Monday, October 27, 2014

Living the Missionary Life


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


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!


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



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.