Thursday, December 30, 2010

We had a good time, 2010. But I've outgrown you. Hello 2011!!

Hello all,
Thanks a bunch to everyone that sent a card my way, it was wonderful to hear from many of my friends. Christmas was a good one. My zone went caroling both Christmas Eve and Christmas day to a rehabilitation center and the VA hospital. Both nights the dinners were good, both families were happy to have us and it meant a lot to have a nice Christmas dinner. Christmas day was one to remember. My companion had to call international to the Bahamas to talk to his father, and we had to do that at the mission home. We get there and our president's entire family is there. Children, grandchildren, it was packed. We were the only Elders there. It was in the morning, and we got there when they were getting ready to open presents. As my companion called home Sister Winn invited me downstairs with the family. I hesitated but thought, "why not?" So down we went. Seeing President Winn in normal clothes and being called Grandpa threw me for a loop, it was weird. As they started opening presents I had to keep it together. Seeing the grandkids reminded me of my niece and two nephews, and knowing all my family was together made me very, very sad. I excused myself and went back upstairs to call my family. My mother asked me if I had a cold, my throat had a frog in it. I told her it was from yelling at the zone activity the night before, but really I was choking back, trying not to cry. (You win mom, I DO miss my family! Haha I thought I would never be home sick, I was going great, nearly 7 months, but that morning I was very homesick!)
The rest of the day was chill, we just went around and say hello to people. That night all the missionaries in the valley met up at the mission office for treats. Elders Carter, Orr, Calderwood, and myself (again, my district 14E brothers) were talking in a group. President Winn came up to us and said he was glad he had the four of us together. He told us to all prepare ourselves in the next few months, because we were all going to be stepping up in leadership, and that we would be the ones leading the mission....come again! We were floored when he said that. So who knows, come conference time I could be a district leader or something, and once we are around that year mark, I bet a few of us will be zone leaders. I guess we have been out a long time, we really aren't greenies anymore, even though people in Utah consider you a greenie until your year mark, and almost going home right after you pass that milestone! Go figure, Utah, I'll never understand this place.
The Nepali people are, interesting. They are very nice, but Christianity is something totally new to most of them. Even the ones that are already Christian, they don't see the need to meet with missionaries, or be baptized again. Most say, when we bring up baptism, is, "We wait for rest of family to come from Nepal." I am told that's a nice way of saying, "Not a fat chance." Most already have 20+ members of their family here, but apparently second cousins and their dogs are considered family members in Nepal. I am definitely racking my brain trying to figure out how to help the Nepali people. We cover all Nepalis and just the one ward the Nepali people come to because they have translation available. The ward is a small one, typical Utah size, so if we are not teaching Nepali, our numbers our small. We have a handful of English speaking investigators, but we will need to constantly be finding new investigators. I love the Nepali people already. the other day I had my first Nepali meal. It was rice, curry, and fried eggs, all in a pan. You eat with your hands, a first for me. I struggled trying to get the food into my mouth, with the curry is was all very slippery! The family laughed at my techniques and showed me the proper way to eat with your hands. I never knew there was such a thing! I am picking up on phrases and words, and hopefully as I continue to try and think of different ways to get through to them, I will be able to have a simple conversation in Nepali.
I am excited for the 2011, I know that many great experiences await me this upcoming year, as long as I work hard and do my best. The Lord will bless me in the development of my talents, and strengthen my weaknesses.
Elder Scotty

Wednesday, December 15, 2010 Glorious!

SOOOOOO big news! Elder Warczak has finally left West Valley and the
Granger Stake....HUZZAH! Six months, whew, what a long time. I am glad
to be leaving too. This week at around eight in the morning, during
our study, a man was stabbed right outside of our apartment building
in the grassy area. Ten cop cars, a firetruck, ambulance, blood all
around, it was a splendid sight to see. Officers came up and talked to
us about what we heard and saw, but sadly we couldn't tell them
anything. We heard sirens and looked out out window and all the
vehicles were there. I guess we were carried away in the spirit during
our studying :)

But now the question on everyone's lips. "Where is Scotty at?!?" Get
ready for this...I am now serving with Elder Clerveu
in....the Nepal program! Yup, I will be working with refugees from the
country of Nepal! My area is the entire valley. Where
ever there are Nepal people, we're there! AWESOME! I'm so stoked right
now, my new companion seems amazing. Everyone who knows him says he is
a really good missionary. He came out the transfer or two after I got
here in the mission, so we are both fairly fresh missionaries. I'll
find out more info on him for next week, like where he's from, how
have I not figured that out yet?!? Our apartment is closer to SLC, we
live on 1905 S. The rest of our zone is around the avenues,
university, and other parts of the city! My guess is that I will be
here for a few transfers, they don't put you in a program only to take
you out of it six weeks later. We have translators available to us,
but I get to start learning Nepali during language study in the
morning. Hopefully I can get to the point where I can have a basic
conversation in Nepali. So yeah, that's the news. I miss Granger,
wonderful people there, but I was ready for change. I will send
pictures next week for sure as well. Until next time.

Elder Scotty

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Done With My First Area...I think?!

**out of order, sorry**

Pics: (These were at the Bangerter's dinner)
1) There were three different glasses at Thanksgiving. I never knew one could have so many at once before!
2) Name tags too?!? Fancy fancy
3 & 4) In tribute to my little sister Courtney, the master of taking pictures of herself.
5) The beautiful snow that made walking even more enjoyable for me...NOT!

My family and friends,

Indeed the past week has been one full of miracles, after all it is the Christmas season, so of course I am not surprised by this. It is true, the ankle of my companion has slowed things down at times, but we continue to push forward. Yesterday we received two stellar referrals. We also met a man named Marco in a parking lot two days ago, who has been searching for the truth and Christ. He has been to other churches, but his search was in vain. He feels that only our church can offer him that, and he wants to join!

H-A-L-L-E-L-U-J-A-H!!! Am I sad I may not be here to see these baptisms go through if they do? Not terribly, no. I will carry this momentum on to wherever I may go. On that note, I have been hearing rumors about me staying another transfer. President Winn wants to keep missionaries in areas longer and there have been a few cases of some Elders staying in one area for over 6 months. For some crazy reason, if I did stay, I know the Lord would have a reason for doing so.

Our steady investigators our doing well. "M" is striving to do what is right. It is hard right now for him. He still has no job and it is bringing a load of stress on him. Being a parent and having Christmas on the way, I'd be terrified too if I didn't have work! He knows it's true and has that desire to be baptized. His last real hurdle is smoking. He is doing well on it and I pray that he will be able to kick the habit. If I leave I am for sure coming back to see him baptized, I wouldn't miss that for anything! His family has become some of my favorite people here in West Valley.

Tonight we are taking "S" and her daughters to temple square, I hope the lights and the spirit there will spark interest in the daughters. We are going again to temple square tomorrow night with the "K" family, a single mom with three children. They are a wonderful family. The mom has had a troubled past involving crime and jail time. She has changed her life around and what's to start over. Her children see the life that she has had and they don't want to do those same things as she did. The mom may be on parole, we do not know yet, but if she is I hope we can baptize her children and have her follow suit after her parole is up. They seem prepared for the gospel of Jesus Christ.

This Sunday we are having a special stake conference. It's rather intriguing to think about. Our stake president is saying Elder Franco, the area seventy is speaking. The West Valley Stake, who is having their special stake conference right after ours, is telling us otherwise. The stake president there told the missionaries that an apostle was speaking, and so we better make sure we are there. The suspense is killing me. Haha not really, a general authority is a general authority, I don't need to meet the top dogs of the church, doesn't change my testimony one bit. A cool experience it would be, yes, but I don't need it. I will make sure to tell you all about it next week.

That's what's going on in the SLC mission this week for Elder Warczak. Sister Winn has a blog she keeps, She takes a lot of pictures of mission gatherings and conferences. If you want to see what the entire mission is up to, I'd check her blog out. Who knows, you might see a picture of yours truly every now and then! I love all of you, my family and friends. I know prayers are coming my way everyday, and I make sure to return the favor to all of you in my prayers too!

Elder Scotty

Thursday, December 2, 2010

So this is Christmas!

It is finally December, oh Hallelujah! This past week has been a doozy. Let us start off with Thanksgiving. The meals were wonderful, all three of them. I took pictures but don't have my camera with me. Today my zone had breakfast at the mission home with President and Sister Winn. Our zone won the competition Thanksgiving night to contact as many people as possible, so we were rewarded with a hot meal! So yeah, kind of a rush out the door today and forgot to grab the camera, maybe I will get a member to send some pictures home later this week.
Before our meals, we played in the turkey bowl, it was a blast. The snow was a foot deep, but we all persevered through it. Not to brag, but I caught a touchdown pass and had two interceptions, so pat on the back for me! Hahaha but that's not the most exciting part of the day. Afterward the eight of us missionaries who played football wanted to do some more, we all still had a few hours until our dinners started. So we went to a chapel in the West Valley Stake to play basketball. You know how well missionaries and basketball go together. Elder Burkard went up for a rebound and came down hard. He was injured...injured bad. He tore multiple ligaments in his ankle. He has a nice cast on his leg, and gets around on crutches these days. But alas, they gave us a car to drive around in. Great, I hate driving already, now I have to do it in the snow and ice! I don't mind too much, it gives me a chance to listen to my Christmas music! Needless to say things have been slow due to the injury. We went to the doctor's the next day and that's where he got his cast, so our day and part of our evening was gone. The doctors also told him to rest his foot and keep it elevated for 2-3 days. Well, we had our baptism Saturday and then church Sunday, so he didn't rest, and so Monday, Tuesday, and part of Wednesday became rest days. I was bummed, there was nothing we could do about it, but still, I hated staying inside. Oh well.
Our baptism was solid. The lady we baptized will make a great member. The bishop of the ward baptized her, and Elder Burkard and I gave the talks. Other missionaries were there with investigators, and she had many family members there. We are now targeting our favorite investigator, who we got married, and are now trying to get him off of cigarettes. We've known him for months, and he is really making progress. We also are striving hard to get this family of four to progress. They are really nice and kind to us, I have good feelings about them.
Right now I am trying my best to stay focused and finish strong here in the Granger Stake. I don't think I will have a better area. The members here are amazing. It will be hard, with Elder Burkard's ankle and all, but I know I can have multiple baptisms lined up for the month of December. Even if I am not here when the baptisms occur, I know it will be a great experience for whoever comes and takes my place. People get caught up in numbers around here. The Salt Lake mission is one of the highest baptizing missions in the world, so yeah, if you are not baptizing, your leaders are going to be on you. For me, I know I have worked hard, and I haven't had as many baptisms as I would like, but oh well, I have learned a ton and am happy with where I am at right now.
These first six months have flown by. A mission really does do that, and I am realizing that now. So what have I learned this first quarter as my time as a missionary? I have always had pride issues, comparing myself to the success of others and wishing I could do the same. I worry a lot about things I can't control or get caught up in thinking about the future and what I will do with life, which stresses me out, even though I try not to show it. I try and be chill and easy-going, but inside I struggle and worry. I think these things have been the biggest change in me. I don't have to do things on my own, and I'm alright with that. I can ask for help, and often seek it from those who are having success. For a while I was worried about school and what my career should be. I thought about transferring to Utah, and leaving BYU. I thought a great deal about what I wanted to do for a career and I stressed myself out over it. Now, I don't care anymore. I'll stick with BYU, and when I get back, whatever happens happens. I have no idea what I want to be in life, but for now, that's ok. I'm a smart kid, I know Heavenly Father will point me in the right direction and everything will work out.
I can't begin to imagine what it will be like in another six months, but that's in the future, and I won't worry about that right now :)
Elder Scotty