Sunday, 28 December 2014

White Christmas

So this week if I can say one thing is PUNTED.Punted in english translates to rejected, sadly because it was the week of Christmas there wasn't a lot of people home and there were a lot of Christmas parties so people were always busy...
AND RAIN! There was so much rain this week I was just trying to imagine it as snow but it didn't help haha but once I was soaked I didn't really care anymore and it was definitely nicer than sweating in the heat! 
The highlight of the week of course was Christmas because it was my first one away from home. I realized this Christmas that it doesn't really matter where you are as long as you still have the right intentions and even without the family, friends or gifts I still found myself loving Christmas and realizing how important the birth of Jesus Christ was for the world. It was really cool to be able to teach people about the Christmas story and highlight Christ as the gift! 
Christmas day the streets were cleared and the craziness of the Philippines seemed to be turned down a few notches! It was nice to have a chance to skype home. And later in the day we had a BAPTISM! A Christmas baptism! The sister missionaries in our ward had one too so I had the opportunity of baptizing their baptism candidate Our whole mission strived to have at least one baptism per companionship on Christmas resulting in 205 convert baptisms this past Christmas! So that is what we call a white Christmas in the Philippines.
The ward was really good to us as well. We had a few dinner appointments and a huge one on Christmas eve with the Buslay family who always spoil us! Sister Buslay kept telling me to eat and eat! They say I will "grow with love" I guess they just want me to get fat! 
Also it is really nice to be in a ward that is so involved in missionary work and so many young men and women are so willing to work with us! The fellowshippers in the ward are awesome and really do all they can to make less actives and investigators feel welcome! 
One of the nights while we were walking home we saw a long term investigator who is a "seacat" driver which is a little bike attached to a cart. He is a long term investigator because he has been going to church for the past 4 years but can't quit his addiction to cigarettes so he can't be baptized.. but he saw us on the way home and offered us a ride, halfway there I asked him if I could give it a try and that is what the picture is of! IT WAS HARD WORK. My thighs were burning!  
So the Christmas season here was different but great! Also everything is progressing and we have another baptism set up for this week! Thank you for all the prayers and support! 
With love,
Elder Warnick

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Merry Christmas!

Alright so week one down in my new area! I swear I have dislexia or something because last week I said my area was Latisay! Haha IT IS CALLED TALISAY in the Bacolod North Zone and my companion is Elder Alfeche (Al-feh-chee) he is my favorite companion so far and he is from Manila which means he is really good at english! He is also the District Leader here.
Our area is like half city and have shacks and sugarcane fields.
Tuesday we got groceries and stuff at the big nice grocery store because we weren't able to last monday because of transfers. I met Sister Buslay she is a really nice member in our ward that fed us7x since I have been here every other day she fed us and two days she fed us twice! She said I remind her of her son because we are the same age and we have been out the same time and I guess he is tall and skinny too. 
Wednesday we had district meeting and our district is so huge! It is made up of 3 wards and every ward has a set of Elders and Sisters! It was cool to meet new people and even better that half of them were younger in the mission than me! haha After the District meeting we had to go to the mission office to drop off baptism records and there was a HUGE package for me like big enough for 4 USPS flat rate boxes to fit in. I told Sister Mower (the mission nurse) that there was no way that was for me. She insisted that is was and that I should open it. WHen I did there was about a 2 inch layer of toothbrushes and toothpaste! I was so confused and then I saw a pacakge for someome else inside. So I guess what happened was the sender of the package put two of my packages in there and sent a bunch of stuff to the mission as well.
Thursday we went to a really far area and in the attached picture you can see me and my comp were just walking along side the road for like 45 minutes! It was fun but super hot! It started raining like crazy and we were in the jungle but a family let us in and we taught them!
Friday we got to drop off our laundry at a members house! I am so glad that there are members here who want to wash our clothes because mine were starting to get pretty stained up because I am not very good at washing by hand. 
Saturday we traveled to SILAY which is in our district to do a baptism interview and the sisters there needed me to do a baptism for them! So that was fun to get to baptize someone again! 
Sunday was awesome! The ward here is so amazing! The building is huge-two stories and it is actually air conditioned. we had 210 attending and I had to give my testimonty in front of everyone! But I felt like I did alright and everyone was just smiling. We have great support fromt the ward and it feels like home here! 
So things are getting better and better everyday! We have a baptism set up for christmas and the language is getting better everyday!
Salamat para sa tanan kag Halong Kamo! (Thanks for everything and take care!)
-Elder Warnick

Sunday, 14 December 2014


SO I finished my training! And there are a lot of big changes! This week was such a good week and it was sooooo long! First off we had early transfers and we had a new elder in our house Elder Rakuro- he is the coolest Elder I have met in the mission he is from Fiji and has 93 baptisms! Every night me and him would talk about life and he would give me advice, he also told crazy stories about casting the devil out of people and death threats that he has received here! So I was pretty sad when I found out that I was being TRANSFERRED! Yep I finished my training, set up 5 baptisms for December and then got transferred! But it is all good and I am way excited for the new experience! I am now assigned to Bacolod North Zone so I am right next to the main city! I think my area is called Latisay? I am not sure! But I am way excited!
Sorry this email is going to be short because today is transfer day! I am really pressed on time! 
I am doing really good though! It feels great to be done with training and to be in a new area! I have heard over and over again that the second area for missionaries is where they really start progressing at doing well with the language! 
I am going to miss Hinigaran! It was my first area and it really was nice! But it was so hard at first! There were a lot of ups and downs but I learned a lot! I also got to see my trainer earlier today! He is a Zone Leader now in the furthest south zone so he was at the office when I went there! 
Sorry I don't really know what else to write in this email excpet that I am doing good and next week I am sure I am going to have tons of experiences from my new area and comp!
The attached pictures are just of my house and bedroom! haha just for remembrance! 
Thank you all! 
Til next week! 
-Elder Warnick

Sunday, 7 December 2014

20 months na lang! (20 months left!) haha

So yeah I hit my 4 month mark this month haha and it went by generally fast but it is just pretty hard in the beginning. 
This week we had a lot of teaching like always and it was all over the place. We worked with members and the bishopric this week to find less actives. Tons of finding and contacting referrals/ less actives! It is way hard work but I realized whenever we go visit a less active home there is ALWAYS a potential investigator there! So it all works out! 
There was a small family. Husband, wife and a newborn baby. We went and visited them two weeks ago-they are former investigators I guess they kind of just got lost in the paperwork or something as missionaries transferred and such. But the wife her name is Bepsie like Pepsi with a B and she told us this experience when we revisited her for our follow up appointment. The day before we visited their family the first time she had been praying and praying because she wanted to find out what the true church was (Joseph Smith situation right?) and I guess she had been praying for a sign and apparently that day was the day that we showed up! When she said that I was super shocked just because that's one of those crazy situations that you always hear from missionaries but I never expected it to happen to me! So freaking sweet!
We had Zone Training this week and it was all focused on CHRISTMAS and if you haven't seen it already this: we were trained on this big initiative the church is making to spread the gospel-they are going to take over youtube and it's going to be a big focus for us missionaries to share "the gift".

The Tabanyag family told us this week that they finally have the DESIRE for baptism so If that continues than we will have 4 baptisms on Christmas! :) and they are continuing to keep our commitments and come to church! YES!

We were supposed to get hit by a huge super typhoon this weekend and our whole mission was on lockdown friday-saturday BUT there was no rain and no wind! It was actually nicer days than usual but we had to stay inside the whole time! So lots of personal study! It was good though I love reading The Book of Mormon.

Food this week:
We had mangoes finally and they are the juiciest sweetest things ever! Also there are these little tubes of icecream called AGOGO and it is milk, sugar, cream pineapple and coconut! It's so good! And I also had fresh watermelon! FRUIT IS THE BEST.

I think that is everything this week! It was a crazy week but I can feel the prayers and support! Thanks for everything!
-Elder Warnick

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Rainy days and progress

So finished the month of November sadly no baptisms this whole month... they kept falling through and getting pushed back due to the most random of things..So Elder Bragas 5' 2" he's from a province close to Quezon City I am his 17th companion and this is his 9th area! He has been out for 19 months he isreally good kind of weird haha he always sings to himself and has the weirdest laugh and not really disobedient at all in fact the first day that we were together he asked me how I wanted our companionship to go "disobedient, obedient, exactly obedient, or strictly obedient" so I told him exactly obedient and his words were "Okay elder, I will give you that one." He then went on to tell me how he has follow up trained 2 other elders and that he will help me become a great missionary! He has focused a lot on reactivating families that were less active and I was thinking to myself "well thats good but we aren't going to get any baptisms that way!" but apparently he knew what he was doing because at church this last sunday ournumbers were in the high 90sand we had a lot of LA's & Investigators at church BECAUSE the Less Active familes of course had REFERRALS! So it was good lots of progress and we finally got the ward involved with our missionary work! We had Missionary Coordination Meeting yesterday and it was my first one since I have been in the field! So things are definitely turning around! In fact I am starting to love the are and the people! I don't know what it is but I just love the investigators and such! Which probably means this December I am going to be transferred... Because President Lopez said he won't transfer you until you love your companion and area and so on...

CRAZY STUFF HAPPENED THIS WEEK! And by crazy I mean the hand of The Lord! After District meeting on Tuesday I went on exchanges with Elder Vinoya who lives in our house with Elder Pineda they are the Ward 1 missionaries so I worked in their area and I learned a lot! Most of their work is on the beach so it's really nice and fun! The people there are really humble and kind. Apparently there was a typhoon hitting Tacloban so we just got the showers from it and by showers I mean pouring rain for two days straight! It was crazy eventually I just gave up and accepted the fact that my umbrella wasn't going to keep my dry! haha
So I don't remember if I told you guys about the Tabanyag family? When I was with Elder Martin we met the mom outside one of our recent converts house and we got a return appointment. But after we started teaching her it was clear she wasn't really interested BUT she has three teenage girls that are super smart and generally interested! Sadly we never made much progress with them and and district meetings the other missionaries told us to drop them. Elder Bragas decided to keep pushing and inviting them to be baptized. I don't know what it was but after we established the goal of being baptized on Christmas they started doing so much better and they are following all our commitments! It was so cool to see after teaching the law of chastity the next day they weren't wearing short shorts anymore and we pushed and pushed for them to come to church and YESTERDAY THEY DID! It just feels so much different lately because I feel like they are actually MY investigators because I helped to find them and have got to see them progress since day one. SO if I DO get transferred on the 17th of December I won't be able to see them get baptized BUT I will be super happy to know that I helped them take the steps into the waters of baptism! 

I am sure there is a lot more but that was mostly the highlights of this week and this email is already long enough! Thanks for everything! Remember to smile and if you aren't figure out why and start smiling!
Elder Warnick

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Bago Gid (NEW)

Everything seems new this week and we had some big changes!
So last week we got a call from President Lopez and my companion got transferred he is going to be a Zone Leader in the farthest zone south! 7 hours from Bacolod! BUT what this means for me was a new companion of course ELDER BRAGAS he was my former Zone Leader so now he is follow up training me! He is even shorter than Elder Martin haha so I just tower over him! But he is like 28 or 29 I think he is really old! Because Elder Martin got transferred the area fell into my hands and I had to lead the area this whole week and it was so hard! BUT I was surprised with how much I knew! By leading I think I learned more and gained some more confidence. 
I found a book at the apartment entitled "Missionary Articles" which was full of really good missionary talks. There was a quote from Boyd K. Packer that really helped me this week: "You have a normal pattern of changing your emotions. If you are not feeling happy all of the time, there may be a tendency to wonder what is wrong. Why do you not wonder what is right.? Maybe there is a lesson coming through." 
READ THAT. OKAY NOW READ IT AGAIN. I think it is so applicable to just life in general and I have had a big problem with just trying to be happy and this quote helped me to realize that sometimes it is okay not to be happy but to realize what is going on in my life and to simply "count my blessings"
Elder Bragas took me OYMing (Offer your message) Or "street contacting" this week which is so scary and hard but it really helps a lot! 
Me and Elder Christensen, he was my MTC companion and we are in the same district here in Hinigaran went on exchanges this week! The first day we worked in my area and it wasn't too bad but it definitely is hard to teach lessons when both you and your companion are only 3 months in! And the next day we went to Elder Christensen's area! He basically lives in a hut in the forest! It is crazy but we did a lot of teaching and walking EVEN GAVE A BLESSING and we definitely stood out! Two white guys!
When I got back to my area the next day me and Elder Bragas went to our progressing area and taught a family that we have really been pushing for baptism! I think I had the best lesson I have ever had on my mission so far! The three sisters were really emotional because they said they know it is true but they are just having a hard time deciding on baptism! I guess it is just hard to change directions in your life and I can understand that! We want them to be baptized on Christmas day! A "WHITE CHRISTMAS" we have 5 for that day so we are pretty excited!
Sorry I think I just went on and on in this email but it was a pretty packed week! Things are going well though! And the language is getting better I am able to understand most people now and carry on in small conversation! ASTIG! (SICK, cool, awesom...)
Today I spent all morning cleaning the apartment! I got some bleach and went crazy in the bathroom haha (no help from the housemates, filipinos are kind of lazy) BUT the bathroom seems just like home now! Okay not really but I did as good as I could!
Alright so that's all from Elder W.
Elder Warnick
P.S. I had my fist mango the other day! 2 months in the field and I just barely ate a mango what the heck? BUT it was so delicious

Sunday, 16 November 2014

100 Days

So I made it to 100 days on my mission this last friday! Sometimes I don't know how I did it! But every day I continue to do it!
This week was pretty eventful and there were a lot of learning experiences! On Wednesday we went to Bacolod again! (THAT MEANS MCDONALDS!) We had our Mission Tour on Thursday and President Lopez specifically wanted all missionaries to be happy, awake, and alert so we went down the day before so that we wouldn't be tired from the drive! 
Elder Ardern from the area seventy and his wife spoke to us. Usually for mission tour (which is only once a year) the whole mission meets up in Bacolod and receives training from Elder Ardern but I guess this year they decided to split it up so half the zones went on thursday and the other half went on friday! 
He talked about soooooo much! A lot of helpful things about how to teach and convert retention! It was really good and I am definitely going to be trying my best to apply what he taught!
On Saturday we had the Hinigaran Ward 1 Elders move in to our house which was definitely a lot of work they lived on the other side of Hinigaran and the dividing line between their area and ours is basically down our street. One of the senior couples helped move all the desks, beds, and appliances into our house SO MUCH WORK!
And now I am the only white guy in the whole house talk about difficult! They are all basically fluent in Hiligaynon so I'm lost 98% of the time! 
It seems like we are having the worst luck with our baptism candidates... The one sister who I was going to baptize about a month ago has stopped coming to church and we had another baptism for saturday with a sister who has been progressing really well BUT her dad died right before her baptism.. so she wants to wait two weeks until the funeral and all that stuff has been taken care of.
Sunday was a pretty interesting day as well. Me and Elder Martin were teaching after church like normal and basically we had an argument after one of our lessons and you could immediately feel the spirit leave and we ended up not even teaching the rest of the day... 
PATIENCE! That is what I have learned from my companions so far! Patience and Diligence because even among disobedience and laziness..etc.. I have found that it is important to have personal commitments and to just be patient! 
OH and an AMAZING talk that has helped me so much on my mission so far is by ENZIO F. BUSCHE titled "Unleashing the Dormant Spirit" If you don't read anything else from that talk at least read the last page and a half or so he gives amazing advice on how we can free ourselves from hate, anger or just things that aren't in our favor! 
President Lopez texted us last night telling us to call him when we got home. We didn't know what it was going to be about but when Elder Martin called him he asked about our area and members and such and didn't say anything else. Elder Martin thinks he is being transferred and Elders Vinoya and Pineda (the hinigaran 1 elders) think that Me and Martin are getting transferred. Whatever happens I'm praying will be the best decision! 
*Alma chapter 26* - (YES THE WHOLE CHAPTER!) Knowing what to expect here on the mission! Has helped me time and time again!
*3 Nephi 5: 13* - I had never realized the meaning of this verse! It just hit me this week though!
*D&C 128* - You just gotta read it! 
Also something Elder Ardern said stuck with me "FEAST UPON THE WORDS OF CHRIST, BUT GO SLOW ENOUGH TO DIGEST" 
Boom! That's some good advice right there!
~I ate squid for our sunday dinner at one of the members houses (it really wasn't that bad even though I could see all the tentacles)
~Of course lots of rice, all day everyday. Except I refuse to eat it for breakfast!
~I had Eel too it wasn't too bad but SO MANY BONES!
~We also ate this vegetable called okra I think you can get it in the states. It basically just tastes like Asparagus.  
That's all for me this week.
Thanks again for all the support!
-Elder Warnick

Sunday, 9 November 2014

3 Months

Crazy fast week this week! Also I hit my 3 month mark this week! It's way crazy how fast time goes by! I don't really know where to begin with this whole week?
We had follow up training in Bacolod on Monday so everyone from my transfer went to the Bacolod and we received training from the AP's and President Lopez it was awesome because a couple days prior to going to that training I had been studying humility and diligence and that is what the AP's gave us training on! It's kind of cool how stuff like that works out!
When we were in Bacolod we got to have our P-day there! And we went to the mall! There was so many missionaries! It was weird coming from Hinigaran and not usually seeing missionaries except for at District meetings and Zone trainings and just sitting down in a restaurant I probably saw 20+ companionships walk by! My companion loves basketball so he needed to buy some new basketball shoes. While we were at the mall he was looking for some and I was just standing there. 2 experiences followed:
1. A guy just walked up to me and he kind of looked angry.. I was a little nervous but then he asked me what are I was serving in! HE WAS A MEMBER! Amazingly enough I understood what he said and we had a pretty decent conversation for about 5-10 minutes while my comp was trying on shoes! It didn't hit me until afterwards that I had just had a full conversation in Hiligaynon! 
2. There was 6 of us missionaries at the shoe area of the mall and there was these ladies who were just staring at me while I was talking to that guy. An Elder was by those ladies and he was motioning for me to come over but I just shook my head. Later he came up to me and said "Those girls said that if you were assigned here in Bacolod they would all be baptized!" hahah I laughed so hard after that! Filipinos love white people!
The rest of the week consisted of a lot of lessons and just from that language experience in the mall I thought I was doing better but from the lessons I felt like I had taken 10 steps back... That's the frustration of learning a new language BUT I am pressing on! 
Something that has been on my mind this week has been families and also temples so it's perfect because those two topics go hand and hand! 
First off I miss both of those things deeply! Ever since going through the temple I had an even greater love for the house of The Lord and I'm glad that I had the opportunity to attend the temple multiple times before my mission and while I was at the MTC and even when I was in Manila! I just want to encourage everyone to go as much as they can! At least every week! Make it a habit!
And family! We attended a funeral this week and it made me think a lot about families because they were the "happiest-sad" people I had ever seen! You could tell they were sad  because they had lost a member of their family but they all knew they would be able to see him again! I really took advantage of my relationship with my family before my mission and FAMILY IS SO IMPORTANT! At the end of the day when you take away all the worldly possessions all you have left is your family! So take the time this week to tell your family you love them! 
We had exchanges again this week and I was with Elder Vinoya one of the elders who is going to be moving in with us. We practiced teaching the whole day! We didn't even proselyte :/ I guess he didn't think I could teach.. or speak the language.. he's probably right but I am TRYING SO HARD!
Lastly thanks for all the support! I can really feel the strength of your prayers!
-Elder Warnick
P.S. I found a cockroach in my food this week! YAY! (it was still alive)

Sunday, 2 November 2014

What am I doing?

"What am I doing!?" One of the questions me and my district from the MTC would ask ourselves all the time and I am slowly realizing that I am inviting others to come unto christ! It always amazes me that a lot of times I am telling people about the gospel of Jesus Christ and that it is the first time they have ever heard of it!
So our Baptism fell through again... Princess hasn't came to church the last 2 weeks so it is really hard we have to keep pushing her date back..
So halloween here? Yeah they don't celebrate it but on November 1st they celebrate ALL SAINTS DAY and everyone goes to the cemetery to mourn over their lost loved ones and all the missionaries go there to teach them the plan of salvation! :D haha and these like 12 your old kids came up to me and said HEY JOE (that's what everyone calls americans) and I was like "SINO SI JOE" (Who is Joe?) and one of them was like IKAW! (you!) and I just gave him a look like he was stupid and didn't know what he was talking about. I thought I showed them up but as we left they all started yelling HEY JOE HEY FREAK YOU JOE! (they didn't say freak... if you get the idea..) and they were flipping me off! So yeah the maturity level of preteens is about the same wherever you go in the world! (sorry for the "profanity") BUT we found a really cool family who was willing to listen to our message and we left them a pamphlet! Hopefully they will contact us soon!
SO much rain this week! Like I am soaked all the time and you just have to let it happen because there really isn't anything else you can do umbrellas don't do anything!
This week Tuesday we had exchanges so I was with Elder Archuleta (Yes David is his cousin) it was weird to be with a white guy but luckily Elder Archuleta is really good with the language so our lessons were actually really good! We were in his area so he took me to the beach! His area is right next to it! It was sweet!
Yesterday we did MEMBER exchanges haha I've been all around! I was with a RM from our ward and it was weird to lead the area but I surprised myself with how much I knew! and we taught a lot of lessons!
SO transfers came this week too and the two elders that were going to be moving in with us both got transferred! So we will be getting two NEW elders! 
We got to the computer shop early today because we have Follow up training in Bacolod tomorrow! I'm so excited to be able to see all the elders from my MTC district! And this morning ELDER MCCRACKIN from my MTC district they stopped by on their way to Bacolod they are one of the only missionaries in the mission who have a car because their area is so BIG! But when I saw him it was like seeing family! 
This week was such a crazy week like some of the most crazy things happened with our investigators! Can't really explain some of them and but we have a lot of investigators so this month we should be shooting for 2-3 baptisms! 
A Sister in our ward (Sister Lisa) invites us over every sunday for sunday dinner so that is always nice and yesterday I had the pork blood stuff.. :/ haha it was "interesting"
BUT I made it one transfer in the field so I guess I CAN do this whole mission thing! ;) I've been studying humility and patience this week and have been doing my best to apply them! It is really hard and yesterday was one of the most meaningful fasts in my life! 
Sorry I am not really good about writing all my experiences down.. I'm not too good at this mass email thing! But thanks again for all the support I can feel it and the strength from your prayers!
Take care!
-Elder Warnick

Sunday, 26 October 2014


ONE MONTH! WHAT? I really don't know where the time goes! Everyday goes by way fast! We are always doing so much always busy and I guess that is why it goes by so fast!
Also because so much happens it is really hard right now to think of everything that happened... Let me think...
We taught 55 lessons this week and had 2 baptisms! Sadly we had it worked out so that my companion would baptize one of our investigators and I would baptize another and then the cousin of the last one would baptize him. BUT the girl who I was suppose to baptize drank coffee 2 days before her baptism... So we have to wait. But I really believe that all things happen for a reason and I obviously don't think that it is good that she drank coffee but I don't feel like she was completely ready for her baptism anyway. This week we will be able to focus on her more and hopefully by the end of the week she will be prepared!
But at least we had 2 baptisms this week! Roberto Billiones and Ashley Kilayco these baptisms were really awesome for me because I actually got to see these two progress all the way from the first time we taught them until they got baptized and it is super cool to see how people can progress! The gospel is such a blessing and I am realizing more and more why I came out here! How can we keep the gospel and the blessings of it from anyone!?
2 weeks away from the next transfer! And that is when our district leader and his comp are going to be moving in with me and my comp. This is way good for me because they all speak really good Ilanggo so I think I will be able to pick it up a lot faster after that!
I'm having a real hard time remembering what happened this week... 
The cool thing about my area is that we teach people all over-from the city, to the sugarcane fields, to the beach and clear out to the middle of nowhere! 
We gave 3 blessings this week and it's amazing how much faith some of these investigators have even though 2 of them never keep our commitments or go to church they still believe that through the preisthood that we have they could regain their health because of a blessing that we gave them.
So what's my near death experience this week you might ask? Well we were walking to one of our lessons and all of a sudden I hear this huge WACK! And I look down because right in front of me a huge coconut fell from a tree 75+ feet up and it landed RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME! I don't really know how hurt I would have been if it hit me but if I was ONE step ahead of where I was I would have been hit!
Also I saw 3 spiders the size of my hand! Maybe bigger! I managed to kill 2 but the other one climbed INTO our "washing machine" (it's not really a washing machine because it doesn't really get the job done just kind of swishes the clothes gently back and forth) And I did a little exploring at our house and there was this little side house next to ours and I opened it up and the creepiest doll was just sitting there in a chair right when I opened the door! THINGS ARE CRAZY HERE! But I love it!
So yeah I'm still alive and I am looking up a lot more now! ;)
Again thank you for all the support!
-Elder Warnick

Sunday, 19 October 2014

The Other Side of Heaven (or something like that)

So it has been a long week! I think that is the first time I have ever said that because usually it seems like the weeks just fly by! But we had a lot of stuff going on this past week!
On Tuesday we had a district meeting and it is always nice to see other missionaries and help eachother out with insights on how we can help our investigators to progress! Afterwards it was Elder Archuleta's birthday so we went to a pizza place called D'CRUNCH and they make 30" pizzas and the 8 of us elders ate 2 of them! It was so much food! After that we went to a birthday party for a guy named TATAY DUDS (tatay means dad) and they fed us even more food so I felt like I was going to explode! This week was all about food for me! After we had that amazing pizza I bought ingredients to make good old pancakes! And I may or may not have had them for 3 breakfasts this week! 
We were teaching so many lessons this week and at the end of the week we had taught 52 member present lessons... and THAT IS INSANE considering that my comp was sick for one day and we didn't even teach that day! We had to get 3 investigators ready for their baptism that is going to be this saturday so lots of lessons and interviews!
I got a haircut and it was one of the weirdest experiences I have ever had but I find myself saying that about everything I do here! They give you a shoulder, arm and head massage with the haircut so it is kind of awkward but I wasn't going to complain! They actually do a pretty good job with haircuts considering it is all done with clippers. FILIPINOS ARE PRECISE! I am convinced there is no human error here! If  you don't believe me you just have to watch their driving! It is insane but I have never seen anyone crash!
Almost all of our investigators came to church this sunday which was super awesome and basically a miracle! We finally got a new phone yesterday after going a week without one! 
Yesterday was Zone Conference and it was my birthday too! We went to Binalbagan and our whole Zone was there! President Lopez gave us some training and told us that for the month of September our mission baptized 590 people! 590!!! It really amazes me how many baptisms we have! Apparently at Zone Conferences President Lopez gives a shout out to everyone who had a birthday since the last zone conference! He gives everyone a toothbrush and says OPEN YOUR MOUTH. Referring to the scripture that states if we open our mouths they will be filled with what to say. Also it is important to OYM to everyone so that we can find people that are searching for the truth!
So the heat is insane and there are so many bugs I can't even believe it! A couple nights ago while walking home in the dark we walked past a stick in the road but something didn't seem right to me so I turned around and pulled out my flashlight and shined it on the "stick" turns out it was a 5-6 foot long snake! I walked literally a foot away from it! Things like that don't even phase me anymore and back in the states I probably would have ran away terrified! I'm constantly relating my mission to THE OTHER SIDE OF HEAVEN. I feel just like him especially how he felt his first couple days there.
So yeah it has been a crazy week and I've almost been in the field a month! TIME GOES BY FAST! I'm doing my best to make every moment count! 
Take care everyone!
Love, Elder Warnick
P.S. I'm losing my English and not gaining my Hiligaynon
P.S.S. I'm covered in mosquito bites
P.S.S. (SPOILER ALERT) The church is true.

Sunday, 12 October 2014


nother week and it goes by so fast! So some more stuff about my companion-My companion is a native from Isabelle Provinice and he has been out for 15 months! He loves basketball like a ton! He's 5'6" So I stand about a head taller than him. He is super funny and he doesn't really know english too well so it's funny to hear him speak! SO I actually miss the SNOW AND COLDNESS of Utah! But I think I have gotten used to the weather here and sometimes I wake up in the morning shivering! AT 80 DEGREES! It's crazy! I played basketball with a bunch of pinoys last week and I DUNKED it on them (i think their rim was like 9 1/2 feet haha) it was sick! HAHA they always are commenting on how tall I am which is something I NEVER got in Utah! 
It was way hard at first and my mission is the TOP baptizing mission in the WORLD so with that comes a lot of work!  We baptize every single week! Something that has been on my mind is how the mission is the mission and home is home! AND to never let it be an option to go home early because way too many people go home early! The field is such a shock because it is nothing like the MTC you are actually in the real world and even though you are following guidelines and rules it's like having a ton of freedom! Everything is different and a lot more real! I wasn't ready for how real is was going to be and my first week when my comp was taking a shower (out of a bucket) I would just be crying...I always found myself just being super sad and then I realized when we got out of the house and started working it is so true the saying "forget yourself and go to work" but even more real my saying "you forget yourself when you work" it's hard to just forget yourself-make the switch and just be a workhorse but if you really just start working it happens automatically! That is what helped turn things around for me! AND PRAYER, prayer has never been so real in my life and through it I feel so much closer to God and always pray for the gift of tongues because once you're in the field you realize that the language is so different it's because of the SPEED and ACCENT!  AND IT ALL COMES WITH TIME! And lastly something that really helped me was "Why should it be easy for us when it was never easy for HIM" meaning Christ. He never had it easy!
Something that kind of made me mad this week is they don't really care to much about conference here in the Phillies... We watched priesthood session and the saturday session but then only like the first session of sunday... it made me really mad because I missed out on a ton of stuff! I really like Tad R Callister's talk the one about parenting- he spoke to us at the MTC when I was there! I didn't hear Elder Scott's... Or Ballard or Bednar so yeah I missed out on a lot of stuff... so we haven't had any baptisms the last two weeks but we have like 6 on the 25th! So that is pretty exciting! I'm finally getting used to things around here! 
Remember that visit I talked about last week? The one about how when we went into the house there was a casket in there? They keep the caskets in the house for 7-14 days here and Yesterday we went to the funeral service for the Sister who passed away and the car that was holding the casket was driving down the street at about 5 miles an hour and all of the family was walking behind it, and my companion and I were in the crowd too and I have never felt so out of place  in my life! This white guy within a crowd of Filipinos standing a head taller than all of them marching to the cemetery. It was weird for sure but they were all HAPPY! Even though not all of them were members, really believe that they can see their loved ones again and that is SO COOL!
Sorry I don't know why this email is so long this week it's just a lot of stuff has been going on! And I always think throughout the week of what kind of stuff I am going to email home but always end up forgetting.. So I guess I'm just kind of rambling trying to get all my words out! 
LANGUAGE IS STILL HARD. But I have faith I can learn it.
Our cell phone broke the other day and we needed to submit our key indicators to our district leader so we spent the night at their house and that also helped me to realize how nice of a house me and my comp have! I am way blessed! Born and raised in the church and never have had to experience half the stuff people experience here! But I love it and am so happy that I am out serving The Lord! :)
Elder Warnick

Sunday, 5 October 2014

One week down

Well I was really surprised that I made it a full week here! Honestly last week I had my doubts! I don't know what it was, I found myself being really negative and kind of questioning why I was doing all this. BUT then I read some things from my study journal to help pump me up and also while I was riding on a trike it kind of hit me that I was letting myself dwell on all the negative things and wasn't even thinking about the positive! So I started telling myself all the good things that were going on in my life and let me tell you it is super easy to "count your blessings" when you realize how much you have after seeing how little everyone else has.
The "pinoys" (Filipinos) are really interested in a lot of things about me and they all typically ask me the same questions:
-Where are you from?
-How many people are in your family?
-How tall are you? (they are like a foot shorter than me!)
-Do you have a girlfriend?
-What is your Dad's job?
And then they always tell me that they like my eyes and my nose? My nose?? They describe it as being a "tall" nose and how everyone here wants that? Also my eyes are like "cat eyes" and they think I'm wearing contact lenses because everyone's eyes here are brown. It's pretty funny! 
Me and my comp are leading the district with our numbers! We teach on average 10-12 lessons a day! And yesterday we received 9 referrals! It's hard work! 
Yesterday was kind of a weird day, after we had done all our lessons and we were at our last lesson we walked into the house and there was a casket right there! I wasn't expecting that at all but apparently we were visiting the family of someone who had just barely lost their grandma and here in the Philippines they keep the casket in the home for 7-15 days! :/ kind of weird and creepy but it's their culture! 
We have 87 people coming to church and President Lopez wants us to have 100 by the end of the year so that is our goal! We didn't have a baptism this week but we are continuing to teach the family of who we baptized last week. I baptized Sister Ascuzana and my comp baptized her grandson Steven. We are trying to get Steven's parents to be baptized now.
All in all I'm learning a lot everyday and trying my hardest with the language. I keep getting glimpses of that "love" everyone talks about that they have for the people they serve. But I'm not completely there yet. So things are getting better and hopefully I am too!
THANKS SO MUCH for all the support! 
Elder Warnick