Tuesday, February 24, 2015

March Madness

Querida familia,

Well, I'm officially done being Zone Leader.  LOL jk I still freakin LALALOVE IT!!!  Its even cooler as a trio too.  I do a work visit 2-3 days a week, so its like 3 sleepovers every week.  I love all the missionaries in my zone.

My companions are starting to turn into ehhh.  This last week they've really started to get lazy, and I've been the only diligent one.  They're becoming more the mercy, leaving me as the justice of the zone.  bleh.  But I keep working hard.  Don't matter what others do, you're decisions decide your happiness.  The moment you let others influence you more than God, is the moment you enslave yourself.  James 4:4.

I also deal with a lot of trash as a ZL.  Like, its unbelievable the things that happen to missionaries.  Most of them for their own dumb choices.  But it's cool, papi Walker has to play babysitter again and clean up their mess.  Most of the time it just makes me laugh though.  Makes me feel like a sane person.

We finally have baptisms on the way!!!  LOL Looks like I get to be a harvester after all.  Get ready for March, cause its going to be March Madness >:)  My convert Freddy is also helping me and bearing his testimony to investigators.  Hes been a huge help!   He gets his Mission call Tuesday!!!!!  Stay tuned!

The highlight of my week was definitely the temple.  After 15 months, I FINALLY got to go to the temple.  Didn't go once in 2014.  As missionaries, we only get to go twice a year, so I'll pass those last 2 from last year as freebies this year ;)
But for real.  It was so nice to see the temple.  We passed through Lima Central, 20 times more beautiful than where the missions at.  Kinda felt like I was in the states again.  Kinda.  When I arrived in 2013 I honestly thought the temple wasn't that great.  But after 16 months, its gorgeous!  It was great to see the temple video again, always makes me cry.  And after so much time, I felt relieved to renew my covenants.  Now as a leader and have left my old habits behind, I get to start again and feel the Spirit´s influence more profoundly daily.

Well Ive written a lot.  Kind of tired.  Love y'all, chao chao!

Con Amor,
Elder Walker

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Yah Photos :)

Querida familia,
I think it's time you all knew the truth.  I've been hiding it for quite a long time now, but just didn't have the nerve to tell any of you.
I'm.... ... ...... a Mormon.
...I lost my camera.
I know.  Nothing has made me more sad my whole mission.  Although I was smart and every month updated my fotos, so I really only lost very few.  But still.  Not only did it hold so many memories.... but it also cost me 500 soles and many tears.
During the changes, I accidently left a bag in the offices.  I have no idea who has the nerve to go through my bag, take out my camera, and leave the case, especially because only missionarys go through there.  But I came back after a few days, and a missionary had found it and returned it to me with no idea how it got where it was.
So there's the story.  That's life here in Peru.
Anyways, to better news!  Well, just more boring zone news haha.  Half way through, we've already passed our goal of last month now with 6 baptisms.  Many companionships are completeing the zone goals and the ones that do are the ones having success.  Numbers do show.  I love my zone and am super happy to be with this zone, as you all know my last zone was terrible.  (Well I may have left that part out).  I'm making friendships that will last a lifetime.
The sweetest part is that I've already seen all my converts from a year ago here in Progreso.  Gloria and her daughter Lesly are both teachers of different classes and super active.  Way active.  Too active.  I love it.  My other convert, Freddy, is now pútting in his papers this week and will get his call soon.  I should be here long enough to see him leave for the mission. :)  Nothing has made me happier!!  This week he's going to go out with us so we'll get to catch up on old memories and I can start training him for his mish. :D
Elder Sosa also let me know that my last 2 investigadors, Cyntia and Valeria were also baptized last week.  Woohoo!!  I wasn't invited to the baptism..... :,(

So ya.  Just working hard and livin' that mish life.  Love you all, glad to hear everythings getting better back home.  Seems like January was a bad month for everybody, but now it's all goooood right?  Happy Valentine's Day!!  Hasta la Pasta!
Con Amor,
Elder Walker
Photos:   Me and my BFF Elder Foster, My District, My Zone and another Zone en el centro

Friday, February 13, 2015

Wo-February 9, 2015

Querida familia,
First of all lemme say, HAPPY BIRRRFTHFTHPFTHDAY to my bff best sissy Marissa!!!  Duh dut duh dum dum dum!  Cumnpleanos feliz!
moving on.
Wow.  Is it seriously the third week of this change already??  I can't even remember what happened this week.  Work.  That's what happened.  Before we came, the zone was pretty poopy.  Only 5 baptisms last month and many problems between companionships.  But, with many changes that I and my compys have felt inspired to do, and a few spankings, the zone has changed a lot!  As a zone, our goals are to have 32 lessons a week, 100 street contacts, and at least 15 baptismal invitations.  And many accomplished it!!  And they shall be rewarded ;)  And if we hit our monthly goal of 16 baptisms, we have to invite them all to pizza!!!  (Which would be good and bad news cause I'm kind of broke).
So if you cant tell, I'm kind of enjoying being a Zone Leader.  Its ALUUT of work.  But as long as I just set the example, the missionarys do most of the work.  My companions are awesome.  Elder Blackham is from Northern Las Vegas (if you wanna chat with his fam, mom).  Went to Legacy High School. Chill guy who always wants to talk about sports or girls.  I can dig.  Elder Moreyra is from Santa Fe, Argentinia.  And if any of you have had an Argentinian companion, you know they have a short temper and love direct jokes.  But they also have a funny accent hehe.  Instead of pollo he says posho.  It's kind of rubbing off on me though.  He always catches me saying posho or quesadisha when I don't realize.
As for investigators, of course as always, I arrive at my new area and it is DRY of all baptismal dates.  I'm never called to be the harvester.  #sower4life.  So mas adelante I'll be sending baptism pics.  blah.
Hope yall have a super pooper great week, and keep writing, I love reading all your letters.
Love you all, bye!
Con Amor,
Elder Walker

Monday, February 2, 2015

February 2 I'll spread my wings and I'll learn how to fly...

Querida familia,
Out of the darkness and into the sun!  But I won't forget all the ones that I love...
Well, wow.  Wow.  I've got so much to say, but few words come out.  I never saw this coming so soon.
Last Monday was sad, as I was called to get changed and had to say goodbye to all the sweet familias I had gotten to know the last 6 months.  That's something I don't like about the mission, is falling in love with so many awesome people then leaving them in one night.  But it was time.  I'll miss Elder Sosa, but also feel super relieved to not be his babysitter anymore lol.
On Tuesday, I was SUPER nervous, as anything could happen.  Junior companion?  District Leader? Zone Leader?  Terrible companion?  Amazing companion?  Just read the list already!!!  I thought for sure I'd get moved back down to junior companion haha.  But let's just say the Lord heard all my prayers and was about to answer them.  President kept reading off the list- "As Lideres de Zona en San Felipe!.....  Elder Naquiche con Elder Brimhall!"  Elder Brimhall from my group is now with my Papi!  That's sweet!  "As companions in Santa Isabel, Elder blah blah."  Phew close one.  "As Zone Leaders in Los Angeles (my first zone)...  Elder Blackham with Elder Moreyra!  ......and Elder Walker!!"  WHAT?!  Noooo!!  AHhhhahahaa!  All 3 of us ran to the middle and screamed like girls haha.  WOW a trio?!  As Zone Leader?!!  I would have never imagined, especially cause I already know them both and we're bffs.  Woohoo!
This whole week has honestly been awesome.  At first I was suuuuper tired because its A LOT of work (We have to do 6 work visits a WEEK).  But each day gets better.  We're learning more and working harder.  I'm loving it.  Not like many people who would think as politics, that being Zone Leader or district leader is cool because people respect you and you have power.  I love it because I'm with 2 companions who ACTUALLY work, know how to, and are a lot of fun.  I enjoy helping other people and correcting errors in missionary work.  It's all about service, and nothing else.  I'm not a perfect missionary, rather I make a lot of mistakes.  But I guess God calls us in our weaknesses.  And I'm happy to know He still trusts and believes in me.  With all this new change, I've destroyed old bad habits and have found happiness getting lost in the work; inviting others to come unto Christ.
The other cool part is that I'm back in El Progreso!!!  Its sosoo weird seeing my first area where I was born.  I've already met several members who remember me more than any other missionary and shared many great moments with them.  It's brought back so many memories- both good and terrible/trunky.  My area is actually in the ward right next door, Los Angeles.  My zone has 20 missionaries and 3 wards.  Its the very last zone on the outskirts of Lima, so it's actually really dirty and run down haha.  But I feel at home again. :)
Well that's all folks.  Questions?  Comments?  Jokes?  Complaints?  Good.
Love you all, stay true, stay strong, stay fresh.
Con Amor,
Elder Walker
Mision Peru Lima Norte

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Goodbye Las Lomas January 26

Querida familia,

What a stressful semana.  I'll let you all in on a secret, but you can't tell anyone.  In the interview 3 weeks ago, President might have already mentioned he's changing me.  So all this last week I've been working my little tush off cleaning up my area, fortifying my converts, and doing ALL the paperwork, I doubt my comps filled out a single teaching record :P.  But I did it because I want to know I left the area better than I found it, and their blood doesn't fall upon me for not doing the paperwork :).  Sorry, because that also means I still haven't finished the Christmas letters I was going to send 2 months ago.. lol.  So next week I'll send them.... I hope.

The good part is that I'm leaving the area BEAUTIFUL.  In all my time, ward attendance has doubled from 88 to 172 yesterday.  Not that I necessarily changed that many peoples lives haha, but definitely did many activities and Noches de Hogar (FHE), and mucho more.  In total, I baptized 10 here, and am leaving my companion with 4 more dates.  One of them literally fell out of heaven too!  A sister one night stopped us in the middle of the road saying, "WOW you guys are EXACTLY the people I'm looking for!!"  I looked at my companion then said to her, "Yes we are! ;)"  She then told us the story of how missionaries from the other side of Lima have been teaching her all the lessons and doing all the work, but she conveniently lives here in my wards little hill, so she's going to get baptized here next week by us.  HA!  Score one more for Lima NORTH mission!!  But that was such a cool moment.  Seriously, every Elder wants to have that moment when some stranger stops you and tells you it's destiny that you need to baptize them.  There's no way my comp can screw this one up haha. So I've left him all these bap dates in hopes that he´ll actually work and be obedient.  You're welcome.  Don't mess it up.

Well.  Now for the best part.  The most beautiful part of my week was definitely the baptism of Luis.  He's the husband of the family I married in November, and after MANY MANY stressful attempts to get him to attend church and frustrations and moments when I almost gave up, he finally stopped working Sundays and got baptized Saturday the 24th :).  At first, it was kind of sketchy because the other ward started the service without us.  So we did our own baptismal service, and it came out beautiful!  We took pictures, then went straight to the baptism.  Entering the water, besides being freezing cold, I felt a peace in my life that I haven't felt in months.  After leaving the water, we hugged and thanked each other for everything.  All of the ward friends of Luis came and gave their testimonys.  I wish you were all there.  The part that hit me the most was when Luis gave his testimony.  The words hit me, "Gracias hermanos, llenaron mi corazon con gozo."  In English, "Thanks Elders, you filled my heart with joy."  It was the first time I've seen him cry.  I couldn't help but cry too haha.  In all my time here in Peru, I've unknowingly been waiting to hear those words.  Before I left for my mission a wise man once asked me a question.  He asked me how many people in this world have the power to take away someone's life?  Everybody!  And many unfortuanatley use it.  But how many... have the power to give it back?  Think about it.  Very few people have such power and use it for good.  But 2 years ago, God gave me my life back and filled my heart with joy.  And last week, I was an instrument in God´s hands in filling that man's heart with joy.  I was able to give him his life back.  And nothing... has ever made me happier.  Nothing has ever filled my heart with even more joy.

Con Amor,
Elder Walker
"Found this last night above my bed . . . Had no idea they even existed in Perú."