It all started with being sick…

This week was slow. It started with being sick. So not much happened for the first few days. Except for sleeping. A lot of that happened.

On Friday was zone conference. It was really good. We had training on being a consecrated missionary and helping investigators keep commitments. But with all kidding aside, the highlight was most definitely getting smart phones. It feels weird. I don’t feel like a missionary with something so big in my pocket. But I’m not really complaining. It’s a very different mission experience from those who go third world.

Saturday we did a service with the city cleaning up alley behind people houses. I don’t really know what they are for, trash and used needles I guess. It was fun to get outside when it wasn’t too hot.

Sunday President was going to present some training in our ward council meeting. About 20 minutes before the meeting started bishop texted us to tell us that he was sick and wasnt able to come. So that was super stressful. He still came and it was really good. It was full of over emphasised ‘erre’s and Chilean accents. But the ward seems to be getting really excited to help us in the work.

 

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Rumors, Meetings and Nothing to Report

I am having trouble thinking of things to write about this week.

We had a good week as finding goes. This area had over 100 potential investigators en I got here 2 weeks ago. Ive made it a goal to lower that number significantly. So far that has lead to 7 new investigators and 8 drops/deletes.  Some of the profiles are from 2013. I imagine it would be a little creepy if you tell missionaries your name 5 years ago and then hey come back somehow knowing your name and address. Sometimes its just better to pretend you don’t know who it is.
This week church got pushed back to 1 because the other stake had stake conference in our building. That meant we had time for even more meetings in the morning! Before PEC the senior missionaries gathered all the ward leaders to go over the records. Pretty much what I am doing with potentials, they are doing with members.  In these “inner city wards” there are not a lot of people who have sufficient training to be membership clerks, or finance clerks, so they have been sending in what they call “inner city missionaries” from some of the wealthier areas. They are cool. One of the couples is white and the wife doesn’t speak any spanish. She bakes us food though so Im not mad.
We also had zone meeting. Oh wait Im not allowed to call in that. The multi-district meeting. It was alright. Just another long meeting 🙂
Rumor is this week we get phones! Im sure it will be not worth the hype but i will let you know.
Elder Walker

Not in our Area

This week was hard. I was back on bike in the most downtown area of our mission. We dont live in our area, the church isnt in our area, and the members, and therefore our dinners are not in our area. Its hard to fit in studies with everything else we need to do.

Saturday afternoon we went to the temple with some recent converts to do baptisms. That was a lot of fun. They seemed to enjoy and understand it well.

It was fun coming back into the ward. It is never fun being transferred, but it only took me about 2 days to remember how much I love Encanto. On Saturday there was a party for a young man who is leaving on his mission tomorrow. We worked with him a lot before. This morning he took us to ihop so that was cool of him.

The ward seemed more or less happy to see me. I think most of it is that the other three are kind of struggling with spanish and they were happy to have someone to communicate with. The ward boundaries changed since I was gone so there are still a lot of new people to meet.

It feels like I never left. Which is kind of nice.

Talk to everyone next week. Love yall.

Elder Walker

Stomach-ception

Sorry for no real weekly today.
This is all I got.

On new years eve we had the classic Mexican celebration food. Menudo. I tried a little bit. I ate a good 80 percent of it until I had only the big pieces of stomach left. I couldn’t do it. I kindly declined the rest.

I got transfer news today. I will be in Encanto South again. On bike again. In zone transfer again. So that is kinda exciting. Lol 😂

Love yall. I will get a real weekly next week.

Elder Walker

Old Skills and New Skills

This was a long week. I cannot believe it was only a week ago that we had our mission party. When we showed up the first activity was gingerbread houses. Us Walkers pride ourselves of our high engineering, architectural and historical design elements present in our gingerbread houses and this occasion was no different. With limited time and resources I made a very well constructed 19th century english home, absent of flaws and imperfections. My hopes of winning over the judges were not high, I was aware that the judge was a 13 year old boy named Scott and that my creation likely lacked pizazz and fictional color. I underestimated Scott, in the end he awarded me ‘the most perfect’. I respect Scott for his artistic vision.

We had dinner with hermana Fajardo, and like all hispanic women, she was waist deep in tómales. So we helped her make tómales for an hour. It was a fun new skill learned on the mission.

Christmas day we went to the APs in the morning and ate pancakes and hot chocolate and opened presents family style. It was fun. We then went to the church, called are families and played some basketball. Our dinner called us and said “go to the cid family at 4” or at least thats what I understood. We get there and Cid is like, “who are you eating with?” Well i was like super embarrassed and as I was apologizing for the mistake the people we had dinner with knocked on the door. It turns out he had misunderstood that they were coming to his house. So all was well. A teacher in the ward gave me some trailblazers socks which was cool.

Today is Pday so I took my companion to try Whataburger for the first time. It was a success.

Today Elder Richmond sent some packages home so we took some pictures with the new Polaroid i got. It took longer to figure out than I would like to admit.

So it was a great week! I found out the sisters who entered the MTC with me went home last week… thats not a great feeling… time goes fast. But not as fast as it does for sisters.

I hope everyone had a great Christmas!

Elder Walker

 

A Long Week and a Backup Plan

This week seemed really long, so Im sure I wont remember nearly as much as actually happened.

Thursday was the temple trip to Mesa, it was the only day we could go to see the Christmas lights, even though we had to get a member ride. They wanted us to go with the people we were teaching so we asked our investigators Nick. He is really awesome but for some reason we got this vibe that something would go wrong. So as the good missionaries we are we planned back ups. So Thursday comes and we go to confirm with Nick and he says “wait that was today?!?!” So yeah se text the back up and says he cant. Bet we ended up bumming s ride of our roommates and eventually we got there. The lights were awesomely, the visiter center was cool, and the concert was good. I just wish we could have gotten some investigators there.

Saturday was the ward christmas party. It was a classic church party, had about twice the attendance as sacrament meeting. But we did have good attendance at church the next day so I guess it worked. It had pozole and menudo and pizza so I guess you can say all the classic Mexican party food. Of course you cant have a Mexican party without a piñata, so there were 5 and they went at it for like 3 hours.

Today we practiced our skit for our mission christmas party tomorrow. It is just two zones so it will be good. Rumor is that there will be gingerbread houses so Imma kill it walker style.

I will tell yall how it goes next week!

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Fun and Crazy week

Fun and crazy week as always down in Phoenix.

This week our zone stated a standards competition. Standards are goals set by our zone for every week. Pretty much the reward is getting a shout out from President in the weekly email. Our zone’s standards are the highest in the mission and not a lot of our areas were hitting it. So we added an extra incentive and decided we were going to focus on a few areas every week and helping them hit it. So on Friday morning almost the entire zone went into south east maryvale, as close as downtown as our mission goes, and did a zone blitz. There were 16 Elders, 8 spanish and 8 english, so we split up and talked to everyone we could find. I kind of felt bad because it was all hispanic people but the English elders seemed to have a good time. I went with Elder Campbell, he is the AP. I have been in his zone with him for 9 months so I know him pretty well. It was fun. He is a french Elder so we just talked about the similarities between french and spanish.

Saturday night we went to contact a referral in one of the wealthier areas. I say that relative to the rest of our area. So anyway it is dark and we are going down this neighborhood road and I realize the house is probably close so I pull over to the right and there just happens to be some cholo watering his dirt. He then sprays are car and yells “dont do that or you are going to get shot.” We decided it might be a bad idea to knock on his neighbors door so we scadadled.

Thats about all the juicy stories from this week. On Thursday night we will be going to the mesa temple and Saturday night we have the ward christmas party so that should be fun

Included are pics at our last district meeting, then the sweet setup in the new apartment complete with the smallest desk i have ever seen AND a lamp (thanks mom you are the best!)

Elder Walker

[What? He cleans when he’s stressed?!]

This was a crazy week.

Last time on ‘the adventures of Elder Walker,’ Elder Walker was homeless, crashing on the couch at his friends place. Since then I moved to my own place a good 5 miles away from my area. The location wasn’t ideal but it was our own. It was actually a house. For us and 2 other elders we had an entire house to ourselves. I took an entire day moving things to the new place and unpacking our stuff. I was going mad not having a place to put things. The day after we unpacked everything the housing coordinator calls us and says he found an apartment for us. So we moved again…

The new place is alright, it’s in a kinda sketchy place. We thought it looked ok but when we moved in the neighbors told us there was a shooting last week. I guess you could say its a good thing that we can’t see the news. The only downside is that there is nothing in the apartment. So as if I was stressed before living out of by suitcase now i am living out of my suitcase in my own room. The dressers aren’t the first of our priorities. There are also no lights, or chairs. So i have been showering in the dark for a few days. Its a little scary. On the bright side when I get stressed I clean a lot so what we do have is very organized.

Even though we moved 4 times this week it wasn’t an awful week. We found a new family, Eduardo, Alma and Roger Perez. They seem really cool. So that’s all for this episode.

I love all of you. See y’all.

Elder Walker

An unexpected week

This was an odd week. Before a mission you expect to be teaching, finding, and well, other stuff. This week was not something I was expecting.

So we had transfer meetings in Peoria on Wednesday. On the way back we hit up Chick-Fil-A (thanks sister Bosen) because you cant find those in Maryvale. Then we went to the mission office to pick up supplies for our brand new apartment. Meanwhile my companion was back in Maryvale going to every apartment complex trying to find availability. Well long story short he couldn’t find anything. So we have had everything from a blender to sponge to mop in the back of the car for a week. Also another companionship got doubled in to the district so as if president was mad with their being 6 elders in the apartment there was now 8. Among those doubled in was Elder Durrett and his trainee Elder Stanford. Elder Durrett was quick to call dibs on the couch which left his trainee on the floor. But don’t worry Im not a monster, I took a turn on the floor night 2.

On friday I interviewed a lady name Vernetta for baptism one hour before her baptism. That was a little stressful but she was really awesome. Before I started the interview I asked elder Richmond to plug the drain, and start the font. He did a good job, alternating hot and cold every ten minutes. I got out of the interview 20 minutes before the baptism was to start. I take a look at the water and it is a good 8 inches deep. That was a little worrisome. So we close the doors so no one would get worried and then go back to investigate. The drain looked plugged so I decided that couldn’t be it. What was I thinking of course it was the drain so I tell Elder Richmond to start stripping and take a swim. He rolls his pant leg up and starts wading in. Maybe it was his high pitched squeel or maybe it was his hair standing up on end but something told me the hot water wasnt sticking around. He goes and steps on the drain comes back and reports that it is all plugged. After a good 3 minutes of “its not going up” I sent him back in the arctic. This time he did the classic ‘unplug it and plug it back in’ and the water level started shooting up. Very unlike the temperatures. The hot water was gone so we go full power on the cold and had about 15 minutes to fill it up for a 300 pound 6 foot woman. We got it pretty high and called it good. Cold, but not frigid. We sat down as the Elders who’s baptism it was finally decided to show up. It was in their hands now. We had down all we could.

So the baptism starts like a half an hour late but it is finally time to get in the water. The man baptizing hops in first and verbally announces how cold it is. We chuckle. Next Vernetta dips her toe in and shrikes like a harpie. I thought this was about to be the horror story where the lady decides not to get baptized. She slowly eases her way in as an old lady in the back pipes up “think of the pioneers”. Anyway she is now all the way in and it looks like the baptism is going to be ok. Well everyone forgot to tell her to bend her knees so she takes a dive backwards like a breached whale. Everyone gasped as her head skimmed the wall. She probably didnt even notice since she was too busy gasping for air after beeping submerged in sub zero temperatures. So that happened.

Afterwards we are talking to the APs and we mention that a trainee slept on the floor. They were beyond ashamed and embarrassed. So now we are sleeping on mattresses on the floor in their apartment and Durrett straight jacked my bed. So we sleep there, eat at the other apartment, and study… wherever. We hope that gets fixed soon.

Also thanksgiving was good.

Included is a picture of the newly enlarged district. I think we need a discussion on which camera to look at but other than that they are a good group. There are only 2 districts in the mission with 12 missionaries and mine is the only with 12 elders.

All is well. Hopefully all will be better next week.

Elder Walker

 

Adulting ASAP

This week went really fast. I had my last two exchanges, zone conference, a stake party, a face to face broadcast, 2 elders went home, P day and transfers. Elder Richmond and I are staying together. We need to move apartments though, which has proved more difficult then it should have been. But that is what happens when the APs call you Saturday night and say you need to find an apartment by the end of the night. Long story short I had a lot of adulting in front of me so mom helped me out.

Pictures are of Elder Plourde and Elder Young’s last day. Johnny’s (part member family) birthday.

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Elder Walker