Monday, November 28, 2016

November 28, 2016 - Pictures Speak 1000 Words?

                                   Courtney And Sister Menezes With Some Ward Members

                                   Courtney By A Fruit Tree With Fruit Similar To Cherries

                                                        Holiday Santa/Soccer Cheer

                                      Sister Menezes, Courtney And Elders From Arapiraca
                                                             At A Mission Meeting

Hello good people of America!

Here’s the week update: we are going to have the baptism of Irmã Eliane this Saturday, woohoo! She’s super excited! It is amazing to hear her testimony. Usually the people we teach know that we have something different but don’t know really how to recognize it or explain it. But she’s different. She already has been to so many churches she gave up. She thought the Mormons were a cult who didn’t believe in Jesus! And now she’s going to be one! Who knew? She talks about how her life is so much more fulfilling, it has a purpose and she feels the presence of Jesus Christ in her life after she started reading the Book of Mormon. That book is the key people! 

I’m also not embarrassed to say that we may or may not be getting a lot more people to church just because I use the excuse ´´but I’m going back to America and I’ll never see you guys again!´´ and then they feel bad for me and go to church. Hey, every teaching technique is welcome and utilized here.

I have also gotten three invites this week to not go back to America but to stay here and live with people, all three were from children I teach or ward member’s kids, but still. 

Funny story of the week is that we were walking down the street and there was a little stubby chubby old shirtless man walking down the street obviously drunk, stumbling all over the place. Then he starts to pull out something black from his pants and turns out its a huuuuge machete that was somehow hidden away there. He takes the machete and to himself he’s mumbling ´´I’m gonna rob ya... I’m gonna rob ya´´ hahaha. I was laughing so hard. 

Anyways I try my best to just think of my work here, if I start to think of anything else I start to have mini panic attacks. But it’s all good! The Lord will provide a way, I’ve come to know that. I know His true church is this one! I may not understand it 100% but I know I feel it inside of me, and that’s something no one can ever take away from us. I love my mission! And I love you guys! See you soon.

Sister Walker

Monday, November 21, 2016

November 21, 2016 - "When You Go Back To America, Will You Leave Your Hair Here With Us?"

                                Courtney On The Street Where She Lives In Eduardo Gomes

Happy turkey day to everyone in the states!! I officially remembered that it was this week when I read mom’s email 2 minutes ago. I am thankful for the Savior, for Brasil, for my companion and for the scriptures. Oh and my family. And yes that quote is a real life experience from the Sister Walker diaries during relief society yesterday.

Anyways there are some new occurrences here in the mission and we have been reduced to use the computers for only 45 minutes so if I don’t respond to everyone just hold all your questions and thoughts and commentaries for just a few more weeks. 

Our week was good here but lots of people gave us back the pamphlets we had given them.... funny how other weeks when everyone wants to listen to you and then the next one no one wants to answer their door... haha. Paulo is hiding from us and avoiding our calls sooo there’s that. On to the next one. 

I learned something really special this week, I realized that something I will never forget is the look in someone’s eyes who thought their whole life that there isn’t life after death, when we teach them that there exists a whole lot more than that waiting for them. It’s almost as if their spirit is inside there jumping for joy to read that, while their human mind is trying to process how that is possible. We taught a woman named Raimunda who had taken care of her mom while she was sick and then watched her die by her side, and the church she was going to taught that our time is now and there isn’t anything after death. That was a really good lesson.

I also got to give a talk in the ward yesterday on good ole fashioned missionary work. I may or may not have cried a little at the end. And it wasn’t even my birthday... 

Here is a pic of my street, next door we live by a school that is shaped like a castle.

I love you all very much! We pray for you, the ward members and my investigators pray for you as well. até logo! se cuidam!

Sister Walker

Monday, November 14, 2016

November 14, 2016 - Trump Time...?

                                                                 Courtney's District

                                                    Enjoying A Brasilian Hamburger

                                                 Hamburgers Come With Corn Included

                                              Cute Family Of Boys: Nephi, Moroni and Gabriel

Let’s get ready to TRUMPle!! 

Okay that’s all for my Donald Trump jokes for now I’m sure the rest will come with time. (trumpleskilston..?) basically the entire Brasilian population is now feeling that they have the right to laugh in my face due to the fact that a horrible corrupt rich robber man is now president of my country, as has always been the case here in Brasil... it’s a fun turn of events here getting to hear a new snippet of info every day from someone on the street or in the ward. Is there really going to be a giant wall dividing Mexico and the states? How many wives does he have? These are the questions that haunt me.

But on for things that have real eternal significance in our lives, transfers are in and I’m staying here in my area with Sister Menezes until I leave for home. That is the only thing that stayed the same in the mission, literally everyone got mixed up and moved around and it’s a wild frenzy here right now. I just think ´´I’m not really worried about any of you fools because in 5 weeks I’ll be in my own house in my pjs watching Law and Order´´ and that gives me comfort. 

But this week was good, we got smart and starting praying to meet people who didn’t need to wait to be married to be baptized. And it worked! We met some people who went to church for the first time. The only horrible thing that happened was in the gospel principles class when we were studying about the Book of Mormon. A nice and little bit crazy recent convert decided to start talking about how the Book of Mormon even warns the world about the catholic church which is the mother of all the abominations and all of that, forgetting that the vast majority of people who visit the church are catholic or their entire family is.... I sunk so low in my chair when she said that and whispered to our investigator, Paulo, that that wasn’t true and she didn’t know what she was talking about. We´ll see if he wants to come back... but we met him, who is 18 and his grandma who started talking about how she’s been catholic since she was born but always felt like there was something missing there. And all of a sudden she says ´´I think I’m going to change my religion. I think I’m going to go to this church of yours.´´ ding ding ding we have a winner!!! We´ll get to teach her more this week to see how it goes.

Other than that I’m excited to start my 1st transfer! Just 5 more weeks and then I never get to wear my name badge any more... I think that’s going to be the worst part. But until then I’m trying to just focus on helping my companion and the area. There is a lot of work to be done! Have a great week, take care of yourselves and I’ll see you soon! I love you all!

Sister Walker

Monday, November 7, 2016

November 7, 2016 - Baptism This Week!

                                                               Junior's Baptism

                                              Going On Splits With Sister Custodio

                                               Sister Menezes, Courtney and Baby Loreina

Bom dia minha familia!

Wow I am already here writing another email, I can’t believe that... so what can I say about this week? Oh we had a baptism that is good news! It was a boy named Junior, he is a nephew of a member who really loves to go to church but his family is kind of out of the loop so they never really tried to help him get there. But we worked it out with his aunt and her family to always take him with them, and they live on the same street so it’s perfect. He is a really cute kid, he was super nervous for his interview with the elders haha. He kept repeating the definitions of the word of wisdom and what a prophet is and all of that so he wouldn’t forget. It was nice to have a lot of good ward members there too to support him. That’s what I really love about this ward, no matter how old you are or if you know the person or not, you’re there to support all of Gods children. The people here are so genuine with that-really look to serve and uplift and integrate others. Not everyone has this perspective but since most everyone here is a convert they all know how it’s like to start off in the church not knowing anyone and feeling overwhelmed. That’s what I love about working in these areas. 

Other than that there’s not really anything to report, lots of our investigators went to church but they all have to get married first... our investigator progressing the most, her husband is in jail... so there’s that. We are trying to figure out how to get them legally married while he is locked up. This is true love people. Oh and I got to go on splits this week, but for the first time in forever I was the one RECIEVING the instruction and help!! It was so great. I didn’t have to worry about what to tell her to work on or anything I just got to teach and meet people like a normal day. What a wonderful world it is. 

Anyways that’s all I’ve got folks, I hope you all are praying not just for the missionaries but being agents and praying so that you can each be better missionaries! I think a lot about the scripture in Matthew 10:23 I think, that says if we confess Christ’s name in front of men, He will also confess ours at the last day. But if we negate His now (aka not talking about the gospel), He will negate us too at the last day. Just food for thought ;) I love you all and know you are capable missionaries!! Help someone out this week remember their true heritage! I love you all até logo!

Sister Walker

Here’s a pic of my favorite baby girl in the ward-Loreina, who I have somewhat adopted as my own child, Juniors baptism with his mom and sister who we´re also teaching but they have to quit selling meat on Sundays to be baptized (and his mom has to get married-surprise surprise), and the splits I went on with Sister Custodio!