Wednesday, February 10, 2010

February 8, 2010

Hey fam,
Another way awesome week in the Azores. I am really loving the area. It has probably been one of the favorite transfers of my mission so far. I am learning a ton. It is a tough area, but we are teaching a lot and having quite a bit of success. We have a lot of investigators, most of which were already investigators when I got here. It is hard helping them progress. The people here seem to be really lazy. It's hard to help people understand that we are here to help, and that we want them to be happy. Everyone here has problems with drinking or smoking or the law of chastity. But we have found some good, sincere people.

The culture is just so different. I have never seen a more Catholic based society. Even a lot of the members (which are few) still have somewhat "catholic views" on certain things. By the way, I don't think I have told you about the branch here. We have 2 branches, the Air Base 4 branch, which is the american military branch, and the Praia/Lajes branch, which is the Portuguese branch. We don't go the the American branch, but they feed us all the time and stuff. There are a lot of active members, but we don't really work with them at all. The Portuguese branch consists of about 6 or 7 active members, besides the missionaries and the branch president, who is american. There are about 120 inactive members. It is ridiculous trying to work with them. Almost every single inactive member that we have tried to work with says that in some way or another, they were offended at some point, by some other member, and never went back. Even some members that already served missions, and some that have been branch presidents. It's ridiculous. Some of them have even gone back to the Catholic church. It is way sad to see. It's hard enough to get investigators to answer the door, but it's even harder to get inactive members to open the door here. It's stressful, and makes it hard for our investigators to see that it really is the true church, I think. The active members that we have are all way awesome, but there are very few.

I really am learning a lot though. And I am gaining a really strong testimony. It is different now, when I bear my testimony. It is awesome to be able to bear it, and really feel it and know for sure that it is true. It is way cool to be able to be guided by the spirit, and I can honestly say that I have been. It's funny, one of my MTC teachers, Brother Kimball served in this same area on his mission about 5 years ago. I remember him showing us pictures and saying "this is when I became a man." It's funny, but I sort have felt the same way, in this same area. I feel like I am really learning how to work effectively and am gaining a huge testimony.

Well, I am out of time again. This internet place closes for lunch, so we usually have less time to write. I will try to send pictures next week I think. I love you!

Elder Walker

P.S. Dad, you would love being here. There are all kinds of fighter jets and military airplanes flying around all the time.

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