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