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

October 24, 2011 Columbus Day Celebration

Dear Family,
These last 2 weeks have been wonderful, fun, and full of lot´s learning experiences!  First in celebration of Colombus day, October 12th, the Spaniards have a lot of pride, go crazy and party hard.  Here it is called Dia de Españoles.  They dress in traditional Spaniard clothing, sing, party, and DANCE!!!!!!!  We went on preparation day and joined in the celebration.  We watched one of our investigators, Enoch, getting baptised soon, dance.  He is from Ghana so it was African dancing, but there was all kinds of dancing everywhere in the streets so Im sure you can see how much I enjoyed this event and day!   Felt like I was back at Disneyworld.  They had this huge just huge pile of flowers to the saint Pilar.  There were parades and food from every latin country.  Pilar (name of the whole monthly event) ended with fireworks that are even cooler than the states!  Just as you see the finale it stops and starts over again and the fireworks are so different...kinda neat.
         The Sunday before I bore my testimony in church and for some reason everyone thinks I can speak Spanish just fine so I was asked to give a talk then sing that next Sunday.  It went fine.  I got up there fearless not nervous at all and talked about the role of the spirit in conversion.  How we as missionaries don´t convert, it´s the spirit that does.  Our job is just to help them feel that spirit that manifests the truth of all things.  Then I used Columbus as an example in remembrance of Columbus day.  Here is a little piece of what I said:
        Between 600 BC and 582 BC, the prophet Nephi from the Book of Mormon recorded this remarkable prophesy:
"And I looked and beheld a man among the Gentiles, who was separated from the seed of my brethren by the many waters, and I beheld the spirit of God, that it came down and wrought upon the man, and he went forth upon the many waters, even unto the seed of my bretheren, who were in the promised land."  (1 Nephi 13:12)
      Columbus explains his motivation for making the great voyage of discovery with these words:
"With a hand that could be felt, the Lord opened my mind to the fact that it would be possible to sail from here to the Indies, and he opened my will to desire to accomplish the project. This was the fire that burned within me when I came to visit Your Highness.  All who found out about my project denounced it with laughter and ridiculed me.  All the sciences which I mentioned above were of no help... Whocan doubt that this fire was not merely mine, but also of the Holy Spirit who encouraged me ....urging me to press forward?
Columbus, ofcourse, did not have access to the Book of Mormon account of Nephi´s vision, yet he understood clearly the prophetic nature of his endeavor..."I believe that there is evidence that our Lord is hastening these things.  This evidence is the fact that the Gospel must now be proclaimed to so many lands in such a short time.  No one should be afraid to undertake any project in the name of our Savior, if it is a just cause."
As missionaries we need to remember just that.  To not be afraid to take on this great task or project.  We are here in the name of our Savior, our badges even say it.  Our Savior accomplished all.  And for me that sounds like a pretty just cause, why not go forward with the work?  Being a missionary is not easy, but so worth every minute!  And it´s fun!  So have confidence and don´t  be afraid to get out there and share what you know to be true, because it is true and the spirit will manifest to the people that it is.   Yay for COLUMBUS who discovered the promised land, America, so that this great work could be brought to pass!
Le ama,
Hermana Walker
Here is my address if you would like to write letters:
                   Hermana Walker
           c/ Clara Campoamor 18, 8B
             Zaragoza, Spain 50018
Hermana Caminadora, Spain Barcelona Mission
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

Monday, October 17, 2011

Marissa's typical week

Oh my parents you continue to make me laugh for various reasons......hahaha
HAPPY BIRTHDAY CAMEROOOONY!!!!!!!!!  "you´re a real boy!"  Big 21 woo-hoo!  You come home so soon too!  Are you excited?  back to the good ole´ Y  what´s your mailing address?  can somebody send it to me?  thanks
This week has been exhausting!  So much but I continue to love it!  It has been such an eventful week I wouldn´t even know where to start so rather I´m not going to tell you a thing about my week.  I´m just going to simply tell you what a missionaries week looks like and what our purpose out here is. 
First of all it´s 10 times different from the MTC.  MTC was a joke compared to how hard the mission field is.  I wouldn´t be here unless it were true.  We wake up every morning at 6:30, 7:30 here, workout for half an hour then eat breakfast and get ready for the day.  At 9am we have personal study for an hour, at 10am companion study for an hour.  As a trainee we have extra study for one more hour on in-field training stuff which includes reading, videos, and roleplaying practices.  Then we have lunch, sometimes with a member who is kind enough to feed us and sometimes just ourselves.  Then it´s outside proclyliting.  We set up visits and always have place after place to go.  We check up on all our investigators with a friendly call and contact on the bus on our way to visits.  It´s a lot of fun, but also a lot of work.  A lot of record-keeping goes into it too.  On Saturdays we give service, here I teach 2 dance classes one in the morning and night.  They´re a hit, I´ll tell more details about them next week.  Then we also teach English classes.  Good missionary tools and lots of success from them.  We are just here to help people.  We come back at 10pm to plan and then go to bed.  There are also a lot of meetings throughout the week as a zone and district.  Sunday is church and more visits, Monday is Preparation day where we get to see the sights, enjoy the culture events, sleep, write letters, clean our pisos, shop, and pretty much just relax after all our hard work throughout the week.  We´ll make meals for people and lots of other fun things for them.  Our purpose throughout all this is to invite others and help them come unto Christ through the restored gospel through faith on the Lord Jesus Christ and His atonement, repentance, baptism, the laying on of hands by the gift of the holy ghost, and teaching them to endure to the end.  Lessons include the plan of salvation why we are here, where we came from, where we are going, the restoration, the gospel of Jesus Christ, laws, ordinances, and commandments, etc.  The list goes on.  I know the gospel of Jesus Christ has now been restored back to the earth through a prophet Joseph Smith.  I know the Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ and his ministry here on earth, I know this to be real.  I know this is God´s work and has been from the time of the first prophet Adam.  So have a good week and smile because the gospel is all about being happy!  Have a good week!
Heramana Walker :)

Week of Cameron's 21st Birthday

Dear Family,

All I can say is lots of RAIN!! As we are here in Nova Friburgo which flooded last January, the people are Freaking out!! Rain is scaring everyone into thinking that the same disasters will happen again. We woke up one morning to a thunder that I'm sure was more than one minute. I thought it was a semi on our street because it was actually rattling the windows. All this started Tuesday and has been off and on for the rest of the week. Rain makes our work pretty difficult, but we manage. The river her fills up so quickly. There is one part where it over flowed. We had no other choice but to cross. My shoes got really muddy, but my feet didn't get wet.

As we visit Rosane and her family, they continue to grow in the gospel. They are wonderful people. We can't go to their house without them offering food, and she doesn't let us leave until we've eaten. I'm not complaining... Her two sons are way awesome. They want to go to church and participate with the soccer there. Unfortunately the rain is keeping everyone indoors this week. When we went to her house on Saturday, the mood was a bit saddening. Rosane had just lost a dear friend that day. We gave a very comforting lesson about the plan of salvation. What a blessing it is to know of the plan. When we truly believe and accept the plan Heavenly Father has created for us, life and death have much more hope. We know why we're here and where we are going. We don't need to worry about our family members because we know we will see them again. She really appreciated the lesson, and expressed here desire to some day make it to the "sun".

Marinez, the elderly lady we are teaching, was terrified this week. She doesn't like the rain, and she sits in the window worrying about her family. She shared the stories from the disaster which from her stories it really was a disaster.

The best part of my week had to have been a lesson we taught with Maykom, our recent convert. We took him with us to teach his neighbor. It was a very special and spiritual lesson. Without knowing, he interrupted me and bore his testimony about the book of mormon and invited our investigator to read and pray. He then apologized, but what he didn't know is that he said everything perfectly. We didn't even ask him to do that. The investigator felt it, I'm sure. After the lesson Maycom asked us if we always feel this way. We said that what he is feeling is the spirit. This is the spirit that can only be felt when you help others and participate in missionary work. He wants to teach many more lessons with us. He was so excited that he brought a friend to church on Sunday. Which brings me to my next thought. We are trying to marry him. We talked about all the options in the ward, then he mention this "friend" he has. We told him to take her to church, we'll teach her, then Maykom can baptize her. /It'll be perfect.

The church is true. The world may have different opinions, but those who really know the gospel and understand it and live it, know it to be true. Just like John 7:17 we have to give it a test drive to know. It is a blessing to know the things we know through the restoration and a living prophet.

Com amor,

Elder Walker
Cam-did you get your b’day package?  How does it feel to be 21?  Legally blond?

Not yet. I live a little distant from the rest of the mission so maybe it has already arrived and I just don't know. I'm not yet 21. I'll let you know how it feels next week.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Cameron-first week of October 2011

Elder Bednar is coming to our mission November 16!!
I got the pictures of Marissa that you sent. The visa. Can you wait until the end of the month. i think I am going to have to renew my Visa this month. I will be able to tell you then.
Dear brethren and sistren, 

The week was full of excitement. Sunday we held a fireside with a musical group that would come in from Rio. We scrambled to pass out invites to everyone. We told them how great it would be. I was really excited as well.

Denise. We finally managed to talk to her after almost a week of not talking. Unfortunately, when we got there she wasn't nearly as receptive as she was when we first found her. She talked with her Pastor and he told her that it wasn't a good idea to mix religions. She said that all religions are God's and we all worship the same god. I explained very delicately that this is a lie. It's true that we all speak of the same Christ and that many religions have good things, but God would not be the source of the confusion of religions that the world has today. Just the simple idea that her pastor told her not to mix religions and all religions are God's doesn't make sense. If they are all his, why can't we mix? Needless to say, I was a little sad and upset to lose someone that received us so well.

The best part of the week was the new people we found. A member gave us a referral of a woman, Rosane, who wants to learn English and her kids who speak more or less. We went there and they are way cool with us. Unfortunately they couldn't go to church because they would be traveling, but they went to the fireside that night. The best part was when we were leaving their house, the mom lead us to the door and then she started to tell us that she wants to learn english, but she also wants her kids to follow a church. She would never tell her kids that. As you can imagine we were pretty excited because we too want her kids to follow a church (wink, wink). 

The next cool part was when we found Marinez. We were actually trying to contact Rosane when we pushed the wrong button for the apartment. Marinez answered and we asked where Rosane lives. She informed us, then we asked her if we could leave a message with her. She agreed. She is also way awesome. She doesn't have any religious preferences because she doesn't like all the wrong things she sees in churches. I explained to her very bluntly that this is because all those churches are established by men. They are in it for the money (most of them). We explained the restoration and explained how our church is different. She has visited many churches but never visited our church. Unfortunately, something came up on Sunday and she couldn't go to church. I trust her and believe she still has a great chance to progress.

Thursday I went to Teresopolis on a division. I can now say I saw the finger of God just like the brother of Jared. I can say this because there is a rock in teresopolis that is called the finger of God. It looks like a hand with a finger pointing upward. It was an interesting division. Our Zone Leaders have a very good teaching group because they work well with the members. I'm pretty sure they had a member at every single visit. They are using the recent converts to find new investigators. I will have to try more of what they do. They are good leaders because they set good examples. Interesting part -- the missionary who baptized Elder Branco's mom is from Teresopolis, While I was there I found out who the man is. Elder Branco is really excited to meet him. This man doesn't know that his convert's son is serving in his stake. It will be a fun moment when they meet each other.

Mom, I know you are asking to know what I eat, but to me, i eat the same thing every day. Beans and rice. It's not exciting. My favorite type of beans is feijoada. It's like regular black beans and rice, but it is tempered differently and has interesting parts of the pig. I try to avoid those parts, but the way it is tempered makes it very good. We made food at home this week. We made this traditional brazilian dish called storgonof. It's like a tomato soup with milk and meat in it. The way I make it is better because I put taco seasoning and chili powder in it. The brazilians don't like chili or anything spicy, but I don't tell them until after they are eating it. They all love it.
My companion is still Elder Branco. He is officially the elder I have spent the most time with. He connects well with many investigators because has quite the past. He has overcome a smoking and drinking addiction. It really helps the investigators. I can encourage them as much as I want, but I still have never put any of those things into my mouth.

Nova Friburgo is an impressive place. The city gradually is recovering from the tragedy in january. There are serious mountains of dirt that fell from above. The streets are in terrible condition because of this. The bishop was telling us stories the other day about the day of the accident. He said his parents were underground for 6 hours before being rescued.

The fireside was excellent. it was about the book of mormon. The turnout of members was great. We had five investigators from the two wards in the city. A group from Rio came and sang. They sang well and left a great spirit. We took 35 book of mormon's and a ton of pamphlets and other materials. Almost everything was gone. I hope this means lots of future referrals. 

Love you all. The church is true.

Elder Walker

Marissa's first week of October 2011

Hola familia from the beautiful smelly country of Spain!

I continue to love being a missionary!  The Lord continues to bless us with many tender mercies and I am silenced by the love he has for me as I grow in the gospel and the language.  The first week was hard because people talk so fast, all I could do was smile back and say "I don´t understand you but I am so excited for your baptism!"  This week I can finally understand the jist of the conversations and have started to speak more in the lessons and socializing.  Believe it or not I was sooooo shy the first week, but now that I am starting to adjust and know everyone I am slowly opening back up.  We have been so busy this week from moving, training, cleaning, and missionary work.  There is a big celebration going on right now called PILAR, it´s a catholic thing.  So everyone keeps cancelling and firing us.  Pretty much all that goes on is a lot of drinking and they wear these overall pants that everyone signs as they sag them below their drawers...very odd.  This is when all the teenagers come out.

There are about 15 different smells here and none of them are good.  Everyone and their dog either smokes, has a dog, or both so I think I´ll die from 2nd hand smoke.  There is a train that we call the shaky train, feels like an earthquake and all us missionaries start shimming when we get on it´s funny.  We take the train or the bus everywhere and meet some interesting people.  One we met was Elane (pronounced Alien).  She has been reincarnated from Cleopatra, is every religion(soon to be Mormon haha), has had many visions from God, and is a hippy from I know what Cameron has to deal with crazy Brazilians.  We gave her a Book of Mormon in Portugeese because she collects bibles, she is really nice though and has a lot of faith!  We asked her to say the closing prayer and it was silent for 5 minutes, finally we asked if she would say one out loud.  We had a good laugh afterwards.  My comp. said that was the most interesting experience she has had on the mish and she has been here for a while.  Lot´s of gypsy´s here they all have dredlocks and dig out of the trash can.  You can hear them clanking around at night.  Everyone is either Catholic, Evangelical, or Athiest.  The Nicaraguens and all of the south americans are the nicest people and the easiest ones to commit to baptism.  I love them.

oh and good news.....MY DANCE WORKSHOP WAS APPROVED!!!!!!!   Funny thing is everyone before me tried to get it approved and president always said no.  He must like me and feels I am qualified.  He says he thinks it is a fantastic idea the way we explained it and can´t wait to hear about the success from it. He says all I have to do is where missionary attire and make sure the music is clean.  The branch coucelor is worried and doesn´t get it but I told him not to worry and to trust me. He´s a little intense.  All the member and investigators are sooooo excited and are bringing friends!  They are esp. excited because it´s latin dancing.  It´s a big melting pot here...people from all over the world so I think I´ll switch it up each week.  Samba for the Africans, cha cha this week for the south americans, and foxtrot and waltz for all the others from europe and russia.  I can´t wait!   I´ll keep you posted on how it goes.  We will be holding dances at the end of each month for the members and their nonmember friends to show off their moves.  We also along with dance teach English every Saturday.  It´s fun!  I feel like mom pulling out all the elementary songs in English for everyone to try.  Mom as much as I dreaded doing them growing up their coming in pretty handy now.  This is finally when all my skills are coming in handy piano(already had to lead then play for sacrament), dance, English, kid games, the list goes on.

I have to give a talk then sing with my companion in church next week.  Church is amazing, the people are amazing and we had 5 investigators there this week.  Everyone wants our attention everywhere we go and we just can´t please everyone but we somehow balance our time well.  Lot´s of fun stories to tell but not enough time!  Darn.  Well I love you all and enjoy reading each of your letters.  Dad you make me laugh, I know how much you enjoy being boss!  Looks like I´ll just have to bring Ballroom back to your school in 3 years.  Mom why are you always hurting yourself?  Take care of yourself haha.  Craig why have you disappeared off of planet earth come back!  Ryan I´m proud of you and all your success´s.  Emily I love and miss you terribly.  Cameron...I FINALLY KNOW WHAT YOU ARE GOING THROUGH!!!!!   being a missionary is hard!!!!!!  it is work, but I love it.  Anything for my Savior Lord, and King.  I know this work is his work.  I wish I could share ALL of the wonderful things I am learning in the scriptures and from people but all that matters is that by following the Savior we become our best self´s, by following the Savior we are living his gospel, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  Now restored on this earth again.  I love you all have a magnificent week!

Hermana Walker

We have gone from 1 baptism to 4 with a date at the end of the month. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

Cameron's letter 10-3-11

Cam with Elders

Cam with Elder Bronco

Baptisms 10-11

Baptism of 92 year old
RIO DE JANEIRO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

just had to do the same thing Marissa did.

The week of conference is one of our busiest weeks. There are several chances for people to go to church and we work extra hard to get people there. However, people tend to not go to church when it is much easier to go. I don't really understand why. We worked so hard, and we baptized!!

We found a woman this week called Denise. She listened to the message of the restoration. She didn't talk very much which led me to believe that she wasn't understanding, but I'm pretty sure she understood. She agreed to read and pray about the book of Mormon and we marked to visit her again on Thursday. When we got there on Thursday she said she had bad news for us. We thought that it would be something awful. She informed us that she had not read. Her friend saw us leave her house the last visit and shortly after the friend went by her house saying that our church doesn't like black people and that apparently it says that in the book. She took the book with her to show the preacher of their church. Her friend never gave the book back. We showed up there and gave her another book. WE showed her Nephi 26:33 which explains how God will accept anyone who seeks him independent of color. She said, "well it's very clear that what my friend said was a lie." She said she will not trust anyone but God on a decision like this. She doesn't agree with some of the things that her pastor has been saying. She will read, ask God, and she will receive an answer. 

Another miracle of the week was Wellington. He is the boyfriend of a member of the other ward in the city. He had already been taught by the missionaries in the past, but they never returned. We went there to see where he was at. He had already been to church, read the book of mormon, and he knew it was true. He always had wondered why Christ only appeared in Jerusalem. We read together 3 Nephi 11. It shows when Christ appeared in the Americas and talks about baptism. After reading the chapter. I asked what he liked most about the chapter. He said baptism. We held back our joy. Elder Branco then invited him to be baptized. He asked when it would be. He said as soon as possible -- in other words, today. He accepted. The bishop was way excited for this  because he wants to send him on a mission. However, it looks like he is wanting to get married. We'll see how this plays out. 

I missed the first session of conference and almost all of the third session. We showed up Saturday afternoon, and the satellite stuff wasn't working. The leaders got everything worked out by the second session. They simply used the internet of a laptop and hooked that up to a projector. The blessings of technology--internet in any place and conference live on the internet in Portuguese!  I enjoyed many of the talks, but I don't remember a whole lot. I remember a lot of talks being about missionary work. I really appreciated Elder Holland's talk in the priesthood session.

Love you all. The church is true and President Monson is a living Prophet of God. 

More love,

Elder Walker

First letter from Marissa officially in the field-Zargosa is her first area.


Yeah finally made it here!  Felt like I was never going to make it or go on a mission.  Haha.  It was hard saying goodbye to everyone at la CCM in Madrid.  I absolutely adored President and his wife who said to keep in touch so they can send me a wedding gift.  That man is so inpiring I learned so much from him and I dance with his niece.  The French Tahitians showered us with gifts, I felt like a crappy American so I gathered some American money and dodads to share with them.  Don´t tell them you like something of theirs or they´ll give it to you haha. 

President Hinckley is great!  His spirit is just as cute and funny as his fathers.  They took good care of me and were just so fun and nice.  He´s really relaxed and easy going, but man I felt so close to the spirit around him with all of his powerful and welcoming word´s!  Did you see me on the blog yet?  The city is breathtaking, not like any cite I´ve seen before.  So much that I couldn´t help but let a few tears go. My companion is wonderful!  We get along so well and I´ve learned so much from her already.  she´s a mix of Brooke McEween and Tenaya Mortenson, looks and personality!  She´s from Utah (shocker! ha).

My first area is ZARAGOZA!  Everyone seems to know Elder Bradley haha, they all say hi Graham.  The apartment and city here is probably the worst smell you will smell in your entire life.  The first night we woke up in the middle of the night because it smelt so bad.  It´s a rotten fishy smelly hairball drain smell, I´ll leave out other details.  We´re moving to a new piso(apt) in a week.  There is so much to be done here and so many things on our to do list.  The companion before me was very sick so they didn´t have much success or do much.  This week we went from having one investigator to having 5.  I´m pumped and like dad ready to change this place with new ideas and enthusiasm for the work.  I asked president if I could hold a dance class for my service every sat.  Still waiting to here back. 

I have been humbled.  It was like a fish being thrown from the American land into the Med sea.  My eyes are now opened to how important this work truly is. I have been enlightened all week and learned so much about myself and the power that God can truly have in our lives.  God gets his power just from us obeying him, keeping our covenants, commandments, ordinances, etc.  That is the same way the ad The first 3 days were the hardest days of my life haha.  I was a little homesick but with positive attitude pushed through it and am on fire now and bearly think about home. I am so grateful to live in America and have a spectacular family.  It´s amazing how far a positive attitude and simple Hello goes.  I may not be fluent in the language but I understand the jist of it and have been able to have success through the spirit.  Even one lady told me that she felt her daughters presence and energy there.  wow!  The first day I was so shy and quiet and just observed everything.  so  un-marissa like!   The next day I got over it and just decided that I had to start somewhere and immersed myself in the work and language.  I say Hola to every person and they are like do I know you? and on the bus, "Puedo practicar mi español con usd?"  ¡Si, Si!  They all love my American accent or think I´m this guarda from England they say.  But it works and we have gained so many numbers from me just being my silly funny self and opening my mouth.  They all think I´m funny so it makes me feel good about myself.  We are told that we chose to be missionaries in the pre-existence, this means if we have a desire we must act upon it. I believe wonder I couldn´t get it out of my head until I just made the choice to go.  Now I´m just loving it.  My testimony has grown so much and everything finally makes sense.  I relate to these Spaniards so well because they´re stubborn but so am I.  Spain spanish is hard and so different! 

We´re teaching Fanny, Sarpong, Dorcus, Cintia, Enoch, and Juan Pablo.  haha crazy names huh?  They all have so much faith and will be baptized.  No doubt!  Lot´s of immigrants from all over here.  Africa, south America, France, then there´s me.  The food is good but I´ve already had a lot of fish and octopus.  Soon to have snail!  yuck!  There were cochroches all over one of the members kitchen.  I feel like I´m in South America in this city.  Lot´s of poverty here, gypsy´s, and nobody has jobs with the economy.  The driver´s are nuts here!  I´ve already seen 2 accidents.

I loved conference esp. Uchdorf´s talk on the forget me not flower during the relief society conference!  A lot of the apostles are getting old!  It´s crazy because where they are building the temple in provo I lived right down the street.  That was my stake center that burnt down!  But I know the church is God´s kingdom est here once again on the earth, The church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter Day SAINTS.  i love the work and challenge you to invite someone to church this week because they are not progressing if they are not at church.  love you all!

Hermana Walker