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? :)))