Monday, January 30, 2012
To write about my week really quickly.
I spent a good part of my week in splits. So I didn't have too many experiences in my area. It rained a good part of the week, and it's really chilled down a bit. At night it actually gets cold, but I know that will only last a little bit. This week it should go back to being blazing hot.
One of the miracles of my week was in another area. I was on division with Elder Jenks, a newer missionary from Washington. I was doing a baptismal interview for a very special woman, Giamile. The miracle is that It was elder Jenks and I who found her. We stopped her in the street and did a contact several weeks ago. After a few weeks of teaching they taught her, she went to church, read the book of mormon to 1 Nephi 11 in one week, and had a burning desire to be baptized. She isn't the richest person in the world nor the most intelligent, but I was surprised that she absorbed so much from the book of mormon and applied it to her life. She read Lehi's dream and later that week had a similar experience. Her friend was making fun of her for wanting to follow this pattern of life; she described as the people in the great and spacious building pointing their fingers and laughing. It's incredible that the Lord can change our lives in such little time through a simple book. She and her son were baptized.
Another significant part of the week was Marcos. He was a media reference. He is dating a member from Brasilia and they called for him to receive the missionaries. Marcos is a lawyer with very little religious background. The only religion he has he doesn't practice and he told us that he is willing to start a relationship between him and God. He uses a wheelchair because of an accident. He is very intelligent and understands everything we tell him. The problem is faith. He is so smart that he's used to not trusting in things. Our job is slowly helping him to trust. He says he's not Anti american, but he has strong opinions against our country and has problems with the church being from there. He believes the book of mormon. is just the United States trying to once again be the best in everything. He is progressing well. We hope to get him next week.
Love you all. time is out.
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Hola with an Hache! It´s me again. I know I am terrible at writing emails, but it'll get better when i have more time in the field. I am leaving for the temple in about 30 min. I wish I could email afters but it´s all good. Did I mention how much the Peru MTC rocks¿¡?! There is a huge soccer field connected to the MTC, and during gym time, I play with all the latinos. To be honest, I thought they were going to be better.... everyone hypes them up. However, the gringos beat them. My companion played soccer for Iowa Western (or whatever the name is) while my district leader was on the BYU team. Lo es divertido. The president here made everyone sign a contract to finish the BoM within 3 weeks and then PoGP and New Testament in the last 3 weeks. Even though I´m very busy, I is crazy how much I have read each day. I´m on about page 200 in only a week. Also, time management is very important. One can do so much in just one day. And actually, the days are starting to blur here. I have no sense of what day was which anymore. My english is getting worse still. I find myself speaking Spanglish alot, which really means my sentences don´t make sense. hmmm, what else. You guys should ask questions because I don´t really know what to say half the time and my time is very limited... did I mention I was a slow typer? Oh well, es un perro, perro mundo. Oh, my latino companion is learning english just as fast as I am learning spanish. He also plays really good piano, we should do a duet. When I heard him play, yo dijo; ¡Que en el mundo! It was pretty legit. Well chow!
Craig (aka Elder Walker)
mi querido familia,
I have hereby been called to serve in Hospitalet!!!!!!! Yep that´s right I have been transferred!!!!! Hospitalet is pretty much Barcelona. It is a suburb that is packed with all the South Americans. These streets are packed with gold!!!! Kind of the ghetto poorer side of town, pero bueno esta bien. The exciting part is that one of my good friends from BYU-Idaho that I danced with, la hermana Reeder, is my companion!!!!! President knew we were friends. So she picked me up on the train this morning and we struggled all day hauling all of our lugguge together. She´s a cute fun blonde from Utah and has been on the mission 3 months longer than I. We then met up with our 3rd companion, Hermana nalbandian. Yes I´m in another trio, and yes she is a native. This could either be really good or really bad. She doesn´t speak a lick of English. She is from Madrid. I prayed for a native companion who didn´t speak English so it can really force me to get the language down. Well I got my wish so this will be interesting but definitely a growing experience. She´s super nice, super spiritual and loves to work!!!! The Lord always gives us exactly what we need.
Definitely not in Zaragoza anymore though. The piso is discusting! We live with 2 other hermana´s in the piso. Ya I know 5 girls living in a gross tiny apt. Pero bueno, es la vida. Hermana Reeder and I are going to go bye cleaning supplies right now and wipe down the apt from head to toe. I went to the best piso in the mission to the worst piso (apt). I will miss it there, it was hard saying goodbye to everyone, way harder than i thought. I shed a tear then went on my way. I felt good though as all of my favorite members and recent converts showered me with gifts. My district put together a breakfast for me this morning and Abel and his wife took me to the train station. So sad, but ready for a fresh start. The hardest part is is that we had all these millions of baptisms lined up for the next 3 weeks and now I have to miss it. Pero bueno esta bien. I´m excited! I know the Lord knows us individually. I know this is where I am suposed to be. the Lord loves us and will bless us according to our desires and faith. I love the Lord and I love his gospel. I pray that each of you are doing well and enjoying the present. Love you all!!!! take care.
mi nuevo dirección:
c/Rambla Badal 64, 5 #1
08014 Barcelona España
Hermana Caminadora, Spain Barcelona Mission
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Monday, January 23, 2012
Mom, I am working on an itinerary for your trip here. I am finding it difficult to fit in everything I want to do. Can you send me what you know? (when you two arrive, when and where we meet up, when we leave) Dear family, Last Monday I finally took my trip to the Christ Redeemer statue. I will send a few photos. I was impressed with a few things. The statue is HUGE! and Rio is so beautiful. It's no wonder that Rio was voted one of the most beautiful cities in the world. While I was up there I had the chance to practice my spanish with an Argentine woman. I found it much more difficult to speak because I was mixing up Portuguese with my spanish. I mustered out: Somos los misioneros de la Iglesia de Jesucristo de los santos de los ultimos dias. This week I have two miracles to share. The first is a family. The man is named Raimundo and the wife Cléia. Elder Nascimento was already teaching Cléia before I arrived in Meier. She is an elect, but can't be baptized because she lives with Raimundo and isn't married. Raimundo as of last week didn't want anything to do with any church, and he didn't want to get married. When we went to the house, he stayed in the back room. This week that has changed 100%. He appeared in the lesson and for the first time we taught him. He is loving it, and now his wife is so excited that cries almost everytime she thinks about it. So now we have two wonderful families waiting to be married and baptized: Frederico and Fernand, Raimundo and Cléia. The other miracle is the family of our most recent baptism. Gerlane has been working recently and hasn't been able to go to church. But her brother and sister went last week without her. Claudilene is a little tough. She had never gone to church with her sister mostly because no one believed in her. When we went there every sunday the family would try to wake her up and then give up on her saying that we were wasting our time. But during the past week she has shown much more faith. She isn't afraid to say prayers in front of everyone. She wasn't certain if she was ready to be baptized. She tried backing out sunday morning. We told her to at least go to church and we'll talk about baptism later. Well, no one doesn't like church. She was baptized shortly after sacrament meeting. We didn't stop there. Her brother, Lenilson who has also been to church couldn't go this sunday due to work, but really wanted to be baptized. We decided to organize a baptismal service at night just for him. It was a very special experience for Elder Nascimento and me. We had few members there, but those who were there made it so special for him. Claudilene walked 30 minutes to be there. She said the closing prayer in front of everyone. I see so much faith in the converts in moments like this. Claudilene was a member for a few hours and has the courage to say a prayer in front of everyone. I was impressed. Love you all. The church is true. Com amor, Elder Walker
|Holding the Redeemer in his palm|
|Back of the Redeemer Statue|
Saturday, January 21, 2012
Pues, I am here in Peru!! Wow, what a culture shock from Provo! The plane ride was so long, but I made it here safetly. I was the last one of our group to get my papers and visa/passport stamped. When I went up there the guy swiped my passport just like normal, but then he muttered something to his co worker that I didn't pick up. For some reason, he kept saying stuff, then looking at me, then typing more things on the computer. I just stood there and smiled. After about 10 min (everyone else took about a min), he finally stamped my stuff. I don't know what the delay was, but I will just count it as a one of the Lord's tender mercies. When I got out of the airport, I didn't understand anything but RRRRRRRRRRRRR and hola. That was not the same language that I learned in the MTC. The landscape of Lima, Peru reminds me of Henderson/Vegas .... let me finish..... except more green and humid. Instead of deserty mountains, the land is covered in green. Even the downtown city looks the same; industrious and a little trashy. The main differences are the houses and the people. Even though the plane landed at about 10:15, we didn't make it to the CCM and go to bed until 2 in the mañana. Pero, esta bien. I think I'm already going to love it here! It is seriously a Garden of Eden; you know, with the green grass, tropical trees, a water fountain, birds chirping, a serene sound as the wind lightly whispers to you, etc. Yup, basically paradise. However, the walls are so tall and sercurity is so tight that it is compared to a prison, which is a good contrast. There are about 80 people here and a little more than half of them are Latinos. It's awesome! Every Gringo gets a native spanish speaker as a cumpañero. My companion is from Nicoragua (or however you spell that). He is really nice and loves helping me learn the language. Also, everytime I ask him how to say something in Spanish, he always asks back how to say it in Engrish,... with a gr. Not to compare or anything, but I will definitely learn the culture and the language faster here than in the Provo CCM. Well, I don't know how to use this keyboard, so i can't find the return button, but this is me signing off. Hasta miercoles proximo.....................Elder Walker
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Mom - do you know or are we related to a Phil Fifer (I think that's his name) from Idaho falls. He's a middle-aged man. An Elder Fin here, who lives in Rexburg, told me that I look or remind him of that guy... wierd. Also, do you know any Mills family. There's an Elder Mills who's from Idaho here. Also, how do I send pictures? Ryan - What is the answer to your strange riddle that you made up. You know... the one with the indestructible tower against an undefeatable rock; or something like that. This isn't necessarily a P-Day, but instead a chance to do laundry and pack for a couple hours. This email won't be very long at all. I actually don't even know what to say. It's too early to think. I wake up tomorrow morning at 3, be at the travel office at 4 and I think my flight is at 6 or 7? I not sure, but be waiting for my call. I can't wait to learn the language faster down there. My district here, as much as I love them, don't think they are good at Spanish so they never try and speak it. My companion and I are always trying to motivate them to speak it always and we try to, but it's hard when the whole district doesn't. I'm in that wierd phase where I understand most of what my teachers/others are saying, but my brain still thinks in English so I can't respond back to them as fast. I think I still translate it in my head. However, my English grammer has been going down. Sometimes when I speak or write, my sentence structure/grammer would make sense in Spanish, but not in English. Yeah.... now that I done with that rant I will say goodbye to Provo and hello Peru!!! Hasta Peru! -Elder Walker
Monday, January 16, 2012
Hermana Walker here with the news from Zaragoza II. It´s a little overcast here right now, slight wind chill too, but we continue to see miracles daily. Over here a little west from Barcelona Amoako de Ghana, friend of Evans was baptized and confirmed. Went great! He continues to progress and grow everyday. Our next brother who will be baptized this week is Enoch de Ghana. What a blessing it has been to see him finally make that step to the waters of baptism. He was one of my first investigators and lessons when I first arrived here. He kept putting the baptism off, but this week he has come to really know the Book of Mormon is true. He says "that book is like medicine to me!" This Saturday he will be baptized even though all of his family and friends are not in favor of it. His dad is the pastor of another church right next to his house. But he says they will all come to support him, so we will see. Rodrigo also finally set a fecha for the 28th of January. He says he wants to be bapized but has not received an answer yet. We told him that by setting a goal of baptism, by acting in faith, that he will receive his answer that these things are true. I said, well how do you feel when you read the Book of Mormon, pray, and visit with us? "good, peace, and happiness"...well maybe this is your answer, just the simple good feelings of happiness and peace. He says "ya maybe." So we´ll follow up with him this week. He´s a great guy!
STATS: as a missionary....
learning the language=more stress and patience
members=stress, patience, love, happiness
CHURCH= ALL OF THE ABOVE!!!!!!!!!
As for me, I continue to love this work. How grateful and happy I am. This is the most satisfied I´ve felt with myself and my life. I am just so happy, everyday I am just so overwelmingly happy! I just can´t explain it. I love what I do and I know this mission is where I´m supposed to be. I am especially grateful for the challenge President Hinckley gave us to read the Book of Mormon in the next 4 months and highlight anytime we see a name they use to represent our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, as well as word´s that the Lord himself says. I have already felt myself have a deeper understanding and testimony of my Savior. We also had interviews with President 2 days ago. He asked if I was ready to train, I told him I needed more time to feel a little more comfortable with the language. So we set some goals together and I put his advice to work these last two days and it´s absolutely seriously a miracle that I could understand everything these last two days, like seriously I don´t even understand where that came from or what changed. I tried it and by miracle and faith, my language skills are already improving and it´s been only 2 days! Crazy! So president has set the goal with me for 3 months when the next set of Hermana´s come in. AH!!!! He says I came out here already prepared. I got this I can do it, right? I think I can, I think I can....
We also received news that we will be going to Barcelona tonight to pick up our new hermana whom Hermana Preston will be training for her last transfer in the mission. So I am in another trio. Trios are easier though with everything! I love it! All the missionaries here have made a bet that I am the next to be transfered next Tuesday. Who knows where? Any guesses? So we´ll see...but as for right now we´re seeing lot´s of success. I will miss this area if I do leave. I will miss my daily updates from Abel about Mitt Romney, I will miss the ward, I love the people....but this being one of the coldest areas...i will not miss that. So you will not receive an email from me until Tuesday. Every six weeks is transfers and Preparation changes to Tuesday. That´s why you get an email on Tuesdays every so often mom.
Welp here to serve our Lord and master! Love you all!!!!! Keep the letters coming! :)-this message has been brought to you by the Lord´s servants, called to serve in the mission that baptizes worthy converts!
Hermana Caminadora, Spain Barcelona Mission
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
|Baptism in Zaragosa|
|Famous Castle Alferjera|
|Beautiful on the inside|
Time flies. You blink and it's gone. Just like this week. I can hardly remember anything about this week.
We've been working quite a bit with Cilene. Cilene is a woman who has already been to church. She is very poor. She lost her house last year because a giant rock fell on it. Bad luck. I feel like she is progressing well, but something is stopping her from being baptized. I am impressed by her humility and her faith. She wants to give her two year old daughter a better life. Unfortunately she hasn't gone to church yet because there was a party in front of her house all night long. I'm not sure, but I'm willing to bet that Brazil has more parties and holidays than Spain. Every weekend is an excuse to have a barbecue and drink.
We had many other people that we thought were going to progress, but those who progressed this week were the most surprising. Claudilene, Gerlane's sister, surprised us by going to church this week. We had pretty much given up on her because she promises every week and doesn't pull through. Three weeks later when we hardly even talk with her, she decides to go. Her brother Lenilson also went. We've taught him for a few weeks, but he always had to work on Sunday. This sunday he went and really enjoyed it. They were our miracles this week. When we were calling people to go to church we were getting discouraged because everyone gave up Sunday morning, but the Lord always surprises us.
My other miracle of the week was João. We taught him on Christmas eve. We left a very simple message, but he couldn't go to church due to work. We stopping passing by his house. This week his family stopped us in the street and said to come to their house. We went there to find João sick. He said, very humbly, that we had pretty much changed his life. I was standing there thinking, "It was just one little visit..." He said that every year he and his wife fight on Christmas and New Year. This year thay didn't have one fight. He said he always drinks. This year he didn't drink. It's incredible. He says we are angels. We know that we didn't do anything. This must be one of those moments like Ammon and King Lamoni. He will do all he can to be in the church in the next few weeks, but first he has to talk to his boss and get his Sunday's off.
I know that the gospel is true and restored. I know that Jesus Christ is our "redeemer", and I learned what that means in the conference Ensign today.
Saturday, January 14, 2012
So when I got on, I had 10 emails!!! I had to borrow some of my friends time to read all of them and send this email. Mom, I have not met an Elder Jenson yet and I see Elder Swasey (whose mother passed away) all the time. There is also an hermana fish that is going to Peru the same time as me and Cochabamba, Bolivia also. First off, let me say happy birthday to Dad in 2-3 more days! Feliz cumpleaños a ti! You are my favorite dad.... because you are the only one jajajajaja. I hope you have fun and not stress on your day of birth! I´m sorry to hear of Mom´s surgery thing in the hospital! Sounds painful. It was really gross to read about and made my stomach turn. As you guys read in my letter, my travel plans came for the Peru MTC!!! I´ll be leaving next Wednesday at 4. We´ll wait around in the Georgian aiport for 3 hours so I am sure that you guys will be home then to answer my call. Mom, I do not know all the specific information for our flight and arrival. Nobody around here really knows much about the Peru MTC because only 60 to 70 people go there and half of them are natives. It´s probably one of the most prettiest MTCs in the world! Russel M. Nelson came and spoke during a devotional here. He said that he was addressing the presidents and leaders here in the MTC, but I still applied some things that he said to missionary work. So I think there is something in the food here.... It´s like they inject fiber into everything. Also, every here complains about how bad the food is, but I think it beats out Mac and Cheese or taco bell for a whole year anyday! Also, everyone says to avoid the orange juice, whatever that means. My district is pretty funny and cool. We got along really fast and have had any problems! I don´t know why but they gave me a nickname; The Legend! Everytime I say something or do something they say, ´´and the legend continues.´´ I don´t know if they´re making fun of what I do or if I surprise them with everything I do. They´re funny. I don´t think I will every say the word ´´sorry´´ the same again. My teacher always says Sorrry in his Español accent. It´s quite humurous. We also play 4 square at gym time, which is pretty intense! We made up moves and named them... yeah, we´re dorks. I think my companion is starting to get annoyed with all my singing. That´s one thing I kinda miss is music... they won´t let anyone play any music in the provo MTC. So to make up for that, I sing and make beats a lot. Yo sé que Dios es nuestro Padre Celestial y ama todo de Su hijos. ¡Este obra de misionary es ayudando muchas personas en el mundo! En el nombre de Jesucristo, Amen. Well, my time just ran out so I can´t finish my testimonio Elder Walker
WOw!!! Sounds like this week has been crazy again for everyone! And now you ask why I never like going to the doctor...mmmhmm smells like malpractician to me. Oh please how do you accidently rub up against someone´s pancreas?? Crazy....POP....woops I think that was you´re wifes lung....that´s okay she can get by without it? come on people really these are people´s lifes were talking about here. Okay that´s enough of that venting.
I am so glad the holiday is over. They have sooooo many holidays here in Spain!!! The whole country closes down and every one goes on vacation. Makes it really hard to do missionary work. They have the 3 kings holiday which is the 6th of January. Neverending parties here in Spain, this is my kind of country!!!!....just not when I´m a missionary. We were so busy somehow this week even though we were still fired a lot. Amoak is getting baptized this week and is just the icing on a cake kind of guy. Just a great guy!
Can I just tell you how grateful I am to have this opportunity to serve in Spain. What a pleasure! I was so excited to get my call here and continue to be as we see the hand of God perform miracles daily. We were also so excited that we reached our goal of 450 baptisms plus! How neat is that? My testimony grows daily as I see our prayers answered. Our miracle for this week is definitely being able to meet our goal of finding people to teach. We doubled our goal number wise. This is such a blessing as we have really had to struggle these past two weeks with finding people to teach. We finally realized we just had a bunch of recycled internal investigators, in which usually would fire us all the time. So we just contacted like crazy and mined through all the references we could find leaving us with 8 new investigators this week. Luis is our new fecha. He is from Ghana and is just fantastic! We just met him this week and have already had a lesson and he came to church. He loves it and is so excited to be baptized. He loves the Bible and knows the doctrine very well. He was the only person in the gospel doctrine class participating. He´s wonderful and will be baptized the 3rd de Febrero.
Hermana Preston is wonderful. I don´t know what it is but I´ve really seen a change in here this past week. She has grown so much with the time we´ve been together. I love that we just get each other. I love how well she knows her scriptures. Everytime I hear her teach and testify I think, "Yes! That´s exactly how I want to be once I really get a strong grip on the language." She´s great and I have learned so much from her. When she has something to say people really listen, whereas with me they are more focused on correcting my Spanish and how I say it. Someday I hope to be as good as Hermana Preston is at the language. I think that will be my biggest struggle is getting comfortable in the language. I pray every night and study hard, but I still have a hard time understanding and speaking. It gets frustrating at times because I truly want to help these people and want to be a better teacher, but I know all I need now is patience and time.
I love the gospel! Yay for a new year!
I have decided to put more Portuguese in my letters because everyone puts Spanish in their letters. Sorry to hear about all the medical problems in the family. I think mom averages 50% of her time in the hospital. Every other week she has a visit to the hospital. At least it's better than the Brazilian hospitals. They scare me. If you can imagine a hospital from a scary movie, it's a Brazilian hospital. Poorly lit, people suffering and dying, and many other things, and you see all of it. Yesterday we went to the hospital as well. Don't worry, I'm not sick. We gave a blessing to a part-member family from São Paulo. The man was hit by a car while painting the road. He wasn't supposed to live, but he survived. We gave him a blessing and he thanked us doing so. It's nice to know that you can get a blessing while traveling in any part of the world.
Our week was short on time. i felt like we were running everywhere this week. We started the week with trainings with President. That's why I wrote later in the week. Did you guys get that email? It sounded like you hadn't received anything. Anyway, After losing one day of work, we have to do 5 days of work in 4 days. Basically it's impossible. We had very few solid days to work due also to interviews. I went on division on Friday with Elder Jenks in Tijuca. What I really like about exchanges is that we can learn a lot from one another. He kept saying that he had learned a lot from me, but I had also learned a lot from him. That's the beauty of it. I plan to use the things I learned in my area.
We are teaching a young woman named Daniele and her mom. They are elects, but don't know it yet. Daniele has already been to church a few times with her friends, but she says that she has a few doubts about being baptized which she still hasn't shared with us. The mom is way excited to go to church. Hopefully next week we'll help them to understand the importance of baptism and help them to feel the spirit saying that. They didn't go to church because Daniele has some skin disease under her arm. It's kind of gross, but should be better next week. You know how young women are...she wouldn't dare be seen in public with that under her arm!
Gerlane, who was baptized last week was confirmed and is the newest member missionary. She took a friend to church this sunday. This is why I love recent converts. They want everyone to feel the same things they are feeling. And they support one another.
Fun fact, last year they held the first EFY in Brasil in Sao Paulo. This year they will have the very first EFY in Rio during Carnaval. The funny part is that they learn all the same dances and everything. So, as I talk to some of the members who will be the Counselors, they are all surprised when i know the dances they are learning. 4 years of EFY... Represent!!!
Now that I have the conference Ensign, I will start the conference talk thing again. Today I read Elder Packer's talk that he gave to youth. He gave much advice, but one thing that stood out more than the others is the Holy Ghost. He gives the promise that as we follow the Holy Ghost, we will be safe from serious sins. The Holy Ghost will guide us and is more feeling than a voice. He quotes one scripture where Nephi says to feel the voice of the Holy Ghost which is an interesting concept. Usually we hear voies, but the Spirit's voice is a feeling.
Love you all and I wish the best for all.
Sei que a Igreja é verdadeira e que o evangelho foi restaurado pelo profeta Joseph Smith. Sei que Pai Celestial está guiando todas as nossas vidas e que a obra dele é uma obra maravilhosa e um assombro. Sei que o Livro de Mormon é verdadeiro. Ao seguir os princípios do livro, poderemos chegar a Cristo e conhecer o evangelho dele.
Pues, Pues, Pues, Que tenemos aqui? It has now been a week (and a day) since I've been out. I'll admit that life got easier after the first couple days. Our district is way awesome! We all got to know each other really fast. I think my teacher got a little annoyed from our teasing and joking with each other. Chistes. My companion Elder Knight is great because he always reminds me to be obedient to the little rules that I sometimes like to see how far i can go without actually breaking any rules. For example going to be exactly on time and doing everything exactly as it says on the schedules. Everyone says how great missions are because they change your life and make you a better person. So I came here thinking how better I will be and how great a second language will be. For me however, I get a loss of motivation when I focus on myself. My motivation to work hard only comes back when I focus my thoughts and energy on my future investigators and by loving them. Then I work hard and efficient to make sure I'm everything I can be for them. One great program/learning thing at the MTC is the progressive investigator. We have investigators (teachers?) come in and we have to learn the lessons in spanish and teach their needs. Yesterday, I commited him to baptism and he said yes! What's also cool is that he will become our future teacher and we'll learn all the things we said right and everything we messed up on in Spanish, etc. I came into my class thinking that people would help me with the language. However, my whole district looks to me for what to say. It's weird because we learn the same thing, but for some reason it sticks in my head. I've never had this good of memory in school! It's sometimes annoying when i'm trying to concentrate and then I hear "Elder Walker, como se dice blah blah blah." Nevertheless, I think that I've been given a strength to contribute and help my district out. Well, my time is running out fast. Mom, please send more t-shirts/p-day shirts. I love you all, adios. -Elder Walker
|Jan. first conversion with Hermana Preston|
|District in Zaragosa|
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
Now is the time to reminisce on the year of 2011 to see what God has blessed us with and what we need to change. I love setting new goals for the new year! I have sent some pictures to reminisce on my missionary experience so far, since I wasnt very good at sending pictures at first...oops! For new years they celebrate it by eating a grape every second of the last 12 seconds before the clock strikes midnight. Really funny because your mouth is just this big bowl full of grapes. I have also learned the elect always feed you. We had a ton of meals this week. Everyone feeds you, you cant get out of it. So when we dont want to eat to not offend we ask to take it in a doggy bag home. Thats just the latin culture.
So we have 3 missionaries out now. THATs NUTs!!!!!!! yay for missionary work. Sounds like youre having a great old time in the MTC Craig. So I actually had a scary experience new years eve with a man but all is well. I am not harmed.
This week has been full of miracles. I want to specifically talk about Orlano. We found Orlando Wednesday night as we were knocking on Antiguos doors. We had been walking for hours, we were cold, sick, hungry, tired, lost and just not having a lot of success. As I was starting to drag slower behind Hermana Preston thinking what we should do I spotted a man who seemed to be waiting for somebody. We caught eyes as we walked past. He looked into my eyes with this feeling of being lost, sad, cold, and needed help. Through the wind I yelled in front of me ¨Hermana, we´ve got to go back and talk to that man.¨ Sure enough he was more than prepared to receive us. We taught him the whole first lesson in a nut shell right on the street. We gave him a Book of Mormon and he thanked us as we set up a visit and went our ways. At that next visit he told us that he was just feeling empty like there is something missing in his life. He then went on to say that night he was miserable hungry, and cold waiting for a client who was late. That´s when we stopped to talk to him. If that client had not have been late, if we had not been lost we would not have found him. God knew that would happen. He placed him in our path. Just as both of us had about hit our limit and were going the extra mile, that´s when miracles happen. PRICELESS.
I love my companion Hermana Preston. She has taught me so much about life, myself, what a missionary should do, etc. Something I really admire about her is her listening skills. She is really good about listening to these people and discerning their needs. She always says exactly what needs to be said and at the right moment. Something I know I need to work on.
I love this gospel I know its true with all my heart. ENJOY THE YEAR OF 2012!!!!!!!!!!!
Sorry to be writing a little late. We had training on Monday and Tuesday.
First I would like to say Happy Birthday to mom. I would buy you a present, but knowing that it would cost me a fortune to send it or never even make it, I'll just wait until you come down here.
Happy 2012!! This year will be very exciting because I come home, there is a presidential election, and the world will end in December.
This year we had to go to bed at 10:30. But it was pretty much impossible due to all the fireworks. Brazil goes crazy with fireworks. They have them every Sunday for soccer games. One thing that is cool here is that everyone dresses in white for New Year. It is supposed to symbolize peace. Elder Nascimento and I used our white ties being the only thing that we can actually change.
The rain never stops here. I left Nova Friburgo thinking that the rain would stay there, but I guess it's just that time of the year. Rain makes it pretty difficult to dry clothes due to the lack of dryers in this country. We worked our best this last week. With New Year being Sunday it makes it really difficult to find those who are willing to wake up early after staying up for hours drinking. However, we managed a baptism. Gerlane is a young woman with a lot of faith. It's not any person who has the courage to get baptized on New Years. She woke up at 6 after going to bed at 4 just to get ready. It was so special. It proves that there are people in the world who are willing to change and do their best to keep the commandments. The ward was very nice when receiving her. I have never had a ward so wonderful on my mission. All the members were actually there to help. We didn't do anything. Usually the members run when you want to take pictures, but this time everyone wanted to be in the picture. I was really impressed and happy to have a ward with that kind of attitude.
Mom, I make my bed every day.
I know that this church is true. I believe that the principles of the gospel can change anyone's life. It's interesting that many don't know the joys of the gospel just because they aren't willing to experiment. It's not easy but just like Lehi, once we have tasted, that's all we want for our family and friends.