The Annual Mexican Turkey Bowl

This week we started off with another mini zone conference. President
spoke to our zone about the personal conversion that we can go through
on our missions. We watched talks about self mastery and how important
repentance is. In the meeting, president pointed out how young the
mission has become. 6 out of 18 missionaries in our zone are training.
Making me seem much more experienced than I am.

On Thursday we had to kick off the YSA ward in order to make room for
our annual Mexican Turkey Bowl. Which as you can assume, is just
soccer. One of the English Elders who was playing with us said that
our game of soccer was a lot less contentious than their game of
football. I assume he said that because he couldn’t understand what
the two teams were saying to each other. I personally have never been
schooled by so many 50 year old men at one time. It was a humbling
experience.

Later that day we ate dinner with the Bishop and their extended family. It
looked familiar. Lots of little kids running around. Just more
bilingual.

Since Friday, we have been traveling around to members and non-members
alike introducing them to the new church initiative #LIGHTtheWORLD. It
centers around the service and miracles that Christ provided in his
mortal ministry and how we can do little things in our daily lives to
be more like Him. I recommend everyone go to mormon.org to check it
out. Every day in the month of December there is a new trait and
invitation on how to be more like Christ. I am excited and I hope that
you can all take the challenge with me.

On Sunday our stake put on a piano concert aimed on generating
referrals. It was a great success, lots of people came and everyone
enjoyed it. The one downside was that there weren’t any referrals.
Whoops.

We had a baptismal interview for two of the kids that we have been
teaching. If everything goes well I will have a baptism to talk about
next week.

Here is a picture of the Christmas tree that we set up and decorated
in our apartment. I don’t know about you but I think it is decorated
quite appropriately.

I hope everyone had a happy thanksgiving!

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Meet Élder Walker

This week was zone meeting so I got to meet everyone else in the zone.
(Pictured are all but 2.) 18 missionaries, 4 sisters, 4 Spanish.
Conveniently in the zone is the other Elder Walker. I am now referred to
as Élder Walker.

Next week we have another mini zone conference. Fancy words for
President is coming.

Elder Pennington and I managed to bike around Peoria for 2 days in the
rain. That was all very uneventful.

We had the ward Thanksgiving party. There were a lot of people there.
Including some investigators. We have a really great ward and they
love to help out the missionaries.

I miss you all. Hope you have a great thanksgiving 😁

A Chilly 85 degrees

My new area is called Agua Fria West. It is in Peoria, so only 5 miles
west of Monte Vista. My companion’s name is Elder Pennington. He is
from Alabama. He has been out exactly 23 months now. Despite the
looming departure, he is a diligent missionary and a great example for
me. Both of us got put into the area at the same time so we are a
little lost. It could be worse though. He served in this ward for 6
months earlier in his mission. All the members are absolutely thrilled
to see him again he is doing his best to not tell people that he will
only be here for a month.

The ward is really strong. We have a great ward mission leader and
everyone is really involved in the work.

In total there are like 180 missionaries in the APM. There are about
30 Spanish missionaries (8 sisters, the rest Elders) in the mission
and 10 wards and branches. Most of the wards have more than one
companionship.

I did have one great accomplishment this week. I haven’t gotten a
single speeding violation! Part of that is that I haven’t gone over
twenty all week and part of it is that they didn’t give us a car. We
are on all bike. In the end, we did end up begging a car off the
Vehicle coordinator since our dinners are all over the stake. My
companion reminded me that if I was going to be in a bike area this is
the time of year for it. Being November that means it is only a chilly
85 degrees.

There aren’t nearly as many Spanish speakers in Peoria and therefore
not as many investigators either. I am starting to realize how
fruitful Monte Vista was.

There are 4 Spanish Elders in the ward. President decided to make us
one district so that we could have district meeting together in
Spanish. I think the language is really improving. Now that my
companion isn’t native people don’t automatically talk to him
primarily.

In a way, I’m glad I was transferred because it marks a definite point
of ending training and becoming a normal missionary. No more excuses.
I’m excited and I know the Lord has a purpose for me here. Thanks for
all your emails. I love you all.

Elder Walker

Here is a picture of me and one of my roommates.
And the closest thing I cold get to a district picture (my companion
is in the back).

Elder Walker is on the move

Today is my last day in Monte Vista. Emails go out Tuesday mornings to
let you know who you are going with and where you are going.
Conveniently no emails went out this morning so the only way that I
know that is that President called Elder Cespedes to tell him to pick
up his new companion tomorrow. Everyone else in the zone knows where
they are going and I don’t.

Mari’s baby was blessed this last Sunday. Which means that she is the
only person in her family that is not a member. I hope that she will
be baptized within the next transfer so that I can come back.

We had really good lessons this week and hit standards again. Not much
happened out of the ordinary. Next week I promise a big long email
describing my new companion and area.

Elder Walker

Happy Halloween

This post is coming late due to a district activity we had today. We
barbecued lunch then went mini golfing. Today being Halloween our
Mission President doesn’t want us to proselyte tonight. It sounds like
we will be playing board games and taking naps.

We had the trunk or treat and the primary program this week. Both of
which draw a bigger crowd than a normal sacrament meeting. But that’s
to be expected because Hermano Pineda was on the grill for the trunk
or treat so I cant blame anyone for getting excited. The activities
made me miss Keller 2nd.

Some of you may have noticed that my Facebook account became active
again this week. At week ten missionaries get to use Facebook. It is
helpful to maintain contact with our investigators while at the same
time keeping friends at home informed on what kind of work I am doing.
I cant promise how much I am going to use it but feel free to friend
me (Elder Derrick Walker.)

We found 5 new investigators this week. That is crazy. Usually 2 is
good. That being said we have 15 new investigators this month. So look
forward to a lot of baptism pictures in the months to come 😉. That
gives us another week of Standards of Excellence. Two weeks in a row.
We are pretty happy.

I don’t have any pictures again this week. Whoops. So I will give you
this selfie of me with a tie that I traded with Elder Wheeler. It used
to be big and fat and he opened it up and cut it to make it smaller. I
am very pleased.

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