Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Are We There Yet?

Quesadilla familia,

Happy birthday to me.  This week marked 3 months, 100 days, and 1/8 of my mission.  But whos counting right?  Mom is, thats who.  I got these statistics from her jaja so dont call me trunky yet.
So Craig tells me you guys want to know more of the "every day boring missionary work". Write back and tell me if hes right cause im never sure what you guys want to hear in these letters ha.  Ive decided ill devote a portion of my weekly emails to update you guys on our investigators and mission news.  I think ill call it the "Investigators Papers".  What do you think?  Ya youre right thats dumb.  But its all I got.

Investigators Papers
Naquiche (my companion) was called to district leader this transfer.  I dont like it cause hes not as chill anymore and he always stays up late, but I help him in any way I can.  We also got 2 new missionaries in our ward this transfer, which is cool.  It makes meals with members less awkward and we have alot more fun together.
Familia Flores Castro is the family I talked about last week.  Gloria is the mom and has an outstanding testimony.  Her husband will get married to her next week, but still is lazy and doesnt keep comittments to pray and decide to get baptized yet.  She has 4 kids and theyre all crazy.  Especially Kevin.  Hes 3 years old and finds everlasting joy in doing his best to ruin lessons.
Familia Espinoza consists of 3 familys (so far): the family of Dina, family of Orencia, and family of Juan.  Dina and her son know the church is true but she always bails on going to church at the last second.  Like come on.  Orencia and his family are golden.  All are reading, praying, and searching to know more about the church.  His son Carlos is blown away by me coming to Peru and always wants to know more about The USA.  Juan and his family "never have time" for lessons, but can talk for hours to us about their family business.  I really dont care about it haha.  Just get baptized already ya?

Thats is for the investigator papers.  At our pensionista house we made pizza, quesadillas, and picarones whch are 10 times better than doughnuts.  I would do anything for an American cheeseburger right now though.  Ever since Naquiche became district leader, I swear hes lost it.  We always get in mini fights.  Of course, Im always right.  He also wants to get rid of dinner everyday.  Thats not happening.  Latinos never eat or sleep, I dont get it.

Anyways, there you have it.  Sorry for the extra long letter this week, Im sure you all have better things to be doing with your lives than listening to me rant about latinos and cheeseburgers.  I love and pray for you all.  Keep the faith.  Enjoy your cheeseburgers.

Con Amor
Elder Walker

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Mission Possible

Quesadilla familia,

Hows the fam?  Hows home base?  Frankly it feels like the excitement is dying down back home.  Which is good news cause I was pretty jealous.  With the continuous growth of my spanish, im thinkin ill be alright out here.  Being a gringo has its perks too.  No matter how bad my spanish is, people stare at me and laugh, so either way its a good time.  Sometimes people only listen to us cause Im white.  Some girl investigators are really only investigating me LOL.  They came to church which is sweet, but all they really are is snakes.  But hey, flirt to convert right?

The start of last week we had cambios which turned out to be really sad, because all of the gringos except 1 were transferred out of my zone.  Anderson, Stephens, Sister Moe-ses, Sister Sales, all my homies are gone.  But its alright because I made some new homies.  Theres another Elder Walker here now, which always confuses things.  Always my bff Elder Anderson went home today.  It really surprised me because he only had 8 months left.  LIke youre almost there, why quit now?  It seems like so many misionaries are just throwing in the towel.  We all have the same temptation, but they forget why theyre out here.  Last friday we had a Noche de Hogar (family home evening) with many good members of the ward in our investigators home.  The wife wants to get married and baptised, but her husband doesnt support her in either, so the kids are lost too.  But throughout the evening we talked about faith, and the foundation of faith in the family.  At the end, the wife bore her testimony about how she knows the church is true, and desires nothing more in the world than to see her family get baptised and join the church with her.  I cant describe her testimony because it was in spanish haha, but it was very powerful.  Especially because she has only been an investigator for 6 weeks, her knowledge of the gospel and pure faith and desire to follow Christ blew me away.  In that moment I realized that Ive been called out here because there are many more people like her that need this Gospel.  I realized that I need to get over myself and anything holding me back, because a mission isnt the best fun 2 years of your life.  Its the best 2 years of service youll ever give.  And when you lose yourself in the work and just serve and help others, thats when youll find true everlasting joy.  And thats when it becomes the best 2 years.

Con Amor
Elder Walker

Monday, January 13, 2014

Chocolate Quesadillas

Querido familia,

Pues por fin el fin de mi primer cambio ha llegado.  Es extrano pensar que ya fue 2 cambios.  Me siento que he estado aqui un ano.  Pero todo es tranquilo bebi.

I don think ive old you guys yet, bu I have the coolest zone.  The missionaries here are my bffs.  Theres another elder from vegas, and hes a super dooper pooper homie.  His names elder Stephens in case mom wants to stalk his family and talk to them.  Another Elder is from Cali,  Elder Anderson.  It was pretty much love at first sight.  We went on splitz for a day, and was easily the best day of my mission yet.  He pretty much taught me all I know.  Well honesly hes making me say all thissefylfew

But its time to get real.  Serving a mission has helped me realize just how real the Plan of Salvation is.  Things in this world, they fade away.  I can love my Iphone or a subway sandwhich all my life, but someday theyre going to be trash in the street or dust on the ground.  Its kind of scary att first to think that everything just fades away.  But its for that reason that Christ came to the Earth.  That through him, we can be saved from this inevitable death.  It brings me much comfort to know that there is purpose in this life.  That we can all live again with our families after this life.

But for example- have you ever wondered just why Christ was perfect?  We always say he was perfect, but why was he?  Christ suffered all manner of temptaton and affliction.  In John 16:28 it says "I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father."  Christ knew his misson in life.  He knew where he came from, and where hes going after this life.  Thats why he was perfect.  He knew his purpose, and what he needed to do so that we could learn from his example, and also through his sacrifice conquer death.

There are plenty of people in this world who just arent happy.  They go about their lives and same boring routine, wondering really what is the purpose of life, when everything fades away?  It seems everything in this life is just built to one day be broken.  But of course, this is what the adversary, Satan, wants us to think.  I testify that the Plan of Salvation is real.  All of this stuff is REAL.  Jesus Christ died for us, and lives again.  God is a loving Heavenly Father and knows all of his children, which is us, and desires that we keep his commanments so we can live again wih our families and friends and find true happiness and love.  And we can know it, if we trust him and ask him.
John 16:33  "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

Con Amor
Elder Walker
PS He also answered some of my questions on a separate e-mail and told some interesting tidbits:
I watched duck dynasty in spanish durin a lunch this week jaja.  Did you gwet my letter yet??  Also please tell uncle john and jennfer that I can write back without a stamp lol.  But I do intend to write back.
What zone are you in? Santa Isabel
How did you get a tan line? playing soccer all day and working in the sun all day
How do you find people to teach?  Street, members, referemces; And dragon ball z is HUGE here lol, sometimes I use it to contact people.
What do you do as service?  mostly paint.  Ya prety much just paint.
What meals do you prepare yourselves?  None, unless we buy fruits or snacks.
Do you go grocery shopping?  nope, zilch
How is the budgeting of money going?  Are you living within your means?  Are you able to save?-side note:  Craig saved enough money for all the souvenirs we bought at the pick up.  I have my own personal financial plan, yup im saving up
Should we sell your bike? NO
Are you cool enough?  Warm enough?  always hot
What does your apartment look like?  size of your bedroom and bahroom in total.  Wih a lower roof.
Do you smile ALL the time at ALL the people?  Nope lol usually tired, but i try
What is the scariest thing that has happened to you?  chased by a drunk guy
The funniest?
The most embarrassing?
The most spiritual?  all for after he mission ;) 
Do you write in your journal nightly? a veces
FROM MAMA'S QUESTION PAGE:)  I don't think he has spell check.

Monday, January 6, 2014

tan line

It is in the 70's all the time there.  I am not sure how he got the tan line.  Question for the next week.

Also, there are some Christmas pictures on his mission's blog. Someone sent me this link.  Ryan doesn't even know this exists.  Can you pick him out?  Hint:  He is wearing the In N Out tee shirt I always send my missionaries their first Christmas away from home.
-Mama Walker
To Lima North Missionary Moms, the Erickson's have a blog.  It is
http://ericksonsinperu.blogspot.com/.  They have posted photos of all the
missionaries by zone at the Christmas party.

1/6-This is it!

Fotos:  Baptism of Jonaton, my favorite bff in the primary here.  Also my own first baptism ever.  He has a really nice family, even though theyre inactive, but were wroking on it!  It was a super spiritual baptism.

Also, a pic of my tan line.  enjoy.

Querido Familia,

First of all, Happy New Years.  And happy Bday to Mom.  39 right?  Love you.  Hope you guys are having a blasty blast.  I guess this is where my emails start to get complacent haha.  The excitement of starting a mission is over, now you guys just get to hear my rant about the work and whatever other fun things are happening in Peru.

New Years I decided my resolution would be to sleep more, so I slept through the whole thing.  Well except at midnight when the whole city was exploding into world war 3.New Years was 10x the explosions of Christmas.  My other New Years resolution was to give this whole year to the Lord.  Yup, all of 2014 will be Climbing, working, running, suffering, espanol, cold showers, rice and chicken, studying, preaching, baptizing, basically the joys of missionary work.  This might just be the longest year of my life jajaja.

How was your guys testimony meating?  I bet you ours was twice as long as yours.  Here in Peru, there are no awkward silence pressure of wholl go next.  Frankly, its who will be last.  Many members share their testimony even if its just testifying of their love for God and the Saviour.  Its really inspiring.
We also thought none of our investigators would show up to church because none of them were ansering- BAM!  All of them came!!  Like, that never happens.  It was a Christmas miracle.

So there you have it.  I feel like im finally adjusting here, my spanish is at a level where its nowhere near perfect, but I can communicate and understand anything I need to.  I love you guys, I love my friend and family, Ill miss you all this year, but Im needed here. So till then, HAPPEH NEW YEAR!!  Best of luck to all of you in this new, beautiful, sun shiney year.

Con Amor,

Elder Ryan Walker

Happy New Year

First off, Id like to say Congratulations to Hailey Kowalski whos engaged!!!!  I really appreciated the Dear John.

Im sure youre all dying to know how my Christmas went.  It was great.  We ate soda and crackers, and worked the rest of the day.  No breakfast, dinner, gifts, letters, nothing.  Mission life rocks.
But Christmas in Peru is a huge deal!  The whole night they lit off fireworks, and right as the cloack hit 12, Every inch of the city was covered in fireworks!!  It was so beautiful and dangerous!  People would get hit by fireworks and people would just laugh at them hahaha.  So ya, that was my Christmas.

The happiest part of my week was seeing many of our investigators come to church.  We put many baptismal dates for this month, and so many families are progressing.  If anything, my Christmas gift was just the joy of helping others.  Its nice to see parents changing for the better just so their family and kids can be happier and more unified.  I constantly testify to them of the blessings that Ive recieved in my life because of the choice my parents made to raise me in this Gospel.  And also the blessing that Ill get to see my grandma and some friends again after this life because of The Plan of Salvation, which is Heavenly Fathers Plan of happiness for all of his children :)

With that, I hope you all had a happy Christmas season.  Theres a special place inside everybodys heart for true happiness, which we should fill with the Spirit and good things like family, friendship, and love :)  If we dont, the world will gladly fill it with other things that usually arent what will  make us truly happy.

Con Amor,
Elder Walker

Feliz Navidad Muchachos

Querido familia y amigos y mundo,

First off,  Today marks 2 months!! :D  Happy anniversary to me.  

Thanks for telling me all about the great adventures of Craig.  Here I am starting my mission and all Im hearing is stories about Craig the Great.
Much christmas cheer this week in Peru.  The city is very beautiful at nght because each house, even though they only have one strand of lights, as you look across the city it full of color and beautiful.  During the day though its still Peru haha.  Theres still trash everywhere and latinos blasting some sort of rap music mixed with salsa.  So honestly, nothing beats Christmas in America.  Especialy because its summer down here.  Really throws me off.

Mom you want details, well here you go.  Each day we wake up.  I slap my alarm.  We pray together and personally.  I go strait into the shower usually while my companion sleeps in, which usually frustrates me.  The shower is colder than Africa, I always have to get myself pumped before I dive into it.  Then while my comp showers, I exercise to some intense Gospel music.  Stretches, Pushups, pullups, man stuff, you know.  It usually takes my compainon 45 minutes to poo and shower so I just start my personal study.  Usually we dont have time for much more than personal study because something else comes up.  I have to hide stuff from my companion jaja.  If I dont he touches them, gets them dirty, throws them in random places, or ruins them jajaja.  Ya.  Not happening.  Dont touch my stuff.  The mission life is pretty fun and spiritual when were actually working.  Naquiche likes to buy snacks alot and take breaks randomly.  Im also pretty sure he has no idea where hes going half the time.  We divide our area into sectors. Sectors 1, 2, 3, happy sector, and sector Z. Yesterday we went to sector Z, which is outer darkness of Peru.  The people there are all crazy, druggies, or super poor.  They literally live in boxes the size of our bathrooms.  Theyre very humble though.  When we teach, we get to know them first as friends, then open with a prayer, then find their needs.  The marketplace here is like the marketplace in Aladdin.  Filthy food, filthy people, filth everywhere.  But everything is super cheap, which is sweet.  Overall, the mission is bittersweet.

In closing, Merry Christmas to all! :D  This Christmas, we should all remember what were thankful for.  I am thankful for everything Ive been blessed with, physically and spiritually.  Im thankful for a family that supports me, friends that love me, the opportunity to be here in Peru, my health, a bed to sleep in after a long day of work, and for the blessing of little baby Jesus who was born on the 25th of December only to give his whole life to us.  To serve, teach, establish his church, and die for us, all out of his love so we can live again.

What are you thankful for?

Con Amor y feliz navidades,
Elder Walker

Ps Christmas cards and gifts are always accepted haha


Querido familia,

Well, I guess this is the mission life.  There are days that fly by and others that feel like theyll never end.  Honestly its alot more boring than I thought itd be jaja, especially when my spanish still sucks.  But the good moments always make up for it.  Its also pretty embarassing when even babies speak better spanish than me.  Speaking of babies kids make me so mad during lessons.  Like they having nothing else to do than freak out during lessons.  Im pretty sure kids are Satans beset weapon against the missionary work.  Every time things start to get super spiritual or you can tell the Spirit is working in the investigator, kids parade through the lesson screaming and partying.  Just last week we were praying, when I got slammed in the side of the head by a ball.  And a few days ago we we had just invited a family to be baptized, and then theyre kids start freaking out and banging toys everywhere.  Ugh.  Sorry, im venting, I should stop jaja.

Being a gringo in Peru rocks.  Everyone stares at me wherever I go, and I usually get a whistle jaja.  But theres also alot of snakes.  For those who dont know, snakes are those young women who go after missionaries.  And I guess dragons are older women jaja.  Missionaries usually joke about how many snakes they have.  Its pretty funny, except I dont have any snakes so I just listen... :(

By the way, Id like to thank everyone for all of their contributions to my mission.  I literally use everything I was given, and am so thankful I have it.

Yesterday during church was the primary program.  It was so cute and funny at the same time.  It made me miss Emily alot.  It was also the same day as our first baptism!!  Well it was more like my first baptismal service because I didnt really know her that much jaja.  Her name is Emiliana, and was baptised by my friend Carlos who is an extraordianry youth in our ward.  The Spirit was definitely there.  Theres no better feeling than being surrounded by people you love and watching someone choose to follow Jesus Christ and be baptized.  Many people think that things of this world make them happy, but I have never felt greater peace and happiness than when I am surrounded by my friends, family, and following Jesus Christ.

Con Amor
Elder Walker