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, August 26, 2013

Yup, I am on here 2 hours later than I normally am. Why? You ask. Well, you see there is this thing called a water bill, and in Moçambique there is no option to pay it over the internet. No, the way to pay your water bill is to go down to FIPAG store (FIPAG is the water company) and pay over a counter. Well...do you know how many people need to pay water? Or how many places there are to pay water within the city of Tete? Answers: there are MANY people who want water and must pay. there is 1 place to pay...and when did this intelligent missionary decide to do it? The last day possible...the due date...which was today...a p-day...AAAAAAAAAAAAHHH!!!

Families getting ready for two weddings.

Well, here, after waiting for 3 hours in line, we have our water paid (and paid ahead of time for next month to save us the pain of waiting in line then) and now 3 hours of our p day is gone.

Hi, it's me.

The Tete chapel is the upstairs, red part of this building.

This is the line we are standing in today waiting to pay our water bill. We were here 3 hours.
That is not something to make a missionary happy. I did contact a guy in line though. He didn't seem super great, but perhaps he has some possibility. We'll call him this week.

Baptisms in a pool

OOH! Luke, ow. Man, that had to hurt. Yeah, to fix his nose was the right decision. To grow up with your head slightly on sideways would not be a good advantage...especially dating wise.

Nate nate nate...how could you forget Nate? I can't believe you. Oh, yeah, a wedding, graduation, youth conference...good excuse. BUT 18 YEARS OLD! You forgot! kidding.
hehe...yeah, I get really embarrassed when I am flooded by all sorts of things over here on the mission and then I forget someone. Their name or where we met them on the road. For example, in our phone there is a "Daniel" and a "Dani" under Investigators. I wanted "Dani" to call and mark a lesson for that day. Well, I marked with "Daniel" thinking it was who I wanted to sit with. That was interesting. We show up at "Dani"s house for a lesson, he's not there...in the meantime "Daniel" thinks the missionaries lied to him because he waits for an hour for them to show up and they never do. Ug...NAMES!!!

I hope Nate liked his belated party though. I am sure is was great. You made me drool again talking about food, so it must have been good.

This past week we found three families with some good potential. Elder Anderson and I get together pretty well and we are working together well. We started doing something they were doing in Beira that was working.

A. Contacts have become more focused on the "quality." We try to get 35 a week, but we try not to take the number of anyone who has been baptized into another church or are strong in their church. They are children of God and their day will come, but we are looking for those who will be ready NOW to change their lives and get baptized. Those most likely to change sooner than later are those who have no church and are looking for one. It is just that much easier for them to join the church than others. The ZLs in Beira said "it is easier to find the investigator who is ready than to make one." The Lord is preparing people. The field here is ready to harvest, not ready to put down fertilizer and wait for next year. Anyway, just how we are working.

B. We commit the people to Baptism, a baptismal date, and marriage in the 1st lesson. Restoration...baptism...to be baptized you need to keep the commandments...one is the law of chastity. Bam. that's how we do it. The field is white like I said.

We found those 3 families last week, all accepted baptism and marriage. The only thing they didn't do was come to church. 2 had work. UG! They need to get that off. 1 said he'd come. Why he didn't we shall ask tonight when we stop by his house.

Other than that we have 3 other families who we are trying to help get baptized in September. Couple #1 came to church and are committed to JUST SIGN THE PAPERS!!! Don't pull all known family and friends from the four edges of the globe to have a blow out party type of wedding (African tradition that no one can afford, so no one is married.) Just get your documents (Birth certificate, ID card, and a paper saying where you live) open the process (marriage licence) and we'll get you married.

Couple #2 committed to that type of marriage too, but he was sick this Sunday and she didn't come because he didn't. He's actually a member but she isn't.
Couple #3 -- He is committed but she has been at his parents house for a month and we are just waiting for her to return to get them moving.

I am going to ask for a shirt in that package, the same kind we bought when I left. Those from Mr. Mac. Size 15 short sleeved. The ones more fit to size. You know, they skinny out more near the bottom. Take from my account for the money. I know it is a hassle but it would be amazing to have. Here in Tete there are only shirts I can buy off the street and I cannot seem to find one that is my size nor of very good quality. My shirts I am using right now are all turning yellow and the collars are starting to fray. Eeh. They work fine and are holding out but here in a few months they should be switched out. I just want one. I don't need 3 or 4 or nothing, just send one nicer shirt for me to start using here when the package comes. Thanks for the packages by the way. I have loved them all. Just send the things I have asked for and any small, cheap things you think I might like (food is always is fantastic). Honestly, if nothing I asked for is there I will still love whatever it is that comes from you.

Ah, I feel like I am ordering things from you. Sorry. I love you.

Study times huh? Well, I am happy to report that I have been making an effort to improve those. In Comp study we have begun to study better how to teach together and have the spirit in the lesson. In personal study I have been studying the Power of the Priesthood like Dad suggested a while back and other things. It is going well. Having a topic or a question more in mind helps.

The best advice I can give on studying and life is to listen for the Spirit. I have discovered that if one wants the Spirit to direct their life or just plain wants to feel it more, one needs to actively seek it. You go through life and get impressions at moments, but if you want more you must

A. Seek the Spirit

B. Expect the impressions to come.

This includes examining yourself and your activities to find those that distract or remove the Spirit and to remove those things from your life. This includes actively listening for the Spirit in study or throughout the day. This includes having faith that the promises "to always have the Spirit to be with them" and that "it will show unto you all things what ye should do."(2 Nephi 32:5) are real and to expect the Lord to direct you in that manner always.

There you go. My little advice for the week. Listen actively during study for the Spirit to speak. He is there. you have the gift. If you are worthy and especially if you pray for him to come he will be there. All that remains is to listen and follow him directing you through your study.

Another thing I would ask of you...more recipes! Yeah! I love making good food. Granted I am lazy and would rather make Top Ramen and have lunch hour freer to eat then rest as opposed to laboring over a meal. BUT I LOVE GOOD FOOD!!! Man, I have come to appreciate just how good Nate, Matt, Ben, Jo, Dad, and even Josh have it. You cook so well. I am sure Hannah cooks well. I am sure Josh and Hannah have taken advantage of your good cooking too(living so close helps).

Cassoroles, cakes, brownies, simple recipes, fudge(man, you said ice cream and now I want fudge. Elder Anderson is a chocolate maniac btw. Noodle casserole, top ramen salad (yes, this one). Anything. I may not be able to make them all but at least having ideas helps tons.

Have you been reading my Patriarchal Blessing? That comment last week on bearing my testimony makes me think you have. Go check out just how inspired you were with that comment by reading paragraph 4.
Well, me mom, I have got to go. I love you so much. I will think of you later on as I sit next to a mud hut this night teaching a lesson in Tete's heat or as I stop a man in the street to contact him.

I am going to reattempt tater-tot casserole today for a nice treat.

I love you more than air conditioning and paid-by-internet bills,
Elder Christopher Wartena

PS. Fun thought. Elder Anderson has started telling me some stuff he finds odd about Americans. For example: we call everything by their brand name. iPod, top ramen, kool aid, rice krispies, tater tots, etc... watch yourself. It's weirdly true.

PPS. I believe myself to be a momma's boy (a good thing, means you did your job well). I tend to be super self-judgmental and worry a lot too. hehe...2 things we share.

PPPS. Not many Photos this week, but there is something there. Tete's chapel. The water bill line. me.

PPPPS. I love you. Um abraso.

Monday, July 29, 2013


Note of interest--The Cahora Bassa Dam is listed as the 5th largest dam in the world.

I have taken loads of pictures today. This answers the why I am on here so late as well.
I told you something along the lines of 4 weeks ago that we were going to the dam but for a number of weeks I have written that it didn't work out...well, today it did. Whoomp, can you say missionary P-day field trip! It was fun.

We didn't actually get to go down inside the dam. The issue being security. Apparently during the war one of the sides tried to destroy the dam and so now not any old jo can enter in. But anyway it was very fun. We spent forever in the car driving through the MIDDLE OF NOWHERE (that land where resides only mud huts and those villages everyone thinks of when they think Africa-yeah, that's awesome.
Anyone want to fish or go swim where this fishy lives?
Yep, the Matola chapel has been a HUGE announcement for the last year. Unfortunately I left Maputo before it opened and will not be seeing it any time soon it appears. It sounded NICE!!!

Well, there wasn't much out of the ordinary else this week. I do think my shoes may last me 2 whole years. If they happen to achieve the feat I may just write Doc Martins and tell them they won themselves a lifetime customer.

I got to attend a birthday party this week. A member, Felicidade, turned 46. His wife, Paula, makes a great orange cake.


Man. I am about ready to wrap this up. That is pathetic. Man, it would be soooo much easier to just tell you all face to face about my week.

Well, I love the news from home. Tell Aunty Kari hi for me (I ran out of time to write everyone-but I love her so much anyway). Tell Justin he's awesome. Tell President Herring thanks for the letter, I loved it.

Tchau minha familia!
Elder Christopher Wartena

PS. Tete is getting hotter.

Monday, July 22, 2013

So, yes, once again I come bearing bad news. Well, it's not bad news. It's actually good news. the point is that I feel I need to write my mission president better weekly letters. Yeah, I feel as though I write everyone else first and then write a stupid, short, get it out because time is nearly up letter each week. So, the bad news is that he is going to be written first things every week.  Yeah...I know, that means I will probably end up with less time writing here, but I feel this is right. I know I will see you guys again (less than a year!)but I only get this short time to be a missionary and I want to do it the best I can. but! I will still write you. I will try and spend good time on you guys. I love you guys. I hope you know that.

Ah, My mommy's dreaming about me. Just so you know, I am perfectly fine and still in Africa. We did not end up going to the dam and this week either(they have no gas apparently). Bummed out :( but still happy nonetheless :)

The river we cross every day.
Hehe. Hot...you don't even know hot. Nah, actually we have been having nicer weather with clouds, so I still am saved the SCALDING DEATH SUN OF TETE!!!!!!! or so that's how it sounds like. I am going to have FUN in September. But, I feel for you guys in the heat. Enjoy and love the swamp cooler.
This is a picture of me crossing the river.  We walk across this bridge twice every day.
Favorite thing about Africa. That's a pretty vague question there. It's a big place. Hm...the people. They are so nice. You can be tromping through the neighborhoods(which to an American's eyes looks like tromping right through people's yards) and pass a family eating lunch, they will tell you "Your plate is served, come eat." A lot of the time. This is a family you have never even seen in your life. Those who you know, your investigators for example, will constantly try and feed you. If it is anywhere near lunch or dinner they will try to feed you. AH! I feel bad sometimes. They are so poor and they constantly try to give you all they got. STOP! I sometimes want to cry. I love them.  Besides that, there are some pretty sick trees called Bomdeiros here in Tete. I sent you a shot. It's the giant gnarly tree.

Baptisms? Not yet, but we have a good number working towards the first weeks in August. Getting people baptised is one thing, getting them married is another. Add the two, WHOO! A challenge. But, a challenge from the lord, so he helps a lot. It takes a ton of faith(from you and you investigators) and a lot of work, but this is the Lord's work and glory and he will succeed and the people will feel and see the lord's miracles begin to work in their lives as soon as they start. (RUN ON sentence can you say? gotta love it. ;)

I LOVED the missionary broadcast. We finally got it here in Tete. Oh! It got me all fired up and I just had bear my testimony afterwords to the branch leaders about how excited I was for them and for the work. The spirit was SO strong. While all that they talked about(ward council and all that) is not yet in place here, I know it isn't far and miracles are in store for this country.

Funny thing. I showed a member here the picture of all you guys posing at Dad's graduation and she thought Matt was me! She almost couldn't be convinced it was my brother. She said you look exactly like me.
Chris and his new companion, Elder Sorenson.  We think the fingers are indicating how much time they have left on their missions.  1 year for Chris and we think eight months for Elder Sorenson.
Well, I love ya but once again I gotta go. Say hi to all in Utah for me! I love You all.

Eating lot's of dust and sunshine,
Elder Chris Wartena

PS. Grey suits and Khakis. Got me. I have heard nothing. All I know is that I have worn my suit about a grand total of 4-10 times since I got here in Africa. hehe. It is rather hot here and a suit would be murder. SHORT SLEEVE THE WHOLE WAY!!! WHOO!!! XOXOXO

Monday, June 17, 2013

Me Mum,

First off to start the email. I sent y'all some shots through Dropbox. Yeah, they are from last week-your missionary forgot to email them a week earlier-but I'm sure you'll be fine with that.  The first is Elder Bender(who came down last week due to illness) with returned Mozambique missionary from 2008 Brother Lott. He talked to the guy before the mission and so it was cool that he got to see him out here.  The other pictures are of President Kretly's birthday party. We had a "stake" party. Take a plate, one says Beira another Maputo another Manga and lastly Matola, and decide where to stick a stake first. Haha, twas' funny. He got a certificate for being an "extraordinary President" a parody of his "extraordinary missionary" certificates we can earn. twas' fun.

Yeah, the companionship is going along pretty fine. The area? Now that's a different story. We had 2 really good potential investigating families last week that we were really excited about and this week they both said they weren't coming to church nor working towards baptism. AAAAAAHHH!!! They do not realize how much they are giving up! They have such opportunity at their door, exaltation isn't a small word, and they tell us they aren't interested. Ug. So, this week we have 0 investigators. We have a few people we will visit this week to see how they are but other than that Elder Bigelow and I shall be walking quite a bit looking for people to teach.

I love conference! I do believe the conference Liahona is here. I'll get one soon. Obedience is a theme you say? Hm, maybe I should put that to the test and see if there is anything I am not being 100% obedient about. Worth a shot and wouldn't hurt trying, we can always be more obedient.

You make me so jealous with Dad's gifts you know. A 3 hour nap? AH! That would be sooooooo nice. I'm sure he loved it.

My missionary plaque is up...hehe...that reminds me of Josh's missionary plaque. I remember that it, too, didn't go up until I felt he was nearly home. hehe. Thanks Callie.

Summerfest! What was I doing Summerfest last year? I think I worked one of those days. Was Nate at work? I remember that Subway was always 2,000,000 times busier those days.
The rides...I remember looking at the ferris wheel and saying to myself "never." Ben would love the fast, dizzy rides. Love that kid.

Hah! Yeah, July of next year will be just a little too late. Well, shirts huh? I did ask and Elder Burg said that Maputo shopping has shirts. They rang from 500 meticais to 1000. Translate that to dollars and you get $17 to $33 per shirt. So, I will look into that. Long story short: don't send the shirts after all. I'll tell you how much to stick in my account. I might just use my church fund card to buy them and then just refund it when you send the money from home. I think I shall buy 3 shirts.  I heard you get a deal when you buy 3 instead of just one.

YEAH NATE! Go getting raises and scholarships! Dude, Justin loves you man.

Well, I don't have much news this week. Kind of a boring email, but hey.

Love ya'll, Khanimambo maningue,
Elder Christopher Wartena

P.S. Health? What?! ok, I guess you aren't way off, I have been around some sick people lately so I might be at risk for obtaining some type of sickness but I feel alright.
Speaking of eating better, you'd be proud, I made an effort to eat more veggies this week.

Monday, June 3, 2013

New Companion--Elder Bigelow
An African wedding in Africa followed by 2 baptisms.  That is for you to get all jealous about. HAH! Strawberry cheesecake ain't got nothing on Africa.

So, due to many other letter and all the photos I took, I will try to type rather rapidly here so I can get out all I  want to say.

In a day by day format

Friday-- last week: get a call- "That wedding that was supposed to have 8 or so couples now only has 2 and Maguanine is doing there's alone...so, now it is up to you and your branch to plan and carry out the whole thing instead of the district doing it." Panic. Call the 1st councilor in the branch presidency and set up to meet Saturday. Stress some more.

Saturday--Meet with the 1st councilor (president was out of country) and tell him what's up. Suggest that the wedding doesn't need to be huge, something small, maybe a Chamusa or two and a nice refreshing drink to celebrate the union of the two. Stress more. Have the 1st councilor keep a cool head and agree to help. Thank the Lord above. Stress.

Sunday--Meet after church with the branch leaders. Learn that they aren't nearly as optimistic as the 1st councilor is that it can be done in a week (this meeting actually had the couple in it too). Set up a meeting for Monday night.

Monday--Have a meeting with the same leaders, our Zone leaders, and us. Get lost in all that everyone is saying (too many talking and too fast, this time it wasn't Portuguese that messed me up). They set up a Wednesday night meeting. Stress. Doubt that it will be possible. Stress. Call the young men to ask for help too. Stress.

Tuesday--normal day. Stress.

Wednesday--Go to the meeting. Hear the willingness of the members to help. Stress.

Thursday--Normal day. Stress.

Friday--Stress because no one shows up to the church in the morning except two youth who help set up decorations and the like. Wait and call, wait and call. Groom shows up with some family. Stress. Call. Stress. Food shows up. Marvel at how much they brought (the plan was not to have a full on meal but rather just something real small). Hear that they have a cake coming. Still keep stressing because the wedding is taking a while to fully get organized. 
The Beautiful Wedding couple
Well, the whole thing worked out wonderfully. I sent you some photos on dropbox. The wedding turned out to be bigger than we expected. Apparently, no one told me that the groom, Aderito, had friends who sang who were coming...so, we had African singers there. OH! It was like gospelish style(the best way to describe it) mixed with the dialect Changana. It was sick. And the FOOD!!! was great. These people make some dang good beans, rice, and potato salad. 

Then, Saturday we had their Baptism. I baptized Adérito and Elder Bigelow baptized Fatima. Truly it was a great day.
The baptism--Yeah!!!

I love you all, sorry I didn't have too much time to write you today, the photos took a lot of time and I had a few other things to do.

Tchau á familia mais ótimo de tudo no mundo,
Elder Christopher Wartena
Stylin' a new rogue look. 

New stove

Monday, May 20, 2013

Ho hum ho hum. what to write such a great ol' mum.
Would a poem make her smile or cring?
Would a song bring smiles to her lips?
Maybe I'll make her good eye twinge,
Or make her dance and shake her hips.
In any case I know she'd love,
A little email from an African bud.

Well, cannot say that I want to write poems for a living, but I thought that was fun.

It is a grand old day here in good old Maputo. I am sitting in the mission office with the APs to my left and the secretaries behind me. What that means is that I was officially the first missionary in the entire mission minus the APs and the Secretaries to find out what happened with transfers.

Random trivia for yall today. Maputo city wasn't always called Maputo. When the Portuguese were ruling and a few years afterwords the name was "Lorenço Marques". Bet ya didn't know that.

Are any of my investigators interested in the big B? Well, actually now that you ask...we had a really good, unplanned lesson with N. and L. last night. Guess what N. asked. "So, how long does it take to get Baptised in the church?" *finger snap thing* We have only taught them both the 1st lesson and he is already reading great. N. is a crazy humble guy. She usually stays quieter during lessons like most women(that is due to the idea here that the MAN is the big boss of the house) but when she talks she is smart and has a strong opinion. The good news is that church had a good impression on her and she also had lots of questions about how things work, where kids go during church, can she take the sacrament before baptism. So...I am excited to see if they continue firm. We need to teach them about how they need to get married before baptism next time. One thing, if you don't let them know about that early on then getting them married takes FOREVER. Also, a lot of couples get dropped cause they aren't willing to get married without the big party or the Lobolo (that dowry Elder Anderson talked about in his talk. It's stupid. Tons of cash and a bunch of stuff like a suit for the Dad and dress for the Mom, beer, wine, etc...)

So, PRAY! Yall pray for them and for us to find more families like them. Our biggest challenge right now is just getting them to make the time to sit with us for the first few lessons. After the first few you kinda know whether they're ready or not and if they are ready then remarking is really easy once they are used to you coming by.

Well, I promised myself I would try to make this shorter so Josh and Dad don't get crap tiny things any more.

Enjoy the hamburgers. To respond to the question what is my favorite talk you know I have to pick Elder Anderson's where he talks about us over here. Besides that...

Don't worry about short emails. Like you said, I love any letters yall send.

Well, love ya'll, I think that's about it...not sure WHAT I AM MISSING(BWAHAHAHA!!!),
Elder Christopher Wartena

Ps. scroll down...





I'm a doorknob


love ya


PPS. Oh yeah! I think you might want to know what happened with transfers right? Well, I GUESSED RIGHT! HAH! I'm a staying right where I'm at and getting me compy tomorrow. His name is Elder Bigelow. I met him in Beira, but I didn't really know him. I guess that'll change though. I and my entire house are excited for him to come. Elder Ostler served with him before and everyone else says I'll get along great with him.

PPPS. I love you.

PPPPS. Nate is graduating seminary, that is WEIRD. I refuse to believe it. AHH! Next thing I'll be hearing about his mission call or getting into a college.
And Jo getting Baptised in September, Josh and Grandpa's marriages, getting halfway through my mission in July, Dad is graduated, the list goes on...this is really odd how my family is all growing up so fast.

PPPPPS. Love ya.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Dear Friends and Family,

Here is a little note we got today.  After the Skype call yesterday for Mother's Day there is just not as much to share on P-day.  We surely did enjoy seeing and visiting with him.  He looks extremely good. He is happy, loving working as a missionary.
Elder Wartena is wearing the tie dye shirt.  Aunt Nancy, a.k.a. the best tie dyer in the world, made it for him.
 If you like it let us know.  She sells them and you could own one just like it.
 You know what I ate right after getting off the phone with you guys? Nope, ya don't. 
I ate that "bon o bon" I showed Josh and then a PB and J and then a rice krispy treat. Uh huh. Then today, if the plan flies straight, we are going to eat out for Elder Coomb's last p-day in Africa. That guy is really great. Honestly, if he hadn't told me that he was leaving in a week I wouldn't have guessed it-he really isn't all that trunky. Besides the occasional comment, he is really focused on the work.

So, the picts in dropbox...most of them I was there. The dusty picture of the African kids with an Elder giving the Thumbs up-I have never been there. I just thought you'd enjoy it. It is Elder Cyrier in Luaha.
Luaha is in the middle of nowhere and only has a few members there. Missionaries used to go out there every transfer or so, but, because it really wasn't helping the work and just used up time, President stopped having them do that. Most people out there don't even speak Portuguese but a dialect called Macuah.

Well, like I said last night, not sure all that much what to say. Love ya. During the call I was just all nervous for some reason, not sure why, and I couldn't think straight, so I hope no one got unhappy or offended. I really wanted to talk to Hannah a bit, get to know her somewhat, but when she got on I was at a loss for words. I hope she wasn't offended or anything.
BUT, loved the call nonetheless, and of course I feel supported by you guys.

Pizza, I might be eating some of that today. good idea with the roll thing, I may be trying something like that.

Just out having some bowling fun on P-day.  Did you know they bowl in Mozambique?  
Hi Nate, love ya man. Tell Justin hi for me. Enjoy the PUSH-BROOM! HAHA!

Nice scriptural thought. I will try and bring one for you guys next week from my personal studies.
With Nephi we must agree: we all have our worries and we have good reasons for them usually, but the thing one must remember about worrying is that they must not be seen as excuses to not obey the Lord. "Dad said to abandon all we own and flee to the wilderness." I don't think Nephi was too crazy getting slightly worried about that, but like you said, he did not complain nor rebel, but instead asked the Lord. The same with praying about the Book of Mormon of Joseph Smith. It is a new thing that requires giant changes in one's life, so, people raise the eyebrow. What the good follower of Christ does is put it to the Lord's test and not discount it as some crazy teenage kid's odd ideas. Like Nephi they, and we, can receive answers to our prayers and it is ABSOLUTELY NECISSARY TO PRAY!!! One of the ways I thought I'd get rejected was by people yelling at me denouncing Joseph Smith, but more often over here people tell me that they already know it's true and don't need to pray. AH! The idea is that "anything that says it's from God is true." But that is a cancerous thought.  Just trust the Lord.

Love you all, enjoy life and follow the Lord and his servants the Prophets.
Elder Christopher Wartena

May the Lord bless you all and keep you in his care this week.

Signing off for now,
The Mama

Monday, April 29, 2013

First off, my zone here in Maputo had a kick out of my email. I told them all that my brother would be married in August and my Grandpa in September and they all were full of congrats and "That is awesome." So, to Josh and Grandpa Summerill from Elders Cyrier, Berg, Miller, Ostler, Coombs, Greenman, Bateman, and for that matter Elder Wartena: Congratulations.


There was a lot of news this week. Another congrats: DAD!!! Getting yourself graduated.

YEAH!!! Pictures of the family! I love ya'll. You look good all dressed up for Dad's graduation. The odd thing is now there is a girl in the shot. I do have to say, Hannah, you fit in. At least, picture wise, you fit pretty well in. Odd thought, you have our nose. Your nose and Josh's nose are the same. Take that as you will, but I think it's a good sign.

You guys are all moving way over there in Utah and I am all the same in plain old Maputo.

I didn't realize I didn't tell you that our washing machine was fixed. Also, my house is now the only house in the mission to have a dryer. Weird. The chapel had an extra (how? no idea) so we took it to our apartment. NICE!

So, the work moves on. We redid the area boundary lines in district meeting yesterday, and unsurprisingly, E. Coombs and I didn't really change. Still in Mafalala and Alta Mae. We, in all honesty, have had a rough couple of weeks finding people. We have very few investigators as of now, so that means work for us. We do have a couple moving towards married the 31st of May, so that is the good news, but we really need to figure out how to better find people here in Mafalala. The way we have been finding people isn't working too well. It is, but it isn't that well. So, work...missionary work is never easy.

To answer your questions: Favorite thing about Mozy? well, I'm not the first missionary to say it, but the people are. They are so nice. Well, they aren't perfect and they have drinking problems and really odd traditions, but people just hate to sound rude to you. You stop someone off the street and start asking about their religious beliefs they'll tell you. Crazy.

The sisters. They have a car and the nicest apartment in all of Africa next to president Kretly and government officials. They are doing good work. Gosh, sisters just have something about them that is different from an Elder. They are doing quite well and this mission is lucky to have them. The bad news is that it makes me feel like a bad missionary when I'm around them.

So, on the subject of packages and things being sent to other countries, the Wollenzeins, a missionary couple here, are ending their mission this week. Well, sister wollenzein is great and offered to take you guys something. So, to be evil, you'll just have to wait and see. BWAHAHAHA!!! Enjoy.

Package from home? No idea what I would like. On that subject, I feel kinda bad every time I get one. 50 bucks just to send it!?! That's crazy! Well, dunno.

Well, go to dropbox. I sent you guys some shots of Maputo and some of my comp, elder Coombs, and the office elders(who gave us a ride this p-day, score!). Yes, that is a KFC, the only fast food chain here. hehe.

Well, shortness of time kills me.

Te amo. Ficam bem. e tchau.

Love yall,
Elder Christopher

PS. The material? It's called Capalana and a skirt or bag would be really cool, but really it was an early Christmas/something gift and is yours. Ooh, make it into something for your birthday. What have you done with it all this time anyway?

Monday, April 22, 2013

Dear Friends & Family,

Chris has decided to have fun with his "old" mama today.  Have your own fun with Google translator today to find out what his Portuguese message to me says, or just scroll to the end of the email for the translation I will provide.
Now, onto the email.

No proxima semana eu vou escrever uma velha...hehe...estou a brincar.

Happily you don't understand Portuguese and I can write whatever I want in the subject line without worry, unhappily you have Google translate. Just know I love you. hehe.

So, ya gonna be turning over a new year huh? Another birthday, right? You're gonna "make a year" as it is said in Portuguese? Feeling wise? Tired? Ready to roll another eighty? How are you spending this week? School as normal or something abnormal to spicen and reward my lovely mom? Get something nice. Do something with Dad. So something with your sisters. For heavens sake drop the school crap on Saturday, don't think the word school for the day. Restaurant? Home movie? Family time? What?
What am I going to do for your birthday? Well, I bought some African boxes and am sending them with a missionary couple going home. It'll be late (mid May or so) when they get back to Utah, but I do hope you enjoy them.

My week? Same old same old. We talk to a bijillion wonderful(and some not so wonderful, but they are far and in between luckily) people and try and teach them about the gospel and bless their lives. We started working in a different part of Maputo than normal (long story why, don't ask) and are finding that the transition is hard. We are still in the "few families" stage so we spend a lot of time walking. "African missionaries sing as they walk and walk and walk and walk and walk and walk and walk and walk and walk and walk and walk and walk and walk and walk and walk and walk and walk and walk and walk and walk and walk and walk and walk and walk and walk and walk and walk and walk and walk and walk and walk and walk and walk and walk and walk and walk and walk and walk and teach a lesson and walk and walk and walk and walk and walk and walk and collapse into bed dead." Yup, we just need to find the families and then we will have more lessons throughout the day and less walking. We will still walk a ton (find as you teach, teach as you find, never just do one) but it'll be less and lighter on my body.

I'd really like to send you pictures of my area, it is crazy different than Munhava (psh, I'm in the city. There's none of the walking in knee high water stuff[kinda miss that]) and yet still very interesting. But, unhappily, hold on, I think I did take some with Elder Coomb's camera-deixa me ver.

Gift of tongues. That is a true gift. Especially when teaching. The Lord has opened my mind. I am trying to more perfect it, but I am speaking well now. Ok, I don't think I will ever attribute the term "fluent" to me, but with the Lord's help I am doing quite well.

Crimeny, let me tell you, time loves to fly. Gosh, three examples: A. Nine months gone. B. Internet time flying by at the speed of light. C. OK, only two examples, I'm lazy.

Good news, I got the package. Bad news, I might get sick because of the candy. hehe. LOVE YOU!!! The dictionary is wonderful.

Random thought for you: what is the Wartena Homeschool Academy's mascot? Surely it has one. If not, hehe, have fun with it. Ben and Jo will like this one.

A. Congrats on the Prom ask! Go Nate! no kissin'.
B. Josh moving out? Crazy. insane, tell him bye for me. wake him up that morning with a bucket of water in the face as a going away gift. hehe.
C. Muslims are extremely nice people.

Well, Love ya'll, enjoy the email that I know is rushed and lacking,

Love ya'll more than Papa Murfey's pizza (that's saying something),
Elder Wartena

P.S. DAD IS GRADUATING!!! AAAAAAAHHH!!! Congrats. Wish I could be there

Promised Translation:  "In the upcoming week I am going to write an old woman ... hehe ... I am playing."

I hope that was fun for you.  We love having the opportunity to share Chris's mission to Mozambique for the Lord with you.  Please let us know what you think
Happy day to you.

Signing off for now,
The Mama

Monday, April 15, 2013

The Mama here,
Elder Wartena decided to have fun with us all this week and post parts of his email in Portuguese.  Kinda fun.  Try an online translator to help you understand.  If I can, I'll post the translation myself.  Perhaps the older Spanish speaking brother would help out here.  We'll see.
Enjoy the email.

Minha maé,
Então, eu acho que você precisa aprender português…então, eu não vou
escrever em englais mais, tá bom?

Então, entá semana foi muito diferente…nós tivemos muitos novos
missionarios na missão e eu e Elder Coombs andamos com eles desde
sexta-feira até quarta. A coisa boa que isso fez foi que tivemos 50
contatos qualificados.

Estou a chatiar? hehe...eu gosto de brincar contigo. Tá bom, vou
voltar para a lingua que tu intendes.

Fun little thing we did thing week was walking with the new
missionaries, and my goodness, my Portuguese really sucked when I
left the MTC. All the new missionaries, I feel, came here just a
little more prepared than I, perhaps. I guess I could just be hard on
myself, but I do think I could have been more like Elder Stubbs and
just talk regardless of the fact that I don´t really speak good
Portuguese more while I was in T3. Oh, well, I am just excited that
the mission gets to have such good missionaries come in to help with
this great and mighty work.

Fun thing number two that I got to do...and to answer a question...is
that the first Sister missionaries to ever serve in Mozambique(Sister
Smith and Sister Muhangueno) needed to have someone do the 12 week
program with them. The assistants were going to do it but their crazy
schedule got in the way for three days and they couldn't make it...so,
the two other Elders near the church(which is where the Sisters stay)
got called on to help. So, Elder Coombs and I have been helping them
do the practices and the trainings in the 12 week program. It is

I think the sisters will really help here in Maputo. They
can get in contact with families by a means that we cannot. They teach
woman and families, whereas we teach men and families, so they can
knock on a door in the middle of the day and start a lesson with the
wife. We, when we knock doors, often find a woman or only children,
and due to the rule that we cannot enter houses with only a woman
present, we cannot teach them. So, when the sisters teach the wife
they can come back later when the husband is present and start on the
whole family. The issue we run into is just finding men at home-the
Sisters have a way around that that is not at the Elders' desposial.
Also, to praise the womanly name, they have a different way than men.
Anyway, this wasn't to say that for us men missionary work is unfair
but rather to say I am excited that the sisters will be able to help
move the mission along in different ways than before.

Odd thing on the subject of eating: I have accidentally had a
vegitarian week. I just didn't eat meat. I had oats for breakfast, egg
or peanut butter sandwich for lunch(or top ramen), and an apple and/or
something else small(small dinners, nothing special) for dinner. I ate
well but I just didn't take the time to cook up my chicken I bought.
Meat is just expensive and takes a while to prepare. Odd little fact I
saw I accidentally did this week and only realized it today.

Hm...not sure what really to write today. I bought some capalana(some
of that fabric like the two I sent home in transfer one with Elder
Thacker- SERIOUS QUESTION/ANSWER ME: What did you do with that
anyway?) last week. Elder Coombs is trying to get some stuff together
to take home because he didn't get any his whole mission. Me? Why am I
buying again? Well, I am in Maputo and I can store the stuff I buy
here in my extra bag until next year if and when I get tranfered back
north. So, I might as well save time and hassle for my last transfer
while I am here and get a little bit put together-kinda what I did
when I was in T3 and Elder Thacker was buying that stuff.

So, good news and bad news: the good news is that I may get my package
today(the assistants are getting 16 packages from the post office as I
type) the bad news is I may not get my package. We'll see. Hope mine
is with the 16.

So a branch member made me feel old on the mission and young at the
same time Sunday. She asked me how long I had been in Mozambique. I
sat there and figured it in my mind-7 months in country, 9 months as a
missionary. Well, she then told someone else how long I had left-a
year and 3 months. I thought a number of things-A. I shouldn't be
thinking about how long I have left, I'll get trunky. B. In 3 months
it'll be hump day. A. I am still pretty dang new here. So, lesson
learned: Don't even care about time on the mission. Don't think about
it, don't keep track of it, (for heaven's sake don't make a calendar
or whatnot-stupid, and completely against the missionary purpose) for
your time is going and it will at its own pace. All that the
missionary should think is about the day he is currently living and
who he can bless with the gospel THAT day. Honestly, time left or time
spent should be the last thing on the missionary's mind.

So, I love the news from home. Elder Coombs made a comment about how
his neices and nephews are so much more different than when he left
and it made me think about my brothers and how they are changing and
how I will even have a sister-in-law when I get home. Gosh, I left and
Jo was six, I'll get back and he'll be almost 9. Nuts. I don't think
calling him booger will make him very happy then. Oh, by the way-hey

Well, this email sucked. Honestly what can I say? We've walked a lot
this week. um, oh, new family, they are really nice(prayed together
about Joseph Smith after the first lesson and started reading the Book
of Mormon we gave them before we explained what is was) and I hope thy
progress more. Oh, we taught a man from the congo that speaks French,
English, Portuguese, Swahili, and another I cannot pronounce nor
remember. He is IN LOVE with the Bible. We taught him the
Restoration and the Book of Mormon, so we'll see how he accepts it. Also, we still
have to meet his wife.

Well, I'm out. So, I love ya'll, time is short so is this email, don't
think I don't love you this week just doesn't have much to write

Elder Christopher Wartena

PS. Portuguese joke: O que é que a peixe faz? Nada.
hahahahahahahahaha!!! Eu sou bem engracado! Também, eu não sei como
escrever "funny" em Português. Engracado, ingracado, engrecado,
não sei. Pergunte googletranslate.

He is doing well.  Sounds very good in fact.  Please pray asking Heaven to help that package get to our boy.  He asks for so little--it has his favorite deodorant inside with some candy.  Happy are we to see his confidence in speaking this new language increasing.  I just love this journey.  So much to be thankful for today.
Hope you all have a great day.

Signing off for now,
The Mama

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Hehe, President Kretly told us in our Zone conference last week about a phone call he got: "Hello, President Kretly, Elder Neil Anderson would like to speak to you." President, "Um, ok, if he wants to, yeah..." pause, "Hello, Paulo, this is Neil." Yup, my Pres. had a phone interview with Elder Anderson. He asked about how we are baptizing like we are, so president told him about the marriage thing.

All the Zone conference was about how all of us can become better at what we are doing. The vision is that every month every companionship will be baptizing 4 families or more each months. It all starts with the small and simple things. If you find 1 family a week that will progress to marriage and baptism you will have, in roughly three months, 4 Marriages and baptisms a months. It's the snowball effect. You get it started and then it get's bigger and bigger until it's 4 baptisms a month. Pres. said that there already is 10 companionships who have caught the vision and it is working. Beira is exploding with baptisms and that is why. Maputo has been struggling for a while, but we are going to change that. Elder Coombs and I(together until he goes home next transfer) are finding all sorts of new families to teach. It is a huge challenge and requires you to get off your butt and work your head off, but we are finding many more people to teach.

One big difference I have found, and was a big topic in Zone Conference, was Boldness. You have to be bold. Be bold in spirit, power, and authority. Pres. Kretly tells all the members how we are angels sent to declare great tiding and bring the gospel to all to bless their lives and then turns around and tells us we must act like it. We have a great calling and great authority. We can do more with our priesthood authority and calling as missionaries than we could ever imagine. SO ACT LIKE IT! Believe it! Make sure the people know it!

Tell people your purpose, it isn't a big surprise. The baptismal invite? In the contact sometimes. Stop the man on the road, and don't be afraid to extend the invite if you feel so impressed. In one of the first lessons I taught I committed them to baptism in the first five minutes of sitting down. If you extend the B. Invite quickly and before the restoration A. It get's them thinking. During the lesson they have the goal in mind and they listen and apply it better. B. According to their response, you know what they need. If they say they have already been baptized or have their own church-teach Joseph Smith and the Priesthood authority (restoration Né?) If they accept it and just want to follow Christ and are open to your message, perhaps the restoration isn't the first thing to teach, perhaps the gospel or a commandment will help them get started. Usually it is the restoration that is best whether they accept or not, but when you know their desire and their expectations of your meetings, you don't waste your time or their's teaching something then having to reteach it at a later time.

Your young, timid son is coming out. I really am getting a lot bolder over here. I am more able to bear my testimony with greater power and without shame. I am a missionary of Jesus Christ. I represent him and bring his words to the people. I am to call people to repentance. Yesterday, instead of the Book of Mormon, as we planned, we gave the man a Word of Wisdom challenging him to start changing his life. I love the spirit. I am tired, I am sore, I am working hard and am burning my self in the hot sun, BUT I LOVE IT! This is a marvelous work and a wonder. To feel that spirit work through you, to see it work in and on others, to feel the touch in your mind to say something or to give it to you comp cause he has something that will help, is an experience never to be forgotten. We had new missionaries come in this week (with Sister Smith, weird, a sister) and I walked with them these past days till they got to their actual areas. Let me tell you, the Lord works through the small and weak things to take down the tall and strong of the world. Those Elders (because of their faith and trust in the Lord) despite not knowing Portuguese fluently testified and brought the spirit so strongly. I wish I would've opened my mouth more and just trusted in the Lord when I was were they were. They have power.

So, sorry I took so much time talking about me, but I love the news from home. Nate is driving, Josh leaving, Matt ex-tactic Oh, Dad, Happy Birthday. Fun fact, the 7th of April is Woman's day over here, so, all of Mozambique was partying on your birthday. hehehe

Actually, I am getting better at working out now. So there. Hah!

Love ya'll,

Elder Wartena a.k.a Captain Africa

P.S. Of course I know what ala mode is! Gosh, I'm offended. kidding. Love ya!

Monday, April 1, 2013

So, I now know that Mozambique does have Skittles...in one spot. Maputo shopping is HUMONGOUS! I don't know why it is here or who built it, but in a spot quite out of our way and hard to find there is a giant five or six story shopping mall...ok, by American standards it's a pretty normal if not a little low class, but here, wow. They sell skittles and peanut M&M's. The bad news is, I didn't have any money on me and it is unlikely we'll return due to the expensive nature of the place and how hard it is to get there.
So, update, package has not arrived. The assistants say that it is unpredictable how the post works here. Some Elders get their package in a month (like my first) others wait around 6 for it to arrive. We'll see. Not worried.

So, one complete family at church. Xavier finally came with his wife! The drop in numbers? Al's daughter was sick with epilepsy(not fun) and A's wife went to visit her Mom in Matola. Poo. But, it looks like we could get those three families all next week! And, our goal is to find at least one more to start progressing this week. YEAH! 4 full families at church...it'll be awesome. Our district made it a goal to get 12 investigating families at church this next Sunday. Oh yeah.

How'd my Easter go? Well, I contacted and learned how much false tradition is around the Easter holiday. There was all sorts of talk about palm leaves and special services for the different days of the week. In one lesson they started arguing about the exact time Christ rose on the third day. Just interesting. One thing we have found, but found more this week, is that people are very surprised we only worship on Sunday. Only Sunday?! All the other churches go around three or four times at least, if not much more. Also, when they find out we don't get paid to be missionaries they don't believe us at first. interesting.

Funny you'd mention deviled eggs, I'd been craving boiled eggs all this week. Mmmm. You are a mean mother to tell me of food. Kidding.

I love Grandpa. Oh, that reminds me, I finally got the dearelder he sent me from last December. Hehe...

So, this is a big week. We are getting eight new missionaries. 7 from the states. Two sisters! Crazy! They will be driving a car and working only in the more city parts of Maputo. It's weird how much you hear living in the house with the assistants and the office elders. The other sister is from Angola and is only here until she get's her visa to her actual mission. Then, here in the next few months we'll get a TON more Elders and the sister count will be 8 when all is said and done. I will be sure to see a lot of the new missionaries because of the house in which I live.

The weather? Rain, a little bit. Hot, humid, same old. "Cold season" is coming up. Hah! Maybe, MAYBE jacket weather. And that only in the early morning. Also, cold season lasts about two months. Yup, weather.

Hehe, yup, I now weigh around 140. I went to Africa and put on weight. Backwards.

Wedding ties...no comment. Hannah sounds nice from her emails though.

Focusing on the Celestial Kingdom. YES! One should focus on his goals. We focus on baptism and try to center our teaching around that. It really helps. Focus on the celestial kingdom and center your life around that(around Christ). If there is something that may block your way from that goal, remove it, it will hamper your progression and also block things coming from heaven too(like blessings). Our Heavenly Father never has any walls up to keep us from him, it's us who build those walls.

Oh, I told a random African guy I would dar comprementos (A.k.a say hi) to you. No, I don't know him either, just a guy who stopped us in the street.

I need another recipe: Dutch babies! A.k.a puffy pancakes! Heaven on a plate! Yummy. If you wouldn't mind it.

Well, I don't have much else to say. Next week is ALREADY transfers. E. Coombs and I both think we'll just stay together. This next one is his last transfer(that means we'll go lembrant/souvenir shopping soon).

Say hi to Elder Adam Ekstrom next time you see him for me.

Well, Love you all, hope you have a great General conference(I'll get it here in a bit when they translate it to Portuguese[and this time I'll understand a little more]),


Elder Christopher Wartena

saw a monkey this week.

Monday, March 25, 2013

The Purpose of A Missionary . . .

. . . Is to help others come unto Christ through faith in Jesus Christ and his atonement, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. How I have come to understand that out here.

Did you know that when Christ preached to the Jews many were offended and believed not. They were offended by the very teachings of our lord and savior! It shouldn't be that big of a surprise. They did crucify him in the end; so one should assume from that that the people didn't always take his teachings well, but it showed me something. I'll start from a short example.

In T3, in our contacting or door knocking (aka. walk up to the sheet metal they call a gate and yell "Com licensa!") we would often find people who told us "Oh, I already have a church. I already have accepted God in my life. The word of God is the same, it doesn't matter what church you belong to, God is the same god in all churches. After all, he loves all his children." Sounds nice, full of apostasy and teaching of men mingled with scripture, but it sounds really nice and tons of people use it on us, that God is the same god in all churches. They literally say "I accept anyone who talks of God and Christ." But they don't see that all the doctrines are against one another. Frustrating.

Anyway, back to the example, they'll tell us that they already have their church. Well, I remember doing something real stupid some of these times...I would tell them, "Oh, we're not here to rip you away from your church, we just have a message of Christ." WRONG! In all technicality and reality, the message of the restoration is exactly that: we are trying to pull people out of apostasy and help them know that God has called a prophet in our day to show us the true way.

The thing I have learned from this is that I need to be bold and not fear bearing my testimony. We are told every day that we are searching for those who are ready to receive the gospel. If a person is not ripe and ready for the picking leave them to ripen. They won't listen and obey until then.

I had a lesson yesterday with Elder Coombs. The man is pretty strong in his church. He was extremely nice (like most Africans are. It is so nice. I have yet to have a door slammed in my face.) and sat us down in his house and we started talking. Well, we got into the lesson and starting talking about prophets and Joseph Smith and how all the churches that were created after Christ and the apostles dies were created by men and not under the direction of God(nor his authority or power...all this in a polite manner with scripture). I testified powerfully of Joseph Smith and how he should pray to know whether Joseph Smith was a prophet, then E. Coombs testified strongly and asked him if he'd pray. Man, I know I felt the spirit and there was no way he didn't, but the thing is he was so brainwashed and led astray by the teachings of men that he was able to deny the feelings. I never truly believed that one could deny those feelings. Even when I don't want to believe and follow the promptings of the HG back home I at least acknowledged them.

I learned from this lesson (and many others) that we will offend people. Check that, the gospel will offend people. They have been led away in darkness for so long that the light hurts. Many churches teach things only because they know the people will like how it sounds and accept it for that. Saying that God only has one church and one gospel and that not all the churches are correct makes people say, "God loves all his children. The word of God is the Word of God, end of story. I have accepted Christ, I got baptized, I have been trying to do as my church said and now you tell me that it isn't teaching truth?!" They run from the truth for it is hard unto them.

So, lesson for all: when preaching the gospel not all people will accept it nor like you as the messenger. What we must remember is to preach and teach with clarity and power. Do not dress up the gospel to make it less "harsh" or more "nice sounding." If one is ready, the Holy Ghost will testify and they will recognize something different. The change comes when they try it. THEY PRAY! When they pray they feel that feeling they cannot deny and they see that this path, though difficult and not without challenge, is the true and only way to lead to happiness.

SO...SAY IT! Don't be rude and bash their religion and long held beliefs, don't be stupid but do teach clearly. There was a general authority who said once (paraphrasing) we don't teach so people can understand, we teach so they can't misunderstand.

The field (mission field baby!) is white. It is ready for the harvest. Our purpose is to find those who pertain to the field. There are many unripe grains; don't rip them up, they don't accept. We are called to find, teach and baptize those already prepared by our Lord to receive us. As Preach My Gospel and somewhere in Doctrine and Covenants states: Find those that will receive you.

One thing missionaries do (guilty) is they worry that if they are bold in finding and teaching the people will take offence and they will end up with no one to teach. True, you will have less lessons, but the lessons missing are because you aren't teaching those who aren't ready. Often, in the initial contact you can tell whether the person will progress or not (not every time of course, so don't judge too hastily) and then you know not to take their number. The first lesson reveals a lot about whether one shall progress in or reject the gospel.

Well, I must say that Maputo has not been the most successful part of my mission. We have few families and spend a ton of time contacting on the road, but I have learned a lot about being bolder in my teaching. I have also learned that I need to watch and pray especially hard when times are rough. The Lord has a purpose to me being in Maputo. He wants us to baptize. He has prepared people. Don't lose that thought. The adversary would have you get down and believe it is hopeless when you don't have much success. DON'T DO THAT! THAT IS THE STUPIDEST THING TO DO!

A. it is 100% false.
B. it makes life miserable and you start counting your days till home.
C. your comp. and area suffer when you do that.

Ok. Now, I shall better get to answering things and talking about other stuff or there is no time.

I am still going crazy about my bro getting engaged. Nuts.

Y'all are sick! Ick. I actually had a day where my head hurt and stomach didn't like me, but it passed real quick.

YES I LOVE EMAILS! Sheesh, yet sick of them. All right, come to Africa and see if you get sick of hearing from your family. It will never happen.

Update. We had 2 full families at church yesterday! WOOT! Eight investigators in total! WHOOP! A little low for Munhava, but this is showing a lot of improvement in Maputo.

A day in my life. I see pavement now. Weird, I know. Maputo has pavement and actually roads apart from the main ones. It still is chuck full of sheet metal houses and dirt/mud road. Well, so did Beira and T3, but the city itself is closer to what you guys might call civilization. Let me just tell you, I'll be another pesky "children in Africa" guy, but America is freakin blessed. The promised land is not a joke. Be grateful, there are many people here that eat beans and rice(and a flower based mush called Xima {Sh-ee-ma}) as their only food, and then they don't have that in abundance. I wish I could take pictures of everywhere for you all but two things are in my way:
A. Pres made a new rule that the missionaries aren't allowed to walk with cameras (not that I have one anymore anyway)
B. the handbook tells us not to look like tourists. This makes sense, try telling a guy of Christ after taking all sorts of pictures like a weird tourist.

Crimeny, well, seriously, I am out of time, gotto go.

Get some sleep. Get that brother of mine a license (without having him crash the car). Love life.

Love ya'll more that root beer  (another American luxury-small but makes a difference ;)

 Elder Christopher Wartena Africa

PS. "Extend a buttons" are beautiful things. They are also in the list of things I did not bring and would like. They along with my leatherman would be absolutely wonderful to find in a package some time in July or you know, whenever it wants.

PPS. I shouldn't be asking for another package already really, I haven't even received the last one you sent, still waiting for it to arrive. Just remember to add those two things to a little wish list for me.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Well, if you must know...I had lasagna for my birthday! HAHA! I had forgotten to get something special for my birthday to eat (besides cauliflower with cheese that I will eat tonight!) but Elder Ostler (who happens to be from Orem as well) came through and made lasagna for the house. Oh, yeah! No idea how he knew, but it was good.

In addition to that, we had a division(also with Elder Ostler) and it went quite well. We found many new potential investigating families and taught 2 great lessons. It was a good day.

Mom, telling a missionary about aunt Kari's Guacamole is mean. AAH! Man, I could use a good burrito with Guacamole about now. hehe, kidding. I'm eating fine over here. I eat oats for breakfast (a little Nesquick mixed in every once in a while makes it quite yummy), sandwiches or chicken or whatever for lunch and a smallish dinner each day. And guess what...I entered the MTC at128 lbs and now I am 145. Hehe...YEAH! So BIGGY!

All, right, guess what, you Americans are spoiled rotten. Our blasted washing machine decided to die this past week and we have yet to find a mechanic who knows how to fix it. So, it looks like hand-washing has become a necessity. I can't complain though, that is what nearly all natives here have to do. How do they do it? They scrub the clothes on their hands and then pound them silly on a rock, rinse. Fun to watch but it'll kill your hands. I have decided that when I am back in America I will never complain about things like walking to church or winter. We Americans are picky and sometimes complainy. I need to work on that.

How's the comp and the work? Well, it's moving along fine. We have found some new families to teach this week and are working hard to get even more. Our past weeks have been full of contacting and walking but it looks like it will start paying off here soon. My comps great, he is working hard to make his last two transfers count and it helps me too. Find, teach, (marry) baptize.

Well, gotta be moving on. Love you all a ton and wish I could just drag you threw the computer to show you Africa.

Crap, I almost forgot to say: my mind has now exploded. Josh is engaged...Holy crap. My bro is gonna get himself married. Well, just tell him I approve (the photos of this Hannah are acceptable) of his choice and holy cow. This cardboard cutout missionary in the reception line is going crazy over the fact that he is about to be a brother-in-law. Phew.

Well, Preciso sair para os outros ou eles vao zangar comigo,
Elder Wartena

P.S. Thanks for worrying about me.

P.P.S. Man, the tradition to give people kisses instead of handshakes(like the french) is awkward  Yup, your boy got kissed this week. Only the cheek. Hehe, during a lesson one of the daughters of the family walked in and said "boa tarde" to us. Well, before I knew it she had done the funky kiss the cheek thing with me in place of the usual handshake. Let's just say that I pulled away fast and replaced the face with the hand real quick.