Monday, July 25, 2016

July 25, 2016 - 5 Months Until Christmas

                                                                District In Sao Miguel

                                                       Courtney Chillin In A Hammock

Hi everyone!

Sorry my time will be short today because we have a million things to type up and send to our ZLs and Presidente Gomes but here are the updates in São Miguel.

We are teaching a nice woman named Eleneice, a neighbor of a member here. Well we were teaching her and her husband, and then one day we stopped by and she told us her husband had picked up and left with another woman... after being married (LEGALLY married people-that is a big feat) 33 years he left. So now we are trying to help her see that sometimes the Lord takes things out of our lives that don’t help us grow spiritually, even when we like those things.

Here they are starting back up a one time a week activity at the ward. It’s sad to me when very few people show up and the leaders have worked to plan it all out and have it all ready. I had the haunting words of dads voice come into my head when I would complain that I didn’t want to go to mutual every week: ´´we support our leaders and our activities´´. I didn’t ever know what that meant-but now I do! When we go to the things they plan you’re showing you actually support and appreciate their efforts.

One funny moment this week was that a lady from the church department in Sao Paulo called our phone to talk to the American sister I live with. This woman doesn’t speak Portuguese and was asking some questions in English to me-what I didn’t realize is that I was responding in Portuguese and she wasn’t understanding... at one point she said ´´Ok I’ll call back later when someone is there who speaks English´´ and I said ´´oh okay. Oh wait I speak English!!´´ Keepin it classy over here with my Americanized Portuguese.

But anyways things are going really good here! I get along good with Sister Monteiro, it’s funny, we´re the tall companions with straight hair and the girls we live with are both short with curly hair. But I really love this area. I feel such a drive to work every day even if my body doesn’t feel the same way- I don’t have patience or time anymore to sit around doing nothing because I feel like I have the personal responsibility to help all these people know the truth! Just think about how unique and powerful our message is! There are people waiting for it even if they don’t know it yet! We are part of the true and restored church of Jesus Christ, with a prophet, 12 apostles and the priesthood here on earth. How special is that message!

amo muito vocês se cuidam!!   (Love you so much. Take care of yourselves)

Sister Walker

ps the pics are of a great hammock at a members house and my new district-the elders are super stoked they can use hats and sunglasses now.


MOST WONDERFUL NEWS IN THE WORLD: SISTER BARBOSA EMAILED ME, WHICH IS GREAT NEWS BUT SHE TOLD ME (idk why it was in caps I was just really excited) she got a message on FB from a young man. We´d taught him and his mom and dad and sister all the way back in Estancia before we were transferred. He told her that his mom and sister had been baptized, and that he had got to baptize his dad!!!! He thanked us a lot for our work, and said ´´I will never forget when you knocked on my door and asked if our neighbors were home (we were looking for the ward members that live in front of them) because of that, today I know about the true gospel of Jesus Christ. I will never forget Sister Barbosa and Sister Walker´´. Such a precious moment for me-THAT is why I’m here. That’s why we serve missions. So that after all of the tiring and hard moments you go through you get to plant the seed so that a family one day will start on their journey back to our Father in Heaven. Wow! I can’t even believe that happened.

Monday, July 18, 2016

July 18, 2016 - Struttin In São Miguel

                                 Roommates: Sisters Domingues, Steele, Courtney and Monteiro

                                                   Sao Joao Party with Sister Monteiro

                                                      Courtney at Sao Joao Celebration

                                              View Of Sao Miguel From Their Apartment


Well my first week in my new area was SO GREAT. I love this area. Wow I have never felt a spirit so good about an area and a ward. The ward here is small but strong-they are really amazing people. They have 3 or 4 people that served missions here and the rest think that we´re all angels sent from above (which I can’t completely deny). We went to a São João party they had here and we didn’t know anyone and one lady came up to us and said ´´I love you two. You are the reason that I came to know about the gospel of Jesus Christ 6 years ago. Thank you´´. That just melted my heart!

Oh and bday shoutout to Spencerrrr-I like Spencer because he has good fashion sense and he taught me how to change a tire, and because he let me hang out on his couch in Provo and he’s a good listener and a good example to me. Happy 30th bday!! oops...

But my area is decent sized, actually here there are 2 sets of missionaries and we live all together. The area I’m at is the part above, because the whole city is divided by this huuuge hill. Literally it’s huge. We have to take a van to get up to our area every day which is like 30 minutes with all the stops, and then we have to come down every night too. But it’s alright; our area has tons of people and lots of members that live close by.

I got to give a talk yesterday about missionary work (surprise surprise) and it’s so funny to see when a missionary gets up to speak about preaching the gospel everyone basically conks out haha. So you gotta throw a joke in there to wake everyone up. But I like to give talks when I get to a new area so I can avoid all the awkward questions that everyone asks to my companion like ´´does she speak Portuguese?´´. It’s also funny how when everyone finds out you’re American, they start talking to you about Obama-I pretty much always am up to date with everything he is doing or saying because everyone thinks that is my number one priority for some reason..

We got to teach a lot this week which was great. We had tons of references from the members who took us to their families houses who aren’t members, or their neighbors and we make friends with them easy and teach them and mark dates for their baptisms! It’s that simple people! I’ve been thinking a lot about our true identity as children of god. If all of us really understood and really knew how precious we are to god, if we really understood all that is waiting for us on the other side, all the treasures and happiness and love, it wouldn’t be hard to keep the commandments, it wouldn’t be hard to get up and go to church or read our scriptures, we wouldn’t be scared to talk with people about the church, because WE know how important it is for these people to know. That is what the difference is about knowing who we really are. We are princesses and princes preparing for our eternal destiny! I am very thankful to know that is true. Our decisions really do determine our destiny. I love you guys so much! Have a wonderful week!!

Sister Walker

Monday, July 11, 2016

July 11, 2016 - UM ANO!! (ONE YEAR)

                                                           Farewell Sister Barbosa!!

                                   One Year Mark - Gets Eggs & Flour Smashed On Her Head

                                                    Church Openhouse - Araracaju

                                       Surprise Party For Sister Barbosa With Their District

Hey party people! What a wild week to end a wild transfer. Seriously longest transfer ever. But I survived!

So what’s the big secret? (let Jared fill you in on that one) I will now be transferred once again back to the state of Alagoas, Brasil, to a little town close to Maceio called São Miguel. I’m gonna be companions with a very tall very sassy and very funny sister from Cabo Verde (thats in Africa people) named Sister Monteiro. I’m leaving tonight at midnight on a bus that will take all the missionaries that are being transferred to the other state-which means I won’t sleep at all tonight, score! In other news I’ll have to say goodbye to Santos Dummont which is a very cutesy area I love. But I knew I would never stay because it would be too easy to send Sister Walker to a ward that is fully functioning in a real city. I’ve learned that missions are a little bitter that way, you meet such amazing people that change your life, and then one day you have to say goodbye to all of them and continue on. That happened with Sister Barbosa this week when I sent her off to her bus. I’ve realized I am really terrible with goodbyes, I always have all these nice things planned out to say and then I get up there to say goodbye and I just start crying.... then it gets awkward and I have to excuse myself.

Anyways this week I didn’t even work in my area, I had a meeting in Maceio where I got to see my favorite Sister Estela woohooo!! It really is the little things that make your mission great-I was so happy to get to see and talk to her again. But then when I got back we spent all the other days helping at the new chapel open house that opened up about 10 minutes from our area. The chapel there was in construction for about a year and just opened up! I took my rightful position outside the gates calling people from off the streets to come in and take a looksie. I was surprised how many people stopped what they were doing to come inside for a tour with some nice members or missionaries and only a few people explaining too much about baptisms for the dead.

That’s all I really have got for your guys this week. Now I get to scramble back to my area to get all my stuff together and head out! I really love my mission. I can’t think of any other place or event or way I could become the person I want to be and Heavenly Father wants me to be, without going on a mission. It has changed every aspect of my life, how I think, how I view the people around me, what I want to do with my life. I love being a missionary! When we truly understand how indebted we are to the savior and all He gave to us, the problems and challenges don’t seem so overwhelming. I know that that is true! Hope you guys have another wonderful week of summer!

amo vocês!

Sister Walker

Monday, July 4, 2016

July 4, 2016 - 4th Of July/The Last Supper

                                                             Courtney in Sao Joao

                                                      Courtney in Sao Joao Marketplace

                                            Surprise Party for Sister Steele's 9 Month Mark

Hey Family!

So I’m thinking I can never get just a regular week in this transfer, for some reason I’ve gotta keep myself on my toes for all the craziness going on. This week me and Sister Barbosa got traded companions, so we each got put with one of the sisters who was already in the area. So I got to work with Sister Steele, from Chicago. She is a nice sweet sister who likes Parks and Rec and just hit her 9 month mark!

We had interviews with Presidente Gomes this week and he traded the companions because he thought it would be good for the other sisters to get a different view on the work. Anyways my interviews with Presidente are funny, they’re not really interviews, it’s more like ´´are you good Sister Walker(the question mark button is missing on this keyboard so imagine it instead...)´´ ´´yeah I’m good Presidente´´ ´´Ok great. So this and this and this is happening in the areas you went through to make them actually productive. Now I’m going to need you to do this and this for me´´ ´´Okay Presidente´´ haha and that’s about it! But I think he knows that when I’m not okay or when he really needs to know about certain things, I’ll give him the 411.

In other news this is Sister Barbosa’s last week in the field, she leaves Sunday for Maceio and Tuesday morning for São Paulo. Many sad feelings are going on inside of me right now, I think I am more nervous for her than she is. It’s funny that I feel that horrible sinking feeling like when I left home, knowing I’ll have to say goodbye to my best friend I made on my mission. But we try to make the best of it and not talk about it-instead we eat lots of icecream and sometimes I buy a bowl of ice cream and a milkshake at the same time and then she tells all the members and they make fun of me... some things never change.

Anyways I am busy planning 2 surprise going away parties for her and trying to make her last moments here as least stressful as I can! Next week I’ll be transferred out of this area and I’m pretty sure I’ll go to a close area called Soccorro, but we´ll see. I have a leaders meeting in Maceio this week too so maybe I’ll get the info ahead of time. Anyways that’s all I’ve got for now. I hope you all know how much I love you all! I really really do. Wishing you all a happy 4th of July and everyone in the streets is already tired of hearing me sing God Bless America!! até a proxima!


Sister Walker