Monday, July 27, 2015

Week of Miracles


This week was incredible and full of some of the biggest miracles that I’ve had in this short year here in Chile. It’s amazing to me to see the tender mercies that the Lord gives us to answer our prayers and give us strength. I have been praying every day for a month straight (since I left my last sector), and I know that HE answered my prayer.

On Saturday, we planned a temple trip with the ward with all the recent converts that we have. Attending the temple is a huge point of emphasis in our mission because we have the temple so close to us, and it’s such a spiritual builder for new people in the church to go to the temple and do baptisms for the dead. In fact, President wants us to go within a month after their baptisms. So as a ward we left in the afternoon to go the temple and ended up arriving at about 5 o' clock. As we pulled into the parking lot, I looked out the window and saw there in the shadow of the Santiago Temple, the counselor of my old ward, Hermano Meya. We became good friends in the 5 months that we spent together. We greeted each other and began to talk, and he then told me the 3 of the people that I had been teaching Fernando, Jose, and Elizabeth (2 from the Familia Cortez) had recently gotten baptized! 

To be completely honest when I heard that news, I started to tear up and my face burned from excitement and joy. The very people that I have prayed for every single day of the last month to keep their baptismal dates, achieved the goals that we set. I was very sad that I had to leave them before they could make that important step of baptism with me, but they weren’t ready in that time. It has been one of the hardest trials of my life to leave such great people and put all my trust in the Lord that he might help them because I was helpless miles away in another ward. I had to put all my trust in Him. It also hurt my pride to have to leave and have other missionaries come. I had gone 4 months without a baptismal date and the moment that God gave me success, He asked me to leave. That was hard. In this one experience, I’ve learned so much.  In the temple I then saw and talked to the old Bishop as well. He shook my hand and told me all the good news as well. He knew my investigators by name and told me how great they were, which gave me such comfort. My heart was so full that day on the ride back, I even started to cry again...but just a little bit. Haha. 

Right now we have a couple of great families of investigators. They are the Familia Monriquez and Gonzalez. I love them so much. We have taught them lesson 1, and they loved it. They have shared their desires to get baptized, but we need them to go to church, so pray for them. More than anything I have a testimony of prayer. 

Working hard here in Chile. I love you,

Elder Walker

Monday, July 20, 2015

Is Anything Too Hard for the Lord?


Well, this week came and went quickly, but I´m super happy to be here on the mission. The experience this week reminded me of the special opportunity that we have as missionaries to be her in HIS work. Elder McDermott and I are working hard, but to be honest really hard, and I love this work. 

On Friday morning Elder McDermott, and I were contacting in the morning. That’s one thing about the mission here: we’re pretty basic. There are no IPads or special ideas, just hard work. If there’s nothing to do, have faith, be happy, and knock doors. At this point there’s nothing that anyone can say that offends me, so it’s almost fun to contact. Anyways, we were contacting and we knock on this door and a man walked out and said right away to come in. So we walked in, and he is honestly one of the coolest guys ever. We started talking about religion and his family and then he said to us, “ Hey, let me play you a song.” So he pulled out this guitar and started playing some really complex song; it was insane. While I was siting there, I just though ONLY in the mission can you knock on some random person’s door, walk in and have them play a song on the guitar for you. I loved it! He also boxes. Anyways we invited him to church, and he came with his girlfriend this past Sunday! It was a milagro. 

We’ve found a ton of people to teach in our sector. In total this change, or in the first 3 weeks of the transfer, we’ve found 26 new investigators, which is a ton. The best part is that a few are families that have a lot of potential. Thanks so much for all the prayers. They are working! This has been an awesome change so far. I love it. Looking forward to this next week of hard work, but more blessings. Winter is here so the people are a little reluctant; they don’t want to leave their houses in the cold mornings to come to church. We need even more faith to help them overcome these challenges because it’s hard sometime. Like is says in Genesis 18:14 “Is anything too hard for the Lord?" NO!

Love you all, 

Elder Walker

Monday, July 13, 2015

Good, Better, Best


So my week was actually pretty great...Let’s just start with the good parts, and then I’ll move onto the better parts and finish with the best parts of my week. haha. 

My new area is really good. I’ve been super content with my sector for a lot of reasons. Like I have previously mentioned, I love the ward. The people just are genuinely happy to see the missionaries here, which is amazing. It’s good to be loved. The second great thing about my sector is the house that we live in. We live in a very nice house and my companion and I are pretty neat, which is a relief, and combine that with hot water and a nice bathroom and I’m pretty happy. I was so sad to leave my last area, but I realize now how much I needed just a little break because that area was really hard for me even though I loved it. My new area a relief; it is great! I now have the energy to work even harder.

Better than all of that is how great the contacting was this week. We’ve been able to find a several very humble people and have high hope for them. We have found and taught many people. The goals and vision of the mission has changed because President has been less than pleased with the success that we’ve achieved these last few weeks. The focus is now more on quality of lesson and bringing investigators to church. My comp and I are working diligently to reach the new goals estalished by President B. but we have a lot of new investigators and this week should be good for them to attend. 

The best part of my week was the rain. Haha. It rained for about 2 days straight. Saturday and Sunday, which hurt our church attendance, but that’s okay. We got soaking wet, but I wouldn’t consider myself a real missionary if I had never proselyted in the rain.  It was a good growing experience and a right of passage as a missionary. Chile has been in a huge drought, so it was also really good for the dirty Santiago air. One day my comp and I were trying to cross the street, but the gutter was more like a river so we had to walk a long way down the street to cross. As we were walking a car drove by and kicked up a wave of water drenching us from head to toe just like you’ve seen in a movie. It was so funny! We just started laughing because it was so ridiculous. I wish I had a video of it. Haha.

So proud to be part of this family. I love you all!

Elder Walker

Monday, July 6, 2015

Working, Working

Hello all,

A little more about my new area: right now I’m in the zone of Olimpo in a ward called Las Naciones. We have a pretty big chapel, but our ward is pretty small. There were about 60 people at church on Sunday, which is pretty low, but I like the ward. The people here are a lot more loving towards the missionaries, which is awesome and ready to help us if we need it. The bishop is new and only has about a month, and he’s really excited about missionary work. I love the ward, the people are nice, and the food is good. haha.

My companion is Elder McDermott, and he is an incredible missionary, and wow does he like to work! It is so awesome, a huge blessing, to have a companion that likes to work so hard. I like to work, but he really likes to work! He just loves being a missionary, and has a really strong testimony. His energy is contagious. (Think Pam Honey. Haha) I love his energy. Anyways I want to change few things this transfer (six weeks), but mainly I want to increase my enthusiasm. I don’t think of myself as being discouraged a lot, but what I lack is a sense of energy. Sometimes I’m just too content with being quiet, and that’s just not enough for me. As I have evaluated myself as a missionary, I feel like the Lord is asking more from me. I want to have more energy, and walk into every room with more energy and life. I’m trying to just smile more, and to be aware of the joy in my life so that it is a really genuine smile. If I want to teach the plan of happiness, I have to at least look happy or nobody’s going to want to hear it. I will never have the enthusiasm of Elder McDermott or Sister Honey, but I can learn from them and be more excited about this wonderful message that I have to share. 

My sector is good, but I feel like were going to have to do some finding more than anything to find the chosen people that are waiting for this message. I feel like everything I learned in my least sector was help me where I am now. I’m so excited; however, I just want to work!!

On another less important note, Chile won the American Cup. They beat Peru (sorry Camron and Nick) in the semi-finals. Then, they beat Argentina (sorry Chloe) in the finals. In all humility, Camron, Chloe, and Nick, I’d like to apologize for Chile kickin’ your trash! Wow! You’ve never seen a prouder people. They’re just so happy here in Chile. On Saturday night after the game, the whole country was going crazy for the whole night, just screaming like crazy. It was so loud! It's something I’m never going to forget. 

Love you guys,

Elder Walker