Thursday, February 25, 2016

Another Update from Zack

Hello Family and Friends-
So this week was my first week as a trio! I love my companions! They’re great! I’ll tell you a little bit about them! So Elder P. is from Washington and actually went to BYUI with me this last semester --we didn’t know each other but yeah its cool. He’s a really good kid, he kind of reminds me of Quinn, which is a good thing, and he’s going to Baltimore. The other ones name is Elder S.! We sing a lot together ha-ha he’s way into music. Which is awesome! He’s from the Marshall Islands and speaks some Marshallese, so random, just like Branden! But he’s not fluent in it because he was adopted when he was really young by a family in Idaho. So he grew up in Idaho, but he’s still pretty close to his real parents. He also goes to BYUI, so I’ll definitely see them after the mission. He is going to Atlanta on his mission. Yeah- so we’ve had a lot of TRC time this week which is when you teach people from Mexico City who barely know English. It’s great! I love it! I actually do pretty well with it! I’ve been getting super good at understanding Spanish and decent at speaking it too! It is getting faster and faster every week though! We’ve actually started to make friends with some of the workers here --it’s great! It feels good now but I know once I get to Chile, I won’t know anything ha-ha so oh well, that will be a good time! Anyways, so everything changed for me in the MTC this last week. I am in a completely different district and zone, different teachers, different schedule; we even had to move into a different room in our casa! So that was a big change for me and was kind of tough but I’ve been praying to stay motivated! And this was Gods way of answering my prayer. It’s a blessing though because I think I learn more now and I get to meet new people this way which is awesome! So yeah I miss my old district and teachers and what not...but missing and leaving people is just part of a mission! And I love my new district anyways, they’re all super funny people and it’s a joy to be around all of them! I’ve made some solid friendships already in it, people I will definitely keep in touch with! So Hermana G. (my friend from BYUI) has been super sick all week and it was frustrating because the doctors kept just giving her random medicine and wouldn’t tell her what it was and it did nothing, she just kept feeling worse and worse... so she went back to the doctors and told them something serious was wrong. Yesterday she told me she was going to the hospital outside of the walls to find out what was wrong....we saw one of the doctors on campus today and he told us that they think its appendicitis, however you spell it! So hopefully everything goes well and she is able to return to classes soon. I gave her a blessing before she left and I know it will help her so I have faith everything will turn out how it is supposed to. So that was a sad part of the week. anyways, funny part of the week, my old roommate Elder T., was in TRC with like an actual investigator and wanted to ask him about his friends, and for some reason he said "sailor sus amigos" or something like that, which means "do you lick your friends?" yeah so that was hilarious ha-ha. On Sunday was my first Sunday in my new ward, and me and my district sang a song in front of everyone --that was interesting! It went pretty well –I’m getting better at singing because we do it so much here, especially in this new district. It’s so great! Anyways... not really much else happened this week! We’ve had a couple of solamente espaƱol days which are fun...not. But it’s good though, it gets me prepared for speaking it in the field ha-ha. Anyways, keep writing me please, I love all of you! Elder Walden He leaves for Chile on March 8th:))))

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Zack's 3rd Week!!

Hey Family and Friends! A lot has happened this week so get ready! So I don't remember a lot but I remember the main parts. First off, the beginning of this week I really felt like I needed to do something in order to learn more because I felt as if I was kind of plateauing in learning which isn't good. So I decided to fast, which was tough because I had already missed meals the day before for reasons haha so I was starving and like ready to pass out all day haha. But I knew it was something that I needed to do to show God I'm serious about learning His gospel in this language. So I didn't pass out, blessing right there, and during personal study I legit opened my scriptures to a random page and highlighted right there-- were scriptures about the gift of tongues and how we use these gifts and obtain them. Definitely not a coincidence! Also, that night we had a lesson to teach and during the lesson I had no problem understanding the investigator! And could mostly say everything that I wanted to back to her! Fasting really does help and the gift of tongues is true everyone! So, big news this companion has been meeting with people almost everyday and Tuesday, right before the devotional, I found out he was going home the next day...he gave me a big hug and pulled out a plane ticket and told me he would be leaving, it was like a punch in the stomach. I know though that he is doing the right thing, he's going to go work on things at home and he's determined to come back out! He's already a fantastic missionary and when he goes back out he will be an even better one. I can't wait to see him in the field again. Hopefully I can be his trainer! That would be cool! But anyways, that night we had the opportunity to hear Elder Oaks speak. My companion Elder C. was super sad during the whole thing though knowing he was going home, I would be too. Elder Oaks in his talk told us how he got to go into a classroom here at the MTC and he loves the things we are learning here and could really feel the spirit here which was great! Afterwards, Elder Oaks wanted to shake everyones hand so on the way out we got to do that! To everyone he just said like "Hello Elder Walden, great to meet you!" or something along those lines haha but when Elder Clements (my companion) went through Sister Oaks stopped him and said "You're Elder C.? Your first name is J. right?" He was like "Uhm yeah?" and she and Elder Oaks told him "we had the opportunity to go into your classroom and we saw your scriptures on the desk and we picked them up and read some from them. I had the prompting to tell you that you are going to make a fantastic missionary." Straight from an apostle!! There was literally no better time for Elder C. to hear that. Giant testimony builder right there. They had no idea he was going home the next day, they were lead to our classroom, lead to pick up his scriptures, and were prompted by God to tell him those words because that is exactly what he needed at that moment in his life. I definitely think Gods eye is on Elder C. and I know he has more in store for him than he can even imagine. I miss him very much but I know he will do well at home and do what he needs to do. Anyways, I'm now in a trio with some of my friends, so that worked out too. It's kind of weird being in a trio but I think it'll make me work harder which is just what I need to do. It's been pretty sad here without Elder C. One of the hermanas (sister missionaries) who he had become close with was crying all day about it, so she asked me for a blessing. Last night I made myself available to the Lord and gave her the blessing and it was one of the strongest times I had felt the Spirit. I know he was helping me say what needed to be said and what she needed to hear in order for her to feel comforted. The Lord definitely has his hand in all of our lives and I've definitely gained a huge testimony of that down here. It's truly amazing and this work is truly glorious! Today we also had the opportunity to go through the temple! That was such a spiritual experience and its just what everybody needed. I'll send some pictures I took from it, but the Mexico temple is beautiful and the spirit was definitely strong there. Thank you for all the support! I love to receive mail so if you can go to you can send a free letter through them. Thank You! Love You All- Elder Zack Walden

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Zack's 2nd Week in the MTC!!

Hey guys! I dont even know like where to start this week, I feel like a lot has happened but like legit I'm blanking haha. Soooo where to start...the weather has been like super bipolar this week - super cold in the morning and then like 90 in the afternoon haha its strange, but Mexico is seriously super pretty! Yesterday we did our first TRC! I don't know what it stands for but its where they get an investigator off the street that volunteers and we teach them -- it was difficult, he knew no English at all, but we still taught a pretty decent lesson. It was funny, he's apparently going on his mission in April to Brazil and he's super stressed about learning Porteguese, so we talked alot about how el don de lenguas es real (gift of tongues) but we were telling him in like broken Spanish hahaha it was funny and spiritual! I'm still getting better everyday in Spanish! poco por poco! i know enough to understand most of what all the workers and latinos are saying and can like kind of respond. So it's coming pretty well! It was super funny this week, one of the Hermanas in our district wanted to ask an investigator if she ever takes her kids places, which is "toma sus hijos...?" but instead she said "toca sus hijos?" which means do you touch your kids? haha our teacher was laughing so hard, hey we all make mistakes...anyways! I never really told you much about my companion! He's a super nice kid, and he's been doing sooooooo much better homesickness-wise this week! He's from Lehi, Utah and goes to USU and actually plays on the soccer team there! He's such a beast at soccer hahah during gym time and P days and what not we usually go play futsol which is like soccer, but on a basketball court...and he like wrecks all the latinos, I'm not good at all but I try. I'm getting better at soccer! He's teaching me some stuff! Im also reigning ping pong champ down here, have yet to be beaten haha so yeah, no surprise there right? Anyways, miracle of the week, one of the Hermanas in another district was super sick and could'nt even really sit up staight so her district leader gave her a blessing and literally 3 seconds after the prayer she was up and walking and feeling 100 times better than before. Miracles really do happen and the Priesthood is a powerful thing, I've seen it so much up here. I've really been noticing the little blessings in my life and what an impact how you look at things can have. If you keep a positive outlook, you will have positive experiences, simple as that. Alot more happened this week, I swear, but I forgot my journal so I really can't think of anything. I'll send some pics though! Hope everyones week is great! Oh! Elder Oaks, the apostle is coming this week!! Tuesday he will give the devotional and me and Elder Clements got chosen to sing in a small choir for him!! It will be a super good experience and I'm so stoked for it! People have asked me how the food is here. It isn't that bad. I just throw what ever they make into a tortilla with some beans and hot sauce and it's usually fine haha. I'm not complaining, it could be worse. We literally have Mexican food all day everyday:) except Tuesdays, we get Costco pizza, which is a blessed day! Anyway---I would love to hear from everyone and it would be great if you sent me a free letter through love to get stuff in the mail---it's great and like the only entertainment I get all week haha. You just type the letter in and they will print it out and deliver it here at the MTC! Thank you to everyone for your love and support! Hope everyone has a great week! Love- Elder Walden

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Zacks First Email!!!

Hey Family and Friends!! Im actually surprisingly having a fantastic time here at the CCM! MTC in spanish by the way. Mexico is wayyyy beautiful! Uhm so a week is actually longer than I thought, its hard thinking back to my first day haha. It seems like I've been here awhile! Luckily I have my journal with me... So night 1 was pretty tough, super homesick, but I decided to just live in the moment and not in the past and it has been working miracles! I have been soooo happy with my experience so far! I have already felt myself grow so much and my relationship with the Savior is getting sooo much stronger!! Prayer really is needed in life. Anyways my companion is great! We have bonded so much! I will put a pic of me and him later in the letter! I swear I have the best casa... we all get along so well! It's great! Everyone is funny haha times with them is probably the hardest I've laughed in a super long time! My district is small but everyone is great! We are way outnumbered by the sister missionaries but I think thats kind of a blessing because we have learned so much from them! They are great, we've bonded as a district super well, its fantastic! oh! The second day I got called as a district leader! Which will be tough haha poses its own challenges but I'm really grateful for this opportunity! Our branch president is so awesome, I think we got the best one haha hes a cool guy. oh! sorry this letter is all over the place but so much has happened this week haha but hey the first day I was here I said my first spanish prayer! I had a cheat sheet, but hey it was infront of everyone at a devotional type thing haha but now I'm a pro at spanish prayers haha I dont need a cheat sheet anymore and I can mostly say what I actually want to say! Ive learned soooooooo much so far here! My spanish is getting soooo much better! Everyone here speaks spanish so you're kind of forced to learn it fast hahah. Like I'm not good at spanish per say but I can like get through an entire lesson all in Spanish, I know enough now to like understand the teachers and kind of be able to respond but I'm looking forward to the next 5 weeks of this! Mexico has been quite the adventure! We play this game called "firework or gunshot?" because theres so many random bangs and what not through the day and alot at night haha so thats interesting. The food has been, interesting, its been kind of messing with my stomach but hey it tastes decent! Could be worse! Oh btw my Pdays are on Thursdays, incase you were wondering, should have put that in the first letter haha. Its been tough, mi compaƱero has been really struggling this week with homesickness and has broken down a few times and has been really down but he asked me for a blessing which seemed to make things better! It was also cool because I found this paper in my scriptures during one of his lowest times and it was reasons from President Hinkley on why to serve a mission! I havent seen that paper in years! There was for sure a reason why I found it so I gave it to Elder Clements and he said it really helped alot! Also another miracle this week, one of the sisters was having a really tough time this week and was debating going home so she came to me and asked me if I could give her a blessing, so I did, which was my first blessing I had ever given, I was super nervous! But I knew the Lord would help me out. So I gave one to her and she said she was really in need of three specific things from God and all of them were brought up in the blessing I gave her which really strengthened my testimony that the Lord really can speak through you. Cool experience, and she has been a ton better ever since then! But yeah I'm doing so well! Im loving it so far!!! Having such a great time, would'nt wanna be doing anything else and I have seen so many blessings from this already! Hope to hear from you all! Love- Elder Walden PS- Those are my roomates in that one pic, the other pic is me and my companion and then a picture of me with my badge. Also I have learned how to say "dope" it means "I feel you/you feel me" and "I dig it" in Spanish which is like all I say so I am doing well--haha PSS- I would also love to hear from everyone! You can email me at but I would love to receive letters also and you can send them for free through You just type it there on that website and they will print it up and deliver it to me for FREE. Would love to hear from all of you! Thanks for all the support!