Monday, March 14, 2011

Six More Weeks of Nepali

I am still serving in the Nepali program. Elder Clerveau was transferred, and I am now with Elder Wilkinson. He was just serving in Wyoming, and is happy to be here in Salt Lake. He is from Tennessee, and is a convert to the church, he joined about a year 1/2 ago. I am now a district leader, and I truly am my mom. I have purchased all sorts of things for my trainings, it's going to be like primary class, a lot of fun! I am excited, this will be a good experience for me.
As far as our area, we have a hit some new speed bumps. Our main translator is now working at D.I, and is working more and more. Our afternoons have been slow, and we are at the point where we have to knock doors in our one ward we serve in, since we can't do much with the Nepali people. Also, there are many Nepali outside of our immediate area, who we would love to get to church, but with no Nepali branch yet, there are not enough service missionaries to help with rides, and since the local wards where these Nepali people live don't have translation available, we really don't know what to do with them. I'll have to talk with President Winn on this one. Elder Wilkinson and I are trying to learn more Nepali, we are going to start doing language study. Hopefully we can learn much and gain more of the trust from the Nepali, and become greater friends! I'm still excited to be here, but another transfer here would mean another 6 month area. I would be at my year mark with two of those, and I don't think I would like that. That's a long ways off though, so I'm just focusing on this transfer. Elder Wilkinson has not had many baptisms yet, and I want to do my best to give him tons!
At transfers we had our mission celebration for breaking those baptism records. We had Elders Clark and Franco of the seventy come talk to us. Apparently Elder Oaks was not available to come, but promised to come and speak to us in the next few months.
Perhaps the most interesting thing to happen this week was a dinner appointment with a member. The family just joined the church about a year ago. The father is a chill man, but the wife you can tell definitely used to be part of another church (meaning, the "hallelujah, praise je-SUS, southern preacher style...) My first question to her was about the earthquake in Japan and what's going on with that. Her response, "It's Jesus showing forth his power. The people don't pray and worship him, and so God is sending them and the world a message." WHAT!?! That opened a can of worms. She went on to give us a sermon about gospel related things, I felt like her kitchen had transformed into a chapel! It was one of the craziest conversations I've been a part of as a missionary. She then went on to look at each of us individually and tell us what we were hiding and needed to work on. She told Elder Wilkinson to be happy with who is he and have more confidence in himself. She then looked at me and said, "I haven't quite figured you out...but I got something, you want me to bring it out?" I thought, "Is she going to confess my sins for me? That's my job!" She said something about being myself and this and that. I just went with it, I didn't want to disagree and unleash the fire and brimstone. HA! She actually is a very cool lady, I had a good time with her.
I am so sorry I haven't sent any pictures. I've tried playing around with it here at the church library, but I would have to install new software and I don't think I could do that here! I'm trying to be as obedient as I can be, so I don't want to use a member's computer or have them do it for me. Ugh, so sorry, I'm trying to see where else we can email, but we don't have access to any church buildings with a family history center.
No baptisms too soon. We have some lined up for the end of March, and early April, but the man for March smokes and drinks, and the April ones we just met last night.
Elder Scotty Warczak

Monday, March 7, 2011

Where'd My Fire Go?

March is off to a slow start. We have two Nepali people on date for the 19th, but the husband smokes, which is too bad. We need more Nepalis to come to our area. None of them drive, and since there's no branch we can't do anything to help people get to church, the service missionaries we have are already do so much. Transfers are this Wednesday. Elder Clerveau may stay, but he has been here six months. With the success we had I can see President leaving him here. But I can also see me becoming a trainer. Who knows, I really don't have a preference.
But to more positive things, our mission had 88 baptisms last week, which broke the mission record set the week before of 87. We also broke the mission record for baptisms in a month with 283 in February! So this Wednesday, the entire mission is coming together at transfers to celebrate. This is Salt Lake, so who knows what will happen there. We know there will be lunch, but maybe a special guest appearance?!?! Get this! As I and the elders I am with are driving up south temple today,  we turn right, between the conference center and the church library. Sisters Bates and Tagawa, Sisters in our zone, are at the corner. We roll down our windows to talk to them, and they say Elder L. Tom Perry just crossed the street, and they got to shake his hand! We looked towards the conference center, and sure enough, Elder Perry was walking with another man, rocking some blue jeans and an overcoat! Dang it!!!! Another missed chance to meet an apostle!
So, conference talk has begun. I hope everyone who is planning on going to conference makes time to see their favorite Elder! To answer my mother's question: No, I'm not learning much Nepali. I know phrases and I'll write things down, but there's really nothing written in Nepali for me to study. For church things, all they have is the old gospel principles book, the articles of faith, and one of the proclamations by the first presidency in Nepali. No dictionaries, no Book of Mormon yet, zilch! So yeah, don't expect me to talk in Nepali anytime soon, I can say basic stuff, and random phrases here and there, but that's it. We really do rely on our translator, and he does a great job. The power of the spirit can still be felt there, even though half the time I'm just smiling and praying things are making sense to investigators. Teaching people who I can't communicate with using words, and having to teach them about Jesus Christ, a person they know nothing about, and why He means so much to their lives, it's a huge undertaking. I wish I could do more, sometimes I feel helpless. But then again, 19 Nepali people were baptized last month, whatever we told them, they felt it. Many of our recent converts were able to go to the temple last Saturday and do work in there, and they all loved it! The church is still true, no matter what language it's being taught in, and what culture the people may have that are hearing it. All of it has a familiar "ring" to them.
Well, keep the prayers coming, I'm always in need of them, and hopefully I'll get to see some of you all in a few weeks!
Elder Scotty