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