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.


Elder Walker

Short ugly ties, new phones and uncomfortable situations

We had a decent week. Elder Richmond confirmed Alba so that was awesome. Converts always get confirmed in sacrament meeting and we always tell them to come 15 minutes early. Don’t really know why. Its not like there is much preparation that goes into it. I think it is mainly so that we don’t get scared when they aren’t here in time. Ya so anyway she shows up like 15 minutes late and about 20 seconds after she sits down the bishop is calling her up. Too close. Way too close.

That sunday was actually the primary program. Im telling you if inactives at sacrament counted as a Key Indicator we would be killing it.

This week we had to drive up to Peoria for a meeting. I remember when I was younger in the mission I would pick out my favorite ties for big meetings and look all pretty. Not anymore. I found the grossest tie in my collection, tied it disgracefully short and went on my way. The meeting itself was good, almost as good as the Raising Canes we had afterward. You have to be take advantage of all the rich people restaurants when we leave the zone. All we have down here is a handful of taco bells and mcyds.

There is nothing else really going on. We are awaiting patiently for our new phones. They told us we could get our own if we don’t want the ones they give us. So that means there are probably going to be some trainees coming in with galaxy s8s. Or whatever number they are on these days. That will be interesting.

Thats about all I can remember from this week. So I had exchanges in my old area which was fun. I got to relive the good ole days biking around in Maryvale. Its a lot more pleasant when its not 120 degrees.

Have a great week everyone!

Elder Walker

Isn’t Bowling on Ice Called Curling?

We had a pretty good week. Alba was baptized at the end of the week. Everything went well except for the fact that it started 35 minutes late. Haha. Just stalling for people to show up. Other than that it went great. Let me tell you baptisms are stressful experiences. Im always running around trying to get everything ready last minute, no matter how early I start. But thats ok. It is all worth it in the end. Hermana Henriquez brought refreshments. And whenever an el Salvadorian brings refreshments it is papusas. No matter what the occasion. But im not complaining, papusas are awesome.

Last Monday we went bowling. I pulled some tenth round magic and tied for first in the zone with 142. It was fun but they were probably the worst lanes ever. It was like bowling on ice.

Everything else was pretty normal. We had the regional conference on sunday, which sounded like it was meant for texas and we were just last minute invited. But there was some good stuff in it.

We also heard we will be getting the smart phones this month. So i’m low key stoked for that. I’ll keep yall updated.

Elder Walker

“we don’t know where it came from”

We had a fine week. Nothing too eventful happened. Saturday was the trunk or treat Halloween activity. I could have swore I understood 4-8. I also could have swore that facebook said 4-8. And I will stand by my beliefs until this day. But to make a long story short i would like to apologize to all of the investigators and members that I had show up an hour and a half early to the activity. It ended up being okay though. There is a family we are teaching called the Leons. They ended up coming and the ward was awesome with them. The bishop came out and gave their 4 year old girl like 5 handfuls of candy as her face lit up in pure joy. The first counselor pushed some kids out of the way to get these Jesus and Sofia on the tractor ride. So that was really cool.
Last night we got home late to our roommates and a half eaten tray of chocolate. Straight out of a tv show they looked up with chocolate on their faces and said “we don’t know where it came from” So shout out to the Huffmans for treating our apartment to the treats. Thanks guys!
Mom also sent me a giant thing of popcorn. I picked it up on our way to the church for weekly planning. We munched on it for a while and afterwards as we peeled out of the parking lot popcorn went flying. We were already late for dinner so I made my companion shovel it back into the tin. I’m pretty sure he put more into it than there was in the first place. I wish I had taken a picture it was quite depressing.
I cant really think of anything else worth writing about.
This week we have Alba’s baptism on Saturday. We also have a multi stake conference transmission on Sunday with one of the apostles. I’m not really sure what that means but I will let you know next week. Talk to you all next week!
Elder Walker

Moral of the Story: Clean

Nothing too special happened this week.

Wednesday we cleaned a members back yard. It was basically picking up trash out a mostly drained pool. Kinda gross. Moral of the story. Clean.
We always tend to get a lot of referrals in this area. They are almost never very good. Except for this week for some reason. We found two new families. One of which talked to missionaries at the Hawaii temple visitors center. I am really excited to work with them (not nearly as excited as elder Richmond though). Now for the hard part, trying to get them want to come church.
Sunday after church we had stake coordination. That was less than a waste of time. It was basically an hour of what we are doing wrong. The only thing that was actually productive was figuring out who was going to set up the chairs after zone conference. We are going to work on coming more prepared, and hope the stake does the same.
So i guess nothing too excited happened this week. Living in an apartment with 6 elders gets a little crazy. Elder Plourde is going home this transfer so it seems like his coping mechanism is late night grilling (with the grill we found in that back yard). Which makes for some good snacks.
Oh ya and I also got into making some bomb quesadillas. Pics included.
Everyone have a great week!
Elder Walker

this week has been weird

This week has been weird.

We had to move apartments down the road. Not so much that they found a better apartment, but that they were replacing us with other Elders in our apartment, and so they moved us into a different one. This new one already has 4 elders in it, it is just a little more accommodating to six. So right now our room is just the living room. The fridge is packed, the bathrooms are packed, and the closets are packed. Its not ideal but there isn’t much to do about it so its not worth complaining.
My companion is Elder Richmond from Holliday, Utah. He is cool. Really excited to do missionary work. Maybe a little too excited. He has heard too many miracle missionary stories about missionary work and is a little disappointed that he has been here for a full 6 days and hasn’t had one yet. I’m trying to find the balance between keeping his excitement in the companionship and calming him down a little bit so that he doesn’t explode. So it’s going good.
I met him on Wednesday. One of the first things I told him was that I currently didn’t have an Ipad so he would have to do a lot of the work with his tablet. He quickly responded, telling me that he didn’t bring one so doesn’t have one either. I was a little worried about that. After the meeting we went to the mission office and for like 3 hours we tried setting him up with a loaner Ipad while I was trying to find us beds for that night. It was a really long day.
Saturday we ate papusas with the Henriquez family. I enjoyed that. Yesterday we also went and ate and had a lesson with the Henriquez family. We are also going over tonight. So that will be fun. Alba was disappointed that we weren’t able to have her baptism on the original date because too many lessons had canceled. She is really cool though and is reading the Book of Mormon and coming to church and everything. Her baptism should be on the 4th.
We attempted a human pyramid in district meeting (we recently grew to 10 elders, so we had to take advantage). It took a few tries but eventually we decided that Elder Richmond wasn’t cut out for being on top and after that we got it pretty well. The camera was on a timer so we got some funny bloopers.
We are having fun. I think it will be a good and productive transfer with Elder Richmond. Talk to you all next week!
Elder Walker

A Letter from the Mission President

13 October 2017

Dear Brother & Sister Walker,

I want to express our gratitude for the excellent service of your son. As you must surely feel from his letters, he is doing well. I am impressed with his goodness and strength. This letter is to inform you that Elder Walker has just been assigned as a trainer and will train Elder Richmond. I have every confidence that they will be a great companionship.

There is no position in the mission more important than being a trainer. The future of the mission depends upon the work the trainers do. It is a difficult and challenging assignment, as trainers must do most of the talking and teaching. They have a great responsibility for the development of their new companions. One of the goals I set when I was called to preside over this mission was to never call a trainer with whom I would not place my own son. This assignment says a great deal about your son’s abilities and talents and the personal respect and admiration I feel for him. Your son has shown great talent and ability in sharing the gospel. He has gained the respect of his companions and trust of his leaders.

Thank you for supporting your son as he continues to make a positive difference here in the Arizona Phoenix Mission. Your encouragement at this time will be more important than ever. Elder Walker is a wonderful missionary and we love him. We appreciate all you have done. Please feel my best wishes for you and your family. Your sacrifices are recognized and appreciated. God bless you!

With love and repect,

President Sean F.D. Collins

Too Tech Dependent

So my IPad is out of commission as of late so we might be lacking in the picture department.

This was a pretty crazy week. It started with the church releasing online area book 2.0. Long story short is that they made it a lot worse. I have decided that the church thought we were depending too much on the technology and not enough on the spirit, so they just took away some of the technology. Right now it is just obnoxious, not that it matters to much, like I said, don’t really have an IPad at the moment. So really it is just more work for my companion.

I had an exchange with one of the English Elders in my district. We were invited to a service by their roommates. We were told that we were going to clean out a burned down house. I imagined rubble, but it just looked like the garage was a bit roasted. When we finally put on the masks and went inside I was surprised how destroyed everything was. You couldn’t walk without stepping in piles of insulation and glass scattered all over the floor. We started loading out furniture. I was one of the first to go upstairs and start pulling stuff down. Most of the house was unrecognizable, but there was a little corner that was really clean. I looked behind a bookshelf and found three hoverboards. I brought it outside and long story short we are proud new owners of a hoverboard! Elder Lopez was the one that asked for it so technically it was his but I found it so I claim like 40 percent ownership. Anyway it is super fun and I have a video I can send if my IPad ever starts working.

Sunday there we had a baptism for J and V. They are 12 and 10 but SUPER smart. They remember everything we tell them. It is an unusual problem to have where you can’t think of anything to teach that isn’t super deep and still keep their attention. Most adults forget what we tell them but they are completely different. It is just a testimony to me that it doesn’t matter, your age, education, social class, if you have the spirit, you will understand the word of God, if you don’t, you won’t, simple as that. It even applies to 12 year old girls.

So today is transfers, Elder Lewis is leaving and going to buckeye. Buckeye is famous for the former President Griffin stating that the entire city “smells like money,” which is a nice way of saying they are having trouble covering up the cow smell. He is kind of bummed but that is how transfers go. You are always sad to leave but become happy after about two or three weeks. He will be doubled in (he and his companion are new to the area) with Elder Johnson, he was my roommate for a while. They will do good together.

Tomorrow I will go pick up my new companion. I don’t know who it is yet but President told me that he is just coming out of the mtc. I will tell you more about him next week.

So thats about it. Another transfer down. Only 6 more to go. Seems like less than it is haha.

Hasta Luego
Elder Walker

We Aren’t Salty… Don’t Ask….

When we had zone conference the APs had us pick a few take always to improve and focus on. So that was also my approach with general conference. My highlights were probably Elder Oaks’s talk on the family Proclamation to the world being our life’s map toward receiving Exaltation. I have never thought of the Proclamation being something that promises eternal blessings, rather than just the churches standards on the family. I also really liked Elder Eyring’s priesthood session talk about supporting and sustaining our leaders. As missionaries we go through lots of bishops, ward mission leaders, and everything else.  Elder Eyring emphasized the necessity for support for our leaders so that they can receive the revelation God has for them.
In our stake there are three Spanish wards and five English. So they ended up putting the Spanish translation in the chapel and the live English feed in the relief society room. It seemed a little backwards to me. But when we showed up for the Sunday morning session the chapel was completely full with all the Hispanic members dressed and ready for conference. It was a cool culture to see. That’s just what they do.
Today we had a multi-zone activity. We had a competition between zones of who can get the most contacts, we lost, due to some iffy counting and confusion in the rules… we aren’t salty… don’t ask…. So anyway we were supposed to get water ballooned in the face but we ran away and it was all good and fun.
I will sign off with a portion of my letter to president this week:

Yesterday we had a lesson with an investigator who we haven’t seen in two weeks. She has been out of town the last two Sundays so also hasn’t been able to come to church either. Before starting the lesson she brought out her Book of Mormon with the book mark several pages in. I could probably end my letter here and call that a miracle enough. We taught the plan of salvation. I did not feel that we taught clearly, nor very directly. However through inspired questions and inspired words we testified of eternal families and the investigator beamed with the comfort that this doctrine brings to so many. I will likely struggle my whole mission to understand the balance between becoming a master teacher and trusting in the spirit to deliver the message, but for now I am simply grateful that in that moment The Lord sent his spirit to testify to an investigator with real intent despite the abilities of his flawed servants.

Have a great week,

Elder Walker