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....