This Week was Interesting

I don’t know if God was blessing me for actually keeping my journal
this week or if I just remember more but either way this week was
interesting.

We had lunch with the Paniagua family again this week. I have never
had a bad thing in their house. After the meal they brought out this
bag of nuts. I don’t know what they were but they looked like little
peanut shaped acorns. So we all started biting the shells off and
eating the little. nuts inside. After 3 or 4 Hermano Paniagua says
“look I found one” and in the middle of the nut itself was a little
worm! It was gross. They tell me this after I eat like 5. Apparently
they are in like 1/10 of the acorn things. Elder miller ate some of
them and he said they tasted better than the nuts themselves.

On Thursday I went to get my bike on the way to dinner and the back
tire was completely flat. It has a slow leak and Im not made of money
so I just pump it up every day instead of buying a new one. So i tried
screwing the cap off and it wouldn’t come off. We tried for 10 minutes
and we couldn’t screw it off at all. So I decided we should just saw
it off. As soon as we did that we realized we were twisting it the
wrong way. I am sorry for the shame this story has brought to my
father, grandfather, engineering teachers and boy scout leaders.

Saturday started pretty good because I found three dollars on the side
of the road so that is totally going to go towards an elote. Then we
knocked on a door and met John Be. He is from Liberia and his friend
was from Sudan. John was crazy drunk and his friend was just friendly
drunk. The friend was actually pretty interested, drunk, but drunk
interested. John was just nuts and yelling that we are the true church
and he will protect us. He was punching himself and spitting all over
the place. We ended up just low key running away as he yelled, “Mr
Chandler! My Walker! You are my bruddas (brothers)!!) John said he
spoke french so we let the french elders know about the situation and
they can do what they want.

We didn’t have sacrament yesterday because almost the whole state got
to view the Tucson Arizona Temple dedication. Most of the members
didn’t think it was a big deal because they just had the Phoenix
Temple dedication a few years ago. I had never participated in one so
I was pretty pumped. It gave me an idea of how excited people were in
the beginning of the restored church to get to have temples and how
excited we should be to have one so close all the time. We don’t often
get to hear the brethren pray let alone perform ordinances. When
President Uchtdorf offered the dedicatory prayer you could feel the
spirit so strong. I love temples.

Today is a kind of weird day. Its a normal Pday (two more weeks until
transfers) but Elder Miller (roommate) is going home. They always have
mid transfer departures in August for all the kids that just need an
extra two weeks to be able to go home and make fall semester. So we
have been running around saying goodbye to people and helping him pack
up. The rest of the transfer we will be in a trio with his companion,
Elder Lewis. But that means we get a car so I’m not complaining.

I will let you all know next week how the trio life is going next.

Week, I have to go move another desk into our tiny room. Hasta luego!

Elder Walker

PS. The bishopric bought us a mini fridge in the clerks office

image1 (42)

We Had a Good Week

We had a good week. Nothing too exciting I’m afraid. We found some new
investigators. Had some of them at sacrament. We are working with Juan
to help him stop smoking. We made a calendar with him with how many
cigarettes he was allowed to smoke each day. Working our way from 1
pack to 0. The end of the calendar has a baptismal date. His wife was
baptized back in April and he is one of the most ready people I have
taught knowledge wise. We just have to work on the word of wisdom. His
story is really cool. And since I don’t have much else to write about
I will tell you a little bit.

Due to the language barrier and some health problems Juan doesn’t have
many choices from work. So he is currently driving vans too and from
Mexico. He was making a measly amount of money, and one day he was
just driving and said what you could call his first prayer. He was
just asking God why his life was so hard and what he needed to do to
fix it. He says that a word popped into his head and he decided to
google it. That word was mormon. He found mormon.org missionaries and
then the missionaries here. His wife was taught and baptized. He just
has this one trial stopping him. He and his wife are amazing. They
already have such a great testimony of things like tithing and sabbath
day observance; commandments that for anyone else would have been
burdens.

There isn’t really any thing else that happened that is letter worthy.
We did stop by an investigator who was busy re-waterproofing his
trailer. So we hopped up there in shirts and ties and all to help him
out. It was really fun. It felt like the stereotypical missionary
service opportunity.

Love you all! Hope you are all having fun in the last stretch of summer!

Elder Walker

Shwa shwu shisha

This week unfortunately wasn’t very special. I was getting over my
sickness, while simeltaneously getting all my roommates sick. So that
left us with not much to do in the apartment until Thursday.

Friday I had exchanges with the zone leaders. They are the french
missionaries that cover the stake. That means i finally got to learn
what it has been like for all the english missionaries that come with
us on Spanish lessons. Its not hard to tell what is going on because i
hear the words that are similar to Spanish and english, but i feel
like usually they just sound like Shwa shwu shisha all the time. Later
Elder Campbell taught me about french pronunciation. It confirmed my
assumptions correct. For lunch i took him to go learn about the
Mexican culture that it so prevalent in Maryvale by going to buy corn
with mayonnaise (made famous by nacho libre’s “get that corn out of my
face”) That evening we went to what the french missionaries call
“little africa” its the first African apartment complex they found.
Elder Campbell told me that at the beginning of his mission it took
him a while to figure who was African and who was African-American.
Now he can tell you which region of Africa they are from. So he knows
which ones speak french and which ones speak Swahili. Most of them
speak swahili.

Saturday Sister Bosen took us out to the fanciest restaurant in our
area, a 24 hour IHOP. Shout out Sister Bosen.

The most southern most street in our area has a bunch of mechanics on
it. And each mechanic decided that they needed to own 2 german
shepherds. So yesterday one got out and started chasing us in the
street. It was kind of sketchy but he gave up after a while. I don’t
know if they know that they could totally knock us over off of our
bikes.

So it was a fun week. Sickness means more book of mormon reading and
no one can complain about that.

Elder Walker

Agency in Action

This was a short week. Tuesday was P Day and Wednesday was transfer
day. My apartment didn’t change at all but i had to go up for a
meeting. It was cool to have some interaction with the new President.
He is definitely full of energy. Running around the packed gym looking
for someone he hasn’t said hi to.

Friday night we took our investigators to one of the other wards’
baptisms. She liked it and we had a lesson after. It was one of the
most spiritual lessons I have had. Yet, she decided not to commit the
our invitations. Agency in action. That was a tough night. Saturday I
started to feel sick so that entailed some very slow biking. And as if
we were being punished for biking slowly we popped another tire. So
there goes another twenty dollars. I didn’t expect that being a bike
missionary was so expensive.

This is the only picture i have from this week. Elder chamdler
preparing for his hump day with my new toys from mom.

image1

Congrats to Bryce and Marcos

This week we got to meet the new mission president. It was planned to
be done in zone conferences, but he also wanted to interview
everybody. Which meant that it took a while. I think we were there for
a complete 6 hours. That’s a bit too long for a meeting of any kind, if
you ask me, but I suppose it had to be done. We talked about most of
the normal things. And did practice teaching.

The rest of the week was filled with preparing for Bryce and Marcos’
baptism. We rushed around to get everything done and were all ready a
half an hour before it was supposed to start. Unfortunately, everyone
decided to turn up 10 minutes after it was supposed to start. It ended
up being awesome and we got a lot of support from the ward. It all
went really well.

Today we got the transfer news. This last transfer was a little crazy
in the Spanish District. So it will be no more. Now instead of
splitting the zone into Spanish and English, it is in south and north.
I will be the south district leader. So I have to go to a training
tomorrow morning. I don’t think it will be as crazy as last transfer
so it should be okay.


I will talk to you all next monday!

No One is Counting

This week started off with the 4th of July on Tuesday. The day started
slow, not many people wanted to meet with us. In the evening we went
to the Romero’s house for the night. We ate carne asada and siviche
and then we went outside where Hermano Romero set up his DJ equipment
and we sang Mexican karaoke. I didn’t know any of the songs but it was
hilarious all the same. It was fun and I’m glad we went. You always
remember what you were doing for the holidays on your mission.

The rest of the week was fairly uneventful. I helped Marco try to sign
up for team USA’s Paralympic powerlifting team. That was hard enough
to do in the first place but it didn’t help that I was also the
translator too. I hope that all goes well. I’m not a very good sports
agent so that is probably not a good career for me to take up. He and
his brothers should be getting baptized this week and I will keep you
updated on that.

The new mission president came in and he had a meeting with all the
Zone Leaders and everyone is saying that he and his wife are amazing.
I will have to wait until this Wednesday for zone meeting when we can
meet him. Sister Turville (a senior missionary who has been serving
for like 15 years) said that he might be her favorite president yet.
Which means something because she has met quite a few Phoenix Arizona
Mission Presidents.

Oh and I hit my year mark this week. So now I’m an old missionary. I
don’t know how I feel about that but that does mean I only have 347
days left. Not that anyone is counting. 💼

Elder Walkerimage1 (40)

Summer is Coming

Summer is coming… actually it officially arrived on Wednesday; which
I think must make Tuesday the hottest day of Spring ever.  Seriously
though can someone verify that because 119* seems a little ridiculous
to be biking around in the Spring. This week has been a whole
different mission, last week was normal, and this week’s planning is
focused on how to stay productive without going outside. I’m not
allowed to wear colorful socks as it my distract from the message but
I’m not sure two stinky teenagers drenched in sweat sitting on your
couch helps you stay focused either. Either way I will survive and get
a few mission stories out of it so its all good.

I hope you all took advantage of 50¢ corndog last Thursday at Sonic. I
only ate 8, but don’t worry I spread it out throughout the day. We
went 3 different times. The same lady served us like 6 hours apart. I
wonder what she thought about the mormons coming and eating so many
corndogs.

We also taught Marco and Bryce this week. They are really cool. Marco
is training to be on the Mexican Para-Olympic team. He doesn’t have
any strength in his legs so he moves around in a wheelchair. He is
jacked though. He was telling us all about how much his max is at. He
said it all in kilograms so I have no idea how much it actually was
but Im sure it was a bunch. We have a baptismal date set for him and
his brother and if all goes well that will happen next month.

On Saturday we got to go to the temple to do baptisms for the dead
with some of our recent converts in the ward.  It was a really cool
experience. i got to perform some of the baptisms and confirmations in
Spanish, which wasn’t nearly as stressful as the temple workers were
making it seem. They all brought family names and when we left Hermano
Gomez looked down at the card and said in a satisfied tone, “my mom is
finally baptized.” It was beautiful. The only thing better than seeing
a convert enter into baptism is seeing him go to the temple. In fact
as we were walking out Hermano Paniagua saw the return missionary from
the Tempe mission who baptized him a year ago. We have no idea why he
was there but it was probably the best place for a reunion ever.

The next day Elder Chandler and I gave talks in Sacrament meeting. It
went okay. I will send you mine in Spanish for anyone who wants to test
their mission Spanish (or judge mine), and English for Dad. [note from mom: It was not included in his attachments]

Elder Walker

Pictures include us at the temple, me after biking 6 miles in 116
degrees (can you guess which side i had my bike strap on?), and an old
picture of us at the fathers day party.

 

 

Goodbye to President and Sister Griffen

The only thing abnormal about this week was the mission party.  President Griffen wanted one last goodbye with all the mission. The whole mission hadn’t been together since Elder Holland came last June. We played a few painful get to know you games. Then we separated and all the Spanish missionaries went to play soccer in the parking lot. We all unanimously decided that that was a tad bit hot. We went inside and hung out for the rest of the afternoon. We took pictures as the mission and with President and Sister Griffen. It was weird to see all the missionaries that were still out. I also got to say goodbye to my trainer who goes home this transfer. It was weird, but fun, but trunky.
On the way home Elder Miller wanted to stop by a family that he worked with when he was in training two years ago. Coincidentally one that I also worked with in training. It was really fun to see them. The 9 year old was wearing the CTR ring that I gave him at his baptism 8 months ago.
We met a new family this week, The Beltran family. The mom is a member but the kids have never been to church. Their names are Marco and Bryce. Marco came to a baptism from the other ward. He is super awesome and I can’t wait to tell you how they progress.
A little summary about my companion:
Elder Chandler
Age: 20
Mission Age: 8 months
Hobbies: Surfing, watching Star Wars
Elder Walker
PS i am drinking waterunnamed (2)

 

A Week of Celebrations

This has probably been one of the longest weeks of my mission, not
necessarily a bad thing, but a lot of things happened since last PDay.

We will start on Tuesday, I went on exchanges with Elder Wyatt. We
went into his area because he fell on his bike about two months ago so
they want him to stay in the car. He is also 7ft tall so I don’t know
if he is really made for biking. It was really good, he is a really
good missionary. After dinner we got a call from President Griffen. He
told Elder Wyatt that he bought him a ticket home for the next day.
Apparently that bike injury I mentioned was more serious than he
thought. His wrist was snapped in half and he needed surgery. So Elder
Wyatt has been home for about 6 days now, we really hope he can come
back soon. It was kinda scary to see how fast it all went down.

Wednesday morning there was a prayer breakfast for policemen and
firemen at the local college. The word is that Elder Cook of the 12
wanted us to go and help. There were about thirty missionaries there,
enough to make it look like we were running the event even though we
were just nicely dressed ushers. It was fun though. I met this super
sweet little old Amish lady. She was nice.

Thursday was Elder Salinas’ birthday. We were going to buy him a
piñata but they were all super expensive and small. So we filled a
cardboard box with stuff and it worked surprisingly well.

On Saturday we went over to the Velazquez house (the same family who
got me a cake last week for my birthday.) They felt bad that they
hadn’t gotten Elder Clough a cake before so they got him one that said
‘congratulations graduate’. You know, graduate from the mission. It
was funny. He also accepted getting his head pushed into the cake a
little more than I did. Pictures included.

Yesterday was workday Monday, which usually means not much gets done.
It didn’t help that Elder Clough was going home that afternoon. So we
helped him pack and then cleaned up the rest of my junk in preparation
for my new companion showing up Wednesday afternoon.

Tomorrow I will get my new companion, Elder Chandler. He has been out
for 8 months. He has been serving up north in cottonwood for a little
while so we haven’t heard too much about him. Everyone who has met him
has loved him.

I’m excited for the next transfer. Next week I will tell you all about
my new companion. 🙂

Elder Walker

3 Baptisms and a Birthday!

We had a really good week. Started out with a lesson with a new
investigator named Linda. She is a referral from the Estrella Ward.
She was dating and living with a return missionary. When she found out
that she was living in sin and couldn’t be baptized they were married
within the week. She invited her niece and mom to the lesson. The mom
was resisting a little bit so Linda eventually just said “if you won’t
be baptized you won’t be able to see me be sealed in the temple.” So
it sounds like she is pretty interested in progressing.

I also had exchanges with Elder Salinas (who I served with in Peoria)
and Elder Miller (the Zone leader) and that helped keep the week
interesting.

On Saturday, Joseph and Michael Yañez were baptized back in Peoria.
Because I left there less than 6 weeks ago we got to go back to attend
it. Elder Clough left 18 weeks ago so he was lucky that he was my
companion. It was an awesome baptism. It was cool to see a lot of the
members from my old ward.

That night we had a family home evening with the Velazquez family.
Afterwards they brought out a birthday cake. After completing the
‘Mexican tradition’ of getting my head stuffed into the frosting we
enjoyed some cake and ice cream.

That night we got to see Sister Bosen from Peoria, and my Arizona
family dropped off a package at our door. So I have 5 tubs of Blue
Bell now. So much for losing weight in a bike area.

Sunday we had a baptism for Gloria, someone we had been teaching. Her
sister came. We have been teaching her too. She was really excited to
be baptized and it was a great experience for the ward and her family.

We also referred a deaf kid to the ASL missionaries. He is the friend
of a ten year old girl in our ward. She just started ‘picking up sign
language’ to communicate them. They are actually in the Scottsdale
mission but they cover our mission too. The kid didn’t turn out to be
interested at all. But it was still cool to see his face when he met
someone he could communicate with.

It was a good week and this is Elder Clough’s last so this one will be even better!

Elder Walker