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