Hey just a quick "to let you know I'm alive".
They called me Sunday night and said I'm on short changes and their sending me out to Monterrey in the morning as District Leader to open an area. I got there at 8:30 last night from an 8 hour bus ride without chance to write. There is so much to tell you, we had an awesome day Sunday! I just got out of teaching my first capacitation. I'm in the heart of Monterrey. I will update more on Monday, we gotta work, love you!
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
This week our family received a Christmas package and letters from our Elder! It was so fun to hear from him and receive our presents that he had hand picked for each of us from Mexico. He never even mentioned to us that we were even getting a package, so it was a big surprise. Below are some of the words he shared with us in his letters:
My family - Feliz Navidad!
I wish you all a merry, merry Christmas! What a special time to celebrate the life of our Savior but also to celebrate the incredible family we have! We are all so blessed for everything we have! I love you all so much. I wish you a happy holiday (try not to miss me too much) and I send my love from a few miles away.
Your Mexican son and brother - Elder Warner
My sweet mother!
It was just a few hours ago that I heard your voice! It's one of my favorite parts of my mission! You still sound the same - the same perfect, sweet little mother I've had all my life. How exciting it was to hear your voice again. Well, here's to another Merry Christmas from your missionary son. I truly love this time of year! I noticed that the members treated us different yesterday, supposing we were really homesick and I thought about it for a minute, thinking - where is there room to be homesick?! This is the best Christmas I've lived in the twenty years of my life! I'm going to have the rest of my life to spend this day with my literal family. The only reason to be sad is that this is the last opportunity to rejoice in such a special day with my family here in Mexico.
I remember hearing once that the best Christmas' are those away from home because of the memories you are able to carry with you. I would say that it's true. I've never been so full-hearted. Grateful to be serving the one that the world celebrates. There is something special about being away from those you love so dearly on such a special day. It really makes you realize what everything is all about. What an opportunity!
I love my Mexican family. They are a part of me now. I would spend every Christmas with them if I could.
I love you so much sweet mother. I'm so grateful to have you in my life and to have you as such a huge support right now. I'll be home before you know it. MERRY CHRISTMAS! We'll see you next year. Elder Warner
Monday, January 23, 2012
Good Morning Everyone!!!
Without much of an explanation, today is an awesome day. And will be an awesome week. Well, to start off I will let you in on the details for this new change. I'm still here, but they sent my last companion to Monterrey and my new companion, Elder G. got shipped out here. He is from Hidalgo, Mexico, just turned 20 and has a few more months than I do on the mission.
".....I have had an awesome experience of having the Lord tell me that THIS is my mission. I was able to realize this past week that the Lord has called me on a personal mission. I thought about ever since the President threw me up to Senior companion, I have had to depend so much on the Lord with my given circumstances and companions. I could say I have struggled with each of them but the word wouldn't fit right, rather I have grown immensely from each of them.
With this I want to share a few of my personal studies lately:
In the January Ensign, the first article on page 4 has impacted how I (COULD) SEE THINGS. This whole article talks on attitude. I would like to share a few lines but I only have it in Spanish so we'll see if it turns out.
First, it talks about the mental attitude, how "changing your mental attitude, can change the exterior aspect of your life".
With this attitude daily, will "determine the success or the fall" of what we do daily.
"The extraordinary part is that everyday we can decide what attitude we will have this day"!!!
I do know for a fact that it is all based around this mental attitude, and that the success of missionary work is hand in hand with how you place your perspective on the trials, challenges and joyful moments.
One simple scripture demonstrates what the Lord has in store for each of us. And how, no matter how difficult it may be, it will never amount to what our Savior went through:
D&C 122:7 - "And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or the hands of murderers and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if though be cast into the deep, if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness and all the elements combine to hedge up the way, and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that ALL THESE THINGS SHALL GIVE THEE EXPERIENCE AND SHALL BE FOR YOUR GOOD..
8 - The Son of Man hath decended below them all; art thou greater than he?"
I know that everything we are given is for our benefit.
Hopefully, you haven't fallen asleep from the length of the email. I love you all!
Journal entry on 01/21/12: "I'd like to write about attitude so I can uncover what my perspective is on it. Attitude, as I see it, is one's determination of expressing hope. Attitude is the form of acting from the developed result, being good or bad. Attitude is the solution of discouragement, the vaccine to conquering trials. To me, attitude reflects the character of someone - their talented gifts, but as well mirrors their weaknesses. The attitude, just might be the answer to everything. The cure to any concern. The strongest form of placing an example without using any words, would be the light that shines from the accountability of one's attitude. 'You too, will pass through the trial of not seeing immediate results. And how you respond will say more about you than had you had success week after week.' Whatever happens in any occasion is supposed to happen. It just all determines on what you make of it."
Journal Entry on 01/11/12: "On this same day last year, I shipped out of the MTC and took a fresh, long breath of missionary air. More than anything I remember that evening, walking with my companion, two by two, the shivering cold streets with the biggest smile on my face. Feeling what it was to walk in the homes of God's children with a life-saving message. I'll never forget what I felt that night - the reality of my sacred calling. From this day, I saw the world as what I never had before. People weren't just people. Families weren't just a group of persons. Life isn't just a timed course of living. It was almost as if that night, life made perfect sense to me, the scattered puzzle pieces fit some perfectly. That night changed my life around simple from the feelings I felt as we walked the grounds of the mission field."
Journal entry on 01/12/12: "My companion and I have been studying about Diligence. A phrase that really called my attention is, "Do many good things of your own free will", saying that before your leaders or anyone tell you to do anything, have it done or be doing it already (D&C 58:27). Sometimes, we're conscious of what we need to do, but wait around on others to create the mode of action. The person you are reflects the actions you make when no one is watching and/or when you do that which is expected, without the given instructions."
Monday, January 16, 2012
Do these 6 weeks of each change go by as fast for you as they do for me?
Well, here we are again. We had an awesome week here in Acuña to finish it off.
We celebrated by going to the border. We actually stepped on USA land. It's a dam close by to where we live that we went with the district a few hours ago. We were able to go over and take a few pictures but on the way back they saw that the scene was a little unusual- the guy we went with is a lawyer from Texas with his suit on, in a land rover, that had 2 white kids packed in it and one of the Mexican companions was in the very back of the car. When the soldiers pulled us out to check us, they were a little confused but we got back safe and sound.
For the other picture, this is 15 year old, Adreana. She is a miracle. She is extremely mature for her age and we met her with her testimony of the Gosple. She just barely got back from studying out of town with her aunt and uncle who are members of our faith. While the time she lived with them, she assisted consecutively the church every week. A few weeks after she came back a member gave us the reference. We visited her and gave her all the lessons she needed although she already knew it all. It was just a recap on it all. We invited her to be baptized the following week and there was no pause in accepting the invitation. It was a really big blessing and miracle the Lord put into our hands these past weeks. I personally think one day she will be the Relief Society president!
I'll share a little journal entry I wrote down this week:
A lot of this change I spent a lot of time waiting at the top of the most slightest inclined hills for my companion to trot up each of them.
As I waited patiently, each time I tried figuring out why he couldn't bike up the hills if his strengths are clearly capable of doing so.
After about 3 weeks, I was able to pick up his bike and feel the heavy weighted steel frame sitting on old rusty ball bearing wheels.
I was always so fortunate because of the feather light bike I bought and never took the time to compare the 2 bikes.
Afterwards, I realized that sometimes we don't understand the burdens that others carry because we don't take the time to figure out the cause.
From that moment on I made sure that I rode behind him before any approaching hill so I could walk by his side.
I love you all and wish you the best week, Elder Warner
HEY MOM!! Good afternoon, how are you? I hope you had an awesome week, mine was a good one.
I liked what you said about attitude and my next mass email will be focused on that.
I love the idea of the gratitude journal. Now I have three going.
I know that I need to start taking more pictures. Forgive me for not doing so. You will love seeing them all when I get home.
I jotted down a lot of my feelings about Jan. 11th (the day I left the MTC). What an incredible day that was that will forever be embedded in my heart. Hopefully I remember to take a picture next week so you can read it.
Well, a little about my week. A little story with it. So Friday night I got a call from the Assistants and Elder Combe picked up (one of my best friends and district leader in Piedras Negras). It was his last night in the mission, and he was heading out the next day to see his family in the Bahamas for a vacation. Well, that's part of the story. The other part is that afterward, my mind was wandering off a little about home and the family I miss. But I sat at my study desk and looked at a picture Brooke sent me that I printed off, of Michael and I as kids. Right next to it was one of my favorite pictures of Christ. As I looked at it, I had such an inspired feeling. Just one of those times where I was picked right back up by the support of my brother and Savior.
Small story but the feeling I felt was so comforting.
Ok dear, well I hope you have an amazing week, you know that I love you to death!
Monday, January 9, 2012
GOOD MORNING EVERYONE! How did the first week of the year go?
It is about that time where we try to adapt the goals we just made to reality, saying that, "Well, maybe just one diet coke each week won't hurt anyone" STAY STRONG!
Here, we are doing very well. I have made a few goals of my own that I expect to accomplish before I head home.
Alot of these goals are things that I think only on a mission you can fully comprehend and perfect.
- First off, as I wrote a little about in last weeks email, I want to be able to notice each of the little daily miracles that are performed in my life. (what better place to notice them than in the field?)
- Second is simple, but can be a killer - remembering names! (You will never be so associated with as many people as you are on a mission.)
- Third, a happy attitude, always (at home there are materialistic things or family that can put a smile on your face, but on the mission you are bone dry and are forced to search for the blessings that make you happy)
- Fourth, the ability to listen with love. (do you think at any other place besides the mission you will be searching 10 hours each day to find people to listen to their trials and needs?)
- Fifth, to always share at least 1 compliment. (with all the people you meet daily on the mission is the greatest opportunity to leave words behind that they will remember forever)
- Sixth, making the best out of the worst. (There is no money paying job or life problem that exceeds the heartbreak times of working with the salvation of men.)
- Seventh, is fighting my fears for the Lord. (there is no other time in my life that i will be expected to do what the Lord expects me to do right now)
Well, this list goes on but they are all revolved around simply forgetting myself. There is no greater value to someone than he that serves his family, neighbor, friend or whoever it be, before himself.
"When you are in the service of your fellow beings, you are only in the service of your God"
I love you all and I hope you have an awesome day today!
HEY MOM!!!I will share a few of my resolutions in the mass email.
How are you sweetie?!
I absolutely love this collage you sent, they are so fun!
Well, I hope I dont sound crazy as i write my head is just spinning and I have felt wronchy monchy this week.
Well, I can't believe it blew my mind to tell you that I did recieve all your letters. I can't remember if it was before Christmas but I did get them from you and dad and the kids! It was soo fun to read! I am also hoping I commented on the letter you wrote for me for Christmas because it was one of the most touching letters I have ever recieved on my mission. It was a good crying letter. Thank you so much for that. Dad's also was very nice.
I hope this doesn't come off as arrogant but I liked a little experience that happened when we went to eat with a member. So we were on divisions and there were 3 of us missionaries and when we went to eat, we were talking about missions and our individual time as missionaries. And so the member lady (x-missionary) asked who had the most time in the mission of us 3 and we asked her, "Who do you think?", and then she thought about it for a minute and responded that she thought I did. So we asked her why, and she said it is easy to tell because of the spiritual maturity of what a mission does to you. I only like the little story, not for the compliment, but for what a noticable difference the mission makes in the Lord's missionaries.
Well, on that note, about Rusbel. The last I heard, he started his papers a while back. So they should either be sending in or he should be waiting for his call - it's really delayed in Mexico. I will have to ask Elder Hemsley when I see him.
About the New Years resolution, I really like yours. How about you make it before November 3rd as your goal. I would like to get home and see the difference it made in you.
I love you dear, have an awesome Monday!!
Monday, January 2, 2012
HEY EVERYONE, HAPPY NEW YEARS!!! It still hasn't got to me that we are on 2012! This is going to be a huge year!
Well, this week, like all the others, was an awesome one. I feel like I learned a ton.
On Tuesday we had interviews with the President. We were the first area to have them because they dropped off their family members off in Texas and then just headed to our chapel. It was awesome.
Well, for New Years, we recieved instruction that we will work until its ineffective. We didn't really understand what that meant but as we were working, we got around seven o' clock and started seeing that 8 of 10 houses bought out the local store's beer supply. We took that as the answer and just visited members. Later on when we were going home the landlord was having a family party. They as well, having bought out the local store's beer supply, invited us to eat a few tacos so the District leader and his companion headed over and stayed the night at our beloved house. It was an awesome night we had to stay up till twelve then at about twelve o four we all just crashed.
One of the things I love about my area, branch and companion is that here I have really learned to recognize the small things. I think as a missionary, it's a little bit natural to live every day waiting for the huge life-changing transformaitions but what I have learned is that if you are too focused on that, you miss some of the most powerful, small, spiritual moments. It is good to always have this hope of a huge experience but if you balance it with the ability to see the small miracles that happen DAILY, life will be what you want it. Or in this case, the mission will be what the Lord makes it to be. Maybe it was just a little miracle that I was able to notice this fact.
I love you all, what a huge year to give all we have, to make meaningful goals and strive daily to complete them.
FELIZ AÑO NUEVO, Elder Warner