Monday, April 25, 2016

Santiago Oeste


Well, this last week was filled with a little more water and a drastic change in the temperature. It’s safe to say the winter is starting up and the jackets and scarfs are out of the bags. I think that winter started a little bit earlier this year and am ready to take on the cold. I mean I should probably get used to it if I’m going to live in Provo. Besides the cold, things have been spectacular here in Ochagavia. We had a good month in Abril and are now looking for May to be awesome.  

As far as teaching, we have a few good investigators who have gone to church a few time now. We have to help them understand the doctrine and have a real conversion. We’ve found some awesome new investigators though the last week, and now most of our hope in May is in the people we just found. As a missionary here we enter so many houses and meet a lot of great people, but one thing I always pray for is the the ability to recognize the people that will progress. We have to always find new people, but at the same time be able to recognize those who want to come unto Christ. It’s just another thing on the long list of reasons why we need the Spirit 

On Friday, we had a meeting as a mission. In Maipu we got together, which usually takes us about 45 minutes by bus to get to, ate sandwiches for breakfast, and listened to President. We had to get there early, and President told us that we’d all get a flu shot to protect us this winter. After the shot, what called my attention in the meeting was when President, after a little bit and out of nowhere, started to talk to all the missionaries who go home in the next two month. He told us all not to be Zombie missionaries and to work hard, and he said that he needs us to endure to the end. It was kind of a slap to the face, not because I wasn’t being diligent, but rather that I realized how soon I’m going home, how important it is to finish strong, and how much of an impact it will have on the mission for us to finish strong. 

In my personal studies, I learned a little bit more about the power of the word of God. Alma upon seeing the sins an iniquities of the Zoramites in Alma 31 began to worry about the the well being of the Nephites. "For it was the cause of great sorrow to Alma to know of iniquity among his people." The fear was that the Zoramites would go and join themselves with the Lamanites, which would be a huge loss for the Nephites. While some might have wanted to go to battle against the Zoramites, Alma said in verse 5:

"And now, as the preaching of the word had a great tendency to lead the people to do that which was just—yea, it had had more powerful effect upon the minds of the people than the sword, or anything else, which had happened unto them—therefore Alma thought it was expedient that they should try the virtue of the word of God."

What a powerful verse! The word of God and correct understanding of gospel principles can change our behavior and our hearts, and it can protect us from future temptations and trials. Elder Nelson described it like a shot we use shots to protect us from future viruses and diseases that might harm and kill us (like the flu shot I just had) and in the same way God gives us His gospel to protect us from the spiritual risks in the world. The mission as been so life changing I think because I’ve been able to read, understand and apply the word of God in my life. I’m so grateful for those special hours of scripture study in the morning and hope to maintain the habit always

Anyways, Mom, thanks for the letters yours are always better than mine. haha. I think it would be good to Skype at 7:30 or 7:00 my time so that I can have to time to get back to the pension because we live far away from the church. Looks like things are really moving along over there I’m starting to miss the family even more and sometimes I feel like I’ve missed so much, but the Lord blesses and protects the families of His missionaries. It also makes me happy to hear how well my family is doing. I love you all so much!

Elder Walker

Monday, April 18, 2016

No Time

Dear all,

Sorry I managed my time pretty badly with writing Anna for her b-day, letter to the president and another letter, but things are good here in Santiago. The umbrellas and boots are out because it’s been raining pretty hard. I didn't have changes and stayed in the same sector with Elder Hunter, but we received a new companion Elder Hansen. He’s a great missionary, who I also met a long time ago. He’s a redhead, part Chilean, from Utah, and I can tell that were going to get along great. It was sad to see Elder Bradley leave too fast, but the Lord needed him in another place. This area is great and the mission keeps going. I like Nicholas want to baptize a family and am going to work hard for the next 3 months to do it. I like what Presidente said the other day that there ain’t no rest for the wicked and the good, well they just don’t it. I love when he starts to randomly talk in English like that. Love you all so much!

Elder Walker

Monday, April 11, 2016

Wait Upon the Lord

Well this P-day has been pretty crazy. The secretaries called us yesterday to tell me that I had to go take care of my visa today. So I spent the whole day waiting in lines and spending ridiculous amounts of money for pieces of paper. However, it was fun to walk around the big city of Santiago and see the big skyscrapers. It really is a beautiful city. 

Interestingly enough my scripture of the week is in Isaiah in the 40th chapter and 31st verse. "But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." I was surprised to hear that same verse repeated when Jeffrey R. Holland gave his Sunday afternoon address and said, "So keep loving. Keep trying. Keep trusting. Keep believing. Keep growing. Heaven is cheering you on today, tomorrow, and forever." Those words have stuck with me as my shoes get a little more worn, my feet more tired and my body sore. We must wait upon the Lord and see His blessings in our lives. They’ll come; they always come. 

It reminds of yesterday when we got to church and Veronica wasn't there for her confirmation, and I was pretty startled. We called her and everyone in her family, and after a lot of failed attempts I sat down on the bench and said a pray telling the Lord that I’d trust in Him. Then, I walked outside and saw them! When I got outside the church and looked over, I could see Veronica and her family walking towards the church. Some might call it a coincidence and say that they would of gotten there without my prayer, but the I know that the Lord responds to faith. We just have to wait upon Him. 

I’m so excited that Camron brought home a girl!!! I mean after what Elder Uchtdorf said in the men’s general conference session, I think that it’s pretty clear that we all have to date. Doing the math I feel pretty safe in saying that if things work out with her, he won’t get married before I get back. That’s good. Anyways, I love you all so much. Have a great week.

Elder Walker

Monday, April 4, 2016

What a Week!


What a week in the mission! General Conference has been a time of hope and of spiritual rejuvenation when I so desperately needed it. General Conference has been so important to me in my mission. I remember when I first got to the mission field, and the mission really humbled me with the language difficulties, new culture, etc, and Conference was a spiritual lift to my troubled heart. General Conference has also served as landmarks to mark the progress and time in my mission. This last Conference was especially wonderful to me because it will be my last before returning home. There is nothing better than General Conference on the mission!!

     Some of the talks that I really enjoyed were the talk by Elder Renlund and the the last talk by Elder Holland. Elder Renlund talked a little bit about the entitlement that we sometimes feel as the distance increases between us and the giver. I was touch by the example that he used about the Sacrament that was given personally to a Sister that didn't receive it during Sacrament meeting. Individual, personal, just for me: we sometimes miss that aspect of the Atonement in the Sacrament meeting when were in a congregation of 200 people. It was a talk that helper me and was then followed by an amazing number by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir that really touched my heart. The words of Elder Renlund and of the Choir help me come to important conclusions about my 20 months of service; as the choir sang I felt the Spirt so strong that Saturday morning session. Then there’s the talk by Elder Holland! The stage was set so perfectly for him to be the last speaker. His motivation was and is us as latter-day members, and his love for us touched me and made me think that my motivation in my ministry in the mission are my investigators.

Veronica was baptized after the Sunday afternoon session, and it was such a spiritual experience. Her conversion was a miracle as she fought doubt and family members in order to get to the waters of baptism. Her conversions definitely shows to me that this is the true work, and it’s is directed by the Savior himself.

Thanks so much for everything. I love you all.

Elder Walker

PS. Daniel, who I taught in my last area, got baptised with his family last weekend!