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."

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