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