Thursday, October 30, 2014
I have often dreamed of a far off place, where a great warm welcome will be waiting for me... And the crowds will cheer when they see my face, and a voice keeps saying, "Welcome home Elder Quaker!"
Yes. YES. YESS!!!! YEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH ONNE YEAEEAAARRRR WUUUUUUUUUUUUUHHHHH!!!!!
So for those who don't know yet, this last Thursday Ryan- I mean Elder Walker (wo ya estoy trunky?), completed his first year in the Lima Peru North Mission. I end this year with 20 baptisms, many many friends and family here in Peru, much hard work, and hope for more hard work this next year. No, I didn't do anything fantastical to celebrate it, besides throw a district pizza party, burn my shirt while I was still wearing it, and toilet paper the bishops house. LOL ya except that last one. But I did take a moment or hour or 10 to reflect on just... everything. Basically from when I was born as a lad to the time I received my mission call, the plane ride, the MTC, and each area I've been. One might say I was trunky. I prefer the word super indepthly reflective thinking.
Well as I complete a year in my mission this week, I have taken a lot of time to reflect. And looking back, I'm filled with joy. I'm joyful that through all the pain, afflictions, and patience I've suffered, somehow in some milagro, I came out alright. And I'm still baffled as to how I survived. Its been a huge testimony to me just how real the Plan of Salvation really is. How real God and His wonders are. And that pain/temptations are temporary, but happiness is life eternal. There's so many words I could say to describe this road mark in my life, but words aren't necessary. I know who I am, and how I got here. And I know who to thank for it. I thank the Lord for His endless love. I thank His Spirit for being my only friend when I was left desolate. I thank Christ for his example, teachings, and wonderful Atoning sacrifice. And for all the children of God that have been my friends/family in the road of life. Before my mission, I always believed that I walked a lonely road, not knowing where it goes, and that it was destined to be my home. But that's not true. Believing you're alone is the PERFECT LIE that Satan uses against us. But its just an illusion that fades away with time. Turns out the whole time I thought I was walking alone, the Lord was just carrying me. I don't need to feel alone or forgotten anymore, there's enough of that in the world. It's time to let my light shine forth to the rest of the children of God who still wonder in the mists of darkness. I haven't been a perfect missionary, but this last year, I'm going to restart, adapt, learn, and give it my all. As Nephi said, "My God hath been my support; he hath led me through mine afflictions in the wilderness; and he hath preserved me upon the waters of the great deep.
He hath filled me with his love, even unto the consuming of my flesh...And upon the wings of his Spirit hath my body been carried away upon exceedingly high mountains (Of Peru). And mine eyes have beheld great things, yea, even too great for man; therefore I was bidden that I should not write them.
Rejoice, O my heart, and cry unto the Lord, and say: O Lord, I will praise thee forever; yea, my soul will rejoice in thee, my God, and the rock of my salvation. "(2 Nephi 4:15-35)
His words are my words. AWAKE MY SOUL! No longer droop in sin or depression or anger for what other think or how I may have messed up. The past has past, but God has given us agency in that we write our own future. The choice is yours, the future is left unwritten and we all have pens of distinct character and colors. Lift your heads and keep writing, imagining, dreaming, and achieving! The power is in your hands, and the possibilities are endless.
To end this epistle, Id just like to thank all of you who are reading this. Thank you for your continuous support in all ways- whether it be prayers, letters, gifts, or even just reading this shows you haven't forgotten about me. Thank you for being my friend. And thank you my family for being my anchor while I'm out in the middle of the eye of the storm. I miss you like a lion cub misses his lions den, and can't wait for the next Christmas where we can all roll up around the fireplace and tell stories. But I'm here, and will be there in the blink of an eye. I love you all, remember that. I miss you all, and......... see you in a year!!!
Con Amor como siempre vuestro,
Mision Peru Lima Norte
Till I find my heroes welcome right where I belong......
Monday, October 20, 2014
Well, let's just get it out of the way.
WOOOOOOOOOOOOOO YEA BAYBEEE ONE YEAAARRRRR HO HO HO HO HO HO WOWHOWOWOWHWOHWOWOOOOOOOO!!!!!
!! AAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH HHHHHHhhhhhhhhhhhh.........
Ok I'm done.
Ok that's it I promise.
But apart from all the excitement, Ill save the trunky letter for next week ;) so stay tuned.
Many things happened this week. Well, many things happen every week, I just never remember them when I walk into internet. I'm always so excited to tell you all everything during the week, then I sit down on the computer and can hardly remember my login.
Good news, I went to the dentist this week! :) It was only supposed to be a checkup on my gum problems, but then I asked her while I was there if she could clean my teeth, and she did :) No harm done, and it only cost 30 soles (10 dollars) cause she gave me a discount. There may have been some mega mooching involved and offers to take the dentist to Las Vegas. But hey, like father like son, right?
I have been SUPER stressed this week. We had 5 amazing baptisms! But the cargo was all thrown on me as their district leader. My companion tells me every morning that I talk in my sleep and teach lessons. This isn't good. Sleepy time is the only time I escape from the pressures of missionary work. Now its infecting my subconscious. I shout too, yelling at my companion while he's sleeping because he's not saying anything during the "lesson".
Speaking of sleep, I think I'm getting fat. Last Friday while I was sleeping at 2 a,. I was dreaming about my welcome home party when in my dream an earthquake hit- BWAH!! I woke up and my little wooden bed just shatters and- PAH!!! I fall to the floor with my mattress and curl up in a ball confused. I get up... there was no earthquake. My little bed just exploded and fell apart for no reason. The only logical explanation is that I've been eating too much rice and potatoes, and now my bed can't even support my weight. So now I sleep on the floor. Tomorrow I'll probably wake up falling to the first floor.
Well that's my spiritual message for the week: eat your vegetables, get a metal bed frame, and take your dentist to Vegas. The baptisms were amazing and wish you all could be here to see them. It hasn't been easy, but being a missionary is great. And it's even better because I know the work I'm called to do is true, and only feel more blessed as time goes by and I see the work of God´s hand in my life. I love you all, miss you all, and pray for you all. Stay strong, and Ill see you in ONE YEAR! :D *warning* trunky letter to come next week.
|8 angels :) One of the biggest and best baptisms I've seen. Each one is standing next to the one he baptized. Yaaaaay|
|rub a dub dub|
Note the differences? :)
Sunday, October 19, 2014
Can I pretend like Airplanes in the night sky are like shooting stars? I could really use a wish right now...
Well just to clear things up, I only went to Ecuador for like 5 seconds hahaha. I took a one day vacation to Ecuador to fill out one piece of paper for my visa. So... I'm back now. Still in Peru. Ya.
Recently things haven't been so chill lately. A lot of turbulence in the mission with disobedience, one of them being my zone. Me? I'm all right, I just want to work!! But I keep getting slowed down by conferences or phone calls or whatever bonus responsibility as a District Leader haha. But other than that, everything's actually going great! My companion and I have been praying and looking for golden families that are ready to receive the Gospel and Put Christ as the foundation of their family, and we've had much success in finding about 10 new families in the last 2 weeks that have much potential to get married and baptized next month! Of course, not all are going to end up in the water, but we've had many spiritual experiences and many are progressing at a good pace for November. :) Just pray for us that Satan wont somehow ruin these awesome families that we've found!
My recent convert, Michel, told me a pretty fun story this week that I thought was saweet! He works as a janitor for a company right now, but there's an unusual number of women that he works with. Well the ratio actually being 50 women to 2 men. lol. But the story goes that at lunch the other day the supervisor was trying to burn Michel for flirting with the women and taking it in wrong directions, but Michel confessed that he doesn't think like that about women anymore. The supervisor didn't believe him so Michel told him that he keeps the "Law of Chastity". LOL everyone just stared at him cause nobody had ever heard of a law of chastity. He explained what it was and they asked him, "What are you, gay?" "No, I'm Mormon!!" They all kind of laughed at him, but in the end all the women respected him 10 times more for his values, and several actually wanted to date him! Say What?! Blessings!!! The story was hilarious, but for me I was just hit to the heart to see my convert faithful to his values- not just at home but in front of others without shame! And even more blessed for doing so.
God is faithful when we do what he tells us. I am sure of that 100%. He never forgets the promises hes made, as it says in D&C 82:10 "I the Lord God am bound when ye do what I say, but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise." Trust in the Lord. Do not doubt if trials come your way or if you don't immediately feel the blessings. He will ALWAYS come through. Its a question of faith, trust, and patience/time.
|My dentist office|
|Zona Canto Grande|
|Old friends and converts|
|Back from Ecuador :(|
|Elders going and coming back from Ecuador|
Sunday, October 5, 2014
Hooooooola. Yes today is Saturday. Why? Because Monday is LA LIMA NORTE COPA MUNDIALLLLL!!!!! Ho! Ho! Ho! Ho! The teams are by zone, and looking at my zone..... well I'm prepared to have fun watching from the sidelines. haha. But its a Pday thuper thpecial, so I'm excited.
I'll admit I have had another stressful week. Being District Leader, everyone waits 'till you do something. I guess through either not knowing or just pure laziness, everyone looks to you to tell them what to do or when or how or STOP. JUST DO IT. Between missionarys and ward members, I'm not sure how many diapers I change daily. Kinda stinks. lol. But its nice because with me we get results ;)
With investigators, we have to many!! I love all my investigators and try my best to juggle them with my other responsibilities too. But the highlight of my week was teaching la familia Marcos-De la Cruz last night. The husband wasn't there, but the rest of the family and my convert Michel (my baby;)) was there, and together we had a thuper thpiritual lesson about Christ. I didn't even have to invite them to be baptized, they wanted to!!! They said many things that made me want to cry haha, including that they know this is the true church of Christ. WOW. boom. I was speechless. The only thing that worries them in that her husband is pure Catolico and their not sure how he´ll take it. But its a beautiful family, and I'm excited to report more good news next week. :)
More thpiritual stories and fun to proceed next week. I hope you're all taking care of yourselves and staying beaudiful. I pray for all you everyday. Sorry to hear that grandpa passed away. Kind of wish I could be there with the family at the funeral, but we all know I have work to do here. I'm certain he´ll accept Christ on the other side. The spirit world is really a wonderful place, and I just pray he's happy. Someday the whole family will be reunited too. Thanks to Christ and his Gospel, the families can be together forever. I wonder if he's already met grandma?
I love and miss you all. Tell me how it goes.
Ps you guys didn't fall for my email last week.... You aren't any fun.
Well, after much hard work, as you can all see in the fotos, my vineyard is now flourishing. And just as it begins flourishing, I receive a call Tuesday- "Elder Walker! What do you want?? Pack your bags and come to the offices immediately. WHAT? Nah. Si! Come right now and don't ask questions! But- boooooooooooooooop........"
So... without a visa I'm officially in the Ecuador Mimomamo mission!!! Yayy!! It was REALLY sad to say goodbye to Peru. But now I'm officially ecuadoriano and eat bananas todos los dias.
Well more information to come next week. Stay tuned for more news about Ecuador!!