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

Monday, August 22, 2016

Treats from Chile:)

From Zack's Mom:****We were able to meet a wonderful family from Chile that knows Zack and were over here in the US for their sons wedding. They brought us a package from Zack that was filled with Chilean treats. It was great! They are so nice and were telling us how much they love Zack (Elder Walden) told us that he is a really hard worker. It was great to hear and wonderful to know and that he has such good people in Chile watching out for him. Such a treat!*****

I hope you guys liked all the treats.  I've been super busy so I literally bought all that Saturday night and gave it to them last Sunday. But yeah! Little taste of Chile!! Hope you enjoyed meeting the family :) They’re really good people! And I’ll probably be seeing them this week.  . Anyways! This week will be interesting because we have cambios (transfers) this week!!! No one knows where or if they will be transferred but looks like I’m going to stay here another cambio, at least I think so. But I’m chill with staying here.  I was hoping to stay here because we have a lot of people we are teaching right now and I want to remain teaching them!! Because they’re awesome!!! So next week I will tell you who my new companion is and all that.  Should be interesting!

I always have miracles to tell you guys, every week, and it’s probably getting boring but hey it’s the mission, it’s the Lords work, miracles happen every day. For real. SO this week, was amazing. We were teaching this one kid Alex, and he even came to church with us 2 weeks ago but he had a problem that he didn’t believe in God. He said he respects everyone’s beliefs and respects everyone but him himself doesn’t believe in God or anything like that and is not going to he told us that there wasn’t really a purpose for us to come over that was sad...BUT the next day we knocked on his neighbors door! And this sweet old lady came out and said "You Guys!! Come on in!!!!" we were like uhhh sweet! Thank you! So we went in and started talking about the work and what we do and everything and she was like "Hey so like I was supposed to be baptized in a different church a year ago but something told me that I needed to wait, I didn’t know why but I waited. So last week I was really pondering to myself on if this church that I am following is true or not, in that moment I saw you missionaries going to my neighbor’s house and I just felt the love you guys had for him. So I was praying and I wanted to know for myself what you guys did and about your religion. And its super weird because I was saying that prayer today, and then you guys knock on my door! So I just had to let you guys in!" My companion and I were like, “Well this happens a lot actually ha-ha this is the work of the Lord.” So we have been teaching her all this last week and she has accepted everything!! She said the prayer in the last lesson and it was amazing, and after she told us that she feels something different with us and she recognizes that it’s the spirit of God. She also came to church yesterday and loved it!! She stayed all three hours and already knew like 4 people in the ward and got along great with everyone. I have never met anyone as ready for this gospel as she is. I am so excited to keep working with her! She has already accepted that she should be baptized in this church. Now we just need to put her with a date! We left that lesson that day just saying "Man this really is the work of the Lord, and I’m so happy to be a part of it." I really love this work.

 AND--- You know Pablo? Remember him? So he didn’t get baptized this week because his friend wasn’t worthy so we were bummed about that but his Bishop said if he took the sacrament this week he would be fine, so I’m hoping this next week it happens. But anyways-- The whole family are recent converts. The daughter Carla has been really strong in sharing the gospel with all of her friends so she was at her friend’s house the other day and her friend like got mad at her mom or something and got mad at Carla so she ended up hitting Carla and talking bad to her mom. So Carla tells her "Hey! I will forgive you if you speak nice to your mom right now! But if you don’t we will not be friends!" So the mom really likes Carla for that and says that Carla is a good person because she’s Mormon. She told her daughter to go to church with Carla. So she came yesterday!! And loved it!! She’s going to start taking lessons from the missionaries and says she wants to get baptized. It’s amazing! She lives in the sector of the other missionaries but it’s alright-- I’m excited to see her progress!!

Seriously everyone, miracles happen every day, this work is amazing! Every single day I see the changes the gospel can make in people lives. It’s truly amazing. I’m sorry I have no pictures this week and the last week because it has been raining like mad and I don’t want to bring my camera out in the rain. BUT MIRACLES ARE REAL JUST TRUST IN THE LORD AND WORK HARD AND HE WILL DO THE REST!!!! 

Hope you all have a fantastic week-
Elder Walden

This is the woman we met and she is Zack's Chilean "Mom":)

Monday, August 15, 2016

Dig to find Treasures

Hello Everybody-

This week was pretty decent, wasn’t like FIRE like the last week, but it was still good. Did a lot of finding and what not because we are dropping all of our investigators that aren’t progressing, which were quite a few, but it’s good. We are here to help people make covenants with God and if they don’t want to do that, we will help the next person. Anyways, this week we had the conference with Elder Packard, and he was awesome! Hes a cool dude! The thing that stuck out to me the most that he talked about is that us as missionaries are trying to find people that are willing to change their lives and their souls and more importantly their hearts for God, but a lot of times us ourselves are not willing to do the same. We need to be willing to change our hearts and our desires and our will to the will of God in order to really help these people. Which I thought was absolutely amazing!

After the conference the zone leaders in our zone had to stay in Osorno for a little bit because they had a meeting at night, so they stayed and did divisions with us. So I was with Elder Linton for a couple hours and we went to go find a bunch of people that told us to come back, and NO ONE was home, it was really frustrating. I was like "Hey man we are going to enter a house. We have to. It will happen." So we were walking and I was like “Dude you feel this house??” and he was like “Yeah man I gotcha”. So we knocked on the door and started presenting ourselves and what not and the lady was like "Hey I’m really not interested, I’m Catholic and have my faith" which everyone says here ha-ha but Elder Linton was like you know what? I’m going to talk about the restoration anyways! So he started talking about the restoration and the lady was like "I’m really cold right" we thought she was going to close the door but she was like "so come in!!" We went in and her son who was 18 was there too and he was super interested! He had talked with missionaries before but never in a lesson and he was so happy. So I’m excited to see what happens :) Just goes to show sometimes you just need to be a little more persistent and dig a little more to find treasures :) 

I wanted to share a quote that I read that I really like "Don't let the pursuit of me and mine get in the way of thee and thine."I really like that quote alot because in everything that we do, we need to ask ourselves if we are doing this for just ourselves or will it benefit others too. In the mission work its especially important because a lot of times we are timid to share things or bear a testimony or sometimes, just talk. But remember that we don't do the work for us, its not the gospel of Zack, its the gospel of Jesus Christ. So do it for the people! Jesus has a goal. The same that God has. They accomplish that through us. Don't impede them,from doing miracles!! I had a hard time at the beginning of my mission to talk because of the language and I didn't want people to look at me weird or judge me because of it so I didn't say much.  I prayed everyday that it would get better, but everytime I spoke I still struggled. I was confused, because I wanted to share the gospel but I couldn't. I looked retarded everytime I tried and it made me mad! But I realized a couple weeks ago that when I went into lessons and tried to speak, I didn't have the faith when I spoke, I spoke knowing I would stammer and such. When I spoke I was angry that God didn't help me. But the second that I spoke knowing God would help me and spoke thinking, "Hey this is the Church of Jesus Christ! People need this! So I'm going to talk anyways!!" That's when I broke free from my shell, when I really started loving and helping the people and giving lessons and that's when I became a missionary. 
So yeah! Anyways! I hope everyone was great this week! And I hope you’re all loving life! By the way WE HAVE A BAPTISM THIS WEEK!!!   Yeah baby!!!!!!!! So thank you everyone for your prayers for that ;))))) Love you all!!! Have a great week!

Elder Zack Walden

Monday, August 8, 2016

Feed My Sheep

HEY!! If you were wondering from last week’s letter we did make it safely back to Osorno last Monday ha-ha. We got home a little late but our zone leaders forgave us. The whole 2 hour trip back home the bus was PACKED so we had to stand up the whole time because we are gentlemen missionaries and gave our seats to other people. ANYWAYS! This week we went hard, me and Elder Felipe just clicked this last week. Finally!!! I don't know what happened but we had like a ton of lessons this week and got into like every house and we invited like everyone to baptism. We've gotten really good at our first discussion skills where almost everyone accepts baptism. Even though we still have no one with a date...BUT it’s alright!! We will put them with a date this week. So yeah I’m super pumped about that! I GOT THE FIRE RIGHT NOW AND I AM GOING TO KEEP SHARING IT! I personally have really realized my purpose as a missionary this last week, and every person I saw this week was different because of it. Before I was teaching and learning because I’m a missionary and it’s what I do and God wants me to do it. But really these people are CHILDREN OF GOD who need this way back to him. We have knowledge of this truth and we can save souls with it!!! We’ve got to do everything we can so the people can understand it! I am really starting to LOVE the work and LOVE the people.
     Anyways we had this contact about a month and a half ago, it was weird because it was my first cambio here and I still hadn’t really known many people so this guy just invited us in randomly and we just started teaching him. I thought he was someone that Elder Felipe had known beforehand but I taught him none the less. Then after the appointment Elder Felipe said that was the first time we had ever met him. For some reason we didn’t pass by for about 3 weeks (I really don’t know why, I completely forgot about him up until this moment) so we were in that area and we passed the house and I was like "dude remember that guy we taught forever ago here???" So we ended up knocking on his door and again he let us in!! And we were talking to him and we gave him one of the pamphlets and were talking to him about it, and he was like "Wait I’m confused? Why do I need to read this? These are words on a paper? I already know your church is true!" We were like, “ Uh wait what?!” And he said he had been praying for a long time for somebody to show him something different and show him the way of God, and he said our first visit, he had finished a prayer like 30 seconds before that and asked God to answer him what he should do at this point in his life. THEN WE SHOWED UP! Then he said 3 weeks after that experience he prayed again to know if those missionaries were the way he should take, and that same day we knocked on his door again, after 3 weeks!!! Me and Elder Felipe were like, well flip man!!!! This is amazing!! But there is one problem we found with him this last week, he does not want to hear the lessons, he said he already knows it’s true and we don’t have to convince him he just needs to receive the answer if baptism is what he should do, but we still haven’t really taught him like anything. And he refuses to come to church. But we are still working with him, but yeah there a little miracle for you from this week! Always act by the spirit everyone!!! God puts people in our paths that are ready for this path and this gospel, we just need to act and miracles WILL happen!! People are out there waiting everyone. NOW GO FIND THEM! Remember what Jesus said to Peter?! FEED MY SHEEP. Go feed them!

Anyways, this week will be fun; the son of Elder Packard is coming to the mission on Thursday and having a conference with us. Just to give you an insight of how big my mission is, he has to do 3 different conferences, 1 here in Osorno, with all the north of the mission, 1 in Puerto Mont with the middle and 1 in Punta Arenas with the South because it would cost too much money to fly everyone into Osorno. Anyways, the rain has hit, hard, and guess what decided to break this week? My umbrella!!!! haha so I’ve been using this piece of junk one that I found in the house. It’s of no use anyways because here in Chile it’s a mix of wind and rain, so it rains in all directions here haha but it’s fun, it’s a good time.  There are more stories I think but this email is long enough and I don’t feel like writing all of it, Que tenga una buena semana!

Have a great week!


Elder Zachary Walden

Okay so heres some pics!-
--We had a zone conference this week and we’re all in the same zone now!! A little CCM reunion!!
--We went to this investigators house and she was all excited because she caught a fish so she like gave it to me and said” Where’s your camera?! I want to take a pic of you with it!” haha Super random but here’s the fish.
--That same investigator  took a pic of us teaching her
--This sign means cheeses from the South, so I took a picture

Monday, August 1, 2016

Lost in Chile

Hey what’s up everybody!!

So about 2 days ago I was thinking I had absolutely nothing to write and then poof-- this weekend was like legit so I got plenty now!! First things first, funny story, this stuff always happens to me. Anyways—We are in Frutillar right now, not Osorno. Long story-- I’ll explain myself. So this morning we thought we would go to Puerto Octay for Pday. Puerto Octay a little pueblito (sorry I really don’t know how to say that in English) it’s on the coast of this lake with volcanoes and what not and apparently it’s pretty legit so we went. It was awesome!! Seriously really, really pretty!! I took some sick photos, you will love them Mom. Anyways, it’s like a really small town, really small, super tranquil, it is awesome. The people were so nice there. BUT when we left we got on this one bus and we were sitting there for like an hour on the bus enjoying the nice scenery on the drive. Beautiful scenery, seriously breathtaking, of the green hills with the cows and then lakes in the background and volcanos. It’s like out of a movie, for real. So after an hour we see this sign that says "FRUTILLAR" we were like “Oh no!” We are in Frutillar, which is an hour in the WRONG DIRECTION! We went more South!! Frutillar is in my old zone!!! My zone from Puerto Montt!!!! We had gotten on the wrong bus!!!! So now we are here in Frutillar and we need to find a way back to Osorno...this should be fun...ANYWAYS-- Hahaha enough about that…

So this week we had an intercambio (exchange) with the zone leaders. I was with my bud Elder Bliss. He’s another Gringo from Oklahoma. It was nice speaking English again. BUT we killed it in the sector! We had a great day together. We taught like a bunch of lessons and stuff but I want to tell you one story in particular. So we contacted this one girl like 4 weeks back and she said we could come back that following Wednesday, so we did of course and her boyfriend answered the door. He told us that they’re really not interested in what we do and that we shouldn’t come back because we were wasting our time, so we didn’t go back. BUT when I was with Elder Bliss, I had a feeling to go back there for some reason so we went back and the boyfriend answered the door again and was like, “Whoa whoa! Hey guy we don’t have time right now!” And we said, “We just came by to see how you were.” He told us he’s been trying to learn English and its super hard, so we started to talk to him a little in English, (he was terrible ha-ha but at least he tried). After that he started talking to us about how he’s restoring this car right now and he loves cars. And just randomly Elder Bliss worked with cars before the mission so they just started bonding talking about cars. And then he just randomly INVITED US IN!! We showed them a video about Christ and taught them a little about the Restoration and they loved it. And invited us to come back!!! I know it was the Holy Ghost telling me DUDE GO TO THEIR HOUSE THEY WILL INVITE YOU IN! So I’m glad I followed the prompting.  I’m excited to meet with them again and see their progress.

We also had 2 people in church yesterday that had never been before. That was great to see. Awesome story behind that too-- one of our investigators told us a week ago that she would be able to go to church on Sunday so on Sunday we were walking with a different investigator to church and she just happened to be in our path to the building! We were like "Hey!! We’re on our way to church!! Come with us!!!" she was like "Well I’ve got stuff to do today but like what the heck why not" and she went and LOVED IT! She knew one of the members too!!! We will definitely pass by her house one day with that member ;) But seriously God has really been blessing us lately in the work. I’ve really seen his hand this last week in the work. My testimony has grown so much that if we live Gods commandments and make ourselves available to the Lord, he will use us to do great things.
Thank you for all the letters this week. I am so sorry that I did not get to write any of you this week. I ran out of time and we have to go find a way back to Osorno. Hope you all have a great week and I absolutely love hearing from all of you! Hopefully next week I will have time to write you back-

Elder Zack Walden