Monday, April 27, 2015

April 27, 2015 New Investigators and Changing You!

Hey everyone! 

I hope you are all doing well this week! 

Alright well, this week we don´t have a ton of time to write since we have to go to Atlixco which is a little bit farther away. We are going there to buy a few things :) But I will tell you a few things that happened this week. We had 10 new investigators this week! (but don´t feel too proud of me...since we are both new here...all the investigators are new haha!) but still, it was really cool that we found so many investigators to teach here :) Last Sunday I forgot to tell you but we had a confirmation because the other missionaries that were here before us had a baptism but he still needed to be confirmed. His name is Victor and he is 22 years old. He´s super cool and he´s really great! We visit with him like everyday haha because he is always home to receive us :) we want him to be a strong member and we don´t want him to become less active right off the bat...or ever actually haha but yeah, he´s great! We also have a family of four that we found this last week that have real potential. We invited them to be baptized last week but the mom has to get married still...and her husband is military and has two more years to work before he finishes and she told us that they can´t get married for like two that kind of stinks because that is a long time...but her three sons can totally get baptized and they are all older than 8 and they read the Book of Mormon, go to church activities and they totally know all the steps of the Plan of Salvation! They are awesome and we are really excited to invite them to be baptized again and see their progress. (the mom´s name is Lulu and her sons are named Julio Cesar, Luis and Mario :) )

Ok well, sorry that this is so lame this week....I am listening to the women´s conference while I write this because my companion and I didn´t have the chance to go to it :( so I hope that all of this makes sense....but if not...I am so sorry! 

I just want to quickly bear my testimony about something that I read about this week in the Liahona of this month :) I read a talk about sin and weakness and I learned a lot about the difference between sin and weakness and their sources and all that. I encourage you all to read it, especially if you are feeling especially weak here in your mortal will help you understand better the plan that God has for you and it will help you to better be able to distinguish when you are sinning and when you are simply passing through weaknesses. I know that the Lord gives us weaknesses to help us grow and to help us come unto him in humility. One thing that I learned from the talk that I really like is when the author gave an example from the Book of Mormon when Moroni was writing his portion and had worries that his people wouldn´t accept the words he wrote because he was just a normal man with weakness and that they wouldn´t accept it as the word of God. The Lord answered him by telling him that he gives unto men weakness so that they will be humble and when they humble themselves before Him, He will make weak things become strong unto them. Then later in verse 37 of Ether 12 he tells Moroni that he is blessed because he recognized his weakness and that he would be able to sit in a place that is prepared for him the mansions of His father. In the talk it tells us that here, the Lord isn´t offering to take away or change Moroni´s weaknesses, but to change Moroni. I love that part because, it is so true! The Lord isn´t going to take away or weakness or change them (because we are always going to have weaknesses, as sad as it is, it´s true. it´s a part of our mortal life haha) and He isn´t going to make our weaknesses strong, rather He will change us and make us stronger! He will help us to change the way we view the world or ourselves and we will become changed and stronger so that our weakness appear to be made stronger, but in reality it is us that has been made stronger. I know that this is a true principle and that if we humble ourselves before the Lord, He will help us to be patient with ourselves and our own weaknesses and those weaknesses of other people. I know that He will always help us to see our potential and He will always help us reach it, as long as we are humble and accept our weaknesses with an eternal perspective to guide us.

I hope that you all have a great week and that you can learn something new that will help you to grow spiritually so that with each day, your Spirit grows stronger than your mortal body. I love you all and wish you success in this week! 

love always,
Hermana Walker  

Monday, April 20, 2015

April 20, 2015 Metepec

Hey everyone! I hope that you all had a fantastic week this week! I for one, had a crazy week this week because....WE HAD TRANSFERS!! So we are here in our new area and like the title says...our area is called Metepec :) oh yeah, both of us are still here together :) We are going to finish the training of my daughter here in a different area. It was really weird because like, they never change trainers and their companions while they are training unless something bad happened or the trainer or trainee went we were kind of like, "Whaaat!? What is happening?" But yeah it`s all good so don`t worry :) and....Oh my gosh...this area is super beautiful!! I lOVE it! I will send pictures because it is amazing :) well...maybe I just think it is really amazing here other area was...pues, mas o menos haha. It was alright...but yeah, I really like it here. The only thing that is a little hard is that it is a lot hotter here than in our other area...but it`s all good we just sweat a lot more :) and I like, hardly put make up on here because I feel like I am constantly wiping my face so...why would i bother putting on make up ;) I do put like a tiny bit of mascara on so I don`t look like a man in a skirt ;) haha but yeah. cool story right? 

Sorry, this letter is super lame haha because I don`t really have any exciting stories to tell or any cool experiences either...oh yeah haha the only thing I can think of that you might find a little funny is....yep you guessed it! I totally slipped in the street the other day when the Bishop was taking us around to get to know the area haha (because we are both new here and don`t know ANYTHING!). We were walking down a little callejón (it`s like an alley) and since it is a bit skinny I was walking behind my comp and the bishop and I was wearing shoes that are a little bit slippery haha and...yeah I totally slipped and fell. But don`t worry, this time I caught myself! But I used a lot of...force? Strength? uh...I don`t know what the word would be haha but I used a lot of energy to catch or save myself and so I like, kind of hurt my back in the process but it only hurt for a second :) but yeah I think that is the only thing "exciting" that happened this week....

I did have a spiritual experience in regards to the transfer that we had. Our first night here in Metepec we were both crying, for a lot of reasons haha, but one of the main reasons was that this transfer was like a tender mercy for us because all the members here are so amazing and they want to help us and support us and stuff like that and I don`t know, there is like a completely different feeling here and we feel so much happier for some be honest, Atexcac was really hard for us for some reason and we cried and wanted to cry so many times while we were there...but at the same time it was something beautiful to be able to serve there. I don`t know how to explain it, it`s complicated and something that even I still don`t understand (hence the fact that I can`t even express my feelings haha. How pathetic...) but anyways, so I don`t know, I just felt so much love from my Father in Heaven and I knew in that moment without a doubt that He knows me perfectly and that He knows what I need when I need it. He knows better than I do and His ways are always better and higher than mine. I don`t know exactly why He sends us to the areas that He sends us to or gives us the companions that He gives us, but I do know that He is guiding my life. He knows what`s best for me. He is refining me in the furnace of affliction and yeah, sometimes it is sooo hard and hurts really bad...but in the end I will leave the furnace stronger than when I entered it and I will be refined by His hand and be made into the piece of art that He has always had in mind. I know that God is real, that He exists and that He hears and answers our prayers. I can see His hand in my life and I recognize when He is molding and refining me, even when I don`t fully understand or see why. 

I hope you can all pay more attention to the Hand of the Lord in your lives and try to understand why He is molding you the way he is molding you. Try to always think positively and eternally in every challenge that you face so that you can see more easily all the benefits that come from being molded by "fire" so you can all leave the furnance stronger than how you entered :) (hopefully that makes sense, all the wording and stuff....I am losing my ability to speak (in english and spanish haha! Thank goodness this thing called "spanglish" exists right? ;) ) The homecoming talk is going to be a disaster.... ;) alright well, I love you all! Stay strong in the gospel and defend the truths that you know and believe. Enjoy the photos! :) 

Hermana Walker :) 

Beautiful Metepec

Clock Tower

Colorful Puebla - Metepec

Metepec Landscape

Monday, April 13, 2015

April 13, 2015 Who Likes the Color White?

Well, at the moment...NOT ME!!! 

Yeah...we are being whitewashed stinks. For those of you who don´t know or understand what that term means "mission-wise" it means...that my comp and I both have transfers and they are closing our area for a sad right!? I mean, we are in training right now still...they NEVER change companions when they are training.....don´t worry, we are still going to finish her training and all that. We are just going to finish it in a different area haha. Oh man. I am still in shock.... I can´t believe that it is happening. We didn´t expect it at all. We were sure that we would be together in our area for another month and a half haha and we had been telling everyone that we would still be there but...yeah no, they are taking us both out! It´s super crazy. And actually, the Elders are both leaving too and Sister Holman is finishing her mission so she is going home and Sister Garcia and Sister Slack also have transfers so....the only one of our whole District who is staying is Sister Campos....we feel so bad for her....she is going to be all alone....but we are all hoping and praying that her new district will be awesome! It is just crazy...

To be completely honest, this area has been really rough. The members do not support us hardly at all, there are a ton of less actives and in actives and also excommunicated people...and they just don´t live the gospel how they should. Also the churches are always so dirty and it makes me so sad to see them that way....those are just a few of the challenges that we have here haha but I can tell you more about those later if you would like to hear more about it. But yeah so, on top of all the difficulties in regards to missionary work it is also very, we walk a lot but it isn´t just is hiking haha (as I have mentioned several times already). It is super pretty and all that, I can´t lie. It´s green and the climate is perfect and all but not only is it hard spiritually and emotionally, it is hard physically as well so....we have just been having a little bit of a rough time here. But it was so crazy last night when the Elders called us to tell us about the changes because we actually started crying when we found out. I don´t know, we finally were getting the hang of working together and finding out what worked best in the area and all that and finally we were seeing progress in the members and in a few investigators that we had. Things weren´t half bad....and we actually love and care about the people, despite the fact that they are very difficult sometimes, and then, what happens? We get whitewashed! Oh man.... but yeah it´s all good. We are excited to see what the Lord has in store for us in our new area and ward and all that. I will tell you guys next week about our new area :) the only good thing is that we will still be together so we don´t have to start completely from scratch haha ;)

But alright so I am going to tell you about a miracle that we saw this week!! (The only thing is that it is soooo sad because we won´t even be here anymore so...yeah it kind of sucks....) But here is the miracle :) It´s beautiful! So a few weeks ago we got a reference from a member who is an RM and she teaches Institute :) She told us that there is this young man who goes to Institute and has come to church a few times in the past and he likes the church and all that! We were so excited!! and what´s even better is that his girlfriend is also a perfect right? Well, there´s a catch (like always) haha. He is hardly ever home because he goes to school late...and he is catholic. Well, the problem with that last part isn´t actually´s his parents. They are really catholic and even though he is 20, they still have a lot of influence on his life...but anyway, so every week since that day we had him, Ignacio, in our weekly planning session and we even had a baptismal date planned and all that, but we never had the chance to go visit him in his house and contact him haha so he never actually counted as an "investigator" for us. So, a few weeks passed by and we still hadn´t had contact with him...but on thursday we had our weekly planning session again and we said, Alright hermana, it´s serious! We HAVE to find Ignacio and talk to him!" so we said that in the morning, finished planning and studing and all the normal stuff that we do and we went out to start proselyting. Well, that night at 7:00 we had our ward council meeting and we went to open the church and wait even though it was raining pretty bad. We waited for 30 minutes and still no one we decided that we were going to just leave and visit a few more people before it was time to end the day. So we left and started "climbing" up the street haha. The streets are like rivers here because they are so slanted that the water just flows right down, like a river :) it´s a lot of fun :) but anyway, so we were tredging through the streets of Atexcac when suddenly, a red car pulls up and the man inside asks us where we are going. We told him that we didn´t have any fixed appointments so we were just going to walk around close by. We had priorly thought to go visit a less active member so we just told him that that was where we were going and he told us to get in and he would drive us there. We got in because there was a woman sitting next to him. And once we got in the woman told us that she was a member and that her name was Yesenia. Right when she said that I started freaking out inside because Yesenia is the name of Ignacio´s girlfriend.... and so right then I excitedly "hit"/"punched" my companion in the shoulder and mouthed "It´s Ignacio!!!" and yep, right then he said, "I´m Ignacio". Oh. My. Gosh. I almost screamed right then for excitement!! It was so crazy! so yeah, I gotta wrap this up haha so real quick we talked for a little bit and then he let us out at the door of the house. We knocked on the door and the less active member didn´t answer us so.... we decided that we would got to Yesenia´s house to talk to Ignacio since we were POSITIVE he was there haha. So we went and we knocked on the door and they totally let us in and we started talking and laughing with them and everything was perfect. We get along really well and nothing is awkward or anything. And...oh man this is the best part! We explained what a miracle it was that we ran into him and that he gave us a ride because just barely that morning we had talked about him and how it was urgent that we find him and then, BAM! Miracle! There he was in his red car offering us a ride on a rainy day. It was perfect! And then he told us that he and his girlfriend were actually just talking the other day about how they needed to find the missionaries so that we could answer his questions and start teaching him.... WHAT!? How crazy perfect is that!? Oh my gosh we DIED! We were flying in the clouds for happiness after that lesson! We also had another lesson with him on Saturday and my comp asked him if he would like to be baptized (at the end of the lesson she asked him). But he didn´t understand the question haha so I tried to invite him to be baptized after and I said it super directly haha and he understood and told us that he would like to be baptized and that we could pick his date and everything! He told us that we could pick the date for when we think that he will be ready and all that. It was perfect! He is perfect! And we were so happy! Until that dreaded day of the stinkin´whitewash! NOOO!! Ignacio was seriously like our light and hope that was going to get us through this transfer....but yeah...what can we do? Just pray so so hard for him that he can still be excited about the gospel and that he can search for other missionaries that will be able to teach him....Pray for him please! He´s a really great person! And he has great potential. That is the main reason why this change is killing us haha...but yeah, that was the miracle of the week and the crushing, heart-wrenching story of my mission life right now. Hope you all enjoyed it and that it didn´t make you too sad haha. I really am still happy and excited to see what new experiences the Lord has in store for me isn´t going to be easy to leave haha. 

I gotta go now but I love you all a ton and I am so grateful for your love and support. Keep moving forward with faith and always look for the light of Christ in your lives and pay attention to the promptings of the Holy Ghost as well, because when we are more aware of the Lord´s hand in our lives, we are more likely to recognize all the miracles and tender mercies that He blesses us with daily. Have a great week!

Love always,
Hermana Walker

Me and Hrma Estrada (Hairbrush Singers)
Serve with a smile!

Kids in our area (How cute are they)!

Me making corn tortillas
Tortillas are looking good!

The missionaries being transferred to a new area (Moving forward with smiles)!

Monday, April 6, 2015

April 6, 2015 General Conference and Personal Revelation

Oh man, well, this week was like half awesome and then the other half...kind of really sad haha...

This week was kind of bad in regards to our was rough because we spent a lot of time out of our area for meetings and then for the general conference (so I could watch it in English with the other American missionaries in my District) and so we were really disappointed in ourselves this week....but we are determined to march forward with more faith and more energy so that we can meet our goals and work even harder so that we can actually reach the potential that we know that we have and also so that we can become the missionaries that the Lord expects us to become. 

I was really grateful for the chance to watch conference this weekend though and to also be able to watch it in my native language so that I could recieve personal revelation and feel the Spirit more powerfully. It was a really great experience and I learned a lot about what I need to be doing right now and what I need to do in my future so that I can be fulfilling the will of the Lord. I know that it is super important to follow the counsel of the prophets and apostles so that I will truly be guided to know all the things that I need to do. I loved how like, in every single talk, even if their overall topic was something totally different, each person mentioned and bore testimony of the atonement of the Savior Jesus Christ. It really helped me a lot to hear so many testimonies of Him and to know without a doubt that I truly can be saved because of the grace of God. I know that it is my mission in life and divine responsibility to first save my own soul and then reach out to save others. I know that that is why I am here on the earth and why I am here in the mission field: to save my own soul first and at the same time, work on saving the souls of others. It´s something that really helped me realize the importance of the Gospel in my life and true converstion and also, when our numbers were so so bad this week and I initially felt like...well, I felt so bad! I felt frustrated and sad and upset with myself and I felt embarrassed too...but then I meditated on the messages of the Savior´s atonement and realized that I truly can be saved by the grace of God, and all I need to do is keep trying and keep going, even when I sometimes fall flat on my face and it hurts and I just want to stay on the ground because it is so much easier...when I get to these points in my life, I just need to think about my Savior Jesus Christ and think of the grace of God and remind myself that the Savior knows exactly what I am going through and He is on my side, cheering me on. I know I can pray in any moment and for any thing and the Lord will answer me and send me the peace, comfort and counsel that I most need.

I am so grateful for this gospel and the chance that I have to be a full-time missionary, sharing this glorious message with the rest of the world (well, the world that exists here in the Mexico Puebla South Mission that is) and help them recieve salvation to their souls. I am grateful for the restoration of the gospel and for the fact that we have living prophets to lead and guide us in these latter-days. I have no idea where I would be if I didn´t have the gospel and the light of the Savior leading me. I know that this is the only true church here on the earth and that only through faith in Jesus Christ can we be saved. He is my mediator with the Father and there is no other name by which my salvation cometh than by His sacred name. 

Sorry, I am cutting this one short so that I can answer some other emails that I got but I love you all so much and I hope that you can all keep meditating in the things that you learned from conference so that you can apply them to your lives and become the people that the Lord wants you to become. Have a great week and get out there and share the gospel with all your friends and neighbors that still haven´t accepted the gospel and the fundamentals of the fullness of God´s grace in their lives yet.

Love always,
Hermana Walker