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