Monday, April 29, 2013

First Pictures from Mexico!!

April 29th, 2013

















2nd Week in MEXICO!

April 29th, 2013

Well, everyone speaks Spanish here. Its hard. I go the whole day maybe understanding 20% of what people are saying, then I have to try to teach them. But I can tell I'm doing a lot better than when I first got here. My companion is really helpful to because he knows English really well and actually wants to speak English with me. I kind of wish he would talk in Spanish more actually but I guess I get enough of that in lessons with people. 
Well here's how it is here. We aren't allowed to knock on doors for safety reasons so we rely totally on the members and our investigators for contacts. We can also contact people that are walking in the street but a lot of them give us fake addresses. Its kind of sad but yeah. People don't want to be rude to our face I guess so they give us an address they just don't live there haha. We had to drop one of our investigators with a baptism date because we visited her and she hadn't been keeping her commitments to read the Book of Mormon and hasn't been coming to church so we asked her if she wants to get baptized, and she said that she believes now that as long as she does good things in life that she will be fine and doesn't need to be baptized in our church. So we said that if she ever wants to talk to us again or needs help with anything like service, she has our number but that we cant waste our time teaching here if she doesn't want to learn because there are other of Gods children that are willing to learn. 
Its frustrating because none of our investigators came to church. And we cant give them a ride or go with them because we get a ride ourselves. oh well. We do all that we can to get them to come. 
A kind of miracle happened the other day. Three of our appointments canceled on us. And when we dont have appointments, we cant just go knocking on random doors. So we looked through our area book and were looking at people the missionaries had previously had contacted but hadnt gotten anywhere with for one reason or another. So we wrote down a bunch of names and the first one we went to visit we realized was a house that sells clothes that my companion bought 3 shirts from the day before! Now this girl that lives there was visited by the missionaries 2 years ago. So we came back and asked if we could come in and share our message. She said yes and her and her sister and their kids were all there and we tought her about the restoration! She was very receptive and was asking questions about what we were saying and understood what we were talking about. They accepted baptism dates where they will prepare to be baptised by that date and if they feel that it is right that is when they will be baptised. Exciting! I really hope it works out with them. They have a large family that lives together so we are focusing a lot of eternal families. 
Yesterday was an interesting day. One of our recent converts, she was baptised 4 weeks ago, her father died saturday morning so the funeral was on Sunday. We had to walk for about an hour and a half to get to the chapel that his body was at. Earlier that morning, It had rained super super hard. Muy fuerte. Some of the roads were litterally like rivers. I have pictures that will be sent. But we had to take of our shoes, rool up our pants, and walk through water knee deep. We probably walked about a mile bare foot in and out of water. We were finally able to put our shoes back on after about an hour. We then went to the burial and my companion was able to dedicate the grave. It was also a Catholic thing because everyone here is catholic and her father was as well. So the only members were us two missionaries, the recent convert and two of her kids. It was interesting. haha. We then walked along the railroad track to get home so we could avoid the water. 
Im not sure what else interesting happened this week but I want to tell you that I know that this church is true and that what Im doing is what I need to be doing right now. I love you all and cant wait to return with Honor!

Also, I heard Korey is putting his papers in!!! I'm so happy you don't even know!

Love,
Elder Warren

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

MEXICO!

April 22nd, 2013

Wow. I don´t even know where to begin. It is so so different here. Mom, If you had to ride in a taxi here, you would probably cry. The drivers in the city are crazy. We arrived monday and spent the night at the mission home. Then, I met my trainer, Elder Pagaza. He´s from Mexico City but he also speaks English pretty well which is a real blessing! He wants to do international business so wants to learn English pretty well so every night we talk in English. During the day though is all Spanish. It is so hard to understand the people here. Even elder Pagaza said that it´s hard to understand them here sometimes. They speak so fast and the words just sound different. He helps me when I don´t understand something someone says to me.

We walk so much. Like all day. And it is so hot. Hace calor. Luckily, it´s cooled off a little bit since when I first got here. I wanted to die the first day. It was about 103 when we got off the plane. But it´s pretty normal and I´m getting used to it. Also, I´m starting to get a killer tan. I haven´t burned which is good, I never really did burn much anyway. But I do have some pretty bad ampollas (blisters). I´m buying some Dr. Scholls later today but I got some pretty big blisters on my feet and it hurts. Like a lot. But I´m not complaining.
The people! Like I said before, they talk so fast and I almost never really understand what they are saying. But it´s okay because they are so nice and loving! I love teaching the people here because they are so accepting of the gospel! We taught a girl yesterday and it really reminded me of Becki haha. Her boyfriend, Gerardo, is a member and he brought her, Patsy, to church and we taught the first lesson right after sacrament meeting with him. They are really cute and they were so cute haha. She was super like suprised when she said that she can keep the book of Mormon we gave her! haha she was like, for me?? and we were like, YES! haha. She said she would read and learn from it which is awesome. We have two people with a baptism date right now, But one of them might change because she hasn´t come to church yet. I´m not really sure why but she is kind of weird haha. She said she had a revelation that I will learn 6 languages.. We need to teach her about personal revelation and who you can receive it for sometime soon. We have another Sister who is set for a baptism but she feel like she is going to sin after she is baptized and she is scared off that. We have taught her that no one is perfect and everyone who is baptized will sin afterward. This is why we have the atonement! We will be going back this week to check on her. She also has a little problem giving up coffee. We´ll see how that works out too.
My companion is great! I love him so much. He has been able to help me with the language so much. I´m grateful that I got a native companion. He is a really good teacher but he also makes me teach in the lessons and I struggle a lot with the words or knowing where to go but it´s getting better and the people are patient with me. With a few investigators, after the lesson, we will just talk for a couple minutes so I can get used to understanding the accent here. Oh right I should probably tell you where I am!
Our area is in a town called Rio Bravo. It´s really close to the boarder, you can look it up. We have a branch of 30 something members. We also share the building with two other branches. I don´t know why we don´t make it one meeting but hey. It kind of a poor area and all of the houses here are like 3 or 4 rooms made out of concrete. We live above a member family. We have two large rooms, a bedroom, and two bathrooms. The problem is, is that there is no hot water.. haha. also the water pressure is so weak that water kind of just dribbles out of the shower head. So we each fill up a bucket of water in the morning and then heat up some water on our table top electric stove then put that in the bucket. We then pour the water on ourselves with a smallish bucket like a margarine tub or something. That's how we shower. Livin' the high life. But it´s worth it to do the work of the Lord.
This work is so hard here and is definitely not easy. It is the most humbling experience of my life. I can´t wait until the language is not a problem but I know I can still talk with the spirit even if they don´t understand my words very well.
I love you all and hope you are doing well. The food here is wonderful by the way. We had some tacos from a taco stand in the street the other night and it was wonderful. Also, you get like 6 tacos for the giant price of 24ish pesos. Which is about 2 american dollars.
Oh, also, my companion was telling me about a guy in our branch that you can send letters and packages to. He lives here but he goes to Texas a lot. So you can send it to the Texas address then he will take it over the boarder and take it to the mission home. That way, it will cost a lot less and will not be searched through by mexicans. I don´t have the address with me right now but I will send it next week.
Also, I think it would be better if you sent me emails. Because I think I will only get the Dear Elders every couple weeks but I get to see my email every week. It´s not like the MTC where I can get it the next day. So just email me. It would probably be better anyway.
I love you all so much!! I´ll send pictures if I can get it to work!


Love,
Elder Warren

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Pictures from the farewell and preparing for the mission!





The First Week!!!


March 14th, 2013

Hey!
This first week was amazing. Like, beyond words. The spirit here at the MTC is amazing. I can't wait to start serving in Mexico. We already had our first investigator on Friday and we had to teach her intirely in Spanish! She wasn't a real investigator, she was just one of the teachers here, because the MTC is a closed campus and non-members can't exactly go in. Plus it wouldn't be good to practice on an actual investigator haha. But I feel like I've learned soo much Spanish already. I feel more proficient in Spanish than I ever was in school. When you learn a language to serve the lord, he really does bless you and help you learn.
You guys should try to email on Sundays and if you have anything else you want to say, or just make it look like i'm loved at mail time, write me through Dear Elder. I'm not really sure how that works when I leave the MTC (or CCM in Spanish) but I'm sure you'll figure it out, or just email.
I wrote it in my letter I sent home, and I'm not sure you got it yet but theres an envelope in the filing cabinet in one of the red folders with "DMV" written on it. Can you mail that to me? Also, if you plan on sending a package, or Becki plans on it, could you include my jump rope? The one with the skinnier handles? It would be awesome. Also my white compression shorts. They should be in one of the drawers in my room. And I don't need food. I'm never in need of food here haha.
The spirit is stronger here than I have ever felt before. The teachers are amazing. They bring so much spirit into their lessons. I just got back from the temple and will soon be eating lunch then doing laundry then relaxing. Then have dinner and teach Cristina, our investigator, for the last time. We only have investigators for one week at a time. Oh, which reminds me! Me and my companion, Elder Cox, were able to commit Cristina to a baptism! It was really exciting. The "investigators" play their part very well and really do act like a non-member. 
I miss you guys a lot but I haven't felt sad about it or home sick. I think the spirit helps with that and knowing that I am doing the Lord's work. He trully does bless missionaries. Thanks for being such a good example to me and I definitely would have gone on a mission even without Becki (:
So how is everyone? How are Kirk and Eric taking it? You guys? The ward? I'm excited to hear from you.
Oh, so I'm not sure if this is the right email. If it isn't I'm really sorry. I won't be able to email you again until next Thursday so hopefully I know the right email by then if this was wrong and I will be able to copy this and send it to you next Thursday.
I guess there's a new policy where friends can email too! I won't be able to tell them much and I would write this email to you before i wrote one to anyone else. I'll get back to you on that though because I'm not sure how true it is and it might have just been in one person's mission.
Anyway, I love you all! Good luck in everything!
Love,
Elder Daryl Warren

Week Five!!!


April 11th, 2013

Well, all the Elders were able to go to the consolate last Thursday! It was super exciting to get out in the real world! So, we got our photo taken and our fingerprints recorded and we all have Visa's! This means that we will be going to Mexico this Monday!!!!!! I'll be on American Airlines flying from Salk Lake to Dallas (tell the !) on flight 1104. It leaved at 8:15 and arrives at 11:55. We then leave from Dallas to Monterrey Mexico on flight 1097. We leave at 1:45 and arrive at 3:20! I'm super excited and I can't wait! Oh yeah, so I will be able to call home from the airport!! We're leaving the MTC at 5 am and I've heard it takes just a little over an hour to get to the airport so I can call around 6 am here which is actually 4 am there. I will also be able to call at 2 pm in Dallas, not sure which time zone it's in though and I won't have as much time to talk. I'll just call both times unless you tell me otherwise in a dear elder. So make sure no one sends any more letters to the MTC because I will not be here anymore! Also I don't think dear elders work in Mexico so you will just have to email and send actual letters (GASP!)
Anyway that wasn't even the coolest part about Thursday! On the train ride back to the MTC which is a little over an hour, I walked through a whole car and went onto the next car, went up to the third level, all the while passing seats I could have sit in, then a man waved me over to sit with him. We started talking about where I'm from and what we enjoy doing. This went on for maybe 10 or 15 minutes. Then he started talking about the gospel. I could kind of tell from his appearence that he wasn't a member or maybe inactive. My suspicions were confirmed as he started telling me about how he was 9 of 12 kids and was raised in the church by strong, faithful parents. He then told me he fell away from the church with one of his brothers. Last Easter, he finally realized that he needed the gospel in his life! He had started going back to church and found a ward that was accepting of him for who he was. It is pretty popular in Utah to be "prejudice" against non-members or inactives which is really sad. But he found a ward that had recently helped someone just him to come back to the church! this man has been helping him return to the fold and rebuild his faith. He already knows all of the stories in the scriptures because his family always studied the scriptures and he went to seminary and the whole deal. It was a super cool experience though to just talk with a real person for the first time as being a missionary! I was able to bear my testimony to him and encouraged him to go into conference with a specific question in mind and it WILL be answered! He enjoyed talking to me and near the end told me he wasn't sure why he waved me over to talk with me because he is usually very shy and doesn't enjoy talking with people. The Lord works in mysterious ways. I believe I was ment to sit with him that day and talk with him. It's amazing to think that I am one of the many people that has and will help him on the road to heaven. And we all can do this! Every action we do affects others life.
We didn't get to watch conference in the conference center. They gather us all up in the Gym and we watched it on the projection screen. President Monson is amazing. You can just tell by the way he talks that he is so full of love. I'm wondering when he will run out of stories! haha. He is an amazing man and truly our prophet today. Also, I think I have a new favorite apostle. Elder Holland is the most powerful speaker! His testimonies are so strong that it gives me chills! I could litterally listen to him speak all day! If you want to read some powerful talks, look up anything by Elder Holland!
I did do my taxes and had gotten the return back before I left. I think you have written down somewhere the password for my bank account so you can look at the ballance online. Let me know if you forgot it.
Tell Korey to email me! I know he said he won't write much, which is okay, but make sure he emails me!! Even if it's just a couple of sentences, I don't care! haha. Just make sure he will this Sunday.
I am super excited and super nervous to go to Mexico! It's pretty close to the United States but so different! I'm sure I will start to learn Spanish super quick once I get there. It's a little scary though. At least all the Elders in my district are going to the same mission and we're all flying together which is pretty awesome!
I just want to say that I KNOW this church is true! I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that the events that happened in it are absolutly real! I know without a doubt that Joseph Smith translated the plates through the power of the Holy Ghost and that he is the first prophet of this dispensation. I know that this will be the hardest, but best two years of my life. I'm super excited to move the work forward in Mexico and can't wait to share the gospel there!
I love you all and pray for you every day! Stay strong and the lord will bless you with even more strength!
Hurah for Isreal!
Con mucho amor,
Elder Warren

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Fourth Week at the MTC!


April 4th, 2013

Hello family!
How is everyone?
The MTC is great! Well, it's good. I really can't wait to leave though. I'm going to miss this district. We've really become like family over the past 4 weeks. It's funny because we are already planning reunions. One of the elders is planning on being a pilot so he's going to fly me out to Utah with everyone haha. Because I'm the only east coaster.
So there is exciting news today! I'm expected to go to the consolate in Salt Lake City today! I'll find out hopefully if I'm getting my visa! There have been quite a few people that have had to get re assigned for a little while because of visa trouble. Hopefully that won't happen to me but i'll go where the Lord wants me to go. I'll be getting back on later today to tell you how it went.
Dad, That sounds really hard to have to tell about the Savior's life in only 15 minutes! I watched a video of Elder Bednar talking at the MTC and it was fantastic. I wish they had it available to everyone but I think it's just for people at the MTC unfortunately. He talked about the Characters of Christ, which is the opposite of the natural man. The characteristics of the natural man are to look inward and think about yourself while the characters of Christ are constantly reaching out to others, no matter what is happening to you. He gave a couple examples, one of them being, after Christ had suffered in the garden of Gethsemane, and was betrayed, and Peter cut off one of the guards ear. Christ had just suffered more than any of us can comprehend. He had felt all of the pains, sicknesses, afflictions, and sins of the world, but he took the time and energy to heal the guard that, among with others, procedeed to take Christ to his death. If we can still reach out, and help others, even while we are ourselves in the worst time of our life, that is what it means to be Christlike. He also gave a really good definition of sin and repentance. Sin is turning in on ourself, which if you think about it, any sin we could commit is related to selfishness, and repenting, is turning out. He also gave the story of when Christ was tempted by Satan. And we always focus on the physical temptations that Christ resisted. But the real temptation was for Christ to turn inward. He was tempted by Satan for him to use his powers for himself and not others. This is what the real temptation was. But he resisted and continued to turn outward. "Christ turns out when you and I would turn in." Anyway it was an incredible talk.
That sounds so exciting to have 4 sets of missionaries in the ward! Just like old times! haha. Hopefully the work will start to proceed. The stone has been cut out of the mountain and is rolling it's way down the face. I can't wait to see how much Brockport ward will change by the time I get back! I'm sure it will.
Hows the daily prayers going? I hope you can do them even if the whole family isn't there. It really makes such a huge difference. Oh, just thought of something. In my personal study, I am spending some time in 3 Nephi chapter 12 which is comparable to Matt 5 where Christ gave the sermon on the mount. Christ starts listing off attitudes and the blessings that come from them, such as, "Yea, blessed are the poor in spirit who come unto me, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Then, I take that verse, and anylise it as much as I can. I have a little notebook for my scripture studies. So I'll write down the verse, then try to figure out what it exactly means to be "poor in spirit." Using footnotes etc. I'll write it down in my journal. I will then anylise what in means to "recieve the kingdom of heaven." Then continue to go through all these attributes and try to apply them in my life. And also, you have a lot of good material to base talks and such off of. It's been pretty enlightening and you should all try it!
Well, my laundry is about done so I gotta get going. I love you all so much! Oh yeah, last Sunday I was made District leader! Cool huh? It's a wonderful oportunity and a blessing to be able to serve my district and I hope and pray that I will do well.
Well I'll probably send an email a little later today. Have a good one! God bless!
Con mucho amor,
Elder Daryl Warren