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.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Week #2 -- Please use Dearelder.com

Here we are in the middle of week #2.  We are truly enjoying all the mail from our missionary.  It is fun to get to know your son in a correspondence relationship.  Enjoy the email.

OH! It's my Mom! I love you!

So firstly, I have to get this out of the way. The very best way to send me correspondence in the MTC is DearElder.com. How it works is you make an account, log in, write your letter to me, and it is sent hard paper copy to me that day! I love your emails, love em', but the problem is I only have thirty minutes on here a week; so reading the emails and then writing to you takes a lot more time. If I had a hard copy, I could read them whenever I wanted, not just p-day, then on p-day I could concentrate on writing a kick butt email. So, I'm not sure if it costs anything, I don't think it does, but it would be great, at least in the MTC, if you would use DearElder.com. I know it works. There are two elders in my district, Elder Peckam-sitting next to me, and Elder Evans, who get so many letters because everyone writes them via DearElder.com.

I'm not trying to be a salesman, though. Just check it out.

So, I sent you I think three paper letters this past week. Did you get them? If not, maybe I can figure out what's wrong.

Oh! Nate! I love you! I miss you too. By the way, where's the picts of our room I asked for? Did you stick with the bunk bed? Or go your separate ways? Oh, give mom a big hug right now for me.

So, I'll be sending my 4 GB card soon (I forgot to empty it before I left, so there's some other random pictures on there).

Tell Josh that I admire his language abilities. My feelings on the language right now is HOW THE CRAP! Oh, struggling. I'm drowning in all the "sh"s. Portuguese love the s-h sound. Also, what the c with the sguiggle below? รง, or the ~ over the a. Ah, yes, accent marks are fun. But, I'll get it, somehow, right now it's only week one.

Oh, there's an Elder in my district, actually one of my roomates, who is a character. He goes to mealtimes and mixes the drinks to makes the oddest concoctions. He layers the colors (HOW THE HAY!) or he lets it sit and it thickens into a pudding-like consistency. He has this book of MTC drink recipes that some guy five missions ago started. Also, he is the prank lord. Right now he and Elder Baldwin are in a little alarm clock war. 

I've only been pranked twice, luckily. First, Baldwin snuck a spoon into my pillow case-which is fine, just having fun. But the second time, someone "crumbed" my bed. PSH! Mean. I was pretty upset. Oh, well. I got over it and changed my sheets.

So, in summary, I am having a good time, a very very hard one, but still happy. My companion is named Elder Proksch, great guy from Vegas-he loves soccer at gym time. My district consists of Elder Proksch and I, Elder Egbert and Staples, and Elder Evans and Peckam. My comp is district leader, which pretty much means we pick up the mail.

I love you all and treasure each letter. I'm going to try to attach a few pictures.
Elder Chris Andre Wartena

P.S. I have detergent, but a package would be welcomed with open arms. Maybe, some ties...hint. But I don't care what you send, I love anything from home.

P.P.S. These computers won't even recognize my USB drive, sorry, no pictures till you get my card-though I will Flickr in Africa if I can.

P.P.P.S. I can write you hard letters during the week. So you'll get some, just let me know if you get them.

P.P.P.P.S. (insane I know) My teacher is Sister Steinbeigle. She studies at BYU. Tell Josh good luck.

Isn't it just awesome?! I love it. Another week, another email, a very happy family.

Signing off for now,
The Mama

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Dear Loved Ones
Here it is. The first missionary email from Elder Chris Wartena.

I want to be a missionary now. On his way to be set apart.

Pictured here with his first official missionary companion, Dad.

Saying good bye at the MTC. That's the gang.

One last family picture before we drive him across the street to the MTC and drop him off.
Minha familia!

Here I am in the MTC!
Rather, I am in the CTM in Portuguese.
So, today (saturday) is kind of a half p-day to do laundry and write. Our p-day from now on is Friday, so next Friday you should get another email. You should be getting a short letter from me that I wrote my first day here. I'm sorry if it's a little short, but basically they told us to write you and then left us no time to do so except right before bed. And when you write right before bed you run out of time.

OH! Brother Wilkey was awesome. He was all in my face the first day like poparazi. All the Elders around me were looking at me with a big questioning look on their faces; and what did Wilkey tell them? "Oh, he's Mitt Romney's son." Just matter of fact. You know, like I normally am swarmed by photographers and such.
No, but the first class was hard. Again, with brother Wilkey snapping away, I couldn't concentrate real well on the lesson. Don't get me wrong, it was great fun to be a celebraty for the day, but a little distracting. I have decided not to be a famous movie star for those reasons.

Ask Josh to copy edit this, I want to know if I break any records for bad grammer. hehe.

Dad, the head spinning thing is just the beginning. First, they sit you down and Sister Steinbeiegle doesn't say a lick of English(she knows it, she just won't speak it) and then on your second day they tell you that you are now going to teach an investigator the next day in Portuguese. AAAHH! And every other Elder in my room knows some Spanish, so they are miles ahead of me.

Speaking of other Elders, my companheiro's nome is Elder Proksch-pronounced prox. I am in a district of six Elders: Elders Staples, Evans, Peckam, Proksch, and Egbert. Staples and Egbert are going to Portugal and the rest are Mozambique. In fact, in the entire CTM there is only six mozambique missionaries: those is my district and our Zone Leaders, Elder Going and Rameka.

Criminy, my laundry just finished washing.

I'm back, it's in the dryer now.

The investigator I mentioned is Romario. We are teaching him again today. Elder Proksch and I want to teach him about the restoration-yesterday we didn't really give him the background, it was kind of confusing with the language barrier. OH! The biggest frustration here is the language barrier. I want to shout out to Romario what I know and what I want him to know; I want to be able to listen to him and know what he needs. Yesterday, we spent five minutes with him just trying to tell us that the wind turned a page and could we show him where the scripture was again.

There's a timer in the right hand corner of the screen that just told me I have five minutes left. It's kind of distracting. We only get thirty minutes a p-day to write you.

Ug, I feel like I'm just spouting and not really saying anything to you. Oh, mom, I love the necklace. I asked the Leaders if I could wear it (the white bible say no necklaces) and they told me "Yes!"

Psh, there is so much to say, but so little time. hehe. I love little phrases that get overused like that one.

Josh, you were so right about the detergent. 50 cents every single wash! NO! That might be cheap outside o the CTM, but in here I have a small allowance of six bucks a week and my small wallet fund.

Crud, times up.
Love you all!
Elder Wartena

That first email or letter is such a joy to receive.

Let me explain what Chris mentioned about being followed around and all the picture taking on his first day. Our home teacher is a photographer for BYU. He was asked to document in photographs a missionary on his first day at the MTC. As I understand it, the day assigned to do this just happened to be the day Chris was entering the MTC. What luck! He asked for our permission to do so, and we gave him a resounding, "Yes!"

SO ... as we dropped our son off, our home teacher began to follow him around snapping picture after picture for a number of hours. We were allowed to see some of these pictures, and it was extremely fun to be a "fly on the wall" of the MTC for a bit. We can not share these pictures. We can not print any of them--even for ourselves. Please don't ask.

Just know that he is beyond excited to finally be serving a mission for the Lord. About 9 weeks in the Provo MTC, and then off to Mozambique, Africa. We'll keep you posted each week.

I just couldn't resist sharing this pic. It was their favorite, and it accurately depicts most days at our house.

Signing off for now,
The Mama