Mexico, Monterrey West Mission

Mexico, Monterrey West Mission

Monday, December 26, 2011

Week Three - NAVIDAD!

HELLO ALL!! HOW WERE THE HOLIDAYS?? I love this time of year! It's a little different from a Mexico perspective, but its still the same feeling of Christmas. I hope everyone had an awesome holliday! Well, this was my first Mexican Christmas and I loooved it!! It really makes a difference in everything, even the people.

To start off, on Friday we had an AWESOME Christmas party. I had looked forward to it forever. It was all the missionaries in the state of Cuahuila that got together so we, being the farthest area of the mission, left Thursday night. Got to Piedras Negras at about 12 midnight and slept on this lovely bed until 3 a.m. and headed for Monclova. We got there at about 8:00 and there were a ton of missionaries there. It was awesome seeing them all! We started around 9:00 and heard some stories and testimonies of our Mission President and his Wife and daughter. After, we ate potatoes and chili, it was rad! Followed with each of the zones, being 5 zones, all had skits that were hilarious. In our zone to explain the skit we did, there is a missionary video program called 'The District' which is a group of missionaries they filmed in California a few years back to teach and give examples, like 'Preach my Gospel'. Anyway the Zone leaders thought up the idea that we were going to do that but for a Mexico mission. We acted like we were in teaching lessons, 2 missionaries, 1 or 2 fake investigators, but the difference was we used all the excuses that people tell here. It kinda just made fun of the United States mission examples because they are all so simple and casual, but here its a whole difference scenario. It was really funny. After we sang, watched a few videos and ended up.

Got home Saturday morning and had a normal work day. Woke up on Christmas, went out knocking doors for a bit then headed to church. When I say it's different here, I mean that the people still work, and do what they would do on a regular day. We went to contact a reference, and a little boy answered, about 12. He was just barely waking up and I asked him if Santa came. He gave me a wierd look and I said, 'Didn't you know it's Christmas?!" It kinda shocked me that all these little kids didnt even know it was Christmas. It is a little sad seeing that there are so many that don't celebrate, cause they dont have money to buy gifts. After church we ate some left over tamales with a really cool family and headed over to call the family. Love this time of year!

To end up, I will share a little of my Sunday morning studies. 3 Nephi 1:13.
"Oh, the magnitude of that sacrifice, that condencension! That night, God the Son traded his heavenly home with all its celestial adornments for a mortal abode with all it's primitive trappings. He, "the King of heaven", the "Lord Omnipotent who reighneth", left a throne to inherit a manger. He exchanged the dominion of a god for the dependence of a babe. He gave up wealth, power, dominion, and the fulness of his glory, for what? For taunting, mocking, humiliation, and subjection".
I can only say that I know Jesus Christ lives. I know he came into this earth with one fulfilling, saving purpose. know he suffered for each of us and because of it, we can all enjoy the Eternal gift of life. I know he lives and knows each of us better than we know ourselves.
Elder Warner

Elder Warner and Elder Canul, at the Conference. Bryan was a trainer to this new missionary on his last transfer and loved him.

Short night in Piedras Negras near the border, before traveling to attend the Christmas Missionary Conference in Monclova

Elder Warner with his current companion, Elder Flores, and his amazing Mission President and his wife, Pres. and Sis. Romney at the Christmas Conference.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Week Two In Acuna, Mexico

HEY EVERYONE! MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! I had to check a few times if it really was already this week. Man, it came up fast! Well, we have had another amazing week here in Acuña. Things are going well and I'm starting to get to know a few of the members and the area is seeming a little more familiar. This week the district leader went to Monclova for training meeting so we did a lot of "trio companionshipping" it was actually pretty fun. We tried to spice things up on greeting aproaches, one of the most liked was when we asked if we could sing Chrismas hyms in our contacts.
Well, I am really excited for this week. They still havent let us know exactly what we're doing but all I know is on Friday, we are going to Monclova with all the missionaries there and all the missionaries in Piedras Negras.

For this special weeks email I just want to share a few of the words I wrote a year ago on Christmas in the MTC:
"I want to bear testimony of our Savior Jesus Christ. I know that without Jesus Christ, there is no plan for us, no purpose. He is central to Gods plan. I am here serving this mission becuase of Gods plan, because we can return with our families forever. I would not be here if it were not for Jesus Christ. He was sent to complete God's plan. I know that Jesus is central to the plan. I know that Jesus was sent to this earth to suffer and die for our sins and if it were that we could not repent for our sins, we could in no way return with our Heavenly Father and our familes again. I know that Christ was the only one willing and who could endure the pains in which he knew he would endure when he accepted this plan in the Pre-Mortal Life. I testify of the Atonement and the burden it literally lifts from your shoulders. I prepare myself and those in Mexico for the second coming of our Savior. I know he lives and he loves each and every one of us".
Let us all remember the true, sacred meaning of this holiday.
Man, I even miss eggnog. Elder Warner

Monday, December 12, 2011

Week 1 in Cuidad Acuna, Mexico!!

Elder Warner and his companion, Elder Canun, in their apartment, shortly before Bryan was transferred back up to the border of Acuna, Mexico.

HELLO!! How is everyone? What a week! Well, changes came ... I am sitting in a place I'm familiar with once again. They threw me back in Piedras Negras! But this time I'm in who knows where land. It's the furthest point of the mission in a place called Acuna. Once again on the boarder of Texas. We're 3 companionships here, about 2 hours away from the zone. And it is freeeezing! We're in another branch but it's about the same size as my last ward. The members are awesome, I already feel like I'm at home. About my area, it's huge! It is a lot different from any area I have ever had. It has its ups and downs and we just spend a lot of time on the busses! Other than that it is all good.

I am thinking the area is a little safer than others but then again when we got back home the second day here the army was sitting in front of our house. By army, I mean about 40 soldiers with their hummers and guns what looked like they were ready to tear down a house. Who knows, we just greeted them, walked by and started planning for the next day. My new companion is awesome, and I love him. He has about 6 months in the mission. He is the fourth of his family to serve a mission.

Well, let me explain my day yesterday. So our church starts at 2, super late. So in the morning we got ready and went out for a while to invite some people. Not to mention what seemed to be a homeless guy we invited showed up. We got to church, they let me know 5 minutes before that I would be speaking on conversion. But that's not the story, the story is by this hour we were starving so after church we went to eat. We were super ready to eat. We got there, sat down and got to know the family. Then from that point I saw everything in slow motion. As the lady came from the kitchen all went silent. I saw the bowl she was bringing directly to me. I tried not to make a scene but I knew exactly what was going down. She set it down and I tried to make it look like it was my favorite meal. Yes, the day came. My first time eating Menudo. I have only heard about it and thought i just had mad luck cause I havent tried it yet. Well, I'm sure you can look it up on the internet but a short description is that it is cow stomach. I tried it and didn't do so well. So the majority of my meal was the bread I soaked in with the blood soup to make it look like I ate a lot. Well, to this point I'm still not sick but I'll keep you updated.

Love you all! Elder Warner

Dear Mom,
Hey sweetheart! How are you this week!
We are doing good here, you will hear about my transfers in a bit. I'll give you more of the details next week. Things are going reallly well. The first week is always a little rough but we always get by. I am really blessed to be where I am and to have warm clothes! Well, to sum that up real quick the night I got here, I didn't sleep because it was seriously soooo cold and the heater is broken. So I opened the packages you sent me to see if there was anything to keep me warm and I found the best gift ever (t-shirt quilt)! I know I spoiled the Christmas gift but I have never been so comforted with the gift you sent me. I really am so thankful for what you did,, mom that must have taken forever! More than that, the significance of it is so sentimental. I absolutely love it! With all those cozy shirts of papa and all my family members it's incredible. Thank you so much! I also opened the sweaters and jacket and pajamas. yes so basically I only have one package left but I'm so glad you sent these things because I need them desperately.
At this point I only ask one thing, that if you could send me a Christmas CD. I am dying without the Christmas season and no one really celebrates it here! I need some holiday in the house so if you could throw some MoTab Christmas that would be saweet!
Well, I really liked what you said about grandpa and his tithing. He is such an example to all of us and I love that man so much! I love telling stories like that to the people because they love hearing life experiences. About the barrettes you made, I have only given out a few out but I will get on it for the Christmas season to get them out. Real quick for Christmas calling. Wow! That just hit me that it is 2 weeks away! Ay! Ok, well I am guessing I'll go the the church because I don't know anyone here but I'll try to find out more but I think you call us so I dont know if you still have your calling card. Either way you know these things stress me out but it will all work out fine. I love you, my dear mother, and I hope you have an
awesome week! Bryan

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Week 6 - Final week in Monclova, Mexico

The day before Bryan got transferred, he and his zone on their P-day, went to a protected park called Cuatro Cinegas:
The valley of Cuatrociénegas, in central Coahuila, México has the greatest number of endemic species of any place in North America (Stein et al, 2000). With its high biodiversity and more than 70 endemic species, this approximately 1000 square km desert valley that lies about 270 km SSE of Big Bend National Park, Texas ranks near the Galapagos Islands in terms of the world's unique ecosystems. Much of its biotic diversity is associated with an incredibly diverse complex of thousands of geothermal springs, marshes, lakes and streams. Variation among springs in terms of discharge, water chemistry and temperature is extensive, and often extreme over very small spatial scales. Most water is high in total dissolved solids, a fact largely responsible for this area not having long ago been converted to agriculture or industry. Threats to biodiversity include continued water exploitation, exotic species, industrial development, rapidly increasing tourism and population growth. Most of the valley's endemic plants and animals are listed by the Mexican government as threatened or endangered and in 1994 most of the valley floor was declared a Natural Protected Area by the federal government.

Hey Everyone!!! Well, we got here once again. End of change. To summerize my week, it was frickin' sweet!

Today, as you can see from the pictures - we had an all day tour in a place called Cuatro Cinegas. It is just natural Mexican land but it's really pretty. We all packed up at 6 in the morning and took a 2 hour bus ride there as a zone. I love the zone I am in, it has been one of my favorites of all my mission. I can guess I'll be sent out of here tomorrow which is exciting but I am really sad.

This week we also had Zone Conference! You all know how much I LOVE Zone Conferences and I would have to say this was my favorite Zone Conference of all of them. In my journal I wrote, " Today was one of the best Zone Conferences I have ever had. More than everything I learned today, it was the strongest, most spiritual experience. I have never felt and realized the emotions of the mission so strong and powerful. One of the things I love that I learned is what we are entrusted with - the small and simple things that we don't realize. I felt so assured that what I'm doing is the most important thing I will ever do in my life. It hit me that time really is so short. This is the opportunity of a lifetime, and I'm part of the Army."

To finish up some of the most important things I have learned in this last transfer were:
  • To love everyone. How can i teach of love if I don't love each and everyone of them?
  • Seeing them as if they were your literal brothers and sisters.
  • Introducing the Book of Mormon by applying it in their life.
  • They have accepted me in this area, and ward, now what will I do for them?
I have such a strong love for this work. Each moment of each day, my love for it strengthens. Nothing means more to me than this work right now. I LOVE IT.
And I love it because I know it's true.
Elder Warner

Dear Family,
Ok real fast before I forget to explain the pictures.
This is me and Elder Hemsley. Even though were just joking around, I really have grow close to the kid this last change. He is such a good friend to me and I have looved being with him. He is a big inspiration and I am sad to be leaving him after 4 and a half months!
The second, well I have to show you that I am still me. Wild and crazy.
Third, here is my new companion
How was your week this week? Can you believe it is December!? No way! Almost the New year. I really love Christmas season. It has such a distinct spirit. Especially in the family. There is a lot to take advantage of in this time as missionaries, to teach the families of the love they need in this time. Things are going really well mom. I feel like I have learned a lot of what I needed to and things have been put in drive after trying to find the gears. I just feel happy. How better can I explain myself. I really do miss the family especially in this time. But I am so excited for my FIRST MEXICAN CHRISTMAS! Woowoo! Well, I will keep you updated as of right now, I love your guts! Bryan

Monday, November 28, 2011

Semana 5....BAPTISM!!!

Buenos Dias! How is everyone! It's a really cold day and my fingers are really slow typing right now. Well, we had an awesome week, starting from the beginning. We have been starting to see a lot of the blessings the Lord had for us and things were going very smoothly. We had a few progressing investigators and needed to fast, so when we began to fast, I think almost everything fell through. All our investigators dropped and so on. It felt like we returned to how it was a few weeks ago, but we were able to see what the blessings were of the fast. We were tried with a lot of faith once again, but we pulled through.

Here is our investigator, Rubi. She is Angel's (the baptism last week) cousin. When we brought Angel to church last week we saw his cousin, who ironically went to buy something in the store, at the last second. We invited her to his baptim and she showed right up. After his baptism, she asked when she could get baptised and we told her we had to teach her first and so on. It turned out she was super ready with nothing to impede this step in her life. She has a darling little sister who, after the baptism looked up at me and said, "That was beautiful wasn't it?" She told me she wanted to cry when she saw the baptism.

The Stake President gave a really good talk in church yesterday about the sacrifices of going to the temple. It was centered on how a lot of people here sacrifice so much of what they have, but a lot of people use these sacrifices as excuses. He said, "If we need blessings, we need sacrifices." Well, that's our week, I loved it! Also, we forgot about Thanksgiving until about 10:00 at night while I was eating cereal. On Thanksgiving day, the sister forgot we were eating with her, so we went out and bought campachanas. They are sweet, but take weeks to burn the calories off. I forgot to put that I made my first piñata this week, that's what the picture is of. Much love, Elder Warner

Journaling.... thoughts of the week

Baptism of Rubi
First homemade Pinata!
Could this be Thanksgiving?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Semana 4....BAPTISM!!!

Hey!! Well, we had another awesome week. To start off I think we're starting to see all the blessings the Lord has promised us.

Last Sunday, we had planned to visit various less actives, with one of them bringing us to 9 year old Angel. He never met his dad and has no idea where he is at, and his mom had passed away a few years ago leaving him with his grandma in their little home. He has an eleven year old sister who was baptized 2 years ago but he couldn't get baptized with her because of his age at the time. When we started teaching him he already knew the lessons from when the other missionaries taught his sister. He is very smart and reverent for his age. When we found him, we focused alot on helping his grandma but later found out that she's not married but lives with her boyfriend. He had a lot of family support at his baptism which made it a really awesome service! Also we had the confirmation of Jose, from last week. It was a really cool experience standing in the small circle confirming him a member of the church because when he was confirmed, they blessed him that he would become a faithful missionary. It made me realize again that one day he will be a missionary!
One last highlight is that this week in the district meeting my first companion Elder Zegarra, who is now my Zone leader, was teaching us about references. He referred to our convert Martha saying that before us, Martha's mother didn't give the missionaries the reference of her daughter because some of the missionaries would stay too long in members homes or she would see the missionaries eating hamburgers in the street, etc. He applied it to saying how the members see your example and through it, they gain confidence and trust. And through that, you can find success. That's it for this week, until next, love you all! Elder Warner

I cant believe Kris and Doug are out. I can only think of how their missionary service will bless so many, and in their own family. I am guessing it's getting snowy there. Well, this week I learned something that answered a lot of my questions about the email I wrote you last week. On Tuesday, we ate with the Stake President and we were talking about Preach my Gospel. He helped me understand that it is a guide, but it has to be applicable with where you are at. I noticed I was too focused on doing exactly what it said, taking subtle spiritual impressions out of focus. He helped me realize that they are only guidelines that can change, and the Spirit at times has the ability to bend these guidelines. I was really glad I learned that this week.

HEY SWEETHEART! well first things first. I miss your dinner rolls like crazy. People always ask what I ate in the United States and I always tell them about your rolls! Well, a lot happened this past Sunday huh. I can't believe your sister is leaving this week! I am so proud of her. I am doing awesome, how are you!!! I totally forgot its Thanksgiving and to wish everyone a happy holiday but I want you to know in such little words how truely thankful I am for you and the PERFECT mother I have! I can't say it with out tears in my eyes how truely blessed I am to have you in my life and your example for me. I send you with all the love I can from your son here in Mexico. Enjoy the holiday with the family. It's the last one that you can before I am there to crash the party :) I love you sweet mother, love your son Bryan

Monday, November 14, 2011

Semana 3.....BAPTISM!!!

HELLO ALL!  How are you doing?  We are still doing very well here in Monclova!  As always, learned a ton this week.  One of the things we are trying to learn this week is gaining the confidence of the people.  We have seen that many, if not all of the people are very insecure about things. (There are hours in the morining and afternoon that are ineffective for knocking doors because all the parents have to walk to and pick up their kids from school.  We hear of a lot of kidnapping here) but we have noticed since the beginning that if we offer to help someone with groceries in the street, they won't look over or talk cause they think we're going to rob their groceries.  We still offer as much as we can but try to practice saying we are missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ really fast so they know.  This week, we had the baptism of 9 year old Jose. He is the little boy who we tried working with his dad to quit drinking but never found the desire, so we went ahead and were able to help with the ordinance.  He is awesome and really does understand very simply the Gospel.   We baptized him on Saturday and he was confirmed on Sunday.  Well, our ward is still getting through, slowly but surely.  We do have awesome leaders.  I have a list of things that I am learning in this ward and area that I'll share when I leave here.  

It's been cooling down a lot here.  One day is sweaty hot and the next you're freezing. On the cold days, the water adapts.  I have had a few laughs hearing all the Elders I live with scream every time they pour water on them to take showers in the morning. I as well, am guilty of screaming like a girl.  This is a picture of our running buddies.  They are two random dogs that wait outside our door every morning to catch the morning run.
Well, that's our week.  I love you all! Elder Warner

Dear Mom,
It is very true for the Mexicans, including me now, that we get really cold if it even gets a bit chilly.  Imagine yourself in that situation.  I heard from Bishop Goldsberry. I love him a lot.  My 1 year anniversary was good, but it didn't feel real.  To be honest, it still doesn't.  I wanted to comment on this weeks birthday of my brother, Michael.  Here, I celebrated. I don't know why but thinking about Michael makes me so happy. I love him so much and could never give him enough thanks for what he has done for us.  
Your email 2 weeks ago:  One thing I learned a few changes ago went along the line of what you said - that the best way of teaching obedience is through example, not words.  I think about what you said about contacting.  Because at times, I feel like contact after contact, nothing happens, but I know now, that they are all for a reason. Something Bishop Goldsberry told me is, in this last year, to make every lesson, every contact count, etc.  I wrote a lot of overall things that have changed in this past year in my journal. I am excited for one day that you can read them all.  Well, dear, I look forward to your responses and wish you the best day ever,   love you so much!  Bryan

Sunday, November 6, 2011

One Year Reflection.....

To my Family and LOVED ONES!  As I reflect on this past year, I would like to write to all the family in one email and thank each of you for your rememberances (is that a word?) for this little hump.  I feel like I'm recharged and ready to destroy this last year. Your words reminded me how much I love each and every one of you (don't take that in a bad way). I don't miss home at all. I dont wait on getting there. My time left is so short. I say that because I will never have this opportunity ever again.  And I want each of you to know I am the happiest I have ever been in my life. I can't describe the joy I am filled with to have the family i do. I get emotional talking about each of you because you all are everything I have, and any thing i could ever want. I am closer to each of you than I ever have been in my 20 years of life, and it's because of nothing but the mission. I LOVE MY MISSION! I LOVE MY FAMILY!  Let us all take advantage of every day, every moment we have right now.  Don't worry about time.  I get emotional talking about the end of my mission.  Before each of us know it, I'll be home and we will never forget the blessings each of us recieved while I was gone. Enjoy these blessings! I love you all so much. I thank you all so much. I am so grateful for my family. 

Hey everyone!  How are we doing??  We had a really good week as usual here in Del Rio.  Things are going well and the weather is starting to cool down and we've been working in different areas.  You wouldn't believe the difference how the people are in one colony compared to the other.   It's really strange but the people are more accepting in the colony we started.  Well, we're learning more that ever.  Literally more than ever.

MY sweet mom!  How are you my sweet mother!  How are we doing???  Oh, how I miss you sometimes.  Tell me what's new. I'm sure you're absolutely freezing right now. For some odd reason the temperature completely dropped this week and I shivered all through the nights. Don't worry, I bought a big Mexican blanket today in Walmart with my money!  The only bad thing is the heat came back on so I won't need it for a bit. Anyways!  About Martha - she is doing so awesome - wait to hear this..... we got changes and Elder Zegarra is our zone leader! I will say that he is and was my favorite companion and I am so happy that he is here in Monclova with me!  But he arrived and gave me all the details on Martha because he was in that area for another 3 months once I left.   He said she is active and doing awesome. I really wanted to cry when he told me about her. Ahh, I love it. I need to start asking her about the temple.  She has gotta get there!  From what I imagine, they are planning on it for March or later so we'll have to pray and see!  Well, my companion loves learning languages and loves when I help him with English and the Spanish hymn book has about half the hymns as English so I want to give him a hymnbook because he loves singing. Thanks for sending that. I could imagine it is about my year mark. It's not something I really want to talk about it makes me really sad thinking it's halfway over, and I feel really stressed because I have soooooo much I still need to do and learn in this next year!  Help. I love when you tell me about your work and the humble Sundays you have in the NICU, I can just imagine how powerful it is.  There are so many of God's angels that remain in those hospitals.  What an experience. Well, to answer you - yes, there are a few scary stories that I keep out, ha ha, but don't even worry, it has been really powerful watching the fear of someone's face when they approach us and immediately turn around.  I just want to let you know how thankful I am for you. You are the sweetest woman I know and I love you so much.
I will think of you this week on the 9th - my brother, Michael.  I hope you have a comforting day. Have a celebration! I love you dear, thank you for EVERYTHING!!!  

On Thursday, I had the opportunity to read a card I wrote myself a year ago.  In the card I wrote my expectations in what I need the mission to change in me in a year.  As I read the various topics and "infinite attributes" of things I expect to change and learn, I found how it was compared easily to the ministry and Atonement of Christ in His life.
  • First, as Elder Maxwell has suggested, it is "infinite in the divineness of the sacrificed." The title of that hymn, "O Divine Redeemer" is an apt reminder that He who brought about the Atonement is the consummate expression of Godliness.
  • Second, it is infinite in power. The Savior went from grace to grace until he "recieved all power", both in heaven and in earth" - D&C 93, 17.
  • Third, the Atonement is infinite in time.  It applies retroactively and prospectively through time immortal.
  • Fourth, it is infinite in coverage.  It applies to all God's creations and all forms of life thereon. Elder Maxwell called it " the comprehensiveness of it's coverage."
  • Fifth, it is infinite in depth. It is infinite not only in who it covers, but in what it covers. "The Son of Man hath descended below them all"  D&C 122,8
  • Sixth, it is infinite in the degree of suffering endured by the Redeemer.  It was that suffering that caused "even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore"  D&C 19,18
  • Seventh, it is infinite in love. The words of the hymn "He Died! The Great Redeemer Died" are a powerful reminder of His boundless love.
  • Eighth, it is infinite in the blessings it bestows.  The blessings of the Atonement extend far beyond its well-known triumph over physical and spiritual death.  Some of othese blessings overlap, some complement and supplement each other, but in the aggregate, the effect of this event so blesses our lives in a multiplicity of ways, both known and yet to be discovered, that it might appropriately be said to be infinate in it's blessing nature. 
There are so many teaching and learning opportunities in the mission, just at times it's hard to notice or even recognize them.  I have found each and every one is the outcome of challenges. I have alot of expectations for this following year, with so little time to accomplish it all. 
I love you, all have an awesome week! Elder Warner
Bro. Silva and I on my Hump Day - one year anniversary out in the mission!  He brought me a cake, a video and an awesome monogramed tie!  He was my Summer Missionary companion a few months back.  Love the guy!

Gotta burn the tie - or pants in this situation!  I had worn the seat of these pants totally out!

Reflections from the MTC about my first year goals out in the mission....

Elder Hemsley's birthday with a great gift from his mom - 
American cold cereal!  We loved it!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Week one of new change - We remain in Monclova!

Hope you're all enjoying the holiday!  How is everyone!!  What a fun holiday that doesn't exist here. I'm sure if there are a few kids that trick or treat, they hand out eggs and beans.  Salsa if you're lucky.  
Well, here is to the first week of this transfer.  Drum roll?  Well, nothing changed.  BUT, we are stoked for this change!  We have learned a ton and are more ready to take on this area.  The highlight of this week was that Luis had his bishop interview to receive the Priesthood! We are doing everything possible 
to keep him steady and active. 
Well, at this point we're pretty blank of progressing investigators but that doesn't mean anything.   A few weeks ago, we passed by a less active family and saw that the lady was brooming so we went up and asked for more brooms.  We stayed about 8 minutes cleaning in front of her house and leaving her with the church invitation.  She and her family have been inactive for about 2 years but they showed up for church after they saw us running like locos back and forth searching possible investigators to bring to church.  We noticed how a little act of service made for a big family change and were very happy when they walked in.  There is another family that occasionally comes to church with a 9 year old boy who wants to be baptised.  His dad has the Priesthood but has problems drinking.  We have been trying to help him for a few weeks  but he just doesn't have the desire to stop.  If not, we will be helping him to get baptised in the following weeks.  Luis' grandson is 7 years old, (in the picture) and loves going to church and always has his CTR ring on.
That's about what I can think of for this week.  We look forward to the next!  We are really excited to complete a lot of goals we have!

Until then, happy holidays!  Elder Warner
CTR power!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Week 6 - New Transfer!

Hello everyone! Well, we are at the end of another transfer. Wow, I'm tired. I always look forward to a fresh transfer, a fresh start. More than anything in this previous transfer, I learned a lot of attributes. Nothing close to perfecting them, but rather realizing the importance of each and praying constantly to obtain them. One of the things I am most grateful for that I have learned, is how many of people are ready to make covenents with the Lord, to recieve our message. This has been a really large focus for my companion and I, but, of course it takes a LOT to find these people. When I talk about obtaining attributes, I refer to Faith, Hope, Attitude and Diligence. How can these things be so hard to apply at times? To speak my honest feelings, I fear failing. And when I fail, I fear trying it again. I have glued, nailed, posted, stamped and tied the word, 'Hope' into my mind but in various times it seems to slip. I have been blessed to realize what I need to be better. I have tried methods of yelling at 6:30 in the morning, how many of God's chosen children we will find in that day! It's not the prettiest alarm clock for my companion but it helps with our attitude from the start of the morning, until we walk in the doors at night.

I have been thinking a lot about the temple lately. It has been over half a year since I've entered those doors and I can't explain to tell you how much I miss it! The people here are jaw droppen to hear that we have seen the Salt Lake temple. I love telling them it takes me 20 minutes on my bike to be on those hallowed grounds.

I love being a MISSIONARY! I remember the chills when I put on my name tag for the first few weeks in the MTC, and I can say that that hasn't changed. Only the letters are more faded and where once was white, it is a creamy yellow now. I share these difficult experiences because what would I be learning if I didnt struggle? I love it, I love it, I love it. And here we go again tomorrow!
Take care, Elder Warner

Monday, October 17, 2011

Semana 5

Good afternoon!  Well, we had a big week starting off with Elder Johnson from the Seventy.  He came and spoke to our mission. I had pages of notes and learned a bunch from his words!  He talked alot on ways of finding people, things we can try different in adapting to the culture here.  The other half he talked very powerfully on those people in whom the Lord is preparing for the Gospel. I loved this part!  Just within days it has helped us focusing center on those who are "chosen".

This week we started a clean plate.  We dont have any progressing investigators but it has been easier leaving those who accept, but don't progress.  I remember the first week here, we brought a family of three to church in which we were super excited for them.  Later, then finding out the mom couldn't leave worshiping idols. (It is very common here).  When the President's Assistent visited them with us, he told us how once he was in the same situation and wrote to the President and the President responded, "If you love them, you will leave them."

We think the ward is slowly coming back together. I have never seen any ward more seperated than this.  The bishop asked us before church to speak on activating members, so we take it as a sign he's gaining trust in the missionaries.

The picture I sent last week is of the oil vile that the son-in-law of my convert, Martha, sent me. I think its way awesome! Not to mention I have recieved about 6 letters from Martha and a few from her daughter and family.  It is so exciting receiving them.  She made my mission!

Well, I guess I will throw this in. We were contacting for a bit early in the week when a truck pulled up with about six Cartel members.  They rolled down the black window and all had bullet proof vests on and started saying a lot of things that my Spanish vocabulary doesn't interprate, to the man we were contacting.  I understood they said they weren't happy with his work and they'll be seeing him soon.  We stopped contacting that street this week.

Love you all! Elder Warner

Good Morning, my sweetest mom! 
How are you today!?  I can't believe your heading home from Pennsylvania, how exciting was that? I love all the missionary experiences you had, dad told me all about them. I'm so excited to read about your trip.  Well, for your previous email - yes, we like the house.  We have been backed up against the wall in many stages. At first, I was thankful in my home in SLC 'cause I had virtually everything.  Then, I got here in my first area and was thankful for hot water.  Slowly got to the point where I was thankful for fans to circulate the hot air.  Have gone to being grateful for water, hot or cold.  I never realized I was grateful for electricity but I missed that chance.  Now, I'm at a simple point where I am grateful for something.  So I say I'm so grateful for a roof over the head and a mosquito net to keep the cockroaches and mosquitos out.   What a transforming process of each house, right? I can't wait to see how the next house will be.  Yikes!  I can't believe the snow has started. I can just imagine you with the heat bill cuddled in your electric blanket. Ha ha, oh I love my mom!  Yes, I remember that coat that a humble member borrowed me, last winter after I arrived. Man, did I ever learn a lesson to listen to what my mother says.  Well love, I am excited to hear from you.  Travel safe and don't get stuck in delays!!
E. Warner

Monday, October 10, 2011

Hey all! What a faith trying week!  Here I go.  We have our investigator, the one I said will be in baptism clothes last week.  We taught, verified, rejoiced, made invitations and prepared for her baptism.   She was so excited.  We all got to church.  Her mother was able to come with her.  Ended sacrament meeting and suddenly everything turned around.  Her mom spoke for her, as she told us that her daughter isn't prepared and that they have to leave.  We sat there and wondered, what just happened.  It was like this dream just dropped and shattered.  We tried talking to her but her mom took off.  We still don't fully understand why.  Well, afterwards we tried figuring out the sudden change, prayed and waited.  We felt like she would realize that she is ready, so we prayed more, continued to fill the baptism font and lay out all the baptism clothes and sat outside during the meetings and waited.  Time passed and she never showed up.  The church serviced ended and we had to get back to work to find more.

Tuesday we had interviews with the President and he gave my companion and I an assignment, saying, "If President Monson were to call you and tell you," Elders, I have felt inspired to tell you that you have to search and find ways of how you can baptize every week, what will you do?"  Alot of the pain is feeling like we let the Lord down.  But we have to keep going to fulfill this assignment.

That's a lot of our week.  Besides that, we have electricity again.  Except for now, we don't have water.  We have to walk to member's houses to fill up a bucket to shower!  It's all good.

I read something I want to share with all those who have a mother.  When Christ was on earth he often called his mother, Woman. To explain, "woman" as applied by a son to his mother may sound to our ears somewhat harsh, if not disrespectful, but it's use was really an expression of opposite import. To every son, the mother ought to be the only woman in the world to whom the son owes his earthly existance and though the title "mother" belongs to every woman who has earned the honors of maternity, yet to no child is there more than one woman whom by natural right he can address by that title of respectful acknowledgement. LOVE YOUR MOTHER.  She should be the most important woman in your life.

Here's for the week in Monclova,
Love you all - Elder Warner

Dear Mom,
Hey love! How are you doing!!  Well, first I want to thank you millions for the wonderful package I recieved safe and sound last week!  Love the shoes! I'll use them for Sundays until these ones are unusable. I loved everything in the package!!  Thank you for it all.  I feel really wierd seeing one year mark things. I could have sworn I was just recieving over the hump cards in the MTC!  Loved your quote from Elder Holland.  As you could imagine it applied exactly to how I feel this week.  Thanks for knowing how to lift me up even when you don't know I'm down. I hope I don't ever sound like I'm depressed or tired in my emails!  I just tell it how it is.  There is no greater blessing I have then the Lords trust in me to allow me to suffer and learn from every situation on my mission.  I liked your section when you talked about the good things at home and how I'm showering in buckets. I have thought about your words and have realized that I fear going back home and living so easily. I can't explain exactly what I mean, but the mission is who I am.  I have become these people. It's what feels normal to me, in my comfort zone. I think about how at home we can sleep with out sweating quite literally cups of water, and being able to wake up and shower in a pleasing temperature, whenever you want.  There really is nothing that we don't have at the home.  Yes, General Conference was really good.  Ahh, seeing that beautiful building that I have grown up with.  I love where I am.   I wouldn't be anywhere else. I hope you're doing awesome.  I love you and pray for you.
You are my sweetheart!   Bryan

Monday, October 3, 2011

Week 3 of Second Transfer in Monclova

HELLOOO! What an awesome week! How was everyone's Conference? I loved Conference. Every word is golden. i could imagine when I get home I'll take Conference in a more serious matter than before. I paid really close attention to see if I could see any of you seated in the Conference building, and to the speakers as well, of course. I LOVED CONFERENCE. I only saw Priesthood session and Sunday's sessions but I heard all I needed to hear. Well, for this week I want to reflect on alot of my thoughts as I listened to Conference.

It has been 6 months since I saw our Prophet and his 12 Apostles. When I rushed in the small room where the few of us sat to hear it in English, I saw our Prophet on that small television screen and my emotions brought tears to my eyes. It was like before I had time to catch my breath, I was testified to, of the authority of that man. As I listened closely to President Monsen and his Counselors, there was absolutely no way I could doubt that each of them are chosen of God to lead each of us in these Latter Days. My mind has been turned since the last Conference and I see things in the eyes of the people of Mexico. It was brought to my attention that every word those men spoke, speak to every person, in every country, around the world.

I don't remember clearly but one of my favorite talks was by someone in the Seventy. He talked on the suffering of Joseph Smith and patience. I focused on his words as he told us that "so many of us pray for patience, but we want it now". In a mission you learn what patience really is. In each and every aspect. And we all have the agency determining if we chose to apply it.

This week we had to change houses, because the landlord has family coming to live in it. We found this beauty (I want to hear the responses of "what would you say if you saw this in the United States"). The blessing (ha) is we haven't had electricity. We can all probably count the hours of sleep we all got all week on 2 hands. In the nights we sweat, and sweat and sweat. We get ready in the morning with flash lights, and cook the top raman old school. It's basically a boy scout camp - in a blue house. We have called and told the landlord numerous times but he works on his own clock.

A cool fact about my companion! He lives really close to Chichen Itza. But, it's not what you think. He is one of those about an hour out, when you see the little shed homes. He is awesome, and humble. Love the kid. The cool fact is that he would go some Sundays, when it was free, and read the Book of Mormon by those beautiful pyramids. Can you imagine? He told me how easy it is to imagine and understand. How cool!

We have another person progressing. I don't doubt you will see the photo of her dressed in baptism clothes for the next week.

Love you all! Share your experiences of what you learned and thought about Conference, I would love to hear them!
Elder Warner

Elder Hemsley and I cooking boy scout style!  
With no electricity in our house, we have to resort to cook outside!

My retiring quarters

Home Sweet Home!

Watching as my companion breaks fire wood for our breakfast!