Monday, February 23, 2015

February 23, 2015 Kind of a Rough Week and Carnaval

Hey everyone! 

So, yeah, this week was a little sad....we didn´t contact like any of the references that we received and we didn´t really receive a lot either...also we didn´t find a single new investigator this week and...Satan attacks me ALL THE TIME!!!! And I let him in way too easily just kind of ruins everything. It was rough. But my companion talked a lot yesterday about the things that have bugged us or the things that we want to change to be better and we talked about all our frustrations with the area and the goals that we have for the area and everything and we decided that we are going to do everything with exactness. We are going to be missionaries that are exactly obedient so that we can feel confident and doubt-free that we truly are giving our all to the Lord, that we aren´t holding anything back so that we can feel confident that we are doing our part and that we aren´t lacking something. we are going to try it out for the rest of the change and keep working hard to find the chosen people so they can accept the Savior´s invitation to be baptized in His name. We want people who want to listen to us and who want to progress!!! Because right now...we have none haha and it is really hard on us and really sad...

But anyway, sorry for all that sad stuff right there in the beginning...don´t worry, it only gets worse from here ;) haha naw! It´s a joke, I think that is all the sad news so it will hopefully actually get better from this point on :) 

We had a zone activity today in the church in Nealtican and we played volleyball for a bit but then people got tired and did other things like a sack race and some game with an egg on a spoon (and you have to walk without it falling) and the Elders played basketball a bit but I played volley with Hna Petersen (from the MTC) she is now my sister leader (the thing that I was the last change) and I have exchanges with her today at 6 so that should be really fun :) but yeah, she and I played volleyball the whole time :) but it was super hot today and I didn´t have any water and there wasn´t any water in the church so...I now have a pounding headache haha...I am drinking a lot of water to help get rid of it, we´ll see if it works haha. But the activity was really fun. We also did a few leg wrestles because the other day I was telling my companion about them and how my siblings and I would do them a lot and that they are really fun :) I didn´t tell her that I had a few leg wrestles with my grandma...and that my grandma totally flipped me everytime!! Yeah, no....¡Que vergüenza! But watching the leg wrestles was pretty great haha. My comp lost everytime but once :) She flipped another missionary who is like the same size, if not smaller, than she is haha. We also ate together. Our whole district wanted chicken and the other district wanted hamburgers...but the sisters in my district said that the hamburgers are not that that´s why we ordered the chicken...and it was a ton!! They gave us three huge things of rice and like four or five boxes of chicken parts...Like those boxes that are white and made of styrofoam that restaurants give us when we can´t finish our food? Yeah, those :) It was so much!! We couldn´t finish it all....but it was super delicious :) 

Oh, so I turned 8 months in the mission crazy is that!? We also have changes on the 3rd of March...which I think is this next Tuesday...and I think that maybe my comp is going to leave and I am going to be here in this huge mountain climbing area! And I know nothing haha! But President told me that I won´t have my comp for we both feel like she is probably going to leave the area....but we´ll see and I will let you know what happens :) 

OH!!! So....last week was Carnaval here in Huejo and it gets really crazy here....there are guns and people in costumes and they even have like little wars and stuff and every year there are a number of dead people because they literally shoot each other and have is pretty crazy stuff....Luckily we live like 20-30 minutes away from Huejo and they don´t get super crazy in Carnaval in our area (we still have Carnaval but it isn´t as crazy and nobody dies in mini wars). But anway, so that happened last week and I think there was only one person who died this year and there were a lot of people injured but only one dead so...that is good at least right? I mean, in comparison to other years.... But so we had Carnaval in our area yesterday and remember those "Negros" that walk around without shirts and they have horns on their heads and are all painted black? Well, they walk around every Sunday (in preparation for Carnaval and also on the day of Carnaval as well) so they were walking around yesterday but it was worse than normal because those that are old enough get drunk and when they are drunk they are more forceful and more rude...usually they don´t do anything to us and they let us take pictures with them and everything but yesterday we were in the combi (the little bus things like vans that drive us around) because we were going to go to Domingo Arenas (another little "pueblo" that is part of our area) and a bunch of the negros stopped the combi and asked for money. And my window was down...and one of them was touching my face, like my chin and stuff so that I would give them money and I tried to roll up my window really fast but they all had their arms inside so it was really hard...and they stained my coat...well, mom´s coat....they stained it because they paint themselves with grease and oil comes off the skin but the clothes? Yeah no. So I was pretty upset about that because I didn´t want them to touch my clothes and ruin them...but yeah so that happened yesterday and my comp got it on video haha. It´s a pretty good video and I´m not really mad anymore so it´s all good. But yeah, pretty exciting stuff right? Apparently they are going to have Carnaval next Sunday as well, but don´t worry, I will be armed with 2 pesos to give them so they don´t touch or bug me :)

I hope that you have a great week and that you can have some really awesome experiences! I finished the New Testament on Sunday and so now I am starting my goal to have the Old Testament read by the end of May. I get to start a little early because I planned on finishing the New Testament by the end of this month and I finished early :) But I have to read 13 pages daily to finish it...if you want to you can also start the challenge :) I wanted to do this challenge because I don´t actually know very many scriptures from the Bible haha...and I want to learn more and understand it a little better :) So I invite you all, if you would like to, to start this challenge as well, and maybe you don´t have to finish it by the end of May, but it might be a good thing to read or re-read the Bible and increase your knowledge since the degree of knowledge that we obtain in this life will rise with us in the life to´s a really good incentitive to study right? :) Well, for me it is :) 

I love you all and hope that you have a fantastic week! You are all really awesome! :)

Love always,
Hermana Walker

Monday, February 16, 2015

February 16, 2015 Happy Late Valentines Day

Haha, I didn´t know what to title this weeks letter and Valentine´s day just passed so I figured I would just put what I put for the subject line haha. Well, speaking of which, how was your Valentine´s Day everyone? Mine was pretty exciting! My companion and I went and saw a movie with a couple of JAS (young single adults) here in the ward and we ate chocolates and popcorn. It was a really fun day :) haha nah...we didn´t do anything but preach the gospel and hike mountains ;) oh! I did get a pair of shoes...for free! A less active family gave them to me! They are brand new and black with a lot of sequins (grandma Lee, you would love them. Maybe if they are still in good condition I will give them to you when I get home because they are a little bit big for me....I think they are like a size 7 1/2 or 8...) But yeah it was really really nice of them to do that for me. 

We were able to contact a lot of our references this week and I felt super awesome about it because we contacted 14 references and found 7 new investigators!!! Now the trick is to see how many of those 7 are going to actually progress....that is our biggest challenge right now. We have no progressing investigators and no one wants to accept a baptismal date or come to the church on Sundays haha. It´s a little frustrating but we are working on having more faith and hope in Christ and we keep working hard so that we can be doing our part. 

Hey, sorry that I have no more time. We went to Puebla today because my companion had an interview with tht President and we live really far from the offices took a long time to travel there and we still have to go to our area...we are writing in cholula right now haha. But I want you guys to know that I love you all and I am really loving it here in the mission! It is the best thing that I have done up to this point in my life and I am learning so much! I will send more pictures next week when I have more time. Thank you for all your love ans support and for your thoughts and prayers too! It all means a lot to me! 

The only thing I can think of off the top of my head to share with you this week chapter 11 in Hebrews this week and meditate the importance of faith in your life and how you can develop more of it :) Love you all! 

Love always,
Hermana Walker

P.S. I learned the song that they sing at birthdays this week and also the song that they sing when they do piñatas so when I get home we were all gonna do more piñatas and I am going to teach you the song that goes with it :) And I am singing "Las mañanitas" for you guys on your birthdays too. It´s gonna be a new tradition ;)


Monday, February 9, 2015

February 9, 2015 A Week full of Great Meetings

Well, so as you can see, this week we had a whole bunch of meetings....and so our numbers were a tad bit sad...they were really sad actually haha, not gonna lie. But it´s alright because we still tried and we still worked really hard...we just had to spend a lot of time in meetings and then nobody was home haha so that puts a damper on things as well. First of all, we have two wards that we have to visit and support and strengthen so we have to meet with two different ward mission leaders on two different days of the week. We also went to ward council with the ward Ixtazihautl and we had our zone conference and interviews with the Mission President this week was pretty much a week of pure meetings haha. But! The interviews were amazing!!! We always get to have a capacitacion with the Assistants to the President and they teach us a principal that they think we need to most or something like that. Well, this meeting is the thing that called for our mission calls (Thanks aunt Cindy for sending it to me. I was really grateful that it was in my inbox when I checked, and I know my mom is grateful as well haha). But anyway, in this meeting I felt the Spirit so strong! We watched several video clips and one of the videos was a bunch of short clips put together of missionaries opening their mission calls. I cried haha. It was really beautiful :) (not the me crying part, the mission call part). After that, we all took out our mission calls and we went around the room, each reading the first paragraph of our calls. When it was my turn, I started crying before I even read mine haha which I thought was really interesting because I didn´t cry at all when I opened it for the first time....but in this moment I was really touched with the Spirit and since I am actually a missionary right now, my call means more to me than it did when I first received it. I understand what it means to be a full-time missionary. I understand what it feels like. I understand all the work that it is. I know how it feels to be a full-time representative of my Savior Jesus Christ and what it means to wear my name tag over my heart with the words "La iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Ultimos días" on it. In this moment, it hit me really hard just how much I love being a missionary and just how grateful I am to be able to be here and to be able to serve. I don´t know how to explain all the feelings that I had in this moment, i can just tell you that it was something really beautiful. In my mind time like fast forwarded to the day that I finished my mission and I was asked to take off my name tag...oh man....I started crying in real life when this was happening in my mind. It is going to be so hard to take it off. I am a little scared for that day to come...but at the same time I know that it has to happen because I need to move on with my life after and I know that Heavenly Father wants me to keep growing and keep progressing, I just have to do it without the name tag. But that time is a long ways away luckily so I don´t have to think of that right now :) 

My interview was super awesome becuase President Stellmon invited me in and then asked me one question, to which I gave my answer and when I finished he asked me if I wanted to know what his thoughts were (in regards to the question he asked me) and I said, "yeah". He then proceeded to tell me his way of thinking and his expectations of me and the potential that he sees in me and all that. He spent the whole time talking to me and I didn´t really get a chance to talk much but, it was incredible because everything that he said was an answer to a question or doubt that I had in my mind and so, everything that I wanted to ask, he already answered! It was amazing! I felt the Spirit in my interview as well. I was able to get a new perspective and set higher goals and change my sight so that it looked more into the future and more on the eternal aspect of things and not just for every change (like every six weeks). I was edified a lot and given a lot of animation :) It was awesome! I know that my mission President was called of God and that he receives revelation for all of us missionaries here in Puebla. I know that he sets inspired mission plans and goals for us to accomplish and that he cares about every one of us individually. He always tells us that he and sister Stellmon are only here to save our souls. That is his job here. I know that that is true and that this is his main goal. I know that he wants the best for me and he wants to help me bring salvation to my own soul. He has great expectations of me, many times they are higher than I have of myself. He knows the potential that I have and he wants to help me get there. Just like my Father in Heaven. 

I learned a lot in this week that strengthened me spiritually. It was a really beautiful week! Even though our numbers were really sad and our one baptismal date fell through and we don´t have a single investigator progressing right was still a great week because I learned a lot, I was humbled a lot and I was able to feel the love of my Father in Heaven and my Savior Jesus Christ.

I know that this church is true, without a doubt. I know that every principle that we go out and teach everyday is the truth and that it is undeniable and I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God and is another testament of Jesus Christ. I know that Our Heavenly Father knows us each personally and perfectly and that he is always there to comfort us and guide us so that we can become perfected in Christ and return to live with Him for eternity. I know that the atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ is real and that is the power to heal, to forgive, to become better, and to break the bands of death. I am so grateful for the atonement in my life and to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I am thankful for this knowledge that I have and for my testimony of the restored gospel of Christ on the earth today.

I hope that you all have a great week and that you can search for a spiritual experience this week so that you can feel the love of God more in your lives and you can keep adding oil to your lamps of testimony like the five wise virgins did. I love you all! Keep being awesome! :)

Love always,
Hermana Walker

Me and Hermana Lara finally at the pyramids - A couple of days before she went home from her mission! :)
Sunday Ritual- YM dressed as devils walking the streets making weird noises - They do this every week!

Monday, February 2, 2015

February 2, 2015 It's a Miracle

Haha ok well maybe the subject line is a tiny bit exaggerated...but it really was like a small miracle for me that this happened...

So, this week we had a lesson with one of our investigators that has accepted a baptismal date for the 21st of this month. Her name is Maleny and she is 16 years old. She lives with her boyfriend Brian, who is also 16, in his house with all his family (aunts and uncles and his mom ets..). Anyway, she and Brian are both really was really hard to have lessons with them because they both spend like the whole time looking down and they glance at each other when we ask questions and laugh and like, I don´t know it was really we have been praying a lot lately that we could have more love for her and that she could feel our love for her and that we could have more trust and confidence with her. Well, this week when we went to see her (actually I think it was yesterday) she actually laughed more with us and she answered our questions without looking at Brian first and she had her head up for a lot of the lesson instead of hanging it down and looking into her lap! It was amazing!!! She made a ton of progress and we were super excited!! Also, she told us that she and Brian have plans to get married either the 12th or 17th of this month and her date is for the 21st so if she can just read the things we leave with her from the Book of Mormon and if she can come to church every Sunday until her date, she can still be baptized! I don´t know, for me it was a Little miracle :)

Another miracle that we had was that we were able to have five new investigators again this week! It is amazing how the program of ¿Cómo se llama? Works! (Our Mission President told us that he wanted us to use this in our lessons) and it totally Works! Basically we just ask the members, less actives and investigators "¿Como se llama su vecino?" or "What´s your neighbor´s name?" and we ask about their families and all that until we receive a bunch of names! Then we go and contact them :) And we find a ton of new people to teach every week :)

Oh! also we found a new investigator (well, he´s an old investigator of other missionaries but he is new for us so he counts) but he knows EVERYTHING!!! He has a testimony of the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith and the Restoration and everything! He was quoting things from the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants and all that...I was blown away!! I was sitting there all innocent thinking "Holy cow!! He´s perfect!!! He´s gonna get baptized!!" and then there was my companion on the other hand "Nope. This guys a member. He´s excommunicated." hahaha!! We had completely opposite opinions about him. But I was right! He isn´t a member! And we have plans to ask him and his son-in-law to be baptized this week. (not that they will be baptized this week-we are going to ask them this week. Sorry, I am not writing very clearly today haha).

Um, what else.... we had two mice in our house and caught them with those sticky traps! And we put peanut butter on the traps because I remembered that dad did that when we had mice in our house. It worked like a charm! (Thanks Dad! :) But who could blame ém? Peanut butter is enticingly delicious! ;) Well, Heidee and I love it a lot... I know there´s a lot of people who don´t like it...

Oh yeah, we also have another investigator who is super excited about the church! Her name is Guadalupe but we call her Lupita :) She wants to enter the temple haha! But her husband told her that she can´t yet because she isn´t baptized... she can´t get baptized because she isn´t actually married to her husband and he isn´t divorced from his wife...yeah it´s a bit complicated....there´s a Little bit of a problem with the law of chastity here....and I was studying that last week and it is really bad to disobey this law....but I don´t know how to teach it in a way that they understand how serious it is.... but yeah, Lupita loves the church and she likes to learn and read and she really wants to enter the temple because she told us that it looks beautiful on the outside and her mother-in-law told her that it is even more beautiful inside. So she is super excited and she´s a really good person and has a lot of potential as an investigator!

I went to the colonia this week which is another part of our área. (our área is HUGE!!!) The path to get to the colonia is like hiking. Literally. It is a Little dirt path among trees  and bushes but not only that-it´s dang hard work to hike! It is super steep going down and super steep going up...and it´s´s like hiking up a gorge... the colonia is on the other side of the gorge haha so we live in Ixtaxihuatl on one side of the gorge and we have to walk through the trees and shrubbery to the other side of the gorge. It´s crazy!! :) I took a picture but it might be hard to tell how steep it is and all that...just believe me when I tell you that there are some days when I want to die...I don´t know how my body can make it through the day without killing over and how I am not sore the next day haha. It´s a miracle!

Alright well, apparently this computer doesn´t love you guys because it won´t let me upload my potos you will have to wait until next week and I will bring the cord and try again because it doesn´t like my memory...

Well, I shared a lot of things about the mission/the work I am doing in the mission (for once haha) but I hope that you guys have a really great week! I love you a lot and I am really thankful for all you love and support! I have a scripture for you all :)

Moroni 6:4 :) I want you to read it and apply it to your lives this week...and actually for this whole month since it would be really hard to only apply it for one week...

It talks about new converts to the church and like, our responsibilities as members of the Church. But I also thought that it could apply to our less-active brothers and sisters. There are a lot of things that I can take from it as a missionary but also as a member of the church and it is something that I am going to work harder at when I get home.

I hope that you can all read it and ponder it during this month and that you can find ways to apply it to your lives :)

This week my testimony of the Plan of Salvation was strengthened because we taught it a lot this week and I was able to feel the Spirit distinctly testifying to me that this plan is true. I know that God created the Plan of Salvation because he loves us and wants us to be happy. I know that every part of the plan has a purpose and that it´s order is perfect because every step makes perfect sense. I am so grateful for the chance I have to be here on the earth to receive my body and to have experiences that help me grow. I know that the fall of Adam was necesary in order to fulfill God´s plan and I know that Adam truly did fall so that we could have joy because if he never fell, we would never be able to come to earth, we would never know the sweet from the bitter, the good from the bad. We would never understand what it feels like to be happy because we would never feel how it feels to be miserable. If we never came here, there would be no reason for a Savior because there would be no imperfection nor people on the earth to save. Our Heavenly Father is intelligent above all and He knows us perfectly and he knows what we needed to be able to become like Him. That is why we have this marvelous plan of Redemption-so that we could be redeemed from evil and sin and return to live with Him in His kingdom of glory. I know that these things are true and that I am a part of the true góspel on the earth today. There is no doubt in my heart or my mind. I share this testimony with you guys in the name of my Savior Jesús Christ, amen.

Have a fantastic week! It´s almost Valentine´s Day! Do something special! :) I love you all!

Love always,
Hermana Walker