Monday, February 23, 2015

6 Months

Polacca, AZ

Feb. 23, 2015

Friday was 6 months. It's hard to believe that it's gone by this fast. I burnt a tie on Friday night to commemorate it (don't worry it was a junky tie we found in the trailer).

It's transfer week and tomorrow I leave for Bluff, Utah. In the morning I have to drive and hours or so to Holbrook get on the transfer van (a van full of missionaries with a trailer for the luggage) and ride that through Ganado, Chinle, Shiprock, then finally to Farmington. Where I will meet my new companion Elder Fraiser (who has been out for 3 months) and we will drive back to Bluff.

We had good week out here. There are night dances going on so church attendance was sparse, and I had to say a departing testimony kind of thing. It truly just all feel surreal. I don't feel like I'm leaving yet but at the same time I am packing all of my stuff. It's strange. Well not too much happened this week so I'll keep it short plus I need to pack. So I'll talk to all of you soon. 

My new address will be-

P.O. Box 116
Bluff UT 84512

Elder Warnick

The first one is me burning my tie. It was awesome.

How we do Sacrament on the Rez. The big one is for Fast Sundays.
Me with the Rotwawa. Half-Rottweiler Half-Chihuahua. Full grown and has crazy strength for it's size.

Names and Poop

Polacca, AZ

Feb. 16, 2016

This will be it everyone, this is the week that I hit 6 months. Not only on my mission thought but also in Polacca. I don't want to say this but I am pretty sure that I am leaving. Now enough already on that sad note.

This week was a week full of Gardens. We tilled 2 gardens this week. We put manure, humate (soil conditioner), 16-16-16 fertilizer, and 20-0-0 fertilizer on all of the gardens in this area to condition the extremely sandy soil out here. Wednesday morning we spent hauling manure. We filled our truck, the Barrett's truck and the Branch's flatbed trailer with manure and with the total of all our trips we hauled 12 loads of manure. It was very tiring morning of shoveling it in to trucks then back out. I forgot how some people don't understand that manure that is 2 or 3 years old is just like dirt and they think it is gross. I'm used to the manure but my companion was in a little bit of a different boat.

Sacrament Meeting was great yesterday. We had a High Council speaker and his and his son's talks were amazing. I learned a lot. I also sat next to an investigator who came to church, which was awesome but the sad part is that he was kind of tripping. Yes he prepared himself to come to church with some Marijuana. We knew it as soon as he walked in the door so sat next to him so no one else would have to suffer from that sickly-sweet smell. I sacrificed for others but I may have gotten a little second hand high. I got the munchies later during church. He did really good at controlling himself until the end of our Gospel Principles class when he randomly started swearing and we had to put our foot down. but other than that it was all good.

Well this is strange to say but I was awesome at Basketball on Friday night. I don't want to sound arrogant but I was destroying people. I guess after practicing for a while I can be good at that sport. I am closer than ever on the dunk. I barely missed the other night.

This morning at the crack of dawn we went to a baby naming. We got to watch the mother and the baby be washed, then see the baby be named by all of his aunts and uncles. The would sprinkle him with corn meal (which is sacred)  give him their blessing and give him a Hopi name. After this the mother took the baby outside so greet the sun. For the first 21 days the baby and the mother cannot see the sun, they stay inside the house and all of the windows are covered so that once he is named and he sees the sun for the first time the sun and the gods will know his name. It was an awesome experience and then of course the best part of all Hopi ceremonies the food.

That's it for this week thanks all for the constant support.

Elder Warnick
I want to see other missionaries try this!

Grumpy Tiller Man

I kind of freaked out when I saw this. I carried the grass around with me and just smelled it for a while.
A Little Green

Real Grass!

Bean Dance

Polacca, AZ

Feb. 9, 2015 


Well this week was slow. It was the Bean Dance last night so all week people were busy preparing for it and the entire village of Polacca was basically shut-down and everyone was preparing for it. We were lucky enough to be able to meet with some people and have a few very spiritual lessons. We also were blessed to have a baptism this week. He is a 12 year old named Aaron who I have need teaching for a while. He is awesome and super excited to get the priesthood and to keep learning more. I also went on exchanges this week. Elder Rosengren and Elder Lake came and double worked Polacca (which didn't help us with our lack of work at all) but everything went well. Elder Rosengren and I had a lesson on Saturday morning which kind of freaked me out. The lesson was great until the end when we saw our investigator's countenance change and not for the better. He started talking about a lot of "Anti" things and the spirit left the room. It's been a while since I have been somewhere that felt so void of the spirit and it scared me. Elder Rosengren knew what to do though. We testified of what we knew and we left.

On the other hand while everything around here was filled with people practicing their traditions and nearly 15 cancelled appointments Eldet Tippetts and I were able to experience something very rare. We were able to go on the Mesa and experience a lot of the culture that hardly any outsiders get to see. To even be invited on the Mesa is an honor, but to be invited at this time of the year is and honor and a huge step in the right direction. The people out here are recognizing us as not just "Mormanas" here to shove our religion down their throats but as people who are truly here to learn and to help. While were were on the Mesa at a Members house in Hano, the Tewa village on First Mesa (nearly every family has a family house on the mesa) eating lunch the Ogres were going around. We got to eat an amazing stew "Dubee" that is only made once a year during the Bean Dance with the bean sprouts that the Kachinas bring and leave on the doorstep at 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning. So while eating this wonderful dish the Ogres came to the house. The Ogres are the "Disciplinary" Kachinas, they come around to each house to see if the children have been behaving. There is a huge group of them that go around which consists of the Father, Mother, Grandmother, and Daughter, along with them are a bunch more who are just part of the gang. These extras carry saws and ropes. They rub the saws against the sides of the houses to try to scare the children, and the ropes to catch the children. The Kachinas help the children learn, if a boy doesn't like chopping wood they take him out back and make him chop wood, if a girl doesn't like getting water they follow her to the water tank and make her get water for the family. The family has to "bargain" with the Kachinas not to take their children away and punish them, instead of giving them the children they do have to give them food which is taken to the Kiva and then gets distributed to families who need it. It was a super interesting thing to get to see and be so close to (very few Anglos get to see real Kachinas). It was awesome to get to live the culture for a while. The night before while everything was being prepared we went to a members house in Walpi (an "extremely" traditional village). We had to take flashlights and kerosene lanterns because there is no electricity in that village. It was a fun couple of days.

Also of Friday night I learned how to make Sumoviki (my favorite native food). We told a couple of men that we were going to learn how earlier this week and they started laughing at us and said that it is what the women are supposed to do, which is true. Luckily we were able to defend ourselves and tell them that we were learning so we can teach our wives in the future. That was acceptable to them, thank goodness.

Well that's about it for this slow week. I wish you all the best.

Elder Warnick

Elder Warnick, Aaron, Elder Tippetts

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Week 22 in Hopiland

February 2, 2015

Polacca, AZ

I can't believe that it's here already! February!!! Wow this year has gone by so fast already. It seems like it was just yesterday that I was eating turkey at Thanksgiving.

Well this week has been warm. We've stayed in the 60's most of the week and that means rain not snow which is bad. The Hopi are known for their dry-farming and without a good snow it will be a horrible growing season. Last year was a slow year and they had a lot more moisture then. So nothing has changed from being at home and praying for moisture for the coming growing season. So this supposed early spring is not a good sign. It feels like it has been monsoon season already (which is supposed to be July and August). We had another 48 straight hours of rain this week, which of course means mud and lots of it, we have seen so many people getting stuck this week. We saw one road which had ruts so deep that people were high centering their trucks and getting stuck when it was dry (well mostly dry).

Everything here is slowing down because of all of the ceremonies that are starting up. Now is when the Kachina dances begin, the first one will be the Bean Dance and that's in a couple of weeks. After that there will be a Kachina Dance nearly every weekend until August. So weekends are going to be even slower than normal with everyone going to Flagstaff. Now these are dances that non-natives are not allowed to go to because of the Kachinas but we know a few people and we have been invited to their houses on the Mesa for the Bean Dance. One of them even lives in Walpi (an extremely traditional village which we can't usually even set foot in). We are so excited for this extremely rare opportunity to attend this usually forbidden cultural event.

A week ago we spent our boing P-Day smashing stuff in slow motion. It awesome. Never give 2 bored missionaries a bunch of old cabbage, grapefruits, axes, bats and slow motion cameras. That's all I have to say on the subject.

We came home last night and found a kitten underneath our trailer. It was meowing like crazy and really making us mad so I took care of it... I took it to an abandoned, broken-down trailer by the church and put it down on some insulation. I think it's happy now with all of the mice there and when we came back from the gym this morning we saw it sunbathing on the roof of that old trailer. I feel better than I would have because I know it's alive.
Well that's truly all that really happened this week it just flew by.

Elder Warnick

Dances and 36

January 26, 2015

 Polacca, AZ

Well this week was pretty awesome. The work sadly was pretty slow because everyone was busy prepping, every single village had a dance going on. So we decided to spend all of Saturday employing a cop strategy, making yourself seen. Saturday morning we went to the Deer Dance in Sichomovi on First Mesa it was awesome. The Deer Dance is done to honor the Deer and to have more come. We were privileged to watch it because it was a social dance, not a Kachina Dance.The dance consisted of the drummers and singers naturally, and the dancers were deer. The Dancing Deer had magnificent headdresses, they were made of feathers, Pinion shoots, and had deer antlers to top it all off. The other dancers were eagles and a hunter. The hunter wore an incredible white buckskin outfit, had white moccasin, and a bow and arrows. The eagles were the coolest part of this dance they wore their kilt and a cool headdress but the best part was their arms, they had a full wingspan of eagle feathers along their arms. All the movement is truly beautiful and dancing here is truly more than just footsteps.

Later that Saturday we took charge of the church and presided at a wedding feast. There was about 200 people there and no shortage of food at all. There was all sorts of traditional food there and Elder Tippetts was so excited to try all of it, I have already tried most of it. We stayed there for a couple of hours until another priesthood holder came so we could leave. We headed from there to Kykotsmovi to the Buffalo Dance. 

The Buffalo dance was awesome as well. This one only consists of 4 dancers: 2 Buffalo Dancers and 2 women dancers. This dance is a prayer for snow for the crops the coming year, and is also a social dance. The male, the buffalo, were shirtless and wore their kilts with a cowbell on the backside. They had a sash across their shoulder and moccasins on their feet. Their faces were painted black with a white mouth and their headdresses were made of buffalo fur. They had buffalo horns and feathers adorning it as well. The women wore a black veil covering their eyes, and had a traditional dress on as well as their moccasins. Their headdresses were most majestic of all. They had a flower on one side and pointing out horizontally on the other side were feathers. There were eagle, pheasant, and very colorful parrot feathers ranging from orange, blue, green, yellow, black and more. On their backs they wore a Dawa (sun) face a with large eagle feathers surrounding it.

Sunday had a good turnout despite all of the dances. After church we went to another buffalo dance, talked to quite a few people and then had dinner with the Branch President and had a good discussion about the work out here and who were are visiting, we also got a good sized list of people that we can go and see who used to come to church a lot but have not been coming very regularly.

Now this part is kind of gross and I don't mean to offend anyone. 36 is the number of rat tails I counted this week. No not on rats but the hair style. I think that this is the only place in North America where that style is still "cool".

Well now I'm kind of wiped out from writing so if there's anything else I'll tell you next week.

Love, Elder Warnick