Wednesday, November 24, 2010

My First Thanksgiving!

Wow, Thanksgiving, my first one on the mission. We have three dinners lined up. (When you've been in the same small stake for 6 months, you make friends with a lot of people! We're like celebrities here in the Granger Stake.) We are eating with the Smith, Mackay, and Bangerter families. The first dinner is at noon, then one, and finally five. We also are playing in the turkey bowl games in our stake and the West Valley stake in the morning. It's gonna be COLD! But people have been talking trash to all the missionaries, especially the punk high school kids. I'm not a very competitive person by nature, I like to keep things fun, but's on! Don't worry mom, I'm not gonna superman dive into the snow to catch a ball and break my leg... although that would look awesome! I'll be safe.
The storm was intense last night. Of course the only thing our mission leaders said last night was, "There's a storm coming, be careful." So Elder Burkard and I walked around last night, in a BLIZZARD! I kept a smile on my face, but really, "be careful" that's it? Crazy, we should have been inside.
We have a baptism this weekend. A woman we have been teaching for a while. She has two younger daughters that have been coming to lessons with her. They're not as interested as the mom, but they are kids, I wasn't very interested in religion when I was their age. Our plan is to take them all to temple square next week with the lights, and hopefully that will get the girls excited.
I'm happy to be getting into December, I feel like the month will just whiz on by! Transfers on the 15th will be nice, as long as it's not to Wyoming, I'll freeze there. Thanks for all the support and love coming my way. Take care and hope all have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
Elder Scotty

Monday, November 22, 2010

Trials of the Mission

Wow. That's all I can say about this week. My mission president's wife called me on Sunday and told me to call my mother. That's never a good thing. My mother informed me that a dear friend of ours had past away unexpectedly. I was lost for words. I was at a member's home at the time, and so I was not going to allow myself to cry with them there. I have too much pride, I know that's not a good thing to have, but I'm glad I did in this instance. I had to change the subject and talk about something else with her to get my mind away from my friend. By far the hardest thing I have dealt with on my mission thus far. This man was my parent's age, and he was family to me.

We have many investigators right now, but few came to church on Sunday. We did everything we could to make sure they could go, to feel the spirit there and have a wonderful experience. Things were already a struggle, now with the death of my friend, the days have been longer and harder. I know where my friend is at and what he is doing, and that gives me comfort. I try really hard to not show the sorrow my heart feels at this time, and I think everyone is buying my cover-up. Again, I'm a prideful person, I'm working on it.
I really have nothing else to report on, life as a missionary goes on. I am just trying to keep a smile on my face and focus on the work the Lord has for me to do, I won't let this tragedy get me down. I'll take it and run! I will make my friend proud, I will become the man, husband, and father that he and my loved ones want me to become. I know that I am nothing, but with the Savior I can become everything and more.

Elder Scotty

**Here are the words Scotty sent to be read at the funeral of Cliff Aalona:

It's never a good thing when the mission president's wife calls you and tells you to call your mother. When my mother told me that everyone in the family was fine, my heart was lifted somewhat. When she said Cliff had passed away, to be completely honest, it felt as if a member of my family had died. Being at a church member's house at the time, it took everything in me to control my tears. Cliff is one of my dearest friends. I always enjoyed talking with the adults at church and at parties more than I did people my age, and Cliff was at the top of that list. Him and I would always go to the Lakes football games together. When I was going through chemotherapy, some of the happiest times of that ordeal for me was when Cliff would call me and say, "Hey! Wanna go to the game tonight?" I had actually been thinking this past week of the high school games, and knowing it was playoff time, thought, "That would be fun to go with my Dad and Cliff to the game and then go to some buffet afterward!" How we loved our buffets!

I do not want to repeat anything that has been or will be said. When I was pondering that night of what my mother had told me and the tears were rolling down my face, my mind turned to my Savior Jesus Christ. In the Book of Mormon, we read in Alma chapter 7 verses 11 and 12, "And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people. And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities."

I am mourning the lost of my friend, but because of my Lord and Redeemer, Jesus Christ, I will see him again. Because of my Savior I have a brightness of hope that someday I will be able to hug Cliff and tell him what an impact he had on my life. I wish I had more time with him, I wish I could have said goodbye to him, but I know Cliff will be with me the rest of my life helping me and my family. I love you Cliff. I will not let you down, I will become the man that I know you would want me to become. Aloha my dear friend. Until we meet again, aloha.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Oh the Weather Outside is Frightful...

pic #1 - the temple a few weeks back on p-day, so pretty! Salt Lake City, heck of a town
pic #2 - I, Elder Warczak, was awarded this for being the cleanest missionary in the month of October. No one cleans better than me, no one!
pic #3 - One morning a few of us Elders went and pressed apples for our wonderful friends, Brother and Sister Smith. A sweet old couple that does a lot for us. This contraption is a good 100 years old
pic #4 - I was in the kitchen with Sister Smith straining and canning all the juice (I would stay in the kitchen wouldn't I, I'm such a girl!) I totally know how to can things now, so when I get home, if any moms need some assistance...I'm your guy.

Dear family and friends,

I have to be honest, I thought this transfer was going to be a long one. Same area, same companion, it all just sounded so blah to me. Well, this past week blew UP with blessings. We have two people on date for baptism this month, and by the end of the week we should have another 2, 3, maybe even 4 people! I won't tell all of the stories yet, I'd hate to type all these wonderful things about these people we have met, and then next week write saying, "Yeah, about that....false alarm." So I will contain my excitement and unleash it next time, if that's the case.

The snow is here, and it has been pretty cold walking around at night. I could bundle up with all my sweet missionary gear, but I hate walking into a home and having to take it all off and then putting all back on. The jacket and some gloves will do it for me. And when it gets colder I'll rock the scarf, cause that's the kind of missionary I am.

Utah losing last week really put a damper on the work for a day or two. Everyone we talked to was uninterested, and each person we asked what was a trial in their life right now, the answer was always to this effect; "My (beep) Utes blew it, that's what!" Yay for BYU though, too bad NO cougars live here in West Valley. Either you're a Ute, or a Mexican!

My companion is turning around. He is trying a lot more and together we are seeing the results of being obedient and diligent missionaries.

My zone leaders gave me the calling of "the voice" of the zone. When a companionship puts someone on date for baptism, they call me and then I send out a mass voice message to the zone, informing them of another investigator set for baptism. But of course I don't just "call" everyone, no no no, I'm Scotty Warczak, I do everything big. I rewrite songs and scenes from movies and they are AWESOME! So far I have done songs to the theme song from beauty and the beast, N'SYNC "dirty pop", Backstreetboys "I want it that way", and my movie scenes have included Talladegga Nights and Hot Rod. Our zone is doing well, our zone leaders called the rest of the zone leaders in the mission out, and promised that no one would beat Granger zone this month. Our goal is 37 baptisms, I think we will be able to do it. My district is on fire, everyone has people on date for baptism. The other district is struggling, but I pray that they will get their acts together. We shall see.
That is the update for this week, I hope in the next week or two I will be able to tell you of more people solid for baptism. I'm pumped, this is what it's all about. President Winn told our companionship to "destroy it" this transfer, and that's exactly what we're doing. I love this work, I love the people around me, and I love the Lord.

Elder Scotty

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Elder Warczak is Alive

My deepest apologies for not writing last week. Indeed I was unable to get to the local computer lab to do so, not having a car is becoming a burden. Well, today is transfer day, and guess what!?!?! Elder Warczak is now serving in...the granger stake. Yup, I'm STAYING here in West Valley with Elder Burkard another transfer! A six month area, whoah. I thought I would be upset to be here another six weeks, but when I found out I thought, "Well, I love the members here. Thanksgiving will be amazing because I will know which houses to go to and which to avoid (some people's idea of food is...interesting, to say the least). I don't have to make nice with a new companion. And we have some new investigators that I believe will be getting baptized, so now I won't miss out on those." So all in all, I am happy. I know the Lord wants me here another six weeks for a reason. Perhaps He needs me to step up or learn something here before I can move on. Whatever it is, I am making sure to do everything I can. I love this stake, and I want to go out with a bang. Next transfer I am 99% sure I will be leaving, I don't believe President Winn would keep me in one area longer than six months, unless I was in a leadership position or in a program like the Tongan or Swahili programs that covers the entire valley.
The past two weeks have been incredible. The Salt Lake Valley had their regional conference two Sundays ago. It was held in the conference center, and all 71 stakes in the valley were able to watch. Granger stake was one of eleven invited to attend it live, so Elder Burkard and I sat down in front, the seventh row! Elder Evans of the presidency of the seventy spoke, along with the church primary president, Elder Nelson of the twelve apostles, and President Uchtdorf. I was so close to them I didn't have to watch the giant screens to see them. Amazing. They talked on missionary work, how we need more missionaries, and better quality of missionaries! It made me happy to know that I was on a mission doing my best to serve.

Later that week, we had a mission tour, where a general authority of the church comes and speaks to all the missionaries in the Salt Lake mission. Elder Evans, the same one that spoke at regional conference, was assigned to speak to us. We were trained by him for six hours! We all got to meet him and shake his hand. I learned so much, I have seven pages of notes!
I feel like winter will fly by. With Thanksgiving coming up and then on to Christmas, these months will flash right before my eyes, and then onto Spring! I am pumped to listen to Christmas music, it's the greatest. The music rule is we can listen to any song that is in the church hymn book, so I'll be getting all kinds of Christmas music by various artist. Hey, N'SYNC has a Christmas album, they sing hymns on there, right!?!? Hahaha I know, I'm a funny guy! I look forward most to the lights at Temple Square. What a wonderful spirit at the temple during Christmas. I hope we can take many investigators there to experience it.
Thanks to everyone that sends me cards and letters updating me on home life and what's going on. It really means a lot to me to receive a letter of encouragement from my friends. Keep 'em coming!
Elder Scotty