Tuesday, October 27, 2015

De Santiago Chile


This last week was full of work. My new companion is Chilean, and his name is Elder Benavides. He is from the south of Chile. He's a great little guy, and we get along well. We actually already knew each other pretty well because we've lived in the same apartments for the last 3 months. This last week his comp went home too, so President put us together for what we think will be these next 2 weeks. We have to work in both his sector and mine so last Sunday we went to both meetings  of church from 9 to 2 o'clock. 

Last week we had another miricle with Elias. He is an 11 year old kid that knows almost everything about the church. His Uncle was a Bishop, and his grandma is an active member. He knows way more than I knew when I was his age. Anyway,s we started teaching him 2 weeks ago, and he's just super smart so on Tuesday we asked him about his baptism that he was going to have on the 31 of October. He told us he was super excited for his baptism, and that he actually wanted to get baptised sooner. So we told him that he could get baptised the same weekend. It was incredible to see the faith of such a young person, and last Saturday he got baptised. Elias is a special boy, and I feel like he's going to help his family come into the church in spite of such a young age. His Mom is less active and his Dad isn't a member. The baptismal service was spiritual, and he and his parents were all really emotional. It was a warming experience that built my faith.

I'm doing great here in Chile. I try not to think about the house too much, but it's pretty hard sometime. Everybody always asks about the family. I can't help but to think that Christmas isn't the only thing I'm going to miss this Christmas season. With Chloe's wedding and all. I did the math the other day, and it's impossible for me to become an uncle on the mission, so there's something. On the bright side, I'm happy to be a missionary. I wouldn't trade it for anything!

Elder Walker

Arenas Family!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Week of Surprises

Dear Reader,

I had a very eventful week one that was full of unforgettable experiences. Duilio decided to get baptized. This probably had to be the biggest of most eternally important news of the week. He is an incredible man that had so much desire to get baptized. His life wasn't in a good place and the Gospel has really given him a chance to experience a happier life. His conversion is living proof to me of the validity of the church. Something that was fake and made up, or simply a guideline to a better life, could not cause such an influential change in the life of another person. Only God can do that. 

More than that I had a welcome surprise when I was sitting waiting for my Gospel Principles Class to start. A member came in and said that someone was looking for me, and my first thought was YES an investigator. I then left the room and came out to see a young woman in her twenties, and thought well I have no idea who this is. She then explained to me that she was a friend of my sister, and I realized it was Tammy. She is an angel just like you told me, Chloe, and it was a very pleasant experience talking with her about my family who she was with just 5 day or so ago. I was glad to hear from the family and to learn that you still haven't forgotten me. It was clear to me; however, that she came with a message from my Mom that I had to write better letters. She said it in the nicest way giving me a bunch of ideas of how to write, but the message was loud and clear. Then she told my comp to listen to me and follow my counsel that I give him. After that I sent Michele a little video telling her not to prepare the getting home party yet because I still have a lot of time.

Now for “How I took the big news.” So Chloe's going to get married. The first thing I asked Tammy or the first thing I remember asking is who? Joe? Did they even date for a week? Wow! When I got home that night, because in the day I was focused and didn't really have time to think, I was a little nostalgic. I couldn't help but to think that I’m going to miss one of the most important events if not THE most important event of my sister’s life. I’ve been to her dance recitals and pageants but those seems to be worth very little when compared to the eternal marriage. Then, I opened my package and read a letter from Chloe that said she was going to get married on the 19th of December. Two weeks ago for me in my little world she wasn't even dating, and now she's engaged and going to get married in 3 months well less than that really. I didn't sleep well that night. Anyways I hope my Skype call doesn't get in the way of her honeymoon. Haha. However, I am super excited to be related to Sam. Haha. Well congrats you two. Joe it’s good to have you in the family. We’ll have to go golfing someday with my Dad so I can get to know you. 

Right now I’m in a trio because my comp goes home on Friday, and another Elder in my District had emergency changes today. The mission is sometimes full of difficult challenges and it’s a humbling experience to see people leave so fast. It is really sad to see my companion go home for knee surgery. It was just a few weeks ago that I met him and started his training. He was so full of hope and enthusiasm. So this is really hard for him. I’m working hard here every day.

These last few weeks have been hard. My District has been having a hard time. I know that my role as a district leader is somewhat minimal, but still it's been difficult. In addition to my awesome companion having to go home for knee surgery, many in my district are not only having a hard time with the work, but also with serious personal challenges. I’m  trying to learn how to lead and how to help people with compassion, and I want to do the best I can. I haven't been sleeping very well lately because of the worry. I'm fine, but it's been really hard to deal with so much. Thanks so much for your support.

I love you all,

Elder Walker

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Incredible Week!

Wow!! Chloe and Joseph! That's got to be one of the craziest stories I have ever heard in my life.  Talk about a 180 turn! Like 20 seconds ago my Sister was complaining to me that wasn't even dating and would never get married. haha! Trust in the Lord, Mom! I'll keep praying for you. You actually sound better than I would expect in such a situation. Anyways I know that people can change and audacity is a good characteristic, too. We walk into people's houses, Mom, every single day and tell them to get baptised. That's also a pretty audacious thing to do. 

This week was incredible. The Arenas Family got bapitsed and I am more happy that I can fit into a little message. The husband of Catherine, Gonzalo, baptized the family  and it was so special. Patricia before the baptism told us how she felt like her life was about to begin. I love these people with all my heart and am so grateful to have been a small part of their conversion  I just working of here!

Love y'all,

Elder Walker

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Unexpected Challenges

Hi all,

Thanks so much Dad. You're so right these next 6 months are huge, and  I am experienced and the most important part is to enjoy it. Mom what more can I say than Motherhood. Wow Elder Hollands talk was just incredible! It tore me apart a little bit as my thoughts turned to you.

This last week as full of unexpectied turns and drops as we preached the gospel. My companion, Elder Ruiz, will most likely have to return home in the next week or so. He has been diagnosed with a torn meniscus, and it's recommended that he go home for the recuperation. He has been fighting tough pains in his knee from day one. He is one of the most dedacted missionaries I've met and has such a desire to preach. It was a difficult moment to have to translate that message to an excited 18 year old that the English only speaking doctor says he has to go home. It really made me think about my own desires to be here and what a blessing it is. That and a million other things have really kept me worried this week. And that's why I think the first talk by Elder Uctdorf about simplifing my life to enjoy the gospel and enjoy this life really caught my attention this week. It's sad but sometimes we deprive ourselves of the joy we deserve because of the superfical things that happen. I loved this week and can't wait to send you some pictures next week si o si.

Elder Walker