Monday, January 26, 2015

January 26, 2015 Hill Climbing and Two Funny Stories!

Hey everyone! 

So I am now in my second area called Nealtican :) We have two wards, one that is above and one that is below. The ward above is called Atexca....c... haha I don´t know if there is another c at the end because I have seen it written both ways but you say it like this: uh-tes-cah :) The ward below has a super weird name and I don´t know how to say it and I have seen it spelled a few different ways but this is the way my companion told me: Ixtaxihuatl :) haha have fun with that one :) um and so basically I am in another pueblo (small town) it is not a city :) AND!! Grandma Lee would hate it here because...remember that "huge" hill in Daybreak we made her walk up that one time? Yeah well my whole area is giant hills :) The streets are super steep. It´s basically like mountain climbing all day everyday in skirts :) It´s awesome :) haha the only bad thing is when they give us a ton to eat because we have to "hike" the whole rest of the day and we can´t breath or walk well when we are filled to the throat with food...not fun! Luckily that hasn´t happened very many times :) Oh yeah and it is really close to Cholula (my other area) I think it is like...20-30 minutes away or something like that. But I´m not sure...It was kind of funny because I was talking to sister Lindford when we had our exchanges and she was telling me about this area when she served here and how it is like mountain climbing and all that and I told her "I wanna go there!" and she said, "No you don´t". But I really did want to come here so I could do more walking and stuff so I thought it was pretty funny how I got changed to this exact place haha and that it is actually a little bit bigger now since we have two wards :) But anyway, I just thought that you might think that was interesting :) 

My companion´s name is Hermana Oaxaca :) (wha-ha-ka) like the state in Mexico :) But she is from Chihuahua so that´s kind of funny :) she is really short and super skinny and she is 27 years old :) I will send a picture next week because I don´t have one haha. But yeah we´ve been together one week so I still don´t know how the companionship is going to go...the only thing that I already know is that she is a little bit more...I don´t know, like she doesn´t really listen to me when I am telling her things like stories or asking her questions....I think she just expects me to already know spanish super well and to memorize where people live and who they are after one week....so it´s been a tiny bit rough already but I am getting the hang of how she is so I think I will manage just fine. But yeah she´s super cute :) she has 14 months in her mission and she finishes in April. She thinks that we are only going to be companions for this change and then she is going to have changes and I am going to stay in Nealtican so we will see what happens :) 

Well this week we were able to have five new investigators which is the goal that our District wants to have so that was super awesome and I was really happy that we were able to reach that goal. :) This area is a little weird because we have to wards and two bishoprics and two ward mission leaders and two of everything haha so it is different and I am going to have to adjust for sure haha. It is going to be a lot harder to feel closer with the members here since we have two wards and I am going to have to remember who lives in which ward haha. But yeah it´s pretty great. I like it :) I get a lot more exercise in this area than in my other haha. 

I am still reading in the Bible in my personal study time because I have a goal to finish the New Testament by the end of February...I am hoping I can make that goal...but it has been really cool to read it and learn more about the life of Christ and His teaching style and also about all the things that the prophets and apostles did after Christ was resurrected. (haha I can´t spell that right in English...how sad...) but anyway, I was reading today in Romans and there was a lot about like, agency and how the prize of sin is death and  the prize  of obedience and righteousness is eternal life... it´s like an obvious thing but I like how it says that the prize of death (or reward or something similar) is death because we receive a spiritual death...and I really like that because it is applicable to active members, less-actives and investigators because we all have free agency... Free agency has been on my mind a lot lately haha. 

Also, I studied the law of chastity today and learned a lot of things that I didn´t really realize before...I knew that breaking the law of chastity was really bad but I didn´t realize just HOW bad it was! It´s a serious sin...it´s up there with killing the innocent and denying the Holy Ghost....which is an unpardonable sin... So yeah...pretty bad.... There´s a lot of problems with this here in this area...a lot of men leave their wives and have other wives in the United States, there is a lot of infidelity and all that and it just really made me want to help the less actives and the investigators to look further into their future...at the day of judgement and all that so that they can have desires to change their way of living and save their souls. It´s really cool how the scriptures are being ful-filled in these days but at the same time it is really sad because there are a lot of people who don´t understand or can´t grasp the concept that there is more than just this life...that one day they are going to have to answer for all their sins and it isn´t going to be a pretty experience.... I want to help them realize this and change and save their souls!!! But I don´t know what to say sometimes haha because some scriptures are pretty strong..haha... and I don´t think they would take it very well... 

But yeah, those are some of my thoughts and some of the things that I have been studying... I am trying to become a better missionary, teacher and person and I am trying to see things and people as Christ and Heavenly Father see them, myself included. I am also thinking a lot more in my future and how the choices I make now are going to affect me and my life....and my final judgement haha! Don´t worry, I am not thinking so deeply in my final judgement that I am losing hope in redemption or anything like that, I am just thinking about it enough to motivate me to become better :) 

Oh hey, could you tell Grandma Carole thank you so so so much!! (for the money she gave me) That was so nice of her!! Really, she didn´t need to do that...it was super nice and I am really grateful to her... I love you Grandma! :) Oh and aunt Cindy, I love you so much! You are such an example to me, always have been. I feel so awful that you are going through all this and I don´t understand why it is happening but I always pray for you and your family and, well, OUR family that we can feel comfort and that you can have some strength too. I don´t understand the plans of God but I do know that He has a plan for every single one of us and He gives us challenges so that we can become stronger.... Keep being strong Cindy and keep fighting! I know it is exhausting, well, I don´t know from experience but I can imagine, and I know that it is hard....but I know you can do it and you can do ANYTHING with the Lord. You have so much faith and so much love for and in the Savior and I know that He feels the pain that you feel and He knows exactly what you need. I know that my mom told me that you like to read my emails haha and that you think they are funny (I don´t know how you think they are funny because I am not a very funny person....) But I am glad that you like them :) I thought of you and a story that I could share because to me it was super super funny :) hahaha!! Actually two stories :) So the first one happened in my last area. We were walking to a house to teach an investigator and we always took this one path that is like a tiny short cut so that we could get to the house. Well anyway, the short cut is like a tiny little dirt path and there´s like plants and a little house on one side and on the other side, super close to the path, is like a mini wall of bricks. Well, behind this tiny wall of bricks, we encountered a drunk man named Thomas. He is a less active who is super addicted to alcohol...it makes me so sad everytime I see him that way because we knew him when he was trying to quit and he is really nice and really wanted to quit...but it´s hard for him. But anyway, so we talked to him for a while and then while we were walking away we said "adios!" and I crashed into Sister Lara haha and said "oof!" and Thomas thought I said "Om" like "um..." haha so he said, "Om, Om!" and we were a tiny bit freaked out cuz he´s this drunk guy and we were in a small area a little bit solo...and he was really close haha but nothing bad happened so don´t worry :) But anyway, so he came to us and had two roses in his hands. One was fully bloomed and the other was a little rose bud. So he hands the rose to my comp and tells her that it´s for her and then he hands me the rose bud and says "this one is for her because your vocabulary is more open like this flower and hers is more closed like this one" and he was motioning to our designated roses. hahaha! oh man, I thought it was so funny! He called me "Om" and then told me that my vocabulary is like a closed rose bud...but the funny part is is that he was DRUNK and still was able to think of that comparision! It was super creative :) I didn´t get offended because of the situation but if it was a perfectly sober person who told me that...I would probably feel pretty bad about my spanish haha... :) well, maybe it´s just me but I think that story is super funny :) if you don´t think it´s funny I´m really sorry...the mission is changing me into a really weird person and sometimes I think things are funny when they aren´t all that great haha. 

This other story is really funny though :) haha I wanted to laugh SO hard but I couldn´t because my companion was the one that did it and she was totally serious about it like it was nothing haha so I had to hold my laughter in and it was SO hard!! But anyway, so this one happened here in my new area. We came home one night and started our daily planning session and all of the sudden my companion farted...like, a good one haha! It was pretty loud haha but all she said, completely serious, was "√Āndele" and that was it! Hahaha oh man... I was DYING! it was so funny! her tone of voice...oh man...yeah well, that is all I got...sorry. This is why I am not and will never be a comedian haha because I am not funny…but whatever. I´m happy so that´s good :) 

Well...this is super long and I still need to give y'all a challenge :) 

The challenge this week is....*drum roll please*.... to read the introduction to the Book of Mormon and then start reading the Book of Mormon itself from the beginning because in the introduction Joseph Smith tells us that it is the most correct book on the earth and that we will grow closer to God if we read it AND live by it´s precepts. So, the challenge is to not only read the Book of Mormon, but to ponder on the words that you read and find some way to apply it to your life. 

I know that what Joseph Smith said is true. We can grow closer to God by reading the Book of Mormon because it is the word of God and I know that it really is the most correct book in the world. I know that the Book of Mormon is true and it holds all the answers to every question and every circumstance. I know that if we pray for the Spirit before we start studying or reading that we will receive inspiration and the Spirit will open our minds and our understanding so that we can apply the precepts of the Book of Mormon to our personal lives. I know the Gospel of Jesus Christ is true, and that when we let the light of Christ penetrate our lives we will live more happily and more fully.  

I hope you all have a great week! I love you all!!

Love always,
Hermana Walker :) 


Monday, January 19, 2015

January 19, 2015 Changes and Hermana Lara Goes Home

Hello! Well, so we got the phone call last night at 10:00ish...and we were told that we both have cambios. I already knew that Sister Lara had cambios because she is finished with her mission and is going to her house....but I also have changes!!! I can`t believe that we are both leaving the area and that two new sisters are going to come to our area...they have to learn everything by themselves...well and with the members too haha but I think that it is going to be hard. I was here for 6 months...one third of my mission is already over! I can`t believe that either....

We finally went to the pyramids and took pics but we also went to Atlixco today so that hermana lara could say goodbye to the people there since she is going to her house so we have no time again haha ...sorry! I will write more next week and send pictures and tell you where my new area is and who my new comp is. 

Hope you have a great week! Remember that change is a part of life and that sometimes it isn`t easy but God always has a better plan for us than what we have for ourselves and he will always give us things and experiences to make us stronger :) 

Keep reading the scriptures and praying and make sure that you are also doing your family nights because these three things are super important and the prophets said in conference that if we do these three things we will live less stressful lives :) 

Sorry that this is lame but I need to go. You are all awesome and I love you all a lot!

Love,
Hermana Walker :) 


Monday, January 12, 2015

January 12, 2015 Agency; A Gift From God

Weell....I didn`t know what to title this weeks letter so...I just put how much time I have in the mission haha, how boring right? Well, whatever, I am not having much luck with the creative juices right now haha. 

So, this next week we are having changes...literally...a lot of changes! We are having the changes that the mission has every month and a half (the 20th of this month) and my comp is leaving for her house because she finished her mission..well almost. She is going to finish her mission this coming Tuesday. It`s really sad and really weird that she is going to die soon...It`s kind of funny because I was born in this area and she is going to die here...a little ironic :) I don`t know if I am going to have changes this time around or if I am going to stay here in my area for another month and a half. It could happen either way because I think we can stay in our areas for a while...like nine months or something and I have six here. If I have changes too it will be hard for the other missionaries because they are both going to be new to the area and they won`t know where anyone lives or who anyone is or anything like that. But yeah, we will see. I will find out this sunday night so I can let you know next Monday :)

Guess what!? We are FINALLY going to the pyramids today since my comp has never been in all her mission and I haven`t gone (and I have 6 months here in this area, which is super close to the pyramids) so we are finally going and the son of our Ward Missionary Leader is going to come too so he can give us a tour since he knows a ton about the history of puebla and of the pyramids and all that. It`s going to be great :) We are also going to go with Brother Juan and his wife Marina. They are going to drive us there and all that. They are also going to feed us after we finish writing since it is going to be kind of like a going away meal for Sister Lara. We are going to eat mole haha which is pretty typical... :) We eat it a lot haha. It`s really common/famous here in Puebla. It`s super yummy but...it`s pretty heavy...like, it isn`t a light food like salads haha. And you have to be really careful that you don`t spill it on your clothes because it doesn`t wash out very easily...

Anyway, so yeah it is going to be a pretty great day today :) I will send pictures of the pyramids next week :) 

My leadership responsiblities are going pretty well. We are almost finished with all the exchanges. We have two more companionships left that we are going to do this week and then after that we have changes...and I proabably won`t be a sister leader anymore but I have learned a lot from being in this position and I have met a lot of really great sister missionaries that love the work and they are always looking for ways to improve and become better! This is awesome :) Our Zone is really great :) 

Um...I don`t have a lot of time left so...I am going to finish up now :) I just wanted to share a scripture with you guys and I want you to go and read it during this week. It is a short parable that the Savior gave in the Bible. I want you to all read it when you have the chance and apply it to your lives because it is really cool and really applicable too :) It is in Luke 8:5-8; 11-15.

It`s the parable of the sower :) I read this in my personal study (since I have a goal to read the New testament in two months haha and the old testament in three and the Book of Mormon in two) so I just read this the other week and I liked it a lot because it can apply to full-time missionaries, member missionaries and us as members individually in our lives. My challenge is that you can read it and study it this week and put it in practice :) Record your thoughts in a journal too so that your study can be a little more edifying :) It helps a lot :)

I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true and that this is the true restored church here on the earth. I know that God has a plan for everyone of us individually and that He knows us perfectly. He wants us to be happy and to become who He has planned and so for this reason He sometimes sends our ship through storms and rough waters so that we can humble ourselves and go to Him in prayer to ask for His help. He wants us to surrender our will to His. I know that He can make of us more than we will ever make of ourselves, we just need to trust in Him with hope and faith. He has all power and is the gardener of our lives. Trust Him that has the seeds and prepare your hearts to accept His seeds so that you can harvest the fruits and blessings of the gospel. 

I read in a talk that God has given us everything and so we really can`t give Him much...we can`t give Him our time because He gave that to us. We can`t give Him our lives because He gave them to us too...we can`t give Him something that is already His.... The only thing that we can give him is our will....our agency. He gave us the Gift to choose and that is the only gift He gave us that He can`t take back. He will never force us to surrender to His will. We have to make that choice and sacrifice our desires to Him so that He truly can make of us what He knows we can be. That is something that I am learning here and something that I am working on as a missionary. I know that I need to give Him my will so that he can truly mold me into the missionary and the person that He wants me to be. It`s really hard but I know that it is possible and I am really grateful for this chance to serve as a missionary and for this opportunity that I have to grow the way that He wants me to. 

I hope you all have a great week and that you have the chance to read the parable. I also hope that my email makes sense...we really need to leave so I don`t know how it will turn out but I hope it makes sense haha. I love you all! 

Love,

Hermana Walker :)  

Monday, January 5, 2015

January 5, 2015 Six Months Old and Miracles!

Hey everyone! Wow! I can`t believe that it is 2015...this is too crazy! I only have one year left in my mission! I only have one year to totally change my nature and become a consecrated missionary and a consecrated person...it`s a hard thing to do because it requires that I change my way of thinking and that I change my heart. I need to have a heart that is totally and completely willing to do what the Lord wants me to do, regardless of the fact that sometimes I am not going to want to do some of those things because they are super hard or...who knows? It`s harder because I have to let go of habits or change my attributes and attitudes. It`s an internal change that will in turn, change my exterior and my whole being. It`s something that we talk about a lot in our mission and it is something that I really want to obtain-a change of character. 

There are two really great talks that I really suggest you all read when you have the time! Yes, they are more centered around missionaries in the field, BUT, the principals still apply to us as members in our everyday life because we are all missionaries and we are all disciples of Christ and we all need to make changes to become worthy to enter the Kingdom of God, so, I highly recommend that you read them when you have the chance :) Especially you Cody because you can get a little bit of a head start on the "spiritually changing and preparing" part of your mission :) I will try to attach them here with this email but if it doesn`t work I can tell you the names. One is called "Becoming a Consecrated Missionary" By Tad R. McCallister and the other....It is a letter written by an Elder who was trained by someone named Elder Ricciardi in his mission to England. There are 3 parts. I don`t know who wrote it haha or what it is called so hopefully you can find it or I can get it sent. I am going to have to send it in three different emails. But anyway, they are both super great and I learned a ton!

Ooh, ok so yesterday was the last day of the week to work super hard and make our numbers a little bit better for the week...because we call in our numbers every Sunday night. Anyway, so we really needed more lessons with members present and new investigators. So we went to a members house to ask her if she could come with us to visit her neighbors and...she wasn`t home...(her name is Lucia) but...(miracle #1) her mom was home and told us that she could come with us for the appointment! Whoo! While we were walking across the street to her house, I was praying super hard in my head and in my heart that they would be home and that they would be able to receive us. We knocked on their fence and yelled Buenos noches and we waited. The lady that we had the appointment with (Karina) came out and told us that we could come in (miracle #2). When we came in their house we got all the seats ready and everything so that we could teach them and bom! Miracle #3 happened! Her husband was there and he isn`t a member...and he listened to us!! We got a new investigator!!! It was AMAZING!! During the whole lesson we were praying in our hearts that the Spirit could guide our words and that we would know what to say and I thought it was amazing how quickly and perfectly the Lord answered our prayers. It was a really awesome experience for me and I am learning all the time just how amazing the Lord is and how good He is to us.

This was one of the spiritual experiences that I had this week, and I had more but right now I don`t have a lot of time to write so I have to say goodbye... I love you all and I hope that you have a great week full of happiness and success! You are awesome! All of you :) 

I know that the gospel is true and that it was restored by Joseph Smith through the power of God. I know that the Book of Mormon is true scripture and that it is the word of God and that together with the Bible, we have the fullness of the gospel in the palms of our hands. I know that the Lord knows us all individually and that He loves us and wants us to be happy. He answers our prayers when we ask in faith and He promises that if we ask it shall be given to us, if we seek we shall find and if we knock, He will open the doors for us to pass through. Ask the Lord in faith, seek His will in your lives and knock freely on His door so that you can receive all of His glorious blessing and promises that He has ready and waiting to pour upon us. I know all of this is true and I share it with you in the name of our Savior Jesus Christ, amen.

Love always,

Hermana Walker :)