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 compaƱero 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