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.