Wednesday, December 28, 2011

December 27, 2011 Weekly Letter

Hello Everyone! I hope you all had a good Christmas. I definitely did! I spent Christmas eve with probably the oddest family I've ever met. Its a tradition for them to roast hot dogs and drink homemade grape juice? I'm not really sure where it came from, but I had fun nonetheless. Christmas day Sister Park and I opened our packages, went to church for an hour, and then went to the Seaman's house. They're the family I spent thanksgiving with. They have christmas brunch with sweedish food instead of dinner. It's definitely different being a missionary at christmas, but it was fun to see what other families do.
The rest of the week was pretty normal. I wish I knew how to describe missionary work better in my emails, but I dont. Last week I think I wrote about the guy who called us from a card we handed out. Well his name is wayne and he is a miracle investigator. I've been praying to be able to find someone is is prepared to accept the gospel and be baptized. And he is by far one of the most prepared people I've met. I think its been less than 2 weeks since we met him and we've already taught him 5 times. Most people cant find the time to meet with us even once a week. He's really eager to learn and read the Book of Mormon. I think the biggest difference between him and other people I've taught is he is so humble. He wants to do what the Lord would have him do and he wants to do the very best he can. When we first met with him I didnt think he was very prepared at all. But teaching him has been a reminder to me that the Lord knows when people are ready, and that i'm not a very good judge at all. He is preparing to be baptized in January.
Hmm.. what else. Well theres still no snow in maryland. I'm getting pretty sick of the rain. But I shouldnt complain, I definitely do not miss Idaho weather. Oh and speaking of Idaho, the seamans have a daughter who goes to BYUI and said they added no skinny jeans in the dress code?! What the heck. Well thats unfortunate for all of you up there. Hopefully they change that by the time I get back.
I think thats about all I have this week. Its definitely starting to sink in how much I love being a missionary. I'm exactly not sure why its so great, but it is! I'm just... happy. It seems so ridiculous to me now that I was a little hesitant to serve a mission. Thankfully God knows me, and he knew I would love it.
Have a good week everyone!
Sister Walker

December 19, 2011 Weekly Letter

Hey everyone!

I hope everyone had a good week. My new companion is Sister Park. She's from salt lake city, the oldest of three girls, she always wanted to serve a mission. I dont know too much about her yet, but shes a good missionary. She works hard. We are probably polar opposites as far as personalities go. President Belliston always tells us to pray for a hard companion though! I'm sure theres a lot I will learn from her.
Well one thing she does thats difinitely defferent is that she puts our number on the back of cards. All of them! For anyone who hasnt recently or ever served a mission, cards are the pass along cards we hand out to pretty much every person we talk to. We probably hand out anywhere from 10 to 30 a day. So she puts our number on the back of ALL of them, and were getting phone calls all the time from guys trying to ask us out. To Sister Park, this is totally normal, but its been really really weird and awkward to have to explain we're missionaries, etc, etc.
Anyway... but we've seen some good come from it. One guy called us and actually agreed to meet with us, came to church yesterday, and we are going to meet with him again tonight! So I guess its not all bad.
We got to go to the Washington DC temple on saturday. Just the visitors center though. We went with a part member family in the ward, the Casey's. Brother Casey was less active until about a year ago. They have one daughter, Arden, and from what I understand she started asking questions about God and he decided he should probably start going back to church. They are such a great family. Sister Casey is really really friendly with us and the church so i'm hoping we will be able to work on her. But anyway, the DC temple is gorgeous this time of year. They put up over 500,000 christmas lights on the grounds and have nativity sets from all over the world.
Well, I dont have too much else to say. The Lord is blessing us with miracles every day. Sister Park and I were asked to speak in sacrament meeting yesterday, on missionary work of course. It was good to be able to reflect on what missionary work has meant to me, and particularly how it has blessed my family. I'm loving being a missionary, particularly at this time of year. Theres no better way to celebrate the birth of our savior than to go out every day and tell people about it!
Merry Christmas!
Sister Walker

December 12, 2011 Weekly letter

Hello everyone

Well its transfer time again. Sister Lieber will be leaving, I'm staying here in Eldersburg. I will let you know next week all about my new companion as I wont know who i'll be with until transfer meeting on wednesday. It will be sad to see sister lieber go, but at the same time I think we've learned what we needed to from each other. I'm excited to work with someone new.
Virginias baptism went well! They had to dunk her twice though. She freaked out the first time and nearly drowned herself. Haha. She doesn't like water very much. But she made it. She kept saying how happy and content she is now. She will be going to back to Nigeria sometime next year and she's eager to share the gospel with the people there. We have two other baptisms in the workings for this month. I'm not going to say too much about it because they arent set in stone just yet. But we've been working with one of them since I got here and I am sooo excited hes finally made the decision to be baptized.
Other than that theres not too much to say about this past week. We had zone conference and the ward christmas part this past week, lots of christmas celebrations. Its still about 50 degrees here during the day on average and I dont think i've ever wanted it to snow so badly in my life! Christmas music is slightly on the creepy side when its raining and everything outside is dead. Oh we had a really cool teaching opportunity we had this week. So sister lieber and I have been making paper snow flakes and putting them on our windows the past couple weeks. As we were leaving one morning this woman who lives in our apartment building flagged us down and asked us how we made them. Its not too often that people chase US down. Actually that never happens. So we offered to teach her how to make them sometime secretely hoping that we would be able to teach her a little about the gospel. And she let us come over that night! We were able to teach her a little bit about the church and what we do as missionaries. It was really cool. She told us to come back any time. I want people to flag me down more often. Haha.
Hmm what else... well I've had a few people ask me about just how bad the area is that I'm in, so I guess I'll answer that for everyone at once. So in our area there is a giant resevoir, liberty resevoir, that divides our area almost exactly in half. East of the bridge we are just about the only white people and there are a lot of weird things that happen at night. The cops show up often, i'll just say that. But its not unsafe. just not somewhere I would ever chose to live. West of the bridge is a totally dfferent world. There are some REALLY affluent neighborhoods. Part of this area is the third wealthiest county in America. So its not all bad, a lot of it is really nice. We just live in the not so nice part.
Everything else is going well. I am excited about the work thats going on here. I'm sending a picture of virginia and also of probably the biggest christmas tree in the world. It belongs to the
wheelers, a family in the ward. Last year they had one that was quite a bit bigger, about 12 feet across!
Have a good week everyone! Take care

Sister Walker

December 5, 2011 weekly letter

Hello Everyone

My letter is going to be short again today. Long story short, I've been having health issues for the last month or so, I don't feel so great today, so I'm trying to get out of the library asap. I am doing ok though, still alive. I am so excited for Virginia to be baptized on Saturday! We found out a couple days ago that she is 81! Crazy! I thought she was only in her late 60's, early 70's maybe. She's amazing! Everything else is going well. We found some great people to teach this week! I will write agian next monday, sorry again this is so short.

Sister Walker

November 28, 2011 weekly letter


It's been a good week, probably the funnest week of my mission so far!

Baltimore was a ton of fun last monday. It was nice to get out and see the city. We visited the first Catholic cathedral ever built in America, Edgar Allen Poe's grave, Lexington Market, Inner Harbor, and Fort McHenry. Ill send another email with pictures and descriptions.

On Thursday we went to the Seaman's for thanksgiving, they're a member in our ward. It's a tradition for them every year to invite everyone over who doesn't have a family around or a place to go. There was probably about 30 people or so there, and enough food to feed 80. I wish I had taken pictures of all the food they had, it was ridiculous. Betty, I heard you talked to sister Seaman. I guess it's also a tradition that they call the families of the missionaries and ask for a family recipe. She didn't say what you told her though. Pumpkin pie?

Other than all that, there was nothing else too exciting that happened this week. Virginia is still planning to be baptized on the 10th of december. She couldn't stop smiling at church yesterday. She's gone to church her whole life, but she says shes never been this happy before. She's just excited about EVERYTHING about the gospel. And she loves the book of mormon. She reads the same chapter 2 or 3 times before she moves on to the next.

This week Sister Lieber and I have decided we're going to start getting at the members more to invite their friends to learn about the gospel! Something I absolutely didnt realize before coming on a mission was that effective missionary work absolutely CANT be done without the members. We have about 3 people in our teaching pool right now. Not good. So we've been listening to a talk given by a woman named Diana Holsher, "The Missionary Next Door". I don't know where or when this talk was given, but its probably the best talk i've ever heard that wasnt given by a general authority. I encourage everyone who's reading this to go find it and listen to it, i'm sure its on the internet somewhere. And LISTEN to it, dont read it, I possible. Shes a great speaker, and the way she tells the stories is the best part. It's Hilarious. Anyway... everyone needs to do missionary work, not just the full time missionaries!!!

Well like always, i'm running out of time! Til next week!

Sister Walker

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

NOVEMBER 21, 2011

Hello Hello!!

I literally have about 3 minutes to write today. Like I mentioned last week, we're going to Baltimore today and we want to have as much time down there as possible. Everything is going well, I'm still alive. We had an ok week, lots of knocking on doors. I had a guy trying to convince me that I don't believe in Christ. I love when other people try to tell me what I believe. Anyway... I will take lots of pictures today and hopefully be able to send them next week. Take care everyone, sorry this was so short!

Sister Walker

Sunday, November 20, 2011

November 14th 2011 Carly's week

Hello everyone

Sorry I didnt send an email last week. The explanation of why is way to long, so i'll leave it at that. Anyway. Its been a good week. What was good about it I really cant remember. During the week there are all these things I think of that I want to put in my letters and by the time monday rolls around I forget. We have a baptism coming up though! We have been teaching a woman named Virginia, she is the mother of a woman in our ward. Virginia is from Nigeria (Like everyone else in the state of Maryland. Sometimes I feel like i'm serving a foreign mission) and is here visiting her daughter until may. She was an evangelical priest in Nigeria, but has been coming to church with her daughter since she got here. Long story short, she's been reading the Book of Mormon, feels her faith build when shes reads, and asked us if she could be baptized! She chose december 10th so her family could be there. Hopefully everything still goes as planned so she can be baptized then.
We had specialized training last week. It's basically meetings from 9-4 for two days. President Belliston talked a lot about how our mission is really on the verge of something incredible. Our goal for Baptisms this year is 400. Last year, the goal was 300, and all the other mission presidents in the northeast basically made fun of him, told him it was impossible. I think most of the missions around here struggle to reach 200. This mission had 305 last year. So this year it's 400, and it's just amazing how the Lord is blessing us to reach that goal. We've already exceeded last years goal, I think were somewhere around 320. The Lord's work continues to roll forward!
On a side note, we hade to drive through baltimore city to go to specialized training. Oh. My. Gosh. Dirtiest city i've ever seen. Theres garbage everywhere. It looks like people dump their trash out there windows. I thought Gary was bad. I can't imagine anyone actually living there. Every other house is boarded up, the ones that arent are collapsing. Definitely made randallstown (where we live) look like paradise. Next monday theres a sister in our ward who wants to take us into the ciry and show us the nice parts. From what I hear theres some really cool things there, so that should be fun.
Tonight we are cooking for some member is our ward who are from Nigeria. Side note, we eat a lot of african food here and i'm not a huge fan of it. It's usually either chicken or goat and really really really spicy rice. Africans eat everything drenched in red pepper. So anyway, we have a woman in our ward, Maria Okereke, who wants to learn how to make American food so when she goes back to Nigeria she can make it for everyone. The thing is they still put red pepper on American food. they say it makes them sick if they don't. haha. So we gave her a shopping list and we're making her shepards pie. I'm trying to figure out if it will still taste ok if its got pepper on it. I guess we will see.
I really am loving being out here and serving. I'm having all these really amazing experiences, 98% of which I don't get to write about. Theres just too much to write about, so someday I will get to tell my stories in person. But I just can't believe how blessed I am to be able to serve a mission. I look back at how much my perspectives and attitudes on so many different things have changed in the past 2 1/2 months. I feel my testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ growing each day. I can't imagine living the rest of my life without the things i've learned and seen since i've been out. And i've still got 15 more months of this! Everyone should serve missions if they have the opportunity!
I hope everyone is doing well! Until next week!

Sister Walker

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween Everyone!!!

This will probably be a short email. I just really don't feel like typing right now. It's been a rough few days. This week went well though, as far as the missionary work goes. We FINALLY had someone at church yesterday, first time in the 6 weeks i've been here. His name is phil. He's from Korea and grew up atheist. He's come a long way in the past few weeks. He believes in God now, he figured that out by reading the bible. He just needs to figure out the role Jesus Christ plays in his life. Oh and we were teaching a woman named April who I think wants to join the catholic church now?! Why anyone would want to join the catholic church in the middle of their life is beyond me. But she feels like God is guiding her there, so theres not much we can say to that.
We got transfer calls today and sister lieber and I are both staying!!! She's going to be here half her mission by the time this transfer is over. Crazy. I'm really glad though. I couldn't ask for a better trainer. We got invited to zone leader council on Friday, that was pretty cool. I guess occasionally president invites a set of sisters, but not too often, so it was definitely a priviledge to get to go. It was just cool to see little bit of how the mission works through the leadership. Today we went around and looked at a bunch of the graveyards in this area. It was the only thing we could think of that semi halloween oriented. A lot of them have graves from the 1700's and are considered national historical sites. It was really awesome. I got some cool pictures which I may or may not have time to send. Tonight I guess we will be visiting a lot of the members. Halloween night really isn't the best time to go proselyting. I'm totally fine with that though, I LOVE the ward here. I can't say it enough. I just wish I got to hang out with these families all day.
I can't believe I've been out for two months today! It's flown by! The days seem so long, but the weeks fly by. Missionary time is just really weird I've realized. Anyway. I'm doing well, everything is going well. No more broken windows this week. Sorry again this is so short. Love you all!!


Monday, October 31, 2011

October 24, 2011 E-mail

Well... eveything that could go wrong did go wrong this week. That's probably an exaggeration. But... really. Tuesday, our heater broke in our apt, so we've been freezing at night this week. Wednesday and Thursday Sister Lieber and I were sick, so we had to stay in for most of the day. Thursday we found mice in our apartment. And to top it off... yesterday the back winshield of our car got demolished by a tree! (or so we think. Some people reeally don't like mormons around here) Yep, it's been a rough week. But we're doing alright. We've been able to laugh most of it off. Especially our window being totally blasted away. I guess I should probably explain about that a little better. So we were at dinner at a members house last night. And when we came out, the first thing we noticed was that there was a huge stick lying behind our car that we didn't think was there before. And then we noticed the back window was totally shattered and laying in the backseat of the car. At first I thought someone had smashed it. But if they were trying to do damage to our car they probably would have done more than that. So what we think happened was a branch broke off of the tree we were parked under and hit the window. So now we have a cardboard box and some garbage bags over it until it can be fixed tomorrow. Our car fits right in with the other ones around here now! So anyway... I meant to take a picture of it and accidently started a video, so I'll send that.
Well really nothing else too exciting happened here. Our teaching pool is pretty small right now. We do have one guy who wants to be baptized on Nov 6th! his name is Leo. He's had a lot of deaths in his family in the last couple of years and knows he needs to turn to God to help him.
We do a lot of service for less active members here. I don't know if i've mentioned that before. We've been helping sister kelly a lot lately. She's a deaf woman who is about to have a baby. We've been helping her set up her nursery which has been a lot of fun... probably my favorite service we've done so far.
Everything else is going really well... I never know what to write in these letters. The days are long and for the most part spent trying to find people to teach. I love when we do get to teach someone, which isn't very often. It's that hour or so that we teach that really makes the whole day. That and spending time with the members here. I absolutely love our ward. It is seriously the oddest mixture of people, but they are so awesome. Getting to sit down with them in their homes and just hearing their stories is the best. I feel like i've met more people in the past 8 weeks than I have in my whole life combined.
I'm learning so much out here and I love it. I can see the changes that have happened in me in just the few short weeks I've been here. It's really incredible. I've gained such an appreciation for the book of mormon lately too. I don't know how anyone could read it and not feel that it's the word of God. There are tons and tons of churches out here, (the Nigerians all like to start their own religions. it's a booming business!) and it's all because everyone wants to interpret the bible differently. With the Book of Mormon along side the Bible, theres no room for different interpretations. We have the gospel in it's fullness because of the book of mormon. I'm just realizing more and more what a blessing it is to have additional scripture. We would be so lost without it!
So that was my week... hopefully one of these days my emails will be longer than a couple paragraphs!
Have a good week everyone!

Oh... the pictures I've attatched...
The video is of our car, obviously
Theres a picture from a creepy graveyard we walked through that had graves from the 1700's
Theres a couple pictures of me sister lieber and sister hirt at rita's. It's this ice cream place that's famous across the mission. Sister Hirt was a temple square missionary who we had as a companion for 5 days my first week here... I don't think I mentioned her ever.
Then theres some pictures from the MTC... Me and sister bishop and shackleford and some of my MTC district.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

October 17th 2011 E-mail from Carly

Hello Everyone!

It was a good week. I'm going to try not to talk about my investigators so much in my letters. I just get so excited about them, and well... to be honestly my day is filled with nothing but teaching, so I really don't have much else to talk about.
Well.. firstly, we had zone conference this week. There was a pumpkin carving contest and sister lieber and I didn't win. I was not happy. haha. I'll send pictures of our pumpkins. Someone carved the prophet and won. How is that Halloween related? It's not. In my opinion, they should have been disqualified. But anyway. Zone conference was good. I love love love our mission president and his wife.
I found a homeless guy sleeping in our apt building a few days ago. I love Baltimore.
Well yesterday while we were out knocking I got into my first bible bash. If you can even call it that, we didn't bash, we left after just a few minutes. So.. we knocked on a door this woman let us in, and immediately this guy comes out and asks " so tell me what you believe." I think they were mennonite, but I'm not sure. But this guy obviously takes every opportunity he can to get missionaries into his house and rip them to pieces. We started a little bit of the lesson of the restoration, talking about how parts of the bible have been changed or taken away. He started going on about the dead sea scrolls, and how the bible is still in it's perfect form, blah blah blah. He went on asking about other things I don't have time to write about. He was just incredibly rude, told us we were part of a cult ( Betty, I don't want your opinion on that) He also thinks that we believe that we are buying our salvation by knocking on doors? That we think by being missionaries it ensures our salvation? I have nooo idea what he was talking about. I just told him the spirit wasn't there and so we needed to leave. He got REALLY mad about that. He just screamed at us "Don't let them fool you!" as we were leaving. The whole thing ruined my day yesterday, but when I think about it, it's really funny to me now. He was CRAZY. I was reminded of Christ's words to Joseph Smith about the different sects of religion. " they draw near unto me with their lips , but their hearts are far from me." That pretty much sums up this guy entirely. He thinks he is close to Christ. But no one who truly understood their savior would EVER do something like that to another christian. I may not believe what other's believe, but I know many people believe in the same savior that I do, and I respect that. I wouldn't ever try to demolish someone's belief in Christ. It was a reallly good learning experience for me. There were so many things I wanted to say to him, but I just tried to be kind. I'm don't have the right to speak my mind when I'm wearing the Savior's name.
I had another really cool experience with this less active woman we visit, Sister Broussard. She's in her late 70's I think, her husband died about a year ago after a 50 some year marriage. She's really been stuggling to understand why God would leave her alone and put her through all the hard things she's been through. She dosn't think that God loves her. I guess the missionaries here have been working with her for a long time, trying to get her to understand that God does love her. We had a lesson with her last week. We just read the BOM with her, somewhere in first nephi. During this lesson she just started crying and told us her prayers had been answered. We stopped by to check on her yesterday, and she told me that I had said one thing in which her prayer was answered. She couldn't remember what it was exactly a week later and neither could I. But It helps me to understand just a little bit of why I was sent here. The Lord can use us as instruments to bless the lives of all his children when we are following the spirit. There are things that one person can say that will touch us in ways that no one else can.
Well I'm running short on time... We never have much time to email. I'm really beginning to love it here and love the people, and love what I do! Serving a mission is definitely the oddest experiences I've had in my life so far, but in the best way possible.
Til next week!
Oh, btw, I bought a card reader so I will slowly start sending pictures home every week! This week is sister lieber and I carving pumpkins...

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

October 11, 2011

Hello hello. Sorry I didn't email yesterday, the library was closed for columbus day. It was a pretty decent week. we decided to drop most of our investigators because they weren't keeping their appointments. So we're starting over! We've had a hard time finding new investigators. We've started teaching this kid Devin. Sister Lieber taught him a few moths ago, but dropped him because he wasn't progressing.He called the mission office on tuesday last week and asked if we could come by. It was a really odd situation, but we went anyway So Devin is 15 years old, grew up baptist but converted to catholocism about a year ago. He's got a ton of questions about how we interpret scripture compared to how the catholics interpret scripture. We try not to answer them, firstly because thats not our job to resolve all of his questions and secondly because he asks the most bizarre doctrinal questions that we really don't know much about. His issue is that he doesn't understand revelation. At all. He's trying to prove through logic and historical accuracy which church is the right one. I don't know if he believes fully that the catholic church is true, which is why I think he wanted to talk to us. He's crazy. Haha. So yeah, our goal is just to try to get him to understand that he can receive an answer for himself, he's not going to get it through studying history.We're going to ask him today to baptized on the 30th of this month, so we will see how that goes!
We have found a couple new people this week who I think might be promising. We were outside a couple weeks ago talking to.people when we met this guy Clinton. His car had started smoking and so he pulled off the road into our apartment complex, and we just happened to be there. We ended up getting his phone number, but when we looked at it later, we thought for sure it was fake. 333-7722. Haha. So we kind of shrugged it off, didn't call him for about a week. Eventually we just decided to try it in the rare chance that it was real. I was totally floored when he answered the phone. So we're supposed to see him tomorrow, He seems genuinely interested, which is all I can ask for.
We met another lady named Kim the other day.We were out knocking a street pretty late, about 8:30 or so. No one was answering their doors, or they would just stare at us through their window and tell us they weren't interested. We were just about to leave when when saw a woman come out her house. So we went over to talk to her and she let us in! She's so awesome. She pretty much just sat us down and told us everything she believed. And it's exactly what we believe! She's looking for truth. She believes in the apostacy, she just didn't use that word obviously. That was definitely a huge eye opener for me to meet her. Here sister lieber and were knocking this street thinking that there was absolutely no one who was going to listen to us, and God dumps Kim in our laps. Litterally just hands us this woman who is totally ready to hear the gospel. He was definitely showing us how much faith we lacked. But yeah, Kim is great. we don't have a return appointment with her yet, but i'm sure we'll see her again.
Well I think that's about all I've got for this week. We're hoping this upcoming week will bring lots of new people who are ready for the gospel. Take care everyone


Monday, October 3, 2011


Well this week hasn't been too exciting. Our investigators don't want to keep their appointments. They call us half an hour before and cancel It's really frustrating. I've been here two weeks and I haven't met 4 of the people we're teaching. We had quite a few doors slammed, I got chewed out by a couple of drunk guys, and to top it off it's been raining all day, every day.

There has been some good though. Conference was definitely the hilight of the week. Mainly because we didn't have to spend all day struggling to find someone to teach. Last night we taught the guard for our apartment complex ( we live in a gated community). His name is Kingsley, he's from Ebu. From what I understand he doesn't go to church, but he knows the bible front to back. And the way he interprets it is pretty much exactly how we interpret it. He's great. If he just reads the book of mormon, I think he's totally be ready for baptism in a couple of weeks. The problem is he said he's "not going to read it unless the spirit directs him to". He doesn't do anything unless he's directed by the spirit, or so he says. I don't think it'll be a problem though.

We taught Leyla again, she's one of my absolute favorite people we're teaching right now. We brought a member with who speaks Russian ( she's from Russia, I don't know if I mentioned that last time), and he kind of destroyed our lesson. I don't think we got 5 words in. It's been quite some time since he served his mission, so he's a little rusty in teaching. He started talking about the restoration and I think it just confused her. But I don't think it did too much damage, she'll be alright. She still wants to see us, so thats good.

I think I mentioned Joe and Tyese in my last letter. Tyese converted about a month ago and her husband Joe has been taking the discussions since then. Yesterday Tyese told us Joe wasn't interested anymore, which was totally devastating. He's sooo close. He's been reading the book of mormon and thinks that it's right in line with the bible. Unfortunately he's beeen "researching" about the church on the internet, I'm not sure exactly what, but he has a hard time believeing Joseph Smith was a prophet because of some of the things he read. UGH! I just wish he would of watched Elder Callisters talk yesterday. Totally would have demolished all of his concerns. I just don't get how someone could totally believe the bible, believe that moses parted the red sea or that noah survived on an arc with all these animals, yet they can't believe that Joseph Smith was able to translate ancient Egyptian into English. People are stubborn. Someday, Joe will get there. Hopefully sooner than later.

Well I think that's about it... like I said, this week hasn't been too exciting. The ward here is absolutely amazing and I think that's what helps me get through the days. They're all ridiculously nice to us and so willing to give us referrals and come teaching with us.

I hope everyone is doing well. I haven't really heard from anyone since i've been here, so I hope you're all still alive!

Have a good week!



Monday, September 26, 2011

Hello Everyone!!

This week has been... crazy. I don't even know where to begin. Well I suppose first off, I'm in Eldersburg MD. It's really really pretty out here. It's like pure forest with houses in between. It's hot and humid and I haven't seen an ounce of sun since the day I got here. It's usually pretty rainy and overcast. I'm getting eaten alive out here! No one cuts their grass here, so theres tons of mosquitos. And they don't just leave normal bites, I have giant bruised welts everywhere. We have to use deep woods off every time we step out of the apartment, and sometimes that doesn't even help.

Our apartment is in randallstown, which is the ghetto part of this area. I'm slightly afraid I'm going to get shot one of these day, but I try to keep that in the back of my mind. Haha. The weird thing is, everyone is black, but they're all from africa. They're all from nigeria or liberia or elsewhere. Really really nice people. Most of them will listen to us once, we set up another apointment, but we can't ever find them again. Another thing is that people don't answer their doors here. It's really weird. Sometimes they yell through the door and ask who it is, but thats more on the unusual side.

Well my first couple of days here were extremely busy. My first apointment was about 3 hours after transfers with a girl named ashley. She's about 23, lives with her fiance and 16 month old daughter. Her dad was a member and tried to get her to take the discussions for years, but she was never interested. Well her father passed away really unexpectedly about 2 weeks ago, she met the missionaries at his funeral, and asked her if she wanted to know more about her father's beliefs. She said yes, and my companion set up an apointment. Which by the way, my companions name is Jessica leiber. She's really great, been out about 6 months. Anyway. So we met with Ashley, the lesson went pretty well, and I committed her to baptism! Do I think she'll make it? probably not. I'm trying to have faith, but the only reason I think she's interested is because of her father's death. I think she's going to have a lot of issues with the commandements too. We'll see though.

I met about half a dozen ward members the first day I was here too. The ward is really great. Another side note about our apt with ashley, a member from the ward came with us to that lesson. Her name is Mataya Pitta, she's the wife of Dennis Pitta, who plays for the Baltimore Ravens. Apparently Ashley is a HUGE ravens fan and flipped when she found out she was sitting across from the wife of raven's team member. It was really funny for me because I don't care about football whatsoever, and I honestly hadn't even heard of the ravens before I moved out here. Mataya is probably one of the nicest people i've ever met though. She comes with us a lot to lessons because her husband is obviously gone all the time and she has nothing to do all day.

We're teaching a ton of people right now so I have no idea who to talk about. Joe and Tyese are probably my favorite investigators we have right now. Tyese actually recently got baptized, about a month ago. Sister Lieber and her former companion knocked on her door, she let them in, and I guess was really receptive. She just has a ton of faith. She doesn't really understand everything about the church, but she says she KNOWS the book of mormon is true ad thats all that matters. We're teaching her husband Joe now. At first I guess he didn't want anything to do with the missionaries, but after Tyese was baptized he decided to give it a chance. He's got a lot of doubts and questions right now, but he'll make it. It might take him a while, but once he know's the book of mormon is true, everything will follow. He's been coming to church every week for the past month and a half. Almost there, just not quite.

We also statred teaching this girl Leyla. She's 17 and from Russia. apparently she went to the Mormon Battalion visitors center a while back and requested that the missionaries visit her here. She's really sweet and a lot of fun to talk to. She just lives with her mom and older brother i think. She told us her dad moved out a couple years ago. I'm not sure how interested in the church she is, i think she just liked how nice the mormons were in San Diego. She's really willing to listen though. Her mom doesn't speak very good English so we bring a ward member who speaks Russian with us when we go. Her mom keeps offering us borsche (sp) too. haha. They're super nice. A funny story about them, when we pulled up to the house, I saw this like... run dows, decrepid house. It's leaning to one side, the yard was totally over grown and looked like it hadn't ever been mowed, and theres cars parked randomly everywhere in the yard. I thought for SURE we were about to walk into a really disgusting house. When they let us in though, I was in complete shock. The inside of their house is BEAUTIFUL. They have all this gorgeous russian furniture, harwood floors, everything was meticulously clean. I don't know if russians just don't care about their yards or what. It was crazy. I'm thinking they just want to make the outside of their house look dumpy so people don't break in and steal all their nice stuff. haha.

We taught a lady named April today, even though it's P-day. Pretty dedicated missionaries we are. She was a referral from a woman in our ward, sister rheese. I guess they met at the library, stated talking, and april mentioned she was looking for a church. Ssiter rheese invited her to ours. She's come twice so far, then agreed to meet with us yesterday. She's awesome. She's never been religious at any point in her life, but has always believed in God. She and her husband and three kids just moved here form new jersery five weeks ago and she decided right before they moved that she wanted to start attending church. And it just so happened that she met sister rheese at the library. It's funny how God times everything perfectly. So anyway, we taught April the restoration today. She wants to continue to read the book of mormon and pray. Next weekend shes going to go to another church. She's trying to explore a bunch of options before she commits to anything. She'll be baptized for sure though. She's got a ton of faith and she really just wants to follow the path the Lord wants her on.

We taught a couple of other lessons this week, but nothing extremely exciting. i haven't met all of our investigators yet, theers a few more who we have appointments with this week. We visited a lot of less actives, cleaned a few houses. Nothing too exciting.

Well I think that's about it. Hopefully next week I'll have more exciting stuff to talk about! I hope everyone is doing well!