Monday, December 29, 2014

The Lesson of One More

Hello all,

This week was hard. One of the hardest here on my mission, but still nothing compared to some of the first few in the field. What made it hard was the sicknesses (home and physical) and obviously Christmas. But Christmas really wasn’t that bad because like I said it wasn’t really Christmas: it was a Thursday that I got to talk to my family. 

Talking was good. Actually it was fun. Too short, but cool to see everyone. It was extremely strange to be on the other side of the camera especially when talking with Chloe because we just switched sides since Mother’s Day. It was hard at the end to say goodbye, but overall good. 

Harder was the next day. Due to the fact that my companion was sick with a stomach infection, I was confined in my room all day to drown in thoughts of home: of the Arizona game (but seriously so mad I missed that Arizona game) of iPhones and of everything I miss. It sucked. It was worse for Elder Thatcher, but terrible for me.

Moving on though, it gave me time to read. I read all of the talks I have. I also reread the letter you sent to me, Mom. Such an awesome letter thanks again. 

Afterwards I was thinking about basketball though. Then, about Jonas. And about a practice we had.

It was a Friday night JV practice in the Aux Gym sophomore year. This practice we had to run all day. We did agility defensive slides. Then a minute of H-e-double hockey sticks and then more agility and defensive slides. We had done all of this, and then did 10 suicides in 10 minutes. After this everyone was dying on the line exhausted, panting, and lying on the ground, grateful practice was over. I remember clearly Jonas standing up and walking over to us. I was bitter and mad because I didn't understand why it was necessary for us to have had to run so much that practice. 

Then, Jonas in his quiet, calm, and annoying at the same time voice that pierces into your soul asked the team, "Can you do one more? Do you got one more in you?" 

There was a low grumbling from the team and silence. He repeated the question. We replied, "Yes Coach,” quietly. He asked again, and then we screamed, “Yes Coach! We ran another sprint. 

We finished. Even more dead tired and Jonas asked us again if we could do one more. And we did. He asked and we proceeded to do about 5 more sprints. People were falling over. Muscles were cramping. After another sprint he asked again, "Can you do one more?" 

"Yes Coach." we replied. Then Jonas smiled and said that we were done for the day and to shoot free-throws. 

I thought of this story that day after Christmas while sitting alone and missing home. It is a life skill I will always have. And I realized how I have used this experience throughout my mission and how I continue to use it. Even when I’m dead tired, throwing up in the bushes. I can always go one more. One more door. One more street. One more lesson. One more week. One more transfer. One more year. It’s important for every missionary to learn that lesson—the lesson of one more. 

Have a great week. I love you all.

Elder Walker

PS I still didn't get my Christmas package :(
Llamas!

My Christmas present from President and Sister Henderson.

Monday, December 22, 2014

White Christmas

Hi,

Hahahahaahahhaahahhahahahahahaha. Chloe brought a boy home! Ohhh my gosh I wish I could have been there to see how Dad handled that. I bet it was so funny!!!! So where did he sleep? But what is up with him deciding between Chloe and some missionary girl? Well, freaking duhhhhh Chloe is the obvious choice! Like we talked about before we left, Chloe has made it super hard for all of us to find someone cuz she set a super high standard!! Like Camron said, and that was pre-mission Chloe! I can’t imagine now. Is he mentally challenged?

It has been a crazy week starting with a great couple of days in Huanuco. We had great food and fun there. I had the chance to stay in Elder Thatcher's old area with his awesome pension, and that was fun too. I also got to talk to Elder Cook while there, and he is a great guy and actually grew up in Boulder City. 

Huanuco was fun. Then we got back to Cerro and figured out that our investagator with a date for that Saturday had a few problems, and we had to postpone her date until she could get an interview. It was hard and frustrating, especially because she was getting married on that Saturday as well, and really wanted to get baptized. That Saturday she got married and then in an unforeseen turn of events had a interview with President Maravi after her baptism. And in even more unforeseen fashion the interview went great, and she was able to be baptized that very same day. I was pretty awesome! The mission is full of ups and downs, but I have seen from this expirence that I just have to keep working hard and put my trust in God.  

I'm a little worried about Christmas, but as President Henderson told us in his letter today there are two ways to pass Navidad. The first is to just think of home and remember all of the things that I am missing. The second way is to remember the commitment we have made Jesus Christ and to serve others. That is what I am trying to do. Remember my commitment and remember all of the things my family and I have been given and share those gifts with the people here in Peru. But still it is hard. To be honest I don't even want to talk to you guys for Christmas. I just don't think i will like it. Talking to Marc should be fun though. 

All is good. I love you all. Still laughing trying to imagine Dad watching Chloe with the boy. Haha.

Talk to you soon!!!
Elder Walker

Patricia's Baptism




Monday, December 15, 2014

Quick Note

Hi, 

Not much time today because of the conference. I’m not sure there are really any Christmas traditions here. I don't really hear Christmas music or see trees. There are some lights around, but not many at all. Speaking of which do we have lights up this year, Dad? Haha. And our tree? I don’t know if it’s like this in all of Peru, but think it is just Cerro de Pasco. There are random daces in the streets sometimes celebrating various Catholic holidays, but i don't really understand it. Apparently everyone here goes to the plaza and sings on Christmas Day, but that’s all I've heard. And they eat turkey. 

More next time.

Love, 

Elder Walker

PS President said yes, I can talk to Marc on Christmas!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Workin' as Missionaries Do

 Hello,

This week was good, but it was hard to work for a couple of reasons. Primarily Elder Thatcher got sick twice during the week. Also the elections this week slowed down the work because everyone was traveling and not in their houses. Regardless, we hard a good week with some good lessons. We have one investigator, who is progressing great and has a baptismal date for this Saturday. I’m looking forward to that and also to Huanuco this coming week.

So yeah Elder Thatcher got sick twice the first time was really bad. It was Wednesday night and he threw up like 3 times. He kept me up too, which was really unthoughtful of him. haha. But yeah that happened. Because of the elections, there was no church yesterday. So stupid, but yeah it was the final election only between two guys. Funny story yesterday we were talking to some random guy on the street who just voted and he asked us if we voted too. We said no and then he preceded to tell us how he just voted, but he had to choose between one candidate who was corrupt and another candidate who was more corrupt. haha and he said he didn't know what to do so he just chose one so funny.

More stuff: our new pension is AWESOME. She asks us what we like and what we want for meals. It's amazing. Patricia has a baptism date for this Saturday but I think we are moving it to Sunday because the ward is going to the temple on Saturday, and they get back on Sunday. Also, I’m excited that we are going to Huanuco this coming P day for a zone conference, and I get to eat lasagna! I should get to email you though so don't worry.

Lots of love,

Elder Walker

Me trying to be a photographer.
Tim Tebowing it
My area is basically everything to the right of the lake.

Chosen Frozen shirt, and yes, I'm freezing! I don't know why I thought it was warm enough to hike without a jacket. haha.
I'm on top of the world!

Studs

Monday, December 1, 2014

Another week in Cerro

Hello!

Two things. What did Marcus say this week? Is he done with training who’s his comp? Is he still in the same area? Also I need his address because I'm going to send him something for Christmas/birthday. Marcus’s pics from last week of his Thanksgiving dinner he made were sweet! I miss American food. Miss that guy.

I have no idea what to say about this week. I guess I will start out with my Thanksgiving. We had no lessons. haha. Yeah we had no lessons on Thanksgiving, and no lessons sucks because the day takes twice as long. And when that day makes you think of home because it’s a holiday, it’s even longer. Yeah no fun! But that night we went out to eat with Elder Kidd and Elder Larson, our zone leaders (they are in our district too and we eat every meal with them because we share the same pension.)  We went to a cool restaurant, and then we bought desserts. That was fun, and I ate so much that day that I was sick the next day. So the day after Thanksgiving was that much fun either. But hey, enough complaining! I survived, and I'm feeling good now. There is always something to be thankful for.

HEY, good news we are changing pensions for lunch and dinner so we will see how the new one is today. But yeah no more caldo de gallina every night!!!! Dang those pies in Marcus’s pics look soo good. I’m jealous. 

We had a family come to church, but then they left after the first hour so it doesn't even count, but then we had another investigator come who stayed. That was cool. She is Patricia, and she has a baptism date and a wedding date for the 13th of Dec. I’m feeling hopeful about her and her fiancé, who is already a member.

Elder Thatcher is adjusting fine. Actually really good if you compare that to his record. He told me he was super sick for his first 4 weeks in the mish with an infected bug bite and dental problems. He's good, though, and just walks kinda slow because he’s still getting used to the altitude, which is annoying sometimes. But I have to be patient and remember that I used to get winded, too. Elizabeth is making me angry. We haven’t taught her for 2 weeks because she went to Lima again and every appointment has fallen through. But we will see. We just need to talk to her. 

I love you all,

Elder Walker

Monday, November 24, 2014

Staying in Cerro

Hello!

So yeah, I got my new comp on Wednesday: Elder Thatcher! He is super cool. He is from Dallas, Texas, and only has one more transfer than I do. He came from Huanuco and was companions with Elder Cook, that is Huxford’s and Stubb’s Elder Cook. He loves to golf and got 2nd in the entire state of Texas in high school his senior year. He is hard working and happy which is cool and doesn’t complain. He does, however, point out how much Cerro sucks compared to his last area and that is kind of funny because Cerro is all I know. In his last area he ate French Toast, cupcakes, brownies, and way good food. Here we eat Caldo de Gallina every night—and I'm not exaggerating—every night! But he is cool. He tells me his family is super rich. He is kinda of like you mom and all of his brothers are older.

Right now we are still working with Elizabeth and she came to church again and I am really hopeful that she will get baptized not this week but the next Saturday. She is super cool and says that she has already received an answer, and she is super ready. We are working with other families as well. I sent a picture of the Familia M. They have some work. He is an RM, the dad, and the mom is an investigator and they aren’t married, but that little girl Eva is the cutest thing ever. 

Like you said missionary work is like fishing—takes a lot of patience and you don’t always catch anything. It’s been especially hard here because the work has been slow. But yeah I like that about fishing and will think about that this week. One thing that I've realized is that missionary work is hard, but it’s hard because that’s the only way we can develop into the person God wants us to be. There is a story in Ether about the Jaredites crossing the sea. It talks about how the Lord sent them fierce winds and storms and in chapter 6 vs 5, its says that these things pushed them towards the promise land. I love that. Some times our struggles push us where we want to go. Kinda like the scripture you shared with me about experience. I never understood the quote by JFK talking about going to the moon—I think and he says that we do not do these things because they are easy but we do them because they are hard. I understand this now. everything that is worth anything requires hard work. LOVE YOU.

Elder Walker

New companion--Elder Thatcher



Monday, November 17, 2014

Four Months on the Mission!

Hello again,

Elder Contreras is gone and on his way home. I will know who my new companion is tomorrow night, and he will come on Wednesday. Right now I'm with the zone leaders staying with them. I have a ton of pictures!!! But I forgot my camera because I'm with the zl’s. This week has been hard, which fits because my training finished the way it started. This whole week we have been in appointments and stuff, and Elder Contreras would tell them that he was leaving for his mission and then everyone would get sad. And I would be like yeah I'm still gonna be here. haha. Then, on Saturday that was our last real day, and it was super hard. With the investigators like I just said, then Elder Contreras was thinking and talking about home, which made me think about home. And then I realized or remembered that it was Chloe’s birthday. Sunday (Mare's birthday) was hard too, but it was better because we had 2 families come to church and some less actives. I am a little worried though that they just came for Elder Contreras, and I'm worried if I'll be able to teach effectively without him.

Makes so sad that I can’t be there to watch Clay play basketball. I pray for him and all the Pendletons. I pray for Grandma Sue every day because I worry about her so much. I pray for Gpa. Bud and Gma. Leslie. I’ll pray for Camrons midterms this week and for Chloe and whoever the heck she’s dating. I used to pray that Camron and Chloe wouldn’t get married while I was gone. haha. But now I pray they find someone because I want the best for them. I’m proud of Anna and her hard work in school. When I meet girls who are 13 here in Peru I think, oh no, that’s how old my little sister is going to be when I get home, and it scares the heck out of me. You’re at the doctor with grandma. I miss the days when you would take grandma to the doctor and bring home Krispy Kreams. Ahhhhhhh! I love you and dad, and I pray for you every day.

But yeah that's where I am right now. I had my four month mark this week. I Love you all so much.


Elder Walker



Killing off Elder Contreras.
This was just before he got in the car to leave.









Monday, November 10, 2014

Best week

Hello!

Chloe! Dang 22! You’re gonna be old!

I had a good week. Multiple appointments failed, and I walked at least 15 miles as a result but it was a good week nonetheless. Right now we are working with one investigator, whom I am really hopeful for and attended church again this week. She is awesome, and it’s great to see progress in someone here. We are working with others as well but they are not really progressing and acting on our invitations. It is a little ironic that as soon as I get use to and enjoy the work here with Elder Contreras, he has to leave. 

Our investigator is Elizabeth, and she is super cool. Her story is that we were walking around on P Day a couple weeks ago and a lady stopped us and said, “Hey I’m a member.” Then, we set up an appointment with her and when we went we met Elizabeth, Flor´s daughter. She is great.

I just want to thank you again for the packages, and specifically you mom for the letter. It was an awesome letter. What a powerful question at the end to ask, Art thou greater than He? And I believe you that the trails in life have a purpose and that is to give us experience. Awesome.

I want to talk about a talk by Lawrence E. Corbridge called “The Fourth Missionary.” I got it when I entered the mission, but I’ve been really studying it the past few weeks. It talks about 4 different types missionaries you can be. The first one doesn't work and isn’t worthy, and goes home. The second is disobedient but finishes his mission. But I want to talk about the Fourth type of missionary, and you need to read this talk to understand me. But in summary, "The third is a faithful laborer in Christ’s work. The fourth missionary is a disciple of Christ." 

Anyways right now I’m somewhere in between the 3rd and fourth—or better the I’m the 3rd missionary trying to be the 4th missionary. He paraphrases CS lewis and in the Lord’s words he says, ”I want you. All of you.... Hand it all over to me." He also says that "the third missionary gives up doing those things, but the fourth missionary gives them up in his heart as well.” 

In truth, I don't know how to do that. He says earlier in the talk that I am "... The sum total of what I have thought said seen heard and done." Which means I am the result of everything I’ve left at home: family, friends, sports, and that I should but I don’t know how to just "put them in a box on shelf in my closet at home" and forget about the things that have made me who I am. In short I "count the cost" as Corbridge says, but I'm trying not to and trying to be the 4th missionary. The quote I liked the most is, "You cant be happy if you don't want to do the things that lead to happiness even if you do those very things.” Meaning going on a mission doesn't make you happy; you have to want it. I agree that the only intelligent thing to do is to serve as the 4th missionary, but it’s hard. I am slowly changing, I think, and as I have prayed for more love and more pure desires and to be more like Christ, I have had the best week of my mission. Anyway, read the talk; it’s awesome!

Love you all so much,

Elder Walker

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

I'm Alive

Hello!

First things first, I got my packages!!!!! It was a nice Halloween present, and I was so happy. I have lots of snacks and won’t have to worry about food for a while. But seriously such a relief to get stuff from home. Thanks so much! 
  
This week started off kinda bad and turned into a great week. First yeah, I was sick with a stomach ache from the fish and and cold like I told you about last week. On Wednesday, the day I felt the worst, we were in a lesson with a member teaching a less active family. During the lesson my stomach progressively hurt worse and worse until it was unbearable, almost. But we talked about sacrifice with the familia Sacorius and the importance of going to church and the blessings that will follow. I bore my testimony of how it was a sacrifice to leave my family and be here and speak Spanish then asked the Hermano Manuel to share his testimony. He gave such a powerful testimony of sacrifice and love. He described the death of his wife and other hard things in his life that had happened. He's my hero. After the lesson I walked outside a few steps then threw up. But then none of them came to church. So frustrating! I’ve had to accept what Bro Johnson told me that everyone has their agency and we can’t get down when others choose to exercise theirs.

Then, we had stake conference. It was great Hna. and Prs. Henderson spoke, so that was cool. And then on Sunday night we went to Huanuco for a multi-zona. So that is why we are having P day a day late because yesterday we had a conference. One thing that was cool was that the scripture we were assigned to memorize was DC 68:3-6, which is my plaque scripture, awesome verses. At the conference, I also saw Elder Cook, finally. It was cool, but we only talked for like 5 minutes because we had to rush to get the bus back to Cerro so I didn't get a picture. 

Yeah so thats whats up. Love you all so much.

Elder Walker
Packages!!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Living the Missionary Life

Hi,

So I’ll start off from the start of the week when I went on divisions with our zone leader Elder Kidd. He is an awesome missionary. I was a little nervous because I knew that we were going to work in my area, and it would be just me telling him what to do and where to go. It was fun. I think I surprised myself with how much I could do. With Elder Contreras sometimes I just let him do all of the talking in lessons and stuff and make the decisions because he’s so much older and knows more, but with Elder Kidd yeah I just surprised myself. 

It’s funny that you asked about if i had to speak in church because I did yesterday. haha But don’t worry I had plenty of time to prepare that is one day. I found out on Saturday morning. And it wasn’t a problem either because I definitely don't have a cold, and Ii definitely didn't lose my voice. And our church is super nice so the microphones definitely worked too. haha. But yeah it wasn't that bad. I’ll send you my talk it was pretty funny I got everyone to laugh and I think they could understand me. haha. Not sure. Send the talk to Chloe she’ll like it especially how I a story about her. haha. My talk was on la obra misional. 

As for why today stinks. I’ll break my rule and tell you that along with my cold, yesterday my pension feed me day old fish. I got so sick, and last night was rough. The bathroom floor is cold, but I won’t elaborate any more.

I love you all,

Elder Walker

PS. I would really like some Tiger’s Milk protein bars.
Blurry pic of Elder Kidd and I

Monday, October 20, 2014

Busy Week

Hi,

First off, this week we had interviews with President Henderson this week, which was cool. Seriously, he is such a cool guy, and I left the interview feeling confident and refreshed. We talked about obedience. We had a good talk. 

But next we had a bit of a situation this week in our appartment. We don’t have water a lot of the time so we keep a bucket filled up from the sink so that we can flush the toilet if the water goes off. Anyway, we got water Tuesday morning and my companion started filling up the bucket when the water turned off again, and I guess he forgot to turn it off because nothing was coming out. And then we went to breakfast. haha. So when we returned the water had turned back on and our apartment flooded. It’s a good thing we have concrete floors, so it was kinda just a deep cleaning. In other news, Hermana Henderson says we live in the worst apartment in the mission, which I know you want to hear. I think it’s funny though, and something to be proud of. haha.

It’s hard to talk about the people I’m teaching. I don’t know why. I guess its because we teach a lot, and I feel like no one is really progressing. The work is very hard in Cerro. One reason it’s hard is because of the terrain. In one of the pictures I sent you, you can see my area and that it’s very mountainous, and don’t worry I live up to my last name here by walking a lot up and down the mountain. It’s also difficult because the people here are very discouraged, and even though they are very humble it’s hard for them to have enough energy to hope.

Every single day for dinner I eat soup, and in case you didn't believe me yes I actually eat the food. haha. And no it’s actually not that bad, and I’ve grown to really like caldo de gallina, which is really rooster noodle soup. They usually put corn and a huge piece of meat in the soup and sometimes an egg. 

Que mas? Yeah, it’s getting harder to be around Elder Contreras. He is so close to being done with his mission, and so we find ourselves talking about home a lot. It sucks killing your trainer. I’m just starting, and he is finishing. As others like to remind me he has had more p-days than I’ve have days. But its fine, don’t worry about me.

The weather is yeah cold. haha. It varies each day between cloudy and rainy and cold, and then it will sunny and cold a couple times a day. We get lot of rain. Today I woke up to snow out side, but it didn’t stick.  

Love you,

Elder Walker

Welcome to Cerro de Pasco, the highest city in the world, altitude 14, 370 feet

Cerro de Pasco
Elder Contreras and I

Caldo de gallina

Yes, the soup warms me up. Yes, everyone's faces are red here. The altitude and cold make you sunburn easily. Don't worry Mom, I bought some sunscreen this week and promise to wear it.

Our deep cleaned apartment after the flood.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Conference was Amazing!

Hi,

First off, I have received no packages or letters, not one, but it’s okay. I guess there is a mail strike, and hopefully it will be over soon. Right now we are teaching a few families and different investigators. Fun fact I learned that what my companion and I have been doing here in Cerro (we both came together to a new area) is called opening an area. haha. Seems silly, but I didn’t know. As far as the altitude (everyone always asks about it), I got a little winded at first and when I went to Lima for my visa and came back in two days I got a killer headache, but compared to most the altitude has never been a problem. It think because of my swimmer lungs. haha. Also I eat caldo de gallina (rooster) every day not pollo. It’s good and I drink a lot of anise tea. 

We are working with a lot of families, and we had one family of 4 come to General Conference. And wow General Conference is the best on the mission, especially without all of the distractions that I had at home. A few of the talks I liked were Uchtdorf’s Priesthood Session talk—Lord is it I? What a powerful question and invitation to look inside ourselves. Also, Bednar’s talk was perfect for nonmembers and will be a mormon message someday. I will refrain from saying every talk and point I liked because I would write a list of almost every talk.

But conference though was seriously amazing. I also loved Uchtdorfs other talk about the universe and the line that finding spiritual truth requires using spiritual tools. My favorite was of course Holland’s. Not just because it is Holland (and he’s my favorite) but also because he answered my doubts and questions of how I, just one missionary, who doesn’t know Spanish can accomplish anything of any consequence here among the people in Peru.

I liked how he talked about helping the poor and poor in spirit and specifically doing our part, whatever or however small that may be. He told the story about Mary buying expensive oil for Jesus and getting criticized for it. Of this Jesus questions the criticisms and says she hath done what she could. I sometimes feel like the other woman he told about who literally makes no statistical difference in her work and is said to be a single drop in the ocean, but she does it anyway. 

I liked that because a lot of times I feel like I'm not really making a difference here in Peru or Cerro, but Jesus teaches us that it is enough to do what we can and that every drop in the ocean is important. That’s what I'm doing here—doing only what I can with the hope and faith that God will make me more and better than I am. And maybe statistically I will make a difference of zero on my mission, but this isn't a gospel of statistics. It’s a gospel of one drop in the ocean and of one changed life, even if like Elder Holland says in another one of his talks that one life is my own. 

I love you all. Have a great week.

Elder Walker

Monday, October 6, 2014

Hello!

Hey!

I’ll start of by saying that I didn't watch conference this week because of the elections. It is illegal to have any gatherings on election day yesterday, not even church because here all citizens are required to vote. The elections here are crazy. When they promote their candidates it sounds more like protesting to me. This last week people have been marching down the street chants stuff supposedly promoting their candidate. In the plaza on Friday, the candidates put up a stage and gave like a pep rally speech, and I watched some of it and it was like a popularity contest, and they were making these totally huge promises like to build hospitals and stuff. It's kinda funny, but at the same time kinda cool to see a relatively young democracy trying to make it all work. Gotta admire that.

This week was good. It was a little crazy with the elections but good. First off, we had a Stake activity. It was a mixtura and every ward brought a bunch of native food and it was a big party. It was ironic though because we helped set it up but couldn’t eat any of the food because a new rule went into effect on October 1 for ALL of the Peru missions. Yeah the rule change states that we can’t eat at any members house at all. Not even on Sundays. So we eat every meal with our pension. Only stuff that is packaged can we eat in other’s homes. It was funny because the activity was supposed to start at 7 but at about 7:30 no one was there, and at 8 the bishops of the wards still weren’t there. And about 8:30-845 everyone showed up. It crazy and just a different mind set here. I think that this is the real reason conference is a week later. They tell them its last week so they will show up this week. Haha. jk.

Don’t worry I have a new pension now, and I get fed enough. My pension is the familia Palacios, and I get fed soup and chicken and rice every day, and for breakfast I eat oatmeal, juice, bread with butter, and a hot drink. And no, I don’t do my own laundry, I have someone who does it for me.

Transfers are tomorrow, and yeah we are both staying.

Other than that yeah we had an investigator go to the mixtura, and we are hopeful for her this week. The work here is kinda hard. People have the mind set that church and religion is a once a year type thing, and they don't keep their commitment or come to church. 

Love you lots,

Elder Walker

PS. Alma 58:10-11 still gets me through
Mom, you asked for a serious picture of us dressed like missionaries, but Elder Contreras is a funny guy so this is all I could get! Haha.


This is the Herrera family. We had a lesson with the Hermanas who introduced us to them. The hermanas, Hermanas Gale (blonde) and Johnson are awesome. Weve been with them a bunch this transfer because we serve in the same ward.




Monday, September 29, 2014

Alma 58:10-11

Dear everyone,

Ya, I’m okay. Cool. This week was pretty much the same old. Elder Conteras went to Huancayo for a few days, and so I was companions with Elder Cayo and that was fun. Life’s good. We went to a nice restaurant last Saturday because everyone was having their year or nine month mark, you know half-way anniversary. That was fun. 

Honestly though it is soo annoying when missionaries talk about how fast the time goes. These have been the longest 2 months of my life. But yeah, I don’t know what to write. What do you want to know?

One thing—I literally know the scripture in Alma 58:10-11 to be true. If we pour out our souls in prayer to Him he will speak peace unto our souls and give us GREAT faith and hope of deliverance through Him. Also, before I talked about how much i missed going to Rebel games and activities, but I realize that I don’t really miss going to the Rebel games with Dad and Marc, I miss the car rides to the rebel games when we could talk. I just miss the people, but don’t worry I’m not homesick.

I’ll write more next week. I spent my time writing to Marc this week. 

Love you,


Elder Walker

Monday, September 22, 2014

I Love My Family!

Hello,

I have a question for you. What is harder than being a missionary in Cerro de Pasco for your first area????? Being the mom of that missionary. Hahaahahahahahahhhahahahaha.

Anyway this week nothing really happened because I had the pleasure of making the 9 hour bus ride to Lima for immigrations. It sucked. I don't want to focus on the bad, but yeah I got sick this week. And let me tell you it is the worst being sick without my mom and without my bed! I got a fever and felt colder than I did in Cerro. Also, for the second time, I got used to Cerro again just to leave. It was interesting though going back to Lima because of how much I’ve changed. Not really me, but my mind set. I remember the first day I arrived in Peru and looking outside and thinking I’m in a third world country. Everything is so dirty and impoverished. But going back I realized how nice Lima is compared to Cerro. Like everything is so nice in Lima—there are side walks and real buildings. hHaha. And the hotel we stayed in was a suite. 

Also, it was fun because I got to see all of my CCM friends. But it was short lived. Other than that it is the same old. Yeah, everyone in Lima said I got skinnier. Sad face. But actually I'm either starving or want to throw up because I have eaten so much. By the way, I have to buy my own breakfast right now—no tengo pension. So yeah I've been spending too much money. So please make sure my card is all right.

So, I have seen 3 chapels in Cerro—and there might be one more. In my ward there are 1000 members about 120 come to church. I figured this out yesterday at a stake meeting, and it blew my mind. I am in the Cerro de Pasco ward in the Cerro de Pasco stake and ours is the biggest ward here. There are 5 wards here.

So we went to Huallae (pronounced why-I) and it as a bunch of cool rocks formations that look like animals. The one in the picture is an elephant rock.

To answer your question, we drink store bought, purified water in bottles and drink that in our apartment and then we aways drink a hot tea with our pension. Other than that, I don't drink anything else. What I eat is soup every day with my pension and then for lunch it's soup and then a second dish. You'd be surprised how many different ways you can prepare rice and chicken.

Also I keep forgetting to tell you--the first day with President Henderson we talked about how we were going home together our group and him. Anyway he said we will go home 4 days before him and he told us are release date!!!! I'm go home June 28, 2016!!! Which means I'm back in time to clean for the 4th of July!!!!!!!!!! Hahaha. No not that I want to focus on home or going home but how sick and perfect is that? The only thing is that I want Marcus to go home at the same time. So work on that.

Have a great week! Love you so much!


Elder Walker
Elephant Rock

Elder Contreras and I

Probably my favorite picture of Jesus is with him and the lamb. Not that I’m Jesus! But I’m on his errand. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Good week

Hello from Cerro de Pasco, la tierra de machos y no muchos.

I’ve come to the realization that Cerro de Pasco is district 12 in the Hunger Games. There is a giant mine, life is physically difficult, and everyone works hard and lives super humbly—district 12. However, it’s cool too because the clouds are literally eye level and the stars are amazing. This week hasn’t been that cold here, but it is high. When I read out loud to my companion, I get winded. 

Last week was hard partly because we were going to Huánuco to a conference, but we had to move apartments before we left. So we looked all of Thursday for a new place, but found nothing. The zone leaders got us a place, but I won’t say anything about it. On Friday we moved left all are stuff then went to Huánuco. In Huánuco the people and even the missionaries live different than we do in Cerro and that’s all I’m gonna say. It never makes you happy to compare. Also, the work is a little difficult because there are 6 missionaries in our ward. When we arrived they had to split the boundaries. It was hard because we have the zone leaders and the hermanas in our ward. So it seemed that we got left with not much of an area, and it never makes you happy to compare. But no worries because this week has been great.

I HAD MY FIRST BAPTISM. I got to baptize an 8 year old investigator of the hermanas named Antony. I was so nervous because it wasn’t only my first baptism in the mission, but first baptism ever. And I had to do it in Spanish. I probably practiced the prayer 100 times. But everything went smoothly and I managed not to mess it up. It was an awesome experience. For the first time, even though Antony wasn’t my investigator, I felt like I made a difference here. 

I have been trying not to let my mind think on things of no value (like worrying and complaining and comparing). As I’ve focused on others and on the positive, I had a much better week.

Los Amo Mucho,

Elder Walker 








Monday, September 8, 2014

2nd Week in the Field

 Hi,

I'm listening to Blink 182. I'm sitting in this small internet cafe, and music is playing. It makes me think of Camron. This has been a hard week so I'll spare you all the details and just send pictures. Mom, I don't know where you got the idea that Elder Shreiner is not in the Huancayo mission because he is definitely in my mission.

I've found hope in pondering Mark 9:23-24 this week. The father of a crippled boy takes his son to Jesus and asks for him to be healed. Jesus says, “If thou canst believe all things are possible to him that believeth.” Immediately the father says, I believe help thou mine unbelief. I believe I’m supposed to be in the Huancayo mission and in Cerro. I believe that I’m doing the Lord’s work. I believe with all my heart, but this week has driven me to my knees. I cry out everyday in every prayer and in every moment for God to help my unbelief, for God to give me strength to do this.

Don't worry about me, Mom. I'm going to be fine.  Enjoy the pictures.

Los amo Mucho, 

Elder Walker
  
Elder Shreiner and I at the Lima Temple for the last time before we head out into the field.

Last day with Elder Shreiner in the CCM

The bus stopped on the way to Huancayo.
I can fly!

Chosen Frozen--Cerro de Pasco Zone--4400 Meters
Cerro de Pasco--Literally and actually on the top of the world! 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Aspira a lo Alto

Hello!

Okay so I arrived at the president's house in Huancayo on Tuesday after over an 8-hour bus ride. He’s a really cool guy. I was the second to last Elder he met with. We talked about my family, and then he asked me if I had a question to ask him. I wasn’t ready for this, but then I asked him how could I be effective as a missionary without speaking Spanish. He told me pretty much that you won’t be. Nicer, but that was a direct quote. Then, he talked about were I was going to be serving and who with. He said I'd be serving with a Latino companion and that my area is the most physically demanding area in the mission—Cerro de Pasco. He said straight up that in two weeks I will be thinking what in the h-e-double hockey sticks am I doing here? While he was saying all of this I just started to smile really big and almost laugh to myself because I couldn’t think of a worse situation to start my mission in. But then again I couldn’t think of a better way—the cold, the altitude, the Latin companion all just give me a reason to work harder and enjoy my mission. Because well the situation may stink but that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy it. 

Getting to Cerro de Pasco was a 4-hour bus ride. Honestly, the altitude and cold weren’t as hard to deal with at first as the food. Camron may be right in that the best food I eat is in the CCM. All I’ve eaten is stew twice a day.

My comp is Elder Contreras, and he is awesome. He is 20 months in the mission and is from Ecuador. His family are all non-members. He was a Zone Leader before training me, and seriously all of the members in Huancayo (we got one day to proselyte in Huancayo to help with adjusting to the altitude before going to Cerro) and missionaries love him. He is super loving and likable and kind. I’m learning a lot from him.

What you need to know about Cerro. First, is bigger than you might think. There is a giant mine in the middle of the town, and the town is all around the enormous mine. There are a lot of people here, but doesn’t even make sense why they are here. I guess they are just stuck there. The altitude (over 14,000 feet) and the cold and the ugly mine make the town kind of unpleasant to say the least.

Cerro is cold. It’s bitterly cold. It’s the kind of cold that numbs the limbs and pierces into the very soul. It’s weird though. Sometimes is will be cold, and then it will be extremely cold. And it will switch between these two during the day. It’s very temperamental. Haha. But don’t worry about me mom I sleep with 8 blankets at night so I’m fine. And I’m probably about as cold as you are in Las Vegas. haha. I think I finally understand you, Mom. My toes are always cold like yours, but I don’t have Brody to warm them up :( ohh and heating, I don’t have a heater too. Haha.

Holy cow I’m writing a lot this week. Also after my interview with President Henderson I knew I was going to Cerro, but that night I realized I lost my little baggy with my passport, wallet and temple recommended. It was funny before I was like wow putting all these important documents is a good way to lose everything at once, and I did. Long story short it fell out of my suit jacket pocket in the bus and the other elders unpacked the bus while we went to eat that first day in Huancayo, but IT was FOUND. Yeah! They called the bus company that night when I figured out I was going to Cerro, and they said they didn’t have it. So that night was rough because I was so worried, but then they found it on the bus the next day. It stinks though because I still don’t have my money right now.

Last thing, Elder Bednar describes three different ways to receive revelation. He calls them the pattern of light. One is like a light switch. Instantaneous knowledge and conviction of the truth. The second form is like a sunrise. At first nothing is visible, but almost imperceptibly things start to come into focus. The Third way is like walking down an alley on a super foggy day. You can only see far enough to take maybe a few steps. This fogginess describes me right now, not for revelation but for faith, and I don’t know hope of things. I don’t know everything, but I know enough. I knew enough to come to Cerro, and I know enough to take the smallest of steps forward.  

Yep, I've got a shirt for the Cerro de Pasco zone. I can’t send the picture. But the joke is that the shirt is the best part of going to Cerro. Love you so much. I’m not going to give up.


Elder Walker