Monday, February 25, 2013

keeping it real

Dear Family,
I´m sorry that I haven´t been writing very many letters by hand. It`s just that, well, I´ll see you guys when I get back and these emails usually have the main things what I would write in a letter by mail.
I just want to say that I love you guys and hope you and doing great things in your work, schooling, etc. Remember that it is always the right time to do what is right. Here in Bolivia, great things are happening and I don´t have enough space to tell it all. That is what journals are for.
I would like to share a cool experience about a couple we found this week. There names are Guillermo and Celestina and are an old couple and have about 60 years old . We first found them living in an apartment that also has a member that we visit. We didn´t really have set appointments and we saw Celestina knitting outside and decided to talk with her. I don´t really remember what we talked about. Probably something like faith and repentance and gave her a pamphlet of the Restoration. Well, we came back another day in the week to find out that she had read the parts that we left for her to read! That´s a good start. Guillermo, her husband just got operated on early that day and was sick and moaning on the couch. So we taught her about the restoration and told the story Joseph Smith and all. She was very excited and thrilled to learn how to pray. She really is a great person with great faith. Well, this story already seems long and boring, but it gets better. She told us that her husband refused to listen to any missionaries before and hates to go to church. It would be impossible to teach him. We came back another day this week only to find Guillermo in the house. We taught the same lesson like it was nothing and he was very excited to learn more. We later found out that mr. Guillermo was listening to us when he was ``asleep´´ and sick on the couch. He loved the story about Joseph Smith and said that he could be very true. He also has been praying and said that our types of prayers and different and more powerful than the Catholic`s prayers (the ones where they repeat the same thing every time). He said that´s he`s going to come to church this next week and everything!
I´m sorry about that long story, but it was something cool that had happened and it just goes to show that listening the restoration can really change people´s behaviors.
The state of your life is nothing more that a reflection of your state of mind
Craig with Elder Van Horn

Cochabamba Temple with missionaries in Cochabamba
-Elder Walker

Monday, February 18, 2013

El que sabe, sabe

Querido Familia,
Espero que estén bien y feliz y que estén recibiendo muchos bendiciones por estar en el servicio del Señor. Yo estoy bien, gracias por preguntarme.  Quizas Ryan va a ir a Sur America para aprender mas español y quien sabe, incluso podría ir a Cochabamba....
I don´t really have much to report this week, but it has been a good week, as usual. The mission is just going to fast. This week i´ll complete 1 year in Bolivia and 14 months in the mission. They should make it two years after the MTC, not including it so that we could spend more time here. I´m really just having too much fun, learning a ton of things that I couldn´t learn anywhere else, and I´m just happy. I feel like there are no real problems and it´s like I´m surrounded by an eternal bubble from the outside world. Which is weird because we dedicate our whole time to the world, or in other words, helping them lift themselves higher than the low standards of the world. I´m made many friends, eternal friends, who have lifted my own life. I have felt the love of God and of you guys all the from Bolivia. Love transcends time and space. I´m have seen the Lord´s hand in my life and the life of others. He exists and loves us. He wants us to change and be like him. I´ve applied many of these things that I couldn´t have done other wise. Faith I have cultivated. Miracles I have seen. Who wouldn´t want to stay here all their life?
We are teaching this one teenager named Jose Luis Quispe. He´s had many problems in his life, kinda like many in high school. He´s had problems with drugs and has tried all types, he broke up with his girlfriend a while ago in which they broke the law of chastity, he´s been in gangs and has terrible friends (he even has a recent knife cut in his hand, so you can´t really shake his hand), etc. Need I say more? His mom is an alcoholic and doesn`t really care about him, his brothers are also into that stuff and influence him and his friends, the only bright side is his dad which works with the police. Well let´s just say that in a week, I has seen him change many things about his life more than anyone else before. The resemblance of his face is different and changing. I know that this is the work of Jesus Christ and his gospel. It changes people´s behavior more than the study of behavior can. I am also teaching him how to play the piano. He´s very smart and learns fast. He came to church (with a white shirt and tie!) and is making newer and better friends than he has had. We are very proud of the effort he´s putting in to changing his life and I know that he´ll be a great influence for the rest of his family and friends. 
-Elder Walker

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


Can I say more?
Well family,
It´s Carnaval and it´s crazy. I should send a picture, or maybe I shouldn´t. (Mom look on the map for Sucre, Bolvia. It´s the judicial capital of Bolivia. Right below cochabamba and to the Right of Potosi. I don´t remember my exact address, but it´s right off the street España) Our area is the center center of Sucre and the streets and soaked with water and alcohol. On some days, I´m surprised that I come back dry. It must be the shirt and tie. People are throwing water ballons, everyone has squirt guns, and everyone is drunk. You know what, it would be really fun - a nation-wide water fight for a week (or here, a month) - if it was without of the dirtyness and the beer. There´s also mini bands on practically every corner with people dancing like little demons in front of the band. It´s abnoxious. They need to learn a new song... one that has more than 3 notes and a different beat, please.
I don´t think I´ve had a day free from doing stuff for other missionaries. I mean, I love being a help to other missionaries, but my own area is lacking. Nobody came to Church. Sad. And last week, I asked for ideas on how to work with members and no one responded. What are the missionaries in your ward doing to work with you guys. I would love any help.
That´s basically my week. I ran out of time to write more. A thought for the week. Attitudes and more important than facts.
Mom asks, How do you deal with the altitude in Potosí?
You just do. You get used to it after a week of walking up and down the hills. A lot of people don´t have that many problems. It was just me my first day, digo week. Take an altitude pill before the plane ride.
Is there anything you wished you didn´t bring?
Yeah. I should probably tell you this before you tell the ``Moms´´ to bring it.
1. First off is so many medical stuff and vitamins that you packed. I´ve given a lot away because it takes up a ton of space and pounds when I travel. The Hna Dyer or the Zone leaders have all the stuff you would need. I only really got sick in Potosi because it was my first area. I haven´t been sick for months now (knock on wood). Just the very basics or what you want to bring (like the vitamin C stuff). It´s not like we´re living in a hut. If the Bolivians could live in these conditions, so can we because we are the same specie.
2. Mosquito net. I haven´t used it. It´s bulky and takes up space. There aren´t that many mosquitos. Only one zone rout of 14 eally has mosquito problems. But the zone will be going away to the Santa Cruz, Bolivia mission. That´s the mission that you really need a mosquito net, not the Cochabamba mission.
3. Snow gloves. It doesn´t snow. Not even in Potosi, but it does hail in Potosi. But that´s about it. A good Rain umbrella is worth it. Thanks dad.
4. The money belt it just a belt. It´s already gotten old and is on the point of ripping in half. The people don´t really rob here from missionaries. That´s Peru. It´s calm here with the violence.
That´s about it. If I think of other things, I´ll let you know. I might be needing new white short sleeves shirts. Some of them have changed to a yellowish white (probably from working so hard haha).
-Elder Walker

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A Picture For You

Dear Parents, 
This is our wonderful zone leaders.  Great men!  Thank you for sharing 
your sons with us in our mission. 
Con amor, 
Hermana Dyer 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Reverse Reverse

Dear Family,

Before I forget, Happy Birthday Marissa! What is it like 40 years, and you´re still not married. ¡Que lastima! Haha. It´s because you make all the boys chase you, and then you have to pick from all of them. When you can´t pick, you try to run away. You gotta be the chaser at the same time as him. It´s like the mission. If they don´t have the desires to learn about the restored gospel, it won´t do any good with all the chasing we do as missionaries. We gotta both want it at the same time, the missionaries and the investigator. (In this case, you would be the investigator that loves listening and learning about the gospel but doesn´t make the decision to get baptized for years, and nobody knows why) Something new to think about.

So dad asks,
What is your new companion like?  Is your apartment any better than what you have had?  Strong ward?

Can I just say that everything that I used to be in is reverse now. It´s the opposite. I´ll start with my companion Elder Zacarías. He´s great. Thanks Jennifer for sending that story. I also feel the same way. Yeah, he´s serious at times, but he knows when to have fun and when not to. He just does his responsibilites. He´s the first companion that I´ve had that is obedient with exactness and works really hard. He really cares about his mission and his people he teaches. Even though this is his last transfer, he is not trunky one bit. Side note, this transfer is not going to be for 6 weeks, but 8 to support the new people coming in and to be on time with the new MTC schedule. That means that I´ll be coming home 2 weeks or more later than my original date (Mid-Jan?). I might even extend my mission, who knows. Yeah so we´re going to preach it up these next 2 months because we get along great. He´s actually a funny guy.

My apartment. It´s better, except for the fact that we live with another 2 missionaries, including a new missionary (indian-american) that doesnt understand a lick of spanish. It´s better to live alone with your companion because alot of macanas go on or in other words, a lot of jokes, games, and other stuff that distracts us. But my apartment doesn´t really affect me that much. I´m happy with anything (which is better than nothing). 

My ward is the complete opposite also. It´s the best and biggest ward in Sucre. I gotta start learning on how to work with members. Ideas? I feel it´s the same as Henderson. If we do this right, we could have a ton of baptisms with the help of the ward. The zone leader´s area is always in the center of this city. There´s actually alot of white people here. Interesting. Also, Sucre is a city built on hills, and on rock and roll. Whoa!!  

I´ve been super busy this past week. No time for my area. We´ve gone to the airport to drop of and pick up elders every day. And right now, I´m in Cochabamba for a Counsel of Leaders. Fun....

Well, ny companion is looking at his watch, time to go!

-Elder Walker