Monday, December 28, 2009

December 21, 2009


This week was FREEZING! I had no idea it got this cold in Portugal. I don't know what the temperature was, but it felt like a Utah January. I had to wear about 3 jackets. Plus, it rained yesterday. Today actually got really warm out of nowhere, and right now I am wearing my short sleeve. The weather here reminds me a little bit of Utah weather during the winter, when it will be way warm one day, and then snow the next.

This week was really unsuccessful. Probably the most unsuccessful my whole mission. We basically knocked doors the whole week. We only got about 9 phone numbers, most of which we have called and can't get any lessons set up. It is really hard to find people. We found one guy named Kilson, and taught him. We actually found him when we went caroling. He was the only one that said we could pass by another time. It was funny, because when he opened the door, we started singing, and then he shushed us up and told us his dad was asleep. He is pretty cool and seems promising and has been searching for the true church. But he left for the holidays. He will be back in January.

Other than that, we don't really have anyone. It has also been harder to focus with 3 of us. I actually really enjoyed being 3. But missionary work will be a lot easier with the 2 of us. Elder Lobo leaves tomorrow. But we already took him to the mission home, so it's just the 2 of us now.

I definitely want to work harder, be more diligent, and have more faith. I believe we can find people if we do that.

I am still liking the area though. I actually really like the ward. Portuguese people are cool, if they are members. Or when you talk to them about non-church stuff. The members here feed us a ton. There is a lady in our ward who is probably in her 60s named Lurdes. She feeds us dinner every Monday and gives us a ton to eat. We will also be there on Christmas Eve. There is also a house where 3 member families live, and they trade off feeding us lunch every Sunday. And then there is another member that feeds us dinner every Sunday night named Geraldo. They are way cool people.

This week is going to be a good week I think, even though we probably won't get a whole lot done since it's Christmas. We have the big Zone Conference with all the missionaries on Wednesday, and then Christmas Eve, and then Christmas day is going to be our P-day. Today is sort of just a half P-day. We just do internet and shopping. But Christmas will be P-day.

I am way excited to call you guys. I hope I call at a good time. I will probably be calling around 5 PM here, which will be 10 AM for you guys. It could be a little earlier, or later. It just depends on when Elder Ronson gets done. So I will call you first I guess, since you want to do the Skype thing. I don't know if you have to dial a 1 first, but the 351 is the Portugal code. I am excited.

Sounds like I get to talk to everyone. Awesome. I am way excited for Megan too. That is so awesome! I can't believe she is gonna have a kid! Are they going to stay in Arizona?

Well, I am way excited to talk to you all on Christmas. I hope you all have a good American Christmas there. Christmas here is actually the same, I think. I don't really know of any traditions that are different. The only difference I think, is that Christmas Eve is kind of the bigger deal. They have their big party on Christmas Eve, which I guess is sort of the same in the states. They have Santa Clause too. They call him Pai Natal, or Father Christmas. I think he actually climbs through the window here, since everyone lives in apartments and nobody has there own chimney. They have street lights and lights on their houses, but it's nothing compared to the states. They even have all of the same Christmas music, some of it translated into Portuguese, some of it not. So yeah, it's really just the same here.

Well, I love you all, and hope you have a good Christmas. I hope to have a good Christmas too, and to think more about Christ's birth and mission as our Savior here on earth, more than thinking about my package and food. Hope you will all do the same.

I love you. Merry Christmas! Feliz Natal! Boas Festas! Tchau!

Elder Walker

December 28, 2009

Well, no email again this week. Haha. But I got to talk to y'all, so it's ok. It was way awesome hearing from everyone. It sounds like everyone is doing great. I don't really know what to say that I didn't already say over the phone.

This week was probably the best week that I have had in this area. Which is surprising, because it was Christmas week, and everyone was really busy. We didn't have a whole lot of lessons, which makes sense, but we found a lot of really good people to teach. We got 7 new investigators this week. Almost all of them seem really promising. But we can't really talk to any of them until after the holidays, just because everyone is so busy with their families and stuff. They all tell us to come by after the holidays. I think that this is the most success that this area has seen in a while. We are finally finding people to teach. We have taught this woman named Claudia a couple times. Her husband is an inactive member. We feel really good about her, and depending on how we feel when we teach her tonight, we will be marking her to be baptized on January 16. Hopefully she will accept, and that will help with reactivating her husband. Other than her, the rest of the people we have found, we have only taught once. This week we should be able to teach them more. Not a whole lot more is going on. Still a lot of door knocking.

Some cool things have been happening. Like, on Christmas night, when I was trying to call you guys and we decided to go to the chapel. We took the bus, which is about a 20 minute ride. I was just sitting there, thinking why I couldn't get ahold of you. I fugured there might be a reason, maybe there was somebody I needed to talk to or something. So I looked around on the bus and saw this guy that looked about my age, but he had a bunch of lip, eyebrow, and earings and stuff. But I felt like I should talk to him. I went up and told him that I felt like I had to talk to him. He was pretty cool, and told me he had already spoked to the Elders at his house before. He said they used to come and teach him. He said he was interested in having us over anymore, but he was cool, and we sort of just talked about life. I don't know what will happen, but when stuff like that happens, you know it's not just coincidence. Then last night, we were on a bus again, and I was looking around for somebody to talk to, and saw this girl who I had actually seen on a bus before, and felt like I should talk to her, but sort of chickened out. But I saw her again last night, sitting in the same seat as before! So I knew I had to talk to her this time. Turns out that she already knew the Elders too, but was also not interested anymore. We ended up giving her a Book of Mormon. I don't know what ends up happening with these people. But stuff like that doesn't just happen. There is a purpose in everything. It just strengthens my testimony that I have about this work. It is definitely not a work of man, but definitely the Lord's. Cool.

I am enjoying the Christmas presents. Thanks again for all of them. The sweaters are perfect, exactly what I was thinking of. I finally have more white shirts, which is awesome, and will be especially awesome in the summer. I have been pigging out on candy and need to stop, but that's really good too. I really like the book that I got, about the Catholic and LDS church. It is really helpful, and is exactly what I was wanting. Thanks fam, for the presents. They are way awesome.

I don't really know what else to write. I feel like I have already said everything, since we already talked this week.

Today we are going to Lisbon for P-day. I don't really know what we are going to do. It is really cloudy, and foggy and humid, but really warm. The weather is really weird here. I don't know if it will rain today or not.

So is everyone going up to the cabin this week? I can't believe I am not going. It will be the first time I haven't gone to the cabin after Christmas since I can remember.

How is everyone else doing? How are the Von Hills, and the Burke Hills? How are Grandma and Grandpa Hill? How are Tracy and Chris and Alex? How is Liz?

Well, I love you all. I am glad I got to talk to y'all on the phone. Next time will be in about 5 months. I will admit that talking to you guys made me a little bit "trunky," but just a little bit. Well, I am out of stuff to write, so see ya later. Tchauzinhos!

Elder Walker

P.S. Supposedly, from what Brennan told me, David Baker finally got his mission call, and I STILL haven't heard where he is going. It's driving me nuts! If anyone hears anything, let me know.

Monday, December 14, 2009

December 14, 2009

I finally got transferred! I got moved to an area called Costa da Caparica. It is south of Lisbon on the other side of the river. Supposedly it is sort of a big vacation spot, because its just a huge beach. But right now, in the winter time, its pretty dead. The area is pretty cool. We are right across the river from Lisbon. It is seriously right on the other side of the huge bridge. We can see the brigde and a lot of Lisbon from our area. There is a big monument on our side of the river called "o Cristo Rei" which means "the Christ King." We can also see that from our area. We got the transfer calls on Monday and I was out of there the next day. I had to say goodbye to some people and it was pretty sad. I was really close to some of the recent converts. Especially Colombo. I have 2 companions! We are in a "tripla." My new comps are Elder Ronson and Elder Lobo. The reason there are 3 of us is because Elder Lobo is going home about 4 weeks early so he can get back in time for school. So he leaves next Tuesday. And then it will be just me and Elder Ronson. Elder Ronson was already in Costa da Caparica, and Elder Lobo was in Monte da Caparica, a litte further South. They used to be 2 areas, but they were combined this transfer, so we have a big area now. We actually live in Monte da Caparica. I like the area so far, but still like my last area a lot better. I just have to get used to living here. My comps are way awesome. They are way cool and funny. Elder Lobo is from Oregon. His dad is actually from Brazil. Lobo means wolf in Portuguese. I found out he is cousins with the Murrays in Mapleton. Golden Murray is Elder Lobo's mom's brother. Small world. Elder Lobo speaks the language really well. He is cool and funny. He is a bit lazy. I think that he thinks, since he is going home, he doesn't really need to work as hard. He gets up late, and doesn't really study. It is kind of hard to work with 2 other Elders. It is hard to be as unified. Especially with an Elder that doesn't work as hard. I don't really know, but it seems like he and his last companion didn't do a whole lot of work, because when I got here we didn't have one single investigator. So this whole week has been finding time. We have knocked a ton of doors. Elder Ronson is way cool and funny too. He is from Cedar Hills, Utah. He is actually younger than me by about 2 months, but will hit his year mark on the mission this month. So this is my new area. I already miss Sacavém. There are a lot less African people here. Almost none in the ward. It's actually a ward here and not a branch. They seem to be really cool people, and it is going to be a lot different working more with Portuguese people. It is also a little hard to understand. I am used to the African accent, and haven't really dealt much with native Portuguese speakers. It seems to be a good area. Hopefully we start teaching lessons! I don't really know what else to write. This week was pretty crazy. Mostly just knocking doors. We even went caroling. That was a failure. We were completely rejected almost everytime. The ward had their Christmas party on Saturday. We sang Angels We Have Heard On High in Portuguese. And then they wanted us to doing something less spiritual, so we sang Feliz Navidade, which is Spanish and English, not Portuguese. We put it together in about 2 minutes so it was bad. But we danced around and they all laughed really hard so it was good. I am hoping this next week is better. On the 23rd, the entire mission is meeting for one big Christmas themed Zone Conference. It will be really cool. Every missionary in the mission will be there, except for the missionaries in the Azores. Well, I'm glad everything is going well at home. I'm sorry to hear about Grandpa. It seems like there is always some new health problem that comes up with him. I hope he is OK. How is everyone else doing? Is everyone going to be home for Christmas this year? Are you all going to go to the cabin at all? Are Tracy and Chris going to be there? Well, I don't know what else to write. I love you all. Have a good week. You're in my prayers. I still don't really know anything about calling home. For sure I will let you know next week. I think we actually just call from our cell phones. I dont know though. It's soon though. I am excited. I love you all. Tchau!
Elder Walker

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

November 30, 2009

You ARE a crazy mother, mother. Ha ha. Sounds like the usual going on there around Christmas time. I definitely missed out on the Thanksgiving. Me and Elder Thomas put our lunch and dinner breaks together and made a Thanksgiving feast with rice and beans, salad, and Jordan sent me a box of stuffing, so it was sort of Thanksgiving. We also made a cake, but it wasn't very good. I am really craving some turkey and mashed potatoes and gravy. This week was pretty slow and didn't go very well. We lost some good investigators and some pretty crazy stuff happened. Alberto, the guy we have been teaching, whose wife is really Catholic, has been banned by his wife from us meeting in their house. We invited him to think about living in seperate rooms from his wife until they could get married, and we aren't sure, but we think that is when she lost it, is when he talked to her. He is way awesome and would have been completely willing. But she won't let us teach them in their house anymore, so to teach him, we will have to teach him somewhere else, probably at some member's houses. But he is still progressing, even though he wasn't at church yesterday, and we still don't know why. Also, Paulino and Tánia have already gone inactive. I don't know how it happened. But we are pretty sure it is the dad, Silvino. He is a crook. Supposedly, our Branch President had told them that the church could pay for things. We think that is why he started letting us come over. He talked to our branch president later, and wanted money, and of course our branch president couldn't give it to him, so we think he got way mad. I believe that Paulino and Tánia were baptized for the right reasons, but Silvino won't take them to church. He will only take them to the Catholic church. We talked to Tánia, and she said that they will be going Catholic every other week, and to our church every other week. They haven't come the past 2 weeks. Anyway, so we talked to Silvino, and he doesn't want anything more to do with us. It is way stressful, and we are going to try to get the members over there talking to them. This week a lot of lessons fell through, but we also found some really good people. We are still teaching Mauro, and we feel he can probably be baptized this weekend, but we will see. We have been teaching this guy from Brazil named Adenilson, who me and Elder Dean found about 1 month and a half ago. We thought he had moved to Spain, but we decided to call his wife's phone and turned out he already returned. So we went to teach him and his wife Maria, and found out that they already knew they Elders in Brazil before they moved here, and used to have them over all the time. So we reviewed the restoration with them, and asked Adenilson if he had read anything from the Book of Mormon. He said he had read a little part in 3 Nephi 11, when Jesus Christ appeared to the Nephites and established his church. He read the part about being baptized in the name of Christ, and then Maria asked if they could be baptized! It was crazy! We told them that we were here to baptize people in the same way that Jesus Christ was baptized. We will be teaching them tonight and setting a date. Way cool. A miracle! We also found another family, Verônica, her brother Kelton, and her sister Patrícia. Verônica is 21, Kelton is 18, and Patrícia is 23. They are all from Cape Verde and way cool. We have only taught them once, but we have a way good feeling about them. Also, this week, I applied something we learned in Zone Conference with Elder Kapishky from the Seventy. He told us to set the alarm 5 minutes early, and dream for 5 minutes about finding people we could baptize. So I tried it one morning this week. I dreamed of a woman about in her early 20s, probably african, walking up a hill in a place called Catujal carrying groceries. That day, we were in Catujal, and I saw the exact person I dreamed about. She was about that age, african, carrying groceries, and walking on the exact street I imagined. It was amazing! So we hurried and walked up to her and asked her if she needed help with the groceries. She said no, so we told her who we were and asked her for her phone number. She was hesitant to give it to us, so I told her that we felt that we had to talk to her, and so she gave it to us. We still haven't called her, but are sure something good will come from it. Another miracle. The mission is full of miracles like that. So, anyway, it was a really good week, but really bad week at the same time. I am trying really hard to have more faith, and work a lot harder at trying new things and improving. Its going really awesome though. Transfers are next week, and we are pretty sure that I am leaving, as much as I would like to stay. I would like to, but I think it will be good to leave as well. I will miss the area, but it will be good to be somewhere new as well. The weather here really changed this week. It is really cold. Way colder than I expected for Portugal. Its cold, and rainy. I am really glad I have a rain jacket. Well, it sounds like everything is awesome at home. I am way glad to here that Uncle Richard is doing better. And Grandma Walker. Thanks for the package. I should be able to get it before Christmas. Supposedly the Elders in the office are going to dress up like Santa Claus (Pai Natal) and hand out packages to everyone. I am sending y'all a package today as well. I don't really know how much shipping costs out here, or how it really works, but we'll see. I am excited to talk to you all on Christmas! Is everyone going to be home? That will be awesome. I don't know the details for calling yet, but I will let you know when I find out. Well, I love you all and am thankful for your support and prayers. You are all in mine. I love you. Boas Férias! Tchau!
Elder Walker

P.S. David Baker got his mission papers in. If you here anything, let me know!

Monday, November 23, 2009

I am gonna miss out! I think Thanksgiving is my favorite day! I am going to be stuck eating rice and beans. Ha ha. But rice and beans are good too, so its ok. So last week, I was writing my email at the internet place, and some guy came in the shop and started talking saying something about the light. We weren't really paying attention, so we didnt really hear what he was saying. Turns out he was an electrician, and he came in saying he was going to turn the power out. I was about to send the email, and the power went out. So I didn't get it sent! Sorry. I hate when I dont get the email out. Anyways, everything is still going well this week. I can't remember what y'all know already. I can't remember what I included in my last email that didnt get sent. We are teaching this guy named Alberto and his family. Alberto is Colombo's cousin, our recent convert. He brought him to church once and he has been progressing eversince. We teach him and his family all the time. He is way cool, and sits on the edge of his seat everytime we teach. His daughter Daniela is way awesome too and way funny. I think she likes us a lot. She is 10 years old. The wife/not really his wife yet, Dionísia is way nice too and always feeds us. But she is Catholic to the core. It is sometimes hard to teach when she is around because she sometimes interrupts. Like when we were talking about Adam and Eve, and about Baptism. But she is way nice, and I think we can get her progressing too. Alberto had a date to be baptized for this upcoming Saturday, but it is looking like he won't make it, because they have to be married. They actually were already thinking about being married before we started teaching them, so that shouldn't be a problem. The problem is that they are from Angola, and supposedly they have to wait a long time to get their documents from there so that they can be married legally. President Torgan says that if they have already agreed to be married, are waiting for their documents, and are living in seperate rooms, then they can still be baptized. So we will see about that. We also have a baptism marked for this weekend for an 11-year-old kid named Mauro. He is the friend of our Branch President's son, and wants to be baptized. We are just worried that he doesn't really understand the importance of being baptized yet. We will be working with him as well. This week was a pretty crazy week. A lot of our lessons fell through. One day, we had a lot of lessons fall through, so we went to go knock doors, and contact people. We were on our way up to some houses and were stopped by 2 Jehovah's Witnesses missionaries. (All the Elders call them "TJs." Testamunhas de Jeová) They are way annoying. They stopped us and started acting all dumb like they didn't know why we were called Elder and stuff. We know they know who we are. They started asking questions and stuff, and we sort of just played dumb and left. Im not like my last companion Elder Dean, who loves to Bible Bash. It isnt worth it to talk to them. So that same day, we knocked a lot of doors, and ran into some more. 3 doors in a row were all TJs! Anyway, they frustrate me. I think they have been trying to find people that we have been teaching. When we talked to those 2, it was in a place called Apelação. We are there almost everyday, because almost all of our investigators are from there. I think the TJs have taken note, and have started trying to battle. The TJ battle continues! Everything else has been awesome. I am loving serving with Elder Thomas. He is way cool! It is an adventure everyday with us talking to people and trying to understand.Its hilarious when he contacts people, and usually awkward. But it is way cool, because he is not afraid to be awkward. Anyways, I am loving it. It sounds like everything is going well at home. Is Kaenan doing better? That is way cool that he won the Reflections contest! I remember doing that when I was his age too. Sounds like he is going to be just like his dad. I dont know if it is too late to tell you anything that I want in my package. I dont know if you already sent it. I could use those white shirts, if you can get your hands on any. I would also like a brown sweater, with the v-neck thing. Maybe light brown-ish. More CDs. I already have a ton of Motab. I dont really know specifically. Maybe you could talk to Griffin and TIm and see what they liked on their missions. I was thinking about the CD that we recorded in Singers in High School. I think I left it somewhere in my room. If you could find it and send it, that would be cool. Maybe Leanna has another one, if you cant find it. I also thought it would be cool to have some sort of book that you can read about what other religion's beliefs are compared to our doctrine. I dont know if you can find anything like that at Deseret Book or anything. That would be nice to have. I cant really think of anything else. Maybe just some candy or something. Ties are always good. I dunno. Sounds like everything else is going well at home, with the Motab and Children's choir. That is way awesome that Leanna made it in! Tell her congrats for me. That is awesome that the High School did The Music Man. I cant remember if you had already told me that before. I really miss plays. Ms. Sellers is still at the High School, right? If you ever see her, tell her I say hi. Have you heard anything about David Baker? The last letter I got from him, he said he was working on his mission papers, but that was a long time ago. I dont hear from him very often, because I cant email friends. If you hear anything, let me know. Well, sounds like everything is awesome at home. I love hearing from you all and hope you are all doing well. I pray for you and hope you are all strong in the gospel and doing what you know you should. I will do the same too, haha. I love you all. Enjoy yer turkey dinner without me! Im way jealous. Boas Férias! Fiquem bem. Tchau!
Elder Walker
P.S. I will send another email with pics!

Monday, November 9, 2009

November 9, 2009

This week was crazy! I think it has been the craziest week of the mission. Last week I was telling you that it was looking like the family wasn't interested in the church very much anymore. We couldn't even get them to church. Well, last Monday, we went to their house and knocked on their door, unexpectedly. Their daughter Tánia answered and said her parents weren't home. We were feeling bad, because we knew that we had their baptismal date set for that weekend, the 7th. So we started heading back, and we saw the parents Silvino, and Seseltina walking together towards the house. They were just on a walk. They let us come to their house and talk to them! So we sat down with them and found out that the reason they didn't go to church and hadn't seemed interested was because Seseltina had been really "confused" lately. We started talking and I didn't really know what to talk about, but I just bore my testimony that I knew that living the gospel would bless their lives no matter what. I told them that if they would live the gospel, that Seseltina would start to get better. She is still pretty ill, but seems to be really interested in coming to church lately and getting baptized. It was a really good experience, and after that night, we knew we could get them baptized. So this week we worked with them a lot. We taught them almost every day. We found out that Silvino and Seseltina aren't married, so they can't be baptized. One of their sons still hasn't come to church because he has soccer games every Sunday. But the other 2, Paulino and Tánia were still able to. So we taught them the rest of the lessons, got them interviewed and baptized them yesterday after church. It was a way good experience and went very well for how quickly
it was put together and pretty disorganized it was. A lot of people showed up too, and we didn't even get it announced in church until the day of. A lot of friends came who we have taught as well. Me and Elder Thomas had to take up most of the program, since we made it the day of as well. He gave 2 talks, ha ha. And we both sang a duet. Paulino chose me to baptize him. It was way cool. My first time! He actually ended up doing a back-flop into the water on purpose. There is a lot we still need to teach him. Ha ha. President Barros baptized Tánia. It was an awesome experience. My favorite baptism so far. The spirit was there, even though he entered the water pretty rowdily. It was awesome. I will attach some pictures. Anyways, I am sure you are surprised that we had a baptism, since last week I told you we weren't doing too well. Everything has been going awesome this week. We have found a lot of good people to teach who are ready to accept the gospel. It is still hard for me and Elder Thomas to teach, but I think we are getting better. The weather here has been pretty cold. It has been raining the past few days. Our house is way cold and we only have this one space-heater. I am loving being comps with Elder Thomas. He is way cool. We have a lot of fun trying to talk to people and not understanding them. He is way cool. We also had Zone Conference this week. It was good. Elder Kapishky from the Seventy came and spoke to us. (I don't know how to spell his name.) He is the the Area President of Europe. He is actually from Germany, but speaks flawless English, even without an accent. He served his mission in Germany too. I don't know when. I was just thinking that maybe dad knew him. That's about it about here. I didn't get your letter last week mom. I just barely read it. I don't know what happened. I still got dad's letter last week though, and this week. It sounds like everything is going way awesome at home. Sounds like Kaenan had an awesome halloween. Is he getting into X-men or something? What's his latest obsession? Halloween is pretty lame here. They have it, but not a lot of people do it. And their costumes are lame. We actually had a few teenagers knock on our door. They say "doces ou dinheiro," which meens "candy or money." I told them we didn't have any. Later I realized that I actually had some candy left over from a package I got, but I forgot. That's too bad about Uncle Richard. I hope he gets better. He's still got to serve a mission in Brazil, right? I forgot to give Sister Torgan his address. I hope I remember next time I see her. Well I love you all and hope you are all doing well. You are in my prayers. Tenho saudades! Tchau!
Elder Walker

Monday, November 2, 2009

November 2, 2009

Wow, I finally get to write! This week has been crazy! Last P-day, wasn't really a P-day for me. I had to go down to Lisbon to renew my visas, so they don't deport me. I had to wait in line for about 5 hours, on P-day of all days! Then, me and Elder Dean were on our way back from Lisbon to go write emails, and we got our transfer calls. President Torgan called and told Elder Dean that he was going to a place called Santo André to "white-wash," which means that he and his companions are both new there and they have to start from scratch. I found out that I would stay another transfer here in Sacavém with an Elder named Elder Thomas. Oh yeah, and we had to transfer the next day. It was crazy! So we spent the rest of the P-day saying goodbye to people, and then cleaning and packing. So I didn't have time to write. And it looks like I'm staying here for at least another 6 weeks. So the next day I met up with Elder Thomas. He is a way cool guy. Way nice, way chill. He was in the oldest district at the MTC when I got there, so he has only been out here for 6 more weeks than me. We are both about equal in our language skills, so the work has been pretty crazy the past week. I think I speak a little better than he does, but he understands better than me. I actually have really enjoyed it the last week. I have had the responsibility of remembering all of our investigators and doing most of the talking in lessons. Elder Dean was a really good teacher, so it is kind of hard to follow his shadow. Both of us are pretty new, so it's been tough. But he is a contacting machine! He talks to everyone. Its way cool. I have never spoken so much Portuguese my entire mission. It was pretty easy to sit back and let Elder Dean do all of the talking when he was here, even though I tried not to. But now that I am forced to do most of the talking, I am realizing that I'm not too bad at it. The work sort of halted after Elder Dean left, but I don't think it's because he left. We have been teaching that one family, but everytime we go to teach them, the dad isn't there, even though he tells us he will be. It seems like he is sort of running away. Almost everyone else we are teaching are either their friends or family members. We tried to get them to church this week, but the dad said they weren't coming. We tried really hard to get them all there, at least the kids, but he wouldn't let them come either. He said they had to stay home and watch their mom, who is sort of mentally ill. So they didn't come, and neither did any of their friends or family. The family is scheduled to be baptized this weekend too, but I don't think they will make it. We haven't really been teaching many other people. Moisés is running away from us. He is avoiding our calls. We have even seen him on the street and he looked away. Colombo said he saw him with a big sack full of "something" the other day. We are thinking he went out and drank and is ashamed to talk to us now. Colombo introduced us to one of his cousins though, and he seems way awesome. He says that he and his family are catholic, but Colombo brought him to church yesterday and he really liked it. We have an appointment with him later tonight. I think he will be really open and accept. I hope the work starts picking up this week. I am really having an awesome time with Elder Thomas. He is way cool. It's pretty fun that both of us aren't real great with the language. I am excited for this transfer. It's going to be a big challenge, but we are both going to learn a lot. Well, it's really nice hearing from y'all after 2 weeks of nothing. Sounds like everything is going really well at home. What is the thing that Brennan is doing? I don't know if I heard about that. Is that where he is just trying to stay away from Brandy? How are Griffin and Gretchen doing? Are they still moving to California? How is Kaenan, is he still liking Kindergarten? Well, I love you all. Thanks for you email, and everything! I love this work. I love working with these people here. I love doing the Lord's work and feel very blessed to have the opportunity to serve Him. My testimony grows everyday. I have learned so much out here, it's ridiculous! I am learning stuff I never knew before. I think I am getting better at talking to people too. Especially as of late. The Lord is really blessing me. I'm thankful for all of you, and your examples. I know this is the Lord's work. I know this is the true church of Jesus Christ. I know He leads and guides it personally. Continue in your daily prayers and scripture reading! I love you all! Cheers!
Elder Walker

Sunday, October 25, 2009

October 12, 2009

Hey fam. Its gonna be a quicky! Dont have much time. Last week I didnt have much time either because our P-day was a holiday and we didnt know, so the internet place was closed. We went to a different place the next day, but we were in a hurry. There was some sort of error on the internet and it didnt let me sent my email. Sorry, I had it written but it didnt send and got lost. This week is going well. We had a really successful week for the most part. We are teaching an entire new family. There are all pretty catholic, but their mom is mentally ill and they need our help. We gave her a blessing. We talked to our Mission President about it and he said that whatever it is that is making her that way, to "cast it out." That sort of weird. We dont really know what it is. But the family says that since we have been teaching them, she has been a lot more calm. We also have a few other new investigators who are really progressing well already. They were all doing awesome, and were sure they would come to church, and we thought we had done everything to remind them, and none of them ending up coming! We were expecting about 8 people and none came. That was a big disappointment. Everything is going well. I have still been having trouble with my shyness. Sometimes it is really hard for me to talk to people. I dont know why! Any suggestions would be appreciated! Conference was awesome! I loved every second of it! I didnt get to watch the Sunday afternoon session, because it ran too late here. But I saw mom a few times, including her big closeup. Awesome. And I got to watch it in English. Sounds like everything is going great at home. Its crazy hearing news about the US. I dont hear much out here. That sounds pretty aweful. Well, despite all of the hardships, and all of the evils in the world, we have the gospel that gives us hope in our lives. Despite all of the hardships, we can always find peace and happiness in knowing that we have a loving Heavenly Father. I am so thankful for that knowledge. I hope to continue improve as a missionary. Thanks for all of your help. Anything advice you have, go ahead and tell me. I need it. Its getting tough. I love you all fam! Hopefully I will have more time to write next week! This new P-day on Monday thing is kinda driving me crazy. Com amor,
Elder Walker

October 19, 2009

Alright. I finally have an entire hour for email today! The last few weeks have been crazy busy! But really, really good. We have so many new investigators. And President Torgan is really stressing baptism as soon as possible. We still dont have anyone getting baptized this week. We have one that is marked for the 24th, but we will see what happens with him. Its Moisés. He is actually progressing quite well. We had some really good lessons with him this week. One where we basically bore our testimonies and told him we love him and want him to stop drinking. I bore my testimony of living the word of wisdom and how it has blessed my life. It was really cool, and he was crying and stuff. Then, our last lesson with him was with our recent convert Colombo. Colombo has a stronger testimony already than a lot of our members I think. I love the guy. So awesome. Anyways, so Colombo was there, and he bore strong testimony. We all did. And Moisés said that it the question isn't whether or not he needs to be baptized anymore. He told us that he already knows that his baptism in the Baptist Church wasn't valid. He has even had dreams about Jesus Christ and baptism, and has been reading the book of mormon. The problem is that he needs to stop drinking. We committed him to stop drinking for 1 entire week, and if he does, we are going to give him a Priesthood blessing. Also, we have been calling him twice a day. I hope it all works out with him. Im sure we will have to move his date. Also, I cant remember if I mentioned it, but we found a family of 5 that we have been teaching. Silvino and Seseltina are the parents, and there kids are Luís (16), Paulino (14), and Tanha (10.) They are a really cool family. All Catholic. None active. I think I already mentioned Sesaltina's mental problem. She tells us about weird dreams and stuff she has had. We gave her a blessing. They are progressing well, and she seems to be doing better. Even her family has noted a difference. They are awesome. We played basketball with Paulino and Luís and some of their friends and taught some of them as new investigators. Also, we are teaching some of their neighbors. They all live in this place called Apelação. Almost all of the people that live there are African, including some Ceganos (gypsies.) Its actually sort of a scary place. Its pretty ghetto. Anyways, we used to kind of avoid going there, other than to teach Colombo. But we have so many people there that we are teaching, that we are there almost every day. Our Branch President lives up there too, as well as some other members. He is really excited that we have started teaching up there. He is a really awesome guy and does a lot for the branch. Also, President Torgan has been stressing ward missionary work and all of the branches and wards are getting excited about it. We just had Stake Conference for the Lisbon Stake yesterday. It was way good. The stake president spoke, as well as one of the counselors. Also President and Sister Torgan, and the Madrid Spain Temple president and his wife, who spoke spanish. I am surprised how much spanish I can understand. Its cool. Anyway, it was really good, and we got 7 investigators there! So awesome. Yep, so we are having really good success here. The Lord is really putting people in our path to teach. I really love this area and will be sad to leave it, but I know I will eventually. Most of the other areas dont have so many African people. It will be sad to leave them. Transfer are in about a week and a half. I could stay, I could go. I dont really know. You cant really predict it. I would really like to stay, but it would be kind of cool to be in a new area too. Me and Elder Dean have our predictions. He thinks he is leaving and going back to the the Azores. I think I am staying and "greenie-breaking," or getting a companion that has just left his trainer. That would be really hard, but a good challenge. The language is coming awesome. Im speaking well, and understanding well for the most part. It just depends on who is speaking and what the situation is. It sounds like everything is going great there still. Thanks for the shy tips thing mom. So basically, I need to start conversations and ask people questions. I think that will help. I think a big problem is that I get scared I wont understand them. But I will try that. Thats awesome the cabin is done. I bet it is really nice. I cant wait to get back and go sledding at the cabin. Its crazy you got swine flu mom. How bad was it? Any worse than a normal flu? I heard its the same. Kaenan's getting his tonsels out, huh? I still have mine. I had a dream last night that Kaenan learned a new cuss-word and was walking around yelling it at everyone. It was weird. I have really weird dreams out here. Thats crazy that you are doing High School Musical mom. The kids will love it, I'm sure. I have never seen it. I really miss plays, and singing in choirs. I cant wait to get back and get into acting and stuff. So, my shirts are alright. I dont like wearing them mostly because I like the other ones so much. Shorter sleeves, stretchy collar, looks good. My other ones are big, have an annoying collar, have sleeves that are too long, and make me look like a dweeb. Mostly its just my OCD I guess. I can live with them. I usually just end up washing the other ones a lot. I guess I would like them more if they were smaller, thats probably the biggest thing. But Im sure thats hard since my neck is 16. My shoes are awesome. They are way comfortable, dont hurt my feet, and I can walk in them all day. No worries about the shoes. I really dont need anything. Maybe your new Motab CD, whenever it comes out. I just got a huge package from Jessie. She sent me mapleine, rootbeer flavoring, candy, pancake mix, tortillas and a bunch of other stuff. It was cool. David Baker sent me a letter too! He started on his mission papers! He could even be done by now! He was already ordained an Elder. Im way excited for him. I was thinking he wouldnt go. Well, it feels good to have finally written a long email. I dont know what else to say. Oh, I talked to President Torgan about Uncle Richard and he told me I would have to bring a picture of him for him to remember. Later, I talked to Sister Torgan, and she said she remembers him. She asked me for his address. Could you send that for me? And maybe his email address as well? She also gave me her email address to give to him: could you give send that to him for me? Thanks. Well, I love you all. I am really happy out here doing the Lord's work. It has been sort of hard sometimes, but really awesome. Thanks for the email. I love you all.
Elder Walker
- Show quoted text -

Friday, October 2, 2009

verdadeira: true
verdedeira: misspelled word

Translation of Portugese from September 28 Letter

This is translated by Google Translate:
I write in Portuguese so you can see my progress in the language. Also because I have much time. I think the language is progressing well. I can speak well. I'm still trying to understand. It is still difficult for me. One day, I realize. I have to have patience. It takes a lot of patience! But I do not have anything else to say. I love you! Remember that this church is verdedeira, and there is no other church has the fullness of truth. I know this is true. Remember that God knows all their children, and He loves each one of you! I know that this church is verdedeira. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

September 28, 2009

It's already P-day again since we have it on mondays now. It's kind of a bummer because supposedly, all of the castles and cool stuff here are closed on Mondays for maintainance. I don't know why President changed it. Oh, well. Not much is new since I wrote last. Sort of just the same stuff going on. We invited Moisés to be baptized again. His answer was still the same, that he wants an answer first. It was funny, because we always teach him at Colombo's house. Colombo is awesome, and before our last lesson with Moisés, Colombo told us to invite Moisés to be baptized and then he 'dou Moisés facas' (he gave knives.) Basically meaning he let him have it. It was kinda cool. I am hoping Moisés does some more thinking. He already knows the Book of Mormon is true he says, but he told us we wants a 'conviction' that he needs to be baptized. We have been praying for him. We also started teaching a guy named Samora. He is from Guiné-Bissau. He is actually isn't a legal resident here, so he doesnt have a job. He was living and studying in Russia before he came here. He speaks English fluently, which is cool for me. He is a cool guy and said he really wants to be a part of our church. Thanks for sending Sonny's address. It will be cool to write him. Well, nothing else is really new. I don't know what else to write. How are Griffin and Gretchen doing? Where do they live? What are they doing? Working? Going to school? How is everything else? You got the fireplace mantle finished? And the gazebo? How is the construction at the cabin going? How is the Burke Hill family doing? I haven't heard anything about them since I left. Steven and Hannah are seniors this year, right? Crazy. Is Steven the lead in another play yet? Has Megan been doing any plays or anything? How is Liz doing? Does she still hang out with Megan in AZ? How are G&G Hill doing? How is Uncle Richard doing? How is Grandma Walker doing? How is Ryan Walker doing? Did he graduate this year? Is he going on a mission? Ok, enough questions. I think that's all.
Vou escrever em Português para que vocês possam ver o meu progresso na língua. Também porque eu tenho muito tempo. Acho que a língua esteja a progredir bem. Posso falar bem. Ainda estou a tentar de perceber. Ainda é difícil para mim. Um dia, vou perceber. Tenho que ter paciência. Leva muita paciência! Mas, não tenho qualquer outra coisa para dizer. Eu amo vocês! Lembrem-se que esta igreja é verdedeira, e não há qualquer outra igreja que tem a plenitude da verdade. Eu sei que isso é verdade. Lembrem-se que Deus conhece todos os seus filhos, e Ele ama cada um de vocês! Eu sei que esta igreja é verdedeira. Em nome de Jesus Cristo, amém.

Elder Walker

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

September 23, 2009

Como estão?! Things are going good here as usual. The language is really coming along. I think I spoke the best this week than ever. It is still way hard to understand. Its crazy. I am thinking it's because there are so many different accents here. We have the Portuguese accent, the Brazilian accent, and all the different African accents as well. And every country from Africa has a different accent. There are a bunch. I am getting used to some of the accents. The Cape Verde one is the easiest for me to understand, probably because I have been around it the most. The rest are pretty hard. But it is coming. We had dinner last night with Maria, she is from Angola, but I understood a lot. I think by the end of next transfer I will be able to understand almost everything. We had a couple sort of drag days this week. All of our marked investigators have already been baptized so most of our time is spent trying to find people to teach. We have been teaching Morteza and his family (the Iranian family) English, and some short gospel lessons. Also, Steven, the guy who introduced us to them has been coming (he is from Nigeria.) But President Torgan just barely banned English class basically. The rules now are that we have to have at least 10 investigators there, or we have to go on divisions with members, meaning one of us would stay and teach with a member present, and the other would have to go out and proselyte with the other member.

Yesterday was a good finding day. We got a few numbers, and actually contacted a reference that we recieved from Church HQ. Her name is Nilza, she is probably in her mid 20s. She is from São Tomé. She has one 8-year-old kid, and no husband. We dont know much about that. She also has a lot of health problems, as well as her kid. But she was one of the nicest, coolest people I have ever met out here and we are sure she is elect. We taught her the first lesson and she liked it, and even said the prayer at the end of the lesson and it was really good. She is way awesome. We set up another appointment with her for tomorrow. Way cool.

Not much else new is going on. Elder Markarian, my last companion got transferred back to our zone to be Zone Leader. We are actually going to go hang out with them today. Way cool. Oh, by the way. P-days are on Monday now, another rule changed by President Torgan. So starting Monday the 28th we will be having P-days on Mondays. Sounds like everything is going good there. The weather here cooled down here a bit too, and is also back up again. It was way hot a couple days ago. Its crazy the rainbow shag is finally gone! I cant believe there is going to be tile in the kitchen! Its too bad mom cant get the short sleeves. I really hate the other shirts I have. Maybe I can just find some good ones out here. I definitely dont want the long sleeve. Way too hot. Dont worry about it then. I can live with the shirts ive got. Thats going to be so awesome if Leanna makes it into the motab. I really hope she does. I cant wait to watch General Conference in 2 weeks and see mom. Hopefully they show her. I think I get to watch it in English which will be really nice. Im really glad to hear that Brennan is doing well. He is not going to school this semester, right?

Yeah, everything is going awesome here. I am getting more confident in my language skills, and my teaching skills. I have been really blessed with the gift of tongues, however much I forget it sometimes. There are some missionaries that really struggle with the language, even worse than me. I just need to be blessed with the gift of the interpretation of tongues now. Gaahhh!!! Anyways, I love you all. Thanks for the great influence you have all had on my life. God bless you all! Deus Vos Guarde! Fiquem bem!
Elder Walker

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

September 16, 2009

We got our tranfer calls yesterday. I'm staying in Sacavém for another transfer with Elder Dean. It's crazy! By the end of this tranfer I'll have been in this area for 4 1/2 months! I have already been here for 3! Crazy. I'm glad I am staying here though. I really love this area. I think a lot is going to get done this transfer too. Especially since neither Elder Dean nor I are new to the area. The language is still coming, little by little. Still having trouble understanding. There are some people I can understand pretty well. A lot of the people from Cape Verde I can understand. I think I have gotten used to their accent. Most of our members are from there. But the speaking has improved a lot. I look back at things we studied at the MTC that didnt make any sense to me back then, that make perfect sense now. I just wish I could understand! Everyone says that 3rd and 4th tranfers are when the understanding starts really coming though. So I'm looking forward to that. We had our baptism on Saturday. It went awesome! Maria is so awesome! She already knows everything! We taught her about temples and eternal marriage yesterday. She is excited about the temple and wants her family to be baptized. (They still live in England.) We are going to try to call the mission in England to get the missionaries over there. We are sure that they will all be baptized. I have already met them all. Really awesome people. Plus, they will already have seen Maria's example, and how happy she is and stuff. So awesome. She feeds us almost everytime we go there now. She is really funny too. Before the baptism, she told Elder Dean to eat a lot so he could lift her out of the water. I'll send you some pictures. Everything is going good. We don't have anybody marked for baptism anymore, so our work this tranfer will really be on finding people to teach. We have found quite a few already actually. We 'unmarked' Adicilsa, Oscar and Albertina's daughter. But we are sure she will be baptized soon. Last Sunday, one of the counselors in our stake came to church with his wife. Turns out his wife knows Portuguese Sign Language! So we taught about baptism and she translated for us. Adicilsa doesnt know sign language perfectly but she understands. We had her ask if she wanted to be baptized and she said no, but we think she was nervous because there were a lot of people watching. We are going to teach her a couple more times and ask her again. Also, we have some other potentials that we are thinking of inviting to be baptized. Morteza, Donya, and Sahar, the Iranian family are still progressing, I think. They have been coming to English class twice a week, and we teach them about the gospel afterwards. They are a really awesome family, and are really grateful for us teaching them english. Pretty cool. Everything else is going awesome. I went and picked up the package. Thanks a lot! Love the ties. Haven't used the recipes, but I'm sure I will be making strogonaff and carmel popcorn soon. Thanks for the pictures too. I needed those. Thanks a ton! Dont worry about the other package. Just send whatever you think. The food that I am missing, you cant send. So dont worry about it. Like I said, I could use some of those shirts, the stafford sport fit nice ones. I dont know if you were able to find any. I could use like 3. Sounds like tough work with the recording. I cant even imagine singing for that long. I dont know that singer. What kind of CD is it? Christmas or anything like that? Sounds like everyone is doing good still. Did Griffin and Gretchen enjoy their honeymoon? Oh, by the way, I forgot, but last time you tried to send the pictures from the wedding I couldnt see them, because Im not supposed to go onto other websites. Maybe you could attach some. Thats crazy they were on the news! Yeah, I dont anything thats going on in America right now. Cant watch the news. Thats funny about Kaenan. I cant believe he still loves dinosaurs! So funny. I remember one Christmas Eve, when we were doing talents, and he got up to the mic, and yelled "and this year, my christmas present is about a DINOSAAAUUURRRR!!!!" Hilarious! I miss that guy. Does he still like Star Wars and legos? I cant believe he is in Kindergarten. I remember when I was in kindergarten. He is so old! Anyways, sounds like everything is awesome there. I love you all! This church is true! It really is the Church of Jesus Christ here on the earth. And he runs it! I know he does. Remember what Jesus Christ did for all of us and remember that He, and Heavenly Father love you! Deus vos guarde!
~Elder Walker

P.S. I will attach some pictures.

jer^^nimo cathedral.JPGjer^^nimo cathedral
jer^^nimo cathedral 2.JPGjer^^nimo cathedral
me, maria, elder dean.JPGme, maria, elder dean
the navigators of bel^^m.JPGthe navigators of bel^^m
the navigators of bel^^m 2.JPGthe navigators of bel^^
the tomb of vasco de gama himself.JPGthe tomb of vasco de gama himself
toy museum in sintra.JPGtoy museum in sintra

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

September 9, 2009

Hey fam. Thanks for the emails! They were awesome. Sounds like everyone's doing awesome! Tell mom to not worry about the writing. Its not a huge deal. We had to leave a little early last week anyway. We went to a place called Sintra which is supposedly the most visited place in Portugal. We went to a toy museum they had there. They had like 50,000 toys. All antiques! It was way cool. Today, we are going to Belém to go to some kind of Interactive Electricity Museum. I dunno much about it. Sounds cool though. It has been raining a lot today. I woke up to the sound of thunder. There was some pretty crazy lightning. But I think its starting to clear up. It feels really nice outside. It has been really hot the last few days. We are still doing well. The language is still coming. We are still teaching quite a bit. But a little less, because all of our investigators have been baptized. We still teach them, but now that they are baptized, we are going to probably have to spend a lot of time looking for people. It has been a lot easier for me to talk to people on the streets. I can definitely see that the language has improved. But contacting people that way isnt very effective here. Nobody really wants to listen. They all say "Não, não quero nada. Estou com pressa. Eu sou catolico." Or "no, I dont want anything. Im in a hurry. Im catholic." Its true, everyone here is catholic. None are practicing. Its frustrating. The African people are much more open to us. That explains why all of our investigators that we have, and we have baptized have been African. But the most effective way of finding people is through our members. The two investigators that we have invited to be baptized are both member referrals. We have Moisés and Gil. Moisés is actually Brazilian. They are both really cool. We invited Moisés to be baptized, but he says he needs an answer first before he gets baptized into our church, because he was already baptized in the Baptist Church. But he is really cool. He drinks, but is trying to stop. The only way he can recieve an answer is if he keeps the commandments. So we really have to get him to stop drinking. Gil already knows the church is true. He just has a few doubts about marrying non members. He has seen some bad examples from some of our members. So we just gotta get that worked out. We havent invited him yet. But he already told us if he is going to be baptized in any church, it will be ours. He is an awesome guy. Our investigator Maria is finally getting baptized this Saturday. She is way excited! She is golden. She already has a way strong testimony. She is even saving her money for tithing already! She told us that before the Elders who found her (Elder Markarian and the comp he had before me, Elder Mateer) she used to be scared where she lives. It is sort of a scary area called Quinta do Mocho. A bunch of government apartments where the only people that live there are African. It gets pretty crazy there supposedly. We arent supposed to be there after dark. But she said she used to be scared going to work and stuff. But now she knows that God is with her, and she even walks to work now. She is so awesome. We are really excited for the baptism. Its going to be awesome. Yeah, I didnt think I would have this many baptisms here either. This is a really blessed area. I think the biggest reason is that a lot of the people that live here are African. ThePortuguese people are the ones who dont ever want to talk to us. All the African people actually stop and listen. Sounds like the wedding went awesome! I really wish I could have been there. Oh, by the way, my companion Elder Dean knows Gretchen! I got the wedding invite in the mail, opened it up and showed Elder Dean the pictures and he said "I know her!" He went to her same school. They were in the same grade. I think he said they were in a class together. His name is Jordan Dean. You will have to talk to Gretchen, and see if she knows him. Yeah, those pictures I sent were of our branch. That wasnt everyone. There are a few more in our branch. There are actually a lot more members, but a lot of inactives. But yeah, pretty small branch. I think its going to grow a lot though. This is the most baptisms they have seen here in a long time. I didnt baptize anyone. Ourbranch president baptized Albertina, and Colombo's friend Artur baptized him. Our branch president also baptized Oscar. We let them choose who they want to baptize them. Maria chose Elder Dean to baptize her. Sounds like everything is awesome there. I havent got the package yet mom. I got a letter in our mailbox yesterday that says that the package is waiting at the post office. I just have to go pick it up but probably wont have time today. Next time send it to the mission office. They wont throw it away. The post office gets rid of it after a few days. Thanks though. My birthday was cool. It was on fast sunday, so I was pretty hungry. But church was cool. In Priesthood Meeting, our priesthood leader got up and announced that it was our Branch President's birthday. It was way funny. Then Elder Dean got up and said that it was my birthday too. So me and President Barros got up in front of the room and they all sang the birthday song to us in Portuguese. Its the same tune as in America, but different words, and 2 verses long. It was a good day. Thanks for everything. I love you all! I will send pictures from the baptism next week. Amo vocês!
Elder Walker

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

September 2, 2009

Vocês esqueceram-se para escrever um email! Mais uma vez! Mas ta bem. Não faz mal. Eu vou escrever. How're y'all?! Hope all's well. I'm doing well. This week has been good. I have been better at talking to people on the streets and stuff. I have been pretty tired. The language is at a really weird spot right now. I still can't understand very well. It just depends. If I am talking to somebody alone, I think they speak slower so I can understand better. But I still cant really understand everything in lessons and stuff. Its tiring. I think thats why Im tired. But Im still doing better. I have come pretty far, looking back. Its hard to see the improvement, because I am with myself everyday. But I really have learned a lot. Just gotta be patient. We had our baptisms on Sunday. They went very well! I will attach some pictures. Colombo and Albertina were baptized. It was awesome. They both are really excited. Oscar didnt end up baptizing Albertina. He didnt want to for some reason. But Oscar is really excited for Albertina. And he is excited for his daughter Adicilsa to be baptized on the 12 this month. Me and Elder Dean talked to President Torgan about her being deaf and all. He said that all she needs to know is that God loves us, Jesus Christ suffered for our sins, and that the church was restored through Joseph Smith. So we will probably just watch a couple films with her and stuff. She knows right from wrong and everything. She is normal, she just cant hear. So yeah, Oscar is excited for that. And he wants his 2 other kids who live in São Tomé to be baptized as well. Hopefully he can get them here. They are an awesome family. Colombo and Albertina still have to be confirmed which will take place next Sunday. Colombo is awesome. We have been teaching one of his friends, Moisés. He is doing really well I think. He is already baptized and knows a ton of scriptures out of the Bible and stuff. More than I do. He is way nice to. Hes from Brazil. Cool guy. Yesterday, we taught him the Word of Wisdom. Come to find out he drinks. But he really, sincerely wants to stop. I think he is really considering being baptized. He has already talked to our Branch President and everything. I think we will invited him next time we teach. Also, we are still teaching Gil, the friend of our 2 members Zú and Cecílio. He is also considering being baptized and we will invite him soon as well. Its crazy here. We are doing awesome. We made a goal of 7 baptisms for the month of September. President Torgan is really big on baptizing and had us make goals. We think we can reach it too. Again, the people here are just awesome. In fact, sometimes, people contact US wanting to know about our church and stuff. Its really awesome. The Lord is preparing people everyday to hear our message. I love this work. Its hard, but I know we are called of God. I know he is blessing me everyday. I know that I am growing through my trials. I know this is truly the gospel of Jesus Christ here on the Earth. I see it bless lives everyday. I see the difference in happiness of the people that live the gospel, and the ones who dont. I have experienced it too. There is a huge difference. I know that this gospel is the only way to true and lasting happiness. Im thankful to have been born of goodly parents and that I had the opportunity of growing up in this church. I love this work so much. There is no place I would rather be than here in Portugal preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. I love you all! I am so thankful for all of you, and for the loving family you are. Hope Griffin's wedding went awesome! And that everything else is going well. Fiquem bem! Tchau todos!
o Élder Walker

albertina and colombo.JPGalbertina and colombo.JPG
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albertina, presidente barros, artur, colombo.JPGalbertina, presidente barros, artur, colombo.JPG
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oscar, albertina, adicilsa and friends.JPGoscar, albertina, adicilsa and friends.JPG
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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

August 26, 2009

Ok, turns out I dont think I have fleas. Sorry to scare y'all mom. I really thought I had them. I was getting random red dots everywhere, and some of them were itchy. It could have been fleas. Im still not sure. But I think its all gone. I havent been getting the red spots anymore. So I should be fine. You dont need to worry about it though, even if I do have them. Its not that bad. Just itches a little bit. But yeah, they went away somehow. Could have just been some kind of allergic reaction to something. This week was AWESOME! Yesterday was probably the best day I have had on the mission. We had to do all of the baptismal interviews yesterday for 3 of our investigators that are getting baptized (Colombo, Albertina, and Maria). So I had to go on divisions with the District Leader, because he is the one who has to do the interviews. So we had 3 to do in one day, and I was in charge of the lessons. So I taught the entire lesson all 3 times. Then, after the lessons, we had the interviews, so Elder Neve (the district leader) took the other investigators into another room for the interview. Each time I was left in a room alone with somebody else for about 30 mins each time. And I could actually have a conversation with them! The first interview was with Colombo, and I sat and talked to the member he lives with who's name is Artur for a half an hour. I did the same thing at Maria's house with one of our members named Ike. And then at Albertinas house with Oscar. That was the most I have ever spoken in one day, and the most I have ever understood. It was really good practice for me to speak the language face to face with a native speaker, and to be outgoing as well. I know now for sure that I can learn the language. I am a lot better at it than I thought. Awesome! Anyways, today is Pday, and we are going to the Jardim Zoológico, or the zoo that they have here. Supposedly its pretty awesome. Im excited. Things are going really well with Elder Dean. We joke around a lot. He is funny, but has a sort of sense of humor that I had to get used to. But he is really cool. We are still having a lot of success here in Sacavém. There are so many awesome people here. I love it. We are having 2 baptisms this Sunday. Colombo and Albertina will be baptized. Oscar recieved the Aaronic Priesthood last Sunday, so he will be baptizing Albertina. And Colombo will be baptized by the member he lives with, Artur. All of them are really, really solid. Albertina is shy, but she already knows a lot about the gospel, and has already seen the blessings of it in her life. Plus, she has Oscar as a husband, who is awesome! Then we have Colombo, who is just as solid, who read the Book of Mormon until 2 Nephi before we even started teaching him, who has now finished the entire book and started over, watched all of the church films we have, and wants more, and who quit smoking, and went cold turkey the day we taught him about the word of wisdom, and hasnt smoked a cigarette since. Awesome guy! Then Maria will be baptized on September 12, as well as Oscar and Albertina's daughter Adicilsa. Maria has been taught all of the lessons twice now, and is very ready to be baptized. She knows everything now. She is so awesome. She just feels good about September 12, so we kept that date. We still havent been able to teach Adicilsa. We found out she knows a lot of Portuguese sign language, but we are not sure if the church has anything in portuguese sign language. She cant read very well. But her primary teacher said she understands a lot of the lessons she teaches. She will be our main focus this next week. The Lord truly has been preparing people to hear our message. Sometimes, people contact US on the street and say they want to hear our message. Yeah, things are going awesome here. Better than ever. Its weird, because supposedly there is a saying among the Elders here that "missionaries go to Sacavém to rot." Not a true statement. In fact, I think this might be one of the most succussful areas in Portugal. I dunno. We are doing awesome. I think this area has had a history of lazy elders or something. I dunno. Thanks for sending Sonny's letter, that is really good to see how he is doing. Yeah, if you dont mind, that would be awesome if you kept doing that every once in a while. Griffin and Gretchen are getting married tomorrow! Thats crazy! Im way excited for them! Yall should send me the wedding invitation. Thats crazy what happened at the cabin! I hope its ok. Whatever you do, dont let them sell the cabin!!! Do everything you can to keep it!!! I guess the carpet needed to be replaced anyway. Ha ha. You should save a piece of it and frame it. That carpet is a legend. "Yeah, we are going to our cabin this weekend." "Oh, that one with the rainbow shag carpet?" Ha ha. I am going to miss going there this winter. I think it will be my first away from the cabin. Thats awesome that Kaenan is playing futebol! (soccer). Is he liking it at all? I know I didnt really like sports when I was a kid. It seems like he is too young to play, but I guess hes getting old. Crazy. Im guessing thats how young the people here are when they start playing. EVERYONE here plays soccer. Its huge. There are 3 professional teams here in Portugal. There is Sporting, Benfica, and Porto. Porto is the best supposedly. And Sporting and Benfica are rivals. Cristiano Renaldo, who is supposedly the best player in the world is from Porto, but he plays for Manchester United (England) now. Every kid, and teenager plays soccer. And some play basketball, but soccer is huge. Every kid wants to be a professional soccer player when they grow up. Its funny. Im going to be here during the world cup next year too. Supposedly its crazy around here when its going on. You cant get lessons because everyone is watching the game. And when Portugal scores, you can here people yelling at blowing horns and stuff. Sounds cool. Im glad to hear about Brennan. Is he going to church at all, or does he still work on Sundays? Sounds like everything is going great there. Its so awesome hearing from yall every week. I love you all! Deus vos guarde!!! Fiquem fixe!!!
Elder Walker

P.S. I made Perfect Pancakes again. This time I seperated the egg whites and whipped them. So good! And I made buttermilk syrup with brown sugar. Amazing!

P.P.S. I need more recipes. Maybe stroganoff or anything else like that?

P.P.P.S. I can't get on to Sonnys blogspot. Maybe you can send me his posting address (not email.)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

August 19, 2009

I officially have fleas! I starting getting them bad about 1 week ago. They mostly bite all over my legs. Its crazy! I have never even seen one! I just know they're there because I keep getting bit. Its not too itchy. Not as bad as I thought anyway. Usually at the end of the day is when I notice them. There isnt really a way to get rid of them either. Just gotta deal with it. Anyways, its been a good succussful week. We have had a lot of lessons because we have scheduled lessons with our investigators that have a baptismal date. Our investigator introduced us to a man named Moisés (thats how you say Moses in Portuguese) who is from Brazil. He is baptist, and pretty Bible smart. But really cool guy too. We have been teaching him and the Spirit seems to be present in the lessons. We havent been able to get ahold of him for a few days so we dont really know how he is doing. Colombo also introduced us to a man named Norberto who we have only taught once. But Colombo is AWESOME! He has already read the entire book of mormon and has started over! He already has such a strong testimony too. He is so awesome. Love that guy. He will be baptized on August 29th. Albertina is progressing well. As I think I said before, she finally got work off on Sundays, so she could come to church. Just recently, her boss fired the guy who works on sundays, so now she has to work on sundays again. But she has a lot of faith I think. We believe she can get it off again. She seems more interested in the church now, especially since we are focusing more on her than Oscar. Maria is still awesome. Still lonely. But she acts just like a member. She is already so ready to be baptized, and has had all the lessons. She just doesnt want to be baptized until September 12. So, all is well with the work. Language is slowly, slowly, slowly improving. Elder Dean tells me that by the end of the 3rd transfer is when I will understand about half of what everyone says. Thats a long ways a way! Oh well. It will come. Slowly. Everythings going well with the comp. Like I said, he is an AWESOME teacher and can answer any question anyone has. He knows a lot. Tell Griffin and Gretchen Parabéns (par-a-baynj) for me. (Congratulations.) Im way excited for them. I cant believe they're getting married! Its nuts! That's so cool your choir gets to sing with yall! Awesome! I remember doing that when I was in Childrens choir. That will be really awesome for them. Are you having any guest singer there for the Christmas concert? Like Brian Stokes Mitchell or anyone? Im going to miss going to that concert this year. Too bad. Yeah I did know about the gazebo. Things are going to be so different when I get home. Its crazy! New carpet, new painting, new fireplace, a gazebo in the backyard, Griffin will be married, I might even have some new nieces/nephews, Kaenan will be 7 years old! Crazy! Probably more will be different too. Who knows? Things are still going awesome here. Im still trying to speak more. Its hard to speak it all the time when you know you dont have to, because my comp speaks english. But I think Im gonna try harder to speak it. I cant really think of a whole lot more that I need here. I could maybe use 2 or 3 of those good shirts from JCPenney. You know, the good stafford ones. I hate the ones I got at Mr Mac. Just a few of the short sleeve ones will do. My neck size is 16.
I dunno. Ties are always good. I do have plenty though. I wish you could send milk. The milk here is aweful! Supposedly, they radiate it! It tastes so bad. Its ok in cereal, but you cant drink it plain, it just tastes to weird. I could send you milk. The reason they radiate it is so it will have a longer shelf life. You can leave the milk cartons out of the fridge and they will last like 4 weeks or something. Gross. I honestly cant think of anything else. Food is good here. I dont eat a lot of candy, and I dont really know what candy they dont have here. We make cookies a lot, so Im ok with that. Root Beer would be really good. They dont have that here. Cant send that. Root beer and mapleine are the only two food things I can think of. And some good American milk. Oh, they also dont have tortillas here! I dont know if it would be possible to send those. I dont think you cant keep them out of the fridge. Im not sure how long it takes to send a package. I think its about 2 weeks for a letter. But I have about 4 weeks until transfers, and thats usually when I can get my mail. Send packages to the mission office address, not to the house address. Yeah, otherwise, Im good. Everythings awesome. They have amazing bread here. So Im good with that. They basically have everything we have in america. For the most part. Well, I love you all. Keep me updated with everything. Fiquem bem! Tchau!
Elder Walker