Monday, June 29, 2015

Happy 4th


Braize is home! Crazy! Weird! Hard! Dang that is sooooooooo crazy. I can't even describe what I’m feeling. To see the pictures and hear that Braize and Chris are home makes me so happy yet sad at the same time. Love those guys. Love Braize. Wish I could have been there. However, in comparision to watching Chloe get back, this is a piece of cake :) That was still the hardest. It is going to be super hard though to watch all of my friends get back and have a sweet reunion without me though. I’m proud of them all, though, and want to carry on the work.

But yeah I wish all of you a very happy 4th of July, and tell Camron to make ‘Merica proud cause I’ll be doing it here in Peru! Don’t worry I’ll wear my red, white and blue tie and take lots of pics.

We met with Elder Waddell for a special meeting, and he is an awesome guy. He shared a lot of scriptures from DyC and talked about our purpose as missionaries. We are here to gather together, recoger, with the ultimate goal being the temple (DyC 101:64-65) and to declare the gospel with a voice of a trumpet (DyC 33:2). We had a 5 hour training so really I can’t even say a fraction of what he said but it was awesome. He talked to just our three zones so it was super cool. Other notes is that he told us we breathe, eat, sleep, shower and do everything to baptize CONVERTS on the mission. Also that there is no such that as a missionary who is TOO obedient. 

So much is happening at home! I can hardly believe it. 

Love you all!

Elder Walker

Monday, June 22, 2015

Temple Dedication


I’m on a very subpar computer here in La Merced. I might need to change computers. 

Good news: I GOT MY PACKAGES!, the temple dedication was sweet yesterday, and we had a cool exclusive zone meeting with president and the assistants. First off, I got my packages, and I am super happy about that. Both packages came the same day! The bag and the candy with ties and the USBs. Thanks soooooo much! :) And thanks to Camron as well! It is crazy how much receiving a package from home just lifts your spirits, and I am extremely grateful to have such an awesome family. 

Yesterday, as you know, was the Trujillo Temple dedication. Uchtdorf and Bednar came to Peru to do the dedication. It was super awesome. I watched all three sessions and it was a super cool experience for all of Peru. Uchtdorf talked about how it was Father’s Day yesterday and how there wasn't a better way to celebrate it than to give and dedicate a temple to our Heavenly Father. I couldn't have agreed more. Today in the morning we just barely this morning had a special meeting with President (President has and will do one with every zone). We watched the Holland 2011 MTC address. The one were Holland talks about how you better have at least one convert and that’s yourself. Also, we talked about the importance of studying, obedience, and teaching people not lessons. It went well.

I am great! We will be here until tomorrow, and then we head out to Villa Rica! Cool! Dont worry about me I am doing fine! Things are super good though. We are working with quite a few new investigators. We have two with fecha right now, Abel and Winner. Abel is a sweet new investigator who I really feel like can and will progress. He is a nice 26 single working guy. He has super honest desires to follow Christ and better his life, and he is super receptive to the message of the restored gospel. Winner is the joven of 15 years who goes to seminary all of the time and church and has been investigating the church for about 6 months now. Because of his parents and doubt we kind of left him for a while, but it sounds like he is ready now. We also will rescue Eufelio, a less active member, this week. And yeah there is a lot more in the works but those are the people we are focusing on.

Things going well with Elder Grandstaff—slow and steady wins the race, and I am really doing my best to teach him everything I can. I read in a Liahona once that obstacles are just a catalyst for creativity, and I am applying that by teaching Spanish creatively. With creativity, faith and pure perseverance, the language will come for him. Great guy. 

Love you so much. I want to send dad an email today just for
Father’s Day so I’ve got to go. Love you.

Elder Walker
Elder Grandstaff and I at the chapel in Merced

Monday, June 15, 2015

Service and a Baptism


Nothing about transfers yet. We will know tomorrow night what happens, but I don’t think there will be any transfers here because I need to finish Elder Grandstaff’s training. Talk about crazy though I specifically remember going to Andrew´s farewell and now he is back. It will be the first of many this summer. As of today I have 11 months in the mission! 11! What the heck I just started but at the same time so much it seems like so much has changed at home.

Speaking of the other homecoming talk, Mitchell’s. I was literally thinking about the Carter family this week, specifically the Smith family. As you can probably guess it wasn’t about Mitchell though ;) Mom, I am still mad at you and Grandma (and you can tell her that) because you didn’t introduce me earlier. You robbed me as Pam Honey would say of a perfectly good opportunity to improve my communication and mission skills ;) haha But for reals I can’t I’ve been trying to remember their names they are Sam or Sammy and what is the other one the older one at USC? Gabby? Is she married yet? Have to keep my options open.

I am so proud of you Mom for giving out a BoM keep it up! It is so true that the first time people hear the message of the Restored gospel they will probably reject it. We don’t need to get discouraged though—just keep sharing with everyone because we don’t know who the "prepared" people are until after we invite them to listen. Crazy too that Melissa is getting married. The first of many as well this summer. Cool stuff. 

We had a baptism this week with little Ariana. I don’t like to baptize niños, but when they want to get baptized and the mom wants her to get baptized who are we to get in their way. So we baptized Ariana and "rescued" the mom Madeleyne. Sweet family, who have gone through a lot. Ariana was ready to get baptized though. She knows a lot more than I did when I got baptized. It was a cool little service. I will say it was embarrassing when after a week’s notice and calling everyone on Friday, no one was at the baptism on time at 3. Then, at 3:05 Ariana and her mom showed up. Talk about the most embarrassing thing ever, being at a baptism with just you and your investigator. Then the Bishop failed to come, but luckily the 2nd counselor showed up, and an hour later everyone was there. Prayers where answered. That is one of the small differences between the church in Peru and the USA. It turned out well though.

We did a small service project and helped a member build a bathroom. Good stuff! My scouting skill definitely came in handy,

Love you lots,

Elder Walker

Monday, June 8, 2015

Missionary Life


I’m on for a sec! Crazy that you guys are almost done with the house! It sounds like a complete remodel. Send me some pics when you can! I had a great week but thought a little bit about home and was reflecting on graduating a year ago. It is wild that a year has already passed by and that summer has officially begun. It is also super exciting to hear about Jason going through the temple and Sam getting his mission call. Sam to the Philippines, how crazy is that!

My comp got a little sick from something we ate, I think because I felt sick too, but it hit him harder. I am pretty sure it was when we made tacos with Elder Angel the Mexicano for a FME. We did last Monday night. We are fine now though. This week we have been working hard finding new investigators and teaching a lot. We have quite a few investigators now but it’s hard when they commit to do things and then don’t do it. Ahh, the life of a missionary! We are teaching one guy named Mario who is a less active and we have finished all of the lessons with him and to be "rescued" he just has to go to church one more time, but he didn't go. He has been going, but it is just frustrating some times. We have Arianna´s baptism this week and will rescue her mom as well, and next week we have another baptism scheduled but we are gonna have to change it because of the Trujillo temple dedication is that week and we won’t have church here in Villa Rica at all. 

One of the hardest things as a missionary like Marc said is judging your success. Before in school or in sports you have measurements. You have grades and are graded on everything. It is simple and you are right our you are wrong and if you are right more than wrong you get a good grade, and you know that you succeeded. In sports there is a winner and a looser, however, on the mission there is none of that. There is a part in PMG that I love in chapter one that talks about your success as a missionary. It says your success is largely determined by your ability to love the people and be obedient to all of the missionary rules. Actually there is more that I can’t remember but even then it is so hard to judge your personal success. The temptation is to compare yourself to others or other missionaries or to be able to teach the best or to be the next assistant or to get the most baptisms and lessons taught. 

I believe success is found in the lives you come in contact with and in your life personally and how you change and grow. I always remember the quote by J R Holland when he said that you better have at least one convert on your mission and that is yourself. I have learned to expect my best on my mission and to know that that is all I can do. Interesting article in the LV paper. I like it. 

Hey so there is a couple here in Villa Rica, who are having problems. The husband is a recent convert, and in the past he wasn't the best of characters. He drank and went to parties and once was unfaithful even. They stayed together through because of their kids and eventually got married. Then, he had a real change of heart and got baptized. They continue to have problems though and now Rosemary doesn't like how controlling and self righteous he has become. Long story short she moved out of the house and is living with her mom now. We talk with husband a lot and he is a great guy who want to go the temple with his family but now his wife just wants some space. She doesn't want to give up, but she doesn't have the best of friends. AHHHHHH! It is such high school drama, but I have no idea what to tell him. I am just a kid. We have already talk to the bishop, but I would just like some advice. Maybe there is a good conference talk on marriage or something on 

I’ve been trying to change the way I teach Elder Grandstaff Spanish. He is a visual and kinesthetic learner, and I am trying to teach according to that. I am an auditory learner, and when I first got to Peru I just listened and talked with everyone and eventually things became clear and I learned Spanish, but he has to see it, then say it, then do it to be able to understand. He is smart, but we just learn differently so I have had to look outside the box for me. We have labeled everything in our apartment with post it notes. We’ve made posters and things. He is learning a lot, but right now I am focusing on pronunciation. Any other suggestiones? 

Time is up. I love you lots.

Elder Walker

PS. Will you please send me a recipe for chocolate chip cookies?

Monday, June 1, 2015

Interesting Week

Como estan todos?

So this week was good. Elder Grandstaff got back on Thursday from his trip to Lima to go to immigrations. I spent Monday in Oxapama, and then went to Villa Rica with Elder Angel and Elder Yeh, and we worked in my area until Wed. They left Wed. morning, and I did a division with a youth here preparing for the mission named Gesmer. I stayed with him until Thursday morning. So it has been kind of an interesting, weird week. It has really just been a weird transfer, and I’m ready for things to get back to normal. 

The division I did with Gesmer was a super humbling and great experience. Gesmer is a convert of about 2 years, and the only member in his family of 12 brothers and sisters. His is the last child. We are super good friends and in confidence he started just telling me about his life. How when he was young he moved schools a lot. In my room he saw my calendar and started with my permission to look at all of the pictures. And he just told me how lucky I am to have my friends and family support me by coming to my activities and graduation and everything because he never had that kind of support. I didn't think to much of it until at night we had a FHE type thing in the church and the Hermana missionaries showed a super cool video about eternal families and during the video Gesmer walked out, and being my comp naturally I followed. But he was just crying his eyes out, and I think in that moment I finally understood how truly blessed I really am. I have so many friends a family who love me I am already accepted in college. Just a very humbling time for me.

This week was good we have a couple investigators progressing right now. We are working with Ariana and her member mom Madelyne, who is coming back to church now. We will baptize Ariana. We are also working with Eufelio who is a super cool investigator. We had great numbers this week despite the craziness, and we found a lot of new investigators. I am glad Elder Grandstaff is back, and little by little his Spanish is improving. 

I just heard about Tom Perry passing away. That makes me very sad. He looked so good this last Conference. I will miss his happy face.

So I already have to go. If you haven’t already sent my USB, I don’t need Meet the Mormons now because my comp bought that in Lima for me, but the other stuff I still want. Thanks for everything. I realized yesterday that this is the last week of school! Crazy, it seems like I was just in BC graduating. LOVE YOU!!

Elder Walker