Monday, December 29, 2014

Sweet Christmas

Elder Marcus Walker 

So I talked to the fam on Christmas Day and it was something else, I don't know how describe it. I only cried for the last ten minutes. haha. The things that surprised me most were Clay's height, Chloe's boyfriend (yes, I'm calling him that--enough of that wishy washy stuff), and Camron's hair (Chloe please fix that!) It was all kinda too much, and I got pretty sick after. Fever of 102. 

So that's where I'm at now--a little home sick and really sick. haha. I talked to Nicholas on Christmas Eve and we talked about our sectors and our comps and the fact that our family was all at Gradma’s house right then. That’s just about it. Then, at the end he asked me how many times I have gotten sick and I said none. He said that he threw up four times the night before and that the Chileans must actually clean their food. And ironically, I woke up the next day a little sick. Now I have a pretty high fever and a bad cough and cold. I’ve been taking my medicine. I’ll be fine.

I’m ready for a new week. Well, Christmas is over and now its time for a Happy New year. However, last week was amazing. I talked with Nicholas, the family, got sick, and had the baptism of Aranza, and it ended with her confirmation on Sunday. 

As for your questions regarding Christmas traditions here. So everyone one Christmas Eve here has a huge dinner, which is a little different for them because they never really eat diner here, so we ate a big dinner at the Gonzolas´s house. I had the best dessert that I’ve ever had on my mission. And then I’ve heard of people opening their gifts on Christmas Eve or in the morning Christmas Day, so they do both like us. Another funny thing is they call Santa Claus, viejito pasqúero, which means little old christmas man. Actually, Christmas it was sweet. We actually got a lot of gifts from the members and celebrated a lot of the holiday with them.


E Walker

Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas is coming!

Christmas Greetings!

Here are a few Christmas pictures. This week was pretty great. Everyone is just happy, and for the first time I felt like it was Christmas. Christmas songs were playing, and the sun shining its bright summer rays (don't be surprised if I'm sunburned when we Skype). We had a reunión for the mision and a christmas concert put on by the missionaries. We played games and don’t worry worked really hard too. In fact one day when were out in the crowed street of the Islita, it started to rain and it was kinda cold on that day, and wow I was a little home sick. But then it passed. Before this week though, it hasn't even felt like Christmas, but know its starting to sink in that in two days my family is going to be going over to my Grandma’s house to hold our annual Christmas Eve nativity. I just try not to think about that though. 

But this hot holiday season has been amazing, and last week was amazing. We had a milagro and the mom or our recent convert Kim came up to us at church yesterday and told us that her other daughter wants to get baptized, and wow it was just so happy and then she told us that she want to get baptized this Saturday. This is huge for that family and were working so hard with their dad who isn't a member, but he's already given permission to her. And this will be his second baptism that he's been to. That family is so great and also the Gonzales family. I’ll talk a little bit more about them on Thursday. I love you guys so much and I miss you so much. It’s going to probably be one of the hardest things I've ever done in my life to hang up after a short hour. I’ve tried not to be too excited because after that hour its back to 6 months of none stop work. It’s too hard not to be excited though!!!! In the end its like President told me in our interview last week, I get one hour to be trunky and that’s it. Then it’s back to saving the world. 
     Just so everyone knows, I’m really excited to talk with Nick too. I have no idea what I’m going to say, but it’s going to be great. Come with so questions, everyone. If I cry just blame it all on dad. haha.

Love you and peace out until Thursday!!

Elder Marcus Walker 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Slow Week

So this week I don't really have much to say; it was really slow. My bike broke 3 times in one day and my comp got sick and we had to stay in the house for a whole day. Elder Molina was pretty bad, but he’s getting better. I just hope that he doesn't get me sick too. We don't have a mirror right now so this last week I got super sunburned and didn't even realize until all the member told me that I looked like a tomate. 

Right now I'm reading in 3 Nephi when Jesus comes to the Americas and it fits in perfectly with Christmas and all. Jesus talks about a lot of things about fufilling the law and establishing the new law of repentance and love. But what I like most is when he finishes and looks on the people and sees that they don't want him to go and decides to heal all the sick and bless all the children. It's amazing. My goal is to finish before we skype in 2 more weeks or so. 

I’m at the point where I’m starting to see what type of missionary I want to be. And the sad thing is it’s a lot easier, obviously, to be a missionary who bends the rules to be friends the members and investigators. Even if all that can be good, it can be distracting as well. I can talk enough now to the point where in the visits is really easy to just spend way too much time. And to be honest we wasted a lot of time this last week. It's tough because I'm just trying to find that balance, and obviously, I want to do more. Elder Molina and I are really good friends, and he’s really friendly. That’s part of why it's so hard, I think, to keep our time short in the lessons. But in the end we here to help everyone, and I just need to repent and work harder I don't want to talk on Christmas knowing that I haven't been working as hard as I can. 

Love you all,

Elder Marcus Walker
Elder Molina and I here in the Almacen. I’m wearing my big, fat, ugly tie. Everyone needs a good grandpa tie. 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Another week, living the life

All right,

So Elder Molina is my comp now, and sorry I didn't write yesterday. Chileans have a whole bunch of holidays and even they don't always know what they’re celebrating, but everything was closed and we couldn't do internet. But I guess yesterday was a celebration for the conception of Jesus, so Happy Immaculate Conception Day! Haha. Elder Molina and I have been getting along well, and it’s been good. I've had to do a lot of the planning and decision making because he’s new and doen’t know anything about he sector. That has been stressful.

We finally moved houses, and I'm soo happy! Our toliet has a seat to it!!!! I used the bathroom in peace for the fist time in about 3 months—it was magical. It’s a big house, and now that we live in our sector so we don't have to ride so far every morning, which is nice. We had a few lessons this last week with the dad of Kimberly who is our recent convert as of a week now. He’s awesome and believes in God but not in a church. He is open to hearing new things and we’ve talked, but he still has a lot of doubts. Cristmas is coming and I can’t wait to talk. I don’t have any more time cuz this computer sucks and the internet won’t load.

Love you all,

Elder Marcus Walker

Monday, December 1, 2014

Staying in Islita Again

So yeah, the week started of kinda crummy. We were coming back pretty late from an investigator’s house and like I've said already we live pretty far away from our area. So we started off on our adventure and like always were a little bit late so we had to ride really fast to arrive at the house on time. In the first fourth of the way my tire started going flat, so I started going really slow and my comp starts getting farther and farther away. But I just sucked it up. One of the mottos for the mission is “fix it," so I thought to myself no problem just work harder. Then my chain got stuck about half way there and my bike wont pedal. And at this point, I couldn't even see my comp he was so far ahead. I got off my bike and start running. My comp finally realized how far behind I was and stopped. I caught up to him, and we walked then my bike. But then chain got caught in the back wheel and wouldn’t even roll. So the last quarter of the way I put the bike on my back and walked. haha. we got back like 40 minutes late that day.

Elder Brown and I had a baptism last week. We baptised Kimberly Wondele Roncoglilo Fariz, and I gave her the gift of the holy ghost which was awesome and also why I know her complete name. Yeah, I was super nervous and my Spanish just left me, but I think it went all right. So yeah Elder Brown and I had changes, and I'm still here in La Islita de Maipu with an Elder Molina from Mexico that lived in the U S and can speak both Spanish and English, but Spanish is his first language, which is sweet. I hardly know him but yeah well have 6 weeks together because he leaves after this change. But yeah some letters would be awesome for Chistmas. I haven't gotten a real letter yet in my mission. I did get the Christmas package mom, which is sick, but I still do want a picture of the family and my calendar, if they’re not there. idk. But yeah elder Brown took that tie so ahh, haha, so if you want to send my new comp something. It’s up to you. Personally it cost way to much. Anyway, I love you guys. Im going to go talk to Prez to see if I can talk to Nick on Christmas, so tell Nick to do the same. 


Monday, November 24, 2014

Thanksgiving Feast!


So things this week were awesome. We spent a lot of our time preparing for Thanksgiving!! But to back track a bit, President is always telling us to have Family Home Evenings and ward activities, so we’ve been preparing to have a día de acción de gracias mainly because there are 4 gringos/Americans in our ward. And we all love food! We couldn't do it in the church because there’s no kitchen so we all went to this Hermanas house in the other side of our ward. She has a huge house. So we got there and this is exactly what happened my comp left with Elder Warrick (our trainers) to make pies at their house and left Elder Brophy with me to make the green beans, two other pies, a turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy and some other vegetables. Now I understand why moms are so stressed when they cook. Wow! It was hard, but we made it! It was an awesome Thanksgiving we even played real football.

Other than that we got the news today that Plan Piloto is going to all of South America. I haven’t talked about Plan Piloto very much, but it’s a special plan to help the missionaries focus in three things reactivate, reatain, and baptise all the less active members. We use a book called El Rescate, it has all the jobs of all the ward members and their responsibilities to help you with the list of everyone in the ward. So you guys can understand in Stake Conference the other week, President said that only 13 percent of the member in our stake are active. Pretty shocking numbers.

Anyway, love you guys,

Elder Marcus Walker

Christmas it too close¡!¡! I’m really worried about the christmas call. There is too much pressure. When I think about it I just tear up. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Hello Again!

Dear everyone,

So this last week was good, a little slow because we had Stake Conference, and we had to get my companion’s visa extended and other stuff. So we didn't spend much time in our sector, which is a little hard. To get my Comps visa, we went into Santiago and after spending the day there we decided to grab some food. Long story short we were in this giant bus station and we found a Taco Bell, and I went up there to order. I started to try to order the same thing I get at home, which is 2 Beefy 5 layer burritos and a crunch wrap supreme. But they didn’t have a menu, and I had to describe them in Spanish which was really funny. My comp and I were laughing so hard. In the end, they didn't have the burritos, but they did have a crunch wrap supreme, at least. It was awesome.

With our investigators, we’re progressing really well with Kimberly and as for Jose we had a lesson and told him that we couldnt baptize him with his job (since he has to work on Sunday and can’t come to church.) Since then, he has been really busy and we haven't seen him. That’s been hard, but just keep swimming, right? We know that he is ready but it’s complicated with this new job. His job is pretty cool though he’s a life guard at this water park that’s actually kind of big. 
In my scriptures this past week I was reading in Alma in his counsel to his sons Heleman, Shiblon, and Corianton. Wow! His counsel is so good! Something that I really liked was Alma’s comparison of the scriptures to the Liahona at the end of chapter 37. I like how they both work according to your faith and diligence and how easy it is for us like the children of Lehi to neglect what is right in front of us. It talks about how easy it is to hear the words of Christ which show us the way to eternal life, if we’ll just pay attention. Anyway, go read it Alma 37:38-46 

I love you all, but I love Chloe and Mare the most this week because they had their birthdays!!

Elder Walker

PS. I want some Cliff bars in my birthday package, and if you can an electronic Spanish dictionary for when I don't have Elder Brown.

Elder Brown and his posteridad.

Kimberly had a birthday.
Members gave us these sick hats.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Best Week Yet

Bueno, Hello Ladies and Gents,

In terms of my weeks in the mission, last week had to be one of my best. My Dad let me know last week that I need to write more stuff to my mom, so I've been keeping a list of things that happened this week. First, I’ll talk about the funny things, and then I will talk about some spiritual things. 

About the funny stuff—I want to explain a little bit about where I'm living, and I'm not complaining—this is all stuff I think is funny about living here. I live in Isla de Maipo with my companion Elder Brown and with another companionship, an Elder from Uruguay who's training Elder Bradley, and for the last 4 weeks our toilet hasn't had a lid. It makes it pretty brutal sometimes because you have to squat. Believe me you have to find some courage to use the bathroom in the mornings. Where we live is pretty nice, and it’s a house, but just the bathroom is bad. It’s always wet. (I won't say any more about that.) We work in the Islita de Maipo, which is a little bit away, but we have bikes like I've already said, and I've had so many bugs fly in my mouth and face its ridiculous. In our ward we have two other missionaries (Warrick and Brophy), and they're awesome! Last week this kid named Nico came over to their house during personal study. Elder Warrick told him that he had to leave because they have things to do, and long story short he got mad threw eggs at their house, then he went home and took his medication. Later that day he apologized and offered them almuerzo. They went over to his house to eat some pasta, and he ended up going to all the lessons that day, which was awesome. So yeah, random stuff like that happens on the mission. We have a facebook page bty Mom, Rama La Islita. 

About the spiritual things—some things have been changing with me. I read this talk a little over a week ago that my comp. has (and mom I want you to send me a copy if you can) called “The 4th Missionary.” It breaks missionaries down into 4 groups. The first one is unworthy, gets the MTC or in the field feels guilty or unhappy, and goes home. The second one is also unworthy and gets out to the mission field and can’t do anything but think about home and all the good things that he left, but he ends up staying and being a problem his whole mission. But the 3rd and 4th missionary are practically the same. They serve for a full two years and baptize people, reactivate people, and from the outside both are awesome missionaries but inside the 3rd missionary isn't happy. He gets happiness from the numbers and from comparison, and he also can never forget about the life he left and all the good things he left at home. He conforms his will but he does it grudgingly and doesn’t change. He's doing what he should, but what he should do isn't what he WANTS to do and for that he isn't happy. And it’s pretty harsh because it quotes in Moroni 7 which says: “For behold, God hath said a man being evil cannot do that which is good; for if he offereth a gift [two years], or prayeth unto God, except he shall do it with real intent it profiteth him nothing. For behold, it is not counted unto him for righteousness. For behold, if a man being evil giveth a gift, he doeth it grudgingly; wherefore it is counted unto him the same as if he had retained the gift; wherefore he is counted evil before God.” I added the [two years]. This hit me so hard because that was me the first three months of my mission, and I could serve two years like that and literally receive nothing. I’ve prayed every day that I’ll want to be here more for a pure desire than for the responsibility/duty. I’ve prayed to love the people more completely as a way to be more like Jesus and as a way to show my love for Heavenly Father. I’ve changed. That doesn’t mean I don't have bad days, but as I have given God my desires, I have been so happy. I don’t just want to work as missionaries do, I want to be a missionary in my heart and mind and every part of me.

And now a little bit on Elder Nelson (eeek I don't have much time) so I met him, I shook his hand and he talked to us. It was the first time that I've seen a general authority speak since the then Elder Monson spoke forever ago at a Boy Scouts thing. He and his wife were amazing. They talked about the plan of salvation, but obviously in a lot deeper way for missionaries.  Sister Nelson talked about the plan of salvation pretty much said that when we have those really hard days if we could see ourselves in the pre-mortal life we would know with a perfect knowledge that we could do it. She also said that we were preordained to do a whole list of things, and one of those things was go on a mission. She also said that when were not doing those things on that list we feel like there’s something missing and when we are doing what’s on the list we feel peace and confidence. I think that applies to our investigators, obviously, and with ourselves when we’re following the commandments. I think that we have to be working on those things even in the mission achieving more because that’s what God has planned. Elder Neslon talked about the Abrahamic covenant. I learned so much it was funny though, because right in the middle he was just stopped and started talking about marriage and how we have to marry someone like the mission presidents’ wives and then continued. It was an amazing experience. 

Okay, I hope that was enough Mom, and even though I’ve got some other stuff to say my eyes are kinda going bad from writing too much, so I’m done.

Love you, 
Elder Walker
Mom, I'm happy, I just want you to know that. Also, that I'm not starving!! Haha. 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Impressive Tan Lines

Hey guys!! 

So this past week was pretty hot, and yes the golf tan lines are coming back nicely but now I’ve got a collar tan line. haha. It’s cookin' down here, but that keeps us motivated to teach lessons. I had two division last week one with Elder Alanso and one with Elder Brophy. Elder Alanso is pretty awesome. He’s from Mexico, and this is his last sector he was in my sector before so a lot of people knew him. Elder Brophy and I are pretty close now, and we spend almost all of our time together on the mission. This time we went to his sector. It’s always fun to be with the greenies. 

We had another great lesson with José this week, and he is so ready to be baptized. He’s been our investigator the whole time that I've been here, and i always look forward to our lessons. This week we had a practice baptism interview, and we talked about how he want to baptized, how excited he is, and how he wants to learn more and be active in the church. It was hard because after he said that, he got a job opportunity working and the mini water park place and the hours are really strict and as of now he would end up working on Sundays. It’s hard because he and we don't want him to get baptized this week and then go inactive. We told him to ask his boss if he could have Sundays off. We re still hopeful that hell get baptized. We had a lesson with Valentina who we baptized about 3 weeks ago and she's doing great. It's interesting because now were trying to reactivate her aunt and her dad. There are so many inactives!! We talked to her dad and about the importance of testimonies and obeying the commandments. 

Anyway, I love it here Chileans are awesome and always joking around! I don't always get what they’re saying, but that’s when you just have to laugh anyway. It’s weird to think that the time difference is 5 hours now. I’m literally living in the future. haha.

Elder Brown and I are trucking along and had a good week. We found a lot of new investigators. This week is going to be awesome because we have a member of the quorum of the 12 coming to speak to us. Elder Nelson is coming!! The assistants have sent out some pretty strict messages about how we have to look are absolute best in our best suits (cleaned), shoes shined, and our hair cut within the week. It just goes to show how special this opportunity is and how sacred prophets are. We’re supposed to come with questions with the promise that he will answer them. That’s super awesome and I’m excited. Love and peace out!

Elder Walker

Monday, October 27, 2014

Keep Swimming


First, I’ve been really working on becoming a better teacher. I'm starting to talk a little bit more even though my Spanish stinks. (I’m not being humble. I know my accent is terrible!) I think Nick’s is way better honestly. I don't know what to do, so I just keep chugging. Maybe Nick’s better because he’s in Peru, and they talk slower there. Chilan Spanish is so hard. For example, this past week I heard something funny it’s a good example of what I’m dealing with. So this little girl was in the street and her mom yelled at her what I heard as, “Soy pasada.” I had to ask my companion because it didn't make any sense to say, Soy Pasada, but what it means is Sois Pasada but they cut of the S’s off of everything. 

Yeah, we’re still teaching Jose, and he’s pretty interesting and really good at soccer. I think he was trying to go pro before he hurt his leg. Last week we taught him, and he showed us his marijuana plants. It was so funny because he has three just because. He doesn’t use them or sell them. He has a fecha for the 8th of November. 

Keep Swimming, right?

Elder Walker

Monday, October 20, 2014

Staying in Islita

Dear everyone,

 Well the past week was slow with lessons but a lot happened. First of all, we had a baptism—my first! Valentina was baptized! She has a lot of family in the church, and it was really amazing to be a part of her conversion. Elder Brophy and I set her fecha together during a division, which is also really awesome because we’re both Greenies. At the baptism service there were a ton of people and in total 12 baptisms. Super exciting stuff. 

Other than that I found out that a Hermana in my zone is like professional singer, which makes senses because she's amazing. Her name’s Hermana Tolk (McKenzie) and she has stuff on iTunes so you should look her up. Ummm, other than that I saw a dog getting eaten by other dogs when I was on splits, which was awful. And a cat broke into our apartment, which was also awful. 

We had the reunion de cambios (transfers), and it was legit to be there with the whole mission. I get to stay in my area with Elder Brown, which is awesome. Yep everything’s good, but I still don’t talk enough and am lacking with confidence. I need to do more. I think part of the problem was before I could rely on my own abilities, but now I don’t have anything—I can’t talk. All I can do is rely on the Lord, and my faith isn't good enough yet. I’m trying to do more. Have to go.


Elder Walker 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Awesome Week

Dear everyone,

So this past week was awesome. We had a zone conference and had some really good lessons. At zone conference I was really scared because I didn't know that we always supposed to bring a talk about Conference. So I got there and President Barreiros just started calling off numbers randomly, and my companion leaned over and said, “Yeah, you should probably get something ready.” Luckily, I didn't have to speak!

We had a lot of success this last week and spent a lot of our time with less active members. We teach a lot about having you own testimony really just trying to help the members overcome their discouragement. Besides that were teaching an italian family (they speak Spanish of course) and they’re really awesome. The mom is inactive and the daughters aren’t members, but there are coming to church and we set a baptism date with them this past week.

So yeah we’re still riding our bikes, and wow is my comp ridiculously fast. Sometimes we go really far away from where members are and things can get tricky with bathrooms. haha. My comp is awesome though. Elder Brown is 20, and he is really smart. He is on a scholarship to BYU. He comes from a family of 14 people, which makes him one of 12 children ranging from about 34 to 12! Ya, he’s cool.

Gotta run. Love you all!

Tengan un bien dia, 

Elder Walker 
This is a picture of an activity that we had last week, a Noche de Postres (desserts). It was super fun and really good for the members. Elder Brown and I won best texture or something like that for our dessert. Haha.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Conference is Amazing


Conference is amazing and it’s honestly the only time that the missionaries get a break! All the gringos were able to go to a room and watch it in English. It felt like Christmas, and there was something special about watching it with the missionaries. I thought it was awesome that talks were given in different languages. I especially liked the talk about taking responsibility by Elder Jorg Klebingat, Elder Holland on the poor, and the talk by Elder Uchtdorf in the priesthood session. They made me really think about my own efforts and made me want to do more. I love the question, “Lord is it I?” I think it’s something I need to ask myself more, especially in places where maybe I feel a little prideful. There was a lot about personal revelation, which I love because it’s what I teach every day. I also liked the part about how Spiritual questions deserve spiritual answers. Finally, I loved Elder Bednar’s talk to those who are not members of the church. Besides Conference, we are enjoyed a lot of success this week and my Spanish is definitely better. I don’t think I’ll be able to say that I have Spanish until my birthday, but that’s all right. The work is sweet!

Elder Walker
Made my first Chilean food.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Life in the Field


Life is pretty tranquilo here, and I'm starting to get better. It’s cold in the mornings and hot in the days. Last week We had a huge festival with all the ramas in our area. There was food and games and futbol, and it was pretty great to relax for a day.There was so much carne and empanadas. The missionaries were all there, and we played some games in front of everyone. Then we watched some Chilean dances which are pretty weird.  President and Hermana Barreiros came and it was nice to talk to them for a little bit again. Other than that my week was pretty normal for a missionary. I’ve had a lot a divisions because my companion is the district leader. This week I'm going to have two divisions. One with a Greenie like me Elder Brophy and another with the Zone leader so that’s exciting. 

My Spanish is coming slowly, but I know it’s coming. I can now recognize the Chilean accent and the fact that my accent is awful. The challenge is that Chileans don't speak Spanish the way I’ve ever heard it. They talk fast and use a whole bunch of I’s where the S’s should be. I can understand more now though, not that I know more Spanish, but I can understand from a word pretty much what there talking about. My companion speaks really good Spanish so that’s nice, and I can understand almost everything that he says. I’m starting to figure out what's going on which is nice. 

Here are the answers to all of your questions. We play a lot of soccer no basketball. My area is in the country with huge fields of vines. I think grapes for wine not really sure. But we work in an area with a whole bunch of houses that all look alike. Sort of like a subdivision.The members feed us every day almuerzo and we have soup and pollo and turkey and papas and salsa and siempre pan. Somethings thats kind of interesting is that after you done eating you're supposed to clean your plate with a piece of bread. My companion’s name is Jeff Brown, and he’s from Ogden. We had about 70 people in our ward last week, which was really good. We will go to Maipu to watch Conference with all the missionaries in a chapel.We do laundry in a washing machine in our house and air dry on a line. For exercise we usually do p90x or just push ups and stretching if i don't want to join my companion. For breakfast we just eat cereal normally, and we don't really eat dinner because they don't have it here. We have once which is just bread and cheese and some meat with some mormon cafe. (Don’t really know what mormon cafe is.) Or just bread and mormon cafe. I'd say we ride at least 10 miles a day, but my legs are strong now so it's not bad. I like biking more than walking.

I still feel like the sons of Lehi when they were charged with the difficult task of retrieving the plates. I feel like I'm in kind of in the same situation as them. I don’t really know exactly what to say or do, but I'm trying to be lead by the spirit like Nefi describes in 4:6. The task is hard but God "can only guide our foot steps when we move our feet.” I feel like my shoes have sand in them sometimes, but God will provide a way.

Love you!

Elder Walker
Another photo of me with President and Hermana Barreiros.
This is at the actividad.
​Here is the family. Elder Brown was the trainor of Elder Goats and Elder Goats was the trainor of Elder Paternaria/Uraguay. So this is me with my Dad, Brother, and Nephew.
Sack race at the festival.

One Elder eating dust.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Week 2 in Islita


My computer doesn’t have a usb jack so no pictures again. Sorry. Stuff is pretty much the same. I struggle pretty badly in lessons and with understanding. Mom, I put the quote by Gordon B. Hinckley about optimism on my desk at home. I know I can do it, and I know that God with Bless me with the gift of tongues. I just have to learn some things first. I don’t talk very much. I know that I’m not that outgoing, but I’m not silent at the same time. In the mission, I just don’t know what or how to say what I'm thinking. Ahhh… I want to talk! I just want to! Oh well.

This week is kind of of like the fourth of July for Chile except in Chile it lasts the whole week: empanadas like crazy, tons of Chileans flying kites, Chilean flags everywhere. They have a national dance and parade. It really is a great time to be in Chile. The members are awesome, and we eat so much and every meal. Whenever my plate is empty all I hear is serve yourself more, Elder. The food is good and I hope I can gain some weight. (But not too much.) Another thing everyone here has a dog at least one huge one or about 5 little ones. 

Elder Brown has been out for about 18 months or something and is awesome. We work in an area called Islita, but live in a place called Villa Nevada (kind of ironic and makes me think of home). So where we like is about 2 miles away from where we work, which means we are a biking area!!! We bike a lot and our area is huge. We have like 70 active members and a ton of inactive. That’s kind of of the problem in Chile, inactivity. We have two baptisms this week, and Conference the next so I’m super excited for that. 

I thought I was independent and strong, but the mission has humbled me. I didn’t realize how great my life was until I left it and saw the problems that people had down here. One interesting thing is that I’ve taught the law of Chastity casi 5 times this week. No lie. Way more than the restoration, which is really weird I know. The last time we taught it to a couple that aren’t married and have a child. Yeah, I felt a little unprepared for that.

Love you lots. The Spanish will come. 

Love you guys,

Elder Walker

Monday, September 15, 2014

Libre Soy!


Libre Soy!!! Libre Soyyyyy!!!

So I'm free! I'm out the CCM in the big bad world, and it's awesomely hard. My life is a giant paradox--I feel like I've learned a lot and that I haven't learned anything. I'm just trying to figure things out. Anyways my companion is from Utah (I can't remember where in Utah) but he's a baller. Elder Brown is a lot like me; I hope at least. He's hard working, really smart, and the members love him. He's super humble and honestly hasn't said one mean thing to me, so I'm really grateful for an awesome trainer. So grateful.

Story time--this one is for Dad. So we were with Jóse, who is an investigator with a baptismal date, and we were at his house because he had just wrecked his car and was super sad. He was planning on selling it, but after the crash it wasn’t worth as much. Anyways, we were talking about car crashes, and I’m like usual just trying to figure out what the heck is going on because I have no idea what the vocab for a car wreck is. So my comp shares a car wreck story of his own then asks me if a have been in a car accident. I told them about me flipping my car. Actually, I acted out charades style my car rolling because I can’t speak Spanish, and I showed him my scars. Haha. It was awesome, but the best part was after that I asked him if he had seen the Jeff Gordon crash video (Dad you know what I’m talking about), and he said no. So we had him look it up and watched it with him before we shared a spiritual message. It was so much fun!! I can’t wait for Jóse’s baptism.

Thanks for all the encouragement. At times this seems impossibly hard. It is so hard not being able to talk to anyone. I promise that I’m going to learn this language. I’m going to learn how to be a missionary. I’m going to learn how to talk to people without fear. I’m going to turn my biggest weaknesses into my biggest strengths by the end of my mission. That’s what I say to myself. That’s the promise that God gives us in Ether 12 when we come unto him with humility. I am holding on to that promise. I am learning how to fail because I do it about 100 times a day.

Okay, I have to write Nick so we'll see if I have time for pictures, but before that one more story. This happened about two weeks ago, but it’s been a long time since I’ve written. Elder Brush, my old companion, and I were out in front of the CCM just sitting there like we always do during a break, and a few people walked up. They were kind of laughing at us because we werre doing 360's. Elder Brush was explaining to me how to ski. So they walked up and a man kind of looked at me and then walked over to shake my hand like everyone does. After that though this girl walks up, and I put my hand out for a handshake, but she just stepped up and got a little too close. (In my mind I was thinking this is a little weird, and why is she getting so close for a handshake?) Then she gave me a kiss on the cheek. Haha. She was more embarrassed than I was as I explained that missionaries don’t do the whole cheek kiss thing that they all do here in South America.

Yep, so that’s that. I’m in Chile. I’m alive. My area is a small city called Islita (or Little Island in English). I’m in the Talagante zone. It’s in the country and I love it. The people are amazing and super nice. I love them so much even though I can’t even talk to them. Well, life keeps going. Love you all. No temas, cree solamente.

I love you a lot!
Elder Walker
Hermana Barreiros, Elder Brown, me, President Barreiros

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Last Week in the CCM


I just read Nicholas’s email, and wow his area, that’s crazy!! How lucky is he!!! I’m praying that I get an awesome training companion as well. While he’s up there in the freezing cold of the Andes mountains I’m down here chillin’ in Chile where it pretty much feels like America, it’s so nice. In the field my mission has a lot of diversity. In one area you could be in the slums or ghetto, in a country area, or in another you could be on in a crazy nice area. Anyways in terms of living conditions, I’m really lucky. 

Last Sunday was the last opportunity anyone leaving in a week to speak in church. The CCM President, like other places I know, calls people randomly to speak at church, and with fast Sunday next week the odds were with me that I wouldn’t have to speak. So after my companion and I passed the sacrament, the zone leader stood up and called my companion’s name and then my name. It was really surprising because the president hasn’t called a companionship at the same time ever. So we walked back to get our stuff and gave our talks. We had both prepared talks on the Holy Ghost. My main focus was on the role of the Holy Ghost in conversion and how an investigator needs personal revelation in order to obtain conversion. I had a lot of quotes and then talked about the blessings of the Holy Ghost D&C 84 or 85, I think. D&C is super awesome, by the way, because it is is all about missionaries. It was hard, my Spanish pronunciation stinks, and I have no idea how good I did because everyone lies no matter how bad you are, but I’m learning how to fail. It definitely brought Elder Brush and I together more. 

Elder Brush is such an awesome guy, and we get along so great. In lessons and stuff we are really good at just having a natural conversation with someone. Like mee was in student council and soccer in high school, so we just click really well. We do all right giving lessons, but its still hard to speak and we struggle with being excited in the lesson. It’s good though because when you don’t have very many words you can’t describe something in a complicated way. The language barrier forces us to teach in a simple way, which is good because that is how we should teach.

I can’t wait to go into the field and meet my new companion. I have a question for Chloe. Am I ever going to catch up on my sleep? In the mission do you ever wake up and feel like you actually slept?? 

Love You!! 

Elder Walker

Elder Williams (or Westpoint as we like to call him) Awesome guy.
Elder Brush and I

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Things are really shaking in Chile

Hi everyone,

So another week in the CCM and things are going well. I’m starting to understand Spanish and can pretty much get what are teachers or other gringos are saying. The hard part is when talking to natives. They speak so fast here that their sentences sound like words. 

Big news! We had an earthquake a few days ago, and it was the craziest thing. We were in the computer lab and at first it didn’t even feel real. 

It’s weird to see Anna going in to middleschool and Clayton going into high school. Best of luck to both of them!

On Sunday the mission president of the Este mission came down and gave a fireside. He gave an amazing talk about the atonement. He described how the atonement not only saved us from our sins, but also our weaknesses and how different those two things are. He said that weakness and strength are very similar and how through Christ our weaknesses can be strengths. It's really hard to do, but I’m trying to learn patience.

Time to go to the City and get some food. I guess they have some really good hotdog things here, completas are what there called. Last week my companion and I got yelled at for the fist time. I think the man was cursing at us, but my feelings were not hurt cuz I couldn’t understand him. Haha. Blessings of my terrible Spanish. Got 2 go. Love you all!

Elder Walker

Study, study.

And more study.

Beautiful Santiago Temple

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Happy Birthday, Mom!


Things have been going pretty great here in the CCM the past week. Last P day was probably the best day of my mission so far. It´s only been like 2 and a half weeks I know, but it feels like forever. After messaging every one (last week that is), we went out into Santiago. We are in a really nice area, so yeah there will be a few random dogs, but everything is super nice and urban. Anyways, my companion and I went to the mall looking for an mp3 player for our roommate when some lady came out of her little shop and started speaking English to us. She picked us out because of our white skin and said that she just wanted practice her English. So we explained to her why we were there and what we were doing, and we asked her if she would be interested in learning more about our church. She said yes, and when we were writing down her information her friend came out and told us that she really wanted to go to our church. My companion and I were just like uhhh sure, we’ll write down your information and we’ll have some missionaries call you. It wasn’t much, but it was really rewarding to feel like I’d actually done something. 

The CCM gets really boring and to be quite honest isn’t that fun. But my Spanish is getting better, and thanks everyone so much for all the emails and prayers. I’m trying to develop patience and learn how to find joy in the trials that I have. Trials are so important for us. Without them we have no opportunity to grow and no chance to show our faith. I heard that Henry B Erying at one point in his life prayed for trials. I am trying to wait patiently for the gift of tongues and understand more simply those things that I know so I can teach them simply and clearly to the awesome people here.

Entonces, HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!! I love you so much. I am really jealous that you get to be with my wonderful sister right now--what a gift!!! Chloe you are amazing, and love you so much. The only time I have cried since I got here was reading your email last week—your last email from the field. I really needed and still need your advice. I’m trying really hard to NOT to act my age but it’s not easy. And the Latinas here are craaaazy! We got a new batch last week and they are loca. It’s hard sometimes.

I don’t have any more time, but my companion and I got awesome ties today. Let’s just say that Chileans have some sick swag. Haha. All the ties were about 3 mill or like 6 dollars, but the pens here are super expensive. I bought a pen today for about 5 American dollars, which seems expensive to me. Anyways, I love you all!!


Elder Walker 

PS. Tell Chloe that I love her and have probably thought about her the most this week. Things are hard, but I’m getting it slowly.  

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Another Week in the CMM.


This past week has been really hard but rewarding. I’m starting to learn more and understand the language a little bit. My companion is awesome!! Elder Brush is from Heber City, and he his super funny. We joke around a lot and keep the work fun. He also has a huge testimony, and I feel the Spirit so strong when we talk about the Gospel and our reason for serving. Thank you so much Mom and Marilynn for helping me pack. That’s one area where I have been super prepared. Everyone in my room (Elders Williams, Prisbree and Brush) loves the stereo/speaker and Mp3 player. Anyways, my hair was really long so on Friday or something one of the Elders came over to our room and cut my hair. It looks really nice, and he’s been doing it for 4 weeks so he’s pretty much a pro. Haha.

Alcántara, the house that we live in, is really nice. It used to be a Swiss Embassy so it’s really big with a pool house and stuff. (Of course we don’t use the pool. Haha.) We have a counselor to the CCM mission president and his wife, the Jacobsons, living with us.  They are nice and make us goodies sometimes. 

Last week for P day we got to walk around the city. In Santiago things are super nice, and they have huge malls with tons of shops. Talking to native people is really hard. The Chilean accent makes all the words sound so similar, and I can only pick out a few phrases. I’m learning though and dealing with my stress. I’ve only been here for 2 weeks so I just have to trust in God. That’s why we have weakness and trials so that we can trust him and so that he can bless us. I don’t have any cool stories; we just sit inside and learn all day. Although, yesterday was pretty cool because a group of missionaries were leaving, and we had P day so everyone was just super happy. That’s all I have.


Elder Walker


Tuesday, August 5, 2014



        This city is beautiful. In my classroom, I can look out the window and see the Andes Mountains, and it’s just so amazing how pretty they are at night covered in this pinkish glow. Anyways for those of you who don’t know, I got here to the CCM a day late because my flight got canceled from Las Vegas to Atlanta. So on Wednesday I flew out and arrived on Thursday. Getting there was very crazy, and I was in total cultural shock as I went out the door of the airport.  It was very crazy and about a 100 people were standing there waiting for someone, but luckily I saw some guy holding a sign with the name of the church. So I walked towards him. We couldn’t talk because he spoke no English, but he took my bags and drove me to what I though would be the CCM. Instead we pulled up to some big random house in the city, and I saw about 40 missionaries getting into these big vans. So I got out, dropped off my bags, put my nametag on, and got into the busses with them. That was my first day everyone knew me as the elder that missed his fight. 
          That first day was really hard flying all night then having to go to classes and such. That’s one thing I’ve learned really fast is that this is not easy. In fact it's already the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. Spanish is so difficult, but I know that the Lord is blessing me. I really appreciate the prayers from all of my family and loved ones, and please keep praying for me to be able to speak this language. On those really hard days, which for me were the first and third days I was here, something always happens which lifts me up and motivates me. For example, on Saturday when I was really down about understanding and learning the language, my companion and I during the break started walking around the temple. While we were walking around, a little girl waved to us and then ran up to us. Then, she just started saying something really fast in Spanish. I had no idea what she said, but it just made me so happy for her to treat us like friends. Anyways she did some weird handshake high five thing with us then said chao.
        It’s experiences like those that have kept me motivated this first week or 5 days. On a different note, the house where we are living is really big, and I share a room with 4 other elders with 2 other elders in another room joining ours. We eat breakfast there, which is made by Ceclia who is really nice, then take a 10 minute drive to the CCM where we study from 10 to about 10. There’s a saying here that the days feel like weeks and the weeks feel like days. It doesn’t feel fast at all to me, but we’ll see how I feel in 5 weeks. My companion is Elder Brush from Utah, and he’s really chill and we get along great. We have an Elder in our room who went to West Point for a year, and he's super motivated and clean and organized as you might expect. The other elder in our room is our District leader, and he told me today that he heard about me in the airport when he called his mom. I guess my mom and his mom talked online about my flight being cancelled, and I was not surprised in the slightest cuz let’s be honest, Mom, you stalk those missionary websites. Haha. I don’t have a lot of time and want to write some people to BYE.

Love you,



Elder Brush and I
Missionaries staying at the house--we call it Alcantara. I think that's the name name of the street it's on.