Monday, February 24, 2014

A Joyful Missionary


I have been thinking about the joy of being a missionary.  When I look at what I am doing, from the perspective of the world, I have a hard time believing how rewarding it is and how happy I am.  I am currently doing the exact opposite of what the normal person my age is doing, the exact opposite of what the world says we need to do to be happy. And yet I am happier than ever.  When I think about how as part of Heavenly Father's plan, there are people waiting for me to find them it makes everything worth it.  It makes obedience not even an option.  Diligence to work hard until the end tampoco is not a an option.  I think my favorite story is when we found Florentina and Pedro.  They had never heard of the restored gospel, and when we walked into the house the first thing Florentina said is that she was Catholic and never going to change.  Then, only about 15 minutes later I wached tears fill her eyes as I recited Joseph Smith's words of the First Vision--in that moment we all felt the spirit. I love teaching something so familiar to me, to people who have never heard of it.  The gospel is true.

I am getting transferred on Wednesday, and I am feeling very sentimental about 9 de Julio.  Yesterday, for the record, there were 51 people in church.  With about 20 children in the primary--the very same primary that had 3 children my first Sunday. 15 women in the Relief Society, the same Relief Society that had 5 people including my companion and me my first Sunday.  President Carter said that if we can keep only these 51 people going they can start construction on the chapel in 9 de Julio in June.  I am going to leave behind a big chunk of my heart here.  

Hermana Walker
Adorable children and kittens :)

Had to say goodbye to Florentina and Pedro :(

I did Ines hair one last time.
Ward Mission Leader, Hermana Cordova y yo

Monday, February 17, 2014

Over the Hill

Dear friends and family,

I am officially over the hill! I know that I am not in the middle of my mission; I am actually 2/3rds done, but I just have started feeling over the hard stuff this week.  Two days ago when I was in personal study reading the Book of Mormon, I realized that I have been reading in Spanish without opening up my English Book of Mormon for about a week.  Then, I was reading the Conference addition of the Ensign in Spanish, and I understood every talk.  I am by no means a grammatical genius these days, but I can feel very comfortable with my Spanish.  The Lord really does bless us.  I just kept trusting in my setting apart blessing when President Peterson told me that I would learn Spanish well, that knowing Spanish will bless my life, and that I will need it in my future life. For what? I don’t know, but I’m so grateful that I have learned it.

This week we got to go on splits with the Sister Training leaders. And guess who came to be with me? My beautiful Hermana Morales!! Hermana Morales came to 9 de Julio, and Hermana Cordova went to the other sister’s area. The very first thing we do on an exchanges is an interview with the sisters. My interview with Hermana Morales was one of the most special moments of my time here in Argentina, because we were finally able to talk like friends. Hermana Morales was my companion for three weeks when I first arrived in Argentina (4 1/2 months ago), and back then I didn’t speak enough Spanish to communicate with her. It was so fun to sit down and really talk with her. We have so much in common, and she has grown to be one of my best friends of my mission. We had a great two days together! 

This week we read my favorite Chapter in the book of Mormon, Jacob 5.  I would like to talk about my two favorite scriptures in the book of Mormon: Jacob 5:21-22 (“21 And it came to pass that the servant said unto his master: How comest thou hither to plant this tree, or this branch of the tree? For behold, it was the poorest spot in all the land of thy vineyard. 22 And the Lord of the vineyard said unto him: Counsel me not; I knew that it was a poor spot of ground; wherefore, I said unto thee, I have nourished it this long time, and thou beholdest that it hath brought forth much fruit”).  They have been my inspiration in the mission field.  After the Servant is so confused at why the Lord of the vineyard took his time to try and strengthen the weakest part of the vineyard.  The words of the Lord of the vineyard give the chills,“Council Me NOT!”  Who are we to council the Lord?  He knows and understands the potential of every one of his children.  The Book of Mormon is so great.

We have had a great time finding new investigators this week.  Almost all of our investigators from January have stopped progressing so we need to find again.  I am not discouraged though.  I know that they are all closer to their Savior than they were before, and that one day, with the knowledge they have gained, they will be able to make the decision to move forward again.  We have been working so hard; Hermana Cordova is probably the sweetest person to step foot on the planet. It has been a joy to work with her, and then yesterday in 9 de Julio we had 48 people in Church! Almost 50! AHH! Amazing! I almost cried.  A family of almost all inactive members when I got here have all come back.  One is waiting for his mission call; one is my best friend.  And yesterday the returned missionary son came to church with his new fiancĂ©, a recent convert of about two years.  They both have three children and are planning on getting married soon, and being strong in the church.  I can’t wait until I can tell you all about this family.  I love them so much.

Camron stay warm this week! Family in Nevada enjoy Spring! Love you!


Hermana Chloe

PS. Shout out to all the February birthdays: Grandma, Aunt Kathy, Ben, and Weston!! I love my family so much. As I thought about you on your birthdays, I thought, “Wow, my family is such a blessing to me.” Thanks for your love and support.
Hermana Morales made me a sign for my one year in the mission!
Hermana Morales y yo!

One year in the mission dinner!

Hermana Cordova y yo and the little dudes from "Despicable Me" 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Pride Cycle and Agency


So this week it rained/flooded every day.  This is why I don't have any new pictures because it would have been too risky to carry around my camera. Mom, just add a couple of older ones. Thanks.

Like all of you, I am really surprised that this week will mark 1 year in the mission for me.  I am not sure if I don't believe it because it doesn't feel like that long, or because I don’t think I have ever stuck to anything this diligently for one year.  I can’t believe that I have been a full time servant of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for a full year.  I am so blessed!!

While reading the Book of Mormon this week I have come up with another “Chloe Theory” that has to do with the Pride Cycle.  Why is it that every one says that the spiritual progression of someone on a mission increases by times 10?  I have decided that it is because we go through the pride cycle about 10 times as often as we would in non-missionary life.  Before my mission, sure I went through the pride cycle, but here it is daily.  I wake up in the morning full of faith, exercise, study, and we head out to the streets of 9 de Julio.  Our first lesson is a success, we’re feeling pretty good.  After that, the doors get slammed in our faces; we forget how to be led by the spirit; we are discouraged; our appointments fall through, and we head to lunch down hearted.

After lunch during the Siesta, we do a little more studying, set goals with faith that we want to meet for the afternoon and nighttime, say a prayer of faith knowing that we need the Lord’s help and the spirit to achieve, and head out.  With His help, we have great lessons where the spirit really teaches our investigator, and we are able to meet our goals. This daily process, of being destroyed and then built up by our faith in the Lord, allows for spiritual progression I didn’t even think was possible.

Although it is a painful experience, changing for the better is always worth it.  As I we finished 2nd Nephi, I am just loving how much Nephi talks about the plan of salvation--specifically agency.  Another reason I think that we grow on a mission is because we have given to Heavenly Father the only thing that He doesn’t require--our right to choose, or our agency.  In order to be successful as a missionary, I must turn my agency over to the Lord, which is why obedience is stressed so much, because only by being meticulously obedient can we insure that we are doing things in the Lord’s way. At the same time, however, in submitting my will (following the mission rules and trusting in God’s plan for me), I also gain an unexpected but exhilarating freedom and joy that is only found in being true to myself. As it says in Alma 28:8, “And this is the account of (Chloe) and (her sisters), their journeyings in the (work of the Lord), their sufferings in the land, their sorrows, and their afflictions, and their incomprehensible joy.” 

Love you all!


Hermana Chloe

PS. This week I am most grateful for my rain boots (short Hunter boots)--they are the best last minute purchase of my mission. Thank you Nordstrom Rack clearance rack :)

Monday, February 3, 2014

The Carters in 9 de Julio

Hello everyone!

A quick review of this week before yesterday: we found, taught, prepared people for baptism, got rejected a whole bunch, studied, said prayers, walked, ate, and slept.  Also it rained a lot, and on Saturday we had the flu.  My companion is still suffering form a variety of sicknesses.

Surprise! We had a wonderful surprise yesterday!!! When we walked into our house/chapel at 8:45, President and the Hermana Carter were there!!! YAY! YAY! HAHA!!!! If you were in almost the furthest area away from the mission headquarters, you would be happy too if you saw the mission president on your home turf! The spirit in our little casilla (casa and capilla) was so so, so, so, so strong. It was just a testimony meeting, but it was one of the most spiritually uplifting sacrament meetings of my mission.  And in a mission with over 250 missionaries, it was such a treat to just be sharing president between the four missionaries in 9 de Julio.  After the meeting, president told us to head home and we had 10 minutes to prepare our apartment for an inspection.  This could be like the scariest thing ever for some missionaries, but our apartment is probably the most new and beautiful one in the mission, and we always keep it really clean.  We spiffed it up, and President and the Hermana came and visited us in our apartment!  They walked around and were so impressed by our apartment.  President said it was one of the best in the mission, and said, "We could put two more hermanas in here"...vamos a ver. Then, we took turns having interviews with president, and talking with the Hermana.  And it was all very special. I loved having the chance to visit with both of them. They are the best! I asked president to never take me out of 9 de julio! We shall see.

This week we have been feasting upon the words of Christ as we read the Book of Mormon as a mission.  I have admired greatly how Nephi exemplifies a real person with Christlike attributes.  Chapter 4 of Second Nephi is a perfect example of this.  Nephi is a boss, but he also is humble in his testimony.  He knows and has seen all the people who are going to read his words, and he still writes the he has sins, and temptations.  And then just how the words of Christ and the scriptures and the knowledge of the glory of God bring his life joy! 

May we all be a little more like NEPHI!

Hermana Walker

PS. I forgot my card reader again, but Sister Carter took some pictures for her trip to the beautiful 9 de Julio. So look for them on her blog. For Sister Carter's Blog click here-->Sister Carter's Blog

PSS. The glamorous Chloe is completely gone.  Lately with the rain and the heat, it doesn't do any good to do my hair or makeup. So I don't take many pictures, but I'll try and be better this week.