Monday, February 24, 2014

Oops! Forgot to post this one first so it's a little out of order...  Love hearing from her though!

Hermanas In Badajoz


Paige Walton

Feb 17 (7 days ago)
to me, Tyler, Elliot, Whitney, Luke
Hello there! I hope everyone is happy and doing well back there in the US of A. Sometimes it still doesn´t hit me that I´m on a different continent. But yep! It´s true! 

Well, let´s just right to the big news for the week. The elders are being taken out of our area. Badajoz will now be an hermana only area. It´s literally just my companion and I here in Badajoz now. It´s a huge change. We´re honestly a little overwhelmed, a little nervous, a little confused, and there´s a tinge of excitement in there too. We´ll definitely miss those elders though too. As much as Hna Muse and I love each other, to not have anyone else within a 2 hour radius is a big change, and we´re just hoping we don´t get too sick of each other out here. Haha. Anyway, the Elders will leave on tuesday night and they will leave us with everything. It´s a little scary. I try not to think about it. When they announced it in Sacrament meeting yesterday, Hna Muse and I just cried like babies in front of all the members because of the mix of all the emotions we had in our hearts. Haha. Plus it didn´t help that the smart one that chose the hymns for the day decided to have us sing God be With You Til We Meet Again as the intermediate hymn. Haha, yeah we cried during that too. Haha, it´ll be an interesting next transfer. Hna Deere (President´s wife) called us to talk about it, and she told us that this change is happening because this transfer we have more missionaries that are going home than are coming into the mission so they have to close a few areas this transfer. I´m hoping that after a while when we get another big wave of missionaries (like in the summer when all the youngins are out of school) that they will bring some more Elders back here. But we´ll see.

Anyway, now that you know all about the bomb that was dropped on us this week, let´s see what else I can tell you about this week. We worked a lot this week on strengthening the relationships we have with the members, so we had a lot of eating citas and spent more time at member´s houses this week. We ate some cool food with these menos activos we´re working with. The dad is from Congo and so we had some way cool African food. We ate fufu which is like this sticky paste of some starchy things, haha, and you eat it with a whole bunch of stuff to give it flavor, We ate it with a kindey bean dish and a rib and spinach dish. It was so good! We were so full afterwards, but it was so good! 

Oh! I have to tell you about a skit that we did. We had a ward Valentine´s Day party on friday night and they asked the missionaries to do something for it. So we came up with the idea of a date etiquete skit. It was hilarious! My comp dressed up as a very convincing boy and then she and I went on a "date" where a whole lot of things went wrong. One of the elders was the host and was explaining what was happening the whole time. I got most of it on my camera but them my memory card ran out of space at the end, so I´ll have to send that home and then you can watch it. But it was pretty funny. People seemed to enjoy it and we had fun doing it. 

Well honestly I´m not really sure what else to tell you about this week. Oh wait! I forgot to tell you! We got a new investigator this week named Jesús. He´s 29 and spanish. He´s pretty cool. He has cancer, which he´s had for a few years. It´s Hodgkin´s Lymphona, but he seems to be doing pretty well. He´s in Madrid a lot for tests and all that kind of stuff, but we´re really excited about him. We then went to english class after and the girl that was there is friends with him and they talked about the cita that we had and apparently he wants to convert us to Catholicism, haha, not if we convert him first!!! Toma! (haha Luke might have to explain that one) Anyway, we also picked Gladis back up. She hasn´t been working in her new job, so we have a lesson with her again tomorrow. 

Alright, now I think I´ve told you everything from the week. Well love you all lots! Have an awesome week! Pray for us and our new adventure here in Badajoz. haha, oh man. Here we go!

Hermana Walton
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Happy 7 month mark!!  woot woot



Paige Walton

6:18 AM (4 hours ago)
to me, Tyler, Elliot, Whitney, Luke
Wow. Haha. Where do I even begin with this week. It´s funny how missionary life can become so routine, but then when you start to feel like things are maybe a little bit normal, Heavenly Father throws something else at you just to keep us on our toes. Well it was a crazy week filled with miracles and interesting stories and a whole bunch of weird stuff. So let´s get to it!

Monday: We went to Portugal, a little town called Elvas right across the boarder. We went to another castle (they´re everywhere here) and we were standing on the top of a wall that Elder Medina had just jumped down and gotten to the bottom. He was down there hanging around for a while, and the rest of us where just standing at the top. Hermana Muse had found a cute flower she liked and decided she wanted to put it between our phone and the case to press it. So she was taking the phone out of the case, and the next thing we knew, we were watching the phone in slow motion as it fell to the ground, fell off the wall, and then landed on a rock and rolled into a puddle. happened. Haha, we weren´t sure what to do. But thank goodness Elder Medina was down there and saved it in time. And it still works and everything! Haha, not sure how, but it´s a blessing!

Tuesday: Honestly, I don´t really remember what happened that day. Haha, anyway...

Wednesday: We woke up early to go to the train station to say goodbye to the elders. That was weird and hard. They´re great friends and awesome missionaries. Then we got deep into organizing the new area. Getting new maps ready, organizing the area books, getting everything ready so we could just get it all done and then move on. We also met one of the new investigators we picked up from the elders that night. Haha, it´s an interesting story. Her name is Carla. And she´s a...wait for entertainer. Haha, yeah. But she´s awesome. She´s incredibly smart. She speaks almost fluently 5 different languages and is working on a few others. She hates her job and is trying hard to quit, so don´t judge her too hard. She´s honestly incredible. We had a good time with her getting to know her. We´ll see how things progress with her.

Thursday: Weekly Planning day! Oh my took us about 4 hours this week. It was a long one. Then we took some more time to organize the area a little bit. Then we headed out to work a little bit. We basically didn´t get a lot done that day though. Just a lot more organizing and planning for people we haven´t even met yet. Thank goodness it´s the spirit doing the work, not us. Then we had english class after that. I always love that. Especially since the people that come can speak pretty well, so we basically just sit there and talk in english the whole time, it´s kind of nice.

Friday: We had a caqui emergency and went to the nearest fruteria to buy some. It´s incredible stuff, I´ll definitely miss that when I get home. Then we organized yet again (yes, there really was that much to do) and then that night we went out and taught Carmen. The little girl who is getting ready to get baptized (she´s a member). She´s adorable. We always have so much fun with them. That family is one of my favorite families here. They´re awesome! 

We began the day normally. We went to a member´s house, he´s awesome too. His name is Antonio. We had fun talking to him and he even gave us a reference that we´re hoping will work out. Then we left his house and went antiguo hunting. We went to find this one street, but there wasn´t a street sign (classic spain) and so we asked someone passing by. He didn´t know either, but he then continued up the road to ask the rest of the neighboorhood if they knew where it was. After everyone on the sidewalk had said that they didn´t know either, we decided to try the street and see what would happen. We knocked on the door and a little girl answered. She told us the person we were looking for didn´t live there anymore. We then introduced ourselves and asked her if we could come by another day to meet her family and share a message. She said yes and then we left, one future richer. After that we started walking to our eating cita. I was walking along just fine, and the next thing I knew, a random curb pops out of the middle of the sidewalk and I tripped over it pretty ungracefully. Haha. As I stood there laughing at myself as that was my second fall this week, the lady behind us seemed genuinely concerned as to if I was ok. I was surprisingly fine, and we started talking to her because she was going the same way we were. She then asked us if we were mormons, to which we said yes, and she told us she was a testigo (Jehovah´s Witness). Haha, oh what was going through our minds after that. Thankfully she was nice and not overly pushy as so many of them can be, and even seemed a little open and curious about our beliefs. When the time came to part ways, we asked if we could pass by her house and talk a little more, she said that would be fine. So we have a cita with her tonight (oh yeah and she´s bringing a friend...aka back-up) so we´ll see how that goes. Haha. After that we went to our eating cita and then taught Gladis. Then we went to a crazy old lady´s house. She´s menos activo because she can´t walk to chruch, and she´s a little crazy. We spent some time with her and then headed back to the center of the city for another lesson with Carla. That was an intersting one. She was really depressed because of financial situations and a whole bunch of stuff that´s been going on in her life that I´m not going to go into detail about. But yeah, things didn´t go so well, especially when she and the father of her children got into a huge fight, twice, in front of us and their kids. We honestly probably should´ve left earlier, but yeah. Things were said between them and a few other things that weren´t the best. But we´re really not sure what to do with her right now. We´re going to give them some room. But we definitely will not be teaching her at home anymore, if we really teach her much anymore. Then we went home kind of in shock and very ready to go to bed.

Sunday: Church of course, then we headed home and we got a really weird phone call. It was a man named Raul. He had just lost his mom that morning and the missionaries had contacted him about a year ago. He remembered the card they gave him and decided to give it a try. He was very insistent on meeting with us. We said at 5 which we thought would be fine. He then tried to get us to bump it up, so we said 4:30 was the earliest we could do because we would have to walk there. So he said ok and we hung up. Then about 20 minutes later he called back and said, ok I´ve got someone who can drive me to where you are, can I come now? And so we said, ok this guys is really serious and so we´ll just go meet him now in the capilla and see what this is all about. So we left right then and got there as soon as we could. We then had a lesson on the plan of salvation and talked to him and got to know him a little bit. At the end of the lesson he told us we had him convinced and he wanted to meet with us again. This is a crazy week with a whole bunch of set lessons already, so we were pretty booked and the only time we could do it was wednesday morning even though he wanted to meet again today. Haha, he was a little different, but he´s a good guy. He didn´t have much religious knowledge which was different for me, but yeah he seems to like what we have to offer him. He even may have said something to the affect of marrying him??? Yeah, that´s not happening, but hey! That makes 3 marriage proposals for me! Then we went home and finally finished all the organizing of the area we had to do. Then we headed out to teach Carmen again and we ate dinner at their house too. 

Well yeah, saturday and sunday were some very interesting days of the mission. I finally got some of those crazy stories so tell about. Haha, sometime you really can see Heavenly Father´s sense of humor in our lives. But he´s always there. There were some strange things, some bad things, and some miraculous things, but they all came from Him. I know that. There´s nothing that´s a coincidence. We may never know why some things happen, but that´s ok, because He knows why, and that´s what matters. 

We have an awesome week planned this week. We´re going to be busy and probably exhausted by the end, but what´s new. I´m sure there will be some good stories for you all next week too, but thanks for all your support and love. I honestly can´t wait to share these stories with you in person someday, but for now this will have to do. Thanks for your love, you´re the best family ever! I hope everything goes well for you all back home. Love you lots!

Hermana Walton

I forgot about that story, but we had a cool lesson with some menos activos and it was their son´s 16th birthday, his name is José, so we made him a cake to take with us. Sadly, the candle is awkwardly backwards in this picuture...oh well! It was delicious!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Paige was asked to share her testimony of serving a mission for an upcoming fireside in our Stake.  I love what she says and wanted to share...

Sister Anderson!
Hello! How are you doing? How is everything going? I hope life is treating you well.

I would love to help you out! I would have loved nothing more than to have had all my questions answered before I went on my mission, so I would love to help out in anyway that I can. 

As far as why I went on a mission, it started when my brother-in-law got home from his mission and brought a slideshow of pictures and a whole bunch of stories from his mission home. They were stories of the people he´d met, the adventures he´s had, the things that he loved. And hearing returned missionaries talk about their missions is an incredible thing. Hearing their stories and the love they have for it was like a bedtime story for me. That´s when I started thinking about a mission as something that was possible a few years down the road as the age change hadn´t happened yet. Then when the age change happened, I kind of felt like everyone expected me to go. That´s definitely not the reason I went, but I think it had something to do with it. After a few months of praying, I felt that it was the thing that the Lord needed me to do. That´s the root of my decision. Submitting to the Lord´s will in that decision was one of that hardest and scariest things I´ve ever had to do, but I can already see the blessings of that choice. I´ve gotten through the roughest parts, and I´m starting to see how this was also the best thing I´ve ever chosen to do. I know I can only become the person that Heavenly Father needs me to be through the trials, and happiness, the ups and downs, the tears of love, joy, frustration, and sadness, all of this will only make me the best version of me I can be. Yes, I guess you could say the reason I went on a mission as a little bit selfish, but although the time you spend on your mission, you should be focused on how you can serve everyone else around you and be the Lord´s instrument, when it´s all said and done, you´re the person that will have changed the most. The Lord needs his strongest army for the tough times ahead, and what better training is there than to serve a misison.

As hard as a mission will be for anyone that does it the right way, don´t let that scare you away from doing it. You may spend the first few months questioning yourself and wishing you were home instead, but in my short 7 months in the mission, I can already testify that every moment is worth is. I have grown so much in my testimony, especially that of my Savior and the atonement. If there is any doubt in your mind as to whether or not the Savior lived, you need only study the atonement. I have never felt the spirit stronger. Every experience I have testifies that the Savior lives. That He knows us, that He knows everything, because he´s experienced it. He spent His life in the work of the Lord so that He could comfort us. He willingly gave everything He was and had out of love. A love so strong that He felt the pains of every single person, the sorrows of us all, just so that we wouldn´t have to be alone. Just so that one day we, in our imperfect little bodies and lives, would have the opportunity to perfect ourselves so that one day we may stand worthy of His blessings and be able to inherit His kingdom and live with him one day. If I´ve learned anything on my mission, it´s that love is the most important thing. Love for your investigators, for your companions, for your Savior, and most importantly the love He has for us, it the driving force. There is nothing greater or stronger than His love. And this gospel gives us the opportunity to experience it in its greatest strength. The Savior lives. He loves us. He knows us. He asks only that we obey him and try our best. Through the Prophet Joseph Smith, His church was restored fully so that we may receive all He has in store for us. This is the church of Jesus Christ. He stands at the head and will not lead us astray. 

Well if I find some more time, I´ll try to answer some more of those questions, but I hope that´s what you were looking for. I hope it works out well and feel free to give them my email address or my mail address and I would be more than willing to answer their personal questions too. Love you lots and thanks for the amazing example and friend that you are to the youth in our stake. 

Hermana Paige Walton
The rain is Spain does not stay mainly in the plane!!!!  :)

Paige Walton
5:12 AM (6 hours ago)
to me, Tyler, Elliot, Whitney, Luke
Hey Fam! 

Well, it was a raining and windy week here in Badajoz. Winter in Spain mean wet season, which mean a whole lot of rain. There hasn´t been a day in the past few weeks that is hasn´t rained a little bit, and then there are somedays where it´s just a huge down pour. And then throw some wind in there, and I´m talking huge gust of wind that depending on which way you´re going you´re either being forced to run or it takes about twice as much effort to walk forward, and it gets a little chilly here lately. haha, we´re thinking of going and investing in some rain boots today. But the weather here is a little crazy. You know me and rainstorms. I´m usually really excited about them! But when you have to be outside in it all day walking around and your citas fall through and there´s nothing else for your to do, it´s not quite as fun as I remembered it being, haha. But that´s ok. We´re getting through it. 

Anyway, so let´s see what I can tell you about this week. Well let´s start with Tuesday. We had a good cita with Gladis, and then at the end she told us that she picked up a new job, so she´s basically working 12 hours a day and doesn´t have any time to meet with us now. So that was a bummer. We then walked outside to terrential rain and tried calling Fransisco to see if we could get a cita with him. He told us that he´s getting another operation on his leg and that he doesn´t really have a desire to meet with us right now. So there went another investigator in the space of 30 minutes. Meanwhile we´re out walking in the rain to teach this little family english. When we got there, the mom looked at us and then ran to get us some dry pants and sweaters and socks so that we could put our skirts, socks and shoes on the heaters and try to get them a little more dry. After that we looked outside, and very hesitantly decided to brave the storm. That was quickly changed when we went outside. Our umbrellas were useless because of the wind, and we were just soaking wet and had nothing to do for the rest of the night. And after the day we had, losing all of our investigators, we went home and called Hermana Deere to get some mommy advice and just let all of our frustration out. We definitely did feel a little better after that.

Oh and by the way, Maria wasn´t progressing or reading, and we really didn´t feel like she was going anywhere, which after 2 years with the missionaries is kind of a bad sign, so we dropped her on Tuesday too.

It was a rough day, but we tried to keep our spirits up as much as we could. We were blessed on Thursday with a new investigator. Her name is Fernanda. She´s spanish, Catholic, and seems almost golden. We´re very excited to work with her, and we´re extremely thankful for the blessing that she was for us this week.

On Friday we went to Sevilla, again, for zone conference. It was fine, nothing special. But it´s always fun to see and talk to the other missionaries in our zone too. Then we traveled back that night and went to a members house. In Spain when the 8 year old members are getting ready to get baptized, the missionaries teach them the lessons. So we went to a member´s house to begin teaching their daughter, Carmen, the lessons. They´re awesome! I love that family. They´re definitely my favorite family here in Badajoz. It´s a mom (spanish) and the dad (mexican) and they have a 10 year old boy and an 8 yeah old girl. I just love them! They´re great. Then after the lesson they invited us to stay and eat pizza with them for dinner. 

Saturday we went out to a pueblo and spent the day with the cutest member couple! They are from England, so that was weird but nice to have a cita in english. And they´re adorable! They´ve been married for about a year now, and they´re younger. The girl is 24 and the boy is 25 I think. We had so much fun with them. We went with the elders too because the pueblo is way far out there and we can´t go very often, so when we do go, we all go. They made us some really good Phillipino food! It was so so good! Then we went home and made a whole bunch of cookie dough. We´re going to bring the members cookies and try to butter them up a little bit and get some references from them and get them much more excited and much more involved in the work. 

We had a cita with a menos activo family last night. They´re awesome! They have a very interesting story, but we´re very excited to work with them too. The cita went well and they invited us to eat on friday, so that´s always a good sign! The dad is from Congo and they´re going to make us african food which we´re both way excited about! So I´ll let you know how that goes.

What did I learn from this week? Even when life throws storms at you, you´ve just got to keep working. That´s all you can do. There will always be miracles and blessings at the end, but you can´t get to them if you don´t keep going and working. I´ve learned so much lately about the importance of the atonement and the love our Savior has for us. Everything He did for us, He did purely out of love. Why would we ever reject such a great love?

So yeah, that´s been our week. Haha, it´s rough, but there´s a lot of potential here too. We´ve just got to find it. Well I love you all lots. Thanks for your examples, support, and love. You´re the best! Talk to you next week!

Hermana Walton 

Monday, February 3, 2014

2 Attachments
Pictures wouldn't copy this time with the email... so here they are.

2 Attachments
Paige Walton
6:05 AM (9 hours ago)
to me, Tyler, Elliot, Whitney, Luke
Well this week was interesting. Haha, it probably won´t be a very long email because honestly I can´t remember much about what happened. Haha, it was just one of those weeks. Went by really fast, and by the end of it, you wonder what happened and if you really did anything. So let´s see. We had a special training conference with President Deere on tuesday in Sevilla, which means we lost another day to traveling, that´s one of the harder things about this area, we are always traveling! At least once if not twice a week and we lose a lot of time working in our area. It was a good conference, but it´s hard to be traveling for 7 hours in total just for a 3 hour conference. 

We did find a cool little hotdog place though. It´s right next to the capilla and it´s like a gourmet hot dog place that people have told us about and that´s supposed to be really good, so we caved one night and bought one on our way home from the capilla. They´re huge! They´re pretty good too, not an I´d eat you everyday good, but they´re pretty good. 

We also had to drop one of our fechas this week. Gladis, she told us she wasn´t really ready or wanting to do it right now, so we said ok and we´re going to keep working with her and maybe in the future things´ll work out. We also still haven´t met with Fransisco as he spent yet another week at the dentist´s office, but we´re crossing our fingers for this week. As for Maria, we gave her a challenge to read as much of the book of mormon as she can in one month and try to figure things out. She just doesn´t have a strong enough understanding or testimony of things yet to get baptized. So we´ll see how it goes after this month, if she´ll read and all that kind of stuff. And then after that we´ll see if she´ll either get baptized or we´ll have to drop her as an investigator. It´s rough, but those are kind of really our only two options with her right now. She´s been investigating for 2 years, has had plenty of opportunities to get baptized, has had fechas and everything, she´s just never gone through with it yet, so we´ll see. 

We went to Sevilla again saturday night for Stake Conference. We rode down with a member family which was nice, so we didn´t have to pay for it. Then we stayed the night with the hermanas there. They have this little baby piso and we had 7 hermanas staying there that night, it was a little crazy, but we had fun! We made a megabed with all their mattresses and just covered their entire livingroom floor, legitimately from wall to wall, and slept the best we could. haha. We also found a cute little 50s dinner so we went and got real american milkshakes! 

The next morning (sunday) we went to the general session of conference which was a special broadcast for Spain, Portugal, and Cape Verde from church HQ. It was kind of fun to hear some of the general authorities actually speaking in spanish. Gringo spanish is great! And a whole lot easier to understand. Then we were expecting to just go home after that with the family, but apparently they had other plans. Haha. We couldn´t find them after the session so we called them and they told us that they had gone to eat with another family that they knew there and they weren´t going home until 6 ish. So we said ok and told them we´d wait for them in the capilla and get some planning done for this week that we hadn´t had time to do yet. Then the bishop from one of the wards in Sevilla came in and told us that we had to leave so that he could lock up the church. Well, we explained our situation to him, and he then replied with an invitation to join him and his family for lunch. We accepted of course as we had no where else to go. They were the cutest young little family. They had 3 adorable little kids and we had fun playing with them. We had fish, mashed potatoes, and salad. It was like a normal sunday meal! And then hung at their house and looked at scrapbooks and all that fun stuff (nope, somethings never change in mormon culture) and then the mom took us back to the chuch to meet the family there at 6. One problem, the family wasn´t there, and they didn´t show up until 7:30. So that was fun! We put ourselves to work though and cleaned up all the chairs they had set out for stake conference. Needless to say, we got our workout in for the day. They finally came and then we headed for home. 

So yeah, that´s my week. Nothing too exciting, but yep. Haha, sorry it´s nothing grand this week. We´re praying for new investigators this week as the ones we have don´t seem to be progressing at all. We are still going to work with them as much as we can, but some new work would be a great relief for us right now. But I have the best companion and we keep each other entertained and busy, so although it´s a hard area, and the work is rough, we´re happy, most of the time, haha, and working hard. 

Well I love you all lots! Good luck in all you do this week and I can´t wait to hear more from you next week! 

Hna Walton

1. Our massive hotdogs
2. Our car ride to sevilla (yes, we were really sitting that close together the entire trip, oh european cars!)