Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Starting from Scratch

Querido familia,

Welp if I had one word to describe this week, it'd be SERVICE.  Lifting buckets, lifting shovels, lifting burdens, lifting souls.  I forgot to bring my camera to send pictures again haha sorry.  But all week we were painting, carrying buckets of sand, or helping out members.  Mostly because we also hope to get to know the members in our area and gain their trust.

I love my new area, but we`ve literally started from scratch.  My companion hasn't done much in the last 4 months he's been here haha and the ward is weak.  Everything in the ward is disorganized and the members aren't involved as they should be.  So I'm taking it on myself to reorganize it all.  Ward council, ward acivity night, investigators, etc.  It's all a mess.  Not that I'm complaining though because it should be easy :).  But if the ward can't support recent converts or incoming investigators, they won't survive.  A strong ward is vital.  Which is another reason I miss Ol Horizon Ward; we were all one tight-knit close family.  You guys rock.

Some other things I've done this week, I ate octopus for the first time, and also the last time.  I also got the plate that had the head of the octopus hahaaa sorry sister, I'm full.  
I was street contacting some lady, and I thought she was actually interested in the church.  Then she literally jumped on me and tried to kiss me- UGH!! She was like 142 years old.  Ciao loquita!  See you at church...

I got your packages mommy and johnny :)  Both were unexplainably awesome!!  With the easter eggs in John's we hid them, but then ended up throwing them at eachother haha.  Latinos go crazy over any kind of candy, so they robbed me of half my candy in 10 seconds haha.  But blessings of sharing outweigh delicious American skittle jellybeans and peanut butter eggs right?  No not really.....
The package was super creative and fun to open.  I didn't find all the "Bees" cause some were rubbed off, and like I said I got robbed in 10 seconds haha.  The gift from Ms.Moss surprised me and I might have screamed like a girl when I saw the bacon wallet.  I miss my favorite English teacher so much!!  I'm surprised you still care about me haha cause I was a terrible student...  But I had some of the best memories of my life in that class. Sister Moss you're the best.

I love you all, thank you for your continued support.  Whether it be a bacon wallet package, or a simple prayer.  I miss you all dearly.  Keep doing whats right and stay strong!

Con Amor,
Elder Ryan Preston Walker

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Welcome to Paradise

Querido familia,

Dear mother, can you hear me laughing?  Its been 6 whole months since that I have left your home.  It makes me wonder why I'm still here.  For some strange reason it`s now feeling like my home, and I'm NEVER GUNNA GOOOOO!!!
Pay attention to the cracked streets and the broken homes.  Some call it slums, some call it niiiice!  I want to take you through a wasteland I like to call my home.... bam dum ddu da da da dum ba dum dum

I think a little Greenday is appropriate to celebrate my 6 MONTH ANNIVERSARY!!!!  Wooooop!  Blows my mind to think Ive already been out here 1/4 of the mission.  Now I just have to repeat the last 6 months 3 more times haha.  Kind of trunky when you say it like that..
But nah I ain't trunky, rather the opposite!!  For some strange reason Perus now feeling like my home, and Im never gunna go!  jk I guess Ill have to come home eventually...  But ya.  As I said in my last letter, I'm over all trunkyness.  Ive been trained, can speak Spanish, and am ready to give all I got to the Lord.

For my 6 month anniversary, yes mom Ill be burning a tie haha.  Well probably order some pizza pie, eat, drink (agua), and be merry.  For tomorrow its back to work haha.

I did have a moment this week to look back on my last 6 months.  All the painful moments, and all the sweet, priceless moments.  I remember thinking in all these moments how far away home was.  But looking back, I realize how short time is in this life.  Any pain we experience, is only temporary.  But also any fun we experience, is also temporary.  So I guess the big question is what truly matters?  Where does the time go by and why does nothing last?  Well to conclude my first 6 months, Id like to testify to everyone that there's a purpose in this life.  In bitter moments, it seems like the whole world hates you and itll never end.  In joyful moments, nothing matters but love, and you never want it to end.
Thus we see 2 opposing forces in this world.  One that tells you nothing matters and we`ll all die.  And the other that tells you there's so much more, that we can have this happiness forever.  The purpose of this life is to choose which one we want.  We all have good and bad within us, it just depends which one we choose to work on.  And the truth is that God exists.  He is a loving Heavenly Father, and desires the best for us.  Bad experiences are necessary for us to learn.  Through his Son, our Savior Jesus Christ, we can repent and find true happiness from the bitterness of this world.  Our purpose is to follow Him, keep His commandments, and live after this life in a never ending state of eternal life and joy.

Sorry if that was a lot haha, but its true.  I`ve given 6 months of my life to the Lord so that others can find the truth and happiness for themselves too.  And Ill give the rest of my life too, because I know why I'm here.

I love you all.  Thank you for your continued support and listening to my long emails haha.  Have an amazing week, and take time to find what your purpose in life is.

Con Amor,
Elder Ryan Preston Walker

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Time passes by, direction unknown...

Querido famlindo,

Well, I survived transfers.  I was 100% sure I was staying and that they'd transfer my companion.  I was completely wrong.  The Zone Leaders read off the changes, and the last one, "Elder Walker pack your bags.  You need to be in the offices tomorrow at 10."  And just like that, my service in my first area was over.  I said goodbye to as many people as I could, and next thing I'm in a taxi moving on.  I didn't cry, but it was painful to leave all the people I came to love here, those who were there through all of my painful and joyful first experiences in the mission.  Its true, there's no area like your first, because they're all your mommys and bffs because you're new.  I had the time of my life in the ward El Progreso.  I suffered bitterly, and laughed loudly.  I learned years of knowledge in my short 4 months there.  I made lifelong friends that I wont forget.  But now I'm needed elsewhere by the Lord.

I'm sure you're all dying to hear about my new area.  Well I'm actually out of time, so tune in next week.

Jajaa!  jk My new area is da BEST!!  We live in an awesome members house that has everything we want.  I love my apartment.  You wont believe me, but it even has a DRUMSET!!! HAHAAA you guys thought I was done drumming!  But don't get me wrong, I only play it on p'day or special occasions lol.  But its saweet!
My companions name is Elder Pizarro, and hes lo maximo!  Hes from mexico and loves tacos.  We actually decided to pension our own breakfast and make breakfast burritos EveryDAY!!  Authentic Mexican burritos are so much better than fake American burritos.  Just kidding their the same really, I'm just happy because I haven't had a burrito in so long.
My area is actually one of the same areas I proselyted in in the MTC.  Its much nicer than my last area.  The people are nicer and more civilized.  The streets are cleaner.  Sort of haha.  The food is 10 times better(but still doesn't compare to America).  And the chapel is huge compared to my last one.  There's still a lot of crime in my area, but overall I'm in love with my area.  Our Zone Leaders are probably the best Zone Leaders any zone could have.  One of them is my bff Elder Stephens who was in my very first area transfer.

The only thing that really bugs me is that my companion is super lazy, so our investigators and area are horrible right now.  Not horrible, but not anywhere where I know they could be.  We do have some baptisms coming up, but that's about it.  So with all this new stuff happening, I'm going to have a change in attitude too.  Its time I step it up.  I can speak spanish, I can teach, and I can lead.  So from now on I'm going to reach a new level as a missionary and work 10 times harder for the Lord.

That's all for now.  I love you all.  Happy Birthday Emily.  Tune in next week for more goods!!

Con Amor,
Elder Walker

Thursday, April 10, 2014


Querido familia,

First, Happy Easter to all!  Happy 2nd birthday Jesus!  Happy birthday to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints!

 Conference is about 10 times as intense in Spanish.  But I didn't get much out of it, and the words don't line up with the mouths which really throws me off.  So luckily they set up a TV in another room and all the Gringos watched it and had a Conference Party together.

Its safe to say this was my first real General Conference.  All the other ones I just built forts or had pillow fights with Emily during.  But wow I didn't know what I was missing!  Conference is sweet!  I had many favorite quotes, one of them being from Ucthfdorf, "Why do we find disappointment in endings?  Because we are eternal beings!"  So true!  Something I hadn't  realized before.  We are used to living in the presence of our All-knowing Heavenly Father before this life.  And now, we´re on our own and half to learn the good and bad endings in this life.  Endings are a part of this life, because death exists.  But because of Christ´s great sacrifice, we will all live again, in endless beginnings.

Conference was nice, because it was like Christmas for missionaries.  We got to relax and just enjoy for 2 days.  We ate yummy food and just savored the moment.  But now back to work.  Some investigators came, and had the chance to see the Prophet, and all now have testimony s.  This coming week should be a great week of success :)

That's it.  Hope you all enjoyed conference and "give thanks for the rain, before the rainbow".  As you go about pulling your loads this week, remember that "an empty load is not happiness".  Rather, the load that provides sufficient spiritual traction so week can make it out of any storm, will help us find the rainbow and happiness .

Con Amor,
Elder Walker