Wednesday, November 18, 2015

what happens when the house doesn't say BEWARE OF DOG?

November 18, 2015

I  waited a couple weeks to tell this story so that my poor mother would know that i'm perfectly fine, as well as hermana hidalgo. 
here it is, directly from my journal. 
     november 1, 2015: well, today is a day that i never ever thought would happen when i thought of my mission. 1) how fast a year goes because we're already in november. 2) we had a very dramatic experience with a giant siberian husky today. today was a great day at church. it was fast and testimony meeting and many shared their testimonies. in gospel principles we talked about temples and in relief society we talked about the prodigal son. alejandra was given a talk to give next sunday!!! :D she's so excited to do her family history and go to the temple. after church, we had lunch and as we do every sunday, TRACTING! we had a lesson planned with woldy but he didn't answer his phone so what did we do? TRACTED SOME MORE.  we had a lesson with a sweet lady named elsa after 2 really UNsweet ladies shut their doors in our faces. i started to tear up a little, just with frustration. that usually doesn't happen but today i felt sensitive for some reason. but we had this lesson with elsa (our new investigator) we taught a lesson on prayer and it helped me "recharge" spiritually. we left and started tracting again and on the way to another lesson, stopped at an old investigator's house to see house she was doing. i've never met her because she's hardly ever there due to her work schedule. but today, SHE WAS THERE! but, this is where it gets crazy. she let us in her front gate and we gave the normal kiss on the cheek. i saw her giant siberian husky trying to get out of the side gate and wouldn't ya know it, he did. he came straight for my legs and started biting me. i thought for a minute he was playing until he starting biting harder. he apparently got bored and went for hermana hidalgo. he jumped on top of her and started to bite her head. it took keñña (our investigator) and her sister to get him off and hermana hidalgo wasn't moving as she laid there on the ground. she was bleeding a lot and the dog had ripped her dress. all she said was "my head hurts" and closed her eyes. they took us immediately to the clinic where our mission president met us. she got stitches in two places on her head and they gave her a prescription for the pain. 
when we were in the car with president so that he could take us home, hermana hidalgo said something incredible. 

she said, "it happened for a reason. keñña is so great." 
9 words. she is such an example. 

why am i telling this story? i want you all to know that the trials we have happen for a reason. when we left that morning we never would have imagined something like this would happen. as in life, the trials we face aren't things that we would think would happen. so why do we have them? why do we have to pass through hard things? in 2 Nephi we learn that without opposition in all things, we could not know true happiness. we could not know true joy and we could not grow. our Heavenly Father wants us to be eternally happy. not just for a short amount of time. i hope that as you go through hard trials, whatever they may be, you can remember that they are for our benefit. we will never be given something that we cannot overcome. 

i hope you all have a wonderful week! enjoy the snow and in the meantime, i'll be using 50 SPF sunscreen and bug spray. 

love, hermana walker

meet dude. the mission dog. he protects us from the other dogs, minus the ones that attack you from inside gates. in this photo, as you can see, i was a little frustrated that he wasn't cooperating. 

our last district photo before elder webb returned to texas. (left to right:) elder webb, elder hermosilla, hermana hidalgo, elder marrero, elder hanni, elder johnson, elder fowles and elder jones

transfer meeting. i had to say goodbye to hermana henrikson yesterday because she has gone to the land of san miguel. i will miss her so much. on the bright side, hermana ibañez (my daughter) also had transfers and now lives with me once more! 

reindeer make better friends than dogs.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

where will you run?

October 29th, 2015

every other transfer, we have a p-day de hermanas. all of the sisters of the mission get together and we do something. usually it's play sports in one of the church buildings and eat food. but today, we decided to go to the temple.
 hermana gaitan is the only one "dying" (finishing her mission) at the end of this transfer so we wanted to do something really special. we were all supposed to be at the temple at 8 am which means we needed to leave by 6, take a bus to the train station, take the train and then another bus. and it's about the same distance for all of the sisters. we all waited outside until about 8:30 for hermana gaitan and her companion (hermana sprenz). we decided to go inside because it was getting late and saw them walk in a little later. afterwards, when we were all outside again, hermana gaitan explained to us what had happened that made them late and it was something she said that hit me so deeply. in the mornings, there are obviously a lot of people going to and from work. they missed a couple buses because they were so full and the bus from the train to the temple wasn't coming fast enough so they decided to run. hermana gaitan said as they were running, they ran past some college students that were also running. she said " what a contrast. we were running to the temple and they to class." now this is not to say that running or going to college is a bad thing. obviously it's a great thing and completely necessary for our lives. but what about eternal life? what are we doing to achieve it? where are we running? the temple is where we go to recieve spiritual enlightenment, peace, tranquility, comfort and answers to our prayers. it's where we go to be in the House of the Lord and be closer to Him. i encourage you that you can make it a goal to go to the temple often. to live in a way that you can recieve the promised blessings found within.
highlights from this week:
    -woldy decimis. he's from haiti and has a baptismal date for november 15! he is so prepared to recieve the gospel. he speaks spanish, french, creole (what they speak in haiti) and portugese. he's 22 years old and has recently moved to chile to live with his sister, junie. junie dones't speak hardly any spanish but we've been working with her and she has a book of mormon in french to help compare the words when we read. 
   -alejandra cornejo. i love this woman to death. she is just such a spunky lady! she's 30 and recently coming back to church. we had a family home evening with her and her family (her mom and her brother-both baptized but inactive) and each read a scripture story or just one. her mom hasn't been to church in many years simply for the reason that she doesn't get along with the members. alejandra told her in the lesson, "mom, that's pride. the Lord made a commandment to keep the Sabbath Day Holy, not for the people, but for Him" my mouth was open the whole time, i'm sure. and you know what her mom said? "tomorrow, i will go to church." and you know what, SHE DID. there she was, hermana brenda, in church at 10 am Sunday morning. can you see the miracles? 
   i hope you are seeing the miracles in your daily lives. thank you for your support. the letters, the emails. all of them help so much. have a great week! 

love, hermana walker

hermana cabrera and i after divisiones yesterday in our zone conference

hermana hidalgo and i

those who have been companions with hermana gaitan. (hermana lesh, me, hermana ross, hermana sprenz)

all of the sisters from la misión chile santiago sur.

 las viajitas (the oldies) hermana williamson, hermana ross, hermana goodwin, me, hermana moreno and hermana nicoll

a picture

October 29th, 2015

​the district: elder marrero (puerto rico), elder jones (boise, idaho..woo!), elder hanni (utah), elder webb (texas), hermana hidalgo, and i 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

a change of beds and a change of heart

October 7, 2015

another transfer has ended and i am no longer in chena. i changed beds and am now in san bernardo. let me explain. we live with the sisters who are serving in chena. have two sets of bunkbeds and i have moved from the bed in the right corner to the bed in the left. haha i am now with hermana hidalgo from peru! i miss hermana henrikson dearly but it's not so bad due to the fact that we still live in the same house and i didn't have to go through the drama of packing my suitcases. i have been called as a sister training leader which means i'll most likely be staying here in san bernardo for a while. i will also be going on lots of divisions and getting to know the sisters (nicoll and silva, allison and silva, cabrera and williamson, balladares and henrikson and ross and arias) all of these sweet young women are incredible missionaries and extraordinary examples. i know they will change my heart and teach me more than i could ever imagine. what gems they truly are. 

i'm going to tell you today about 2 very special people. xaviera and cristina. xaviera is 14 and her dad isn't a member along with being (as most dads) very protective. she is an amazing young woman with such strong desires to serve a mission and follow the Savior. she told us a story of the other day when her parents got in an argument. she said she strated to cry and got down on her knees, asking Heavenly Father to help her parents forgive one another and that she could know what to do. that night, they had gotten home late from singing for las fiestas patrias and her mom said that she was ready to move out of the house. xaviera went to bed at 4 am and set her alarm to get ready for church the next day. when it went off, she said she prayed and decided to go to church, stayed for all the meetings and ran home to see how everything was at home. to her relief, her parents had resolved everything. she said it was then that she received a real testimony that the Lord answers prayers. she and her mom were inactive earlier this year. these changes are made possible only through the Spirit working in their lives and their change of heart to follow the commandments that our Father in Heaven has given us. the second, cristina. i think i've talked about her once or twice before. she is a woman burdened with many health problems and a very humble life but is one of THE HAPPIEST people i have ever known. we went to her house on monday night and talked about general conference because she wasn't able to go due to more health issues. we talked about the many talks that expressed our divine nature as children of God. she said something that hit me hard. she said "me siento importante cuando me habla así" (i feel important when you say that) isn't that how we all should feel? important to the Lord in every moment? yes it is. we are important to Him. He wants to hear from us. He wants us to feel important and that we are His.

one phrase that i loved from conference was "the light always penetrates the darkness" how true this is. and what is that light? Christ. our Savior and Redeemer. please remember your importance to the Lord and our Heavenly Father and live with the faith of cristina and xaviera. live with the faith to follow what He asks of us. 

i hope you all have a wonderful week. 

love, hermana walker 

my new comp, hermana hidalgo! 

goodbye selfies with hermana henrikson

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

the sick bug is buzzin' around

September 30, 2015

so about half the mission has bronchitis. including my companion who also got pink eye. our room is a petri dish but thankfully i haven't gotten it and she's just about over it, so i think i'm doing good. my comp just can't get a break, poor thing, because even though she just got over her bronchitis, she got bit by a dog yesterday so we're workin on that now. she's a trooper :) your prayers would be appreciated for Hermana Henrikson. 

now on to the week. we have been visiting a less active young woman named rocio who got baptized last december. her mom is inactive and so is her brother but they are very nice and always invite us in. her sister in law, katy, lives there now with rocio's brother. i think i talked about them last week. we went to visit rocio again last wednesday and when we got there it was her and katy. we started centered on the family and talked mainly to katy. we now have a new investigator! :) she said that a while back, the missionaries had gone to her house to help her with english and talked a little about Joseph Smith and the Plan of Salvation but she didn't remember much. so we left her with a pamphlet of the Restoration and explained a little about what she would be reading. she is so receptive and i know rocio and her brother, gonzalo (katy's boyfriend) will be a great support for her and that all together they will be able to support each other as a family. :) 

ok, i don't know why the time that we have to write always go by so fast. sorry that there isn't much this week but i hope you all have a great conference weekend and take the time to listen to our prophet's voice. what they will say is prepared with you in mind and exactly what the Lord would have you hear. please take time to watch all the sessions and invite someone to watch with you. 

love, hermana walker 

Saturday, September 26, 2015

we got earthquakes, spring, some bugs in our broccoli and miracles

September 23, 2015

well i'm sure you've all heard-there was an earthquake. i will tell the story as written in my journal: my first earthquake hit today. the first big one at least. here in Santiago it was about 7.9 on the Richter Scale and 8.4 in the epicenter. we were walking to visit Rocio Arce after p-day where we just happened to be in the Costanera Center (the tallest building in South America) when this older man walked out of his house with big eyes and said "esta temblando chiquillas" i didn't have time to ask "¿que?" because i felt the shaking and the road looked like a wave. it was crazy! it went on for about 30 seconds and we kept walking but in the middle of the street away from buildings like Hermana Cook (our mission president's wife said ;) haha i was pretty proud i remembered. we got to Rocio's house and every few minutes felt the aftershocks. one of the glasses fell out of the shelf but that was really the only thing. the important thing is that we're all safe and prepared for if another one hits. thank you for all of your emails and concern in relation to it. the people on the coast are the ones who are suffering because it hit much harder there. please keep them in your prayers and remember that the Lord knows all and has a plan. we have no need to fear. 

IT'S SPRING AND I'M HAPPY. it's finally spring which meeeeans SUN. there has been sun lately but it just makes me happy to know we're into the "always" sunny days. autumn is always a great season too so i hope you're all enjoying the falling leaves and crisp air. 

bugs in our broccoli. that was a great story. and again, i will write from my journal. what a better way to start spring than with some fresh vegetables from the farmer's market, right? wrong. we were at lunch and the hermana said, "these are fresh from the farmer's market, enjoy!" after finding various hairs in my soup, i picked up some broccoli off the plate ready to eat it. i saw something black just as it was close and looked a little closer to see, not one, not two but like 10 bugs on my broccoli. apparently it was EXTRA fresh. i told Hermana Henrikson to look at hers and started picking them off with her fork. this isn't the best part. we told the hermana because we just thought it would be best to say something so she as well didn't have to eat them and she said, looking close, "well, they're dead aren't they? i washed it real good but i guess they stayed." mmm. protein.  it was a memorable moment and so funny! 

miracles. thursday we had to go pick up lunch from the Bishop's house. it was about 9 at night and then we headed over to Elizabeth's house (an investigator) by the time we got across our area it was about 9:30. she wasn't there so we decided to contact Colón (the main street) all the houses are either really rich or businesses and by this time there weren't many people opening there doors. we rand the doorbell of the biggest house on this road and i thought, "surely no one is going to come out, and if they do, they're not gonna want to talk to us" oh, ye of little faith, Hermana Walker. out came one of the best contacts i've had in the mission. Mauricio is his name. turns out his dad lived in a street called Bogota-IN BRISAS. (my area before this) i said, "i know that street!" when he started talking he said, "i know who you are; i've always thought of the missionaries as angels because i saw them one day talking to my dad in the plaza. he was sick and i was leaving in my car really fast for work and i saw two of you talking to him and i felt peace come to my soul. this was 10 years ago and my dad got baptized. i didn't go to his baptism and now i regret it. he died that same year.." i think my mouth was open the whole time he was talking. the timing of the Lord is incredible. what would have happened if the two sisters 10 years ago hadn't talked to his dad? what if he hadn't have been leaving for work and didn't see them? what would have happened if we had said "yeah we're tired and we only have 15 minutes left, lets go home"? the Lord blesses our lives when we don't even know we need it. of course we all want blessings at certain times, but the Lord knows when we NEED them. i want to testify to you that i know this is true. talk to those around you. share the Gospel with them. share your knowledge and testimony of Christ with them. you do not know when they will need it or when you will need it. :) have a great and safe week everyone! 

love, hermana walker

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

las fiestas patrias

September 16, 2015

it's been a party here in chena these last couple weeks.
 this friday is their independence day so we're up to our necks in empanadas, mote con huesillo (barley with dried peaches in juice), anticucho (shishkabobs) and a chilean flag everywhere ya look. the hoods of cars, side mirrors, every window of every apartment, everywhere. 
this means that it's been a little difficult for us, the missionaries. but we're pressing forward just the same. :) 
more to come next week. enjoy the pictures! thank you for all of your support. i know that our Savior even the hardest times is by our side. take time to pray to Him and ask for His guidance. love, hermana walker  

​empanadas! they have meat, olives, and raisins. an interesting combo but i love 'em!

martina and i at the ward party -this is the traditional dress of chile's national dance-The Queca 

​aaaaaand..i've hit the 9 month mark! glad a little bit of pinterest is still in my brain so i can take such cute and memorable photos​ ;) 

​lunch with the bradfords-the married couple in the office. and hermana hidalgo (peru) and hermana hernandez (argentina) we live with them

​my compy-Hermana Henrikson. i just love her! 

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

don´t cut the spaghetti

September 2, 2015

I'm trying to be really creative with the titles of these emails but they´re bad, i know. sorry folks! 

the reason for the title is that the other day, we had lunch with sister named Silvana Espósito. she´s italian and one of the coolest ladies ever. the story is that i always thought it was more polite to cut the spaghetti first and then eat it so you aren´t slurping it all up and getting it all over your face. well, apparently it´s very offensive to cut the spaghetti! she told me to never do it again and that it was a good thing it was my first day. eek! she said it nicely buuuut it was obvious that she was serious. so, i learned my lesson and don´t cut spaghetti anymore. now for the spiritual side of things. 

saturday was a day totally in the timing of the Lord. that morning we were walking to visit an elderly sister and as we were about to her house, a guy stopped and asked if we were in the Villa Chena the other day looking for a guy named Mario Tapia. I honestly didn´t remember but as he talked, he said that he was Mario and that we had passed by the other night but his wife answered. then i remembered! we have a list of people who have been inactive in the church of a while and he was on the list! he told us that he was hardly ever in his house because he works transporting goods to Argentina. But, he wants us to visit his wife and son! it really was a miracle. we are excited to find and start teaching Carolina and Sam. :) 

later that day, we had a cosechón. it´s when our district goes to another area to contact in a condensed area to help them find people to teach. we got there and started to knock on doors and knock on doors and more doors without any success. there was a Catholic church close by with a few members outside cleaning and Hermana Henrkison said, ¨let´s ask if we can help them clean¨ so we did, and they said yes! so we cleaned and dusted the benches inside and talked with them afterwards-they knew who we were and we told them that there were also elders in the area that could help them with service another day. i love when we´re able to find service opportunities and opportunities to make friendships and connections.  after we got back, we didn´t have an appointment so we went to contact in a street called Bulnes. we contacted a couple doors asking for a house that we couldn´t find and a guy gave us a referral of his neighbor and said she knew everyone in the street-so we knocked on her door and she was incredible! her name is Elisabeth  and she listened to the missionaries about 8 years ago. she talked to us in the doorway for about 15 minutes and told us that somewhere in her house she had a Book of Mormon but she hadn´t read it in years. we gave her another one and she started to read it right there in the doorway! she explained to us her fear of not knowing what was to come in the next life and we continued to talk. a couple minutes later, she said, ¨what am i doing? come inside!¨ so we walked right in and had a lesson about the plan of salvation and the joy of knowing what comes after this life and that the Book of Mormon the answers to these questions. she started to cry, and i started to cry and we just had a little crying party. i love the Spirit. i love how He works in our lives and in the lives of others when we allow Him to enter our hearts and minds. it was an incredible day and all because we let the Spirit guide us. I challenge you this week to let the Spirit guide. follow His promptings. 

i hope you all have a wonderful week!
hermana walker 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015


August 26, 2015

i've been transferred! it's strange to be in a different area. and when i say different, i mean different.  it's nothing like brisas here and i'm on the other side of the mission but i'm ready to have the marvelous experiences i know i'll have here. :) 
i have a new companion. and she's froooom... CALIFORNIA. 

hermana henrikson is from san diego. she's super great! :) two blondies roaming the streets of chena. woo!

it was hard to leave brisas but i know they're in good hands, the Lord's hands. i had the chance to visit a few people before i left and take some pictures so i'll be sending those. 

yesterday was my first day here and we visited a sister named silvia. her husband passed away recently. we shared jacob 5:70-75 and talked about our part in the work of the Lord just like the servants in the vineyard. she shared with us that she gave a Book of Mormon to a man in her neighborhood the other day and that they talked about the Holy Ghost and his influence in our lives. this man has a wife and 2 kids and we'll be visiting them this week. 

we also visited a sister named ines. she's about 85 years old and her husband also passed away recently. she's studying and preparing to enter the temple to be sealed to him. what a blessing it will be for her. 

i'm so excited to be in a new zone, a new area and with a new companion. i know hermana ibañez will be able to direct the area and keep the work going strong in brisas with hermana lesh. i know i wasn't a perfect trainer and that i wasn't expected to be but i learned that it is not "be perfect" it is, "be perfect in loving as Christ does" and i'm working on this. :) 

i hope you all have a great week! love, hermana walker

1. the Altamirano family! he was the zone leader of my cousin who served in Concepción

2. coni gallo and i 

3. laura gallo and i  

4. yo, hermana ibañez, maria and laura leiton-maria is 99 years old :) 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

JULIA is now a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

August 19th, 2015

so here's the thing with my letter writing. i write before i get to the internet place and plan to type it all out when i'm here. hardly never works out. sooo, i'm sending a picture to make up for it and promising that next week you will all get a good letter. on august 16, julia ponce was baptized and this saturday, anastasia toledo will be baptized. the Lord is preparing those who will receive Him. :) 

love, hermana walker

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

there's just a little bit of rain

August 12, 2015

i have a lot of pictures to send from these past 3 weeks so this email will be mostly photos BUT this week was wonderful! it's been raining. and raining. and raining but i have rain boots and an umbrella so everything is just fine.

on sunday julia ponce will be baptized. she is so special. she's probably one of the most honest people i've ever met and this makes things super funny and really easy to get to know her. last sunday when we called to see if she needed help getting to church seeing that it was about 10:30 and church starts at 10 and she wasn't there yet. when she answered the phone, she didn't say hi or anything just said "hermanas! my sister has bronchitis and i'm taking care of her, talk to her because i'm not lying!" and she passed the phone to her sister. she always wants us to know that she's being honest and i love that! 

on saturday hermana ibañez got up early and made me breakfast and a lemon cake with lemon filling and lemon frosting on friday night. (she took care of me, mom ;) haha and hermano marcario made us lunch and bought me a cake. :) it was so yummy. 

on tuesday we met with a new family. the quiroz's. they're from peru and there's about 3 families living in this house! their hearts are so prepared to receive the Gospel in their lives. i will for sure be telling you more about them soon.

i hope you all had a great week and are having opportunities to serve those around you. your families, friends and those around. love, hermana walker

1. we're in the ANDES! we stopped and got out to take a few pictures before we got to the top of the mountain

2. nacho, hermana silva and hermana ibañez. we ate empanadas for lunch in a little restaurant at the top of the mountain

3. the mountains are breathtaking

4. last p-day! we had a pajama p-day with the other sisters in the mission

5. my lemon cake from hermana ibañez

6. lunch with hermana pamela and hermano marcario :) he even put an American flag on the table 

7. hermana norma, the hippest lady i know, also made me a cake..

8. aaand angelica and hector

9. aaannd tomás bought me a cat pen 

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

I don't know where the time goes

August 5, 2015

i think i'm starting to understand this expression more and more everyday. these last two weeks i haven't sent an email and this week is going to be short but next week will be long with pictures and everything. 

last week we went to the ANDES. can you believe it?? all 3 of the other missionaries in our ward hadn't ever been to the snow so we went up into the mountains with a member and played in the snow :) i took lots of pictures but sadly left my USB cord in the house today. :( so..NEXT WEEK! 

on monday President Cook told me I will be leaving Brisas at the end of this transfer. I'm sad to know I'll be leaving my home away from home but so happy to see the progression here in these past 7 months.

we have baptisms. :) 

august 16: Julia Ponce
august 22: Anastasia Toledo and Cristian Carreño

next week i'll have their stories ready to share and the miracles that come with them. :')

i hope everyone has a great week and is enjoying their summer. :) 

love, hermana walker

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

transfers without transferring

July 15, 2015

well, transfers numero 6. second transfer with hermana ibañez! :) she'll be finishing her training at the end of this transfer (about august 23) and i'll more than likely be leaving my beloved brisas del maipo. it's a sad thought but i have another month and a half here so i'm feeling ok. also, my "mom" hermana jerez is now in argentina with her family. she finished her mission on monday. it was so hard to see her go but i know she needs to continue on with her life outside of the mission. :´) 
this week we had our ward conference and along with that came lots of misionary opportuinites for us and the ward! on friday, we had a movie night in the church and watched Meet the Mormons. if you haven't seen it, i invite you to watch it and invite someone else to watch it with who perhaps doesn't know, or wants to know more about "the mormons" we had a great turn out and ate popcorn. we had 4 investigators there and the elders had 4 as well. 
on saturday we had another activity: ward talent night. our ward has some great talent, let me tell ya. hermana ibañez played the guitar and sang glorioso by david archuleta, hermano gallardo sang. i say sang casually but, HE SANG. seriously one of the best voices i've ever heard. the relief society danced to zumba, the primary sang along with many other talents from others in the ward. it was a great time and the unity in our ward is growing-not only between the members but also between the members and those who are new in the Gospel. 
i'm out of time for today but this week was a great one. i hope you all can feel the love of our Savior. i hope that those of you who were able to go on Moroni's Quest appreciate everyone that helped prepare this wonderful spiritual experience for you. ponder on the feelings that you had and write them in your journal. have a great week everyone!! cuídense! 
love, hermana walker

1. all i can say is i'm grateful for rain boots.
2. our zone played bowling last week for p-day and these guys were on my team. (elder martinez and elder littlefield) i lost everytime but i got a few strikes- better than nothing!

3 & 4. we had the opportunity to go to the temple today with our district for p-day and earlier this week with our investigator, julia. :)
 julia has a baptismal date set for july 25! next saturday!! she's just amazing and incredibly prepared to receive the Gospel of Jesus Christ in her life. she's 76 years old. it is never too late to help someone come to the knowledge of our Savior and Reedemer, our Father in Heaven and the plan they have for us.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

it's about time we had some rain

July 8, 2015

hola everyone! i hope you all had a good 4th of july. i sure did.
 marcario, a recently reactivated member, gave me chocolate with almonds in memory of our day of independence and i was happy. :) 

sadly, i have to be brief today but i'll give the highlights. 

the first thing is: CHILE WON THE 'COPA AMERICA.' i'm not sure if i was happy or sad or indifferent because they beat argentina. part of my heart is in argentina because of my companions but i decided i should probably just stay quiet when hermana ibañez found out that chile won. ;)  
second: we are no longer allowed to use shoulder bags. now we leave the house with nothing but a "blank" Book of Mormon in our hands and our pockets full of what we can't carry! mainly kleenex's because the cold is gettin' to us. haha it's because there have been robberies (?)-i don't remember how to spell that- and it's just safer this way. now we definitely need to know our scriptures! :) without our own markings and everything to help us remember it's a little harder!  

last week.
thursday we had divisions with our hermana leaders. right now they're in a trio. hermana jerez, hermana tadeo and hermana sprenz. i was in la bandera again with hermana sprenz and hermana ibañez stayed here in brisas. it's always a good time, divisions. and we always learn so much. :) 

friday we had a lesson with a new investigator, delfina. delfina is a reference from our ward mission leader, israel. she lives in front of his house and is about 70 years old. she's eager to listen to us and has started to read the Book of Mormon. :)

saturday we had a service project in the morning for the Morales family. we sanded and painted their walls and were covered in paint and dried plaster. it was a great opportunity to get to know their family better and gain more confidence between us and them. :) we had lunch with norma and omar afterwards- an older couple in our ward that recently were sealed in the temple :) they are just great. hermana norma made a cake for hermana ibañez's birthday. it wasn't until monday but she made it early because we weren't going to see them before then. they're so sweet! we started our fast after lunch. our area presidency for chile asked all the members here in chile to fast for rain because of the drought and 
 on sunday, WE HAD A MIRACLE. after we broke our fast on sunday, almost immediately, it started to rain. it didn't downpour or fill the streets but it was enough for us to know that our Father in Heaven listens to our prayers. and this weekend it's forecasted to rain 30 mm. i don't know what that is in inches but they made it sound like a lot. :) 

i'm out of time for today! but i hope you all know and feel how much our Father in Heaven loves us. He listens to our prayers and answers them. in His time, but He answers. i know this to be true and i invite each and every one of you to gain a testimony of this. if you have one already, strengthen it. if you need one, ask Him. He will give in abundance. 

have a great week everyone! 

love, hermana walker

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

a good week for pictures and the work of the Lord

July 1, 2015

This is going to be a shorter letter but we had a great week this week!  I'm going to share just one of the experiences we had. 

Our lesson with Julia. SHE IS GOLD.  We found Julia walking slowly across the street with her cane and went to help her. she walked and talked with us for a bit there and gave us her address and phone number. this was on june 9th. we visited her on the 11th. we had a lesson about the Book of Mormon and invited her to church on sunday. she called us sunday and said it was too cold to leave the house but that the next week she'd make it. we visited her again and had an incredible lesson. she read from the Book of Mormon! she told us in her own words, "it was delicious and sweet, it's like we need nutrition for our spirits too!" then she asked about what happens to those that pass away and haven't had the opportunity to know Christ. we read Alma 40 and when we started talking about baptism, it was exactly what she wanted to hear. :) she asked us how many sundays she needed to attend before she could be baptized and when we told her, she said, "then i'll be there for sure on sunday" we invited her to be baptized on july 25 and she accepted. she came to church on sunday and told us that she was going to come always. we are SO HAPPY. :) she is so ready. i know that the Lord is preparing people all around the world to recieve His Gospel. and not only on this side of the veil but on the other as well. i don't think there's a joy greater than knowing that we can help our brothers and sisters, the children of God, come unto Him and enter His kingdom. 

i hope you all have a great week and enjoy your 4th of july! be safe and take care.
love, hermana walker

on sunday we had an anniversary of the mission Chile Santiago Sur. our mission is 2 years old now!! woohoo! 

agustin!! the son of hermano and hermana altamirano. i'll have a picture with them next week. fun fact: hermano altamirano was the zone leader two times of elder darren walker (my cousin) in misión chile concepción. 

aline! aline has a baptismal date for September 5. :) she's 11 and is just a gem. she's been doing her personal progress lately and is working on finishing the book of mormon. :) 

elder walker and i! the other day we found out that he's related to half of weiser. yep, he's part of the "other" walker clan. :) so shout out to jordanne and hannah and all of you other walker's! your cousin says hi!

​the ortiz family! last wednesday for p-day we had permission to watch chile vs. uruguay. chile won 1-0! they played against peru on monday and won again so they'll be playing for the cup on saturday against argentina. i told hermana ibañez that she should probably stop using her accent for a few days if chile loses. ;) (hermana ibañez, gianni, hermana ortiz, hermano ortiz, elder martinez (a.k.a cuba gooding jr. or dwayne 'the rock' johnson- just a little bit smaller ;), and elder alfaro

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

no electricity? good. i've been missing camping lately

June 24, 2015

another week here in brisas. still blessed and but feeling a lot colder. :) haha
we've officially started winter which means sleep with 2 pairs of socks, leg warmers, and a sweatshirt. 
i'm used to the weather but we have a few foreigners that need blankets in our district meetings and that's alright with me. :)
this week we met with a sister named Maria Teresa (i think i've mentioned her once or twice) she's a less-active member single mom with a son named Marlón who's 8. we've started talking with Marlón about baptism and the 5 steps of the Gospel. we read with them Alma 32:28 when Alma is talking about having faith like a seed and talked with him about what he can do to "help the seed grow" 
sidenote: the "Copa América" is being held here in Santiago this year which means that the soccer fanatics (all of Chile) get a little crazy. everytime Chile plays, we have to enter the house early because, like i said, it gets pretty crazy and pretty scary if Chile loses. they play today so President Cook changed the schedule of our p-day from 10:30-6:30 to 4pm-10:30. we aldo have permission to watch the game in the house of a member so we'll be doing that tonight with the elders in our ward. woohoo! 
one of our recent converts, Laura, found out this past week that she has cancer. at the end of may she completed a year as a member of the church. she is going to have an operation on july 4 and we are doing all we can to help her enter the temple this friday (27) before the operation. laura also suffers from depression and we were so worried that when we visited, she would be terribly sad. when we got to her house she greeted us with a smile and open arms and told us she felt more calm than she'd felt in a long time and that she's ready for anything that happens. what and example of faith and courage she is for me! there is a quote by President Uchtdorf from General Conference November 2014 called "Vivir el Evangelio con gozo" I don't have the quote in english but has all the talks and i invite you to search for it and brighten your day. :)
as for the title of this email..we got to the apartment 2 nights ago and the sisters (hermana bedard and hermana quintana) were planning with the light of a candle. no electricity! but i really have been wanting to go camping lately and seeing that i can't, this was as close as i was going to get. :) so, we took advantage and planned by the light of a candle and warmed some water over the flame to have some hot chocolate. :) the picture attached is our happy experience :)
this week i've had the opportunity to study about grace-the grace of our Savior and really what it means to. in the Bible dictionary it says, "grace is the enabling power that allows men and women to lay hold on exaltation after they have expended their own best efforts" we need to do all we can in obedience and works to truly receive the grace of our Father in Heaven. this is all part of the commandment to endure to the end. i invite you to "expend your best efforts" in all that you do. especially in inviting others to come unto Christ and know of His goodness and mercy. 
i hope everyone has a great week and that hailey, ethan and derek all have a happy welcome home! 
love you all! 
hermana walker

Monday, June 22, 2015

lots of photos

June 17, 2015

Have a great week everyone! Sorry the descriptions aren't very long! Take care and enjoy this life. Through all the happy times and the difficuties. Be grateful for each and every day. Love you all! -Hermana Walker

all of you who know i hate seafood should feel proud of me. sushi. i ate it.

​our unorganized house. don't worry, we cleaned it and organized and it's much better now. :) 

the 3 generations! Hermana Jerez (abuela) me and Hermana Ibañez. Today we had p-day de hermanas to say goodbye to all those that are leaving at the end of this transfer. I cried. Hermana Jerez will be leaving in 3 weeks and it's gonna be like leaving home again. BUT all things have their time and season and I know that she will be just fine back in Argentina :)

Our cake for sweet Anastasia. A sweet little one who turned 8 on Monday! We were able to make a cake for her and share a few minutes with her family. Her mom is a recent reactivation and their whole family is so special to me and Hermana Ibañez. We've been meeting with Anastasia to talk about faith and the importance of baptism. She has a date set for her baptism in July. :) (I'm crouching down a little because I couldn't tip the cake!) Haha

2 weeks full of surprises

June 10, 2015

This week I have a long letter for all of ya! Woohoo! :) I'm going to start with what happened 2 weeks ago. It was a week full of surprises that's for sure. On Saturday morning (May 30) we were contacting in El Metro (the subway) when we received a call from our zone leaders, Elders Ware and Valenzuela. Hermana Gaitan answered and Elder Valenzuela said, "Hermana Gaitan, can you tell Hermana Walker that she has an interview with President Cook today." An interview with President Cook at the end of the transfer only meant one thing-he was going to ask me to be a trainer. So, at 11:30, we went to San Bernardo for my interview and sure enough, President Cook said, with a big smile, "Hermana Walker, ya ready to train?" The second surprise was on Tuesday, the day of transfers. I knew I was going to stay in Brisas and train but I didn't know who and I didn't know who else was going to stay in the area. Turns out, nobody! The two elders, Elder Zazueta and Elder Llacza left and so did Hermana Gaitan. We got two new elders in Brisas, Elder Martinez (from Honduras) and Elder Alfaro (from Costa Rica). In the transfer meeting I got my "daughter" Hermana Ibañez from Rio Negro...Argentina!! :) Another Argentine and my heart is happy. :) Because I'm training, I'll be here in Brisas for 3 more months for sure and after that, we'll see where the Lod wants me. Next surprise, President Cook wants all of the sister missionaries to live 4 in each apartment for safety so we're now living with Hermana Quintana from Spain and Hermana Bedard from Utah. Our apartment is "chiquitita" but it's super fun having all 4 of us together.
We are tired, happy and very blessed. On Friday, we had a lesson with a less active member named Juan and his girlfriend, Carmen. We've been meeting with Carmen and Juan for about 5 months now and Carmen has told us every time that she didn't want anything to do with the church, but recently she's been coming to church on Sunday with Juan and in the classes has been bearing her testimony! During our lesson, we sang "There's Sunshine in My Soul Today" and talked about how the gospel can help us have this happiness and hope not only in this life but in the life to come. We invited her to be baptized and after a moment, she smiled and nodded her head, "yes". :) On Monday, we had a lesson with Aline. Aline is 11 years old and acts like she's 18. haha She's been coming to church, mutual and family home evening with the ward for about 2 months now. She's started her Personal Progress and is reading The Book of Mormon everyday. In our lesson on Monday she accepted an invitation to be baptized on September 5. :)
      This week I've been studying about obedience and the Atonement and the connection between the two. In Preach My Gospel it says, "we must be pure and clean through obedience" A lot of times we think that the Atonement purifies and cleanses us without any effort from us but really, the Atonement and Christ's sacrifice gives us the ability to be pure, the opportunity. We are clean through our obedience and repentance and the only reason that we have the chance to repent and obey is because of Christ, our Savior and Redeemer. In the Liahona this month there is a quote that says, "Because of the eternal sanctity of man's agency upon which this mortal life was founded, the Savior cannot take from us our will. We are free to choose. The Savior stands beside us waiting to heal our wounds and lift us into eternal salvation, but He can only do that with our invitation. We must choose Him. For us, there is only one plan of rescue. It is in and through His atoning sacrifice. He descended below all things to rescue us." I hope and invite us all to strive to be more obedient to the commandments of our Lord and Savior. They are for our benefit, they are not a burden. Have a great week and take care. Love, Hermana Walker


June 3, 2015

Once again, I had a nice long email written with pictures and all and my computer crashed. So, next week.

Love you all! Have a great week and take care. Love, Hermana Walker

Hermana Gaitan, me, and Hermana Fresia. Fresia is a member of our ward but isn't able to leave her bed. We love visiting her and listening to her sweet stories and testimony. She is an example to us and we always learn more than we teach with her. 

Images by Freepik