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, 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.