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

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

August 12, 2009

Wow! Awesome email! I finally know what's going on over there! Sounds like things are going really well. Things here are going awesome. It has been REALLY hot though. I dont know how hot. Somewhere in the 40s I think (celcius.) Definitely the hottest I have been since I got here. And its supposed to stay that way for the next couple weeks I think. The new companion is awesome. His name is Elder Dean. He has been out for a year. He just came from the Azores. He is from American Fork. He is so good at teaching! Amazing! And really good at the language (although he has a pretty heavy american accent.) Cool dude though. Yesterday was probably my most successful day on the mission. Our investigators are progressing so well. We had 4 lessons yesterday (which is kind of a lot) and they were are with our investigators. In 2 of the lessons, they brought friends, who really, really liked our message. So 2 new investigators. Elder Dean is a really hard worker who's gonna whip me into shape. Elder Markarian was too. But I think Elder Dean works even harder. The language is improving I think. We just had our Zone Conference, and I understood almost all of it (mostly because I understand all of the Elders, who speak slow and have American accents) But I think its slowly progressing. Patience. Im glad Grandma Walker is doing well. She is awesome. She keeps writing me letters. I got one of here letters at the mailbox at our home. So cool. Im glad Grandpa Sheril is doing good too. I cant believe Uncle Richard got cancer again. I hope he is ok. Its all up to the Lord though. That is really awesome about Leanna, Susan, and Lori. I had no idea any of them were trying out. Thats going to be so awesome if they make it in. Really awesome for mom. By the way, speaking of the Rymers. I heard Tyler got his call and has already left. Do you know anything about that? All I heard was that he got his call. Im dying to know where he went. Things are going awesome here in Sacavém. Its been a little difficult getting us around everywhere and remembering where everything is and all of the people we have been teaching, but I think Im finally getting the hang of things. The people here are still awesome. There are a lot of people that the Lord has prepared I think. These African people really are all very humble people. All of our investigators are African. I love em! Oscar is doing really well too. His wife, who didnt seem to be progressing finally got the courage up to ask her boss to get Sundays off work. So now she can come to church! And she realizes the blessing it is too. I think she is really excited now. Oscar is preparing to recieve the Aaronic Priesthood, and will recieve the Melchizedek pretty soon after. We are still going to have to find a way to teach their daughter Adicilsa. We are going to give her a blessing this Sunday. Oscar requested it. He has so much faith. Awesome guy. I still havent heard anything about Sonny. Do you know how he is doing? He has a blog. Maybe you could just tell me a little of whats going on. Anyways, it was really awesome hearing from y'all this week. Sounds like everything is pretty normal. Moms stressed about school, you guys are working on the house, Kaenan is starting some new thing. Yeah, pretty normal. What day exactly are Griffin and Gretchen getting married? I cant remember. Cant really think of anything else thats going on. Eu amo vocês! Fiquem fixe pás!!!
Elder Walker

P.S. I cant really think of very many things I need. They have a lot of good stuff here. Oh! Mapleine! They dont have that here! That would be awesome for making syrup. Also, supposedly the deodorant here is really bad. (By the smell of it, most people dont use it. Uggh!!!)I only have one stick left of american kind. Maybe you could send me some of that. I like the Old Spice Red Zone kind thats like the white gel stuff. Ask Griffin, I think he uses the same kind. Other than that I think Im ok. If I think of anything else I'll let you know. I could definitely use some more recipes too. Anything else you can think of to send will be awesome.

P.P.S. I will send some more pics

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

August 5, 2009

Então Família! Como estão?! Há transferências esta semana! Its crazy! 6 weeks is already up and transfers are tomorrow! Elder Markarian is leaving to be Zone Leader in Oeiras and I am staying here in Sacavém! I havent met my new companion yet, but I think his name is Elder Dean. I dont know anything about him. Hopefully he speaks the language well. Its gonna be really hard if he doesnt. Im basically going to be in charge of getting us around to all of the areas and remembering everyone we are teaching. I am probably going to have to do a lot more talking too. Its gonna be really hard but I suppose its meant to be. I will probably learn a lot this transfer. Transfers are a lot different this time, according to everyone that has been here longer than I have. I got here when our new Mission President got here, so nothing is new to me. But supposedly he has changed a lot of things. He is really awesome though, everyone loves him. How do we know him again? Didnt you say Uncle Richard knows him mom? I cant remember. Anyways, tomorrow I meet my new comp and then come back here and immediately start working. Its gonna be tough. As usual, the language still seems to be a big barrier. It has still been a little hard for me to be outgoing as well. Thats going to have to stop. Especially since my new companion wont know anybody here. This morning, I studied about the parable of the talents in Matthew, and then I also studied in D&C. God has given me talents. He has given me the ability to be able to speak well. But I havent opened my mouth. He says that if I dont use my talents, he will take away what I have. But if I use them, he will give me more. Im going to try really hard to speak a lot this transfer and be "greg"arious. I know the Lord will give me the Gift of the Interpretation of Tongues if I use what he has already given me. Everything has been going awesome though. About 2 weeks ago, we contacted this man on the street named Steven. He started speaking in English, saying he didnt speak Portuguese. So we started talking to him, and he said he is from Nigeria. So we got his number, and told him we wanted to meet him. We met him a couple times, but he didnt have enough time to hear our message both times. We met him again, and he told us he had some people he wanted us to meet. So we met these to women, Donya and Sahar. Donya is Sahar's mom. They told us they are from Iran, and neither of them speak Portuguese. Sahar speaks a little English, and Donya only speaks Persian. We knew they were Muslim, so we didnt want to teach them (we are not allowed to.) So we just showed them around our chapel and told them why we are here. They told us they are trying to get to Canada. But we didnt really know why they were here. So a couple days later, we met up with them again, and this time with Donya's husband, Sahar's dad Morteza. He told us all about why they are here. Supposedly the Iranian government is really bad right now, and they had thrown him in prison a couple times. He eventually ran from the government, not knowing where to go and eventually ended up here in Portugal with little money, not speaking a word of Portuguese. They are trying to get to Canada, where their son lives, but cant get their documents from Iran. They cant return there. We decided we can teach them, because they cant ever go back to Iran. They are all Muslim, but none of them like their religion. They are really interested in learning about Jesus Christ and they even came to church on Sunday. Both me and Elder Markarian have a feeling that they came here for a reason. They are really awesome people. Its hard to teach them. Morteza speaks very well but its hard for him to understand the gospel vocab. Plus, they have to translate to Donya. Hopefully, we can get them some things in their own language. Also, our investigator Colombo is progressing really well. We taught him the Word of Wisdom the other day, and he told us that he smoked. He doesnt smoke a lot, but I think he is addicted. Anyways, he has so much faith, and no doubt that he can quit, and that the Lord will bless him. He told us he was going to stop that day. Awesome guy. Very humble. He is marked to be baptized August 29th. So cool. This area is really awesome. I am glad I am staying. Im sad Elder Markarian is leaving. He has been an awesome influence for all these people. Also we are way good friends now. Things have been awesome lately. I learned so much this transfer from him. He is awesome. Things are awesome here. I love being on my mission. Obrigado todos!!!
Elder Walker

P.S. I finally sent some pictures. They are attached to the email. If you can figure it out mom, you should post some on my blog. You'll have to save them onto the computer and then post a new blog. There should be some button you can click to upload photos.

P.P.S. How are the wedding plans going?