Monday, December 29, 2014

December 29, 2014 The End of the year and no time to write

I am so sorry. I have ten minutes to write haha. I had such a great time talking to you guys in Skype and laughing and all that good stuff. It was really great :) I am happy to see that there is finally snow! Better late than never eh?  

I can`t believe that it is almost the end of the year and that we are going to be in 2015! That seems so crazy to me! It`s almost Heather`s birthday! I can`t believe that she is going to be puede ser! It`s so weird that she will almost be 17 when I come home and that Cod will be out on his mission...that is going to be so weird. Oh Heath, I am sending you a little letter and a "lame" birthday present...but it was made with love so I hope that you enjoy it :) I don`t know when it will get to you...hopefully in time for your birthday....I had to give it to a member to mail for me since there isn`t a place to mail things here in my area. they have to be sent from Cholula or Puebla or something like that haha. 

How`s grandma doing? And aunt Cindy? Did they have a good Christmas? How are Cindy`s kids doing and Uncle Ben? I keep them in my prayers and fast for them too sometimes....I hope that everything will be ok....

um...I can`t think of any short experiences that I can share this week since I need to go haha but I will share more next week and the letter next week will be better. Mom, I will try to take more pictures with the members and the investigators that I have so that you can all see who they are :) Sorry that this is so lame but I have to be obedient!  I love you all a lot!! 

Love always,
Hermana Walker :)

Monday, December 22, 2014

December 22.2014 It's Almost Christmas!

Hey! So Christmas is this week and that is pretty doesn't feel like Christmas because there is no snow here and I can´t listen to Christmas music all day everyday on the radio and I didn´t buy any Christmas Presents for you guys...only for my companion haha and she doesn´t know it´s for her but she knows what it is...that´s kind of the problem that happens when you have to be together all day everyday and you have to be able to see and hear one another all the time haha. It makes surprises rather difficult. 

I loved your pictures of the ginger-bread houses and of our house :) they all looked super awesome! Next year I am going to win again ;) haha well maybe not because Elder Sampson won´t be there to help me maybe it won´t look quite as good ;) but if I have Heather on my team then it´s very possible that I can still win ;) 

I got grandma´s package and the package from you guys too. But I think I already told you that I received yours... But thank you so much! I really appreciated it :) 

Today we are going to do our first intercambios with the other sisters in our zone. They live really close to us haha so it isn´t going to feel very different haha. I really hope that I can help the sister that I am going to be compaqnions with for 24 hours :) This is the most important part...that I can help them. 

How is grandma doing? and aunt Cindy? I am praying and fasting for them a lot.... I am really sorry. We came late and I have no time to write more but I love you all and I hope that your Christmas is really amazing! I can´t wait to talk to you in Skype!! I will be talking to you on the 24th :) I don´t know what time yet...but probably around 4 here...which I think is like 3 over there. Ok well anyway. I need to go. Love you!!!

Love always,

Hermana Walker  

Monday, December 15, 2014

December 15, 2014 Sister Leaders and Dare to Be Different; Dare to Be Bold!

Alright so, as the subject line says, we have no time to write this week. Our day was super crazy and we just barely made it to the cyber and it is like 5:44 so yeah this is going to be short and probably really lame...and haha it totally doesn`t help that I really need to use the rest room because I drank a lot of water right before we came here haha but yeah whatever, these things aren`t important haha.

Alright so, guess what? We are Hermanas Lideres! Whoo! It feels really weird because I don`t feel ready haha but yeah...we get to do all the intercambios with the sisters in our zone and we get to give little classes or lessons in the zone conferences and all that fun stuff. It`s a little bit stressful but I know that I can do all things through the Lord Jesus Christ and I know that Heavenly Father and the Savior have faith and trust in me to complete this calling so I will press forward with faith and with happiness and of course with a constant prayer because I need all the help that I can get. 

Hermana Lara goes home in January...she is almost done with her mission...and I will have 6 months in this area by the time the next changes meeting happens and so it is very likely that I will have changes...that means that two new missionaries are going to come to la Joya...this is a little scary because they aren`t going to know who anyone is haha...que dificil...

We are going to have a zone conference thing for Christmas this wednesday and since we are leaders we need to be in charge of planning with the other two sisters of the zone Nealtican and the four elders (our zone leaders and the zone leaders of the Nealtican. Elder Thomas was my district leader here in la joya but now he is the zone leader in la nealtican so it is kind of funny because our two zones are going to be doing the activities together so it is kind of like he is still part of La joya haha. Elder Cuasace, the new District leader for us, is training and his son is from Tamaulipas (the part of mexico that Hna Lara is from). 

Alright, I am so sorry but I need to go now....I love you all and I hope you have a fantastic week! I hope that you also all get the chance to watch the video He is the Gift in youtube and that you can share this special Christmas Spirit that we have with other people. 

Really quick:

I read an article in the Liahona the other week and read a story that really impacted me. It was a talk by L tom Perry I think, but he related a story that was told by President...oh no, I can`t remember...One of the first prophets of the Church haha, I will check later if you want to know who it was haha. Anyway, he related a story about one of his neighbors who is really well off with work and is really kind and all that but he isn`t a member. The man concluded that he could see no difference between the way he lived and the way his mormon neighbors lived and so he thought that they were just as good as the mormons and that there was no difference between him and them. The President, who I can`t remember his name, said that this is no compliment to him. I can`t remember his quote word for word but he basically said that if the gospel of Jesus Christ doesn`t make him a better man than he hasn`t developed as he should and that there is need for reform in Israel. Directly after this story President L Tom Perry said that we need to be bold and dare to be different. That we need to live temple recommend lives and always be worthy of the temple recommend. He also said that we need to not be afraid of offending people by standing up for and living temple recommend lives. 

This really impacted me and it is something that I need to be better at because sometimes I have fears of offending people and I am not as bold in my testimony of the Savior as I should be. I really hope to change in my time in the mission and become a different person so that I truly served a mission where I changed my nature and not just my character. I hope that we can all live temple recommend lives and really live how Jesus Christ would have us live. It´s important to remember that this life really is super important because every action that we make has a consequence, whether good or bad, temporal or spiritual, for time or for eternity. I hope that we can all work on being better and changing our nature and not just our characteristics. 

I love you all! I am sorry this is so lame....but have a great week!!

Love always,
Hermana Walker


Monday, December 8, 2014

December 8, 2014 Faith and the Lord's Time


Well, yesterday was the big day when the Elders call us in the middle of the night to tell us if we have changes....and....only one person had changes (that they told us about) in the District. That person is Elder Thomas, our district leader. He had been here in La Joya for 6 months and is really happy to be leaving haha. Don´t take it the wrong way because La Joya is one of the best areas! The ward is amazing and so is the food and every missionary that comes here gets super fat and it`s all super awesome! (except for the getting fat part..I am really not a fan haha) But yeah, I think it is just rough because it is hard to be in the same area for 6 months...that´s a long time. That´s a third of the mission for the sisters. Well anyway, he is leaving and his comp, Elder Cuacase, is going to be a Father! He gets to train a newbie :) Elder Thomas told us that we don`t have changes (which we were really happy about because Hermana Lara and I love each other and have a lot of fun together and we love this area) but....he told us that we have assignment changes...uh-oh....I don`t really know what that means but there are only so many assignments that the sisters can have....compaƱera menor, compaƱera mayor and...hermanas lideres.... So yeah we are going to the changes meeting on Tuesday to see what`s going to happen. If we really are going to be sister leaders...I am a little scared because I still am pretty new here in the field and feel like I don`t know what I am doing sometimes (mostly with Spanish haha) but I am also really excited :) I will tell you all next week what happens with the changes :)

Well, yeah so that is something exciting :) Now I will talk a little bit about the work here in La Joya! We don`t have a ton of investigators (mostly a ton of less-actives) and the investigators that we do have aren`t really progressing much so it is a little bit disappointing....We have Joaquin who is progressing a little but that is about it. We put a baptismal date with him for the 17th of January and we are praying and hoping that he will be able to come to church 4 consecutive times and get married to his "wife" before then so that he can be baptized. I know it doesn`t seem like a whole lot of time to get married and to come to church all those Domingos but we have faith and hope and we know that the Lord can do all things! We are going to put a date with three or four other of our investigators that we feel are most likely to accept one and invite them, like always, to come to church. In the morning we were talking and finishing up a little bit of our weekly planning and we decided to say a prayer before so that Heavenly Father can help us and guide us to know what would be the best goals to put for the following week. I was kind of lacking faith because I just thought that it didn`t really matter if we prayed before or not because we were just going to do some logical thinking and put our numbers in the agenda. I think I was also just feeling tired and wanting to hurry and finish it so that also contributed to my sour view on the whole thing...I know, horrible... but we said the prayer to start, well Hermana Lara said it because I didn`t really feel like it haha. But while she was saying the prayer out loud, I was praying with my heart and in my mind that Heavenly Father could take away these negative feelings because I didn`t understand why I was having them. I asked him to help me have more faith and more faith and more faith because I was lacking. During this prayer, I was reminded of the video where Jesus Christ is out healing a bunch of people and then a man comes up to him with his sick son in his arms and asks Jesus to heal him. Jesus asked the man if he believed his son could be healed. The man answered "yes." But Jesus looked at him doubtfully and after a slight pause the man changed his answer and said "Lord, help thou my unbelief." I felt like the father in these moments because I was lacking faith. I had faith but not enough. So I asked the Lord to make up for the difference that I was lacking and asked him to help me have more faith that we would know what do to. In the prayer that Hermana Lara said, she asked that we would be able to know what to do with our investigators. Well, after the prayer, we started thining and filling in numbers (our goals for the week) and a thought came to my mind that we should just straight out tell our investigators that if they can`t come to church and keep the commitments that we invite them to do, that we need to let them go because they aren`t progressing. 

If the investigators aren´t progressing, then they aren`t learning or growing spiritually and we as misisonaries aren`t progressing either because we are spending all our time on these people who only like to talk to us as friends and not act in faith. We know that the Lord is preparing the field and that it is ready for the harvest, we just need to work hard and thrust in our sickle with all our might so that we can recieve the fruits of our labors. We know that this isn`t our time, it´s the Lord´s time and if we are just sitting there teaching the same investigators over and over and they never do anything to progress, we are wasting the Lord´s time and we aren`t fulfilling our purpose as full-time missionaries. I explained all this to Hermana Lara and she told me that this thought that I had just shared was the answer to our prayer and that it came through me. 

It was an answer that came really quickly and it helped strengthen my faith because I was able to see that it was true, that the Lord answered our prayer through me and that becuase of this thought, we were able to know what we need to do with our investigators if they aren`t progressing. It helped me know that the Lord really does answer our prayers and He tries and tests us so that we will come before him in prayer, asking for his help and for his strength. It was something really cool to witness and be a part of. 

This was one of the spiritual experiences that I had this week :) I had more too but I don`t have time to write about all of them right now haha :) I love you all so much and I hope that you have a fantastic week! :) 

Alright, I love you all! I hope that Grandma Carole and aunt Cindy are doing alright...I pray for them every night...

Have a great week and send me pics of the house with the lights and of fun activities in the snow if we have snow there... ;) 

Love always,
Hermana Walker :)

Monday, December 1, 2014

December 1, 2014 Joaquin, Pelusa, and Christmas

Hello everyone!

I can not believe that it is December did this happen!? I am turning 6 months old in my mission this month on Christmas...that is so crazy to me. My comp goes home next the 6th of January I think. Ah! All of this is so crazy. I am going to be freaking out so much the rest of my mission because the time flies by! I feel like I`ve only been gone for like 2 months or something like that. I feel so fresh as a missionary-like I still have no idea what I am doing sometimes and a lot of times still I don`t know what people are saying...yeah, I feel like I just barely got here haha. 

Well anyway, so yeah I`m not really sure how I got so mixed up with the whole Thanksgiving thing...I blame my District Leader because he made me self doubt... but whatever, ni modos. It passed and I didn`t do anything haha. How boring ;) But for next year, it really is the fourth of the month? I just want to make sure I actually know when we celebrate this holiday so I can sound intelligent when others ask me about it ;) 

Um, so we have a new investigator named Joaquin and he is really great! He has sooo many questions and we love it!!! And I love that he likes to stay with one topic and actually stay on topic because it makes teaching with the Spirit so much easier! So much easier! There are people here (practically every single person that I have met) that talk and talk and talk and they talk about random things that have nothing to do with the lesson topic and it is super hard to teach them with the Spirit because we are bouncing around all over the place.... but yeah, he is great. He really wants to learn more about our religion and he accepted the invitation to come to church but his wife`s family came unexpectedly on Sunday and so they couldn`t come to church because they had to prepare the comida for her family and all that. But it´s ok. He will be able to come to church this coming sunday I`m sure :) It`ll be great :)

Hermana Mariana (a less active) moved to like cholula and didn`t even tell us so that was really sad.We were trying to reactivate her and we were teaching her husband who isn`t a member...but now we lost them both since they aren`t in our area. I found out that they moved because we did intercambios and I went with one of the Hermana leaders to their area and we were walking in the street and I ran into Mariana and she told me that she moved. She asked me about her dog Pelusa (the one that we "adopted" because she followed us everywhere) and I told her that Pelusa was still with us and all that and she asked me if we could keep her until Saturday when she could come and pick her up and I told her sure and it was all good.

But something horribly horribly sad happened yesterday. We aren`t allowed to have pets and all that so we asked our neighbor Juanita if she could keep Pelusa until Saturday since we aren`t allowed to have animals. She told us yes and she gave Pelusa a bath yesterday and cleaned her up a bit and killed her pulgas and all that and gave her some food too. Well, like an hour later or so, Pelusa was really really sick. She couldn`t walk very well and she couldn`t breath well either. I felt so bad for her and I just thought that maybe she ate something bad or something like that and she was having stomach problems. Well I went over to her because she was right there by our front door and I was petting her head and talking to her for a bit before we left to go visit a family. We went over to talk to Juanita and tell her that Pelusa was sick and then left to go work. Well, when we came back, Pelusa was lying there on the ground and hermano Juan thought that she was sleeping...but she had passed away.... I cried and cried and cried. It was so sad. She was like part of my family and I felt so bad because she just randomly got so sick and I couldn`t do anything to help her. She was so cute and she was like a "guardian angel" for me and Hermana Kraczek, as her dad once wrote her. We had so many memories with her and I just felt so sad. I was up crying until 12:00 last night over that dog... Yeah, I know it sounds ridiculous. I don`t even understand why it was so hard for me but I can see the image of her lying there on the ground in my mind and I always start`s giong to be so rough when Sophie passes away...I`m going to be a wreck. So if it happens when I am out here, don`t tell me....cuz I will bawl my eyes out. Well, en todos modos I`m really grateful that Heavenly Father allowed me to have the experiences that I was able to have with Pelusa. I don`t know what happens to dogs and animals when they die as far as the Plan of Salvation is concerned but I hope that they have the chance to live again and to be happy and I know that she is happier because she isn`t suffering from illness or starvation or anything like that.

Whew, alright, enough about that. Haha, I talked more about her than anything else in this email...que chistoso. ;) on a happier note....

Are you all excited about Christmas? I know that I am! :) Christmas is the best time of the year because we get to think about the Savior all the time and there is a special Spirit during this time of the year. Everyone is happier and wants to do good and there is beautiful music to listen to and everything is just great! I am especially excited for the new video (short clip) of Christ and how he is the gift of Christmas. The church is putting it out and they bought a part of youtube to display the video and also the big screen in time square and they made these really beautiful cards for missionaries to pass out to people so that they can get online and view the video. It is a video like the easter one that the church put out with music and typed words, no talking. It is super powerful and you can really feel the Spirit when you watch it :) I`m really excited :) I hope that you can all remember that Christ truly is the reason for the season and that he is the greatest gift that we could ever recieve because he is the Savior and REdeemer of the world and that He makes all things possible. I am so grateful for my Savior and I know that He lives and that He is always there by my side through the thick and the thin. I love the hymn "I know that my Redeemer lives" because the words are so powerful and so true. It is a perfect testimony of Him. He truly is my kind, wise heavenly friend that helps me conquer all things and helps me endure to the end with ease. I challenge you all to try to make this Christmas something really special and really spiritual-centered more in the Savior Jesus Christ. I know that if you do this it will invite a different and even more powerful spirit in your lives and that you will have the best Christmas memories if Christ is at the center of it. 

Sorry I have no time, we are going to play basketball in the capilla and we are 20 minutes late.... I love you all!!

Hermana Walker