo.
Four flights. The longest one, from dallas to london, is 4:55 pm the 10th to 7:50 am the 11th. Do the math. Then there's the 12 hour one from london to africa. That doesn't even mention the other two flights and layovers...like the 12 hour layover in London. So...I've got some time on my hands when I get there.
And, then we found the little peice of paper about the Africa airways. So, one peice of checked luggage, but now only 44 lbs allowed. Yes I can have a carry-on but it can only be 15 lbs. The backpack? I'm pretty sure they allow one. It didn't specifically say. Oh, when you get the peice of paper it says Cape town on top...that means that all that applies to me is the luggage and airline stuff not the other stuff.

So there's the gist, I'm sending the copy today of the actual itinerary.

So, starting from the top of you email:
No problem. I love getting mail in any form. The dearelders or email. I logged in and there you were! Horray!
A PACKAGE! Whoomp! I feel like a celebrity. I don't have it yet, but I can hardly wait for mail time after lunch.
My brothers are the best brothers in the entire universe. I LOVE YOU GUYS! You would give up your own MP3 players?! For mean old Chris?! I'm honored. Whatever you send, I will love it.

Speakers? Don't send anything special. They need to be small and light. And DO NOT spend tons of money. Last thing I want is you spending loads of cash on me when I will just A. go to africa with it. B. Send it back and tell you to buy yarn or school supplies. C. Squeeze it into a back pack. D. Love you no matter what you do because you are so awesome to take time out of your day to do this for me!

Quick experience.
So I was getting my itinerary copied to send to you and the girl there asked me how to say "Thanks for your friendship" in portuguese. So, I said "Obrigado por sua..." then I didn't know the word for friendship. So I went to my pocket dictionary. But I couldn't find it........until my comp said "Friendship is spelled 'f-r-i-e...' not 'f-r-e-n-d..." Yup. I have forgotten how to speak and write english even before becoming fluent in portuguese. YAY! I consider that a good sign.

Tell, Dad I feel his pain. I can't wait until he's done. I am so sad. I will miss my own father's graduation! WHY?! POR QUE!?!?! Eu morreria.

I think that I heard that every member of my zone has said at least one thing about that game. There are Utes here and some Cougars. Most of them expressed a wish to go. I'm excited for Dad and Nate though! They will LOVE it!

How is Josh's grammer anyway?

Matt babysitting. Weird. He is getting so old. Nuff said.

YAY! Go hair! That stuff is fun to hear about.
Well, I found out that my hair will not part if it is crazy short. This last Sunday we put tons of crap in it and it barely made it(it was parts and paislies[ties] day). Even then, the cowlick tried to take over.

Enjoy that party. Tell Luke happy birthday for me!

MR. SUMMERS LEFT?! NOOO! Crud. Well, good on Nate for not spending a bijillion dollars on mallets. I am so happy for him. I loved dance. I can just see him now. Red cape, mustache, pretty girl in long red dress just a Paso Dobleing up the floor. I think he would fit well in Paso Doble.(yes, I know I can't spell) And being swamped with stuff you love certainly is the best happiness and stress one can have. GO NATE!

Aha! An assignment for personal scripture study? I'll do my best.

I can't wait for all those pictures. I miss you guys. It's weird. I have lived my whole life almost always with at least one member of my family within speaking distance. Now, I don't have that. I love you all. I'm not coming home-you couldn't pay me enough-but I love and miss and pray for you every day.

Yup, postmart is great. I'll get it there with about...oh...HALF of what I brought. That's the one thing I'm worried about when it comes to packing.

Finally, no, I cannot believe I am actually going to Africa in two weeks. I think I'll get to Johanessburg, step out, then it'll hit me. Then I'll step out at Maputo and the fact that I will be living there for two years will hit me. Yup...It is nuts. I got a little of it with the flight plans, but the reality will hit me like a brick wall when I actually get there. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!
I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO... excited! One week is too long! Augh. And too short. AUGH!

Well, I'm not sure what else I could say. Oh, my mission pres said I will get that letter telling me more of what to bring soon. Hopefully before wednesday. I hoped it would be in my email today, but no dice. We'll see what happens. It'll all work out in the end.

Well, I have to stop, my computer is mad at me.
Love you more than toilet paper(quote from someone "Don't shake Mozambique people with the left hand...they don't have toilet paper." which I hope is false.)

Elder Christopher Andre Wartena

There you have it.  Another week in the life of a very happy missionary.
Signing off for now,
The Mama

Friday, August 17, 2012

Ola minha familia. Este computador nao tem sutalk marks. Ok, well, that last sentence has a few english words, but I don't know how to say marks in portuguese. sutalk=accent. whether I spelled it right or not, whatever.

Well, let's get down to buisness(to defeat the huns...did they send me daughters, when I asked for sons?[I think he should be grateful for daughters. just like in missionary work, they do a great job]).
first off. Mom, I have to apologize. I have not yet emailed my mission pres. I will today. I'll be leaving my shampoo and conditioner and soap(taking my bug spray though, and sunscreen). Josh, don't be offended, but my preach my gospel cover and hinos cover will stay(I need the weight and they probably will be stolen in africa). I am not sure whether I should take bedsheets. I will try to fit one set, but I know both will not fit. I think I will be needing a backpack afterall. The small waterpack? I don't know. It all depends on what'll fit and how heavy the suitcase is. anything I leave behind, though, will be useful for you guys or you can save.
Mom, I was a kidding with the whole tree hiding thing. I'll find out who I need to talk to and figure out how to get you my suitcase. Also(and sorry this isn't very organized, I really wish I had more time) I might be leaving some medicines depending on what pres says. I don't really want to leave anything behind, but I can't fit it within the one suitcase, fifty lbs limit.

So, to wrap up:
1 I will figure out how to get you my extra stuff.
2 I have a few things in mind to leave and will email pres today with some Qs.
3 I would love my backpack. Another peice of luggage that the airlines don't check for weight is great. It means more stuff I can take. Also. The small pack is nice, but a big packmight come in handy in africa.
4 I might need compression bags to fit all my clothes in. We'll see.

Alright. so I have something for you guys.
The Army of helamam usually goes: we will be the lord's missionaries to bring the world his truth.
But here, they sing: We are now the Lord's missionaries to bring the world his truth.
Thought you'd enjoy knowing that. i made me smile.

The I love you necklace, mom, is great. I love it and everyone who sees it tells me that you are awesome and they like it.

I forgot to tell you. Last sunday, we were in our classroom having a district meeting and all of a sudden the fire alarms go off. We all thought it was a poorly planned drill, but we evacuated. It wasn't until the three firetrucks pulled in and ran in with full gear that i remembered I left my preach my gospel and hinos covers inside. Josh, I'm sorry I left them, they're fine, but I was feeling pretty stupid at that moment. Long story short, no fire, just a stupid light bulb exploded making smoke.

A normal day in the CTM huh? hm...well every day is a little different. every day we have class for six hours (not all at once-in three hour blocks). Se have gym and study time is scattered all over. We teach 1-2 investigators a day(our teachers posing as investigators and sometimes we get to play investigator for each other[my character is named Joshua, is Athiest, and doesn't really care to hear the missionaries. he only is there because his roomate Elder Proksch/John let them in while he was studying]) every day we have three meals. I eat a salad at every meal and I try not to drink soda. Mom, I eat veggies and fruits a plenty. Plus, I have gained 7 lbs.  At gym I have been trying to do push ups and pull ups and run in addition to playing other ballgames(a master at foursquare...;p) [Josh, maybe the Olympics should include foursquare. I can just see the chinese going crazy all over the court-hehe.)

If you want to feel the spirit and learn a bit about africa, on lds.org, there is a few sections about elder holland visiting africa. There's three clips(that made us ansy to go) that are great.

Don't worry too much about school, Mom, you'll do great. And
Ben! I love you bud. I miss you miss you miss you too! Enjoy swimming and shots.

Ok, leave me in the dark, but four new tires was enough to spark my companion's interest as to what happened. Tell grandpa happy birthday for me! And I love him.

I'm going to share part of Elder Evan's favorite quote: "Ima show YOU how great I am! I'm so bad, I murdered a rock; Injured a stone; hospitalized a brick. I'm so bad I make medicine sick." -by Muhamad Ali

well, my time is up. I haven't said a quarter of what I'd like to say, and I need to email pres.

Love your son/brother missionary,
Elder Captain Christopher America Wartena