Tuesday, June 26, 2012

6 months

Hello family, 
I hit the 6 month mark! Time flies by fast, and it keeps getting faster. 
So this past weekend was San Juan, whatever that is. All the hills 
were lit on fire and people lit off (lame) fireworks. We also ate 
hotdogs. It seems like there´s a holiday every other week. I asked 
around why they celebrate this holiday and nobody knew, they all said 
tradition. I think they just find reasons to eat, drink, and be merry, 
everyone was drunk Saturday and Sunday. It´s also getting very cold 
here...It´s a dry cold where it´s bone chilling. I wear all my 
jackets, my scarf, and a beanie. 
My companion keeps tellling me how horrible potosi is and how it´s his 
worst and hardest area he´s been in. Personally, I don´t think it´s 
that bad, probably because it´s my first area. Although I heard that 
most people find their most success with references from members. I 
visited a ton of members and less actives and know almost the whole 
ward personally; however, I haven´t recieved one refence from a 
member... We just knock doors when we have nothing to do. This week, 
it payed off pretty well. We found many people that have members for 
years but haven´t gone for over about 15 years. We then starting 
teaching them and their family who aren´t members. This happened 3 
times this week. ALso, I had my first baptism on the mission. Ít´s 
really my second, but it´s the first one that I actually taught up 
until baptism. He also recieved his confirmation on sunday and during 
priesthood meeting, he recieved the priesthood. It usually doesn´t 
happen that fast but I guess the bishop thought he was ready since 
he´s been listening to the Elder´s for 2 years and attending church. 
Stay close to the gospel, be prepared, and take the holy spirit as 
your guide so that you will not be confounded at the last day. 
-Elder Walker 

MIRACLES do happen...

¡Somos "EL FARO," el mision de Barcelona España!  We are the lighthouse as said of all of Europe.  We are to invite all to come unto Chirst, receive his gospel, have faith, repent, be baptized, receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, and endure to the end.  We are to stand as a witness and representative of CHRIST in all TIMES and in ALL THINGS and in ALL PLACES. 
What we do in the Spain Barcelona mission:
  1. We are obedient!
  2. We are pure and worthy
  3. We work hard!
  4. We work with members
  5. We testify of the truth of all things
  6. We teach people not just lessons
  7. We teach through th power of the Book of Mormon
  8. We try to be Christ-like daily
  9. We have fun and we enjoy our missions
  10. We help and serve others
  11. We walk a TON!
  12. We keep our pisos(apartments) clean
  13. We are happy!
  14. We are diligent and bold
  15. We give nun punches when we see a nun (but only after they pass by) haha
  16. We are healthy
¡¡¡POR FIN!!!  We were able to finally see Osas baptized.  What a beautiful day it was!  He was so excited and gave the most beautiful testimony at his baptism.  This is the investigator who had a dream about us before we even met him.  In the dream me and Hermana Cozzolino were sharing oranges with him.  Very much like Lehi´s dream!  He recently had a dream very similar, but this time he was the one in the river that separates the wicked and the righteous and he (in the dream) was helping people out of the river to the tree of life.  He says he wants to serve a mission now.  Oh our African brother OSAS!!!!   YEEE!!!!!  He is great and gave a very motivating and powerful testimony of the Book of Mormon and how it compliments the bible.  The ward did a good job of welcoming him.  I know the Lord is in this work!  We see miracles daily.  The adversary likes to work hard the day of baptism.  For example this time it was on our ward mission leader who organizes the baptism.  It´s nice in this area because the ward likes to do everything for the baptisms.  All we have to do is get the investigator to their baptism.  Kind of nice and relaxing.  Our poor mission leader forgot to put the plug in the font so the water was just running all day long....we had to move the baptism from 6pm to 8pm...´didn´t go too well with our bishop, but all is well he was baptized!!!!!  Poor guy forgot his baptism clothes because he was the one performing the baptism, then he forgot to call the people he had to call to come at the later time to the baptism.  Our poor mission leader.  haha.  We thanked him and tried helping him.  He´s only 21 and is waiting for his mission call right now.  I think he´s ready to just get out of here and finally on his mission.  The next day we had his confirmation in church.  Went beautifully.  Now we have another baptism of Maria from Bolivia this next week.  Crossing our fingers that everything will go as planned.  We evacuate the area in a week and a half.  Kinda of sad because I might have to start saying goodbye to people.  Don´t like that time.  But I´m starting to smell like it´s my time to be trasferred.  Just when you start loving the area and people you get transferred!!!!  darn.  The mission life.  Well I love you all and wish you the best this week.  Do an act of service this week for the ones you love!!!!  the gospel is true.
Take care, cuidase,

Marissa thinks this is Mom's twin
Hermana Walker

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Happy Father's Day

Dad, I hope you have a great father´s day. I don´t have much time to 
write, so everything that Marissa wrote... igual from me too. 
I´m exhausted. We just came back from hiking the mighty Cerro Rico, or 
the big mountain covering Potosi. There were lots of mines throughout 
the mountain that was fun to explore. I sent pictures of it. It looked 
small when I was at the bottom of it, but turned out to be really 
long. I couldn´t breath that well - there´s no air here. 
So this week, I probably knocked over 100 doors...and I think one 
person let us in. That´s pretty discouraging, but I made it through. 
You know, for some reason, I thought that the people down here would 
be humble and let us in a lot. Well, they are humble. But they don´t 
let us in... Is it me? Probably. I never know what to say when they 
answer the door. Any suggestions? Any cool tricks or strategies to get 
in the door and share a message that could change their lives? I´ve 
done a ton of service this week as well. I washed clothes in freezing, 
cold water. That was fun. Also, we were going through a million 
potatoes to see if they had gusanos or worms in them. If they did, we 
had to cut through it to get the worm out. It was hard to tell if they 
had worms or not. Well, afterwards, the lady cooked up the potatoes 
and served like 10 of them to us. I bit through my third potato only 
to find something squishy. I was the lucky winner. Looks like we 
didn´t get all the worms out. jajaja. 
So I´ve learned that the Lord prepares people to hear this the message 
of the restoration and for me as a missionary. One lady were teaching 
couldn´t stop looking at the front of the pamplet we gave her of the 
restoration. At the end of our lesson, she told us that Jesus visited 
her in one of her dreams a while back. He was wearing the same outfit 
in her dream as the one on the cover of the pamphlet. That was 
awesomely weird. Then last Sunday after testimony meeting, a guy, who 
looked like a member, came up and talked to us. It turns out that he 
has been listening to the missionaries for 2 years in all of Bolivia. 
He told us that now is the time to get baptized. I was shocked and 
excited. So this Saturday, I have my second baptism. He already knows 
a ton of stuff and has read the whole book of Mormon. He askeds 
different questions than that of a normal investigator. So he´s the 
miracle of my week. 
May the Lord bless all of you guys. 
-Elder Walker 
Hiked to the mines

Notice the altitude

Overlooking Potosi

City with mines


Pointing at where he hiked to . . .

Starting the hike

Notice the large church in the background



Happy Father´s Day!

SCUATTY!!!!  Happy Father´s Day!
There are so many things to be thankful for in life I wouldn´t know where to start. One that I would like to focus on is how grateful I am for my earthly father and heavenly father.  I wouldn´t be where I am today without either one of them.  I can name experience after experience of how each have had such a strong influence and good effect on me.  There have been times in my life where I was stuck and really didn´t know how to move forward with my life.  Sometimes I would go to my heavenly father first but most of the time the first source I went to was my earthly father.  Always his councel, thoughtfulness, love, and guidance taught me to rely on my heavenly father.  How grateful I am for being raised by goodly parents because now I have had no choice but to rely on my heavenly father.  How marvellous it is to have a earthly father who has stayed true to the faith and been such a christ-like example for me.  ¡Gracias!  ¡Te amo Papa!
This week in my studies I have gained an appreciation for the pioneers.  What marvellous miracles they saw as they sacrificed everything they had.  How merciful God is when we obey him and sacrifice for his work on this earth.  I have learned to appreciate and respect who I am due to my ancestors sacrifice and faith.  A great movie I recommend is 17 miracles.
Thanks mom for the package!  I loved it...every single treasure that was inside haha :)  I´m enjoying having the famous Cox´s honey again!  Also I need some good typical American recipes.  Everyone and their mother keeps asking!  Thanks love you!  and I´m excited to vote!
This past week we have worked hard, but also have enjoyed our time.  Ramoni, our Spaniard investigator, took us on the running of the BULLS tour this week!  One of my highlight moments in Spain!  So fun!  She spoiled us.  She took us out for lunch, showed us the city, let us run the bull run, took pictures for us, bought us a DVD of the actual bull run live since we will have to evacuate as missionaries, bought us famous Beatriz, then ended in a popular Spaniard Bocadillo restaurante!  Quite nice and spectacular!  I would love for you all to see it for yourselves when you come!  It´s neat!  She told us all the interesting facts and facts that I will not tell because I didn´t even want to know them...haha.  The next day we went with the Elders to Bilboa for Zone Enfoque and I sadly lost like always to a competative Alphabet game on the way home.  That game takes a whole new course in a different country!  No air-ride equip....nothing haha.  Something about the Latin culture too is that dreams are very important to them and they take them very seriously.  We always have to listen to everyones crazzzy dreams.  It´s funny and their always about 20 minutes long to tell...there goes the 45 minute lesson.  haha.  We´re also struggling a lot with people just getting over things and fears to just baptize!  It´s a new challenge as a missionary trying to help them realize that as we put faith in God and take the step of Baptism all will work out because it has to work out.  Lot´s of our investigators right now are having a hard time giving up coffee.  Slowly as I explain it as a commandment from God and focus on the blessings I´ve seen a change in them.  It´s really neat when they hit that point.  We´re also struggling with people who have already been baptized.  They don´t understand the authority principle that we explain.  My companion and I have become really creative trying to explain this authority precept to them. 
I pray for each of you individually and love you all!!!!  Keep the faith ;0)
-Hermana Walker
At a zone conference in Pampolona

Going on a tour of the running of the bulls

Police officer

Running of the bulls tour

Overlooking the running of the bulls

Hello hello....

Dear Family,
Glad to hear you had such an enjoyable Father´s day!  So fun.  Cameron-sorry about your eye.  I have enjoyed keeping up with all of your fun stories and experiences.  How blessed I am to come from such a fun gospel solid family.  I sent something in the mail for you all...should be getting it any day now.
We had our last zone conference with the Hinckley´s yesterday in Bilboa.  That is why I am so late to write.  It was kinda sad.  Almost like my second parents are leaving me.  Only us older missionaries cried with them and bore testimony and thanks to them.  Sadly, I am one of the oldest missionaries now in the mission, especially out of the Hermana´s.  Weird, where time goes I know not.  They told us what to expect with President and Sister Paces coming this next Friday.  Then they asked us as they would their own children before leaving for college, "Have we taught you everything you need to know?"  One of the best and most tear jerking conferences.  They left us with their last words of advise, "Be obedient and be wise, what more can we say?"  President said obedience unlocks the power of your mission and life.  As a missionary who has been out for almost a year now, I am just now starting to understand what that really means.  If there´s anything I´ve learned the importance of on my mission, it´s obedience.  "I the Lord am bound when you do what I say..."  Have I done just that?  Have I been exactly obedient?  I hope at the end of my mission I can say just that.  I feel like I´ve done an pretty good, okay job, but now I´m at the point where I´m ready to strive for excellence with such short time left.  We are promised more power from the Lord.  I have re-evaluated myself and set some new goals.  Be obedient and be wise what more can I say?  Even though we may not understand why, just do it and we will understand later.  It all makes sense now. 
The camino to Santiago has started and there are many travelers here and on the role!  We ran into 2 Utahians that yelled our way!  They were in the middle of sharing the gospel when they happened to spot us.  We helped them out... they all later came to church with us.  El camino de Santiago es algo que empieza en Francia and people walk all throughout Spain!  Everything is by foot.  Crazy!!!  People from all over the world stop us because somehow they can tell with my Argentian companion that I speak English...haha.  We give them directions and send them on their way.
Well I love you all and wish you the best of luck and fun for what this summer has to bring you.  Be obedient, but still have fun.
ps...Question....when you all come here for Christmas are we just going to stay in the Barcelona area? 

Hola De Bolivia

Elders from surrounding areas hiked to a mountain

This is a waterfall.  Craig is at the top.

Craig next to the waterfall.
This week was cool, nothing extraordinary. 
Tuesday, my Companion went to a conference for the leaders. That day I 
felt sick from an old egg I ate the day before. My stomach was talking 
to me the whole day. I was with another elder who also didn´t feel 
good. We didn´t do much that day. Sin embargo, soy misionero ahora. En 
el noche, no me sentí bien y tenía que ir al baño mal. La cosa es, 
crapié mi pantalones o en real, mis garments. Puchalo... Yo espero que 
no entiendan mis palabras y por eso, escribí en Castillano. 
The next day, my companion came back and was fired up, ready to work 
harder, and obey the rules exactly. That was great because I was going 
to talk to him about some stuff that was bothering me. But now, we´re 
more like a companionship who works well together. I learned that 
pride is the source of all contention, so now I submit to his will, 
unless there is a better way. 
What I really want to talk about is a couple of my investigators. So 
the one that was suppossed to get baptized last saturday had a problem 
in the past, he accompanied and supported the decision of a friend to 
get an abortion. That was five years ago. Now he´s fine and has 
learned alot. He passed the interview with the stake president and is 
scheduled to get baptized on Thursday. But he´s more excited to 
recieve the holy ghost. Also, we found a family last saturday a week 
ago while knocking doors. We probably said about 5 words, and then 
they let us in. It was great because I was getting tired of being 
rejected. Ladies (inside joke). We talked with them for an hour. Then 
they came to church on Sunday. We came back this week and we met the 
dad. The whole time it seemed like he wasn´t paying attention or 
interested to our message, lesson 1. But at the end, he said sincerely 
that he´s glad we came. The family has been having problems and they 
want to change for the better. We set a baptism date with them, which 
they said they are excited for. This was great because we were looking 
for families to teach. Our message and gospel is really for families. 
You know, I was feeling that I was going to write something spiritual, 
but then everyone in my zone is waiting for me and starting to read my 
email. So it looks like it´s time to go. Gracias por escucharme! 
-Elder Walker 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Feliz cumleaños Ryan

Wow Ryan, mr big 17 now. I heard a rumor here that the church just 
said yesterday that people can now go on missions at 18. That磗 in one 
year, would you be ready? Well, ``Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; 
and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth...创 
(Ecclesiates 11:9). Dude, Dad. I saw your indoor skydiving stuff. I磎 
jealous. How about you take me when I get home, yeah? Bueno idea. 
Mom磗 questions: 
``How goes it with the companion?  DETAILS.创 Good. Way better. Works 
hard and sufficient. 
``What is the ward like now?  Any changes?创 Way better! The bishop 
has a reputation among the missionaries for being a Beep, bad word. 
Personally, he磗 just misunderstood. He磗 like Bolivian Ryan 15 years 
later. He磗 a little stubborn and likes doing things his own way. 
However, recently since my last companion left, he磗 been very calm 
and I磛e enjoyed his presence. 
``Investigators?  How do you track out new investigators?创  Knock 
doors. Lately, we磛e been working with the members to gain their trust 
and to talk with their friends and neighbors. 
``How is the language coming?创  I磎 progressing. I bore my testimony 
yesterday and my companion said that the grammer and everything was 
perfect. Also, I almost sounded fluent too. 
``What do you do at District meetings?创  My companion teaches us a 
lesson, usually out of PMG and then we do practices with what we 
``Do you need me to do anything?  How are you feeling?创 No. I磎 fine. 
I磎 probably accomstomed to Bolivia and Potosi now. And actually, I 
kinda like it (minus the drunk people that fluster me and the smoke 
from the autos that always blows in my face). We have worked pretty 
hard this week. Although we haven磘 been teaching the same amount of 
lessons as before, I feel as they are much more productive. We磛e 
obtained permission for 4 people under 18 (we have like 10 more to go) 
for baptism on the 16 of June. My last companion also liked teaching 
kids because they were easy and accepted it as truth really fast. 
However, my companion now hates teaching people under 18. He only 
wants to obtain permission and get the heck out of there haha. That磗 
fine with me. It磗 probably better that we teach people that have a 
greater capacity to learn and understand. 
Thursday, we had a talent show for our ward. We had 11 investigators 
show up (too bad they don磘 all come for church). I learned that the 
people from Potosi can磘 dance.. haha, but it was still enjoyable. As 
Elders, we did three skits at the last minute. We were more like the 
in between acts to fill up the time as the other acts got ready. I磍l 
send you a video of our last skit which featured me. 
Well, I read Proverbs this week for fun and I found a proverb for all 
of you guys pertaining to what磗 probably happening in your life. 
The family - Proverbs 6:16-19 
Mom - Proverbs 16:24 (or 24:13, 25:16) - isn磘 it honey  season. 
Dad - Proverbs 20:29 - yes, you磖e still beautiful 
Marissa - Prov. 16:3 - misson 
Cameron - Prov. 3:13 - School 
Ryan - Prov. 10:1 - What kind of son are you? or 13:20 - Who do you 
hang out with? 
Emily - Prov 8:32 - I couldn磘 really find a good one that fit磗 you 
Reese - Prov. 26:11 - just for fun 
As for me, since I磎 special, I found a ``proverb创 in Ecclesiates.... 
``The sleep of a labouring man in sweet...创 (Eccl. 5:12) 
So good night, 
Elder Walker 


17...WOW!!!!  Where does the time go?  Seems like just yesterday you were in Pampers.  Good times!  It´s interesting as I was walking the street the other day I realized Ryan could pass for a young Spaniard.  Every boy his age looks like him here.  I don´t know if it´s the hair or what, but I always double look thinking it´s Ryan.  Happy Birthday hermano, hope it´s a good one.  Sent you something in the mail, should be there any day now.
Mom how do you get grease stains out of a white dress?  All over my dress....so sad
This week has been good and slow at the same time.  We are always always always on the go!  Never a moment to breath for ourselves.  My companion asked me the other day, so when do we have free-time each day to write in our journals, etc etc....well haha hate to break it to you but welcome to the life of being a missionary.  I pray for her daily as she adjusts to the missionary schedule.  She´s great!  She sings really good and I do okay carrying a tune right, alto that is.  We make a good duet so I had the idea the other day, just to boost our spirits, to go caroling from door to door with a catchy church tune.  SUCCESS!!!!!! YES!!!!!  It brightened everyone´s day and we got a couple of promising contacts out of it.  It was fun and made us love the work more.  We didn´t sound too bad either.  Not too shabby so we decided to do it more often.  It´s amazing how far a simple hymn can go.  Some slammed the door in our face and others just enjoyed the entertainment, while some felt the spirit and gained an interest.  fun stuff....thanks for the idea Cam!!!!
What a blessing it has been to teach Ramoni!  She is a Spaniard, native of Pamplona, that just got back with her husband from temple square.  She called us one day saying she wanted to know more.  She has been accepting the lessons really well and will also prepare for the waters of baptism the end of this month.  What a miracle!  I know God prepares people.  Our other fecha Osas needs to understand the importance of church.  We pray that this next week he will come.  Tamara has been progressing a lot faster lately as she finally made the choice to come to church.  Her son Carlos got up and gave the most beautiful testimony I or the entire ward has ever heard.  I was in tears.  He has been praying for a year now that she would come to church.  What a momento clave for his mother to hear him thank her and bear testimony of the truth.  We are going to work very close with her.  We also have some up and coming investigators that are really good that we will continue working close with. 
I love that my companion keeps a positive attitude no matter what.  Adapting to the mission life is not easy.  I remember how bad I struggled in the language.  Now I feel with her as if I´ve become a native in the language.  How grateful I am for her to always be there helping me perfect my language skills.  I am going to be better at speaking strictly Spanish around the Elders.  We all don´t realize it, but when we all get together we all start speaking English and really fast.  My poor companion told me she can´t keep up with it.  I will be better about helping everyone else speak in Spanish too so that she can feel more included in whats going on.  Other than that it´s been a great week!  Lot´s of hard work and we love it!  Thank you for all your support, examples, prayers and love.  What an example you have all been to me personally.  I look up to every one of you!   and in the meantime...keep them letters a comin!!!!
c/hermanos Imaz 6, 1Izq.
Pamplona España 31002
Have a fantastic week!
Con Amor,
Hermana Walker