Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Working Machines

Hello Everybody! This week was AWESOME! We met a guy from Thailand this week, he was dope, he didn’t speak very good Spanish but hey we understood each other.  So many appointments fell through week which stunk.,..BUT we had some AWESOME lessons this week!!! First of all Hugo is going to Santiago this week and told us he made a commitment with God that he will stop smoking by the end of the year, so that he can make the actual covenant with him! Gosh every time I’m over there my testimony just grows stronger, he is just someone that gets it.  He still needs to apply everything in his life but like honestly he just understands everything which is awesome. I’m excited to see the differences that get made in his life.
 Yesterday I had to play marriage counselor. That was fun. We came in to this house and while we were there they got into a giant fight and I sat them down and just started talking to them and sharing about the gospel and Gods love and what not and we ended up all fine. Turns out they’re going to read the Book of Mormon and we’re going over for dinner next time. So it worked out well for us hahaha. It was funny because when Chileans yell they talk even faster than the usual fast spoken Spanish that they do. So Elder Shumway was so lost haha. He looks at me "Are they fighting? I’m so confused..." it was funny ha-ha. OHHH and we had a new investigator the first week and we FINALLY found her again yesterday!!!!!!! She said she lives in Punta Arenas but now she’s going to stay here for a while. We had such a bomb lesson with her! It sounds weird but I love when investigators cry, the spirit can just be felt so strong and she’s so excited to learn more from us and she really wants to "find a new life, one rooted in Jesus" which is great because that’s literally what we help people do as missionaries. So I’m stoked about that! And um I don’t know I just love the work.  I’ll be so mad if I get transferred this next cambio haha I really want to stay here with my companion, Elder Shumway, killing it in the Calbuco. He’s doing legit too, he’s actually super good at Spanish already, like way better than I was at his point in the mission. Every house we enter they’re like "wait you’ve been here for only a month?!? You speak really well!" and I’m like yeah I taught him everything he knows ;) ha-ha Nah. He’s great!
OH good news! We had interviews with prezzy last week and we will officially be the first sector in the mission who gets bikes!!! Because our sector is huge and we have a ton on our plates, the President is helping us out with bikes! It’ll be awesome, I’m stoked, and I hope they come soon! The mission is buying them which will be great because we will get them brand spanking new! Anyways love you guys! 


Elder Zack Walden

Monday, December 5, 2016

Seafood :/

Hello Everybody!

I finally got my birthday packages!!! Thanks! I LOVE all the pictures and everything! I actually just took all the pictures off the banners and just have the pictures hanging up. Sorry, I wanted them like that. But hey it’s awesome because we needed more kindling for the fire so those little papers were a bomb gift too ;) Saved our butts a couple of nights haha! Thank you to everyone!!

Anyways this week was legit, not much has happened but it was still a pretty good week. Hugo and Isaac are still working towards baptism so we’re doing good with them. They’re super good friends now ha-ha and actually one of the nights he like bore his testimony to us and what not and was calling it "our church" and he was asking how he can help out in the church and everything. It is awesome-- ha-ha-- he just needs to quit smoking. Never start smoking!!!! It’s a trap!!! -Star Wars quote.

So we’re still working with tons of other people and we are still finding people every day here. We honestly do not have time to do it all, it’s awesome! Sundays are tough here still; the President didn’t show up yesterday because he had a meeting so we were in charge of everything. It’s tough...but hey we are moving forward...we will all work hard to work ourselves out of this hole. With prayer, action and fasting it’ll happen ;)

Anyways one day this week we went to Hugo’s house and he had a ton of seafood!!! Dad’s worst nightmare!! And he made us try all of it…...ha-ha not the best food I’ve ever eaten, I’ll tell you that. He took out these red things and told us "This is piubre del mar! Try it! Just put it all in your mouth." So we tried it, all of it, me and Elder Shumway and I almost threw up ha-ha but muscled through it. It tasted like a balloon with fat in it.  We also had these things called hiezo, and it was like a gross rock that you cracked open with a spoon and all this black stuff leaked out of it and you pick out the yellow stuff and eat it, yeah nah, I got to remember that when somebody offers me that, to say that I already ate ha-ha. Anyways Elder Shumway got some sick pics so I’ll forward them to you. Hope you guys are doing good! Love you all! Chao chao!



Monday, November 28, 2016

Thanksgiving Feast---Not!

What's up everybody? Happy Thanksgiving! Looks like you guys had a rocking week. That’s awesome! Makes me happy:) We actually like forgot it was Thanksgiving until like the night of. We were planning for the next day and I was eating some bread with cheese, “typical snack", and we were like ”Oh dude it’s Thanksgiving!” ha-ha  Sick Thanksgiving feast! Kind of a sad Thanksgiving but it’s alright. We don’t even have time to celebrate it. We have way too much to legit we just leave right in the morning, don’t even have time to do the training stuff and we’re just running from lesson to lesson all day. We just get home every night and just crash ha-ha it’s great! I love it! 

Hugo and Isaac have another baptismal date and I’m super excited! He’s trying real hard to stop smoking. He’s going to try to completely break the habit by December 10th. It’s quite the goal but he has the faith to do it! They’ve made so much progress. It’s awesome! Actually just the other day we walked in and he asked us, "Hey what was that blessing thing you gave me to stop smoking?? Because it made me feel great and I really feel like it’s giving me the power to do it. My mom is dying and she wants one so she can stop too!" So we gave her one and she’s stopping now too! Yesterday he was supposed to try a complete day without smoking so we will see how it went today. They are awesome! I’ve really seen major changes in his family and it’s only uphill from here. I’m excited to see where they go. 

Anyways, today was awesome! All the gringos in the zone got together and we played some football, REAL AMERICAN FOOTBALL, in honor of Thanksgiving. And man it was fun! I realized how out of shape I am but it was really fun. Our zone is the best and all the Chilean kids watched us like the whole time because they didn’t know what sport we were playing. Then after playing we went and talked to them all and they were like, "You speak Spanish, too?!?!?!?!" They were like losing their minds ha-ha it was funny. Anyways, yeah today was legit and this week was legit too. I’m trying to think of what happened...Elder Shumway got bit by his first dog! Ha-ha didn’t even draw blood though so it’s chill. Oh funny story from the week---- so we found like this random powder in the house that smelt like chocolate so we were thinking that maybe its cake mix or brownie mix or something. So we decided to just put some oil, eggs and water in it and just cook it. So after we did all that and we went to try them, we found out that it was just protein powder ha-ha yeah and they were disgusting. Do not make protein powder brownies, they are not the best. Ha-ha!
Well I know a lot more happened but I have writers block so I hope everyone has a great week!

Elder Zack Walden

****Pictures with brand new little kittens

Monday, November 21, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving Everybody!

What’s up everybody-

This week has been awesome!! So I’m officially a dad now! (Meaning that he is training a new Elder) Woo hoo! We actually saw Elder Peñuñuri today and we took a generation picture because he was my trainer. It was awesome! So my kid is Elder Shumway. He’s from Texas, and yes Mom they’re good friends with the Kovach family, haha, small world right?! Anyways he is awesome! I’m so proud because every day he’s learning so much. He's having a hard time understanding the Chileans because they speak super-fast and don’t pronounce their words but that’s why I’m here---- to help him understand. Actually it’s sick because I’ve gotten my Chilean accent down, so in the morning we do like practices and I just speak straight Chilean the whole time so he gets used to the Spanish ha-ha its fun. But he’s already learned so much, we've actually taught a ton since he’s been here so he’s getting really good teaching experience and he does it great too! He’s been doing like half of the lessons. Whenever there’s a question I answer it because he doesn’t understand but during the lesson he speaks a lot with actually pretty good Spanish! I got a golden kid. We already work great together.
 Funny because yesterday both the people that were supposed to give talks at church didn’t come, and also the people that were supposed to give lessons didn’t show. So we as missionaries had to improvise all of it. It was a great first experience for my new companion and he dealt with it super well.
 Funny moments this week...there were a first of all here in Chile, people yell at their dogs and say "YA PUES SALE!" like super loud but the word sale is pronounced like sally. So we were doing a contact and the guy said that to his dog to get it to go away and my companion asks, "Oh so your dog’s name is Sally?! " Haha the guy was so confused. He learned really fast that the dog’s name wasn’t Sally ha-ha. Also here in Chile a lot of times when you do a street contact or something or talk to a woman they say bye with like a cheek kiss thing. And this girl went in to do one with him and he like freaked out and like did it and looked at me with a face like he had sinned. I laughed super hard, I was like dude it’s alright, that’s what gets done here in Chile. Also here in Chile, breast feeding in public or in front of people is normal, it’s just like a different culture and it’s just what they do here. So we were giving a missionary lesson to a woman and I look to him so that he could invite her to baptism and she just whips it out to start feeding her baby! Ha-ha He didn’t know what to do and just like looked back at me so scared. It was hilarious! But he’s learning the norms of Chile and what happens here. He’s catching on real fast. I try to warn him of things before it happens, but sometimes things just happen ha-ha. But yeah it’s been a fun week! He honestly works like super hard and we have found some amazing people this week, super amazing! We are definitely going to see a lot of success together, and I’m so excited! 
  By the way it has been warming up a lot lately. It is hot! But you know how I love weather like this. So yay for summer!!
Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Love you all-
Elder Zack Walden

Monday, November 14, 2016

Great Birthday and Busy, Busy, Busy!!


Man do I have so much to tell you...lots and lots and lots!!!! First of all...we have CAMBIOS (exchanges) this week!!!! Woo they are always just so interesting haha. Well my companion is leaving...which makes sense because he’s already been here for like 6 months...he’s going to be going to Chiloe. And I’m staying here! But I’m going to be A DAD (that means that he will be training a brand new missionary)!!!! I’ll be training a newbie this cambio ;)) His name is Elder Shumway and he’s from Texas! I'll meet him on Wednesday so I’ll tell you all about him next week. But yeah I’ll have the privilege of being his first companion and teaching him Spanish and everything. Should be fun!! I’m excited for it!! And I’m going to be District Leader from here too! Lots and lots of responsibility so that should be fun!! It’s funny, a couple weeks ago I just felt sad, and I didn’t know why, like we were doing a lot of hard work and having success and everything and it was all going well but like I just wasn’t that happy of a person. I needed something to change. More energy to do the work and more "ganas" in Spanish, to go out and give it everything I got! So I prayed that God would help me to do that. And he put me with 3 callings, first counselor, district leader, and training ha-ha be careful what you pray for everyone. Nah it’s a joke, I’m happy to be able to serve more and more! It’ll be a good experience!

So yesterday I conducted my first Sunday and it was a disaster! I forgot to say a lot of things and was super nervous but hey the more mistakes I make, the more I learn right?? Ha-ha yeah! But I’ll have a lot of opportunities to conduct so I have a lot more chances to get it right. The new Branch President and I had to set apart like 4 different people yesterday for callings and what not, it was interesting. Life is very busy and stressful now. But it’s alright-- with Christ and the priesthood it is all possible. 

Anyways my birthday was awesome!!!! I got 3 cakes given to me! So that was awesome!!! Wednesday night we had a party at a member’s house and the next day a Hermana came by and dropped a nice cake off for me. And then yesterday the Hermana Viany and her family came to Calbuco to visit me!!!!!!!! They gave me another cake and cards and what not. It was awesome to see them again! We just laughed about all the awkward moments that happened with them, back when I didn’t know Spanish. Oh and that night we got to see the broadcast from Elder Rasband and it was GREAT!!!! Loved it! And also the Papitos got back from Brazil and brought me a little Christ statue and a triple in Portuguese. So guess who has started reading the bible in Portuguese? Me! Haha its SOOO much like Spanish, I’ll pick it up in no time. I can almost understand everything when I read it. Look out dad! I’ll practice with you someday. My favorite quote from Elder Rasband was when he bore his testimony at the end and said that he was the newest and weakest apostle, and he doesn’t know why God has given him this responsibility but he knows that everything is possible with his help. He doesn’t call who is qualified, he qualifies who he calls. It was awesome and he also said "The more you come to know the Savior, the more you will love him, and the more you love him, the more you will want to follow him." And I don’t know why but that quote just nailed me right in the heart.

So other news...2 of our investigators decided this week that they really wanted to be baptized and they committed to not smoking and they are doing well with that. One investigator would smoke 4 packs a day and we set a goal for him to only 1 pack a day right now. We gave him a priesthood blessing to help him out. We went by the next day at night and he was like "Hey guys!!! I’m doing so much better!! It’s been hard today but I’ve only smoked 3 cigs!!!!" In 1 day he went from 4 packs to 3’s amazing what the desire and priesthood can do. Also today, we went to a store just to buy stuff and I saw the lady looking at my nametag so I thought even though its p day I’ll contact this lady. So I said to her “Hey! How are you?” And we started talking and everything and it turns out that she was baptized in the church like 30 years ago and still remembers everything about the church and she has like a testimony still. She just had lost contact with the church and recently she has wanted to go back and start going again. Her 19 year old daughter was there too and she was like "Wait I didn’t know you were Mormon??" and then she started talking about how her and her 3 brothers are not baptized in any religion but she has been wanting to get baptized because she knows it’s something important. She just finished her studies and wants to start getting to know religions and what not. So we’re going to go visit them this week. They were really cool. Just goes to show that literally there are people EVERYWHERE in EVERY MOMENT that are ready for the gospel! We just need to find them, and have the power to open our mouths to say something. We know it’s true and we know the gospel...OTHER PEOPLE DONT! But they need to, and the only way they will know and have these blessings are if WE do something about it! Hey love you all!

Monday, November 7, 2016

THANK YOU for the birthday wishes!!!

What a nice surprise! I got a ton of birthday wishes from everyone!!! Thank you everyone! It meant a lot. I was having an “ehhh” day up until that so it really meant a lot! I’m going to try to respond back to everyone but I do not have a lot of time so if you don’t hear from me know that I really appreciated the birthday wishes. IT MADE MY DAY:) And just so you know the package has not arrived yet but I hope it’s not really what dad sent me a picture of ha-ha...but hopefully I’ll get it within the next month ;) We will see! Ten people in the branch (the whole branch basically) have all planned to do something for me on my birthday so it should be a fun day. Also 2 investigators found out it was my birthday also and we are going over there to have lunch and then teach ha-ha, good way to get a lesson in!! And Thursday night Elder Rasband is doing a capacitation (I don’t know the word in English) for all the leaders of the church in South America, so I’ll be watching it with our new Branch President. And that brings me to the news!!! Yesterday they called a new Branch President here in Calbuco!!! He’s a member of the ward that has been a member for 3 years. I’m so happy for him! He’s scared but he will do a great job. And I was called and interviewed and set apart yesterday as his First Counselor! He’s only going to be here 2 Sundays out of every month so it looks like I’ll be running things most Sundays ha-ha so that should be fun. And since I was actually set apart and everything by the Stake President it looks like I’ll be staying here in Calbuco for an exchange or 2, but I’m excited for the challenge! We are going to make this branch grow!! But it’s a bit scary because while President is gone I have to do all the interviews and tithing and everything. Let’s all pray that I don’t mess up anything ha-ha. 

But hey other good news-- That family we found a little bit ago, the dad and son have set a baptismal date!! They should be getting baptized at the beginning of December and they’re both excited for it. So that’s good news! And man the work here in Calbuco is EXPLODING!!!!! We are leading the zone right now, but it has nothing to do with us. God has prepared these people in Calbuco. We literally just teach and teach and teach all day every day and we have no time to do like actual contacts. And when we do have time to contact we knock on one door and they’re interested and let us enter!!! I feel so blessed to be a part of this work that is hastening here in Calbuco.

 Cool story from this week, we went to go find an old investigator and she wasn’t home. So we knocked on her neighbors door to ask if this person still lived there and she answered and was like, "Oh Elders! I haven’t seen you guys in a while." We were like, "Oh! You know the elders?? How long ago did they pass by???" She told us the elders had passed by like 7 years before. So she and her boyfriend let us in and we went in and started getting to know them. It turns out that she used to go to church and everything and had never gotten baptized. Then her Grandma died and she stopped going to church and was sure that God didn’t exist and now she was atheist.  We decided to share a video with her that I personally love called "La Esperanza en nuestro padre celestial". After the movie we testified of the Plan of Salvation and the love that God has for us. By the end of the lesson she had felt and had the hope that God really does exist and loves her and she said she wants to feel that love more in her life and invited us to come back to help her. So we will definitely be going back to help her. It’s just interesting how everything works out! We went to go visit her neighbor but God directed us over there to not find her neighbor but instead to find her...really interesting. Sometimes God’s plan for us is a little different than what we have in mind. 

We also had a council from President Isom this week and he really made a big point about teaching with clarity. It says it a lot in the scriptures that we need to teach, but clearly. And a lot of times us as missionaries try to cram all the knowledge we have into 1 lesson and the people just get confused, and we end up overstaying our visit. So we all practiced to really teach all the lessons in 10 minutes or so, really fast, not even explain everything, just enough for them to understand our message and that its important. They don’t need to know the specifics, the spirit testifies through plain and simple truths of the gospel. And wow I have seen the miracles from teaching like that! When we teach simply and not try to throw all of our knowledge at everyone, it’s a lot easier for the spirit to testify through you. So take a note that when the prophets give their testimonies at the end of their talks, it is simple, plain truths about the gospel, and we need to do the same. Take that example to not be afraid to teach our friends about the gospel but remember to do it clearly.
 Love you all :)))
Elder Zachary Walden

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Island Hopping

*****(Note from Zack's Mom) Thank you so much to everyone who sent me a picture wishing Zack a happy birthday. I was able to send him 4 birthday banners with all the pictures that I received. He is going to love it! Lately he hasn't been getting an mail from us so I really hoping that the banners get to him:/ Zack's birthday is November 10th so please drop him an email wishing him a happy birthday by next Monday. Let's fill his inbox with birthday greetings! Thank you so much for always supporting him:)***** You can email him at

Hey what's up everybody! Sorry I’m writing late again...but don’t worry we have permission to write late and what AGAIN is some Chilean holiday. I swear every week is some Chilean holiday where no one works and nothing is open and everyone just stays in their house and does nothing ...that’s Chile for you...and these days are like always on Mondays so it’s hard on the missionaries. Also we didn’t have much of a P-day today anyways because in the morning we went to go play soccer with some investigators. It’s awesome because we are so tight with a lot of investigators right now----it’s great! But after the game one of the investigators told us that he is moving and what not and needed help moving the stuff from his house. So we helped them literally all day with that...but it’s alright! It was fun spending all day helping him and his family. And at the end they bought us a pichanga!! If you have ever been to Chile you know what it is ;) Dad would love it ha-ha. And the best part about it is we got to go to one of the islands! Look here in Calbuco, it’s an island, but like surrounded by bunch of other little islands and people actually live on the other islands too, like a lot of people. But us as missionaries can’t go anywhere by boat, it’s a rule because it can be dangerous...but us in Calbuco have the permission to go to the islands in our sector only and ONLY IF we get invited to help someone or teach someone. WELL this family bought beds for their new house from someone that lives on an island. So we got to go in like this tiny boat raft type thing and go to it and then load the beds on and come back. It was awesome! So sketchy though because the boat was TINY! The boat was about the size of the mattress we brought back on it ha-ha like literally we had to sit on the mattresses on the raft on the way back because there wasn’t room. NO JOKE!!! But it was great...cold and sketchy but great! I took some pictures on the boat and with our investigator but I don’t think I’ll be able to send them where we are...but I will try my best. (Unfortunately he sent no pictures)
            Today is Halloween! Yes it exists here. It’s the same as in the states just like not as big...everyone tells me "yeah we celebrate it here but it stinks, it’s nothing like where you’re from." But at least they still celebrate it! And hey guess what I TURNED 9 MONTHS IN THE MISSION THIS WEEK! It’s pretty cool.  I’ve come a long way...but it’s weird that the month is over...months fly by here in the’s so weird...

Hope everyone has a great week!
Love you all-
Elder Zack Walden

*No pictures this week :( But I added this one from the Mexico MTC---it is one of my favorites. Remind anyone of Nacho Libre? :)))

Monday, October 24, 2016

Busy and Exhausted--Love it!

Hey what’s up everybody? Sorry we are writing late...not my fault...but this week was a great week in the mission work!! We are teaching a lot of people here in Calbuco. We are working our butts off-- We are always busy. Our schedule is FULL every day! And whenever we are not teaching we get to doing contacts. I love getting home and just being exhausted every day. It’s great!!!

 So I do have a cool story for this week too, haha-- always do. Literally there are miracles every day! So this week we had a capilla abierta in the zone leaders sector. I don’t know if I have told you about those but we like have an open house for the church building and there’s like members working different rooms and you can learn all about the church and what not and there’s food and everything, it’s awesome! They should do it in California. BUT the missionaries during it either help to work one of the rooms and teach and what not or they go out and just go contacting and inviting people off the street to it. So that was the job for me and Elder Hernandez. We walked down to this one like park area and saw the other missionaries there, so we passed them right next to this soccer court where these kids were being trained by this one guy. So we tell the other missionaries "Hey lets go contact those people playing soccer and go invite them!" and they were like "Ha-ha they’re never going to even listen to you! You guys can. We’re going to go contact some people that will actually listen to us!" ha-ha So we walked into the court and they were like in-between goals so I went up to the trainer guy and was like "Hey! How’s the soccer game going?" and he just told me without even looking at me "I’m not going to listen, we’re busy!" I was like dang it those missionaries were right ha-ha...but then randomly one of the kids playing soccer ran up to me and was like, "Hey are you from the United States? Do you know English?" and I was like “Yeah!”.  So all the kids started running up to me and asking what their names would be in English and a bunch of random words in English ha-ha it was funny. But then they were like, "Hey do you guys want to play with us?" So I look at Elder Hernandez and he was like, “Dude I don’t know ha-ha do you want to?” So we were like "Hey you know what? We will play a little game with you guys, a game to 4, if we win you go to the capilla abierta and if you guys win, we will leave you alone". They were like “Yeah!” So we played against these 12 year olds, and we got destroyed. Those kids know how to play soccer! It was hilarious. We got wrecked! And as we played a bunch of random people gathered around to watch. We only played for about 7 minutes but man I was winded!!! But yeah so we lost, like terribly...but we ended up talking with them after and they went with us to the capilla abierta! And also a lot of the people that watched us came to the church Open House also! They stayed at the church for a while and seemed to really enjoy it. It was awesome! And I heard one of them went to church yesterday:) Moral of the story, don’t be afraid to share the gospel with anyone! Sometimes they will completely reject you at first but over time they might accept and they might feel the joy and happiness that is found in the church. 

Yesterday we went in groups and visited the people we don’t see at church anymore to go share a short message with them. It was awesome to just see the change in them from when we showed up to when we left! Look, a lot of times people don’t go to church for a while and forget the joy that the gospel can bring in their life. It’s sad when members fall away from the church because they had that joy and happiness and truthfulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ in their lives but then gave up without even realizing it. I’m not saying that it is impossible to have joy outside of the church. I know that God loves all of his children and gives them everything he can to find joy in all things. I mean men might be so they might have joy, it’s in the scriptures! But the biggest and most life changing gift we can receive is that of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His church. To know and live the plan that God has for us. But some people settle for the smaller gifts from God and have forgotten or do not know about his biggest gift for us. So I invite ALL of you, EVERYONE to share this with those who don’t know or have forgotten about this biggest gift. Please go help your neighbor out!! We, the people that see firsthand, these blessings of the gospel should be more willing to share it so others can have it in their life for the first time or have it again in their life.  So I want all of you to think about whom you can visit THIS week, it takes 30 minutes to go visit someone you haven’t seen at church in a while and share a quick video and testimony with them. I love all of you!

Have a great week!
Elder Zack Walden

Monday, October 17, 2016

Loving my mission!

**From Zack's Mom: Thank you so much to everyone that sent me pictures for Zacks birthday! I was able to make 6 birthday banners of 10 pictures each-----he is going to be so surprised! I have still been receiving pictures so I am sending one more to him this weekend so if you haven't sent me a picture yet you still have time. Thank you so much for all the support you are giving Zack:)

Hello Everyone!!
Sorry I’m writing a bit later today. We went all the way to Puerto Mont today to play soccer and what not with other missionaries. It was fun! But it’s a 2 hour bus ride to get there so I don’t know if we will be doing that a lot. But hey this week was awesome!!! This week we really focused on how we do contacts and on talking with everyone and really using the spirit in planning. Not like I wasn’t doing that stuff before but like we focused on improving it this week and we saw the fruits of it for sure!! We found a lot of people this week, like a lot, that we taught and are now teaching. It was amazing to see the difference in the work. And we actually have somebody with a baptismal date right now!

We found a 14 year old kid this week named Esac and he is awesome. Here I’ll tell you the story about him and it’s pretty awesome. So we were on our way to one of our appointments and saw this kid outside bringing wood into his house so we said hi to him but we were in a rush to get to the appointment so we didn’t try to talk to him or anything. So we went and the people we were supposed to meet with weren’t there.  We had in the plans to go over to a different area to go and visit some old investigators, so my companion was like "Hey you want to walk all the way over there to do that??" because it was raining and the rain here is terrible. But I said "You know what, I swear it’s not just the rain but I have a feeling we should stay here and do some door knocking." So 2 minutes into to knocking doors my companion was like "I don’t know why but I feel like we should go back to that one house with the kid, the one that was bringing in wood and talk to him." So we went over there and knocked on the door and the kid answered. The dad was in the background and yelled "Are those Mormons???" and usually when Chileans yell that, they slam the door in our faces ha-ha. But we told him yes, we were the missionaries. But surprisingly he was like "oh please come in!!!" Weird ha-ha! So we went in and apparently like 10 years ago the dad was baptized Mormon but never confirmed or anything, just missionaries trying to reach there baptismal he had a lot of questions about that. But we actually got the impression to teach him about the plan of salvation which was weird because we always teach the restoration first, but we taught it. And it turns out that his wife had committed suicide 8 years ago and has had a really hard time since then, and had been waiting for something life changing in his life. So we bore big testimonies on Gods plan for us and the spirit was so strong in this lesson. It also ends up that because of his wife’s death, he decided to travel a lot, with his son, so his son has never really been in any schools or anything and doesn’t really know how to read. He has also been waiting for someone to come and teach him about life and about the nature of God. Literally he was waiting for us missionaries to knock on his door. He’s going to be a hard one to crack because he smokes a lot and doesn’t want to go to church, but he is totally pushing his son towards us because he wants us to teach him the gospel. His son came to church and loved it! I just realized that story was all over the place ha-ha hopefully my mom can read my thoughts and understand what I wanted to put. Sorry I’m really tired!

This week should be interesting though, because playing soccer today I like tore my muscle in my thigh and it really hurts to walk and we’re in Calbuco so all we do is walk up hills, so it should be interesting ha-ha. But Holy Cow do I love this Gospel, and my testimony has grown so much!!! I love bearing my testimony now! One thing I have learned from being here in Chile is that a heart given testimony will always bring the spirit. Chileans love to talk about just random stuff and just like take the lessons way off track and occasionally start like fights with their spouses during the lessons (happened yesterday) but the instant that one of us starts to bear testimony of the Savior and of the Gospel, the spirit instantly fills the room and everyone can feel it in their heart. It’s a real gift that God has given us, the power of a testimony. So this week I want to give you all something to do. So as missionaries, we give out a lot of books of Mormon, and we always leave them with chapters to read. I love (and most other missionaries) love to leave either Chapter 11 from 3 Nephi, or I personally love to leave Ether 12. So I want all of you to go and read those chapters and tell me why I would leave those, and how they go with the restoration of the gospel and missionary work. They’re easy answers but they’re great chapters! Love you all!!!
Elder Zack Walden

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

New Area!

FAMILY and FRIENDS!! What’s up? Sorry I’m writing late today, it’s like some type of Chilean holiday today so everywhere is closed. Chile has holidays like every 2 weeks and they close down like’s a real burden for us because also nobody leaves their houses to talk to us. Especially when you live on an island, it’s almost impossible to find cybers to write at. So anyways I’m in my new sector! IT IS HUGE!!!! Seriously it’s gigantic...Dad you said the island is the size of Simi, but get this Dad, that’s only HALF of the sector! When you cross the bridge and go to the mainland, all the houses over there are our sector too! We walk a lobo! That’s a fun ‘phrase they use here in Calbuco ha-ha because all the Chileans say "wooooooo" when they talk about something that’s a lot, which sounds like a wolf, and wolf means lobo ha-ha I find it super funny! But yeah so because it’s an island there are a ton of gigantic every street is it’s own’s weird. We leave the house in the morning and we are walking up hills all day and then when it’s time to go home we walk up a hill to go home. I don’t get we only walk up hills, there is no such thing here as walking down hills...does not exist...which scientifically does not make sense...I know...but that’s how Calbuco works!

So anyways, we have a Branch President here but he’s from Puerto Montt which is 2 hours away, so he doesn’t come to this branch a lot. So this Sunday I had to preside in church and we pretty much just ran Sunday church service. We presided and directed and then taught Sunday School and then taught Priesthood. It was interesting. Only 12 people showed up, so there’s a lot of work to do here in Calbuco!! And I’m excited to do it!! It’s a big area so it should be easy to find people. We’ve had some really good lessons this last week and some really good news and stuff.

So the other area in our sector is mainly farmland.  I still haven’t gone over there yet but I bet it’s like the rest of Chile ha-ha just straight farms and cows and what not. We might go out there sometime this week to talk with everyone there. But it’s super pretty!! Like every road just looks like it drops of into the water and everyone just fishes here. That’s what everyone does for work!! It’s great here.
My new companion and I actually get along super well. He’s a super good kid. Super motivated to do the work. I’m excited to work with him. And he’s super good at soccer! So we went and played some soccer today and it was super fun! But yeah he’s awesome! And Elder Felipe is in this zone too so I get to see him a lot which is fun. 

Well I am going to try and attach some pictures of my new area. Thank you to everyone that writes me. I don’t always have time to reply but I do love hearing from you! Hope everyone has a great week-
Elder Walden

Monday, October 3, 2016

Conference was Amazing!

What’s up guys! Well this week was pretty interesting. We have cambios (transfers) this week coming up and I’m super excited and sad for them too. So not like too much happened this week so this letter might be a little shorter...but I’ll just tell the highlights. Well major highlight this week was conference for sure! It was legit! We gringos had a party because we all got to watch it together in English so that was a blast. I loved conference so much! The whole time I was just thinking "If you weren’t a member and watched this, you would know that the church is true!" They went hard this conference! It was awesome, I took so many notes on it and I will definitely start being a better missionary because of it. That’s for sure! I loved Uchtdorfs first talk. The Spirit was so strong. And then the one guy who talked about Joseph Smith and the power of the Book of Mormon. Amazing! The 2 main points I got out of conference was the importance of the Book of Mormon and repentance. I also liked President  Monson’s talk on the Word of Wisdom, he only spoke for like 3 minutes but it showed me that he literally had to choose 1 thing to talk about and he chose the Word of Wisdom.  It just screams how important this commandment actually is and how much he wanted to stress that. It was awesome! I loved conference! I invite anyone who didn’t watch it to DO IT!!! And write questions as you watch it and you will see as you follow the advice they give in the talks that the answers will be given to you. So please everyone watch conference!  You can watch it on’s my homework for all of you this week:)
**Note fromZack's Mom-----For those that may not know about the conference that Zack refers to in his letter......In our church we have a Semi-Annual General Conference where church leaders address the whole congregation of the church. It is held in Salt Lake City, Utah but it is broadcast to all the members across the world.:)

Also cool we were waiting in the chapel for conference to start and this family walked in and asked us "Hey is this like open?? Can we join whatever is going on here?" So of course we were like, “Uh yes!!” So we explained a little about what conference is and about the church a little and they just said they were walking and just felt the feeling they should enter this building, so they did! And we received them with open arms!! It was awesome because their one daughter who’s like 20 asked me in fluent English "Is this going to be translated in English or anything because I speak fluent English and would love to watch it in that language?” So we brought her to the gringo room haha it was awesome! She had a lot of questions but really enjoyed the entire experience!! I will not really get to see their progress though because sadly they are in a different ward but hey! There’s a miracle for you because this other ward has been having a hard time finding people and here’s a family that literally found them.

So I bet you’re all wondering what will happen for cambios…… I actually got my cambio last night!! Sadly I will be leaving this sector. I will be leaving Antillanca and I will be so sad to leave and say bye to everyone. I’ve had so many great experiences here and have watched lives change and will never forget that. But I am heading over to an island off the coast of Puerto Mont and Chiloe that’s called Calbuco. Literally it’s like a little tiny pueblito! The church hasn’t quite grown there yet and it’s still just a branch. So it should be a major difference. Literally the entire island and the island next to it are my sector ha-ha should be interesting. I’m going to be with another Mexican companion too so that should be fun! And I will be compañero mayor (Senior companion) there. So that means more responsibility.  Quite the change this cambio but I’m excited to take it on!!

Oh I also judged an American singing competition!  It was sick! Literally this lady saw our American flag hanging in our window so she knocked on our door asking if we were American and asked us if we could judge a singing contest at the school ha-ha it was so much fun! We judged it with this other member who lived in Honduras and randomly knows English. It was a good time!! it was fun just publically speaking English even though no one understood me ha-ha. It was a lot of fun!
Hope everyone has a great week!
Elder Walden

Monday, September 26, 2016

Keep Trucking on Everyone!

Hey what’s up everybody-

  It’s already week 6 of this cambio (exchange)...that’s crazy to me. That means this week we might find out the cambios and we will see if I’m leaving this area or staying. Crazy stuff!! This cambio FLEW BY!! It really feels like we just started it. The Mission President has been going around and interviewing every missionary in the mission. Saturday my companion and I got interviewed and it was really awesome. He’s a really great guy. He’s got some good ideas he wants to do with the mission. He told me and the le Sueur that "Big things are going to happen in this mission soon, I can really just feel it!" which is weird because President Obeso would say the same thing ha-ha. We will see what happens. It was weird doing the interview in English too not going to lie, it was a little hard to speak in straight English.  Literally half the time I speak killer Spanish and half the time just full Spanish ha-ha so it was impossible to go full English again. But yeah, he asked all of us missionaries this next fast Sunday to fast for all the missionaries in the mission and their health. We’ve had missionaries dropping out like flies due to health issues...eye infections, broken legs, ankles, falling down stairs and breaking their neck, and a girl that can’t walk and is in the hospital with no mobility in her legs and is like paralyzed now. I don’t know what’s happening but missionaries have been getting wrecked I invite all of you to join us in this fast if you guys want. It was cool because President Isom was telling me and the le Sueur that we are like one of his favorite companionships, he says we just look like we get along super well and are always just super happy all the time. This is true, we do get along great. He credits our recent success on that. It was good to hear.

Anyways, this week we did not have the most success in like getting lessons and the numbers and all that stuff but I would say we had a really successful week. We decided to focus a lot this week on the less actives in the ward and it was amazing just to see how happy they were to see us come over. It was great! A lot of them came to church for the first time in a long time. It was awesome!

So I always put like a miracles in the letter and this week we actually had another miracle! God is definitely working hard with us. So last Sunday the other missionaries left before church to go find one of their investigators. When they get back they come in with this random guy we had never seen before, so we started talking to him and he tells us that he was just out walking and the missionaries went and contacted him and found out he was already a member. He was baptized 4 years ago, but had left the church like 3 years ago so they told him to come to church and he decided to join them. So when talking to him we set a date to go by and visit him at his home. The next day we go and have a small lesson with him and he said that when he left the church he had gotten into some hard drugs and some really bad things. He actually got addicted to crack and had almost OD'd on pills like 5 times and had almost died. He said though that a couple nights ago he looked at his life and just saw how bad it was and how good it used to be, so the first time in years, he knelt down and just prayed and prayed hard for help, and the strength to turn himself around. That very next morning he was impressed to go out and just take a walk, which is when the other missionaries found him and contacted him and told him to go to church. He has such a strong testimony of prayer, and we just shared Ether 12 with him about faith and he was like crying of how happy he was to have our help back in his life. Now we are working with him every day to overcome his addiction. It will be a tough road but I know he can do if he just acts with faith. Just adds to my testimony so much more that God is really there to help us, he will always give us what we need. All we need is to take the first few steps and he will provide the way for us.

Also this weekend we had another baptism for a girl named Loreto and it was awesome! She was so ready and she has made huge changes in her life for the church and I’m so proud of all the progress she has made. I say she was our investigator because we found her, and the other missionaries were always busy so we always taught her and we arranged her baptism. It was awesome!! This sector is getting major blessings!! I just love the mission so much, it so great to see the differences the gospel makes in people’s lives. Oh and by the way, Pablo got the priesthood this last week and blessed the sacrament on Sunday. I was so happy for him!! I remember the first Sunday he ever came to church, and now he blesses the sacrament and also went and took it to someone after church that couldn’t come. It’s amazing to see all he has done too in his life for the gospel. I will always keep in contact with him. He calls me his Hijo Mayor which means older son.  Anyways keep trucking on everyone!!! Love you all!

Elder Zack Walden

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Another Amazing Week!

Sorry this is a day late --- It was a holiday on Sunday....biggest holiday in Chile actually and everyone was hung over or still partying on Monday so nothing was open.  So the mission gave permission to write today. So we took advantage of it and we went to the Saltos de Petrohue yesterday!! Oh my goodness it was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in my entire life. When we come back to Chile as a family we will definitely stop in the Saltos....its impressive! A guy from the ward drove us. We actually did a bunch yesterday! Go look up Lago llanquihue-- Because we drove literally around that entire lake looking at every cool sight we could find. I have a ton of photos! I hope my card works to send them, because my card has been dumb lately. We will see what happens though. It was so amazing!
Like I mentioned before it was the 18th this week and that is one of the biggest holidays in Chile. I have never eaten so many empanadas in my entire life!! And the biggest party in all of Osorno is RIGHT next to our house. Literally outside of our apartment window!! So it was really loud like all night. We couldn’t go, but it seemed pretty crazy! So yeah that happened. And people are still partying!! Apparently they all party till like next week. We’ve had some pretty funny experiences with drunken people this week ha-ha. We had some guy yesterday start walking with us and he just starts yelling at other people "Hey look!! I’m gringo!!!! Ha-ha", he was so happy to walk with us. We made friends with him and his name was Mundo. Apparently he’s the biggest drug dealer in Osorno and says he likes us and will have our backs if we ever get into trouble.  Interesting experience ha-ha one of the many this week.
 The ward also had their ward party this week, which was a blast! We all danced the cueca. It’s like the national dance ha-ha it was sick! And we dressed up as wasos. Chile pride is awesome! I’ll put like videos and stuff if I can at the end of the email.
 We also had another baptism this week!!! Erika got baptized!! It was awesome!! We found her like 4 weeks ago and now she’s already a confirmed member of the church. And I had the pleasure of doing the baptism:) Actually my first one ever! I was super nervous but it went super well.  And the new mission president showed up to it!!! Super random but the assistants like were in a meeting with him and said they needed to go to a baptism in the ward and he was like "No way! I want to go!" So it was the first baptism he had seen in Chile:)  We were the last baptism of President Obeso and the first of President Isom ha-ha that was legit! And he actually got up to share his testimony at the baptism and it was awesome. He was saying how like 4 days before he was in President Eyrings office and he was telling us how he knows for a fact that he is a man of God and is very inspired. Wow the spirit was so strong it just hit all of us like right in the heart! I was talking to him after and he seemed like really nervous...because he was told like at the beginning of September that he was going to be president so he had like no time to prepare. He was saying how he didn’t have enough money to come so he had to like sell everything in order to be able to come on such short notice. He seems like such a good man. I’m excited to have him as President.
I’m absolutely loving my mission!  I am sad though because it’s already week 5 of the cambio and odds are that I’ll be leaving this area....and I don’t want to!! I love this sector and the people here! I am finally turning into the Elder I want to be and I’m seeing the differences we make in people’s lives and it’s so great! It is crazy that it is already week 5 here---this cambio (transfer) has flown by. It is crazy! Before I know it, it will be October. On the 27th I will have been out for 8 months on my mission---it is going so fast!
Hope that everyone has a great week!
Elder Walden

Monday, September 12, 2016

One of the BEST weeks of my life!

Hey what’s up family and friends!

So I’m actually super excited to write this letter!! I have 2 MIRACLES to tell you guys! Okay sorry I’m just too excited! I’ll start off with this one...SO yesterday we were knocking doors, like always, and we have knocked on like every single door in this sector ha-ha. So we were looking for places that we had never been before. There’s this little place right in front of the church building with like 5 houses that we actually had never even seen before, so we decided to knock the first door. This guy who’s about 24 years old answered the door so I started to talk to him about the gospel and I was like “Hey actually our church is right there across the street!” He was like "No way! You guys have never knocked on my door?! I’ve always wanted to talk to someone from your church. I’m so glad you’re here. Come in!!!" We were like uh sweet! So we went in and start teaching him a little bit of the restoration and he was just saying that all of the stuff we were saying he feels like he knew all of it, but he didn’t know why, but all of it just like made sense! So at the end of the lesson we were asking him if he has any like questions or concerns and he said "Yeah, I have tried to pray a lot, but I’m convinced that God doesn’t answer me" so we taught him real quick how to pray and testified like crazy that God loves us and will always answer our prayers. So he said "Elders I don’t know if this is okay, but I really want to try this prayer right now, is that okay?" We were like "Please!! Let’s get on our knees right now and do it!!!" So we did. It was one of the most sincere prayers I have ever heard and I felt the spirit so strong during it. After the prayer we all look up at each other just almost in tears. We ask him "How do you feel right now? He says with the biggest smile on his face "I feel so happy, I feel so warm, I feel like God heard me." and Elder Le Sueur says "My friend, that is the Holy Ghost." and he says "I think you are the people I have been waiting for." It was one of the most spiritual experiences I have ever had, my heart was just pounding with the spirit just confirming to me too that this church is true and God really does love each and every one of us. Oh my goodness it was such an amazing experience! I LOVE this work, IT is TRULY the Lords work, I know that for a fact! I promise every single one of you right now that if you really REALLY want to know the truth and feel Gods love, get on your knees right now and ask him yourself, he is honestly waiting for you to do it, do not hesitate even a moment!

SO other news!!!! That even, in my head, TOPS THAT! And that’s hard to do. Well I’ll just say it right out. PABLO GOT BAPTIZED ON SATURDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AND PRESIDENTE OBESO BAPTIZED HIM!!!! AND YOU DONT KNOW HOW HAPPY I WAS AND AM ABOUT THAT!!!!!!!! HES A BAPTIZED MEMBER OF THE CHURCH NOW!! That means in a year they can get sealed in the temple!!!!!! Oh my goodness I love that family so much. So Pablo was still waiting for his friend to baptize him, but his friend like didn’t want to go to church to get worthy so we thought of something. SO Pablo and President like know each other pretty well because we’ve done family home evenings at the Presidents home and what not. So we were thinking like hey it would be a cool experience for Pablo and President if President just baptized him, especially because President is leaving this week. So we went over to his house that night and just proposed the idea and he told us that he actually wanted that in the first place, but he just like didn’t know if it was allowed. SO WE GOT PRESIDENT TO BAPTIZE HIM HIS LAST WEEK IN THE MISSION!  Oh my goodness such a neat experience. Everyone was just so happy and they both bore their testimonies at the end and the spirit was so strong. So overall this was such a fantastic week, one of the best in my entire life! I LOVE YOU ALL! QUE ESTEN BIEN!!!!!!

Elder Zack Walden

Pictures from the baptism and the other one is of our apartment. Guess which window is ours:))

Monday, September 5, 2016

Sad Goodbyes

Hey it is starting to warm up here!! Which is like a good and bad thing.  I like the sun and I am used to it from being a life guard and all but the sun is different here in Osorno...there is a giant hole in the ozone right above the city (at least that is what the locals say) so the sun is like super strong and just burns everything it touches so it’s not too fun to be a missionary out in it. But it’s alright, at least we aren’t freezing to death! Only in the mornings…..

 As you guys could tell we did something yesterday called the capilla abierta. It’s just when we invite a ton of people to come into the church and we have all these different rooms set up and we just teach about what we do in the church and what not. I would say it was successful! It’s the second one they have ever done in South America. My companion and I were chosen to be the missionaries for the baptismal font so we taught about baptism to a bunch of people. It was awesome! Cool experience. It was cool because our ward has like 3 people with baptismal dates right now and they all actually helped and worked at the activity. It was a great experience to see all of them interacting with the ward and what not. It was like they were already members! It was a great event. 

So we got some bad news this week....we had a zone conference with President Obeso this week and we got told something pretty rough. President told us that in 2 weeks he will be going home from the mission. (He’s not supposed to end until next July) But he’s going home early because he has cancer and needs to be operated on...So in about 2 weeks he goes home and we will be getting a new president. It was some rough news; everyone just like instantly started crying. And I had never seen the President cry before this moment...but he shared us his testimony on missionary work and everything and it was so spiritual and awesome. Afterwards we had like a picture session and a goodbye session with him and actually the Hermana Obeso (his wife) told us to all go Dog pile on him! It was super weird. So we like went in to give him a group hug but the Hermana was like ¨No! I said dog pile!!¨ And she like legit PUSHED President down and all the missionaries started to get on top of him! Haha it may have been the weirdest thing I have ever done in all my life. I am going to get pictures of it from the Hermana later. It was hilarious! But after we sang the hymn “Para Siempre Dios Este Con Vos” which is “God be with you till we meet again” and it was so sad. I will miss him a lot but he lives in Mexicali which is way close to California so I’m going to try and visit with him after the mission. So yeah we will be getting a new President! The new president is from Wyoming and I am sure he will be great. It will be interesting.

Have a great week everyone!

Elder Zack Walden

Monday, August 29, 2016

New Companion and Milkshakes

Hello Everyone-

We had cambios (exchanges) this week and my companion Elder Felipe was transferred. We had been companions for 3 months straight and he was great. So I'm still in Osorno! Same sector! Which I am stoked about!! For realJ And Elder Le Seuer is my companion. His name is French but he’s not French ha-ha sorry. He’s from Mesa, Arizona. It’s cool because he’s Brower's kid in the mission (Anyone remember Brower? like my best friend from Puerto Montt) yeah now his kid is my companion. He’s a really good missionary! I already know we are going to have a lot of success tomorrow. I already love this cambio!  So yeah! I’ll post some pictures later in the letter and you can see him. And it’s his birthday today, so we went and got milk shakes in the morning and stuff, it was fun.

Anyways this week has been kind of slow because of cambios and what not but I still have a cool experience to share. So we were deciding to visit a part of the sector that I had never been to and it’s like total campo, completely, like straight farm town ha-ha. So we entered the one fence and found this lady and started to talk to her and she was real straight up with us and told us like hey I know what you guys do, my uncle is Mormon but has fallen away and I know exactly what you guys believe in so I’m not interested. We ended up just asking like "Well you say that you know a lot but like do you know the roots of our church and where we come from?" So we started a conversation about the Book of Mormon and ended up teaching about the restoration to her and testified a lot of all the things we were saying. You could literally see the change in her eyes as the spirit touched her heart. She went from saying that she’s not going to commit to do anything to saying after we talked to her that she is going to commit to reading the Book of Mormon. She literally used those exact words but in Spanish of course. But it was really special to just see the spirit testify to her heart and how much her personality and willingness changed; it was truly amazing to watch. Right then I knew this would be a good companionship.
Enjoy the pictures! Have a great week-


Elder Zack Walden

1,2 & 7. People in the ward on Elder Felipe’s last day
3. Our goofy milkshake picture with my new comp--yes we look like dorks:)
4. Me and the famous toro here in Osorno
5  Me with Elder Sanabria on his last day
6.We found a giant Sid from Ice Age---yeah I don't even know