Saturday, September 29, 2012

The cool adventures of Walker, the last Elder

Dear familia, 
Well my heart has been filled and my joy is full. I´m not sure exactly 
why. I was just reading 3 Nefi 16 - 20 this morning when Jesus is 
talking to the Nefitas. It makes me want to read it again and again 
and share the Book of Mormon with everybody. 
Nothing really happened this week that stood out that I could write 
about. We contacted new people, visited old people, helped people 
progress, etc. Oh, I gave a pretty cool talk in sacrament meeting and 
I bore my testimony in Quechua and everyone said how I speak pretty 
One thing I don´t really like doing is contending. First of all, the 
people are not very educated (especially with the Bible) and I could 
easily blow them out if I wanted to. But that´s not our goal. Second, 
its like ´what Jesus said, forgive them father because they don´t know 
what they do. These people are just ignorantly listening to their 
pastors who try to discredit us, but they haven´t even thought of the 
possiblities of this saving gospel of Jesus Christ that we have. 
Finally, our purpose is to invite others to come until Christ. It´s 
not to argue, obligate, pressure, or get angry, but to kindly share 
our message and invite them. If they still refuse, move on. We can´t 
force them. There are other people out there that need our message. 
That´s something that I´m trying to teach my companion. He gets angry 
when they don´t easily accept our message or when they say something 
bad about our religion. But, he´s pretty new, I´m only his second 
companion. I´m like his mom. 
That´s another thing that I´ve learned in the mission, the role of 
parents to children and vice-versa. In the mission, I´m his mom. I 
know what´s best for him/us and our work. But alot of times, he 
doesn´t like to listen to me because he thinks that his way is always 
better. All I can do is have patience in his learning that there are 
more than 1 way of working. He´s used to what is trainer taught him. 
But he sometimes says the same thing everytime we teach the 
restauration. Is the same thing in the real world. Maybe I was like 
that too. But children, especially teenagers think that parents don´t 
understand them and never could. That they know how to do things 
better. But most of the time, parent´s do know what´s best because 
they were kids and have experienced many things. It´s the same thing 
with our Father in Heaven. As children of God here on earth, we are 
sometimes rebellious and think that God doesn´t know what he´s doing. 
But if we learn to find out his will, then trust it, our lives will 
always be better. 
-Elder Walker 
P.S. The shoes in the pictures are a time capsule. The shiny ones are 
my shoes everyday at 7:30 and the other ones are the same shoes 
everyday at 9:00. Hard work, no. 


crazy interesting week....

Querido familia,
¡Que milagro que hemos visto este semana!  As we prepared for the baptism of Martina from Peru on Saturday, we realized nobody had keys that opened to the baptism font to fill it up or perform the ordinance that we all came for.  I found it weird that no one from the bishopric or Elders had keys to anything.  The elders jumped the wall from the inside to fill it up.  We thought we were going to have to lift her in there from the cultural hall over the wall.  ¡Que vergüenza!  As we were frantically all searching for keys, calling anyone and everyone in any of the wards,using credit cards, hangers, anything creative we could find to open this door, Hermana Dalton found herself alone with the door and decided to say a pray of faith that the keys to our apartment in her hand would just open this door.  Sure enough with a little faith and a prayer she stuck the keys in, turned them, and the door magically opened!!!!  Crazy what a little bit of faith can do.  God can do miracles with just a little faith of one individual.  Imagine what he could do with a ton of faith from everyone?  The baptism went very smoothly after that except for the little monsters that ate all the baptism food.  They only come to baptisms because there is food.  sad.  They are a family of 5 in the ward who is starving and living off the church.  it´s sad, the parents don´t have work and have 5 kids all under the age of 5....someone didn´t figure out birth control.  Besides them always running around noisily the meeting went great!  No complications más-
Crazy story.  There was a cat fight!  Two latin women going at it!  We´re talking flying fists!  We were helping someone move and as we were on the way back to the metro there was a show down-  The officer was in the middle taking all the punches.  then while we were teaching a fantastic lesson there was a make-out session of 12 year olds in the background...oh had been raining all day...they probably just felt couped up. I also hate besos here!  One thing I will not miss is giving  everyone 2 kisses  on each cheek when you say hello and then goodbye.  the worst is Sunday morning for church when somehow everyone has wet, creamy, makeup faces.  hate it!  or when people are still sick...gross.  the most awkward part is that since it´s a culture thing even the men do it.  When men don´t know that as missionaries we can´t we get caught off guard and they just do it...ewww beard besos!!!  awful and awkward.
We´re finally moving tomorrow during mediodia.  We were told friday morning as I went to go sign the new contract that we couldn´t move in that day when we alreay had everything packed.  Oh elders...there all green here.  We just had a huge chunk of missionaries leave the whole field is green.  I´ll be the oldest hermana in one week. never think you´ll get to this point and then you do....
Welp lot´s of funny stories to tell about this week, but never enough time.  I feel like these emails don´t do justice for what actually happens and goes on.  A mission is such a uninique experience, esp in spain barcelona.  I look forward to just sitting in the kitchen someday with everyone just talkin while mom and dad are making their cornbread and chile....oh how i miss home food!!!  welp, Gotta run!  love you all! 
Hermana walker


Friday, September 21, 2012

¡¡¡¡¡¡Catalan Independeccccccia!!!!!!!

Mi querido familita,
I was serious last week when I said by the time December rolls around you´ll have to roll my home on a stretcher.  My body is weak.  Today for Preparation Day I slept, 3 hours straight.  If we sisters were out here for 6 months longer like all the Elders we´d come home looking like Grandma´s.  Then again I already look like one.  It scares me to look in the mirror each day because I have Ezma eyes.  If you´ve seen emperor´s new grove you know what I mean.  it´s scary. 
This week way the Catalans dia de Independencia.  Whatever that means....they´re not independent from Spain, quite funny.  They´ve tried for years.  Anyway there have been fun fairs everywhere, fun dancing in the streets, parades, and bands with weird music that sounds like the klu-klux-klan.  Very interesting.  It´s also been a very stressful week trying to get a new card.  Yep that´s right as of Wednesday I´ve been living in Spain for a year!  So weird.  It´s been a great experience!  I love all the many different cultures here, the history, all very fascinating, but hard when it comes to the work.  The other day the women at the grocery store speaks to me about some trouble my card was having and then asked if I wanted a bag.  I just gave here a blank stare because I didn´t understand a word she was saying....ALL IN CATALAN.  People love you here in this area if you try and speak it.  I can say like 2 words.  I´ll stick with Castallano gracias.  or adeu!  I love the culture here though.  My favorite part about Spain is going to the back porch, looking out and seeing from every back porch people´s laundry hanging on lines and seeing how they really live, since we don´t have dryers here.  I will miss that!  It feels like a movie. 
Interesting that I grew up with a dad as a choir and band director as a kid and I still haven´t learned how to direct.  I don´t know why everyone seems to think I´m the musical one, but I´m always always at every meeting or baptism asked to direct the music, so I´ve had to learn to teach myself from the back of the hymnbook or write my name in cursive since no one knows my first name so they hopefully can´t tell.
Well I love Spain and have loved the work this week.  It´s an endurance thing every day.  By the time we´re home we both crash!  I´ve never been so exhausted in my entire life!   Why do we people do this?  Because it´s true and worth the fight.  I love you all!  Have a great week and don´t forget to write me!!!!!!!!  jajajajaja
-Hermana Walker

ps craig....we have a Book of Mormon in our piso of the tribe language you´re learning from Bolivia, very interesting!


Mission President's wife took this photo and said: No Elder WAlker doesn´t have the mumps......he´s a chubby bunny! 
Hermana Dyer
It was marshmellows at the leadership training meeting. I was the 
bishop and it was an example that everybody in the Ward needs to help 
out the missionaries to ``eat all the marshmellows´´

Not to be outdone by Marissa, Craig writes in Spanish with Quecheua

Querido Familia, 
Marissa - ¿Tienes ojos de Ezma? Que chistoso. 
No sé si tengo bastante tiempo para escribir en Español, pero voy a 
intentarlo. Ya sé que tendré demasiado errores pero tengan paciencia, 
de acuerdo. Aunque mi Castellano, o sea, Español de Bolivia tal vez no 
tenga tanto ``flair´´ como Chile o tan extravagante como Bar(th)elona, 
estoy seguro que pueden entenderme. Yo podría escribir como los 
Bolivianos que hablan con ``pues´´ después de cada palabra........ ya 
Bueno, el principio de este semana fue mal; sin embargo, terminó 
fantástico. Martes, mi compañero perdió las llaves a nuestra casa. 
Entonces, teníamos que entrar y salir por la ventana cada día hasta 
Viernes después lo encontramos. Miércoles, apagó la luz.... por un día 
no mas, pero todavía, es incomodo. Eso fue todo de lo malo. 
Lo bien. Yo tuve una capacitación de lideres. Me sentí importante y 
aprendí muchas cosas que puedo aplicar. También, estábamos hablando 
con una miembro de la Iglesia que es ciega por el primer vez y ella 
pensó que yo era de Bolivia porque mi acento fue perfecto. Eso me hizo 
sentir bien porque muchas personas me decían que tengo un acento Norte 
Americano, pero ahora, sé que era por su percepción de un choco/gringo 
que yo les parecía así. ¡Ja! 
Nuestro investigadores nos respondieron diferente; tal como, ``Si, 
hemos leído y es muy interesante.´´ Uno de nuestro investigadores, se 
llama José Darly, tenía un buen idea. El quería subir una montaña en 
nuestra área con nosotros para leer el LDM, hablar, meditarlo, y 
preguntar a Dios en oración. Entonces, para el día de preparación, 
vamos a hacerlo y espero que lo ayude. Santos, un otro investigador 
nos dijo Sábado que quiere bautizarse pronto. ¡El aun nos acompañó 
ayer en nuestras visitas! Otro, ¿Se recuerdan de esa abuelita que 
murió hace 3 semanas? Pues, enseñamos su hijo Celso y su nieta Alicia 
sobre la Restauración y al fin de la lección, pusimos una fecha 
bautismal. Después de un minuto de silencio puro, Celso nos miró con 
lagrimas en sus ojos y dijo, ``Antes de mi mamá falló, me dijo que 
tengo que entrar en esta Iglesia, este reino.´´ Wow. No tengo mas 
¡Tengan un buen día y semana! 
-Elder Walker 
P.S. - Si quieren ver mi gemelo, miren al vídeo de la Iglesia 
``presentations from the book of mormon, ch.34 (the pride cycle).´´ Yo 
había convencido casi todos de mi Rama que yo era ese niño. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

buenas buenas....

Querido familia,
Pues, Papa Squatty nos pida que escribamos en Español este semana.  Si no entienden usa GOogle translation.  Este semana ha sido us buen semana.  Lo me disfruté mucho, pero estoy super cansada.  Pienso que mi cuerpo esta moriendo.  Necesito descansar más dia a dia.  Lanillas, en la calle, y acostar más más temprano.  Siempre en la calle sentamos un ratico en un banco para recoperarme.  Todo de mi cuerpo duele. Tomamos el ascensor lo más posible por mi pobre rodillas.  Pienso que estoy viviendo en un cuerpo de la edad de 30.  Cuando escribo also por mucho tiempo mi brazo, tendónes. y codo duelen.  ¡oh no soy vieja!  En este mision siento que estoy en un maratón de caminar y estoy en el fin de este carrera.  Solemente necesito aguantarlo hasta el fin-
Este semana fue el cumpleaños de mi compañera.  Ella cumplío 22.  Yo hacia  su comida favorita por cada comida, hize una marvillosa pastel de "Better than Mission Cake," nos juntabamos todas las hermana para almorzar.  Y tambíen nos fuimos a la Sagrada Familia.  ¡Super interesante  las obras de Goudi!  él es un artista diferente, pero a mi, me gusta.  Buscabamos por cosicas en las tiendicas.  Hay mucho para ver en Barcelona.  ¡Me gusta mi compañera mucho!  Nos llevamos super bien y ella le gusta ver los citios conmigo.  Creo que vamos a ser mejor amigas depues la mision en BYU. 
Y por la obra, bien.  Tenemos 2 fechas de bautismal, Martina de Peru 60s y Fransisco de la Republica 16.  ¡Son incredíble!  Tambíen muy pronto Rai (Ry como Ryan) va a bautizarse.  Me encanta la familia de él.  Creo que son mi familia favorita aqui en Barc. Tenemos noches de hogar cada semana y él le encanta Las noches de hogar porque jugamos EL ESTILO DE LOS WALKERS-  estoy super agradecida por una familia que ya me han enseñado como hacer un buen noche de hogar con buen juegos.  Gracias a mi famila y especialmente mis padres por quien soy.
Bueno, sé que este obra es incredíble.  Solo necesitamos vivirlo dia a dia para tener más felicidad.  Es una manera para vivir, no solo aceptar.  ¡Les quiero a todos!  ¡Sigue adelante con firmeza!  ¡espero que todo vaya bien allí en LOS ESTADOS UNIDOS DE AMERICA! ¡Adeiu!  (adios en catalan)
Hermana Walker
ps- cam necesito buenas dichos de emperor´s new groove

Don´t throw up on your friends.

Hello Familia, 
You wanna know something. Cows are funny animals. We were teaching a 
lesson outside, and the person´s cow came up and started eating my 
companion´s hair and tie. Medio funny! Just like Marissa uses 
``super´´ alot in her letter´s, I use ``medio´´. I´m pretty sure it 
means pretty as an adjective, or at least I´m medio sure.... 
Mom asked me what I do as District Leader. Well, it really means 
nothing. Just that I have more responsibility and I get the blame for 
things. I teach a class every Tuesday for 90 min. which I love to do. 
It´s great because although I´m medio new in the mission, I have the 
second most time. My district is green as the grass! Everyone´s new. 
Well, I call for everyone´s numbers and then report them to the zone 
leaders. Fun. I also go pay everyone´s rent, lunch, and dinner (or the 
pensionista) each month. When I took out the money for this month, I 
realized that I had 6000 bolivianos or $1000 extra. I felt rich for a 
moment, but then I gave it all back to the mission. But I had to 
travel on the other side of Cochabamba to pay the person who owns the 
house of these elders in my group. That was frustrating. Let´s see, 
what else do I do.. nothing more. 
We worked medio hard this week. Saturday night, I was sooo tired. At 
8:30, we were teaching a less active family about the Restauration 
again. We taught all the points well and I was about to end the 
lesson; when all of the sudden, my companion went off on a rant. He 
got up on his soap box for about 20 min. I wasn´t even paying 
attention, and my eyes were dropping. After about 25 min, I heard him 
start talking about thefootnotes and the guide to the scriptures (or 
the index and bible dictionary in English)  My face was like 
``seriously?´´. I looked over at the family.... and they looked at me 
- then we both burst out laughing. We were thinking the same thing. It 
was so funny. Just like in Dad´s letter about your party, I couldn´t 
help myself because of my tiredness. My companion started laughing too 
like he knew what was going on and that just made it funnier. 
My lesson for this week for you guys is don´t throw up on your 
friends. This week, about 4 times, people threw up on me. No not 
physically, but emotionally. It seemed like it happened every day. I 
would make a contact and say we´re missionaries and the whole jazz, 
then they would lose it emotionally. I felt less like a missionary and 
more like a shoulder to cry on. They also made me sad by telling me 
their whole sad life story. So what I´m trying to say is that you 
wouldn´t throw up  on people when you´re sick. So when we´re down and 
feeling low, we let loose of all our bearings. Instead of keeping our 
distance, we infect others with our woes and it´s usually the people 
closest to us. The women reading this are probably saying, we don´t do 
that. Yes you do, they were all women! Well you´re a man, you don´t 
have feelings. Or you´re just not sensitive to other people´s 
feelings. Look, I don´t want to argue with this hypothetical women 
that I created, but what I´m saying is that everyone has low moods. 
These feelings are a temporary experience. They will lift up and go 
away and when they do, everything will look different; less hostile 
and less frightening. The trick to treat this infectious emotional 
plague is to see it as only temporarily. Like a sickness, just wait it 
out! And then confront people when you´re feeing better. Our judgement 
is more precise and our thoughts clear when our energy is higher. I´m 
not saying that asking for help is bad. It´s okay to ask for help, 
support, or share with others your feelings if that seems necessary. 
But don´t throw up on them. 
Dad, when we all get home, we can talk spanish. And Marissa, your 
letter was pretty good in Spanish. You just had a couple spelling 
errors and a little subjunctive problem. I didn´t have time to write 
my letter in spanish, but I´m going to ``one-up´´ you. Testimony in 
Quechua, Boom! 
Mana atinichu parlana quechua kaulallia imamanta mana yachunichu. 
Pero, ari tian testimoniomanta. noga yachani igleciamanta Jesucristoj 
chegan kasganta. Noga yachani Josè Smith carga uk profeta y Thomas S. 
Monson Diospac profeta kay tiempomanta. Yachallanitac mormonmampa 
libromanta Diospac palabrallantac. Jesucristoj su timpi, amen. 

Monday, September 3, 2012

oh what would you do in the summer time.......

CONGRATS CAM FOR MAKING BALLROOM TEAM!!!!!!!   Yep you definitely have a proud sister yelling and cheering for you right now in this quite locotorio room.  Everyone just looked at me how embarassing!!!!!  That´s soooo exciting though Cam!!!!  I promise you´ll never regret it!!!!  It´s so fun!!!  You´ll have a blast and good news is we´ll get to spend more brother and sister time together, HOW CUTE!!!!!!  Do you miss me yet? jajaja.  How exciting.  We´ll get to see each other for all the combined ballroom team activities.  Too bad I have to miss out on the Homecoming parade with you all, but hey live it up!!!!!!  I just talked to Marci and she has told me that she looks forward to having me back on team.  The auditions are nerve recking huh?
Also thanks mom for the recipe!!!  Loved it!!!  I also am still loving the package you sent.  Something that comes in handy daily.  My companion and our piso mates are really enjoying this kids bop primary CD you´ve sent.  Love it!!!!  As for us here in little Hospitalet were are still in the Elders old piso. We should be getting a new piso any day now.  I have to already apply for a new residency card here.  Can´t believe I´ve lived here for a year.  What else?  Oh what should I do about Winter housing?  did you end up getting the condo?  What does Hermana Crowder´s mom say? 
It is sooooo humid here in Hospitalet.  I get out of the shower and get dry, 5 minutes later I´m already wet again.  We have no air either.  It was so nice in Pamplona!  Weather here is woooh!!!  We´ve had a lot of crazy things happen to us this week.  Just a crazy week!  Now that I´m back in the big city and ghetto again the stories get crazier.  But hey we´re safe and happy.  It was so interesting the other day witness this guy try and steal stuff out of our bags.  First real encounter I´ve had.  We move our bags to the other side then both gave him a death look.  He was creepy.  Barcelona lost this week to no cheering and partying through the night.  I just realized the other day we live right down the street from the Olympic staduim.  Speaking of the Olympics I had to translate for a couple from England the other day in church.  It´s the hardest thing.  I´m still learning how to do it. 
 This week really has been great for us!  We saw many miracles, but one that specifically caught my attention was our law of Chastity lesson with the Daza family.  Never have we had all 3 couples of the family there all at once.  And of course we happened to plan law of chastity.  The father who always stays couped up in his room came out and participated in the lesson.  The spirit was so strong after we got done teaching that we left them in tears.   We were really nervous to teach that lesson to them as well.  As we left there was silence and a spirit of wanting to change from that family.  We left that night feeling like we had really done our part.  We pray for them as the boyfriend, Rai prepares to be baptized in the coming weeks.  Martina will also be getting baptized in 2 weeks.  We pray for her as she continues preparing for this step.  This week we have been on a role and found some just fantastic families to teach.  I love this work, but boy is it sure work!  I know there´s a reason I´m back here.  I have found and run into some people I knew who we are starting to teach again.  I continue calling and going through the antiguos book daily.  Little by little.  I love my companion!  She´s exactly what I need at this point in my mission.  I love how tranquila she is and neutral.  It helps me not to freak out and just let little things go that don´t matter.  I feel like I can really talk to her and we have a really good, really natural and healthy relationship as companions. God loves us and always knows what we need when we need it. Love you all!!!!
Have a fantastic week!
Hermana Walker

PS what more information do I need to give you for the trip in December?  Will we come home for Christmas eve?

Accepting life as it is

Hola familia, 
¿Que tal, Todo bien no mas? Well, this week pretty much flew by fast. 
I don´t think I really have anything to write... Cameron just asked me 
about the breastfeeding statue and then we had an interesting but 
weird discussion on South America and Breastfeeding. Yeah, that 
probably wasn´t needed to be said. Thanks for the letter in Spanish 
Dad. I have a question, How long did it take you to write that? Your 
grammer and everything was perfect and I don´t know if I believe that 
you wrote all that yourself,  I think you used some technology help. 
But if not, it was pretty impressive. And I have a confession... I 
didn´t have enough time to read it all in Spanish, so I hit the 
translate button %cough. But I will read it again in spanish. 
Let´s see, I basically dropped all of my companions old investigators 
because none of them were progressing and we were wasting our time 
there. We found cool new people to teach and put baptism dates with 
some of them. The beginning of the week, we were pumped and ready to 
work. But there´s always something that seems to get in the way. I got 
sick again (you´re probably getting bored of hearing that). We think 
it was some cheese that I ate at a members house. Well, I spent a day 
in bed and I thought I was going to die. Or maybe I was on my 
crossroads of Destiny (Cameron and Ryan should get that reference). 
But it got me thinking again (oh no, not again), and you guys know 
that I love to think.. but I was thinking about accepting life as it 
There are things in life that happen to us that are usually beyond our 
control. Sometimes it is hard for people to accept that. But we need 
to have the humility to accept it. Unhappiness is defined in my terms 
as the degree of difference between what you are and where you want to 
be or what is and what is expected. So what are you going to do, fight 
the inevitable, or acknowledge its existence? This doesn´t mean not 
caring or apathy. It means that although you prefer things 
differently, you recognize the futility of stuggle and then take 
appropriate action. Don´t give up when things become hard. If you keep 
pushing, dealing with what you have been given, and acting 
appropriately, you won´t fail. 
That´s about all folks 
-Elder Walker