Monday, September 30, 2013

September 30, 2013

Hola Querido Familia!

I just can´t tell you all how much I love you! Every week my love for you grows more and more. So let´s see what happened this week...well that tri-zone conference we had was so much fun! I got to see Hermana Hubbard and Hermana Flake and a whole bunch of other people from the MTC which was so fun! I think we all get support from each other because we´re all in the same boat and we understand each other a little better than our companions, not that they don´t, but yeah. Haha. WE listened to President Deere for a while, who is just incredible by the way. He´s such a cool guy, that whole family is. And we heard from the APs and from Hermana Deere too. Oh! And we ate paella. Mmmmmm paella. It´s so good. That was my 3rd time eating it and it´s always good.

So funny story from the week. We had a future that we found in the street and we had an appointment with him to go teach him and we had confirmed it with him and everything and we were all ready to go. So we went to go find his house and we´re walking down this little street in one of our pueblos (Alcantarilla) and it´s dark, and so there´s this little lit-up sign that says "La Luz del Mundo Iglesia" which mean the light of the world church. So I saw that and it for some reason made me laugh. Then the next thing I know, we´re standing in front of the church, and it has the same address that this guys gave us. You guys, he gave us the address of this church! Haha. We tried to call him again and he wouldn´t answer and we couldn´t find out any more information as to if this was real or not. Haha. We didn´t know what to do! But we must´ve just stood there looking at the church like, is this really happening? It was pretty funny. Needless to say, we didn´t teach that man that night. haha. Maybe another day...or not. 

So I´m going to Málaga tomorrow and wednesday! All of my residency stuff is done and I get to go pick up my official residency card so that I can be legally here. It´ll be fun! I get to go with some other people from my MTC group and it´ll be so nice to see them! They just make me happy. 

So how are things at home? Dad told me a little about the house plot issue, that´s inconvenient! And was HOMECOMING??? Hermana Flake and I were so excited about it when we got to see each other! I´m sure you were a great date! Did you have fun? Tell me all about it!

Sorry this email is a little shorter than other emails, but I hope you all are doing so good! I just love you! I pray for you as many times a day as i can. You´re the best thing I have in my life! Thank you for your love and support and prayers! I´ll talk to you next week!

Hermana Walton

Monday, September 23, 2013

Things are clicking along...  Two months tomorrow!


So guess what...tomorrow is 2 MONTHS!!!! Can you belive that? Ok well I kind of feel like I´ve been here forever, but at the same time I feel like it´s gone by so fast. It´s a good feeling though, knowing that time is going by and that I have a good chunk of time under my belt now. Well kind of. Haha (funny thing, in spanish it´s jaja, weird huh?) So let´s see, what to tell you about this week? Oh! First off, every single person in the entire world needs to watch the "Hastening the Work of Salvation" missionary work broadcast from a few months ago. I finally watched it and it is absolutely amazing! And so true. As a missionary, my purpose it to teach lessons and bring people to the gospel. As memebers, our purpose is to find people for the missionaries to teach, to fellowship them and to welcome them and love them, to honestly be their friends, because if not, then our converts will become nothing more than less active members. So as a missionary, I plead with you all to help in the missionary work. I think sometimes too much emphasis is put on just being a good example to those around us. And while this is such an important thing to do, it´s not always enough. Don´t be afraid to invite people to dinner with the missionaries, or to an activity. And keep asking! They may not say yes the first time, but most people need more than just one invitation. Elder Anderson made a promise that if we pray to know who we can share the gospel with, names and faces of people we know will come to our minds. So take him up on his challenge, and then do something about it! I promise it´ll feel so good! And you´ll never regret doing it. Plus the missionaries will love you forever, haha.

So remember that lady that I told you about last week that we met in the park when we were out with the members? Her name is Lorena and we got to teach her on saturday and she is the sweetest! She´s so prepared! I love her so much and I´m so excited to see where things go with her. We gave her the soft "when you know these things are true will you get baptized" invitation and she said yes, so now we just have to get her to know that it´s true and I´ll have my first BAPTISM!!!! Haha, oh man I´m so excited! I just love her. 

So some fun things about Spain:
-they grafiti EVERYTHING!! like the church buildings are the only thing that doesn´t have grafiti all over the side of it
-they have these things called kebab (pronounced k-bob) which is basically like a spanish version of a gyro and they are so good! man i could eat those things every day
-they also do the whole churros and chocolate thing...mmmm
-this country is filled with crazy catholics! haha sad but true, they just finished a festival (a 2 week long festival) about the virgin mary and how she apparently appeared here in spain. the festival ends when "the virgin" goes back up the mountain. it´s a little strange. man, european catholic traditions...i just can´t explain it

Well honestly, I´m not really sure what else to tell you. Things are going well here. It´s getting easier and easier every day and I can feel this little bit of love for the work starting to grow inside me. I love my chappa (nametag) and am so sad for the day I will have to take it off, don´t be surprised if I wear it around the house still when I get home, or carry it with me everywhere I go.  It´s become a part of my every day outfit and I just love it! 

We do have some good investigators, and hopefully we´ll set some more fechas (baptismal dates) with more than just Lorena soon. Some people are willing to listen but aren´t willing to do anything to change anything, but others are ready to accept the gospel too. We just have to find them. 

Well I love you all and am so grateful for the blessing you are to me! I am doing well, but still miss you all, but just because I love you so much! Thank you for your love and support, prayers and good wishes. You mean the world to me and I am so grateful that I get to be with you forever!

Hermana Walton

Monday, September 16, 2013

September 16, 2013   Got to chat via email with my Peach from 3:30am to 5:00am this morning.  She is doing well.  Say lots of prayers for these sweet missionaries that are out there giving their all!

Oh My Dear Sweet Family,

Well first of all, I just want to say that mission life is hard. You don´t really ever know what you´re signing up for and I don´t think anyone could ever really portray what it´s like to someone who hasn´t experienced it. There is so much to adjust to and so many things that you´ve never done before. It´s hard, but I´m trying to remember how much it´ll be worth it too. Thank goodness this gospel is true and that we have the Lord on our side. Without the Lord´s help, this work would go nowhere. I am so grateful for my Savior and his help in all of this. I am here for Him and I know that it will get easier and better as time goes on. 

Anyway, not let´s talk about some good stuff. So we went out tracting on saturday night so see if we could get in contact with some antiguos (old investigators who for some reason were dropped) and some references and futures. We had an address for this one lady so we went out into the boonies to find her only to realize that we only had the building number and had no idea which apartment was hers. So we said a prayer and then decided to just start knocking doors. The last door we knocked on was a family and they invited us in! Which by the way is a big deal, it doesn´t really happen here. And so we taught them about the book of mormon and left each of the parents with their own copy and invited them to start reading as a family and set a return appointment for this upcoming saturday! We´re really excited about them, and we could tell with the mom especially that she was liking what we were talking about. 

We also had another cool experience on saturday. We went out on tracting splits with the ward members on saturday morning and we found this sweet young mother sitting on a park bench. We went up and talked to her about the book of mormon and we asked if we could end with a prayer. I said it in my very broken spanish (I can understand a lot but I don´t speak very much) and when I looked up she was teary. She definitely needs the gospel in her life and I know she could feel it. I´ll definitely keep you updated on our investigators. 

And mom I just want to thank you for finding those family history stories for me! I read through them and they are so fun to read! I read Archie Fay Barney´s little red book first and his is by far my favorite. I loved it! I got to a point where I felt like I knew him and I can´t wait to meet him someday. I was remembering the big long story of Lewis Barney that we read for FHE a few years ago and I´d love to read that again too. The intro to the book you sent with me was more of background for the book than it was of him.

So you know how people say that mormons are weird? I can finally understand it! Haha, I think because we are so used to it, we don´t realize how different from the world we are. Especially here in Spain, the world is wicked. Everyone here smokes or drinks or has chastity problems. And I´m not kidding when I say everyone. Satan really is doing his best to make people unhappy. There are some awesome people here, but it´s also a very worldy and wicked place. There´s not a good spirit here. It´s kind of sad to see, but it makes me appreciate the gospel so much more in my life. I cannot express my love for this gospel enough. Everything that I love in this world comes because of the gospel. 

So to answer some of Dad´s questions. We get around by walking. Unless we´re going out to a pueblo then we take the bus. We have a massive area so sometimes it takes 30 minutes just to walk somewhere, and that´s good timing most days. The food is good. I haven´t eaten much Spanish food so there´s not much to say about that. The language is slowly coming. I can understand a lot and get the jist of a conversation, but speaking is hard for me. My companion is awesome! She´s been such a blessing to me! We get along very well and I love her already! The weather is hot and muggy. Haha we sweat all day long. It´s pretty attractive. My companion was in this area before but we got another companionship in our area so they changed the boundaries of our area so some things are the same and then some things are new for her too. Yes, I do feel my Heavenly Father´s love. Somedays a little more than others and somedays I really have to search for it, but yes. I know it´s there. 

Well I´m out of time for this week. I love you all and can´t wait to hear more from you next week! 

Hermana Walton

Thursday, September 12, 2013

September 9, 2013

My Family!

I´m in Murcia!!!! But some how you knew how to figure that out before I could tell you. I was pretty impressed with that. Anyway, something else you seem to already know, my companion´s name is Hermana Jarvis. She´s from Oregon, she´s 22 and has been out for 9 months now so she´s pretty experienced compared to most of our mission. Murcia is cool. It´s a pretty big city. It´s the 4th largest city in our mission behind Málaga, Sevilla, and Granada. It´s dirty like most cities are, but I´m excited to get to know the city better. Our area also covers quite a few pueblos too (those are smaller neighborhoods on the outskirts of the city). It´s finally starting to pick up a little bit here. The whole country of Spain basically takes the month of August off to vacation which is strange but true so the summer was really hard for missionary work here so hopefully it´ll start picking up even more now that it´s September.

Church yesterday was so much fun! The people here have such a love for missionaries because most of them are only 1st or 2nd generation members in their family so they know how important the work is and they have such an appreciation for it. It was so fun to meet them and get to know them! They are all so sweet and kind and patient with my spanish haha. There were 2 ladies there that I had met in the temple while I was in the MTC and that was way fun! I remember sitting in the chapel before the session and they were transfixed by mine and Hermana Swenson´s eyes because they don´t see much besides brown eyes here so they were like "que bonito,que bonito, tu ojos!" haha basically just saying how pretty they thought our eyes where. It was fun to have a familiar face there. Their names are Carmen and Paula. Just two funny quirky old ladies that I love already.

We´ve gotten some good investigators that hopefully will work out. There is a spanish family (which is a big deal) that had a baptismal date with the Elders but they´re ours now and we figured out that they´re not married so we´ll have to tell them tomorrow that they can´t get baptized this month. The two hardest things about Spain are word of wisdom and law of chastity. Everyone drinks or smokes here. And then a lot of people will have kids together and live with each other but never get married, although they call themselves married so that gets a little tricky sometimes. But we´ve set a goal for 3 baptisms this month, yikes! and now without them it´ll be kind of a stuggle, but we´re going to fast and pray and just hope that we find a few people this week that we can teach and who can be ready in 2 weeks for baptism. Thank goodness we have the Lord on our side, because I couldn´t do this by myself. 

So guess what!? I get to sleep in until 7:30 in the field! It´s such a blessing. Yes it´s still early and a little tough cause I´m just always tired, but it´s so much better than 6:30. Sadly that´s only for summer and once we finish this transfer we have the winter schedule and we wake up at 7, but hey! Still better than 6:30. It´s almost like heavenly father knew I wasn´t a morning person, haha. Some other interesting schedule changes that happen in Spain, we have this thing called Medio Día at 2 everyday where we just go home and eat and have free time for an hour and a half and then study some more and we don´t have to be back out until 5:30 so that´s kind of fun! The free time can be nice, but I´ve noticed that that´s when I get into trouble with homesickness and stuff like that. But I´ve come up with some things to keep my mind off of it, so I´m not worried about it, it´ll keep getting easier the longer I´m out. 

The other missionaries here are awesome! I have a great zone and I´ve seen them every day since being here which is kind of fun! Friday we had a zone conference, saturday we had a ward activity that we all went to, and then church yesterday and today for p-day we´re going to make lunch and watch a movie in the capilla (chapel) together so that´ll be fun. It´s not all of the other missionaries all the time, but it´s fun to get to know them and see other missionaries. Hermana Jarvis and I are the only Hermanas in our zone which is kind of strange, but it´s fun too. The elders are crazy but great. I did get to see Hermana Flake when we got our trainers! That was so much fun to see her and get to talk to her for a while. She isn´t in my zone, but I might get to see her when we do multi-zone trainings so we´ll see, but it was so nice to have her there when all this crazy stuff was happening.

So spanish...I can understand a lot of what people say, especially if they have a south american accent. Southern spain accents on the other hand, I can hardly pick out words sometimes. It´s kind of crazy. They speak like they have marbles in their mouth, they randomly won´t finish the end of some words or they´ll not pronounce the s in a word and they speak super super fast so you can´t catch the words that you do know. I know I´m supposed to be here in spain, and they say when you can understand southern spanish accents you can understand any other accent, but sometimes I wish I was in south america (and I actually had a dream that I got transfered to south america the other night) because I really can actually understand what´s going on. But oh well, it´ll come and when it does I´ll be so grateful for it. 

Well just keep me in your prayers as I know you already do and I´ll be so grateful! I´m starting to feel a stronger love for this work already, but it doesn´t always make the hard times easier. I love you all lots and am so grateful for the strength and support you are to me! I love you!

Hermana Walton

Saturday, September 7, 2013

September 7, 2013  Check out the Mission President's blog (see link below)!  There is a picture of Paige at the train station arriving with 37 other missionaries, and a picture of her and her new companion pointing to the spot on the map where they are headed...Murcia! 
September 3, 2013  Heard from her that she is safely in Malaga.  Yahoo!

Thanks for your sweet emails! I love hearing about all that you're doing. I don't have a lot of time, but just enough to tell you that we got to Malaga safely! The train ride was way cool, this country is beautiful! Anyway, Malaga is hot and humid, think DC when we went, it's gonna be interesting, haha, but I'm so excited! We've been in meetings and interviews all day, we won't know our areas or our companions until tomorrow, they haven't even decided where we're going to go yet so yeah, I'm not sure if I'll get to email you again when I know, but it not then I'll tell you on monday what's going on. President and Hermana Deere (my mission pres and his wife) are fantastic! I love them already! And the Castillos, they're the medical and random things personelle and they're just hilarious, I'm so excited to get to know them. And yes dad, I can see the pictures and attachments so just keep sending them the way you've been sending them. I will tell you more later when I have time! Oh! And haleigh is training again this transfer so it's possible that I could get her as a trainer!!!! Man that would be the best, but if not then that's ok too, I'll go where I'm supposed to go. Well I love you! You're the best! I can't wait to tell you where I'm going and about everything going on here. Talk to you soon! Oh! and mom, yes I got your letter today when I got to the mission. Love you!

Hermana Walton
September 2, 2013  Paige was able to write a little before leaving the MTC on her first transfer to the mission field.  Can't wait to hear who her companion is on Monday!

hey mommy! i don´t know if you´re up or if you´re on, but here is your short monday letter. I am going to go start packing up right now and then we have a farewell tonight and then we go to bed. We leave super early tomorrow morning, like 5:45 is when the bus leaves to take us to the train station. Then we have a 3 hour train ride to Málaga and we´ll get picked up there and then go to the mission home. I don´t know when we get our new companions or when we find out our area, but I´m pretty sure that I will have time to email you again once I get to my area. So I don´t have time to write you a full email, but I´m almost done with another letter and that will be sent out soon and then i´ll send it and that will have lots of details of this week for you. Don´t worry. And I´m so glad that you got my letter and that you loved it! I love sending you letters because when I think about you reading and getting the letter it just makes me happy. I love you oh so much and i´m so blessed to have the family that I have. Pray for me as I start this next part of my journey. I´ve loved the MTC more than I thought I would and I´m going to have a hard time leaving and saying goodbye to people and things here. But I´m excited to really get my mission going. I´ll send you home my SD card soon too so that you can see all the pictures from here. I love you more than I can express. By the way you´re the only one getting this email so if you want to send it out to dad and whit and elliot that would be great. I love you and pray for you everyday. I´m so glad that we get to be an eternal family. Someone told us today that our name tags have 2 names, that of the savior, and that of our family. I am so proud to be a walton and having that name on my nametag reminds me that I carry you with me always. You are a big part of this work I am doing. Thank you for your love and support! I will hopefully talk to you again tomorrow or wednesday. And from now on my emails will be coming on mondays as that will be the day I have p-day in the field. you´re the best! talk to you soon!
hermana walton