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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