Monday, March 31, 2014

Break Away

Quelindo familia,

First Id like to personally thank everyone who helped me through my situation last week.  Which would be nobody.  Not even my president wrote me back jaja.  Now im certain he doesnt read the weekly emails, so Ive created a nice copy and paste to send every week to save time.

In news, this year is earthquake year!  I saw on the news theres an increase number of quakes and temblors this year, and theres usually a big one every 5-6 years.  The last one was 6 years ago...  Sweet!!
I taught my dinner pensionista how to make egg mc muffins.  It was the most delicious meal Ive had since I got here.
I was invited to my first baby shower in a members home this week.  I love baby showers, but its during conference, so Ill have to choose between the prophet and a baby shower with the relief society.... Ill need to pray about this one.

The moral of this week is the Spirit.  I think I finally out what it means to get lost in the work this week.  With Naquiche, I usually let him do most of the work, and was kind of lazy.  Well, more so insecure.  But when he left 2 weeks ago, I was forced to grow up.  It was time Papa bird left the nest and I learn on my own.  It was time that I spread my wings, and I learn how to fly.  Ill do what it takes till I touch the sky.  You gotta make a wish, take a chance, make a change.... and break away.
My new companion is alot more obedient and boring, but I noticed that we had the Spirit alot more when we focused on the work.  I could teach and testify stronger and speak spanish like nothing.  So I guess my point is that obedience, humility, and patience are keys to opening the Spirit.  And when the doors open, it can fill the room for as long as we dont shut it out.

In conclusion, Ill leave you with a lesson I gave in a family home evening.  I made everyone shut their eyes.  I silently walked outside and called to a member, "Mama Isabel!  Donde estoy yo? (Where am I?)"  And she thought for a second and said, "Youre outside!"  And Im like ya!  Then everyone opened their eyes and I asked, "How did you know that I was outside?"  She said, "I listened and pondered where you are, because youre voice was harder to hear outside."
Sometimes I feel like the Spirit is the same in our lives.  There are times when its not inside of us, telling us clearly and loudly what to do.  Usually its outside trying to speak to us, trying to get back in, but were too busy to take a moment and listen.  I testify that in the course of our lives when were not feeling the Spirits presence or guidance, if we just take a moment to listen.... and ask ourselves where its at...... if we listen and have faith, well open the door and Heavenly Father can guide us.

As you go about your week, take moments to listen to the Spirits presence.  I love you all, and guarantee that if you do these things, youll have a successful happy week.

Con Amor,
Elder Walker

What about love? What about our Promises?? ñ

Querido familia,

Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but Ive officially had the lowest week of my mission this week.  It started out the best- Naquiche and I were flying through lessons, with 5 baptisms coming last saturday!!  We were also having so much fun in the process.  But then we got a call on tuesday night.  That call.  Naquiche was to be emergency transferred and I was to recieve a new companion the next morning.  Apparently there were political problems in Valenzuela and all missionaries foreign were shipped out.  Several arrived from valenzuela here, and one actually was to become my companion!  I was really sad to see Naquiche go so soon.  I sang him a love song as he left lol.  My new companions name is Elder Guerra.  Hes from bolivia santa cruz and is one of the weirdest people ive ever met.  He mumbles so I knew from the first moment I met him I wouldnt understand a lick of his spanish.  He snores out of his mouth which is something Ive never seen before.  And I thought Naquiche was a terrible snorer.  He talks to himself alot, sometimes I think in a language that doesnt exist.  Oh and his favorite word is "listo".  Hes 100% obedient and 100% frustrating too haha.  Usually when missionaries try to be 100% obedient, it is a good thing, but they tend to lose the Spirit.  All week hes been changing our schedule, filling out paperwork, and talkiing about numbers.  I kind of want my companion from the MTC back hahaha.  In Valenzuela I guess they did things this way.  Ive been trying to show him that people matter, not lessons, but he doesnt seem to get it.  I cant describe my week to you, but we ended up only having 1 baptism.

Its been a long week.  Please pray that I can make it to the end of transfers haha.  I guess this is part of the sacrifice of serving a mission.  But in good news, my spanish is completely fluent!!  With Naquiche gone, I took the charge in all lessons and found out I can speak spanish jajaa que rico es!!  I also thought someone stole my camera card with all my mission photos this week, but when I got home I had never brought them with me to begin with hahaaa.  Im definitley losing it.

I love you all, hope you had a better week than I did.  I promise better news next week.  God loves you, dont forget it!!  He has a purpose for everything.

Con Amor,
Elder Walker
fredy quispe- interesting guy.  19 years old, had alot of doubts about the church and authority.  In a month and a half we taught him, he prayed about it, and now has a strong testimony.  A testimony he found for himself. 
oh and farewell of Naquiche


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Sound the war cry

Querido familia,

Sounds like all of you had bad weeks this week.  Except Marissa and Jacky, cuz they never write.  But your letters bring me joy knowing that I dont have to worry about these things and the world for another year and a half.

I dont have much to share this week, as every week consists of the same goods.  I finally learned how to fill out the paperwork for investigadors.  Turns out my companion hasnt done it for like 2 months so of course I have to clean up after him again.  ja.  But to be honest this week was a little discouraging.  We had a baptism all planned out for Saturday, for the son of one of our recent converts.  But then his father (the same man who wouldnt give up drinking) told his son things that a father shouldnt and scared his son out of his baptism.  Im really at a loss for this man.  As dad put it, he "sounded the war cry".

But enough about bad news, In good news we have several investigadors planned to be baptized this satuday. :)  After many months Dina and her son will finally be baptized and already feel a part of the family and happiness that resides in the Church of Jesus Christ.  The church really is a giant family that we can always turn to apart from the hardness of the world.

The work is going good, I hope all of you are staying strong and faithful!  The church is true, and God has a plan for all of his children!!

Con Amor,
Elder Walker

Ps Sorry if my letters have offended any of you.  Everyone is different, and frankly, I do write weird.  But missionarys are allowed to make mistakes too.  Nobodys perfect, and the purpose of agency is to learn.  And someday well all get there. :)

Monday, March 10, 2014

To whom it may concern

Pictures:  my friend wilbur, our trip to canta, and more...
Querido familita,

Rather than bore you guys with the usual intense missionary stuff or my amazing trip to Canta, I figured Id share my short talk I gave in Domingo yesterday.

Ive been thinking alot this week about how people become inactive in the Church.  Its still quite puzzling but for me it comes down to the "small and simple things."  Really we dont notice how profound little daily things turn into habits that then become who we are and change our future lives.  Id like to show unto the world that "by small and simple things are great things brought to pass".  Now this is a universal concept, but right now Id like to apply it to church and our own spiritual progression.
One can easily lose himself in his way of life; a routine thats pleasing and comfortable.  But when we stop progressing and changing, whats happening?  Well if youre not moving forward, youre moving backwards.  Hence, we become camplacent.  And when complacency sets in, all it takes is something alittle bit stronger, something that is moving forward, to conquer us.  And in this case, that is Satan.  Satan is always working, just as God is.  And just as God has a plan for us, so does Satan.  So the question is what side are we on?  Well it is really determined by your "small and simple" choices.  One can say he has faith and does whats right, but if he is not constantly acting on that faith and getting stronger, he will only slow down, get lost, and lose himself.  (Hence faith without works is dead).  It is a daily effort, a daily battle to choose the right things.  What will I wear today?  What will I do with my free time?  What do I do when this happens?  Blah blah blah.  With so many questions and choices to make on a daily bases, I suppose the ultimate question is What will I do to make the right choices?  And perhaps Where can I find the answers?
Well, Im glad you asked.  Allow Elder Walker to explain.  The answer lies in everything we learned in Primary.  Read the scriptures EVERYDAY.  Pray EVERYDAY.  Attend church EVERYDAY.  Just kidding, only once a week for church.  As it says in 3 Nephi 18:18-22, "18 Behold, verily, verily, I say unto you, ye must watch (read the scriptures) and pray always lest ye enter into temptation; for aSatan desireth to haveyou, that he may sift you as wheat.

 19 Therefore ye must always pray unto the Father in my name;

 20 And awhatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is right, believing that ye shall receive, behold it shall be given untoyou.

 21 aPray in your families unto the Father, always in my name,that your wives and your children may be blessed.
 22 And behold, ye shall ameet together oft; and ye shall not forbidany man from coming unto you when ye shall meet together, but suffer them that they may come unto you and forbid them not;"  These are the simple things we must do every day of our lives to recieve the guidance, strength, and direction of the Holy Ghost.  And we are promised that if we do these things, if we "build upon the rock of Christ", we will "never fall."
And this is my testimony that these things are true.  I promise all of you that if you are lost or seeking direction in life or even fallen, if you do these 3 things and build upon that rock of Chris, you will be blessed.  And your life will dwell on a foundation that can never fall.  This is my desire for everyone of us that we "Read & Pray, everyday!"  (thats my motto!).  And we will never fail, but lives peaceful and happy lives full of the Spirit.

As always, I love all of you and hope for the best.
Con Amor,
Elder Ryan Walker

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Moving up

Querido familia,

So funny story, straight out of training this transfer I was called to be a District Leader!!!  We also had 7 baptisms this week and a hot tub party.

Now if youre listening to the Spirit, none of that is true.  But a missionary can dream can´t he?  Nah transfers this week were boring.  Literally nobody changed in my zone, especially Gaibor our zone leader who has 9 months in this area and I was really hoping would be transfered.  Naquiche and I are still companions which means I still wont get any sleep for another 6 weeks (His snoring gets worse every day).

But in good news we found 3 more golden families this week!!  Only one went to church, but hey things are looking up.  My spanish has reached a point where its not one of my big concerns.  I can understand and speak fluently without problems or having to continuously ask Como? or Que??  or Laughing awkwardingly and dumping the conversation on my companion haha.  Frankly, things are looking up :)  My teaching has gotten pretty solid.  I focus more on pure doctrine and direct questions rather than talk alot of flower or dance around a hard question such as marriage or keeping committments.

Other than that things are going well!  Im healthy, happy, and try to be as obedient as I can, especially since many Latinos are terribly disobedient.  I love you all, pray for you all, and hope you have a week full of sunshine and flowers!  Cuidense y siempre recuerden que su Padre Celestial les ama ;)

Con Amor
Elder Quaker