Sunday, June 21, 2015

Huff in Bluff

June 15, 2015
Bluff, Utah

Well it has been one hot week and everywhere I go I am sweating and huffing. Yesterday I sweated through everything I was wearing. It is not only hot but it has also been strangely humid because of all of the storms that we have had. This week we had 3 more tornadoes come through. I never thought that anywhere on this mission I would be living in TORNADO ALLEY. Well the hot weather warranted a Buzz Cut which feels really nice. This week was also the end of the caterpillar migration. For the past 3 weeks we have had numberless caterpillars crawling around everywhere that you look. First they were all over the road and then all over the plants. At first we tried not to kill the future butterflies and then after an investigator did some research we discovered that they were actually moths and we started a search and destroy mission.

We have had some more wonderful work going on this week, which means that last week wasn't just a fluke! (: We are working very hard and the only thing that is stopping us is the priorities of the people. Many of them here, and I am sure everywhere else, seem to think that rodeos and Níídaah (or a Squaw Dances) are more important than coming to church. We have been teaching a great family but the best part of it is the names of the Children. First we have the eldest son who is 10 Leland. Then Sovana who is 9, but the best is to follow. She is a 3 or 4 year old girl named Chubby Boo Boo. Well that is how she introduced herself and that is what her family calls her. Her real name is Sadie but that's not what they call her. 


Us: "Hi what's your name?"  Her: "Boo Boo, Chubby Boo Boo"

Her: "Here puppy"  Mother: "Chubby! Go put some shoes on."

Well another thing that happened this week was the ambush of children. We began to walk up to a group of 3 houses and we see 6 of 7 kids out in the distance standing in a group. They saw us and one, who seemed to be the leader, motioned. They all vanished but him. As we got closer we could see a little movement here and there and the leader just stood with his staff and watched us. We knocked on a door where no one answered and because we were so uncomfortable we left. As soon as we reached the safety of the truck we looked back to see him on the top of a small hill watching us and then the children all rose from behind the hill and stood there with him and all waved. That was an experience unlike anything I have had happen on my mission it could have been a movie ambush scene. 

Oh and just a little side note. We did some service and found some old rabbit or fox traps. The metal kind that have jaws that clamp around the foot. Well she gave them to us because we thought that they were so cool.

An explanation on the pictures. Obviously I am eating a churro in one. The other 2 are the work being done at the church/our house. They are zero-scaping and have taken up all of the grass and are putting in a new watering system. In doing this they dug a 1.5 foot wide and 2 feet deep trench around our house for some pipes but the big storms came through and filled it. It has been full of water since last Wednesday. I have always wondered what it would be like to have a moat around my house and now I know. That all for this week.

Elder Warnick
Oh we also helped / mostly watched a nasty goat get butchered. And we got to help set up for a squaw dance.
Moat 1
Moat 2
 eating a churro 

This is a funny little story in a reply Elder Warnick sent in response to my letter:

Hey family!

It sounds like everything has been fun at home. Football has picked up and people are playing away. How are all of the summer chores going? Especially the garden, I know in the past that I have done anything that I could to have nothing to do with the garden but ever since being part of the Garden Project in Polacca I have been hooked. Some of my favorite mission buddies are going home this transfer, It is only 5 weeks so this is the last week of the transfer, the next one will be 7 weeks. Elder Tippetts my 2nd companion is going home and so will Elder Patterson. Well I was going to send this a couple of hours ago but our power went out. Here is the story behind that. The power guy showed up about 1/2 an hour ago and hey pulled in for the very little thing that needed to be changed, but he drove right into a mud hole. His back left tire is not visible because of how deep it is and the front left is off of the ground. We tried to pull him out with a big Ford but he didn't budge. Well the power is back on and he is just waiting for the tow truck to come and help. The thing that the senior couple were snickering about the most is that the company motto on the side of the truck is "Do the Bright Thing" and he drove straight into that puddle. Well that's it for tonight. Love you guys.

Talks and Tornados

June 9, 2015

Bluff, Utah
So let me explain why I didn't e-mail yesterday. We were driving to the fort which is not a quarter mile away to put our laundry in when suddenly we heard a pop and then our truck started making so really loud sounds. After some inspection by myself and a senior missionary we concluded that a bolt had broken and the exhaust had disconnected from the engine so the muffler was no longer attached and the fumes were now all coming straight out of the engine. We made a phone call to the vehicle coordinator and explained what we thought happened and then got in the truck and started the long slow drive to Farmington (slow because out check engine light was on). We got there and switched out the truck for another Nissan Frontier which is a model year newer and white. Then we began the drive back. We stopped in Montezuma Creek where we had dinner with a member family there. Then we came back and went to Family Home Evening at the Fort. One of the couples invited their granddaughter to come down and do the FHE for the night. She just returned home from her mission a month ago and she shared some experiences and sang a little for us. She is an amazing vocalist and had a great mission in Winnipeg Canada. She talked to us afterward and it turns out that she served her whole mission on the Reservation up there. We got talking about natives and missionary work and then her father had to pull her away. It was great to finally talk to someone who is young, not crazy, a member and not a missionary.  

It was a great week in Bluff! Finally all of the potential that I have been talking about for the past few weeks has clicked. This week we had 16 lessons, what is so great about that is not just that lessons have bumped up by an incredible number but they have all been extremely meaningful. This week we started meeting with a Part-Member family most of the family are non-members but the the parents and the oldest daughter are members. They are very involved in the Native American Church, this is usually where I tend to loose a bit of hope, but they are very ready to change. They committed themselves to pray about coming back to church and were very excited to hear that there is a service on the Rezervation so that they don't have to travel so far. Another miracle with that same family is that when we went over on Saturday the daughter had gotten married. She had previously been living with her boyfriend for a few years but one day they felt that needed to get married so they did.

We had some crazy weather down here last week. Lots of rain and other storms. We had a tornado come through on the reservation and really thrashed the roads. The weather was crazy and we are supposed to have an equavilent storm tomorrow, we will see what happens. The roads being so bad made them quite muddy and when we started going through what seemed to be a 30 foot long puddle turned out to be a 90 foot puddle that was pretty deep, halfway up our door. We were blessed to make it through that one without getting stuck. Well that is all I  can think of for this week.

Love, Elder Warnick


June 8, 2015

Bluff, Utah

Hey everyone sorry that it is so late. I will send something more detailed tomorrow. Our truck broke so we had to go to Farmington today and it was a long slow drive on the way there. Then we had dinner with some members and then went to family home evening. It was a good day but a long one. I will tell more tomorrow, but just so you all know that I am alive.  Love Ya

Elder Warnick


June 1, 2015

Bluff, Utah

This has been a great week here in good Ol' Bluff, however it had been full of animal attacks. The gnats are out here and the are rampant, I would much rather have a mosquito bite any day. The gnats are impossible to notice until you have been bitten, the bites themselves are like mosquito bites but there are 50 times more irritating and if you are allergic to them they will cause a blister which when it pops will run and the blister will spread to wherever that pus covers. This week I had a good sized Schnauzer come at me from under a deck. As it ran toward me I held out the Book of Mormon which was the only thing that I had with me and it stopped and ran away, I felt really cool until I realized that Elder Middleton had picked up a rock and that is what scared it off. The dog attack that could have actually ended badly was the German Shepard that broke its chain and charged us. With backpacks for shields we backed up and I threw a rock at it and hit it in the head which made it finally back off. I also got bit by a sheep. There were 2 sheep wandering around at a house that we were at and one started to sniff my hand, I had a feeling that it was going to bite my hand so it put it in my pocket only to have it bite my wrist instead. It was just a little nip but it was a nip big enough to make me yelp like a frightened 4 year old. While we were helping brand cattle (the fun way, roping them and throwing them down not using a squeeze shoot) we were just about to take one of the steers down when the one that we had just branded was still a little "hot" and decided to charge Elder Middleton, who narrowly avoided it. It was a good week. (:

Missionary work wise things are really picking up. It has been hard to get in a good groove with so many companions lately but Elder Middleton and I really click. Navajos are all about relationships and because Elder Middleton and I are so alike he has already to develop a great relationship with many of the people down here. We started teaching a lady who is very traditional, her name is Anna, and she shows a lot of promise. She has a very real desire to know if what we are teaching her is true and she has already had a desire to attend our church in the past. She also says that she really likes our teaching since they are so similar to her traditional Navajo beliefs, she know some of what we believe because she likes to watch General Women's Conference every time that is comes on. Things here in this area are really turning around and looking up.

Elder Warnick

In a random hut

eating Yucca fruit (it kind of tastes like a bell pepper)

King of the Trash

Elder Marsaw (from same MTC district) and Elder Warnick

Elder Warnick and Elder Tanner Patterson (both Kuna boys)

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Ponchos and Bluffoons

 May 26, 2015
Bluff, Utah
Well everyone it is official, I am a true Bluffoon, or so someone told me this week. Elder Middleton is my new companion here in Bluff and we have been having a stellar time! Elder Middleton is from Sacramento California and he is 6'5", we are quite the sight to see walking around on the Reservation. This was the slowest week of the mission so far (number-wise) we had 4 lessons, but it was a very productive week. Most of our appointments cancelled on us and we were able to reschedule, but we were also able to meet a few very promising new people. There are some incredible people that we were able to meet here, I can't wait to see how they progress. There were some down sides to this week too, one of the Recent Converts here, Wilbur, has gone back to his Medicine Man ways and has stopped coming to church. Now let me make this clear for everyone who is reading, the Navajo have a wonderfully beautiful culture but as the scriptures tell us "no mad can serve two masters" they cannot float between 2 beliefs hoping that one of them is right and that when the time comes they will be able to choose one and be right, you must make you r decision now and know that it is the right one. Yesterday we went on an amazing hike. It is about a mile and a half down a canyon then you see some of the best ruins in the Navajo Nation, Poncho House. These ruins are very old and we couldn't get too close because they were fenced off and because we are missionaries we can't break the law so we looked from afar. Well that's it for this week.

Love, Elder Warnick
Picture of Poncho House from off the internet.

Butter-gate Scandal

May 18, 2015

Bluff, Utah
Saturday was the end of the transfer and we got our transfer news. I will start by saying that I will no longer be conmpanions with Elder Gifford, and then make you read the rest of the E-mail to find out the rest. (:

It has been a wonderful week here in Bluff, things have really been picking up here. This week we were blessed to make some progress with some people who had previously declared themselves as "hard tops", meaning that they are not convertibles. One of them was Wilbur's (a recent convert) brother who is very traditional. We started to talk with him as usual just making casual conversation and he brought up the loss of his daughter and we expressed that the wounds that his family has from that can be healed through the gospel and told him a little bit about the plan of salvation, he was so impressed and very touched and he said "my grandmother used to tell me the same things when she was still alive and I never believed her, but now that you have told me I believe, because I know that you speak the truth". This week for me was truly one of the tender mercies spoken of in the scriptures.

We had some real fun this week, this was the week of the 'Butter-gate Scandal'. We had an elder in White Mesa get his visa and head off to Brazil a week before the transfer, now here comes the fun part, an elder came in and took his place. Now this all seems normal but the trick is the fact that everyone but our District Leader Elder Butterfield knew. We had our district meeting and they walked in, it took Elder Butterfield 10 minutes to see them and then he was shocked. "Where's Elder Hardy?"
he asked. "Well," one elder replied "it was a miracle that we were able to get him life flighted to Salt Lake before his spleen exploded." Elder Butterfield was shocked then we all lost it and started laughing our heads off and told him the real story. 

Okay now for the rest of transfer news. No sadly Elder Gifford did not get his visa, he is getting transferred to Chilchinbitto, Arizona. I will be staying right here in Bluff and my new companion will be Elder Middleton. 

Well that's it for this week, have a wonderful week.

Elder Dallin Warnick

Looking Up

May 11, 2015

Bluff, Utah
Hey everybody it has been a much better week than the last few. On Sunday we had a great Mother's Day program at church. We had the youngest mother give a talk on Motherhood and then we had the oldest mother speak then we had one of the men speak. They all gave wonderful talks and it was especially great to hear from the youngest mother because she is one of our recent converts here in Bluff, she was baptized in January. Actually that story is pretty remarkable. She was 9 months pregnant when she was baptized and the next day a Sunday she came to church in labor to be confirmed then went to the hospital immediately afterwards and had her little daughter.

This week were able to make contact with some of the wonderful people who we have been teaching who have been off the grid for a while. 2 of them are on date to be baptized in the coming weeks but we really need them to come to church. We also made contact with Dwane a great investigator who has been out of town because a family member died and was helping in another city. 

This week, yesterday actually, I got kicked out of a house. We went over to give a member a flower for Mother's Day and her husband, who is kind of having hard feelings against the church, was outside. We told him why we were there and he said make it quick. We went in and gave her the flower and were in there for 3 minutes when her husband came in and said "okay boys time to go" we got outside and he shut the door and trying to be nice (I could tell that he was angry) he said "your visiting privileges have just been revoked" I laughed then he looked me in the eyes and said "I'm not kidding when I say quick I mean quick, I don't want to see you again". Well so much for that...

I have been doing great this week and have been playing a lot of basketball lately. sadly it is with myself because I'm up and exercising at 6:30 but my companion is sound asleep until 7:20 when I'm out of the shower and dressed and I wake him up. That is kind of discouraging but at least I'm staying in shape and because of that I am feeling great.

Thanks for all of the prayers and the support. Have a great week.

Elder Dallin Warnick