Saturday, December 31, 2011

First E-mail from the MTC from Craig!

Hola mis familia, 
 
oh man, I only have 23 more minutes. I've been trying to figure this 
thing out for 7 min. Also, this keyboard is disgusting, greasy, the 
shift button harly workds, and i can barely see the letters.... 
Anyways, I am having a great time in case you guys want to know. The 
mtc is great! Everyone is so friendly and welcoming. 
 
For the plane ride the first day, I sat next to that elder whom we met 
in the airport. I see him everywhere so apparently he's on the same 
schedule as me. William Lovell sat in front of me. After I sat down on 
the plane i closed my eyes and the next thing I knew, we were landing. 
I guess i was tired. I still am. I probably will be everyday. Yep. 
When I got off the plane, guess who was there to greet me? It was none 
other than Elder Holland!!! OK, that wasn't exactly true. But we did 
see him and he said, "welcome home elders." Little does he know that 
we are just beginning. The first day was different because I was just 
meeting everything and checking out the whole MTC. Also, my teacher 
only speaks in Espanol. 
 
Everyone keeps saying that I should just wait until sunday, then 
everything goes faster and time flies. Yesterday (friday) was really 
hard because we had to teach an investigator in espanol!!!! It's only 
been two days! It was like first riding a bike. My teacher Hermana 
Jardine pushed our bikes down a hill with no training wheels. It was 
intense. However, after all the awkward pauses of thinking how to say 
stuff and what to say, I feel it was a sucess because we invited him 
to come unto Christ by teaching him how to say an oracion. We made an 
appointment for Monday and we'll follow him up to see if he has been 
praying. I feel like my espanol has quadrupled since being here. 
Apparently, our teacher said that we are two days ahead of schedule! 
cool! My district and companion are great. My companion, Elder Knight, 
is an exact replica of Tanner stoker. He looks and talks like him. 
Their personalities are the same. 
 
My time is shortening by the second - literally. I wish I had more 
time because I have more things to say. Yo se´ que Dios es nuestro 
Padre Celestial y podemos regresar a Dios a medio la expiacion de 
Jesucristo. Yo se´ que Jose´ smith estaba un profeta cierto. En el 
nombre de Jesucristo, Amen 
 
-Craig Walker 
 
P.s. My p-day is thursday 

Craig is off!

We all rolled out of bed at 5:30.  Craig had to be woken because he set his alarm for "pm".  We found an Elder friend at the airport taking the same flight and same shuttle.  Elder Loveland from the Anthem Stake.  Mom forgot her ID after lecturing the day before about always having your ID on your body.  They would let everyone else through security to the gate.  A little bit what it might be like in Heaven if you aren't prepared.  Elder Loveland's mom took some photos for everyone. 
All packed at last, short two shirts:)
Family at airport
Ryan smiles because he is getting my shirts:)



Just before security
Flew with new found friend Elder Loveland



We took the same flight and shuttle

Boarding the plane
Last look and a thumbs up!  It will be okay.

Monday, December 26, 2011

New and Last Area

Dear Family,

My week was an excellent one. I am really excited to be in my new ward. It is a wonderful ward even though it is in one of the oldest parts of Rio. We are in the very first stake in Rio, but even though many missionaries have already worked these parts, there is still much more work to do! 

I met my new companion in the bus station and we were really excited. He treated me really well. He had cleaned off my desk and made a bed for me and everything. Elder Nascimento is really special. He is one of the most famous elders because wherever he goes, he baptizes well. I am excited to learn a lot from him. I have already noticed that he is really sincere in everything he says. He really teaches the people and not the lessons. He teaches to build their faith and not just to convince them that we're right. He always offers to help. There was one day that we literally spent hours helping people carry groceries and other things up the giant hills and stairs, but it really pays off. They take the time to listen to our message after we help them. These contacts are much better than regular contacts because they are already willing to accept our message. I love Elder Nascimento.

The first problem I noticed was the bad habits in the house. The house has and had a few elders who were going home, so a lot of elders didn't follow the missionary routine. The house was a mess. There is a ton of stuff to be thrown away. We will have to change things little by little. My desk was being used as the kitchen table and had little ants all over it. I changed that quickly. It can hurt a little bit at the beginning and I have to be a little  annoying, but it is well worth the fight. Last night I had a very special moment when one elder who is going home next month thanked me for the changes I am making in the house. I'm glad they can feel the difference. After all, The home is the only place that compares in sacredness to the temple. We can have a good time and still do all the things we're supposed to do. 

We are preparing a young woman to be baptized. Her name is Gerlane and she has already been to church with her friend who is a member. She readily accepted the invites and was going to be baptized on Christmas, but when we got there Sunday morning, she was sleeping. We never actually talked to her, but her friend said that he had woken her up and talked to her. He said she didn't want to go. We trusted him. Turns out, he lied. She called us at church crying and asking if she could still be baptized. Unfortunately, there wasn't any more time. It was hard for us too knowing that she really wanted to be baptized. It will be even better next week. Think about it. New Year, New Gerlane. Perfect. 

There are so many more investigators that we are working with including a less active family and a non-married couple. The couple will get married soon and we are really excited. They are elects! We are going to do a family night with them tonight.

I'll have many more details next week.

Lesson of the week: the two most important words: Thank You. It goes a long way. The little things we do make a big difference in the lives of others.

Love you all,

Elder Walker

I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas

YEs in deed we had a white Christmas!  Evans was baptized.  Miracle.  Ya know he is such a special guy.  Very emotionless, but humble.  Had to be baptized more the once, due to someone learning how to baptize for the first time, yet the spirit was so strong there!  so strong!  Then on Christmas his confirmation.  He received the holy ghost.  When he came back he had this HUGE grin on his face.  PRICELESS. 
 
We have many other investigators, but it seems as many are firing us during the holidays.  Lots of cancels, but we continue to stay strong.  It is also hard to get ahold of people this week.  Everyone is ignoring us, but in the meantime we´ve received lots of contacts.  The whole town is a ghost town this week.  Everything, EVERYTHING shuts down here for the holidays.  I feel like I´m on that movie with Will Smith, I am Legend.  Not a soul in the street or noise.  It was a very peaceful Christmas. 
 
Christmas has taken on a new meaning out here on the mission.  I mean all the presents were great that you sent mom, thanks, you did a great job this year, very simple and creative, but nothing beats the gift of serving all day then ending on a skype call with your family.  You all looked great, healthy, and happy.  Best gift ever!  Even after 5 months we can all just be our goofy selfs around each other, I love it and am so blessed with the family I have!  My companion even loved the Walker show, she thinks were hillarious haha.
 
We were fed by many members and friends.  Best part was at the Wolfart´s house.  They´ve become our best friends here in Zaragoza.  They are a half German half Spaniard family.  Good friends of the Uchdorfs actually.  The spirit is always so strong in their home.  They  gave my companion and I the opportunity to play Santa Clause (Papa Noel) this year.  It was so fun and the way they celebrate is so different. 
 
 I realized this week that a mission is the best marriage/family prep course you can get.  I feel like a mother taking care of a bunch of children, all of Heavenly Father´s children.  But I love it and am learning to be more responsible.  It´s really made me appreciate my own mother a ton!  So thanks mom, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
Well I know the church is true.  I know my Savior lives and loves each and everyone of us.  How great it would be to be at the birth pight of our Savior that night.  Craigy,  GOod luck!!!!  I know you´ll do great and be a better missionary then both I and Cameron.  You´re way more prepared, since you were the one that pretty much gave me the mission prep low-down and had to explain everything to me in class haha.  You will make a swell missionary.  So no more advice from me.  Just know that it´s hard and you´re going to have to work, but you have to know how to make it fun or you´ll go crazy!!!  So find joy in the work, yea for simple joys in life :)
-Hermana Walker
 
ps i will have to send photos next week because there is no outlet here on the comp.
--
Hermana Caminadora, Spain Barcelona Mission
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Transfer back to Rio

Phone call -I'm being transferred. I don't know. Let's plan to skype 3:00 brazil time.

I still haven't received the christmas package, but my new zone is where the office is at, so when it arrives, I'll have it.

Dear family,

I am leaving Nova Friburgo. I am being transferred once again to
Rio de Janeiro. I will be in Andarai stake which is the stake in the city itself. I'm talking Christ redeemer statue, Copacabana and all that. I will probably end my mission there. 

The week was wonderful. We were limited on time due to mission conference in another city (Petropolis). Being short on time we did our best to talk with everyone and anyone we could just to teach a lesson with the hope that they would go to church on Sunday. We left Nova Friburgo on Thursday with no one that promised to go to church. Our travels only permitted us to get back on Saturday. When we finally returned, I had to do splits to do a baptismal interview which left Elder Assis , my companion, to be the senior in our area. elder Assis doesn't know our area too well. We were very unsure if he could manage it, but I figured it would be good for him to get to know the area a little better. He actually pulled it off rather well. He found every house and managed 5 people to promise to go to church. He also ran into his first bible bash and didn't know how to handle it. oops. On sunday two of the five were at church. They are a couple which means that we are in the process of baptizing a family. We actually had three investigators at church. This couple showed up, then ten minutes later another man showed up that we took to church last week. This other man isn't married. The funny part is that this man and the husband of our couple are brothers! Neither one knew that the other would be at church. We are in the process of baptizing a very large family. The members were excited to welcome a family. The bishop was impressed. I was happy. Then came the stressful part. Bishop called us out of our classes at church to talk about the family, but he had another surprise for us: two surprise talks! I had no idea what to say. A christmas talk? I gave a terrible talk. I pretty much just went up there and rambled on about christmas memories and missionary work. Never again! 

The conference was also a lot of fun. We commemorated birthdays, and I had forgotten about my birthday. I was slightly shocked when my name was called.  It was nice to see a lot of old faces: Elder Munns who says that mom still hasn't written him back, Elder Branco, Elder Cragun, and much more.

Well, I'm off to another area. I'm excited, but a little sad that I am leaving such a wonderful ward. However, I am happy to get out of here before the rain comes and floods the city again. 

Love you all and the church is true.

River running through town

Cam with scorpion

Muddy road
Companion with scorpion?
Elder Walker

Feliz Navidad

Merry Christmas, Feliz Navidad! 
 
I am soooo excited to talk to you next Sunday!  It is still going to be at 6pm our time and 9am your time right???  Can´t wait.
 
So I am being deported out of the country and going home for Christmas....can you pick me up at the airport on Wednesday??  Just kidding!!!  But I am being deported back to Madrid.  Yes just until my fingerprints and paperwork are done.  Supposedly Zaragoza is the hardest place in Spain to get residency.  So just to get an appointment with them back in October was for Feb 7th.  But now so I don´t get deported has to be this week in Madrid.  Kind of exciting because we get to go with the Senior couple here whole are like our grandparents that take care of us and we´ll get a temple session in.   Always on the road it´s fun!  We also had our mission Christmas party in lleida.  2 hours east from here.  They showed a video of the year, which there were pictures they got that I don´t know how they got mom!  haha.  We had a white elephant gift exchange, in which of course me with my sense of humored gift, was the hit of the party.  President and Hermana Hinckley told stories and traditions of the Hinckley family the whole pizza dinner, which is a tradition of Grandma Hinckley, pizza dinner on Christmas with an ornament to hang on the tree.   Lot´s of laughing and fun, spiritual thoughts, they´re great!!!   
 
We did a lot of contacting this week.  Lot´s and lot´s and lot´s because we were fired from so many lessons.  My companion has a hard time contacting because I think she just either talks herself out of it, is shy, or maybe just a little trunky since she´s at the same point as Cameron in the mission.  She goes home in March.  But as long as I´m daring her and giving her motivation she does it.  We did over 50 contacts at least a day.  Just left and right.  Found a lot of families that will be great to teach.  It wore me out though.  I just crashed today and am a little sick with a sore throat from talking so much.  Oh great news, Juan Pablo my first convert wants to serve a mission!!!!  Ah I thought, this is why we do what we do, so we´ve been meeting with him a lot and taking him on visits a lot to prepare him.  His dad in new york city is going to hopefully help pay for it!!!!  So exciting to really see him change these past couple of months.  We also had a branch combined activity.  It was interesting and we´ll just leave it at that....haha.  But I played the piano at it for the primary.  We both sang in the choir, then everyone was begging me to dance.  I told them no that they´d just have to come to the states to watch me haha.  I was not going to get up there as a missionary spin around with my leg above my head in a missionary skirt and attire haha.  But Hermana Church got right up and tap danced, it was cute. 
 
I wanted to take the rest of the time to acknowledge my 3 brothers Ryan, Craig, and Cameron.  Yep yep time for a little sissy talk from your big sister!   I want to start by taking the time to say how much I love each of you dearly and am so proud and honored to be your sister.  Thank you for always staying worthy of the Priesthood and sticking up for the right.  I appreciate your desires as well to serve the Lord.
 
Let´s start with Cameron.  Elder Walker hang in there!  You got it.  I know exactly what you´re going through because it´s exactly what my companion is going through right now.  Whatever you do, hang in there!  Stay positive and look for ways to continue to loose yourself in the work.  A good friend used to always tell me, anytime you get homesick, it just means you´re not working hard enough.  Now I know you´re a hard worker.  Just continue to stay in the mind set so once you pass the goal line, you can feel on top of the world and say yes I served with all of my mind, might, heart, and strength!  Go the extra mile now, that is when you build character.  Rely on the Lord.
 
Craigy Baby!  I love you, you´re so cute with all of your comments you send me.  I miss you and Cameron at BYU with me!  You make me laugh.  Some advice as you enter the MTC little Elder Walker is that you focus on reading your language BOM, all of it in the MTC.  As a representative of Jesus Christ at this time, I am here to promise you as you do so the language will come faster then anyone in your district.  A lot of my Bolivian friends here say to tell you good luck and a lot of other things that I don´t have time to write.  Good luck Elder!
 
Ryan, my baby brother.  Remember when Craig and Cameron would pick on you all the time and I would be there to defend you?  I love you never forget that.  Here I am now to say defend your grades and continue to commit yourself to prepare for your mission.  My MTC president gave a lot of good advice for good grades.  1 - sit on the second row off to the right and sit in the same place ever time  2 - Participate in class discussions   3 - take notes and summarize daily and weekly.  4 - arrange a good schedule etc etc 5 - study early  6 - hand in ALL papers ahead of time.  7 - study for tests from the summaries  8 - PRAY!  and never miss class!!!
 
Love you all, Happy Holidays! 
Hermana Walker

--
Hermana Caminadora, Spain Barcelona Mission


John and Kenya's baptism
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays!
 
What a beautiful time of year it is to really remember the birth of our Savior.  He has prepared the way for us.  All we need to do is follow his example.  Once we have dedicated our life to the Savior and have chosen to follow him and know thee, we must share that beautiful gift with everyone else.  So that´s exactly what we did this week, we were able to bring 2 souls unto CHrist this week.  Kenya and John.  John is 9 and Kenya is 13.  The baptism was a little stressful because they´re hard to get out the door and going and it was the first time I had to be in charge of everything I felt like!  AH!  Somehow I always pick up all the responsibilities or it won´t get done.  What a great opportunity to learn and grow from, how thankful I am.  This family has grown so dear to my heart.  I really feel like we´ve taken a broken family and turned them into a functioning family again.  A couple of years ago they lost their dad who had a heart-attack while driving, then died.  A month later the twins, who were babies and the youngest died in a house fire.  The oldest daughter, who is being rebellious right now and we think is pregnant, tried saving them but was burnt in the process and suffers with a big old scar up her now.   It´s just devastating the whole situation.  They´ve been inactive forever but we finally got them to church and blessed their family with baptism and the spirit.  The youngest was scared of the water so it took him forever to get in the water, but once he did, I just starting tearing up as I helped him step by step down in the water.  It was an emotional and stressful day, but sooooo rewarding!!!!!!  True joy.  The miracle to this story is the example John was to his sister.  As he showed his desire to be baptized his older sister Kenya, who never wanted to participate or be baptized, finally came around.  She never wanted anything to do with us and for lack of better terms was very disrespectful and bratty with us.  But the week of her brothers baptism she happened to be sitting there listening to the lesson and was answering all the questions we were asking her brother John.  As we simply invited her to be baptized she was smiling and at peace and says "Si!"  What a miracle.  All she needs is love.  Love that from her Heavenly Father and Savior knowing that everything is going to be alright no matter how hard her life has been.
 
As missionaries we travel a lot.  I feel like I´ve been to a lot of different cities in Spain and really been able to embrace the culture.  This week we had the priviledge of going to Barcelona and hearing a member of the 70 speak.  Incredible!  How neat it was to get on the tram there and join a huge army of missionaries coming from all over the mission.  It was fun and very exciting!  I´ll send a picture in front of the Sagrada Familia.  I also got to see my MTC companion and we stayed the night with them and other sisters, it was a huge party and sleepover as we all united.  Lot´s of fun!!! 
 
 
We went caroling last night on the bridge by Pilar as a way to say goodbye to everyone because transfers are today.  It´s so sad to see everyone leave, I almost cried!  These people really become your family out here.  One set of Hermana´s left, and one set of Elders, the zone leaders.  My trainer Hermana Fuentes, mi madre, my security blanket is gone.  The Elder´s, man so many good times, definitely my best friends.  They really did a good job about welcoming me and helping me adjust to the culture.  Now that it´s just me and Hermana Preston and the other Elders, well the senior couples still here, but there is A LOT of work to be done!!!!!  I am the oldest in this area now and it is now my responsibility to teach all these new missionaries the ropes here and directions, investigators, ahhh...lots to do, but I love it.  I am officially done with training!!!  Woo-hoo I´m a big girl now.  Only thing that´s different is that our schedule as missionaries changes a little bit. 
 
Some things I have learned this week.  God likes change.  He doesn´t want us to be too comfortable with where we are at because then we become at a hult and don´t progress as much as we could.  This work comforts the afflicted and makes the comfortable feel afflicted.  Everything we do now is just a preparation for the next.  Love you all, take care!
 
Happy Holidays!
 
Su hija 

--
Hermana Caminadora, Spain Barcelona Mission
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
 
ps-john isn´t in this picture because he was busy being shown the water by the Elders so he wouldn´t be scared....
next picture is sagrada familia
last picture is after caroling in front of Pilar, the hot spot of the city

pss-did you ever get my letter with that picture in it?

After Caroling at Pilar

Pilar, hot spot of the city
 

Smile brings a Baptism

This man was the man the elders baptized 3 weeks ago that I contacted my first day here by just smiling at him...president likes to use this story a lot as an example that a smile can go a long way.  President and his wife attended the baptism. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

And the rain came down, down, down

Dear Family,

I am so exhausted. No one said that the mission gets easier as you go. As the end approaches I feel more tired and I think more about home. It's not that I want to think about home, but it's so close that I can calculate exactly how much time is left without even thinking about it all that much, and thinking about his brings up other questions: What will I do after the mission? What will be my major?

The week was once again very difficult. The rain is very discouraging. It just doesn't stop raining in this city during this time of the year. We are trying to talk to people on the street, but we aren't getting the results we desire. We actually knocked doors this week. I don't ever want to do that again. In Brazil that sort of work is associated with the Jehovah's Witness which many people don't like here. Anyway, so we were sitting there in the rain with no idea of what we should do to find people prepared to hear our message. Then I had an idea to read our planners under the section "Ideas for finding people". We read the list and discussed many different ideas. Ultimately we decided that the best idea would be a drawing class. Elder Assis draws really well, and a few members of the ward noticed it and complimented him on it. The next day we asked the bishop, and the bishop approved and we made the flier. On Sunday we announced and everyone got excited. I too am very excited to see the results of this class. This is only the beginning of our ideas. Our first class will be this Tuesday. Wish us luck!

We had training for leaders on Wednesday. I had the privilege to take the long bus ride to Rio and back. The training was excellent. A lot was said about the goals we set and how we should set them. There is an excellent quote in Preach My Gospel by Elder Ballard about goals. Learning the principles of goal setting is something that will change our lives a lot. 

On Sunday, we finally got Rosane and Adriano back at church. Adriano is still unsure about baptism. He is very indecisive like any other adolescent (I was too. mom and dad can confirm that. I believe one of my favorite lines used to be "I don't know"). Slowly we'll get him. He just has to open up a bit. Rosane is excited to chat with Mom. They have already traded several comments on facebook. Tomorrow I will go to their house and invite Adriano once again to be baptized. I will not leave without at least a baptismal date goal.


Any last words of advice for the boy (Craig)?

Um, there is quite a bit to say. I would have to repeat what Ray Fast said to me before i left. Speak the language in the MTC. There will be a lot of americans and really cool people, but that doesn't mean you need to speak english. The elders who spoke the mission language in the MTC are way better prepared. Don't be afraid to speak. 

Also, follow Preach My Gospel. Read it. Learn it. Love it. EVERY DAY. Learn and apply the doctrine of Christ.

Respect leaders, other missionaries, everyone. Don't get upset over little things. Always think: In five years will this really matter? Whether it be rain, something your companion does, anything little.  Most of it won't matter in five years.

A successful missionary studies the doctrine of Christ and applies it in his life.

Love,

Elder Walker

Monday, December 5, 2011

Pictures of Marissa's first Piso, Thanksgiving and Christmas decorations











Oh Happy Day!

So we finally got to have our delayed Thanksgiving dinner.  I think the most we did and had on Thanksgiving was a turkey sandwich!  The Churches, the senior couple, invited the whole district over all ten of us for a big dinner!  It was so good.  Mom I made your mashed potatoes and everyone loved them!  We´ve been so busy it´s hard to keep up with ourselves.  Today we played sports to let out all of our energy before everyone in our district is transfered.  Yes everyone is leaving except for my companion and I and one set of Elders.  I am SOOOO sad because I have really come to love these people and working with them.  All day my heart ached.  But I know that right when we get comfortable with people that´s when the Lord likes change. 
 
Funny story of the week, gas alarm went off at 9am during personal study.  Hermana Preston goes to just unplug it, then back to her studies.  haha.  Hermana Dalton and I were like um there´s a reason that the alarm is going off.  So we evacuated as it went off again.  I ran back in with my breath plugged to open windows.  We called our Dueño and the Elders.  The Dueño came over and thought we were blonde or something because he checked the place, nothing wrong.  Come back in he says.  Hermana Preston kept saying I think it´s all the hairspray from Hermana Fuentes.  We laughed at her and said no that can´t cause it.  Well sure enough we tested it and it was going off from hairspray in the room.  hhahaha, it was Hermana Fuentes because everytime she walked by it would go off.
 
Exciting news.  Abel and his wife, who are rich, invited my companion and I to a Spanish ballet.  We called President and he said as long as it wasn´t during procyliting hours, it is so we can´t go.  But they showed it to us on video instead, very nice of them.   They also took us out to fancy Spanish restaurante´s this week.  Very nice.  My companion says they favor me because they invited I and my parents after my mission to come back and go to a show in town with them.  haha.  They´re nice.
 
Miracle story of the week.  Evans, the one who was in the hospital sick but had a baptism date next week, is better!!!!  He received a priesthood blessing and we told him as he made the time to read and pray we knew he would be healed so that he can come to church and be baptized.  Well that next week after the blessing he never read and actually got more sick.  Then one day we went to go visit him and he wasn´t there, he was better.  It took us days to find him but once we did he said he had read and prayed his last day in the hospital. Then the next day he was feeling better so he was released.  WOo-Hoo!  I know miracles happen as long as we exercize faith and act upon our faith.  Faith without works is dead.  I meet so many people a day that say there is no God.  Well I am here to testify that there is and he loves us.  Nada es por casualidad.  Nothing is a coincidence.  I´ve seen way too many blessing and miracles through this work.  I meet Athiest more than once a day that ask, Well what about evolution etc?  I´m sorry but there is a reason God doesn´t want to give us all the answers right now.  THis life is a time for testing our faith, a time for experiences, a time to prepare to meet our Father and Heaven and His son, our Savior who is Jesus Christ the Lord.  Simple as that, having faith in them.  God is the father of our spirit´s and he knows us better than anyone else because he made us.
 
 I love you all and hope you have a fantastic week!  The gospel of Jesus Christ is true!
-Su Hija
Hermana Caminadora, Spain Barcelona Mission
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

Rain, rain and more rain

Dear Family,

This week was very interesting. We are being hit with rain off and on. We do our best in such conditions, but not much happens. No one likes to be outside in the rain. 

Rosane is doing better this week. We had a few talks after becoming discouraged that they never go to church. But she shared some good news with us. She will get married in the next few months. Now, in Brazil it takes two months for the marriage to happen after you've started the process.  It will take a while. Wednesday was Adriano's birthday. We went to a restaurant with their family. The food was great, but the company was better. We were the only guests they invited. They really have a love for us, and I hope this love can change to be love for the church. They were out of town this past Sunday, so one more Sunday without going to church. My goal for this next week is to take the two sons to soccer at the church and take Rosane to the family history center. She would love genealogy. 

On Thursday we did splits. Our zone leader helped us a bunch with finding a good are to wrok. The best part is we found ten couples in that area, some better than others. We will work with these couples to get tot know the church and talk about marriage and baptism. Marriage isn't the most popular thing in Brazil. I am excited to work with these couples.

That's about it for this week. Not too exciting. I promise a more exciting week next time.

I know the church is true and that Joseph Smith is it's restoring prophet. He indeed translated the Book of Mormon. I taught a lesson yesterday and taught the Book of Mormon. At the end of the lesson they had several unrelated questions, all of which I answered using a scripture from the Book of Mormon. It truly has all the answers. You just gotta look.

Love you all. Have a great week.

Elder Walker

Monday, November 28, 2011

¡Me Encanta mi misión!

November 28, 2011

Dear Family,
 
I´m so glad to hear about the Thanksgiving success!  I sorry I couldn´t have been there with you Daddy to watch the Macy´s Day parade.  You know that´s always my favorite.  And what?  Is this Newzies you say that´s going to be on Broadway this Spring?  okay you have to wait one more year to go sorry!  My compañion and I were just wondering why it was never put on Broadway...better bite my tongue.  Seems like everybody is undergoing surgery lately.  Hope all is better!  How´d you like "Phantom" Craigy and Ryan?  Was that your first time seeing it?  You´re kidding no one would help you put up lights this year dad?  well you know it would have happened if i was there...
 
This week has been full of miracles.  I´ve never givin so much thanks before to my Heavenly Father and the blessings he has given me.  Every prayer all I could do was rejoice morning, evening and night.  My relationship with my father in heaven has grown so strong over these 4 months.  I feel as if prayer has replaced my telephone and let me tell ya...it´s a good feeling!  I prayed Wednesday pleading to find those who are ready for baptism.  That day I put in all the effort I could to find the prepared.  And it happened!  One after another we found 2 ready for baptism!  Crazy!  Lot´s of other success and little miracles all week.  Then on Sunday we went to go pick up our investigators at church.  What we thought would be a mess turned into a miracle!  A family that we had been trying to get to church for over a 2 months, we finally got them there!!!!  It took dragging them out of the house, but later the mother told us that she thinks the spirit was telling her to go.  We were there over an hour helping the kids get ready and out of the door.  The two boys are incredible and were ready in 3 minutes, but the grandma, daughters and mom all come up with the same excuses.  I just kept saying a prayer in my head that this would all work out and that the member would be waiting in the car outside when we finally got out the door and he was!!!!!  peuffff!!!!!  That was a pain, but it worked.  Then we were just in time to meet up with another family to get them there!  It was a miracle we had over 10 investigators there!!!!!!!!  Great week! 
 
I´ve learned that the Lord strengthens us in our weaknesses.  He always provides a way when we are doing what´s right.  I know that this great work is impossible without the members.  This church is all about service.  Something the mission does is magnify your weaknesses and pin-point your strengths.  How grateful I am for this opportunity of a lifetime. 
 
2 weeks more of training.  What this program does is technically qualify you to train the next missionary who comes along.  Well I don´t quite feel like I´m fluent enough in the language.  I´m to the point where I can carry a conversation and get the point of what is being talked about and ofcourse I am able to teach any lesson in Preach My Gospel.  I really feel like I´m at the point where I can briefly fulfill my purpose, which is the most important part, but I want to be able to have more inteligent conversations, esp. with the members.  If they start talking about something that is not food or the gospel, I usually have a harder time understanding....all this street talk.  If I don´t understand something someone says in the street, I usually just giggle say Si?  then change the subject...haha.  It works though.  It´s also really funny seeing what people do to avoid you, or when people give you the wrong number.  Or you have the people like the other day who are just flat out RUDE to you.  I don´t like that.
 
You ask about Christmas mom...we will be at Abel and MariaJesus´ house Christmas night around 6pm to skype. They are...well I´m not really sure if they´re are investigators or just really good friends...but we´re close and they have offered their house for Christmas.  Very nice people.  Someone I will definitely keep in contact with.  They are actually coming to Vegas in May...I might send some stuff with them.  They travel a lot. 
 
Well I love you all.  The message of the gospel of Jesus Christ is the most beautiful message ever!   Take time this Christmas season to share it with somebody.  There is somebody waiting to hear it!   Love you, cuidase.  ¡Chow!
 

-Hermana Caminante (this is what all the members call me)

Life in the Mission

Mom, I know you are always ahead of the game and organized, but we don't know anything about phone calls yet. President will no doubt wait until the last moment to let everyone know about what we can and cannot do. The only thing we can plan is the time. It will have to be in the afternoon. Anytime from 3:00 to 7:00 Brazil time is perfect for me.


Cam-How are your shoes holding up?  

These are the best shoes because they will actually endure a two year mission. They are a bit worn, but are still in one piece, still shine-able and cheap.

Dear family,

My week was insanely tough. I don't think I ever had a week where I just wanted to be home, but this week was it. I wasn't home-sick but I was just plain sick. I had so much pain that there were just moments that I thought how much more wonderful it would be to sit in my bed at home and be watching TV. Tuesday I started with a slight cold. I didn't feel like eating or drinking anything. By the time Thursday rolled around I already was having problems in the stomach. I never threw up, but I had a lot of neck pain, headache, and stomach pains. I woke up several times nightly to use the bathroom. Don't worry about me, I'm all better now. 

After all of this came the rain. Friday it started off and on, Saturday continued, and now it hasn't stopped since then. I can't begin to explain how difficult it makes our work in this city. Everyone is afraid to die due to the tragedy in January.

Alright, enough with the bad news. Good stuff:

We held two family nights this week. One was a family night for recent converts. We had four there. It's good for them to know how these things work in the church. Maykon and Eleziene were there. I haven't seen them as much as I used to, but they are still going good. The other family night was with Rosane and her two sons. We pretty much dragged them to the family night. I think they need a bit more responsibility. They mark to do things, but the moment comes and they either show up late or don't show up. I took them by the hand to go to the family night they had marked with their neighbors. It was also a lot of fun. Speaking of Rosane, no one had any advice for me except for Marissa! 

We are working on Maykon's parents as well. They live very close to him, and they are way open to the message seeing the change that has come into his life. They are also legally marraige which is a huge blessing here in Brazil.

That's basically my week. Pain, Rain, and Families.

Love, 
 
Elder Walker
Mission shoe.com shoes have held up!

Companion study area


Bedroom

Bed

Study area

Bathroom

Companion with rodent

Kitchen

Monday, November 21, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving and Craigy Day!

HAPPY TURKEY AND CRAIGY DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
Sounds like you have lots of fun plans for Thanksgiving!  Wow and Craigy baby you´re getting so big!  19.  Seems like just yesterday you were in Pampers and i was babysitting you.  You leave in a month for the MTC!  That´s crazy!!!  YOu´re in for the best adventure of you´re life!  Glad to hear you´re okay too Mommy!!!!  Keep me updated!
 
Where to start....it´s been a crazy week!  lets see to start...we met a lot of crazy people...we´ll just leave it at that.  We had a baptism fecha with Marcos, until we found out that he was just trying to get money from the church.  He comes from this group of friends, a long train of homeless men, that we teach.  First Spaniard with a fecha for me...that group has been interesting but humble to teach.  This week has also been a lot of less active visits.  I get tired of listened to their sob story of how they´ve been offended.  " Do you know the book of mormon is true?  What about Joseph Smith?  Then nothing else should matter.  People are not perfect, but the gospel of Jesus Christ is.  Come to church!"  That shut´s them up. 
 
I´ve been trying to find someone or a studio where I can learn the traditional dances of Spain for a while now.  Well we passed one street and happened to hear those clasping clapping thingy´s they use...can´t remember the spanish name for them.  So neat!  I peeked in the studio and neither of the Hermana´s wanted to follow me because they were scared.  Well being taught right by dad I walked in and made myself at home and started to talk to them in Spanish.  THey were really nice and taught me how to use them and how to dance this traditional dance called "la jota."  The Hermana´s were really shy and bright red by then, so they just sat in the background and watched.  Then I asked if these professional Jota dancers would put on a show for me.  It was so neat and so easy to learn.  I finished by ofcourse doing my job and sharing the gospel.  I invited them to my dance class and church but they haven´t showed yes.  Very nice people.
 
We then got a call from president that a new hermana was coming to our pizo to live with us and be trained by Hermana Fuentes, my trainer, and that only me and hmna. Preston were companions now!  Well that not only came by a bit of suprise but Hmna Preston and I looked at each other and said....oh no!  We´re doomed!  haha...we laugh and goof off way too much because we´re A LOT alike.  Well we both had to step up to the plate a little because we would always just follow Hma Fuentes because she not only knew the city but liked to take charge so we just let her.  Well no big we just got lost a couple of times the first day, missed a couple of buses and meetings, but we´re alive and learning to take responsibility.  We make a great team.We just snapped into this serious mode and it works great.  She has really taught me to just laugh at things when you´re stressed or worried.  
 
Something I´ve really learned about myself so far is that I´m always the brave and bold one.  I don´t mind sweetly putting people in line.  Or talking to people or what not about what they need to do to change.  Hma Fuentes always says I don´t want to offend them, " Hermana Walker will you tell them?"  sure!  I never knew I was such a bold person...but it works!  people listen!
 
To end President came to our city to give the wards a conference and really gave them animo for the work!  All of the sudden everyone´s asking us what they can do to help.  This week our mission went from 13 Hermana´s to 18!   we have 104 missionaries now!
 
I love you all the church is true and mission´s rock!!!!! 
 
-Hermana Walker

Week of Thanksgiving

This week we had the great privilege of hearing from an apostle of the Lord. It was an amazing conference. Elder David A Bednar started the conference by explaining how the conference would work. There would be three different parts. First, we would discuss two talks we were given two weeks before the conference. Second, we talked about the way we talked about the talks. And Last we asked him questions. First, the talk we were given are truly incredible, but when we discussed them, there came a whole new light in the room. He asked volunteers to talk about parts that they thought were interesting and after say why they caught their attention. At times he commented on a few of them. We all learned from one another. We then discussed why this process of asking questions was so effective and why it brought the spirit. We are to apply this in our teaching. He said that when we ask a question that is unspecific or has one answer that the student may not know (like a test) we are setting ourselves up for failure. We are making the students objects and not people. It's the difference between things that act and things that receive action. It was very insightful.
He also spent a few moments ranting about the false traditions the church has. We really grabbed a part of his personality. He asked us why we all take notes. Why do we write down everything the speaker says only to never look at it again. "that's stupid! Stop doing that!". The funniest part was when he was talking about trunky missionaries. He has a pet peeve which is missionaries who waste the Lord's time. He said he hates it when a missionaries goes up to the front on sacrament meeting to say "well, I only got five months left..." He said "Don't do that! I just want to say to that missionary to sit down and shut up. No one cares how much time you have left on the mission!" He is very direct and very funny.

My favorite part of the question section was when he talked about the other apostles. He said that when he was on his mission the youngest apostles were Gordon B Hinkley, Thomas S Monson, Boyd K Packer, and L Tom Perry. He said is was like a dream to enter into the quorum. He said they treat you like you were always a member of the quorum. He talked about how they are all examples of leadership. He told a story about an apostle over the age of 80 that had a double knee replacement surgery. He performed both surgeries on the same day healed in three week and walked into the church office on a walker. He did all this right after the October conference so that he could be recovered by the spring conference and no one would ever know. He said that they are his heroes. He said, "you know the story of Captain Moroni in the Book of Mormon. Yeah, well I work with captain Moroni." They are all warriors, full of courage and faith.

There are so many things I could say about the conference, but time does not permit. 

Other than the conference, we had an activity in the ward on Friday. It was a lot of fun. Rosane and Adriano showed up. They really enjoyed it, but they didn't go to church. I WANT TO BAPTIZE THIS FAMILY!! But they have to go to church... I will have to have a talk with them. I love them so much. Any advice? 

Love you all so much. The church is true. The book of Mormon is the work of God and is the most correct book on the earth. I just finished reading the Liahona all about the Book of Mormon last month. Way cool. We follow a living prophet today. It is all true. It isn't a myth. Joseph really did see the Father and the Son. This is Christ's church.

Com amor,
Elder Walker

Thursday, November 17, 2011

November 14, 2011 Cameron training a new missionary

Dear Family,
     Sorry to hear about mom’s state. Hope she gets better soon. My week has been rather different just because I am training a new elder. My new Elder’s name is Elder Assis Silva. He is from Natal, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil. As a new missionary he does weird, quirky things. He is really worried about cars the cars hitting us and is there to protect me. He also refused to go down really steep stairs until he got brave and went down crab style. It wasn’t that steep. It’s all quite cute the way he worries about all these little things. It’s a really different experience. It’s hard to believe that I once was like him. I know that he will adapt well.

Rosane and Family. Rosane knows that the book of Mormon is true. She read a few chapters and is already applying things to her life. It was really quite special. Unfortunately they all traveled this past week. It's a holiday today. I can't wait to baptize this family. We talked to her about marriage as she is living with a man. She seems a bit insecure about this step. She accepted our help to be baptized. Luckily she has her member friend, Walter, who told her how blessed she will be if she gets married. She has fears because she already did the whole marriage thing, and it didn't work out the way she planned. She thought it was supposed to be for her whole life. We explained how marriage can be something for more than just this life. She was born to be a member of the church. It appears like it was this that she has been looking for her whole life.

Funny moment: There's a member in the city that plays pranks on the new missionaries. He comes up to them like an investigator with a ton of questions. We happened to run into him on the street. He asked from his car, "Are you the Mormons?" My comp not knowing who he is responded "that's us". Here I am trying my best to not break into laughter. My companion starts inviting him to listen to our message and explaining to him what a missionary is. Of course, the member is there asking all these crazy questions about stuff like polygamy. Finally the member says that he can stop by his house someday and he pulls out his wallet to show him the address of his house. He pulled out his temple recommend to show Elder Assis his name. It was then that my comp realized it was all a joke. classic. 

I know the church is true. The gospel was restored through the prophet Joseph Smith. This is the only church with the true doctrines and authority to perform the ordinances of the gospel. 

With Love,

Elder Walker

November 14, 2011 Greetings from Spain

¡Hola!
How is my favorite family in the whole world?  Mom how is you´re health?  You need to start taking it easy on yourself.  If I was there I would be doing the chores for you, playing taxi, and waiting on you, like you have done for us our whole lives.  Ryan, I am very proud of you and your accomplishments!  Now that you have your license be safe on the road!  Especially in the rain with that truck.  Emily, keep that beautiful smile on your face!  You have to experience some rejection before you find success!  Sometimes the better option is just waiting for us and we don´t realize it at that point in time.  There were many auditions where I didn´t make it or get the part I wanted, but there was a lot of auditions I did.  Something even better always follows.  Craig, how was the temple?  Do you keep visiting?  Try to get sessions in while you can.  Dad, thanks for all of the updates!  I love hearing them.  Glad to hear work is good!  Tell Blake congrats, and tell Mark hello for me.  Time flies.  Can´t believe how fast everyone grows up.
This week was slow and hard for some reason.  Now that it´s getting cold I feel like everyone´s gotten grumpier or is in hybernation.  I am now starting to realize what everyone says when they say how hard a mission is.  But on the positive side we did get another person with a baptism date!  I am just learning a lot of patience.  It´s good for me.  You asked about my health....well lets just say my body is having a hard time adapting to the way the food is processed here.  But i´m okay.  A mission is just mentally, physically, and spiritually exausting.  I figured that when I was getting myself into it.  But I took a long 3 hour nap today and am ready to bust a move this week!!!!!
We had Zone Enfoque which President came and really emphasized on companionship unity and always staying together.  When we aren´t obedient it leads to unhappiness.  It´s always awkward here with the kisses on two cheeks because first of all with americans you go in for the kisses and then they end up going for just the hug (Hermana Hinckley)  and it ends up just being this hug kiss on the cheek awkwardness altogether.  haha.  or you get all the latin men who take advantage of the 2 kisses on the cheek and you shove your hand out there before they can even consider it.
There was a bull fight this week in town where a man had the bull horns go through his throat, up his mouth, then poked out his eye.  He is still alive and is back in the bull pit this next week.  Crazy!
Ya know we´re in church probably the same time!  We have it from 4-7 here.  SO LATE!  but it´s fine.  It´s so expensive here too!  A Euro is $1.35 in US dollars.  But it has gone down ten cents from 2010.
Anyway, I love you all.  Believe in Christ and if you believe in Christ you will believe in the Book of Mormon, and if you believe in the Book of Mormon you will believe Joseph Smith to be a true prophet of God, and if he is then this work is God´s work on the earth. 
Have a great week!
-Hermana Walker

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

November 8, 2011

Dear Family,

Well, I am writing on Tuesday because I had to go to Rio yesterday for a training. I was called to be a trainer again, and with the new program for trainers that the church is doing (which no doubt Marissa knows) I will train for twelve weeks and my goal is to prepare this new missionary to be able to train another at the end of the 12 weeks. Exciting. There are 11 trainers and 11 that will arrive...a few americans, a few brazilians, and one that speaks spanish. We will meet them in two and a half hours from now. More details to come next week.

This final week with Elder Branco was excellent. We work very well together. Of course we are very different, but our different styles compliment each other. Where I lack, he's there to help. I told President in interviews that I had never done 140 contacts in one week (which is always the goal). He challenged me to start now. We took the challenge and literally talked with everyone. We managed 168!! That's a record. We found so many new people to teach!!  The ward is loving us two. They don't want us to leave. Elder Branco bore his testimony on sunday and happened to say that he might leave this week. Everyone started to cry. I usually don't tell people when the transfers are, but he made sure everyone knew. So, as you can imagine, lots of tears and exchange of address.

More exciting news. I was talking about Maykon and Eleziene. We baptized maykon a few months ago and baptized Eleziene (his friend) a few weeks ago. Now they are officially dating!! So, in a roundabout way, I baptized a family! (If they get married)

Adriano. He didn't go to church because he went to a soccer game in Rio that he had already paid for. We let him go this tie, but i am 90 percent sure that we will get him next week. He was destined to be baptized. After him, we'll get the rest of his family.

Love you all. Don't have as much time today.

Com amor,
Elder Walker

Monday, November 7, 2011

Viva España November 14, 2011

¡¡¡¡¡Hola Familia!!!!!
 
Merry Christmas darling!!!  Yes we put up our Christmas tree and yes we listen to Christmas music everyday!  They don´t celebrate Thanksgiving obviously so ya.  We went full out!  They have a lot of Saint holidays here though...like a ton!  Also my compañion and everyone is saying not to send a package to me.  My compañion just had to pay $26 just to retrieve a dinky package this week.  Because they´re in a crisis here in Spain they come up with the excuse to inspect packages then charge a ton of money.  So therefore mother, don´t worry about sending me anything...JUST SEND MONEY, "HOW ABOUT TENS AND TWENTIES?"  lights please....(Cameron) 
 
Ya sorry Mom I don´t get on the internet until later now on Mondays because of mediodia.  You might ask what is mediodia?  Well let me tell you....a great big giant siesta or nap!  Everything closes at 2pm in town...EVERYTHING!  kind of annoying when you need to go to the grocery store or something but hey.  They open back up at 4pm though, so only 2 hours.  But the library I write at doesn´t open until 3pm and we´re usually busy doing something fun with the Elders.
 
ALSO Graham Bradley I need your help!!!!  Abel....I can´t figure out why he isn´t baptized yet.  They´ve been to conference in SLC, felt the spirit, they´ve been in contact with the missionaries for 11 years now.  We had a long chat while I was helping him and his senior friends at the senior center out with English.  I got blunt with him and asked if he had ever prayed specifically with all his heart to know that Joseph Smith is a true prophet of God, he said he hadn´t so I asked if he would do that, he said he would but then kind of admitted that he already knows it´s true and wouldn´t be baptized unless it were in Utah with all of his friends there.... and I just said well you´d better start sending out the invitations now!  haha anyway he had a bunch of pictures of you and talks a lot about you.  so maybe you can help me.......
 
We received 5 new missionaries this week here in Zaragoza.  It was just us two and the zone leaders.  Now we are a district of 10!!!!  Woo!  So fun!  We played a bunch of games today.  It was a lot of fun.  Hermana Preston from Arizona, is our new companion so we´re in a trio.  She is sooooo FUNNY!  Our weird ridiculous sarcastic humor is pretty much the same.  Yep.   Between me, her, and Hma. Fuentes...it´s reeeeallllly hard to do missionary work.  ha.  We probably laugh more the half the time.  Ya probably a little too much....more then we should but hey you´d go crazy if you didn´t have some fun out here.  Best companioñship ever!
 
You ask about the weather?  Well the weather...hm that´s a subject we use a lot in contacting people, so I´ve gotten pretty good at talking about the weather in Spanish.  Anyways it was really nice and warm when I first arrived, but lately it´s been raining a lot.   It doesn´t usually rain too hard, but I´m glad Dad that you bought me that raincoat.  It´s been super windy on some days too.  Sometimes so bad I can´t sleep, but I love it here. I finally started to recognize people on the street.  Since the day I´ve gotten here I say Hello to everyone and talk to everyone.  I´m a true believer of that and it´s worked for me.  In fact my very first day here...one of the first people I simply said hi to kept talking to me.  Now he´s getting baptized!  It´s the Elder´s baptism though because he lives in their area.  Oh well! 
My advice you ask to that girl going to BYU that wants to be on the Ballroom Company....um I dunno.  Just practice really hard, take ballroom classes, get to know the people, then audition...yep that´s about all I got.  Speaking of dance the workshop this week was a ton of success!!!!!  We did salsa this week, because that´s what all the latin americans requested, then some didn´t even show who requested it, but that´s okay because we gained 5 new investigators from it!  woo-hoo!  See this is what I love and what makes me happy.  Seeing the joy come from those I teach!  I can´t wait to have children someday.  Everyone here says they want my American accent.  my goal is to get rid of that accent before I leave so they will mistake me for a Spaniard since some Spaniards here have blonde hair and blue eyes like me.  They´re very different than South Americans.
 
It´s also funny to me that everyone here where´s shirts with an American saying or logo on it and they have no clue what it says.  It´s so funny because some are like really ridiculous.  Anyways it´s fun.  I love Spain and I love this work!  We have so many baptisms to come this month.  Not enough time in the day to visit all the many investigators we have it´s hard.   As far as training goes we have done everything the book has asked us to do up to week 8.  It seemed to focus a lot on the Book of Mormon and the importance of it this week.  We really needed that reminder because a lot of our investigators have been having doubts on the Book of Mormon.  I learned that you can teach them every lesson, but until they read the Book of Mormon and ask in faith if it is true, they will not receive an answer.  And once they receive that answer then they will know that the Book of Mormon is true.  I know the Book of Mormon to be the word of God as well as the Bible.  This is the God´s kingdom established again on the earth.  I love being a missionary and will continue to help build the kingdom. 
Love you all!!!!!!  Have a fantastic week!!!!!  Write me...okay love you bye.
Hermana Walker

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Cameron Working Hard

Dear Family,

What a week! While the days at times may be long and full of work, the weeks seem to fly by. Last Monday our bishop had his first child. It is a little girl named Sophia. As you can imagine he is happier, more excited, and tired than ever. 
 Tuesday we went to visit Marinez (probably for the last time). She isn't quite ready to put the gospel into practice. She is one of the most interesting persons I have ever met, but she doesn't want it enough. She's not "hungry and thirsty" to change her miserable state of life. She tells us every visit how unhappy she is, but doesn't do anything about it. There's the answer. I am certain that some time in the future she will be more willing to apply the principles of the gospel. After our visit there, we said goodbye to our Ward mission leader, Clauber. He is moving to the other ward in the city. He is the most awesome Ward mission leader I have ever had. He fed us pizza when we went to his house, and on Thursday we helped him move. At least he still goes to church in the same building as us. 

On  Wednesday we had interviews with President. I already know what mom's question will be. Did you pass? Well, I'm still on the mission, so I guess that means yes. The meeting was wonderful. He taught a lot about ht importance of the book of Mormon. It being the keystone of our religion. If the book of mormon fails to be true, so does everything else that we teach. Well, good thing it's true. We taught that if we really believe the book if Mormon is true, we will commit to live according to everything it teaches. That is true conversion. The book really is the key to everything. He invited us to help our investigators have greater conviction in the book. Do everything to help them read, pray, and act. We need to trust in the promise that if they read and pray, they will have an answer. We need to help them establish a habit to study and help them to apply what they learn to their lives. After the training we got DVD players to use for our work. There are DVDs that accompany Preach my Gospel (the missionary guidebook). It is a real blessing to see the principles put into action and use those same methods in our work. As you know, with every blessing, there is a risk that someone will use it for bad. A DVD player could be used for slacking off...risky, but also a blessing.

We worked a lot with Eleziene this week. Her son, Yohan was baptized on Sunday, yesterday (photos attached). She is a very sincere person that is looking to better the lives of her children. What is better is we are getting close to convince Maykon to date her. I hope to one day get a wedding invite from those two.

Adriano, Rosane and Ramom. They area  great family. Adriano who is the only possible in the family for baptism at the moment, is a bit indecisive. He really wants to be baptized, and I believe it won't take long, but he also is afraid that his Grandma will shun him if he does. Rosane keeps dropping hints like, if I get baptized in your church one day, or, when I serve a mission when I'm older.... It drives me crazy that I can't just baptize her now. She has to be married. Ramom is also progressing well. He needs to go to church and that's it. If Adriano gets baptized we'll give him the priesthood quickly so he can baptize his brother.

The church is true being guided by a living prophet. Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. Looking for happiness, peace, love, etc? It's here.

Love,


Elder Walker

Marissa's First Baptism

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!!!!!!!!!
 
Not a huge holiday here.  hardly anyone goes full out or dresses up and if they do it´s usually a witch or a devil.  For all I know people could think that we are dressed up as missionaries.  The ward through a really good party though! 
 
So the thing I didn´t mention that we do as missionaries besides sitting in the MTC studying all day, praying a lot for people, and giving lessons to investigators is BAPTIZE!!!!!!!!  Yes that is right I had my first baptism this Saturday Juan Pablo from Columbia.  It was wonderful and reminded me why I am here.  It gets hard lesson after lesson and no baptisms, but when there is one it reminds you that success is possible.  We also promised him that if he was baptized he would find work....the day after his baptism bam!  he did.
 
DANCE CLASSES huge success.  We have received so many new investigators and future investigators through the great worldly attraction of dance!  There is a spirit felt through music and dance that sometimes cannot be felt through words. The first class was a huge success but that night was frustrating putting it together because the other branch had a party in our space for dance.  The chapel isn´t very big so we had it outside on the soccer field but then everyone from the other branch wanted to combine and join but do their stuff first.  I was a little flustered at first with them interupting my dance class and I thought it was rude but by the end of the party everyone wanted to learn cha-cha.  So I ended up having more than double the people at the beginning of the class.  It was a miracle in disguise because all the people who were not members had so much fun with the dancing that after my spiritual thought at the end they all wanted to come to church the next day.  We had over 10 PEOPLE in church that next day!  Really neat because it´s really hard here to get one even two to church.  Well that news got back to president and he told the zone leaders, serving here in Zaragoza, that he was really impressed and excited about the new missionaries here.  He sent me a personal text saying how proud he was of us and our success.  From there out of all the missionaries in the mission we made it on the mission news!  Woo-hoo!  It has continued these last two weeks to be successful.  Lot´s of Argentines in the ward so I did Tango and they all just drink it up like soup.
 
We had intercanbios which means just a missionary exchange.  I went to Sabedell for 3 days which is the city or outskirt right outside of Barcelona.  Lot´s of fun experiences to tell there but not enough time to tell it all. 
 
Our new Piso is a mansion and brand new.  All the missionaries that saw it are jealous.  President says that we went from the worst apt. in the mission to the best!   haha!  President visited our new Piso personally and loved it so much that he´s sticking 2 more Hermana´s with us there.  So today we get a new companion Hermana Preston.  We will be in a trio for a couple of weeks until the new Hermana that is supposed to be there gets her visa.  Hermana Smith, my MTC companion, got her visa and is now in Barc. 
 
I love this work and have an awesome district!!!!  Be good, I love you!!!!  The church is true!!!!
 
Hermana Walker
Hermana Cominadora, Spain Barcelona Mission
First Baptism in Zaragosa Juan Pablo

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

Monday, October 24, 2011

21st Birthday

Dear Family,

The week was very exciting. The rain still hasn't stopped. It doesn't rain a lot, but just enough to get you wet if you don't use an umbrella. 

The first thing we did after email last week was a zone activity. We played soccer and met up with the returned missionary who baptized Elder Branco's mom. For a while now, Elder Branco has been looking for Elder Ramos who baptized his mom. He only knew that he is from the stake where we are at. We finally found him. He shared his testimony of missionary work. It was cool to think that maybe someday that could be us too. But the miracle didn't stop there... (you'll find out near the end of the email)

I hurt my toe playing soccer. I think it was jammed because it hurt every time I stepped on it. I later called Sister Lima to find out what she wanted me to do. She asked a lot of  questions and found out that I was playing soccer without shoes. Her response: Não pode (you can't do that!). Well I took a bit of pain medicine and went out to work. It got much better the next day. 

For my birthday, I did the thing all missionaries like. Eat and Baptize. We received money for lunch, so we went to the center of the city and we ate at a pasta buffet. It was way good. They give three different kinds of sauces to use, then the waiters come around and offer different kinds of pastas. Then came the pizzas and the dessert pizzas. The bad part was that Elder Malinconico, the new guy, had his wisdom teeth taken out the day before. He had to sit there and watch the three of us eat as much as we want. Afterward we hit the road. That night we visited Eleziene who went to church on Sunday. She is a friend of our recent convert, Maykon. We took Maykon there too. She is really cool. We invited her to be baptized, but she got a little scared thinking it is early. She asked Maykon to help her, but Maykon said, "That's the way they are." She accepted. I just happened to have a substitute for coffee in my bag, and in that instant we threw away her coffee. She was prepared by the Lord because everything we taught, she accepted. When we taught about coffee, she said that she was already trying to stop. We set it up so that Maykon would baptize her (already having the priesthood). 

On Friday night we got a little adventurous and decided to eat a snack. We got to the place and saw an item called Mega Tudo. Which is like Ultimate Hamburger. We both got one. The guy said we wouldn't finish it. He was right. Elder Branco finished. Maybe if I weren't so old with 21 years old I would be able to finish it. The picture is the one fourth of it that I didn't eat.

Rosane and family. We continued visiting them. They are progressing well. Rosane really wants her kids to join a church. Every time we go there, we cannot leave without eating or receiving some sort of present. As of now I have received a Brazil shirt, a little cow statue, gum, socks and much more. On Sunday, Rosane and Adriano were the only ones who went to church. We'll have to get the others next week. We visited them after church and invited Adriano to be baptized. (Rosane isn't married and lives with her boyfriend). Adriano will give us the answer on our next visit, but he has already expressed desire to serve a mission (due to the awesome sacrament meeting).

Now for the miracle. This missionary who baptized Elder Branco's mom went to our ward this Sunday. The bishop invited him to bear his testimony at the pulpit along with Elder Branco and Maykon. This is the awesome part. Elder Ramos baptize my companion's mom. Elder Branco served a mission and baptized Maykon. Maykon showed the church to and now baptized his friend Eleziene. I've attached the photo.

The church is true. Miracles exist and are part of the gospel. 

Hoping to baptize Adriano next week,

Must be his hurt toe

Looks Yummy!

Just Beautiful!
Elder Walker