Tuesday, September 18, 2012

September 17, 2012

Hello Everyone!! It's been a crazy week! Busy busy. Right now sister sorensen and I have about 15 investigators we're actively working with. I say about because that number changes from day to day. Thats more than I've ever had. Its really awesome but really stressful at the same time. There are some evenings where we have 5 appointments in a matter of 2 or 3 hours. The Lord is blessing us more than we deserve! We had 3 investigators at church on sunday, which, in this area, is a miracle. Good things are happening! Our investigator nathan is doing good. He quit smoking as of saturday, we will see how that goes this week. Our lesson in sunday school was on the word of wisdom and it was perfect! He sees the importance of it. The members have been a really good support to him. He is fitting in better and better every week he comes to church! Our other investigators arent quite as solid as of right now, so I dont want to say anything too soon. I might jinx it. Plus it would be way to hard for anyone to keep up with them. I can barely keep up with them! Ill tell you more about them as they start progressing. What else... we did team ups with the zone leaders this week. That was a disaster. Ok, maybe it wasnt a total disaster but they're insane! Sometimes I forget that these are 19 and 20 year old boys. They take the idea of talking with everyone a little overboard. They were practically jumping into peoples cars trying to talk with them. Elder Mace chased down a guy riding down the road on a tractor. It works for them I guess, they're some of the most successful missionaries in the mission. I didnt really see anything come out of it other than people being totally terrified of them. Never want to do that again. Exchanges with sister park were good though! It was interesting to see how much we've changed in the past 9 months since we were companions. My progress has been so slow that sometimes its hard to even realize that ive improved. I'm a much better teacher than I was 9 months ago and im a million times better at talking with people. I was so terrified at the beginning of my mission of knocking on doors and talking with people on the street. Now I love it and its become like second nature. Im really grateful for everything that my mission has helped me to become. Well my time is up! I hope you all have a great week! Take care! Love Sister Walker

September 10, 2012

Hello Everyone!! It has been a GREAT week!! Sister Sorensen and I worked hard and were blessed more than we deserved. Our investigator Nathaniel is preparing to be baptized on september 29th!! He's so awesome! Ive never met someone so sincere about making changes in their life. He's got a few things to overcome before he gets baptized... he's smoked for a long time... but he really really wants to quit, so I have faith the the lord will bless him with the ability to do so. I still cant believe that meeting him in a really akward exchange at a gas station has resulted in all of this. I have the biggest testimony that Lord is constantly putting people in our path who we need meet. Not just as a missionary, but as normal people too! Think about all the friends and aquaintances you've had over the years. Most of the time we have a sense that God had a hand in helping us meet each other. I think we can have an increasing amount of friendships like that as we seek to reach out to those around us. We also started teaching a pentecostal pastor this week. We felt like we should knock doors on a certain street, and 3 houses in we met Eugene. Most of the time when we talk to clergy from other faiths, they immediately try to tear us down. He was really receptive and really fascinated by the book of mormon. We're meeting with him on tuesday again. Not sure where it will go, but im hopeful! People who are strongly rooted in their current church will be some of the strongest members in our church when they're converted. The petersburg ward is definitely struggling, it could use some strong converts. The same night we out walking some streets. It was about 8:45, almost time to head in. I felt like we should walk down a street that we had walked 100 times before. At the very end of the street we saw a couple women sitting on their porch. We went over to talk with them and one of the women was overly excited to see us! Turns out she is a member of the church but has been less active for about 10 years. She's moved around a lot and isnt on our records, so we had no idea she lived there. She was talking with her mother about how she felt like she needed to go back to church again, and then we showed up!! I couldnt believe all the miracles that happened that day. Amazing things happen when we follow the spirit. We found a few other really great new investigators this week, too many amazing experiences to even write about ... like I said before, we've really been blessed more than we deserve. Im super excited for this next week. We're teaming up with our zone leaders tomorrow... something new that president richards has started. Specialized training on Thursday and then I'll be doing exhanges with sister park for two days this week!! She has been one of my favorite companions, so it'll be great to work with her again. It'll be a busy week! Have a great week everyone!! Love Sister Walker

September 3, 2012

Hello everyone! Well Im absolutely exhausted. This week has been hard! Then today we were up at 3, went on a 5 mile hike... im totally worn out. Sometimes i dont see how im going to do this for another day! We had so many good things set up for this week, and nothing worked out. Almost all of our appointments fell through. Training is keeping me sufficiently stressed out on its own. Im trying my best not to get discouraged, but its difficult at times. It makes me feel like im doing something wrong. I keep evaluating over and over what I can do better, and the work isnt changing. I guess its my turn to develop some patience. Good things are bound to happen soon, im sure. Well despite our less than spectacular week, I passed a milestone this week, so atleast I accomplished that. 1 year since I started my mission. Its hard to believe its been that long... it feels like just yesterday I was sitting in the mtc. Its been a little sad as well to realize that the majority of my mission is behind me. I've got six months left to do and become everything that the lord sent me out here to do. Over the past year ive learned more than I think I have my whole life combined. Ive learned to appreciate all that ive been blessed with in my life ... and that sometimes our challenges are our greatest blessings -- Hard is good! Ive learned that serving the lord with all of our heart means to give our whole selves to him, to do our very best, and expect nothing in return. Ive learned that if we are to ever be successful in this life, we must listen to the spirit. Ive learned to be a little more christlike - to be more faithful, more hopeful, more patient, more charitable. I've learned how perfectly our heavenly father knows and loves us, and that the savior has the same love for each of us. Mostly Ive learned how much having the gospel in my life means to me, because ive seen how it has changed others. I could never fully appreciate what it would be like to not have the gospel until I met others who didnt, and saw how much happiness it brought them when they accepted it. Im so so grateful for my mission. Its been the best year of my life. Have a great week Love Sister Walker

August 27, 2012

Hello everyone!!! Im in winchester today.... probably wont be a very long email. Maybe someday after my mission you'll actually get to hear about what i did for a year and a half. Good to hear that Emma is doing well for now. Betty the pictures you sent me didnt show up. You may have to attach them and send them that way. It has been a very busy and a very stressful week! My new companion's name is sister sorensen. She's 24. She's from sandy utah. She taught high school math for 2 years before she decided to serve a mission. Shes pretty quiet, but were doing well together. Being a trainer is a lot of hard work! It's a lot of responsibility. I have to remember constantly that sister sorensen is learning from everything I do. We had a really great week though! The work in petersburg is really starting to pick up. We have been blessed to find a lot of people to teach lately. We found this young guy named nathaniel. We talked to him at a gas station for a while but he wouldnt really committ to meet with us. But the next night we saw him again as we were out walking. Set up an appointment for the next night, he came to church yesterday and left teary eyed. It was a total blessing. We have an appt with him tonight too. Sorry this is so short. I hate that p-day is so rushed, i wish i had time to talk about all the miracles that happened. Have a great week! Love sister walker

August 20th 2012

Hello Everyone Well I dont really feel up to writing much of a mass email today. The news about Emma was unexpected. We got transfer calls this morning, neither sister gritis or I are getting transferred. It was unexpected since we've been together 2 transfers already. And I like sister gritis and all, but I really dont want to be with anyone longer than 2 transfers, and she feels the same way. It gets a little stressful. Our mission president is doing some funny things. 3 areas in our zone are going to be shotgunned this transfer, meaning they're transferring both people out and and two missionaries who know nothing about the area are getting put in. Very strange. Its not something that happens very often. Other than that, everything is going great as far as missionary work goes. We were blessed to be able to find a ton of new investigators this week. We had some really great miracles happen. Sorry about this, Ill try to write a better email next week. Take care everyone Sister Walker PS: Mary Orchard- Good luck mp! you'll love the mtc! please please please have your parents forward me your weekly email. And get me yours so I can put it on my forwarding list

August 13, 2012

Hello Everyone!!! Goodness, what a CRAZY week it has been!! We hardly got any missionary work done this week were so busy with other stuff. Betty you asked for an update on all the people ive mentioned that were teaching. Well... as it goes with missionary work, almost all of them have either started avoiding us or they arent keeping committments - they arent reading from the book of mormon, coming to church, etc., so we're giving them a break. Wilson is still doing well though. He came to church yesterday. That makes 5 sundays in a row. Last thrursday was zone conference. Our new mission president and his wife are absolutely wonderful! I didnt think I could love them as much as I loved president and sister belliston, but I do! They are so excited to be here. They're bringing a fresh perspective into the mission. We talked a lot about setting goals in our lives and also what it means to "teach people, not lessons". We'v been taught this stuff since the MTC but for some reason it didnt click until now. It totally changed the way ive approached teaching people this past week. Last night sister gritis and I had an appointment with this man named william conrad. We didnt teach him a single thing about the restoration, which is normally the first lesson. Instead we followed the spirit and taught about the word of wisdom. Never in a million years did I think I would go into a fist lesson and teach someone about the word of wisdom. But that was exactly what he needed. He's had substance abuse problems in the past, and he got so excited when we started talking about blessings that come from avoiding harmful substances. Everyone needs something different from the gospel, and a lot of the time the message of the restoration isnt something they need right off. Well everything went pretty downhill after zone conference. I told you about our crazy member jane halterman. Well thursday night we show up at her house, and the first thing we notice is that were immediately covered in fleas. Jane has a cat and hasnt done much of anything to keep it from getting fleas. Oh yeah, and not only does this cat have fleas, but im also pretty sure it belonged to satan before jane got it. It tried to claw off my face every time I walked by it. I didnt think anything could be worse than Tasha's cat, but I guess I was wrong. Anyway. We ended up sleeping on a hardwood floor because we didnt want to sleep on a flea infested bed. But that night a huge storm rolled through and since jane's house is really old water started leaking through the window and sister gritis and I got completely soaked. So needless to say, I didnt get any sleep. The next day we had planned to leave at about 2:00 for baltimore. So for the morning we decided to go talk to people at the all in one gas station/ grocery store/ tanning salon/ gun store. Its the only shop in in Baker. Well 2:00 rolls around and jane is nowhere to be found. She doesnt get any cell service either in good old Baker West Virginia, so we waited around for about an hour until she finally showed up. So by the time we leave and pick up her friends, we're running about 2 hours late. So as we start heading off to baltimore we realize that jane isnt really stopping at stop signs, and that when she wasnt driving into oncoming traffic she's driving off the road. Somehow sister gritis got it out of her that she is on adderall for adhd and decided to take 2 extra adderall that morning to help her stay awake. It was a total nightmare. We ended up making a pit stop at the hospital, im not even going to go into that. THEN. 15 miles from baltimore we get a flat tire. I just gave up hope of ever getting to the game at that point. Luckily we were blessed and nice guy and his son stopped to help us. Sister gritis and I were pretty much useless in our dresses. So we did make it to the game during the fourth inning. I was really less than ecstatic about the whole situation. I had been looking forward to that day my whole mission. When we got to the game and relayed the past 24 hours with our district leader and mission president they refused to let us drive home with jane. So they overnighted us with some other sisters and it all ended well. It was a really rough day. But the orioles did win! 7 to 1. Despite our catastohpic adventure this week, im still happy to be a missionary! I couldnt imagine doing anything else right now. This has been the greatest 11 1/2 months of my life! The gospel is true. This is the Lords work, im certain of it! I love you all! Have a wonderfull week!! Sister Walker Ps... the pictures are terrible, but I dont have any good ones. We were a little stressed out that day....

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

August 6, 2012

Hello Everyone!!! Everything is going well here in petersburg! This week we got to go out and explore some of the far corners of our area. I thought petersburg was bad, but its a metropolis here compared to some of the neighboring towns. Sometimes it feels like im in a third world country... these people live in run down sheds, garbage piled around the house, dogs everywhere. It's a really strange world. I really am loving my time here though. Somehow. The atonement covers all things I guess. This week we started teaching this really wonderful woman named juanita. She's 83. We were walking to members house and saw her sitting on her porch swing and decided to go talk to her. Her grandson just died last week of cancer. She has a lot of questions about what life is like after we die. We were able to answer a lot of her questions from the book of mormon and she got really excited about reading it! She said she usually reads 2 chapters from the bible before she goes to bed, but this week she said she would read from the book of mormon instead. It amazes me how again and again we cross paths with people who are prepared. No coincidences. We still dont have anyone with a date for baptism. We have a couple investigators who are really close. Our new mission president wants us to set a goal to have a baptism every other week. Which is absolutely possible, but im not quite sure i've got the faith for that just yet. The assistants dont even baptize that much. Im excited for this upcoming week! We have zone conference on Thursday and the Orioles game on Friday!! A member of the ward, sister halterman, is driving us to baltimore, so we will be staying at her house thursday and friday night. She lives on a chicken farm and has cows in her backyard... im not so excited about that. Plus she's slightly certifiable... I'll send pictures next week and you'll understand. Have a good week everyone!! Sister Walker

July 30th 2012

llo Everyone! No time to write again. We're in Winchester today, so were not getting much of anything accomplished. We had a good week. We started teaching this woman who lives in a tent. permanently. She's from france and thinks its totally normal to live in a tent.. anyway... things are going well. Its hard to believe as of tomorrow I'll have been out for 11 months....Its going by way too fast!!! Have a great week everyone!!! Love Sister Walker

July 23, 2012

Hello Everyone!! We had an incredible week! I dont know where to begin! We were blessed with a lot of miracles this week... Well first miracle, we found out that the misson gets to go to an Orioles game on august 10th! I guess thats not really a miracle, but it is to me. I love petersburg, but im dying for some civilization. Not to mention I love baseball, so its a huge blessing in my eyes. Im pretty excited. Second, I was able to say a prayer and teach part of a lesson in sign language! I actually dont think i've talked about our deaf investigator in my mass email yet. So we're teaching this really sweet older woman named Reva. Sister Gritis knows a little bit of sign, enough to teach with atleast. Its been kind of a struggle, but were able to understand each other. Sister Gritis has been teaching me signs here and there throughout the day. The Lord has definitely been helping us with that. I always struggled to learn other languages in school, but sign has come a little easier. Its amazing the gifts that God blesses his missionaries with when they need them to teach! We also started teaching a new family who lives on celestial drive. Needless to say, they're pretty golden! Tuesday afternoon after we had stopped at a gas station to see if they had any good maps of the area because we have yet to find one. So while we were looking very confusedly at a map, this guy comes over and asks if we needed directions. We explained we were missionaries an why we needed a map, etc, etc. He was really intrigued by what we do, so we exchanged numbers and he said he'd be interested in meeting with us sometime, but wouldnt committ to a day or time. His name is Trevis btw. He's an emt in the area. So sister gritis and I didnt think too much about the exchange. Lots of people tell us they'd be interested in meeting with us, but they never do. So a few days pass, friday rolls around and as were out driving a huge storm rolls in and it starts dumping rain on us. I couldnt see two feet in front of the car, so we decided to pull over and make some phone calls until the storm cleared up. As we were flipping through our planner seeing who we could call and try to set up appoinments with, sister gritis suggested that we call Trevis. So we did, and amazingly, he picked up his phone and told us he wanted to meet on sunday! So yesterday we taught Trevis, and neither of us expected how prepared he was. Trevis grew up methodist and has attended several churches throughout his life, but he said none of them ever felt right to him. He told us that somewhere in his 20's, he gave up on religion because he was tired searching and finding nothing but a lot of hipocritical preachers. In the last few weeks, lots of things have been happening in his life, lots of miracles he feels he cant ignore. He's felt like for the last little while God has been nudging him to seek for truth again. So after we met trevis and gave him a mormon.org card, he spent some time researching the church. He told us that as he read about joseph smith's experience, he felt like that was just like him. He told us " I felt like there was this little guy on my shoulder and I felt something I hadnt felt in a long time." Ha! obviously he was feeling the spirit, he just wasnt quite sure how to describe it. So on friday, after looking at all this stuff on mormon.org, trevis had pulled out our number and was just about to call us when we called him. Freak rainstorm? Definitely not. The lord had it all planned out. They're arent coincidences in missionary work. Trevis realizes that none of this was coincidence either. But setting all that aside even, It was one of the most powerful lessons Ive ever had. The spirit was so incredibly strong because he was prepared, he was ready to accept it. He wants to be baptized next month. I cant even describe it well enough in words. I just know that the restored gospel is true. After lessons like that, I cant deny it. I love this work! I couldnt ever say enough how much I love being a missionary! I dont know how I became so blessed to have the chance to serve a mission. Have a great week everyone. I love you all! Sister Walker

July 16, 2012

Carly's e-mail this week was to Alan and I. She asked that I do not forward it nor post it to the blog.

July 9, 2012

Hello Everyone!!! So we went on a really long hike with the other missionaries this morning and it took up most of my email time. So this will be a short one again, Sorry! We went up to harpers ferry. Its so beautiful up there. Theres a lot of history in that area. Look it up. I dont have my card reader with me today, so i cant send pictures, but next week for sure! What a great week! There are so many good things happening in our area right now. I feel so blessed! I still havent quite figured out how to put missionary work into words still. I can only say that I am loving where I'm at and I couldnt imagine being anywhere else in the world or doing anything else right now. My mission has been the greatest blessing of my life! This week we've been really fortunate to be in all the right places at the right time. There were many people who felt like God had forgotten about them and then we showed up just at the right moment. Im so fortunate to be a part of this work. Its changed my life. Im not the same person nor will I ever be because of my mission. Call outs for transfers are today. They havent come yet, but I dont think im going anywhere. I guess you'll all find out for sure next week! I love you all! Take care!! Sister Walker

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Carly's address

1401 Michael Ave Petersburg, WV 26847

July 2, 2012

Hello Everyone!!! It has been quite an eventful week!! But before I talk about any of that... Because I know she reads my weekly letters I have to say congrats to my very best friend mary orchard!!!! She got her mission call last week to the Thailand Bangkok Mission! Im SO excited for you mp!!! You will be an amazing missionary! I still remember the night we went for a run and had somehow decided on the very same day that we were suppossed to serve missions.Get excited, you will absolutely love it! I will write you soon! Ok... where to start. So there was a really bad storm here on friday night. It was 110 degrees that day.( We were out of miles on our car so we were walking around in it. It was awful.) But one minute is was scorching hot and sunny and the next it was storming with really high winds. Lots of trees came down. The power was out for a day and a half... there are still a lot of people without power actually, but since we live in the middle of town we got ours back sooner. So the night of the storm was the night that president belliston left and president richards got here. Poor guy. He'd been a mission president all of three hours before he had to figure out what to do with a whole zone of missionaries who didnt have power. He was originally going to move us all because 110 degree heat with no air conditioning isnt very safe. Luckily they fixed things pretty quickly. We're doing well. Everything has resumed to normal. Despite the heat and storm and everything else, we were really blessed this week with the work. We are teaching this 15 year old girl named brittney. Shes been coming to church for the last month or so. She is so great. Shes kind of in the same situation as chad. She doesnt have a lot of understanding, but loves coming to church and reading the BOM because she feels it. She knows its all true and really wants to get baptized. The only problem is her dad wont give her permission. He's really abusive and controlling with her. He's the kind of person who would keep her locked up in the house if he could. Thursday morning though, we got a call from the bishop. He said he had talked with brittney the night before and her dad finally gave her permisson! He was going to sign the papers and everything. So we were going to have a baptism on the 13th. Then yesterday at church brittney told us her dad had changed his mind. I was totally heartbroken. He knows she wants to get baptized and so one second he'll tell her she can and if she does even the slightest thing to upset him he changes his mind. So please just keep brittney in your prayers this week. It will be a miracle if her dad's heart softens. We also met this really great couple this week. We were leaving a members house thursday afternoon. Right as we were leaving we see this guy with two little kids walking right by the house. It turns out he lives just a couple doors down. He invited back to his house and we taught him in his front yard. His name is Wes. He grew up in foster care and has been in and out of jail his whole life, even spent a few years in prison. He's had a terrible life. But I guess since the last time he got out of jail he's been trying to starighten up his life. He's married and has two kids now. Talk about someone who needs the atonement! Holy cow. He feels so guilty for everything hes done in his past. He cant forgive himself. Now he's just trying to do his best and give his kids what he never had. He's tried to turn to jesus christ and religion, but every pastor or priest he's met told him he could never be forgiven for some of the things he did in his past. They pretty much condemned him to hell right there. We assured him that no one, no matter what theyve done, could ever sink below christ's redeeming light. He looked so hopeful as we left. We met his wife Mona on our way out, and we have another appointment with them tonight. It was a total miracle that we met him. Had we left the house even a minute later, we wouldnt have crossed paths. What a great week! Our heavenly father knows and loves us. There is nothing better than witnessing his hand in the lives of his children dad after day. He reaches out to us constantly. I feel how much He loves the people in petersburg. Its certainly not just me loving this. Im surrounded by meth houses and chicken farms, theres not much to love. But the Lord loves these people, and he's blessed me to have a love for them too. I wouldnt chose to be anywhere else in the world right now! Have a great week everyone! I love you all! thank you for the love and support and prayers! Sister Walker I added some pictures from chads baptism... theres a picture with us and another with his family. The last one is the winchester missionaries after capture the flag last week.

June 25, 2012

Hello Hello!! What a great week! Chad was baptized on saturday!! And confirmed and ordained a deacon!! Theres nothing better than baptisms! His family came too, which i was really happy about. Atleast they support him somewhat. He's such a good kid. He has a lot of good things coming to him if he stays close to the lord. I hope he serves a mission someday. Unfortunately I dont have a card reader this week so I cant send pictures. We played capture the flag with the zone today so were all the way out in winchester, which is about two hours away from petersburg. Well so our week started off a little rough. We were working so hard, harder than i think ive ever worked on my mission thus far. And NOTHING was happening. So saturday night rolled around and we still hadnt found any new investigators this week, and we baptized the only one that was progressing. kind of discouraging. But we still had hope! We decided to fast to be able to find a new investigator on sunday. So we got to church on and the miracles started pouring out from evrywhere. three of chads siblings decided to come to church, and they want to keep coming! Two of the youth in the ward brought friends who are interested as well. Then we had three members come up to us and give us referrals for friends and neighbors who they think might be interested. AND. We also got a new move in on the records the bishop wanted us to go meet. So, we went and met the move in after church, she wasnt home, but her mom was. The mom told us to go check on someone she knew, who also wasnt home. We decided to knock on some doors on the street, and found sheila and jeff. Jeff is a member but has been less active for years. Sheila has been asking him for 2 years if he would get her a copy of the book of mormon to read. They want to come to church and she wants to be baptized! We found our new investigator at 7:00 sunday night! And she also gave us the name and address of a cousin who also really wants to read the book of mormon. It definitely strengthened my testimony of fasting. The Lord wants and will grant us our righteous desires if we excerise our faith. I know it! I feel so blessed! It makes walking up mile long driveways in the baking heat all worth it. Theres nothing better than missionary work. I cant imagine being anywhere else right now! Missionary work has a lot of paradoxes, the greatest I think is the fact that you can only be happy when you completely forget about making yourself happy. You cant love this work if you think too much about yourself. The happiness comes when you forget yourself and start thinking only about those who are waiting to hear the gospel, and are willing to make any personal sacrifice to bring it to them. Have a great week everyone! Love Sister Walker

June 18, 2012

Hello everyone!!! We had a great week! We are getting the last details of chad's baptism worked out. His baptism date was originally for august, but after a lot of prayer and talking with him we decided to move it up to this sunday! So things have been a little hectic. He's being interviewed tomorrow, which in itself is a hassel. Our district leader has to drive 3 hours to get here to interview him. Its weird being out here so far away from the rest of the mission. Anyway... I'm really excited for Chad. He's such a great kid. He cant wait to pass the sacrament in a few weeks. We have had some really great miracles finding some less active members this week. No one has addresses out here, so its impossible to find people. Friday we decided to go look for this guy named david hendrix. We knew what road he lives on but had no house number. The problem was the road is atleast 10 miles long. So... we decided we were going to knock on doors until we found him! The third door we knocked on was him. I couldnt believe it! We were definitely suppossed to find him that day. And even crazier, the next day we were wandering down a road and we found his brother! I dont know whats going on with this family, but we're going to visit them again soon. Lots of other miracles this week... too many to talk about. Missionary work is the best, thats all I have to say. This area of the country is so strange. I learned this week that most of our proselyting area is in national forest... Im not sure exctly who were suppossed to find to teach in the woods. We did go hiking this morning though. We ventured out into the dolly sods. Ill send some pictures. I really do love it out here. Its beautiful and the people are wonderful! Its going to take me a while to get used to the fact that no one has teeth though.... Have a great week! Love Sister Walker

June 11, 2012

Hello Everyone! Sorry my email last week was so short. Petersburg is great. Not somewhere I'd ever want to live otherwise, but its nice to get to see this part of the country for a few months. Its pretty much impossible to do any proselyting here because all of the towns in this area are so spread out. Everyone lives half a mile away from the next. Hmm... I really have no idea what else to write about the area.... if anyone has any questions ill try my best to answer. Right now we're teaching a 13 year old boy named chad. He's been coming to church with a family in the ward for the last couple of months. He comes from a pretty disfunctional home. 7 kids piled into a dumpy little trailer. HIs family has absolutely no interest in the fact that he wants to come to church and be baptized. Its odd, really. We could be teaching chad about satan worshipping and his mom couldnt care less. She has no interest in knowing what hes learning about when we teach him. He's such a good kid though. He loves coming to church. He doesnt understand much, but he says he feels the happiest when he's at church. Thats the beauty of the gospel. Its not about how much we understand or comprehend, but about what we feel. And we can all feel the spirit, so in that sense were all equal. We had our last zone conference with President and Sister Belliston this week. I actually dont think ive mentioned that yet, our mission president is finished with his 3 years at the end of this month. It was super depressing. Ha. President just looked really sad the whole meeting. I cant imagine what it would be like to go back to normal life after being a mission president. I'll miss him. President Richards will be taking his place. Theyre a pretty young couple. Mid 50's I think. They have two teenage kids theyre bringing with them. Well im loving the mission still. I feel more and more fortunate every day for the extremely blessed life ive been given. These people out here have nothing. But the gospel is a way out. Im so excited for chad. Hes realizing that theres better things in life than what hes grown up with. I hope he serves a mission some day, goes to byu, and gets out of west virginia! Have a great week everyone! Sister Walker

June 4, 2012 West Virginia

hello everyone!! I dont have much time to write today because we spent all of our time driving today. why? because im in petersburg, west virginia. Im out in the most western part in our mission. in the middle of nowhere. It takes atleast an hour to get anywhere. There arent even cows out here let alone people. I think theres about 3000 people in the town of petersburg itself. Or thats what my new companion says atleast. Her name is sister gritis by the way. Anyway... people dont even have street names or house numbers out here!!! There just have HC boxes, which is just a mail route, so most people are impossible to find. Its really different. I have to say, ive had quite a diverse group of areas. The city, an island, and now the middle of nowhere. Im getting used to it. Its really beautiful out here. Lots of mountains. The people are super nice, just really poor and uneducated. There are a lot of drug problems as well. I suppose I should have expected this. When i guessed where id go on my mission I guessed west virginia. This is pretty much exactly what I expected when i made that guess. I love it already :) Everything is going well so far here... No complaints. Ill tell you all a little bit more about the area next week! Love Sister Walker

Thursday, May 31, 2012

May 28, 2012

Hello Everyone!!!! I hope you all had a great memorial day! Transfer calls came yesterday and I AM getting transferred! Obviously I dont know where yet, you'll find out next week. I actually knew I was getting transferred as of friday night. I'll just say we had a situation that ended in a late night phone call to president belliston, and he told us someone would be getting transferred. I suspected it was going to be me since i'v been here the longest. And it's time for me to go. I'm grateful i had the chance to serve here in kent islnd. It's been a really rough 3 months, but I know that I needed it. I needed to learn a few hard lessons and learn to be a little more humble! It's made me a better missionary. I'm excited to get to my next area and get to work. So we're stil teaching the pakistani family. We found out that augustine, the dad, has an uncle who's family is a member of the church! They live in another ward in our stake. So we're trying to work something out where they can come with us next time we have a lesson. Definitely not a coincidence that we found this family. They are so amazing. Augustine told us a little bit more about all the persecution he faced in pakistan. I still cant get over how much they've given up to be christian. Augustine was kind of an important person in pakistan from what im gathering. And now he's working at a seven eleven making $8 an hour. I guess his education and degrees in pakistan arent good for much here. He can barely support his family. His kids were both planning on going to medical school, but that hasnt worked out now with their financial situation. It's so sad. God will bless them though, im sure of it. They've been faithful, so good things are bound to happen. I've met the greatest people and families here. As a missionary you get to know a lot of people, and you get to know them really well really fast. People seem to pour out everything to us. I love being on this end of things. I love seeing how Gods hand is in everyone's life, moving things along. I think we get to see things about people that they dont even see about themselves. The more I learn about them, the more I realize that we were sent to them for a reason, even though they might not realize it. Being a missionary is the best. Have a great week everyone!! I'll tell you all about my new area next week! Love you all! Sister Walker Oh. And I said I was done with maryland seafood for a while, but that didnt work out so well this week. I tried hard and soft crabs this week. They are a lot of work! I'll send before and after pictures of the crab feast we had last night... It's a mess.

May 21, 2012

Hello Everyone! Not much to say. Its been a pretty rough week. I'm having the hardest time keeping myself motivated lately. I think im having a mid-mission slump. Transfers are next week and I'm kind of hoping I get moved. Its not very likely, but I have wishful thinking. Im realizing that I wasnt set here to learn a few hard lessons and not so much to do missionary work. We started teaching a pakistani family this week. They're christian and moved to america five years ago because of religious persecution. Really bad persecution actually, the dad had to have body guards for a while. The mom doesnt speak english so thats going to be a challenge, We have a book of mormon and the joeseph smith history in Urdu so it should all work out. What else... Um I ate raw tuna this week. A less active family went on a tuna fishing trip last weekend. Brother pruitt sells it to local restraunts, I guess fresh tuna is expensive? Anyway.... they had us over for dinner. Apparently its suppossed to be eaten raw, but i thought it was pretty gross. I think i've had my fill of maryland seafood for a while... Well I dont have much else to say about this week. I hope you're all well! Sister Walker

May 14, 2012

Hello Everyone! Thans for the birthday wishes. It's been a good day so far. We had a barbeque with the zone this morning. It was kind of depressing actually. Theres a big group of missionaries is going home in a couple weeks so that was the last time we'd see them. But it was good. I didnt take any pictures! sorry! I've been horrible about taking pictures lately! I can't believe i'm 22. It feels like im still 16. And whats even more crazy is that this week is my halfway mark!! I cant believe it! My mission is flying by. It makes me a little trunky if I think about it too much, so i'm going to quit... We had a good week. We've made some good progress with some part member families in our ward. Theres a woman named janene schenider who'd been an investigator for 12 years on and off. Shes mentioned a few times over the years that she wants to be baptized, but it never seemed to happen. She's had a pretty rough life.. shes dealt with a lot of addiction problems. But she seems to be overcoming them finally and sincerely wanting to make changes in her life. She's quit drinking. She's in the process of quiting smoking, and she said next is coffee. We didnt even ask her to do any of these things, she just came to us and told us this was her plan. She wants to be free of any addictive substances. Her greatest desire is just to be clean. So she mentioned baptism, we didnt even bring it up. She's amazing! Hopefully she can keep this momentum going. Were also working with the father of another family, the Elburns. The only word I can use to describe that family is disfuntional. They've got their fair share of issues. The mom and 3 kids joined the church last year, and since then the kids have made a lot of progress socially and in school. Joe, the dad, has been adamantly against the church up until recently. But we had a lesson with him the other night and he was so sincere! he said he's so many good changes in his family since they've joined the church and hes impressed with how kind and helpful the members have been to him. So now he's curious. He wants to know about the book of mormon and joseph smith and everything. He's really prepared. I'm excited to see the whole family at church some day soon. Well i think thats about everything for this week! Take care Sister Walker

May 7, 2012

Hello Everyone!! Wow! This has been a monumental week in my misson! We had incredible training tuesday and wednesday. definitely the best we've ever had. We learned a lot about what we can do to build the faith of our investigators. And even better was our meeting with Elder Bednar on saturday. My way of thinking as a missionary has been totally changed. The meeting was a big Q&A, he didnt have a talk or any material prepared. In the way the discussion went, he taught us the importance of being agents, not objects, in learning. We learn best as we take an active role in learning, not as someone stands at the front of a room and spouts of information. That makes us objects. This applies to us and to our investigators. Anyway... it was an awesome conference. Elder Bednar is an apostle of the Lord, I know it without a doubt. We had a pretty good week despite the fact that we were away from our area for three days. Our investigator anna is so cool! She has been through so much in her life, I can't get over how far she's come. And she's gaining a testimony and doesnt even realize it! She thinks it makes complete sense that the church has prophets and apostles now. It did when jesus christ was on the earth, why wouldnt it now? And she thinks the bom makes sense as well. She gets the idea that more than one civilization would have writings. We've seen a lot of miracles with less active families this week as well. yesterday we decided to go check on this guy named mark willard. He lives at the very bottom of kent islnad. I mean the VERY bottom, his street is practically on top of the bay. So as we come up to the door this girl comes out and asks us " Did someone tell you to come here?". At first I thought she said it in a "what are you doing here?" type of way, but I later learned that wasnt the case at all. Jack comes out and invites us in. As we start talking we learn that this girl, Liz, is jack's fiance. Jack has been less active for years, but all of his children are active, all of them served missions. Liz is completely active as well, has been through the temple an everything. They met through a freind and are getting married in june. So liz has been working with jack for a while now. She told him she would marry him if he prayed with her every night, read the scriptures with her, came to church, and took the missionary lessons. He's been doing the first three of those, but hasnt taken any lessons from the misionaries because he doesnt want to take them from Elders. And so... thats when we showed up! No one has EVER been down to see jack. Not a single missionary in the history of kent island. So somehow, when everything seems to be coming together in his life, we just happen to wander down the island to visit him. Coincidence? No way. Liz couldnt believe we showed up. She said it was a huge answer to her prayers. Jack is a bit stubborn but he's softening up. I want to see these two sealed in the temple :) God's hand is in everything, right down to the tiniest details of our lives. I know it! I see it day after day after day. I love my mission. I love you all! Talk to you on Sunday! Sister Walker

April 30, 2012

Hello Everyone!! Sister Riggs and I had a good week. And we are exhausted! We got up at 4 am this morning to go crabbing! I was really excited to go at first, but it ended up being cold and dark and we didnt catch a single crab. Not very fun. The assistants took us to this spot that was suppossed to be really good, but... it didnt work out so well. I've decided after this morning that I'm definitely not a fisher. I dont have the patience. But we did get to see the sun rise over the bay! I'll send a couple of pictures. I love maryland. Well we've had a little more success in finding people to teach this week. We met with a girl named anna who is just great. She has a 5 year old daughter and another one on the way. But she's not married and feels REALLY guilty about it. When we brought up baptism in the lesson she started crying. She's been in and out of jail before and has been carrying her past around. She feels like she cant overcome all the mistakes she's made and continues to make. We hope to help her understand that God loves her no matter what she's done, or continues to do, and that she can be free from guilt through the atonement. She's so awsome. I love meeting these people who are truly trying to make positive changes in their lives. We also got to do a bit of exploring this week! I dont know if i mentioned it already, but our area tripled in size a few weeks ago. So the kent island branch is bigger in geographic area than the rest of our stake combined. Its crazy! So there were 34 less active families added to the branch, so our branch president asked us to go out and meet all of them. I drove 200 miles one day. Which may not sound like a lot, but when you drive 5 or ten miles and then stop and then do it all over again it gets pretty tedious. Anyway... I didnt realized how rural maryland is. Theres nothing but miles and miles of trees out there. We actually got about 10 feet into delaware too! I'm super excited for this upcoming week. We have two days of training tomorrow and wednesday and then Elder Bednar at the visitors center on saturday! I love being a missionary! I love this work! And I love the maryland baltimore mission! Have a great week everyone! Sister Walker

April 23, 2012

Hello!! Well this is going to be a short email. Sorry! My new companion is Sister Riggs!!! She's from Pasedena CA. She's been out about 5 months and is great! super hard working and very focused. Unfortunately she got food poisoning this week and we were in for two days, but even so this has been by far the most productive week I've had in kent island. Long story short, the missionaries here in the past ( including my previous companion) weren't very good at keeping mission rules and had lost the trust of the members. So sister riggs and I are here to clean up their mess. And the Lord has blessed us incredibly this week. Like I said, more has happened here in one week than the previous six weeks combined... It's amazing what happens when a companionship is unified and obedient. the miracles start coming!! Since I dont have much time to write I'm encluding an email from my mission president and part my email to him this week. Kind of explains whats been going on here in kent island. Sister Walker, Thanks for sharing your feelings! Yes, we know when we are doing all the Lord expects of us. I appreciate all of your efforts! You are getting that much closer to miracles. The Branch had lost a lot of trust with the missionaries in the past few months. I received some negative feedback. You, and now Sister Riggs, will be able to change the perceptions. There are many reasons why the Lord sent you to Kent Island. He will bless you with many great experiences and miracles. You are a great missionary! Sure do love you! Have a great week! President Belliston Hello President! Thank you for the email! You are absolutely right, I think we are that much closer to miracles! Wow! Its been a totally different feel since sister riggs got here. For the first time since i've been in kent island I felt like we had a week where we actually accomplished something! I love sister richards, and I have respect for her for coming on a mission when she could have gotten married, but I have to be honest, her focus wasnt entirely on missionary work. And I am not by any means putting blame on her for whats happened here, we were a companionship and it was a result of the both of us. But there was definitely a lack of unity and the work suffered because of it. We have met some great people in the past few days and have quite a few appointments set up for this upcoming week. Sister Riggs and I went knocking on thursday morning and the very first door we knocked on we met carrie. She has a very sick 5 year old boy and is looking for a way to find peace in her life. She told us she couldnt meet with us then because she was busy taking care of her son, but we set up a return apointment. A couple days later we called her back to confirm and she told us that half an hour after we left her house she wished she hadnt turned us away and went out looking for us! How cool is that?! We have an appointment with her on tuesday and I am SO excited to talk with her. She's prepared :) Our branch mission leader kind of stepped things up this week too. He's a photographer for the bay times and knows a lot of people in the community. He invited us to come to a "post easter egg hunt" and introduced us to quite a few people! He even gathered everyone up and offered a prayer before the hunt and then told them if they wanted to learn more about jesus christ they should come talk us. We met so many people! It was great! I'm amazed at the things that have happened here in just the last few days. The branch leaders seem much more supportive, and even members who havent fed the missionaries in months have invited us over. Heavenly Father is blessing us so so SO much. Miracles are pouring out in every direction! I have been so overwhelmed with gratitiude this past week. It makes the all the struggles worth it. I'm excited to be a missionary again! Thank you so much for all of your love and support president! It means a lot! Love Sister Walker Oh Also!! We got this in our email fron the mission president too: "We have been invited to attend a meeting along with the DC North and South missions with Elder Bednar and other General Authorities on Saturday, May 5. This will be an experience you will never forget! Our mission was blessed to be invited." ^^^^ Im SO excited for this!!! I love you all!!! Have a wonderful week!!! The gospel is true!!!! Love Sister Walker

April 16, 2012 Transfer week

Hello Everyone!!!!! It's transfer week again!!! I cannot believe it! this has been the fastest six weeks of my mission. We already got call outs.... Sister Richards is leaving. It doesnt feel right for some reason. I was with my other two companions for 2 transfers each so I feel like our time together has been cut short. But for some reason this is how it's suppossed to be, so i'll have to get over it.... Well we had an ok week. I say ok because we worked really hard, but nothing resulted from it. Were still struggling to find people to teach. I feel like everyone here knows who we are and so they run the opposite direction when they see us. This week we got to work city thats never been touched by missionaries before. Chestertown. We had way more success there then we have anywhere else. People would actually come to their door! The only problem is its 80 miles roundtrip to go up there and we only have 1400 miles a month, so we cant afford to drive up there more than once a week. Well i'm really not to sure what to write... i'm bummed because sister richards is leaving and also because the work is at a low point. I dont have much of anything good to share. Even though things arent going so well here, I have to say I think ive learned more this past transfer then I have in any of the others. Ive come to a greater understanding of my purpose as missionary. It's easy to get discouraged in this work when you're putting your effort forward and nothing is happening. But i've come to understand that success as a missionary is not about the number of lessons you teach or people you talk to or how many baptisms you have. At the end of each day I know that the Lord is pleased with the things I did. I worked my hardest, and thats all he asks for. God will bless us however and whenever he wants, and sometimes he withholds blessings to teach us something. Sometimes a bad week or bad transfer is a blessing. I'm not here to please a companion or district leader or a zone leader or even the mission president. As long as the Lord is pleased, thats all that matters. He is the only one who knows if I tried my best to fulfill my purpose. Well I will let you all know who my new companion is next week! I love you all! Take care and have a good week!! Sister Walker

Sunday, April 15, 2012

April 9, 2012

Hello Everyone!!

Hmm.... I dont even know where to start. It's been a pretty discouraging week to say the least. Everything is crumbling! No one wants to talk with us! Our investigators are avoiding us! Actually, we dont have any investigators at the moment, so thats not even true...
Ok... I'm done. I just wanted to complain for a minute. Missionary work is hard. But salvation is not a cheap experience, so I have no right to expect it should be easy! In the words of Elder Holland " Missionaries, you are not the first ones to ask if there is an easier way. The savior himself asked that very question in the Garden of Gethsemane."
Speaking of which, how was everyone's Easter? I think this was possibly the greatest easter i've ever had. The first time ever I truly got to spend the whole day focused on the Savior. We got to share the bible videos with a lot of members and there families yesterday. Have you all seen these? http://www.lds.org/bible-videos/videos/he-is-risen?lang=eng . Theyre really good. Anyway... there were many tears shed and testimonies born. It was amazing to see how the atonement affects everyone so individually. I complain about how things aren't going so well right now, but truly, I see miracles every day. Do you remeber a couple weeks ago when I wrote about sister madron? She left her husband who has been struggling with bi polar disorder. Well yesterday brother madron got up and bore his testimony on eternal families. Wow. Talk about someone who has used the atonement. Thats a miracle. We met with the newton family yesterday. The father was less active for years, and just a few months ago he's come back into activity, his wife and daughter were baptized, and they are preparing to be sealed in the temple. We showed them the video I linked above. Brother Newton cried through the whole thing. Another family who has used and come to deeply understand the atonement. Another miracle!
I know I dont bear testimony too frequently in my emails like other missionaries do. But I want you all to know that I know our savior lives! He loves and understands us more than we could ever comprehend. His atoning sacrfice means everything for us. Through him, all hurt can be healed, all sins can be washed away, and all our shortcomings and weaknesses can be overcome. And because he lives, we will too!
I love you all! have a wonderful week!
Sister Walker

Im attatching some pictures from this week. saturday sister richards and I had some fun in a parking lot with sidewalk chalk. We drew a giant plan of salvation and mormon.org.... im holding my hand up because you're supposed to see their covered in chalk, but it didnt show up. Well anyone...We talked to a guy for about 25 minutes because of this! Taught him the whole plan of salvation with the diagram conviently right in front of us! Unfortunately, he doesnt wamt to meet with us :(

April 2,. 2012

Hello Everyone!!!

How was everyone's week? I hope you all enjoyed conference as much as I did! It goes by much too fast! I really loved Elder Holland and Elder Uchtdorf's talks.... we live in a world with way too much pride. I've made a resoloution to be kinder to everyone! And did you all see David Archuletta in the choir at the Saturday afternoon session? HA! For some reason his christmas album has become a bit of an inside joke with the entire mission. It's out of control. Good for him for going on a mission!
Well its been a bit of a rough week, Sister Richards and I are really struggling to find people to teach. I miss the africans. They always wanted to hear about God! Americans are just rude people! We did have kind of a miracle this week though. We've been praying and working our hardest to find someone who is ready to be baptized and it seems like NOTHING has happened in the four weeks ive been here. But on thursday the daughter of a less active couple texted us and said " Sisters! I want to get baptized! How do I do this?". I am convinced that if we work hard enough and pray diligently the Lord litterally starts dropping people into our laps! Well anyway, her name is Katie, she's 12 years old. She's been coming to church on her own for a while and has been talking with her parents about getting baptized recently. She's really mature for a 12 year old. It takes a lot of courage to go to church on your own without any family support. So hopefully we can get that worked out for her. It's exciting!
Hmm... well theres not much else going on thats really worth writing about. I'll send some pictures we took last week!
I love you all and thank you for the support! I am so grateful to be a missionary! There really is nothing better!
Sister Walker

March 26, 2012

Hello Everyone!!

How is everyone? I've only heard from a few people in the past couple of months, I hope everyone is still alive and well!
Sister Richards and I had an ok week. Definitely had better. We're lacking people to teach right now. Well, actually there are a ton of people we could teach, but no one will meet with us. We had 7 former or potential investigators at church yesterday. Everyone will come to church, but they are all "too busy" to meet with us. It's kind of frustrating. We are just going to keep working hard and bugging these people until something happens!
Our investigator lawrence kind of flopped this week too. He's still smoking and there hasnt been any plans made for a wedding. His such a good guy, but he's not very self motivated. So we're going to give him some space and hope that he figures things out on his own terms. I think his girlfriend is also a huge issue. She's not too fond of us. We dont want to cause contention in their relationship, so thats another reason were going to give him space. The whole situation is so sad! Lawrence would be baptized tomorrow if he could be. He'll get there eventually.
So... I think ive realized part of the reason I was sent to kent island. I've already mentioned how the branch really struggles, the members arent very strong, etc. Well im also learning that many of them also suffer with depression, bi-polar disorder, etc. We had kind of a crazy experience this last week with sister madron. She was the woman who we helped with the lice problem. I'm proabably making here sound crazy, but she's really awesome. She's a great mom and everything, takes good care of her kids. Anyway. So her husband suffers from bi polar disorder and has been in a mental hospital this past week. Wednesday morning Sister Madron called us and left a message telling us that she was moving to kansas, and that if she didnt see us before she left, good luck on the rest of our missions. She sound VERY upset. We were a little confused, so we called her back and aked her what was going on. She told us again that she was leaving for kansas, and asked us if we could help her pack because she was leaving that night. Then we asked her if her husband was going with her, and she just started crying and hung up on us. We tried to call her back, no answer. We had an appointement in 15 minutes, so we decided we would stop by her house afterwards. Well, as soon as we got to out appointment, we both knew that wasnt where we suppossed to be. Luckily it was just with lawrence, so he understood that we had to cancel. So we headed over to the madrons. Knocked on the door, but there was no answer. After banging on her door for 5 minutes, we let ourselves in. There were half packed boxes and suitcases everywhere. Sister Madrons 5 year old son was playing a game on the computer, and no one else was in the house. Of course Sister Richards and I both started to panic a little. We found an empty gun case on sister madrons bed and became REALLY panicked. Sister madrons suffers from depression as well and we thought she might have done something rash. We kept asking Ezekiel ( the 5 year old) if he knew where his mom or the rest of the family was and he said he had no idea. It was probably the most frightening 10 minutes of my mission. We checked the closets, bathroom, everywhere, didnt find anyone. After a few minutes, sister madron showed up though. She never really explained where she went or what she was doing. We could tell she was extremely stressed. She continued to pack everything frantically.Thankfully Ive learned a couple of helpful things in my social work classes! We got her to calm down a little and talk to us. She told us she had reached a breaking point with her husband. They were going to send him home from the hospital that day, but he hadnt made any improvement. According to sister madron he hasnt been on the right medication for over a year. So for her well being and the kids, she felt it was best to go live with some family for a while until everyone was mentally well. At first I thought she was making a pretty harsh choice, but after talking with her for a while, I realized that she knew what she was doing. She had prayed a lot about her decision and felt that it was right. I never expected to walk into a situation like this on my mission, but im gald I did! We kind of showed up at just the right moment. I cant imagine how overwhelming it must have been to make the decision she did, pack up a house and four kids and leave in 1 day! She definitely needed our help! So we talked and packed until some members of the ward were able to come and help out later that evening. Once again, this is an experience that I just cant put into words very well. But it was a day I definitely wont forget. It meant everything for me to be there for her.
Heavenly Father is aware of his children. I keep seeing the evidence of it over and over again. He loves each one of us more than we can understand. He knows our struggles and everything we are going through, no matter how big or small it may be! And he hasnt left us to face our challenges alone. He sends others to our aid when we need them!
Well other then some stressful moments with the members, theres not much else too exciting going on.... It's been warm here all week, in the 80's. The beach is really tempting. During the day we walk down the piers and docks when we need a five minute break from knocking on doors. Island life is great! I'll eventually get some good pictures to send. I've got a few I can send today.
I love you all! Have a good week! And dont pass up an opportunity to help someone who needs it!
Sister Walker

March 19, 2012

Hello Everyone!

Well spring has exploded in kent island! EVERY tree flowers here. My allergies arent doing so well, but atleast its nice to look at!
We had specialized training tuesday and wednesday this week. 2 days of 8 hour meetings! I feel like half my time as a missionary is spent in meetings! It's kind of exhausting, but i do love it! We get some really good training from president and sister belliston and the zone leaders.
Our investigator Lawrence is doing well. We're taking him to the temple visitors center on wednesday (hopefully). He's cut back on smoking quite a bit. I can't get over how amazing he is! We stopped by his house unannounced last night and he was sitting on the couch reading the book of mormon. He kept telling us how grateful he was that he's found THE church. He's so cool! I can't wait for him to be baptized. Right now his date is set for april 8th. With the way things are going it'll be a stretch for him to make it, but it can definitely happen.
I'm really loving being in kent island. I never realized that missionary work could be totally different from one area to another. We visit less active and part member families here all day. The branch isnt strong enough yet for converts. Not that we arent trying to find people, but our job here is mainly to strengthen the branch.
I'm sending a picture of some service we did this week. One of the members had a pretty rough week. Her husband has bi-polar disorder and was hospitalized. And then her kids came home from school with lice! So... we her helped out. It wasnt as gross as it sounds!
My time is running short! Have a good week everyone!

March 12, 2012

Hello Everyone!!

Well first off, to answer everyone's question, I got transferred to Kent Island!!!! And yes, it is litterally an Island! It's in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay. I am SO excited to be here! I was really hoping I would get to serve in this area at some point on my mission. I coudn't imagine a better place to be during the summer! The Island is beautiful! Everyone's backyard has a dock and a boat. It's a lot like what I had imagined maryland to be like. Beach homes and boats everywhere. My new companion's name is Sister Courtney Richards. Funny thing is sister Richards and I knew each other at BYUI. She was a cashier when I worked at the bakery. She would come over and eat our reject cookies all the time. Small world! She's great! I have a lot of respect for her already, actually. She's kind of engaged... well she's really engaged, she's getting married April 12 next year. But she chose to come on a mission anyway. She could have easily stayed home and gotten married, but she realized she could have the mission and the guy, so she's doing both.
Anyway... Kent Island is much different than Eldersburg. WAY different. Theres just a branch here, not even close to being a ward. And a struggling branch at that. A lot of the members who are now active were recently less-active. The ones who dont fall into that category are from part-member families. I felt a lot of weight on my shoulders the first few days I was here. We didnt work with less active members much at all in Eldersburg, and I had no idea how I was going to help this little branch. But I feel an overwhelming amount of love for the people here. They are amazing. Somewhere along the line these people have forgotten the why of the gospel. So i'm here to remind them and to love them back into it! I know that this area is where I need to be right now, there is no doubt in my mind. We've already had some really amazing things happen in just this past week. First, theres this girl here named Emily Gates. She's 13 years old and she's been coming to church with her next door neighbor for 5 YEARS. She hasn't been baptized. The first day I got here sister Richards told me about her,and I couldn't believe it! Emily is kind of quiet girl, but she's expressed that she wants to be baptized, wants to serve a mission and be married in the temple. Some how this girl has slipped through the cracks for the past five years. I asked sister Richards why she hasnt been baptized, and she just said " I have no idea." So yesterday at church, I asked Emily if she wanted to start taking the lessons from us so she could decide if she wants to be baptized. And of course she said yes. In 5 years the missionaries havent had the stroke of brilliance to just ask her if she wanted to take the lessons. Of course we are getting permission from her parents, but i'm pretty certain they will let her meet with us. They've let her go to church for 5 years on her own, I dont see why they would have any objections. The whole situation was kind of odd to me, but it's been a testimony to me that the Lord has his timing for everything. Hopefully everything will go over well with her parents and I will be able to see emily get baptized after she's waited for 5 years. I feel really priviledged to be here right now and hopefully have the opportunity to teach her. I feel like the Lord has put me here for her. For some reason, He has saved her for me to teach.
There are some other really great people they've been working with here as well. Theres this amazing guy named lawrence who really wants to be baptized. He has such a strong testimony of the restored gospel. We've met with him twice this week and each time he expresses how much he loves the book of mormon he know's its true because he feels the spirit when he reads it. The only issue is he needs to quit smoking and he needs to get married. And he wants to do both of those things, baptism set aside. He's having a really hard time quitting smoking, and he's not much of a planner so the wedding has kind of been on the backburner. We had the coolest lesson with him last night though. We dropped by his house because he didnt go to church and wasnt answering his phone. As soon as we showed up at the door, he said " I knew you'd stop by" . He was having a really really rough day. He was a mess. He was upset that he didnt make it to church, he had been on a smoking that day, an he had just gotten a phone call from his brother who was asking him to send him money because he hadnt eaten in three days. Oh and lawrence hasnt had money this week either because his SSI check hasnt come in this month yet. ( I often walk into situations like these and wonder "how am I loving this right now...?") We talked with him for a long time and tried to calm him down. It was definitely a time when I realized there wasnt much I could do for this guy but just love him. We got some plans set in motion for him to get married and baptized next month. We're calling him 3 times a day to see how he's doing with smoking. And we left him with a burger king gift card for his brother. It's hard to put into words everything that happened last night. You can't put experiences like these into words, actually. But it was definitely one of the most meaningful hours of my mission so far. God loves his children so much. He is aware of each of us. He knew that lawrence needed someone to talk to and that his brother needed something to eat. Somehow we showed up at just the right moment. I feel so priviledged to be here doing the Lord's work.
Well there were lots of other amazing experiences I had this week, so many more great things I could say about the island, but unfortunately I don't have time. But I' am doing well, I love it here, and I couldn't be any happier than to be a servant of our savior jesus christ in the Maryland Baltimore Mission!!!
I love you all! Have a good week!
Sister Walker

Marcvh 5, 2012

Hello Everyone!!

Taofeek was baptized on Saturday, confirmed on sunday! It was a good week! he still hasn't told his mom.... Brother Okereke, he baptized Taofeek, is going to Nigeria in a couple of weeks and will be going to the same ward as Taofeek's mom. So he will be telling her in person that he baptized her son. Pretty cool! Taofeek is happy, i'm happy for him. He's had a bit of a rough past and really needed the atonement in his life. He couldn't stop saying how clean he felt! I just can't get over how everything worked out with Taofeek. There are no coincidences, thats for sure.
We've found a few families this week, which was really exciting. I havent taught a single family so far. Unfortunately, I wont get to teach any of them. Transfer calls came today and I'll be leaving Eldersburg wednesday morning. I'm kind of bummed to be leaving. I love it here, I love the ward, I love the people. But i'm sure I will love my new area just as much! I just cant believe I'm already going into my second area. Sisters usually only have about 3 areas their whole mission, 4 tops. Time is flying. This past transfer has been a total blurr to me, I have no idea where it went!
What else...hmm. Well a member from the ward told us to go visit her neighbor. She's 90 some years old. She's not too interested in changing religions, although she is very curious in the things we believe and she has a lot of respect for the church because she has met a lot of very kind lds people over the years. But she has the most amazing house! It's about 250 years old and a maryland historical landmark. I wish I had taken pictures. It's huge! 7 staircases, 4 floors. A lot of the original woodwork is still there. Probably one of the coolest things ive seen in MD so far.
Everything else is going very well I suppose. I really do love being a missionary. It's scary to think what life would be like if I had passed up this opportunity. It truly is the best decision i've ever made!
I'm sending some pictures today....
1. Taofeek's baptism! Taofeek is the taller one, bro okereke is standing next to me.
2. Hike with elders fife and good last week.
3. Sister's specialized training. This is sister Lieber's lineage... sister richardson and sister montes were all trained by her too.
4. Bowling with the zone!
5. This is Ron we visit him every sunday in a nursing home along with a lady named marcia who is a member. He's been in a wheelchair since he was 21 and has the best stories!
6. Broom Hockey! We just played this morning. This was by far the FUNNIEST zone activity i've ever had. It's brutal. I think just about everyone left with a few battle wounds and a broken broom.
Love you all!
have a good week!
Sister Walker

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Februaru 27, 2012

Hello Everyone!

How are you all? This week has been good. A little bit slower than the past 3 or 4 weeks, but still good. Our investigator Taofeek is going to be baptized this Saturday. I'm not sure if i've mentioned him. My letters all blurr together, I don't remember who i've talked about or not. Everything about meeting and teaching Taofeek has been a miracle. He grew up in Nigeria and came here for graduate school a few years ago. His mother has been a member of the Church in Nigeria for about 15 years. Since she joined she has tried to encorage Taofeek to read the Book of mormon and come to church with her. He has just ignored her every time she starts talking about the church. he wasnt interested at all. So about 5 weeks ago Taofeek was looking online for a free bible because his was falling apart. He ended up on mormon.org, requested a bible. Well when you request any free item from the church, they give you the option of either having it mailed or having the missionaries drop it off. I guessTaofeek never requested us to come, but for some reason when the referral came in it said we were supposed to drop it off. So we stopped by and brought the bible. He wasn't exactly happy to see us, but we convinced him to meet with us. He's been coming to church ever since and reading the book of mormon. He knows its true and wants to be baptized! I am 500% sure that we had no part in this. at all. Theres no doubt that his mother has been praying for him to accept the restored gospel for the past 15 years, and her prayers have been heard. He hasn't told his mom he's getting baptized yet though. Haha. They talk a few times a week even though she lives in Nigeria. He didnt want her to have any influence on his decision. He wants it to be a suprise. I just wish I could be on the phone when he tells her! Our mission president interviewed Taofeek and it was so funny to hear Taofeek's perspective on everything. He told President that we were a huge pain in the neck. Ha! But he realizes that God's hand has been in it all and that everything worked out the way it did for a reason. Missionary work is just amazing. Day in and day out I get to witness miracles and see the plan god has for his children unfold.
I have 8 minutes left... I hate the time limit on public computers.
We had sister's specialized training this week. It was fun to get to finally meet all the sisters in the mission and to catch up with some I havent seen in a while. It was definitely way differnt than any other meeting i've been to. Everything is so Elder dominated normally, it was very odd to be with only sisters. But good. We talked a lot about goal setting now as missionaries and for the rest of our lives. There was also a couple of social workers who came in from lds family services and gave us a stress management presentation.
What else. Well we went on a hike today. We were supposed to go last week but it didnt end up working out. We went bowling last monday and it took up all our time. Anyway... it was probably the worst hike i've ever been on. Maryland has horrible trails. There're powerlines and garbage everywhere. Not very nature-like. We went with elders in a neighboring area and they kept us pretty enetertained though. Transfers are next week and I'm terrified! I dont want to leave! I'm pushing my time here and i'm pretty sure i'll be leaving! I love eldersburg and I love the columbia zone! I'm sure whereever I go I'll love it just as much though. hopefully.
Have a good week everyone!
Sister Walker

February 13, 2012


It's been another good week. Unfortunately Gus did not get baptized yesterday, which was kind of a disappointment. Everything was good to go until Staurday night. We went over to his house to fill out his baptism record, and he told us he couldnt be baptized. He still has a membership in the baptist church he used to attend, and he told us he couldnt be baptized into another church until his other membership was dissolved. He said it was "religious prostitutuion". haha. So he is going to be baptized as soon as he gets everything figured out with the old church. At first I was totally heartboken when he told us he didnt want to be baptized, but after talking with him for a long time I was ok with postponing it. He's trying to be as honest before God as he can be, and I cant fault him for that. It doesnt quite make sense to me, but to him it's important that this other church membership is dissolved. So I respect his decision. I have no clue why he waited until the night before his baptism to tell us about this though. It would have been a lot easier to work around if he would have told he had this concern before. He's talking with the pastor of the baptist church either today or tomorrow, so hopefully his baptism will be this coming sunday.

Our area is on fire right now! We are being blessed with so many people to teach! I'm most excited about this 15 year old were teaching, Tramain. He doesnt understand why every church teaches different things, and he sincerely wants to know what is true. And he brings his friends to our lessons too! His trying to convince them to come to church. He's such a cool kid. He's planning to be baptized on March 4th as of right now. Hopefully that will work out.

Everything else is going well. Theres too many good things to talk about, actually. I just feel so blessed to be here!
I'm sending a picture we took about an hour ago. Sister Park and I went out to lunch at Panera with sister Talbot and her son Eldon. I love her to death! She's one of my favorite members here, if i'm allowed to say that!

I hope you all have a good week!
Sister Walker

February 6, 2012

Hello everyone!!

It'll be another short email this week. My letter to president belliston waslong this week so that took up most of my time. Plus we didnt have much time in the first place because we had a zone activity that ran longer than expected. We vistied old ellicott city today. It's pretty cool, theres some building left from the 1700's. We spent most of our time antiquing actually. It was pretty funny... I did not think the Elders would love it as much as they did. Haha. Unfortunately my camera broke a couple of days ago so I dont have any pictures. The lens just stopped opening for no reason. I have no idea what i'm going to do for the rest of my mission without a camera.
We had another amazing week though! We are being blessed way more than we deserve. I couldnt ask for the work to be going any better right now! I'm just happy to be here!
I hope everyone is well! Ill write a better email next week... hopefully!

Sister Walker

January 30, 2012


So i'm pretty sure I want to be a missionary for the rest of my life! I had an absolutely amazing week! Sister Park and I were able to reach the standards of excellence! The standards are basically goals for lessons, new investigators, people who attend church, etc. Its definitely a stretch to get them, especially in this mission. There might be 3 areas a week that reach them. Anyway... It was a ton of work, but really rewarding. We have been blessed to be able to find a lot of people to teach. We have 11 people we are actively working with right now, none of which are from this country, by the way. I might as well have been sent to Africa. We're teaching 8 africans, a guy from Grenada, and a couple from Trinidad. We also have another baptism coming up on february 12th. His name is Augustine Nyeswah. He's from Liberia, but moved to this country about 15 years ago. His kids are still back in Liberia and he's been trying to find a way to get them here. It's pretty sad. But he is amazing and has a ton of faith that everything in his life will work out if he puts God first. He was introduced to the Book of Mormon a long time ago, and knows its the word of God. He met with missionaries in the past but never got to the point of being baptized. I think he's going to follow through this time though.
Our investigator Phil who I mentioned a few weeks ago, he asked us to start meeting with him again. Haha. I knew he would ask us to come back. I didnt expect it quite so soon. He's starting to realize that he misses what we brought into his life. Or really what the restored gospel brought into his life. He wanted time to explore other churches, but hasnt found anything that feels quite the same.
Friday night we had a fun little adventure. At about 2:30 am our neighbor comes pounding on our door. He told us someone hit our car as well as two other peoples cars. Apparently this drunk guy came speeding through our parking lot, hit our car as well as the car to the right, backed up and hit our car again and the car to left. He tried to drive off but his car stalled at the top of the hill. So our neighbor who's car got hit saw the whole thing and ran after him. This guy was so drunk he didnt even realize he hit us and didnt understand why our neighbor wanted to call the cops. So... We got to stand outside from 2:30-4:30 am waiting for everything to get figured out. The baltimore county police arent very bright though. They didnt even take him to jail! By the time they did a breathalizer it was 2 hours after the cars had been hit, so they said he wasnt drunk enough for them to arrest him. So now we are without a car for a few weeks until it can be fixed. Luckily our recent convert wayne works at an auto body shop, so were taking it to him so it can get fixed quicker. Funny how that worked out!
I dont think I ever want to leave randallstown. It's too much fun here. If I ever get sent to west virginia I'm probably going to be bored out of mind. I really do love every aspect of this work and being here. I love being able to teach people and help them build their faith, but I also love the not so fun stuff like standing out in the freezing cold for two hours in the middle of the night. I love it all and the time is going by too fast!
I hope you all are well! Have a good week everyone!!

January 23, 2012

Hello everyone!!

I'm going to write a short email and hopefully send a lot of pictures today. We had a great week! I'm loving the mission more and more. When I think the week goes well, the next goes even better! Wayne was confirmed in sacrament meeting on sunday! I think hearing confirmation blessings are just about the coolest thing ever.
Transfer calls came out today... I'll still be in eldersburg with sister park for atleast the next 6 weeks! I'm pretty excited. When sister park and I first became companions, I thought there was no way we were going to get along. But we've learned how to work together and we have a ton of fun. She's an amazing missionary. Talks to everyone she meets.
Sorry this is so short! These computers are slow and it takes forever to upload pictures. I hope you all have a great week!
Sister Walker


#1 - Sister Park and I found this house.... It took us a long time to find the door, but we knocked it!
#2- Breakfast with the Zone!
#3- Sister Lieber and Sister Shackleford stayed over at our apartment for specialized training. We got to do exchanges and sister lieber and I were back in eldersburg together for a night!
#4. Wayne's baptism
#5. This is the Columbia Zone!!! It was Elder Dobson's birthday. Sister Park and I made cupcakes.
From left to right, starting at the bottom: Elder Cragun, Elder Bryson, Sister Park,
Elder Williamson, Elder Dobson, Elder Christofferson, Me,
Elder Fife, Elder Haycock, Elder Savage, Elder Good,
Elder VanKamen, Elder Pederson, Elder Tanner
#6&7- Sister Park and I went to dinner with Brother Lindsay this past Friday!

7 Attached Images

January 17, 2012

Hello Everyone!!!

I am on exchanges in Damascus, MD today. The computers at the library
have a time limit, so this might be short.
We had a really good week! Wayne was baptized on Sunday! I can't send
a picture because I dont have my camera, but next week. Anyway... I
didnt think I could ever be so happy for someone else as I was for
wayne. And he couldnt stop talking about how happy he was too! His
entire family showed up, some of them drove 4 hours to get here. There
was just an overwhelming support from everyone. I would say about half
the ward showed up for his baptism, as well as a ton of people from
the singles ward. It was a nice hand off from us to the members. I
don't think someone's conversion could go any smoother than wayne's
did. It was exactly a month to the day from when we met him to when he
was baptized. I'm not sure exactly what prepared him, but he was
definitely ready to hear the gospel when we met him. Sister park and I
got to go to a "why I believe" fireside with him that night, and he
loved it. It was the first one i'd ever been to, and it was really
awesome. We got to hear from her ---> http://mormon.org/me/3QV2/.
Probably the coolest woman ive met!
On kind of the totally opposite note, I had one of the most
devastating moments on my mission so far. I think I've mentioned Phil
before, maybe not. I've been teaching Phil since the first week I got
to maryland. He is Korean and when we found him he had absolutely no
belief in God or Jesus Christ. But over the past 4 1/2 months he's
developed a relationship with God and has absolutely no doubt that he
exists. He was going to be baptized this upcoming weekend, but told us
this past Thursday that he he's not sure he's ready. Why? Because he
doesn't want to give up drinking. That was his excuse, but i'm certain
its more than just that. We had a really powerful lesson with Phil on
Wednesday night with our mission president. We played the mormon
message by Elder Holland where he talks about Joseph Smith and the
Book of Mormon. I honestly think that Phil felt the spirit so strongly
in that lesson, knows that the book of mormon and the church is true,
but it scared him. If he accepts the fact that this is truly the
church of Jesus Christ, that would mean he would have to make a lot of
changes in his life, and he doesn't want to just yet. So the next
night he told us he "needed time". Which is fine. I'm willing to give
it to him because I know he'll ask us to come back again some day. But
it still broke my heart. I dont think i've ever cared about an
investigator like I care about phil. I just want him to be happy. I
did guilt him into coming to wayne's baptism though. haha. I really
don't think I guilted him actually, he felt guilty enough on his own.
He knows. And he'll be back.
But other than that, the week was pretty average. It's really
interesting being in Damascus today. It's VERY different from
Eldersburg. A lot more rural, not enough city for me. Transfers are
next week and I'm kind of nervous. I love Eldersburg, but I also know
that at some point I'm going to end up in west virginia, so I probably
shouldnt get too comfortable here. Apparently the members feed the
missionaries a lot of squirrel in west virginia. Not looking forward
to that.
Well I hope everyone is doing well. I definitely am! I cant imagine
being anywhere else right now than serving in the MBM. Love you all!
Have a good week!
Sister Walker

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

New Years 2012

I hope everyone had a good new years! I was in bed by 9:30, so obviously we didn't do anything exciting. We didn't get to stay out late, I know some other missions do that on holidays. President Belliston is a fan of following the handbook to a T. Which is ok with me. We have an EXTREMELY obedient mission because of him. And because of that the Lord blesses us with miracles! A while back I mentioned that the goal for baptisms in our mission for 2011 was 400. It was a ridiculous goal for this mission considering about 2-3 years ago it averaged about 10-15 a month. So we made it to 395 and had 61 baptisms for the month of December! Its completely unheard of in this part of the country. We just barely missed the goal but it was still a miracle nonetheless. I love being a part of this mission and being able to witness incredible things happen! I'm sending the graph of baptisms in this mission. I know its probably not as cool to all of you as it is to me. But it just shows that the work of the Lord is moving forward!
Anyway... We had a good week. Our investigator Wayne is still doing great. He started living the word of wisdom the day after we taught it to him and has been ever since. He says hes been feeling really good in the morning without any coffee. He's just amazing. I cant even explain the change in him. He smiles all the time now. I'm so excited for his baptism. Now we just need to find him a nice girl...
What else. We had some really great days where we spent a lot of time knocking on doors. I wasn't a fan of knocking so much my first couple of months. Mainly because its really unproductive, most people shut the door on us before we can even get a full sentence out. But sister park has shown me how its done the last few weeks. I think it was on Wednesday, we taught 6 lessons in a row on a little street! So now I'm kind of liking it... most people still think we're crazy, but that's the fun of it all. My favorite is when people are terrified of us because they think we work for the government.
This morning we got to go to breakfast with our whole zone. There's a member who loves the missionaries so he took all 18 of us to some buffet. Sister Park and I and 16 elders! Definitely interesting, but it was fun. I felt like a normal person for a second. I'll send some pictures. It's funny to me how many people just adore missionaries. I feel like people are constantly doting on us. I swear someone is showing up at our apt ever few days with pie or cookies or gift baskets of something. Its a little overwhelming sometimes! But it's great to have so much support all the time. President reminds us that we have the whole world praying for us. I feel so blessed to be able to serve a mission. I know I probably say that all the time, but I do!
Well I hoe you all have a good week! Until next monday!
Sister Walker