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