I’m Happy

We had a good week. We have done a lot of planning to work with stakes for the next transfer. It makes me wish I was staying, and then I have to deal with some difficult people and get a little more grateful that the end is nearing. These last few transfers have been exhausting. In a good way.

On Friday the branch president cancelled dinner on us, but told us to go to another family. It was a more poor family and we felt bad just dropping in on them like that but Presidente said that he had just given them some carne asada so I wasn’t going to complain. So we get there and they brought out the dinner. It was menudo. And this time there were no outs. She served both of us and went back in the kitchen and I had WAY more tripas in my bowl. So what did I do? I switched bowls when they weren’t looking. My companion wasn’t happy but he forgive me. Luckily this menudo was más o menos clean. It was a little easier to chew. Plus we had tortillas so I was able to trick my brain into thinking I was just chewing tortilla and not tortilla and cow intestines. It could be worse.
Saturday night presidente called us and asked us to give talks the next day. We didnt have much time since we had 5 meetings that Sunday. It went well though. We talked about covenants and commitments and how that effects our eternal progression. One of the sisters who was in my 2nd ward went around afterwards telling everyone how she knew me before I spoke Spanish. Haha. Not wrong.
Sunday night we made papusas with our members for dinner. I ❤ papusas. I think that will be a great skill for after the Mission. Here we come family we are eating
Today we went bowling as a zone and I got everyone to sign my laundry bag. That thing is getting pretty full.
I’m really excited to apply what I have learned in my mission. I’m so grateful for my call to Arizona. I feel like it taught and showed me the life that I am ready to live. How to be a member, a father, a husband, and a leader. I’m happy.
I hope to see you all next week.
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Chores

Missionaries are prone to compiling a lot of junk. One basic flaw of our housing situation is that missionaries stay, and go quickly, leaving little room for personal accountability.

These problems can range between holes in the walls, to abandoned phootons in the back yard. Are example happened to be the latter. Past missionaries thought it would be fun to have two sofas and a fire pit in the backyard. Or at least that’s why I assume they did it. I have no idea what they were thinking when the aquiered the large tire and dozen wooden pallets.
Either way, when the management company found them they were less then impressed. So that made it our responsibility to get rid of them. Luckily our roommates had a truck so we were able to take a few trips out to the dump. It was good fun. Still don’t know what to do with the tire though….
We also had interviews with President this Friday. It was kind of sad, we sat talking to President about his plans for the zone. And when I say we, I mean that they were talking and I was sitting there. I have learned a lot in Prescott and I’m sad to go because I feel like there is so much more I am able to do. But I have decided to just think of it like another transfer. You never want to be transferred because you love the people and your always excited about the work, and then you learn to love the people and love the work in your next area in a matter of days. I am hoping that that will be the case with this transfer, just that my new area will be back in Texas.
Today was fun. Not too much to report. Next week will be my last letter I think. Kinda weird to think about. Talk to y’all later.
Elder Walker

“Hurray for Derrick he’s our birthday boy.”

We just had a lot of meetings.

On Sunday there was almost nobody in the branch because of the holiday. I think I was about 2 priesthood holders away from presiding if the stake presidency hadn’t shown up. I’m sure that’s normal in a lot of missions but not here.
Sunday was also my birthday, thanks to Facebook a lot of members found out and were really nice about it. Our dinner called my family so I got to hear Grammy’s infamous addition to the happy birthday song. So that was fun.
Today we went on another hike. It was fun. I put in some pictures. It’s called thumb butte. Hence the thumbs.
Thank you for all the birthday wishes. Talk to y’all next week!
Elder Walker

Busy week of meetings

This was a busy week. Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Monday were big meetings, Wednesday and Saturday were exchanges. This was a well needed Pday.

Friday was joint District meeting (we aren’t allowed to have zone meetings anymore so they just changed the name.) It was good. I’m glad it’s over, but we have a lot to do this transfer. We extended a goal for the stakes to find the missionaries investigators. Of course we will be doing everything that we can. But it puts hitting their goals more in mind when we put it that way.

Monday was zone conference. We taught a discussion, did a musical number, and I gave my departing testimony. I guess I was too busy worrying about the first two to remember I would have to do that last one.
Today we went with some of the zone members and hiked through the Dells. It was fun. The water is really low this year which made it look a little sad. But it was still pretty. Still more water than the entire city of Phoenix.
The work is going well. Alberto is on date and the Richardson invited a family over to their home that we were able to teach. So that’s exciting. I’m really excited for everything that is starting here, it’s too bad I won’t be here to see a lot of it.
Next week pday will be Monday again. Today was supposed to be a meeting but President’s son was graduating middle school so he switched our pday to today.
See ya!
Elder Walker 1A85F140-81C6-43B2-807E-6A00FC7C83AF.jpeg

The End from the Beginning

I guess since I got to talk to the family yesterday I don’t feel a big need to write a big email. There are a few things I will mention though.

Friday we had district meeting, which is normal. The not normal part was that 200 yards away from the stake center was a fire that ended up burning 5000 acres. It started when a car crashed and rolled on the highway and slowly spread around town. It destroyed a few houses and evacuated multiple neighborhoods. But of course the church and its missionaries were safe.
On Saturday we went to the Mesa temple for a branch activity before it closes this coming Sunday. We decided to stay outside with Leticia (non member wife of a ward mission) and some of the kids who couldn’t go in. The rest of the branch did baptisms for the dead. I even gave them a lot of names I had found. Luckily we didn’t listen to a lot of the members who were telling us we should have gone inside. If we had we never would have seen Jesus (like the hispanic name not the religious diety) It turns out the Monte Vista Ward, my first ward in the Mission, were brought their temple prep class to do baptisms as well! Among the temple prep participants was Jesus Malero who was my first convert on the mission back in spetember of 2016. It was the first time I got to really have a conversation with him because I didn’t really speak Spanish the last time I saw him. It was a good way to see the end from the beginning. I was so glad to see him active and participating. We took a picture in the same place we took one 2 years ago.
That’s all I really have this week. Talk to y’all next week. I think Pday will be on Tuesday next week because they like to keep us on our toes. ¡Adiós!

New Skillz

We left off last week talking about the dinner that Elder Derhak was cooking for the zone. It turned out really well and was an all around success. I don’t however think we will be doing it again, it just caused him way to much stress. Partly to do with that one of the people there was a CEO of a popular restaurant chain called Costa Vida. President Collins said he loved it though and even said ‘when you get home I will have to introduce you to my executive chef’ So that was exciting.

The rest of the week was kinda normal. We got ready for transfers and Elder Groesbeck got ready to go home. He left this morning. Its kinda weird knowing I am the next one to go through that. Packing is going to be quite an experience.
Today we deep cleaned the house. Trying to start a new transfer right. Plus there is nothing worse than being transferred into a dirty house so we are trying to make sure Elder Johnson’s new comp (Elder Cruz) doesn’t have to go through that.
Later we went and got pie, and played sports and said goodbye to everybody.
So that’s about it. Tomorrow is the beginning of my last transfer. Can’t wait to see y’all in June.

Wontons and 🥕 🌸

I think last week I mentioned the zone challenge that we did, and the reward to have Elder Derhak cook a 4 course meal. The preperation for that has probably been the most eventful thing that has happened. During weekly planning we left a pork but out to smoke. We got the wood, charcoal, and even the smoker from different members. 6 hours in the smoker and 6 in the oven. My companion is stuffing the meet into won tongs as I type. The dinner is later today so we are kind of scrambling to get everything done. Last night he got a blister from carving so many carrots into decorative carrot flowers. He’s going pretty hard. I will try to take pictures and get them out either by the end of the day or next Tuesday.

We got an email from the tech specialist saying that we had been selecting to be involved in the development of a new version of area book planner. The only criteria was ‘non English speaking’ and ‘responsible’ so we are pretty flattered to say the least. It is basically a Skype focus group with two other companionships around the country on how to improve the app. So that’s kind of fun. Its something new.
We also got a pretty cool new investigator on Saturday. We went to dinner with the relied society president and Elders Quorum president and right as we showed up she knocked on her neighbors door and invited him for dinner too. His name is Alberto. All we had to do was not be weird then share a message before we left. It turns out that he had met with missionaries 16 years ago and remembered most of the Joseph Smith story. We shared a message about trials and he said that what we taught was the first thing the he asked missionaries 16 years ago that got him interested in religion in the first place. So we have another appointment on Friday.
I think that is about everything. Next week is the start of my last transfer, so Pday will be on Tuesday. Hasta luego. 👋
Elder Walker

Second most exhausting week

We had a really busy week. I don’t think I have ever been more exhausted in my mission. Well maybe not including that time I slept on the floor for a week. OK second most exhausting.

We had interviews with our president, 2 exchanges and a Spanish training meeting. They all went well. Nothing too much to report.
We had a zone competition to motivate us to find more new investigators. We wanted 28 in two weeks and we ended up getting 41! So that means that part of our reward is that Elder Derhak is going to cook a 4 course meal for us. The menu itself uses words that I do not even understand so I will spare you my pathetic explanation of such a culinary masterpiece. But to describe to you the amount of effort that is going into this Elder Derhak will be slow smoking some pork. That’s right, the branch president gave us a smoker. Hopefully it will taste pretty good. I will let you know next week.
Love yall
Elder Walker
Ps
The Pic is from one of our lunches, Elder Derhak found a frozen salmon in the fridge and said now or never and made it into a meal.
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We took that as a ‘yes’

This week we had another meeting in Phoenix. I shouldn’t complain, im sure the hour and a half drive is miniscule in comparison to many other missions. But when you have to do that on top of a 6 hour meeting it really takes it out of you.

This week we really focused on finding new investigators for the English ward. Its a more affluent area (fun fact there are thirteen active dentists in the ward) so people tend to think that they do not need the gospel. There is one man, his name is Ricardo. He is the husband of a less active member. We first went by and met his wife, Barbara. She was really nice. We told her we wanted to come back and meet her husband, but she assured us that he was not interested in even conversing with missionaries. We told her we were going to try and come back the next day, but that we would text her before we came to make sure they were home.
So when we texted the next day she said that she was down in Phoenix for. The day and only her husband was home. So we took that as a yes. We went over and found him in his back shed; perfect, only one door, he can’t escape. He immediately let us know that his wife wasn’t home and that we would have to come back later. What Ricardo didn’t know is that these missionaries speak Spanish. We started talking to him in Spanish and that caught his attention at first. We talked about all things Mexican that we have come to love throughout our missions, weaving in gospel principles throughout the conversation.
One thing that we have found that works for us is going back and forth between gospel topics and small talk before making a commitment. Everyone’s initial reaction is no, so we let them know why we are here, then we quickly change the subject before giving them a chance to regect us. That way they warm up to both us, and our purpose, before we actually extend the invitation.
We tried that and considered it a success with Ricardo. We showed the video ‘a hope of God’s light’ (that one always gets them), testified of prayer, and got invited back to eat salsa. If that’s not a success than I don’t know what is.
Today we went on a small hike with the zone and afterwards Elder Farley of the Mission presidency took us out to eat at his restaurant, Lone Spur Cafe. We ate a lot, got a seuvenier t-shirt and toured the haunted basement. Apparently a hundred and fifty years ago all the miners built underground tunnels through downtown to get around. I guess I’d you are a miner you spend so much time in dim places that you would rather build a tunnel than see the sun. But after they discovered that the tunnels were not only a great transportation for miners, but also for moving the rampaging fire from building to building they decided to brick it up. Neat stuff.
I attached pictures of our hike and also some pictures of the newspaper from the activity a few weeks ago. There is a picture and a quote from me in there 😎
Chao. Elder Walker

A lot happened this week. Not too much that would be interesting to y’all, but still a lot.

On Tuesday we had a big meeting in Peoria. It was good, but waaaaaay too long. With travel it ended up being a thirteen hour commitment 😊 🔫
We had exchanges on Thursday. It turns out Elder Anderson is quite skilled at the drums, he got to show off some of his skills at our dinner appointment.
Friday we put on a joint District meeting (basically a zone meeting but we aren’t allowed to call it that) air went really well. The zone got fired up for a new challenge that we are starting today. We want to find as many new investigators in two weeks as we did in the last 6. Unfortunately, I don’t think it will be terribly difficult, that about tells you how we have been doing recently number wise. After the meeting, Elder Farley (Mission presidency) took us out to Firehouse Subs so that was cool.
We also had a service up in Chino Valley (cowboy town) we took down a horse pen (excuse my city-owned terminology) and moved some bales of hay around. I felt pretty cool.
Sunday went well. The branch is doing good. They are really excited to have 4 Elders in the ward.
The white people are doing good too. They feed us pretty well. 😊
Today we had a zone activity to further try to help the zone unity and get us excited about this competition. We made district flags, played scripture charades and volleyball. I tried to take some pictures.
We have a good week set up! Hopefully, I will have some good stories by next Wednesday. Chao!