Monday, April 29, 2013

Layton Love

Hello all,

This week has been by far the best week that has ever happened to the mission world! Baptism, blessings and revelations! I would like to start by saying thank you Grandma Sue for the package. 

First, the baptism; It went perfectly.  B. is the newest member of her ward.  There are so many miracles that surround this story that everyone will just have to remind me to tell about them when I get home from my mission.  Other than B. our other investigators are doing great. The M's, a family of 6, came to church yesterday! Ah! So we had like 10 investigators at church, which is really great.  
I had a little miracle yesterday after the baptism.  Sister Corrales and I were in the car about to go into the home of a less active member, and we didn't know what to teach.  I suggested we say a prayer and ask what to teach.  I have always thought that I am exempt from super direct revelation because I am not super knowledgeable in the scriptures.  But after Sister Corrales said the prayer, the first thing I thought is that she has a scripture that we need to share in Mosiah.  I asked her what was the first scripture she could think of in Mosiah and then told her that that was what we needed to share.  We went into the house, shared that message, and the couple said it was exactly what they needed.  I know that it was the spirit that really taught them, but I am so grateful that we were willing to teach what the spirit told us so that they could be taught what they needed to hear from their Father in Heaven.

Congratulations on all the big events this weekend.  Anna you looked so beautiful and old in your dance pictures! Marc and Nick look cute and stylish at prom.  Marcus--you are welcome.  I have decided that the reason you are alive is because I am on a mission and my family is extra blessed right now.  I'm about 75% kidding on that one:)  Camron congrats on getting home and getting done with finals.  Congratulations to Joe Miller. It is so awesome about all of those boys going on missions in the ward.  Can't believe that our ward will have so many.  Who would have thought all of us knuckleheads would be serving?  I guess everyone in the ward did something right.  I miss our ward a lot.  Mostly the music, because let's just say that the music in the hispanic ward is not great.

Transfers are next Wednesday! I could be leaving for Argentina that soon.  It is seriously crazy.  I don't want to leave.  Which probably means that I will.  I have been so lucky with my companions, and after Nielsen and Corrales, I am bound to get a bad companion.  

I love you all.  Sorry about not having a car Marc and Nick.  Could you save the stereo? Congrats on the essay contests as well.  Way to make Molly proud!!  Did I edit one of those papers or are they new?  

Until next week.  If you have questions let me know.  Thanks for the pictures mom.  Also, if you didn't get two letters on Saturday then they will be coming today.
Hermana Chloe

PS. We had a hike to Ensign peak with the mission this morning.  That’s why I got on a little late.  I already knew about the crash because I got a letter/package from grandma on Thursday that said, "Marcus was driving with angels on Monday when he totaled the car.  Adrenaline is so powerful, he was able to punch out the window and walk away from the scene." So, I was freaking out but happy to know he was ok.

Sister Corrales and I :)
The Spanish speaking sisters in Layton

Elder Colton, our amazing district leader, and MarLeice's friend from Georgia. Small world huh?!

Just an old picture someone forwarded to me of Hermana Nielsen and I

Monday, April 22, 2013

Gettin' Down to Business


Let’s get down to business. As requested, I will describe my typical day:)
Our room :)

6:30 wake up and work out
7-8 get ready and eat
8-9 personal study
9-10 companion study
10-11 1st 12 weeks study
11-12 lunch
12-1 language study
1-5 out teachin’ and such
5-6 dinner
6-8:40 teachin’ and such
8:40-9 pick up the other sisters and drive home
9-9:30 daily planning
9:30-10:30 get ready for bed
10:30 sleep

*Sundays and days with district meetings are a little different, but this is the typical day.

How was my week? This has been a great Week! 

We have a baptism this Sunday; that's how last week went!! Surprise! More for me than for you.  Her name is B., and she is a 13 year old girl in one of the wards we cover.  The bishop gave us this long list, and said, "I give this same list to every set of missionaries." She has been going to church every week for over a year.  Last year she went to girls' camp.  She goes to the temple with the Beehives, and sits outside and waits for them.  The problem has always been her parents giving permission, or at least that is what the bishop said.  He said that every set of missionaries in the area for the last year have tried her, but haven't even been allowed inside to teach her.  When we showed up to her house, we didn't know what to expect.  Let me tell you I have never met anyone more prepared for the gospel.  She was literally waiting for us.  We walked up to the front door, and she opened before we could even knock.  We were in the home 5 minutes before we had the written permission of her parents for her to be taught and baptized, and the date was set for May 11.  

The next day we had our first lesson.  That next day her mother told us that May 11th would never work, and that it will just have to be sometime in August.  This made B. super sad.  For some reason we suggested the 27th of April which seemed crazy, but her mom said that wouldn't work, but that the 28th would work! So B. will be baptized this Sunday 10 days after we first met her.  I will be there when she gets baptized! I can't believe that I have been blessed to be part of this story! And she speaks English, so I have actually taught a lot.  About half of the lessons we teach to others are in in Spanish.

M. and her family are doing amazing.  We taught them about the power of God (priesthood) this week, and I can't wait to go back tomorrow and teach again.  

Sister H. has not yet heard about being baptized in her wheel chair.

Church is great.  We go to the whole Spanish ward, and part of a couple of English wards.

Commitment:  I know everyone already knows this, but I would like you to recommit yourselves to keeping the Sabbath day holy. It is a commandment.  Go read that section and the scriptures about it in Preach My Gospel.

This week we took the C. family to a play called “Savior of the World” in Bountiful.  It was great. I met someone there named Earl Atwood who apparently knows Brother Stubbs from the Marines. He said to tell him "Semper Fi". I don't know why I remember that, but I thought that would give Brother Stubbs a laugh. haha!

I can't believe I am going to miss this weekend back home--dance recital and prom.  This is one that I am super sad about.  You all are going to have so much fun, think of me mucho, and take lots of pictures.


Hermana Chloe

PS. About the meeting with the consulate--First, we were fingerprinted and filled out a form. Second, we all went up individually and had to sign three papers in front of the consular agent, and the signatures all had to match. Third, he checked our form and our fingerprints, then he signed it.  The earliest I will leave for Argentina is May 8th, transfer day.  If my visa comes after that day I will leave immediately after I receive my visa :)

Monday, April 15, 2013

Two months down? How is that even possible!?!


It is snowing today!  This winter is bound to end soon (probably just in time for me to go to Argentina for a South of the equator winter.) 

All right so little time, so much to say. I am just going to get down to business.

Week three was a hard one for our investigators.  It seemed like they all were having a major battle with Satan this week.  One of our investigators has decided that she wants to get baptized but not married, because every time she prays about marrying her boyfriend of 8 years with whom she has 3 kids they get in a fight after she prays.  We read her from the D&C about what actual answers will be like from God so hopefully she tries that out. Our investigator Sister H. has been having a hard time because she thinks she is going to die.  Her back is getting better though, and she is asking her doctor tomorrow if she can be baptized in a wheel chair in a swimming pool.  Basically they would just wheel her to the deep end and back, haha.  So pray for that.  If she can then we will be having her baptism, her husband’s and one of her daughter’s very soon.  We have another family of 5 that we have taught a lesson to, the family that went to conference,and are meeting with them this week to see if they have been doing their reading.

Spanish is hard.  However, I text all the time, it's pretty great, especially since I can think of the Spanish words a lot slower.

Our mission motto is “Defenders of Zion,” and every time our mission gets together we sing "Up, Awake Ye Defenders of Zion" with a lot of energy (TONS of energy).  Listen to it and laugh. haha. We sing everything with tons of energy and enthusiasm in this mission, and of course I love it!  We also sing "Called to Serve" and in the middle of the chorus (right after the second "as we glory in his name") we throw our fists in the air and shout "GO! GO! GO!" as loud as we can..

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE PHOTO BOOK!!!!!! Perfect. Now I finally have pictures of my family. It is great!

Yesterday we went to an English ward for contacts, and when we were talking we found a mom who told us that her daughter left recently going to Oklahoma.  After the MTC and in her FIRST week in the field, she and her companion were riding their bikes and her companion was hit by a car and killed instantly. (That story was in the news, and it was her daughter’s companion.)  So I can honestly say now that my first three weeks in the field have been like walking on clouds compared to that.  She said that her daughter after the accident was hysterical, and was put into a police car and driven to the mission home.  While in that police car she taught the two officers on the drive the entire plan of salvation.  I thought that was amazing.

We met with the consulate! The soonest I could be leaving is at the end of transfers, May 8th.  Otherwise, I will leave as soon as I get my visa afterward.

I do not have a specific commitment for you all today, but I want to share something that I have been thinking about a lot.  At Zone Conference, (which was great by the way) President Winn went off on a tangent and this is a paraphrase of what he said.  Who were Laman and Lemuel?  No really think about it.  I will tell you who they were.  They were two boys who were born into the covenant.  They went to church every Sunday.  They graduated Primary.  They were eagle scouts.  Received their Duty to God.  They were Deacon and Teacher’s quorum presidents.  They were First Assistant to the bishop.  You know what, he said, Laman and Lemuel were even return missionaries.  They had no less spiritual advantage or experience that Sam and Nephi.  So what went wrong? 

The quick answer was they were never converted to the lord.  But I want you, my good friends and family, all to think of specifics.  I have spent a lot of time thinking about this.

I love you all, thank you for all your support and love.  Sorry if I have been getting bad with letters.  P-days are so busy I can't find the time.  With that being said I would love some letters at my house!  


Hermana Chloe
On the train on the way to SLC
Sister Cleveland and I--she's going to Buenos Aires West, too!

Sister Cleveland and Sister Walker
One of Sister H.'s puppies :)

Monday, April 8, 2013

One week down in Layton!

So first off, I meet with the Consulate tomorrow!!! We did our fingerprints on Friday, and we finally meet with the guy tomorrow.  We will be staying for at least one transfer, but that is good news: the process is started!

Second, my week was great! I was able to go to the Saturday morning session of Conference!! AND the blankets were amazing!!!  I am warm if I wrap them all around me like a cocoon. haha. Yeah for a warm night's sleep! And yeah for cousins who come to the rescue!  I got the blankets on Monday.  They (Cortney and Robert) dropped them off when we were at appointments, and when we came back the package was on our front mat. It was absolutely perfect!!   Talk about ask and ye shall receive! Thanks, Cortney, you have no idea how much I appreciate it. 

Third, Conference was amazing! We started off by attending the Saturday morning session. It was great!! And it was so cool to get to be there for Conference.  We watched Saturday afternoon in the assembly hall in Spanish with some investigators, but luckily I was able to get some head phones to listen in English.  Even my companion, who Spanish is her first language, likes to listen in English.  We watched Sunday morning at another investigator’s house, and then Sunday afternoon in the Joseph Smith memorial building, because we had investigators who were in the Conference Center.  The same family went to Saturday am and Sunday pm. They are the M. family, and there are 5 in their family.  Basically, Sister M. really loves her church, but has some problems with a few of their doctrines specifically about heaven so she has been interested in what the lds church has to say about it for awhile.  Essentially she has committed to wanting to be sealed in the temple with her family, but we cannot get her to understand the authority of the church and why she must be baptized again.  So that is where we are stuck, but I have no doubt that they will be members at some point. The other family is the H. family, they have been investigating the church for a while, but couldn't get baptized because one of them needed a divorce so they could get married. (I guess this is extremely common.)  Finally, in January the divorce came through and they were married.  One week later Sister H. was in a car accident and hurt her back, she is now on bed rest, and her doctors have told her that she cannot be baptized until she has recovered.  Her husband is determined to wait until she is better to get baptized.  They are amazing, and I have no doubt they will be baptized as soon as it is allowed.

I had a real test of my faith this week.  We had four investigators who really wanted tickets to the Sunday pm session of conference.  They didn't say so until Saturday.  This is all but impossible.  Sister Corrales texted the district leader and asked if there was any way he could find some.  He called later while she was driving, and I talked to him on the phone.  He told me that he did not have tickets, but instructed me that I was to call the mom of the family and tell her that we had 4 tickets for the Sunday pm session, and that we will meet at her house at 12 to drive there.  We did what he said, but I was  doubtful.  I prayed and hoped that we would some how find them tickets.  It wasn't until Sunday at about 11:45 that we got a text message that said some missionaries had four extra tickets and asked our district leader if he wanted them.  I could not believe it.  So we showed up at their house at 12 with tickets, and they will never know the difference.  However, I know that the only way that happened was because Heavenly Father wanted them to go.  If it is His will; it CAN be done.  I guess this is my advice for the week.  Have faith that the will of the Lord can be done.  God's plans do no fail.

This is going to be an exciting week.  We are in Salt Lake today for the temple! Which by the way the Salt Lake Temple is amazing!!  Funny though that I am still partial to the Las Vegas :) This is my fourth day in Salt Lake, Friday for fingerprinting, Saturday and Sunday for Conference, Tomorrow for the consulate, and on Thursday we will be back down for Zone Conference! Exciting Week!! Next week will be a drag, false, it will be great because we will get to teach more lessons! I am working on my optimism. haha.

My companion is 24, she is from Colorado, and she went to school for Criminal Justice. We get along great! I am SUPER SUPER lucky to have her as a companion.
Hope everything is going well back home! Can you believe that I will have been gone for two months on Wednesday!?! I sure can't; it feels like a week.  Which is probably why I haven't written letters to as many people as I should have.  So sorry! I love you all and will send many letters in the coming week.  Thanks so much for the package mom!  The letters from you and grandma and toothpaste from Dr. Simister were exactly what I needed but didn't know I needed.
Last thing, one of the stones fell out of my CTR ring, if I send it back can you get me a new one! I love this ring.  It made me cry.


Hermana Chloe
Look who I saw at Conference.  Sister Bryce, my favorite teacher from the MTC!

Monday, April 1, 2013

I'm alive and in...Layton

Hello all!
So this has been a crazy week for how short it has been.  Isn't that just the worst thing ever for it to feel super long and only be five days?  Wednesday we arrived at the Salt Lake City Mission.  We did quite a few fun things and then got assigned to our companions.  After getting assigned, we went extreme contacting over by Temple Square.  I thought it was super fun, but I have never had a problem with talking, haha.  We then left for our areas.  My companion and I (Hermana Corrales) are assigned to the Layton Utah Spanish speaking ward.  Since we now have 7 missionaries serving in this one ward, we received a new area.  So basically that means we are white washing.  We have been to so many houses trying to find new investigators and making appointments, but we have yet to actually teach a lesson.  It has been long. I will update on investigators when we have some.  So far we have just been contacting referrals because we are not allowed to tract in our mission.  We probably wouldn't anyways though because we are only allowed to teach people who would go to the Spanish ward.

On the bright side, the ward here is amazing.  They feed us literally every single day.  Yesterday we ate lunch after church and then ate again at 5 and an hour and a half later.  I felt sick.  Most of the food is really great.  It's like food from every latin country because the members are from everywhere.  Our church starts at 9.  Let’s just say everyone was late yesterday, church started late, and leave it at that. Everyone thinks that it is really funny that I don't speak Spanish, haha.  We are living in a member’s house about 5 miles from our area.  It is SOOO nice.  Especially being so close to the area where we serve which is not that nice. There are four of us living in our apartment, because they added Hermana Cleveland and I to a companionship of Spanish sisters until we get our visas.  We sleep on air mattresses.  They are comfortable, but I am cold every night.  I wear thermal garments, my grey sweat suit, my blue sweat suit, and two pairs of socks and am still freezing.  But they refuse to turn on the heat.  CRAZY! 

This is an exciting p-day because we finally get to go buy food.  We got here on Wednesday, but I didn't get to go to the store so I have been eating very little for breakfast and lunch.  I've been surviving though because after the members stuff us full of food,  they send us home with more food :)  Next Monday we get to go to the temple.  I get to go to the Salt Lake Temple!!! It is the only one that is open on our p-day, and we get to go once a transfer.  Also, it is a rule that we are not allowed to go to malls.  Don't know why this is relevant, but it makes me sad. 

Please, write to me. 
Everyone is really excited for Conference.  My companion and I aren't going to get to go though because we don't have any investigators and we don't have tickets.  I guess people in Utah don't get tickets so all the missionaries had their family send tickets from out of state, but my companion didn’t get any.  It's fine though because at least I will get to watch, hopefully in English. 

My commitment for the week.  Everyone needs to kneel when they say personal prayers.  The Savior himself kneeled when he talked to His Father.  I don't know about you but that is reason enough for me to think that I need to kneel.  We are commanded to follow the Savior’s example, why not even in the little things. 

Marcus-Go to prom!
Nicholas-Make him go!
Anna-Wish I could have heard you sing princess! Glad you’re doing well at dance!
Camron-Do you know what you’re doing with your life? I have faith in you to figure it out!
Dad-I miss you!
Mom-I miss you, too!
Bella-You are my beautiful puppy.
Brody-You are a dumb dog. Just kidding. Kinda.

Everything is going well, but the rumors are true--missionary work is The mission field is hard, especially since I am adjusting to coming to Layton.  I was prepared to go to Argentina, and I already love the people of Argentina.  But I am working on loving Layton.

I love you all.  Stay strong, and please pray that I can make it through my time in Layton.  Pray that we find people in our area who speak Spanish and who are prepared to hear the gospel or who will just let us serve them in some way.

Love mucho,
Hermana Walker

PS.  About the Easter pictures--I love Anna’s Easter dress and Marc and Nick look so handsome!!!!
President and Sister Winn with Hermana Walker

Walking up to meet find out who will be her companion/trainer.
Hermana Corrales!

New companions :)

Hermana Corrales and Hermana Walker
Signing the “Defenders of Zion” banner that all missionaries in the SLC Mission sign :)