Monday, June 13, 2016

The Final Epistle of Elder Walker to the USA

What I am supposed to say in my last letter home? I'm not sure. Words cannot do justice to everything I have learned in the last 23 months. The only thing I can do is smile widely, because I´m so close to done, but half-heartedly because I will miss so much here, and say, "It's been great". 

I have a testimony that God is our Heavenly Father who is all powerful and knowing and also loving. I know He hears and answers my prayers. I bear testimony that Christ is His first born in the spirit and only begotten in the flesh. He died for us collectively and for me personally. I have felt His divine help and hand in these last 2 years and have had experiences where the only explanation is Heavenly. Because of those experiences, I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that Joseph Smith is a prophet. 

If I had to sum it up it would be with my testimony of Christ. He lives. I hope I never forget what I've learned here. It interesting how I've known, said, and done these things before my mission, but I had to come out on a mission and live it to be able to write it in my heart. I was thinking about that in consejo de lideres when President was talking, and I could feel the Spirit so strongly. The Spirit is sweet and peaceful and loving and quiet and powerful. I realized that, hey, this is what my mom and dad have always described. I actually think Bro. Johnson shared this exact thought about what the spirit feels like at one point in a lesson, and I felt the Spirit before. But now I recognize the Spirit better. That, and I've changed. I hope it is permanent. I have faith that it is. 

Mom and Dad, I love you both with all of my heart! Have a great Fathers Day Dad! I guess I will just have to give you my gift in person! Love you so much and you have taught me more than you think. 

I love my whole family and ward family and friends! Thank you for all your support. It would be cool to see Aunt Kathy first at the gate. She can show me the way. No, I haven't gotten a package, but maybe before I come home.

Signing out for the last time, 

Elder Walker 

Monday, June 6, 2016

Time. Where has it gone?

Thanks for the great letter, Mom. Interestingly, I have thought about traveling when I get home. I wanted to go to the St. George temple with you alone on my first weekend. Also, I want to drop a small package for a friend here in the mish. Maybe, we could go to the Salt Lake Temple and visit Sear Jasub, haha Elder Lopez. It is a little bit disappointing not to see everyone at the airport, but everything you said makes sense and sounds like a good plan. 

I have two questions. ONE, What day is my homecoming talk? Do I have a subject? Will I speak with Marc? TWO, Has Jason Lyon left on his mission yet? 

My last two weeks in the mission will go like this. Tomorrow I go to Huancayo for consejo de lideres. I will get back late of Wednesday. On Saturday we will have a zone conference. Then, my last Sunday here in Tarapaca, Pday, and next Thursday we have a multi-zone. Next Saturday I go back to Huancayo because I FINISHED MY MISSION. Doesn't seem real yet. It's funny because I don't mention openly how much time I have left to the members here, and because I've been here so long no one asks. So next Monday is the last time I will write you because the following Monday in Huancayo normally the missionaries don't write because we are busy doing end of mission interviews and stuff. 

Love you! Have fun at girls camp!

Elder Walker

Monday, May 30, 2016

Less Time Than I Thought


I'm not sure if the mission secretary called you like he promised me he would, but he isn't answering my call now so I have to tell you the news with my flight itinerary included. I received a call from President Henderson, and he told me that church policy has changed making it impossible for siblings and twins to go home together. This happened right when the personal secretary tried to do it. In reality it is Marc's missions fault because they waited so long to buy his flight. When the pers sec called Mission Santiago they didn't answer so he called church travel offices and their response was the change in policy. Anyways, I am no longer going home with Marcus. :( I will be returning home with the rest of my group on June 22.

On the bright side like everyone else from my group says, I will be home for the NBA Finals and the Finals of the Copa America. haha. 

Good week. This Sunday is the second and last round of the elections here in Peru, which means Peru will decide who will be the next president and we will not have church services. (No gatherings or church allowed by law on election day.) This also means that I have one more Sunday here in my ward Tarapaca because the next Sunday I will be in Huancayo to meet with President for my final interview. Only one more church service on Tarapaca! It doesn't feel real. 

Inspite of the fact that no one I now find will be able to be baptized, we are searching diligently for new investigators. This week we found 2 families. The highlight of the week, however, was on Thursday when we hiked to the top of the mountain in our area and started contacting. We noticed about 10 moms unloading heavy material from a cargo truck. They were unloading and carrying material to a near by elementrary school that was there in the mountain. So we naturally started helping the moms (their husbands were working) unload materials for an expansion of their small school. It was a blast helping them, and they got a real kick out of the "gringo" helping them and carrying about triple what they were carrying. I will miss those shouts of "Gringo!". haha. 

I love serving! I hope I don't forget the joy that comes from doing it. 

Anyways, love you all. 

Elder Walker
Lunch today with Elder Palomino

Monday, May 23, 2016

The Beginning of the End


I just read on that sisters missionaries can wear pants to prevent disease in mosquito infested missions, which begs the question can I wear a skirt? haha. Sometimes I think skirts look more comfortable. I think it would be so weird though to see sisters walking around in pants. 

Your week. BRAIZE MARRIED!!! Dang that is hard for me to believe and a little sad to think about. I love that guy though, and I'm glad he is happy. Chloe, Joe, Camron, and Tori came home, that must be fun. I bet everyone is going crazy right now with school almost out. It's weird to think that the sophomores when I was in High School are graduating now. Anyways all good. I will talk to the Secretary here to make sure all is a go with the travel plans. I also heard that Cori Molisee is getting married in the LV Temple. That is cool. Lots is going on. Good luck planning girls camp. 

My week. Pretty boring. We are working super hard and have the goal to talk with 50 people throughout the week and find new investigators. We are also walking a lot and climbing up and down the mountain. We found quite a few new people to teach this week which was awesome and had a few go to church. I have just a little over a month left. I'm starting to notice and plan for the lasts. Last transfer, last multizone, last meal in Huanuco. Weird.

On Friday we had a multi-zone. President was able to come. It was cool. President talked last and when he shared his testimony at the end he started to cry, but pulled it together and ended. He often says that he knows each of us personally and that he has an idea of how our Father in Heaven must feel towards us and how He knows us perfectly. He started to cry when he called us his hijos. You could tell that he knows that his mission is coming to an end. Our last conference will be at the end of June, and then it's over. I think we as missionaries sacrifice a lot to be here on the mission, but no one has sacrificed more than President Henderson. 

Here is a pic from our lunch last P Day. Love You!! 

Elder Walker

Monday, May 16, 2016

La Obra

Hi all,

I stayed here in Huanuco in Tarapaca and have a new companion. Elder Yeh went to Satipo, and my new companion is Elder Palomino, who came from Cerro. Elder Palomino is from Lima, is 27 years old, and has been a member since he turned 9. He actually got baptized in Huancayo and moved to Lima afterwards. I met Elder Palomino in 2014 in Cerro when he started his mission there (he started then went back to Cerro to serve there a second time). It is funny to be his comp. He has 19 months on the mission. Strangely, I think he is the perfect comp to keep me motivated and working until the very end. I hope I will be able to speak English though because I’ve been with Latinos for 5-ish months. 

Every thing is great here. There are a few new missionaries here in the zone and it’s funny because two of them who are new were with me in Huancayo. I guess they just can’t get rid of me. Haha. I am excited to help them and everyone here. 

This Friday we will have the first of two Multizones that I get to help plan this transfer. It should be a good time. Other than that everything should be normal this week. 

I liked these verses from Romans 8:35-39 in my personal study this morning. Nothing, unless we allow it to, can separate us from God´s love. I thought of President Eyring’s talk "Where is the Pavilion?" when I read these verses. Anyways love you all. Have a great week!

Elder Walker 

PS Here is a pic of me and my comp that I just took para que vean.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Busy Week


We went to a couple of lagoons and just got back to do internet. I will sent photos. This is a moto taxi, and Huanuco is filled with them. Huanuco only has one way roads as you can kind of notice in the picture, which makes driving in the road with a 100 moto taxis interesting. It’s fun though. That is what I tried to explain yesterday. 

Mom, it was wonderful seeing you and everyone else yesterday. I am not sure why but maybe more than ever it was a bitter sweet talk. I was sad to talk to Jason knowing that I won’t see him for 2 years, but I am also extremely happy he’s going back on the mission. Maybe that is the clearest example, but even with other things like Chloe telling me to roll my sleeves down. That isn’t even a rule here in my mission or anything, but I felt guilty about it. With that and talking about my investigators, combined with the realization that I have so little time, the thought popped into my mind that I haven’t done enough. I haven’t helped enough people. Baptized enough. Taught enough. Nor been converted enough. 

What I wanted to ask or say, but didn’t remember. What am I going to eat at college? What is my apartment like? 4 people or 6? Are my classes in the morning or night? The first trip we have planned is the beach right? Do I have time to work in the summer or nada? I refuse to think about a phone, laptop or anything like that Mom. I don’t know why but thinking about that gets me super unfocused. 

Thanks for sending Marc’s letter. It was cool talking to him. 

Also, this last week has been the most busy of my mission. On Monday Elder Bullock, the same one I was with at Christmas and trained as a zone leader in Huancayo, left Huancayo and came to Huanuco to be in my zone. It was kind of hard, like I think I mentioned, that he wasn’t a zone leader anymore and was in my zone. Tuesday he got a call to go to Huancayo immediately to be assistant, so we have been with Elder Turin, his comp, all week. Weird, but cool, that Elder Bullock was just a comp mayor then to assistant, but I like that. I like Elder Bullock too. 

After that we moved Elder Turin’s room. On Thursday we went to Huancayo. On Saturday we moved into another area’s room. (Pretty much the whole zone is moving because we will now pay everyone electronically and some peeps don’t want the Peru IRS to see that). On Saturday we were working, and then because of and impression I had we stopped by the church. By chance Elder Turin was there preparing for his baptism, when we found out that the bap fount was filled with old water and the machine to empty it was broken. So with buckets we emptied it. Then, we went to a baptism in another area in the zone because of some things, and we returned to Elder Turin´s baptism. On Sun. we talked. :) 

Crazy. I also managed to break up a fight on Sat. between two ladies at church. Like my mission president said when people ask how you mission went you just have to smile and say, “It was great,” because no one else can really understand. Maybe you can try, Mom. 

Great week. Transfers are tomorrow like I said. I love you all so much.

Elder Walker
Con mi compi

Tres Amigos--Love these guys!
Moto Taxi

Monday, May 2, 2016

Like Missionaries Do

Thanks for the great letter. I do remember Brian telling me that story, and he always said that he was going to speak in Chinese. Crazy! Tell him that I am excited for him. Tell BRO J that as well. Miss both of those guys!

Well, not much to say. You are spot on when you said that the mission stretches you. Sometimes I can see my progress clearly, but sometimes its not so easy. This week was a little bit harder. We had interviews with president on Monday. On Thursday my comp went to Huancayo to get an MRI. On that same day President interviewed everyone else in the zone. I had to do all of the practices with the missionaries alone and some other things. Afterwards president and his wife took me and 2 other missionaries out to eat, which was sweet. We went to eat at Señor Limon, which is a super good seafood restaurant. I loved it. If I finish here, I will go there to eat on my last P-day, and I will eat ceviche.  

But, yeah, again I didn't work a lot in my area, but we have two investigators progressing which is cool. Just want to keep working. 

Fast week. Nothing much to say. Love you lots.

Elder Walker